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Baker's giant thermometer may soon be back in business

Just in time for triple-digit temperatures, the world’s tallest thermometer in Baker, Calif., could soon be back in operation.

The 134-foot-tall landmark off Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas hasn’t been displaying the temperature for the past couple of years. For a considerable time before that, it was “usually wrong,” said LaRae Harguess, whose mother and late father, Barbara and Willis Herron, built the quirky tourist attraction in the early 1990s.

Harguess said her family had reclaimed the property on which the broken thermometer stands and that her mother would spend $150,000 to have it repaired.

They signed a contract this week with Yesco, the company behind many of the famous signs along the Las Vegas Strip.

Once the repairs begin, fans will be able to view the progress online.

Harguess, a high school counselor in Hesperia, said the digital readout atop the thermometer should again be operational and accurate by early summer.

“We want to turn it on for the town,” she said of the Mojave Desert community where she grew up.

The thermometer’s height pays tribute to the 134-degree temperature reached at nearby Death Valley on July 10, 1913. That reading is now recognized as the highest temperature ever recorded.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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