ILL: Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, 76, the second-longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate, was released from a Boston hospital May 21 after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and suffering repeated seizures. The last son in a preeminent political family, Kennedy carved a Senate career beginning in 1962 as a liberal maverick but more recently surprised political friends and foes by supporting compromise legislation on immigration and siding with pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback in a bill to lower the abortion rate among mothers carrying babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. Malignant gliomas are diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year; in general, half of all patients die within a year.
DIED: Florida pastor Forrest Pollock, 44, and his 13-year-old son Preston died May 12 after their single-engine plane crashed in North Carolina. The senior pastor at Tampa-area Bell Shoals Baptist Church was scheduled to speak at the Southern Baptist Convention's June meeting. Pollock is survived by his wife Dawn and five other children.
AWARDED: Ellie Morse of Dickson, Tenn., is the top winner in The Better Hour contest (WORLD, Oct. 13, 2007) for high-school students. She won a $10,000 prize for raising awareness for northern Uganda's "invisible children." Other winners who developed service efforts in the tradition of William Wilberforce were Ashley Eberhart of Culver, Ind.; Riley Mulhern of Englewood, Colo.; Sarasi Jayanatne of Potomac Falls, Va.; Greyson Gregory of Branford, Conn.; and Jourdan Urbach of Roslyn Heights, N.Y.
DIED: Gospel music legend Dottie Rambo, who published more than 2,500 songs- including the 1999 award-winning "I Go to the Rock"-and had works in nearly every hymnbook, died May 11 in a tour bus accident.
DIED: The 5-year-old daughter of Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman was struck by an SUV driven by her teenage brother in the family's Nashville-area driveway May 21. She died later at Vanderbilt hospital. Chapman and his wife have promoted international adoption and have three daughters from China; Maria, at 5, was the youngest. They have three biological children.
FIRED: A University of Toledo faculty member was fired after she wrote a column in the Toledo Free Press questioning whether homosexuality is a civil rights issue. Crystal Dixon, associate vice president of human resources, wrote that as "a Black woman," she took "great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are civil rights victims. Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended." The university said she was fired because her values "do not accord" with the school.