The Baltimore Sun

Hargitay hospitalized for lung problem

Actress Mariska Hargitay was hospitalized yesterday after complaining of chest pains, according to several Internet reports.

The Law & Order: SVU star had suffered a collapsed lung in January.

Her representative told Us Magazine's Web site, "Mariska Hargitay went to the hospital this morning after experiencing some discomfort relating to her earlier lung condition. She is undergoing routine tests and expects to be feeling better soon."

Lil Wayne off the hook

A judge in Atlanta has dismissed felony drug charges against rapper Lil Wayne.

The Grammy Award-winning rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was arrested in August 2006 at a hotel. Atlanta police said they found unmarked bottles containing hydrocodone and a generic form of Xanax, along with a small amount of marijuana. On Tuesday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson granted the rapper's request to suppress on the basis of an illegal search.

It wasn't a 3-ring circus

Dressed as a sexy ringmaster and directing a colorful cast that included jugglers, acrobats and martial arts dancers, Britney Spears delivered a tightly choreographed, if perfunctory performance Tuesday night as she kicked off her first concert tour in five years.

The 27-year-old pop superstar's "Circus" tour kicked off in her home state of Louisiana at the New Orleans Arena before a nearly sold-out crowd that cheered on their idol as she gyrated and slithered across the stage while singing some of her biggest hits, from the recent "Womanizer" to her first and now classic song, "Baby One More Time."

Spears didn't interact much with the crowd - the only thing she uttered to the audience was "Thank you, New Orleans" at the end of the nearly two-hour show - and appeared at times to be lip-synching.

The tour is scheduled for the Verizon Center in Washington on March 24.

Don't expect Zach

The Disney Channel is going back to school with High School Musical 4. The fourth iteration of the popular musical franchise will begin production this year and premiere in 2010.

The Disney Channel said in a statement this week that the new movie will introduce a new cast of characters and will focus on a cross-town school rivalry.

Poe letter at U.Va.

Edgar Allan Poe apologizes to his publishers for drinking too much and asks them to buy an article because he's "desperately pushed for money" in an 1842 letter acquired by the University of Virginia for an exhibition marking the author's 200th birthday.

Writing from Philadelphia, Poe blames his friend William Ross Wallace, a poet and lawyer, for making him drink too many "juleps" and for misbehaving on a visit to New York.

The university bought the July 18, 1842, letter in a Sotheby's auction after the document spent years in private hands.

The library released the letter this week ahead of an exhibit opening Saturday that highlights Poe's enduring literary works, brief life and mysterious death at age 40. Poe attended the Charlottesville university, but had to drop out after less than a year in part because of financial difficulties.


Actor Dean Stockwell, 73.

Magician Penn Jillette, 54.

Pop singer Teena Marie, 53.

Actor Kevin Connolly, 35.

Actress Eva Mendes, 34.

A headline in Thursday's People and Places column misspelled the first name of actor Zac Efron.The Sun regrets the error.
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