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News of the Weird

Friday June 21, 2002

Sweet payment 


MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — When it comes to paying rent, the Mechanicsburg Museum Association has an unusually sweet deal. 

Association member Joan Quick came to the borough council Tuesday to deliver four plump strawberries. 

The payment is for rent on a building that was constructed in the 1860s by the Cumberland Valley Railroad Co. for the town’s stationmaster. The borough owns the house, located on Strawberry Alley, but the association restored the home to its 19th century appearance and continues to maintain it. 

A committee created to save the house from demolition in the 1970s came up with the fruity payment plan as a way to symbolize a spirit of cooperation. 

This year, council members also got a basket of homemade shortcakes. In the past, the association gave the council strawberry jam, chocolate-covered strawberries and strawberry bread. 

“We always have to add a little something extra,” Quick said. 


Florida black bear visits home  


BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.— State wildlife officers are using donuts to try to lure a 200-pound Florida black bear out of the woods after it tried to turn a couple’s pet bird into breakfast. 

The couple awoke Wednesday when they heard a commotion on a back patio. They looked out their window to see the bear trying to get at their caged bird. 

The first arriving Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies saw the bear walking down the road before it ran, sheriff’s spokesman Paul Miller said. 

Deputies later used a helicopter to survey nearby areas and spotted the bear running into the woods, but it quickly disappeared into the thick brush. 

State wildlife officers plan to set a trap to capture the bear without harming it. 

Bears are rarely seen in Palm Beach County, but state wildlife officers said they frequently are spotted in the Naples area, along the Gulf Coast. 


Silver a girl’s best friend  


DETROIT — Gold may be the standard but silver is the most precious color for attracting car buyers, according to the woman in charge of such matters at the Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG. 

“From automobiles to appliances, silver will be a strong color for many mainstream products,” said Margaret Hackstedde, director or color, fabric and mastering design. 

One-fourth of every vehicle sold by Chrysler is silver, Hackstedde said. The automaker plans to introduce more shades of silver for the 2003 model year. 

Blue will be popular as well, Hackstedde predicted. 

Silver is on a winning streak. It was voted the most popular color in 2001 in an annual survey taken by Dupont Automotive.