Haggard halts online sale of `stolen' work An Internet...

PEOPLE AND PLACES

May 03, 2002

Haggard halts online sale of `stolen' work

An Internet auction of a Merle Haggard cassette has been halted after the country music star won a court order in Dallas claiming the tape was stolen from his tour bus.

Kathy Schroeder of Fredericksburg, Texas, a concert promoter, had offered the cassette on eBay for $325,000, according to the Dallas Morning News yesterday. Information about the tape was removed from the auction site Wednesday.

Haggard's lawyers say they plan to turn the case over to police, but their first priority was to stop the possible spread of bootleg copies.

"What's on the tape," Haggard said, "is a rough mix of an ongoing project. It's like she kidnapped my children."

Schroeder's attorney said he couldn't comment because he hadn't seen a copy of the order.

Haggard, 65, said he couldn't make an Oct. 27 show that Schroeder had arranged, but his tour bus full of musicians and substitute performers did. He said that when the bus returned to California, a cassette tape that had been on the bus when Schroeder stopped by for a visit was missing.

Remembering Lopes

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of the Grammy-winning trio TLC was remembered for her funky raps, her vivacious personality and her sometimes turbulent attitude at her funeral yesterday in Lithonia, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.

The service for the self-anointed "crazy" member of the female R&B group took place a week after her death April 25 in a Honduras car crash.

Thousands of fans joined family and celebrity friends at the funeral, which seemed more like a concert at times; gospel duo Mary Mary were among those who sang, backed by a 150-member choir.

Among the mourners were Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, the surviving members of TLC, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and her husband, Bobby Brown.

Best known for her deftly crafted rhymes, Lopes also was the most energetic member of the trio - and the most volatile.

But she was at her most infamous when she pleaded guilty to arson in a 1994 fire that destroyed the million-dollar mansion of former Atlanta Falcons receiver Andre Rison, her boyfriend at the time.

Rison was among hundreds who attended a private memorial service Wednesday night in Decatur, another Atlanta suburb.

Lopes, born in Philadelphia, was working on a solo project on Suge Knight's Tha Row Records when she died. Knight also attended the funeral.

Lopes is survived by her mother, a brother and sister, and a 9-year-old girl she adopted two years ago named Snow.

Uh-oh

First she dumps Justin Timberlake, and now this - pop diva Britney Spears has been caught smoking.

A photo in the New York Post showed Spears, dressed in a pink tank top and short-shorts, standing on the balcony of her hotel room in Sydney, Australia, with a cigarette in her right hand.

The Post reported Spears tried to dash inside before her picture was taken, but she didn't make it.

Two years ago, Spears told the Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel: "I don't believe in drugs or even smoking."

Her spokeswoman refused to comment.

Four-star alarmist

Woody Allen says he isn't the hypochondriac he's often played in his movies.

"What I am unfortunately is an alarmist," said the 66-year- old director and star.

"That's just as bad or worse because if I wake up in the morning with chapped lips or a hangnail I think it's a fatal disease."

`Working' for loot

Not satisfied with the amount of money they found in a safe in a Monroe, Wash., Starbucks, two robbers allegedly went to work filling coffee orders and pocketing the proceeds.

The pair served at least 18 unsuspecting customers over a half-hour period early Tuesday morning and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Cmdr. Rick Dunn said.

Before the coffee shop opened, a woman was allowed to use the restroom, Dunn said. After her accomplice also entered, the two approached the manager with guns, demanded that the safe be opened and took the money.

The man then donned a Starbucks apron and he and the woman ordered an employee to assist them at the drive-up window, where they filled orders from 18 to 25 customers before fleeing.

Today's birthdays

Broadway librettist Betty Comden is 83.

Folk singer Pete Seeger is 83.

Country singer Dave Dudley is 74.

Singer James Brown is 69.

Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 66.

Sports announcer Greg Gumbel is 56.

Singer Christopher Cross is 51.

Country musician Cactus Moser (Highway 101) is 45.

Country singer Shane Minor is 34.

Actor Dule Hill (The West Wing) is 27.

Actress Jill Berard is 12. From staff and wire reports

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