Faces & NamesA fan who unleashed his crude fantasies about Ashanti in a battery of text messages and photos to the R&B singer’s mother has been sentenced to two years in jail.
Call him Mr. Safety
Lake County Engineer Alan Goodman and the county’s Highway Department received the Maintenance Work Zone Safety Award from the Minnesota County Engineers Association at the group’s annual conference last month. What’s it mean? “The award provides recognition to counties that are taking the extra steps to provide safe work zones for workers and the traveling public,” the group said in a statement. Congrats.
Kudos to Olwell
Chris Olwell, a 2008 University of Minnesota Duluth graduate and former Duluth News Tribune intern, was named the New Journalist of the Year by the Minnesota Newspaper Association at its annual convention in the Twin Cities at the end of last month. The award is given to the best new journalist in the state based on the writing produced during the previous year.
Olwell is editor of the Eden Prairie Sun Current.
Ashanti fan jailed for text-stalking
A fan who unleashed his crude fantasies about Ashanti in a battery of text messages and photos to the R&B singer’s mother has been sentenced to two years in jail.
Devar Hurd was sentenced Thursday in a Manhattan court. He was convicted in December of stalking and other charges. The 31-year-old already has served about eight months while awaiting trial and sentencing.
Thar’s a stalker in The Hills
Police on Friday arrested a man knocking on the door of Audrina Patridge’s L.A. home after he had been prohibited from contacting the reality show star.
Zachary Loring, 24, was arrested by officers responding to a 911 call at the home of “The Hills” star, his second arrest there. He was being held Friday afternoon on $160,000 bail on suspicion of stalking and violating a court order. Patridge, 24, obtained a three-year restraining order against Loring in September, testifying that she was afraid after Loring repeatedly came to her house and gave her disturbing drawings.
A little Magic for Ebony?
Basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson is mulling buying Johnson Publishing Co., publishers of Ebony and Jet magazines, Bloomberg News reports.
“There have been discussions,” the news service quoted Eric Holoman, president of Magic Johnson Enterprises, adding, “There’s no definitive agreement.”
Or maybe even less than that. Wendy Parks, a spokeswoman. Johnson CEO Linda Johnson Rice, was quoted saying her boss “has never talked to Magic Johnson with respect to his interest in buying” the company.
The magazines, which have chronicled African-American life for more than half a century, have fallen on hard times recently. The former Los Angeles Lakers star has interests in everything from Starbucks to T.G.I. Friday’s to movie theaters.
Sojourner’s work on display
Open up the current issue of the New Yorker and you’ll find a photo tableau of civil rights leaders from the 1960s, including Mississippi’s Fannie Lou Hamer. But a closer look at the late Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party leader and her contemporaries can be viewed at the Venue at Mohaupt Block in Lincoln Park, where Sue Sojourner’s show, “Some People of That Place — 1960s Holmes County, Mississippi: The Local People and Their Civil Rights Movement,” runs through Feb. 26. The Duluth activist lived and worked in the Mississippi county during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
Medical records to Jackson’s dad
Michael Jackson’s father can receive some medical records related to his superstar son’s death, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled Friday.
The judge will review the records first before releasing them to Joe Jackson’s attorney, Brian Oxman. Beckloff also said the men can only receive records generated on or after June 25, the day Jackson died. Oxman sought the files as part of an effort to obtain a monthly stipend for the Jackson family patriarch and to decide whether to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Snipes snips at IRS
Actor Wesley Snipes, who has tax problems of his own, had a blunt reaction to the news that irate taxpayer and software engineer A. Joseph Stack III had crashed his plane into an office building with nearly 200 IRS employees inside Thursday.
In an Associated Press interview the next day, Snipes said tax problems have been an issue in the U.S. from the very beginning. “I think it was an issue even for the early colonists and the British, so what’s new?”
Snipes, 47, was convicted in 2008 of not paying taxes for three years. He was sentenced to three years in prison and is appealing.
Kutcher: From Russia, with Twitter
Hollywood actor and activist Ashton Kutcher says he will “crowd source” questions about the Kremlin’s push to develop a Russian Silicon Valley to his 4.5 million Twitter fans.
The actor is part of a U.S. delegation of technology and social media leaders that arrived in Moscow as part of White House efforts to improve ties with Russia. The delegation’s mission includes urging Russians to use social media and innovative technologies to tackle problems such as human trafficking and corruption.
Lohan a good, not mean, girl
A judge says Lindsay Lohan is in full compliance with her probation for a drunken driving and drug case.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel said Thursday that “everything looks good” with Lohan’s progress in a court-ordered drug and alcohol education program. Lohan has had trouble completing the program and had her probation extended last year.
Revel says Lohan, 23, still must complete the program by July.
The “Mean Girls” star pleaded guilty in August 2007 to two misdemeanor counts of being under the influence of cocaine and no contest to drunken driving and reckless driving charges.
Woo hoo for sailor/author
“The Last Battle of the Grampa Woo,” a tale by Shoreview, Minn., author Marlin Bree published in the May-June 2009 issue of The Ensign magazine, won a first place honor in the 2009 Boating Writers International Writing Contest. The yarn is about an attempt to a rescue a vessel set adrift during an icy Lake Superior storm.
If you missed it, the awards were announced last week at Florida’s Miami Boat Show (which can’t hold a candle in the Lake Superior wind to our own boat show.)
Judge Jennifer Chesak said the article captured “the incredible bravery and heroism abundant on this rescue mission at sea.” Make that the Inland Sea.
Tiger will speak, but won't answer questions
Golf’s top-ranked philanderer will end nearly three months of silence Friday when he speaks publicly for the first time since his
middle-of-the-night car accident sparked stunning revelations of infidelity.
However, Tiger Woods’ agent said the golf great will not take any questions from a small group of media.
“This is not a press conference,” Mark Steinberg said Wednesday in Marana, Ariz.
It will be Woods’ first public appearance since Nov. 27, when he crashed his SUV into a tree outside his Florida home. Woods’ only comments since then have been made through his Web site.
“It will be good to see Tiger’s face again, and see that he’s actually out there somewhere,” Stewart Cink said. “I think this is the beginning of the comeback process for him.”
Woods is to speak at 10 a.m. from the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., home of the PGA Tour.
“This is all about the next step,” Steinberg said. “He’s looking forward to it.”
Getting ripped, postponed
A judge in Connecticut has postponed actor Rip Torn’s next court appearance until March, citing a scheduling conflict.
The “Men in Black” actor was to appear in court on Wednesday to enter pleas to burglary and firearms charges in Litchfield, Conn.
He is accused of breaking into a bank in his hometown of Salisbury last month with a loaded revolver while intoxicated.
Torn has been in an alcohol rehabilitation program since shortly after his January arraignment.
Phillips in rehab for anxiety
A representative for Chynna Phillips says the
42-year-old singer has entered an undisclosed treatment facility for anxiety.
A statement issued by her publicist, Lizzie Grubman, says Phillips checked herself into the facility “after much thoughtful deliberation.”
Grubman says Phillips is “looking forward to her recovery.” The statement asks that people respect Phillips’ privacy and the privacy of her family.
Phillips, of the pop group Wilson Phillips, is married to actor William Baldwin. The couple have three children.
More history than you can
fit in a pint
Duluth’s celebrated Tuskegee Airman Joe Gomer kicked off the St. Louis County Historical Society’s new local history lecture series, “History in a Pint,” at Carmody’s Irish Pub in Duluth Tuesday.
The World War II ace gave the first of six lectures in the series. In return, Gomer, who last year attended inauguration off President Obama and received a Congressional Gold Medal, was honored with an award and flag from Duluth’s 148th Fighter Wing. The colors were flown in an F-16 while on a mission in Iraq.
Blizzard nets more than half a mil
Results are in from the Black Woods Blizzard Tour, acclaimed as the largest snowmobile fundraising event in the world, with more than $503,000 raised to fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
Celebrity host and former Minnesota Twins catcher Terry Steinbach was joined by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, hitting coach Joe Vavra and legendary first baseman Kent Hrbek to lead a field of 153 riders covering nearly 400 miles from Feb. 4-6.
Duluth-area riders and organizers included Bryan Flaherty, David Kolquist, Bud Baker, Pete Gassert, Dan Hartel, Bill Olson, Greg Sorenson, Julie Thoreson, Eric Albrecht, Wendy Anderson, Mike Archer, John Archer, Larry Bannor, Duey and Jill Bastyr, Sandy Buckley, Todd Buus, Eric Chilberg, Dave Chrysler, Dan Dougherty, Jim Farrell, Mike Farrell, Cullen Flaherty, Brian Haedrich, Pete Hammer, Lee Harnell, Wayne Hibbard, Darrell Johnson, Dale Klapmeier, Peter Kolar, Blake Kolquist, Brett Kolquist, Mark Kolquist, Linda Kratt, Jim Landwehr, Jack MacNally, Laurie Miner, Steve Mireault, Skeeter Moore, Tom Nikula, Bill Norton, Sue Pelto, Cheryl Poppenberg, Mike Rasmusson, John Salstrand, Andy Schmidt, Dave Solon, Tony Walker, Jeff Walstrom and Gina Youngberg.
He sings it all for you
Paul Winchester, a College of Wooster (Ohio) sophomore and Duluth East grad, recently performed in the Jason Robert Brown show “Songs for a New World.” Winchester sang “The River Won’t Flow” and “I’d Give It All For You.”
Nicole Richie is Madden-ly engaged
Nicole Richie confirmed her engagement to Joel Madden on Monday during a taping of the “Late Show With David Letterman.” The CBS show will air Friday night.
Madden, 30, fronts the band Good Charlotte.
Letterman asked Paris Hilton’s “Simple Life” co-star if she and Madden, father of her 2-year-old daughter, Harlow Winter Kate, and 5-month-old son, Sparrow Midnight, were already married.
“We’re not married,” Richie, 28, replied, adding, “We actually recently are engaged, yes.”
Richie has a new clothing line, Winter Kate, and shoe and accessories line, House of Harlow. Is Jewelry by Joel next?
Miss America gets Security
Excuse us, but was that a Security Jewelers necklace adorning Miss America, Caressa Cameron, at the 2010 Taste of the NFL “Party with a Purpose!” in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Super Bowl-eve?
Indeed it was, confirms Security’s Jack Seiler of the 18k white gold diamond necklace valued at $2,000 that brought in $9,500 at auction. Proceeds from the Minnesota-based nonprofit event go for hunger relief in the 31 NFL cities.
“It’s for a wonderful cause,” Duluth’s Seiler told Faces & Names. “They came to us and said, ‘Can we buy the jewelry at cost?’ We said, of course, and also donated a strand of pearls and matching bracelet.”
Taste of the NFL founder Wayne Kostroski called it “particularly gratifying when a Minnesota-based company like Security Jewelers joins us in the effort to kick hunger.”
Seiler said he’s looking forward to participating in the 2011 Super Bowl event in north Texas, as are a bunch of other guys from Minnesota — but that’s a different story.
Madonna to be a marriage ref
Madonna is slated to be on “The Marriage Ref,” the erstwhile Evita’s spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg has confirmed.
Madonna, who’s been married and divorced twice, to Sean Penn and to Guy Ritchie, will make an appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s upcoming reality show. You’ll recall Seinfeld shot the trailer last fall in Rick and Annette Olson’s Canosia Township ice house.
The shtick for the show, which appears on NBC after the Olympics, is for celebrities and a referee to try to help couples in conflict.
Maybe she’ll offer advice on what not to do.
Wax Obama model debuts in Vegas
LAS VEGAS — A wax museum on the Las Vegas Strip unveiled a statue of President Obama in a replica of the Oval Office just in time for Presidents Day.
The display was shown Monday at Madame Tussauds.
The museum says the Oval Office model is its only replica of the room west of the Mississippi River. It says the model of Obama standing behind his desk with his arms folded cost $300,000.
Obama is expected to visit Las Vegas later this week.
Seven-year itch for Nastase
Former tennis great Ilie Nastase says he and his wife are divorcing after seven years of marriage. The 63-year-old Nastase said Friday he and Amalia Nastase “are at a crossroads and can only continue as friends and business partners.”
A national hero in Romania, Nastase married 34-year-old Amalia Nastase in 2003 after dating for six years, and they have two daughters. It was his third marriage.
The prince and the cop
British police are investigating an accident in which Prince Andrew allegedly struck a police officer with his car while driving into Buckingham Palace.
Media reports said Queen Elizabeth II’s second son hit the officer as he was driving his four-by-four through the palace gates.
The palace confirmed Friday there had been “a minor incident” involving the prince and said it was a matter for the police.
Live, on the phone — it’s Regis and a trip to Barbados
Quick — what state was Jamie Foxx born in?
Luckily for Superior’s Tricia Waltman, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa had Foxx on the day before calling her, so she was prepared. But she hadn’t expected the phone to ring so early.
“It was live. I was caught off guard, I watch it at 9 a.m. They call people at 8:15 [Eastern time] so I wasn’t expecting it,” Waltman told Faces & Names.
The owner of seeyourvisionart.com (“your goals, aspirations, and dreams arranged on whatever size frame you want”), Waltman said she had entered the “Live with Regis and Kelly” contest daily for five years when the call came last April. With the Foxx interview fresh in her mind, she answered “Texas” and won a trip to Barbados, which she and 13-year-old daughter Erin took at the end of January.
“It was all inclusive, eight days. We had really good flights. At the resort everything was taken care of,” she said, adding the weather was a little better than Superior’s.
Flying while fat?
Director Kevin Smith, famous for his “Clerks” and “Chasing Amy” films, was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight for being too fat, according to the many tweets he’s been sending since Saturday.
“I don’t want their $,” he tweeted in response to a suggestion that he sue. “I just want to call attention 2 their policy so large folks think twice before buying.” As for getting around in the meantime, he said: “Dear Other Airlines … I’m in the market for a flight east this Thurs. Which one of you likes fat people?”
Didja know? Dancing and dishing with local celebs
Attendees at the Minnesota Ballet’s Celebrity Dance Challenge at Marshall School on Thursday reported being as entertained by emcee Pat Kelly’s intros of the dancers as they were by the fabulous footwork. But he no longer remembers his lines.
“It was all ad-libbed, and I couldn’t tell you what I said,” he told Faces & Names — though he did recall saying “ink-stained wretches” in reference to newspaper people — “a loving and respectful reference, I assure you,” he said.
Indeed — his assessment of the newspaper person of the night, our own Jana Hollingsworth, was “fabulous … She went for it and gave a great performance.”
Kelly did still have the script from which he departed, however, with the following didja-knows? about the local celebs:
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