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Gas prices down this Fourth

July 03, 1997

By SAMANTHA KRULEWITZ

Staff Writer

The Fourth of July weekend has the distinction of being the heaviest traveled summer holiday, and this year, motorists can expect prices at the pumps to be lower than they were last year.

This Fourth of July, gas prices for regular self-serve are down 13.4 cents compared to last year's prices, according to Mid-Atlantic AAA.

Some Hagerstown motorists are not planning to go away this weekend. One motorist that pulled into the Sunoco on Dual Highway cited the large number of travelers rather than gas prices.

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"I expected prices to go up Memorial Day. I would have bet money on it, and I would have lost," said Leroy Adams, a Hagerstown worker who resides in Takoma Park, Md.

AAA reports that 35.9 million Americans plan to take a trip of 100 miles or more from home this weekend.

Gary Brown, a Hagerstown resident who pulled into the Sheetz station on Dual Highway, said that if he were planning to go away, gas prices wouldn't matter.

"I'm not going away, but anywhere you'd go would be higher than here," Brown said.

Another Sheetz patron, Patrick Lundy, said gas prices do matter.

"I'm not going away because I have to work," Lundy of Hagerstown, said.

One Clear Spring resident was skeptical of reports that gas prices were lower this year.

"The prices are higher now than what they were last week," said Sheetz patron Ralph Shirley. "I guess they raise it on account of July Fourth."

Although some motorists think gas prices are raised on holidays, Sharon Perry, public affairs manager for AAA Maryland, said that is not true.

"Gas prices typically go up in summer months because of the increase in demand, not because they want to increase the price," Perry said.

"Prices have gone down slightly each month for the last few months, so the increase is not happening this summer," she said.

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