Etc...

You're excused

From Cedar Rapids, Iowa, comes word that Linda Reade was called for jury duty one day early last week but then wasn't empaneled for any of the cases being tried in Linn County District Court. So what? Happens all the time , right? Yes, but in this situation there were extenuating circumstances. That morning, as she waited with other prospective jurors, prosecutor Jerry Vander Sanden asked whether any of them knew him. "I do," Linda said. Well, would you have any problem helping to sit in judgment of a defendant , Vander Sanden wanted to know. No, she replied, "I do it every day." So why didn't she make the cut? Because of her regular job ... as a jurist in the federal court system. Linda said she wasn't disappointed. "One judge per courtroom," she told journalists, "is enough."

Biting into the details of a sandwich shop rivalry

Subway sandwich shops are celebrating the chain's 40th anniversary this year. The business has expanded to 81 other countries and almost 18,000 locations. Over the past three years, Subway has grown an average of 11 percent - even as Quiznos, the fastest-growing US restaurant chain, is muscling into the market. A side-by-side comparison of the sandwich-making rivals:

Founded: Subway: 1965 Quiznos: 1981
Headquarters: Subway: Milford, Conn. Quiznos: Denver
US outlets: Subway: 17,909 Quiznos: 3,339
US sales: Subway: $6.27 billion Quiznos: $1.27 billion
Most popular sandwich: Subway: Savory turkey Quiznos: Mesquite chicken
Pitchman: Subway: Jared Fogle, who lost 245 pounds eating Subway sandwiches Quinzos: Baby Bob, a "talking" 6-month-old.
- Associated Press

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