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On The Light Side

May 5, 1986

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. (AP) _ Judi Allard and Pete Hunt hope their wedding lasts longer than the place where the ceremony took place - a five-story castle built with 35,000 tons of sand.

The wedding Saturday on ″The Lost City of Atlantis″ drew dozens of uninvited guests, who watched from behind a fence and a moat surrounding the temporary structure billed the ″World’s Largest Sand Castle.″

The crowd cheered, and several people called for a pose from the bride and groom as they stood atop the 58-foot-high sand castle, which measures 250 feet by 150 feet.

Ms. Allard, head housekeeper at a motel, and Hunt, a television repairman, had planned a June wedding. But Hunt said he talked to one of the sand castle promoters almost as a lark and asked if they could get married on it.

″Fantastic. It’s romantic,″ Ms. Allard’s 19-year-old daughter, Shari Hibbs, said as she watched her mother and Hunt exchange vows.

The giant sand castle was built as the centerpiece for a festival of concerts, contests and light shows held on Treasure Island, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

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BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - Clyde ″Chris″ Cook is the Lou Gehrig of education in Matheny, where he has battled snowstorms and sinus problems to keep a first-grade promise.

As graduation day draws near, the 18-year-old Oceana High School senior has attended more than 2,300 days of school, topping Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive major league baseball games. Cook has been in class every day there was a class to attend since kindergarten.

″I just set this as a personal goal for myself back in the first grade and stuck to it,″ Cook said. ″I tell you, I’m getting a little bit nervous about it, being so close to graduation.″

May 24, the final day of classes, hangs ominously in front of Cook’s eyes. If he makes it, he said, the countless three-mile jogs he made from Matheny to Oceana during snowstorms and washouts will have been worth it.

″The bus couldn’t make it, but he could,″ said his mother, Florence Cook. ″Kids have made $25 bets on him at school to see if he’d get there. A lot of money apparently has changed hands over this.″

A recent bout with a sinus problem nearly snapped the string, his mother said.

″He would come home and not remember a thing he learned, but he wouldn’t miss for any reason,″ she said.

However, Cook said, the toughest obstacle to getting to class was from his schoolmates, who offered many an afternoon of hookey and fishing.

″I’ve told them ‘no’ so many times, though, they’ve pretty much given up on me,″ Cook said.

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Officials at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium are declaring war against the birds and the bees - and the cats, lawn moths and other animals who’ve taken up residence inside the facility.

The problem with the animals was illustrated during Saturday night’s baseball game between the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates. During the seventh inning, a skunk wandered onto the playing field and delayed the game six minutes as it strolled around the grass.

Jack Argent, the stadium’s assistant manager, said Sunday that box traps will be set up around the stadium to catch the animals, who will then be returned to the river bed along the southern portion of the stadium’s parking lot.

In addition to skunks, Argent said, eight to 10 stray cats, an American kestrel - a type of bird - and a number of owls, swallows and pigeons call the stadium home, not to mention a bunch of lawn moths. The animals will not be injured by the traps.

″We’re going to try to catch them and put them back in the river bed where they came from,″ Argent said. ″We are very concerned about the animals, but we don’t want them disrupting events.″

Bees also have caused a problem at the stadium. Last week, three fans were stung by bees that had gathered above the box occupied by Padres owner Joan Kroc.

Exterminators were called in to spray the bees and relocate the queen bee.

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