Sunday, March 23, 2003

Diaz ditches limo for Prius

Los Angeles -- Star gazers won't see Cameron Diaz stepping out of a stretch limo at tonight's Oscars ceremony.

She's one of a handful of celebrities who will be chauffeured to the gala in hybrid cars powered by both gasoline and electricity.

Also arriving in a Toyota Prius, courtesy of environmentalists, will be Harrison Ford, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams.

"This is to show that there are people who care about lessening our dependence on foreign oil and increased fuel efficiency," said Matt Petersen of Global Green USA, an affiliate of Green Cross International.

War knocks out comedy's release

Los Angeles -- Paramount Pictures said it has postponed the upcoming release of the Meg Ryan boxing comedy "Against the Ropes" because TV coverage of the war in Iraq could make it difficult to publicize the film.

"Our campaign was poised to go on air and we became concerned that our message would be lost amidst the current war coverage," studio spokeswoman Nancy Kirkpatrick said Friday.

The movie, about a woman boxing manager trying to succeed in the male-dominated sport, was originally set for release April 25. No new release date was set.

Public memorial set for May

Pittsburgh -- A public memorial service has been scheduled for Fred Rogers, host of the pioneering TV children's show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," who died in February.

Family Communications Inc., the company that produced "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for WQED in Pittsburgh, said Friday the memorial service will be May 3 in the auditorium of downtown Heinz Hall.

Rogers died Feb. 27 at age 74 after a bout with stomach cancer.

He had produced the children's show that appeared nationally on public television for more than 30 years. He was buried in a private ceremony March 1.

Air Force One retires to library

Simi Valley, Calif. -- A Boeing 707 airliner that served as Air Force One for seven U.S. presidents is expected to go on display sometime next year at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush used the plane.

The Air Force gave the plane to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in 2001 after its last presidential flight that July.

The plane was on view for a private ceremony Friday to mark the start of the lengthy process of getting it ready at its new home, about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It will have to be taken apart, transported in pieces and reassembled at the library.

President Reagan logged 631,640 miles on the plane, almost 400,000 more than its second most frequent flier, President Carter.