O-Bits: Bringing In The Dead Edition

We love a good race for county coroner, and an election in  Kentucky looks to be a hun-dinger. Jane McKnight is trying for the third time to become Christian County Coroner. She lost the previous two elections to the incumbent, Dorris Lamb. Lamb is stepping down after eight terms. He’s not retiring, but seeking out a position that pits him in more contact with the living: county clerk. But that doesn’t mean McKnight has an open field; also planning to run is Lamb’s son, Zach, who in a Trumpian flourish, has been the county’s deputy coroner. “He has a leg up,” McKnight told the Hopkinsville Eagle Post, but she hopes to offer some good competition. Besides, she says, “there are no Democrats and Republicans when you have to tell a family member their loved one has died.”


If you think deputy coroner is a nothing job, you haven’t been to Blaine County, Idaho. The wonderfully named Landon Neet is suing the county for wrongful termination, claiming he was only fired after telling county commissioners that his boss, County Coroner Russell Mikel, used him for private business while working on county time. City officials said that nothing of the sort happened—the commissioners simply decided to discontinue the deputy coroner position. They shrugged off any worry about a possible conflict. Mikel owns the only mortuary in town, Commissioner Larry Schoen told the Idaho Mountain Express. “There will be some crossover.”

Finally, we can be pretty sure that someone is going to get a call from a county coroner about this. A trailer carrying 42 filled coffins was forced off the road when two of its wheels came off. According to the South Africa Sunday Times, the coffins—and the bodies within— are being held as evidence of a possible crime, and are causing an awful stink. “The manner in which the bodies are transported is neither dignified nor hygienic at all‚” a Johannesburg official told the paper. “Least to say shows no respect to the deceased and their families.”

Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS.

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