Arrow-right Camera
News >  Nation/World

Awards Honor Region’s Prize Chowderheads

Don’t stick a fork in 1995 just yet.

There are great honors yet to bestow on last year’s bozo bumper crop. Yes, kids, it’s time again for the annual giving of the Budnicks.

Absolutely true story: The Budnick Awards began in 1987 in honor of Thomas P. Budnick. After a national search, the Massachusetts man discovered Spokane was the only county willing to file his mining claims for Mars.

With that spirit in mind, the Budnicks are a way to distinguish big-time dubious achievers from minor-league nincompoops.

Some targets, however, are too easy to hit.

For that reason, window-leaping County Commissioner Steve “Cornbread” Hasson last year became the first recipient inducted into the Budnick Hall of Shame.

He will be joined this year by City Councilman Chris “Crybaby” Anderson, whose constant sniveling, public temper tantrums and failure to keep a real job have reached the level of legend.

Anderson and Hasson are Budnick icons and thus forever exempt from future awards.

But enough ceremony.

Let the 1995 Budnicks begin:

Crum, rhymes with dumb

Spokane City Manager Roger Crum botches a job interview in Ann Arbor, Mich., by flippantly saying, “I go home and beat my wife,” when questioned how he vents his frustration with the City Council.

No, wait, it’s a VW and I only weigh 150

Corpulent Spokane lawyer Russell Van Camp files bankruptcy not long after bragging to a reporter about driving a Lincoln Mark VIII, wearing a 5-carat diamond ring and having an income “in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Testifying before a federal bankruptcy judge, Van Camp’s ring shrinks, the car becomes a 1960 Cadillac and his income withers to $90,000 a year after taxes.

Watch the birdbrain, my little bimbos

Millionaire Neal Degerstrom, 70, goes to court to get back photographs of women he paid to pose naked on animal skins. “I enjoy it as a hobby,” says the Spokane mining magnate of the private nude photo sessions he held for 20 years.

Mining magnates in the making?

Wilbur High School boys hide a camera and videotape girl basketball players changing clothes in their locker room.

An American right to bear burritos

Pullman police say Katherine E. Hubbard catches a former boyfriend dining with another woman and attacks her with a burrito. The victim’s injuries are “probably no more than a hot burrito in the face might cause,” states Sgt. Chris Tennant.

Better table that motion, cowboy

Bob Clem, manager of the Yakima Air Terminal, is reprimanded for suggesting a female airport board member “grope him” during a board meeting.

Send this pocket poolshark packing

Spokane County Commission appointee George Marlton’s re-election dreams hit a snag when he performs a masturbatory mime act and makes vulgar sexual remarks during a meeting.

Yeah, grenades go to the chief

A brief panic erupts when a concerned citizen brings a vintage grenade into the Spokane Public Safety Building for disposal. “We really would prefer that people didn’t bring explosives into the front desk of the police station,” states Sgt. Gil Moberly.

Big pig in a little trough

Before resigning, Spirit Lake Mayor Paul Korman dings the tiny city for more than $5,500 in meals and travel. Among receipts examined by state investigators are dinners at the Hog ‘n’ Jog, the Linger Longer Lounge and $900 in what Korman terms “walking-around money.”

Man, that’s some higher education

John S. Drake sold cocaine while working as a Lincoln County high school drug counselor. “I meant everything I said and did with those kids,” Drake tells a federal jury.

Unseen land rape is called progress

Shoshone County residents are aghast at a land owner’s plans to log a revered piece of Osburn’s timbered backdrop. “We don’t want the land raped where people can see it,” says Shoshone Commissioner Jack King.

Better keep on reading, Jack

Spokane City Manager Roger Crum, who makes $93,000 a year, gives himself a $2,600 pay raise without telling the council. “We didn’t know about it until we read it” in the paper, says Mayor Jack Geraghty.

He was taking it to the police desk

After a routine traffic stop, Kelly R. Parr, 33, heads to jail when Spokane police discover a cantaloupe-sized bomb in his car.

A Bacon with egg on his face

Larry J. Bacon’s Spokane City Council election dreams hit a snag when it is learned he is a former welfare cheat. “That should have been closed,” he complains, when asked about his prior guilty plea to second-degree theft.

It’s our new anti-smoking program

Spike, a 105-pound police dog, nearly chews off the arm of a guy taking a cigarette break near Playfair Race Track. There appears to be no violation of department policy, states Chief Terry Mangan.

Map? I thought you brought the map!

Stephen M. Hesson’s escape to New York is thwarted when police discover the theft suspect foolishly left behind a point-by-point map of his travel route. “It was just follow the trail,” says Spokane Sheriff’s Detective Cal Walker, who had Hesson arrested near the Big Apple.

Junkies: the next protected species

Federal officials yank support for the Commercial, a clean and sober downtown Spokane apartment building, because its tough no-drugs, no-booze rules discriminate against dopers and drunks.

Too bad he can’t do anything well

Spokane Councilman Joel Crosby spends much of a council meeting watching college basketball on TV. I’m “one of those people who can do two things at once,” brags Crosby.

Where Marlton gets his material

Washington State University suspends Scott Fedale for using his office computer to send a string of pornographic and vulgar jokes to offices across the state.

A geologist with rocks in his head

Eastern Washington University’s Russell C. Boggs quits after college officials discover scores of photographs of naked young girls, some involved in sex acts, stored in the associate geology professor’s office computer.

That’s one way to build enrollment

The 1-800 number on the brochure for Eastern Washinton University’s summer session reaches a sultry-voiced woman promoting a for-pay phone sex line.

Hey, that’s some heavy begonia

A drug raid by shotgun-toting deputies on a Davenport man’s home turns up tomato seeds and a half-dozen houseplants under a grow light. “You can go your whole life living by the law,” says angry homeowner Ken Olds, “then something like this happens to you.”

Lucky she wasn’t cardiac arrested

Sacred Heart Medical Center nurse Wanda R. Condon is fined after she drops a donated human heart and tosses it in the trash without telling anyone.

Is this (hic) space taken?

Tipsy teens out on a 2 a.m. lark flip their Volvo and crash-land on Washington State Patrol Sgt. Chris Powell’s front lawn.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste

Gypsy leader Jimmy Marks’ dreams of being elected to the Spokane School Board hit a snag when he cites “completing second grade” as his educational qualification. One of his brainstorms for schools is: “more shovels to clean up all the ice and snow.”

Exxon is calling, Capt. Kelly

Learning to pilot the 99-ton, 107-foot Mish-A-Nock cruise ship on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Kelly Davis crunches the sheriff’s brand new jet boat. “He’s going to make a great captain,” Fred Finney, manager of Coeur d’Alene Cruises, says of Davis.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Color Photos

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: And they call it puffy love Joshua M. Doherty, 20, is accused of shoplifting Super Shirley, an inflatable sex doll, from the Erotique Boutique in the Spokane Valley.

This sidebar appeared with the story: And they call it puffy love Joshua M. Doherty, 20, is accused of shoplifting Super Shirley, an inflatable sex doll, from the Erotique Boutique in the Spokane Valley.

Top stories in Nation/World

Police: Man killed deputy, stole his car and robbed store

new  NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine – A gunman in Maine killed a sheriff’s deputy, stole his cruiser and robbed a convenience store early Wednesday, triggering an intensive manhunt in a heavily wooded rural town, officials said. Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole was killed around 1:45 a.m. on U.S. Route 2 in Norridgewock, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of Bangor, state police said. His cruiser was driven to a Cumberland Farms store, which was robbed.