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Imagine going out for, say, a tube of toothpaste at your local Wal-Mart only to be handed a jury summons at the checkout counter along with your change. That's what happened to 55 people in Shelby, N.C., when Cleveland County Court ran out of prospective jurors. Sheriff's deputies were given three hours to find replacements - which meant some shoppers, in turn, had only 30 minutes to change plans and get to the courthouse. Said a deputy: "When not enough jurors are here, we try any possible way to get them. You go to the place most people gather."

UM, WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

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Speaking of courts, a Beit Shean, Israel, defendant is in bigger trouble than before after trying to rig the outcome of his trial via telephone. He called each witness against him, representing himself as a court clerk, and said the hearing was postponed. It worked, too. But the calls were traced to his place of employment, and now he's also charged with obstruction of justice.

Where outdoor journalists say US's vacation thrills are

When the ordinary vacation spot just won't do, maybe it's time for adventure travel. A panel of editors and outdoor writers offers 100 action-packed ideas for US expeditions in the latest edition of National Geographic Adventure magazine. Their top 10 suggestions:

1. Rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Ariz.

2. Sea-kayaking the Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii

3. Dog-sledding in the Brooks Range, Alaska

4. Mountain-biking Kokopelli's Trail, Colorado and Utah

5. Hiking the Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

6. Skiing Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole, Wyo.

7. Climbing El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, Calif.

8. Hiking the Presidential Range traverse, New Hampshire

9. Competing in the "Beast 2000" adventure race, Alaska

10. Diving in Bonne Terre Mine, Bonne Terre, Mo.

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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