- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 27, 2011

George Michael sidelined by pneumonia, cancels tour

George Michael’s management said the singer has canceled all his remaining 2011 tour dates as he recovers from pneumonia.

According to the Associated Press, a statement said the 48-year-old former Wham! frontman “is responding to treatment and slowly improving.”

The statement issued Friday said Mr. Michael “is ill with pneumonia and any other speculation regarding his illness is unfounded and untrue.”

Mr. Michael was hospitalized in Vienna last week, and canceled shows in Vienna, Strasbourg, France, and Cardiff, Wales.

The Austrian doctors treating Mr. Michael said he has “severe community-acquired pneumonia” but “his condition has stabilized and he is responding to treatment.”

The singer has canceled dates in Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester and London in England and Glasgow, Scotland.

‘Lost’ first novel from Jack Kerouac published

The first book from iconic American writer Jack Kerouac, which went unpublished and was considered “lost” in his lifetime, finally was published Thursday, according to Agence France-Presse.

The original 158-page handwritten manuscript was Kerouac’s first novel, begun when the writer - most famous for his freewheeling trip across America captured in “On The Road” - kept a journal of life at sea as a merchant marine, in 1942, when he was just 20 years old.

“The Sea is My Brother: The Lost Novel,” published by Penguin Classics, showcases a young Kerouac’s gritty talent, which would bloom during the late 1950s “beat” movement.

He died in 1969 at age 47 from an internal hemorrhage caused after many years of heavy drinking.

The newly published novel follows the character of Wesley Martin, a man Kerouac said “loved the sea with a strange, lonely love; the sea is his brother and sentences. He goes down,” according to Penguin.

In notes found for the book, Kerouac envisioned the characters as “the vanishing American, the big free by, the American Indian, the last of the pioneers, the last of the hoboes,” Penguin said.

The book is, in Kerouac’s words, about a “man’s simple revolt from society as it is, with the inequalities, frustration, and self-inflicted agonies.”

Willis cutting Idaho ties, selling home, nightclub

“Die Hard” movie star Bruce Willis is asking $15 million for his Idaho home complete with a guesthouse, gym and pool with water slides.

According to the Associated Press, the Idaho Mountain Express reported Mr. Willis’ property in Hailey’s Flying Heart subdivision is up for sale because he hasn’t been able to spend much time in the area.

The house is just part of Mr. Willis’ plans to pare his ties to the region.

He’s also trying to unload the Mint bar and nightclub on Hailey’s Main Street after dropping the price to $4.5 million, from $6 million when it went on the market last year.

Mr. Willis and his former wife, Demi Moore, became part of the celebrity scene in the Sun Valley area during the 1990s.

Mr. Willis still owns a ski area, Soldier Mountain, west of Hailey.

O’Neal son pleads guilty to DUI, firearm charges

Griffin O’Neal, the son of actor Ryan O’Neal, has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of drugs stemming from a head-on crash that injured another motorist.

According to the Associated Press, the San Diego Union-Tribune said O’Neal pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence and possession of a firearm by a felon, both felonies. He also acknowledged he has a 1992 conviction for shooting into an unoccupied vehicle.

Prosecutors say O’Neal was on drugs Aug. 2 when he veered into oncoming traffic and collided with another vehicle in San Diego County.

Defense attorney Heather Boxeth said at a previous hearing that her client had been trying to help his half-brother Redmond O’Neal, who had been arrested on suspicion of heroin possession the same day.

Griffin O’Neal faces up to four years in prison.

‘The Help’s‘ Davis lends support to R.I. library

The public library in Central Falls, R.I., that was closed temporarily because of the city’s dire finances is expanding its hours again after receiving a donation from actress Viola Davis and a state grant.

The Adams Memorial Library said last week that it received a $1,000 check from Miss Davis, who grew up in Central Falls. Miss Davis appeared recently in the movie “The Help” and was nominated for an Oscar for her role in 2008’s “Doubt.”

The library also received a $3,500 grant with the help of state Sen. Elizabeth Crowley.

Actor Alec Baldwin donated $10,000 to the library last month.

The library has raised $61,000 since it was shuttered in July ahead of the city’s bankruptcy filing. It has reopened part time with the help of volunteers. Beginning Dec. 1, it will be open six days a week.

Compiled from Web and wire reports.

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