Virginia man to become new Maytag Repairman character
Benton Harbor, Mich. - It's lonely being the Maytag Repairman, but a Virginia man is going to give it a try.
Whirlpool Corp. announced Monday that it has selected Clay Jackson of Richmond, Va., as the character promoting the reliability of its Maytag brand of large appliances.
The Benton Harbor-based company conducted a nationwide search for the "new face of Maytag." Whirlpool bought Maytag of Newton, Iowa, last year.
"The new Maytag Repairman will help revitalize the Maytag brand and its heritage by keeping one foot in our past while putting the other in our future," Maytag Vice President Jeff Davidoff said in a news release.
The company said that at least 1,500 people participated in two months of auditions.
Clay had been a real estate agent in Richmond, working for his family-run business. He said he decided to enter the contest "on a whim" and attended an open audition in New York. He acted in college and then professionally in 1997-2000, Whirlpool said.
Star Trek actor to have ashes beamed into space
Las Cruces, N.M. - The ashes of James Doohan, who played chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on the original "Star Trek" TV series, have been loaded into a rocket that is set to launch in New Mexico later this month.
The remains of Doohan, Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and some 200 others were loaded into the rocket Friday by Charles Chafer, chief executive of Celestis, a Texas company that contracts with rocket firms to send cremated remains into space.
"And we're ready to go," Chafer said after inserting the silver canister.
Jerry Larson, president of Connecticut-based UP Aerospace Inc., said the rocket will be launched April 28.
Families paid $495 to have a few grams of their loved one's ashes placed on the rocket.
Doohan died in July 2005 at age 85.
The remains of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry were blasted into space in 1997.
Anna Nicole Smith's partner drops challenge to DNA test
Nassau, Bahamas - The lawyer-turned-partner of Anna Nicole Smith dropped his bid Monday to halt the use of DNA to prove the paternity of the former Playboy playmate's infant daughter when it appeared a Bahamas court was going to reject his appeal.
An attorney for Howard K. Stern withdrew the challenge in the face of skeptical questioning by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal.
All three judges said Stern filed his challenge too late and should have raised his objections before the Supreme Court ordered DNA testing in the paternity challenge filed by Larry Birkhead, a former boyfriend of Smith's who claims to be the father of the infant, Dannielynn.
Stern is listed on the birth certificate as the father of Dannielynn. The child's DNA was tested March 21 but the results have not been revealed.