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Bright & Brief

September 1, 1989

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. (AP) _ City police have a weapons problem. Should they keep their .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun, made in 1921, or sell it to a collector for a fat profit?

Lt. Ronald Gilchrist said officers still use the gun for training and take it along when responding to potentially dangerous calls in their community about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

But the tommy gun is not practical compared to modern weapons, Gilchrist said. It is heavy and replacement parts are hard to find.

″It would be like comparing a new car to a Model A Ford,″ he said.

Some officers want to keep it for nostalgia reasons.

But Gilchrist said the department needs modern weapons like M-16 rifles or 9mm handguns. He estimated the Thompson’s value at more than $4,000 to collectors.

″The value of it is so great that it’s not worth us having to use it and breaking it,″ he said.


HENRYETTA, Okla. (AP) - An anonymous donor who already gave $75,000 to City Hall and $25,000 to a local hospital is at it again, leaving his recipients pleased and curious.

″Everybody is speculating on who it is,″ School Superintendent Jim Wills said.

The donor, who again has said the only condition of his gift is that his identity be kept secret, also gave $25,000 to First United Methodist Church for a building project, $10,000 to a local Girl Scouts group and $5,000 to school bands.

″It’s just one of these incredible things,″ David Croninger, pastor of the United Methodist Church, told the Tulsa World. ″He’s a quiet person. He doesn’t stand out.

″It’s been clear to me he just doesn’t want any attention, so I just say ‘Hi’ and leave it at that when I see him. And that’s just the way he wants it.″


DRAYTON PLAINS, Mich. (AP) - People are always leaving papers behind at John Miller’s print shop, but a $5,000 municipal bond caught him by surprise.

″There’s a lot of bills I could pay,″ said Miller, owner of Typography Etc., where a female customer left the bond last month. Since then he has been trying unsuccessfully to find her.

Miller won’t reveal the owner’s name because he wants her to identify herself.

″This is the most valuable thing somebody left behind,″ Miller said. ″Usually it’s a work schedule from McDonald’s, sometimes it’s a 1040 (federal tax form). But they always come back, which is why I know she doesn’t know she left it.″

The customer left the 1969 Detroit municipal bond when she came in to copy documents that belonged to her recently deceased father.

She wanted to copy the documents quickly, however, so Miller said he referred her to another shop with high-speed equipment.

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