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Inqlings | Putting out a fire on Capitol Hill

Bob Brady, health advocate. You can't buy tobacco products on Capitol Hill anymore, and it's the congressman from Philly who stubbed out smokes sales once and for all.

Bob Brady

, health advocate.

You can't buy tobacco products on Capitol Hill anymore, and it's the congressman from Philly who stubbed out smokes sales once and for all.

Three congresswomen recently approached Brady, who chairs the House Administration Committee, to point out that the Senate banned sales in its buildings and to ask that the House do the same.

Committee spokesman

Kyle Anderson

said last week that Brady believes "selling nicotine products in House office buildings is inconsistent with our focus on the overall health of the American population." A new vendor takes over tomorrow and will not offer nicotine, Anderson says.

Capitol Hill cig prices had been at least a buck a pack cheaper than in the rest of D.C. because they were free of district tax.

Title switch

The Lifetime TV pilot shooting around Center City and Old City through Tuesday has a new name. Was

The Verdict

; now it's


. On Friday, CN8's

Connie Colla

shot a scene as a TV producer, and, in a stretch, her crew played a TV crew.


Twenty amateur singers have been holed up at Mount Airy Presbyterian Church many nights as they rehearse for the NBC reality series

Clash of the Choirs


Premise: Five celebs -

Patti LaBelle

in Philly,

Kelly Rowland

in Houston,

Michael Bolton

in New Haven, Conn.,

Nick Lachey

in Cincinnati, and

Blake Shelton

in Oklahoma City - choose and train 20-member choirs in their hometowns to sing on the four-night live series, starting Dec. 17 in New York.

"This is not your father's choir," says executive producer

Jason Raff

, immediately apologizing for the cliche. "They won't be in robes holding song sheets." The music and contestants are diverse. R&B star Rowland's crew is rehearsing


"Bohemian Rhapsody."

Winners will fund a local charity; LaBelle's is With Our Voices, a health-outreach program.


Tim Bolognone

, 30, a Frankford High and Bob Jones U grad, apprentice in the cabinetmakers' union, and worship leader at Grace Bible Church in Northeast Philly, has had some stage experience with a barbershop quartet, "but not in front of 11 million people."


Barbara Kellam

, an airline customer-service rep at Philadelphia International Airport, calls it "surreal" to have been chosen by LaBelle to represent Philly. "I'm seeing myself in commercials, and then I go to work," marvels Kellam, daughter and granddaughter of singers. This is "my breakthrough year," she says. "I was 315 pounds, had gastric-bypass surgery and lost 140 pounds. I also turned 30. I'm on fire!"

Rounding out LaBelle's choir are

Amanda Gordon


Liimu McGill

of Glenside;

Christina Blue

of Trenton;

Frank DiCristo

of Media;

Joshua Womer

of Mount Pleasant Mills, Pa.;

Lucas Lasagna

of Allentown;

Katie Romano

of Norristown; and Philadelphians

Arlyn Wolters


Danielle Baker


Darian Moore


Jessie Reed-Benton


J'onett DeVeaubray


Mary McClinnaham


Niesha Cherry


Rachael Sutliff


Robbie Cunningham


Sharon Gary-Dixon

, and

Shonse Hawkins


Radio activity

WMMR-FM (93.3) is working to ascertain the weight of food stuffs donated to

Preston & Steve's

"Camp Out for Hunger" last week at the Metroplex in Plymouth Meeting. The station reports filling 21 tractor-trailers. Last year, it was 16.

Quite a rise for

Marc Rayfield

. After four years as head of WIP-AM (610), he was promoted last week to lead CBS's five Philly stations: WIP, KYW-AM (1060), WPHT-AM (1210), WYSP-FM (94.1) and WOGL-FM (98.1).

Briefly noted

Be a wiseacre, and take along a briefcase to the auditions for

Deal or No Deal

. The NBC series' open call will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Convention Center. WBEN-FM (95.7) this week will announce chances to win spots up front, where producer

Jason Lee

also will audition.


Justin Scheman

("Justice" from the


morning show on Wired 96.5) was selected Friday to go three rounds with

Danny Bonaduce

in a Jan. 19 charity boxing match at Marple Sports Arena in Broomall.

"Hanna Montana" fever is spiking, as speculators have jacked the minimum asking price for an upper-level ticket to teen queen

Miley Cyrus'

Dec. 17 Wachovia Center show to $170 - more than four times face value. Tops for one club-suite ticket is $2,500. (Of course, there's the chance that prices will fall if ticket-holders decide to cash out.) In the spirit is Inquirer publisher

Brian P. Tierney

, who will hold a drawing Thursday for four seats in the paper's suite. Coupons start today in The Inquirer, and Tierney says he'll print 25,000 additional copies to accommodate entrants. Free coupons will be available in the lobby at 400 N. Broad St.

TV people

Phil Metlin

won't be racking up the miles anymore. After only seven months as Fox29 news director, Metlin last week announced his departure for WTTG, the Fox affiliate in D.C., where he was acting news director in the 1990s and where he and his wife,


, have family. Metlin, well-liked in Fox29's newsroom, had been staying with a sister in Wynnewood but commuting home to Tampa, Fla. The Metlins will settle in D.C. During the search for Metlin's replacement, assistant news director

Leslie Tyler

fills in. But it's still airports and weekend shuttling for Fox29 general manager

Mike Renda

, on the job eight months, and his wife,


. Last month, she was elected mayor of the Cleveland suburb of Moreland Hills, Ohio. This summer, they bought a condo near Washington Square.

CBS3/CW57's holiday party Thursday featured Santa Claus, whom station manager

Michael Colleran

unbearded as incoming meteorologist

Doug Kammerer

. (He can't be on the air until Feb. 19, but advertisers in attendance got the message.) Sports director

Beasley Reece

played "White Christmas" on a rented piano; meteorologist

Kathy Orr

also plays it from time to time.

Incoming Fox29 weather guy

John Bolaris

professes to live the single life, though he's usually spotted in the company of

Nicole Grandelli

, a New Yorker. "Good friends" is his explanation, adding that they had tried dating. Bolaris (solo) and NBC10's

John Clark


Dave Warren

were spotted at Thursday's opening party for G Lounge, beneath Davio's and the Rite Aid at 17th and Chestnut.