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People In The News

January 5, 1988

PACENTRO, Italy (AP) _ The mayor of the hometown of American pop singer Madonna’s grandparents says Pacentro has no desire to have a statue in the town square showing her nearly nude.

An Italian sculptor, Walter Pugni, unveiled a scale model Monday of a bronze statue he would like to see erected in Pacentro, a town of 2,000 people in the central, mountainous region of Abruzzo.

He envisions a 13-foot-high statue, showing her nearly nude with her hands raised up, one of them clutching a portable microphone.

″It is absolutely untrue that the city administration of Pacentro is willing to host the statue to the singer Madonna″ as some maintain, Mayor Raffaele Santini said.

Santini said the townspeople adequately paid tribute to Madonna when they made her an honorary citizen during her visit to Italy last September for a concert in Turin.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Entertainer Pat Boone and his wife, Shirley, will become new hosts of the show ″Wish You Were Here″ on The Nashville Network, the cable channel announced Tuesday.

The Boones replace the late humorist Kenny Price and his wife, Donna. Price, who also appeared on the syndicated television show ″Hee Haw,″ died of heart failure last August.

The Boones will begin appearing on the show beginning in April, TNN spokesman Jerry Bailey said. The 30-minute program each Sunday shows the hosts going to various locations by recreational vehicle.

In a 30-year career, Boone has recorded hits such as ″Love Letters″ and ″April Love″ and appeared in movies including ″April Love″ and ″Journey to the Center of the Earth.″ He is the father of singer Debby Boone.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the Indian guru ordered out of the country after pleading guilty to immigration fraud charges, plans to broadcast a series of lectures worldwide via satellite.

The plans were announced Monday by his secretary, Ma Prem Hasya, during a speech in Bologna, Italy, according to a news release delivered to The Associated Press in Portland. Rajneesh’s 64,000-acre commune in central Oregon was disbanded in 1985 after his guilty plea.

″Ronald Reagan and his government have tried to silence me by preventing me from entering America, and by ordering many other countries around the world not to allow me entry,″ Rajneesh said in statement read by Hasya. ″But they cannot succeed. They have utterly failed, because I can reach into those countries by satellite.″

Hasya said Rajneesh will expose political and religious leaders who, she said, ″are every day bringing this world closer and closer to destruction.″


CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan will be host at a town meeting next week, but a postcard sent to hundreds of thousands of area residents suggested he was going to a place that doesn’t exist.

″I will be hosting a town meeting in Cheektowga Falls on Tues., Jan. 12th,″ the postcard announced.

Cheektowaga is spelled correctly in two other references on the former Harvard professor’s postcard, so the ″Cheektowga″ misspelling may be tolerated by Cheektowaga residents.

But Cheektowaga Falls?

″I just called his (Moynihan’s) office,″ Cheektowaga Supervisor Frank E. Swiatek said Monday. ″I told them I wanted to attend the meeting, but I didn’t know how to get to Cheektowaga Falls.″

James Kane, regional director for Moynihan’s western New York office, said the staff takes full responsibility for the error, but said the mistakes could have been made in the Senate printing office. ″The Senate printer wouldn’t know Cheektowaga from Butte, Mont.,″ he noted. Or Cheektowga Falls.


KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - The lieutenant governor of Texas returned to Katmandu on Tuesday after a 2 1/2 -day, elephant-back tour of the Royal Chitwan National Park.

″This was our first ride on an elephant. We enjoyed it immensely. That is certainly the way to see the country,″ William Hobby, 55, of Houston, told reporters when he returned with his wife, Diana.

The Hobbys were scheduled to leave Nepal for India on Wednesday on the last leg of their three-week tour of the two Asian nations.

Another Texan, the late Toddie Lee Winne of Dallas, established the famous Treetop Lodge in the tropical jungles of southern Nepal in 1965.


NEW YORK (AP) - Frances Steloff, who helped nurture modern American literature with her Gotham Book Mart, has celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by authors, editors and book lovers.

There was even a book-shaped cake Monday for the founder of what novelist John Updike has called ″my favorite bookstore in North America.″

All around her were signed books and photographs by some of the authors she has befriended and encouraged. Among the signatures were those of Gertrude Stein, Henry Miller, Marianne Moore, Alice B. Toklas, Thornton Wilder, Eudora Welty and John Steinbeck.

Miss Steloff’s actual birthday was a few days earlier, on New Year’s Eve, when she was feted by her hometown of Saratoga Springs.

″I cannot imagine New York City without the Gotham Book Mart,″ wrote Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a regular customer.

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