Dan Gross: Bille Jean King checks out N. Phila. park project

Billie Jean King
Posted: October 03, 2011

TENNIS GREAT Billie Jean King toured Hunting Park Friday afternoon with Kathryn Ott Lovell, executive director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy. The conservancy and the city's Parks & Recreation department are behind the project to revitalize the 87-acre North Philadelphia park, the main entrance of which is at 9th Street and Hunting Park Avenue.

Phillies star Ryan Howard's charitable foundation has put $150,000 toward the project.

Ott Lovell showed King the progress being made, as well as the park's tennis courts that are in disrepair but will be renovated as part of the project. On Saturday, King, who has type 2 diabetes, took part in the American Diabetes Association's Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.

Penn student on 'Millionaire'

Noam Osband, a Ph.D. student in anthropology at Penn, will be seen on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" tomorrow and Wednesday (12:30 p.m., 6ABC), fielding questions from host Meredith Vieira.

Osband, 31, had been on a research trip to Israel and came back to the U.S. the day before his show-taping last month. The former high-school English teacher also taught job skills to inmates at a Boston area prison. Osband says that he'll use his winnings to pay off student loans and finance a documentary.

Ardmore's Robin Dove-Franklin, who owns the Robin Dove Hair Studio, in Erdenheim, won $4,550 on Thursday's "Millionaire."


* "CSI: New York" actress Sela Ward helped the Franklin Institute introduce its new exhibit, "CSI: The Experience," based on the CBS hit. Ward toured the exhibit, which opened Saturday, spoke about her work on the show and took questions from the audience.

After her appearance, Ward lunched with three others at Rouge on Rittenhouse Square. She went for a Skyy Bloody Mary, tuna tartare, coffee and bread pudding.

* Flyers winger Scott Hartnell sat down front near the 50-yard-line at yesterday's Eagles/49ers game.

* Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue took in Thursday's Philadelphia Union match against DC United at PPL Park. Mayor Nutter also attended the match, hanging in the Sons of Ben section.

* Singer k.d. lang had a few drinks at the bar at Smith & Wollensky at the Rittenhouse a few nights back.

Radio report

* SportsRadio 94WIP has partnered with Longport Media's AM1490 to simulcast its signal on the Shore station, now calling itself WIP at the Beach. 1490 will also broadcast Sixers and Flyers games to the Atlantic City area.

* Remember in August when we told you that 1340 WHAT-AM had become a Spanish-language station? Now, it's seems to be a permanent format. Marconi Broadcasting has sold the Bala Cynwyd-based station to Aztec Capital Partners Inc., which has rebranded the station El Zol. Aztec's president and majority shareholder is Ken Trujillo, former city solicitor, who also served on President Obama's SEC transition committee. El Zol is playing a mixture of tropical and contemporary formats of Spanish-language hits.

Horror movie screens here

"Down the Road," a locally shot horror film by writer/director Jason Christopher, has a local premiere at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Ritz in Voorhees followed by an afterparty at Sam's Bar & Grille. The movie, featuring veteran character actor Clint Howard, makes its U.S. premiere at HorrorHound Weekend, in Ohio. To see a trailer, visit tinyurl.com/down theroadfilm.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit www.philly.com/DanGross.

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