CLEVELAND — Comedian Drew Carey, wearing a loud black-and-white checkered blazer, marched into City Hall in his hometown on Thursday and told council members what they’re doing wrong.

Respectfully, of course.

“I don’t envy anybody at this table,” Carey said during the three-hour discussion. “I know what’s it like to try and change something.”

“The Price is Right” host, who grew up in Cleveland, was invited to meet with city council members to discuss his ideas for economic reform in the struggling city on Lake Erie, which has been bleeding revenue and people for decades.

Last month, Carey peddled his ideas in a series of 10-minute online videos about Cleveland produced by, a website affiliated with the Reason Foundation, a nonpartisan, libertarian-leaning group.

The debate dredged up familiar woes that Clevelanders have bemoaned for years but have been unable to defeat: decaying infrastructure, job losses and underperforming schools, among other problems.

As council members listened warily, Carey urged the city to privatize government-owned businessess and become more business-friendly.

“You wanna help Cleveland?” Councilman Michael Polensek said. “Bring ‘The Price is Right’ to Cleveland.”

Simmons won’t be charged in alleged mall ruckus

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors say they will not charge KISS rocker Gene Simmons over an alleged attack on a couple at an upscale outdoor mall in Los Angeles.

The district attorney’s office states in documents Wednesday there is not enough evidence the 60-year-old musician threatened Nathan Marlowe and Marlowe’s wife Cynthia Manzo at The Grove mall last December.

Marlowe told police Simmons choked them and took their camera after they started filming him.

Simmons told police Marlowe shoved the camera in his face and that he feared for his family’s safety.

A civil lawsuit filed in December by Marlowe and Manzo against Simmons is still pending.

Alicia Keys is pregnant

NEW YORK — Alicia Keys is in a motherhood state of mind: She’s pregnant with her first child.

The Grammy Award-winning R&B singer has been dating producer Swizz Beatz, who has written hits for Beyonce, Jay-Z and others. They’re engaged to be married in a private ceremony later this year.

Representatives for the couple confirmed the news Thursday night.

Keys last year teamed up with Jay-Z for a hit song about New York called “Empire State of Mind.” She’s among a string of international artists slated to perform at a June 10 concert to mark the start of the World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa.

Beatz has been married before and has two sons.

Adviser to celebrities arrested

NEW YORK — A financial adviser to celebrities including Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone has been arrested on charges that he carried out a $30 million fraud on his clients.

Kenneth Starr, 65, of Manhattan was charged with wire fraud, investment adviser fraud and money laundering and was awaiting an initial court appearance in federal court in Manhattan. Also arrested in the probe was former New York City Council President Andrew Stein.

Stein was charged with making false statements in a filing with the Internal Revenue Service and making false statements to a federal officer. It was not immediately clear who would represent either of them in court.

The charges against Starr were announced in Manhattan by federal prosecutors, who scheduled a news conference for later Thursday.

Starr, an attorney, is head of New York-based Starr and Co. and Starr Investment Advisors LLC., which federal regulators said has accounts exceeding $700 million.

A separate complaint filed in federal court by the Securities and Exchange Commission said Starr provides investment advisory services to more than 30 high net-worth clients. It said he provides services including accounting, tax preparation, business management, bill-paying and “concierge” services to a larger group of about 175 clients.


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