Two pronunciations for Arkansas River

Published June 27, 2002|Updated Sept. 3, 2005

Q: Can you clarify the correct pronunciation of the river in Oklahoma where an interstate highway bridge recently collapsed after being stuck by a barge? ABC's Peter Jennings called it Ar-kan-SAW, but PBS' Jim Lehrer said Ar-KAN-sas, as in the state of Kansas.

A: The Houghton Mifflin Dictionary of Geography lists both pronunciations, with the one ending in "-saw" first.

A recent article in the Denver Post provides a clue about the confusion in a report starting this way:

"When it comes to water, Colorado and Kansas don't speak the same language. They don't even pronounce the name of the Arkansas River, the one they're always fighting about, the same way.

"To Coloradans, it's ar-kan-SAW, like the state. Kansas changes the pronunciation to match its name: the Ar-KAN-sas."

So, take your pick.

No figure on IRS

lottery collections

Q: How much money did the Internal Revenue Service collect from all the lottery winners in the United States last year?

A: The IRS says no such figure is available because it doesn't compile a cumulative, nationwide total of income from these winnings.

Details on NBA player's

ill daughter

Q: After the Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings game May 26, Robert Horry said his having hit the three-pointer that won the game for the Lakers was nothing compared with the difficulties he has faced with a sick daughter. What is the nature of her illness?

A: Ashlyn Horry, 8, suffers from a neurological syndrome that mimics cerebral palsy.

As her parents told a reporter for the Los Angeles Times recently, she was born without part of her first chromosome. She can't speak or walk, and there's no guarantee she ever will. She eats mostly through a tube in her stomach.

She spent her first six months in the hospital and has been back often. She is being treated at the Pediatric Therapy Center in Houston, where the family lives.

Robert and Keva Horry also have a 3-year-old son, Robert Camron, who is healthy.

"Great love' kills


Q: It was reported that famed former ballerina Irinel Liciu committed suicide in Romania one day after the death of her husband. Do you have any details on their deaths?

A: Liciu, 74, took an overdose of sleeping pills May 26. Her husband, celebrated Romanian poet Stefan Augustin Doinas, 80, died May 25 from heart failure a week after having surgery for a cancerous tumor.

Police said Liciu, who was considered one of Romania's best ballerinas, committed suicide rather than face a future without her husband of more than 42 years.

A former prima ballerina of the Romanian Opera House, she left a suicide note saying her husband's death broke her heart. According to the daily newspaper Evenimentul Zilei, her note said: "God forgive me . . . such a great love kills."

Doinas wrote 23 books of poetry as well as children's books, essay collections and a novel during a career that spanned decades.

Clinton's Ickes

2nd-generation politico

Q: Was the Harold M. Ickes who ran Hilary Clinton's Senate campaign in New York related to Harold L. Ickes who was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's interior secretary?

A: Harold L. was Harold M.'s father.

Massachusetts has

"best regional theater'

Q: An article about the winners of the Tony Awards listed Williamstown as "best regional theater." Where is that?

A: The Williamstown Theatre Festival is in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.

Have a question about the news? Colin Bessonette will try to get an answer. Call (404) 222-2002 or write to him at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, P.O. Box 4689, Atlanta, GA 30302, or e-mail him at q&