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Take Note: Orange crush; Flying colors

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Orange Crush

If they had been as cool as cucumbers, things might have turned out differently. Instead, free carrots rotted in their crates on the way to schools in several states and had to be tossed out last month.

Schools in Calloway County, Ky., were among the recipients of the fouled carrots, which the federal government had shipped as part of its effort to add fresh fruits and vegetables to its commodity program. More than 1,000 pounds of carrot sticks arrived on time, but there were obvious signs of trouble.

"They were slimy, there was juice in the bottom of the bags, and they smelled terrible," said Joanna Adams, the director of food services for the Calloway school district. "It's a shame, really, because they were beautiful--cut just right."

The trouble apparently began in September when 25 truckloads of carrots were shipped. There were seven spoiled-carrot complaints from that shipment. Improper refrigeration likely is the root of the rotting. The carrots, which had to be condemned by the local health department, ended up garnishing the garbage.

"When you couldn't smell them and couldn't feel them, they looked pretty good," Ms. Adams said.

Flying Colors

What's in a name? Ninety-five green and white band uniforms, that's what.

Courtesy of a little detective work and a lot of generosity, the Homestead (Fla.) Middle School marching band, will make its maiden performance next week sic in uniforms donated by the Homestead High School music boosters in Cupertino, Calif., instead of in jeans and T-shirts.

When the parents of a musician at the California school donated money for new uniforms, the school's music boosters searched for a namesake school that could use their old uniforms.

Their quest turned up 14 Homesteads, but all three high schools in the group had bands but different school colors.

The one middle school in the bunch not only had the right colors, but also had just started a marching band this year.

United Van Lines and Delta Air Lines shipped the uniforms gratis, and in Florida, members of a church and band parents are making modest alterations.

"They're beautiful," said Eugene M. Timmons, the music director at the middle school.

--Lonnie Harp & Karen Diegmueller

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