In case you missed it

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will address the Charleston branch of the NAACP on Sept. 25.

Isaac Brekken

Speaker Pelosi to address NAACP

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit the Lowcountry later this month.

Pelosi, D-Calif., will give the keynote address to the Charleston branch of the NAACP, and she's not the only newsmaker set to appear at its Sept. 25 annual fundraiser.

Shirley Sherrod, former director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural development program in Georgia, also will speak. She was ousted from her job in July after comments she made in March were interpreted as racist.

The organization will present its trailblazer award to sisters Amy and Kayla Lewis, who finished first and second in Charleston County's spelling bee just two days after their family was evicted from public housing.

2 women to get Pacesetter Awards

The West Ashley Democrats plan to honor former Charleston City Councilwoman Hilda Hutchinson Jefferson and the late attorney and human rights activist Conni Valentine Ackerman later this month.

Both will be presented with the inaugural Marjorie Amos-Frazier Pacesetter Award, named after the first woman elected to Charleston County Council and the first woman, first black and first nonlegislator elected by the General Assembly to the S.C. Public Service Commission. Amos-Frazier retired from the commission in 1993 and died in June at 84.

Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon will present the awards at the West Ashley Democrats' "Blue Jamboree" picnic Sept. 25 at the park at 1 Windsor Drive in West Ashley.

Utah leads nation in breast-feeding

ATLANTA -- A government report says Utah leads the nation in breast-feeding with 9 in 10 Utah mothers trying it and about 6 in 10 sticking with it for at least six months.

Overall, about three out of four babies in the U.S. get at least some breast-feeding, but only a fraction continue as long as six or 12 months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say those findings are similar to previous CDC studies. The report released this week is based on phone interviews in 2007 of caregivers of toddlers.

Women earn more doctorates

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Women were awarded more doctorates than men for the first time last year, according to a study released this week by the Council of Graduate Schools.

The achievement, women received 50.4 percent of the doctorates in the U.S. in 2008-09, means women dominate every level of higher education from bachelor's degrees to Ph.D.s. Women have earned more bachelor's and master's degrees than men since the 1980s, said Nathan Bell, the report's author and the council's director of research and policy analysis. Overtaking men in the doctorate realm "was bound to happen," Bell said. "... It wasn't a surprise."

Flu shots urged for pregnant women

WASHINGTON -- Flu season may not sound as scary for pregnant women this year as last, but they're still at high risk and need that shot, says a letter being mailed to thousands of health providers this week from some leading medical societies.

Last year's swine flu pandemic brought extra attention to the need for vaccination. Government data shows pregnant women account for only 1 percent of the population but represented 5 percent of swine flu deaths.

This year brings a return to the usual one-dose flu vaccine, which will protect against a return of that swine flu strain as well as two other flu types.

The only caveat is the type of vaccine: Pregnant women aren't supposed to receive the nasal spray vaccine FluMist, made with a live but weakened virus.

Rockabilly queen Jackson honored

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Wanda Jackson had no idea the influence she would have on future rock 'n' roll women when she carved a sharp, distinctive line across the heartwood of the new genre back in the 1950s and '60s.

The rockabilly queen with the knockout voice was working as hard as she could and not thinking beyond the night's setlist or the next gig. "I was just doing my career -- not one day at a time but just plodding along, trying to get hits, working every place that you can," Jackson said.

The 72-year-old was honored by the Americana Music Association for lifetime achievement during last week's Americana Awards.

UN Women names ex-Chilean leader

UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week announced the appointment of Chile's former president, Michelle Bachelet, to head UN Women, a new U.N. agency to promote women's equality.

The U.N. chief said Bachelet was chosen from 26 candidates nominated by governments, nongovernmental organizations and civic groups from around the world. UN Women is to be operational by Jan. 1.