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Democrats seemed likely to win two of three top political prizes in off-season elections. Republicans won complete control of the Virginia Legislature for the first time, but Democrats held the governorship of Kentucky and seemed poised to capture the governor's office in Mississippi. Democrats also scored a number of successes in big-citiy mayoral races.

-- In Virginia, where Republicans claimed at least 53 of 100 seats in the House of Delegates and 21 of 40 in the state Senate, they will now control the redrawing of voting districts following the 2000 census.

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-- In Mississippi, Ronnie Musgrove (D) held an edge of 6,279 votes over Mike Parker (R) in the race for governor, but the election seemed likely to be decided in the state's Democratic-controlled House as neither candidate appeared to have 50 percent of the vote.

-- In Kentucky, incumbent Paul Patton (D) won an expected second term with 59 percent of the vote against Peppy Martin (R), who took 23 percent. Gatewood Galbraith of the Reform Party received 16 percent.

-- In Indianapolis, Bart Peterson defied expert opinion to defeat Ann Gilroy (R) and become the first Democratic mayor of the city in 36 years. In Columbus, Ohio, Michael Coleman (D) was elected as the city's first black mayor after 28 years of Republican control. In Philadelphia, John Street (D) was elected mayor, surviving a tough challenge from businessman Sam Katz (R). In Baltimore, Martin O'Malley (D) handily defeated David Tufaro (R). In Cincinnati, Charles Luken won the mayoral post he had previously held from 1984 to 1990. In San Francisco, where the vote count was incomplete, it was not clear whether incumbent Mayor Willie Brown would be forced into a runoff with former Mayor Frank Jordan.

A Xerox-copier repairman shot and killed seven co-workers in a Honolulu office building, then surrendered after a five-hour standoff with police. Mayor Jeremy Harris said Byran Uyesugi appeared to be a disgruntled employee who "snapped." It was Hawaii's worst mass killing.

US residents would need passports or visas to enter Mexico under a proposed change, a government official in Nuevo Laredo said. Such a measure, if enacted, would follow decisions to impose a $15-a-head tax on tourists and a deposit of up to $800 to bring a US-registered vehicle into Mexico. On condition of anonymity, the official said the new policy would bring Mexican border regulations more into line with those of the US, increase revenues, and improve enforcement of immigration laws. The US requires frequent Mexican border-crossers to pay $45 for multi-year visas.

Artifacts from a stone circle in Miami are nearly 2000 years old, carbon dating indicated. The circle, about 40 to 50 feet across, consists of a number of holes dug into limestone. Four of five items dated to about AD 125. John Ricisak, a Miami-Dade County archaeologist, said members of an ancient Glades culture probably used the site as a seasonal trading post. Preservationists and government officials said $8.7 million is still needed to meet a developer's $26.7 million demand for the 2.2-acre downtown site.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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