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HAPPY ENDING, PART ONE

Single mother Catherine Hughes confronted a dilemma. Her twin daughters were to graduate from different high schools in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Fla., at the same hour. School officials tweaked the schedules, but not by enough to accommodate the 40-minute drive between ceremonies. To the rescue came promoter Bob Held, who heard of her plight and donated a helicopter. So mom saw both receive their diplomas - with pomp and circumstance.

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HAPPY ENDING, PART TWO

Remember the $10,000 gratuity to a Chicago waitress, as related in this space last week? It turns out the tipper, visiting Briton David Nicholas, can't afford it. His generosity on a $9 tab for alcohol-spiked iced teas made server Melanie Uczen an instant celebrity. But it also exceeded his credit card limit, threatening to unravel the fairy tale. Then Uczen's employers said they'd make good on his gesture because of the publicity the incident has generated.

Teens admit they're lured by some, not all, types of risk

Teenagers increasingly said yes to drugs and cigarettes in the 1990s, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study has found. In a separate report, however, the nonpartisan Urban Institute found teens have been engaging in fewer "risky behaviors" over the past 10 years - with one exception. The number of Latino teens involved in five or more such behaviors, it maintains, increased 50 percent from 1991 to 1997. The CDC's risk behavior trends:

1991 1999

Reported in the previous month

Marijuana use 14.7% 26.7%

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Cocaine use 1.7 4.0

Cigarette use 27.5 34.8

Alcohol use 50.8 50.0

Carrying a gun NA 4.9

Reported in the previous year

Fighting 42.5 35.7

Suicidal thoughts 29.0 19.3

Reported over lifetime

Premarital sex 54.1 49.9

Ignore seat belts 25.9 16.4

Illegal steroid use 2.7 3.7

- Reuters/AP/L.A. Times

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society


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