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On the Light Side

November 9, 1989

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) _ The spirit of glasnost, which prompted plans for a Miss Soviet-American pageant and exchange program, has Peoria and Chicago squaring off.

Peoria leaders said Wednesday they’re wooing pageant organizers, who feel snubbed by Chicago because it never responded to their request to become a sister-city with Kiev and be host of the pageant.

″The organizers in New York are very interested in Peoria because it’s an All-American city,″ said Mayor Jim Maloof.

Chicago officials acknowledged they fumbled arrangements for the pageant. But they aren’t giving up now.

″In the last two years, we’ve been through significant political upheaval in this city. Sister-city proposals and beauty pageants just haven’t been high priorities,″ said Avis LaVelle, spokeswoman for Mayor Richard Daley. ″But no city wants to lose a pageant or international event like this.″

The pageant focuses on Soviet and American history and culture, emphasizing talent and intelligence over beauty. One contest will be in Moscow in January, one in a U.S. city in the spring, leading to an exchange of pageant queens.

It is being organized by the Slavic American Cultural Association in New York.

Paul Wisniewski, a representative of the group, said Peoria might have an edge partially because the Soviets are ″familiar with that famous phrase, ’How does it play in Peoria.‴

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EXLINE, Iowa (AP) - After listening to Darwin McElderry, no wonder no one in Exline wants to run for mayor or city council.

″We just don’t have the money to do nothin’ and nobody’s taking much interest,″ he said Wednesday. ″We haven’t hardly got a road that you can get over in with a car down here; no way to get it fixed; just about got to ride a horse.″

″Nobody seems to care about nothin’ down here. They could care less about everything,″ McElderry said. ″Everybody hollers at you. You can’t get nothin’ done. There’s always a somebody a-gripin’.″

On election day Tuesday, there were no announced candidates for mayor or five city council seats in the southern Iowa town.

Of the 91 registered voters, 22 cast ballots, according to Appanoose County Auditor Linda Demry.

The mayor, Bob Traxler, received 13 write-in votes for his sixth term. McElderry was re-elected to the city council.

But McElderry said voters should have scribbled in another name. He plans to resign.

--- Eds: Longer version moved on financial wires

CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Nissan Motor Corp.’s ads for its new Infiniti models will retain their focus on fuzzy images of nature such as ponds of trout and gentle cloudbursts rather than the high-performance luxury cars.

″There are more rocks and pussywillows to come,″ William Bruce, Nissan’s general manager for the Infiniti line, said at a ceremony Wednesday marking the day the cars officially went on sale.

Enough already, say some observers.

Now that the car is on sale, ″sooner or later they’ve got to bring it out in the ads,″ said Arvid Jouppi, an auto analyst with Keane Securities in Chicago. ″You may talk to the girl on the phone, but you don’t propose to her that way. Some things you need to do face to face.″

Ronald Glantz, an analyst with Montgomery Securities in San Francisco, said he didn’t know whether the ″feel-good″ advertising will work.

″But this is not like getting Joe Sixpack to stir from his television. The guy who is going to spend $40,000 is going to check it out,″ Glantz said.

Infiniti has two models: the Q45 fullsize four-door sedan, with a base price of $38,000, and the M30 sports coupe at $23,500.

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