Dear Sun Spots: I enjoy your column.

Please find the following beer bread recipe for a recent inquiry:

Beer bread ingredients: 3 cups self-raising flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 12 ounces warm beer. Method: Mix and pour into a buttered loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. The top will be crusty. But remember ovens do vary, so keep on eye on it. -No Name, Kents Hill.

Dear Sun Spots: I read the column every day and love it.

In reference to the NASCAR brothers, Bobby and Terry Labonte: Their father, Bob Labonte Sr., was born in Mexico on Riverside Avenue. Bob Sr. graduated from Mexico High in the Class of 1951 and moved on to Texas. Bob Jr. and Terry never lived in Maine. – J.B., Mexico.

Answer: Sportswriter Kalle Oakes mentioned that he believes Bobby and Terry Labonte’s grandparents were Rumford-Mexico natives. Their grandmother lived there until relocating to North Carolina with the family a few years ago, he says, while the brothers grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. Oakes believes the Labonte’s dad relocated there from Maine when he joined the military.

Dear Sun Spots: The Fairbanks School Neighbourhood Association will hold a Chinese Auction on Saturday, March 18. We are looking for donations for this fundraising event. We continue to raise money to finish the school that burned down in 1998. If anyone wants to donate items such as collectibles and old things, please call Patty at 778-4272 or Cindy at 778-3808. – Patty in Farmington.

Dear Sun Spots: We are having a problem with our phone and wondered if anyone can help us. We keep getting calls from overseas – mostly the U.K. Some say that our number called their cell phone. We did not. Others are looking for a certain individual at our number. They are always different callers. Our phone company has done some research and say they can do nothing as the problem originates from overseas. Does anyone have any ideas for us? We definitely don’t want to change our phone number, which seems to be our only alternative at this point. Thanks. Frances C. Miller, Lewiston.

Answer: Alerting your telephone company was first and foremost the most important step you could take. Other than changing your telephone number to avoid the calls, you can become aware and guard yourself from possible telephone scams.

AT&T International claims that according to industry experts, telephone fraud costs an estimated $4 billion each year. There are many scams that deceive consumers into calling international numbers. In most cases, you have to dial “011” to begin a call to a foreign country. But there are locations outside the United States whose telephone numbers may look like domestic long-distance calls and international rates apply. For example, 809, 284 and 876 are area codes in the Caribbean.

If you think you might be the target of a potential telephone scam or fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission. The commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit their Web site at www.ftc.gov or phone toll-free (877) 382-4357.



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