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Girls' Happiness Is Home, Mother and a Warm Puppy

Newsmakers

February 05, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Brandy and Misty packed all the necessities of life--T-shirts, bicycles and a puppy that is almost housebroken--and headed home for the first time since being abducted from a pizza parlor more than two years ago. "This is the happiest day of my life," said Patricia Hester, the girls' mother. "I never gave up, and the parents of other missing children can't give up either," Hester said. "If they give up, they'll never find their children." Hester cleared the final hurdle toward the reunion when a judge in Little Rock, Ark., where the children had been found, granted her permanent custody. "All the way home today they kept saying they just wanted to see their brother, Jimmy," Hester said. "When they saw each other it was like they had never been apart, like nothing had happened." Brandy, 9, and Misty, 5, were abducted from a Topeka, Kan., pizza parlor on Christmas Day in 1983. Richard Hansen, 25, and his wife, Diana Lynn, 23, were arrested Jan. 28 after Angela Thornton, a sixth-grader at Chicot Elementary School in Little Rock, saw a magazine containing pictures of missing children and recognized one of them as a fourth-grader at her school. The Hansens had been Hester's neighbors in Topeka, and she had given them permission to take the three children to the pizza restaurant. The boy was left behind.

--What a street-cleaning truck takes away, a street-cleaning truck can give back, which Alan Newman found out to his astonishment after his predawn rounds of Newent, England. As he drove his truck conscientiously down High Street in the town about 100 miles west of London, he failed to realize that the truck, which acts like a giant vacuum cleaner, had become so full of mud and slush that it was spraying the overload out through the top. Newman drove on in the morning darkness, oblivious to the fact that the houses on one side of High Street were being sprayed with muck. "We've been well and truly plastered," said town councilor Bill Blackman. "The whole of our side of the street turned a dark brown color," said another councilor, Dave Blick. "Some of the houses are black-and-white half-timbered, and they looked the worst." Newman offered his apologies: "It was dark and I didn't realize what was happening."

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