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Former beauty queen gets probation for DUI

Thu., May 10, 2012

Rima Fakih, the first Arab-American to be crowned Miss USA, avoided jail during sentencing Wednesday in her Michigan drunken driving case, an experience she described as “very humbling.”

Fakih received six months of probation, was ordered to perform 20 hours of community service and must pay $600 in fines and costs. Fakih also must attend an alcohol safety class.

The 26-year-old pleaded no contest last month to driving while visibly impaired in Highland Park, an enclave of Detroit. Fakih, who won the Miss USA Pageant in 2010, faced a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail.

“I’m very relieved” not to have been sentenced to serve jail time, Fakih said. “But let’s say it got to that point. I was willing to pay the price it took because I knew I made mistakes.”

One breath test put her blood alcohol content at 0.20; another put it at 0.19. The legal limit is .08.

Singer comes out as transgender

Tom Gabel, the lead screamer of Florida band Against Me!, has come out as transgender and plans to undergo sexual reassignment surgery, according to the Rolling Stone magazine website. The singer, 32, founded Against Me! in 1997, and over the course of the past 15 years it has risen to become one of the most successful of a new wave of punk rock bands.

Gabel, who is married, will soon begin the process of becoming a woman. He will take the name Laura Jane Grace.

In the Rolling Stone interview, Gabel acknowledged the difficulties that may lie ahead, even as his wife, Heather, has been supportive of the decision. “I’m going to have embarrassing moments,” said Gabel, “and that won’t be fun. But that’s part of what talking to you is about – is hoping people will understand and hoping they’ll be fairly kind.”

Gospel Hall of Fame to induct Aretha

The queen of soul is taking her place in the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Aretha Franklin is one of six people who’ll be inducted into the hall on Aug. 14 in Hendersonville, Tenn. She’ll be joined by bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, family group The Hoppers, contemporary Christian singer Dallas Holm, the late TV evangelist Rex Humbard and Christian rock band Love Song.

Franklin’s gospel roots run deep, starting with her father who was a prominent Baptist minister. Her 1972 album, “Amazing Grace,” has sold more than 2 million copies and is one of the best-selling gospel albums of all time.

The birthday bunch

Sportscaster Pat Summerall is 82. TV-radio personality Gary Owens is 73. Singer Donovan is 66. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is 54. Rock singer Bono (U2) is 52. Model Linda Evangelista is 47. Actor Kenan Thompson is 34. Actress Lauren Potter (“Glee”) is 22.


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