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On The Light Side

November 19, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt has paid a neighborly call on a California diamond merchant who was considerably inconvenienced by Oregon residents’ inability to spell their top officeholder’s name.

The jeweler, Simon Pogossian, said his troubles began Nov. 2, when Goldschmidt opened a toll-free line to take comments from Oregon citizens. The number was 1-800-322-NEIL.

Trouble was, about 30 people a day spelled his name ″Niel,″ and got Pogossian’s shop, which has its own toll free number: 1-800-32ANGEL.

Pogossian, who had an aimiable chat with the visiting governor Wednesday, says the mistaken callers were politely set straight until the governor changed his number.

Meanwhile, another California business with a WATS line is mulling an offer from Goldschmidt to pick up the tab for calls from constituents who thought the governor spelled his name ″Neal.″

Alpine Aire Foods of Grass Valley got about 50 calls a day, said Joann Ewasko, operations manager at the company that makes freeze-dried food for backpacking and emergency rations.

″They offered to pay for it,″ Ms. Ewasko said Wednesday. ″We’re going to wait and see if AT&T will cover it.″

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DAHLONEGA, Ga. (AP) - Lumpkin County has been pronounced the cleanest county in northeast Georgia, but Sheriff Kenneth Seabolt says the distinction has not come easily.

About 45 people were arrested for littering during a year-long campaign to put a lid on litter, as deputies staked out fast food restaurants, trailed suspects and used infrared glasses to nab elusive litterers.

Seabolt, who started the crackdown last November, said his deputies were ordered to arrest people who tossed away anything larger than a cigarette butt. Instead of fines or imprisonment, the culprits were placed on work details, along with county prisoners, and made to pick up trash.

″You’ve got to embarrass people to get them to stop bad habits,″ Seabolt said. ″Eighty percent of the problem was local people. We decided community service was much better punishment.″