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Preservation group leader to retire after 17 years

WASHINGTON (AP) – The long-serving head of the nation’s best-known preservation group is retiring.

Richard Moe has been president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for 17 years and will step down in the spring.

Best known for its annual list of most endangered places, the group has in recent years sought to preserve not just individual buildings but groups of them with historic value, like on New York City’s Lower East Side or New Orleans’ neighborhoods wrecked after Hurricane Katrina.

Moe, 72, says he is most proud of his role in preventing the Disney Corp. from building a theme park near the historic Civil War battlefield in Manassas, Va., and the preservation of Abraham Lincoln’s cottage in Washington, among other efforts.

Accused Seacrest stalker pleads not guilty

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A man arrested outside Ryan Seacrest’s workplace has pleaded not guilty to a felony stalking charge.

Chidi Benjamin Uzomah Jr. entered the plea Tuesday through an attorney. A court commissioner ordered Uzomah to stay 500 yards away from Seacrest if he is released from jail on $150,000 bail.

Los Angeles police arrested Uzomah at the E! Entertainment Television headquarters in Los Angeles on Friday. A request for a civil restraining order stated he was carrying a knife at the time.

Uzomah appeared in street clothes during Tuesday’s hearing and agreed to be represented by a public defender. He is due back in court Nov. 16.

Seacrest did not attend.

Mel Gibson and his girlfriend welcome a baby

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Mel Gibson and his girlfriend are welcoming the birth of the couple’s first child – making the Oscar-winner a father for the eighth time.

Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob said Monday that Oksana Grigorieva gave birth to a baby girl named Lucia on Friday at a hospital in Los Angeles.

No further details were available.

The 53-year-old “Braveheart” star has seven children with his ex-wife, Robyn. She cited irreconcilable differences in her April divorce petition to end their marriage of 28 years.

Grigorieva is a 39-year-old Russian musician. She and Gibson met while filming “Edge of Reason.” Gibson is currently filming “The Beaver,” directed by Jodie Foster.

George Jones: Country music needs a new name

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones isn’t a big fan of where the genre has moved in recent years.

When asked about what he thought about music by today’s top country stars, the 78-year-old said while they are good, “they’ve stolen our identity.”

Jones made the comment during a recent interview when asked about music by artists like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.

“They had to use something that was established already, and that’s traditional country music. So what they need to do really, I think, is find their own title, because they’re definitely not traditional country music,” he said.

“It’s good to know that we still do traditional country music. Alan Jackson still does it, so does George Strait. We still have it, and there’s quite a few of us that are going to hope that it comes back one of these days.”

Still, his contemporaries haven’t always stuck to traditional country, either. Fellow Hall of Fame member Johnny Cash was met with critical acclaim a few years ago by covering the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt.” Asked whether he’d ever branch out to a completely different genre of music, like heavy metal or rap, Jones laughed and said: “Rap? That’s tacky.”

“How can you call that music?” he added. “Now, I love music, too. I love all kinds. I really do. I’ve got Brook Benton. I like his singing. Ray Charles. I’ve got an open mind. But now, you can’t call rap, talking stuff like that, music. No, no, no, you’ve got to have another name for that.”

Jones recently put out a new CD, through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, called “A Collection of My Best Recollection.” It includes some of his most requested songs from throughout his career, including classics like “White Lightning” and “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair,” as well as two previously unreleased ones.

“Only thing I would like to keep accomplishing is music for my fans and achieving some goals to keep them happy with what I record in the future,” Jones said. “I’ve done just about everything else. The good Lord’s been good to me … I’m going to enjoy the rest of my life.”

Sportscaster must pay

ex-wife $916,000 a year

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz must pay $916,000 yearly in alimony and child support to his ex-wife and give up their Connecticut home under terms of a newly issued divorce decree.

The ruling, made Monday in Bridgeport Superior Court, dissolves the 26-year marriage of Nantz and Ann-Lorraine “Lorrie” Carlsen Nantz. It comes after both testified about the breakdown of their marriage; Judge Howard Owens concluded neither was at fault.

Nantz, described by Owens as “our nation’s most prominent sportscaster,” filed for divorce last year from his wife after years of marriage counseling, according to the decree.