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Archive for Sunday, January 22, 2006

People in the news

January 22, 2006

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Oklahoman crowned Miss America

Las Vegas - A 22-year-old aspiring teacher from Oklahoma was crowned Miss America on Saturday night, the first time the storied but struggling pageant was held outside Atlantic City, N.J.

Jennifer Berry, a student at the University of Oklahoma, outlasted 51 other women to become Miss America 2006, earning a $30,000 college scholarship and a yearlong speaking tour in the process.

Miss Georgia Monica Pang was first runner-up and Miss Alabama Alexa Jones second runner-up. Miss Virginia Kristi Lauren Glakas and Miss District of Columbia Shannon Schambeau rounded out the top five. Miss Hawaii Malika Dudley won Miss Congeniality.

Berry, an advocate for the prevention of drunken driving, wowed the judges by dancing ballet for her talent. She succeeds Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs, who wore the crown 16 months because this year's pageant was postponed by four months.

Lawyer: Producers would pay taxes to keep lid on cheating

Providence, R.I. - Richard Hatch's attorney said Friday that the "Survivor" winner caught his fellow reality-show contestants cheating, and when he told producers about it they struck a deal: They would pay the taxes on the million-dollar prize if Hatch won.

During a break in Hatch's testimony, his attorney, Michael Minns, told U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres of his plans to have the first-ever winner of "Survivor" testify about the alleged deal. Hatch won the first season of the hit CBS show, which aired in 2000.

But while questioning Hatch in front of jurors later in the day, Minns never asked his client to discuss the allegations - and wrapped up his questioning of Hatch on Friday afternoon without ever broaching the topic.

Minns told the judge that Hatch caught some of his fellow contestants trying to have friends sneak food to them on the island.

That was against the rules, Minns said, and Hatch said Friday that he never ate any food on the show that he didn't catch or find himself, or win through a competition.

A spokesman for the show's executive producer, Mark Burnett, said he would have no comment while the trial was in progress. A CBS spokesman said it would not comment on the issue.

Plane carrying Bon Jovi members skids off runway

Hamilton, Ontario - An airliner carrying members of Bon Jovi skidded off a runway early Saturday after landing in severe weather.

The Boeing 707 carrying the band and its touring staff overshot the runway at Hamilton International Airport.

A spokeswoman said the 14 passengers and flight crew were arriving from Buffalo, N.Y., where the band played Friday. No one was hurt.

Shows scheduled for Saturday, Monday and Tuesday at Toronto's Air Canada Center were expected to proceed as planned, she said.

Shakira puts her Miami Beach mansion up for sale

Miami Beach, Fla. - Shakira wants more space and has put her 6,500-square-foot Florida mansion on the market, her real estate agent said Friday.

The waterfront property in an exclusive area of Miami Beach has views of Biscayne Bay.

The asking price is $5.9 million. The singer bought the home in 2001 for $3.38 million, said Jorge Uribe, of Sol Sotheby's International Realty.

The house has five bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathrooms, a pool and a dock.

Uribe said Shakira plans to stay in the swanky neighborhood, which also is home to singer Ricky Martin and actor Matt Damon.

L.A. fined $1.1 million for withholding B.I.G. evidence

Los Angeles - In a stinging rebuke, a federal judge Friday ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay $1.1 million in attorney fees and costs to the family of the late rap artist Notorious B.I.G. as sanctions for intentionally withholding evidence.

U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper last summer declared a mistrial in the family's civil lawsuit after finding that a Los Angeles Police Department detective hid statements linking the killing to rogue LAPD officers David A. Mack and Rafael Perez - a central figure in the Rampart police scandal.

Notorious B.I.G. - born Christopher Wallace - then 24, was a Brooklyn-born rapper nearing the zenith of his career when he was gunned down March 9, 1997, after a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles.

The Wallace murder, along with the killing of rap artist Tupac Shakur six months earlier in Las Vegas, remains unsolved. The killings have spawned an assortment of conspiracy theories.

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