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June 26, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ She’s a political heavyweight who’s light on her feet.

New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman made her first appearance on ``Late Night with David Letterman″ Tuesday and danced a smooth two-step with the host.

Afterward, Letterman told his bandleader Paul Schaffer, ``You know what I think? I think she likes me.″

The Republican governor questioned Letterman about a billboard the show erected on a Manhattan highway leading to New Jersey that announces, ``Attention motorists: New Jersey is closed.″

``I often have to fight off the misperceptions that I hear about New Jersey, especially from this side of the Hudson,″ Whitman said.

Letterman also quizzed Whitman on what she eats for breakfast _ ``As much as I can″ _ and her state’s population _ almost 8 million.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The artist formerly known as Prince and wife Mayte are preparing for their first child in a very creative way.

The couple plans to record eight children’s songs to celebrate the birth of their baby, due in November, the singer’s New York-based publicist said Tuesday.

They are also planning to develop three short stories for children.

Prince married Mayte, his backup dancer, on Valentine’s Day in Minneapolis.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Billy Dee Williams is suing his former girlfriend, claiming she took $35,000 worth of his belongings the day after he allegedly attacked her.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday claims that on Jan. 31 Patricia Von Heitman took Williams’ bed, his $14,000 cookie jar collection, a $8,000 grand piano and other items.

The actor allegedly slapped Von Heitman on the face and upper body during a drive home from a restaurant Jan. 30 and again after arriving at the Hollywood Hills home they shared.

Von Heitman said he pulled her out of the car and pushed her down.

Williams’ trial on charges of misdemeanor spousal battery and dissuading a witness is pending. In March, a judge ordered Williams to participate in 52 counseling sessions.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Magic Johnson is branching out into the shopping mall business.

The basketball star’s development company is entering a joint venture to buy a shopping mall in Los Angeles for $20.1 million.

The investors plan to redevelop the 184,684-square-foot Ladera Shopping Center, which contains 35 stores.

``I don’t know of a better center to start off with,″ Johnson said Tuesday.

The group buying the center also includes the California Urban Investment Partnership and Burnham Pacific Properties Inc. The deal is expected to be closed in mid-July.

The planned shopping center is a few miles away from Magic Johnson Theatres, a $7.5 million movie complex. He also helped develop Magic’s Westland Plaza, a shopping center in the Las Vegas area.

The joint venture group also plans to buy two Northern California retail centers.

Johnson retired from the NBA last month for the third time in his career.

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BURBANK, Calif. (AP) _ A former clerical officer for the Los Angeles Police Department must stand trial on charges he stalked Richard Lee Jackson of NBC’s ``Saved By The Bell.″

A judge on Monday ordered Eric Lee Purvis to return to court on July 9 for arraignment.

Purvis, 25, is accused of posing as a police officer while visiting the home of the 16-year-old actor in March. Prosecutors said Purvis claimed to be investigating an assault that involved Jackson, but there was never such an assault.

In addition to stalking, Purvis is charged with impersonating a police officer, unlawfully taking a vehicle, having a concealed weapon and loaded firearm in a vehicle.

As a technical reserve officer, Purvis performed clerical duties in a police station.

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