Burton makes plea for 'Reading Rainbow'

LOS ANGELES - LeVar Burton's campaign to bring "Reading Rainbow" to the online masses is off to an impressive start.

The effort to raise $1 million by July 2 received donations totaling nearly $900,000 within 10 hours of its launch Thursday on Kickstarter, according to the fundraising website.

Burton was the host of "Reading Rainbow," the children's literacy series that aired on public TV through 2009.

Contributors can claim rewards ranging from autographed memorabilia to a private dinner with Burton to a chance to put on the visor the actor wore on "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

A "Reading Rainbow" app for tablets was released in 2012. The Kickstarter campaign is intended to pay for an online version available to more children, including those at needy schools, said Mark Wolfe, Burton's business partner.

O'Reilly book to look at George Patton's death

NEW YORK - Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's fourth book in his multimillion-selling history series will examine the mysterious death surrounding famed World War II Gen. George Patton.

Stephen Rubin, president and publisher of Henry Holt and Company, announced that "Killing Patton" will be published Sept. 23. Martin Dugard will be the co-author.

Patton was a charismatic yet controversial commander who led an armored drive across France and into Nazi Germany after the invasion of Normandy. He died following an automobile accident in 1945.

O'Reilly's best-sellers include "Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot," "Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever" and "Killing Jesus: A History."

LaBelle, Sparks set for July 4 show

WASHINGTON - Patti LaBelle, Jordin Sparks, Michael McDonald and others will join headliner Frankie Valli at "A Capitol Fourth" concert.

Organizers say the July 4 celebration at the National Mall will be hosted by Tom Bergeron of "Dancing with the Stars."

Composer John Williams will conduct a new arrangement for orchestra and chorus of the "Star-Spangled Banner" to mark its 200th anniversary.

"A Capitol Fourth" will be broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Associated Press