Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

April 08, 2005

NATIONAL

Education flexibility offered

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings yesterday offered greater flexibility to states in meeting the requirements of the Bush administration's education reform law, calling the changes a major reform. In her first national response to growing resistance among state officials to the law, Spellings sought to set a new, more cooperative tone. [Page 3a]

Ex-Jackson guard testifies

A former security guard at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch told a lurid story yesterday about seeing the singer kiss, fondle and perform oral sex on a boy who later received a financial settlement from the pop star. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Pope sought foregiveness

In his will, released yesterday, Pope John Paul II asked the world to forgive him for his failings and, in declining health, appeared to have contemplated stepping down in 2000. [Page 1a]

HIV study found untainted

A medical panel has found no signs that flaws in a Johns Hopkins study in Uganda - aimed at preventing the spread of HIV from mother to baby - were serious enough to cast doubt on the results. [Page 12a]

MARYLAND

2 killed in shooting spree

A two-state shooting spree that began shortly after 8 a.m. in Laurel, Del., ended 45 minutes later in Salisbury, Md., with six people shot, two fatally, and a 22-year-old Delaware man in jail charged with first-degree murder and handgun violations. [Page 1a]

Gang members imprisoned

Five more members of a notorious East Baltimore drug gang called the North Avenue Boys were sentenced yesterday in federal court to prison sentences ranging from 25 to 40 years. [Page 1b]

Juvenile Services criticized

The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services faces a new round of criticism from legislators and advocates because a fiscal crisis has forced cuts in some programs. [Page 1b]

Jessamy blasts witness bill

Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy yesterday said she'd "rather have nothing at all" than the heavily amended version of the witness intimidation bill that lawmakers are now considering in Annapolis. But the governor's chief legal counsel defended the compromise bill, which could be up for a final vote in the House of Delegates as soon as today. [Page 1b]

SPORTS

Athletics defeat O's, 5-1

Eric Byrnes' three-run homer in the eighth inning led the Athletics to a 5-1 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards. Orioles starter Erik Bedard allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. [Page 1c]

DiMarco leads Masters

Chris DiMarco was leading the rain-delayed opening round of the Masters, moving to the front with three straight birdies just before darkness halted play. Only 24 of the 93 players finished the round. DiMarco has four holes to play. [Page 1c]

No TV for Nationals fans

Washington Nationals fans are growing increasingly frustrated at not being able to watch their team on television. The Opening Day loss at Philadelphia was televised, but the next two away games - the team's first win and yesterday's 10-inning triumph - were not. [Page 1c]

Nats beat Phillies in 10th, 5-4

Jose Vidro's bases-empty homer in the 10th inning gave the Washington Nationals a 5-4 victory over the Phillies, their second straight comeback victory over Philadelphia. Vidro had three RBIs. [Page 5c]

BUSINESS

Home sales, prices grow

Home sales in the Baltimore area were 8.7 percent higher last month than in March 2004. That was a slower rate of growth than the double-digit increases posted in all but one month since May. The average sales price of a home in the region jumped 16.7 percent to $258,924. [Page 1D]

Taking on the Sahara

"It is a big, black hole, and we are jumping in," said Aran Gordon, a 44-year-old vice president at T. Rowe Price in Baltimore, who is about to run in a 150-mile, seven-day footrace in the Sahara Desert. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Miss quick-change artist

By the time Miss USA is crowned Monday night, the contestants will have changed clothes approximately 1,071 times during 18 jam-packed days. The excess is absolutely necessary, the beauty queens say. There are public and private events every day, each requiring a different style of clothing. [Page 1f]

Fans rise to `Fever Pitch'

Based on a book by Brit Nick Hornby, who was writing about soccer, Fever Pitch has a great feel for how dedication to a team (in this case the Boston Red Sox) can make a lunatic out of even the most normal of men. The movie, starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, opens in theaters today. [Page 1f]

HBO film wins `Peabody'

HBO won a Peabody Award yesterday for Something the Lord Made, a documentary about how two men - white surgeon Dr. Alfred Blalock and black lab technician Vivien Thomas - fought racial prejudice while doing pioneering work on heart surgery in 1944 in Baltimore. [Page 2f]

TODAY ONLINE

THE POPE'S FUNERAL

Coverage of Pope John Paul II's funeral will be updated throughout the day at www.baltimoresun.com

SEASON FOR SNEEZIN'

See a video of Sun science writer Dennis O'Brien discussing his Health & Science section story about allergies. www.baltimoresun.com/allergies

QUOTE OF THE DAY"

... these five defendants will serve the next several decades in federal prisons far from ... the east-side community they ravaged with drug trafficking and violence for years."

Interim U.S. Attorney Allen F. Loucks, (Article, Page 1B)

MARKETS

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