Q. We were wondering if Betsey Bruce has retired from KTVI-TV/Fox2. We haven’t seen her lately.
— P.S., of Carlyle
A. Tom O’Neal may be stepping down in a couple of months, but his KTVI/KPLR colleague — the current dean of St. Louis TV reporters — intends to return soon now that her ailing back is on the mend.
“I have been off work since mid-March with pain from a ruptured disc that pinched a nerve to my left leg,” Bruce told me Thursday. “Now I am recovering from surgery and plan to be back by mid-June.”
I was just a college freshman when Bruce, who started her journalism career writing stories for her Tonawanda, N.Y., junior high school paper, joined KMOX-TV (now KMOV) in 1971. In the 44 years since (she moved to KTVI in 1989), she has covered everything from the flood of ’93 to presidential conventions.
Before you ask: For those who may have missed her final days this week, Sharon Reed has left KMOV-TV to take an anchor spot with WGCL in Atlanta. The Philadelphia-area native came from WOIO in Cleveland, where in 2004 she garnered national headlines by agreeing to be recorded disrobing for artist Specer Tunick’s nude group photo shoot. It was Halloween 2012 when Reed first popped up on St. Louis TVs.
And, if you’re interested (as I was), Mugo Odigwe, one of the newest faces on KMOV, is a native of Nigeria who moved to the United States when she was 12. She says she graduated top of her class from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State and is the only one of six siblings who is not contemplating a medical career.
Q. I am thinking about buying a business in Carbondale. I thought that by using “Saluki” in the name, it might draw customers, considering that is the popular nickname of the sports teams at Southern Illinois University there. However, I am wondering if the school could sue me for trademark infringement.
— J.D., of Belleville
A. As long as you follow a few simple guidelines, you shouldn’t find yourself in the doghouse for using Saluki in your name, the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce assures me.
If you didn’t know, teams at SIUC were known as the Maroons for decades after the school began sponsoring sports programs in 1913. But after World War II, boosters got the hankering for something a little less bland, so on March 19, 1951, the school’s student body of 2,000 overwhelmingly chose Salukis as their new mascot. The vote was 536 for Salukis, 144 for Rebels and a smattering of thumbs up for Knights, Flyers, Marauders and, for the hard-core traditionalists, Maroons. Apparently, the choice of the Egyptian hunting dog, one of the world’s oldest breeds, won the day because that area of the state is popularly known as “Little Egypt.”
At the same time, however, a saluki is simply a dog, and you cannot trademark that word anymore than the United States could keep you from calling your business, say, Eagle just because the bird is the country’s national symbol. That’s why if you check the chamber’s records, you’ll find a half-dozen businesses already with Saluki in their names, including Best Western’s Saluki Inn, where you can check in if you’re dog-tired, I suppose. In fact, the kind folks at the Chamber actually called the owner of Saluki Screen Repair, who assured them that they received no flak from the university.
Of course, you cannot use the latest official logo that the school unveiled about 15 years ago with the stylized dog’s head in a maroon oval with the words “Southern Illinois Salukis” underneath. There’s a lengthy discussion of the logo at logo.siu.edu, and you might want to call the school for additional clarification if you plan to use the same type fonts and colors. But that wouldn’t keep you from designing your own logo just as you’ll find at www.salukiofficesupply.com, “where the customer is Top Dawg.”
Q. Just curious: On the show “Deadliest Catch,” they always rattle off the length of the boats. How do they determine that?
— S.W., of Cahokia
A. Here’s the truth, the hull truth and nothing but the truth: In general, you determine the length of a boat by simply running a non-stretchable tape measure (i.e., metal) down the boat’s centerline from the outermost tip of the bow in front to the back of the stern in the rear. Of course, if you were buying a cover or having it transported somewhere, you’d have to add on any bow pulpits in front and outboard motors in the rear.
If you wanted to visit the exterior of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment building that is frequently shown in the TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” where would you go?
Answer to Thursday’s trivia: Ambrose Godfrey is generally credited for inventing the first fire extinguisher on record — although you probably wouldn’t want one in your house.
Patented in 1723 in England, the device consisted of a cask of liquid along with a chamber of gunpowder. The idea was that a fire would set off a series of fuses that would detonate the gunpowder, which would then would blow up the cask and release the liquid. Although it sounds like something from the mind of Rube Goldberg, the Bradley’s Weekly Messenger of Nov. 7, 1729, credits Godfrey’s ingenious device for stopping a fire in London.
It wasn’t until nearly a century later when George Manby, also of England, came up with a version more like those we use today. In 1813, he developed the “Extincteur” — a copper container that contained three gallons of potassium carbonate pressurized by compressed air.
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 618-239-2465.