News In Brief

I WONDERED WHERE YOU WERE

The temptation to ignore the message on her answering machine was strong. After all, Jennifer Hill's caller said he was up in Canada's Yukon Territory, whereas she lives in Boulder, Colo., more than 2,500 miles away. But she returned the call anyway and thus now has her pet cat back. The animal had run away, slipped into a car that was stopped in Boulder en route home, and remained undetected for the rest of the trip. Only because the caller's dog chased the cat up a tree outside his house was her collar - with Hill's phone number on it - noticed.

WE'RE NOT LAUGHING, OK?

It may be a while before Bill Fox tries another practical joke over the air. The Wilkes-Barre, Pa., disc jockey told listeners that pop star Britney Spears - "a real doll" - was to make a personal appearance at his station. On cue, a limousine pulled up. But it was Fox who emerged, clutching - right - a Spears doll. The prank disappointed hundreds of waiting fans and caused a near-riot.

On the road again: AAA advises how to conserve gas

Gasoline prices may be soaring. But 32 million Americans are expected to travel more than 100 miles by car this July 4 weekend - a 4 percent increase over last year, says a spokeswoman for the American Automobile Association. Following are some tips from AAA to get the most out of money spent at the pump:

Plan routes so you can travel at constant speeds and bypass backups. Avoid two-lane routes with stop signs and signals.

Start trips early while traffic is light. Plan meal stops to coincide with rush-hour traffic jams.

Drive at the speed limit. The faster a vehicle travels, the more gas it burns.

Don't top off the gas tank. In warm weather, fuel expansion can cause an overflow.

Use the air conditioner only when needed. It dramatically reduces fuel economy.

Keep luggage light and inside the car. Strapping it on the roof creates wind resistance.

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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