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Roadside News: Jan. 23, 2009

Wax Dillinger in the morgue
Alleged Murderer John Dillinger: The John Dillinger Museum in Hammond, Indiana, was back in a court yesterday, in a seemingly never-ending squabble between its owners and Dillinger’s great-nephew, Jefferey Scalf.  “Scalf disagreed with the way his great uncle is portrayed in the museum,” reads an article in the Merrillville Post-Tribune.  “In court, [the owners] agreed that any signs or cards that say Dillinger ‘killed’ or ‘murdered’ people will be changed to say ‘allegedly killed or murdered but he was never convicted in a court of law.'”

Heritage USA: The president of something called Morningstar Ministries wants to turn the abandoned Heritage USA tourist attraction tower and hotel in South Carolina into a luxury retirement condo for seniors, specifically Christian seniors, and at prices ranging from $100,000 (for a studio) up to a half-million. Morningstar’s president Rick Joyner said “We have the visibility because we have the previous scandal.”  And also because the property has a green and purple castle — will the $500,000 condos be inside that?

VA Slogan Turns 40: The “Virginia is for Lovers” ad campaign, “among the most enduring and identifiable tourism slogans ever,” turned 40 this week.  We hope (but really don’t expect) that the state will celebrate the anniversary by calling attention to the love that’s gone into creating and maintaining Virginia attractions such as the Tank Museum and Foamhenge and Elvis City and Dinosaur Land — which is even older than the slogan.

Best Use of State’s Mermaids: Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, the new stewards of Weeki Wachee, held a public meeting this week to discuss the future plans for the park, and to discuss ways to raise money for its continued operation.  One option that was not considered was an earlier idea from a travel agent in North Miami Beach, who had wanted to hire Weeki Wachee mermaids to “frolic” in a hotel pool as part of an annual conference for an unnamed New York financial firm (The idea was rejected).

New God of the Sea?: New Bedford, Massachusetts, wants to erect a fisherman’s memorial, and has narrowed the design to five finalists.  One, budgeted at $3 million, is “intended to be reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty” and would have a 30-foot-tall bronze statue of Poseidon atop a 10-foot-tall base surrounded by four six-foot-tall waterfalls. “This is a real opportunity for New Bedford to put itself on the map,” said the sculptor. “It’s important to me that you see it from the water, so I’m talking a big statue with a lot of details.”  Let’s cross our tridents and hope that Massachusetts gets a sea god as majestic as those already in Florida and Texas.

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