PASSAGES: Clooney to Represent America
ENGAGED: "Saturday Night Live" alum Molly Shannon, 38, and her artist boyfriend Fritz Chesnut, 29, will wed later this year, PEOPLE reports in its latest issue. It will be the first marriage for both.
BORN: Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa welcomed daughter Natalia Diamante Bryant at 3:08 p.m. Sunday, Lakers spokesman John Black says, adding that the baby weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long. Kobe, 24, who was present for the birth and cut the umbilical cord, didn't linger in the hospital, however, and was back to work Monday night when the Lakers hosted the Los Angeles Clippers. "I'm excited to play basketball, but to be honest, I really didn't want to leave," he said. "I did not want to take my eyes off (Natalia) and my wife."
ENVISIONED: A bronze statue of Sheriff Andy Taylor (actor Andy Griffith) and his son, Opie (Ron Howard), from TV's "The Andy Griffith Show" will be installed at Raleigh's Pullen Park in Raleigh, N.C., reports AP. The statue commemorates the walk to a fishing hole that was shown in the opening credits of the '60s show (now running on the TV Land network), which is located behind the statue. No installation date has been set, as invitations have just gone out to artists to submit their visions.
DISMISSED: A federal judge in Manhattan threw out a lawsuit brought by the parents of two teenagers against McDonald's, which the would-be plaintiffs sought to blame for their children's obesity. As Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled, "Nobody is forced to eat at McDonald's." A spokesperson for the fast-food chain said of the ruling, "Common sense has prevailed."
MOURNED: The same week that iconic showbiz caricaturist Al Hirschfeld died, now comes word that World War II cartoonist Bill Mauldin, the artist responsible for the beloved GIs Willie and Joe, passed away Wednesday in a Southern California nursing home of Alzheimer's disease. Mauldin was 81, and Andy Mauldin, one of his eight children, tells Reuters the walls of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner's room were plastered with letters from veterans who had learned of his plight ... Sarah Pettit, 36, a lesbian journalist who in 1992 helped found the nation's largest gay magazine, Out, died in a New York hospital Wednesday from complications related to lymphoma, said a spokesman at Newsweek, where she worked after leaving Out. Pettit had been on sick leave from the publication since last March. Her survivors include her parents and two brothers.