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News In Brief

WHY 2K? If you've already made big plans to "see in" the year 2000, you have plenty of company, an ABC News survey has found. But if you're expecting to stay home and be asleep by midnight Dec. 31, lots of other Americans will be doing that, too. In fact, 54 percent of respondents said the significance of the coming New Year's Eve isn't enough to tempt them to go out. Ten percent said they're not even likely to be awake when The Moment arrives.

CAN YOU PICTURE HIM? SURE If the police department in New Bedford, Mass., should need a new sketch artist, it won't have to look far for a solid candidate. Gallery X in the city has one who's pretty good. Last Sunday afternoon, the artist, who happened to be on duty, was chatting with a visitor. Suddenly, the latter grabbed a plastic jug for donations that held about $100 - and fled. The artist called 911 ... after drawing the thief's likeness on a sheet of paper. Armed with it, the cops soon had their man under arrest.

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Major US city with lowest car-rental rate: It's Honolulu An intermediate-size car rented from a major agency in New York for about $92 a day was available in Honolulu, Hawaii, for about $38 during a recent survey by Runzheimer International, a Rochester, Wis.-based management-consulting firm. New York had the highest rental rates of any of the 100 US metropolitan areas included in the study. Houston and Oklahoma City - where the rates for an intermediate-size car were $81 and $79, respectively - were runners-up for most-expensive label. The 10 metropolitan areas where auto-rental rates were found to be least-expensive (rounded off to the next-higher dollar):

1. Honolulu, Hawaii $38

2. Manchester, N.H. 41

3. Billings, Mon. 42

(tie) Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 42

5. Cheyenne, Wyo. 44

6. Albuquerque, N.M. 47

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7. Spokane, Wash. 48

8. Birmingham, Ala. 49

(tie) Sioux Falls, S.D. 49

10. Orlando, Fla. 50

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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