If ever the cook stove in a recreational vehicle were going to erupt in flames, an Iowa couple were in just the right place when theirs did. "It could have spread rapidly – the way the older trailers are built," said fire chief Gaylen Kray of Monticello. But the blaze was put out quickly, with only one minor injury. There was a good reason for that: In town were 1,000 members of the Iowa Firemen's Association, attending their annual convention.


Politicians shake lots of hands when they campaign for office. But 13,392 in one day? Yes, in the case of Bill Richardson. The ex-congressman and secretary of energy is running for governor of New Mexico. Last Saturday he took his meet-and-greet efforts to the state fair in Albuquerque and then to University Stadium, where fans were gathering for the New Mexico-Baylor University football game. With a Guinness Book of World Records official looking on, Richardson broke the mark for an eight-hour span set in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

US's richest may have lost a little, but remain billionaires

The top names on Forbes magazine's 2002 list of the 400 richest Americans are the same as last year – but the order has changed a bit. Software moguls saw their fortunes decline substantially – by $11 billion for Bill Gates, although he's still No. 1. The top names on the Forbes list, their affiliations, net worth (in billions), and last year's rank:

1. Bill Gates, Microsoft, $43.0 billion (1)
2. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, 36.0 (2)
3. Paul Allen, Microsoft, 21.0 (3)
4. Jim Walton, Wal-Mart, 18.8 (5)
(tie) S. Robson Walton (5)
(tie) John Walton (5)
(tie) Alice Walton (5)
(tie) Helen Walton (5)
9. Lawrence Ellison, Oracle, 15.2 (4)
10. Steven Ballmer, Microsoft, 11.9 (10)
– Business Wire

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