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And a happy New Year...Piniella issues a resolution...Ted and Jane's excellent wedding


By incorrigible New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, a Christmas party for 1,200 school children in Tampa. General Norman Schwarzkopf read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and joined Steinbrenner, who was dressed in a Santa Claus suit, for a round of carols. "They can talk all they want about the trouble with our youth," Steinbrenner said. "But we won't have any trouble if we do more things like this." The Boss had a busy week: He helped the Tampa Bay Lightning make a final $22.5 million payment to qualify for admission to the NHL next season, and he weighed asking baseball commissioner Fay Vincent for reinstatement as the Yankees' managing partner.

To become secretary of the Kentucky Tourism Cabinet, former Kentucky basketball star Dan Issel. "As I analyzed the candidates, he stood head and shoulders above the rest of them," said Governor Brereton Jones. The 6'9" Issel, who wore a trademark snaggle-toothed grimace while scoring 27,482 points for the Kentucky Colonels and Denver Nuggets during a 15-year pro career, starts his new job after he finishes the season as a Nugget broadcaster.

A lawsuit against inflammable Cincinnati Reds manager Lou Piniella, filed last summer by the major league umpires' union on behalf of Gary Darling. Piniella accused Darling of bias after a game in which Darling overruled another umpire, taking a home run away from the Reds. Terms of the settlement weren't revealed, but Piniella expressed "high regard for Gary Darling's integrity" in a statement released by the commissioner's office.

A lawsuit against baseball, filed last week by Pam Postema, who spent 13 years in the minors trying to become the first female umpire in big-league history. The sex-discrimination suit asks for back pay and damages, and for Postema to be placed in a major league job. Postema was released in 1989; she now works for Federal Express. "I'm in real good shape," she said. "A lot better shape than those umpires I see in the majors. They don't miss many meals."

Dropped Out
Of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Trials, three-time national champion Jill Trenary, citing ankle pain and difficulty adjusting to new coach Carol Heiss, the 1960 Olympic gold medalist. Trenary, a fourth-place finisher at the 1988 Calgary Olympics and the 1990 world champion, is out of the running for a spot on the American team for the upcoming Albertville Games; the favorites are Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.

The option to merge their mutual interests, sportsman and media mogul Ted Turner and Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda. The couple tied the knot on Saturday, Fonda's 54th birthday, in a small ceremony attended by friends and relatives at Turner's 8,100-acre plantation near Tallahassee, Fla. Turner and Fonda, who both were married twice before, are hoping the third time's the charm. The wedding was supposed to be a secret, but Turner's own news network, CNN, broke the story.



Santa Steinbrenner upstaged Schwarzkopf.