- The Washington Times - Monday, September 4, 2006

O’s latest good deed

Talk show titan Oprah Winfrey plans to be in her birthplace of Kosciusko, Miss. to dedicate a state-of-the-art Boys & Girls Club she helped sponsor.

The estimated $5 million facility houses a gymnasium, computer lab and garden, Associated Press reports.

“We know how valuable her time is and are happy that she is giving us a little of it to come down here,” said Jimmy Cockroft, mayor of the city of 7,334.

Paul Powers, vice president of special projects for The Oprah Winfrey Boys & Girls Club of Kosciusko and Attala County, said the facility will be used mainly for after-school activities for boys and girls 5 to 18 years old.

The facility should open in a few weeks.

Construction began in October 2004 on the 32,000-square-foot facility that was funded by The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Mr. Powers said. The facility’s garden will be used to teach children to grow their own food.

Children can prepare some of the food in a kitchen area, designed by Miss Winfrey’s personal chef, Art Smith, who also will be on hand for the dedication.

Dismissal sought

The Oscar-winning rap group Three 6 Mafia has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was severely beaten at a Pittsburgh concert when fans followed lyrics of the song “Let’s Start A Riot.”

According to AP, an attorney for the group filed a motion last week in Allegheny County Court saying there is no “genuine issue of material fact” to the complaint. The lyrics are protected under the First Amendment, the motion said.

Ramone Williams claimed in his lawsuit that he was beaten during a concert at a now-defunct Pittsburgh nightclub on Aug. 26, 2003. Before the song was over, Mr. Williams claims, he was thrown to the floor, hit with a chair, stomped on and kicked in the face. His injuries included a fractured jaw. Mr. Williams, who was 19 at the time, won a default judgment against the club. It closed, and its former operators did not answer the complaint.

Three 6 Mafia, of Memphis, Tenn., won an Academy Award this year for the song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the film “Hustle & Flow.”

Doherty gets a break

Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty yesterday skirted a jail sentence on drug charges when a judge ordered him to continue rehabilitation, AP reports.

The singer, 27, appeared for sentencing on charges of possessing heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and cannabis.

He pleaded guilty on Aug. 18 to all five charges, which stem from arrests in April and August, in which drugs were found in his vehicle and home and he was found with a crack pipe and a small amount of crack cocaine.

Mr. Doherty gained fame with his previous band, the Libertines, and as the on-off boyfriend of supermodel Kate Moss. His drug habit gained international attention after a British tabloid printed pictures of Miss Moss apparently using cocaine at a music studio where Mr. Doherty and his band were recording. Miss Moss was not charged.

A flowery farewell

“Sweeney Todd” closed not with a slash of a barber’s razor but with a barrage of flowers — and a visit from the master himself.

As Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris, the stars of the Stephen Sondheim musical, stood on stage Sunday night with the rest of the cast after the final performance of this Broadway revival, the flowers came soaring out of the orchestra and mezzanine.

Among those applauding wildly at Eugene O’Neill Theatre was none other than Mr. Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics for this grim tale of a demon barber in 19th-century London.

The show first opened on Broadway in 1979, and this revival began its New York run last November. Next up, AP reports, is the movie version, with plans to start shooting in 2007, and Johnny Depp bearing the glistening razors.

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

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