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Bright & Brief

July 21, 1987

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ Drivers stopped for traffic violations in Orange County unwittingly provide entertainment for police and patrol officers with their excuses.

Fountain Valley Police Sgt. Clark Corbin said one woman ticketed for running a red light retorted: ″I stopped as soon as I saw the red light in my rearview mirror.″

Fountain Valley Officer Richard Martinez told of a speeder who blamed his excessive velocity on distraction caused by a hostile bee, and even produced the dead insect to prove his point.

But Martinez was suspicious.

″I took a closer look and the bee had lint on it,″ he said. ″The guy kept it in his pocket and made it his regular excuse.″

The highway patrol also reported the case of a young motorcyclist who was stopped for going more than 80 mph. The arresting patrolman asked him if wanted to check the instrument used to record his high speed.

″Heck no 3/8″ the man said. ″Can’t you see I’m in a hurry?″

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PORT BYRON, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will take on Iowa next month, but the opposing teams won’t be within shouting distance of each other and the losers may get very wet.

″The Great River Tug,″ a 2,000-foot tug-of-war between 20-man teams on opposite banks of the Mississippi River, will be the highlight of Port Byron’s Hobo Fest on Aug. 15 with help from LeClaire, Iowa.

″Putting this together was quite a feat in itself,″ co-organizer Keith Speckman said.

The group first had to get permission from the Illinois and Iowa departments of conservation and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Then they had to work on the logistical problems - river currents, boat traffic, and how to keep the rope from sinking. They decided to station boats every 100 feet to help keep the rope in line.

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SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. (AP) - Some drivers here are being given tickets by traffic police that don’t cost any money or points on their licenses, but could make them millionaires.

Tickets for the New Jersey Lottery are being given to safe drivers, said police Chief Thomas Boyle.

About 20 lottery tickets are being handed out each week this summer, funded by the borough’s crime prevention fund, Boyle said.

Motorist Dominic DiNardo said his ″heart was beating twice as fast″ when he saw a police car’s red lights flashing behind him.

″Nine times out of 10 you know you did something wrong, but I just couldn’t figure it out,″ DiNardo said. ″I couldn’t understand it. I even knew my turn signals were all working.″

Instead of a citation, he was complimented for his safe driving and got a chance to win the lottery.

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