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When a February ice storm sealed all of her car doors, a 68-year-old Olathe woman decided to climb into her car through the trunk. Once she crawled inside, however, the lid slammed shut, trapping her for three hours until a neighbor heard her pounding and called police.
In March, Republican leaders, flush with adrenaline after taking control of the Missouri Senate for the first time in 53 years, wanted to cut a dozen Senate office positions. One of the workers targeted was a longtime assistant to Senator Harold Caskey, a Butler Democrat who is legally blind. The Republicans eventually relented, acknowledging that, as Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder put it, Caskey "does have special needs."
Only in America
On September 11, the Corner Rock Tobacco Store in Southwest City, Missouri, charged $9.99 a gallon for gas. Prices were somewhat more reasonable at some stations in the Kansas City area -- mostly Conocos -- where agitated drivers stocked up in case of impending doom for only $4.99 a gallon.
In July, shoppers at Oak Park Mall noticed a man standing suspiciously close to women who were wearing skirts; he was putting his foot between their feet. Cops found a little camera in his shoe, connected to a camcorder hidden in his waist pack. In October, the man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of eavesdropping.
Do as I Say, Not as I Do
A Jackson County sheriff's deputy who was working as a substitute teacher at Bridger Eighth Grade Center in Independence was kicked out of the school in January for cleaning parts of his submachine gun in front of students.
After a January 20 accident in which he allegedly rear-ended a police car, a Kansas City Fire Department captain was cited by Raytown cops for driving while intoxicated.
In March, former Excelsior Springs mayor and city councilman Mike Robertson was charged with letting forty high-school kids drink beer at his house. "It was a lack of common sense on my part, and bad judgment," Robertson said. "I'm admitting this because I don't want to have the kids have to lie for me."
Also in March, a jury found Basehor Mayor John Pfannenstiel guilty of having oral sex with work-crew prisoners he supervised at the Lansing Correctional Facility. Pfannenstiel professed that he'd done nothing wrong and ran for reelection two weeks after his conviction. (He lost.)
Two Jackson County sheriff's deputies were reprimanded in August for killing baby opossums behind department headquarters; the officers shot the marsupials with beanbags (normally used to stun suspected criminals). Another officer earned a scolding when he clubbed an injured raccoon to death. (He didn't want to use his gun to euthanize the animal because propane tanks were nearby.)
In September, Wyandotte County District Court Judge George A. Groneman agreed to let the Kansas Supreme Court censure him for letting his assistant work for the Kansas Turnpike Authority while she was also on his clock. Judge Groneman said he didn't understand the rules.