Bright & Brief
MONROE, La. (AP) _ Finding the right Christmas gift for an entire city is no easy task, but Mayor Bob Powell and Police Chief Willie Buffington have one that requires no size guessing and little wrapping.
Starting Monday, parking meters will spend the holiday season covered with bags and wrapped in bows, rather than proclaiming ″Time expired.″
And meter maids will only patrol to make sure no one parks in fire zones, said police Cpt. L. Parker.
GILMAN, Ill. (AP) - The Gilman High School Class of 1949 was a closely knit group and their yearbook noted: ″We did everything together.″ Well, everything except publish their yearbook.
When it came time to publish the 1949 Gilman High School annual, editor Carlene McKinney, now Carlene Wilken, encountered all sorts of delays with contributions and the printer.
Mrs. Wilken continued working on it into her freshman year at college. But then she got busy with other things and many of the students had left.
Over the years, the fact that the task wasn’t complete bothered her, and in talking to friends ″we realized between the bifocals and hearing aids that we’re all getting older, and none of us takes the time to visit any more.″
So she renewed the project and set to work to track down students. Only 10 of the 29 members of her class, out of a school enrollment of 114, still live in the area but within the first week she and her helpers sold 35 copies.
Mrs. Wilken said she’s received letters from schoolmates she hadn’t heard from since 1949, including an admiral, lawyers, homemakers, farmers, educators, chemical engineeers, air-traffic controllers, salesmen, nurses and more.
″We had a lot of talent in our class,″ she said.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Campaigns to raise money for the needy can always use a new idea to bring in more donations, so the Santa Fe Salvation Army is trying out what it believes is the first drive-up kettle.
″We checked all over and nobody had ever done it before,″ says Duke Markham of the Santa Fe Salvation Army. ″No one in the entire world had ever done it, and we’re in 85 countries.″
″You can get your food from a drive-up, and you can get money from a drive-up,″ says Markham. ″So why not a drive-up donation?″
Markham says people walking out of a shopping mall have their hands full of packages and can’t easily dig out a donation. Once in the car, with their hands free, however, ″it’s not an inconvenience.″
ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) - Things are looking up for Mary Jane Smith and Terry Holley. She’s got a job, they’ve got lots of new friends and they got married, in a department store.
The two had been sleeping in a car and eating cold soup out of cans for several weeks. Wal-Mart manager Val Freeman discovered their plight Wednesday when Ms. Smith, 20, applied for a job and had no address on her application.
He gave her a part-time job, and when she told him she planned to get married when she had the money, he offered to help with the ceremony.
Wal-Mart bought the rings and rented Holley’s tuxedo, and an employee loaned a wedding dress. Merchants provided decorations and a Greenville hotel offered a weekend honeymoon.
The ceremony was held in the store Friday, so employees who had helped out could attend, and the minister was a part-time pastor who works in the sporting goods department.
″The same thing could have happened in July or anytime, but since it is Christmas, it is extra special,″ Freeman said.
The couple have arranged to stay with a relative until they find an apartment. Holley, 23, has applied for a job in the same shopping center, and is waiting to see if he gets it.