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Bright and Brief

February 7, 1986

AURORA, Colo. (AP) _ That was no penny ante price war between gas station owners Harry Postlethwait and Les Koehnen this week. At the high point of the low-bidding war 60 cars were queued up to buy gasoline at 25.9 cents a gallon.

Both Postlethwait and Koehnen run gasoline stations at a busy Aurora intersection, and neither wanted to be undercut on prices Thursday.

″I’d go out and change the price, and he’d bring his ladder out. I’d change mine, and he’d change his,″ Postlethwait said.

″He was at 84 yesterday, and I met him. From there it just went down,″ said Postlethwait, owner of Parker I-225 Texaco.

An employee at Koehnen’s Standard station said the price fight started about 8:30 a.m. Within 90 minutes, Postlethwait dropped his price to 27.9 cents and Koehnen undercut him at 25.9 cents.

At one point 60 cars waited in line.

Then Postlethwait found out it is against Colorado law to sell gasoline below cost, so he changed the sign back to 84.9 cents. Koehnen kept his price at 25.9, about 64 cents a gallon under cost, and vowed to keep it there until he emptied his storage tank.

The gas ran out about 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Koehnen’s gasoline was going for 82.9 cents a gallon Friday.


MATINICUS ISLAND, Maine (AP) - You can label Matinicus Island School a small school, an isolated school, a feisty school. As a matter of fact, the more labels the better, because it needs 80,000 of them.

The one-room, six-student school is collecting the labels - the kind found on soup cans and other products - to buy an Apple II computer and printer.

Every year Campbell’s Soup Co. and its subsidiaries sponsor a program called ″Labels for Education,″ said Suzanne Winkelman, the sole teacher. Schools can buy items such as sports equipment and books by collecting labels from various products and sending them to the company.

″We decided we’re going to aim for the sky and go for the computer. ...The superintendent said there was no money for it, unless we forgot about pens, notebooks and paper,″ Winkelman said.

″We have all these levels in one room. I can see many uses for a computer,″ said Winkelman, who teaches two eighth-graders, one sixth-grader, two fourth-graders and a kindergartner.

Matinicus Island is about 22 miles off the coast east of Rockland and has about 30 year-round residents. There is no regular transportation to the mainland; people usually travel by chartered plane.

The students have collected 4,000 labels since last year. A mainland school helped out by sending them a box of leftover labels it had gathered for a contest. The children also advertised in a mainland newspaper.

″What we would really like is for some big school to adopt us. ...It may take two years, but we are going to do it,″ Winkelman said.


CORONA, Calif. (AP) - Repairing streets in Corona must be a labor of love, because the city’s entire road maintenance division hasn’t missed a single day of work in two years.

And to show its appreciation to the 32 city employees, the city council has approved a $200 bonus for each crew member.

The council voted 3-2 for the bonuses Wednesday after being told by the workers’ boss, City Manager James Wheaton, that the perfect attendance record had saved taxpayers over $100,000 in sick pay and insurance bills.

He said the record ″defies all odds,″ considering how dangerous road work can be.

Some council members were less than impressed, though, and the bonus passed only after it was cut from Wheaton’s proposed $350.

Mayor S.R. ″Al″ Lopez, one of the nay-sayers, argued that it’s an employee’s duty to show up for work. He said the workers deserved a ceremony at best.

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