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On The Light Side

March 17, 1988

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) _ Officials hope to shore up the reputation of Galveston beaches by shipping in tons of Florida white sand to replace the native gritty brown variety.

The developers of Moody Gardens on Offatts Bayou plan to use the sand to create their own Palm Beach, including a 1,000-foot boardwalk, two freshwater lagoons complete with a 12-foot waterfall and white sand bottom, more than 100 palm trees, a tramway, jogging trail and a covered eating and concession area.

Moody Gardens Administrator Ralph McPheeters said the choice of white sand over the hometown variety was easy. For years, people have complained about Galveston’s murky beach water and brown, narrow beaches, he said.

″We can’t do anything about the water but we sure can do something about the sand,″ he said.

Within the next two weeks, two ocean barges full of white sand will arrive in Galveston from Orlando, where it was purchased from sand mines, he said Tuesday.

Developers looked for sand of a certain consistency since the beach will have a 200-square-foot area specifically for sand castle construction, McPheeters said.


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - An ambulance attendant left his job early to aid his pregnant wife and ended up delivering their baby.

Mark Loken, 32, was working the night shift when he got a call from his wife, Debbie, early Wednesday.

She told him to come home because their baby, who was 11 days overdue, was going to be born - soon. When he arrived, the baby’s head was already starting to show.

An ambulance arrived soon after, but it was obvious that this baby was not going to wait for a trip to the hospital, so the attendants left it up to Loken.

They gave him the sterile gloves, and minutes later he delivered his son, Scott Christian Loken.

″He did a good job,″ said Debbie Loken, 29, who was reported doing well along with the baby at Luther Hospital.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Writer Steve Roberts says he doesn’t feel tied down by the $75,000 piece of computerized equipment he uses in his work. It’s a bicycle, and he has pedaled 10,000 miles across America.

″To me, the technology is liberating, not confining,″ the 35-year-old Roberts said Tuesday during a stop in Tallahassee.

As he pedals his 8-foot-long recumbent bicycle, he captures those catchy phrases that once vanished in the wind with the help of four keys on each handlebar, a computer screen in front of him, a program to translate his coded tappings into words and a radio communications system.

Someone asked if he had any idea of what he looked like on his bicycle and a puzzled expression appeared on his face. His traveling companion, Maggie Victor, chuckled.

″We look so absurd going down the highway that we really get better treatment than most bicyclists. Our absurd look is really our security system,″ she said.

Roberts, from Columbus, Ohio, began his adventure when he had his first custom bike built in 1983. ″Computing Across America,″ his book about his first 10,000 miles, was published recently.

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