News In Brief

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ARE WE EVER GLAD YOU'RE HERE

That was a memorable field trip Jessica Webster took with her classmates to the county courthouse in Hallock, Minn., last week. The idea was to get a firsthand look at a trial. She did, all right. Because the juror pool turned out to be too small, and because she's 18, the Kittson Central Senior High student was drafted on the spot - and then impaneled for a case. She didn't, however, help to decide the outcome. The parties reached an out-of-court settlement.

CAST A BALLOT; WIN A FRIDGE

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If you think voter apathy in the US is serious, imagine the exasperation of elections officials in Vladivostok, on Russia's east coast. In a city of 800,000 people, roughly two dozen local contests have had to be invalidated because of insufficient turnout. So for the next election, June 18, people will be offered a new incentive to go to the polls: free lottery tickets. Each offers a chance at a car, a TV, or a household appliance.

Summer travel: Florida is No. 1 destination in survey

The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) estimates that over the next three months, Americans will take 237 million "person trips," defined as 50-plus miles, one-way, from home. That statistic from the Washington-based nonprofit is up 3 percent from last year - an apparent sign that high fuel prices aren't likely to make a bust of summer travel. TIA's poll of 1,300 travelers, combined with forecasting techniques, found that Americans plan to stay away 10 nights on their longest pleasure trip and spend $965. The destinations that TIA says travelers want to visit most this summer, and the percentage of respondents choosing each:

1.Florida 34%

2.California 26%

3.New York 13%

4.Texas 10%

5.Hawaii 9%

6.Colorado 8%

7.Arizona 7%

(tie) Nevada 7%

(tie) Washington, D.C. 7%

10.South Carolina 5%

- PR Newswire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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