Published Online: October 14, 1998
Published in Print: October 14, 1998, as Federal File

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A spokesman's exit

Michael McCurry

Now that Michael McCurry has stepped down from his in-the-spotlight job as White House spokesman, he says he's looking forward to spending more time with his three young children--and the public schools they attend.

The Silver Spring, Md., resident plans to "play a lot of golf, make a little money, do a lot of Little League coaching and volunteering in my schools," he told reporters on Oct. 1, his last day as President Clinton's press secretary.

His final press briefing--his 539th at the White House lectern--was filled with nostalgia for the reporters who had become accustomed to his wit and mellow style.

Ultimately, they asked so many personal questions that the meeting spilled over and in part delayed a White House rally to promote Democratic education initiatives.

Safe houses

Television home-improvement expert Bob Vila is serving as a national spokesman for a campaign to protect children from common household hazards.

Sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Healthy Homes initiative kicked off in New York City earlier this month.

It will combine newspaper advertising, a public-service announcement featuring Mr. Vila, and a brochure that will be distributed by various organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Federal Housing Administration.

According to statistics compiled by the Healthy Homes campaign, 2.5 million children are injured each year--approximately 2,600 of them fatally--because of household dangers, such as inserting objects into electrical outlets and choking on small toys.

The brochure, "Danger in the Home," lists 37 tips and warnings for parents of young children.

Parents are told, for instance, that they should never use an electric blanket in the crib or bed of an infant or small child, and to test homes built before 1978 for lead paint.

Parents can also call a toll-free hot line--(800) HUDS-FHA--for more information.

--JOETTA L. SACK & LINDA JACOBSON

Vol. 18, Issue 7, Page 22

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