Names in the News
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Goodbye, Dolly.
Dolly Parton’s TV sitcom ``Heavens to Betsy″ won’t air after all because of creative problems _ the writers are in Los Angeles and the actors are in Florida. It was being produced at Disney-MGM Studios for CBS.
The sitcom starred Parton as a Las Vegas lounge singer who returns to her small-town roots after suffering a near-death experience.
``Dolly’s people, managers and team just didn’t feel this was the best vehicle for showing off her talent,″ said Ted Kaye, who heads videotape production for Walt Disney Television.
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Sonny Bono underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his spine and is expected to fully recover in two to three weeks, a spokesman for the Republican congressman says.
Bono, who represents the Palm Springs area, had been undergoing physical therapy for the arthritic condition before the surgery Friday, spokesman Frank Cullen Jr. said. He had the operation at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
Bono was expected to resume his congressional duties next week, Cullen said.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Author Tim O’Brien’s words were worth $2,000 to some high school students.
The Deering High School students invited O’Brien to speak after they read his 1990 book of Vietnam-inspired short stories, ``The Things They Carried.″ O’Brien also is the winner of the National Book Award for ``Going After Cacciato.″
The school couldn’t afford O’Brien’s $2,000 fee, and the author said he couldn’t lower it because he needed time to write and didn’t want to encourage more speaking requests.
So the students raised the fee by soliciting donations outside a Wal-Mart and two supermarkets.
``I could see kids doing this if I was a rock star, but a writer? It makes me feel wanted,″ said O’Brien, who spoke to about 75 students Thursday.
NEW YORK (AP) _ A $125,000 gift from Whitney Houston is helping Harlem mothers who may be at risk of abusing their children.
The singer, through the Whitney Houston Foundation, gave the money to Hale House. It was founded by the late ``Mother″ Clara Hale, whose care of drug-addicted infants was nationally recognized.
With Houston’s gift, Hale House was able to start the ``Time Out for Moms″ program, which provides a physical and emotional haven for women worn out by parenting and from living in drug- and crime-infested neighborhoods.
The program was unveiled Friday by Cissy Houston, the singer’s mother, and Lorraine Hale, Clara Hale’s daughter.
ROME (AP) _ Pop artist Jeffrey Koons, the ex-husband of former porn star and parliament member IIona Staller, is questioning her ``moral principles″ as he tries to regain custody of their 2-year-old son.
Staller _ better known by her stage name Cicciolina _ was granted custody last month by an Italian court. Koons had asked the court to enforce a New York judge’s ruling that Staller turn over their son. Koons still has legal rights over the child in the United States.
Koons said Friday his ex-wife ``does not have the moral principles it takes to give him a proper upbringing. She has kidnapped Ludwig and I am continuously terrorized by the conditions in which he leads his daily life.″
Staller was not at the hearing.