News In Brief

By , Judy Nichols, and Stephanie Cook

THEY WERE OUT OF RAVIOLI

Concerned that the suspicious noises coming from the neighborhood pasta shop meant someone had broken in, a caller in Bologna, Italy, telephoned the police. The cops showed up in time to catch an intruder red-handed - helping himself to tortellini while the place was closed. He was arrested on the spot. His name: Stefano Spaghetti. Honest.

THAT'S TOO DEEP A DISCOUNT

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Then there's the strange case of a Brahim Abdel-Vetah, a customer arrested last weekend at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Rogers, Ark. His alleged offense: taping his own bar codes on cans of milk formula. Reports say his actions had the effect of lowering the price from upwards of $10 each to $1.89. Store employees rang up the sale, then notified police. A search warrant was obtained, and a van registered to the suspect yielded an estimated 1,000 additional cans of the formula purchased at stores in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. He was charged with felony theft.

Neatniks outnumber slobs 9 to 1 in work-space survey

Even though e-mail has replaced a lot of office paperwork, most employees are still battling a classic problem: how to organize documents in their work spaces. Yet, a recent survey by Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch, a research group based in Horsham, Pa., indicates that workers think they're winning the neatness battle. Ninety percent of respondents declared they have some method of organization, while only 8 percent admitted to having a cluttered desk. Of those who said they were generally neat, 78 percent claimed they sort and straighten on a daily basis. In addition, 60 percent say they routinely weed out their files and piles to keep them to a manageable size. The percentage of respondents who described their work areas as the following:

Extremely neat 3%

Generally neat 48%

Messy but controlled 39%

Getting out of control 4%

Just plain messy 3%

Disaster area 1%

- Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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