- The Washington Times - Friday, December 15, 2000

Cowboy actor found dead in home at 84

LOS ANGELES Actor George Montgomery, who starred in Westerns and was married to now-deceased singer Dinah Shore for 18 years, has died in his desert home near Palm Springs, Calif., friends said yesterday. He was 84.

Mr. Montgomery died Tuesday from heart failure.

A cowboy star of 1930s B movies, Mr. Montgomery graduated to numerous leading-man roles in the 1940s, starring in such films as "Coney Island" in 1943, opposite Betty Grable.

Mr. Montgomery appeared in 87 films in all. He also starred in the 1958-60 television series "Cimarron City" and made guest appearances on "Wagon Train," "Bonanza," "I Spy" and "Alias Smith and Jones."

Seven inmates escape from Texas prison

KENEDY, Texas More than 200 searchers using helicopters, horses and dogs searched for seven inmates yesterday, including two murderers, who broke out of prison with an arsenal of weapons from a guard tower.

The men escaped from the Connally Unit state prison Wednesday after tying up guards and other prison employees, stealing their street clothes and bluffing their way out the rear gate in a pickup truck.

The ground search by police, state troopers and Texas Rangers was called off yesterday and roadblocks were lifted as it became apparent the escapees likely no longer were in the area.

The escaped convicts abandoned their pickup behind a Wal-Mart in Kenedy, and that was the last trace of them, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Larry Todd said. The town is about 50 miles southeast of San Antonio.

O.J. Simpson appeals civil case verdict

LOS ANGELES O.J. Simpson returned to the spotlight yesterday when attorneys for the former football star asked an appeals court to reverse a $33.5 million judgment in the wrongful deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.

Simpson, who was acquitted of the 1994 murders in a criminal case but found liable in a 1997 civil case for the wrongful death of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, did not attend the Los Angeles hearing.

Simpson's attorneys argued before the 2nd District Court of Appeals that the judge in the civil trial admitted prejudicial evidence including prior incidents of physical and verbal abuse by Simpson toward his ex-wife.

Opening briefs in the appeal were filed in July 1998 but yesterday's court hearing was the first full airing of the case.

Caldera says no orders for No Gun Ri killings

Investigators have found no proof that U.S. troops who killed Korean civilians near the village of No Gun Ri 50 years ago were acting under orders, Army Secretary Louis Caldera said yesterday.

"The connection just doesn't exist that people were firing because they were ordered to," Mr. Caldera said, discussing an upcoming report on the killings of perhaps dozens of civilians in the hamlet early in the Korean War.

Mr. Caldera became the first senior defense official to speak publicly on the results of separate recently completed probes by the Pentagon and South Korean government into the July 1950 killings. He said a report could be released later this month.

Ice storm in Southwest cuts off thousands

DALLAS Thousands of homes in Texas and Arkansas remained without lights or heat yesterday,, one day after an ice storm that snapped electrical lines and tree limbs.

Repair crews were working overtime, but utilities and state officials said at least 156,000 households in Arkansas and about 130,000 in Texas remained without power and many connections will not be restored until tomorrow.

At the height of the storm Wednesday, damage from sleet, freezing rain and wet snow cut off power to 288,000 customers across Texas and 245,000 in Arkansas, state emergency management officials said.

"If we don't have any more bad weather, we expect to have 80 percent of our customers back on line by midnight Saturday," said James Thompson, spokesman for Arkansas' largest utility, Entergy Corp.

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