‘Hobbit’ filming in New Zealand finished

SYDNEY — Peter Jackson has wrapped up filming “The Hobbit” trilogy and shared pictures of his last day on the set with his Facebook fans.

The New Zealand filmmaker provided a steady stream of updates and photos from the set of the final film, “The Hobbit: There And Back Again,” last week. The second film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” will be released in December, and the finale appears in 2014.

The director posted pictures of dwarves, crew members and actor Martin Freeman, who plays the protagonist, hobbit Bilbo Baggins. The photo updates began and ended with pictures of Jackson’s cat, Mr. Smudge. The final photo shows the director and feline cuddling, along with the caption: “A long day. A great day. Thank you all for being part of it! Now for some sleep!”

Joplin to play host to Route 66 Festival

— A celebration of the highway dubbed the “Mother Road” gets underway this week in southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas.

The Route 66 International Festival runs from Thursday through Saturday, based in Joplin.

Route 66 was the main highway between Chicago and Los Angeles before the interstate system was built. It turned west toward Kansas at a Joplin intersection.

Festival activities include a Thursday night cruise that will take motorists past the Boots Motel, a famous Route 66 resting spot in Carthage. The cruise ends with a catered picnic meal and movie at a Carthage drive-in theater.

Festival-goers will travel Friday night to Galena, Kan., for a concert, car show and tours of a haunted bordello. Joplin will be bustling Saturday with a Hot Rod Run car show and live entertainment.

Evan Rachel Wood gives birth to baby boy

NEW YORK — Evan Rachel Wood is a mom.

Her representative said Monday that she gave birth to a baby boy. The 25-year-old actress married British actor Jamie Bell last year.

The rep adds that “parents and baby are all doing well.” No more details were provided.

Wood’s credits include “The Wrestler,” “Thirteen” and HBO’s “True Blood.” She earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her supporting role in “Mildred Pierce.”

Bell, 27, is best known for his roles in the films “Billy Elliot,” “Jumper” and “The Adventures of Tintin.”

Associated Press