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DETROIT (AP) - Best-selling author Mitch Albom's latest book will be released in the fall. "The First Phone Call from Heaven" comes out on Nov. 12. It focuses on a small town on Lake Michigan that receives worldwide attention when its citizens start getting phone calls from the afterlife. Albom calls it "an allegory about the power of belief." Albom is a Michigan resident who, in addition to being an author, is a playwright, screenwriter, radio host and prize-winning columnist for the Detroit Free Press. He's best known for "Tuesdays With Morrie," a memoir that sold millions. 

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge in New York has upheld an arbitrator's ruling that a Pennsylvania beauty queen must pay the Miss USA pageant $5 million for defaming Donald Trump's pageant organization. Sheena Monnin resigned as Miss Pennsylvania last year, saying the contest was rigged. She claimed another contestant learned the names of the top five Miss USA finishers hours before the show was broadcast. Trump's Miss Universe Organization sued Monnin for defamation and an arbitrator ruled against her in December. The arbitrator said Monnin's allegations cost the pageant a $5 million fee from a potential sponsor. Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken upheld the arbitrator's decision. Monnin says in a Facebook post that she is glad the truth is out there and she hopes people will help contribute to her legal defense. 

NEW YORK (AP) - Ten years after a shark bit off her left arm, Bethany Hamilton is engaged. Hamilton tells In Touch magazine her boyfriend Adam Dirks popped the question. He's a Christian youth minister. They met on a blind date set up by friends. Hamilton says she always thought it would be hard for her to meet someone because she was "different." But she says she feels loved just as she is. They plan a summer wedding.
 

Friday, 05 July 2013 10:19

Ringo Starr celebrates a birthday

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ringo Starr turns 73 on Sunday and he plans to go crazy. He says he'll have two cups of tea that day. His real plans are to be home with his family and have a quiet day. Starr says he's not much of a rock star anymore. He's a vegetarian, works out and watches what he eats. His advice for rock stars wanting to be like him is to give them no advice at all. He says musicians "will do what they do, they will get what they get and they will end up where they end up."

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Honey Boo Boo is among the nominees for Teen Choice Awards. She's up for best female reality star. The Kardashians and Jenners are among her competition. Miley Cyrus is up for best TV scene-stealer for her guest shot on "Two and A Half Men." President Obama is up for best Twitter Personality. He's up against Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Rihanna. Winners will be announced August 11 on Fox.

Tuesday, 02 July 2013 11:28

100 Greatest Movies & TV Shows

NEW YORK (AP) - "The Return of the King" and "The Empire Strikes Back" are on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. "The Silence of the Lambs" made the cut, along with "Toy Story," "The Wizard of Oz" and "Pulp Fiction." The number one movie, as usual, is "Citizen Kane." It's followed by "The Godfather," "Casablanca," "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Psycho." "It's a Wonderful Life" is sixth on the list. "Mean Streets," "The Gold Rush," "Nashville" and "Gone With the Wind" round out the top 10.

"The Wire" tops Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. "The Simpsons" ranks second, followed by "Seinfeld," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Sopranos." "All in the Family" is next, then "The Andy Griffith Show," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Mad Men" and "Your Show of Shows." "American Idol" ranks 53rd. "Saturday Night Live" is 12th. "Breaking Bad" is at number 18. Other shows on the list include "Dawson's Creek" and "Felicity," "ER" and "Grey's Anatomy," "M-A-S-H," "Modern Family," "Lost," "I Love Lucy," "Freaks and Geeks," "Game of Thrones," "Beavis and Butthead," "South Park," "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and "Good Times."

Tuesday, 02 July 2013 11:28

Carrie Underwood speaks up

NASHVILLE (AP) - Carrie Underwood is not a bandwagon person. Underwood says anyone who knows her knows she doesn't weigh in on anything unless she knows the full story, and she does her own research. Recently Underwood tweeted her opposition to Tennessee's "Ag Gag" bill, that would have impacted investigations into animal abuse on farms. Underwood was the only celebrity that Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam consulted before he vetoed the bill. Underwood says she respects that he wanted to hear everybody's point of view. Underwood says she mostly gets positive comments on what she tweets, but when there's a negative one, she says, "I enjoy blocking that person."

Tuesday, 02 July 2013 10:52

Toby Keith uninjured in bus fire

LEBANON, Ind. (AP) - Toby Keith's tour bus caught fire on a highway near Indianapolis. Keith was not on board at the time, and no one was hurt. Boone County sheriff's deputies say the fire started early yesterday morning on Interstate 65. Police closed the southbound lanes of the highway for a couple of hours. The back of the bus was charred. The cause is not known. Keith's next performance is the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert in Norman, Oklahoma on Saturday.

UNDATED (AP) - Even Paula Deen's good news is going sour. Pre-sales have made her upcoming cookbook number one on Amazon.com, but now, the publisher has canceled publication. Ballentine Books says it will not publish "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up." And J.C. Penney has joined the parade of companies cutting ties with Deen.

NEW YORK (AP) - A judge in New York has tossed out three lawsuits brought by men who said former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash sexually abused them when they were underage. Federal Judge John Koeltl threw out the lawsuits Monday. He says the claims came more than six years after each man reasonably should have become aware of Clash's alleged violations and more than three years after each turned 18. There's one other lawsuit pending. Clash resigned from "Sesame Street" in November. He was the man behind the popular furry red monster for 28 years. His resignation came after college student Cecil Singleton sued him for more than $5 million, accusing Clash of having sex with him when he was 15. Singleton's lawsuit was among those thrown out Monday. The plaintiffs' lawyers say they are considering an appeal.