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Landmark thermometer an eyesore for Calif town

BAKER, Calif. (AP) -- A giant thermometer built to attract motorists headed to and from Las Vegas has become an eyesore and residents in Baker, Calif., are divided about whether to take the landmark down.

Erected in 1991, the 134-foot-high thermometer equipped with nearly 5,000 light bulbs was a Mojave Desert beacon. After changing ownership a few times, the Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/VZ2hpF) the current owner has kept the thermometer dark, saying the light bill was about $8,000 a month.

Le Hayes, general manager of the Baker Community Services District, says its demise is an embarrassment to the town. He plans to remove a picture of it from the welcome sign on Baker's water tower.

The tower's height was selected because of the 134-degree record set in nearby Death Valley in 1913.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

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