The joke in Big Lake, Texas, is that there is no lake. Well, once in a while there is: the 1,000-acre lake is dry, and has only had water when someone has bothered to pump some in. And mayor J.R. Dunn wants to do just that, drilling 50-100 wells to feed the lake continuously. The project would cost at least $2 million, far beyond what the town of 3,500 people can afford. A spokesman for State Sen. Troy Fraser is dubious, noting the drought gripping the state. "The state's priorities have to be on drinking water and irrigation before recreational use," he said. Indeed, says a local resident, "The evaporation out here is so bad, you are looking at least a million gallons a day." But Mayor Dunn is undeterred. "We are sitting here living in a town called Big Lake and we don't have a lake," he whined. (AP)


Here are some more news reports over the past weeks you may have missed as reported by the wire services: Jason Pitt and Bill Wood of Walsall, England, wanted to hire some new staff for their business. They called the local government-run jobs center to place an ad, but the center wouldn't allow its wording: they wanted to advertise for "hardworking and enthusiastic" employees. "They told us 'You can't put that, it's discrimination'," Wood said. A Walsall Jobcentre manager spokesman said the ad violated the Disability and Discrimination Act. Secretary of State David Blunkett personally intervened and ordered the agency to back down. (PA)


Lorain, Ohio, police officer Joseph Kopronica pulled over a van because it appeared "out of control." He said the driver, Nan-cy M. Lang, 42, appeared drunk. But if he hadn't noticed that, Lang may have given him a clue: "Please give me a break," she asked him. "I'm drunk." After failing a field sobriety test, he told Lang she was under arrest. She protested "Wait: I can do this!" and proceeded to do jumping jacks and a push-up. When she started to do a cartwheel, Kopronica stopped her "for her safety and mine." Lang has been charged with speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license, and driving with expired license plates. (AP)

2000 Jon Joaquin. All rights reserved.