Kutcher to wave flag to start Daytona 500

Kutcher to wave flagto start Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- He made the mesh trucker cap popular with mainstream mallrats. Can he make NASCAR chic? Ashton Kutcher, star of "That '70s Show" and "Dude, Where's My Car?," has been tapped to wave the green flag Feb. 20 to start the Daytona 500. Last year, Whoopi Goldberg did the honors. The 200-lap, 500-mile race annually brings 200,000 fans to Daytona Beach, Fla.
Culkin court case delayed
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A court hearing for former child star Macaulay Culkin on his drug possession case has been delayed until April so that lawyers can work on a plea bargain, court officials said. Culkin had been scheduled to appear in Oklahoma County District Court on Thursday, but the hearing was moved to April 6. His lawyer, Catherine Burton, couldn't be reached to comment Wednesday afternoon. Culkin, best known for his role in the "Home Alone" movies, was arrested Sept. 17 during a traffic stop on Interstate 44 in Oklahoma City. Police said officers found about 17 grams of marijuana and 16 milligrams of Xanax, a prescription drug used to treat depression and panic disorders. Culkin, 24, wasn't driving the vehicle. Oklahoma County prosecutors charged Culkin with misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and possession of the Xanax. He pleaded innocent to the charges in October. Culkin was freed on $4,000 bail shortly after his arrest.
Carlson lands MSNBC gig
NEW YORK -- MSNBC announced Wednesday it has hired the bow-tied conservative commentator Tucker Carlson to be host of his own prime-time show, starting sometime this spring. Carlson's hiring will fill a slot left vacant when Deborah Norville decided to stop doing her 9 p.m. EST program. The move was widely expected since CNN decided a month ago not to offer Carlson another contract and to discontinue the political debate show "Crossfire." Carlson will continue to be host of his own weekly PBS show, "Tucker Carlson Unfiltered." "He is without a doubt one of the sharpest minds and best writers in this business," said MSNBC President Rick Kaplan. "His passion and enthusiasm are both energizing and remarkable. He is truly a pleasure to work with." Kaplan and Carlson worked together at CNN during the late 1990s. MSNBC offered no details about Carlson's new show, or even a title.
Zeta-Jones to lead parade
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Catherine Zeta-Jones will lead a parade through the streets Thursday, acknowledging how honored she is to be chosen Woman of the Year by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Club. The madcap theatrical club will then present the actress with a traditional Pudding Pot.
Aiken does promo videofor Raleigh downtown
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Singer Clay Aiken is helping to reinvigorate his hometown's downtown. A new eight-minute promotional video, proclaiming "Downtown Raleigh Open for Business," includes a brief appearance from Aiken, an "American Idol" runner-up. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance, a booster organization, started distributing 200 copies of the video Monday to real estate brokers and others with their sights on downtown. Viewers can see interviews with Harvey Schmitt, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Charles Meeker; and Orage Quarles III, president and publisher of The News & amp; Observer of Raleigh. Then Aiken appears and says: "I've traveled all over the country and seen lots of downtown areas, but one of the reasons that I really love coming back to my hometown of Raleigh is to see all the exciting changes that are happening in downtown, right here in Raleigh."
Today's birthdays
Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks is 92. Feminist author Betty Friedan is 84. Actor William Phipps is 83. Actor Conrad Bain is 82. Actor Gary Conway is 69. Movie director George A. Romero is 65. Rock musician John Steel (The Animals) is 64. Singer Florence LaRue (The 5th Dimension) is 61. Comedian David Brenner is 60. Former Vice President Dan Quayle is 58. Rock singer Alice Cooper is 57. Actor Michael Beck is 56. Actress Pamela Franklin is 55. Actress Lisa Eichhorn is 53. Rock singer Tim Booth is 45. Rock musician Henry Bogdan (Helmet) is 44. Country singer Clint Black is 43. Country musician Dave Buchanan (Yankee Grey) is 39. Actress Gabrielle Anwar is 35. Singer David Garza is 34. Actor Michael Goorjian is 34. Rock musician Rick Burch (Jimmy Eat World) is 30. Singer Natalie Imbruglia is 30. Rapper Cam'ron is 29. Rock singer Gavin DeGraw is 28.

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