News In Brief

THIS ISN'T WORKING

Some absentee voters in Arizona's Sept. 12 Republican primary don't know what to do. That's because their ballots won't fit inside the return envelopes - which must be returned for the votes to count. Election officials in Maricopa County, where the problem apparently cropped up, blamed improper gluing by the envelope manufacturer. Election officials suggest either taping the flap shut and mailing it with the ballot partially exposed or enclosing everything in a bigger package.

FINGER-LICKIN' GOOD?

Pamela Hotchkiss has entered the cooking contest at the Ionia Free Fair in Michigan since childhood. But it wasn't until this year, she says, that she won. Her big honor was in the category of ... Spam recipes. Don't expect her family, though, to be wolfing down her "Spam braid," a dough concoction. "We don't care for Spam," she told the Daily News of Greenville. "That made the contest kind of hard."

Living in Palo Alto, Calif., could spell a third mortgage

Silicon Valley is in the cradle of the New Economy. Its technology is cutting edge, its workforce is highly educated, and its weather is near perfect. It's also the most expensive housing market in the US. By averaging prices for single-family homes with four bedrooms, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. ranked the costliest and cheapest locales. Heading the list, Palo Alto, Calif., averaged $974,237; Mount Pleasant, Mich., is the most affordable, at $103,640. The markets at either end of the spectrum as compiled by Coldwell Banker:

Most expensive

1. Palo Alto, Calif.

2. Beverly Hills-North, Calif.

3. San Mateo, Calif.

4. La Jolla, Calif.

5. San Francisco

Cheapest

1. Mount Pleasant, Mich.

2. Sioux City, Iowa

3. Eau Claire, Wis.

4. Hastings, Neb.

5. Minot, N.D.

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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