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Grisly Experience Has Wrestling Bear on the Ropes

--K. Ronald Bailey admits that he has handled some unusual cases, but the attorney in Sandusky, Ohio, thinks his civil suit on behalf of a wrestling bear will be hard to beat. The suit deals with a 4 1/2-year-old North American black bear that Bailey claims suffered “serious emotional distress” and required counseling after it was involved in a fracas with a prospective opponent. Smokey Bear, owned and trained by Sam Mazzola, is known professionally as “Ceasar the Wrestling Bear.” Smokey has been wrestling bar patrons at Bill’s Riverfront Cafe in Huron. The suit seeks $20,000 from William R. Klotz, who allegedly kicked in Smokey’s trailer after Mazzola refused to let him wrestle the bear. Because of Klotz’s action, “The bear got emotionally upset and . . . injured himself,” the suit said. Mazzola said he had to spend time retraining and counseling Smokey “to get the bear back into the emotional state he was prior to this.”

--The latest police recruit in Marlborough, N.H., is a bust when it comes to giving directions, but he comes cheap and his stoic diligence has slowed traffic through town. Capt. Cardboard, a makeshift two-dimensional police officer, was created to help the small community control heavy traffic while preserving limited funds. The cardboard figure is taped to the wire cage on the back of the driver’s seat in one of the town’s two police cruisers, which is then parked on Route 101 in Marlborough. Police Chief Peter Henry credits the silhouetted sentry with slowing traffic. Henry’s wife, Marlene, designed Capt. Cardboard, complete with a neatly trimmed mustache and glasses. “She cut it out, we put it in the cruiser and, God, it works good,” Henry said. He said the cardboard character fools more drivers than the police cruiser he used to park empty. But Capt. Cardboard does have shortcomings. One driver who stopped to ask directions got a stone-faced response.

--Italian newspapers reported that Frank Sinatra may sing for Pope John Paul II this summer at a benefit concert, but Vatican sources are singing a different tune. The newspapers, quoting unidentified sources, said the concert could take place in St. Peter’s Square in July and that the proceeds would be used to help Third World famine victims. The sources said that “complex negotiations have been going on for months” and involve a “mega-concert via satellite which could involve other holy places.” Vatican sources said the Holy See knew nothing about a concert. If Sinatra wants to sing for John Paul, they said, he would first have to ask for an audience.


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