Here's a vote for Webster

Spelling isn't a high priority for several candidates in city elections in Charleston, W. Va.

A handful of candidates misspelled their party affiliation on the official filing forms in the city clerk's office.

Four Democrats erroneously spelled their party name either as "Democart" or "Democrate."

Two GOP members transposed their party name to "Repbulican" and "Repucican."

"I was kind of rushed," said Al Carey, a Republican challenger in the 8th Ward, who spelled his party "Repbulican."

Democrat Dana Griffith attributed his misspelling to a tight time frame and a dash of carelessness.

"I was rushed," said Griffith, a City Council candidate in Ward 18. "I was trying to beat the deadline; I didn't even pay any attention to it. I was in a big hurry."

Misspelling hasn't yet proved to be a candidate's political undoing.

Four years ago, Fred Pettry spelled his party name "Democart," and went on to win a seat on City Council as a representative from Ward 7.

He repeated his gaffe this year.

to pay a traffic fine last year.

Trash talk in high school

They're talking trash about the environment at Clinton (Iowa) High School.

That's because the trash compactors in the lunchroom broadcast audio messages - thanking the students for not littering - whenever someone opens the panel of the mechanism to throw away garbage.

"Thank you for helping us keep the environment clean," the trash can says. "Thank you for dining with us; we look forward to serving you again."

The new cans are among cafeteria improvements made after the school adopted a new policy that requires students to stay in the building at lunch, Principal William Cornelius said.

Students who toured Davenport North High School's cafeteria last year saw similar compactors and liked the talking trash cans, said Jeff Weaver, food service director for the school.

Cornelius said there's a "noticeable difference" in the amount of trash students leave behind at lunch. He thinks some students use the compactors more often to see what message they'll hear.

A brush with the past?

A pair of 3-inch oiling brushes from a World War I German machine gun display disappeared in 1962 from the North Dakota Heritage Center. Forty years later, the center has received a box in the mail containing the brushes and an apology.

"I humbly apologize for my prior indiscretion, and hope these can be returned to their proper place," the man who stole the brushes wrote.

He said he was visiting his brother in Bismarck when he took the brushes, and recently found them in a shoe box in his garage. The brushes were mailed from Minnesota.

"The gentlemen happened to be visiting and decided to help himself to those brushes," said Jenny Yearous, curator of collections for the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Quote of the day

'We don't trust them very much. And they don't trust us.'

- Sig Christenson of the group Military Reporters and Editors, on the history of suspicion between the Defense Department and journalists as the Pentagon pledged access to the front lines if the US goes to war with Iraq.

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