Authors! Authors! lineup complete

Richard Norton Smith.
Richard Norton Smith.

An American historian who writes about U.S. presidents will be the third speaker in this spring’s Authors! Authors! series, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library announced Monday. The series is presented by The Blade and arranged by the library.

Richard Norton Smith will appear at the McMaster Center at the Main Library downtown on April 18. In 1983 his first major book, Thomas E. Dewey and His Times, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. In 1997, Smith received the Goldsmith Prize awarded by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School for his book The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick.

The library announced last week that writer and professor Jamaica Kincaid will speak at the McMaster Center on March 28 and that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen will appear at the Stranahan Theater on May 8.

Programs start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and go on sale Friday at library branches.


Klum joins judges’ panel on ‘America’s Got Talent’

NBC says Heidi Klum has been added to America’s Got Talent as its fourth judge.The network announced Monday that the supermodel will join fellow incoming judge Mel B this summer for the talent competition’s eighth season. Howie Mandel and Howard Stern will be back at the judges’ panel.

Klum says she’s excited to join the show and size up the talent, “from the ridiculous to the fantastic!”

She continues to host the Peabody Award-winning Project Runway on Lifetime, as well as Germany’s Next Top Model.


‘Freaked out’

A private plane carrying magician David Copperfield made an unscheduled stop in Illinois after it made a “frightening” sound en route from Las Vegas to New York.

Peoria International Airport officials say Copperfield’s plane landed there after it began experiencing problems around 1:45 a.m. Monday.

The (Peoria) Journal Star reported that Copperfield was supposed to appear live on NBC’s Today Show on Monday, but ended up filming the interview remotely from Byerly Aviation in Peoria, 160 miles southwest of Chicago.

The famed illusionist told the Today Show that the plane made crackling noises at 37,000 feet that he recorded on his cell phone. He says he “kind of freaked out.” He also Tweeted that the incident was “so scary.”

Copperfield took a commercial flight back to Las Vegas Monday morning.


Walters returns

Sidelined for six weeks by chickenpox and a concussion, Barbara Walters returned to ABC’s The View on Monday.

She got a thunderous welcome from the studio audience and co-panelists Sherri Shepherd, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Joy Behar, as well as well-wishers Regis Philbin and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who stopped by.

“After a lot of scratching and rest, I am fine and I am healthy,” the 83-year-old Walters declared.

Lifting her bangs, she pointed on her forehead to the only visible signs of her ordeal: a single chickenpox bump and a tiny scar from her fall.

Walters was hospitalized Jan. 19 after fainting and hitting her head on a marble floor at a party in Washington. She suffered a concussion and got several stitches.

She had chickenpox and a fever at the time but didn’t realize it. The likely cause? Hugging a well-known actor “who shall be nameless” earlier in January, she said. It turned out he had shingles.



Three stars from the ABC comedy Modern Family got stuck in a Kansas City elevator for about an hour Friday night, delaying their appearance at a charity benefit.

Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Eric Stonestreet were in town for a fund-raiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City. Stonestreet grew up in Kansas City, Kan.

The Kansas City Star reports the three actors were trapped in an elevator with about a dozen other people at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, where they were headlining the fund-raiser.

Crews from the Kansas City Fire Department freed the group at about 10 p.m., an hour after they were scheduled to appear.

When they finally took the stage, the actors praised and thanked the fire department.