Continued from page 1

Stephen King to help Maine residents stay warm

Horror author Stephen King is stepping up to help struggling Maine residents buy heating oil. The state is facing deep cuts to a federal heating oil assistance program.

The Maine native announced Tuesday that his foundation will work with the three radio stations he owns in the Bangor area to raise $140,000 to buy heating oil for low-income residents.

He’s asking listeners to donate $70,000, and the foundation will double it.

Mr. King told the Bangor Daily News there is a “great need” for heating oil assistance as the price goes up and federal funding goes down.

The federal government told the Maine State Housing Authority that it should expect to receive $23 million in heating oil assistance this winter, down from $55.6 million last winter.

Rapper Heavy D collapses, dies in Beverly Hills

It was as if Heavy D knew it would be his last tweet.

The self-proclaimed “overweight lover” of hip hop, who became one of rap’s top hitmakers with his charming combination of humor and positivity, enthusiastically told his Twitter followers Tuesday morning to “BE INSPIRED!” He later collapsed outside his Beverly Hills, Calif., home after a shopping trip, unable to breathe, before he was taken to a hospital.

The Associated Press reports Heavy D died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills police. He was 44. Lt. Rosen said detectives found no signs of foul play and believe his death was medically related. If true, Heavy D would of course not have known that “BE INSPIRED!” would be his last tweet, but that it was is fitting for the life Heavy D lived.

The Jamaica-born rapper, who grew up in New York, became one of the genre’s most integral stars in the late 1980s and early 1990s as it relied on new voices and star power to fuel its phenomenal growth in the mainstream. Heavy D and his crew — Heavy D & the Boyz — unabashedly burst onto the rap scene in 1987 with their debut album “Living Large.”

The deep-voiced rapper’s earliest hit, “The Overweight Lover’s in the House,” played up his hefty frame. But while that nickname would stick, his weight did not become his shtick. What drew people to his music was his singular style celebrating an easygoing, party vibe — sometimes humorous, sometimes inspiring and usually positive.

Heavy D, who was never afraid to bust a move or perform as a character, also found success on the screen. He created the theme songs for the sketch comedy shows “In Living Color” and “MADtv” and acted on such TV shows as “Boston Public,” “The Tracy Morgan Show” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” as well as in the films “Life,” “Step Up” and most recently “Tower Heist.”

• Compiled from Web and wire reports.