- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2008

CONNECTICUT

Richard Widmark dies at age 93

HARTFORD — Richard Widmark, who made a sensational film debut as the giggling killer in “Kiss of Death” and became a Hollywood leading man in “Broken Lance,” “Two Rode Together” and 40 other films, has died after a long illness. He was 93.

Mr. Widmark’s wife, Susan Blanchard, said the actor died at his home in Roxbury on Monday. She would not provide details of his illness and said funeral arrangements are private.

After a career in radio drama and theater, Mr. Widmark moved to films as Tommy Udo, who delighted in pushing an old lady in a wheelchair to her death down a flight of stairs in the 1947 thriller “Kiss of Death.” The performance won him an Academy Award nomination as supporting actor; it was his only mention for an Oscar.

He told an interviewer that the laugh was born of nervousness.

A quiet, inordinately shy man, Mr. Widmark often portrayed killers, cops and Western gunslingers. But he said he hated guns.

FLORIDA

Shuttle makes night landing

CAPE CANAVERAL — The space shuttle Endeavour and its crew of seven returned to Earth yesterday, making a rare nighttime touchdown to wrap up “a two-week adventure” at the international space station.

The shuttle swooped through the darkness and landed on NASA’s illuminated runway at 8:39 p.m. EDT, an hour after sunset.

“Welcome home, Endeavour,” Mission Control radioed. “Congrats to the entire crew.”

Replied Endeavour’s commander, Dominic Gorie: “It was a super-rewarding mission, exciting from the start to the ending.”

The shuttle’s homecoming was a bit delayed.

Endeavour was supposed to land before sunset, but at the last minute, clouds moved in. As the astronauts took an extra swing around the planet, the sky cleared enough to satisfy flight controllers and — after asking the crew’s opinion — they gave them the green light to head home.

MASSACHUSETTS

Freight car hits train, injuring dozens

CANTON — A train car loaded with lumber rolled from a side track onto a main line and hit a stationary commuter train during rush hour Tuesday afternoon, sending dozens of people to hospitals, authorities said.

About 150 people were treated at the scene, and about 80 of those were sent to hospitals, said Lt. John Hutchinson of the Canton Fire Department. None of the injuries was life threatening, he said.

The commuter train’s locomotive was not moving when hit by a CSX freight car that rolled about two miles from where it had been parked at a lumber yard, said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The commuter train’s engineer was alerted by a track signal that something was on the line and was able to stop before the crash, Mr. Pesaturo said. He was among the injured.

MICHIGAN

Free barbershop beer nixed

GRAND RAPIDS — A Grand Rapids, Mich., barbershop owner said the state attorney general’s office has put a stop to a promotion that offered patrons a free beer with a haircut.

Thomas Martin, owner of Jude’s Barbershops, said an assistant attorney general ruled that his businesses cannot distribute free brews without a liquor license, the Grand Rapids Press reported yesterday.

The ruling came after police told Mr. Martin his free beer promotion violated state and local laws.

“I’m glad we finally got clarity on the issue,” Mr. Martin said. “Offering a complimentary beer is not something that we created, it’s an old-fashioned service that was done years ago. We just brought it back with the other old-fashioned services that we provide.”

MISSOURI

Student in bee despite paperwork

KANSAS CITY — The Scripps National Spelling Bee announced Tuesday it would allow northwest Missouri’s top speller to participate in the national competition, even though she was disqualified last week.

“After further consideration, we’ve determined that Morgan Brown is eligible to compete in the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.,” said Paige Kimble, director of the bee.

Morgan, 12, the first-place winner of the regional competition this month, was disqualified because her school did not enroll her in accordance with a new rule requiring individual schools, rather than school districts, to register directly with the national bee.

Miss Kimble, who had said earlier Tuesday that Morgan’s disqualification would not change, said bee officials changed their minds after a “thorough review.”

MONTANA

Student pilot survives crash, freezing night

BILLINGS — A student pilot whose plane crashed into a snowy mountainside survived a freezing night by wrapping himself in a tarp, then hiked a mile through waist-deep snow in shorts to meet rescuers, aviation and rescue officials said yesterday.

The Rocky Mountain College student, whose name was not released, crashed about 40 miles south of Billings on Tuesday night and was rescued about 11:30 a.m. yesterday. He was taken to a Billings hospital with hypothermia but did not appear to have any major injuries, said Jon Trapp, one of the pilot’s rescuers.

NEW YORK

Grandchildren help with Alzheimer care

NEW YORK — Children of parents with Alzheimer’s disease do what families have done for millennia when they need help: They draft their children, U.S. researchers said.

The third annual Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s Investigating Caregivers’ Attitudes and Needs Survey suggest “sandwich caregivers” get their children under age 21 to assist with caregiving responsibilities that range from attending doctors’ appointments to feeding and dressing their loved ones.

Three-in-five caregivers said their children ages 8 to 21 are involved in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

Of the caregivers who feel they do a good job balancing the care of their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and have children under 21, 36 percent specifically cited support from children as a contributor to their success.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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