APPOINTED: Baylor University tapped Kenneth Starr, 63, to serve as the Baptist school's 14th president. Starr, who is widely recognized for his role as independent counsel during the Clinton era's Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals, has never been a member of a Baptist church. But as Rice University sociologist and Baylor alum Michael Lindsay said, "The best leaders are ones who were born for their moment in an institution's history. Both Baylor and Ken Starr have weathered significant public storms in recent decades." Starr represented supporters of California's Prop 8 marriage amendment before the state Supreme Court last year.
APPOINTED: Wheaton College announced Feb. 20 that Dr. Philip Ryken, senior pastor at Philadelphia's Tenth Presbyterian Church, will serve as the Christian school's eighth president. Ryken, a 1988 Wheaton graduate, will succeed Dr. Duane Litfin after he retires in June.
ELECTED: A 45-year-old Long Island businessman is believed to be the first Tea Party activist to attain public office after defeating his Democratic challenger in a February special election. Dean Murray, who organized Tea Party protests last year, took the oath of office Feb. 22 to serve as the New York assemblyman for Long Island's 3rd Assembly District.
ASSAULTED: A Chicago father embroiled in a bitter divorce may face jail time after he defied a court order barring him from taking his 3-year-old daughter to Catholic church services. A judge issued the unusual 30-day restraining order after Joseph Reyes, who converted to Judaism during his marriage but says he never stopped practicing Catholicism, had his daughter baptized without seeking permission from his estranged Jewish wife.
ARRESTED: The stripper who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of gang-raping her in 2006 is now facing charges of attempted murder and arson. Police officers arrested Crystal Mangum, 33, Feb. 17 after she allegedly threatened to kill her boyfriend and then set his clothes on fire in a bathtub.
DENIED: Officials say a rift over denied tenure may have instigated a Feb. 12 shooting rampage at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Amy Bishop allegedly shot and killed three colleagues and seriously wounded three others during a biology department meeting. According to a lawyer for the 44-year-old Harvard-educated neuroscientist and mother of four, Bishop does not remember shooting her colleagues but she is now "aware of what she's done. She's very sorry for it."
DIED: Former secretary of state and presidential adviser Alexander Haig died Feb. 20 at the age of 85. The four-star general was infamous for announcing, "I am in control here in the White House," after an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981. As chief of staff under President Richard Nixon, he defended the president during Watergate then was widely believed to have urged his resignation.