News In Brief

WHAT DID I JUST TELL YOU?

The sheriff's deputy had just finished issuing Mamileti Lakshmihart a warning in suburban Denver for the less-than-textbook way he was operating his truck. His deed done, the deputy returned to his cruiser and switched off its flashing blue lights. Then ... wham! A "confused"- as the accident report put it - Lakshmihart had shifted into reverse and rammed the officer's car. Damage: more than $1,000. The warning escalated into a summons for careless driving.

YES, HE'S A MAN

Iowa's Department of Transportation finally seems satisfied that Ed Mathews is male. But it took two working days. He tried to update the address on his driver's license, only to find an "F" in the box for gender. Mathews hadn't noticed the discrepancy before. First, he was told, he'd have to produce a birth certificate before an "M" could be substituted. In the end, a supervisor decided that appearances weren't deceiving and he should have a corrected license.

Headed to the beach? See if its cleanliness is monitored

At the height of the beachgoing season, a New York-based environmental group reports a near-record number of shoreline closures because of pollution and contamination. The Natural Resources Defense Council said at least 6,160 warnings and closures were issued last year - lower than in 1998, when unusually heavy rains exacerbated the problem, but still a 50 percent increase from 1997. Of the 32 states in the study, California accounted for more than half of the 1999 incidents. The report also cited the only states that monitor comprehensively their beaches and publicize problems:

California

Connecticut

Delaware

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

New Hampshire

New Jersey

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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