Middle ground. According to the Census Bureau, rural Phelps County, Mo., is the new U.S. population center. The population center is where an imaginary, flat, weightless, rigid map of the country would balance perfectly if all 281.4 million residents counted in the 2000 U.S. Census were of equal weight. The new population center is about 12 miles south and 32 miles west of the 1990 population center near Steelville, Mo., and it is more than 1,000 miles from Chestertown, Md., the first center in 1790.
There goes that detective’s badge. A Des Moines, Iowa, police officer investigating a robbery in April narrowly missed catching his suspect. According to the Des Moines Register, six hours after the officer took a report and looked for fingerprints at Hans Moklebust’s home, Moklebust saw the burglar poking his head out from under a bed. “He had been hiding about four feet away from where the officer was standing,” Moklebust says.
Technical foul. The coach of a Georgia basketball team made up of third graders needed 17 stitches to mend a stab wound after a game in February. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the coach, a Fayette County (Ga.) marshal, had been bickering about referee Oliver Lewis Wood’s “bad calls” throughout the game. The referee, a Baptist minister, stabbed him.