September 21, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

EXPECTING Call her pregnant. Actress and Call Me Crazy author Anne Heche, 32, said Sept. 6 that she and new hubby Coleman Laffoon, 27, a cameraman, are expecting their first child in March….Oscar-nominated octogenarian screenwriter Ernest Lehman (North by Northwest) and wife Laurie, 34, are reportedly expecting a child in April.

BIRTHS Actor Christopher McDonald (Family Law), 46, and wife Lupe, 36, swore in their fourth child, 8-pound 2-ounce Ava Cathryn, Sept. 4, in L.A….Actor Scott Grimes (Band of Brothers), 30, and wife Dawn, 31, welcomed 9-pound son Jackson Richard, Sept. 4, in L.A. Their daughter, Madison, is 2….Country singer Trace Adkins, 38, and wife Rhonda, 37, said ”Howdy” to 6-pound 6-ounce Brianna Rhea, Sept. 4, in Nashville. This is their second daughter; Adkins has two daughters from a previous marriage….Model Cindy Crawford, 35, and club-impresario hubby Rande Gerber greeted 7-pound 10-ounce daughter Kaia Jordan, Sept. 3, in L.A. They have a 2-year-old son, Presley….Jurassic Park III‘s Laura Dern, 34, and rocker Ben Harper, 31, welcomed 6-pound 2-ounce son Ellery Walker, Aug. 21, in L.A. This is her first child; Harper has two kids from a previous marriage.

INVESTIGATION The twin-engine plane that crashed in the Bahamas Aug. 25, killing singer-actress Aaliyah, 22, and the eight others on board, was ”substantially” overloaded, said a report released Sept. 8 by the National Transportation Safety Board. The rising star had just wrapped a video shoot on the islands when the accident occurred.

COURTS Sony Pictures is appealing the $59,000 fine levied by the state of California stemming from alleged safety violations on the set of Spider-Man (where welder Tim Holcombe, 45, was killed last March)….On Sept. 6, three of Rosie O’Donnell‘s former bodyguards sued the TV host, claiming she’d violated their privacy by audiotaping conversations in their office in her Miami-area home. Steven Rubino, Chris Delia, and Ted Van Rijn each seek damages ”in excess of $15,000.” O’Donnell’s spokesperson has denied that the star had any knowledge of such recordings.

DEATHS Louisiana chef and humorist Justin Wilson, 87, who for decades delighted public-TV audiences with authentic Cajun recipes and tall tales (”I garon-tee”), of undisclosed causes, Sept. 5, in Baton Rouge, La….Rev. Gesner Jean, 60, father of hip-hop star Wyclef Jean, of chest wounds suffered after he was accidentally pinned between his son’s 1991 Bentley and a garage door, Sept. 3, in South Orange, N.J….Spanish actor Francisco Rabal, 75, of emphysema, Aug. 29, in Bordeaux, France. His nearly 200 films include 1984’s The Holy Innocents, for which he won best actor at the Cannes film festival.

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