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Bright and Brief

June 9, 1988

SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) _ Corporate employees in New Jersey may know the difference between a profit and a prophet but they might not be able to spell it.

That is the belief, anyway, of officials with the Olsten Corp., a national employment-agency chain based in Westbury, N.Y., which is sponsoring the ″Olsten Corporate Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee″ beginning Saturday in Secaucus.

″There is a need to improve good, solid basic communication skills, and spelling is obviously one of those skills,″ company spokeswoman Mary Iorns said. ″Bees seem to be a really fun way to draw attention to the issue of literacy.″

The top 30 scorers on the written section of the bee will advance to the oral finals on June 18.

Representativs from about 80 corporations with sites in New Jersey are competing, according to Olsten officials.

Betty LaGrotteria of United Jersey Bank in Hackensack beat out 40 competitors in in-house bees for the right to compete Saturday.

″When the bank circulated the memo, it sounded like a fun thing to get into and I always thought I was a good speller,″ said Ms. LaGrotteria, 54, of River Edge.

The grand prize is a trip for two to the Caribbean. Second prize is a $2,000 scholarship and third prize is a $1,000 scholarship.


MISSION, British Columbia (AP) - It’s acceptable for Rocky III or Queen Elizabeth II, but not for Gerald Charles O’Hara Thompson IV.

So the 4-month-old boy doesn’t officially have a name.

It’s all a question of numbers, as Colleen O’Hara discovered when she tried to register her newborn’s name 3 1/2 months ago with the British Columbia division of Vital Statistics.

She wanted to upgrade him one number from his father, Gerald Charles Thompson III. But she was told legislation prevents Roman numerals from being used in names.

″That’s the name I wanted,″ she said Tuesday. ″I want my son to carry on his father’s name.″

District manager Franca Santucci said that if Ms. O’Hara wants to continue the family tradition she would have to spell out the Roman numeral, so the infant’s name would be Gerald Charles O’Hara The Fourth Thompson.

″I don’t want his middle name to be The Fourth and that’s what it would end up being,″ Ms. O’Hara said. ″I’m not giving up. Eventually he has to have a name.″


BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - Identical twin sisters came up winners this week in Florida’s Cash 3 lottery, unaware each had bet on identical numbers.

″It’s so weird,″ said Karen Snyder, 23, of Pompano Beach, a first-time winner who earned $1,080 from her three $1 tickets with the number 2-4-6.

″It’s just a strange coincidence,″ said Kathy Snyder of Boca Raton, whose single ticket paid $290. ″This is really the first thing that ever came up exact for us.″

The twins reacted the same way to their Tuesday wins, said their father, Jim Snyder of Fort Lauderdale.

″I was on the phone with Kathy and a beep for call-waiting came on the line,″ he said. ″It was Karen to tell me she’d won.″

Both twins said they plan to spend their winnings on goodies, travel and presents.

″That’s pretty neat,″ said lottery spokesman Ed George. ″We’ve never had anything involving twins.″

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