Black Augusta member is televison executive

Ron Townsend, president of Gannett Television Group, has become the first black accepted for membership in the Augusta National Golf Club, site of the annual Masters tournament.

Townsend, 48 and a 30-year veteran of the television industry, served as director of field services for the Children's Television Workshop and was involved in the children's programs "Sesame Street" and "Electric Company." He became station manager of WTOP-TV in Washington in 1978 and served in that position until being named to his present post in May 1989.



William Reedy, a Detroit bar owner charged with drunken driving in the wreck that killed Billy Martin was behind the wheel when the baseball manager's pickup truck crashed last Christmas, witnesses said at the trial in Port Crane, N.Y.


Brent Piech, 14, told jurors he and his family were returning from doing chores at a nearby farm when they saw the pickup truck lying driver's side up in the ditch. He testified that while his mother rushed back to a nearby house to summon an ambulance he and his father tried to aid the accident victims. He said Martin was pinned up against the passenger side door with Reedy on top of him.


The team of Willie Gault, Edwin Moses and Bubba Womack set a new track record in the three-man push competition at the National Bobsled Push Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. The threesome posted a record time of 5.18 seconds on one run and won the three-heat competition with an overall time of 15.68 seconds.

Jeff Woodard of Schenectady, N.Y., Todd Snavely of Ballston Spa, N.Y., and Bryan Leturgez of Cedar Lake, Ind., finished second with an overall time of 15.72 seconds. The trio of Greg Harrell of Laurel, Md., Mike Mazzi of San Antonio and Carey Winslett of Randolph AFB, Texas, finished third in 15.93.

Track and field

Randy Barnes, world record-holder in the shot put, is dismissing as rumors reports that he tested positive for banned drugs at a meet in Sweden.

"This doesn't sound right to me at all," Barnes told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm not surprised to hear this. I've heard rumors like this before, but it has never led to anything, but it can do damage."

L'Equipe, a French sports daily, said Barnes tested positive at the Aug. 7 meet at Malmo. He won the shot put there with a throw of 74 feet, 11 1/4 inches, 11 inches short of the record of 75-10 1/4 he set earlier in the year.


U.S. and international track officials have said they were unable to confirm the report.

Pro basketball

The National Basketball Association will consider changing five major rules during their four-day conference beginning tomorrow in Boca Raton, Fla. They are:

*Moving the three-point line from the current 23-foot, 9-inch limit at the top of the circle possibly to the international range of 20 feet, 6 inches.

*Adoption of a no-foul-out rule, as had been used in the American Basketball Association.

*A crackdown on flagrant fouls.


*Changes in the tie-breaker procedures for determining the home-court advantage in the NBA Finals.

*Not resetting the 24-second clock after a jump-ball situation if the offensive team regains control.

*Australian Andrew Gaze, who was a standout at Seton Hall, was hospitalized in Melbourne, Australia, with a blood clot in his right shoulder that will likely keep him from a tryout with the Portland Trail Blazers. Gaze, 25, who has led the Australian National League in scoring the past five years, was to join the NBA team in camp later this month.

*Former NBA star Bob Love, jobless for seven years after his retirement because of a stutter, has been honored for his perseverance on and off the court with the Oscar Robertson Leadership Award.

Nordstrom's, a Seattle-based department store chain, hired Love in 1985 at age 42 as a busboy and paid for speech therapy. Love now is director of health and sanitation for Nordstrom's 35 restaurants.

Love entered the NBA in 1966, played eight years with the Chicago Bulls and retired in 1977.


*Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Judge James Kilbane suspended an 18-month prison sentence and $2,500 fine on a felony cocaine charge and six months in jail and $1,000 fine for drunken driving on the condition former Cleveland State coach Kevin Mackey spend a minimum of 60 days at the Turning Point Residential Program in suburban Brecksville, Ohio. Mackey, 45, pleaded no contest to charges of cocaine abuse and driving under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested July 13 after leaving an alleged crack house.


President Bush will honor Team USA, which recently won the World Lacrosse Games championship in Perth Australia, in the White House rose garden tomorrow at 2:45 p.m. Among the players and coaches honored will be former Johns Hopkins defenseman Dave Pietramala, who was named the most valuable player in the tournament, defenseman Steve Mitchell, from St. Paul's and Johns Hopkins, John Tucker from Archbishop Curley and Johns Hopkins, who was selected the outstanding midfielder in the competition; and Mac Ford from Gilman and North Carolina, the top attackman in the games. Arlie Marshall, head coach of Maryland Lacrosse Club, and Terry Corcoran, head coach of Washington College, will also be honored.

Japanese baseball boom