Related topics

Bright and Brief

February 26, 1988

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) _ Rock Island has the prettiest privy around.

That’s the verdict of Park Maintenance and Ground Management Magazine, which said this city’s Parks and Recreation Department built the outstanding outhouse in a nationwide competition.

″We felt they had an attractive design that fit well in the area,″ Erik Madisen, magazine editor, said Friday in a telephone interview from Appleton, Wis.

″Not only was it attractive, but it was also economical to build and accessible to the handicapped.″

The $32,000 restroom that made Rock Island proud is a windowless beauty of graffit-proof silicon-coated brick with ceiling vents which allow sunlight to penetrate.

″It had a unique design that is substantially vandalproof,″ Madisen said. ″That was a big factor. Everything, its faucets, fixtures, ceiling and light vents were as vandalproof as you can get.″

Madisen said the magazine reviewed 22 public toilets entered from cities across the United States. For winning, the Rock Island parks agency will receive a plaque at the annual National Institute on Park and Ground Management convention.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A 19-year-old woman who has spent a record 488 days atop a telephone pole says she’s not ready yet to come down from her perch.

″I’ve only raised $6,000 so far″ for cancer research, said Mellissa L. Sanders as she set the record on Thursday. ″It still needs to grab people’s attention.″

She hopes to remain three-stories high for another month to raise $100,000. Her sister, Rebecca, is a cancer patient who has been in remission four years.

Miss Sanders, of Tucson, Ariz., climbed the pole Oct. 26, 1986. She is living in a 42-square-foot box that features a telephone, hair dresser and a plastic pool for bathing.

″If people see it’s for a good cause and take two minutes to put some money in an envelope, I could make my goal,″ she said, ″I’ve seen telethons do it in about five minutes.″

Even if Miss Sanders has not attained her goal when she descends on March 24, her mother, Mauri Rose Sanders, says her daughter is a winner.

″I’m proud enough to burst. I feel like we both did it,″ said Mrs. Sanders, who broke a similar record in 1959 by sitting 211 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes above another Indianapolis corner in a publicity stunt.


MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) - The Rev. Hans Upstad and his wife were in the middle of dinner when they were interrupted by a 5-foot-long fugitive from a college exhibit.

″We were sitting by the table eating our evening meal, and here this snake came crawling over the floor, its red tongue sticking out,″ said Upstad. ″What would you think?″

The snake, Lucille, and a companion python, Mr. Twister, were stolen Feb. 6 from a live-snake display at Concordia College, authorities said Thursday.

A 17-year-old boy who lived in an apartment across the hall from the Upstads later admitted to police he had taken the snakes. Mr. Twister was recovered from the youth’s apartment, but Lucille remained at large until she slithered across the Upstads’ floor late Wednesday night.

Upstad beat the snake with a hoe and later tossed it into a snowbank, but he learned later it was revived after neighbors alerted authorities.

The snakes are favorites of Concordia biology instructor Elinor Torstveit. She could not be reached for comment Friday, but her husband, Olaf, said he and another Concordia biology teacher identified Lucille for police and returned her to the college Thursday.

Update hourly