Celebrity gossip, famous birthdays and other tidbits, compiled from Seattle Times news services.

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Susan Atkins, a follower of Charles Manson who stabbed pregnant actress Sharon Tate to death nearly 40 years ago but is dying of brain cancer in a California prison, was denied compassionate release Tuesday. Her attorney and husband told the California parole board there was no longer a reason to keep the 60-year-old Atkins incarcerated because she has had her left leg amputated, is partially paralyzed and doctors have given her three months to live.

Tribute to Teddy

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who has written hundreds of songs on patriotic themes, said he was asked by several colleagues for a tribute to Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., for possible use at next month’s Democratic national convention as an example of transcending partisanship.

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“Headed Home” is a lilting ballad that refers to Kennedy’s heroic return last week to the Senate where he has served for almost 46 years: “Sailing home, sailing home. America, America, we’re headed home at last.”


Lucky koala

They call this koala bear “lucky.” The 3-year-old male koala was struck by a car and carried for seven miles with his head and arm wedged through the vehicle’s front grill, but was not badly hurt. Staff members at the Australian Wildlife Hospital in Queensland state dubbed him Ely “Lucky” Grills, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on Tuesday.

Reunited 5 years later

Rocco, a beagle who strayed from a New York City yard five years ago, has been found 850 miles away in Georgia and reunited with his owners. He was dropped off at an animal-control shelter July 5, and a microchip embedded under Rocco’s skin helped trace him to his family in Queens — Jorge and Cristina Villacis.

Let’s eat

“Yellow Brickle Road”

Hoping to honor rocker Elton John before his first-ever Vermont performance, Ben & Jerry’s has whipped up a flavor just for him — “Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road,” a reference to his 1970s album and song “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” The limited-batch ice cream, made from chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks, will be available from Friday-July 25 in the company’s Vermont scoop shops, with proceeds going to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.


Les Crane, 74, called the “bad boy of late-night television” when he vied for ratings against talk-show king Johnny Carson in the mid-1960s, died of natural causes Sunday at Marin General Hospital north of San Francisco.

Today in History

1790: The District of Columbia was established as the seat of the United States government.

1862: David Farragut became the first rear admiral in the United States Navy.

1935: The first parking meters were installed, in Oklahoma City.

1945: The United States exploded its first experimental atomic bomb, in the desert of Alamogordo, N.M.

1964: In accepting the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, Barry M. Goldwater said “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” and that “moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

1973: During the Senate Watergate hearings, former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield publicly revealed the existence of President Nixon’s secret taping system.

Today’s Birthdays

Violinist Pinchas Zukerman, 60. Actor-singer Ruben Blades, 60. Rock composer-musician Stewart Copeland, 56. Dancer Michael Flatley, 50. Actress Phoebe Cates, 45. Actor-comedian Will Ferrell, 41. Actress Rain Pryor, 39. Actor Corey Feldman, 37. Actor Mark Indelicato, 14.

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