Wendel on the Web is WKYC reporter/producer Kim Wendel's "take" and commentary on the news of the day

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Sometimes you just can't decide which stories rank as the most bizarre each day. Today there are two that tied for that dubious honor. You decide which is more head-shaking.

The Associated Press reports that a prosecutor told a Pennsylvania state appeals court that a trial judge's sentence for a former state Supreme Court justice was "bizarre."

Seems a trial judge ordered former Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin to send autographed photos of herself in handcuffs as part of her campaign corruption sentence.

The AP said Deputy Allegheny County District Attorney Michael Streily told the appeals panel -- the one weighing Melvin's appeal of the sentence -- today said he'll suggest she be sent to prison if the appeals court vacates the "bizarre" punishment.

The AP reported that Melvin's attorney, Patrick Casey, instead argued that Melvin should simply be allowed to serve the remainder of her sentence -- which includes three years' house arrest and a $55,000 fine -- or have the entire punishment voided.

What did she do to evoke such strange and disparate sentences? She was found guilty of illegally using her former Superior Court staff to run her election campaign for the state's highest court.

OK. Now for the second crime, also from Pennsylvania and also reported by the Associated Press.

A former police officer will stand trial for burglarizing his own grandma's house over and over, looking for money to feed his heroin habit.

I could probably stop right there but I can't.

This happened in Centerville, Pennsylvania. The AP reports that Joseph Impiccini, 33, of Brownsville, Pa. used to be a Centerville police officer before he was fired in 2003 after being arrested himself on heroin charges.

OK, let me tell you that tiny, little Centerville has a population of just under 300 people. Brownsville has 2,314 people. It's a drive of just under three hours between the towns. How many other suspects could there be?

The former police officer one time took $275 from a pouch attached to her walker and, on another occasion, checks that he forged and cashed for $550.

So, how did they catch him?

The AP reports that police arrested him May 13 after his grandma recognized his ball cap, which police say was left behind during a break-in May 12. That's when Impiccini confessed.

Follow Kim Wendel on Twitter @KimWendel

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