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People in the News

November 29, 1990

ATLANTA (AP) _ Gen. Colin L. Powell has agreed to be honorary grand marshal for the annual King Week parade Jan. 21 in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s hometown.

Powell, the first black to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, often quotes the slain civil rights leader in his speeches.

The Rev. Joseph Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, criticized the King Center’s decision to invite a military leader, saying it conflicted with King’s teachings of non-violence.

″While I have a great deal of admiration for Colin Powell ... I think it creates an awkward set of circumstances that neither a King holiday nor General Powell ought to have to face,″ Lowery said Wednesday.

King once declared the U.S. government to be ″the greatest purveyor of violence in the world″ and vehemently opposed the Vietnam War, in which Powell served two tours of duty.

King Center spokesman Steve Klein defended Powell’s invitation, saying the center wanted to engage ideological adversaries.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Actors Helen Hayes and Dennis Weaver will share the annual Louella O. Parsons Award bestowed annually by the Hollywood Women’s Press Club for recognition of their humanitarian efforts.

The presentations will be a highlight of the 50th anniversary Golden Apple Awards luncheon Dec. 9 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The award is given to an individual ″presenting the best image of the entertainment industry to the world - having long demonstrated outstanding attributes both as a professional and as a human being.″

The 1990 award will be the first dual presentation.

Earlier, the club announced that Bob Hope will be the recipient of the first All-Time Man of the Year Award.

The Hollywood Women’s Club was founded in 1928 by Parsons and 10 other Hollywood columnists.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Robin Leach, host of TV’s ″Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,″ is suing a radio station over a commercial that he said imitated his voice.

Leach filed a $350,000 lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against WMJQ-FM of Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier Homebuilders Association for the commercial advertising a home show last June.

″Robin Leach’s voice is his trademark,″ said Daniel C. Oliverio, Leach’s attorney. ″It’s the way he earns his livelihood.″

Oliverio said the commercial could have led listeners to believe Leach was promoting the show.

But spokesmen for the defendants said the commercial was a harmless parody.

″I’m sure there was no effort to harm Robin Leach or to deceive anyone,″ said Larry Levite, president of Algonquin Communications, the station’s owner. ″It was just an effort to make something cute and a little bit creative.″

Levite added that his station did not produce the ad and was one of seven or eight stations that aired it.


GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Author Garrison Keillor has an English class at the University of North Dakota to thank for spotting a discrepancy in one of his stories published in New Yorker magazine.

Keillor thanked the class with a box full of his books and tapes of his radio show, and a letter inviting the class to dinner, his manager, Jennifer Howe, said Thursday from New York.

Lecturer Lisa Lewis-Spicer’s class wrote a letter two weeks ago ago asking Keillor to explain why a family suddenly grew from three to four kids in ″Zeus the Lutheran,″ a story that ran in the Oct. 29 issue.

He responded in a letter with the box of gifts that they should be commended for their close reading of his story, Lewis-Spicer said.

″I was so overwhelmed,″ Lewis-Spicer said. She began handing out the gifts from Keillor to her three classes Tuesday.

Lewis-Spicer said her English students plan to send Keillor a copy of a class-produced magazine along with a dinner invitation of their own.

Keillor is creator of the fictional Lake Wobegon and is host of public radio’s ″Garrison Keillor’s American Radio Company of the Air.″


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Rock ‘n’ roll singer-songwriter John Hiatt says he admires the optimism of the under-30 crowd and has tried to appeal to them with his music.

″I’m telling you, I have not been so impressed with a generation of people as I am with this batch of 19 to 26 or 27-year olds,″ the 38-year-old Nashville native said in an interview published Thursday in the Nashville Banner.

″All the ones I’ve met are very enthusiastic about the possibilities before us as a country and a world, and they seem to be possessed of a real ‘Let’s roll up our sleeves and get on with it’ kind of attitude and I really like that.″

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