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Names in the News

March 3, 1988

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ The Tennessee Senate has invited David Letterman to visit Memphis, where the NBC talk show host could ″beat his feet on the Mississippi Mud.″

In a resolution passed Wednesday, the Senate gave 10 reasons for the host of ″Late Night with David Letterman″ to visit. Among them:

″Dave could beat his feet on the Mississippi Mud,‴ the resolution suggested. ″Dave could visit Graceland, the world’s only shrine equipped with a jungle room. ... Dave could visit the Living Legend Jerry Lee Lewis and his Great Balls of Fire.″

Letterman could ″witness the Peabody Ducks, the world’s most famous and longest-running Stupid Pet Tricks,″ the resolution said.

Among the hallmark’s of Letterman’s show is stupid pet tricks, featuring pets and their owners. Every day, the ducks, which live in a penthouse at the Peabody Hotel, are taken by elevator to a fountain in the lobby.


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - Stand-up comic Jay Leno is the winner of this year’s ″Elmer″ award for comedy from the Harvard Lampoon.

Leno joins such talents as Bill Cosby, John Candy and Robin Williams as recipients of the award named in memory of Elmer Green, ″longtime caretaker and friend of the Lampoon,″ the magazine said in a statement Wednesday.

The Lampoon, founded in 1876, is the oldest humor magazine in the nation.


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - Singer John Denver thought he’d have some fun at a recent performance near Lake Tahoe, Nev., so he sang ″The Ballad of Gary Hart.″

″The reaction has been terrific,″ Denver’s agent, Dan Schrier of Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview. ″He did it for fun, with no maliciousness at all.″

But Hart spokesman Rolf Wiegand indicated little amusement Wednesday and called Denver’s performance ″one man’s exercise in poor taste.″ The tune, written by singer-songwriter Tom Paxton, recounts Hart’s career in the Senate and his campaign problems after he was linked with Miami model Donna Rice.

As the song describes it:

″Well, he met her at a party, and her name was Donna Rice.

″She was Gary’s kind of woman, she was pure Miami vice.

″She thought he was Gary Collins, and could get her on TV.

″She suggested monkey business, and the rest is history 3/8″


SEATTLE (AP) - Spanish opera star Jose Carreras has been discharged from a hospital here, where he was successfully treated for leukemia and has returned to his home in Barcelona, hospital officials say.

Carreras, 41, received four months of treatment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for acute lymphocytic leukemia, including a Nov. 16 bone marrow transplant. He was free of the disease when discharged Friday, spokeswoman Susan Edmonds said Wednesday.

Ms. Edmonds said Carreras had discussed returning to Seattle for a concert to benefit the center when he resumes his singing career.

Carreras will remain under a physician’s care in Spain, and is to return to Seattle for a checkup in a year. People with acute lymphocytic leukemia, an especially severe form of the disease, have a survival rate of about 25 percent to 40 percent over three to five years.


MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - Former presidential press secretary Jody Powell, whose Confederate ancestors fought in the Battle of Second Manassas, is joining the attack on plans to build a shopping mall near the battlefield.

Powell said the fight to preserve the site near the Manassas Battlefield National Park is worthy because encroaching development is a problem at many battlefields and historic sites.

″Goodness, if you can’t stop something this bad, then what hopes do you have of fending off more creeping sorts of problems, where a park gets nibbled to death?″ Powell said Tuesday.

Powell is putting the resources of his firm, Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs of Washington, at the disposal of the Save the Battlefield Coalition.

Ten of his ancestors fought at the Battle of Second Manassas in 1862, part of which was waged on land where the Hazel-Peterson Cos. of Fairfax plan to break ground for William Center.


PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) - Rolling Stone magazine’s choice to cover the impeachment trial of Gov. Evan Mecham has some experience with embattled chief executives - former Nixon aide John Ehrlichman.

Ehrlichman, who spent 18 months in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal, called the assignment ″a match made in heaven.″

″I’m working on a novel and it has an impeachment scene in it, so I was going to come over and take a look at this anyway,″ Ehrlichman said Tuesday. ″It’s a ready-made opportunity to observe. Secondly, it’s a subject that intrigues me. I certainly have some feel for the underlying issues.″

Ehrlichman, 63, lives in Santa Fe, N.M., and is working on his seventh novel, a story about a fictional U.S. president.


NEW YORK (AP) - Millionaire philanthropist Armand Hammer wants to wipe out cancer by the year 2000, and is leading a campaign to raise $1 billion a year for research on the killer disease.

Hammer said he hopes to raise $500 million in private contributions, then have that matched by federal funds. Some members of Congress already have agreed to support the effort, he said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Hammer, chairman and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum Corp., already has donated $100,000 for cancer research and has received commitments from nine other industrialists to do the same.

The money will go directly to research at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., said Hammer, a non-practicing physician who turns 90 in May. ″There will be no overhead charges,″ he said.

The institute’s annual research budget is $1.4 billion.

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