The Odd Side – July 19, 2016

Germany: Woman in Trouble Over Avant-Garde Crossword&

BERLIN (AP) – “Reading-work-piece,” from 1965, was created by avant-garde artist Arthur Koepcke. It features the phrase “Insert Words” and was displayed at the Neues Museum in Nuremberg, Germany.

Museum spokesman Eva Martin on Thursday confirmed local media reports that a woman filled in blank spaces with a ballpoint pen, news agency dpa reported.

Martin said museum officials believe the work can be restored; police said the woman is being investigated for damage to property.

Historic General Store, From 1700s or 1800s, Sold at Auction&

BATH, N.H. (AP) – A historic general store and tourist attraction that closed this year was sold at auction for $235,000 on Wednesday.

The Brick Store in Bath was built in the late 1700s or early 1800s. It closed after several years of financial hardship.

Auctioneer Paul McInnis said the property was sold to a local investor. There were six registered bidders. About 100 people attended the auction.

The store is believed to be one of the oldest continually operated general stores in America

The store’s owners had said the extended closure of the nearby Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge for repairs contributed to their financial problems. The bridge, believed to be the oldest covered bridge in the state, has since reopened.

Turtle Racing Beckons Tourists To Minn. City for 53 Years

NISSWA, Minn. (TNS) – Between each of the 30-odd races, the Turtle Wranglers rushed to the center of the circular track in the parking lot to collect 20 tired reptiles, then haul replacements out in buckets for the next race.

By the time they finished refilling the starters’ buckets with enough water for the turtles to splash around in, the next race was already over, and it was back to the track to swap them out.

“The end of the day, it’s exhausting,” said Zach Iverson, a 14-year-old volunteer. Iverson, of Pequot Lakes, Minn., is one of dozens of locals who toil on the hot asphalt of the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce parking lot every summer to put on the event for tourists to the Brainerd Lakes Area.

For 53 years, resort visitors and cabin owners have been lured into downtown Nisswa to spend their money along the town’s Main Street. What gets them there?

Turtle racing.

It’s impossible to predict which turtle will stroll across the finish line and which will stop or turn back. And yet, it’s an enduring tradition that enriches local businesses.

“From an economic standpoint, it would be almost impossible to replace something at this level,” said Shawn Hansen, president of the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce.

“When people ask me why I do this, my answer is this is small-town America at its best right here,” storeowner Mark Ulm said.

Anywhere between 500 and 800 participants turn out for each of the 12 racing Wednesdays between June and mid-August.

Longtime Derby Volunteers Race Head-to-Head on Birthdays

AKRON, Ohio (TNS) – They share the same birthday. They share the same induction year into the Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame. They are both longtime derby volunteers.

But when they raced head-to-head, there could only be one winner.

Jim Underwood, who has been an All-American Soap Box Derby volunteer since 1973, turned 90 on Tuesday. Bob Troyer, in his 50th year of volunteering, turned 70 the same day.

The two volunteers decided to celebrate their birthdays with a race Tuesday afternoon.

Underwood sailed past the finish line just seconds before Troyer. Both men shook hands at the end, and despite Troyer’s loss, he smiled.

13-Year-Old Skipping Middle School and High School To Attend College

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (TNS) – Like many of her peers, 13-year-old Kelly Li is buying supplies for the new school year.

However, unlike others her age, Kelly is preparing to move into a college dormitory.

The Naperville girl will get a jump start on university life this fall at Mary Baldwin College, an all-women’s institution in Staunton, Va.

Mary Baldwin is one of a handful of colleges in the United States that have programs that accept students as young as 13.

“I guess I regret that I’ll be leaving home at an early age, but it’s a good opportunity,” Kelly said.

The university is an 11-hour drive from Naperville, and visiting family on the weekends won’t be an option.

Kelly said she’ll miss her mother the most.

“She’s always been my support system,” Kelly said. “It’s scary to know she won’t be in touch 24/7. I definitely want to call several times a week.”

As Kelly was finishing seventh grade at Crone Middle School in May, she was visiting colleges, filling out applications, writing essays and gathering her test scores, all in the hope of getting into college in the fall.

A month later, the acceptance letter from Mary Baldwin arrived, along with a $20,000 merit scholarship for 2016-2017 that will fund a bulk of the tuition costs.

“I am used to being at the top of my class,” Kelly said. “With other students in the same situation, I’m obviously not going to be the very top anymore.”

At the Virginia college, girls in the teen program are housed in a separate, more-supervised dormitory, where they live until they are 16 years old.

“Kelly just needs to learn how to do her own laundry before she leaves,” her mother said.