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Madonna's pregnancy and Sandy Becker's death made news the week of April 26, 1996

Samuel Callea, 33, of Buffalo, was charged with criminal possession of a shotgun and criminal trespassing April 16. Callea allegedly chased Howard Stern’s limo into a parking garage outside Stern’s broadcast studio in Manhattan and screamed death threats. Guards grabbed Callea and called police, who found the shotgun and ammo in Callea’s car, parked nearby. Stern’s show went on as scheduled.

Has the Pope sent congrats? Catholic rebel Madonna, 37, is pregnant with her first child; the father is Carlos Leon, a personal trainer and her companion of 18 months … Irish crooner and noted Pope basher Sinéad O’Connor, 29, gave birth to her second child, a girl, in late March. No details were available. ”She wants to keep this private,” says a spokeswoman.

To Christian Slater, 26, who escaped a fire April 14 in the Hollywood Hills, then rescued two dogs. According to his spokeswoman, the actor was visiting an unidentified female friend’s home when an electrical blaze started on the deck and spread to the house. After emerging with his companion, Slater climbed up to a second-story window and collected the dogs.

Children’s-television host Sandy Becker, 74, of a heart attack, April 9, in Remsenburg, N.Y. Becker’s six-hour Wonderama Sunday variety show combined contests and wacky characters to mesmerize a generation of TV lovers in the ’50s and ’60s and pave the way for Nickelodeon and such fare as Sesame StreetRichard Condon, 81, April 9, in Dallas. The 1962 movie version of his novel The Manchurian Candidate was withdrawn from theaters after John F. Kennedy’s assassination because it too closely resembled real-life events. Other Condon books adapted for film include Prizzi’s Honor and Winter KillsLarry LaPrise, 83, April 4, in Boise, Idaho. In 1949 LaPrise recorded ”The Hokey Pokey,” which he wrote to entertain skiers at Idaho’s Sun Valley. It became a preschool standard covered by artists as diverse as the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and Annette Funicello. But since LaPrise’s death, several World War II veterans have come forth crying ”Hokey Pokey” hanky-panky: The former servicemen claim to have danced to the ditty in England years before LaPrise copyrighted the song in 1950. ”It’s too bad they waited until he died and couldn’t fight back,” says LaPrise’s daughter, Linda Ruby. ”It’s a crying shame.”