Sun News Digest


March 07, 2005


Army faces recruiting crunch

Struggling to boost its ranks, the Army is recruiting more high-school dropouts and recruits who score in the lowest category on military aptitude tests, raising concerns among senior officers and defense analysts that the quality of the force will suffer. Only five months into the recruiting year, the percentage of recruits in the active-duty Army without high school diplomas is already more than double the percentage of last year. [Page 1a]

Selma marks `Bloody Sunday'

Political and civil rights leaders joined thousands for the 40th anniversary "Bloody Sunday" march over a bridge in Selma, Ala., where voting rights demonstrators were brutally beaten on their pilgrimage to Montgomery. The demonstration inspired the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. [Page 3a]

Seeking to raise retirement age

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is proposing to raise the Social Security retirement age from 67 to 68. Meanwhile, Democrats are maintaining their opposition to the president's plan to overhaul the retirement program with private investment accounts. [Page 3a]


Assad, Lahoud to meet

Lebanon's powerful Shiite Hezbollah movement yesterday declared it would side with the pro-Syrian Lebanese government as Syrian troops were pulled back farther from Beirut. Syrian President Bashar Assad and Lebanese President Emile Lahoud were scheduled to meet in Damascus today. [Page 1a]

Journalist speaks on shooting

Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena says American soldiers gave no warning before they opened fire. She also does not rule out that U.S. troops may have intentionally shot at her car as she headed to the Baghdad airport in the minutes after she was freed after a month in captivity by Iraqi insurgents. [Page 6a]

Stringer chosen to head Sony

Sony Corp. named Howard Stringer as its chairman today, a decision that marks the first time a foreigner will head a major Japanese electronics firm. The move comes as the company seeks to improve results at its faltering core electronics business. [Page 6a]


Bingo halls seek bigger payouts

Concerned that slot machines might be legalized in Maryland, operators of Anne Arundel County's three commercial bingo establishments will appear before the Anne Arundel County Council today to ask for increased prize limits. They say prizes of up to $100,000 per bingo hall - the limit now is $15,000 - would allow them to compete with slots, which generally offer bigger prizes and more instant gratification. [Page 1b]

Allies back city schools in lawsuit

When the long-standing legal battle over the adequacy of state funding for Baltimore schools reaches Maryland's highest court today, education advocates will have the support of several prominent allies - including the architect of the state's landmark Thornton education reform law. Alvin Thornton and several advocacy groups have filed briefs urging the Court of Appeals to uphold a Baltimore Circuit Court judge's ruling that found the state had shortchanged city schools by $400 million to $800 million since 2000. [Page 1b]

Salons recruited to stop abuse

Hoping to capitalize on the relationship that women have with their hairdressers, the Maryland attorney general's office, in conjunction with the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, is kicking off a program today designed to help stylists, manicurists and aestheticians spot signs of abuse and link battered clients with help. [Page 1b]


Dizzy Issie's keeps them coming

Worlds collide - or at least bump and grind - at Dizzy Issie's in Remington, where regulars from starkly different backgrounds find common ground over cheap beer, a game of pool or a cheesy pop song. This safe zone was created by Elaine Stevens, who has owned the bar for 15 years and guided its transformation from a rough neighborhood watering hole to an eclectic hangout without alienating its original clientele of blue-collar workers. [Page 1c]

Hampden Hall to be transformed

One of the largest buildings in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood will soon play a large role in its revitalization. Hampden Hall, a former veterans meeting hall that looms above the shops at the southeast corner of 36th Street and Roland Avenue, will be converted to 14 loft-style apartments by mid-2006. Baltimore businessmen Joe Preller and Bob Geis bought the building last year. [Page 1c]

`The Pacifier' tops box office

Vin Diesel's comedy The Pacifier pulled in $30.2 million on its opening weekend to rank as the nation's top-grossing movie. Proving that he's more than biceps and tattoos, Diesel as a Navy SEAL turned baby sitter beat the weekend's other major opening, Be Cool with John Travolta. [Page 3c]


Thompson dies at 83

Former Orioles and Baltimore Colts announcer Chuck Thompson died yesterday after suffering a stroke Saturday. He was 83.Thompson received the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993, the highest honor a baseball announcer can receive. [Page 1a]

Woods beats Mickelson by stroke

Tiger Woods beat Phil Mickelson by one stroke in the Ford Championship at Doral and regained the No. 1 world ranking for the first time since September. Woods made a 28-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to take the lead, then a 6-foot par putt on No. 18 to finish with a 6-under 66. [Page 1d]


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"When I go home and look at these hands, it reminds me of a hard day's work."

Bill Holland, who operates a shoeshine stand at the Gallery at Harborplace (Article, Page 1B)

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