Commanding presence?

Fyffe(JM) Unable to keep pace with the sheer volume of weird news hemorrhaging from rural Alabama, 'News of the Weird' has opened its first branch office in an abandoned hemp-stamp printing office in downtown Fyffe. Best known for its string of UFO sightings and cattle mutilations in the late 1980's, Fyffe's downtown is experiencing a renaissance of weird-related business activities such as Bro. Pete's Discount Organic Goat Products to the offices of, offering online specifications and links to hard-to-find foaming agents for industrial and residential clients around the globe.

Visiting from his home in Tampa, "News of the Weird" founder Chuck Shephard joined with newly-hired local bureau chief Howell Raines to toss out the ceremonial first mullet. After a short speech praising Alabama's unparalleled per-capita weirdness quotient, Shephard turned the stage over to the 10-member Atmore State Prison Men's Chorus, (all of whom share the middle name 'Wayne'). A delicious lunch of waxworm fritters and cricket jambalaya was served by local insect-chef J. T. Brown and a benedictory prayer was offered by Loquman Ali, a Tone-Scientist and Architect of the Planes of Discipline who studied under the legendary Sun-Ra.

Shephard expects the Alabama bureau of NOTW to contribute twenty to thirty percent of the content which he publishes in his weekly syndicated column and premium subscription editions. "Alabama might not have a lot of crazy secular-humanist college professors performing weird classroom experiments with octopi, but the state more than makes up for it with rattle-snake tossing yokels, unlettered lay-pastors in public office, and some alarmingly successful half-baked hoaxes. Toss in a few incompetent criminals and I could almost write the whole thing from here."