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The Baltimore Sun

Italian award for Maryland sculptor Sheppard

Maryland native Joseph Sheppard, a world-renowned artist who divides his time between Baltimore and Pietrasanta, Italy, has received an international sculpture award from an Italian sculpture society. On Sept. 12, the arts group Circolo Culturale Fratelli Rosselli presented Sheppard with its annual sculpture award, which recognizes sculptors from around the world who have made "extraordinary contributions to the art world."

Sheppard's local commissions include a 15-foot bronze sculpture at the Baltimore Holocaust Memorial at Gay and Lombard streets in Baltimore and a sculpture of Pope John Paul II that will be the focal point of the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden under construction at Franklin and Charles streets. Sheppard is expected to be at the dedication Oct. 23.

Edward Gunts

Where the stars are

Maurice Sendak, the author of Where the Wild Things Are, has another power beyond the wild imagination that invented the freaky-looking monsters in the classic children's book.

He's also a celebrity magnet.

The prolific writer-illustrator celebrated his 80th birthday Monday night in New York with Meryl Streep, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener and director Spike Jonze, who has adapted 1963's Wild Things for a film to be released in October 2009.

"I'm really terribly moved," Sendak said. "Some of the problems that were mentioned in growing up in New York persist. ... Eighty solves nothing. ... So many friends were on the stage tonight and so many people I have worked with and loved - and still love. And what it did was ignite in me a feeling of wanting to continue to work."

One of Sendak's confidantes is Jonze, who directed the critically acclaimed films Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, and showed a one-minute montage of Wild Things at the event. He was still editing the movie, which will blend live action and computer-generated animation to tell the story of young Max and his gang of monster pals, one of whom is voiced by Gandolfini. Keener portrays Max's mother.

Psst. Pass this to Mom

The mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears says Jamie Lynn told her she was pregnant in a note.

Lynne Spears said on NBC's Today show yesterday that Jamie Lynn - 16 years old at the time - handed her the note and told her to go into the bedroom and read it.

The note said she was pregnant but "everything [is] gonna be OK, mom" and that she and boyfriend Casey Aldridge were going to raise the baby.

"I thought it was a joke," the elder Spears said in an interview. "I kept waiting for the punch line."

She said she realized it wasn't a joke because Aldridge, a pipe-layer from Liberty, Miss., wouldn't look at her.

"I was just truly in shock and then I started to cry. And then she started consoling me at that point," said Spears, who writes of Jamie Lynn and her older sister, Britney, in her new memoir, Through the Storm.

Jamie Lynn, who starred in the Nickelodeon series Zoey 101, announced her pregnancy in December. She and Aldridge welcomed daughter Maddie Briann in June. The couple are now engaged.

Ryan O'Neal, son arrested

Authorities say they have arrested actor Ryan O'Neal and his son on suspicion of having drugs in their Malibu home.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says authorities went to O'Neal's home yesterday morning for a check on his son, Redmond, who was given three years probation after pleading guilty to drug possession charges in June.

Whitmore says deputies and probation officers also found narcotics in Ryan O'Neal's living area.

From Sun news services

birthdays

Singer Jimmie Rodgers, 75

Actor Robert Blake, 75

Actor Fred Willard, 69

Singer Frankie Avalon, 68

Actress Anna Deavere Smith, 58

Actor James Gandolfini, 47

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