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Archive for Monday, February 23, 2004

People

February 23, 2004

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Johnson spreads magic to poor

Miami -- Even though Magic Johnson's basketball career is over, he's still providing assists.

Through his foundation, the Hall of Fame player helped donate $200,000 in computer equipment Friday to the Mattie Koonce Learning Center in Overtown, above, one of Miami's poorest neighborhoods.

It's the 12th Magic Johnson HP Inventor Center to open in an inner-city community in the past three years. Another opens next week in Seattle and nine more are planned by July 1.

Johnson, whose playing career was cut short in 1991 when he tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, won five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Actor in a house divided

Knoxville, Tenn. -- Actor David Keith, whose film credits include "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Daredevil," is in a dispute with movie theater executive Gregory W. Dunn over the right to buy a house.

Keith, a Knoxville native, said he was promised first right to buy the house where he and his wife have been living. The Knoxville house is owned by retired physician Matthew Bargas.

Dunn, chief operating officer for Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment Group, said he made a deal with the doctor to buy the house.

Keith refuses to move out and Bargas' lawyer said he would go to court today to ask that Keith's claims be rejected.

Singer lays claim to fortune

London -- Charlotte Church, the bright-eyed Welsh soprano who has sung for two U.S. presidents, the pope and Queen Elizabeth II, turned 18 on Saturday, meaning she now has control of her $30 million trust fund.

Church -- whose bursts of rebelliousness, family spats and a now-discarded boyfriend have become a tabloid soap opera -- now faces the difficult transition from child prodigy to adult star.

Church said she planned to leave most of the trust-fund money where it was, telling Britain's GMTV television: "I just don't want it. I don't need a lot of money now."

Connery denies link to chain

Taipei, Taiwan -- Sean Connery says the actor will not be joining Taiwan's human chain protest against China next week as the island's official media had claimed, a spokesman said.

On Thursday, a ruling party official in Taiwan said the Scottish-born actor was considering whether to join the protest Saturday against China's use of missiles to threaten the island.

However, the official media on Saturday cited a U.S.-based agent for Connery who denied the actor ever planned a trip to Taiwan.

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