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Fourth Estate Gives TV Star the Air

Overexposure has finally caught up with superceleb Denise Dufala—or maybe it's just cranky editors. Either way, Dufala is being pushed out of print this summer: off a planned August cover appearance on Northern Ohio Live and out of The Plain Dealer, where her "People" column makes its final appearance this Sunday. New NOL Editor Cindy Barber decided not to reprise Dufala's cover appearance on the March Cleveland magazine, and new PD Editor Doug Clifton is cleaning house to make room for real news. "It's a blessing in disguise," Dufala says of losing the labor-intensive column, though she remains grateful to PD Publisher Alex Machaskee for the opportunity. "It was his idea to put good news on page two." And you can still find Dufala in the inspirational CD racks.

That whining sound in the air these days is not zillions of cicadas desperately trying to mate before disappearing for another seventeen years. It's coming from Baltimore, where turncoat Ravens owner Art Modell was badly stung by the recent defection of Ravens' star salesman David Cope to the rival Washington Redskins. "They stole him," Modell moaned to The Washington Post. "There was a sense of morality that was lacking . . . I don't want to do business with that ilk; they should have called and let me know." Keep waiting by the phone, Art.

Hot-shot restaurateur Marlin Kaplan is poised for a comeback, following a year in kitchen seclusion after his mini-empire crashed and burned. Owner of the now-defunct Marlin and Pig Heaven (where Jeso's chef-owner Donna Chriszt first tickled the city's taste buds) on East Sixth, and Public Square's Lira (now Tuscany 55), Kaplan has been quietly stirring the soup at Cole and Wong, a popular downtown deli on Chester Avenue. Last Friday, he and owner Melissa Cole served their final lunches there. But Kaplan is moving just around the corner, to a new fine-dining venue on Walnut Avenue. Look for One Walnut to open in August, with Kaplan doing double duty as chef and genial host.

Naughty performance artist Annie Sprinkle got back her wallet, which was thrown into a mailbox after being stolen in Cleveland last month. Alert postal employees (not an oxymoron) traced the owner and returned it, though not much was left. "At least I got my frequent flyer's card back," says Sprinkle. "And it's nice to know nobody is assuming my identity—so far." It's tough to fake those 46 DDs.

Hot ticket at the Grand Prix this weekend: The Sterling Autobody (formerly JSI Collision) Center's hospitality tent, notorious for packing in too many people who stay too late. "We don't hold back," boasts JSI Area Manager Michael Giarrizzo Jr. Indeed not. The JSI tent rents for $8,000, serves up a continuous trough of food and beverages, and features sporty extras like fifty-inch TV screens and video racing games. If your tastes run more to celebrity-watching than party-crashing, the sweet spot is the fence along the pit wall, with its up-close view of the crews and autograph opportunities. "If you're lucky, the stars will even talk to you," enthuses race hound and PR honcho Ron Watt, who has scored in the past with Paul Newman and Joe Montana. Number one on the Top Ten list of celebrities rumored to be coming every year who never show: David Letterman.

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