News In Brief

WHAT IF SHE'D MISSED? Luis Leon invited Jessica Wright to a minor-league ice hockey game in Glens Falls, N.Y. But as hockey games sometimes do, this one soon erupted into a messy, bench-clearing brawl. Still, Jessica stayed on. Then the first intermission arrived, and preparations began for a special promotion down on the ice. She heard her name called to leave the stands and try shooting a puck blindfolded into an empty net. If it went in, she'd win a secret prize. She did, and it did. Then the blindfold came off, and she saw her prize. Stretched across the goal frame was a banner: "JESSICA, WILL YOU MARRY ME? --LUIS." She said she would.

NEW TASTE SENSATION Tired of watching squirrels hog the seed you put in your backyard feeder for the birds? A Buffalo, N.Y., company may have the solution. Snyder Seed Corp. is working on a patented process that impregnates bird food with chili pepper while leaving the shells intact. Reason: Research shows that birds are insensitive to hot spice; squirrels aren't.

'She's All That' is No. 1 in weekend box-office debut

"She's All That," a "My Fair Lady"-style high school romance starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook, won the movie box-office derby over the weekend. "Varsity Blues," the leader last week, fell to No. 3. Buoyed by major awards at last week's Golden Globe ceremony, "Shakespeare in Love" jumped three spots to No. 5, despite being seen on just 759 screens. The film grossed $4 million, for a per-screen average of $5,270 - second only to the $7,561 for "She's All That." Reported grosses for top films at North American theaters Jan. 29-31 (in millions):

1. "She's All That" $16.1

2. "Patch Adams" 6.0

3. "Varsity Blues" 5.9

4. "A Civil Action" 4.8

5. "Shakespeare in Love" 4.0

6. "Stepmom" 3.6

7. "The Thin Red Line" 3.3

8. "You've Got Mail" 3.0

9. "At First Sight" 2.7

10."The Prince of Egypt" 2.6

- Exhibitor Relations Inc./AP

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