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Fastnachts are selling like hotcakes in southeastern Pennsylvania.

February 12, 1997

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) _ Fastnachts are selling like hotcakes in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Frank Burnside, owner of Burnside Donuts in Lancaster, said customers mobbed his shop Tuesday for the doughnutlike fried cakes made by German settlers and their descendants on the day before fasting begins for Lent.

``It’s going out of this world, I tell you,″ he said. ``We started making them around the clock Sunday. I’ve got 40 people in line now, and they’re buying them hot out of the fryer.″

Some folks cooking up the late winter treats cut them in the shape of doughnuts. Purists insist on solid cakes about 1 1/2 times the size of a doughnut in a square or diamond shape.

Larry Reininger, who oversaw the production of 2,600 dozen fastnachts this year at Willow Valley Bakery in Lancaster, said fastnacht batter includes potatoes along with the usual doughnut ingredients.

``Traditionally, in the household, the wife would try to use up all fat and sugar before Ash Wednesday, when the family would give up sweets for Lent,″ Reininger said.


ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) _ The mayor’s pager was X-rated.

Mayor Charlie Culpepper needed the outgoing message on his pager changed after someone changed his otherwise standard ``leave a message″ to a rap song graphically describing a sex act.

``I’m just glad my mother or my wife didn’t try to page me,″ Culpepper said Monday after discovering the changed message.

Round Rock City Councilman Robert Stluka got the message, as did several other callers.

``It was pretty vulgar,″ Stluka said. ``I thought, why would he want to do that?″

Culpepper, mayor of the small town north of Austin since 1993, said he’s learned his lesson and will change his pager’s security password more often.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ A bank robber had no problem with the teller. It was the cabbies who botched the heist.

Police charged Timothy Hough, 38, on Monday with robbing a downtown branch of M&T Bank.

Hough showed no weapon but gave a teller a threatening note and was handed less than $2,000, police said. He left the bank and tried to get in two taxicabs, but in each case the driver threw him out, FBI Special Agent Paul Moskal said.

``He was nervous and furtive when the cabbies threw him out,″ Moskal said.

Finally, the desperate man jumped on a Metro Rail train. It had barely started rolling when police stopped it and arrested Hough.

``This man got into two cabs and a train and still barely got away from the front door of the bank,″ Moskal said.


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ Call it a political gut check.

A legislative pay plan that cleared the House on Tuesday would require bill opponents to admit they were gutless to get their share of the money.

The bill that also gives pay raises to hundreds of state and county officeholders had been rejected last week.

House members and senators voting against the bill could get extra money only if they sign a form saying, ``I was for the legislative pay raise but did not have the guts to vote for it.″

Some opponents said they would not sign the forms. If the bill becomes law as is, the paperwork would be on file in the clerk’s offices.

``I’m embarrassed anyway to take a $700 a month raise when we didn’t give the teachers much more than that for a whole year,″ said state Rep. Gene Saucier.

Lawmakers would receive $6,300 more each year in expense money immediately under the bill. Their base pay would increase from $10,000 to $15,000 in the year 2000. Lawmakers now receive about $25,000 yearly, including expenses.

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