That squeal emanating from the swamps of Louisiana this week will be Edward DeBartolo Jr., testifying against that state's former governor Edwin Edwards. Snared in a federal racketeering and fraud investigation of Edwards, the Youngstown alum and deposed owner of the San Francisco 49ers cut a deal with the feds, pleading guilty to failing to report a crime, for which he was sentenced to two years probation and fined $1 million. In exchange, DeBartolo is expected to testify that Edwards extorted $400,000 from him to obtain a riverboat gaming license. What Eddie D might not mention is how desperate he was to obtain the license after striking out on his own as head of DeBartolo Entertainment Group. His efforts to legalize gambling were rejected in three states, including Ohio, where he promised it would help rejuvenate his hometown. DeBartolo's legal problems hastened Browns President Carmen Policy's departure from the Niners and forced him to sell the team to his sister, Denise DeBartolo-York. Guilty pleas -- ain't they a buzz kill?
Joltin' Juvenile Court Judge Robert Ferreri's filing for reelection last week -- despite being suspended from the bench -- drew a surprising number of cheers from local children's activists. "It's weird. A lot of people here view him as one of the more competent judges," says one court employee. "If he could be quiet and just do his job without interjecting all his inappropriate comments, he'll be good." Ferreri was suspended in June by the Ohio Supreme Court for making disparaging comments about other judges and court personnel. The suspension (without pay) was scheduled to expire last month, but is on hold pending the outcome of another disciplinary hearing he faces next month. Still, the very fact that Ferreri wants to stay in a minor league judicial seat has won him a following. Says another children's activist: "I think he ought to have his day and let the people decide." Elections -- ain't they a hoot?
Great millennial prank by the website team at Case Western Reserve, which, at the stroke of Y2K, replaced the university's home page with a parody featuring sepia-toned prints of the campus circa 1900. "We figured we would do something to give everyone a little chuckle," says Hypermedia Systems Manager Eric Meyer. But a surprising number of people took the prank seriously, including Wired magazine, which reported it as an actual glitch. "They even praised us for having the courage to include a statement saying, "Despite our best efforts, the server now believes it's January 1900,'" Meyer says. "That was supposed to be like, hey guys, it's a joke." Geek humor -- ain't it rich?
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