Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2000

News Briefs

October 19, 2000



Singer-actress Julie London dies

Julie London, the smoky-voiced "Cry Me A River" nightclub singer who played TV nurse Dixie McCall on the 1970's "Emergency!" series, died Wednesday. She was 74. London had been in poor health since suffering a stroke five years ago.

London was married to "Dragnet" star Jack Webb for five years. Her second husband, Bobby Troup, was the composer, jazz musician and actor who penned the classic song "Route 66." Troup booked London for a nightclub engagement that was followed by her hit "Cry Me A River" in 1955 and eventually 32 albums.


Senator's aide files sex claim

The former chief of staff for Sen. Max Baucus sued the Montana Democrat on Wednesday, accusing him of firing her for rebuffing his sexual advances.

Christine Niedermeier, 48, is seeking $300,000 in damages in the sexual harassment case filed in federal court.

Mike Siegel, a Baucus spokesman, said the allegations are "completely, 100 percent, clearly false" and "border on harassment of Senator Baucus, his friends, family and staff." The senator has said he fired Niedermeier because he faced a revolt by staffers about her management style.


Test-tube transplant working

Doctors declared success Wednesday in the groundbreaking case of an ailing 6-year-old girl who received a transplant of umbilical cord blood from her made-to-order baby brother.

Molly Nash suffered from Fanconi anemia, a genetic disorder that prevented her body from making bone marrow. Without the transplant, the disease almost certainly would have killed the Englewood, Colo., girl by age 35, perhaps decades earlier.

Three weeks after the transplant, tests show it is working, and Molly is nearly ready to leave the hospital, said Dr. John Wagner of the University of Minnesota. The infused cells are taking over the functions of Molly's bone marrow, making platelets and disease-fighting white blood cells, Wagner said.


Buses back after transit strike

Buses rolled Wednesday for the first time in 4 1/2 weeks as drivers came back to work from a transit strike that cut daily service to 450,000 people.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority fielded about two-thirds of its usual weekday fleet of 2,000 buses serving 18,500 bus stops. Full bus and subway service was expected Thursday.

MTA offered free rides for five days to its riders, many of them low-income workers dependent on public transportation. The 59 miles of subway lines were being checked to remove rust and ensure safety.


Drought damage tops $1 billion

Drought has caused $1.1 billion in damage to state agriculture so far this year, Texas A&M; University economists reported Wednesday.

The university's Texas Agricultural Extension Service estimated that cotton losses alone reached $485 million as fields, particularly those without irrigation systems, withered under the summer's record spell of heat and lack of rain.

Experts warned that rains this week didn't come close to ending the statewide drought.

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