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Rob Ainsley considers himself no more fastidious than the next person. Still, he has this thing about Baths; he can hardly wait for the next one. Ainsley, you see, is preparing for a bicycle tour of every city and town in the world with the name Bath - and there are 24 of them. They're in such far-flung places as Australia, Japan, Pakistan, Jamaica, and Maine. He plans to start and finish in Bath, England, his home. Ainsley, an editor for a classical music magazine, hopes to raise $12,000 in pledges for medical research.

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Fifty-two years ago, Erwin Magoon lost his wallet in Greenfield (Mass.) High School. Two weeks ago, a contractor found it while renovating the building. The wallet held four coins, a library card, and some photos. Yet by the time it was returned, Magoon was $101.20 richer. Question: How? Answer: One of the coins was a 1939 silver quarter, appraised at $100. The others were pennies, worth 40 cents each.

Few states found ready in case of another recession

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has ranked 48 states - all but Alaska and Hawaii - on their ability to handle a mild recession based on the projected size of their reserve funds at the end of Fiscal 1999. It rates only eight states - led by Michigan and Minnesota - able to deal with a recession without deep spending cuts or sizable tax hikes. The states found least prepared to deal with a hypothetical three-year recession, the shortfall in their reserve funds (in millions of dollars), and the size of those shortfalls as a percentage of their 1999 budgets:

State/Shortfall % of budget

1. Idaho/$531 33.0%

2. Oregon/1,318 28.9

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3. Texas/7,664 28.5

4. West Virginia/773 28.4

5. Wisconsin/2,523 25.1

6. Tennessee/1,564 24.9

7. South Dakota/181 24.8

8. Nevada/355 23.2

9. Utah/743 23.0

10. New Hampshire/207 21.8

- Associated Press

Compiled by Robert Kilborn and Lance Carden

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