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Pair Give Hands to Handicapped

--Getting married costs less than adoption, so Debbie Davis, 28, decided it was just plain good business sense to tie the knot with an 83-year-old blind man. Davis, of Hammondsport, N.Y., married Theodore Collins for the same reason that her mother, Jane MacIntosh, 51, married 72-year-old amputee John Coughlin in December--to keep them in the family and beat the system. Eight years ago, Collins and Coughlin moved into MacIntosh’s home, but they were faced with eviction last year when county social services officials said that MacIntosh was violating state regulations that require licenses for homes in which personal care is provided to non-relatives. The cost of meeting those regulations far exceeds the $728 in monthly Social Security checks that Coughlin and Collins receive. So, MacIntosh, a mother of 12 who attends nursing school, decided to marry Coughlin, a former truck driver who has lost both legs, in December. The couple then wanted to adopt Collins, who the county said must be put in a nursing home. However, the cost of a $5 marriage license was less expensive than adoption, so Davis offered her hand as well. Social Services officials said they would be looking into the matter.

--Actress Lana Turner and her daughter, Cheryl Crane, have sued TV Guide for more than $100 million, charging that the magazine falsely reported that Crane had been convicted of murder. They allege that an April, 1985, article said Crane was convicted of murdering Johnny Stompanato, her mother’s longtime boyfriend. Turner and her daughter contend that details in the article were false and libelous because a Los Angeles County coroner’s panel in April, 1958, absolved Crane of blame in Stompanato’s death. The suit was filed in Los Angeles against the article’s author, Bill Davidson, the magazine and the magazine’s publisher, Triangle Publications. It seeks at least $500,000 apiece for Turner and Crane in general damages and $50 million apiece in punitive damages.

--The world’s first all-heart-transplant softball team is being organized and will begin practice April 20, Barnes Hospital announced in St. Louis, Mo. “I’m sure, in time, we’ll have a very competitive team,” said Clay Hyland, chairman of the Heart Transplant Assn. “Actually, right now we need a third baseman and a center fielder.” Since the hospital’s transplant program began in January, 1985, 26 patients have received new hearts. Players will be given numbers that correspond to the order of the transplants at Barnes. “We want the public to know that heart recipients are healthy, active people with a strong desire to be contributing members of society,” Hyland said.


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