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I thought I’d post some news stories and run a competition for “Mother of the Year.”  Read through these heartwarming articles, then place your vote in the comments section.

Candidate #1

This 2006 photo provided by the Harris County Sheriffs Office shows Katherine Nadal, a mother who claimed her infant son had his genitals severed in a March attack by the family dachshund was arrested by Houston police Friday, May 11, 2007, while waiting for a custody hearing in the case. She is charged with injury to a child, a felony offense.  (AP Photo/Harris County Sheriffs Office)Katharine Nadal — A Texas mother who claims the family dog tore off her baby son’s genitals has been arrested and accused of mutilating the boy herself with a sharp instrument.

Katherine Nadal is now awaiting a court hearing on custody of the boy. She has been charged with injury to a child and is being held on $100,000 bail.

Child-welfare authorities said she told social workers she woke up from a nap in March to find that her small dachshund had attacked her son. But police said a veterinarian and a doctor have agreed the dog did not cause the injuries.

Police have said in court papers that the mother had used a sharp instrument to cut off the boy’s genitals.

Candidate # 2

Jessica White — A woman saved her daughter from a sinking minivan that plunged into a retention pond in Westfield Friday morning.

The incident happened before 9 a.m. behind a home in the 2600 block of Caden Court, in the Oak Manor subdivision, near 171st and Oak streets.

The 4-year-old girl was in the running minivan in the driveway of a home next to the pond. The woman, identified as Jessica White, went inside the home to get something and the minivan went down the driveway and down a hill, into the pond.

White came out of the house and saw the minivan as it went toward the pond. She called 911 and went into the water to save the child before the minivan submerged.

“It was a very close call. She was very fortunate that the mom was keeping an eye on the child,” said Westfield police Maj. Mike Allen. “Even though she was in the house, she did see it and acted immediately.”

White did not want to talk to the media about the incident. Police said it was doubtful she would face any charges.

Candidate #3

Lachristie Thomas — A 20-year-old Shreveport woman has been arrested after her first-grade son brought a rock of crack cocaine to school for show-and-tell.

Police were especially disturbed by the child’s understanding of crack cocaine. They said he seemed so accustomed to the highly addictive drug that he thought there was nothing wrong with bringing it to school.

Police did not release the name of the school, saying they are still investigating.

Lachristie Thomas was booked on a charge of improper child supervision, a misdemeanor.

Police say the six-year-old was placed in foster care.

Candidate #4

Margaret Ann Murphy — A Millbrook High School student was attacked at school by her mother. The mother was arrested at the school and spent most of the day in jail.

The principal say Margaret Ann Murphy not only didn’t sign in, but proceeded directly to a set of mobile classrooms, went inside one and began attacking her daughter.

According to the police report, Murphy assaulted her daughter by “slapping her in the face, pulling her hair pulling her to the ground, throwing her against a book case and stomping her abdomen and back.”

Millbrook mother, Linda Johnson was shocked. “A lot of them need spankings, yes, ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’, but not to assault them and beat them up like that, no,” Johnson said.

Murphy, 50, was arrested by Raleigh Police and charged with assaulting her daughter and another student. That student tried to come to the child’s aid.

Dana King, Millbrook’s principal says school is the wrong place to handle family problems. “I’m upset. I said, ‘This… no child should come to school and have a family altercation drug over to the school property.”

Murphy posted her $3500 bond and walked out of jail. She’s due in court next month.

Candidate #5 (no article, just thoughts)

Anna Nicole Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, wipes away a tear during her testimony Wednesday. She says that her relationship with Smith fell apart after her daughter met Howard K. Stern in 1996. Virgie Arthur — Anna Nicole Smith’s estranged mother tearfully acknowledged Wednesday that her daughter last told her she wanted to be buried in California near her idol Marilyn Monroe — an admission that could hurt the woman’s fight to have the pinup laid to rest in her native Texas.

Virgie Arthur, 55, said her last conversation with her daughter about her burial came more than 10 years ago.

“Wherever the stars are buried, that’s where she wanted to be buried,” said Arthur, a heavyset woman with bleached blond hair.

Smith’s ex-boyfriend, photographer Larry Birkhead, also testified Wednesday that Smith wanted to be buried in California.

The testimony came in a dispute between Arthur and Howard K. Stern, the lawyer who had been Smith’s boyfriend for many years. Stern wants to bury the former centerfold in the Bahamas with her son, Daniel, who died last September at age 20 of apparently drug-related causes.

Arthur said she believed any mother would want to be buried with her children. She said she wants to exhume the son and rebury him in Texas.

Smith, 39, died Feb. 8 in a Florida hotel of unknown causes.

The Florida hearing is just one part of the legal battle surrounding Smith. In California, a judge is trying to determine who fathered Smith’s 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn, who could inherit millions, depending on how Smith’s estate is divided.

Stern is listed as the father on the birth certificate, but Birkhead, who once dated Smith, says the girl is his.

On Tuesday, Stern testified that Smith had insisted at her son’s funeral on being buried with him in the Bahamas. But Stern also acknowledged that she had once asked to be buried near Monroe.

Monroe was interred in a crypt in Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles in 1962.

On the stand in Fort Lauderdale, Arthur was hammered with questions about any compensation she has or would receive from news organizations for access to interviews or footage after the deaths of her daughter and grandson.

She frequently said no to questions about arrangements with specific media outlets, and sidestepped other questions or claimed she didn’t understand them.

“Have you in any fashion profited at all from the death of your daughter?” asked Krista Barth, an attorney for Stern.

Arthur stared for a moment. “I’m trying to process that question,” she said. Then Arthur attempted to deflect the attention, pointing at Stern.

“He has,” she said.

It was a refrain Arthur repeated several times in an attempt to raise suspicions about Stern and the unsolved deaths of her daughter and grandson.

“I knew she would be next. My grandson did not overdose. Howard was there when he died, and Howard was there when my daughter died. And he has my granddaughter now and it is not even his child. I’m afraid for her life as well,” Arthur said, crying. “Please, help us.”

Stern shook his head. Earlier in Arthur’s testimony, he angrily rose from his seat, but the judge interrupted him before he could complete a sentence.

“You have no podium here, Mr. Stern,” the judge said. “Appreciate you being here, though.”

Later in the day, Arthur acknowledged that she had received some compensation from news organizations. She said the tabloid news agency Splash paid to fly her to the Bahamas when she visited her grandson’s grave last month, and she acknowledged her sister-in-law had sold family video footage.

Arthur also acknowledged that a Splash representative accompanied her to a viewing of Smith’s body Wednesday afternoon.

Stern said he was receiving no money from news organizations but had accepted a free flight to the Bahamas from “Entertainment Tonight.”

Birkhead took the stand late in the day, detailing his relationship with Smith and reiterating his claim that he is her baby’s father. He said he had made no media deals, though he said he received royalties from photos he took of Smith.

For a second time, Broward County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Joshua Perper, warned the judge that little time remains before Smith’s body becomes too decomposed for a public viewing. Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin promised a ruling by Friday.

Deterioration begins at the moment of death, and embalming only slows the process, so the face could undergo unsightly changes in color.

There were comical moments Wednesday. The judge mistakenly referred to Perper as “Dr. Pepper.” And Arthur asked if she could “plead the Fifth” on her age.

Smith was the widow of Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. The two married in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. She had been fighting his family over his estimated $500 million fortune since his death in 1995.

Associated Press writers Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale, Damian Grass in Miami and Jeff Wilson in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

I have a hard time selecting just one of these fabulous mothers.  Cutting off your son’s genitalia is certainly right up there in the “admirable” category, but I’d have to say that I’d at least wait until my son exhibited signs of “macho” before I’d castrate him.  But that’s just me.

Leaving a 4-year old alone in a running vehicle is such a common thing, it’s almost accepted.  But it’s dangerous and stupid.  At least she dove into the pond to save the little girl.

I’m sorta leaning toward the Mom whose little boy was well-educated on crack.  Hey, isn’t that what the experts are stridently recommending?  Education on drugs?

But then again, I can recall times when I was tempted to just slap the shit out of my daughter in front of an audience. 

And Virgie and my own mother are kindred spirits.  Ten years since they last communicated, and this gold-digging, social-climbing, attention-seeking bitch claims to have known what her daughter wanted.  Yet, she was completely unable to see that her daughter wanted acceptance, love, family, and happiness.

Hmmm….let’s see.

I think I’m going with the mother who de-balled her son, before he got used to them.

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