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Stalker takes new threatening twist

The stalking of a TV personality seems to have taken a new turn. A Utica, N.Y., anchor may be facing not a man who follows her moves, but one who anticipates and-by slamming her-tries to prevent them. Hundreds of snail mailed and e-mailed messages have apparently gone out "warning" TV stations, newspapers, police and Mothers Against Drunk Driving against allowing WKTV weekend anchor Heather Kovar to be employed in their community. Kovar and colleagues believe the campaign was launched by someone she met at a broadcast industry conference, who later pursued her unsuccessfully with flowers and gifts.

The messages contend-unfairly and inaccurately, colleagues say-that Kovar is irresponsible and reckless. Kovar was arrested in 1999 and pleaded guilty to driving while impaired following drinks with friends. But the messages claim there was a repeat incident, and providing a supposed news account. Kovar's news director, Vic Vetters-who says he's heard from many who've received messages-says there was no such incident, that the news story is a phony and that "this young woman has the makings of a major lawsuit." While anchors' careers have been ruined by arrests, Vetters noted, the station did not fire Kovar and "she dusted herself off, and moved on. She made a serious mistake [in 1999] but it is patently unfair to write lies about her."