DIED: Actor and former National Rifle Association (NRA) president Charlton Heston died April 5 at the age of 84. Heston played Moses in the 1956 epic The Ten Commandments and later won an Oscar in 1960 for his role as the chariot-racing Ben-Hur. The conservative gun-rights activist, who headed the NRA from 1998 until 2003, had announced in 2002 that he was suffering from Alzheimer's symptoms. "No one could ask for a fuller life than his," the Heston family said in a statement. "No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country."
KILLED: Gunmen shot and killed an Assyrian Orthodox priest April 5 as he and his wife returned to their home in Baghdad. Youssef Adel, 47, had fled from violence in the predominantly Sunni Dora neighborhood and moved to the largely Shiite Karradah district. There he had led services at Baghdad's St. Peter and Paul church and directed a school for Muslims and Christians at the church.
BIRTH: Rusty Yates, whose former wife Andrea Yates drowned their five children in 2001 allegedly to save them from the devil, announced that his second wife, Laura, gave birth to a son March 20. Yates remarried in 2006, a year after divorcing Andrea, who remains in a state mental institution. Andrea's lawyer George Parnham said she "obviously wants Rusty to carry on. . . . She wants only the best for Rusty's new family."
VOTING: After announcing in February that he would not vote for Sen. John McCain, Dr. James Dobson suggested he would sit out the November presidential election. On March 30, however, the Focus on the Family founder announced that he "will certainly vote," saying it is "a God-given responsibility." He did not give any indication, though, of whom he will support.
REBUFFED: Lawyers for televangelists Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar sent letters March 31 informing the Senate Finance Committee that they refuse to submit to a financial probe of their ministries because it threatens religious liberty and does not follow IRS protocol. Sen. Charles Grassley, who has led the inquiry into six ministries, had set March 31 as the deadline for compliance.