By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Dec. 31, 2001 at 3:57 PM
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Popular TV personality Rosie O'Donnell says she is behind former Attorney General Janet Reno's bid to become the next governor of the state of Florida. She's so sincere that she hosted a $250-per-person fundraising dinner for Reno recently. Published reports indicate that O'Donnell's goal was to raise about $50,000 for Reno's planned campaign. The event was held at O'Donnell's "second home," a private estate on Miami Beach's Star Island.


Many people enter into marriage knowing little about the institution. Most of it they may have picked up from their parents or movies. But, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, when Jane Harrier and Hazen Master got married this past week, they brought a combined total of 101 years of experience into the union. Master had been married for 51 years, until widowered last year. Harrier had been married for 50 until her husband died. The pair met last October. Master asked Harrier if she wanted to have dinner. Harrier told the publication that the meeting marked the first time anyone had asked her to go on a date in half a century. Friends and family, including some grandchildren, attended the weekend marriage. The publication says there are over two million marriages each year in this country, but it's rare that bride and groom are both 75.


For quite a few years a rising young engineer, Steve Ogg, worked for Boeing in the development of new-generation aircraft. He even came up with a design breakthrough that was incorporated into the 767-400 jetliner. Now Ogg has left Boeing to take on a new assignment. After years of working to make it possible for jet planes to fly faster, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says that Ogg is now working to make golf balls fly farther and faster. Working for Callaway Golf, Ogg has discovered a new way to increase ball flight by abandoning the traditional "dimple" design that's been used for about 90 years. Ogg replaces the "dimples" with repeating patterns of hexagonal and pentagonal designs. The paper says that Ogg's invention is being merchandised as the "HX" model, pronounced "hex." Ironically its inventor calls himself a "bad golfer." Ogg left Boeing four years ago to devote all of his time to golf ball aerodynamics.


A sheriff who is heading up a private investigation into the killing of Columbine High School student Daniel Rohrbough has been praised by many in the law enforcement community recently. But, according to the Denver Post, there are many who believe that El Paso County Sheriff John Anderson may have a tough time because of many legal roadblocks that could be put in his way. The visiting sheriff is trying to determine whether student Rohrbough was killed by one of the two fellow classmates who went on the well-publicized fatal rampage, or was killed by police bullets when caught in the crossfire. One local legal expert tells the publication that he fears that there are so many lawsuits hanging fire, involving members of local police units, that it may never be possible to get anyone involved in the shootings and their aftermath to speak openly about what happened.


Though her roots are in Nashville, singer Barbara Mandrell has all but faded from the Music City USA scene, since her "final" concert back in the fall of 1997. Now, according to the news provider, Mandrell will make a rare appearance in the Tennessee capital on Jan. 24 when she hosts the final round of the Colgate Country Showdown at the Grand Ole Opry. The finals, which feature six regional winners, will be taped for television and broadcast via syndication. The long-running national country talent contest has been going on for years; this is the first time that the Colgate-Palmolive Co. has been the national sponsor. Previously the True Valley hardware store chain paid the freight. Mandrell noted that she was eager to do the show because she remembers how she was "discovered" by a country music executive while playing in a small club in Nashville.


Police in California wine country -- in Sonoma County -- confirm that a light plane took off by itself from a small airstrip and flew for 20 minutes before finally crashing. Published reports indicate that the small, two-seater plane was built in the 1950s. The owner of the plane had been working on the craft's engine when, as he told the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, "it suddenly got away ... " By the way, published reports indicate that in recent years three other planes of the same model decided to take a joy ride without anyone in the cockpit. Back in 1987 one suddenly took off from an airport in New York state. In that incident, the pilot-less aircraft remained airborne for more than 65 miles, finally crashing into a tree. In 1990 a similar model started doing circles on the ground at a Florida airport with its owner holding on for dear life. One took off several years ago in Ohio and flew for an hour and a half before crashing.


On this final day of 2001, the Seventh Day of Christmas, we're asking: "What was the strangest thing that ever happened to you on New Year's Eve?" Put NEW YEARS in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Last week we wondered if you ever had anyone who came to visit and just wouldn't leave ... in the manner of "The Man Who Came to Dinner." Here are some of the replies: Donna had a water softener salesman who keep going and going and going. He was there for four hours. ShebaML says her brother comes out to Long Island to visit with friends. Once he brought three friends. Two were OK, the third was a real "free spirit" who treated the home as a hotel. When the group was ready to leave, the "free spirit" announced she wanted to stay. They didn't let her. Kathy says her cousin Michael never seems to leave without calling the 41-year-old man's mother and asking that he be called home. Karen had a friend arrive once who was so inebriated he sat on her cat. RB had a Christmas party that dragged on so late that the person she thought was the last guest left at dawn. Then, going to her bedroom found still another guest was asleep in her bed. GBA.

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