News In Brief

Call her a pious pooch

Every Sunday a Portuguese dog named Preta goes to church - all by herself. A former stray, Preta wakes up at 5 a.m. Sunday mornings, then walks 16 miles from her owner's home in Sobrado, Portugal, to Ermesinde, where services are held. And she's never late. Preta promptly takes her usual place next to the altar in time for 7:30 a.m. mass. She's been walking the route for three years. Whenever worshippers stand or sit, Preta follows. When mass ends, she walks back home - or catches a ride from a church member.

He's a spitting image

With a heave of 69 feet, 3-1/2 inches, Rick "Pellet Gun" Krause hurled himself into the record books - for cherry-pit spitting. Krause won his 12th championship last weekend at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm's 28th annual contest in Michigan. His son, Brian "Young Gun" Krause, is a record pit-spitting holder as well. Brian, though, wasn't quite as pleased with his latest performance: He only spat 46 feet, 9 inches.

Midwest: where middle incomers still can buy homes

When it comes to affordability, the Midwest remains the place for house hunters. Midsize cities in Indiana and Illinois dominate the first-quarter rankings issued by the National Association of Home Builders. Kokomo, Ind., leads the way, with a score of 94.3, which is the percentage of the city's homes that were affordable to people making the area's median income, $57,600. The most affordable cities and their median house prices are:

1. Kokomo, Ind. $99,000

2. Springfield, Ill. $90,000

3. Rockford, Ill. $92,000

4. Muncie, Ind. $99,000

5. Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. $111,000

6. Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa/Ill. $74,000

7. Mansfield, Ohio $85,000

8. Syracuse, N.Y. $73,000

9. Dayton-Springfield, Ohio $96,000

10. Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, N.J. $82,000

- National Home Builders Association

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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