News In Brief


There are examples of public spiritedness and then there is what 350 residents of tiny Stromsburg, Neb., did one day last week. Despite bone-chilling temperatures, they formed a human chain to transfer thousands of books from the town's old public library to the $700,000 new one three blocks away. The volunteers ranged from kindergartners to one who said she's "in my 80s someplace."



The political-correctness police have caught Rolandas Paksas red-handed, and his case now is in the hands of the courts. He could be fined $50. His offense? Last Saturday, he didn't display the national flag outside his house. But, wait, you say: Where is there such a law? Well, in the Baltic States, each of which requires all homeowners to fly the flag on its independence day as well as those of its two neighbors - and Saturday happened to be Estonia's. How does Paksas figure in this? He is the prime minister of Lithuania.

q Car-rental rates: Some of the priciest are surprises

You might think one of the most tourist-heavy cities in the US, such as New York or San Francisco, charges the most for car rentals. But that distinction goes to Cleveland, which averages $86.50 for one day of unlimited mileage in a midsize sedan. Rochester, Wis.-based Runzheimer International, a consulting firm, noted that Cleveland has relatively high taxi fares between its airport and downtown - about $25 - which may drive up rental costs. Even so, a spokesman said, renting is often a wise move because one then can lodge and dine in a cheaper suburban location. The most expensive daily car-rental rates, according to Runzheimer:

1. Cleveland $86.50

2. New York 85.50

3. Newark, N.J. 85.00

4. Youngstown, Ohio 84.50

5. Houston 81.50

6. Raleigh, N.C. 81.00

7. Charlotte, N.C. 80.50

8. St. Louis 79.50

(tie) Atlanta 79.50

10. Chicago 79.00

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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