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Bright And Brief

September 28, 1987

LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ City Councilman Sid Worthington, a fervent Michigan State fan, has taken the law into his own hands and banned rival University of Michigan’s famed fight song from the streets of Lansing.

Worthington said ″The Victors″ - described by John Phillip Sousa as one of the greatest marches ever written - is noise pollution, pure and simple, so he had it banned under the city’s new traffic code.

″There’s nothing melodic about that tune,″ Worthington said, tongue planted firmly in cheek.

But at least one judge isn’t laughing about Worthington’s jab at Michigan State’s bitter intrastate rival, which is located in Ann Arbor. Michigan State is in East Lansing.

″I think the law is not a joking matter,″ said Chief District Judge William Collette. ″If we treat our laws as a joke, others will too, even more than they do already.″

Worthington headed a three-year project that recently completed the first major revision of the city’s code book of ordinances.

″All we did was have a little fun after 2 1/2 years of hard work,″ he said. ″After 1,200 pages of good law - cleaned up and straightened out - why can’t we have one little ringer in there?″

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POMONA, Calif. (AP) - Bad luck at the horse track is usually confined to the races. Not so for Anil Agarwal.

Agarwal, an engineer from Placentia, was having an unspectacular day at the track at the Los Angeles County Fair Saturday until the seventh race when he cashed in a ticket worth $230.

But included in his payoff was a bogus $20 bill that he didn’t spot.

When he tried to use the bill to make a wager in a later race, the cashier recognized it as a counterfeit.

″The clerk handed it back to me and I realized that it had $1 written on the bottom corners,″ Agarwal said.

So he took the bill to an information window and his luck turned worse.

Agarwal said he was taken into custody by race track security officers, searched, photographed and kicked out of the fairgrounds.

″I’m the good guy in this case, but they tried to make me look like the criminal,″ Agarwal said.

Race track security chief Dick Smith said Sunday that Agarwal instigated the trouble by trying to ″break and run″ from security guards. Fair officials, however, later apologized to him.

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NORTHAMPTON, England (AP) - The only survivor of the original family of British garden gnomes emerged on Sunday for his first public appearance in 84 years.

The four-inch tall ceramic figure - capped, bearded and with an upturned smiling face - was the star of International Gnome Day at Lamport Hall. The mansion grounds near Northampton, 75 miles north of London, welcomed enthusiasts who came in buses and cars to see hundreds of the little men.

Sir Charles Isham, Lamport Hall’s owner, created a collection of the little people between 1847 and his death in 1903. He dotted the gardens with gnomes which he designed and ordered from ceramics makers.

But when he died, all his gnomes except one were destroyed by his daughters who were embarrassed by them. The overlooked survivor was later found in a mock-up mine in the gardens that had been specially built for the gnomes by Isham.

Today there are an estimated 5 million garden gnomes in Britain.

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