The lead singer of rap-rock band Linkin Park visited schools and an aid project in southern Thailand, encouraging tourists to return to the area damaged by the Dec. 26 tsunami, reports The Associated Press.

Chester Bennington stopped at two elementary schools and helped paint the side of a house with foreign travelers who are helping rebuild damaged homes and shops along Phuket island’s Bang Tao beach.

Phuket has recovered faster than more severely devastated countries such as Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but money is still needed for Thai children some of whom have lost parents and their homes and schools where books were lost to the waves, Bennington said Wednesday.

Many shopkeepers are also still trying to reopen and the local economy is sagging because of a lack of tourists, the area’s main source of revenue, he said.

“Their entire livelihood depends on tourism and there’s no one here,” he said. “The hotels are ready for them and it’s time to get things back to normal. … People need to come back to these areas and really spend some money.”

Soon after the tsunami lashed Asian and African coastlines, Linkin Park and the American Red Cross helped launch a charity called Music for Relief to provide assistance for people in affected countries. The band made an initial donation of $100,000, according to

Band does camp charity

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The $1 million that the Dave Matthews Band raised during a charity concert at Golden Gate Park will go toward a summer camp for children with life-threatening illnesses, building a playground at a San Francisco public housing project and the city’s programs for the homeless.

The Sept. 12 concert was free, but the 60,000 fans who jammed the park were encouraged to make voluntary donations. Concession sales and VIP tickets provided more of the money that was distributed this week by the Charlottesville, Va.-based band.

Some $250,000 will be used to replace the run-down playground at the Sunnydale housing project, while $500,000 has been earmarked for homeless programs, Mayor Gavin Newsom said.

The Taylor Family Foundation’s camp for ill children received the balance.

Lohan’s father wants 50%

NEW YORK (AP) – The father of actress-singer Lindsay Lohan responded Wednesday to his estranged wife’s filing of divorce papers, saying he wants half of the 15 percent the movie starlet allegedly gives her mother a figure that could be as much as $6-$7 million a year, his lawyer said.

Michael Lohan also said he wants Dina Lohan and other members of her family to undergo drug and alcohol testing and claimed that despite past problems with substance abuse, he is currently clean and sober.

“He is not an alcoholic, he is not a drug addict,” attorney Dominic Barbara said at a press conference at his office on Long Island. “He loves his children, he doesn’t want to hurt Lindsay in any way.”

Barbara, whose high-profile clients have included Joey Buttafuoco and church secretary Jessica Hahn, said he called the press conference after being rebuffed by Dina Lohan’s attorneys about a possible divorce settlement.

“I think these people are very foolish not wanting to talk,” Barbara said.

He contended his client is entitled to half of the earnings the actress-singer gives to her mother.

Lohan, 18, recently released her debut album, “Speak,” and has starred in “Parent Trap,” “Mean Girls,” “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” and “Freaky Friday.”

Barbara said he also represents Lohan in a number of criminal prosecutions.

He is due in court in Suffolk County next week to answer charges from last summer that he allegedly skipped out on a $3,800 bill for several suites at a posh Long Island hotel. He also was charged with assault in Manhattan for allegedly swearing at a sanitation worker whose truck was blocking his car and punching him in the face.

“I tried to do this amicably,” Lohan said at Wednesday’s press conference. “I didn’t want this to happen.”

Dan Klores, a spokesman for Dina Lohan, said, “There’s no point in dignifying the desires of a convicted felon who the court has already demanded stay away from his wife and children.”

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