Defamation Lawsuit Against Columnist, Radio Personality Dismissed

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit against Star Tribune columnist and radio personality Sid Hartman, ruling that the plaintiff was a public figure and had to prove actual malice on Hartman's part.

The December 1993 lawsuit said Hartman, co-host of the WCCO-AM Radio call-in show ``Sports Huddle,'' said on the air that Dr. Robert Hunter unsuccessfully operated on 12 football players in 1982 and that none ever returned to football.

Hunter, an orthopedic surgeon who now works in Aspen, Colo., is a former University of Minnesota football team physician.

Judge Delores Orey on Aug. 4 granted Hartman summary judgment, saying that for the purposes of this case, Hunter was a public figure and therefore would have to prove actual malice on Hartman's part.

The suit contended Hartman made the comments because he was upset that Hunter had been interviewed for the book ``Under the Tarnished Dome,'' which criticized Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz. Hartman and Holtz are longtime friends, the suit said.

Hunter contended in the lawsuit that he had operated on six players. Of those, three graduated in 1982, and thus couldn't play the following season, and three others went on to earn varsity letters.

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PEOPLE:

Lemieux Named St. Paul Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Josh Lemieux, correspondent for The Associated Press in Harlingen, Texas, was named correspondent in St. Paul. The appointment was announced by Minneapolis Chief of Bureau Dave Pyle.

Lemieux, 30, joined the AP in Jefferson City, Mo., in 1989, and transferred to Kansas City later that year. He was assigned as acting correspondent in Springfield, Mo., from 1992 to 1993. In March of 1993, he was appointed to the correspondency in Harlingen.

Lemieux, a Chicago native, is a 1987 graduate of the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in political science and Latin American studies.

Mary Sandok, Lemieux's predecessor in St. Paul, has been reassigned to the Minneapolis staff.

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Lesher Communications Names Armstrong Editor

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (AP) _ Lesher Communications named John Armstrong, longtime editor of an award-winning paper in San Diego, its new editor and vice president for news.

Armstrong replaced executive editor Clayton Haswell, who resigned following a dispute with Lesher Communications' chief executive, George Riggs.

Contra Costa Times managing editor Marcia Parker and special projects editor Bob Porterfield resigned along with Haswell.

Armstrong, 52, will oversee newsroom operations for Lesher Communications' five east San Francisco Bay papers _ the Contra Costa Times, the West County Times, the Valley Times, the San Ramon Valley Times and the Ledger-Dispatch. The papers have a combined weekday circulation of 190,379.

For the past 17 years Armstrong has served as publisher and president of two Southern California daily papers, the Times-Advocate in northern San Diego and The Californian in the Riverside County community of Temecula.

Armstrong left his position at The Californian on July 28 when the paper was sold to Howard Publications for $16 million.

Before he became a publisher, Armstrong worked as a reporter, editor and executive at The Associated Press. He worked as AP bureau chief in Connecticut, Seattle and Los Angeles.

Haswell, who also worked as a news editor for AP in Minneapolis, was hired by Lesher in 1990 and became executive editor in charge of the five daily newspapers in 1992. He recruited the husband and wife team of Parker and Porterfield in 1993.

Parker, who was promoted three months ago, is credited with changes in coverage of corporate and personal finance issues _ resulting in an award this year from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Porterfield, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, was in charge of investigative reporting and played a key role in expanding computer-assisted reporting in the company.

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Home News Names Klink Managing Editor

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) _ Teresa Klink, Sunday editor of The Home News, has been named managing editor. She will oversee daily news operations at the paper and the merger of news operations with The News Tribune of Woodbridge in October.

New Jersey Press Inc., the parent company of The Home News and the Asbury Park Press, last month agreed to purchase The News Tribune from Macromedia Inc. of Hackensack.

Klink joined The Home News as features editor in July 1993. She became Sunday editor in 1994 and supervised the redesign and expansion of the Saturday and Sunday newspapers earlier this year.

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Roberts Named Morning Call Deputy Managing Editor

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) _ Alfred G. Roberts, assistant managing editor of The Morning Call, was promoted to the new position of deputy managing editor.

Roberts will have primary responsibility for editorial production and for the news-gathering and editing operations during the evening hours and in the absence of managing editor Raymond B. Holton.

Roberts, 53, has been at The Morning Call since 1983. He has been assistant managing editor since 1987. Before that, he was city editor.

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