WASHINGTON – Actress Hayden Panettiere was born and raised in upstate New York, lives in Los Angeles and has no roots in the nation’s capital. But she’s passionate about securing full representation in Congress for District of Columbia residents.

That’s what led her to the John A. Wilson Building, the district’s city hall, where Mayor Vincent Gray proclaimed Friday as “Hayden Panettiere Day.”

“It doesn’t get much cooler than that. It’s a huge honor,” Panettiere said. “We’ll continue just chipping away at the problem and trying to fix it.”

Panettiere, 22, who played a cheerleader on the NBC drama “Heroes,” has been speaking out since 2008 for D.C. statehood. Before then, she said she was unaware that the district had no voting representatives in Congress.

“It seems like such (an) unfathomable fact that, you know, it’s taxation without representation in D.C., and that there’s no democracy in our democracy, at the heart of it,” said Panettiere.

Panettiere, whose movie credits include “Remember the Titans” and “Scream 4,” was set to appear at a fundraiser later Friday to benefit the D.C. Statehood Fund.

Phish show helps Vermont flood victims

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. – Phish’s sold-out benefit concert raised more than $1.2 million for the Vermont victims of flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.

Fronted by singer-guitarist Trey Anastasio, the Burlington-bred jam band, which formed in the early 1980s, offered to play the benefit after the Aug. 28 storm wrecked hundreds of roads, bridges and homes across Vermont and temporarily cut off entire towns.

The concert before about 12,000 fans Wednesday at the Champlain Valley Exposition fairgrounds in Essex Junction was the band’s first Vermont show since 2004.

Ex-‘Lost’ star avoids charges

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Cleveland prosecutors will not charge Matthew Fox on a complaint that the star of the former “Lost” television series punched the driver of a private bus.

The decision was made “after a thorough review of the facts,” city spokeswoman Andrea Taylor said in a statement Friday.

Bus driver Heather Bormann of Cleveland had said Fox hit her early Aug. 28 after she blocked him from boarding a chartered party bus she was driving. She said Fox wanted a ride to his hotel and appeared intoxicated.

Bormann filed suit against Fox in Cuyahoga County last week, alleging Fox engaged in “intentional, aggravated felonious assault and battery.” The lawsuit seeks at least $75,000 in damages.

Bondsman sues over TV show

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs bail bondsman Bobby Brown is suing the creators of the A&E television show “Dog the Bounty Hunter” for more than $75,000 in damages.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday against A&E, Hybrid Films and D&D Television says Brown appeared in more than 40 shows of “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” It says he was paid $6,000 for his contributions but wasn’t compensated for each Colorado episode.

KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs reported that Brown said the network and the show’s creators used his likeness for their own gain without properly compensating him and made false promises that led him to focus on the show instead of his bail bonds business.

A&E did not returned calls seeking comment.