Monaco’s Prince Albert thrills royal watchers: He’ll finally re-marry

PARIS – Prince Albert is giving Monaco a crown princess at last.

Ditching decades of bachelorhood, the boyish if balding monarch announced Wednesday he will marry South African ex-swimming champion Charlene Wittstock. Albert’s betrothed has iconic shoes to fill, stepping into a role left vacant since the death of much-beloved Princess Grace in a car crash.

Royal watchers were ecstatic at the announcement and many were wondering: Is the bespectacled playboy prince manning up? And most importantly, will the 52-year-old Albert, who has acknowledged fathering two children out of wedlock, finally produce a legitimate heir?

“It’s been 30 years since Grace died, 30 years they’ve been waiting for a first lady, a princess, a dream beauty, glam. And voila!” said Colombe Pringle, executive editor of Point de Vue magazine, which has followed Albert’s amorous adventures.

The palace of the moneyed Mediterranean principality didn’t say when His Serene Highness Albert II, Grace’s second child and the head of the 700-year-old Grimaldi dynasty, will marry the 32-year-old Wittstock.

But the announcement put to rest months of speculation that the longtime companions would tie the knot.

 Liver transplant has Gregg Allman ‘psyched’ about life

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman underwent a successful liver transplant surgery Wednesday morning at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

Allman’s manager, Michael Lehman, said Allman was groggy but awake Wednesday morning and that the co-founder of The Allman Brothers Band could be on his feet by nightfall.

“He’s psyched to put this time of his life behind him and have a chance again to feel really healthy and good, and hopefully live for many more years to come,” Lehman said.

Allman began treatment for Hepatitis C in 2007 but chronic damage to his liver led to the transplant. He had been on the waiting list until doctors found a suitable liver.

Kilmer sorry for remarks about N.M. community


LAS VEGAS, N.M. – Actor Val Kilmer has apologized to his northern New Mexico neighbors after he was quoted making disparaging comments about the community.

San Miguel County commissioners invited Kilmer to a meeting Wednesday to explain comments published years ago in Rolling Stone and Esquire magazines. Kilmer says he shares residents’ concerns “when you hear negative things about a place you love.”

After hearing from Kilmer and those upset by his remarks, commissioners approved a permit that will let him rent guest houses at his ranch.

Commissioners say they hope everyone can put the situation behind them. But Rowe resident Abran Tapia says he doesn’t accept Kilmer’s apology. He says someone needs to continue speaking up for those who were offended by Kilmer’s remarks.

Take a hike, Superman


PHILADELPHIA – The Man of Steel will hoof it across America to reconnect with everyday people in a story featuring cities, towns and neighborhoods submitted by readers.

Superman, one of DC Comics’ flagship fictional heroes, begins his journey next month in Philadelphia. He’ll embark on a 12-issue, cross-country walk through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington.

Dan DiDio, DC’s co-publisher, says the Krypton-born, Kansas-bred hero had lost touch “with the people he grew up with, and he’ll “take a walk across America to reconnect.”