GARY, Ind. – The childhood hometown of Michael Jackson is planning a tribute Friday at his former house to mark the one-year anniversary of his death, and the mayor says his mother is among the people expected to attend.

Gary Mayor Rudy Clay says Katherine Jackson will attend with her granddaughter, Genevieve Jackson, the daughter of Randy Jackson. The event will include speeches, performances and a candlelight vigil.

“We expect thousands to show up,” said city spokeswoman LaLosa Burns.

Katherine Jackson, who wanted the house spruced up for the event, was in the city 30 miles southeast of Chicago for several days recently and planned the renovation, Clay said.

The flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and signs that covered the front lawn for weeks after Jackson’s death from an overdose of sedatives are gone. The tiny house already has a new roof, a fresh coat of white paint, newly poured concrete along the walkway and driveway and is surrounded by a black wrought iron fence.

The house — and its address — are widely known because The Jacksons released the album “2300 Jackson Street” in 1989.


It’s Splitsville for another ‘Bachelor

‘LOS ANGELES – “The Bachelor” is flying solo again.

Jake Pavelka and Vienna Giraldi, the lovey-dovey couple who met and became engaged in front of millions of viewers on the 14th season of the ABC dating series, have called off their engagement, according to Pavelka’s spokeswoman.

Janice Lee said “Jake and Vienna have split. They appreciate the respect for their privacy at this time.”Pavelka, a 32-year-old pilot, chose Giraldi, a 23-year-old marketing representative on “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love.”

Only four of the 13 previous couples who met on “The Bachelor” are still together.


Actress gets more time to finish her ‘education’

GLENDALE, Calif. – Court records show a judge has extended Nicole Richie’s probation until March to give her more time to complete alcohol education classes.

Richie was not present in court Tuesday when the order was made. She will have to complete the classes by February.

Richie’s attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, did not immediately return a phone message and e-mail seeking comment.

Richie was arrested in December 2006 after witnesses reported seeing her black Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle headed the wrong way on a freeway in Burbank. She later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge and spent 82 minutes in jail.

A former star of the television series “The Simple Life,” Richie is engaged to longtime boyfriend and rocker Joel Madden.


Abramoff adds spin to pizza

BALTIMORE – Disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff has landed a job at a kosher pizzeria in Baltimore soon after his release from prison.

The owner of Tov Pizza, Ron Rosenbluth, said Abramoff began working there Monday. He is learning about the business and will eventually help with marketing. Abramoff is an orthodox Jew.

He was released this month from a minimum-security prison camp in western Maryland after serving about 3 1/2 years for fraud, corruption and conspiracy. The former Washington power broker’s activities led to the conviction of a congressman.

He reported to a halfway house run by a nonprofit that arranged the job. The restaurant owner says he has hired halfway house residents before and he thinks Abramoff could bring traffic to his 26-year-old business.