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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Councilwoman Thompson Voted Off Of 'Dancing With The Stars'

(LOS ANGELES) - Harrisburg City Councilwoman Linda Thompson has been eliminated from ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

Thompson and her professional dancing partner were kicked off during this week's results show, after a foxtrot that met with mixed reviews and a mambo that was panned by judges and viewers alike.

Judge Bruno Tonioli told Thompson she danced as though she "had a broomstick lodged somewhere painful."

The councilwoman and rooky ballroom dancer snapped back, "Well, maybe I do, asshole!"

After the competition, Thompson seemed to have cooled down somewhat. "As someone who was a major [Beverly Hills] 90210 junkie, I'm just thrilled that I got to meet Ian Ziering," she said.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Landis Hands Out Urine Samples In Quest To Prove Innocence

(EPHRATA) - In what some are calling a bold attempt to proclaim his innocence, cyclist Floyd Landis distributed free urine samples to attendees at a fundraiser at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center over the weekend.

"I implore you to examine these specimens yourselves," said the defamed Tour de France winner, "and tell me if they look like the urine of someone who uses performance enhancing drugs."

"I knew he was innocent all along," said Bart Longmeadow of Lititz, as he held the sample he received up to the light. "And this confirms it. It's sparkling and translucent, and I don't see no drugs!"

The event also served as the official product launch for Gatorade's newest flavor, Floyd's Power Punch. According to the label, the beverage "contains enough testosterone to make a grown man vibrate for three solid days."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Lady Fairchilde Lands Lead Role In "Knoll: A Life Story"

(NEIGHBORHOOD OF MAKE-BELIEVE) - Lady Elaine Fairchilde, best known as the curator of the Museum-Go-Round in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, has been cast as Catherine Baker Knoll in the upcoming movie chronicling the life of the lieutenant governor.

"Knoll: A Life Story" is expected to hit theaters in December, according to director Ron Howard, who called casting Fairchilde as the lead a "no-brainer."

"Fortunately, she was available," Howard said. "Granted, she has been out of work for some time." The director said he chose Fairchilde because of what he called "striking similarities" between the woman and the rosy-cheeked puppet. "For example, both of them are natives of western Pennsylvania, so Fairchilde's accent and dialect are already where we need them." Howard would not confirm rumors that he's pursuing King Friday for the role of Governor Ed Rendell.

Fairchilde, a distant cousin of State Rep. Russ Fairchild (R-Snyder/Union), said she was flattered to be invited to play the Knoll role, even though some of her ideologies differ from those of the individual she'll portray.

"There are things I would do differently as lieutenant governor," said Fairchilde. "For example, I would see to it that the columns on all state government buildings are painted different colors."

When reached by phone for this story, Knoll said, "Who the hell is Lady Fairchilde?"

Friday, March 23, 2007

Developer To Pave Paradise, Put Up Parking Lot

(PARADISE) - A developer today announced plans to purchase the entire Lancaster County community of Paradise, pave over it and put up a parking lot.

"Eventually, we might consider building a pink hotel, a boutique and maybe even a swinging hot spot," said John Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of Johnny Mitchell Enterprises, LLP of Blue Ball. "But for now, we're just going with a parking lot."

Many of the apple trees belonging to farmer David Haarbusch will be uprooted as a result of the plan. "I guess I can put away my DDT now," he said.

Several trees located on the property will need to be uprooted, but they apparently will not be destroyed. Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed plans to take all the trees and put them in a tree museum. "I expect that we'll charge a dollar and a half for people who may want to see them."

The parking lot plan has generated a good deal of opposition in this rural town. "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone," lamented longtime resident Joanne Stoltzfus.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Buxton Switches Nail Polish Colors At PHEAA Retreat

(FARMINGTON) - After years of using Maybelline's Peach Glimmer nail polish, State Representative Ron Buxton recently switched to Avon's Sunrise Sorbet during a recent Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency board retreat.

"It's a subtle change," said Buxton, who credits a manicurist at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County with helping him find his "true color."

"When she first suggested the shade change," the lawmaker and long-time PHEAA board member said, "I wasn't so sure. But after thinking about it over a spa treatment, a hot stone and mineral bath, a reach-around and a good deal of booze from our hotel room's mini-bar, I realized it was the right choice."

Buxton said the added confidence provided by his "flashy new nails" will help ensure he makes "the best decisions for all of PHEAA's student beneficiaries, as well as my constituents in the 103rd Legislative District."

(Photo credit is due to a Gazelle reader named John...thanks!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Midstate Gangs Report For Spring Training

(LANCASTER) - With the official summer crime season just six weeks away, street gangs in cities including Harrisburg, Lancaster and York dusted off their brass knuckles and reported for Spring Training today.

"It's great seeing these guys again," said Hector 'Blood Nuts' Gutierrez, as he mingled at an ice cream social hosted by a Lancaster gang. "We've all got a lot of catching up to do."

Fellow gang member Howard 'No Pop Star' Jones said he "stayed loose" by knocking over a liquor store over the winter. "I still feel out of shape, though," Jones said.

Starting Monday, the socializing will dwindle and the gatherings will take on a much more serious tone. Members will attend weeks of workshops, such as "Bustin' Ass 101," "Tattoos 'n You," and "Balancing Gang and Family Life."

Spring Training for so called "minor league" gangs, such as those in Gettysburg and Lebanon, convenes next month.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patty's Day Reveler Realizes Lifelong Dream Of Peeing Green

(HARRISBURG) - After visiting several bars along Restaurant Row with his friends this evening, Justin Binghaur of Lebanon made good on a bet that he could "urinate green before the night is over."

"I started pounding green beers around five o'clock, but as part of my strategy, I didn't break the seal until 11:15 p.m.," the 22-year-old Binghaur said. "Then, when I did, it came out as emerald green as when it went in."

Binghaur's friend, Nate Curcillo, accompanied Binghaur to the restroom at the Hardware Bar to serve as official historian of the event.

"I photographed the pee stream with my cell phone," Curcillo said, "and I stand ready to show it to any skeptics."

Both revelers said they plan to print out photographs of the feat and send them in to Guinness World Records, though it remained unclear at press time as to whether Guiness would accept them.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Harrisburg Markets Incinerator For Special Events

(HARRISBURG) - In an effort to overcome a mountain of financial debt incurred by the city's troubled incinerator, the Harrisburg Authority has begun renting out the facility for special events.

"We're thinking this place could be a hit for weddings, office parties and the like," said authority Executive Director Bob Ambrose. "Anything to stem the flow of $1 million out the door each month."

Howie Rosenstein of Enola, who rented the incinerator building for his son Roger's bar mitzvah this past weekend, said he was satisfied with the experience. "After the first hour, you don't even smell the smoldering trash. And clean-up was a snap, as we just threw all of our garbage onto one of the burners."

The board of directors at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency has already booked the facility for several parties in the coming year.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Reed Enacts Mandatory Smoking Measure

(HARRISBURG) - Harrisburg Mayor and avid smoker Stephen Reed has signed an executive order that requires all city employees to smoke at least a half of a pack of cigarettes during each eight-hour workday.

Reed calls the move, which came days after a city smoking ban was ruled illegal by a state labor relations panel, "an attempt to swing the pendulum in the other direction."

He said any employee found to be smoking less than ten cigarettes in a day will be placed on probation. Failure to meet the threshold the following workday will result in a suspension, with a third offense punishable by dismissal.

One city councilwoman, who asked not to be named in this article, said she planned to introduce an amendment that would allow employees to smoke crack instead of cigarettes.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Maryland Seizes Southern York County In Sneak Attack

(SHREWSBURY) - Hundreds of Maryland National Guard troops in tanks and armored vehicles stormed over the Mason-Dixon line and into this York County community overnight, seizing the borough, nearby New Freedom and three surrounding townships in the name of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.

For many locals, the incursion brought back memories of the 1991 Battle of Glen Rock, when members of a local militia fended off a similar takeover attempt from the south.

"You've got to give them credit," said New Freedom resident Gary Fardlewood of last night's attack. "They seemed much more organized this time." Fardlewood said he "thought something was up" when he emerged from Lamotte's Corner Bar around 1:45 a.m. and saw a tank on the street corner.

When asked about the attack by reporters at the Capitol today, Governor Ed Rendell said he was not told of the incident until several hours after it happened in a phone call from Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director James Joseph.

Cost Of Lancaster Hotel And Convention Center Edges Up To $23.7 Billion

(LANCASTER) - Recent surges in the costs of construction materials and gasoline have pushed the expected cost of the planned Lancaster County hotel and convention center from $170 million to $23.7 billion, developers said.

"We realize that's a bit of a jump," said David Hixson, executive director of the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority. "But we feel the demand exists for this project, and we expect to break even on it by 2065."

"We don't anticipate that this slight increase will affect our ability to secure financing," Hixson added. He noted that Wachovia Bank has agreed to loan the authority the additional $23.53 billion.

In the "unlikely event" that the authority should default on its loan payments, Hixson said, Wachovia would own every home, farm and other private and commercial property in all of Lancaster County. Moreover, the county would be forced by its loan agreement to adopt a home rule charter under which Wachovia's president and CEO would become the county executive, and residents would, by law, be required to address him or her as "My Lord."

"But again," Hixson added, "that scenario is not seen as very probable."

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Hershey Enters Laxative Market With 'Montezuma's Revenge' Bar

(HERSHEY) - The Hershey Company today announced its foray into the laxative market with the Montezuma's Revenge bar.

The candymaker says its newest product will be manufactured in Mexico, thus fitting into the company's restructuring plans that involve shifting hundreds of jobs south of the border.

"The synergies between our Mexican operations and the production of laxatives are obvious," said President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Lenny. He noted the company will soon be releasing Hershey's Squirt, a laxative in syrup form.

"We're excited about the opportunity to combine the delicious taste of Hershey's chocolate with the relief that comes with being able to produce a bowel movement," Lenny said.

Jesus To Speak On Intelligent Design In Dover

(DOVER) - As the dialogue continues in and around this York County community about whether intelligent design has a place in the science classroom, Jesus Christ announced today that He plans to speak at a town hall meeting on the concept later this month.

"I simply plan to present my views on this compelling issue," Christ said. "Obviously, I back the concept, though I look forward to hearing other perspectives. I look forward to a robust discussion."

Christ said He wanted to wait until the controversy stemming from the federal trial over the concept died down before visiting with residents in the Dover area.

Christ's speech will take place on March 17 at the Dover Township Community Building on Davidsburg Road. It is to coincide with the Dover Township Fire Department's annual Gun Raffle and Feed.

The event will take the form of a town hall meeting, and will be hosted by WGAL-TV reporter Ben Simmoneau.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Gus The Groundhog Takes Punxsutawney Phil Hostage, Releases List Of Demands

(PUNXSUTAWNEY) - Indicating he was "sick and tired of playing second fiddle," the spokes-animal for the Pennsylvania Lottery's instant games removed his slumbering, prognosticating peer Punxsutawney Phil from his burrow at gunpoint today and took him hostage.

"Enough of this second-most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania shit," Gus the Groundhog told State Police negotiators by cell phone. "Effective immediately, I want top billing. Let this old, dried-out weasel wear the number-two hat for a while and see how he feels."

The incident was highly unexpected, having occurred at a time when both groundhogs were thought to have been hibernating.

Lottery Executive Director Ed Mahlman said police were keeping him abreast of developments. He added, "I'd like to extend my sympathies to Phil's family and assure them that we're doing everything within our powers to talk Gus down. I'd also like to remind folks that Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is up to $120 million, and Friday's Match 6 is well over the $6 million mark."

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Carlisle Mayor Appears To Woman On Piece Of Toast

(CARLISLE) - One minute, Sue Ann Hockenbrock was cooking breakfast for her husband and two children. The next, she was dumbfounded at what popped out of her toaster.

"I reached for the slice of toast, put it on a plate, then realized that on it, staring back at me, was an image of Mayor [Kirk] Wilson," Hockenbrock said.

"I guess it was bound to happen," she added. "After all, he has been mayor for some 22 years."

Hockenbrock said she planned to donate the rare find to the Cumberland County Historical Society.

For his part, Wilson was puzzled. "I can assure you it was not the result of any intentional actions on my part," the mayor said.

Rendell Violates Own Emissions Standards After Eating Cheesesteak

(HARRISBURG) - Approximately one hour after eating a cheesesteak, Governor Rendell today violated his administration's new emissions standards that went into effect on January 1.

His office released a statement late this afternoon acknowledging that, shortly after lunch, Rendell unleashed a cloud of flatulence that triggered air pollution sensors outside the Governor's Mansion.

"The governor regrets ordering extra onions, and pledges to never do it again," said spokeswoman Kate Philips.

"Because the new smog emissions guidelines pertain solely to vehicles, the governor appears to be in the clear in terms of prosecution," said Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty. "But," she added, "it's still a cause for concern."