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Actress Margot Kidder’s death ruled a suicide

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HELENA, Mont. — “Superman” actress Margot Kidder’s death has been ruled a suicide, and her daughter said Wednesday it’s a relief to finally have the truth out.

Kidder, who was born in Yellowknife and played Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve’s Superman in her most famous role, was found by a friend in her Montana home on May 13.

At the time, Kidder’s manager, Camilla Fluxman Pines, said Kidder died peacefully in her sleep.

A statement released Wednesday by Park County coroner Richard Wood said the 69-year-old Kidder “died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose” and that no further details would be released.

Maggie McGuane, Kidder’s daughter by her ex-husband Thomas McGuane, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that she knew her mother died by suicide the moment authorities took her to Kidder’s home in Livingston, a small town near Yellowstone National Park.

“It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” she said. “It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this.”

Kidder’s death is one of several high-profile suicides this year that include celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade.

McGuane noted that Montana has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation and she urged people with mental illness to seek help.

“It’s a very unique sort of grief and pain,” McGuane said. “Knowing how many families in this state go through this, I wish that I could reach out to each one of them.”

Kidder struggled with mental illness much of her life, and it was made worse by a 1990 car accident that left her in debt and led to her using a wheelchair for almost two years.

Kidder and Reeve starred in four Superman movies between 1978 and 1987. She also appeared in “The Great Waldo Pepper” with Robert Redford in 1975, Brian De Palma’s “Sisters” in 1973 and “The Amityville Horror” in 1979.

She later appeared in small films and television shows until 2017, including “R.L. Stine’s the Haunting Hour.” She received a Daytime Emmy Award as outstanding performer in a kids’ series in 2015 for that role.

Kidder was a political activist who was arrested in 2011 in a Washington, D.C., protest over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s oil sands.

Her final years were troubled by conflicts with people who were down on their luck that she took into her home. Between August 2016 and her death in May, authorities were called to her house 40 times on reports of people trespassing, theft and other disturbances, according to police logs released to the AP under a public-records request.

The calls include responses by ambulances five times in seven months, including at the time of her death.

Joan Kesich, a longtime friend who found Kidder’s body, said Kidder was fearless and always spoke the truth, regardless of the consequences.

“In her last months, she was herself — same kind of love, same kind of energy,” Kesich said. “The challenges that she had were very public. I want what I know about her to be out there because it was glorious. She was really a blazing energy.”

 

Matt Volz, The Associated Press


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Woman and her dog lost for 72 hours in B.C. woods are found safe

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INVERMERE, B.C. — A 52-year-old woman and her dog are both safe and unharmed after wandering lost for 72 hours in the thick woods in southeastern B.C.

RCMP Sgt. Chris Newel says Louise Baxter hopped off a rescue helicopter Wednesday, hugged her husband and was talking and laughing with her rescuers.

Baxter went out for a hike with friends in the Jumbo Pass area on Sunday, but she disappeared after taking her leashed dog out for what she said would be a short walk.

Newel says Baxter appears to have become disoriented shortly after leaving her friends and then heading down the mountain, moving “west when she probably should have been heading east.”

The dog, a golden poodle named Maverick, was with her the whole time and Newel says the animal is also in good health. 

At the height of the search, there were three helicopters, four search dogs, a drone and 35 search and rescue volunteers looking for the woman in the difficult, mountainous terrain.

Newel, who was the incident commander for the search, said Baxter saw the search helicopters and tried to flag them down, but no one saw her.

“But if anybody’s every been in a helicopter, trying spot a person in forested area is extremely difficult and a lot harder than you would think,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “I can’t imagine the emotion that would have gone through her seeing these helicopters and not be able to signal them in some sort of way.”

Baxter is an avid hiker, Newel said, adding the general rule of thumb for those who get lost in the woods is to stay put. Baxter did stay in one place for a while but proceeded down the mountain because she thought help wasn’t coming, he said.

“But she was working further and further out from the primary search area.”

He said she found water along the way and ate berries, but didn’t have anything else to eat.

“I couldn’t believe when she walked off that helicopter and practically ran to her husband,” Newel added.

 

The Canadian Press


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Greens won’t run candidate in Burnaby South as ‘leader’s courtesy’ to Singh: May

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VICTORIA — The Green party will not run a candidate against NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the riding of Burnaby South.

Green Leader Elizabeth May says the decision is an extension of a “leader’s courtesy,” a long-standing Canadian parliamentary tradition that facilitates a newly elected party leader’s entry to the House of Commons in an unopposed byelection.

She says in a statement the Greens believe it is right to step aside to allow the leader of “an important part of the political spectrum” to serve in Parliament.

Singh announced his candidacy for the federal riding after New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart indicated he was stepping aside to run for mayor of Vancouver.

The Liberal and Conservative parties have not announced candidates in the riding, but the Liberals have said they will contest the byelection.

May received the leader’s courtesy in 2008 when then-Liberal leader Stephane Dion chose not to run a candidate against her in Central Nova. She extended the same gesture to Dion.

In 2002, the Liberals and Conservatives stepped aside for Stephen Harper when he ran in a byelection held shortly after he became leader of the Canadian Alliance.

No date has been set for a byelection.

Singh sat in Ontario’s legislature and served as the provincial NDP’s deputy leader before he replaced Tom Mulcair as the federal leader.

The Canadian Press


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