News In Brief


When the bishop of Norwich, England, noted that rural banking services were dwindling, inspiration struck: The Church of England could install ATMs in its houses of worship. But not everyone is ready to key in a password. "An appalling idea!" one outraged layman grumped. "The interiors of churches are sacred places." Now hold on, countered the Right Rev. Graham James: "There is nothing wrong with money per se. After all, we make collections during services."


Marvin Wells's pumpkin weighed 308-1/2 pounds. But the next heaviest, a mere 262-1/2 pounds, took first prize at the Morton (Ill.) Pumpkin Festival. Why? The odor from Wells's orange orb was "horrendous," said Mayor Don Roth, a judge. Only nonrotting pumpkins were eligible.

Library books successfully challenged by US parents

Some of the books most often removed from US library shelves during the decade of the '90s are considered minor classics. All are controversial and were at times judged inappropriate for adolescent readers, usually after parental objections. Released in advance of the 20th annual Banned Books Week (Sept. 23-30), the list of books most often challenged contains titles criticized for promoting such things as homosexuality, racism, violence, and occultism. The top 10, according to the American Library Association:

1. "Scary Story,"

by Alvin Schwartz

2. "Daddy's Roommate,"

by Michael Willhoite

3. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,"

by Maya Angelou

4. "The Chocolate War,"

by Robert Cormier

5. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,"

by Mark Twain

6. "Of Mice and Men,"

by John Steinbeck

7. "Forever," by Judy Blume

8. "Bridge to Terabithia,"

by Katherine Paterson

9. "Heather Has Two Mommies,"

by Leslea Newton

10. "The Catcher in the Rye,"

by J.D. Salinger

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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