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Dan Gross: CBS makes federal case of Alycia

CBS BROADCASTING filed papers in federal court yesterday seeking to move fired CBS 3 anchorbabe Alycia Lane's case from Common Pleas Court to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

CBS attorneys have asked that the case be dismissed due to an improper venue of filing. Lane filed suit in local court on Jan. 30, challenging her CBS 3 termination. According to her employment contract with CBS3, quoted in the CBS federal filing, any disputes over her employment would be handled in the New York court system.

Federal court cases allow parties in two states, such as Lane in Pennsylvania, and CBS Broadcasting, in New York, to have an easier time obtaining discovery or evidence across state lines.

Lane's attorney Paul Rosen said depositions of CBS 3 President Michael Colleran and news director Susan Schiller were to be held today. "We learned that instead of intending to show up for their depositions they filed a notice to remove the case to federal court and avoid testifying," Rosen e-mailed us.

"The motives of KYW will be met by our filing of an immediate motion to return this case to state court where it belongs and for KYW to face the music," Rosen wrote.

Lane faces a hearing in New York on Monday over her Dec. 16 arrest there on charges of assaulting an NYPD officer during a road-rage incident. We reported last week that Lane's attorney in that case, David Smith, and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office may have worked out a deal in which Lane would receive up to six months' probation during which time, if she stays out of trouble, her case will be dismissed.

* Lane, we're told, is in Phoenix, working on a book about her life. We e-mailed Lane yesterday to ask about that info and whether she had a publisher.

She replied, "Who did you hear THAT from?" and declined to comment further.

Halkett boyfriend isn't Bolaris

While Fox 29's John Bolaris and Kerri-Lee Halkett have been spending a lot of time together recently, the pair both insist there's no funny business, but they are very good friends.

The colleagues have made several professional appearances together at the Morris Animal Refuge's Fur Ball and last night at Philadelphia magazine's Philly Cooks event.

Halkett is actually dating Jay Jones, 32, an attorney with Phelan Hallinan and Schmieg LLP, which specializes in bankruptcy law. The couple have been dating for two years on and off, with Halkett and NBC10's Jamison Uhler linked during an off-period. They're now back on and have hung out together with Bolaris, whom Jones says seems like "a pretty cool guy."

Flav elects Hughes a U.S. Sen.

State Sen. Vincent Hughes was promoted to a U.S. senator by rapper Flavor Flav on Monday night's episode of "Flavor of Love." While introducing Hughes' wife, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Flav said Ralph was "married to a U.S. senator."

"Although it was truly flattering to have been anointed by the Flav, we are all probably better served when there is an election and the people decide," Hughes told us yesterday of his TV promotion.

Ralph's family has a long history with Flav. Her father, Dr. Stanley Ralph, was Flav's principal at Roosevelt High, on Long Island, where her aunt, Joann Ralph, was his English teacher. Ralph's brother, Michael Ralph, is Flav's current acting coach.

76ers honor LaBelle, Musiq

Hitmakers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff will present Patti LaBelle and Musiq Soulchild with the 76ers Hometown Hero Award tonight at the Wachovia Center, where the Sixers take on the Knicks. LaBelle's choir from NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" will perform at halftime. In the spirit of the "Sounds of Philly Night at the 76ers," local choirs will compete throughout the game in the 76ers version of "Clash of the Choirs." Many, many tickets are still available for tonight's game.

Smokey staying in A.C.

We hear Smokey Robinson's making arrangements to stay this weekend at Atlantic City's Tropicana, where he plans to catch the Human Nature concert Saturday night. *

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest stories. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or e-mail grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit go.philly.com/dangross.

 
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