Sad news for fans of News of the Weird. Chuck Shepard, the inventor of News of the Weird, is retiring from the weird news business and this is his last column.

No word yet on whether or not someone else will take up the weird news ball and run with it, but we’ll let you know what we hear.


Here’s an opportunity to enjoy barbecue in historic Jamestown and help raise money for a good cause. From 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, Potent Potables at 115 East Main St. in Jamestown is hosting the third annual Barbecue Cook-off to benefit JDRF, the leading organization funding type 1 diabetes research. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased at


The Fun Fourth Festival in downtown Greensboro was packed this year and there were a wealth of activities. Kids seem to enjoy the fountain in Center City Park where, technically, they aren’t supposed to play and the fountain at La Bauer Park where they are. But unnamed sources say the best water feature was the fire truck south of the railroad tracks that had a fire hose spraying down from the top of a ladder truck.


Now they’ve even taken away traditional Fourth of July fireworks. July Fourth fireworks are traditionally watched from a blanket in a park or grassy field, or maybe from a convertible by the side of the road, or from a lawn chair in the back of a pickup truck, but not in Greensboro. Now in order to see the fireworks, which by the way the City of Greensboro pays for, you have to march into the First National Bank ballpark. (In a couple of years perhaps they’ll have assigned seats just like at a baseball game.)

Maybe for those who followed orders and went to the stadium it was a fantastic show, but for those of us who wanted to watch the fireworks from somewhere other than where we were ordered to go, it was a big disappointment.

Next year, couldn’t we have regular old traditional fireworks where people can gather in parks and fields with blankets and lawn chairs to watch the show, or next year will people be forced to pick up tickets in advance, show three forms of picture identification and pay a $5 handling fee for their free ticket?


The Lake Jeanette Homeowners Association received a letter last week from Will Dellinger, one of the prospective buyers of Lake Jeanette and Buffalo Lake.

The letter states, “We have no plans to drain the lake, open the lake up to the public, make drastic changes to the current buffer or damage the existing tranquility of the current landscape.”

He also said that before the new owners make changes, they will present the proposed changes to the homeowners association for review. He also states that they are considering allowing some privately owned docks on the lake.


The biggest news certainly of this century as far as scientific discoveries is concerned was made in North Carolina recently, and evidently a lot of people have missed it because, bringing it up in polite conversations, I have gotten some blank stares.

But if you missed it because you were busy learning all you could about the president’s tweeting habits, biologists at UNC-Wilmington discovered a new species of flying squirrel – Humbolt’s flying squirrel.

Other states have to put up with their two old boring species but in North Carolina we have three. Why the governor is not taking advantage of this to promote the state is baffling.

“Come to NC where we have three varieties of flying squirrel, and if you get bored with watching these fascinating creatures you can always spend time at the beach or mountains.” It would be a great promotion for the state.


I am more aware than most people of the current state of the newspaper industry. Subscriptions are down. Advertising revenues are down and money is tight. However, I was a little shocked when I picked up a free Winston-Salem Journal at the BH Media Group booth at Fun Fourth.

Both the News & Record and the Winston-Salem Journal are owned by BH Media, aka Warren Buffett. I thought it would be interesting to compare the WSJ with the N&R and see how many shared stories there were. But when I got back to my office and opened up the paper, it was the Monday, July 3 paper.

So things have gotten so bad that they can’t even give away current papers. It appears they may have dug some papers out of the recycling bin and were giving those away.