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There’s no swimsuit controversy in this

August 7, 1997

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) _ There’s no swimsuit controversy in this beauty pageant.

Crab Night in Venice, which featured bead-wearing hermit crabs, captured top honors Wednesday in the 22nd annual Miss Crustacean pageant.

The entry beat out 29 others, including Gillicrab’s Island, Taxi Crab and Crabs In Black, to win the coveted Cucumber Rind Cup.

The pageant started in 1975 as a way to tweak the Miss America pageant, and has become an annual rite of summer. The hermit crabs are dressed up in all manner of outfits and posed in elaborately detailed boxes.

The winning entry was submitted by nine employees of Old Salt, a gift shop on the Boardwalk. ``It’s pretty fun, especially since this is the third time we’ve won in a row,″ said Laura Galiffe, 18, of Somers Point.

Old Salt employees won the title last year, with Copa Crabana, and in 1995, with Crab Night in Ocean City.

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DECATUR, Ill. (AP) _ Any ghosts haunting Decatur may want to disappear for the weekend. Ghost hunters from across the country are visiting to talk about their, uh, craft.

``I said, `Hey, we’re in the middle of the country, we’ve got a lot of ghosts, why not here?‴ said conference organizer Troy Taylor, a bookstore owner in nearby Forsyth and the author of five books on ghosts.

The two-day conference this weekend will include sessions on photographing ghosts at cemeteries, using ghost-detecting equipment and interviewing people who say they’ve seen a ghost. For an extra $10, the ghost hunters can take what Taylor calls his ``Haunted Decatur″ tour.

Taylor expects more than 100 people to attend.

``There are so many people running around the country hunting ghosts,″ he said. ``This is just a way to bring them all together to share ideas.″

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ Talk about being sick of politics.

A man wearing a rumpled black suit sat through 30 minutes of a City Council meeting Wednesday before he suddenly rose, walked over to Mayor Jim Torrey, vomited on his right shoulder and then left the room.

Council Vice President Pat Farr said he saw the man aim his face toward the mayor. ``I have no question in my mind that it was premeditated,″ Farr said.

Police arrived a minute later, but could not locate or identify the man.

``I guess it’s just not my day,″ Torrey said.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ Now that she’s a member of the University of Michigan cheerleading squad, Barbie is doing her part to help fill the school’s coffers.

Outfitted in her maize and blue cheerleader uniform, University Barbie has been available on some store shelves since late last month.

``That first weekend, it didn’t move at all,″ toy store manager Rick Burciaga told The Ann Arbor News in a story published Wednesday. ``After that, through word of mouth, sales picked up. ... College students and parents have been buying them.″

With each $19.99 sale, the university receives an 8 percent royalty because the doll bears the Michigan logo.

Nineteen colleges, including Georgetown, Penn State and Nebraska, can boast of a University Barbie dressed in their school colors.

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