Police turn away holders of tickets to Phish show



Police turn away holdersof tickets to Phish show
COVENTRY, Vt. -- With hundreds of cars stuck in the mud and more pouring in, Vermont State Police started turning back traffic headed to the Phish farewell concert Saturday, and told ticket holders they would get refunds but no admittance.
Police erected a roadblock on Interstate 91 and other roads and told fans headed to the two-day festival at the Newport State Airport to turn around.
"Because of the heavy rains, parking inside the festival site has basically become impossible, and they're concerned for people's safety," said Adam Lewis, a spokesman for the concert promoter, Great Northeast Productions.
Heavy rains Thursday and Friday turned the campgrounds into quagmires, and local residents with tractors were busy pulling stuck cars from the mud.
Any of the 70,000 ticket holders denied entry will get their money back, the promoter said in a statement.
Italian-American groupprotest De Niro honor
ROME -- Italy plans to grant Robert De Niro honorary citizenship, rejecting opposition from an Italian-American organization that says the actor has projected a bad image with numerous roles as an Italian thug.
Culture Minister Giuliano Urbani still wants to grant De Niro honorary citizenship during next month's Venice Film Festival, where he is expected to promote his voice-over role in the animated movie "Shark Tale," press official Tiziana Benini said Friday.
The Order Sons of Italy in America wrote a letter to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi earlier this week, urging him to cancel the planned honor.
"De Niro has made a career of playing gangsters of Italian descent," the organization said in a statement.
Paisley Park Studiosin Minnesota reopens
CHANHASSEN, Minn. -- Prince's Paisley Park Studios, where the pop star and other bands have recorded, has reopened for business.
Paisley Park has largely been closed since 1996, though Prince continued to record and perform there.
A reception marking the studio's reopening Thursday was attended by members of the local film, music and advertising communities. "We're essentially hanging the 'open' sign out front tonight," new general manager Ron Scofield said.
Paisley Park has newly digitalized and upgraded recording and editing rooms available for musicians to rent.
The complex opened in 1987. R.E.M., George Benson and others recorded there, and Barry Manilow, the Bee Gees and Steve Miller used the studio to rehearse for concert tours.
Today's birthdays
Actress Rose Marie is 81. Political activist Phyllis Schlafly is 80. Actor Mike Connors is 79. Jazz musician Oscar Peterson is 79. Rhythm and blues singer Bill Pinckney (The Drifters) is 79. Actress Lori Nelson is 71. Singer-producer Bobby Byrd is 70. Civil-rights activist Vernon Jordan is 69. Actor Jim Dale is 69. Actress Pat Priest is 68. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 66. Musician Pete York (Spencer Davis Group) is 62. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 60. Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 58. Britain's Princess Anne is 54. Actress Tess Harper is 54. Actor Larry Mathews is 49. Actor Zeljko Ivanek is 47. Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson (The The) is 43. Actress Debi Mazar is 40. Country singer Angela Rae (Wild Horses) is 38. Actress Debra Messing is 36. Actor Anthony Anderson is 34. Actor Ben Affleck is 32. Singer Michael Graham (Boyzone) is 32. Actress Natasha Henstridge is 30.

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