By Stephen M. Silverman
August 30, 2001 06:39 PM

RETURNED: After 26 days of vacation at their ranch in Crawford, Tex., President George W. and Laura Bush returned to the White House on Thursday to kick off the fall season with their first state dinner and his plan to deal with federal business. “Our batteries are charged,” he told fellow Texans as he boarded the plane to head east . . . SETTLED: Stephen King’s insurance company closed the books on a lawsuit with the horror writer by donating $750,000 to the hospital that cared for him after a car hit him two years ago. King, 53, sued OneBeacon Insurance for $10 million in February, claiming that it failed to provide full coverage for injuries he suffered in the accident. King was injured in June 1999 when a van driven by Bryan Smith of Fryeburg struck him as he walked along the shoulder of Route 5 near his vacation home in Lovell, Maine . . . INDICTED: During a $1 million identity-fraud scheme aimed at credit-card companies and casinos that lasted for several years, Texan Patrick Michael Penker, 54, used variations of the name of a law firm inspired by a Three Stooges episode (“Dewey, Cheatem & Howe”) to obtain cashier’s checks from banks, reports the Associated Press. This week, Parker pleaded guilty in federal court and could get up 40 years in prison and $1 million in fines. No sentencing date has been set . . . COMPLAINED: Taran Noah Smith, 17, who for eight seasons played the youngest of the three sons on ABC’s “Home Improvement,” is fighting his parents for access to his $1.5 million trust fund. He says that the only major piece of his property that he’s been able to pry loose from them is a 1979 Lincoln that drove him and his wife, 33, to Kansas, where they are staying temporarily with an attorney. Smith’s parents call his allegations untrue . . . CAST: Ex-“Dallas” star Linda Gray, 60, is the latest older woman to step into the bedroom of Benjamin Braddock in the London stage production of “The Graduate.” Oct. 1 she is set to succeed “Fatal Attraction” actress Anne Archer, 54, in the role, which Kathleen Turner originated last year. Turner, 47, is slated to take the play to Broadway next spring.