Etc...

We aim to do this properly

Saying, "Bake sales are a thing of the past," some mothers in Lampasas, Texas, have organized a raffle to raise money to help make the campus of their children's school safer than it currently is. Their, um, target: $15,000, which will pay for a security fence around Hanna Springs Intermediate School. The young 'uns range in age from 8 to 12, and last year a registered sex offender had to be chased away after he approached one of them. Oh, the items being raffled: two rifles.

City famous for fig-filled cookies is safe place too

Newton, Mass., not only is an upscale suburb of Boston, it's also the nation's safest city, according to Morgan Quitno Corp., a research company based in Kansas that produces an annual "City Crime Rankings" reference book. Newton, a perennial contender, has just regained the distinction it last held in 1999. The rankings are based on FBI crime statistics for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and vehicle theft in all cities of 75,000 or more people. The safest and most dangerous cities, based on 2003 crime data:

Safest

1. Newton, Mass.
2. Brick Township, N.J.
3. Amherst, N.Y.
4. Mission Viejo, Calif.
5. Clarkstown, N.Y.

Most dangerous
1. Camden, N.J.
2. Detroit
3. Atlanta
4. St. Louis
5. Gary, Ind.

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