Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Thurmond first-time grandfather

Columbia, S.C.-- Former Sen. Strom Thurmond has become a grandfather for the first time at 100.

Martin Taylor Whitmer III was born Monday afternoon at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. He's the son of Julie Thurmond Whitmer and Martin Whitmer. All are said to be doing well, according to U.S. Atty. and proud uncle Strom Thurmond Jr.

Julie Whitmer surprised the former senator at his 100th birthday party in December by announcing she was pregnant.

"I believe you're going to give me what I wanted," Thurmond said at the time.

9-11 author wins Peace Prize

Berlin -- Susan Sontag was awarded the German book trade's prestigious Peace Prize Tuesday for her role as an "intellectual ambassador" between the United States and Europe and for her human rights activism.

"In a world of falsified images and mutilated truth, she has stood up for the dignity of free thinking," the prize jury's citation said.

The 70-year-old writer is to receive the $17,700 annual prize Oct. 12 during this year's Frankfurt Book Fair.

Sontag, whose works have been translated into more than 30 languages, is popular in Germany. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she accused U.S. public officials and media commentators of trying to "infantilize" the public.

"Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a 'cowardly' attack on 'civilization' or 'liberty' or 'humanity' or 'the free world' but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?" Sontag wrote in The New Yorker magazine shortly after the attacks.

'CSI' star weds

Los Angeles -- William Petersen, who stars in CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," married his longtime girlfriend during a weekend ceremony in Italy.

Petersen, 50, and former schoolteacher Gina Cirrone were married Saturday in Petrignano, Italy, his publicist, Jennifer Allen, said Monday. There were no details about the ceremony.

The couple, who live in Los Angeles, were honeymooning in Europe, Allen said. Petersen, one of the show's producers, plays Gil Grissom.

Ventura to be honored for integrity

Newton, Iowa -- Jesse Ventura is scheduled to headline this year's induction ceremony at the International Wrestling Institute and Museum.

The former Minnesota governor and one-time professional wrestler will receive the Frank Gotch Award during the Aug. 2 ceremony.

"Every year we give the Frank Gotch Award to a person we think brings honor and prestige to the sport of professional wrestling," museum executive director Mike Chapman said recently. "Jesse Ventura has definitely brought honor and prestige through his efforts in the political arena and through the incredible impact he's had on every major talk show in America."