- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 27, 2004

Fighter pilot ejects as jet catches fire

MORRISVILLE, N.C. - A Navy F-18 fighter jet on a training mission caught fire on the runway of the Raleigh-Durham airport during takeoff yesterday, but the pilot ejected, authorities said.

The burning plane continued rolling before coming to a stop 250 feet from a passenger terminal.

The pilot, Lt. Wesley Baumgartner, was hospitalized in good condition, said Cmdr. Lydia Robertson of the Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet of Norfolk, Va. He was the only one on board; no one on the ground was injured.

Teresa Damiano, a spokeswoman for the airport, said the plane had stopped to refuel. She said the pilot described his plane as swerving and bursting into flames as it headed toward a takeoff runway. The pilot ejected before the plane left the ground - about 1,700 feet down the 7,500-foot runway, she said.

Clerks prepare for gay ‘marriages’

BOSTON - Town and city clerks were told this week that the Department of Public Health will train them in early May to issue “marriage” licenses to same-sex couples.

The notification is a sign that state officials are preparing for legal homosexual “marriages,” which the Supreme Judicial Court has said can begin on May 17.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Mitt Romney, who has said he may ask the court to delay implementation of its decision, criticized the training as “premature.”

The legislature will resume a constitutional convention next week to consider an amendment that would ban homosexual “marriage” if enacted by voters.

Guilty governor loses pension

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Former Gov. Edward DiPrete, who served a year in prison after pleading guilty to bribery and other charges, is not entitled to collect his pension, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The court said, however, that DiPrete’s wife is an innocent spouse and should receive some of the benefits her husband would have received.

That amount will be decided by a lower court, the Attorney General’s Office said.

DiPrete, a Republican who served from January 1985 until January 1991, went to prison in 1998 after admitting he traded state contracts for campaign contributions.

Court upholds abortion record block

CHICAGO - A federal appeals court yesterday upheld a lower court decision that blocks the government from obtaining abortion records from a Chicago hospital.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that while the administrative cost to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to produce the approximate 45 records would be modest, the hospital would pay a high cost in the long run by losing the trust of its patients.

The government is seeking the records for potential inclusion in court cases that challenge a federal ban on a type of late-term abortion that opponents call partial-birth abortion. Justice Department officials argue the records are central to claims by the challengers that the procedure is medically necessary.

Former Rep. Roush dies at 83

HUNTINGTON, Ind. - Former Rep. J. Edward Roush, a Democrat who represented northeast Indiana in Congress for 16 years before he was beaten by a 29-year-old Dan Quayle in 1976, died yesterday at a nursing home. He was 83.

Mr. Roush had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, said Democratic state Rep. Win Moses.

“He was just a true public servant even when he wasn’t in office, and particularly when he was,” said Mr. Moses, the former mayor of nearby Fort Wayne. “He took it very seriously and paid attention to everybody.”

After losing to Mr. Quayle, who later became senator and then vice president, Mr. Roush was appointed by President Carter to head the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Regional and Intergovernmental Operations. He returned to private law practice in 1979 and retired in 1998.

He is survived by his wife, Marjorie Pauline “Polly” Roush; sons David, Joel and Robin Roush; and daughter Melody Wright.

Femme fatale of film noir dies

LOS ANGELES - Jan Sterling, the cool, often conniving blonde in Hollywood film noir movies of the 1940s and ‘50s, died yesterday. She was 82.

Miss Sterling broke her hip recently and had suffered a couple of strokes from which she never recovered, close friend Kay Tomborg said. She died at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s home and hospital facility in suburban Woodland Hills.

Miss Sterling’s most remembered role came in 1951 with Billy Wilder’s cynical film “Ace in the Hole,” which was rereleased as “The Big Carnival” when audiences were repelled by its harsh message. Kirk Douglas starred as a ruthless reporter seeking a scoop by prolonging the rescue of a man trapped in a cave. Miss Sterling played a sardonic observer.

Miss Sterling was the widow of actor Paul Douglas and longtime companion of actor Sam Wanamaker, who died in 1993.

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