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OK, the coast is clear

In what the citizens of Davenport, Iowa, took to be more than just a coincidence, both major presidential candidates held almost simultaneous rallies just blocks apart in their city on the same day last week. Thousands turned out for the unusual doubleheader, and, of course, local police went all-out to maintain a high level of security for the visits of President Bush and John Kerry, his Democratic rival. But everything went smoothly. Well, almost everything. While the police were understandably distracted, bank robbers had a field day, pulling off three heists downtown within half an hour. After a chase, police arrested one suspect who's not believed to be linked to the other two crimes. No one was injured, and no shots were fired. But homeland security took on a whole new meaning.

Dealer service earns high marks for Lincoln, Buick

Buying or leasing a new car often breeds familiarity with dealer service departments. The best in the industry for 2004 belong to Lincoln and Buick. They finished 1-2 with the highest customer-satisfaction scores for their dealerships. Lincoln set a record with a score of 912, well above the industry average of 862, according to the customer service index compiled by J.D. Power & Associates, a marketing services information company. The study is based on responses from new- vehicle owners and lessees during the first three years of a warranty period. Satisfaction is graded in service quality, initiating service, service adviser, dealership experience, service delivery, and user-friendly service. The top brands, with the numerical score of each:

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1. Lincoln 912
2. Buick 909
3. Infiniti 908
4. Cadillac 904
5. Lexus 902
6. Saturn 901
7. Acura 900
8. Jaguar 899
9. Mercury 891
10. Audi 883 (tie) Hummer


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