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Birds of a feather flock together for Red Hat party

A special Red Hat Tea Party was held last week in Inverness, drawing more than 600 women to town. The women belonged to Red Hat Society chapters, which are small groups of women who dress in red hats and purple outfits when they gather for activities.

The women were decked out in their bright red hats, many of which were ornately trimmed and often aflutter with masses of feathers.

As they roamed the streets of downtown Inverness, lunching at area eateries and wandering through the shops, the women drew many stares and more than a few comments.

As two older gentlemen watched the passing parade, one turned to the other and asked: "I wonder how many chickens gave their lives for those hats?"

HERE'S A HINT _ HE ALREADY HAS GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH: Looks like Jesus just made Lee Alexander's holiday gift list.

Alexander, Inverness police chief, writes a regular feature for the city's Web site called "Police Chief's Corner." The latest edition offers safety tips for the holidays, particularly while people are out Christmas shopping.

Only the first few sentences of the feature appear on the city's home page (, along with a link to the full article.

The teaser on the home page cuts off in mid sentence: "Whether it is shopping for Christ . . ."

Is someone trying to tell the chief something?

HERE HE COMES: Louis Miele was at the School Board meeting last week gathering information he will need when he is sworn in as a board member.

He was carrying out a cardboard box loaded with binders and stacks of papers when he saw superintendent David Hickey.

"Scary, isn't it?" Hickey commented.

Miele grinned as he headed out to his car with the latest load.

"It's the changing of the guard," he said.

_ Times staff writers Mary Ann Koslasky, Bridget Hall Grumet and Barbara Behrendt contributed to this report