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On the Light Side

March 9, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Everybody’s got an act, even bank robbers, say federal officials who give members of their rogues gallery names like the Miami Vice bandit and the Marx Brothers.

The catchy names help in the hunt for suspects because the names stick in the minds of law officers, said Bill Rehder, the FBI’s bank robbery coordinator in Los Angeles area, where there were 1,323 such crimes last year.

The Marx Brothers Bandits wear wigs and long coats. One Miami Vice Bandit ″was wearing a Don Johnson outfit with a white coat and loafers and no socks,″ Rehder said recently.

″And it was funny because we later found out he was actually from Miami.″

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MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) - What has a body like an elephant’s, three toes on each foot, a neck like a giraffe’s and a tiny head?

The ″Mokele-Mbembe,″ what some say is a 40-foot dinosaur that stalks the jungle in the Peoples Republic of Congo. The scientific community says tales of its existence are baloney.

But Jim Culberson, a photographer who has battled poisonous snakes, government bureaucracy and skeptics in his unsuccessful hunt, says he’s planning a return trip.

Last month, Culberson spent three weeks on a $20,000 expedition to the 60,000-square-mile Likouala Swamp.

The legend of a dinosaur deep in the African jungles has inspired books and movies, including the recent film ″Baby,″ although few established scientists take the stories seriously.

″The scientific community thinks we’re nuts,″ said Culberson, who has planned a return trip for 1988.

″We’re a bunch of fringe flakes, as far as the majority of scientists are concerned, but what you have to understand is that most of these scientists who consider us fringe flakes are armchair scientists. They have not been in there.″

Culberson, a 1975 graduate in marine biology from Florida Institute of Technology, returned from his expedition a week ago tired, sick, but inspired after speaking with people who told tales of encountering Mokele-Mbembe.

″Sooner or later they will be found, and someone - maybe not myself - is going to eventually get pictures of this thing,″ said Culberson, 36.

The story of the massive creature is not new, he said.

″Back in the 1700s, some French missionaries spotted very weird tracks in the jungle, and there have been reports and sightings and stories of it since that time.″

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - A milkman here is experimenting with evening deliveries in an effort to reach families in which husband and wife work.

″More and more women are working,″ says Mike Laesch, president of Laesch Dairy Co. ″Since they are not at home during the day, they don’t want the milk and other (dairy) products sitting in the milkbox all day, to spoil or be stolen.

″So they just don’t take home delivery anymore,″ said Laesch, 32, the third generation of his family to run the small, local dairy.

To boost business, Laesch has begun offering suppertime delivery of dairy products.

So far, response has been light.

Laesch only got 15 calls after he mailed 2,000 notices touting the new service to homes on Bloomington’s affluent east side. Only a third of those who called signed up. But he said the evening home-delivery experiment will continue for several more months.

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