Author Richard Bach injured in Wash. plane crash


SEATTLE — Richard Bach, author of the 1970s best-selling novella “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” among other spiritually oriented writings, was in serious condition Saturday after his small plane crashed in Washington state.

His son James Bach told The Associated Press his father was on his way to visit a friend on San Juan Island on Friday when his amphibian plane clipped a power line during landing, and crashed.

James Bach says his father, who was flying alone, suffered a head injury and broken shoulder. He is listed in serious condition.

Bach is an avid aviator who touched on themes of flight and enlightenment in his writings. He also authored “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” among other books.

TV’s ‘Starsky’ to fight drug charge in Ky.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The actor who played David Starsky in the 1970s police drama “Starsky & Hutch” is fighting a drug charge in Kentucky for what he says is medical marijuana from California.

The Daily News in Bowling Green reports an attorney entered a not guilty plea on Thursday on behalf of 69-year-old Paul Michael Glaser of Venice, Calif.

Bowling Green police charged Glaser with possession of marijuana and a pipe on May 10, hours after he read an excerpt of his young adult novel, “Chrystallia and the Source of Light,” to students at a middle school.

According to a police citation, Glaser said he had medical marijuana prescribed to him in California.

He was arrested after an anonymous call to police that a man was smoking marijuana in a hotel.

Randy Jackson out of ‘American Idol’?

LOS ANGELES — “American Idol’s” game of musical chairs may have taken another casualty as new reports claim Randy Jackson is vacating his post as judge — a spot he’s held since the singing competition premiered in 2002.

Jackson is reportedly stepping away from the judges’ table but would continue to play a role in the show as a mentor to the contestants. No word on what capacity that mentorship would be.

“Idol” currently relies on guest musicians to dole out advice alongside Jimmy Iovine, the in-house “Idol” mentor and chairman of Interscope/ Geffen/ A&M (contestants broker deals through Universal Music Group, with Interscope proving popular among them).

Speculation over who will occupy the judges’ table when the competition kicks off its 12th season in January went into overdrive the moment Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler announced their departures after two seasons.

Pop diva Mariah Carey became the highest paid judge in reality TV when she inked a deal, reportedly worth $18 million, to replace Lopez. Carey remains the only confirmed judge.

Gossip sites such as TMZ say rap-pop chameleon Nicki Minaj’s deal to join “Idol” is “99 percent done,” but the addition of Minaj would prove a logistical challenge for producers. Plenty have focused on her Pepsi deal and how it conflicts with “Idol’s” rather prominent relationship with Coke, but the often pink-haired performer still has a headlining world tour on her plate. She just wrapped the U.S. leg and her “Pink Friday Reloaded” tour is set to go from October to December in Europe and Australia (though there are some breaks in the itinerary).

Fox has been mum on further details on the “Idol” judge question, which makes sense given how much press has been given to a show that’s premiering after anticipated revamps from competitors “The X Factor” and “The Voice.”

A slew of high-profile names have also been linked to the show in recent weeks. Depending on the time of day, the next season’s panel could include Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kanye West.

Taped MDA fundraiser set for 3 hours today

LOS ANGELES — No tote board. No Jerry Lewis. And not from Las Vegas.

An annual Muscular Dystrophy Association television fundraiser goes a new way today, with a different title and featuring three hours of taped appearances by entertainers including country music star Carrie Underwood, pop singer Gavin DeGraw, alternative pop group OneRepublic, Black Eyed Peas frontman and songstress Carole King.

The renamed “MDA Show of Strength” was pre-produced and taped in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville, Tenn., said association spokeswoman Roxan Olivas in Tucson, Ariz.

It is set to show on various TV and cable channels in 150 markets around the country from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Central and Mountain time and 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time.

There won’t be a traditional tote board, and Olivas said some cities will have local hosts. But the overall event will urge national phone, text and online pledges toward funding efforts to find treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases.

The annual Labor Day weekend telethon ended a 45-year run last year with comedian and longtime host Lewis, who turned 86 in March and lives in Las Vegas.

Lewis was part of a comedy duo with Dean Martin and became a film icon with antics and characters including the “The Nutty Professor.”

He went on to become synonymous with the Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon after starting it in 1966 with a marathon 22-hour show at a single TV station in New York.

Lewis was MDA national chairman from the early 1950s to 2011, and is credited with raising more than $1.6 billion over the years. He was nominated in 1977 for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the telethon and muscular dystrophy relief.

The event moved to Las Vegas in 1973, and had stints in Los Angeles before moving back to Las Vegas.

Despite Lewis’ absence, telethon officials last year reported raising $61.5 million in a six-hour show with several hosts. A silent montage of Lewis film clips was shown, but he didn’t take part in person or tape his signature song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”


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