Travis Takes Country by Storm

--Traditional country singer Randy Travis swept his category at the 15th annual American Music Awards at Shrine Auditorium, taking four trophies. Two statues each went to Anita Baker, Whitney Houston and Paul Simon. Travis, a dishwasher and short-order cook in Nashville before he got his show-business break, won the favorite country album award for "Always and Forever," favorite country video for "Forever And Ever, Amen," favorite country single for "Forever And Ever, Amen" and was also named favorite country vocalist. He won in all categories for which he was nominated. "I don't know why things have gone so well. We just came along at the right time," Travis said. Baker won favorite female soul-rhythm and blues singer and favorite album in the same category for "Rapture." Houston took the favorite pop-rock female vocalist trophy, and her "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" won favorite single in the same category. Reba McEntire won favorite female vocalist in the country category. Paul Simon won favorite pop male vocalist, and his "Graceland," was the favorite pop-rock album. Winners also included Bon Jovi as favorite pop-rock group, Cameo as favorite soul-rhythm and blues group and Alabama as favorite country group.

--There will soon be an addition to the British royal family. The Duchess of York, the former Sarah Ferguson who married Prince Andrew 18 months ago, is expecting the couple's first child in August, Buckingham Palace announced. The child would be fifth in line to the throne. The announcement confirmed weeks of speculation by the British press that the duchess, known affectionately as Fergie, is expecting. Within an hour of the announcement, one of Britain's largest bookmakers, the William Hill firm, came out with odds of 5 to 6 that the child will be a boy, even money for a girl and 66 to 1 against twins.

--A Greenfield, Mass., restaurateur has forked over 300 stainless steel place settings to end protests against plastic forks and spoons at Four Corners Elementary School. "I wanted the kids to know that if you speak up about something you consider is wrong and it makes enough sense, sometimes someone out there will listen," said William A. Sandri, who was graduated from the school 30 years ago. More than half of the lunch-eating population at the 316-pupil school signed petitions a few weeks ago asking that the school return to stainless steel utensils. Food Services Director Sandra Herzig said she made the switch to plastic reusable forks and spoons in elementary schools because a quarter of the metal flatware ended up in the trash every year and the plastic utensils were cheaper.

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