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Attorneys for rival radio stations filled a...

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Attorneys for rival radio stations filled a federal courtroom with chatter Monday as KABC sought a temporary restraining order to force KFI to quit using the words, “Talk Radio.”

KABC claims that it invented the phrase in 1972 and has used it at least a hundred times a day since.

KFI, which adopted the talk format last year, had begun with the slogan, “Talkin’ Southern California” (though several hours of its programs are taped elsewhere). Then, last month the station started its talk-radio talk. KFI’s attorneys pointed out that the station is always careful to utter the mouthful, “Talk Radio KFI AM 640,” to avoid confusion.

It’s a battle of former sister stations inasmuch as Earle C. Anthony, the late Packard dealer, founded both KFI and KABC (then KECA) more than half a century ago.

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U.S. District Judge Richard A. Gadbois Jr. declined to issue a temporary restraining order. But he set a hearing for April 28 to decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction against KFI, which would be the industry equivalent of “Shut Up Radio.”

The cost of gasoline is on the increase, but Louis Wichinsky isn’t concerned. His 1980 Volkswagen runs on vegetable oil.

Wichinsky, 70, was in town Monday, hoping that someone would take him seriously. He showed off the “float chamber, reservoir and modulator” that he’s added to his engine as well as the five-gallon tank of vegetable oil he keeps in his back seat. The license plates on the car read DEEP FRY.

“No pollution. I get about 40 miles to the gallon, only costs about a buck per gallon,” said Wichinsky, who’s also invented a bagel-cutting machine.

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Interview over, he turned on the ignition of his car. It smelled like a short-order cook’s kitchen. It burped a couple of times and then made a sizzling exit.

Even for the freeways it was an unusual scene:

Authorities arrested and hospitalized a Tustin woman who was found standing in the middle lane of the northbound Santa Ana Freeway late Monday morning, alternately exposing herself and swinging a large chain. She reportedly struck several passing cars.

California Highway Patrol Officer Lyle Whitten said the woman had also been observed tearing up money while atop the hood of her car on a freeway shoulder in the Santa Fe Springs area.

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The woman told authorities that she had run out of gas and “was trying to get someone’s attention.” But officers said the car started up immediately.

A sad story--in a couple of respects.

“Witnesses told us,” Whitten said, “that other drivers did stop to pick up some of the money.”

Perhaps it’s a sign that this hasn’t been the most thrilling mayoral election in history. Or maybe it’s simply that celebrities are such common sights around town.

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When Mayor Tom Bradley took a campaign swing through Century City the other day, His Honor was mostly ignored, except when he walked up to someone and introduced himself.

At one point, Bradley was standing outside a yogurt shop when an elderly lady seated at a bench spotted him.

“Mayor!” she said, sounding genuinely surprised. “Are you lost?”

Was it the latest workout for heavyweight champ Mike Tyson?

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Yes, says a Hollywood parking lot attendant who contends that he lost on points.

Michael Devine, 33, said Tyson struck him in the stomach with the back of his hand early Monday morning after he tried to keep the champ and two other men from taking a reserved parking spot near the Palace night club.

Police said they hadn’t yet confirmed the allegations and noted that Devine appeared to have suffered no bruises.

Tyson has faced a similar accusation here once before.

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In June, 1987, he allegedly made a pass at a female attendant at the Greek Theatre, and when her supervisor intervened, Tyson allegedly struck him with the butt of his open hand. Tyson later gave the supervisor an out-of-court purse said to be in excess of $100,000.


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