Local Sheriff Suspects Al-Qaeda Or Teens

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Vol 40 Issue 33

Waiting-Room Copy Of People Brings Area Man Up To Speed On Paris Hilton

TULSA, OK—While waiting to see dermatologist Rawson Meyers, Randy Slocum was "brought up to speed" on the life of Paris Hilton by an Aug. 9 issue of People magazine Monday. "I never quite knew what Paris Hilton did, besides get some home-sex tape put on the Internet," Slocum said during the 18 minutes he spent waiting to have a benign mole removed. "Well, it turns out she wrapped up a second season of The Simple Life, this TV show she does with Lionel Richie's daughter. And she was dating some guy named Nick Carter, but they broke up." An article about Jessica Simpson also cleared up Slocum's previous assumption that Hilton starred in the MTV reality show Newlyweds.

Girlfriend Acting All Clingy After Getting Pregnant

TUCSON, AZ—Human-resources manager Dave Buckner, 27, said Monday that longtime girlfriend Janice Feener, 24, has been "a lot more clingy" ever since July, when she learned she was pregnant with his child. "All of a sudden, she's saying 'I love you' six times a day and wants to sit around hugging on the couch all night," Buckner said. "I'm not sure what's gotten into her, but it's getting really annoying." Buckner added that there's no way he can stand six and a half more months of Feener's behavior, and is considering buying her a puppy to keep her company.

Personal Life A Total Waste Of Time

ALTOONA, PA—Stockbroker Donald Guy, 38, announced Monday that his non-work life is "a complete waste of time." "I spent the weekend reading, watching movies, and visiting friends." Guy said. "I didn't get a damn thing done." He added that he might have gotten more accomplished Sunday had he not been burdened with the need to go swimming with his wife and children.

State Bird Reconsidered After Latest Wren Attack

COLUMBIA, SC—Gov. Mark Sanford spoke out Monday in favor of changing his state's bird from the Carolina wren to "anything else" following the ninth unprovoked wren attack this year. "In light of last week's events, I strongly feel the wren is no longer a good representative for the state of South Carolina," Sanford said, referring to Friday's tragic dive-bombing and pecking incident at a Myrtle Beach preschool. "Maybe it's time we recognize one of our more docile birds, like the robin or the magnolia warbler." Sanford advised anyone hearing the wren's cries of "tea-kettle, tea-kettle" to run for cover immediately.

Republicans Outraged By Inaccuracies In Metallica Documentary

WASHINGTON, DC—Republican congressmen lambasted the documentary Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster for its "gross inaccuracies and fabrications" Monday. "[Filmmakers] Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky are clearly biased," Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said. "By editing together concert footage from three different mediocre shows, they have given the general public a false impression that Metallica still kicks ass." Hastert added that there is no hard evidence to support the film's argument that the album St. Anger has more thrashing riffs than Kill 'Em All.

Bush Finally Gets Oval Office Just The Way He Wants It

WASHINGTON, DC—After four different color schemes, a Tiki phase, and more than three years spent rearranging furniture, President Bush has the Oval Office set up just the way he wants it, the chief executive said in an informal press conference Monday.

Gay Marriage In San Francisco

Last week, California's Supreme Court voided about 4,000 same-sex marriages performed by the mayor of San Francisco earlier this year. What do you think?
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Local Sheriff Suspects Al-Qaeda Or Teens

BARABOO, WI—Sauk County Sheriff Virgil "Butch" Steinhorst announced Tuesday that he believes a recent rash of Baraboo-area crimes was perpetrated by the al-Qaeda terrorist network or teenagers.

Steinhorst investigates a recent crime.

"In this day and age, it's important for law-enforcement officials to consider global threats as well as local ones," Steinhorst said. "We could be dealing with an al-Qaeda sleeper cell attempting to collect information that they could use to plan a terrorist strike or some of those goth kids who knocked over that mailbox. Neither group has any respect for the law."

The string of unsolved crimes includes the defacement of public property, an incident of breaking-and-entering, and a string of harassing phone calls. The latest crime—the sudden disappearance of two yield signs from Hoxie Street—occurred Monday.

"We believe the yield signs were removed in order to disrupt traffic patterns, most likely to cause an accident," Steinhorst said. "The party responsible for the crime could be anyone from suspected terrorist Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Mughassil, who is on the FBI's most-wanted list, to that Fairman kid and his buddies. It could be the work of one or the other. Possibly both, though I have to say I doubt that."

Responding to an anonymous report of a blue Ford Mustang seen idling in the Circus World parking lot for several hours after closing, Steinhorst said, "In these troubled times, any and all suspicious activity is worth investigating."

"This activity matches up with the M.O. of a terrorist casing a potential target," Steinhorst said. "It also matches the M.O. of a group of teens drinking beer and fooling around. But, as Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told us, we are in a state of heightened alert. We could come under attack anywhere, at any time, from any direction. The tip-off could be anything from a duffel bag abandoned in a bank lobby to a carload of people at a stop sign who exit the car all at once, only to reenter through different doors."

Steinhorst regularly receives Department of Homeland Security bulletins that include the names of suspected terrorists. He also makes frequent visits to Baraboo High School, where Principal Larry Stordahl provides him with a list of possible truants.

"Teens regularly act without regard for the consequences of their actions or concern for their own physical well-being," Steinhorst said. "So do terrorists."

Wanted al-Qaeda operative Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Mughassil (left) and Baraboo High School junior Michael Fairman, two leading suspects in the recent rash of Baraboo-area crimes.

According to Steinhorst, the first in the series of crimes currently under scrutiny occurred several months ago, on April 1, when an unknown party pulled a fire alarm in the Baraboo Community Library during a children's puppet show.

"The perpetrators of the April 1 incident may not even live in Sauk County," Steinhorst said. "They could be terrorists based in Madison. Or it could be students from Reedsburg High School, our nearby rival."

To investigate the possibility of the latter, the Sauk County Sheriff's Department has been exchanging intelligence with the sheriff in Richland County, where unsolved crimes of a similar nature have been reported.

"Over in Richland Center, we had some criminal activity occur dangerously close to unguarded reserves of fertilizer," Richland County police officer Tim Hutter said. "The report came from one Helen Johnson, who expressed fear for the safety of her cows. A cow found lying on its side could either be the victim of a chemical agent or of some immature teenager who thinks it's funny to sneak into the pasture and tip over a helpless animal. Either way, we can't be too cautious."

Steinhorst called upon all Baraboo citizens to report anything suspicious, especially since Deputy Dale Schneider broke his wrist last week subduing a drunken patron of the Come Back Inn, and Deputy Frank Pulvermacher can't work overtime since his mother got sick with dropsy.

Steinhorst said it's important to "not let fear get the better of us, but still remain vigilant."

"Just today, we had a report of some suspicious lettering by the high-school football field," Steinhorst said. "Upon investigation, we discovered the phrase '2005 Rules' burnt into the grass. An item of clothing found at the scene leads us to believe the cryptic phrase was the work of members of next year's senior class, and not, as was originally feared, the warning of an impending terrorist attack. So we can all breathe a little easier."

"You know, that football team is really shaping up this year," Steinhorst added. "We could go all the way to State."

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