- Cape man gets 8 years for robbery, his first offense (12/7/16)9
- 3 students in custody for violent threat; no details released (12/9/16)15
- Abuse suspect tries to take cop's gun; officer zaps him with Taser and punches his face (12/7/16)3
- Group seeks to create a neighborhood park on Cape Girardeau's south side (12/7/16)14
- Man sentenced to 103 years for murder of Cape woman (12/6/16)4
- Cape may allow residents to keep chickens; residents at meeting push for measure (12/6/16)34
- Poplar Bluff man accused of enticement, child porn in Scott County sting operation (12/4/16)
- Burglary suspect apprehended inside Jackson garage (12/4/16)
- Company to start recruiting businesses to Jackson, Cape (12/9/16)14
- 13 venues, 60 sponsors participating in Happy Slapowitz's Toy Bash on Thursday (12/7/16)2
Ukrainian Gulliver- Huge man in a tiny village
PODOLIANTSY, Ukraine -- At age 33, Leonid Stadnik wishes he would stop growing.
He's already 8 feet, 4 inches.
Recent measurements show that Stadnik is already 7 inches taller than Radhouane Charbib of Tunisia, listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest living man. He's also gaining on the 8-11 Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in history.
Yet for Stadnik, the prospect of becoming a record-holder would be little comfort.
"My two-year-old suit's sleeves and pants are now 30 centimeters (12 inches) shorter than I need," said Stadnik. "My height is God's punishment. My life has no sense."
Stadnik's height keeps him confined to this tiny village 130 miles west of the capital, Kiev.
"Taking a public bus for me is the same as getting into a car's trunk for a normal person," he said.
Stadnik's unusual growth began after a brain operation at age 14, which is believed to have stimulated his pituitary gland. Since then, life just keeps getting harder.
Although he once was able to work as a veterinarian at a cattle farm, he had to quit three years ago after his feet were frostbitten because he wasn't able to afford proper shoes for his 17-inch feet.
This month, he finally got a good pair, paid for by some local businessmen. Their $200 cost was the equivalent of about seven months' worth of the tiny pension that Stadnik receives in the economically struggling country.
Stadnik sleeps on two beds joined lengthwise and moves in a crouch through the small one-story house that he shares with his mother, Halyna.
His weight of about 440 pounds aggravates a recently broken leg, and he suffers from constant knee pain.
Despite his aches, he tries to keep himself busy with the usual routine of country life. He works in the garden, tends the family's cows and pigs, and helps neighbors with their animals.
To relax, he cultivates exotic plants and pampers his tiny, blue and yellow pet parakeet with his huge hands.
Bronyslav, a neighbor who refused to give his last name, described Stadnik as the "most unselfish, diligent man of a pure soul."
His friends, in turn, treat him with the same sort of soft good humor. They're trying to organize a trip for him to the Carpathian Mountains to show him that "there's something in the world taller than you," Bronyslav said.