Shock Jock Joke Backfires

Memo to concerned citizens of Lexington, Ky.: Don't believe everything morning-crew radio-station shock jocks tell you.

Memo to Lexington, Ky., shock jocks: Don't lie to the public.

Devotees of the Z-Rock Morning Show (search) on WXZZ, 103.1 FM in Lexington were outraged last week after learning the county council had passed a new smoking ban — one that barred people from lighting up in their own cars.

Angry rock listeners swamped 911 lines and switchboards at City Hall, the police and health departments and the county attorney's office, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV.

The upshot: The Morning Show has been suspended indefinitely and the city plans to both file an official FCC complaint and send a letter of complaint to Cumulus Broadcasting (search), Z-Rock's owner.

"It was a stunt, a prank, a joke," Z-Rock General Manager Chris Clendenen told the Herald-Leader. "We thought we'd have some fun. We didn't mean to cause any harm or inconvenience to anyone. If we did inconvenience the city, we're sorry."

The city of Lexington's chief administrative officer, Milton Dohoney, said it wasn't funny that people with legitimate police, health or legal matters might not have been able to get through on jammed phone lines.

"If it was meant to be a joke," Dohoney said, "we fail to see the humor in it. There's not a kernel of truth to it. It caused unnecessary angst on the part of the public."

There's an FCC rule against broadcasting false information that could cause "public harm" and diverts "law enforcement or other public health and safety authorities from their duties."

As for the local police, "the police department has no comment or position," said Lexington police Lt. David Boggs.

Clendenen tried to talk the story down to the Herald-Leader, saying he hoped "cooler heads will prevail" and that the "overwhelming majority" of listeners knew it was a joke.

Still, he refused to divulge the real names of Morning Show personalities Kyle, Mary Jane and Twitch.

By Friday, a large banner was up on the Z-Rock Web site.

"Z-Rock's Morning Show has been SUSPENDED," it read. Inside a memo from Clendenen read in part: "It is the determination of the management of the station that the Z-Rock Morning Show will be suspended indefinitely, pending a resolution with the city regarding this matter."

Tables Turned on Deer Hunter

NORTH VERNON, Ind. — When hunter Jim Mick went into the woods to bag himself a deer, he never expected to come out empty-handed — and badly bruised.

The 69-year-old bowhunter was treated for injuries he said he suffered during a wrestling match with an angry buck. Mick, of North Vernon, said the deer attacked him Monday while he was hunting alone in rural Decatur County in southeastern Indiana.

"He came out of the tall grass and briars," Mick said. "When I realized it, he was on me already."

Mick said the animal, which weighed about 150 pounds, struck him in the chest and knocked him to the ground, goring him in the thigh.

"All I had time to do was throw my hands up and grab his antlers," he said.

After about a 10-minute struggle, Mick said he managed to put a tree between himself and the deer, and the animal retreated.

Mick put a makeshift bandage on his leg and returned to his vehicle to call family members for help, he said. His son-in-law took him to a hospital in Greensburg, where he was treated for the gash and other minor injuries and released.

"It was probably a draw, but I think I got the worst of it," Mick said. "I don't think he had any gouge marks on him."

— Thanks to Out There readers Melissa H., Bill S., and Jerry S.

Church Robbers Take Checks in Lieu of Cash

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two men who robbed the pastor of a Kansas City church at gunpoint left behind two clues for the cops to check out: their names.

The Rev. Tony R. Caldwell was short of cash, so he offered to write each man a check for $150. The men agreed, making certain the pastor knew the correct spellings of their names.

The robbery happened Wednesday night when one of the men asked to speak to Caldwell after a Bible study at the Eternal Life Church (search).

Caldwell invited the man to his upstairs office, where the man said he wanted another chance in a church program he had been kicked out of. The program provides food and shelter to men who are homeless or recently released from jail.

A second man, who also was kicked out of the program and banned from the building over theft allegations, walked into the office as they talked.

"I knew I had a problem at that point," Caldwell said. "They both smelled of liquor, and their eyes were all bloodshot."

The second man asked for money and said, "It's up to you. I mean, your congregation could get shot up or your church could burn down."

Worried about church members still downstairs, Caldwell offered to write the men checks.

"I wasn't going to push this issue," he said.

Lifetime Supply of Beer Down the Drain

CHILHOWIE, Va. (AP) — Fourteen cars of an 83-car Norfolk Southern (search) train derailed near an industrial park, leaving the area smelling like a brewery Thursday.

About 20,000 gallons of beer leaked from three cars of the Roanoke-bound train, said railway spokesman Robin Chapman.

No one was injured when the cars skipped the tracks about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Chapman said.

Investigating officers said the leak did not contaminate any nearby water sources nor affect any highways.

"Everything was contained away from the creek," said Jack Tolbert Jr. of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the derailment. All trains scheduled to use the tracks through Chilhowie were held until they were cleared Thursday evening.

Lifetime Supply of Peanuts, and Then Some

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) — A load of Georgia peanuts was delivered unexpectedly Thursday to a discriminating fan of the goober.

The 46,000-pound load of peanuts was dumped in J.S. Doughtie's front yard after the trailer they were in slipped off the road and tipped in the soft shoulder, driver Jeff Lanier told police.

Doughtie, 83, said he was working in a shed in his back yard when he realized what had happened. He was told to help himself.

"Oh, I'm going to roast some, make some candy," he said. "I love peanuts, but I do wish these were from Virginia."

Lanier, who was hauling the peanuts from Statesboro, Ga., was charged with reckless driving and failing to maintain control of his vehicle, Suffolk Police said.

Rat Almost Kills Driver

ARDMORE, Okla. (AP) — It's a nutty explanation, but a mechanic says a rat is to blame for a near traffic accident.

Carol Windham was forced to run a red light Wednesday when her gas pedal stuck down after she hit the brakes. Pressing both feet on the pedal, she managed to get her 1984 Chevrolet van through the intersection unscathed and was able to stop it near a fast-food restaurant.

The van was towed to an auto repair shop, where mechanic Jeff Rutledge popped the hood and found a pile of pecans.

"There were probably 50 pecans," he said. "It looked like a wood rat had nested."

Apparently, when Windham depressed the brake pedal, one of the pecans fell and lodged next to the accelerator cable, causing the throttle to stick open.

Rutledge said rat problems are not uncommon this time of year.

"It makes about the third one we've had over the last two weeks," he said. "Rats can chew through fuel lines and electrical wires, too."

Windham checked the engine compartment of her other vehicle when she got home and found more pecans and half an apple.

"We put peanut butter on the rat trap, put it on one of the tires and tied it down," she said.

The next morning, Windham found the rat dead.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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