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CALIFORNIA TOWN FINDS COINS LURKING IN RAW SEWER SLUDGE

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Thar's gold in them thar sewers.

This Gold Rush town is finding old coins in sludge collected from the community's 17 miles of sewers. The hydraulic cleaning began early this month after accidental raw sewage spills clogged the lines.With half the job done, workers who go through the sludge from each truck have found 2,411 coins: 970 pennies, 201 nickels, 677 dimes, 199 quarters and four 50-cent pieces. That comes to $139.20. Plus a Mexican two-peso gold piece.

But city Manager Beryl Robinson Jr., a coin collector, said Wednesday: "I'm still hoping we hit a good one. The city could conceivably find a coin worth $50,000. That is definitely a possibility."

Robinson hopes any newfound treasure will go toward defraying debts.