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Soddenly, Landlubbers in Race Get Sinking Sensation

Newsmakers

April 28, 1985|CONNIE STEWART

--Cardboard alligators, dragons, a pirate galleon and an assortment of kayaks battled to cross the finish line first in Southern Illinois University's 12th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta in Carbondale, Ill. But, one by one, the ships turned soggy and sank before 15,000 fans lining the shores of Campus Lake. "We put a lot of time and effort into this boat," said Cori Cohen of Carbondale, laughing as she described WIDB radio's "Wild Irresponsible Drunken Buffoons" entry. "We put it together last night." Before the race, she pointed to duct tape holding the vessel together. "We have a bet on whether we're going to tip over or sink first." Actually, the Buffoons stayed afloat through the first heat--unlike many of their competitors. One that had been assembled and sealed with caulking moments before the race slowly settled to the lake's bottom, its crew saluting the crowd while going down with the ship. "That looks like a candidate for the Titanic," one judge said, referring to the regatta's award for most dramatic sinking. There was plenty of competition for that award. One heat took 7 minutes, 20 seconds, because every entry overturned, fell apart or went in circles.

--Ringo Starr, 44, is about to become the first Beatle to reach grandfatherhood. His son, Zak, 19, is married to a real estate agent who will give birth later in the year. "It's wonderful news," Starr said. "I hope it will be a baby boy, and I want to be called granddad."

--Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah) thinks a few reporters ought to get lost in space. A week after returning from his trip aboard the space shuttle, Garn complained in Arlington, Va., that some reporters only want to talk about failures in space. "I'd really like to take some of the press" in space, Garn said. "However, the ones I would like to take I would not like to bring back."

--No bones about it, a dog's life at the Oklahoma governor's mansion is pretty cushy. Gov. George Nigh spent at least $600 of the state's money on a custom-built doghouse for his four cocker spaniels--despite the fact that the budget is so tight that state employees have not had a raise in three years. The doghouse, standing seven feet tall and complete with a built-in electric heater, is behind the garage at the Oklahoma City mansion. "I thought the mansion ought to have a doghouse," Nigh said. "I just simply told the Board of Affairs, 'I need a doghouse.' " When asked if there were any plans for air-conditioning, Don Price, director of properties for the state, replied: "Definitely no."

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