Deana Carter is the latest major star to participate in a large free concert for U.S. military personnel and their families. CMT says the singer-songwriter will entertain troops at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii soon. While in the island state she also will visit military families. The trip to Hawaii will mark the first time Carter has participated in an official USO show. Meanwhile, more than 22,000 free tickets have been passed out for that upcoming appearance of Tim McGraw at Colorado's Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs. Prior to that concert, slated for next week, McGraw will be in Los Angeles for several TV and other appearances.
MICHAEL PITT SIGNS FOR ANOTHER MOVIE
Twenty-two-year-old actor Michael Pitt has been tapped to appear in a gritty new movie "West Memphis Three." The film, according to gossip columnist Liz Smith, will center around three convicted men who were found guilty of killing three small boys as part of what was called a satanic rite. Pitt will play one of the three, Damien Echols. The actor recently went to the prison where Echols is serving time for the killings to meet with him. After emerging, he told media prison is "the last place I want to go" but felt he really needed to talk to the prisoner, not just watch tapes of the TV accounts of the crimes and trial. The movie's scenario is based on the assumption Echols and the other two are not guilty. Pitt's latest movie is Bernardo Bertolucci's "Dreamers."
FRIENDS, FAMILY PRAY FOR JUNE CASH
Johnny Cash's wife, June Carter Cash, remains in a Nashville hospital, fighting for her life after complications following surgery. She's now 73 and has been in critical condition for days. The news provider country.com says the singer-songwriter-actress had open heart surgery on May 7 to replace a heart valve. She did not rally after the surgery and began to develop other problems. She and "The Man in Black" have been married since 1968. Her mother, of course, was gospel music's Maybelle Carter. Her daughter is singer-songwriter Carlene Cash. She is stepmother to Cash's daughter Rosanne Cash. The family is asking for prayers for her recovery.
FRENCH ARCHITECT UN-HIRED BY MUSEUM
The internationally known architect chosen to design a huge addition to the Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh has been given his pink slip. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Parisian architect Jean Nouvel has been informed his design for the addition is too grandiose and overpriced. Nouvel, hired to oversee a planned $90 million expansion of the museum's science center, was fired in a tersely worded statement. Museum directors noted there was a huge gap between what they wanted to spend and what it would cost to build under Nouvel's plan. The suggested design, though, would have been dramatic. Nouvel wanted a multi-story addition that would actually be above the Ohio River, supported by a huge pylon and cantilevered out over the water. There was no indication as to how far over-budget Nouvel's design was.
NEW YORK SMOKERS BLAST MAYOR
When Big Apple Mayor Michael Bloomberg left the club "21" this week, the New York Post says he had to run a gauntlet of smokers. Bloomberg recently pushed through no-smoking rules for meeting places in his city, much to the chagrin of smokers and tobacco companies and much to the delight of people who like to breathe fresh air. But the publication says when His Honor came out of the club, the smokers there not only filled the air with fumes, they filled the air with criticism. One noted New York had become "worse than California." The Golden State has had no-smoking rules for bars and taverns in effect for years. By the way, at the club was former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. He chatted with Bloomberg. There is continued talk the colorful Ventura will eventually host an MSNBC talk show, but the format is still up in the air.
PIONEERING MIDWEST INVENTOR DIES
Bryon Godbersen, a quiet Iowan who held numerous industrial patents, has died. Although his name is certainly not a household word, during his long career he cranked out numerous farm-related inventions and filled his tiny hometown of Ida Grove with unique architecture and attractions. The Des Moines Register says Godbersen's best known invention was a special motorized hoist that helped farmers load material onto wagons. He often sketched a planned invention on a napkin while eating in a restaurant. He would later transfer the idea to this drawing table, eventually producing the product. A model plane enthusiast, Godbersen put together a yearly event where people from around the world brought in their planes. He even staged full-scale aerial re-enactments of World War II battles using model planes. His other love was for castles. He constructed a dozen or so around his hometown, several with moats. Bryon Godberson was 78.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 588
Here is today's question: "On average, how many loads of wash do you do a week?" Put UPI-WASH in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet. Remember to include the hyphen after "UPI" and before the daily subject or mail goes to the wrong folder.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 583 (WINDOW)
Last week we asked: "At your work place, either at home or office, do you have a window in front of you? Are you in a window-less box?" Our random dip into the e-mail inbox reveals the following: PS is among the surprising 45 percent who said they had no window in their office. Debra says she has a window, but "it looks into a hallway." Many with a view are happy for it. Keke writes: "Thank goodness I have a window in my office. It's over my desk. I'm at my computer station it's to my left." BarryY also has a view of the outside world. Of course, for those who have home offices or are "home bodies," there are lots of windows. On a personal note: Starting tomorrow, my colleague Pat Nason in Los Angeles takes over this column during two weeks of my vacation. I'm leaving it in good hands, but will continue to handle the questions and answer section. NEXT: Hold the phone. GBA