SCOTT HAMILTON TIES THE KNOT
One of the most popular ice skaters of all time has gotten married. Crowd-pleasing, energetic Scott Hamilton has married Tracie Robinson, after a short, whirlwind courtship. A publicist tells United Press International that Hamilton, Olympic Gold medalist and much-publicized cancer survivor, and Robinson were wed in a private ceremony in the Malibu enclave of Los Angeles. The outdoor event was staged on the palisades, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Hamilton is now 44. He "proposed" to his new bride at the conclusion of a charity skating event in Ohio several months ago, to the cheers of the crowd attending the event. The event was the third fundraiser he had staged in Cleveland for a local cancer clinic. Tracie is a native of Tennessee. It's the first marriage for both. Hamilton will continue his work with "Smucker's Stars on Ice" during the coming season. He co-produces the show. More on that series of events is available at starsonice.com on the Internet.
SHAKIRA BRINGS SHOES TO THE POOR
Mega-star Shakira says she plans to distribute more than 10,000 pairs of shoes in her native country, Colombia. The Reebok people, participating in the "shoe lift," tells United Press International that the distribution begins this weekend in the singer's hometown, Barranquilla. The shoe company will also sponsor the kickoff of the event at the School of St. Vincent de Paul, one of the poorest in a city full of orphans and desperately poor families. It is estimated that more than 7 million children live in poverty in Colombia. Several years ago Shakira set up a foundation called Pies Descalzos, dedicated to helping children in her country attain some level of dignity. The organization supports many educational and outreach programs in that country.
SOUTH POLE CANCER AIRLIFT TO BE DEPICTED
Remember the female doctor who discovered she had breast cancer while on-station at the South Pole? Well, according to CBS, it's about to do a made-for-TV movie about the incident. Susan Sarandon will star as Dr. Jerri Nielsen. She, through self-examination techniques, found what she thought was a cancerous lump while in the middle of a multi-month stay at the South Pole. After long preparations, she was airlifted to warmer climes by an intrepid crew of aviators. Her subsequent book, "Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle with Survival at the South Pole," tells the story of her ordeal, a story that garnered international day-to-day media attention at the time. The book was published by the printing division of Miramax pictures and will be the first Miramax book to reach the screen.
BILL MAHER RETURNING TO TELEVISION
The former host of "Politically Incorrect" has been tapped to return to TV with his own new weekly program. According to the New York Post, Bill Maher's show has no name yet. It will be aired on HBO for one hour on Friday nights. Not much else has been released about the show, but it is known that it will not attempt to be a copy of the old, extremely successful "Incorrect" series. But, like that popular show, Maher will surround himself with a rotating panel of guests. We do know that one will be Michael Eric Dyson, a University of Pennsylvania professor and expert on black history. In addition to being host, Maher will also act as producer of the series, set for a multi-season run on the network.
TOBY KEITH TO PUSH FORD TRUCKS
Colorful country star Toby Keith has been closely associated with the Ford Motor Co. for some time. Now that tie-in is even stronger. Keith is famous for his tribute to the company's trucks in a song that includes the lyric: "I'd rather walk 10 miles and be down on my luck, than ride around the block in another kind of pick-up truck." The colorful country star will soon go to the company's HQ for a major production. CMT says that Keith has been invited to go to the Detroit area to participate in the 100th anniversary celebration for the vehicle company. By the way, the "ode to Ford" was written especially for an ad campaign and an album. In addition, it's a tribute to his late father.
BACALL AND KIDMAN TO REUNITE
Classic actress Lauren Bacall and Nicole Kidman are teaming again. You saw them get together recently in the movie "Dogville." Bacall, always a favorite, will be starring with Kidman (trying to put her career back on track after her much-publicized breakup with hubby Tom Cruise). According to the Hollywood Reporter, the two will be joining in a new Fine Line Feature film to be called "Birth." Bacall will play Kidman's mother in the movie. Danny Huston has also been asked to join the cast. The plot revolves around the exploits of a 10-year-old boy who falls in love with an older woman (Kidman). For some reason the boy thinks he has a right to get close to her ... after all, he's the reincarnation of her late husband. Only in Hollywood!
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 490
Thursday we asked about the smartest thing you've done this year. In this column, we look at the other side of the coin: "What's the dumbest thing you've done in 2002?" Put DUMB in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 485 (PHOBIA)
Last week, on the 13th, we asked about your phobias, fears and superstitions. From a random dip into the e-mail inbox, here are some of the replies: TommyTT says that he actually is afraid of Fridays the 13th and never schedules anything important on that date. KevinC in St. Louis says that for some reason he has no phobias, but remembers a neighbor lady from years ago who got into a panic when a black cat walked in front of her path. Andrea from L.A. says that she never likes to be in a really dark room. "I'm over 60," she says, "but I still wonder what's out there." EmilyBaker notes that she has always disliked odd-colored skies. (Maybe she grew up in tornado country.) Finally, I have a phobia about writing columns that go on too long, so ... NEXT: Do you watch the bowl games?
REMEMBER, IT'S THE DEADLINE
This weekend is the deadline for sending in nominations for unsung heroes in your hometown or private life. Put HONOR in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet. We'll start printing them on the First Day of Christmas. GBA.