Originally created 05/22/01

In the know

TV TONIGHT: News flash: Alien invaders are leaving Earth - and they're taking their off-the-wall humor with them.

3rd Rock from the Sun, the comedy about a quartet of aliens who set up house in a small Ohio town to spy on the natives, is ending its six-year run on NBC (WAGT-TV, Channel 26).

On tonight's series finale at 8, commander Dick Solomon (John Lithgow) is ordered to conclude the mission and bring his team back home, ready or not.

They're not. The alien disguised as sexy Sally (Kristen Johnston) is fretting over the decision by boyfriend Don (Wayne Knight) to wimp out of his police career. Teen-ager Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is salivating over the prospect of adulthood and getting dates older than 12.

Dim-bulb Harry (French Stewart) is too broke to pay for a decent blast-off party. And Dick faces a delicate question: whether to reveal his identity to his squeeze, college professor Mary Albright (Jane Curtin).

But the Big Giant Head has made his decision, and so has the Big Giant Network, NBC, which bounced the series around to a dozen-plus time slots before finally drop-kicking it into space.

SALUTING WOMEN: Eckerd drug stores has launched its fourth annual Salute to Women. The program celebrates volunteers who give of their hearts and time to make a difference in the lives of others.

Each store will select one woman to serve as its nominee. Of these women, 100 will be recognized nationally as the Eckerd 100 for 2001. Each of those winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip this fall to an educational symposium in St. Petersburg, Fla., and a $1,000 grant to the nonprofit organizations she represents. Nomination forms are available at Eckerd stores. The deadline for entries is June 2.

SENIOR DRIVERS: National highway officials say traffic fatalities are soaring among the more than 30 million people in the United States 65 or older. Those deaths are expected to compete with alcohol-related driving deaths as the nation's top killer. More than 7,000 people 65 years and older died in 1999 in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In 2000, more than 8,000 motorists 65 and older died across the nation in traffic accidents.

Officials say they expect the numbers to increase as baby boomers age and the senior population doubles.

To combat the increasing fatality rate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests driver education, which would include helping aging drivers recognize their changing abilities and adapt their driving practices, the administration said.


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