Local Celebrity Cracks Under Stress Of Local Fame

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Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—Grieving family members of local aunt Laurie Shelton confirmed Monday that the 48-year-old woman’s unexpected death had caused a major breach in their gossip pipeline, suddenly disrupting access to the latest dirt on all their relatives.

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SPRINGFIELD, MA—Keeping his voice at a measured volume and holding everything back, departing employee David Hughes was really letting no one have it during his exit interview Monday, sources at local accounting firm Grier and Associates confirmed.

Conceptual Genius Goes As Self For Halloween

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No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

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45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

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Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

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Teen Coming Out Of Shell Giving Bully Lots Of New Material To Work With

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Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

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Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

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Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.

Rescuers Heroically Help Beached Garbage Back Into Ocean

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC—In what many described as an inspiring display of selflessness and teamwork, a group of rescuers heroically saved a beached mound of garbage by helping the stranded trash back into the ocean, eyewitnesses reported Thursday.

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.
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Local Household Announces Plans To Overdo Halloween Again

HIGHLAND PARK, IL—Having hauled over a dozen boxes of lights and plastic decorations as well as a large black-cat-shaped lawn inflatable from storage, members of the Hutchcroft family announced to neighbors from their front yard Thursday their plan to completely overdo Halloween again this year.


Local Celebrity Cracks Under Stress Of Local Fame

WAUWATONKA, WI–Unable to cope with the mounting pressures of local fame, local celebrity Randall "Herch" Herchwick, 51, shocked residents of this placid Midwestern community Monday with an uncharacteristically emotional outburst during an Elks Club Picnic at the Plefko County Fairgrounds.

Randall Herchwick

According to witnesses, the popular WTNK Action News anchorman "snapped" after being submerged in a charity dunk tank, at which he had volunteered as a "human target." Following the humiliating dunking, Herchwick allegedly raised his voice and swore at several picnic-goers, storming away angrily and frightening a group of small children, one of whom reportedly began crying.

Described by town doctor Glen Hardale as "almost a nervous breakdown, but more minor," Herchwick's disturbing display is believed to have been brought on by the strain of 11 years of intense, unrelenting local celebrityhood.

"Being in the public spotlight each weekday at six on the Channel 15 NBC Action News, as well as Saturdays as co-host of Wauwatonka Live At Five, well, it's a lot of pressure for a man to face, I'd imagine," Hardale said of Herchwick, beloved by hundreds of Wauwatonkans, as well as residents of nearby Plovis and viewers throughout the greater tri-county area. "Local fame is, as they say, a harsh mistress. An ordinary fellow like you or me, or Pastor Bob or Don over at Hefke's Seed & Feed, can't imagine what it's like."

"Everywhere he goes locally, people recognize him," Hardale continued. "If he wants to enjoy any privacy or anonymity at all, he's pretty much forced to leave this three-mile-radius area."

Following the outburst, Herchwick was rushed to Dr. Hardale's office, where he was asked to lie down and rest while the doctor administered a mild sedative. He was reportedly also offered a cookie.

Early Tuesday morning, WTNK Channel 15 released the following statement: "WTNK and the entire Action News family is deeply saddened by this unfortunate turn of events, but we are confident that Randall Herchwick, or 'Herch' as he is affectionately known, will make it through this crisis and be back to bringing you the same level of telejournalistic excellence and service to his community that has established WTNK as Plefko County's leader for 'News You Can Use.' In the meantime, we ask all of you to keep him in your thoughts and prayers."

Rumors that Herchwick's outburst was the result of a fame-induced drug problem were quashed when lab reports revealed that the news anchor's system contained only over-the-counter antacids and a mild prescription antihistamine. Still, locals said, the strain of Herchwick's local notoriety has taken its toll in recent months.

In this June 6 photo, Herchwick avoids local paparazzi at the Korner Kart convenience store.

According to Wauwatonka resident and regular Action News viewer Eileen Lund, the first sign of trouble came in February, when Herchwick seemed "stressed and even sort of irritable" during the taping of the ordinarily heartwarming "Thursday's Child" segment, during which he reaches out to a child in need. While taking a terminally ill boy on a tour of a cheese factory, the usually cheerful anchorman, Lund said, appeared bored and impatient with the child's questions about cheese and "seemed in a hurry to get the segment over with and go home."

"I watched it with my grandmother," Lund said. "Neither of us were heartwarmed at all, which I thought was unusual."

Over the past few months, Herchwick's behavior has become especially erratic. In April, he began covering his face when exiting his favorite eatery, the Portage Road Sizzler Steakhouse, shielding his identity from Plefko County paparazzi. Since early May, he has been spotted grocery shopping at Banjo's Food Ranch as late as 11 p.m., hoping to avoid the swarms of local fans which plague him whenever he shops in the afternoon. And on June 3, his 1995 Pontiac Bonneville was seen in the lot behind Larry's Tip-Top Inn, where Herchwick had gone, it is presumed, to drown his sorrows in drink.

"I asked him for an autograph for my daughter when Patti Danforth and I took a tour of the WTNK studios with our Daughters Of The Corn group last week," resident Carole Helmsley said. "He sighed heavily and looked a bit pained. Then he said he'd have to go get a picture to sign from the WTNK NewsTruck. But once he went in, he never came back out. It was as if he was deliberately avoiding us."

"If I'd only known the pressure the poor man was under, I wouldn't have asked," Helmsley continued. "All that constant hounding from autograph-seekers must have been too much for him."

Other Wauwatonkans, however, feel little sympathy for the regional luminary.

"Herch knew what he was getting into when he decided to seek local fame, and now that he's grabbed the brass ring, he's got to live with it," said Gus Brinkle, weatherman at rival station WPGN Channel 27. "He wouldn't be here today if it weren't for his fans, but now that he's got the spotlight, suddenly he turns on them and starts complaining about the pressures of celebrity. It's ridiculous. If he can't take the attention, he should never have gotten into this business. It's not all store grand openings and charity fun runs, you know. If you want the glamour and the glory, you've got to be willing to take the bad stuff, too."

"That's the way this crazy rollercoaster that we in the business call 'the fame game' works," Brinkle said.

Will Herchwick recover? At this point, it remains too early to tell. But one thing is certain: For this anchorman, local fame has brought local accolades and adoration, but not without a steep price.