Shriver on jury duty

Los Angeles -- Journalist-turned-California first lady Maria Shriver has another new job: juror.

Shriver, wearing a pantsuit and reading glasses, took notes Wednesday in U.S. District Court, where she is on a jury hearing a product liability case.

There was no evidence of extra security for the wife of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Everyone entering the federal courthouse must pass through a metal detector and each courtroom has an armed bailiff.

Shriver, a former "Dateline NBC" reporter, asked to be relieved of her duties at NBC News after her husband was elected governor. She said it became clear to her that as first lady of California, her journalistic integrity would constantly be scrutinized.

Neil Young's tour green

Milwaukee -- Saving the family farm, helping the Earth and reducing America's dependence on foreign oil -- they all go together for Neil Young on his "Greendale" tour.

Young rolled into town with a fleet of buses and trucks running on biodiesel, an environmentally friendly fuel made from renewable resources such as soybean oil and recycled cooking oil. He said switching to biodiesel was his idea.

In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, the veteran Canadian rocker said he could still be a capitalist and embrace the environment.

"I'm just trying to make a point. There are other ways to be self-sustaining," the 58-year-old said.

Country stars plan Civil War-theme album

Nashville, Tenn. -- Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs and Lee Ann Womack are among the country singers who have contributed to an upcoming album of Civil War-themed songs.

Scheduled for release in May, "America Will Always Stand" is the first album of original material ever issued by Time-Life Music, said Cary Baker, a publicist for the project.

Many of the songs are based on true events or draw from emotions common to war. The first single, "One Letter" by The Wilsons, tells the story of a soldier gone to war, leaving only his pledge to return.

Thanks for the promo

Winston Salem, N.C.-- The day after filmmaker Aaron Schneider thanked the North Carolina School of the Arts during his Oscar acceptance speech, the school's Web site received more than 5,000 hits.

Schneider and Andrew J. Sacks won the Academy Award for best live action short for "Two Soldiers," based on a short story by William Faulkner.

In his acceptance speech -- telecast live from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles Sunday night -- Schneider thanked the NCSA School of Filmmaking. By Monday, the school's Web site had been flooded with inquiries from people interested in learning more about attending the film school.


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