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Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2006

People in the news

September 20, 2006

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Lessons from Diddy

Philadelphia - The principal at Benjamin Franklin High School wanted a speaker who would get students' attention. He succeeded. Some 750 students erupted in cheers when Sean "Diddy" Combs walked out on stage.

"This is a really important time for you all right now," Combs said. "This is the time that is going to dictate your future."

The 36-year-old founder of Bad Boy Records looked the part in sunglasses and flashy jewelry. He called some students on stage and talked to them one on one about their goals. His advice: work hard and stay in school.

"Take responsibility for your future. No excuses!" Combs said.

The school district also plans to use Diddy's message in an anti-truancy campaign, said Cecilia Cummings, senior vice president for communications and community relations.

"We wanted someone whom they would sit down and listen to, someone who comes from the same type of background," said Principal Christopher Johnson. "To have a superstar come in to talk is extremely powerful."

Combs' new album, "Press Play," is scheduled for release next month.

Roses in his future

Pasadena, Calif. - The Force will be with the Rose Parade next year. Perhaps that will keep the rain away this time.

"Star Wars" creator George Lucas was named Tuesday as grand marshal of the 118th annual Tournament of Roses.

To the soaring strains of the "Star Wars" theme, Lucas arrived at the Tournament of Roses headquarters to accept the honor. On hand to greet him were "Star Wars" characters such as a roaring Chewbacca and a diminutive Ewok.

"It's always had a very special place in my heart and now it's an amazing thought that I'm going to be riding that funny old car at the very end of the parade," the 62-year-old director said.

The theme for the parade is "Our Good Nature."

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was grand marshal of the 2006 parade. That event was pounded by heavy rain for the first time in more than a half-century.

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