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CAMDEN COUNTY JOINS LIST OF PLAINTIFFS IN GUN LAWSUIT

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- Camden County has joined the list of governments suing the gun industry to recover costs stemming from handgun violence.The lawsuit does not specify a damage amount, but officials said Wednesday that the county has spent millions cleaning up the damage wrought by firearms.

The county, the first local government to file such a suit in the state, wants to recoup part of the cost of running offices for the prosecutor, sheriff and medical examiner, and the juvenile detention center and county jail, officials said.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, also seeks to compel the gun industry to use so-called "smart gun" technology, rendering guns inoperable by anyone except the registered owner.

Last year, 30 people were killed by handguns in Camden County, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.

ONE KILLED, 5 OTHERS HURT WHEN COPTER CRASHES IN N.C.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) -- An Air Force helicopter on a training mission crashed in a wooded area at Fort Bragg, killing one person and injuring five others, military officials said.

Officials don't know what caused the MH-53J Pave Low aircraft to go down Wednesday night. Military police were guarding the crash site pending the arrival of investigators.

Five of the six crew members aboard received only minor injuries. The sixth died Thursday morning at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, said Capt. Tatiana Stead, a public affairs officers at Hurlburt Field in Florida.

CLINTON OFFERS NOMINATION FOR SECRETARY OF THE A.F.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton is nominating F. Whitten Peters to be secretary of the Air Force.

Peters, the current acting secretary, was named under secretary in November 1997. The Air Force's top civilian job has been vacant since Sheila Widnall resigned in October 1997 to return to teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The administration's original choice for the post, attorney Charles Curtis, a former Energy Department official, withdrew his name in April over concern that his confirmation would focus on the issue of lax security at the nation's nuclear weapons labs.

ACTRESS HILLARY BROOKE DIES IN CALIFORNIA AT 84

BONSALL, Calif. (AP) -- Hillary Brooke, the elegant blond actress who played the "other woman" in dozens of movies and had a recurring role in the 1950s TV sitcom "My Little Margie," has died. She was 84.

Miss Brooke died May 25 in Bonsall in Southern California, according to a friend, Helen Lovass.

Although Miss Brooke was often tagged a "blonde bombshell," she once publicly challenged a psychology professor's claim that "intelligence can repel a man" and that smart actresses would frighten male fans.

"Vacuity will never substitute for a glint of intelligence," she said.

Although never a leading lady, the former model worked with top actors and directors in such movies as "Jane Eyre," (1944) which starred Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine; "The Enchanted Cottage," (1944) starring Robert Young; "Road to Utopia" (1945) starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby; and Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956).

FORE! LANDSLIDE KNOCKS AN 18TH HOLE ONTO BEACH

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (AP) -- Fore! A landslide knocked the 18th hole of a new golf course off an ocean bluff and onto the beach below, with an employee riding along.

The employee of the unopened, $80 million Ocean Trails development rode the 150-foot slide to the beach on a grass island and was lifted to safety by a Los Angeles County fire helicopter, fire Inspector Dennis Cross said.

The landslide Wednesday followed unusually heavy rains overnight that set records in Los Angeles, 30 miles to the north.

The slide took an area about 600 feet long and 220 feet wide, including fairway and green, said Michael Hoye, a spokesman for Ocean Trails.

4 N.Y. OFFICERS KILL MAN WHO RAMMED CAR INTO CRUISER

PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS, N.J. (AP) -- Four police officers fired 27 shots at an unarmed motorist who rammed his car into their cruisers during a highway chase, killing the man.

The driver, Stanton Crew, 31, was struck four times. His passenger was struck in the leg.

Police fired on Crew when he rammed his Camaro into two patrol cars that had boxed him in following Wednesday's chase, prosecutor John Dangler said.

"They were in fear of their lives," Dangler said.

Crew was chased when an officer spotted him driving erratically.

His passenger, Adrienne Lynn Hart, 22, told police that Crew said he had no insurance and could not afford to stop. Crew was driving with a suspended driver's license and had been issued a string of other traffic violations.

BARBER'S WIDOW LOSES BID TO COLLECT CANCER DAMAGES

ELLISVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- The widow of a barber killed by cancer after decades of breathing the smoke exhaled by his customers is not entitled to damages from the tobacco industry, a jury ruled.

"I don't think he'd be surprised (by the verdict)," Ava Dean Butler said Wednesday of her late husband, Burl. "But he would be pleased about the public awareness."

The 62-year-old widow sued cigarette makers, saying secondhand smoke killed her husband in 1994 at age 60. The jury deliberated about two hours Wednesday before rejecting the $650 million claim.

Tobacco lawyers argued that Butler had a family history of cancer and that he had been exposed to asbestos in talcum power and methylene chloride in hair spray used in his shop.