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Shortly after ``Into the Night Starring Rick Dees' went on the air, Dees said, ``We've got 13 weeks to settle down. Since we're on very late, we're allowed to experiment.'The experiments must be working. The show, which premiered July 16, will continue on ABC for another 13 weeks (midnight, weekdays, WGHP, Channel 8).

Dees is a former Greensboro resident known for his work as a radio disc jockey at KIIS in Los Angeles. His show is similar in format to those hosted by Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Arsenio Hall, although Dees insists its content is different.

State Fair by rail

This year, commuters can choose at least one route that avoids traffic jams on the way to the N.C. State Fair - the train.

A one-time run by a Norfolk Southern train from Historic Spencer Shops in Spencer, near Salisbury, and daily runs by the Amtrak Carolinian will deliver passengers to the east gate of the State Fairgrounds.

The N.C. Transportation and History Corp. is sponsoring the one-day excursion Oct. 17 from Spencer Shops. An 18-car train will leave at 7 a.m., arrive at the fair at 11 a.m. and return to Salisbury at 4:30 p.m. A round-trip ticket costs $50.

The Amtrak Carolinian will add a fair stop each day of the fair, running Oct. 12-21. The Carolinian runs between Charlotte and Rocky Mount with stops in Kannapolis, Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, Burlington, Durham, Raleigh, Selma and Wilson.

The Carolinian's northbound route stops at the fairgrounds at 12:05 p.m., and the southbound train stops at 5:25 p.m. Seats are limited; early reservations are advised. Fare depends on where the passenger boards.

General admission to the N.C State Fair is $5, but discount tickets are available beginning Monday at Hardee's and Winn-Dixie.

For more information, call Spencer Shops at (704) 636-2889 or the Greensboro Amtrak office at 855-3382.

Jazzin' up Charlotte

Big band, bebob and Delta blues are just a few of the musical styles featured at this year's JazzCharlotte today and Sunday in the Queen City.

Among the performers are Ahmad Jamal, Dave Valentin, Richard Elliot, the Count Basie Orchestra, The Harper Brothers, Holly Hoffman, Faction, James ``Son' Thomas, Etta Baker, The Lightning Bug Rhodes Blues Band and Marcia Ball.

Free outdoor concerts are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday in uptown Charlotte. Stages are located at Seventh and Pine streets, Sixth and Church streets, Fifth and Poplar streets, and Settler's Cemetery Park (entrances on Poplar and Church streets).

Together forever

What a marriage, huh? Blondie and Dagwood celebrate their 60th anniversary in the comic pages today, but there won't be much fanfare. No TV special, no merchandising, not even a mention in the strip, which appears in the News & Record.

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