CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – With the election season over, campaign signs are now worth their weight in spinach dip.

So says the Southeast restaurant chain Sticky Fingers, which is offering a free appetizer to anyone who cleans up the campaign clutter and brings in a sign.

“Just think of those leftover campaign signs as oversized, roadside gift certificates,” said Sticky Fingers co-owner Jeff Goldstein.

Pro-pot plank high on no-vote

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Backers of a move to legalize small amounts of marijuana in Nevada said they’re not bummed out by its defeat at the polls.

If anything, they were encouraged by the support they received from voters and pledged Wednesday to try again.

“The reality is, in the history of this country, no pot initiative has gotten the vote total we’re going to end up getting,” said Neal Levine, campaign manager for the Committee to Control and Regulate Marijuana.

Reef name rights at stake in auction

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) – Call it an opportunity for some below-sea-level recognition.

An online auction began Wednesday for naming rights to an artificial reef project organizers hope to establish off the Florida Keys.

The reef is to be created by sinking the retired 524-foot U.S. Air Force missile-tracking ship General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, which monitored NASA space launches from 1963 to 1983.

Since 1984, the ship has been among other decommissioned vessels at the James River Naval Reserve Fleet in Virginia’s James River. The so-called Ghost Fleet is being thinned because of environmental concerns.

Bidding on the online auction site eBay Inc. begins at $900,000, with a reserve price of $1.3 million, said Joe Weatherby, a project organizer with Artificial Reefs of the Keys.

It’s the last piece of a funding puzzle required for the $5.7 million project. ARK has already gathered $3 million, but needs to come up with remaining funds to avoid losing the ship to scrapyard.

“This is for someone who is looking for a legacy,” Weatherby said. “It’s something for an individual or a company that is permanent and positive for the environment.”

BUFFALO, Mo. (AP) – Prisoners returning to a southwest Missouri county jail damaged in a failed breakout will find a new color scheme – pink with blue teddy bear accents.

The Dallas County Detention Center is being repainted a soft shade of pink in an effort to better manage sometimes volatile detainees. Sheriff Mike Rackley said he decided to update the look as part of extensive repairs necessary after inmates set a fire and vandalized the interior in an escape attempt.

“Basically, if they are going to act like children and commit a childish act, then we’ll make a childish atmosphere,” he said. “And it’s a calming thing; Teddy bears are soothing. So we made it like a day care, and that’s kind of like what it is, a day care for adults who can’t control their behavior in public.”

A month after the Oct. 8 incident, the county’s 30-plus prisoners are in neighboring jails while repairs continue. The new paint job includes stenciled blue teddy bear accents.

“How do you feel tough in a pink atmosphere?” Rackley said of the new color scheme, which was inspired by similar redecorating efforts at jails in Texas and Arizona.

AP-ES-11-09-06 0606EST

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