A week ago, all eyes were on Larimer County, Colo., where the story of Balloon Boy Falcon Heene first caused concern, then suspicion, then outrage at the hoax. Now Sheriff Jim Alderden has given the world a glimpse into the madness that swirled around him in his weekly post on his blog, called, "The Bull's-Eye: Straight Shooting from the Sheriff." Alderden says he and his department were flooded with calls and emails from all sorts of "wing-nuts" -- some of whom suggested a rescue with a big net or by spraying the balloon with water, others of whom criticized Alderden for being gullible, calling him "Barney Fife," "a pushover," and "a big mouthed, fat, bald headed, over-inflated ego." Alderden wrote, "Ouch! I disagree with most of the above, but have to concede the fat and bald part." Another person wrote to blast the sheriff for wearing a shirt with stars and stripes on it, left, saying, "I will encourage any federal investigators working with you on the balloon boy case to charge you with crimes against the flag if that shirt is worn again."
LAPD detectives have arrested at least four womenwho are suspected of burglarizing the homes of Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Partridge, sources told People. The ringleader is reported to be Rachel J. Lee, 19, and is being investigated in connection with the theft of $2 million in jewelry at Paris Hilton's house last year, as well as a theft of $500,000 in jewelry in July from Orlando Bloom. Nicholas Prugo, 18, has already been charged in the Lohan and Partridge burglaries; Lee is said to be a friend of Prugo's.
Lady Gaga,whose "Fame Kills" tour with Kanye West was canceled after he leaped onstage and grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift the the MTV Video Music Awards, is touring on her own starting next month. The "Monster Ball" tour starts Nov. 27 in Montreal and ends in January at Radio City Music Hall. Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, plans plenty of eye candy. "I wanted to really put together a show that would be the most beautiful, expensive-looking, delicious show, but that my fans wouldn't have to pay a ton of money to come see," she told Rolling Stone. About the ill-fated pairup with Kanye, she said, "It just wasn't the right timing. I don't want to embellish on it too much, because I want to respect Kanye's privacy. But we just had our own reasons." The Monster Ball tour will not roll into this area.
"Melrose Place" is losing two of its most popular inhabitants. Both Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield have been fired, according to Entertainment Weekly. Having the pair cut was “the original plan going into the development of the show,” executive producer Todd Slavkin said. “We felt that once the murder mystery [involving their characters] was resolved, the tone of the show was going to shift … and [Simpson-Wentz's] character would move on." The last scenes in whichthe two appear will be aired in January.
Rapper Lil Wayne pleaded guilty to second-degree weapons possession charges in a New York City courtroom, agreeing to a plea bargain that could result in a jail term of a year. The rapper, 27, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was linked by DNA evidence to a .40-caliber handgun found on his tour bus in July 2007. Lil Wayne also faces felony drug and weapons charges after another arrest in Arizona in 2008, when cocaine, Ecstasy and another handgun were found on his bus.
Dennis Quaid, his wife Kimberly and a blond friend were partying at a Los Angeles restaurant -- complete with "Coyote Ugly"-style bar-top dancing -- but he was saved from a DUI charge when he left the bar by some good LAPD advice. Quaid was actually sitting behind the wheel of his running car, which had been brought to the door by a valet, when a police car drove up and officers urged him not to drive. TMZ caught the whole thing on tape as the officer told Quaid, "get out of the car." He did, and his party returned to the restaurant, later emerging and getting into a taxi. The next day, a more sober Quaid returned to pick up his SUV at the restaurant.
A day after a mistrial was declared, ending the trial of a former Bahamian senator and a paramedic for extortion related to Jett Travolta's death, a friend tells People the Travolta family feels the loss "like it was yesterday." Ronnie Zupancic, a longtime friend and assistant who was with them in the Bahamas the day Jett died after a seizure, said, "They think about Jett every day, they never stop." Although they were looking forward to the end of the trial so they could have some "closure," said Travolta's attorney, they plan to continue to pursue justice.
The jury's deliberations ended in a mistrial when a fellow Bahamian senator yelled out that former Senator "Pleasant Bridgewater is a free woman!" at a political convention while the jury was still deliberating. The judge decided that a member of the jury had been "communicating" with loudmouth Sen. Picewell Forbes.
Robin Wright Penn, whose marriage to husband Sean Penn ended after 13 years, two children and one previous separation, tells Redbook she is looking forward to "new beginnings," and concentrating on her career. She said her emotions fluctuate -- "high tide, low tide," but she intends to stay friends with her notoiously hot-tempered ex.
-- Anne Neville
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