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Bright & Brief

December 23, 1989

YORK, Pa. (AP) _ A York holiday tradition will be enjoyed across the country this Christmas, with National Public Radio broadcasting a local rendition of Christmas carols.

But don’t turn the volume up too high.

The instrument being played is the steam whistle at the New York Wire Co.

″You can hear it 10 miles outside of York, depending on the wind direction,″ said Don Ryan, of York.

At one time the whistle marked the beginning and end of the work day at the 101-year-old company, which makes screens for the window and door industry and industrial screens.

For the past 56 years, the whistle has been blowing Christmas carols every holiday season, and for 34 of those years it’s been a Ryan family project.

Ryan, 43, an assistant project director at Motter Printing of East York, picked it up from his 73-year-old father, Marlin Ryan. Ryan’s son, Scott Ryan, 23, and his daughter, Lisa Ryan, 22, also help.

NPR, whose programs are carried by about 400 radio stations across the country, will broadcast part of a performance recorded Friday on Christmas morning along with an interview with Marlin Ryan.

The NPR team recorded the whistle performance - ″Silent Night,″ ″The First Noel,″ ″Oh, Come All Ye Faithful″ and ″Joy to the World″ - from a block away, not because of the volume but to avoid the sound of machinery in the plant.

In the midst of a rehearsal, 5-year-old Joshua Flickinger of York, whose mother is an aquaintance of the Ryan family, walked over to Scott, reached up and tapped him on the elbow.

″Are you going to blow it?″ Joshua asked.

Scott nodded affirmatively.

″Don’t blow it,″ Joshua shouted. ″It hurts my ears.″


SEATTLE (AP) - You, too, can join the search for Noriega - from the comfort of your desk chair or couch.

A new computer game called ″Find Noriega″ has hit the market just days after the U.S. military began looking for Panamanian strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega in Panama.

Developed by Eugene, Ore.-based Abracadata, the game sends the player on a chase that features Noriega look-alikes, an interrogation of Tammy Faye Bakker, and the interception of top secret-coded messages from the CIA to President Bush.

It also includes fighting off fans at Graceland with a Noriega look-alike disguised as Elvis.

When news of the Panama invasion broke early Wednesday, Nancy West, project manager for the company’s Adventure of Learning division, held a brainstorming session with her staff.

Using a previously written program, they wrote a different, topical scenario that was ready for shipment by Friday.

″A player can change the game as the news changes,″ West said.

The game runs on any Apple II series or fully compatible computer and retails for $89.95.

Update hourly