TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Actor Gary Busey ''still has a long way to go'' in recovering from a severe head injury he suffered in a motorcycle accident last month, his mother said.

''He's finally getting better, but it's been a terrible thing,'' said Ginny Busey.

Busey, a Tulsa native, was thrown from his motorcycle and struck his head against a curb in the Dec. 4 accident in Culver City, Calif. He was not wearing a helmet.

Mrs. Busey said Thursday she recently returned to her Tulsa home after spending several weeks with her son at a private rehabilitation center.

Doctors have predicted that Busey, 44, will make a full recovery from the accident, but Mrs. Busey said it will take time.

''A brain injury is extremely slow to heal. He still has a long way to go,'' she said.

Busey, who gained fame after performing the title role in the 1978 movie, ''The Buddy Holly Story,'' had spoken out against mandatory helmet laws for adults.


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Actor Paul Newman has decided against starring in ''Blaze,'' a movie about the romance between the late Louisiana Gov. Earl K. Long and a New Orleans stripper.

''It was never an official agreement,'' Newman's spokesman Warren Cowan said Friday. ''He had doubts about doing the movie for many months. For whatever reasons, he's withdrawing.''

Long and Blaze Starr had an affair in the late 1950s when Starr was a stripper on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Long died in 1960 at the age of 65.

Director-writer Ron Shelton, who has not cast the part of the stripper, now has to find a new leading man. Shelton wrote and directed last summer's baseball hit movie, ''Bull Durham.''

Tesa Laviolette, director of the Louisiana Film Commission, said that Disney-Touchstone is still committed to the project and that plans to begin filming in Louisiana in March should not be disrupted by the cast change.


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Millionaire developer Donald Trump may be trading in his noisy plane for a quieter model if an organization he helped found has its way.

The group, the Good Neighbor Council for Aircraft Noise Control, said Thursday it will sue the county in 30 days unless it acts to lower the volume of noise coming from Palm Beach International Airport.

Jets from the airport pass over posh Palm Beach and many West Palm Beach neighborhoods at low altitudes, causing a deafening roar that residents say makes it impossible to carry on a conversation.

Trump's own private plane, a Boeing 727 he frequently lands at the airport, might be banned should the proposed guidelines be enacted. Trump has a home in Palm Beach.

''If that means Mr. Trump has to get a new airplane, he'll bloody well have to get a new airplane,'' said the group's co-founder, George Petty, a pulp and paper executive.

Airport spokesman Jerry Allen said about 65 percent of the aircraft using the airport are of a quieter type, such as Boeing 757s - up from 25 percent in 1982.


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Gov. John R. McKernan and U.S. Rep. Olympia Snowe are getting married next month, and McKernan said the couple hoped marriage would bring ''more normalcy to our private lives.''

The governor said he and Snowe, both leaders of Maine's Republican Party, hoped their marriage would bring ''happiness and fulfillment to our personal lives, just like we have had over the years in our professional lives.''

An inter-denominational ceremony is to be held Feb. 24 in Lewiston.

''This seemed to be the best time possible for us, given our busy lives,'' said Snowe.

McKernan and Snowe served together in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986 and in the Maine House of Representatives during the 1970s, and have dated for several years.

McKernan, 40, took office as chief executive in January 1987, becoming Maine's first Republican governor in two decades, after two terms in Congress.

McKernan is divorced and the father of a teen-age son.

Snowe, 41, entered the U.S. House in 1979 and was elected last year to her sixth term. She was widowed in 1973.


MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - ''Days of Our Lives'' actor James Reynolds says Americans know too little about their own history.

''I think it's kind of tragic that we tend to forget history,'' said Reynolds, who plays Capt. Abe Carver on the soap opera. ''I run across people who are 18, 19 and 20 years old, who have no idea what Vietnam (was) or where it is.''

Reynolds planned to perform his one-man show, ''I Too, Am America'' today at Kansas State University. The show focuses on black history, but Reynolds said there is no difference between black history and American history.

''I was disturbed over the idea, the perception that black history is different from American history,'' he said. ''It isn't.''