Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

March 04, 2005

NATIONAL

Fossett a high flier again

First by balloon, now by plane, Steve Fossett is once again a 'round-the-world record holder. The millionaire adventurer became the first person to fly around the world alone without stopping or refueling, touching down in central Kansas yesterday after a 67-hour, 23,000-mile journey that appeared endangered at times by a troubled fuel system. [Page 1a]

Gene therapy tests suspended

The Food and Drug Administration has suspended several U.S. gene therapy experiments after learning that a third child who underwent treatment in France has developed cancer as a result, a development that has cast a pall over the struggling research field. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Questions of change in Mideast

From Syria to Israel to the Palestinian territories and Egypt, recent headlines have noted encouraging developments for Middle East democracy and peace - but the question for many is, will these changes be permanent? [Page 11a]

Bombs kill six Iraqi policemen

Car bombs killed six Iraqi policemen yesterday, while the U.S. military announced that its death toll had surpassed 1,500 troops since the war began in March 2003. [Page 13a]

MARYLAND

Auditors criticize state lease

State auditors criticized a no-bid lease between the state and a private developer building a $33 million educational retreat on state parkland in Cecil County and recommended that the agreement be renegotiated to fix flaws and better protect the public. [Page 1a]

Navy seeks training expansion

The Navy is proposing to expand military training exercises on Bloodsworth Island in the Chesapeake Bay after a nine-year lull. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River says year-round day and night practice runs on the islands are necessary because the nation is at war. [Page 1a]

Guilty pleas in girl's beating

The ringleader of a birthday party beating of a 12-year-old girl in West Baltimore last year, along with two other key figures in the assault, pleaded guilty to charges related to the violence. Monique Baldwin, 37, who instigated the brutal beating of Nicole Ashley Townes, faces up to 30 years in prison. [Page 1b]

TODAY

`Be Cool' opens locally

John Travolta and Uma Thurman reunite on the dance floor on the big screen's Be Cool, which opens at area theaters today. [Page 1c]

Symphony has new director

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra announced yesterday that Jose-Luis Novo would be its new music director. Novo, conductor of the Binghamton Philharmonic in New York, was selected by an eight-member search committee from more than 200 applicants. [Page 1c]

Saget performs in Baltimore

Bob Saget, the all-American TV dad from Full House and who some say is the foulest comedian in the country, is in town. He will be onstage tonight and tomorrow as he does four shows at the Baltimore Improv. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

State's entertainment dry spell

Maryland's entertainment industry is in the longest dry period it has had for years, and advocates say an economic development war is to blame. Other states are wooing major productions and their infusions of cash with aggressive incentives. [Page 1a]

Sinclair seeks ownership review

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. petitioned yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower-court ruling that blocked the Federal Communications Commission from relaxing restrictions on how many media outlets a company can own in one market. The Hunt Valley company, which owns or operates 62 stations that reach nearly a quarter of the nation's households, joins about a half-dozen other broadcast companies, including Tribune Co., owner of The Sun. [Page 1d]

Stewart to be released today

After 21 weeks in a West Virginia prison camp, Martha Stewart will soon be everywhere. She was to be released from prison early this morning after serving a five-month term for lying to federal investigators about her sale of shares in a biotechnology company in 2001. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Orioles win exhibition opener

The Orioles rallied from a three-run deficit to win their spring training opener, 8-4, against the Florida Marlins. Also yesterday, a judge postponed the assault case in Aruba against Sidney Ponson, giving the Orioles pitcher until May to reach an out-of-court settlement and likely bringing an end to the proceedings. [Pages 1f, 4f]

Phelps sets American record

Olympic star Michael Phelps of Rodgers Forge didn't show much rust in his return to competitive swimming. In his first race at the American short-course championships, the 200-yard freestyle, Phelps broke an American record that Matt Biondi had held since 1987. Phelps covered the distance in 1 minute, 32.08 seconds. [Page 3f]

TODAY ONLINE

MARY SUE JINGLE

Read Bill Atkinson's business column about the owner of Ruxton Chocolates, and go online to hear the company's classic Mary Sue Easter eggs jingle. www.baltimoresun.com/jingle

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Visit the online version of our weekly secTion, where you'll find new and archived health and science articles, plus a collection of in-depth Sun series. www.baltimoresun.com/healthscience

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"When you're talking about Thurgood Marshall, you're not talking about a midget. ... He's a national hero and even an international hero."

Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., sponsor of a bill to honor the late Supreme Court justice by renaming BWI (Article, Page 1B)

MARKETS

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SUN INDEX - DOWN

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