- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chrysler CFO says July crunch likely

DETROIT | Even if Chrysler LLC gets additional government loans, it could face another cash shortage in July when revenue dries up as the company does its annual two-week factory shutdown to change from one model year to the next, its chief financial officer said.

CFO Ron Kolka, in a brief telephone interview with the Associated Press, said the company planned for the $4 billion it received Jan. 2 to last through March 31. The company is talking with the Obama administration’s auto task force about getting an additional $5 billion and is facing a March 31 deadline to complete its plan to show how it can become viable and repay the loans.

“Following that, the next critical low point in cash is July shutdown,” Mr. Kolka said Friday.

Mr. Kolka wouldn’t say what would happen if the company doesn’t get further government aid, saying only that he’s not planning to run out of money. He said Chrysler planned conservatively so that the company can survive even at the current U.S. industry annual sales rate of 9.1 million vehicles, the lowest level in 27 years.

Superman No. 1 nets $317,200

NEW YORK | A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman has sold for $317,200 in an Internet auction. The previous owner of Action Comics No. 1 bought it as a 9-year-old for 35 cents in the early 1950s.

It’s one of the highest prices ever paid for a comic book, a likely testament to the volume’s rarity and its excellent condition, said Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the auction site ComicConnect.com and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles.

The winning bid for the 1938 edition, which features Superman lifting a car on its cover, was submitted Friday evening by John Dolmayan, drummer for the rock band System of a Down, according to managers at ComicConnect.com.

The auctioneers said Mr. Dolmayan, who also deals in rare comic books, acquired the Superman comic on behalf of an unidentified client. Only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 are known to exist, and they seldom come up for sale.

Melee breaks out at ‘Model’ audition

NEW YORK | Three people were arrested and six others hurt Saturday after a melee broke out while they waited to audition for “America’s Next Top Model,” police said.

Police said they didn’t know what prompted the chaos involving hundreds of people outside the Park Central hotel in Manhattan. The street outside the hotel was littered with shoes and clothing, according to news reports.

Three people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges. Authorities shut down the audition, saying it wasn’t properly organized.

The model competition is hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks, who also serves as its executive producer. The current season began March 4. Saturday’s auditions were open only to women no taller than 5-foot-7, which is shorter than the industry’s conventions.

Warrant issued for Lohan arrest

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. | An arrest warrant has been issued for actress Lindsay Lohan, possibly in connection with a 2007 drunken driving arrest after she crashed her Mercedes-Benz into a tree, police said Saturday.

A judge at the Los Angeles Superior Court in Beverly Hills issued the warrant Friday, and it carries a bail amount of $50,000, Sgt. Mike Foxen said.

“We believe it has to do with her arrest for DUI,” Sgt. Foxen said, though he did not have any other details about the warrant.

Shawn Chapman Holley, Miss Lohan’s attorney, said in a statement Saturday that her client has complied with the terms of probation and all court orders. “The warrant issued on Friday was, in our view, born out of a misunderstanding, which I am confident I can clear up next week,” she said.

Court tells filers to use own paper

MOUNT GILEAD, Ohio | An Ohio city court said it will only accept new case filings from people who bring their own paper.

Judge Lee McClelland of Morrow County Municipal Court in north-central Ohio said the court has just enough paper to handle hearing notices and other documents for pending cases.

Judge McClelland said the court will stop accepting case filings Monday because it cannot afford to reorder more paper. He told the Columbus Dispatch that the county still hasn’t paid the bill for basic supplies the court ordered in November.

The Morrow County prosecutor declined to comment on the new filing rules.

Music executive who signed Beatles dies

LOS ANGELES | Alan W. Livingston, the music executive who created Bozo the Clown and signed the Beatles during his tenure as president of Capitol Records, has died. He was 91.

Mr. Livingston died Friday of age-related causes in his Beverly Hills home, said his stepdaughter Jennifer Lerner.

He began his multifaceted career in show business as a writer and producer of children’s read-along record albums for Capitol Records. He came up with the Bozo the Clown character for the 1946 album “Bozo at the Circus,” which spawned the television series featuring the wing-haired clown.

When he moved into executive positions at Capitol Records in the early 1950s, Mr. Livingston signed Frank Sinatra, then at a low point in his career, and introduced him to arranger Nelson Riddle. Together, the pair produced “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “Young At Heart,” which led to Mr. Sinatra’s comeback. Mr. Livingston left the record label in the late 1950s, but returned to Capitol Records as president in the 1960s.

When Mr. Livingston heard the Beatles song “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” he agreed to release the single and brought the Fab Four to the United States in 1964 to promote it. Capitol, which was partly owned by the Beatles’ record company EMI in the United Kingdom, earlier had rejected the group’s initial hit singles as unsuitable for the American market.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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