News In Brief

IT HELPS MAKE THE DAY SPECIAL

Let's say you're engaged to be married this month - in a church. What will happen as you and your new spouse leave after the ceremony, other than the throwing of rice by the guests? The pealing of bells, right? Not if your wedding is at St. Catwg's in Cadoxton, Wales. Alas, there's a shortage of trained bell-ringers to draw on, so as the bride and groom exit, family and friends divide into groups and serenade them by chanting "ding" and "dong." Really. The Rev. Norman Lea said he decided against making a tape recording of bells available because that would be "phony."

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FOOLED YOU, DIDN'T I?

Speaking of weddings, actress Brooke Shields went to unusual lengths to mislead a stalker. On April 4, she and director Chris Henchy faked theirs on Catalina Island, Calif., using false invitations and mannequins. For embellishment, photos of the "ceremony" were sold to magazines. With the coast clear, they later tied the knot for real in a private ceremony in south Florida.

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National parks: irresistible despite summer travel woes

Even with a sluggish economy, the rising price of gasoline at the pump, and a host of widely reported infrastructure problems, federal officials expect about 285 million visitors to head to the US's 57 national parks this summer, about the same number as last year. The Great Smoky Mountains and Grand Canyon again are predicted to be the top destinations - with almost 15 million visitors combined. The 10 most-visited parks and the number of annual visits last year, in millions:

Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, Tennessee 10.1

Grand Canyon, Arizona 4.4

Yosemite, California 3.4

Olympic, Washington 3.3

Rocky Mountain, Colorado 3.1

Yellowstone, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho 2.8

Grand Teton, Wyoming 2.5

Acadia, Maine 2.5

Zion, Utah 2.4

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky 1.7

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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