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The morning Odds & Ends

KOKOMO, Ind. Workers at two DaimlerChryslers transmission plants better allow more time to walk in from the parking lot if they drive Fords or General Motors vehicles.A new policy that takes effect Monday designates about 80 percent of employee parking spaces for Chrysler vehicles only and forces workers to park much further away if they drive a car or truck made by a competing manufacturer.Workers have been told that non-Chrysler vehicles parked in the reserved areas will be towed to Indianapolis at a cost of $200.It is a management initiative, but we believe it has wide support from the employees, Chrysler spokesman Edward Saenz said. Its a local decision.Nine-year employee Bill Parks considers the new policy a form of harassment. He drives a Pontiac, made by GM.I think we have other issues going on in the company besides where to park your vehicle, Parks said.

STILLWATER, N.J. A man who auctioned off a slice of toast carved with his drawing of the runaway bride feels burned because the winning bidder has refused to pay for the item.Perry Lonzello, 48, of Stillwater, used a piece of toasted Wonder Bread as the canvas for his rudimentary portrait of Georgia bride-to-be Jennifer Wilbanks, and posted it at the online auction site eBay on a whim.The auction debuted with a bid of $1.11 on May 1, but that amount grew quickly after the item drew national attention. And when the auction ended Sunday, Lonzello said a California man had submitted the winning bid of $15,400.Lonzello who has said he planned to donate money from the auction to charity was prepared to hand over the toast on national television Monday, only to learn that the buyer had a change of heart.The purchaser reneged on the sale, Lonzello told The Star-Ledger of Newark, adding that the man was no longer returning his calls. He said he was goofing around. I think some legal action will be coming out of this.

BOSTON Boston Mayor Thomas Menino isnt afraid to joke about his own oratory skills or lack thereof but it appears his re-election campaign wants to stop his critics from beating him to the punch line.The Menino Committee has bought the rights to many web domain names that could be used to mock the mayors reputation for mumbling his way through speeches. The list of names they purchased includes meninomumbles.com, mumblesmenino.org and mumblesmeninoformayor.net.We bought both positive and negative domain names, the mayors campaign manager, Beth Leonard, told The Boston Globe in Mondays editions. She wouldnt elaborate.Menino said he did not know about the purchases, but doubts his opponents would launch an attack Web site.I dont think they would stoop to that level, he said.Menino has embraced the Mumbles nickname in recent years, referring to it in speeches.Ive done pretty well for a guy who mumbles, he said last week. Were not in a speech class. Its not a debating society.

BOW, N.H. A decision to take Advanced Placement biology instead of gym will cost a Bow High School senior her diploma, but it wont keep her from going to Trinity College in the fall.Though Isabel Gottlieb is a good student, a trumpet player in the school band and holds varsity letters in three sports, she discovered last fall she was one gym class shy of having enough credits to graduate next month.She asked for a waiver, but the school wouldnt budge, telling her instead she had to drop a class to take gym.Why would I drop an AP biology class to take P.E.? the 18-year-old asked. Its just not on my priority list.Gottlieb added the class last year after the school told her she had to take it, but then dropped it when she found out it was too much on top of classes she was already taking, including two Advanced Placement classes and calculus.Gottlieb and her mother said the school suggested dropping either band, chorus, AP biology or calculus. But she and her mother decided sacrificing any of those would have diminished the quality of Gottliebs education.It may not matter. Gottlieb already has been accepted to Trinity in Hartford, Conn., where she plans to major in biology. As long as she gets her GED in time, there wont be a problem.


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