News In Brief

NECKTIES SOLD SEPARATELY

Heard about the latest in fashion innovations? It's a shirt from the design house Corpo Nove of Florence, Italy, that never needs ironing and rolls up its own sleeves when the weather turns hot. The garment is made of a nylon/nitinol weave. Nitinol is a nickel and titanium alloy with a feature called "thermal shape memory.") You may want several, but be advised: The shirt is available only in metallic gray and fetches $3,750 ... each.

***

THIS IS WRONG, RIGHT?

It has happened again, and Linda Brooks is proof. The Minneapolis resident admits she likes to use her cellphone. But $57,346.20 worth? That's "more than I make in two years," she said after opening her monthly bill from Qwest Communications. The carrier - the latest in a growing line of service providers to blame computer error for overcharging customers - sent out 14,000 such statements at rates of up to $600 a minute. Qwest is contacting those billed incorrectly ... by phone.

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More children growing up in grandparent-headed homes

Over the past decade, the number of children living in households run by their grandparents increased in almost every state and socioeconomic group, new Census Bureau data show. About 3.5 million children, or 5.5 percent of Americans under 18, live in such households, up from 3.2 percent in 1970. Florida, New York, Illinois, and Georgia - in that order - lead the category. In Florida, 258,952, or 7.1 percent of the state's under-18 population, live in such homes - a 33 percent rise since 1990. Divorce and job choices were cited as factors behind the trend. States that have seen the biggest jumps in grandparent-headed homes, followed by the percentage increase:

Nevada 108.6%

Utah 108.1

Arizona 73.8

Colorado 73.1

Washington 59.0

Montana 53.8

Oregon 49.2

New Mexico 46.7

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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