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People in the News

March 17, 1986

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (AP) _ John Larroquette, who won an Emmy Award for his comic role in the television series ″Night Court,″ will portray a mailman wrongly convicted of rape, says the movie’s co-producer.

Larroquette, the vain, sex-driven prosecutor in ″Night Court,″ will portray Douglas Forbes of Elizabethton in an ABC-TV movie in May, said Harriet Brown of the Larry Thompson Organization, a Hollywood production company.

Filming for the two-hour movie, still untitled, began Friday, Ms. Brown said.

Forbes, 44, was convicted of several rapes in Washington and Carter counties in eastern Tennessee in the 1970s, and served five years in prison before another man confessed to the crimes. He was released in 1980.

The story will be told through his wife Martha, played by Lindsay Wagner, Ms. Brown said.

Carroll O’Connor, who played Archie Bunker in ″All In The Family,″ will play Lewis May, the prosecutor who sent Forbes to prison, Ms. Brown said.

Gary Grubbs, who portrayed an attorney in ″Fatal Vision,″ a television movie about an Army captain who murdered his family, will play defense attorney Tom Cowan.

Ms. Brown said she got the idea for the movie after watching a CBS News feature on Forbes by Charles Kuralt.

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DENVER (AP) - Vice President George Bush and wife Barbara became grandparents again over the weekend.

Pierce Mallon Bush weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 1/2 ounces Saturday at Rose Medical Center. He is the second child of the Bushs’ son Neil and his wife, Sharon.

Mother and baby are doing well, a spokeswoman at Rose said.

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FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) - Nine-year-old David Rothenberg, who was nearly killed three years ago when his father set him afire in a motel room, is taking karate lessons and thinking of becoming a fireman, his mother says.

Actually, he can’t decide whether to be a firefighter, a minister, a karate studio owner or all three, Marie Rothenberg said last week.

″He’s driving me crazy. Isn’t that terrific?″ she said.

David has adjusted to life as a fourth grader at Eastside Christian School, and she credits public support and recognition of his courage for helping him recover.

Pacific Christian College of Fullerton has promised David a scholarship, Mrs. Rothenberg said, but for now he tinkers with a home computer and a stamp collection, and practices his karate.

Mrs. Rothenberg says some people ″stop and point and stare″ at her son’s burn scars, ″and some are so rude and insensitive I could scream.″

David still doesn’t want to see or speak to his father, Charles Rothenberg of New York, who is serving a 13-year prison term for the arson and attempted murder in a Buena Park motel room in March 1983. He and David were staying at the motel during a trip to Disneyland. Mrs. Rothenberg stayed in New York.

The father said he meant to kill himself and David because he believed Mrs. Rothenberg, who had been granted custody in their divorce, wouldn’t permit him to see David anymore.

Instead, he fled as flames swept through the motel room. David suffered burns over 90 percent of his body.

″I look at my son sometimes, and my heart just breaks because he has missed so much joy in life,″ Mrs. Rothenberg said.

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Rock star John Cougar Mellencamp, pausing during a concert to urge support for the American farmer, said he thinks things will change for farmers because of ″people and protest.″

″Your state is one of the hardest hit,″ Mellencamp told an audience Sunday at Middle Tennessee State University. ″There are 106 farms a week going under in this state.″

Mellencamp urged concertgoers to write to their legislators for aid to farmers.

Mellencamp, whose current hit is ″R.O.C.K in the U.S.A,″ is a native of rural Indiana and sang at last year’s Farm Aid concert in Champaign, Ill.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Bob McDill, who penned the hit song ″Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On,″ has been voted 1985 songwriter of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

The song, recorded by country star Mel McDaniel, was voted song of the year by the organization.

In past years, McDill also wrote the country hits ″Louisiana Saturday Night,″ recorded by McDaniel, and ″Catfish John,″ recorded by Johnny Russell.

McDill was honored at ceremonies Saturday night.

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LONDON (AP) - Irish pop star Bob Geldof was the only man without a bow tie at the star-studded annual awards ceremony of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

″I would have put one on if I had known I was coming up here,″ he said Sunday when he went to the platform in an ordinary tie.

Geldof received the award for originality in television for his Live Aid rock concert for African famine relief.

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