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On a day he almost skipped school to celebrate his birthday, Stuart

April 30, 1997

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) _ On a day he almost skipped school to celebrate his birthday, Stuart Bowen wound up saving a classmate’s life.

Bowen, a junior at Yuma High School, said he knew he had to do something when he saw Dallas Garber choking while eating lunch.

``He was leaning over me and it sounded like he couldn’t breathe,″ Bowen recalled, ``so I reached around in front of him and did the Heimlich maneuver. Suddenly he threw up and started breathing again.″

He almost skipped school on April 16 because it was his 17th birthday.

His mother told him since he had good grades and attendance, he could miss everything but his geometry class.

In the end, he decided to go for the whole day.

The school is planning a ceremony next week for Bowen, who learned the Heimlich maneuver in Boy Scouts about four years ago.


OAK HILL, Kan. (AP) _ Mark Virden came of age just in time.

His 18th birthday on Jan. 20 allowed him to become a City Council member in this north-central Kansas town. And a good thing, because the town might have had difficulty filling the fifth seat during its election this month.

The town has a population of about 35 _ eight or nine of those are registered voters. So finding five City Council members, a mayor and a city clerk is not easy.

``I’ve been going to the City Council meetings pretty regularly for the last few years,″ said Virden, a junior at Clay Center Community High School. ``And I thought it would be interesting to get on the council when I was old enough.″

Most of the City Council members are at least twice Virden’s age. Two are in their 80s.

``It doesn’t really bother me,″ Virden said. ``I’m pretty well-liked, and I don’t have any trouble getting along with anybody.″


MENTOR, Ohio (AP) _ ``T.E. Westlake, god’s gift to women.″

That scribbling, dated June 1936, was found with others last week beneath old wallpaper in a $2.5 million restoration of the 29-room mansion where the nation’s 20th president, Republican James A. Garfield, did most of his campaigning. Garfield became president on March 4, 1881.

Who exactly was T.E. Westlake, the apparent Adonis of Depression-era Ohio ladies?

Estate manager Suzanne Miller said she had no idea.

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