News In Brief

IT PUT THEM IN GEAR

To get to her wedding, bride Sonia Chamberlain rode in a garbage truck. Why such a bizarre mode of transport? Because her husband-to-be, Guy Whetton, does that for a living. "It might not sound romantic, but when I saw Guy reversing the [truck] near my house, it was love at first sight," the Southampton, England, woman told the Mirror newspaper. Whetton replied, "If she could fancy me at the wheel of a [truck], I knew she must be serious."

TALK ABOUT A LONG RIDE

And then there's this story about another vehicle - a bus, used by the YMCA branch in Chester, S.C. It vanished last month, apparently stolen, until it popped up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, last week. What's particularly mysterious is how the bus made the 1,500-mile trip: It could have either been on a Caribbean voyage, or driven through five states and Mexico, followed by hundreds of miles on mountain roads.

Midwest scores well in survey of home affordability

Muncie, Ind., was the most affordable place to purchase a home in the first quarter of 2000, according to the National Association of Home Builders' housing opportunity index. It's a measure of the percentage of homes sold that a family earning the area's median income can afford. In Muncie, families of that income level could afford 90.7 percent of homes sold from January to March. But nationally, families earning $50,200 could afford only 62.8 percent of homes. Below is the index's top 10, with the percentage of homes residents with median incomes can afford:

1. Muncie, Ind. 90.7%

2. Rockford, Ill. 90.5%

3. Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. 90.4%

4. Des Moines, Iowa 88.6%

5. Binghamton, N.Y. 88.5%

6. Springfield, Ill. 87.4%

7. Wilmington, Del.-Newark, Md. 86.8%

8. Davenport, Iowa- Moline-Rock Island, Ill. 85.1%

9. Dayton-Springfield, Ohio 85.0%

10. Lima, Ohio 84.6%

- PR Newswire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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