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Bright and Brief

November 7, 1986

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) _ Jessie Bolling, who didn’t graduate from Centennial High School in 1920 because she refused to read the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, received her graduation diploma as an 85th birthday present.

″I didn’t finish that book and they wouldn’t give me my diploma,″ Mrs. Bolling said.

″That was the driest junk I ever saw,″ she said. ″I think I’ve read every one of Shakespeare’s, though.″

Mrs. Bolling, 85, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., attended Centennial from 1917 to 1920 and had racked up more than enough credits to graduate when she left to marry an Oklahoma oil field worker. Except for that Chaucer fellow.

She finally received her diploma Oct. 26, after her daughter wrote to school officials in August and asked them to review her mother’s records and decide whether she was eligible.

Officials checked Mrs. Bolling’s records against its graduation requirements for 1920 and agreed to send her a diploma.

″Oh, I was just tickled pink,″ Mrs. Bollinger said. ″My daughter gave it to me on my 85th birthday. That was the nicest thing I could have been given.″


JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (AP) - Mayor Steven B. Carlson faces a gnawing problem these days, a surplus of beavers that are more than living up to the ″busy as a ...″ simile.

About 40 beavers are occupying at least 10 dens in a swamp next to the Chadakoin River, the mayor said. The area is a city-owned natural preserve, with wildlife welcome, but their main dam is blocking a drainage ditch, causing flooding when it rains, he said.

″We’ve gone in and taken out the main dam twice,″ the mayor said Thursday. ″The beavers have it rebuilt within a day.″

Carlson does not want the beavers destroyed, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation has refused to trap the animals and move them.

″We don’t live-trap any more,″ said Thomas Jurczak, a biologist with the department’s Wildlife Management office in Olean. ″It is hard to find a location to put them and no guarantee they will stay there. In the past ... it seems like we just transferred the nuisance from one place to another.″

Jurczak said the department could issue a permit to destroy the beavers or remove their dams, or wait until trapping season.

But Carlson is against trapping the beavers, except for their humane transfer, so the city is up a creek for the time being.

″I don’t think that is the thing to do,″ he said, ″especially with a protected species. It is a natural preserve and beavers should be there. Somehow we have to balance that against the problems the overabundance of beavers are causing.″

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