'We Live In Daily Fear'

BETTY FRANKLIN INstalled smoke detectors in nearly every room of her house, but they don't really help her sleep better. It's hard to relax when some part of the city around her goes up in flames almost every day.

Inside The Inferno

BY THE TIME THEY PARACHUTED onto the mountain in Montana's Lolo National Forest, Joe Chandler's team of eight smoke jumpers could no longer see the fire's edge.

The Real Faces Of A Tragedy

EVEN AFTER THE MYSTERY OF what happened to TWA Flight 800 is eventually solved, images of the 230 passengers who died in the crash will endure. Here are the stories of some of the victims who were struck down off the coast of New York last week:THEY STARTED GATHERING AT montoursville High School just hours after the crash.

Bibi Vs. The Babysitter

IT WAS THE DAVID AND GOLIATH OF food fights. When Tanya Shaw burned a pot of soup she was cooking for Benjamin Netanyahu's young sons, she found herself on the pavement faster than you can say Bibi.

A Sigh Of Relief The Size Of Montana

IT TOOK 81 DAYS, 633 FBI AGENTS AND millions of dollars to get the Freemen to surrender, but it was actor Chuck Norris who helped end the standoff as much as anyone.

Grim Work In The 'Glades

FROM THE MOMENT THEY ARRIVED IN the Everglades, the search crews knew there would be nothing easy about the job. The plane -- ValuJet Flight 592 -- had careered into the water at 400 mph and virtually disintegrated on impact. ""We were told, "You're going to find pieces','' diver Mark Siegel says he was warned at a briefing on Mother's Day, the day after the crash.

She's Taking Her Stand

WHAT A MARVELOUSLY EMPOWERing idea -- or so it must have seemed. With Republicans -- and a lot of Democrats -- pummeling the welfare state, Marian Wright Edelman decided to throw a huge party in Washington last Saturday to draw attention to the country's youngest and poorest.

Terror In The Night Down South

FOR THE LAST 27 YEARS, THE REV. George Beck has spent four days a week at the Ezekiel Baptist Church, what with choir rehearsals, Bible study and, of course, Sunday services.

Death In The 'Glades

AT FIRST, IT WAS HARD TO SEE THAT anything was amiss. There were no tangled hunks of cabin, no shiny pieces of wing, almost no debris -- and no sign of life.

Gucci's G-Free Whiz

TOM FORD DIDN'T HAVE A THREAD OF experience when he decided--after studying architecture and history and a few years as an actor--to become a fashion designer.

A Tie-Dyed Terrorist?

To hear her parents tell it, Lori Berenson is a folk-singing, world-saving, wouldn't-hurt-a-fly woman. When she was 12, she told her mother she'd rather skip summer camp, get a job and send her salary to foster children overseas.

Predators On The Prowl

For Iris Kenna, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park near San Diego was like a second home. By day, she strolled its fields in search of exotic birds. At night, the 56-year-old high-school counselor sometimes slept under the stars.

The Bodies In The Forest

She was a sexy calendar model and a former L.A. Raiders cheerleader, but Linda Sobek was not the kind of woman to forget to call home. Before heading off to a modeling shoot for a car magazine on Nov. 16, Sobek told her mother, Elaine, that she would call that evening to make plans for a weekend barbecue.

The Death Of Little Elisa

It's the kind of call that, even in busy New York, gets a split-second response. A little girl, 6 years old, had stopped breathing, the man said. Minutes after the 9:24 a.m.

Putting On A Happy Face

It's hard to say which is the bigger surprise: watching Jason Alexander -- better known as loser George Costanza on "Seinfeld" -- sing and dance with the grace of Gene Kelly.

Fighting Words

Since becoming editor of the New Republic in 1991, Andrew Sullivan has been something of the house homosexual for the neoconservative set. Capitalizing on his credentials as a right-leaning British Catholic, he has brought thoughtful essays on subjects such as AIDS activism to readers who might otherwise flip the page.

Sounding Retreat

; It wasn't until the day before she left home to become the first female cadet at The Citadel that Shannon Faulkner felt she could celebrate. For the last two Augusts, Faulkner thought she had won a place at the fierce, all-male military college, only to have judges grant the Charleston, S.C., school last-minute reprieves.

Theater: Buckley's Post-Close Close-Up

The revolving door known as Sunset Boulevard turned again last week as Betty Buckley took the turban from Glenn Close (who took the job from Patti LuPone, who, like Faye Dunaway, took home a mint after an untimely exit).

Southern Gothic On Trial

When Susan Smith was arrested last November, the people of Union, S.C., did not hide their feelings. Shouting "Murderer!" and "Baby killer!" as Smith scurried out of the county courthouse, some called for the electric chair.

Dissing Dole

If Bob Dole wants to fight, Bushwick Bill is ready. Bill, whose rap group the Geto Boys was singled out by the GOP majority leader in his attack on pernicious music and movies, closes his new solo video, "Who's the Biggest?" by setting fire to a DOLE FOR PRESIDENT placard (he spends the rest of the video belting thugs outside the Beltway). "Rappers like me are the scapegoats for the very problems that people like Dole perpetuate," Bill says.

Don't 'Chat' To Strangers

Daniel Montgomery was so addicted to America On-line's "chat rooms"--a nationwide system of cyberspace pen pals--that his parents limited him to four online hours a week.

Survivor: 'All I Saw Were Bright Lights'

Daina Bradley was trying to beat the crowds when she headed to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19. Bradley, 20, needed anew Social Security card for her 4-month-old son, Gabreon.

The Stamp Of History

IVY BIGBEE TOOK UP photography after her husband, Lt. Jaynes Spencer, was shot down and died in Vietnam in 1969. She hoped the hobby would keep her too busy to dwell on the past.

Cheesy Church

THE 24 LIME TREES THAT CAP the Cathedrale de la Resurrection in Evry, outside Paris, are meant to symbolize the changing seasons. But as the $14 million building nears completion, the French are calling Swiss architect Mario Botta's design a lemon.

Banned--But Not In Boston

SALMAN RUSHDIE ISN'T THE ONLY ONE WITH A BOUNTY ON his head these days. Now add Barbie to the list. Islamic fundamentalists in Kuwait recently issued a fatwa against Barbie dolls-essentially, an edict against buying or selling them. "This she-devil has polished nails and wears skirts above the knee," says Kuwait's College of Islamic Sharia. "The fatwa against Barbie commences immediately." It's not the first time the gulf has banned Western products.

More Gop Doubts On Tax Cuts

WHEN IT COMES TO TAXES, REPUBLICAN Bob Packwood is sounding an awful lot like Bill Clinton. Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Packwood soon will have to wrestle with the five-year, $189 billion tax cut passed earlier this month by House Republicans.

Fading Aid?

Forget taxes and school lunches. The latest source of tension between the GOP and the Clinton administration is House Republicans' refusal to meet White House request levels to fund Clinton's foreign policy efforts.

Bad Karma

THE KOMBUCHA MIRACLE Tea craze that has been steeping the country came to a crashing halt in northwest Iowa last week when a woman there died and another became sick after sipping the brew.

Off Base

UFO GROUPIES AND SPY plane fans will have to find a new perch. The Pentagon has transferred control of 3,972 acres of public lands in Nevada from the Bureau of Land Management to the air force, effectively yanking it from public use.

Killers Need Not Apply

GINA GRANT SOUNDS LIKE THE IDEAL Harvard prospect-so perfect, in fact, that in December the university mailed her one of its precious few early admission letters.