Author cleared of plagiarism

Horror writer Stephen King's novel "Desperation," was not "a particularly good read," but it didn't plagiarize a college teacher's work, a federal judge said in dismissing a lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge David Hurd was a tough critic of both the work of King, whom he calls "a somewhat well-known author of novels and screenplays," and of Christina Starobin, an adjunct professor at Ulster Community College, who filed the lawsuit. Hurd filed the decision on April 17 from his chambers in Utica. King has written more than 30 books, many of which have been made into movies. "Desperation" was a New York Times best seller.

"Both the plaintiff's unpublished manuscript and King's novel were read 'cover to cover.' This reading of a work by King was a first. Also, no other work of the plaintiff had ever been read. Quite frankly, neither work was a particularly good read," Hurd wrote.

Living with Linda's spirit

Paul McCartney, who lost his wife Linda to breast cancer in 1998, says he's comforted by thoughts that her spirit lives on. "After Linda died, I think all of us in the family would hear noises or see things and think, 'That's Linda; that's mom ....' And I think in some ways, it's very comforting to think she's still here," McCartney told ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview that aired Monday.

McCartney said he has been compelled to write poetry since her death, including a poem called "Her Spirit" in which Linda's spirit visits him in the woods, in the form of a white squirrel. "You don't know if it's true. But it's a great thought. And it's an uplifting thought. And so I allow myself to go there," McCartney said.

Fun times continue for Soupy

Comedian Soupy Sales says he's not sure why his career is on the rebound nearly 50 years after he started his first television show, best remembered for his pie-throwing antics with celebrity guests.

"Maybe as you get older people feel sorry for you or something," said Sales, 75. "Or maybe they just need more older actors." Sales has a recurring role on "Black Scorpion" on the Sci-Fi cable channel.

He plans to host a reception and auction on Thursday for the West Virginia International Film Festival's 16th annual spring film series and says he has no plans to stop performing. "Why should I retire? I don't do any heavy lifting," he said.

Doherty pleads to DUI charge

Actress Shannen Doherty pleaded no contest Monday to drunken driving, acting on the day her trial was scheduled to begin in Ventura County, Calif., Superior Court.

Doherty, a star of television's "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Charmed," entered pleas on misdemeanor charges of driving while under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.08 percent. Judge Charles Campbell found Doherty guilty based on her no-contest pleas. The actress, 30, faces a maximum of two days in jail and three years' probation when she is sentenced June 12.


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