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Folks in Chico, Calif., have set up a fund so that a pig named "Spammy" may enjoy a full lifetime of friendship with her pal Spot, a calf. Les Morgan chose the name Spammy to remind his children that the pig was born to be bacon. But that changed in May, when a fire burst out in the animals' shed. Judging from scratch marks, burn blisters, and soot marks on her backside, it appeared the then-40-pound pig had used her rump to punch a hole in the wall of the shed - allowing her and Spot to flee to safety.

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Meanwhile, author Carolyn Wyman has written a treatise on the food product spam, entitled "SPAM: A Biography." A previous work, "I'm a Spam Fan," treats 100 brand-name food products. Wyman calls Spam is the quintessential American food, because it's so far removed from its original state that it no longer resembles anything found in nature. We've "tamed our foods," she says, "just as surely as we've tamed the West."

Poll indicates fewer students are bringing guns to school

As reported yesterday on this page, an new Education Department survey indicates the US experienced last year a dramatic drop in the number of students expelled for bringing guns or explosives to public schools. Utah reportedly led the nation with an 89 percent drop. Under the 1994 Gun-Free Schools Act, states must force their school districts to expel students for at least one year - and children that have disabilities for 45 days - if they bring guns to school. The 10 states that reported the largest drop in gun-related expulsions and the percent of decline for each:

1. Utah - 89%

2. Ohio - 87

3. Louisiana - 69

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4. New Hampshire - 67

5. Illinois - 66

6. Maine - 62

7. New Mexico -55

8. Connecticut - 53

9. California - 47

10. Nebraska - 45

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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