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What Will Be the Final Chapters for Stephen King

  • Capital Connections ®
  • |
  • July 01, 1999

by Karen Feld

What Will Be the Final Chapters for Stephen King, Random House & GOP Presidential Race

Top-selling horror writer Stephen King’s accident case is apparently not as “open and shut” as originally believed. Small towns are small towns — Lovell, ME is no exception. It seems that Bryan Smith, the driver of the minivan that struck King some two weeks ago while he walked on the shoulder of a windy road, is the brother of neighboring Fryeburg, ME’s Police Sergeant Everett Smith. Local folk say the driver may have been heavily medicated, and in fact, had had his driver’s license previously suspended for an adverse medical condition. But that wasn’t the only mark on his license. In fact, it had been revoked and restored three times during the summer of 1998. Interestingly, no blood alcohol test was administered yet law enforcement officers were quick to say that alcohol was not involved. The police investigation is ongoing at this time as conflicting accounts of the accident make the rounds. As for King, he was seriously injured, and will be in rehab for the next year. According to the police scanner — and contrary to the word put out by his family– he was knocked unconscious by the accident. The King family has always tried to maintain anonymity and privacy in their home state of Maine. In fact, it isn’t unusual to see the writer walking through the streets of Bridgton or Lovell, small western Maine lake towns, stopping in a variety store on main street for lunch, or at the Portland airport personally receiving cartons of his paperbacks. In yet another small town coincidence, accident witness Chip Baker is the uncle of Oxford County, ME, Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Baker, one of the original officers investigating the accident.

What is happening to the women executives at Random House? During the past month and a half since the German-based Bertlesman buyout of the US publishing giant, the “downsizing” otherwise categorized as “the publishing putsch” has centered on the removal of more than eight senior women within the imprints of Random House. Most of these women were regarded as effective executives with decades of experience producing bottom-line results. Notified on Mondays and gone by Thursdays, these gender-specific firings appear to form a peculiarly discriminatory pattern. Whispers are becoming shouts.

“W” leads the pack of presidential contenders, at least in dollars raised. But many Washingtonians are already feeling slighted as he hits the campaign trail. Although he raised two million dollars in Washington last week, George W. Bush has decided not to open a D.C. campaign headquarters. One Bush campaign insider said he “thinks it’s bad politics to open a D.C. office.” Could that mean that he’s written off the nation’s capital as winnable by a Republican?

He was a no show at a gala bipartisan dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building last night celebrating a New Hampshire tradition, the presidential primary. Many other contenders for the nomination were on hand: Elizabeth Dole, Pat Buchanan, Ohio Rep. John Kasich, Sens. John McCain and Bob Smith, Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, and even Vice President Al Gore. Republicans seemed to feel that “W’s” nomination is a done deal, but many touted Arizona John McCain as an ideal runningmate. But that didn’t seem to phase Mr. Gore, who was animated and in good humor. “We are all here in the Ronald Reagan Building,” he said. “You can all say I paid for this microphone but I’m the only one who can say I invented this microphone.”

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