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Bright and Brief

April 3, 1986

BOSTON (AP) _ With heavy lobbying from some fourth-graders, the corn muffin has won a key legislative victory over the cranberry and apple kind.

The Massachusetts House gave initial approval Wednesday to a bill proclaiming the corn muffin as the official muffin of the commonwealth.

The action came despite efforts to amend the bill by a legislator from Cape Cod, who sought to promote the cranberry variety, and by a Groton lawmaker who preferred muffins made from apples grown in her suburban Boston area.

The tongue-in-cheek debate centered on a bill filed by Rep. Eleanor Myerson, who said she acted at the request of a local school class that wanted to honor the food that first sustained the Pilgrims.

″We assumed this would go through in the regular way, without much attention,″ she said as the students from the Runkle School watched from the visitor gallery.

But heavy coverage by Massachusetts newspapers and broadcast stations of the novel bill indicated that the issue had attracted far more attention that expected, she said.

Rep. Peter Morin of Barnstable attacked the measure, saying the state doesn’t ″need a muffin that crumbles under the lightest pressure. We need one that has some berries.″

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DALLAS (AP) - Jim Bowles may not consider himself the Sheriff of Texas, but Uncle Sam seems to.

A letter from a woman in India addressed only to ″The Sheriff, Texas, USA″ found its way to the desk of Bowles, sheriff of the second-largest county in Texas.

″I have no earthly idea how I got it,″ Bowles said Tuesday. ″But I’ll accept the courtesy and flattery from Uncle Sam.″

The Feb. 2 letter from Asra Farooq of Hyderabad, India, asked ″The Sheriff″ for help in tracking down her husband. She wrote that her husband took her family’s jewels and fled to the United States a week after the couple was married in India in 1984.

″It is nearly two years since this ordeal began and I am helplessly lamenting and the nightmare of my dark future haunts me day in and day out,″ Ms. Farooq wrote.

Bowles said his investigators are trying to confirm the woman’s claim that an international arrest warrant has been issued in India for her husband.

In the meantime, Bowles isn’t about to shun his new title.

″It shows Uncle Sam know where the mail ought to go,″ Bowles said. ″This just helps to restore our confidence in the U.S. mail.″

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RYE, Colo. (AP) - Nobody wanted to run, so they canceled the election.

The vacant seat on the Rye Town Council remained vacant Wednesday because Tuesday’s election was called off for lack of interest.

″There are not too many people who want to be on the board,″ said Mayor Gene Rahl, himself one of the six current board members.

The 243 residents of this mountain community 34 miles southwest of Pueblo are supposed to be governed by a seven-member board. Former board member Jeff Pagnotta decided job demands would limit his attendance at council meetings, so he resigned.

Town Clerk Lillian Reed said the board could either appoint a seventh member of ″possibly go to a five-member board. The people on the board already have served for umpteen years.″

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