Let's settle this like men

From Waterford, Calif., comes word that Mayor Charles Turner has won a third term in office. But not at the ballot box. No, in the Nov. 5 election he and challenger Pat Farmer finished in a tie, each with 546 votes. How then? Well, state law calls for a game of chance in such cases, so Farmer proposed a duel at high noon on Main Street ... with paintball guns. Not dignified enough, the town council decided. Thus, late last week, the rivals sat for one draw with a deck of cards. Turner's was the queen of diamonds; Farmer's a 10.

Why didn't anybody tell me?

Since Winnipeg, Manitoba, had long been considered the world's coldest major city, it seemed natural to Dutch transplant Maria den Oudsten to promote winter tourism by organizing a civic campaign to build 10,000 snowmen. Alas, the Rotary Club president is way behind in her goal: So far, Winnipeg has no white stuff on the ground. "I'm praying, of course," she said, "but what can you do?" Perhaps a check with Environment Canada might have helped. Said an agency spokesman: "The point is, it's too cold to snow in Winnipeg. The air is so very dry."

More travelers take to skies, fewer to cars for holidays

Just over 59 million Americans plan to travel 50 or more miles from home between Christmas and New Year's Day, down 1 percent from last year, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). And 57 percent of them plan to stay with a friend or relative. Based a nationwide survey of 1,300 people, AAA expects a 7 percent rise in air travel - hopeful news for troubled airlines - and a 3 percent drop in car trips. A breakdown of how folks plan to travel and where they're bound:

By car: 45.9 million

By plane: 11.2 million

By train, bus, or other: 2.0 million

To a town/rural area: 33%

To a city: 31%

To the ocean/beach: 14 %

To the mountains: 7%

To a theme/amusement park: 3% - Business Wire

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