A new kind of commute

One cross-country trip on a lawn mower apparently wasn't enough for Brad Hauter.

The high school soccer coach from Terre Haute, Ind., plans to start a second trip next week in San Francisco as a fund-raiser for Keep America Beautiful Inc.

Hauter expects to average about 16 mph - maybe 25 mph with a good tail wind, he chuckles - during a trip scheduled to end June 4 in New York City.

Hauter's 1999 traveled more than 4,000 miles from Atlanta to Santa Monica, Calif. He was recognized as a Guinness World Record holder for being the first person to drive a lawnmower across the nation and for the longest continuous journey on a lawnmower.

This trip is expected to cover about 5,500 miles. Hauter's hopes to raise $200,000 for Keep America Beautiful, which advocates litter prevention, recycling and community improvement projects.

While Hauter's wife and twin 4-year children plan to visit relatives in Denmark during his journey, he won't be traveling alone.

A supply trailer will follow Hauter. In addition, a satellite-linked tracking system will be installed on the lawnmower to show its location, said Ted Middleton of Chicago, who helped organize the trip.

A buggy problem

City councilors in Boston are resolving not to let the bedbugs bite.

After a concerned citizen brought a bowl full of bedbugs to a Boston City Council meeting to prove a point about the critters' rising numbers, councilors promised to wage a citywide battle against the bloodsucking parasites.

"People might say, 'It's not my problem,' but they could be hopping into your bed next," said Councilor Jerry McDermott.

In two weeks, the city council plans to meet to find out whether bedbugs are increasing in the city, and discuss how to prevent and eliminate them.

Bedbugs - cimex lectularius - live in clothing, books, and furniture.

The person who brought bedbugs to the council meeting called them a "growing problem" for the city's renters and others who buy used furniture, said McDermott, who proposed the bedbug hearing.

"Of course we'll have an expeditious hearing," said Councilor John Tobin. "As long as you don't keep bugging us about it."

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