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Bright & Brief

November 8, 1987

ANADARKO, Okla. (AP) _ Some people dote on their pickup trucks, keeping them shiny, maybe adding lights and chrome, but people in southwest Oklahoma love their trucks even if they aren’t pretty on the surface.

They even have a contest to see whose pickup is the ugliest.

The top prize Saturday went to Donna Settle and her son Jimmy, who won a set of four new tires for their rusty, dented old Chevrolet. The only condition in the contest was that the pickup had to be sufficiently road worthy to be driven in the Veterans Day Parade.

″In France, they’re proud of their old wine. Here, we’re proud of our old pickups,″ said Devery Youngblood, project manager for Main Street Anadarko, a downtown redevelopment project.

″We’ve actually had arguments break out in businesses as to which one had the ugliest pickup. It’s really a source of pride.″

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ARMSTRONG, Ill. (AP) - Members of two elementary school classes are making the supreme sacrifice in this electronic age: no television for a month.

″I know I’m not going to wipe out TV watching, but I hope maybe they can find out how much free time they do have when they’re not watching it all the time,″ said teacher Terry Bosley. ″I hope their viewing habits could change a little bit. And maybe get them back to family activities a little bit.″

All 23 fourth- and fifth-graders at Armstrong-Ellis Elementary School in Vermilion County signed up for the voluntary ″No TV November,″ a national effort to wean children from long hours before the tube.

Katie Acton said she used to watch television for about five hours a day.

″Now I’ve been reading a lot and playing games,″ she said. ″My mom’s doing it with me. She’s not watching TV either.″

But two kids have already fallen off the wagon, Bosley said.

″I thought it was a pretty hard thing. I quit. I couldn’t do it,″ said Joe Childers. Among other things, he said he couldn’t bear to miss ″Ghostbusters″ cartoons.

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) - Men haven’t proved to be very reliable at the Bourbonnais Herald, says its editor-publisher.

The Herald, a homespun weekly serving this town just north of Kankakee, is staffed by 15 women, from the boss, Toby Olszewski, to the typesetter. Another dozen women work one day a week stuffing advertising material into the paper.

It’s not that the Herald hasn’t tried to hire men.

It had a male ad salesman, but Ms. Olszewski said he spent too much time calling on clients who happened to own bars.

A male reporter worked only one morning and left a note at lunch telling Ms. Olszewski the job was too tough.

And there was another fellow hired, but he never showed up for work.

Small-budget newspapers like the Herald, which has annual revenue of around $300,000, can’t offer big-time wages, so they rely on part-time workers, who often are women. A person working in ad sales can earn as much as $30,000 a year, Ms. Olszewski said, but the rest get paid much less.

The newspaper, which has a paid circulation of 5,000, often hires women who need flexible hours because they’re raising children, or because they want a part-time job.

″Kids come in and out of here like it’s their home,″ said Ms. Olszewski.

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