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Joel Vavra has cock-a-doodle-dooed his w

July 14, 1997

WAYNE, Neb. (AP) _ Joel Vavra has cock-a-doodle-dooed his way into the record books.

Vavra is now the only person to win six National Cluck-Off championships, after crowing his way to the top in Saturday’s contest.

He received $125 and a trophy for his rooster imitation at the 17th annual Wayne Chicken Show.

The win came amid controversy over the appearance of an alleged cluck-off impostor on ``The Tonight Show with Jay Leno″ last month. Jaclyn Layton had won a small clucking contest in Baltimore.

She ``was an innocent victim deceived by the unscrupulous promoter of a bogus cluck-off,″ said David Ewing, a chamber of commerce official in Wayne, which takes it cluck-offs seriously.

In a tongue-in-beak letter, Ewing told Leno he must respond to the charge of aiding and abetting a fake clucker or risk the wrath of lawyers Katchem, Pluckemm, Broastum & Edem.


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Justice may be blind, but not naked.

``Justice,″ a 9 1/2-foot steel sculpture of an athletic-looking and contemporary woman, was selected to grace a new federal courthouse here. But the nude statue raised eyebrows around the community.

``I perceive Lady Justice to be holding scales and a sword. This looks like somebody is going to do a striptease,″ said Bob McKeen, whose Happy Belly Deli is across the street from the courthouse.

Judge Norman Stahl said his colleagues were concerned the piece was too informal and asked that it be altered. The artist revised the work, cloaking ``Justice″ in a simple dress.

``It was fairly graphic of the body,″ said James Starr, clerk of the court. ``The judges’ position rightly was that they wanted it to be acceptable for every age group. It is a public building.″


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) _ Clarence and Barbara Brown weren’t mad when they woke up to find 20 plastic flamingos planted on their lawn.

They were tickled pink, matching the color of their new birds.

``It’s so much better than toilet paper. It’s uplifting,″ Mrs. Brown said.

The couple took the prank in stride because of who did it: the youth group at Zion Lutheran Church in Waterloo. Called The Pink Wave, it’s how teens are collecting money for a trip to a Lutheran youth convention in New Orleans.

The teens put the flamingos in the yards of unsuspecting congregation members, who then pay to have them removed.

Ten bucks buys protection from Pink Wave strikes and for $15, the youngsters will hit the yard of someone else. No one seems to mind.

``We have seniors talking to these young kids, thanking them for the Pink Wave,″ said the Rev. Diane Dardon of Zion Lutheran.


RIPLEY, Tenn. (AP) _ What if they held a tomato festival and no tomato farmers came? It happened in Lauderdale County, where the farmers are too busy to stop working for a little fun.

``The people that produce tomatoes in Lauderdale County are too busy to take off,″ said Clayton Pattit, chairman of the county’s Tomato Festival.

Tomatoes are a big deal for the county, where farmers have grown the luscious vegetables for decades. The festival went on as planned this weekend, with barbecues and games but no farmers.

One was spotted nearby: Johnie Ford, who was in town briefly to drop off a few crates of tomatoes for sale in Memphis.

``I don’t get to enjoy it,″ Ford said of the festival. ``This is our living. We’ve got to get with it.″

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