News In Brief

when no means yes

never, it's said, underestimate the power of a woman. Case in point: Angela Ruggiero. She got a longstanding city policy changed on the spot in St. Clair Shores, Mich., just by being refused admission to a hockey game. She tried to join a pickup contest in a local rink, but was informed that a rule forbade females from playing on the same ice with men. It didn't matter that she was a member of the gold-medal-winning US women's Winter Olympics squad in 1998 - and was on Harvard's national title team back in March. The rule lasted until the city manager learned of Angela's experience. Now, she is "welcome to come back at any time."


It has become an endangered species in the US, but from Moscow comes word that Russia's first drive-in movie theater opened last week. There are spaces for 110 cars, and the ticket price also covers food and drinks.

Where the US traveler pays most in local lodging taxes

Hotel guests in Texas are making some relatively hefty contributions to municipal governments, according to a recent study of lodging taxes. The tax survey - conducted by Runzheimer International, a Rochester, Wis.-based management-consultant firm - found five of the nation's 10 highest lodging taxes in the Lone Star State. The report names cities in Montana, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and New Jersey as having some of the lowest lodging taxes - all below 6 percent. Taxes on rooms are "used for mostly local services that do not directly benefit the traveler in any way," said Rolfe Shellenberger, a senior consultant with Runzheimer. The cities found to have the highest lodging taxes in the US:

Houston 17%

Columbus, Ohio 16%

Seattle 16%

Amarillo, Texas 15%

Austin, Texas 15%

Fort Worth, Texas 15%

San Antonio 15%

Chicago 15%

Milwaukee 15%

Cleveland 15%

Compiled by Robert Kilborn and Lance Carden

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