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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


The Stalker

David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Lisa M. Nowak, being escorted off a plane
Wednesday in Houston.

Astronaut’s Arrest Spurs Review of NASA Testing

Published: February 8, 2007

NASA is reviewing its psychological screening and checkup process in the wake of the arrest of Capt. Lisa M. Nowak, the astronaut accused of attempted murder, space agency officials said yesterday. It will also try to determine whether “indications of concern” in Captain Nowak’s case were overlooked.

Officials said, however, that her behavior had raised no obvious concerns recently and that she had been at work last week preparing for her job at mission control for the next shuttle flight, in March.

Captain Nowak, of the Navy, flew back from Orlando, Fla., to Houston yesterday morning. She covered her head with a jacket as she got off a commercial airliner, and was taken to the Johnson Space Center, where she was given medical tests, a space agency spokesman said.

The sad homecoming capped a tumultuous few days in which Captain Nowak drove more than 900 miles from Texas to Florida to confront an Air Force captain, Colleen Shipman, who she believed to be a rival for the affections of another astronaut. The police say Captain Nowak sprayed Captain Shipman with pepper spray at Orlando International Airport early Monday morning.

Captain Nowak, who wore diapers on the drive so she would not have to stop to relieve herself, took along a disguise, a compressed air pistol, a steel mallet, a knife, latex gloves and garbage bags, the police said. She was charged on Tuesday with attempted murder and released on bail.

NASA officials have said that this appears to be the first time that an active duty astronaut has been charged with a felony.

On Tuesday, Captain Shipman filed a request for a protective order against Captain Nowak. In that document, she stated that Captain Nowak had been stalking her for about two months and referred to the astronaut who officials say was the focus of Captain Nowak’s jealousy, Cmdr. William A. Oefelein of the Navy, as her “boyfriend.” She also said that she had not met Captain Nowak until the attack.

I wish the media would stop calling this a love triangle. There is NO evidence that Cmdr. Oerferlin had anything but a social relationship with Nowak.

Please explain how she is different than a stalker who fixates on a person and then seeks to harm them.

When Dr. Phil had on a young woman who imagined that she was going to marry Jay-Z, she was ill. But she wasn't in a love triangle with him and Beyonce.

NASA finds the love triangle easier than the stalker angle. But it doesn't mean it's true