Duties Transitory, Surveyor Says

--The Ector County surveyor concedes that he has failed to perform his official duties for the last six years, but that's just as well: He doesn't get paid, has no duties and couldn't perform them if he did. County surveyors ran out of official duties before he was born, said Sam Howell, who is serving his second four-year term of office. He said he ran for the job only to get his hand into politics. Howell, 34, noted that county taxpayers spend $11.25 a month on his office in Odessa, Tex., to pay for the telephone. The county no longer has "public lands," the only domain of a county surveyor, Howell said. Even if there were some leftover public lands, Howell said he couldn't survey them because he isn't a registered surveyor.

--Miss South Africa, 20-year-old blonde Andrea Stelzer, has withdrawn from the Miss Universe contest in the United States because of anti-apartheid political pressure and threats to her safety, her sponsors said. The contest is to take place July 15 in Miami. The Miami City Council passed a resolution asking the organizers to drop her, and security officers warned that they could not guarantee Stelzer's safety. The Coalition for a Free South Africa, a Miami-based anti-apartheid organization, had threatened to stage demonstrations, and several Miami businesses had announced plans to close for a day to enable workers to protest against Stelzer's presence.

--Italian mountain climber Reinhold Messner, moving closer to his goal of scaling all 14 of the world's 26,000-foot peaks, has conquered 26,951-foot Dhaulagiri, leaving him two short of the mark, officials said in Katmandu, Nepal. The 40-year-old adventurer spent three days on the northeast side of the mountain before reaching the summit May 15, officials said. Messner, of Villinos, Italy, the only man to climb Everest solo, has now scaled 12 of the world's 26,000-foot-plus mountains in Pakistan, Nepal and China in 15 years. To reach his goal, he must now climb Lhotse and Makalu.

--Voting for a woman just because of her sex is often necessary, the president of the National Organization for Women said. "It is right and proper and just and appropriate," Judy Goldsmith said at the opening session of the annual Tennessee NOW conference in Nashville. "Because it is good for us, it is good for everybody in this country." Goldsmith said President Reagan's message on women's issues is that "It's a pink cotton-candy, Ozzie-and-Harriet world. The problem with the pretty picture is that it's not a reality picture."

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