American Scene

CALIFORNIA

Director Blake Edwards dies of pneumonia

LOS ANGELES — Blake Edwards, the director and writer known for clever dialogue, poignancy and occasional belly-laugh sight gags in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “10” and the “Pink Panther” farces, died Wednesday. He was 88.

Mr. Edwards died from complications of pneumonia at about 10:30 p.m. at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, said publicist Gene Schwam. Mr. Edwards‘ wife, Julie Andrews, and other family members were at his side. He had been hospitalized for about two weeks.

Mr. Edwards had knee problems, had undergone unsuccessful procedures and was “pretty much confined to a wheelchair for the last year and a half or two,” Mr. Schwam said. That may have contributed to his condition, he added.

At the time of his death, Mr. Edwards was working on two Broadway musicals, one based on the “Pink Panther” movies. The other, “Big Rosemary,” was to be an original comedy set during Prohibition, Mr. Schwam said.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Metro to start random bag searches

Metro Transit Police will start random inspections of passengers’ bags at entrances to rail stations and bus bays, agency officials announced Thursday.

The program is based on similar efforts in Boston and New York, where they have been viewed favorably by the public, said Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn. The inspections have been in the works for years, and are not a response to any particular threat, he said.

Officers will swab randomly selected bags or packages and test for hazardous materials, Chief Taborn said. Items generally won’t have to be opened for inspection unless the equipment suggests a need for a closer look.

Riders who refuse to submit their carry-on items for inspection will be prohibited from bringing those items into the station. Checkpoints will be located before turnstiles so riders who don’t want their property to be searched can choose not to enter.

MICHIGAN

Father: ‘Organization’ has missing boys

ADRIAN — The father of three missing Michigan brothers says he gave them to someone from an “organization” who visited his home on Thanksgiving.

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