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KEEPING TRADITION ALIVE

When they close their doors for the last time, beloved old basketball arenas break up their wooden floors and sell the pieces to fans as memorabilia. In the country music industry, Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974, is going one better. Oak pews no longer needed when the venerable building was renovated a few years ago are being remade into acoustic guitars. But only 243 - and at a price few folks other than country music superstars are likely to pay: $6,250 each.

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WE JUST LIKED ITS LOOKS

On St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, thieves 'liberated' a 300-pound automated teller machine from a locked store. The new device had yet to be loaded with cash.

Many distractions ahead for would-be presidents, voters

The presidential debates - and there will be the usual three - have been scheduled for Oct. 3 in Boston, Oct. 11 in Winston Salem, N.C., and Oct. 17 in St. Louis. The vice presidential debate is set for Oct. 5. These televised events, which many Americans use to help them decide for whom to vote, are crammed into a narrow window because of a preelection calendar that's more crowded than usual due to the lateness of the Olympic Summer Games. A look at calendar events competing for the attention of Americans after the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and before Election Day, Nov. 7:

Aug. 26 - College football season opens

Sept. 2-4 - Labor Day weekend

Sept. 3 - National Football League season opens

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Sept. 15-Oct. 1 - Olympic Summer Games

Sept. 30 - Rosh Hashanah

Oct. 3-8 - Major League Baseball divisional series

Oct. 7-9 - Columbus Day weekend

Oct. 8 - Yom Kippur

Oct. 10-18 - Major League Baseball championship series

Oct. 21-30 - World Series

Oct. 31 - Halloween

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society


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