Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fabulous Moolah passes away

Fabulous Moolah passes away

Written: November 3, 2007

WWE is saddened by the passing of Lillian Ellison, who was known to sports-entertainment fans as Hall of Famer Fabulous Moolah. She passed away last night in Columbia, S.C.

In the world of women’s wrestling, there will always be one irrefutable legend that stands head and shoulders above the rest: The Fabulous Moolah. She was the longest reigning champion in the history of her chosen sport, or any sport for that matter. And with more than 50 years in the business to her credit, she established a legacy that will never be forgotten, making her name synonymous with female wrestling. will have more on Fabulous Moolah as it becomes available.

Ford, UAW reach tentative contract deal

Ford, UAW reach tentative contract deal

By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer
1 hour, 50 minutes ago

DETROIT - The United Auto Workers union said early Saturday it reached a tentative four-year contract agreement with Ford Motor Co., avoiding even the threat of a strike against the struggling automaker.

The deal, reached around 3:20 a.m., must be ratified by the UAW's approximately 54,000 members covered by the contract at Ford. If approved, it would bring a close to historic negotiations that have yielded agreements designed to return U.S.-based automakers to profitability.

Details of the Ford agreement were not immediately released, but the deal likely will be close to what was negotiated with General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

Those pacts — which were reached after short strikes against the automakers — include a union-run trust that would take over the companies' retiree health care obligations, a lower-tier wage scale for some workers and some job security pledges.

In a statement, Ford confirmed that the deal includes the retiree health care trust fund and said the trust is subject to approval by the courts and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Though we will not discuss the specifics of the tentative agreement until after it becomes final, we believe it is fair to our employees and retirees, and paves the way for Ford to increase its competitiveness in the United States," Joe Laymon, Ford's group vice president for human resources and labor affairs, said in the statement.

Ford is financially the weakest of the Detroit Three automakers, having lost more than $12 billion last year. The company has mortgaged its assets — including its blue oval logo — to fund turnaround efforts.

The deal came after a bargaining session that lasted more than 41 hours inside the automaker's world headquarters building in Dearborn.

"Our bargaining committee came through for our active and retired members," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said in a statement.

The deal encourages Ford to invest in its products while addressing the economic needs of union members, Gettelfinger's statement said.

"We face enormous challenges — and we also have enormous potential," UAW Vice President Bob King said in the statement. King, the chief union negotiator with Ford, said the union's goals were to win new product and investment from the company, get job security and protect seniority rights.

"We made progress in all these areas," he said.

People who had been briefed on the bargaining late Friday said that throughout the lengthy negotiating session, bargainers were weighing the UAW's demand for promises that new vehicles will be built at U.S. factories against the company's desire to further downsize its manufacturing capacity to match lower demand for its products.

The people did not want to be identified because the talks are private.

One of the people said Ford wanted to reduce its U.S. hourly work force by another 13,000 employees through additional buyout and early retirement programs. The union wanted the company to spare from closure some of the six factories that it intends to shutter, both people said.

Ford already has announced its intent to shut down 16 factories as part of a restructuring plan. The company has identified 10 of the closures, but has yet to announce the remaining six. The closures are to be fully completed by 2012.

If more workers leave, some of them could be replaced by so-called "noncore" employees who would be paid on a lower wage scale, starting around $14 per hour. An average Ford hourly worker made $28.88 per hour in 2006, according to the company. The change would help make Ford more competitive with its Japanese rivals that have U.S. factories.

Going into this year's contract talks, U.S.-based automakers said they had about a $25-per-hour total labor cost gap when compared with the Japanese.

Negotiators also were haggling over the level of financing for a union-run trust that would take over Ford's retiree health care obligations and the number of workers who will get the lower wages. The UAW agreed to the health care trusts and the lower wages in contracts that were already approved at General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

The UAW called short strikes against GM and Chrysler as a way to speed negotiations.

Ford's four-year contract with the UAW expired Sept. 14 but had been extended while negotiations continued.

Depending on its features, the contract may face a tough ratification vote at Ford because of Chrysler's actions on Thursday to cut 8,500 to 10,000 hourly jobs and 2,100 salaried jobs through 2008, or about 15 percent of its work force.

Thursday's layoffs came less than a week after Chrysler workers ratified a new four-year deal with the company that had job security guarantees at many plants at least for the life of the contract.

Under the new Chrysler contract, workers will get about 95 percent of their pretax pay for 48 weeks, then would go into a "jobs bank" for up to two years if there are no jobs open in the company. After the two years, the UAW and Chrysler would negotiate a plan for workers, a summary of the contract says.

But Gary Walkowicz, a worker and former local union official at a Ford truck plant in Dearborn, said talk on the assembly line Thursday was that workers at Chrysler and GM were deceived by job security pledges.

"It's pretty clear that both at General Motors and Chrysler, the workers were lied to," Walkowicz said. "They were promised job security. The ink wasn't dry on the contract and they're turning around and making layoffs."

In October, GM announced layoffs of more than 1,700 people at three plants in the Pontiac, Detroit and Lansing areas.

Walkowicz said on Friday that workers on the line will be wary of whatever might come out of the negotiations with Ford.

"I think they're going to be skeptical of any job security in the Ford contract," he said.

GM spokesman Tom Wickham said his company's job cuts were planned well in advance of the contract and were based on demand for products, and Chrysler officials also said their decisions were based on declining market conditions for some vehicles.

Ford is expected to announce next week that more than 30,000 hourly workers have taken previous early retirement or buyout offers to leave the company.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Philadelphia officer dies; police hunt doughnut shop gunman

Philadelphia officer dies; police hunt doughnut shop gunman

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A police officer shot in the head during a robbery in a doughnut shop died Thursday morning, the police commissioner said, and his killer remained at large. He was the third city officer shot in the span of four days.

Charles Cassidy, 54, was shot in the forehead Wednesday at a Dunkin' Donuts when a hooded robber spun from the counter and fired at him as he walked in the door, according to an employee.

The 25-year police veteran died at 9:40 a.m. Thursday at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.

"This is a sad day for the city of Philadelphia," Johnson said.

Police released portions of a chilling videotape that shows the hooded robber pushing aside two customers and waving a gun as he approaches the counter.

It also shows him grabbing Cassidy's pistol as he fled.

The suspect hadn't been found Thursday. Johnson said video showed the gunman running through the shop's parking lot with a distinctive gait, almost as if he had a limp.

"We still have an armed and dangerous man out there in the streets of Philadelphia," Johnson said.

The officer came in twice a day for a large coffee with cream and sugar, shop employee Sandra Kim said. "He's always nice to all the employees," she said. "The officer was just coming in for a cup of coffee like normal."

Johnson said the officer was doing a routine check on the shop, which had been robbed September 18. He said he didn't think the robber got away with any money.

The shooting came about 12 hours after a masked gunman shot traffic Officer Mario Santiago in the shoulder during a chase downtown.

Santiago was responding to a report of a gunman in a sport utility vehicle shooting at another car, injuring two men and a woman, police said.

He was chasing the SUV when the gunman eventually got out of his vehicle and approached the squad car, firing twice through the window. Santiago was hit once in the right shoulder, police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.

Santiago was in fair condition Wednesday.

The gunman in that shooting apparently jumped into the Schuylkill River, where searchers later recovered a body. Police said Wednesday morning that they had not determined whether it was the suspect's body.

Early Sunday, an officer responding to a melee at a West Philadelphia nightclub was shot in the ankle. More than two dozen bullets were fired, police said. One suspect was fatally shot and another was arrested.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Bill's Comment: I really hope that this pondscum gets nabbed. What he did was not only callous, but also ruthless. The perpetrator has NO RESPECT for human life.

I am aware that some inner city neighborhoods have a fallacious "Don't snitch" policy in place. GIVE IT UP! They don't want to snitch; but, are probably the first ones to outcry, "We need the public's help!"

You can't have it both ways. While I am here, let me lay out this reminder. If there is somebody currently with the perpetrator, do the right thing, and call 911. You need to turn his carcass in; or, you could be facing charges for harboring a fugitive.

I am certain that the perpetrator realizes that it is, "GAME OVER!", for him. You will be found, and you will never see life on the streets again. If I was District Attorney Lynne Abraham, I would definitely push for the death penalty, and no deals.

To quote Dennis Miller, "That is just my opinion. I may be wrong."

Pilot of plane that dropped A-bomb dies

Pilot of plane that dropped A-bomb dies

By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press Writer
8 minutes ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Paul Tibbets, who piloted the B-29 bomber Enola Gay that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Thursday. He was 92 and insisted almost to his dying day that he had no regrets about the mission and slept just fine at night.

Tibbets died at his Columbus home, said Gerry Newhouse, a longtime friend. He suffered from a variety of health problems and had been in decline for two months.

Tibbets had requested no funeral and no headstone, fearing it would provide his detractors with a place to protest, Newhouse said.

Tibbets' historic mission in the plane named for his mother marked the beginning of the end of World War II and eliminated the need for what military planners feared would have been an extraordinarily bloody invasion of Japan. It was the first use of a nuclear weapon in wartime.

The plane and its crew of 14 dropped the five-ton "Little Boy" bomb on the morning of Aug. 6, 1945. The blast killed 70,000 to 100,000 people and injured countless others.

Three days later, the United States dropped a second nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, killing an estimated 40,000 people. Tibbets did not fly in that mission. The Japanese surrendered a few days later, ending the war.

"I knew when I got the assignment it was going to be an emotional thing," Tibbets told The Columbus Dispatch for a story published on the 60th anniversary of the bombing. "We had feelings, but we had to put them in the background. We knew it was going to kill people right and left. But my one driving interest was to do the best job I could so that we could end the killing as quickly as possible."

Tibbets, then a 30-year-old colonel, never expressed regret over his role. He said it was his patriotic duty and the right thing to do.

"I'm not proud that I killed 80,000 people, but I'm proud that I was able to start with nothing, plan it and have it work as perfectly as it did," he said in a 1975 interview.

"You've got to take stock and assess the situation at that time. We were at war. ... You use anything at your disposal."

He added: "I sleep clearly every night."

Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. was born Feb. 23, 1915, in Quincy, Ill., and spent most of his boyhood in Miami.

He was a student at the University of Cincinnati's medical school when he decided to withdraw in 1937 to enlist in the Army Air Corps.

After the war, Tibbets said in 2005, he was dogged by rumors claiming he was in prison or had committed suicide.

"They said I was crazy, said I was a drunkard, in and out of institutions," he said. "At the time, I was running the National Crisis Center at the Pentagon."

Tibbets retired from the Air Force as a brigadier general in 1966. He later moved to Columbus, where he ran an air taxi service until he retired in 1985.

But his role in the bombing brought him fame — and infamy — throughout his life.

In 1976, he was criticized for re-enacting the bombing during an appearance at a Harlingen, Texas, air show. As he flew a B-29 Superfortress over the show, a bomb set off on the runway below created a mushroom cloud.

He said the display "was not intended to insult anybody," but the Japanese were outraged. The U.S. government later issued a formal apology.

Tibbets again defended the bombing in 1995, when an outcry erupted over a planned 50th anniversary exhibit of the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian Institution.

The museum had planned to mount an exhibit that would have examined the context of the bombing, including the discussion within the Truman administration of whether to use the bomb, the rejection of a demonstration bombing and the selection of the target.

Veterans groups objected, saying the proposed display paid too much attention to Japan's suffering and too little to Japan's brutality during and before World War II, and that it underestimated the number of Americans who would have perished in an invasion.

They said the bombing of Japan was an unmitigated blessing for the United States and the exhibit should say so.

Tibbets denounced it as "a damn big insult."

The museum changed its plan and agreed to display the fuselage of the Enola Gay without commentary, context or analysis.

He told the Dispatch in 2005 that he wanted his ashes scattered over the English Channel, where he loved to fly during the war.

Newhouse, Tibbets' longtime friend, confirmed that Tibbets wanted to be cremated, but he said relatives had not yet determined how he would be laid to rest.


On the Net:

Enola Gay Remembered Inc.:

Teen Millionaire

Teen Millionaire

Not so long ago, teen Ashley Qualls lived in a one-bedroom apartment with her mom and sister. But with her computer and savvy business sense she made a better life for all of them.


Ashley Qualls doesn't sound like a typical high school student. Maybe that's because the 17-year-old is the CEO of a million-dollar business.

It all started with capitalism 101, the law of supply and demand. Ashley became interested in graphic design just as the online social networking craze began to catch fire.

When she saw her friends personalizing their MySpace pages, she began creating and giving away MySpace background designs through Whateverlife. The designs are cheery, colorful and whimsical, with lots of hearts, Ashley's favorites.

She also pulled quotes from popular songs and built backgrounds around those themes. "Teenage girls love quotes," Ashley says, scrolling through some of her site's 3,000 designs, more than a third of which she made herself.

Thanks to Ashley's work ethic and savvy cultivation of her peer group as a target market, Whateverlife began pulling in more teenage girls than a Justin Timberlake concert - about a million a day. With a big audience, the site attracted advertisers. Ashley's first check was for $2,700. The next was for $5,000, the third for $10,000.

At the time, Ashley's parents were divorced. She and her little sister, Shelby, were all crammed into her mother's one-bedroom apartment.

When first the check arrived, her mother was doubtful, wondering if her daughter could really make money off a website. But Ashley was confident, telling her mother: "No, I really trust this. I think it's really gonna happen."

Ashley was right. The checks kept coming and the business kept growing-to the point where she could afford to buy a brand new four-bedroom house for them to live in. Ashley also hired her mother, Linda LaBrecque, to help manage the company.

"You know, when I'm with my friends, I'm still 17." — Ashley Qualls

It was and has been a bittersweet time for them both. "It's hard to be a mom and a manager," LaBrecque says. The roles clash every day, she says, but they manage by keeping a sense of humor.

She's proud of Ashley. Prior to starting the business, she says, her daughter was too shy to even order a pizza by phone. Now she's making presentations to business executives.

The job has also made LaBrecque's life easier, allowing her to quit her job and work from home following back surgery.

But Ashley's life has become much more complicated. When her business took off, the former straight-A student quit school to concentrate on Whateverlife.

"It's a busier schedule," Ashley says. "There's more to keep track of, whether its finances or employees and making sure everything is up to date and the content is secure."

In addition to her mom, Ashley hired three friends to help with the business, teaching them design and then requiring them to make a minimum of 25 designs a week.

Bre Newby says Ashley is a better boss than her past employers. "It's cool to have your best friend be like your boss," says Bre, "'cause she's a good boss. She's not like rude or it's not like working at McDonald's where you have like supervisors and people over you all the time."

Has the price of Ashley's business success been the loss of a part of her childhood? She doesn't think so.

"You know, when I'm with my friends, I'm still 17," she says.

But time with friends sometimes has to take a back seat to business. On a recent afternoon, her three friends drop by to hang out with Ashley, but they have to wait for her to finish with her business advisor, internet consultant Robb Lippitt.

Ashley and Robb sit on plastic chairs around a white conference table in Ashley's basement office, the walls decorated with hearts, like a Whateverlife background.

The conversation includes overtures from Hollywood and a possible deal to help promote Britney Spears's new album on Jive Records.

Ashley has even turned down a deal for her own reality television program. "I'm really stubborn, like my mom," she says, "So I know what I want from business. And I don't want that. I like my privacy. I like to hang out with my friends. I don't want cameras following me around."

For his part, Lippit says he had concerns about working with a teenager, but Ashley won him over in the first meeting. "She doesn't sit there and say, ‘I did something well-that's good enough,'" says Lippit. He says Ashley knows, without being told, that she needs to keep developing her business, or it will stop growing.

Unlike many adults, Ashley has not succumbed to the temptations that new wealth can bring. She pays herself a modest salary of $3,000 a month. Aside from the house, she hasn't made any other major purchases.

"I don't even know how to put this," says Ashley, "But it's just kind of like the shiny feeling that when you have this money, it kind of goes away after a while. It gets old, you know. Yeah, I can go out and buy you know something really cool. But at the same time I mean I don't really need too much. I like to invest it back into the business."

Despite all her success, one thing that has eluded her - something most of her friends already have - is a driver's license.

"My mom does drive me. And then my friends drive me wherever we go," she says, "And I want to drive. Believe me. But it's just been kind of crazy lately."

It may be the one thing about Ashley's life that reminds you she really IS still a teenager.

-Producer: Jamie Rubin

-Editor: Steve Nielson

Ashley is the head of, a website she started when she was just 14 — with eight dollars borrowed from her mother. Now, just three years later, the website grosses more than $1 million a year, providing Ashley and her working class family a sense of security they had never really known.

Texas town up for sale on eBay

Texas town up for sale on eBay

By ELIZABETH WHITE, Associated Press Writer
Wed Oct 31, 10:22 PM ET

SAN ANTONIO - Bobby Cave, owner of a Texas town called Albert, decided this year to sell. Then a friend mentioned the online auction site eBay Inc. Now, with the click of a mouse — and at least $2.5 million — Albert could be yours.

After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up and restore the 13-acre town about 50 miles north of San Antonio, Cave said he's ready to move on to his next venture.

"It's a concept. It's one of a kind," said Cave, 47, a real estate agent. "It's more like a piece of art than it is a real estate property. That's why eBay sounded so good to us. It's quirky."

Eric Meissner, Cave's friend and co-listing agent, said Albert qualifies as a town, or at least was once a town, because it used to have a post office. Albert dates to the late 1800s and is now unincorporated.

"There is a road sign with a name on it. It's indicative of an area," Meissner said. "Just because the post office goes away the town doesn't go away."

No one lives there permanently, but the tavern that Cave created from the frame of the old general store is open on weekends. There are also the "cleanest public restrooms in Texas," built by Cave, and a pavilion, 85-year-old dance hall, tractor shed and three-bedroom house. All of that, plus peach and pecan orchards, come with the land.

Cave said he will even throw in his plan to turn the place into a tourist destination, including plans for a restaurant and cabins.

The eBay auction closes Nov. 23. On Wednesday, about a week after bidding opened, offers topped $300,000. But that was still less than Cave's "reserve price" of $2.5 million, the least he will take for the property.

Hani Durzy, an eBay spokesman, said listing an entire town for auction is very uncommon.

"We always like it when these kinds of things appear on the site because it's fun," Durzy said. "We wish them luck."

Bridgeville, in northern California, was the first town ever put on the eBay auction block. The 83 acres were twice sold on the site, in 2002 (that deal fell through) and again last year.


On the Net:

Albert, Texas:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lose weight on your lunch break

Lose weight on your lunch break

Get slim from head to toe with a speedy shape-up you can squeeze into even the busiest day. We give you the exercises, plus tips on how to make the most of your time.

Restore fuel

Snack (about 200 calories) one hour pre-exercise. Healthy choices: 1 1/2 oz lowfat cheese with 1 oz whole-grain crackers; a small banana and 20 mini-pretzels; 8 oz lowfat plain yogurt with 1 cup berries.

5 minutes: Warm up on your way

Power-walk to the gym to prepare muscles and joints for the sweat session to come. Driving? Park your car deep in the lot and hustle to the entrance.

3 minutes: Cruise through the locker room

Opt for a quick-change sports top with a built-in bra and bottoms in a wicking fabric. Pull hair in a high pony or loose bun to retain volume. Avoid style-flattening, tight headbands.

16 minutes: Sizzle calories with cardio

To blast fat fast, do this Sprint 8 plan, developed by trainer Phil Campbell, author of Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness (Pristine Publishers), up to four days a week. Pick any cardio equipment and do intervals for 16 minutes: 30 seconds at the highest intensity you can sustain; 90 seconds at a catch-your-breath recovery pace. Repeat eight times. "Intervals burn more calories in less time, improve stamina and may spark fat-mobilizing hormones," Campbell explains.

5 minutes: Tone up all over with SELF's five-move plan

Exercise physiologist and research scientist Fabio Comana, at the American Council on Exercise in San Diego, designed this one-machine workout to minimize gym time and maximize sculpting. "The standing moves recruit multiple muscles at once and engage the core for added ab firming," he says. Using a cable machine (most gyms have at least one), do each of the five moves for 30 seconds, resting 30 seconds between exercises. Aim to eke out 8 to 12 reps. Choose a resistance that makes it tough to power through the final 10 seconds of each move with good form. Add resistance when you're able to do 15 or more reps in 30 seconds, no sweat.

2 minutes: Tighten your tummy

Get on the stability ball to banish your belly! A recent study from the University of Auckland, Tamaki Campus, in New Zealand, found that there is a 20 percent increase in the effectiveness of crunches done on a ball rather than the floor. Do two sets of 10 to 12 reps.

7 minutes: Refresh—fast!

Immediately hop into a lukewarm shower to speed your body's cooldown, says Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a dermatologist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Still hot afterward? Place a cold, wet hand towel on your neck while you finish primping. More postworkout prettifying tips:

1. Skip powder, concealer and foundation, which could leave flushed skin looking masklike. Instead, apply blush only to apple of cheeks for a natural glow, says Tricia Sawyer, a celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles.

2. Dry sweaty strands with hair powder. To apply, lift outermost sections and sprinkle on roots, where oils concentrate. Then, brush or fluff locks so it sinks in, says Sherri Ziesche, owner of Salon in San Francisco. Try Satin Sugar Refreshing Hair & Body Powder ($18;

5 minutes: Eat on the run

Lunch within 30 minutes of your get-lean routine, when your body uses calories most efficiently. Some on-the-go options (about 500 calories each):

1. Healthy fast food: Wendy's small chili; 1/2 plain baked potato; side salad with 1/2 packet of Italian vinaigrette

2. Diet-friendly deli: 4 oz lean turkey on whole-grain bread with lettuce, tomato, mustard; one piece of fruit

3. Easy at your desk: a microwave meal like Lean Cuisine's Spa Cuisine Classics (or one with less than 700 milligrams sodium, 5 grams saturated fat); piece of fruit

Monday, October 29, 2007

Country star Porter Wagoner dies at 80

Country star Porter Wagoner dies at 80

Launched Parton's career; recent revival won him a new generation of fans

Updated: 11:18 a.m. ET Oct 29, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Porter Wagoner was known for a string of country hits in the '60s, perennial appearances at the Grand Ole Opry in his trademark rhinestone suits, and for launching the career of Dolly Parton.

Like many older performers, his star had faded in recent years. But his death from lung cancer Sunday, at 80, came only after a remarkable late-career revival that won him a new generation of fans.

The Missouri-born Wagoner signed with RCA Records in 1955 and joined the Opry in 1957, "the greatest place in the world to have a career in country music," he said in 1997. His showmanship, suits and pompadoured hair made him famous.

He had his own syndicated TV show, "The Porter Wagoner Show," for 21 years, beginning in 1960. It was one of the first syndicated shows to come out of Nashville and set a pattern for many others.

"Some shows are mechanical, but ours was not polished and slick," he said in 1982.

Among his hits, many of which he wrote or co-wrote, were "Carroll County Accident," "A Satisfied Mind," "Company's Comin'," "Skid Row Joe," "Misery Loves Company" and "Green Green Grass of Home."

The songs often told stories of tragedy or despair. In "Carroll County Accident," a married man having an affair is killed in a car crash; "Skid Row Joe" deals with a once-famous singer who's lost everything.

In 2002, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Great recent reviews
In May, after years without a recording contract, he signed with ANTI- records, an eclectic Los Angeles label best known for alt-rock acts like Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Neko Case.

Wagoner's final album, "Wagonmaster," was released in June and earned him some of the best reviews of his career. Over the summer, he was the opening act for the influential rock duo White Stripes at a sold-out show at New York's Madison Square Garden.

"The young people I met backstage, some of them were 20 years old. They wanted to get my autograph and tell me they really liked me," Porter said with tears in his eyes the day after the New York show. "If only they knew how that made me feel _ like a new breath of fresh air."

To many music fans, Wagoner was best known as the man who boosted Parton's career. He had hired the 21-year-old singer as his duet partner in 1967, when she was just beginning to gain notice through songs such as "Dumb Blonde."

They were the Country Music Association's duo of the year in 1970 and 1971, recording hit duets including "The Last Thing on My Mind."

Parton's solo country records, such as her autobiographical "Coat of Many Colors," also began climbing the charts in the early 1970s. She wrote the pop standard "I Will Always Love You" in 1973 after Wagoner suggested she shift from story songs to focus on love songs.

The two quit singing duets in 1974 and she went on to wide stardom with pop hits and movies such as "9 to 5," whose theme song was also a hit for her.

Wagoner sued her for $3 million in assets, but they settled out of court in 1980. He said later they were always friendly, "but it's a fact that when you're involved with attorneys and companies that have them on retainer, it makes a different story."

At a charity roast for Wagoner in 1995, she explained the breakup this way: "We split over creative differences. I was creative, and Porter was different."

Hospitalized this month
He said in a 1982 Associated Press interview that his show "was a training ground for her; she learned a great deal and I exposed her to very important people and the country music fans."

She was present at the ceremony in May 2007 honoring Wagoner on his silver anniversary with the Opry. At the time, he called Parton "one of my best friends today." She also visited him in the hospital as he battled cancer.

Wagoner, who had survived an abdominal aneurysm in 2006, was hospitalized again this month and his publicist disclosed he had lung cancer. He died at 8:25 p.m. CDT Sunday in a Nashville hospice, said Darlene Bieber, a spokeswoman for the Opry.

Country singer and Opry member Dierks Bentley visited Wagoner in the hospice over the weekend and said Wagoner led them in prayer, thanking God for his friends, his family and the Grand Ole Opry.

"The loss of Porter is a great loss for the Grand Ole Opry and for country music, and personally it is a great loss of a friend I was really just getting to know," Bentley said. "I feel blessed for the time I had with him."

Pete Fisher, vice president and general manager of the Opry, said the Opry family of musicians and performers was deeply saddened by the news. "His passion for the Opry and all of country music was truly immeasurable," Fisher said.

'Thin Man From West Plains'
Wagoner was born in West Plains, Mo., and became known as "The Thin Man From West Plains" because of his lanky frame. He recalled that he spent hours as a child pretending to be an Opry performer, using a tree stump as a stage.

He started in radio, then became a regular on the "Ozark Jubilee," one of the first televised national country music shows. On the Opry since 1957, he joined Roy Acuff and other onetime idols.

At one point his wardrobe included more than 60 handmade rhinestone suits.

"Rhinestone suits are just beautiful under the lights," he said. "They've become a big part of my career. I get more compliments on my outfits than any other entertainer — except for Liberace."

While he continued with the Opry, and even had a small part in the 1982 movie "Honky Tonk Man" starring Clint Eastwood, his recording career dried up in the 1980s — until his return this year.

"I stopped making records because I didn't like the way they were wanting me to record," he said. "When RCA dropped me from the label, I didn't really care about making records for another label because I didn't have any say in what they would release and how they would make the records and so forth."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Obituary - Phillips



Browns Mills, NJ Resident

William N. Phillips of Browns Mills, NJ; passed away on October 26th 2007. He was 62.

He served as a corporal in the US Marine Corps for four years during the Vietnam War, and earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He worked as a supervisor/bridge foreman for the Burlington County Highway Department. He was a member of the Messiah Lutheran Brethren Church in Presidential Lakes, a member of the Bordentown Elks Lodge #2085, and was a Life Member of the N.R.A.

Predeceased by his parents Barclay and Ruth (nee Regn) Phillips, and by his sister Helen Perron, he is survived by his wife Arlene Phillips of Browns Mills, and by his children Adrianne Campen, William Phillips Jr., Robert Phillips and his wife Jennifer, and by Alison Rivera. He is also survived by four grandchildren Kaylin, Chelsey, Barry, and Zachary; by his brothers and sisters Charles Phillips (Lois); Wayne Phillips, Sandra Wells (Steven), Alice Phillips, James Phillips ( Mary Ann), Richard Phillips (Suzanne), Barclay Phillips Jr. (Carol), and Phyllis Balas (Michael), by his brother-in-law Christopher Perron, and by many nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services will be held on Friday November 2 at 11AM at the PERINCHIEF CHAPELS, 438 High St., Mt. Holly. Interment will follow in the Jr. Mechanics Cemetery, Tabernacle. Friends may visit with the family on Thursday evening from 7-9PM at the funeral home.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Heart Assoc., 1 Union St., Suite 301, Robbinsville, NJ 08691; or to the American Cancer Society, 1851 Old Cuthbert Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.

October 29, 2007 12:00 AM

Helen Phillips


Feb 21, 2018

Helen P. Phillips of Edgewater Park, age 103 years, passed away February 18th, 2018 at home with her loving daughters by her side. She was a native of Pennsauken, a resident of Delanco for 8 years and Riverside from 1961 until 2006, when she moved to Cooper Valley, Edgewater Park. She was the former owner of the Bookstore on Bridgeboro St., Riverside. Helen was a former member of the former 1st Presbyterian Church of Delanco where she was a former Elder and presently was a member of the Covenant Presbyterian Church, Cinnaminson since 2015. She was former volunteer for Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, Riverside and the Delanco Women’s Club. She loved knitting and was an avid reader. She was the wife of the late James W. Phillips who passed away in 1980. Beloved mother of Arlene Phillips and Judith A. Phillips both of Edgewater Park. Relatives and friends Helen’s family are invited to her viewing and visitation 9:30AM to 11:00 AM Friday morning at the Covenant Presbyterian Church 2618 New Albany Road, Cinnaminson where her funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM. Interment will follow in Arlington Cemetery, Pennsauken. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s favorite charity. The Lankenau Funeral Home 303-305 Bridgeboro St., Riverside Stephen Lankenau, Director

A Bookshop With A Social Conscience

Source: Posted: February 16, 1986

It's a slow morning just before lunch in The Book Shop in Riverside, and Arlene Phillips, making her way through vintage copies of National Geographic, hears the family dog, Shady, scratching on the door.

She hasn't much time for Shady now. There's a call about her Sunday school duties and several unfulfilled requests from customers, and all those magazines - some dating as far back as World War I.

Phillips is matching a new batch of old magazines with lists from far- flung collectors - National Geographic buffs in such remote sections of New Jersey as Camden and, well, Delran.

Shady pokes through the door leading to the Phillips living room - the shop is attached to their home - and promptly seeks attention from the nearest customer, receiving a mild scolding from Phillips, who, with a rag and some water in a plastic bottle, is removing dust from an April 1944 copy of the famous journal of photography and adventure.

"You get dirty doing it," said Phillips, "but I like it."

Arlene, 41, and her mother, Helen Phillips, founded The Book Shop in downtown Riverside in 1957 and, five years later, moved it to a house on the corner of Bridgeboro and Progress Streets.

With a clear sense of community conscience - "you've got to have bookshops," Helen says - mother and daughter do a modest trade in used paperbacks and hardcovers, old music sheets, a few maps and magazines, especially National Geographic.

There's not much of a living in it. But, then, Arlene and Helen Phillips say they are not in it for the money. Besides, mall-size bookstores financed by huge chains are killing most small booksellers, they said.

"You can't sell new books in this area - too expensive," said Helen Phillips, 71, who explained that the chain stores, buying in bulk, are able to undercut smaller businesses. "We don't make enough to live on."

That's not all they compete against. The widespread use of videocassette recorders also is competing with books for the public's attention.

"It's just hard to get people to come in and browse," Helen Phillips said.

"I think people who go to bookshops are people who want books, not VCRs," she said. "I think all this stuff is great, but people forget to read."

Do they own a VCR?

"Nope," she answered without delay. "Not if I can help it."

"We don't even have cable," her daughter chimed in.

But the owners of The Book Shop make no apologies for their brisk business in books that peddle another form of marginal culture - the Harlequin Romance novel. Harlequins are stacked shoulder-high on a dozen shelves, not far from the cash register. There are The Ice Maiden by Sally Wentworth and Not Once, But Twice by Betty Neels. Then there's Barbara Cartland, whose books include Desire of the Heart, Sweet Punishment and Say Yes, Samantha.

"Some of the titles," said Arlene Phillips, "are more, well, uh, suggestive, spicy."

"They buy them by the bagful," she continued. "I have a lady who comes in every month and she buys eight or ten dollars' worth."

But, mostly, The Book Shop is filled with books and journals of poetry, history, music, art and science.

Tacked to one wall, in a plastic sandwich bag, is a transcript of the testimony then-Lt. Col. John Glenn gave to the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences several days after his 88-minute orbit of the planet.

A few months ago, Arlene and her mother found it buried in a box of books a friend had sold to them before moving to Florida a few months ago. But it was not until the recent space shuttle explosion that she realized how timely a discovery it was.

On Page 26 of the testimony, Sen. Robert S. Kerr, the committee's chairman, and Glenn are wrapping up a discussion of NASA's decision to allow live television coverage of launches of the early space program. Glenn and Kerr agree, according to the testimony, that unlike the Soviet space program, America's should take place in public.

But, Glenn warns, "We are sort of riding the crest of success here at the moment. . . . As in aviation, there will be failures sometime.

"Anytime you have this type of motion, this much machinery," Glenn told the committee, "and these kinds of speeds involved, sometimes there will be failures. . . ."

Arlene and Helen Phillips love to talk about the treasures of The Book Shop. They seem to have a sentimental attraction to their business even though it gives them little financial gain.

In fact, they would change little about it, except maybe to persuade more children to stop in, and not just in August, when, in the tedium of summer's end, anything will do.

"Every place has got to have bookshops," Helen Phillips said. "You can't do without them."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You Asked... What's With The Runaround?

You Asked... What's With The Runaround?

Experts and readers answer our members' toughest dating and relationship questions

By Evan Marc Katz, Tom Blake, and Kristin Cavins, M.A., LMHC

Updated: Oct 27, 2007

"A few times I have met this woman who has two kids. I also have two kids. I am 30 and she is a little older, maybe 35. When I do see her, I make her laugh and her laugh makes me smile. I have been divorced for eight years and have rarely dated, but for some reason, whenever I see her I feel like there is something there. The problem is that the first time I tried to give her my number (I sent it to her work with a present), she did not call back, and when I saw her the next time she said she didn't get the paper. I doubted it but figured if she wasn't interested she'd just say so, so I flirted a little and we laughed. I said, 'Do you want my number?' and she said sure, so I wrote it on a piece of paper she handed me.

"I didn't see her for a month, but I saw her today and I said did you lose my number again? She said her cell phone broke and she was waiting for a new one. I asked her, when can I see you again? She said she and her friends were heading out on Saturday and she told me where. How do I approach this? I would like at least one date to see if anything is there, but I don't want to look any more desperate for her than I already have." -- Andrew M., 30, Mequon, Wyoming

Evan Marc Katz Answers

Dear Andrew -- Face it, my friend: she's not interested. She's gotten your gifts, gotten your number (twice!), and gotten your invitation, and she's STILL acting like she's never met you before. Could you have played this relationship differently? Sure. Instead of giving her your number and waiting for her to call, you could have gotten her number. That way there'd be no waiting, no ambiguity over lost phones and numbers. But even then, you'd still be wondering if she received your voicemail. Needless to say, when you run into her, she'll tell you that she never heard it. And you'll most likely believe her because you want to give her the benefit of the doubt.

She doesn't deserve it.

The thing is, Andrew, is that she actually thinks she's being polite by not directly rejecting you. In fact, by playing nice to your face and avoiding you when you're not around, she's being incredibly rude. So do yourself a favor: Move on to a woman who keeps your number, who returns your calls, who receives your advances. In short, find a woman who wants to go out with you -- they're much better company than the ones who don't.

Dating coach Evan Marc Katz is the author of "Why You're Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not to Get Mad." Read more advice from Evan at and

Tom Blake Answers

Andrew -- I like several things about you and this woman:

- You both have children and could be a great help to each other. You have something significant in common.

- You make her laugh and feel chemistry towards her. She obviously likes you or she wouldn't respond. You two have a good base from which to grow a relationship.

- She's a little older than you and that doesn't bother you, which is good. Some men your age foolishly only seek women in their early 20s.

But, she may be a little more mature than you, and that's where you are coming up short. You are putting the responsibility to schedule a date on her shoulders. That's wrong. You need to take the initiative. Ask her out on a real live date. Be assertive! Show her you are mature enough to be with her.

When you ask her out, be prepared for her answer. If she says, "I'm busy Saturday night," then you say, "How about Sunday night?" If she is busy on Sunday, then say, "What night would work best for you?" If she turns you down again, then back off. Just say okay and walk away.

If the latter happens, don't ask her out again. She knows you are interested. The ball is in her court. Just fade into the sunset and let her wonder what happened to you. If you have to try too hard with her, it's not worth it.

Tom Blake is an author, syndicated columnist and expert on dating after 50. Go to his website at for dating articles and to sign up for his newsletter.

Kristin Cavins Answers

Hi Andrew -- I understand your disappointment that the woman who makes you smile doesn't seem to be responding to any of your overtures. The gift that you sent to her office (along with your phone number) was a lovely gesture. And while she said that she didn't receive your number, both you and I suspect that wasn't the case. Then, there was the broken cell phone, blah blah blah... You mentioned that if she wasn't interested you figured she would just say so. But the reality is, most people don't.

The ONLY bone (the short end of the wishbone) she has thrown to you was where she was going with her friends.

You could dare to show up briefly on Saturday night (hint, don't be pathetic loner guy, so bring a friend along) and see if she pays any attention to you. If she doesn't, then move on, and find a woman who makes you smile and will smile at you in return.

Kristin Cavins, M.A., LMHC is a psychotherapist who specializes in dating and relationships, and provides online and phone counseling. She is on the web at