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April 10, 1997

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ She got right to the pointe.

Eight-year-old Renee Crous wanted the slippers off Mikhail Baryshnikov’s feet for an auction to help her ballet troupe stage a benefit for a hospital. So she wrote him a letter.

On Wednesday, she got a special delivery from New York City.

``He actually answered me,″ gasped Renee, fingering a pair of rather tattered, flesh-colored ballet slippers autographed by the dancer.

Inside the shoes was the nickname ``Misha″ printed in faded letters. Baryshnikov also sent a signed photo and Renee’s letter, on which the dancer’s 4-year-old daughter had scribbled a picture.

The used slippers are rare. The 49-year-old Baryshnikov has danced barefoot since 1990. Bidding will start at $1,000.


BOSTON (AP) _ The former wife of Sen. John F. Kerry says her ex-husband is seeking to have their marriage annulled _ a proceeding she doesn’t recognize.

Kerry, D-Mass., divorced Julia Thorne in 1984 after a 14-year marriage. He wed Teresa Heinz, heiress to the Heinz food fortune, in 1995.

Kerry and Heinz are Catholic; Thorne is Episcopalian. The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize divorce and holds that annulment, a finding that true marriage never existed, is the only way to end a marriage.

Thorne doesn’t recognize the validity of an annulment, but she won’t oppose his request, she said.

``I loved John when I married him, and there will always be a marriage,″ Thorne said. ``I support his career, and I really know he is happy with Teresa, and they both deserve the right to pursue their faith.″

Kerry’s office issued a statement that did not confirm or deny that he was seeking an annulment.


DALLAS (AP) _ A few days after winning a Pulitzer prize, Wynton Marsalis is getting another award _ this one from Southern Methodist University.

The jazz musician and composer on Thursday was named the 1997 recipient of the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts. At 35, he is the youngest recipient.

Presented annually by the university’s Meadows School of the Arts, the award carries a $50,000 prize and is designed to honor the accomplishments of an artist at the pinnacle of a distinguished career.

Marsalis became the first jazz composer to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music Monday for ``Blood on the Fields,″ his three-hour oratorio on slavery.

The Meadows award will be presented Nov. 1. Previous recipients include Ingmar Bergman, Martha Graham, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Miller, Leontyne Price and Stephen Sondheim.


NEW YORK (AP) _ Five miles of highway near Shea Stadium will be renamed the Jackie Robinson Parkway after the baseball great who broke the color barrier.

The change is expected Monday, on the eve of the stadium’s celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the black Hall of Famer.

``We want to do it in time for the game on Tuesday night, so that when people go to that game they can travel on the Jackie Robinson Parkway,″ Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Thursday.

``It’s appropriate that we are naming a highway for him because Jackie Robinson paved the way for all of the African-American ballplayers that came after him.″

The winding stretch of highway goes from Brooklyn, where Robinson once played for the Dodgers, to Queens, home of the New York Mets. Along the way, it passes the cemetery where Robinson was buried.


NEW YORK (AP) _ Chris Washburn, a former basketball player with the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks, has sued CBS and Warner Bros. for $20 million, saying a TV movie inaccurately depicted him as a drug addict.

Washburn, 30, said the movie ``Never Give Up: The Jimmy V. Story,″ alleges he was using drugs in college. It wasn’t until Washburn got to the NBA that he began using drugs, the ex-player claims.

The movie, produced by Warner Brothers and broadcast on CBS last April, is a purported dramatization of events in Jim Valvano’s life while he was basketball coach at North Carolina State in the early 1980s.

Washburn, who attended the school, said the actor who played him ``made it clear that Christopher Washburn suffered from swollen nostrils and a continuously runny nose during the 1983-84 academic year,″ said court papers filed last week.

In 1989, Washburn was booted out of the NBA because of his admitted drug abuse.

Chris Ender, director of communications for CBS entertainment, said he was not aware of the lawsuit. David Stapf, senior vice president for publicity at Warner Bros., said he would not comment on pending litigation as a matter of company policy.

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