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BRAD WATCH. Making up for a woeful lack of Brad Pitt coverage in these pages, SBJ offers this tidbit from at least third-hand sources. Pitt, in the much-ballyhooed recent visit to His Hometown, did indeed have fellow Hollywood bright light, current romantic link and "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston in his company. Aniston was in tow when the Pittster arrived to pick up his grandmother from her nursing home residence for a family reunion.

INDUSTRIAL PARK. Springfield's Planning and Zoning Commission Dec. 3 will hear a request to convert the zoning of about 67 acres on the east side to industrial use. The land, purchased by Springfield ReManufacturing Corp. earlier this year, is directly south of the current Partnership Industrial Center. There may be organized opposition to the change from the same folks who are against residential development in the area. "I had no idea the nightmare you go through," said Jack Stack, SRC's chief executive officer. "I'm confused. I don't know how in the hell you can please people in this town." Stack said the land is important to SRC's continued growth. The land, now zoned agricultural, would be used for a corporate headquarters, training center, the consolidation of some manufacturing operations and as-yet unannounced new ventures for the company. SRC has operations in 33 different buildings across the area now, Stack said. "I've pulled out of communities where I've gotten less" grief than this.

GET YOUR KICKS. The Route 66 Country Music Festival got approval for its second running from the Greene County Planning and Zoning Board back in October. The event will be June 17-20, 1999, at the intersection of Interstate 44 and Highway 266, the same site for this year's festival. Organizers said the lineup for the music fest is near completion, and ticket and campsite reservations will be available for purchase beginning Dec. 1.

BALLAD OF A THIN MAN. The telephone at Doug Jones Realtors is disconnected. Former Doug Jones Realtors' agents are working elsewhere. Doug Jones said, "No comment at this time." To paraphrase Robert Zimmerman (the Hibbing, Minn., native, not the Springfield attorney), something is happening here, but we don't know what it is, do we, Mr. Jones?

GAVEL PASSING. Gordon Elliott passed his gavel to Bill Reser, who will serve as the next chairman of the Board of Public Utilities. Reser will begin his tenure effective with the December meeting of the Board of Public Utilities, and the other officers for the next term will be Sharon Faulkner, vice chairman; Frank Evans, secretary; and Chris Nattinger, assistant secretary. Elliott will continue to serve on the board during the 1999 year. Other members of the board include Tom Barr, Dan Chiles, Randy Ebrite, John Whittington, Jim Fossard and Wayne Scheer.

BE LITERATE. Yes, they are conducting a membership drive Dec. 5 at Barnes & Noble, but no, your participation does not guarantee you 20 percent off books each time you shop at B&N for a year. There was an error in a release from the Ozarks Literacy Council, and therefore an error in the Slice of Nice column for Nov. 23. The release and the Slice of Nice stated that by becoming a member of the Ozarks Literacy Council for $25, patrons would be eligible for 20 percent off of book purchases all year. What patrons will actually receive is 20 percent off purchases of books that day. Big difference. Show up Dec. 5 anyway, and buy a year's worth of books. The literacy council folks will help you carry them out to your car.

SLICE OF NICE. "Imagine," the annual musical tribute to John Lennon, will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at Remington's. The annual concert, in addition to celebrating Lennon's music, raises money for charity. This year's beneficiary is the Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield. Since beginning in 1985, the concert has raised more than $42,000 for local charities. Yoko Ono (she's Lennon's widow, for those of you who think Beatles are bugs or perhaps were in third grade 18 years ago when Lennon died) has stated that "Imagine" is a unique event, the only annual tribute to John Lennon that she is aware of, and the only one which she has endorsed. Tickets are $5 in advance and will be $6 at the door. The concert is presented by the Acorn Foundation and DownHome Productions. For more information, call 889-4500.

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