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HIS JEANS WERE IN THE WASH

It's probably not often that a weather report helps police catch a criminal suspect. But one did last week in Norfolk, Va., where an investigator happened to be watching when a TV journalist asked Old Dominion University student Keith Walentowski why he was wearing shorts in 30-degree F. temperatures. As his name appeared on the screen, Walenowski boasted that a little cold weather didn't bother him since he's from Michigan. The alert cop recognized the name from an outstanding arrest warrant for grand larceny. The warrant is no longer outstanding and neither is Walentowski - in shorts or any other garb.

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BESIDES, THE PAY IS GOOD

From London comes word that Rajiv Pathak has reached the finals of the International Indian Chef of the Year competition. He and seven rivals will have three hours to prepare and present their ideal Indian meals Feb. 25. So, does Pathak work in some upscale restaurant? No, he's the cook on an oil rig in the North Sea.

Which US airlines did best at arriving on schedule in 1999

If you're flying on TWA, plan on being punctual. The airline got 80.9 percent of its flights to their destinations on time last year, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report, issued last week by the US Department of Transportation. That was the best performance of the 10 major domestic carriers. At the other extreme: America West. It scored a 69.5 percent, on top of provoking the most complaints per 100,000 passengers to the Transportation Department - just under 4, compared to 2.5 for the major carriers at large. The on-time performances of the largest US airlines in 1999:

1. TWA 80.9%

2. Southwest 80.0%

3. Northwest 79.9%

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4. Delta 78.0%

5. Continental 76.6%

6. United 74.4%

7. American 73.5%

8. US Airways 71.4%

9. Alaska 71.0%

10. America West 69.5%

- US Transportation Department/AP

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society