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International Nurse of Mystery
Cupertino--Globetrotting nurse Ann Heinlen has been on several missions to Ecuador, Nepal, Vietnam, India and Peru performing facial surgery on children whose families can't afford it. Heinlen's efforts are funded by the nonprofit Interplast, Inc., which provides free facial reconstructive surgery for conditions such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Heinlen, who is a nurse at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, recently went to Piura, Peru. "There was a father who had walked for two days and traveled one day on a bus to get there," she said. "They can come from anywhere in the country."

Got Gun?
Saratoga--These days, people get rid of the darndest things: bayonets, hand grenades, explosive powder, and Uzi submachine guns. According to the county Sheriff's Department, the reasons dangerous items are turned in are as varied as their owners: death, rusty cartridges, pesky children, or that heartfelt holiday-season sentiment, an acquittal. While members of the public are encouraged to turn in firearms, the sheriff's office recommends not sauntering in, gun in hand. Leave it in the trunk and come in empty-handed.

Motoring on Minnesota
Willow Glen--Residents along Minnesota are tucking their pets away, fearing that motorists who whizz by at accelerated speeds might clip an unsuspecting tail or two. Persistent traffic problems on the residential stretch between West Alma Avenue and Willow Street made several neighbors speak out about the "problem area." At a neighborhood meeting, Sgt. Dolezal told residents theirs wasn't the only neighborhood with problems and cautioned about increased enforcement. "If you get caught, you're fair game, just like anyone else," he said. An appropriate, if not sensitive, city response.

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Web extras to the September 21-27, 2000 issue of Metro.

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