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Stemke Family Murder Rate Lowest In 20 Years

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Mom Sleeps In Past Sunrise

WOBURN, MA―Noting that she had somehow managed to sleep through both the dawn chorus of birds and her neighborhood’s early morning garbage pickup, 53-year-old local mother Laura Maloney confirmed that she did not awaken Monday until after the sun had risen.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Friend From College Wasted No Time Becoming White-Collar Professional

CHARLOTTE, NC—Noting how his fellow 23-year-old now takes business trips and apparently has a company-issued cell phone, local barista Daniel MacKenzie reported Friday that his friend Eric Sanford—with whom MacKenzie attended the University of Virginia from 2011 to 2015—has wasted no time at all becoming a full-fledged white-collar professional.

Waitress Who Took Over At Table Just Doesn’t Have Same Spark As Richard

FREEPORT, ME—Sensing things wouldn’t be the same once the woman removed their empty potato skin basket without so much as a playful acknowledgment of how much they must have enjoyed the appetizer, patrons at Downeast Grill confirmed Wednesday night that their new waitress, Allie, just didn’t have the same spark Richard had.

Man Practices Haircut Request Before Heading To Barber

MINNEAPOLIS—Having scripted a set of lines he hoped to deliver with confidence and decisiveness, local 34-year-old Jason Clyne carefully rehearsed his haircut request several times Friday before heading to his local barbershop, sources confirmed.

Ronald McDonald Statue Bears Full Brunt Of Teenagers’ Mockery

CLEVELAND—Remaining stoically silent throughout the barrage of vicious insults, unsavory accusations, and various other indignities directed at it, a statue of Ronald McDonald seated on a bench outside the fast-food chain’s Clark Avenue location is said to have borne the full force of a group of teenagers’ mockery Thursday.

Woman Leaving Meeting Worried She Came Off As Too Competent

OXNARD, CA—Silently chastising herself for the way she behaved in front of her colleagues and supervisors, Cobalt Property Insurance sales associate Leah Manning, 36, was reportedly deeply worried Tuesday that she came off as too competent during the company’s weekly sales meeting.
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Stemke Family Murder Rate Lowest In 20 Years

BELVIDERE, IL–Though the overall rate of Stemke-family violent crime decreased only 10 percent in 1999, the Stemke murder rate has dropped to its lowest point in 20 years, Belvidere law-enforcement officials announced Monday.

Four of the 11 remaining Stemke children pose for a 1993 photo.

"Stemke-family homicide is still a concern, but, as these new statistics show, we've come a long way," said Belvidere police chief Lloyd Mortensen. "I don't think we'll see another 1979 again."

Belvidere residents are cautiously optimistic about the news.

"There's been a lot less killing since old Dale [Stemke] passed on, that's for sure," said Belvidere-area homeowner and real-estate agent Robert Dortmund. "But I still don't know how safe it really is."

Winnebago County district attorney Gerald Fort attributed the decline to demographic shifts.

"There are fewer 17- to 25-year-old Stemke males–the Stemkes most likely to commit homicide–than ever before. You just wait a couple years, when Bobby and John Lee get a little older."

Belvidere-Area Stemke-On-Stemke Violence 1979-1999

The Stemke-family murder rate hit an all-time high in November 1979, when, during an argument over Bill Stemke's drinking, Betty Stemke was hit on the head with a frying pan and died of massive brain hemorrhaging. In April of that year, Bud Stemke fatally stabbed brother Pete Stemke while arguing over the ownership of a hunting dog. Less than a month later, Paula Stemke shot sister Sue Stemke-Braunschweig after finding her in bed with Paula's fiancé, Earl Harris.

"Our top priority has been to safeguard our citizens–Stemke and non-Stemke alike–from Stemke-related incidents in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods," Mortensen said. "When I became chief of police, I immediately began working to enact bold new initiatives to meet that challenge. Winnebago County is a safer place to live now because of our policies that get tough on Stemkes and keep violent Stemkes behind bars and off our streets."

Figures kept by the Belvidere Police Department support Mortensen's claims. Since early 1999, there has been only one Stemke-family murder, in which Sophia Stemke beat her son Edward to death with a .22 rifle while reportedly attempting to "get him off his sister Bethany." Sophia was eventually able to plead her case down to second-degree Stemkeslaughter.

Despite widespread excitement over Monday's announcement, some caution that the low figure is misleading. Jill Echols, president of the Stemke Community Action Coalition, said upwards of 40 percent of all Stemke-related deaths may go unreported each year, and that at least three of the nine unsolved homicides in Belvidere since 1976 are suspected of having some Stemke involvement.

"Don't lose sight of the fact that Stemke crime did not decrease appreciably last year," Echols said. "There was a Stemke arrest for assault and battery once every three weeks last year. Domestic-disturbance calls, DUI arrests, and indecent exposure are up significantly, as well. We can't afford to relax."

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