These writers know the scene TODAY

September 18, 1995

In the Today section, you'll find stylishly written, substantive cover stories, news from the arts, lifestyle and pop;ular culture - and a bigger-than-ever comics package spanning two full pages. Here's what to expect:

Comics

The new Today section combines the most popular comics from the morning and evening papers in a powerful lineup that features 37 strips, more than either paper had before and twice as many as appeared in The Sun.

You'll find most of your favorites here, but space limitations made it impossible to keep every strip. So we consulted you, the readers. We took extensive surveys and conducted focus groups to make sure that we had something for every taste. In the end, we winnowed out these comics: "Brenda Starr," "Sibling Revelry," "Quality Time," "Moose Miller," "Geech," "Overboard," "Heathcliff," "Juliet Jones" and "Sylvia."

Columnists

Mike Littwin: He's cynical. He's witty. He's irreverent. He's serious. The only thing Mike Littwin isn't is dull. His conversation with readers resumes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Susan Reimer: It isn't easy raising kids in the '90s or trying to balance the demands of a family and a career. Susan Reimer shares your struggle every Sunday and Tuesday.

Kevin Cowherd: Kevin Cowherd's humor column offers a quirky, sardonic look at modern life. Look for him every Thursday.

Puzzles & Games

The comics page also includes The Sun Crossword and the Jumble.

As with the comics, limited space was an issue in deciding what to do with two other features beloved by fans of puzzles and games - the New York Times puzzle from the morning paper and the bridge column.

We moved them to the last page of Classified, inside the Maryland section on the page before you reach the weather map. It was a tough call, but we've chosen Steve Becker's bridge column from the evening paper over the one by Alfred Sheinwold and Frank Stewart familiar to morning readers.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find room for the For Kids Only feature morning readers are accustomed to seeing on the comics page, although we'll still offer a special package for children on Sundays.

Regular features

The Today section also includes these regular features:

* Liz Smith, the sassy New York gossip columnist, appears Monday through Friday.

* Sylvia Badger dishes on the local scene Fridays and Sundays.

* Ann Landers, the nationally renowned advice columnist, runs every day. It was a tough call between Ann Landers and Dear Abby, whose column had appeared in the morning paper. But in the end, we chose Ann.

* Miss Manners: The last great guardian of civility offers her insights on minding your manners on Wednesdays and Sundays.

* Erma Bombeck's humorous musing on family life appears Tuesdays and Thursdays.

* Every day Joyce Jillson's Horoscope lets you know what's in the stars for you.

* Hints from Heloise, whose tips on managing a household have been a staple of the evening paper, appears Monday through Friday.

* In Today's TV, Steve McKerrow gives you a preview of the day's best bets on television.

* Every Saturday in Home Work, Karol Menzie and Randy Johnson help you tackle your latest home improvement, while Checklist keeps you posted on what you ought to be doing around the house and in the garden.

What's missing: Ask Beth, a morning feature, has been discontinued. We also discontinued the Coping columns familiar to evening readers, as most of the issues they addressed are discussed in our Sunday advice package, Insights.

People & Places

The People & Places column, a light-hearted look at celebrities, people in the news and quirky stories from around the nation and the world, moves from Page 2 of the main section to Page 2 in features.

Themed sections

Twice a week you'll find a special package of lifestyle news.

On Tuesdays, To Your Health features lively and informative cover stories on issues important to your well-being, as well as columns by experts on children's health, eating well and frequently asked medical questions.

On Thursdays, In Style features reports from the cutting edge by Vida Roberts, The Sun's award-winning fashion editor, as well as Elsa Klench's questions and answers on matters of style and Candid Closet, a look at what Baltimoreans are wearing.

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