"They told me," Jeffrey Dunkel said, "there's a lot involved in local government, and if I thought I could do a better job, then I should run for office." So he did, pledging that if he won he would work toward such goals as establishing a police department. And last week, he was elected mayor of Mount Carbon, Pa. OK, it's only a tiny borough in the state's hard-coal region, the job pays a mere $50 a month, and Dunkel attracted just 43 votes even though no other candidate's name was on the ballot. Still, he professed to be "in shock" when the returns became final. So what, you ask? Well, Jeffrey is 18.


In Britain, the milling company Nutricia Ltd. is not popular at the moment with the the union representing employees who process and deliver mail. It seems Nutricia is in the midst of a new promotional campaign that involves sending samples of its Glutafin flour brand to thousands of potential customers. "Inappropriate," grumped a union spokesman in filing a formal complaint. "Badly timed." The samples are in labeled and sealed packages that the company insists should cause no anthrax scares.

Tops on holiday wish lists: clothes (DVDs are OK, too)

Consumers across the US plan to spend an average of $940 per household this holiday season on gifts, decorations, greeting cards, and food, according to the National Retail Federation's annual outlook survey. It also found 4 out of 5 respondents plan to buy this season for at least the same number of people they did last year, if not more. And, on the receiving end, what they'd most like are clothing or products for the home. Most-requested year-end holiday gifts, according to the survey:

Clothing, fashion accessories 29.7%

Home d├ęcor, home furnishings 10.0

Consumer electronics 8.3

Books, CDs, DVDs, videos, or video games 8.1

- PR Newswire

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