Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

December 24, 2004

NATIONAL

Second try for judicial nominees

President Bush plans to renominate 20 candidates for federal judgeships who have been unable to win confirmation in the Senate, the White House said yesterday. [Page 3a]

Conn. ex-governor pleads guilty

John G. Rowland, the former three-term governor of Connecticut who was once a shining light of the Republican Party, unexpectedly walked into federal court yesterday to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to steal honest service, a felony that carries a possible five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $250,000. [Page 3a]

Storm hits South, Midwest

Frigid temperatures, blasting wind and more snow than some places normally see in a year left parts of the Midwest and South paralyzed yesterday. The storm dumped double-digit inches of snow from western Pennsylvania to Wyoming, and from the Texas Panhandle to the Great Lakes, disrupting pre-Christmas travel. [Page 4a]

WORLD

Fighting flares up in Fallujah

U.S. military officials said yesterday that the suicide bomber in Tuesday's deadly attack near Mosul was likely wearing an Iraqi military uniform. Meanwhile, in Fallujah, three Marines were killed in a renewed flare-up of fighting in the city. [Page 1a]

Ukraine's Kuchma ending term

Outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid D. Kuchma prepares to leave office after a battered five-year term that has shown Ukrainians' increasing lack of tolerance for scandal-ridden leaders and authoritarian governance. [Page 9a]

MARYLAND

Mixed reaction to medical bill

The governor's medical malpractice reform plan won praise from doctors and his fellow Republicans yesterday, but drew a cool reception from leading senators who questioned the wisdom of rushing to adopt the legislation in Tuesday's special session. [Page 1b]

Race eyed as motive in arsons

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the defendant they are calling the "ringleader" was racially motivated when he allegedly led a conspiracy to destroy a Charles County subdivision in Maryland's most expensive residential arson. [Page 1b]

Traffic accident deaths grieved

Families in Elkridge grieved yesterday for the deaths of a father and son in a traffic accident in north-central Pennsylvania. Richard LaDue, 42, and his 11-year-old son, Brandon, died Wednesday while their family was headed to upstate New York to visit relatives. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

16-0 run lifts Terps to 82-61 win

John Gilchrist scored 20 points and fueled a second-half spurt that carried the No. 24 Maryland men's basketball team past visiting American University, 82-61. The Terrapins (7-2) led by two before Gilchrist tossed an alley-oop pass to freshman James Gist, starting a 16-0 run. [Page 1c]

Vick's bonuses set NFL record

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick signed a 10-year, $130 million contract extension that guarantees him an NFL-record $37 million in bonuses. [Page 3c]

J. O'Neal OK to play tomorrow

Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal can play against Detroit on Christmas after a federal judge upheld an arbitrator's decision to reduce the forward's suspension for fighting with fans during the Nov. 19 Pacers-Pistons brawl. [Page 10c]

BUSINESS

City continues with hotel plans

Baltimore is forging ahead with a proposed publicly financed convention headquarters hotel - one of the costliest projects ever undertaken by the city - as the Convention Center's future business is sagging and competitors are posing an increased threat. [Page 1a]

Possible fight between firms

Moving its takeover battle to another front, Omnicare Inc. announced yesterday that it plans to have three candidates run for seats on the board of directors of Baltimore-based rival NeighborCare Inc. That sets up the possibility of a proxy fight leading up to NeighborCare's annual shareholders meeting next year. [Page 1d]

Mixed season for train firm

For model train fans, Christmas is the time to dust off the layout and summon sweet memories of childhood. But for model train maker MTH Electric Trains of Columbia, this season is bittersweet: It won a $41 million judgment this year against the granddaddy of electric trains, Lionel LLC, but it will likely be years, if ever, before the local firm sees any money. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Stewart's holiday behind bars

Alas, for Martha Stewart, the perfectly poached pears with gingerbread will be missing from the holiday dinner table. It seems temporary incarceration has really put a damper on fine dining, according to Stewart in a holiday greeting to fans on her personal Web site. [Page 1f]

`Aviator' to land in Baltimore

The Aviator, which came his way when producer Michael Mann begged off directing, offered Martin Scorsese his best chance in 30 years to do a Hollywood-style auteur film. The film opens tomorrow at Baltimore theaters. [Page 1f]

Looking for quality in jeans

Some young women wouldn't resist paying $150 for a pair of everyday jeans. But this time around, fashionistas are saying that it's quality and not the label that makes the price worth it. [Page 1f]

TODAY ONLINE

RAVENS-STEELERS PREVIEW

See a video of Sun Ravens writer Jamison Hensley previewing Sunday's rematch with the Steelers. www.baltimoresun.com/ravens

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC

Before you hit the highway for the holiday, go online for traffic, updated every five minutes. www.baltimoresun.com/traffic

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