News In Brief

BUT TRY ANY OF OUR OTHERS Government officials in Iowa are as interested in promoting tourism as those in any other state. But they're definitely not encouraging visits to the new Fort Dodge Recreational Facility, even though it offers all sorts of pastimes, of which basketball and volleyball are only two. That's because it's a prison. Unfortunately, that message appears not to have reached the folks who put together Iowa's official highway map. Its 1.7 million copies - printed at a cost to taxpayers of $192,610 - list the place as a vacation option. That will be corrected in next year's edition, a spokesman said.

HEY, BIG SPENDER How is Japan's worst recession since World War II affecting married men? Answer: They're taking it in the wallet - big time. A survey of 500 businessmen found their wives, who traditionally control family purse strings, have cut them back on average to $105 a week - down more than $50 from more robust times. Single men allow themselves $135.

Survey finds that Boston has US's highest office rents A recent study of commercial real estate found class-A office space in Boston costing $47.93 a square foot, on average, during the first quarter of 1999. That's 15 cents more than similar space in New York, the second-most expensive US city in terms of office space. The survey by Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial-real estate firm, also shows Boston's average Class-A rent rising $10 per square foot - 28 percent - since last year. The five cities with the highest rents and those with the lowest vacancy rates:

Highest rents 1. Boston $47.93

2. New York 47.78

3. San Francisco 46.08

4. Washington 38.19

5. Chicago 31.71

Lowest vacancy rates 1. Boston 4.1%

2. San Francisco 6.1%

3. New York 6.5%

4. Washington 6.6%

5. Chicago 10.8%

- Associated Press

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