- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 9, 2004

Civic-minded Drew

Associated Press

Actress Drew Barrymore toured Selma, Ala., the birthplace of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as part of a documentary she’s filming on the importance of voting.

She visited the National Voting Rights Museum on Thursday before traveling 20 miles to the tiny community of Suttle, where she met with children involved in youth leadership.

Miss Barrymore, 29, and her crew taped interviews with state Sen. Hank Sanders and his wife, activist Faya Rose Toure, at the youth leadership center.

Selma civil rights leaders said they were impressed with Miss Barrymore’s knowledge of the voting rights movement as she toured a museum at the base of the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, where marchers clashed with state troopers and sheriff’s officers in March 1965.

It’s Dr. Cooper now

Associated Press

The rock star whose hits include “School’s Out” now has an honorary doctorate from a Christian liberal arts university.

Alice Cooper received the honor during Saturday’s commencement ceremony at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

Mr. Cooper, 56, whose classic albums include “Killer” and “Welcome to my Nightmare,” has financially supported the university, officials said.

He was known for shocking audiences with gruesome concert performances featuring simulated hangings and infant dolls gushing blood.

More recently, he has been known in the Phoenix area as a family man who sometimes coaches Little League baseball.

“Alice Cooper is a guy who made it big in a very tough business and has made his faith a priority,” said Michael Clifford, vice chairman for the university.

“He can become a real mentor for our students, sharing his knowledge, valuable contacts and real-life experiences in the performing arts.”

Grease is the word

San Diego-based rockers the Healing Waters Band roll into Capitol Heights today on a Greyhound bus powered solely by cooking grease.

Why cooking grease? As a sulfur-free, bio-mass fuel, it’s cheaper, safer, less harmful to the environment and less toxic to people and animals than petroleum-based fuel, band members said.

“Gas prices are outrageous right now,” says David Wolfe, the band’s drummer. The group, now crossing the country on a three-month tour, stops at Everlasting Life Health Complex, 9185 Central Ave., at 4 p.m. today.

“We’re only paying 50 cents per gallon for the cooking grease,” Mr. Wolf continued. “Regular gas would cost us about four times that amount.”

During the band’s 7,000 mile journey, he estimates saving between $2,000 and $3,000. On the trek across country, the group — each of whom has day jobs at the Web site rawfood.com — will share their knowledge of the raw food lifestyle at seminars, events and gigs. All six members eat a diet consisting solely of raw, organic fruits and vegetables.

The Healing Waters’ debut CD is titled “This Cooked Planet.”

Schimmel’s dilemmas

New York Post

If you don’t think there’s anything funny about getting cancer and cheating on your wife with your daughter’s best friend while you’re undergoing eight months of chemotherapy, you obviously haven’t met Robert Schimmel.

Not only did the comedian do just that, but he’s making a sitcom about it for the WB network executive-produced by his pal Howard Stern.

Mr. Schimmel recovered from the cancer and eventually wed his young lover Melissa — he’s 54; she’s 30 — and they’re now living happily with his daughter, Jessica, 25.

“I do have to say I only met her four or five years ago,” Mr Schimmel told the New York Post.

“It wasn’t like I watched her grow up saying, ‘Six more years’.”

The former Mrs. Schimmel, Vicki, still hasn’t forgiven him.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.

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