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On the Light Side

August 25, 1986

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Portlanders will go casual Wednesday in their second annual observance of Mayor Bud Clark’s ″Dress As You Please Day.″

Clark said the informality that was such a hit last year prompted him to make the event an August ritual.

Dress As You Please Day is aimed at confirming Portland’s reputation as ″America’s most comfortable city,″ Clark said. Residents are encouraged to shed business suits, ties and dresses and go to work in whatever is comfortable.

Clark, who wore his trademark lederhosen on last year’s Dress As You Please Day, won’t be in town to observe this year’s event. He plans to be spending the day casually, however, on vacation on the East Coast.

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ANSONIA, Conn. (AP) - There’s an 8-foot Python in the police department that more than two dozen people want, but Sgt. Francis Macero isn’t one of them.

″I prefer litle dogs,″ Macero said. ″I think the snake does too.″

The Python, who police named Matilda, was found Tuesday in a garage. Macero would gladly give her away, but the higher echelon hasn’t given the OK although at least 30 people have asked for her.

″Every time I see the wire on my phone move, I fear she got out,″ he said. ″If the snake gets out, she’ll be running the police department alone.″

″I don’t argue with an 8-foot snake,″ said Macero, who is 5 feet 9 inches tall. ″I don’t like any snake taller than me.″

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The East High School gymnastics team has a new mascot. ″Ralph,″ a smiling alligator skull with more than 60 big teeth, came from, of all places, Iowa.

Curtis Marti, a freshman, stumbled over the skull last week while vacationing at Lake Okoboji. ″I’m going to carry it to all the meets, if it doesn’t smell too bad,″ said Curtis, 14.

Curtis said he was walking along the beach with his uncle when he saw a strange-looking rock. The skull appeared after sand was cleared away. Authorities estimated the skull had been there for several years.

There have been unconfirmed reports that several alligators had been exhibited at the lake many years ago, and that one had escaped, Curtis said.

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KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - Chicago’s known as the Windy City. The Big Apple brings to mind Broadway and New York. And now, Kearney officials hope Midway USA catches on as the nickname for this central Nebraska community of 22,000.

The Buffalo County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kearney Daily Hub sponsored a contest to choose a promotional nickname. When the voting was completed Friday, Midway USA pulled in 61 percent of the 353 ballots turned in.

Lavern A. Petersen of Axtell was one of five contestants to come up with Midway USA, a reference to Kearney’s location near the center of the United States.

″I’ve always thought of Kearney as Midway USA,″ he said. ″And it kind of rhymes. I think it works well with Kearney.″

The four other finalist nicknames were The Meeting Place, We’ve Got It All, Heartland of Nebraska and Premiere City.

Petersen won a drawing among the five people to suggest Midway USA. The prize: tickets to a University of Nebraska football game in Lincoln.

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