Related topics

On the Light Side

May 7, 1987

RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) _ Bad grammar ain’t enough to persuade the Rutherford County School Board to pull a Cabbage Patch Kids book from library shelves.

The board voted 5-0 Tuesday not to remove ″Cabbage Patch Kids - The Just- Right Family″ from elementary school libraries in this western North Carolina county.

Board member Mike Tanner abstained. The vote was prompted by a complaint by his wife, Lynne.

″I thought, ’What the heck. Somebody’s got to make a stand,‴ Mrs. Tanner said Wednesday. ″I’m no book burner. I love books. But I think for the time they’re spending, children can get much better books to read than this.″

She cited passages in which a character says, ″I want to be a doctor powerful bad,″ and another in which a character ″got tired easy.″

″That’s not good English and that bothers me,″ said Mrs. Tanner, who has a daughter in first-grade. ″My point wasn’t to get it banned. My point was to raise the question of the quality of children’s books.″

The school board got her complaint in April and picked a group of educators to review the 45-page book, written by Larry Callen and published in 1984. The reviewers unanimously recommended keeping the book.

″We considered the things she complained about to be colloquialisms,″ said Katherine Scruggs, the schools’ media coordinator and one of the reviewers. ″We felt the love and caring and thoughtfulness and family values far outweighed anything some people might consider bad grammar.″


SALEM, Mass. (AP) - The ″official witch″ in this city famed for its 17th- century witch trials says she may run for mayor because of rumors that one of the candidates dabbles in black magic.

″I could use my business acumen and magic to run the city,″ Laurie Cabot, 54, said Wednesday. ″It’d be wonderful. So if this continues to be an issue, I’ll run myself and split the vote.″

Earlier, The Salem Evening News reported on rumors that City Councilman Robert E. Gauthier is a warlock, or male witch.

″He’s never done any meditation exercises or lit candles or done any magic circles with us,″ said Cabot, who teaches the ″art, religion and science″ of witchcraft.

Gauthier, 56, is one of two candidates in the Nov. 3 non-partisan election in this city of 30,000 people about 20 miles north of Boston.

The rumors began several weeks ago when several anonymous telephone calls were made to the News, asking if there was a warlock on the council and if so, demanding that he be identified, the newspaper said.

Gauthier, who is challenging Mayor Anthony V. Salvo, said he believes the rumors started because of his late wife’s friendship with Cabot.

″I am absolutely not a warlock,″ he said. ″I didn’t even know what a warlock was until I read the stories in the paper. I had to look the word up in the dictionary.″


DECATUR, Ill. (AP) - Imagine trying to lose more than 4,430 pounds. That was the goal of St. Mary’s Hospital employees, who fell more than a few pounds short in a Pounds Per Floor contest.

When the contest results were tallied this week, employees had lost a total of 1,669 pounds.

The competition began in February when more than 300 hospital employees pledged to shed more than 4,430 pounds. Each employee set a goal of how much he or she wanted to lose and a total was calculated for each of the hospital’s eight floors.

Hospital spokeswoman Rena Higgins said some employees might have set their sights too high. ″We had a lot of individuals meet their goals, but none of the floors did,″ she said.

The third floor, which achieved 53 percent of its goal, won the contest by losing 271 3/4 pounds.

″We ought to win a booby prize for losing the most weight and still losing the contest,″ said nurse Fran Cameron, sixth-floor team captain. Employees on that floor lost 299 3/4 pounds, only 46 percent of their goal.

The contest was the idea of nurse Marge Castelli and Eunice Grant, the director of volunteers. Both women were trying to lose weight and decided it would be more fun if the whole hospital went on a diet.

Update hourly