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Phone Book Error Moves Idaho Town To Alabama

If you did not know there was a Tipanuk, Idaho, then Tipanuk, Alabama, would sound like a real town.

Due to an error in a new telephone book, the small community near Mountain Home was put in another state, at least on paper.

The 33 listings for Tipanuk are tucked between Three Creek and Wendell in the new McLeodUSA telephone directory. The names and numbers are correct, but the 205 area code listed belongs to Alabama instead of Idaho.

“I can’t tell you what happened. My guess is it probably is a transcription error,” said Randy Rings, general counsel for McLeodUSA Publishing Co. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

By door-to-door delivery or mail, McLeodUSA delivered 110,000 copies of the 1997 book in March, said Trudee Martin, a customer-service representative.

“We purchased all the white pages from the phone company,” Martin said.

Tipanuk is a former farm turned unincorporated community nine miles west of Mountain Home. Alfred Rathbun Jr. lives there and estimates there are 40 to 60 homes, more than listed in the phone book.