Tribute gives Barry a lift

Shivering in subzero temperatures, columnist Dave Barry looked up at the newly christened Dave Barry Lift Station No. 16 and offered this advice:

"If anything ever goes wrong with this station, call the mayor."

Grand Forks, N.D., officials Wednesday dedicated the sewage pump station to Barry, who had poked fun at the city and its Minnesota neighbor, East Grand Forks, for referring to themselves as the "Grand Cities."

The column prompted a letter-writing campaign, capped by an offer from Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown to name a lift station after the Pulitzer-prize winning columnist if he came for a visit.

"Lift Station No. 16 faithfully serves us and makes us proud, with its ability to go with the flow and keep the bowels of our city in constant movement," Brown told a crowd of about 75 people gathered around the lift station.

A friend in high places

A new friend dropped by the "Friends" set: Lauren Bush, the fashion-model niece of President Bush.

The teen-age Bush was a guest of the show last week, a spokesman for the NBC sitcom said Tuesday. She may pop up as an extra in an upcoming episode.

Bush, whose father, Neil, is the president's younger brother, has appeared in photo shoots for Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines.

Chelsea straightens out

While top fashion designers were showing off their latest haute couture creations in Paris, Chelsea Clinton displayed her new look: A silken bob to accompany her slinky black dress.

She peered at the catwalk from a front-row seat at the weekend Versace show, rubbing shoulders with Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and other jet-set guests.

Gone were the girlish curls of Chelsea's White House and Stanford University years. The 21-year-old Clinton dazzled the glitterati with her sophisticated cut � a bob that was short, straight and silky � and, at a party later, a backless dress with a plunging neckline.

No laughing matter

Comedian Paula Poundstone appeared Tuesday on "Dateline NBC" to declare, "I'm not a child molester."

The 42-year-old pleaded no contest to a felony count of child endangerment for driving while drunk with children in her car and a misdemeanor count of inflicting injury to a 12-year-old on three occasions.

Poundstone is still angry that she was charged originally with lewd conduct on a child, charges that later were dropped.

"I didn't do anything sexual. I didn't hit anybody. What happened is so colossally stupid that it's probably more embarrassing than anything else, but I don't want to say anything or do anything that will make the judge mad," she said.


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