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PROBE: Aug. 17, 2001

August 17, 2001

QUESTION: PROBE readers looking for cheap gasoline should go to the Texaco station in Imperial, where it's just $1.63 a gallon. If you fill up an 18-gallon tank once a week and save just 5 cents a gallon, that's $70.05 in a year's time. If you put it in a savings account at 3 percent interest, you would have $72.20 after 12 months.

If enough people fill up in Imperial, the other stations would bring down their prices. We could win this war on high gasoline prices if consumers would put a little effort into it. We could help people less fortunate than ourselves by bringing down the prices.

Gas in Beaumont Tuesday was $1.54. — Comparison Shopper, Imperial

Hey, if we get in the car to find cheaper gasoline prices, we're not stopping in Imperial, we're going to Beaumont. We paid $1.73 a gallon for 14 gallons Wednesday. At 20 cents a gallon less we would save $2.80. And by the time we get to Beaumont, we would need the gas to get home in Holtville.

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QUESTION: My son was on the Brawley Tigers, the winner of the Brawley minor B Little League championship. Several parents paid $12 for a team party and trophies. It's not a lot of money, but it's a shame the kids didn't get their party. What happened? I would be happy to host the party if they need me. — Little Leaguer's Mom, Brawley

Miguel Miranda, Brawley Little League president, said the kids had their party in May, shortly after the Tigers won their championship.

It was a swim party at Bob Trimm's house. The kids stuffed themselves with hot dogs and took home T-shirts and trophies, according to Miranda.

We're sorry you missed it. You must have been busy.

QUESTION: When I decided to rent an apartment from Urban Properties, I put down a deposit and paid a $20 application fee. I was not totally sure I wanted the place so I told the manager I would call her first thing the next day.

After sleeping on it, I decided I wanted the apartment and called early the next day. The manager told me she had rented that apartment the night before but had a couple other apartments that would be available soon.

I didn't want to wait so I rented another apartment. I asked for the return of my deposit and the application fee. She returned my deposit but refused to return the application fee. I don't think that's right because they didn't process my application. Instead they rented the apartment I wanted. — Out $20, Brawley

We're inclined to agree with you, but unfortunately Jean Jongeward, who owns the apartments, said application fees are non-refundable.

She said there are 35 apartments in the complex and you could have had another apartment just like the one you wanted. Instead, she said, you rented an apartment in El Centro and she is not returning your application fee.

Since she has the $20, she is making the rules. To shake loose that $20, you would have to haul her into small claims court and let the judge decide.

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