World's Longest Wall Completed

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Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

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.

Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

Man Honestly Thought Breakdown Would Be More Obvious To People

MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...
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World's Longest Wall Completed

‘No one has ever built a wall this great,’ mayor says

Mayor Arty Leucking (left) shows off the Big Wall of Pembroke during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday. A full 23 feet long, it is believed to be the largest in the world.
Mayor Arty Leucking (left) shows off the Big Wall of Pembroke during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday. A full 23 feet long, it is believed to be the largest in the world.

PEMBROKE, IL—The Bernstein-Grey construction company announced the completion of the world’s longest wall yesterday, putting the final touches on the single greatest feat in U.S. architectural history. The Big Wall of Pembroke, a joint effort between the town’s beautification committee and the board of tourism, measures a full 23 1/3 feet long by 11 2/3 feet tall by 36 inches thick. Its construction began in December 1995 and ended yesterday amid great fanfare and excitement.

“No one has built a wall of this size and scope in the history of the world,” said Bernstein/Grey president Arthur Bernstein, who personally oversaw a project that was largely scorned by the U.S. architectural community. “I challenge anyone to even attempt such a grand wall.”

As all 2,300 residents of Pembroke gathered at the wall’s base for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, Mayor Arty Leucking addressed the crowd.

“We are very, very pleased with the wall,” Leucking said. “There were plenty of naysayers in this community, people who doubted its feasibility. But their protests are forever silenced now that the finished wall has been unveiled. It is indeed a mighty, even ‘great’ wall.”

Added Pembroke alder Kate Dermot: “The wall is huge. If there is a wall this large anywhere else, I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been all over the tri-county area. It’s even visible by helicopter, provided you don’t go too high.”

From the outset, the Big Wall had the trappings of an engineering impossibility. Architects the world over were consulted, but all but one turned down the project for undisclosed reasons. The job was eventually accepted by Bernstein-Grey, a prestigious firm based in nearby Grainger, IN. The firm submitted and saw rejected nearly two dozen designs before a final plan was agreed upon.

“We were very nervous about the scale of the wall, its sheer enormity,” architect Ken Millin said. “Consequently, we were overly cautious in our design. We submitted plans for a 15-foot wall made of plastic, a 19-foot wall made of ceramic-covered aluminum, and a 20-foot wall made of a uranium shell with a liquid mercury-based ore center. They were all turned down because they were too small.”

The final design employs a series of interlocking blocks of fired clay stacked atop one another and covered with an experimental plaster substitute.

“That design we knew was a keeper,” Millin said. “It combines architectural dynamics the world has never seen—something that is going to last 10, maybe 20 years of harsh southern Illinois winters.”

Despite the overwhelming excitement surrounding the wall, its construction was not without problems. In January, a strong wind destroyed two-thirds of the structure. Although there were no injuries, a full eight feet of the wall had to be rebuilt.

Further tragedy marred the wall in early March, when construction worker Bart Meadows, who was working at the top, fell off his ladder. He suffered a bruise to his shoulder and scraped his knee on a pebble.

“It hurt a lot,” Meadows said. “I had to go get a Band-Aid, and for the next week, every time I lifted my arm it was kinda sore.”

Even when the Big Wall was proposed, a dream of a small but dedicated group of boosters, opposition within the community nearly derailed it.

“It wasn’t that they couldn’t see the necessity for the wall,” Dermot said. “It’s just that a project of this magnitude had never been conceived before. A wall this large? Impossible!”

The Big Wall has spawned a number of businesses selling memorabilia, including T-shirts with slogans such as, “You saw a bigger wall where?” and “I went to the Big Wall of Pembroke and here’s a T-shirt that proves it.”

Now that the wall is complete, plans will commence for new, four-sided hollow structures for human habitation, allowing Pembroke residents to leave their dank cave dwellings.

Said Leucking: “The only glitch is that the proposed structures have a propensity for letting in rain. Once we solve that, we will be able to live in comfort and ease until our God comes down and takes us home.”