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Wednesday, November 30, 2005
· 4-Year-Old Girl Denied Santa Visit For Not Buying Photo. A mall in Massachusetts issued an apology after a 4-year-old girl was apparently told she was not allowed to sit on Santa's lap unless she purchased a $21 picture of the meeting.
· Judge removes all curbs on Homolka. Karla Homolka, who served 12 years for the sordid sex slayings of two Ontario schoolgirls, had all court-imposed conditions on her freedom lifted by a judge today. The ruling by Justice James Brunton of Quebec Superior Court means Homolka – who goes by the name Karla Teale – does not have to report regularly to police, can go where she wants and see who she pleases.
· Coffee Pots, Mini-Fridges Lose Favor In Energy-Conscious Schools. Teachers in budget-stressed schools are accustomed to shelling out for paper, glue and pencils. But the staff here wasn't ready for this: a new fee for having coffee makers, microwaves and refrigerators in classrooms and offices.
· Julia: Pretty Wealthy Woman. How bankable is Julia Roberts? She didn't make one film in 2005, but she still tops the list of Hollywood's highest paid actresses for the second straight year. According to the Hollywood Reporter's annual Power List of top-earning female stars, maternity leave didn't dent Roberts' paycheck: She still commands $20 million a picture.
· More women charged in sex cases. In courtrooms nationwide this month, at least seven women — four of them teachers — have been charged or sentenced for having sex with boys, mostly teenagers. One of the women is pregnant. No definitive data exists on whether more women are sexually abusing children. Yet the number arrested for sex crimes has risen in five of the past six years as more people consider molestation of boys as heinous as that of girls. While more women are getting attention for molesting children, their jail terms often are less than what men receive. Last week in Tampa, Lafave, 25, avoided jail time for molesting a 14-year-old student. She got three years of house arrest and seven years' probation. With jail time, says Dr. Richard Gartner, “we definitely still have a double standard.”
· Setback for BlackBerry maker. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. was dealt another legal setback in a key patent infringement case on Wednesday, raising pressure to settle or face a possible shutdown of its U.S. mobile e-mail service.
· Woman Carrying Boy Groom's Child Indicted. A 37-year-old woman who married a 15-year-old boy was indicted Tuesday on charges of child molestation, statutory rape and enticing a child for indecent purposes. Lisa Lynette Clark, who says she is pregnant with the teenager's child, was arrested earlier this month after their Nov. 8 wedding. She has been ordered not to come within 100 feet of the boy.
· Raleigh Church Campaigns For More 'Pro-Christmas' in Stores. At Fig's Market, some products in the store say "merry Christmas," but the store window displays do not. "We definitely don't want to offend anybody," said Fig's Market co-owner Jill Kucera. "We want everybody to celebrate the holiday that suits them and we want to be open to everybody." To grab the public's attention, a church is putting on a media blitz that includes advertisements in the newspaper, on the radio and on television - costing the church approximately $11,000. The advertisements are encouraging shoppers to patronize businesses that use the phrase "merry Christmas."
· Slain stripper in love triangle. The young stripper from Ohio slain in her upper East Side NY apartment may have been trapped in a deadly love triangle with her longtime boyfriend - and her dance partner at a local gym - sources said yesterday. Meanwhile, it was revealed that someone on a cell phone called 21-year-old aspiring Broadway star Catherine Woods seven times in rapid succession minutes before her throat was cut Sunday.
· 600 pounds of plutonium missing from Los Alamos lab. Enough plutonium to make dozens of nuclear bombs hasn't been accounted for at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and may be missing, an activist group says in a new report.
· Oops! No Pre-Nup for Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey. Jessica Simpson's divorce from Nick Lachey could get nasty because the pair didn't sign a pre-nuptial agreement. The Newlyweds stars - who announced their split last week - were so smitten with each other when they tied the knot in 2002 they decided against signing a pre-nup, according to the New York Post. The popular agreement dictates who gets which assets if a couple break up. The blonde star - who is said to have raked in a staggering $35million last year - and singer Nick have been at the center of endless break-up rumors over the past six months but denied their romance was on the rocks. Last week, they admitted they were splitting up.
· Study: Sexy Attire Works Against Businesswomen. Attractive people may sometimes have a leg up in climbing corporate ladders. But sexy presentation on its own can work against women who are already well up the ladder.
· Gregory Peck's Hollywood Star Is Stolen. Gregory Peck's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was stolen by someone who cut it out of the sidewalk where it had honored the actor for more than four decades, officials said. "They just left a big hole," said Johnny Grant, 82, who serves as Hollywood's honorary mayor and oversees ceremonies honoring star recipients. "Somebody went out there with a cement saw and carved it out of the black terrazzo."
· Cruise criticized over ultra sound machine. The American College of Radiology Tuesday warned actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes against performing their own fetal ultrasound exams. Cruise has told interviews he bought his own sonogram machine so he could watch his child develop inside Holmes, his fiancee. But the ACR issued a release saying not only is the practice unsafe, it could be violation of federal law.
· Burglar framed by small window. Timothy Dufield, 37, was arrested for burglarizing a Concord hair salon. When the cops arrived at "The Long and Short of It," Dufield attempted to flee by diving through a closed back window. He did not succeed. Bleeding and wedged inside the 9-by-15-inch window frame, Dufield was rescued by Concord firefighters and later booked into the local lockup on a felony burglary rap.
· Cindy Sheehan Claims Photos Falsely Implied Her Book Signing was a Flop. Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and her book publisher are upset about Associated Press and Reuters photos that allegedly presented a misleading impression of her book signing last weekend in Texas.
· Kevin Costner Sues Ascendant Pictures. Kevin Costner sued Ascendant Pictures on Tuesday, claiming the company broke an oral agreement to pay him $8 million to act in the romantic comedy "Taming Ben Taylor."
· Drug dealer implicates attorney in killing. The leader of a multimillion-dollar drug operation testified in federal court Tuesday that he ordered a woman killed after his high-profile attorney suggested her disappearance would help one of his cases. Frank "The Terminator" Estrada gave his most detailed account yet of the alleged involvement of his lawyer, James Ruane, in the 1996 murder of Aida Escalera.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
· Arkansas joins Alabama in Aruba boycott. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he will join Governor Bob Riley's travel boycott of Aruba. Huckabee is requesting that Arkansans consider the boycott to show respect for the family of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway.
· 1,000th execution stopped. Virginia Gov. Mark Warner halted the milestone execution of a convicted murderer who would have been the 1,000th person put to death in the United States since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
· 9-Year-Old Honored For Shielding Brother During Shooting. A 9-year-old boy who was shot in the back while shielding his little brother during an attempted break-in got a trophy from police and his school principal to honor his courage. Ricardo Caldera was shot when he threw himself over his 4-year-old brother, Esteban, after two masked men tried to break into their home on Oct. 26, police and his family said.
· Molecule gives passionate lovers just one year. Your heartbeat accelerates, butterflies in the stomach, you feel euphoric and a bit silly. It's all part of falling passionately in love - and scientists now tell us the feeling won't last more than a year.
· Rolling Stones to provide half-time entertainment at Super Bowl. The Rolling Stones will provide the half-time entertainment at Super Bowl 40 on February 5 at Detroit, the National Football League announced. The legendary rock band with flamboyant singer Mick Jagger will follow former Beatles star Paul McCartney, who sang at last February's game.
· Police Search For Parents Who Fed Baby Vodka. Police searched Tuesday for the parents of a 3-month-old girl who died last year after being given lethal doses of alcohol. The Broward County Medical Examiner's Office determined that the infant had a blood alcohol level of 0.47 percent, authorities said. The legal limit for drivers in Florida is 0.08 percent.
· Jerry Hall launches erectile dysfunction campaign. Texan model Jerry Hall was unveiled on Tuesday as ambassador for a campaign to encourage people to be more open about erectile dysfunction. Hall, 49, divorced Mick Jagger in 1999 when she finally became exasperated with the philandering of the Rolling Stones lead singer.
· Another teenager killed 'surfing' on roof of car got idea from TV, police say. The Nashville teen killed Saturday night after "surfing" on the roof of a car got the idea from the TV show Jackass, Metro police said yesterday. Garrett Shawn Nipper, 16, of Bell Road, died after striking the pavement and a guardrail when he fell off the car, police said.
· Drink, suicide and why I turned against Hollywood. Back in the Eighties, Patrick Swayze was voted the sexiest man in the world and his poster adorned the walls of practically every teenage girl's bedroom. But then Hollywood's biggest box office name, and star of blockbusters such as Dirty Dancing and Ghost, turned his back on showbusiness. He checked into a rehabilitation clinic to sort out his alcohol problems and retreated to his ranches in New Mexico and California to breed horses.
· Kickback scandal brings down Canadian government. After months of political instability, the government of Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin fell Monday evening when three opposition parties united to topple him with a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons.
· Not-so-Petty cash to rock bat mitzvah. History will forever record Elizabeth Brooks' bat mitzvah as "Mitzvahpalooza." For his daughter's coming-of-age celebration last weekend, multimillionaire Long Island defense contractor David H. Brooks booked two floors of the Rainbow Room, hauled in concert-ready equipment, built a stage, installed special carpeting, outfitted the space with Jumbotrons and arranged command performances by everyone from 50 Cent to Tom Petty to Aerosmith. The party cost an estimated $10 million, including the price of corporate jets to ferry the performers.
· Student Rapper Settles Lawsuit With School District. A school district in western Pennsylvania has settled a lawsuit with a student who was expelled from the eighth grade after posting some rap lyrics on the Internet. The Riverside Beaver School District will pay $90,000 to Anthony Latour after the teenager was kicked out of school for lyrics that the district found threatening.
· Aaron Spelling Sues Nurse for Defamation. Producer Aaron Spelling has sued a nurse and her attorney for allegedly violating a confidentiality agreement and spreading rumors around Hollywood that Spelling sexually harassed her. Spelling and his wife, Candy Spelling, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court last week against Charlene Richards and her attorney, Don D. Sessions. Richards signed a confidentiality agreement when she began working as a home nurse for Spelling, 82, in November 2004. According to the lawsuit, Richards threatened to reveal confidential information about the "Charlie's Angels" TV producer unless he paid her "an unspecified amount" to settle her sexual harassment claims.
· Supreme Court Stands Behind Public Punishment Of Convicted Mail Thief. The Supreme Court has rejected a San Francisco man's appeal that his sentence for stealing mail amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. A lower court has ordered Shawn Gementera to stand outside a post office for 100 hours wearing a sandwich board that reads: "I have stolen mail. This is my punishment." Gementera argued that this was prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984.
· Deadline Passes for Internet Phone Service. Companies that provide Internet-based VoIP phone service may find themselves disconnected from new customers after missing a government deadline to provide reliable emergency 911 service.
· Gold above $500 in Asia, platinum breaches $1,000. Gold rose above $500 an ounce in Asia on Tuesday for the first time since December 1987 as dealers said funds had diversified into precious metals on worries about inflation and geopolitics. Platinum breached the psychological level of $1,000 an ounce, hitting its highest price since 1980, as it tracked gold's gains.
Monday, November 28, 2005
· Update: Teacher Sues Papers That Ran Her Anti-Hispanic Letter. An elementary school teacher who resigned after two newspapers published a letter she wrote to a congressman disparaging Hispanics has sued the papers, seeking to know who leaked the letter.
· Near tears, crooked congressman resigns. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham said Monday he is resigning from Congress after pleading guilty to taking more than $2 million in bribes in a criminal conspiracy involving at least three defense contractors.
· Man Arrested For Spreading Mom's Ashes On Field During Football Game. A Philadelphia Eagles football fan was charged with trespassing after he ran onto the field during Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers and spread his dead mother's ashes around. The fan, Christopher Noreboom, 44, said his mother was a diehard Eagles fan but didn't have a chance to go to an Eagles game before she died, police said.
· Officers Bust Mobile Strip Club At Bucs Game. Tampa Police Department officers arrested 10 people on Sunday outside Raymond James Stadium accusing them of operating a mobile strip club in the parking lot during the Bucs vs. Bears game.
· Christian School Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Student. Authorities say a teacher at an Adams County Christian school in Pennsylvania wrote sexually graphic letters to a teenager in her class and had sex with him at least once. Erica Rutters, 29, of Dover Township faces up to five years in prison if found guilty of corrupting a minor.
· Update: Former Beauty Queen In Court Over $1.16 Tax Bill. A Loveland, Ohio woman accused of failing to pay a tiny tax bill is scheduled for a pretrial hearing at the Clermont County Municipal Court on Monday morning. Officials said Deborah Combs didn't pay $1.16 in city income tax during 2000. She was arrested in early October. The city's prosecutor doesn't want to let Combs just pay the bill, but rather wants a jury to convict her.
· Ronald MacDonald Charged With Stealing From Wendy's. You'd think that just working at a Wendy's restaurant would be difficult for Ronald MacDonald. Now, the 22-year-old MacDonald - no relation to Ronald McDonald, the clown - has been charged with stealing money from a safe at Wendy's.
· FEMA won't release hurricane survey data. Federal emergency officials say they won't release information from a survey of 3,000 people who had home inspections after last year's hurricanes. The News-Press of Fort Myers had asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the data from the survey, which was seeking information on how well the hurricane victims thought FEMA performed its job, under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
· Restaurant owners finally cash in their chips. Eight years after battling with The Donald over his development plans, the owners of a small mom-and-pop restaurant near Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino are cashing in their chips in a deal said to be worth more than $2 million.
· Woman sues Pizza Hut over burned chin. A woman is suing a Pizza Hut because the hot poppers she ordered as an appetizer were, well, hot and popped when she bit into them. Sorana Georgescu-Hassanin claims she may be permanently impaired because the "excessively hot" oil in the deep-fried, cheese-stuffed hot pepper severely burned her chin.
· If your payment is late, your car won't start. A new gizmo is upping the odds that even the most hard-knock customer will come up with the car payment. Hooked into the ignition system, the gadget comes in a handful of versions with one common conclusion: No pay, no start.
· Sharp medical examiner determines cause of death. A man found dead in Waterford, Conn. on Saturday was fatally shot, the medical examiner's office said Sunday. An autopsy revealed the man was shot several times in the head.
· Web Sites Offer Private Cell Phone Information. A new investigation has discovered that several Web sites will sell the last 100 phone numbers you have dialed to anyone who knows your phone number. The report found that sites like Locate Cell will sell the private phone numbers for about $100.
· DAs rip legal loophole. District attorneys across the state vented frustration yesterday over a legal loophole that is letting convicted killers walk free - by admitting their crimes were intentional. Killers found guilty of "depraved indifference to human life" - a second-degree murder charge - are having their convictions overturned if their defense lawyers can show there was nothing indifferent about their actions.
· Developer Buys Square-Inch Property On eBay. A county attorney in Indiana will be making final arrangements Monday to transfer a tiny plot of land to a developer who won it on eBay. Michigan real estate executive Andy Gutman was the highest bidder for a square-inch piece of land in Owen County, Indiana. He shelled out more than $1,700 for the parcel in a wooded ravine.
· Will Katie Couric jump ship? CBS would need to commit to the $15 million-a-year salary it would probably take to hire Couric, as well as an additional $50 million she would demand that the network pump into the news division to support her.
· 'The Simple Life' returns. After being cancelled by Fox, feuding ex-friends Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie will take "The Simple Life" to E! Entertainment Television in a new format that allows them to have nothing to do with each other.
· Lawmaker wants to lower drinking age for troops. A New Hampshire lawmaker wants to lower the drinking age for troops. Portsmouth Democrat James Splaine says his bill would give youth over 18 in the military access to liquor. The bill would let them use their military identification card to buy alcohol. The current drinking age is 21.
· Samsung heiress death 'a suicide.' Lee Yoon-hyung, an heiress to the wealthy family that controls South Korea's Samsung Group, has committed suicide at the age of 26, a company official said on Monday. Newspapers ran front-page articles saying Lee the youngest daughter of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee, died in a traffic accident in New York, where she was attending graduate school. But on Monday papers reported Lee had hanged herself with an electrical cord at her New York apartment, citing local police and medical examiners' reports.
· Hundreds Vie to Be the Next ‘Inventor.’ The ABC reality contest, set to air in March, is the brainchild of “AI” producers and its prince of darkness, Simon Cowell (who will not appear on the show). The unusual premise: To find America’s best new invention, as voted by the public. The prize: A cool $1 million and the chance to have the product mass-produced.
· Harry's 'Goblet' Nets $54.9M at Box Office. A boy wizard and a country-music legend outclassed a flurry of box-office newcomers over Thanksgiving. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" took in $54.9 million over the three-day weekend to remain the top movie, while the Johnny Cash film biography "Walk the Line" stayed in second place with $19.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Police Chase 15-Year-Old After Alleged Carjacking. He doesn't even have a license, but sheriff’s deputies said a 15-year-old driver lead them on a high speed chase down Interstate 4 on Wednesday and into Thursday morning driving a vehicle he allegedly car-carjacked. Jeremy Stevens, of Altamonte Springs, is being held on charges ranging from possession of cocaine to grand theft auto. Deputies believe Stevens beat up a man and stole his car during an alleged drug deal Monday night.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
· Family Sues Wal-Mart After Shoplifting Suspect Dies. Family members of a Texas shoplifting suspect who suffocated during a struggle with Wal-Mart store employees are suing the retail giant. The death of Stacy Clay Driver, of Cleveland, Texas, was ruled a homicide by the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office.
· For sale, a little scrap of Hollywood. Since the dawn of the movie industry, it has been the biggest name in town. Now the original "Hollywood" sign, which proclaimed the American film capital above Los Angeles, is up for sale. The sign, dismantled and placed in storage in 1978, has been put on eBay, the internet auction site, with a reserve price of $300,000. Memorabilia collectors who want to bid will need plenty of room as well as cash - it stands 45ft high and is 450ft long.
· 'Made in Mexico' Uniforms Miff Border Cops. The labels inside the U.S. Border Patrol uniforms have been making many federal agents feel uneasy. It's not the fit or feel of the olive-green shirts and pants, but what their labels read: "Made in Mexico." "It's embarrassing to be protecting the U.S.-Mexico border and be wearing a uniform made in Mexico," says T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a 6,500-member union.
· Police: Cyclist likely killed by text-messaging driver. A 17-year-old likely will face misdemeanor charges after allegedly losing control of his car and hitting a bicyclist while text messaging, police said. The bicyclist, Jim R. Price of Highlands Ranch, died Friday, two days after the accident.
· Powerball winner found dead in home. A woman who won a $65.4 million Powerball jackpot with her husband five years ago was found dead at her home overlooking the Ohio River, where she had apparently been for days before anyone found her, police said.
· The five least watchable news personalities. What makes you like a certain news anchor over another one? Is it his or her appearance? The voice? Professionalism? Sarcasm? There are also some talking heads who make us turn the channel.
· Katrina Hero Booked on Heroin Charge. A man hailed by some as a hero for commandeering a school bus the day after Hurricane Katrina to take 60 stranded residents to safety in Houston has been arrested on drug charges where his bus journey began: the Fischer public housing complex. Jabar Gibson, 20, who garnered a movie deal and national attention as the renegade bus driver, was booked Friday with possession with intent to distribute heroin after police stopped his rental car for allegedly driving erratically, New Orleans police said.
· Russell Crowe laughs off New York phone throwing controversy. Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe has shown he can now laugh about throwing a telephone at a Manhattan hotel concierge. Hosting Australia's version of the Oscars, the Australian Film Industry Awards in the southern city of Melbourne Saturday night, the actor walked on stage carrying a chunky, old-fashioned, Bakelite telephone.
· Stewart and Torriero Call Off Engagement. Kimberly Stewart and "Laguna Beach" star Talan Torriero say their wedding plans are off. "It was just too soon to enter into a lifelong commitment," their representatives said in a joint statement. "It is better to have a brief engagement than a short marriage. The couple continue to share their time together and remain open to whatever the future may hold." Stewart, the 26-year-old daughter of singer Rod Stewart, and Torriero, a 19-year-old star of the MTV reality show, announced their engagement earlier this month.
· Music giants want terror laws used to stop net piracy. Big firms including Sony and EMI want to use new powers designed to track terrorists on the internet to crack down on music and film pirates - including the parents of children who download music. Internet companies will have to log all the pages visited by surfers for at least a year so the security services can track terrorists using the web for fund-raising, training or swapping information.
· Delphi study says average employee cost is $76 per hour. A study commissioned by Delphi Corp. shows that unionized workers for the auto supplier cost the company an average of $76 per hour. The number includes a $26.97-per-hour wage as well as benefits such as health care, insurance and paid vacations.
· 'CSI effect' leaves fingerprint on Twin Cities courtrooms. Dakota County authorities thought their felony case against a driver charged with criminal vehicular operation was solid. But jurors knocked it down to a misdemeanor, convicting the defendant of reckless driving instead. Then they told the prosecutor they were disappointed with the case. "They wanted to see a computerized reenactment," said Phil Prokopowicz, chief deputy county attorney. "It was something they expected." Prokopowicz said he fears the recent case is an example of what prosecutors across the country are calling the "CSI effect": Juries filled with growing numbers of crime-drama devotees demanding the same high-tech, slam-dunk proof of guilt that their TV heroes produce every week.
· Authorities Find Unexploded Bomb in Tokyo. Thousands of residents were evacuated in Tokyo on Sunday while authorities dug up an unexploded 550-pound bomb, believed to have been dropped by the United States during World War II, a local official said. The bomb, about 14 inches in diameter and 47 inches long, was detected earlier this month in a residential area in Tokyo's Katsushika ward by Self-Defense Force investigators.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
· Oscar-Nominated Actor Pat Morita Dies. Actor Pat Morita, best known for helping teach a boy martial-arts mastery through household chores as the wise Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid," has died. He was 73. There were conflicting reports about the cause of death. His daughter said he died Thursday of heart failure at a Las Vegas hospital; longtime manager Arnold Soloway said the actor died of kidney failure at a hospital while awaiting a transplant.
· NBC leaves Matt & Katie to twist in wind. In a matter of minutes Thursday morning, while they were in Herald Square hosting NBC's coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a balloon crashed in Times Square, injuring an 11-year-old girl and her disabled older sister. Lauer and Couric didn't mention the mishap. Word from inside NBC was they stayed mum because no one told them what was going on. They just knew that the giant M&M's balloon never made it to Herald Square.
· Man Dies Trying to Rescue Cat From Fire. A man who rushed into a burning house to rescue a cat died in the fire, authorities said. A faulty extension cord caused the fire Thursday afternoon that killed Michael H. Murphy, 48, of Dayton. The Montgomery County coroner's office said an autopsy would be performed Friday to determine the cause of death.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Eponym [ep·o·nym ] n. A person whose name is or is thought to be the source of the name of something, such as a city, country, or era. "George Washington is the eponym of Washington DC."
· NBC Didn't Report Accident During Parade. During its live coverage of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, NBC did not tell viewers that a giant balloon had caught on a street lamp and injured two sisters. At the point in the broadcast when the "M&M's Chocolate Candies" balloon was supposed to have crossed the finish line, announcers Katie Couric, Matt Lauer and Al Roker stuck close to their scripts and the network ran footage of the balloon from last year's parade.
· Could Anna Nicole photos jeopardize court battle? Anna Nicole Smith's battle for a share of her late husband's fortune is facing more trouble - thanks to the discovery of an unseen batch of her wedding day photographs. The busty blonde was 26 when she exchanged nuptials with wheelchair-bound J. Howard Marshall II in 1994 - just 14 months before the oil tycoon died aged 90, leaving her to battle it out with his son E. Pierce Marshall for her $88.6 million payout.
· Digital rage. Cops had to calm furious shoppers at Circuit City stores around town yesterday as bargain hunters discovered that laptops advertised at $200 were in short supply. They bum-rushed the store and we couldn't control the crowds," said a shaken manager at the Rego Park, Queens, store, where cops had to quell an angry throng of more than 500.
· Teacher Accused Of Anti-Bush Quiz. A high school teacher is facing questions from administrators after giving a vocabulary quiz that included digs at President Bush and the extreme right. Bret Chenkin, a social studies and English teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School, said he gave the quiz to his students several months ago. The quiz asked students to pick the proper words to complete sentences. One example: "I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes." "Coherent" is the right answer.
Friday, November 25, 2005
· Retailers usher in holidays with deep discounts. The nation’s retailers are set to usher in the 2005 holiday shopping season with the usual come-ons — deep discounts and expanded hours — along with a slew of stores offering early bird specials for the first time. In an improving but still challenging economy, merchants are hoping for big crowds to set a positive tone for the entire holiday season.
· Clerk Refuses to Call Police After Robbery. A woman who was robbed at knifepoint while pumping gas into her church's van couldn't believe it when the gas station attendant refused to call police for help. The Citgo gas station's manager said he was sorry about the robbery, but clerks at the station do not make emergency calls from the front counter, fearing retaliation for criminals.
· Petite Woman Wins Turkey-Eating Contest. When it comes to competitive eating, don't mess with Sonya Thomas. Weighing all of 100 pounds, Thomas once again showed the big boys a thing or two during a pre-Thanksgiving turkey-eating contest in New York. In 12 minutes, Thomas ate 4 pounds, 3.1 ounces of bird, which won her the $2,500 first prize.
· Scott Peterson wants to stop lawyer's book. Scott Peterson is attempting to halt publication of a book written by a lawyer who was kicked off his case for violating a judge's gag order. A Superior Court judge declined to grant a request for emergency relief during a hearing Wednesday, likely pushing the case before an appellate court next week, Peterson's attorney, Mark Geragos, said.
· Man Lives On Billboard To Raise Money For Charity. His Thanksgiving meal was prepared by local chefs and hauled up to him. Jamie King of Fredericksburg, Va., is doing his part to help out the children of fallen soldiers in Iraq. King is living atop a SnoreStop billboard in Columbia, S.C. He said the idea for the stunt came to him after purchasing a snoring remedy from the company's Web site. King said he pitched the idea to SnoreStop and the company offered him $1 million to live on the billboard for 30 days.
· Brown Starts Disaster Consulting Business In Colo. Former FEMA Director Michael Brown is opening a business that will help clients avoid the errors that cost him his job after Hurricane Katrina, the Rocky Mountain News reported Thursday. Brown told the News: "I think people are curious: 'My gosh, what was it like? The media just really beat you up. You made mistakes. I don't want to be in that situation. How do I avoid that?' "
· Crowe: Incident Blown Out of Proportion. Russell Crowe says he believes the media blew his phone-throwing incident out of proportion. The Oscar-winning actor pleaded guilty earlier this month to third-degree assault, admitting to a judge that he threw a phone that hit a New York hotel concierge in June. He had to pay a $160 court charge and was sentenced to conditional discharge, which means he must not get arrested for one year.
· Speeding Ticket Fines Diverted To Politician's Pet Project. You might be able to get out of an expensive speeding ticket along I-90 by donating money to the prosecutor's favorite cause. A KIRO Team 7 Investigation exposes a tax-diversion program that's raising both legal and ethical questions. If you're heading towards Spokane - maybe to a Washington State Cougars football or basketball game - you're going to travel through Adams County. If you're speeding, you'll probably going to get a ticket, too. The Ritzville area is notorious for that. However, don't worry about it. The Adams County Prosecutor may offer to waive that ticket if you give a "donation" to a local museum.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Axiom [ax·i·om] n. 1. An established rule, principle, or law. 2. A self-evident or universally recognized truth; a maxim 3. A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument.
· Man who killed two won’t get long term. drunken driver who killed two pedestrians has avoided a long prison sentence because key evidence — his wrecked car — was sold for scrap. Scott A. Weber’s Ford Tempo disappeared from a city tow lot months before police realized it was gone. As a result, Jackson County prosecutors agreed to a plea deal for Weber, 25, of Independence.
· N.M. Gov Admits He Wasn't Baseball Pick. Gov. Bill Richardson is coming clean on his draft record - the baseball draft, that is, admitting that his claim to have been a pick of the Kansas City A's in 1966 was untrue. For nearly four decades, Richardson, often mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate, has maintained he was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
· Charity head charged. The former director of an international children's charity has been accused with using $250,000 of the group's money for his personal use. Police say Michael Ivey of Winter Haven took money from the World's Children Inc. to pay his mortgage and car payments and to purchase liquor, clothing and other personal items.
· Binge-drink women may lose right to claim rape. Women who are raped while drunk face losing the chance to bring their attackers to justice after a legal ruling on the eve of new licensing laws. A High Court judge yesterday threw out the case of a student who claimed that she was raped while drunk and unconscious on the basis that “drunken consent is still consent.”
· Dangling Gorilla Billboard Blamed For Car Crashes. Highway officials in Columbia, S.C., were forced to take down a billboard featuring a dangling gorilla suit after it caused several car crashes on a busy highway. Several motorists were shocked Wednesday after they noticed what appeared to be a person in a gorilla suit hanging from the billboard above 277 near the Parklane exit.
· Woman, Child Injured At Thanksgiving Parade. A giant balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade snagged a street light in Times Square and caused part of it to fall into the crowd, injuring a woman and a child.
· Savvis CEO resigns amid strip club scandal. Savvis Inc. said it has accepted the resignation of Chairman and Chief Executive Robert McCormick, who was accused of being two years late in paying $241,000 of charges incurred at a Manhattan strip club.
· Simpson, Lachey 'part ways.' Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, who turned mid-level music careers into a Hollywood star-spangled marriage, have separated following months of persistent breakup rumors. The couple announced their separation Wednesday. "After three years of marriage, and careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways," they said in a joint statement released by their publicists.
· Cruise Buys Sonogram Machine for Katie. Tom Cruise has made an unusual purchase for his fiancee Katie Holmes - one that will let them see the development of their baby. "I bought a sonogram machine," Cruise says on ABC's "Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2005."
· Police arrest 'Spiderman' in Houston. The French building climber who calls himself "Spiderman" was thwarted in a bid to scale a Houston skyscraper and charged with trespassing and possessing drugs — two pills to relieve anxiety.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
· Alabama Judge Rules Illegal Immigrant Due Workers Comp for Life. Omar Santos-Cruz came to the United States illegally from Mexico and went to work building houses in one of Alabama's fanciest neighborhoods before he was seriously injured in March of last year at age 17. A court has now ruled that Santos-Cruz is due workers compensation benefits and medical care for life despite being in the country illegally.
· PETA Nude Anti-Fur Protest Held in Times Square. It was one of those "only in New York" moments: Two coffins, laid out in the middle of Times Square in a cold rain, with the naked bodies of a man and a woman in them - talking. Their message was: Some clothes sold in America are made with fur that comes from animals allegedly tortured in China.
· Jury awards $4.2 million in sex abuse case against Mormon Church. Two college-age sisters have been awarded $4.2 million in a lawsuit against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a judgment prompted partly by the way a bishop dealt with sexual abuse committed by their stepfather while they were children.
· DWI suspect kills college student; had already been deported 17 times. Jorge Humberto Hernandez-Soto, the illegal immigrant charged in the wreck that killed an 18-year-old college student Friday, has already been returned to his native Mexico 17 times, according to authorities. Hernandez-Soto, 35, has also been convicted of impaired driving at least twice before.
· Teri Hatcher Sues Tabloid Over Sex Story. "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher is suing a British tabloid newspaper for libel over its claims she had "sex romps" with men in a Volkswagen van, her lawyer said Wednesday. London law firm Schillings said Hatcher, 40, had instructed them to begin libel proceedings against the Daily Sport over articles that she says "falsely alleged that she engages in sex romps on a regular basis with a series of men in a VW van parked outside her L.A. home for this purpose."
· Hooker's hot tip: It's not just about the sex, it's about the mind. Veronica Monet has slept with 1,800 men so you don't have to. For 14 years she worked as an escort out of San Francisco. She slept with men ages 18 to 80 from around the world - investment bankers, truck drivers, billionaires, cops, athletes, students, professors and plumbers. Along the way, she says, she compiled a storehouse of knowledge about all things emotional and mental as well as carnal.
· Man Seeking Taxi Hops Into Police Car. A night of drinking left a man so disoriented that he hopped into a police patrol car thinking it was a taxi, police said. The 20-year-old man was arrested on Saturday soon after he let himself into Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Deputy Esther Beckman's car while she was out of the vehicle questioning a bicyclist.
· Bartender jailed for serving too much tequila. A 32-year-old Norwegian bartender was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday for serving a customer so much tequila that he fell into a coma and died.
· John Kerry wins election ... as jury foreman. Sen. John Kerry's public profile and prosecutorial past didn't spare him from performing that most mundane of civic responsibilities - jury duty. Kerry was not only chosen this week to sit on a jury in Suffolk Superior Court, but also was elected foreman. The case involved two men who sued the city for injuries suffered in a 2000 car accident involving a school principal.
· Christian Musician In Coma After Road-Rage Beating. A Christian musician remains hospitalized in a medically-induced coma after being attacked in a road-rage incident in New York City. Johnny Philippidis, of the duo Burlap to Cashmere, suffered severe facial fractures when he was beaten by another motorist after their vehicles collided last week.
· Man sues ABC over gay "Wife Swap." An Oklahoma man is suing for over $10 million after the show "Wife Swap" exchanged his wife with a gay man. Jeffrey D. Bedford of Haileyville filed his $10,225,000 suit in Muskogee's U.S. District Court, claiming that ABC Television misled him by not sending a woman from a heterosexual family to his home.
· Man hailed as hero in fire rescue is charged with starting the blaze. He was once hailed as a hero for rescuing four children from a burning apartment complex. Now, a Texas man is charged with starting the 2003 blaze that left 70 families homeless. Kris Leija has been charged with arson. Television footage showed Leija running back and forth from the burning complex in Abilene, carrying the children.
· Koppel bids farewell on final `Nightline' broadcast. In an understated farewell Tuesday to the ABC News broadcast he has anchored for more than 25 years, Ted Koppel asked "Nightline" viewers to give his successors a fair break. "If you don't," he said, "I promise you the network will just put another comedy show in this time slot. Then you'll be sorry."
· Jacko's Jewish rant. In phone messages obtained by ABC News, Michael Jackson likens Jews to "leeches" and claims they conspired to leave him "penniless." "They suck...they're like leeches...I'm so tired of it," Jackson tells former adviser Dieter Wiesner in one of them. "The Jews do it on purpose." The ugly message, which was made two years ago and aired yesterday on "Good Morning America," was one of several provided by Wiesner's lawyer, Howard King.
Word of The Day by WordThink
double-entendre [dou·ble-en·ten·dre] n. A word or phrase having a double meaning, especially when the second meaning is risqué. "The television show, Three's Company, was filled with double-entendres."
· Next Stop: Big Brother. Deborah Davis is a 50 year-old mother of four who lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Her kids are all grown-up: her middle son is a soldier fighting in Iraq. She leads an ordinary, middle class life. One morning in late September 2005, Mrs. Davis was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Mrs. Davis, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.
· Update: Jury Awards $3 million to Fired Blind Woman. A jury awarded $3 million Tuesday to a blind woman who was fired from her job as director of Pennsylvania's agency for the blind and visually impaired. Christine L. Boone, who was forced out as director of the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services in 2003, claimed she was discriminated against because of her disability.
· Murdered banker's wife breaks down in court. The wife of murdered financier John Monckton broke down in the witness box today as she relived the moment when two robbers burst into their home and stabbed her husband to death.
· Nicole a 'Nervous Wreck,' Richie Says. Lionel Richie says the stress of his daughter's expanding career is most likely the reason for her shrinking dress size. "I know what's happening with her right now, she's a nervous wreck," Richie says of Nicole, who was heavier when she co-starred with Paris Hilton on "The Simple Life."
· There's no MCI Family Plan in prison. A lawsuit has been filed to seek an order prohibiting the state of New York and MCI from charging exorbitant rates to the family members of prisoners to finance a 57.5% kickback to the state. MCI charges these family members a 630% markup over regular consumer rates to receive a collect call from their loved ones, the only way possible to speak with them, according to the New York chapter of the CCR.
· Restaurant etiquette and gratuity advice. How can you get a table, even when the maitre d' says the restaurant is booked? How can you assure great service during a dinner with business clients? Do you wonder how much to tip when the kitchen messes up you order? Some restaurant insiders share their answers to these questions and some advice.
· Mag tells 'Nazi' singers: Heil, no! Teen People nixed a story about Hitler-loving teenybopper twins Prussian Blue - amid outrage that the glossy had promised to avoid the words "hate," "supremacist" and "Nazi" in its piece on the racist singing sisters. A Web-based teaser for the February story originally called the hatemongering duo "aspiring musicians" and compared them to wide-eyed sensations Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
· Warner Music busted in 'payola' scheme. Warner Music Group Corp., one of the largest U.S. record companies, will pay $5 million to settle a New York state probe into how it influenced which songs are played on the radio, NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said.
· Sex Crimes Unit Arrests Elementary School Teacher. A teacher at an elementary school in Orange County, Fla., was arrested Tuesday on suspicion he committed a sex crime, according to a police report. Police said Lawton Chiles Elementary school teacher Gareth Godfrey was arrested and charged with lewd or lascivious molestation Tuesday.
· 38-year-old mother charged with having sex with 14-year-old boy. A 38-year-old mother of two from Washington state was arrested on charges that she had sex with a 14-year-old boy from northeast Ohio. Massillon police said they handcuffed Julie Welborn at a local motel on Monday, with her 13-year-old and 15-year-old children present.
· 'Ugly dog' Sam dies at 14. Sam, the dog whose ugliness earned him TV appearances, limousine rides and even a meeting with millionaire Donald Trump, has died, the Santa Barbara News-Press reported Tuesday.
· Debra LaFave Walks. Before she could plead not guilty by reason of insanity to charges she committed lewd or lascivious battery on a teenager, Debra Lafave has pleaded guilty, but will not go to prison. The former teacher, accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy, came to a plea agreement with prosecutors Tuesday.
· Pastor in sex abuse case dies in mystery fall. A minister accused of sexually abusing two teenage parishioners fell 400 feet to his death at Sequoia National Park, officials said. The Rev. Santos Teixeira’s death Sunday was under “uncertain circumstances,” requiring the National Park Service to notify the FBI of its investigation, Alexandra Picavet, a Sequoia National Park spokeswoman, said Monday.
· Vatican: Active gays unwelcome in priesthood. The Vatican says sexually active homosexuals and those who support "gay culture" are unwelcome in the priesthood unless the candidate has overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years, according to a church document posted on the Internet by an Italian Catholic news agency.
· Former Michael Jackson adviser files $64 mln suit. A former adviser to Michael Jackson has filed a $64 million lawsuit against the pop star, alleging breach of contract and fraud. Dieter Wiesner filed a civil suit against Jackson on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming he paid Jackson, who was acquitted in June of sexual molestation charges, millions of dollars for rights to merchandise his name and likeness that were not Jackson's to sell.
· Actor asks woman to leave theater after cell phone rings third time. Actor Richard Griffiths ordered a woman out of his West End play, after her cell phone rang for the third time. The production of Heroes at Wyndham's theatre was nearing the end when Griffiths asked her: "Is that it, or will it be ringing some more?" The audience clapped as he asked her to leave the Saturday matinee performance.
· Katie Holmes thrown out of film over vibrating device. Katie Holmes was thrown out of a California movie theater when a vibrating gadget she was clutching disturbed fellow film fans. The pregnant fiancee of superstar Tom Cruise was holding a buzzing aid against her stomach, as she believes it is comforting to the fetus. But it failed to soothe the nerves of audience members, who quickly tired of the humming device, reports sfgate.com.
· Fired Teacher, Unwed And Pregnant, Sues Catholic School. The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal discrimination complaint against a Catholic school, charging that it unjustly fired an unmarried teacher for being pregnant.
· Court papers: Girl chose to go with Pa. teen. A 14-year-old girl whose 18-year-old boyfriend allegedly fatally shot her parents left willingly with him after the slayings and was not kidnapped, prosecutors said in court papers filed Monday. Kara Borden told detectives she left of her own free will, according to the filing. David Ludwig told detectives the two planned to get married and start a new life together.
· PETA’s New Comic for Kids: Taking Aim at Dads Who Fish. Most people wouldn’t expect PETA activists to visit the local fishing hole or hang out in front of tackle shops at fishing tournaments, but starting on September 24, Fish Amnesty Day, activists will take to the water with their sights on dads who are teaching their kids to abuse animals.
· Briton Who Lived In Houston Has Mad Cow Disease. A man from Great Britain has been diagnosed with the human form of mad cow disease, the second documented U.S. case of the illness, the federal Centers for Disease Control said Monday. The man in all likelihood contracted variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United Kingdom. But because his symptoms began while he was living in Houston, he will be listed as a U.S. case, as is customary.
· Gal pal in slaying: Cocaine stoked it. The ex-hooker arrested in the upper East Side slaying of the former tour manager for Paul Simon and Billy Joel says cocaine fueled the fatal fight, police sources said yesterday. Kathleen Connors, 37, told detectives she and boyfriend Danny Harrison freebased cocaine to celebrate his 57th birthday Sunday before she stabbed him with a butcher knife, a source said.
· Piano teacher admits to filming unsuspected students using bathroom. A longtime piano teacher in Monmouth County has admitted secretly videotaping 60 people who used his bathroom, including 26 children. George Johnson pleaded guilty to manufacturing child pornography.
· Frozen Turkey Saves Couple From Burning Car. An elderly Illinois couple is hospitalized after being rescued from their burning car by a man who used his Thanksgiving turkey to break the windows. Mark Copsy said he rushed to help John and Juliana Brani, of Northlake, Ill., when he saw their car filling with smoke after it crashed into a curb Sunday afternoon. Copsy couldn't open the door and couldn't break the windows with his hands or feet, so the 20-pound frozen turkey had to do.
· 'X' marks the spot. CNN was airing Vice President Dick Cheney's speech live from the American Enterprise Institute in Washington - when a large black 'X' repeatedly flashed over the vice president's face.
· Man Hit in Head by Train for Second Time. A man who was struck in the head by a train this weekend was also hit in the head by a New York City subway car three years ago, officials said Monday. Parker T. Hall Houghtaling, of Stanfordville, 23, was hit in the head Nov. 18 by a Metro-North train as it pulled into the Poughkeepsie station.
Monday, November 21, 2005
· Pennsylvania company recalls 94,400 lbs of beef panties. Reuters is reporting that Quaker Maid Meats Inc. on Tuesday said it would voluntarily recall 94,400 pounds of frozen ground beef panties that may be contaminated with E. coli. If they haven't corrected it yet, you can see the original text here, otherwise click here for a screenshot.
· Judge puts stop to city's ticket quotas. City officials in Gold Hill, Oregon are furious that Municipal Judge Don Leahan has dismissed citations in the name of justice, with the city’s tickets surging more than 500 percent in two months. Both Mayor Sherry Young and police Chief Dean Muchow deny the judge’s accusation that the city intended to help fund a third police officer with revenue generated by the citations, which leaped from $1,683 in September to November’s high of $10,550. Excessive staff overtime and the Chief's purchases of "alcohol and celebratory dinners" has tapped out the police budget, according to the Mail Tribune.
· Serial killer’s painting brings bad luck, owner says. A man’s guilty pleasure of investing in murderabilia has come back to haunt him thanks to a “cursed” clown painting by serial killer John Wayne Gacy, which the collector claims turned his life into a three-ring circus. “I just want to get rid of it,” said musician Nikki Stone about the late Gacy’s signed self-portrait of his terrifying alter ego, “Pogo the Clown.”
· Oprah Agrees to Appear on the 'Late Show.' Oprah, Dave. Dave, Oprah. The cold war between television titans Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman has thawed to the point where Winfrey has accepted Letterman's invitation to appear on the "Late Show" on Dec. 1. Letterman made the announcement during a taping of his show on Monday. Winfrey's appearance will coincide with opening night of the Broadway musical "The Color Purple," which she is producing.
· Another pervert priest charged with sexually abusing boys. A high-ranking priest in Arizona has been arrested on charges he fondled boys and young men. Monsignor Dale Fushek is the former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, making him one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex abuse scandal that's rocked the Catholic church.
· Poll: One-third blame flirty women for their rapes. In a recent London poll, one in three people believe a woman who flirts is partly or totally responsible if she is raped, a "shocking" opinion poll showed on Monday. Between a third and a quarter of respondents also put part or all of the blame on the woman if she fails to say "no" clearly to the man, wears sexy clothes, drinks too much, has many sexual partners and walks alone in a deserted area.
· ABC Sportscaster Fined For Drinking Beer In Vehicle. ABC sportscaster Brent Musburger had a pretty expensive beer. He was charged with drinking it in a moving vehicle, and paid a $144 fine. Musburger was a passenger in the vehicle. The 66-year-old Musburger was cited Sept. 17 outside Memorial Stadium after calling Nebraska's game against Pittsburgh.
· Driver says he drank a lot because of his heritage. A Michigan man caught driving drunk about 2:30 a.m. Sunday blamed his inebriation on his Irish heritage. When the officer asked if he had been drinking, he said, "Man, I'm not going to lie to you - I'm drunk." Then the officer asked how much he drank that night, he said, "Man, I'm Irish, so a lot."
· Texas sues Sony BMG for spyware violations. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a civil lawsuit on Monday against Sony BMG Music Entertainment for including "spyware" software on its media player designed to thwart music copying. Software included with that media player "remains hidden and active" after installation, the Attorney General's office said in a statement, and makes users vulnerable to security risks and possible identity theft.
· French woman admits trying to open jet door for a smoke. A French woman who is terrified of flying admitted in an Australian court Monday that she drunkenly tried to open an airplane door mid-flight to smoke a cigarette. Sadrine Helene Sellies, 34, was placed on a good behavior bond after pleading guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court to endangering the safety of an aircraft.
· 'Sopranos' Actor Pleads Guilty. Vincent Pastore, who played gangster Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero on "The Sopranos," was given a conditional discharge Monday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of attempted assault following an altercation with a girlfriend.
· Boeing worker data is stolen. A stolen Boeing Co. laptop computer contained personal data on 161,000 current and former employees, including Social Security numbers, birth dates and banking information, company officials said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Voracity; Voracious [vo·ra·cious] adj. Consuming or eager to consume great amounts of food; ravenous. 2. Having or marked by an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit; greedy: "A voracious reader."
· For Second Year In Row, Same City Named Most Dangerous. For the second year in a row, Camden, NJ has been named the nation's most dangerous, according to a company's annual ranking based on crime statistics. "We're doing so many nice things now. It's unfortunate that somebody always wants to bad-mouth Camden," Mayor Gwendolyn Faison said.
· Volkswagen rocked by claims of sex junkets. Last July, a few weeks after he was fired by Volkswagen AG for alleged embezzlement, Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, a former midlevel manager in the company's personnel department, began telling stories about the auto giant. Gebauer says illegally used company funds to pay for top labor leaders to go on junkets involving posh hotels, call girls and the use of a company plane.
· Missing Piece Puzzles Puzzler. Imagine completing the world's largest jigsaw puzzle, only to find you're one piece shy? That's the fix Richard Gontarz is in. The western New York man is one of the few Americans to practically finish a monster puzzle with more than 18,000 pieces. After spending more than 1,000 hours on the puzzle, he can't find the last piece. Gontarz and his wife Danette worry the family beagle is the likely culprit.
· Scooter Company Gets Complaints. A company that sells electric scooters used by senior citizens and people with disabilities is being accused of using high-pressure sales tactics and charging high interest rates. Electric Mobility Corporation, which sells Rascal scooters, signed an agreement in 2002 with the state to treat customers fairly, but has since been the target of at least 358 complaints or requests for refunds in New Jersey alone, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday. The Inquirer investigation shows that some buyers felt bilked by salespeople who erroneously told them Medicare would pay for the devices.
· Door thwarts quick exit for Bush. President George W Bush tried to make a quick exit from a news conference in Beijing on Sunday - only to find himself thwarted by locked doors. After answering just six questions from a group of US reporters, the president strode away heading towards the door. President Bush tugged at both handles on the double doors before admitting: "I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work."
Sunday, November 20, 2005
· Coupon Misprints Could Cost Casino Millions. A misprint may end up costing an Illinois casino millions of dollars. Harrah's Joliet Casino said there was a mistake in about 11,000 coupons mailed to customers last week. Instead of being worth $15 or $20 apiece, each had a face value of $525 in cash. While the casino initially refused to redeem the coupons, the Illinois Gaming Board ruled that Harrah's must honor them. The company could be liable for as much as $5.8 million.
· Home Depot Apologizes For Pencil 'Mix Up.' Home repair giant Home Depot is getting hammered by the public over a dispute with a customer. The customer is a handyman who was banished from all Home Depot stores, apparently over a pencil. Now, the store is releasing a statement to apologize for the incident. The used pencil wasn't even for sale. It was out at a register when Michael Panorelli borrowed it to mark some wood and accidentally put it in his pocket. Home Depot barred Panorelli from all its stores.
· Update: Mall shooting suspect arrested. Three hostages were released unharmed Sunday when a SWAT team took a man into custody at a mall in Tacoma, Washington, where six people had been wounded, one of them critically, police said.
· 12-Year-Old Boy Dies After 'Surfing' Car Hood. A 12-year-old boy was killed while "surfing" on the hood of a moving car, according to police. Police Corporal Rob Millard said four boys were "surfing" through their neighborhood on a blue Kia Saturday. The driver of the car, 19-year-old Tristan Richey, ran over the boy when he fell off the car.
· Daley: Children Should Spend More Time In School. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he believes Chicago Public Schools students get too much time off. He says he will push for a six-day school week, a shorter summer break or a longer school day.
· Another girl allegedly handcuffed at school; officials on leave. A west Phoenix elementary school principal and school psychologist were placed on paid leave following an incident involving an 8-year-old girl allegedly handcuffed in her classroom by police, school officials said.
· Italian F1 racer has driving license revoked for speeding. Italian Formula 1 racer Giancarlo Fisichella had his driving license revoked by police for speeding after clocking 92 miles per hour on a street in Rome's suburbs.
· Corporate excess under fire as unions go on the attack. U.S. unions, weakened by public apathy and internal splits, are fighting back with an online database that accuses corporate supremos of lining their own pockets while grinding down their employees. The new AFL-CIO database contains information on more than 60,000 US companies, detailing their violations of health and safety legislation, their outsourcing of jobs overseas and the pay deals for chief executives.
· Tree craze stands Christmas on its head. New Yorkers are dreaming of a topsy-turvy Christmas. The latest craze to hit the city is to decorate homes with upside-down Christmas trees. Shops and mail-order firms are finding that the plastic inverted spruces, which come fully wired with lights and all the tinsel trimmings, are a sell-out in a city where floor space is always at a premium.
· Historic Boston Post Cane found. A long-lost piece of local history - both an honor for the oldest citizen and a quirky sales pitch for a long-dead newspaper -just made its way back home. The newly discovered piece of history is a gold-topped, ebony wood cane made for Wayland by the Boston Post newspaper back in 1909. It is one of 413 made for towns across New England.
· Husband Kills Wife And Self With One Gunshot. Police say an 84-year-old man who committed suicide with a handgun outside his Riverside County home also killed his 71-year-old wife when she was struck by the same gunshot.
· Santas warned of pedophilia clause. Swiss Santa Clauses have been banned from sitting children on their laps because of the risk that they might be accused of pedophilia. The Society of St Nicholases issued the ruling to its 100 professional members after parents expressed concern about close contact between their children and the men. "We regret having to do this, but the public has become very sensitive about child abuse," the society said in a statement.
· 75-year-old woman remembers jewel thief days. When Doris Payne went to work, she stepped into her fancy dress, high heels and donned a wide-brimmed hat. She would often stroll into an exclusive department store, try on a few diamond rings, then vanish - along with a $36,000 marquis cut bobble. This was how Doris Payne went about her work as an international jewel thief.
· Aguilera Reportedly Marries Music Exec. Christina Aguilera has found out what a girl wants, and now she's married him. The 24-year-old pop singer tied the knot with music executive Jordan Bratman in a Saturday evening ceremony at Staglin Family Vineyard in northern California's Napa Valley, Us Weekly reported on its Web site.
· Incumbent Won't Seek Re-Count Of Election Won By 18-Year-Old. The mayor who lost his re-election bid to a high school senior by two votes said Saturday he won't seek a re-count, clearing the way for 18-year-old Michael Sessions to take the oath of office on Monday.
· Falwell fighting for holy holiday, threatens to sue, boycott groups that subvert Christmas. Evangelical Christian pastor Jerry Falwell has a message for Americans when it comes to celebrating Christmas this year: You're either with us, or you're against us. Falwell has put the power of his 24,000-member congregation behind the "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign," an effort led by the conservative legal organization Liberty Counsel. The group promises to file suit against anyone who spreads what it sees as misinformation about how Christmas can be celebrated in schools and public spaces.
· Security advisor named as source in CIA scandal. The mysterious source who gave America’s foremost journalist, Bob Woodward, a tip-off about the CIA agent at the center of one of Washington’s biggest political storms was Stephen Hadley, the White House national security advisor, according to lawyers close to the investigation.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
· Pa. Teen Attends Slain Parents' Funeral. Kara Borden sat with her four siblings in the chapel of Lancaster Bible College for her parents' funeral on Saturday. Police have said Kara Borden is a victim in the case, but Ludwig filed court papers saying surveillance videos from various stores along the route he drove will prove she wasn't kidnapped.
· White Supremacist Wants To Bankrupt N.Y. Town. A white supremacist radio talk-show host said he wants to bankrupt the city of Kingston, N.Y. Hal Turner organized a rally Saturday that drew about 50 supporters, 100 counter demonstrators - and as many as 200 police officers. Turner invited the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups to help protest recent attacks on white students by black students at Kingston High School.
· If Oprah like it, it sells. Does Oprah have the golden touch or is she just keyed in to what American women want and need? This week, Oprah gave her studio audience and the lingerie industry a lift when she brought on bra fitters from the department store Nordstrom. Oprah said she intervened because most American women are not wearing the right bras. Since the show aired, bra sales are up almost 200 percent at Nordstrom. Other lingerie stores report a boost too. Is this the "O Factor?"
· House OKs budget bill cutting $50 billion in aid. House Republicans, after weeks of negotiations, narrowly passed a budget bill early Friday to cut $50 billion from Medicaid, food stamps, student loans and other programs over the complaints of Democrats that Congress is squeezing students, the elderly and the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich.
· Teen father honored by People magazine is gunned down. A Philadelphia teen who was honored by People magazine has been gunned down on his way home from work. 18-year-old Terrell Pough had been honored by People magazine last summer as "a rare breed of teen-aged dads who are trying to raise children." Police say he was shot once in the back of the head in front of his home and died a short while later after an apparent car jacking.
· Pageant Asks Ex-Miss Americas for Cash. With its bags packed for Vegas and its bank balances sagging, the Miss America pageant is asking former winners to donate money for the scholarship that goes with the crown. In an unprecedented step, Miss America Organization CEO Art McMaster appealed to former winners to kick in for the $50,000 scholarship, citing the pageant's new push for fundraising.
· 88-year old charged in 7-Year-Old's 74 MPH joyride. An 88-year-old man is in trouble with the law in Alden, Kansas. A Highway Patrol officer pulled-over Alan Sleeper's pickup truck when it was clocked doing 74 mph on a 55 mph highway. The officer was stunned to find out the pickup was being driven, not by Sleeper, but by a 7-year-old girl. Officers said the child was at the wheel and Sleeper was in the passenger seat.
· O.J.: U.S. Courts Allow 'Double Jeopardy.' O.J. Simpson on Friday questioned the system that allowed both him and actor Robert Blake to be found liable for murder after being acquitted in criminal court, calling it "double jeopardy." "I still don't get how anyone can be found not guilty of a murder and then be found responsible for it in any way shape or form," Simpson said in a phone interview from his Florida home. "... If you're found not guilty, how can you be found responsible? I'd love to hear how that's not double jeopardy."
· President of NBC speaks on future of network television. NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker said “We pay too much attention to blogs.
It is absurd how much attention they receive.”
· I took Saddam's cash, admits French envoy. One of France's most distinguished diplomats has confessed to an investigating judge that he accepted oil allocations from Saddam Hussein, it emerged yesterday. Jean-Bernard Mérimée is thought to be the first senior figure to admit his role in the oil-for-food scandal, a United Nations humanitarian aid scheme hijacked by Saddam to buy influence. The Frenchman, who holds the title "ambassador for life", told authorities that he regretted taking payments amounting to $156,000 in 2002, using the money to renovate a holiday home he owned in southern Morocco.
· Judge Lets Courtney Love Leave Drug Rehab. Singer Courtney Love, who has been at a live-in drug treatment facility since September, can enroll in an outpatient program, a judge ruled. Superior Court Judge Rand Rubin cut short her sentence for violating probation in three criminal cases, including two drug-related charges. He previously ordered Love, 41, to spend 180 days at the residential facility.
Friday, November 18, 2005
· Special sneakers aid immigrants’ run to the border. Some new designer running shoes are causing a major controversy in San Diego. The $215.00 "Brinco" shoes are intended to help people attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. "Brinco" is Spanish for "jump." The high top sneakers come with a compass, flashlight and a pocket for money or pain relievers. A rough map of the border is printed on the insole.
· Judge issues gag order in Lafave teacher sex case. Worried about seating an untainted jury for trial next month, a judge issued a gag order Friday in the high-profile case of a female middle-school teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old male student.
· Burger King employee 'has it his way.' In a case of road rage meets restaurant rage, an argument started at the drive through window when a customer got the wrong order on Saturday. When he came back to Burger King last night he complained and got into an argument with an employee. As the altercation escalated, the Burger King employee allegedly came outside and slit the customer's throat in the parking lot.
· Robert Blake found liable for wife’s death. Eight months after Robert Blake was acquitted at a criminal trial of murdering his wife, a civil jury decided Friday the tough-guy actor was behind the slaying, and ordered him to pay her children $30 million in damages.
· Russell Crowe pleads guilty to assault. Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe pleaded guilty on Friday to reduced misdemeanor charges for hitting a hotel clerk with a telephone in June and was fined $160 and told to stay out of trouble. Crowe, who won Oscars for "A Beautiful Mind" and "Gladiator," was given a conditional discharge by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Kathryn Freed and told he must avoid arrest for a year.
· Sons Use Web Cam To Save Mom. A Web camera made it possible for two men to get help for their mother after she collapsed at her home, even though she was thousands of miles away. Karin Jordal, a 69-year-old Norwegian artist living in Pinon Hills, Calif., collapsed in her living room Thursday. The woman, who is diabetic, lay motionless on a couch when her son Tore, who was in the Philippines, saw her through her Web cam.
· Principal resigns after shaming student. An elementary school principal resigned after parents denounced her for parading an 8-year-old girl from class to class after a classmate falsely accused her of stealing $5.
· Video Shows Teen Suspect Planning Murders. An 18-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend's parents and kidnapping her was videotaped discussing plans to conduct an armed raid on another family's home and kill people inside, according to court documents released Friday.
· Online daters sue matchmaking sites for fraud. It's not easy finding love in cyberspace, and now some frustrated online daters say they were victims of fraud by two top Internet matchmaking services and have taken their complaints to court.
· Songwriter Wins Case Against Madonna. A little-known Belgian songwriter won a plagiarism case against Madonna on Friday, leading a local court to ban the megastar's song "Frozen" from sale or broadcast in the country.
· Minister's wife charged with soliciting minor. A youth minister's wife has been accused of posing as a teenage girl for months and sending dozens of letters to a 15-year-old in which she asked him to have sex, authorities said.
· 120 arrested on immigration violations at Wal-Mart site. Federal agents arrested more than 120 workers on immigration violations Thursday at the construction site of a Wal-Mart distribution center, the latest in a string of labor problems for the discount retailer.
· Daughter says getting handicap parking tags in dead mothers name was sting operation. A Harris County justice of the peace convicted of using her dead mother's name to renew two handicapped parking tags told a grand jury she was conducting an undercover sting operation when she submitted the fraudulent application, jurors learned Thursday.
· Onion ring emergency. A woman was so angry that cold food was served to her at a Louisiana restaurant Wednesday night that she called 911, police said. Officers arrived at Malt-N-Burger where they found Sharita Williams, 30, fuming because her onion rings were cold, according to a Thibodaux, Louisiana Police report.
· Spector plans to wed if he escapes murder rap. Troubled music producer Phil Spector plans to celebrate in style if he beats the murder charges hanging over him - he'll wed his fiancee Rachelle Short. Spector, 64, is accused of shooting actress Lana Clarkson at his Hollywood Hills home but continues to protest his innocence with the support of his 25-year-old bride-to-be.
· Shotgun Blast Culminates Road Rage Encounter. An early-morning road rage incident ended when one motorist pulled a shotgun and fired it at another driver, police said Thursday. The victim said the suspect pulled out a shotgun and fired it at him, striking him in the upper torso, arm and head. They are looking for the man with the shotgun who was driving a Toyota Corolla with possibly a "Respect Life" license plate.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Colloquialism [col·lo·qui·al·ism] n. 1. An informal word or phrase that is more common in conversation than in formal speech or writing. Colloquialisms can include words such as "gonna" and phrases such as "ain't nothin'" and "dead as a doornail."
· Russell Crowe Due in Manhattan Court. Russell Crowe was scheduled to appear in Manhattan criminal court Friday, accused of throwing a phone at a hotel concierge in June. If convicted of assault and criminal possession of a weapon, the Oscar winner could lose his right to work in the U.S. and face seven years in prison.
· Unhappy workers 'risk becoming ill.' Workers who are unhappy in their jobs are more likely to become ill, according to research. A study of 250,000 employees by Lancaster University and Manchester Business School found that job satisfaction influenced mental health in particular. People with low job satisfaction were most likely to experience emotional burnout, have reduced self-esteem and suffer from anxiety and depression.
· Man Gets 15 Months For Smoking On Plane. A Greek court sentenced a man to 15 months in prison for smoking on a plane, and then hitting a male flight attendant who told him to put his cigarette out, court officials said Thursday. The 50-year-old Greek resident of New York was also convicted of endangering the aircraft. He was traveling on Olympic Airlines Flight No. 412 from New York to Athens last week.
· Comfort Food: Reward For Men, Guilty Trap For Women. Comfort food for women often means snuggling up with tub of mint chocolate ice cream to wallow in their blues. But for men, comfort foods serve as a reward when life is looking rosy.
· Judge tells airline: Pay bumped passenger. The skies are a lot friendlier for at least one passenger who got bumped off an overbooked flight. Thatcher A. Stone, an aviation lawyer, was awarded $3,110 by a Manhattan judge for his expenses and inconvenience after he and his 13-year-old daughter were kept off a Continental Airlines flight at Newark Airport.
· Mischa's "O.C." Exposure. Mischa Barton was apparently channeling her inner Janet Jackson during a very revealing scene in last week's episode of The O.C. During a dimly lit bedroom sequence, Barton, clad in a skimpy pajama top, rises from her bed. In a don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it shot, her breast briefly pops out of her top before she covers it. Television-obsessed Website TVgasm.com was the first to report the nipple-slip after being alerted to it by a sharp-eyed fan.
· Paris Hilton gets dumped. Stavros Niarchos III has reportedly dumped Paris Hilton because he can't keep up with her hard-living ways. The break up comes just days after the pair allegedly trashed a Las Vegas hotel room. A party in the couple's room at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino reportedly got out of hand, and Stavros and his buddies started a fire. The blaze set off the sprinkler system, flooding a dozen rooms and causing evacuations.
· Court Hears Case Of DWI Sans Car Keys. The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday was given a riddle to ponder: If a car engine is running but the vehicle is inoperable, can the drunk man in the driver’s seat be convicted of DWI? The attorney for Charles F. Rogers of Springdale argued to the appeals court that his client’s DWI conviction in Washington County Circuit Court should be overturned because Rogers was not in “actual physical control” of his vehicle when he was found asleep behind the steering wheel.
· NASCAR's Kurt Busch Regrets Actions. A repentant Kurt Busch said he regrets becoming "argumentative" with an officer during a traffic stop last week in Phoenix, but insists that alcohol played no part in his behavior. "When I was asked by the officer if I had been drinking, I explained to them I had one drink during dinner, but I was certainly not intoxicated," Busch said in an exclusive telephone interview with The Associated Press from his Charlotte, N.C., office Thursday night.
· Man Calls Mom After He Was Reported Dead. Anthony Sheppard shocked his mother this week with a telephone call, a day after he was reported dead. "When he called me I thought I was talking to a ghost," said Verna McCowan. Oakland police on Tuesday bungled the identification of a man shot to death after finding Sheppard's identification card on the victim.
· Most airline cargo isn't checked for explosives. Nearly all of the cargo in the nation's aviation system goes unchecked for explosives, and policies aimed at thwarting cargo bombs on passenger planes are flawed, according to a government report. Terrorists could foil the government's strategy for keeping bombs out of cargo holds by meeting a few basic requirements that would allow them to put an explosives-laden package on a jet, the Government Accountability Office said.
· Pedophile's visit shocks school brass. A convicted pedophile — whose background was apparently unknown to school officials — addressed kindergartners to fifth-graders at a Veterans Day program at a township school earlier this week.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
· Superintendent Arrested After Camera Found. A school superintendent was arrested for allegedly placing a hidden video camera resembling an air freshener dispenser in a women's bathroom at the school administration office. Danny Edward Doyen, 46, admitted to investigators that he bought the camera with a school district credit card and placed it in a restroom to obtain nude photos of female employees.
· Restraining order not enough to save former girlfriend. At the time Shane Case was arrested and jailed for intimidating his former girlfriend, Teresa Marie Delisio, he was carrying just over $5,000. He used that money — and a $2,500 swipe of his credit card — to bail himself out of county jail. Just hours later Delisio, 34, was found dead in her driveway from a single gun shot.
· The late Rod Serling to introduce show. In an upcoming "Medium" television episode starring Patricia Arquette, there will be a 45-second opening sequence in which Rod Sterling - who died in 1975 - is "reanimated" in an altered film clip taken from "The Twilight Zone."
· Fla. Supreme Court Muzzles 'Pit Bull' Ad. The Florida Supreme Court muzzled a pair of "pit bull" lawyers Thursday. The seven justices unanimously decided that a TV commercial featuring a pit bull in a spiked collar and the telephone number PIT-BULL demeans the legal profession.
· The world of bin Laden: no drinks, no gambling, no pictures of women. Osama bin Laden wants the United States to convert to Islam, ditch its constitution, abolish banks, jail homosexuals and sign the Kyoto climate change treaty.
· Scandal tapes reveal sordid details of battle with TV lawyer. Sex in a courthouse stairwell, threesomes, adultery, political espionage and spies - that was the stuff of secretly taped conversations at the heart of the investigation into allegations that Southfield, Mich. attorney Geoffrey Fieger attempted to blackmail Michigan State Attorney General Mike Cox, according to transcripts released Wednesday.
· Baldwin's Custody Battle is Costing Him a Fortune. Actor Alec Baldwin has dropped another bombshell in his ongoing custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger by claiming in new legal papers that he has spent over $1 million fighting the case.
· Missing Fla. Teen Found Safe; Sex Offender Dead. A 17-year-old girl who disappeared at the same time as a convicted sex offender has been found safe and the man dead. An Amber Alert had been issued earlier Thursday for the teenager.
· Saudi royal picks his jail. A 23-year-old member of the Saudi royal family will spend only a year in jail on scenic Martha’s Vineyard for running down a Cambridge father – allegedly while drunk – under a plea agreement to be presented this morning to a Suffolk Superior Court judge. “He killed someone and he gets to pick where he wants to go to jail?” said an outraged family member.
· ‘Ray’ Filmmakers Sued. A former music partner of the late Ray Charles is suing the filmmakers of 'Ray' for the manner in which he is portrayed in the movie. The New York Daily News reports that lawyers for Garcia (Gossie) McKee, 85, have filed a complaint in California Superior Court against writer-director Taylor Hackford and Universal, among others, alleging that "'Ray' falsely depicts McKee ... plotting to cheat, exploit and take advantage of Charles."
· U.S. Serviceman Gets Suspended Sentence. A Japanese court on Thursday convicted a U.S. Air Force serviceman of molesting a 10-year-old Japanese girl on the southern island of Okinawa earlier this year, sentencing him to a suspended prison term.
· Does Decaf Coffee Pose Heart-Disease Risk? Caffeinated coffee may have an undeserved bad rap, suggests a new study that shows the decaffeinated variety may have harmful heart effects. The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, showed that people who drank decaf had higher levels of a protein linked to heart disease risk compared with those who drank caffeinated coffee.
· Ford Ordered to Pay $61 million in SUV Accident. A jury has ordered the Ford Motor Co. to pay more than $61 million to the family of a 17-year-old boy killed in a roll-over accident when his friend fell asleep while driving an Explorer.
· Fleiss Plans Makeover for Nevada Brothel. Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss says she's bound for a brothel in the southern Nevada desert that she wants to help remake into a resort featuring male prostitutes serving female customers. "I am opening up a stud farm," Fleiss declared from her Hollywood home overlooking the Sunset Strip. "I am going to have the sexiest men on earth. Women are going to love it."
· Polygamist's Brother Indicted by Federal Grand Jury. A federal grand jury indicted the brother of fugitive polygamist sect leader Warren Steed Jeffs on a charge of concealing him, prosecutors said Wednesday. Seth Jeffs was arrested after a traffic stop where police said he had nearly $142,000 in cash, and $7,000 worth of prepaid phone cards in his SUV.
· Female teacher accused of having sex with student now accused of stealing boyfriend. A Riverview woman is upset not only because her boyfriend dumped her for another woman, but because of who that woman is and the time she may spend around her child. That woman is Debra Lafave. Lafave is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student. It is a confusing story that involves the ex-girlfriend of Lafave's current boyfriend, Andrew Beck, according to Channel 10 TV in Tampa Bay.
· Judge Who Held Court At Strip Club Removed From Bench. A state agency removed a judge from the bench Wednesday, concluding that he engaged in "a shocking abuse of power" that led to the wrongful conviction and two-day jail stay for a woman challenging a traffic infraction. Superior Court Judge Kevin Ross was also cited for filming a pilot television series, called "Mobile Court," in which a real small-claims case was heard in a Los Angeles strip club, with Ross presiding.
· Bush surprises Koizumi with Segway gift. In the latest sign of their chummy ties, U.S. President George W. Bush gave Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi a surprise gift of a Segway electric scooter Wednesday and urged him to take a spin.
· Teen jockey killed in fall at Ohio track. A 16-year-old apprentice jockey died Wednesday after being thrown from his horse at a track near Columbus, Ohio, police and track officials said. Josh Radosevich was thrown off the thoroughbred Nyoka during the third race at Beulah Park. Radosevich was trampled by at least two horses after falling, and was pronounced dead at a Columbus hospital. Radosevich, who was a sophomore in high school, had recorded 14 wins.
· Jury Consultant Sues Martha Stewart. A jury consultant hired to advise Martha Stewart's lawyer ahead of her trial for lying about a stock sale is suing the domestic diva, claiming Stewart still owes her more than $74,000.
· Man jailed 27 years ago for failing to pay hotel bill in Ky., charged with making bomb threat. A Milwaukee man, jailed in Lexington 27 years ago after failing to pay a hotel bill, was charged with making a bomb threat last week against that same hotel, federal law-enforcement officials said Wednesday. "Evidently he has harbored that grudge since 1978," FBI Special Agent Steven Gurley said.
· Gunman Robs Eatery Twice In One Day. The same gunman robbed a restaurant twice in one day, Greenville police say. The robber came into the First Wok restaurant around 11:30 a.m. Monday, pointing a gun at an employee and demanding money, according to a police report.
· Radio Station's HOV-Lane Stunt Backfires. A Houston radio station's stunt testing high-occupancy vehicle lane restrictions didn't go as planned Tuesday morning. An employee of KKRW Radio placed a mannequin in the passenger seat of his vehicle, and was quickly stopped and ticketed for violating the three-person rule of the HOV lane.
· Diet drug found to cut cholesterol and belly fat. A drug that curbs food cravings has been found to help users lose weight and raise good cholesterol. But researchers are cautioning that it is not a miracle drug. A new Canadian study shows the drug rimonabant, known by the trade name Acomplia, will likely become a new contender in the war against obesity by helping patients lose dangerous abdominal fat and reduce the risk factors than can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
· People Names McConaughey 'Sexiest Man.' Matthew McConaughey has been named the "sexiest man alive" by People magazine. The actor is pictured on the cover of People's annual issue, on newsstands Friday. For the 36-year-old McConaughey, it's a clear sign that his career is in the midst of an upturn - and that his girlfriend, Penelope Cruz, may be rubbing off on him.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
· Woman's 'crime' was never illegal, judge says. Allysan Isaac, 24, was held nearly a year in work release for something that a judge said Tuesday was not even illegal. "You were incarcerated for a case that was not a crime," said Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn, who presided over the case.
· Mom Makes Daughter Stand on Street Corner. Tasha Henderson got tired of her 14-year-old daughter's poor grades, her chronic lateness to class and her talking back to her teachers, so she decided to teach the girl a lesson. She made Coretha stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection Nov. 4 with a cardboard sign that read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food."
· 'Desperate' actor disputes stories. Former "Desperate Housewives" actor Page Kennedy says he wasn't fired from the hit show because of any improper behavior. Kennedy said officials merely wanted to recast his role and that reports of him being let go for on-set nudity are false.
· Lawyers win another round. DVD rental firm Netflix just settled a case involving accusations of misleading advertising. In the settlement, Netflix agreed to pay the lawyers up to $2.5 million. Consumers don't get any money. They get what's known in the class-action world as a "coupon settlement." Instead of money, Netflix customers get one free month's trial for upgraded service. How about giving the consumers the $2.5 million and giving the lawyers a couple of free months of Netflix DVDs instead?
· State Fair Park will sell naming rights to increase revenue. For $5,000, you can name a public restroom after yourself at the Nebraska State Fair. But naming the toilets after someone else as a joke won't be allowed.
· 'This Is Your Life' host dead at 92. Broadcasting pioneer Ralph Edwards, who spotlighted stars and ordinary people as host of the popular 1950s show "This Is Your Life," died Wednesday of heart failure.
· Man Finds $850,000 Outside Bank. A man went through the bank drive-through and found a lot more than he expected. An $850,000 deposit was accidentally dropped in the drive-through lane at the Bank of America. No reward is being offered.
· Police Suspect 14 Year-Old Is Serial Rapist. The boy, who is in custody, is already implicated in half a dozen attacks on teenage girls and women up to the age of 32. Police say they're using his DNA to see if it matches evidence from any other sexual assaults.
· Judge Nixes Plea Deal In Fast-Food Strip-Search Case. A man accused in a bizarre telephone hoax that began with him strip-searching an employee of a fast-food restaurant had his plea agreement turned down Wednesday. Instead, a judge ruled that Walter Nix will have to stand trial.
· Update: Number's Up For Cell Phone Bandit. Meet Candice Martinez. The Virginia woman, 19, is suspected of being the so-called Cell Phone Bandit who recently robbed four banks while apparently pretending to be yakking on a cell phone. Here's the mug shot and affidavit.
· Suspect on bicycle dies after collision with patrol car. A bicyclist suspected of robbing a Great Falls casino at gunpoint early Tuesday died minutes after the holdup when a squad car responding to the scene struck him.
· Bird shot for downing domino record bid. The Dutch animal protection agency said Tuesday it is investigating the shooting death of a sparrow that knocked over 23,000 dominoes during an attempt to set a world record. The organizers wanted to break their own Guinness World Record of 3,992,397 dominoes set last year by toppling a chain of 4,321,000 blocks.
· No DUI Charge After Driver Hits Boy Sparks Outrage. A group of neighbors in Orange County, Fla., were outraged after an 8-year-old was hit by a woman who allegedly admitted she was drinking and driving but was never charged with DUI. Witnesses snapped photos of an open beer can in the back of Diane Clark's car, but was not arrested for her third DUI because when troopers tested her more than two hours later she was legally sober.
· Mom-to-be calls unborn a passenger. A pregnant woman ticketed for driving in the carpool lane will have her day in court next month to argue that her unborn child counts as a second person in the car.
· Canada a no-fly zone for Stern. Space may be the final frontier for Howard Stern in the U.S., but Canada remains a no-fly zone. The superstar shock-jock becomes the king of satellite radio in the U.S. in January, courtesy of a $500-million deal with Sirius Satellite Radio. But Sirius Canada, which plans to start service before the end of this year, has no plans to include Stern and his no-holds-barred morning show.
· Atlanta settles lawsuit; rehires attacker. The city of Atlanta has settled a lawsuit for $250,000 with a woman who was body slammed last year at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport by an Atlanta Police officer. Despite the fact that the entire episode was caught on airport security video, the Atlanta Civil Service Board ruled last week that Officer Terrance Alexander, who was fired, must be reinstated.
· More Americans get their newspaper at the click of a mouse. Readers might be deserting America's traditional newspapers in droves, but they seem to be turning as quickly to the papers' online editions, which have just posted an 11 percent rise in readership, according to new figures.
· Georgia Looks At Closing Loophole Allowing Children To Marry. Ever since her 13-year-old niece wed a 14-year-old boy last year, Sharon Cline has sent lawmakers a slew of letters begging them to change a Georgia law that allows children of any age to marry - without parental consent - as long as the bride-to-be is pregnant.
· Lawmakers say New York to lose 9/11 aid for sick workers. Congressional budget negotiators have decided to take back $125 million in Sept. 11 aid from New York, which had fought to keep the money to treat sick and injured ground zero workers, lawmakers said Tuesday.
· Lifeguard Drives Over Sunbather. For the second time, a Miami Beach lifeguard driving a truck has run over a sunbather lying on the beach. Miami Beach Fire Chief Javier Otero said the 3,400-pound lifeguard truck ran over 19-year-old Jillian Gonzalez's head and shoulder. An official said the soft sand likely saved her life because she was able to stand upright after being run over, according to the report.
· Stone Settles Lawsuit With Plastic Surgeon. A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by Sharon Stone against a Beverly Hills doctor she accused of implying that he had performed cosmetic surgery on her famous face, a lawyer said Tuesday. Stone, 47, accepted an offer by Dr. Renato Calabria to perform several charity surgeries for underprivileged children involved in her philanthropic efforts, Kevin Leichter, a lawyer representing Calabria, said Tuesday.
· Detroit Councilman Alonzo Bates indicted. A federal grand jury Tuesday indicted Detroit City Councilman Alonzo Bates for putting ghost employees on the city payroll from 2002-2004, including relatives and his lawn man.
· Indian Money Accounting Impossible. A federal appeals court decided Tuesday that it was unreasonable to require a detailed historical accounting of money the government has been managing for American Indians, saying the bookkeeping chore would "take 200 years." The accounting had been ordered by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who is overseeing a class-action lawsuit in which thousands of American Indians claim they were cheated out of more than $100 billion in oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties overseen by the Interior Department since 1887.
· Best and worst reality-show hosts. Last year, MSNBC awarded their Reality TV Turkey of the Year awards to Donald Trump and William Hung. They would like to continue the tradition this year, and plenty of people are fighting for the not-so-coveted title. Send in your thoughts on who the biggest turkeys of reality TV were in 2005, and why.
· Miller Claims Bud Light Formula Altered. The latest fight in the U.S. beer battle is a matter of taste. Miller Brewing Co. says rival Anheuser-Busch has altered Bud Light in the past year to make it more bitter and bubbly, rolling out the claim about Bud Light in national television ads that began airing Friday. The company said data it has collected show Bud Light's bitterness and carbonation rose from last year.
· Doctors Treating Dieters Suffering From Hair Loss. Doctors are seeing more and more dieters suffering from hair loss. Dermatologists said most dieters seeing gradual hair loss are having a hard time dealing with it. "It can cause half the hair to be lost on the head," dermatologist Michael Reed said. "It can even happen when people losing weight gradually." Reed said hair is sensitive and needs nutrients like protein and iron.
· 'Peace Mom' Plans to Resume War Protest. Cindy Sheehan and at least a dozen supporters are prepared to be arrested as they return to the makeshift campsite along the road leading to Bush's ranch, where he is expected to spend the holiday.
· Oprah Regets Her 1988 Liquid Diet. Oprah Winfrey, dressed in skinny jeans and a long-sleeve dark top, wheeled a wagon loaded with fat onto the set of her show in 1988 to represent her 67-pound weight loss. She had lost the pounds with a liquid protein diet. "Two hours after that show, I started eating to celebrate - of course, within two days those jeans no longer fit!"
· Deal averts Internet showdown. A summit focusing on narrowing the digital divide between the rich and poor countries opened with an agreement of sorts on who will maintain ultimate oversight of the Internet and the flow of information and commerce. U.S. officials said that instead of transferring management of the system to an international body such as the United Nations, an international forum would be created to address concerns. The forum, however, would have no binding authority.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
· ACLU Sues to Expand Bible Tax Break. Acting on behalf of the seller of a witches bible and other "spiritual" books, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit arguing that a Georgia law exempting the Bible from sales tax is discriminatory and should be extended to all publications dealing with the meaning of life.
· 'Cool Mom' Gets 30 Years In Prison For Sex Romps. A 41-year-old Arvada, Colorado mother who provided sex and booze to teenagers because she wanted to be a "cool mom" was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday. The judge said Silvia Johnson had used poor judgment in hosting the parties and consorting with the students from Arvada West High School.
· Spanking Causes Violence Across Cultures, Study Says. Children who are spanked are more likely to be anxious and aggressive than children who are disciplined in other ways, according to researchers in six countries. The study grew out of controversy over whether parents should use physical discipline.
· Nursing home keeps spirits up with own pub. A nursing home in Ireland has hit on a cheering way to keep up the spirits of its elderly patients - by providing its own pub. St Mary's Hospital in County Monaghan, near the Irish border with Northern Ireland, believes ready access to a good pint may help its patients - average age 85 - actually live longer.
· Everybody Loves a Lawsuit. Doris Roberts has sued her former talent agency for fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, claiming the company screwed up her Everybody Loves Raymond deal and cost her millions of dollars. Roberts, 76, is seeking at least $2 million in compensatory damages from Innovative Artists Talent and Literary Agency and her ex-agent, Scott Harris.
· Cuban Woman Who Traveled To Fla. In DHL Crate Receives Asylum. A Cuban woman who stowed away inside a wooden crate flown by a cargo plane from the Bahamas to Miami will be allowed to stay permanently in the United States. Sandra De los Santos received political asylum Monday, nearly 15 months after a crew unloading the filing-cabinet sized DHL crate discovered her at Miami International Airport.
· Court Says 'Cell Phone Bandit' Suspect Confessed. An FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday said 19-year-old Candice Martinez admitted being responsible for robbing four Wachovia Bank branches in northern Virginia. The robber was seen on surveillance video talking on her cell phone during the heists. The court papers also reveal Martinez's boyfriend, Dave Williams, confessed to driving the getaway car in all four heists. Williams had once worked at one of the branches.
· Lennon Killer Says He Was Unstoppable.' The man who murdered John Lennon 25 years ago says "nothing could have stopped" his twisted quest to track down and assassinate the ex-Beatle. "I was under total compulsion," killer Mark David Chapman says. Chapman recalled waiting for Lennon that night, then reacting as he saw a limousine pull up outside the ex-Beatle's home.
· Bond set for city councilman busted with meth lab in home. Bond is set at $50,000 for a Fort Morgan, CO City Council member arrested in connection with the discovery of an alleged methamphetamine lab at his home.
· Court Mulls Man's Mandatory 55-Year Sentence For Selling Pot. A federal court heard an appeal Tuesday from a Utah man sentenced to 55 years in prison for dealing small amounts of marijuana while carrying a gun - a case that could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court to test the constitutionality of mandatory sentences.
· 'Seinfeld' cast goes 'Live' for full show. Later this month, they're going to something on "Live with Regis & Kelly" they've never done before - devote the entire show to another show. November 23, the popular morning gabfest will be the setting for Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to talk about "Seinfeld."
· New Jersey seeking new slogan. Make us a slogan we can't refuse, the state of New Jersey said. We got your slogan right here, the people replied. A push to come up with a new slogan for the Garden State has become an excuse to crack New Jersey jokes. Among the entries: "New Jersey: It Always Smells Like This," and "Most of Our Elected Officials Have Not Been Indicted."
· Man convicted of extortion, wire fraud. A self-described minister was convicted Monday of trying to blackmail New York Yankees slugger Gary Sheffield and his wife by claiming he had a video showing her having sex with R&B singer R. Kelly.
· Jennifer Aniston Named GQ's 'Man Of The Year.' GQ magazine's Man of the Year is a woman. Jennifer Aniston earned the honor because the magazine said she showed a lot of poise, grace and good humor during her breakup with Brad Pitt this year. The acting couple's divorce was granted last month after four years of marriage.
· 'Cell Phone Bandit' Suspect Caught. An FBI spokeswoman said agents have arrested the 19-year-old woman suspected of robbing four banks in northern Virginia while talking on her cell phone. FBI spokeswoman Debbie Weirman told WRC-TV that Candice Martinez, the so-called “cell phone bandit” suspect, was arrested just before 4 a.m. in Centreville, Va.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· Grand jury declines to indict driver in Rita bus fire. A grand jury declined Monday to indict a bus driver in connection with the deaths of 23 passengers killed in a fire that destroyed the vehicle as they fled Hurricane Rita in September. He has been detained as a material witness in the investigation and still faces immigration charges for being in the United States illegally.
· Fla. Official Wants Pink DUI License Plates. A Republican senator wants a law to require bright pink license plates on vehicles driven by people with restricted driving privileges due to convictions for driving under the influence. Sen. Mike Fasano, of New Port Richey, filed a bill earlier this month that requires the first three characters on the plate to read "DUI."
· Princess Sayako marries commoner. Wearing a simple white dress and pearls, Japan's Princess Sayako bid farewell to palace life Tuesday to wed a Tokyo city employee in a low-key ceremony marking the first time that an emperor's daughter has married a commoner.
· Actress Brooke Burns Hospitalized. Actress Brooke Burns was hospitalized after diving into her backyard pool and hitting her head, her agent said Monday. Burns broke a bone in her neck and required "minor surgery," said Paradigm spokeswoman Jennifer Glassman. The former "Baywatch" star and host of "Dog Eat Dog" has been hospitalized since Friday, Glassman said.
· Fla. Professor's Terrorism Trial Goes To Jury. After five months of testimony, the terrorism trial of a former Florida professor goes to the jury Tuesday. Sami Al-Arian and three co-defendants are charged with raising money in the United States to support the murderous mission of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Monday, November 14, 2005
· Exercise can add 3 years to life expectancy. People who exercise can add three years to their life, and their hearts reap benefits from something as simple as brisk walking a half-hour a day, two studies suggest.
· Fans mob Schwarzenegger in China. Chinese fans have mobbed California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the first day of a visit to Beijing. Police had to push away the crowds that surrounded Mr Schwarzenegger and his wife after they became separated from their official security guards.
· Teens Sought After Pa. Killings Found. A man wanted in a Pennsylvania double homicide and apparent abduction of 14-year-old girl was captured Monday after a car he was driving crashed in Indiana following a police pursuit, State Police said.
· School Drops Song About Picking Cotton From Program After Parent Complains. A song about people picking cotton was pulled from a middle school concert in suburban Detroit after a black parent complained that it glorifies slavery.
· Five college presidents pocket more than $1 million. Curious where those extra tuition dollars are going? One place to look would be the pockets of college presidents. Five presidents have cracked the $1 million compensation barrier, according to an annual survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education to be released today, and more are sure to follow. Nine earned more than $900,000 - a figure none broke in last year's report.
· NBC to Martha Stewart: 'You're Fired.' It's a fade out for "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" after next month's finale. Sources said that NBC has passed on ordering another round of episodes of the Stewart-hosted edition of "The Apprentice," which has struggled in the ratings since its September 21 premiere.
· Police ID Suspect In 'Cell Phone Bandit' Robberies. Police have issued an arrest warrant for Candice Rose Martinez, 19, who they believe is the so-called "cell phone bandit" who talked on a cell phone while allegedly robbing several area banks in Virginia.
· Moon Unit Zappa tops celebrity children bizarre names poll. Frank Zappa's daughter Moon Unit has topped a list of celebrity offspring with the most bizarre names, according to an online poll. Another of the US singer-songwriter's four children - Dweezil - also makes the top 10 at number seven.
· Atheist Plans Suit Over 'In God We Trust' On Money. The atheist who's spent years trying to ban recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools said he'll file a new lawsuit this week. Michael Newdow plans to ask a federal court to order removal of the national motto "In God We Trust" from U.S. coins and currency. He said it violates the religious rights of atheists who belong to his "First Amendment Church of True Science."
· Dallas Newlywed Police Officer Fatally Shot During Foot Chase. Officer Brian Jackson and another officer went to investigate a disturbance complaint and chased a male suspect through alleys and between houses, Police Chief David Kunkle said. During the chase, the man fired at the officers, fatally wounding Jackson, Kunkle said.
· Hollywood Unions Protest Product Placement. Hollywood writers and actors are calling for a code of conduct to govern a growing trend of hidden advertising in TV shows and films, and they say they will appeal to federal regulators if studios don't respond. The also want their share of the billions of dollars in advertising revenue generated by what they write and act in.
· Turbo Tap Draws Draft In Two Seconds. Can't get a brewski fast enough? Turbo Tap is coming to the rescue. Time magazine calls the gadget one of the coolest inventions of 2005. The Turbo Tap is able to pull a pint of draft beer in about two seconds.
· Woman who drowned with son off Oregon coast was scattering late husband's ashes. A woman and two of her grown sons, swept out to sea by a rogue wave along the Oregon coast, had gone to the shore to scatter the ashes of her late husband.
· Teen reported abducted by boyfriend after parents slain. A 14-year-old girl is missing after her parents were shot to death in their home, and authorities have issued an arrest warrant for an 18-year-old believed to be her boyfriend.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
· Accused molester may have married 15-year-old victim. A 37-year-old Gainesville woman charged with molesting a 15-year-old boy may be pregnant and married to the alleged victim. Lisa Lynette Clark is said to have married a 15-year-old neighbor in Dawson County last week.
· Congress to subsidize old TV sets. While considering slashes in Medicaid and student loan programs, Congress is about to set aside up to $3 billion to help millions of Americans with old, nondigital television sets buy converter boxes. Each converter box is expected to cost the government $40 to $60, but supporters of the legislation don't want to take any chances of being accused of denying Americans their right to a TV picture when broadcasting goes all digital.
· NASCAR Driver Suspended After Run-In. Driver Kurt Busch on Sunday was suspended by his NASCAR team, Rousch Racing, for the last two races of the season after a run-in with law enforcement. Busch will be replaced in the race at Phoenix International Raceway by Kenny Wallace. "It's the last straw for Roush Racing," said Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing. "We're officially retiring as Kurt Busch's apologists effective today."
· Florida PTA Takes Stance on Stun Guns. Taking its first official position on the use of stun guns, the Florida PTA is calling for the devices to be used only as an alternative to shooting a student with a gun and urging lawmakers to further study the device's effect on people.
· 1,100 Lawyers Leave Saddam Defense Team. Some 1,100 Iraqi lawyers have withdrawn from Saddam Hussein's defense team, citing insufficient protection following the slayings of two peers representing co-defendants of the ousted Iraqi leader.
· Man arrested for allegedly booby-trapping home. A Las Vegas, N.M., man has been arrested after police say he put a potentially lethal booby-trap in his home to stop burglars. Benny Armijo, 43, was arrested on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Police say he admitted to setting the trap.
· Legal Issues Stall Sale of BTK Killer's Kansas Home. The sale of the home of BTK serial killer Dennis Rader is stalled until the courts determine whether the money can be seized to pay for his defense or awards in civil cases. Michelle Borin-Devuono bought the home for $90,000, about $33,000 above its appraised value, at an auction. She said she wanted the proceeds to go to Rader's wife, Paula.
· 1-Square-Inch Of Land For Sale At $1,500. A tiny parcel of land in southwest Indiana is some of the priciest real estate in the world. Owen County officials are trying to sell a 1-square-inch plot of land for $1,500. At that rate, an acre of land would cost nearly $7 billion.
· Police Make Arrest in Jordan Bombings. Jordanian police have arrested a woman who accompanied a suicide bomber to one of the targeted Amman hotels and failed to detonate her own explosive device, King Abdullah II said Sunday.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
· NASCAR Star Avoids Drunken Driving Arrest. Kurt Busch was detained on suspicion of drunken driving and cited for reckless driving after a confrontation with police near the track where the NASCAR champion is to race Sunday. A police spokesman said Busch was stopped Friday night after trying to avoid another car and running a stop sign about two miles from Phoenix International Raceway.
· Lawyer sues Internet companies who don't charge him sales tax. Chicago lawyer Stephen Diamond has filed about 100 lawsuits against companies for failing to charge him sales tax on items he bought, earning himself about $500,000 in settlements and judgments, according to the Wall Street Journal.
· Alaska's Governor Gets Sleek Jet. Critics have dubbed it "Murky's Turkey," but Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski finally has the sleek executive jet he says he and other state officials need. The $2.6 million Westwind aircraft, equipped with a leather sofa, burgundy carpeting and a toilet, arrived this week in Anchorage and will replace a no-frills turboprop used by previous Alaska governors for official business. Critics say Murkowski's jet is unusable in much of rural Alaska, where runways are too short to land it.
· Jerry Lewis Talks About 'Love Story.' Jerry Lewis wants you to love Dean Martin as much as he did. Lewis doesn't think Martin got the credit he deserved for being half of the greatest comedian team of their day. So he's written a book, "Dean & Me (A Love Story)" to set the record straight.
· Jackpot winners are caught in crosshairs of false report. Southern Oregon’s Powerball jackpot winners got a glimpse of the nasty side of celebrity this week, when they were unfairly characterized as demanding penny-pinchers in the national press, a spokesman said. The New York Post and AP claimed the winners demanded amenities such as a private jet, Broadway tickets and a limousine tour in exchange for an exclusive interview on the "Today" morning show. In reality, the local residents were simply inquiring about protocol for appearing on a national television show, something they’d never done before, according to a representative.
· NY prosecutors not amused by accused mobster on TV. A reputed New York mobster has made a "mockery" of his bail conditions by starring in a reality television show in which he is seen frolicking with topless dancers at a strip club, prosecutors said. Christopher Colombo, who is charged with racketeering and extortion, spent the past few months filming HBO's upcoming "House Arrest," said prosecutor Benjamin Lawsky in a letter to a federal judge.
· Top 10 Sports Scandals. With the Panthers cheerleaders alleged-sex-in-a-bathroom (which they have denied took place) scandal coming hot on the heels of the Vikings sex-on-a-boat escapade, perhaps it's time to ponder 10 of the (other) biggest sex scandals in sports history.
· Judge Allows Woman to Sue KISS Rocker. A woman who claims to be a former girlfriend of KISS rocker Gene Simmons can proceed with a defamation lawsuit in which she says he made her sound like a "sex-addicted nymphomaniac" during a VH1 television show, a judge has ruled.
· Woman arrested twice in two hours. A 37-year-old woman was arrested twice in about two hours on drunken-driving charges in Milton. After the second arrest, Laura Broten told police: "I only had one beer after you arrested me the first time," police reported.
· Mother accused of offering 4-year-old for sex. A 22-year-old woman has been arrested after authorities said she agreed to sell her 4-year-old daughter for sex over the Internet. Authorities said a man who knew Shannon Nicole Woods recognized her photograph in a posting on Craigslist.org soliciting men for prostitution and contacted her posing as a potential client.
· Judge blocks video game law. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction stopping a Michigan law that bars retailers from selling or renting violent video games to minors from going into effect until a lawsuit filed by the gaming industry is resolved.
· Pets shake their tails to Internet station. Cats groove to disco, dogs dig Elvis, but to really reach your pet's soul, it'll take Dionne Warwick. That's what Eagle Rock resident Adrian Martinez learned in the past few months watching his bizarre hobby turn into an even more bizarre business. He started DogCatRadio.com six months ago for the amusement of his six dogs and the pair of cats he looks after. And now it's really taking off.
· New Camaro muscle car has $427,000 price tag. The look of the new Baldwin-Motion 540 Camaro SuperCoupe calls to mind the the 1969 Camaro, but this is a bigger, broader two-seat monster. The SuperCoupe is powered by a 700-horsepower V-8 engine.
· Cardboard box added to Toy Hall of Fame. Low-tech and unpretentious it may be, but the cardboard box has fostered learning and creativity for multiple generations — a key qualifier for inclusion in the museum's seven-year-old hall of fame.
· Business guru Peter Drucker dies. Peter F. Drucker, revered as the father of modern management for his numerous books and articles stressing innovation, entrepreneurship and strategies for dealing with a changing world, died Friday, a spokesman for Claremont Graduate University said. Drucker termed Wall Street brokers "a totally non-productive crowd which is out for a lot of easy money." "When you reach the point where the traders make more money than investors, you know it's not going to last," he said.
· Sinise Named Spokesman for Veterans Group. Gary Sinise will serve as the national spokesman for the Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial Foundation. The actor, who played Vietnam vet "Lt. Dan" Taylor in "Forrest Gump," agreed to the spokesman position, it was announced Friday. The foundation is working to build a disabled veterans memorial in Washington D.C. near the Capitol.
Friday, November 11, 2005
· Sony pulls CD software. Music publisher Sony BMG said on Friday it would stop making CDs that use a controversial technology to protect its music against illegal copying. The decision follows the discovery on Thursday of the first virus that uses Sony BMG's CD copy-protection software to hide on PCs and wreak havoc.
· Former NFL player killed in tree accident. Steve Courson, the former offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers who developed a heart problem after becoming one of the first NFL players to acknowledge using steroids, was killed Thursday when a tree he was cutting fell on him.
· Convicted rapist tells judge he's rude. Convicted rapist Stephen Terry Bolden told a Russell County judge he was being "real rude" during a sentencing hearing, which prompted the judge to add extra days to Bolden's already lengthy sentence.
· Woman Robs Banks While on Her Cell Phone. These days it seems that some people just can't go anywhere or do anything without a cell phone in their ear. In northern Virginia the police say they're looking for a woman who's been holding up banks while chatting on her phone. "This is the first time that I can recall where we've had a crime committed while the person was using a cell phone," a Loudoun County sheriff's spokesman said.
· Boy says he was put in freezer. To his 5-year-old mind, it wasn't always clear why his mother's boyfriend would stuff him head first into a chest freezer. Eventually, he found a way out: Stop crying.
· Owner Says Dog Found Her Cancer. Can man's best friend be trained to sniff out a dangerous health condition? Carolyn Withers is convinced the answer is yes. Withers said her dog, Myles, was not afraid to speak up when he thought something was wrong.
· NBA Owners Buy Full-Page Ads to Apologize for Trashing City of Detroit. The owners of the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team took out full-page ads Thursday to apologize for a video that showed images of urban blight in Detroit before a game earlier this week, including abandoned and dilapidated buildings, burned out cars, and garbage-strewn streets.
· Ex-wildfire chief accused of setting fires. The former commander of an elite wildfire team that battled the largest blaze in Arizona history and aided in recovery efforts at the World Trade Center is accused of starting two fires last year, federal prosecutors said.
· Lawsuit Abuse Critic Explains Suit. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., says that the No. 1 health care crisis in his state is medical lawsuit abuse and in the past he's called for a $250,000 cap on non-economic damage awards or awards for pain and suffering. But Santorum's wife sued a doctor for $500,000 in 1999, with an award of "$330,000 or so" for her injuries.
· Cops left drug in girl's bag. London cops gave an anti-drugs lesson to schoolkids — then sent a girl aged ten home with a bag of speed in her satchel. Kia Butterfield and pals watched packs of drugs deliberately planted in their bags by officers for a demo by sniffer dogs.
· Woman faces sex charges involving 2 boys. Flagler County sheriff's deputies arrested a Palm Coast woman accused of forcing a 10-year-old boy to perform oral sex on her while she had a racy phone conversation with her imprisoned boyfriend.
· Pizza Hut Workers Lock Selves In Freezer During Attack. Police in Casselberry, Fla., are searching for two men who stormed into a Pizza Hut and pistol-whipped a manager during a robbery of the business. During the robbery, employees of the restaurant locked themselves in a large walk-in freezer to escape the attackers,
· Man dies after revolver stunt. A northeastern Minnesota man is dead of an accidental gunshot wound to the chest. Witnesses told St. Louis County investigators that 36-year-old Allen Lee Cooke was showing a .22-caliber revolver to a friend when the gun discharged while he was twirling it on his finger.
· Wal-Mart Defends 'Happy Holidays' Greeting. Wal-Mart officials said they meant no disrespect when a company e-mail described Christmas as a mix of world religions and suggested that its employees say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
Word of The Day by WordThink
feckless [feck·less] adj. 1. Careless and irresponsible. "The kids were feckless during spring break." 2. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective - unlikely to be successful. "It was a feckless attempt to make the company a success."
· Cat parasite linked to schizophrenia? A Washington psychiatrist believes there is a link between exposure to cats in childhood and schizophrenia. Dr. Fuller Torrey says that he has noticed that schizophrenics were more likely to have had cats when they were very young or mothers who had cats while pregnant.
· O'Reilly Sounds Off At San Francisco Voters. San Francisco has long been an easy target for conservatives, but one of the most controversial talk show hosts is taking his anger to a new level. "If you want to ban military recruiting, fine. But I’m not going to give you another nickel of federal money,” O'Reilly said. “If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it,” he continued. “We're going to say, ‘look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."
· Singer Chuck Berry sues karaoke distributors. Rock 'n' roll pioneer Chuck Berry has sued three leading karaoke music distributors, claiming they sold sing-along versions of his most popular hits without paying royalties or obtaining licenses. If he prevails in court, Berry, 79, stands to gain several hundred thousand dollars for each of his songs, including such hits as "Johnny B. Goode," "Maybellene" and "My Ding-A-Ling," his lawyer, Peter Haviland said.
· Human remains found in exonerated inmate's salvage yard. Investigators searching for a missing woman found burned human remains at a salvage yard owned by the family of a man who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he did not commit.
· If it appears to be too good to be true... People thought they were getting a good deal on the gas at $2.23 a gallon for regular, a whopping 26 cents a gallon cheaper than what it was selling for across the street. But instead of getting the best deal, they ended up getting the worse deal as they all soon learned when they tried to start their engines. Soon customers were getting a look at the substance they were paying $2.23 a gallon for. It smelled like gasoline but appeared to have been heavily diluted with water.
· New Jersey woman pleads guilty to interfering with flight. A New Jersey woman who was removed from a Northwest Airlines plane here for an alleged drunken fight with flight personnel changed her plea to guilty Thursday in federal court.
· Boeing jet goes the distance. Hong Kong to London the hard way, eastbound with the winds. Nonstop across two oceans and North America - more than half way around the world. By the time the wheels of the Boeing jet touched down at London's Heathrow airport at 1:18 p.m. local time Thursday, it had set a distance record of 11,664 nautical miles. Flight time was 22 hours, 42 minutes.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
· Police: Man Denied Account Throws Brick Into Orlando Bank. Police in Orlando, Fla., are searching for a man bank tellers said was denied an account, then left, only to return a short time later and throw a brick through the door.
· Televangelist Robertson warns town of God's wrath. Conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting "intelligent design" and warned them on Thursday not to be surprised if disaster struck.
· Ex-Nanny Sues Employer For Allegedly Beating Her Senseless. A former nanny filed a federal lawsuit against a Long Island couple on Thursday charging that they underpaid and abused her, culminating in a July 6 attack that left her passed out on the sidewalk in front of their home.
· Cash's Daughter Upset With Mom's Portrayal. Kathy Cash, one of Johnny Cash's five children, was so upset about how her mother is portrayed in the upcoming movie "Walk the Line" that she walked out of a family-only screening - five times. She thinks the movie is good, but said the film unfairly shows her mother, Vivian Liberto Distin, Johnny Cash's first wife, as a shrew.
· Students may be required to take Spanish. A proposal in Tallahassee is causing a stir in schools in Southwest Florida. The state's top democrat is supporting a plan to make Spanish classes mandatory for all students in kindergarten through second grade, just like English or Math.
· Retired Teacher, 87, Accused Of Sex With Boy. An 87-year-old retired teacher in Merritt Island, Fla., was charged Thursday on suspicion of having sex with a 16-year-old boy he met at an apartment complex, according to a Brevard County Sheriff's Office release.
· Congress: Not Enough Evidence for Perjury Charges Against Palmeiro. Baseball star Rafael Palmeiro will not be prosecuted on perjury charges after lawmakers said there isn't enough evidence to prove he lied when he told Congress under oath that he had "never used steroids" - six weeks before failing a steroid test.
· Philbin gets new 'Life' with ABC. Regis Philbin is returning to ABC primetime next year, this time as host of the network's revival of "This Is Your Life." "My network needs me! I'm there," Philbin said in a statement. "'This Is Your Life' was always one of my favorite shows."
· Police chief's son gets 20 days for probation violation. The son of Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas was sentenced to 20 days in jail yesterday for violating terms of his probation on two drunken-driving convictions and Metro jail officials were paying close attention to ensure the safety of the high-profile minimum security prisoner. Dustin Serpas had already served a six-day jail sentence in October on the two DUI charges and is no stranger to the lock-up.
· Lingerie Maker Unveils Heated Bra For Winter. Furry, heated bras may soon appear in some Japanese wardrobes as the country prepares for "Warm Biz" - a nationwide government campaign urging workers to bundle up and save energy on heating this winter.
· Appeals Court Overturns Lewdness Conviction. An appeals court has overturned the lewdness conviction of a man arrested in a Woodbridge drugstore for vigorously scratching his groin area through his pants pocket. Matthew Pinto claimed he had jock itch. His wife corroborated the claim.
· 18-year-old write-in candidate elected Hillsdale, Mich. mayor. An 18-year-old high school student said he was in shock Wednesday after being elected mayor by mounting a write-in campaign to oust the 51-year-old incumbent.
· CDC may ship killer virus to U.S. labs. Federal scientists say they will consider requests to ship the recently recreated 1918 killer flu virus to select U.S. research labs. There are 300 non-government research labs registered to work with deadly germs like the Spanish flu, which killed millions of people worldwide.
· Sleep apnea doubles risk of stroke, death - study. The common form of sleep apnea, in which the throat closes off throughout the night, at least doubles the risk of stroke or death, a study released on Wednesday showed. The researchers at Yale University also raised questions about whether existing apnea treatments reduced that risk, the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed.
· Elvis impersonator helps recover items. A retired Elvis impersonator helped Las Vegas police nab a man suspected of stealing more than $300,000 worth of memorabilia from the Elvis-A-Rama museum, authorities said Wednesday. Duke Adams, a 62-year-old "older-era Elvis," said he was approached while in line at a pharmacy by a man offering to sell him items once owned by Elvis Presley, including jewelry, clothing and the king's revolver.
· Scavenger hunter asks police officer for help, gets arrested instead. A man on a scavenger hunt entered a police station hoping to get a photo of an officer eating a doughnut. What he got instead was thrown in jail.
· Paris Hilton unhurt in minor crash in Hollywood. Paris Hilton was not hurt early Wednesday in a minor car accident as she left a Hollywood nightclub, said Hilton's publicist, Jack Ketsoyan. Hilton was a passenger in a silver Bentley that a companion drove into the back of a large commercial truck.
· Drive test pass after 33 years. A woman who took 33 years to pass her driving test got behind the wheel of her first car yesterday. Venida Crabtree, 50, of Cowley, Oxford, was granted her licence in July after failing approximately 40 previous driving exams and getting through seven instructors since the age of 17.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
· Not Your Father's Playboy Bunny. The Playboy bunny has a new look — and will soon be getting a new place to hop around in. Italian designer Roberto Cavalli showed off his new designs for the world-famous bunny costume in Las Vegas, where Playboy is building a casino-and-nightclub complex — its first "club" since the last U.S. Playboy Club closed in Lansing, Mich., in 1988.
· Cheerleader Denies Have Sex in Restroom. An ex-Carolina Panthers cheerleader charged with giving police a false name during her arrest at a bar has denied accounts that she was having sex with another cheerleader in a restroom stall. Renee Thomas, 20, also accused of hitting a bar patron, is charged with giving a false name and causing harm to another, a third-degree felony punishable by probation or a jail term of up to five years. The second cheerleader, Angela Keathley, 26, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
· Promise? Jacko may never live again in U.S. Michael Jackson will come back to the United States, but it's unlikely the King of Pop would ever make it his home again, says his father. He'll come back to visit, but not to stay, not to live," Joseph Jackson told The Associated Press in a recent interview.
· Texas Court Clears Way for New Yates Trial. Harris County Assistant District Attorney Alan Curry said the Andrea Yates case would be retried or a plea bargain considered. Jurors had rejected Yates insanity defense in 2002 and found her guilty of two capital murder charges for the deaths of three of her five children.
· BofA's unique ATM denial fee. Just when you think you've heard it all, here's a new one - a bank that charges you a fee for NOT giving you your money. If you're a Bank of America customer and you try to take out money at another bank's automated teller machine, better not ask for the wrong amount. If you request more than your daily limit or more than your available balance, though the transaction will be cancelled, Bank of America will still charge you $1.50.
· Flight Attendant Fight Stalls Plane To Chicago. A flight attendant fight Tuesday stalled a Chicago-bound plane for hours. The flight was supposed to leave Memphis just after 2 p.m., but a feud between employees forced the pilot to take drastic action before heading to Chicago. Moments after the dispute, the pilot decided it was best for the safety of the passengers to return to the gate and replace the crew.
· Former TV anchor jailed for giving candy to kids. Former CLTV sports director Robert Goldman was ordered jailed on Tuesday after being charged with violating the terms of his probation by handing out candy to Halloween trick-or-treaters. Goldman, 44, remained in the Lake County Jail on Tuesday night on $500,000 bail. Goldman had been convicted of soliciting a 15-year-old girl earlier this year on the Internet.
· Teen girls pummel teacher; classmates join in melee. A man who fled the Gulf Coast because of Hurricane Katrina found more trouble while working as a high school English teacher in Philadelphia. Mark Seghers, of Long Beach, Mississippi, was pummeled by two 17-year-old twin sisters at South Philadelphia High School on Friday morning. Seghers says he won't return to the school and hopes to be transferred to a safer one.
· Disgraced cheerleader bios revealed. While the Panthers have removed any mention of the duo from the section of the team's web site devoted to the cheerleading squad, you can click here for screen grabs of the pair's purged Carolina Panthers TopCat bios.
· Coffee Might Help Women's Blood Pressure. Here's good news for women who love coffee: Drinking it doesn't seem to cause long-term high blood pressure, a study suggests. But for some reason, women in the same study who drank colas did seem to have a greater risk of high blood pressure. Researchers were surprised at that and cautioned that the study wasn't conclusive.
· Maytag repairman charged with robbing home. Investigators in Volusia County, Fla., arrested and charged a Maytag repairman Tuesday on suspicion he drove his repair van to a woman's home and robbed it last week, according to a sheriff's news release.
· Man Found Guilty Of Trying To Buy Girl For Porn. A jury in Daytona Beach, Fla., found a Central Florida man guilty Tuesday on charges he attempted to purchase a 9-year-old girl for the purpose of pornography. Chris Sadler was arrested in front Port Orange Elementary School about seven years ago after he met a woman who said she would bring her 9-year-old niece to him for the purpose of taking nude photos.
· Trial begins in attempt to extort money from Sheffields. Audio recordings of conversations between a community activist and the business manager for New York Yankees star Gary Sheffield and his wife reveal the activist's attempts to blackmail the couple over a sex video supposedly involving singer R. Kelly.
· San Diego Mulls Turning Sewage Into Drinking Water. San Diego, which bills itself as "America's finest city," is also one of the driest. So dry, in fact, that the city is considering turning its sewer water into drinking water. "We'll treat it, treat it, treat it. And when it becomes reclaimed water, we'll pump it up to our reservoirs," said Frank Belock, the city's water department director.
· Copyright Lawsuit Against Spears Dismissed. An Indiana songwriter's copyright infringement lawsuit against singer Britney Spears over the song "Sometimes" has been dismissed because she was able to show it wasn't copied, her attorney said Tuesday. "I cannot emphasize enough this was not a settlement but a dismissal," said David R. Baum, an attorney for Spears and her co-defendants. No money will change hands, he said.
· Kirstie Alley No Longer a 'Fat Actress.' Kirstie Alley has lost 55 pounds — and says she wants to lose more. "I weighed 219," the 54-year-old actress said Monday on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." "For someone who spent most of her life at 130 ... it was a shock."
· Kate Moss Gets Post-Rehab Modeling Job. Kate Moss is back at work after checking out of an Arizona rehabilitation clinic last month. The 31-year-old British supermodel entered The Meadows clinic outside Phoenix after photos allegedly showing her snorting cocaine were published in a British tabloid in September. Moss left the clinic in late October. She spent two days on the Spanish island of Ibiza last week for a photo shoot for Roberto Cavalli, said a statement issued Tuesday through her London spokesman.
· Accused eBay Bully Allegedly Terrorizes Online Users. Some consumers are discovering that when they bid on eBay, they're opening a portal to problems. Tina Schimke and her husband, Dwayne, began having trouble with eBay when they placed a bid on a bike from what looked to be a legitimate seller, San Diego television station KGTV reported.
· No apology as man gets life for killing hunters. A Hmong immigrant convicted of murdering six deer hunters and attempting to kill others after a trespassing dispute was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday with no chance for parole. Judge Norman Yackel ordered Chai Soua Vang, 37, to serve six life prison terms, one after the other, guaranteeing he would never be freed from prison.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
· Man who sued over glue prank made similar allegation in past, official says. A man who sued Home Depot last month claiming a prank left him glued to a toilet seat made a similar allegation about another restroom more than a year ago, an official told a newspaper. Bob Dougherty’s lawsuit alleges employees at the store ignored his pleas and is seeking $3 million.
· Fired CBS News producer is still investigating documents. In her first interview since being fired, former CBS News producer Mary Mapes maintains that her controversial "60 Minutes II" story on President Bush's National Guard service was "true" and that "no one has proved that the documents were not authentic." Mapes says she is continuing to investigate the source of the controversial documents whose authenticity was seriously questioned by a CBS panel.
· 'Intelligent Design' Wins In Kansas. Revisiting a topic that exposed Kansas to nationwide ridicule six years ago, the state Board of Education approved science standards for public schools Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution. The board's 6-4 vote, expected for months, was a victory for intelligent design advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.
· Man killed walking home after party. A man walking home after his 55th birthday party because friends and family believed he was too drunk to drive was struck and killed by another vehicle, police said.
· $1,200 wedding joins pugs for life. The pugs, ages 2 (Bobby) and 3 (Gracie), "love each other," said 79-year-old Susan Laurer, who wore flowers on her sweater to celebrate her Bobby's special day at the Animal Activity Center in their hometown.
· Actor fired from 'Desperate Housewives.' Page Kennedy, who plays a fugitive from the law on "Desperate Housewives," was fired from the hit ABC drama for improper conduct, a series spokeswoman said Tuesday.
· Alabama governor calls for Aruba boycott. Gov. Bob Riley called for a nationwide travel boycott of Aruba on Tuesday until authorities on the Dutch Caribbean island cooperate more fully with the family of a teenager who has been missing since May. Riley asked the governors of the other 49 states to join him in urging a boycott of Aruba on behalf of the family of Natalee Holloway, the 18-year-old graduate last seen on the island on May 30.
· Bank robber felt bad and tried to return cash. A man who allegedly robbed a bank of $1,100 yesterday made it easy on police. Authorities said that just minutes after Andre M. Ellis, 39, robbed an ESB Bank in Ambridge, Beaver County, they caught him standing in front of the bank trying to return the money. "He felt bad about it, so he tried to do the right thing," said Ambridge police Chief David Sabol. "I've never seen anything like it."
· Update: Breasts Not Bombs members arrested - may be listed as sex offenders. Police arrested two members of an organization called Breasts Not Bombs after they removed their tops during a protest on the steps of the state Capitol on Monday afternoon. The women, who were protesting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot measures for today's special election, took off their shirts despite warnings from the California Highway Patrol last week that doing so would lead to their arrests — and possibly their inclusion on the state's list of sex offenders.
· Pilot injured after plane crashes into Wal-Mart. A small plane with only the pilot on board crashed into a Wal-Mart Tuesday. The pilot was pulled from the wreckage badly hurt, but there were no reports of injuries on the ground. "I just saw a huge ball of smoke go up," said Maria Kosmakata, who was driving to her job at a nearby car dealership.
· MLB pitcher charged with attempted murder. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ugueth Urbina was arrested on a charge of attempted murder after he and a group of men allegedly attacked several employees at his family home using machetes and trying to set them on fire, police said Tuesday.
· 'Body sushi' uses woman as buffet table. The "body sushi" special at Kizoku Sushi in Chicago isn't special so much for the fish as for the beautiful platter it is served on: a semi-nude woman. The restaurant began offering the $500 all-you-can-eat dinner special in its private lounge about two weeks ago. The city's Business Affairs and Licensing Department said inspectors would be checking out Kizoku to make sure no nudity regulations were being violated. "We will have to look into it just to make sure."
· Church: Anti-war sermon imperils tax status. The Internal Revenue Service has warned a prominent liberal church it could lose its tax-exempt status because of an anti-war sermon a guest preacher gave on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, church officials say.
· Update: Panthers Cheerleaders Kicked Off Team For Indiscretion. Two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders have been kicked off the team after their arrests over the weekend. Renee Thomas, 20, of Pittsboro, N.C., and Angela Keathley, 26, of Belmont, N.C., were taken to Hillsborough County Jail early Sunday. Witnesses told police the women were having sex with each other in a bathroom stall of a bar Sunday, angering some patrons who were waiting in line.
· Howard Stern Benched. Howard Stern may believe he is the King of all Media, but Infinity executives wanted to show Stern who is really boss Monday. Stern will be forced to sit out Tuesday's show after getting hit with a one-day suspension for talking up his upcoming move to Sirius Satellite Radio a bit too much.
· Radio Personality Charged With Poisoning Wife. A Missouri radio talk-show host is accused of poisoning his wife. James Keown, 31, allegedly killed his wife last year when the couple was living in Waltham, Mass. reported Boston TV station WCVB. It has taken investigators more than a year to gather enough information to go to a grand jury, but that panel came back with an indictment charging Keown with murder. The indictment said he systematically poisoned his wife with a combination of Gatorade and antifreeze.
· Movie Tells of Hunter S. Thompson Send-Off. Fans of Hunter S. Thompson will get an inside view of his elaborate memorial service in a film directed by Wayne Ewing. "When I Die" will be shown Saturday at the Starz Denver International Film Festival. The hour-long movie depicts the creation of the 15-story tower that was used to blast Thompson's ashes into the sky at a closed memorial service on his Woody Creek property in August. Thompson shot himself in his kitchen on Feb. 20, apparently despondent over health problems. He was 67.
Monday, November 7, 2005
· Cruise Control Shifts Gears. Tom Cruise is "restructuring." Hollywood's leading man has dumped sister Lee Anne De Vette as his publicist and enlisted power publicity firm Rogers & Cowan. The moves come in the wake of Cruise's endless summer in which he talked up War of the Worlds, vitamins and exercise, Scientology, and Katie Holmes - not necessarily in that order.
· Director of state agency for blind allegedly fired because she's blind. The lawyer for a woman fired as head of Pennsylvania's state agency for the blind and visually impaired says bias against her as a blind person was behind her dismissal.
· Newspaper Circulation Slips. Average weekday circulation at U.S. newspapers fell 2.6 percent during the six month-period ending in September in the latest sign of trouble in the newspaper business. Circulation has been steadily declining at newspapers for several years as readers look to other media such as cable TV and the Internet for news.
· 'Sex Offender' Masseuse Charged With Inappropriately Touching Customer. A 36-year-old registered sex offender who was giving massages without a state license was charged Monday with inappropriately touching and imprisoning one of his customers, according to police.
· Pete Rose Jr. surrenders to authorities in drug case. Pete Rose Jr., the son of baseball's all-time hits leader, surrendered to federal authorities Monday to face charges that he was distributing GBL, a drug sometimes used as a steroid alternative. The 35-year-old Rose could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
· Survey says cars can play an important role in dating. Eighty-nine percent of males and 95 percent of females said they were extremely or somewhat likely to notice their date's car. Women felt more strongly about their date's car condition than men with 69 percent saying it would at least somewhat effect their attraction to their date compared to 47 percent of men.
· Louisiana cash goes to the dogs, cows and goats. Louisiana will spend $45 million on sports and livestock facilities and other new projects in spite of a looming deficit, frustrating some officials who say the frivolity reinforces the state's history of political patronage. "We're in Washington with our hands out asking for $2 billion plus, and rather than holding on to the money to see what the needs are, they're spending it on local projects financing goat shows and lawn-mower races," says state Sen. Robert Barham.
· Chung, Povich to Host Weekend News Show. Connie Chung and Maury Povich will be united on-screen for a weekend news show produced by the co-creator of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," MSNBC said Monday.
· Federline ex: He cheated on me with Spears. In a new interview, Shar Jackson says she and Kevin Federline were still together when he and Britney Spears began dating last year. Jackson, then pregnant with her second child with Federline, says the truth came out only after he flew abroad for a commercial - which became a monthslong trip with Spears.
· Three die playing catch with grenade. A hand grenade being used instead of a ball in a game of catch exploded early on Saturday killing three youths in this Bosnian town, police and news agencies said.
· Cyclist Killed Trying To Beat Train To Crossing. A cyclist was killed over the weekend after trying to beat a train to a railroad crossing in Oakland Park. The Broward County Sheriff's Office said 39-year-old Guy Merkle began pedaling furiously as he approached the tracks Saturday night.
· Dentist lops off finger in insurance scam. A Dutch dentist who chopped off his finger and then faked a car crash before claiming $2.1 million from insurers was given a suspended sentence and fined by a court Thursday. The 50-year-old man mutilated himself and crashed his car into a tree in Belgium in the hope of convincing insurers that the steering wheel had inflicted the injury, the court said.
· Blasphemy In A Bottle. In a full-bodied blend of blasphemy and ingenuity, a Los Angeles couple is seeking to market a wine called "Jesus Juice" that bears a label showing a Michael Jackson-like figure appearing to be crucified. "Jesus Juice" merlot is the brainchild of actress Dawn Westlake and Bruce Rheins, a veteran CBS Evening News producer who headed the network's coverage of the Jackson child molestation case.
· Chicago plans high school for black males. The Chicago school district plans to open an all-boys high school primarily for black teenagers. The Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men must be approved by the Board of Education this month, the Chicago Tribune reported. Mayor Richard Daley plans to open 100 schools in the city in the next five years.
· Doors cause most childhood amputations. Hands caught in doors cause most of the childhood amputations in the United States, a study said Monday. A review of hospital records from 1990 to 2002 done at Ohio State University show that over that period, 111,600 children suffered amputation injuries from doors, lawn mowers, and tools, according to the study.
· Bliss says he 'doesn't deserve' to coach in college. Dave Bliss said he doesn't deserve a chance to coach in college again after leaving Baylor amid a scandal and cover-up that unraveled when one of his players was fatally shot by a teammate. Baylor found that Bliss improperly paid up to $40,000 in tuition for Dennehy and another player, and that the coaching staff didn't report players' failed drug tests.
· Fox News Sunday paid $13,998 to fly Rep. Tom Delay to and from D.C. Rep. Tom DeLay filed a report with the Clerk of the House of Representatives indicating he received free travel valued at $13,998.55 from Fox News Sunday for "officially connected travel" on October 1-2, 2005, from Sugarland, Texas to Washington, D.C. and back to Sugarland, Texas.
· Kate Hudson heads for court over weight jibes. Hollywood actress Kate Hudson, star of "The Skeleton Key," instructed lawyers to begin action against several publications for printing pictures which she said falsely implied she had an eating disorder.
· Sauerkraut Bites Into Health Food Market. There's a lot of health buzz about the food many folks associate with brats, hot dogs and Reuben sandwiches. Scientists claim some chickens started to recover from avian flu, when fed an extract of kimchi, a Korean dish somewhat similar to sauerkraut. Other studies have shown that sauerkraut fights all forms of massy tumor cancer, including cancer of the lung, colon, prostate, breast and liver.
· Union fails in bid to unionize clergy. The union organizing drive in the United Church of Canada failed to sign up enough clergy by yesterday's deadline to trigger a certification vote for Ontario ministers. The general secretary of the country's largest Protestant Christian church said he wasn't surprised the drive failed. But the organizers said it's not a matter of "if" but "when" the clergy unionize, and Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers.
· NFL cheerleader arrested after alleged sex romp in bathroom. Witnesses say NFL cheerleader Angela Keathley and another woman claiming to be a Carolina Panthers cheerleader were allegedly engaged in some type of sexual activity inside a bathroom stall at Banana Joe's around 2:20 am Sunday. Another woman waiting to use the bathroom got into an argument with the pair.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extrapolate [ex·trap·o·late] v.tr. To infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information. "He extrapolated the historical data to determine the projected outcome."
· Breathalyzers expanded to all events, school day. The School Committee has OK'd expanding the use of Breathalyzers at the high school to all school activities and during the school day. Current policy applied only to school dances.
· 'Chicken Little' Can't Save Box Office. The sky is still falling in Hollywood, even though Chicken Little and the Marines have landed. The box office tumbled again despite solid weekends for the animated "Chicken Little," which debuted with $40.1 million, and the Desert Storm drama "Jarhead," which opened with $28.8 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. This year's movie attendance is running 8 percent behind last year's.
· Escaped killer captured - drunk. A Texas death-row inmate who escaped from a Houston jail last week was arrested Sunday night outside a liquor store in Shreveport, Louisiana, police and U.S. marshals said.
· Cocaine Smugglers Using High-Tech Boats. Cocaine traffickers have largely abandoned planes for boats to smuggle cocaine from Colombia. The transport of choice: so-called "go-fasts," whose crews are the equivalent of the rumrunners of the Prohibition era - only these modern-day outlaws have global positioning systems, satellite telephones and custom-made 800-horsepower fiberglass boats that can do 50 mph. Since each load is worth millions of dollars, crews often dump the boats, its equipment and $36,000 outboard engines after delivery and take commercial flights home.
· Phil Collins says open to Genesis reunion. British singer and songwriter Phil Collins said on Sunday he would be open to a reunion of his old band Genesis, a day before he is set to perform in Israel as part of his what he calls his final tour.
· Woman loses home to storm, son to war. Elaine Oneto says losing her home to Hurricane Katrina was devastating and losing her son in Iraq just two months later was unimaginable, but the support she has received has been overwhelming.
Sunday, November 6, 2005
· Escaped Pit Bulls Attack Six in Illinois. A 10-year-old boy was in critical condition after three pit bulls escaped from a home and went on a rampage, attacking six people before police shot and killed the dogs, authorities said. "The screams were horrible," one witness said. The dogs were "relentless, like they were possessed."
· Update: Orange County Gunman Was Outcast. The Orange County man who killed two neighbors and then turned a shotgun on himself desperately sought friends on the Internet but was ridiculed for his sometimes angry and bizarre messages.
· FBI mines records of ordinary Americans. The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said. Under the shield and stars of the FBI crest, the letter directed Christian to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away. Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for privacy. But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow.
· Sex.com thief faces justice after hiding out in Mexico for four years. The high-stakes manhunt that ended with the cuffing of Internet porn site thief Stephen Cohen last week in Tijuana may seem like the happy conclusion to a sordid tale of greed, sex, and the excesses of the Internet gold rush. But for Web entrepreneur Gary Kremen, the founder of Match.com, the Oct. 28 arrest simply represents the start of a new, difficult chapter: the one in which he and his attorneys try to force Cohen to cough up the millions he owes him.
· Jay Leno Increasing Lead in Late-Night. TV season when NBC is starved for good news at night, Jay Leno is providing some. His "Tonight" show has widen its lead over chief rival David Letterman, a noteworthy achievement given CBS' prime-time dominance and NBC's fading fortunes. The typical "Tonight" audience has increased by 4 percent this year to 5.6 million viewers, while the "Late Show" is down 5 percent, according to Nielsen Media Research.
· Fla. mechanic faces death penalty in girl's car-wash abduction, murder. Disturbing surveillance camera images of Carlie Brucia's abduction captured the attention of American television viewers last February until the girl's body was discovered five days later. Now, the same footage will be offered as Exhibit A for prosecutors hoping to send the 11-year-old girl's accused killer to death row.
· France still burning. The urban unrest that triggered scores of arson attacks on more than 600 vehicles, nursery schools and other targets from the Mediterranean to the German border reached Paris on the 10th night of violence.
· Immigrant workers stiffed for Katrina work. A pattern is emerging as the cleanup of Mississippi's Gulf Coast morphs into its multibillion-dollar reconstruction: Come payday, untold numbers of Hispanic immigrant laborers are being stiffed. Sometimes, the boss simply vanishes. Other workers wait on promises that soon, someone in a complex hierarchy of contractors will provide the funds to pay them.
· Customers Pay For Lost Cell Calls. There are few things we Americans depend on more than our cell phones, and few things we lose more often. In New York, cell phones are the most frequently lost items on the subways. But losing a cell phone can cost you a lot more than the price of the phone, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone. While Wendy Nguyen was away on vacation, she didn't realize back home in San Francisco her cell phone had been stolen and someone was running up a huge bill. Her usual bill is under $50. This one was over $26,000 and her carrier, Cingular Wireless, demanded payment.
· Judge Aims to Prevent Dead Voters in N.J. A judge concerned about the potential for voter fraud in Tuesday's election has ordered the state to compile the names of all adult New Jersey residents who have died since 1985. The case stemmed from Republican complaints that an estimated 13,000 people who apparently have died remain on voter registration lists, including 4,755 people who reportedly voted in last November's election.
· Ultralight pilot in crash faces five counts. The pilot of an ultralight plane that crashed into the sidelines of a Nebraska football game was charged Friday with five counts, including flying under the influence. Pilot Dan VanBoening of Blue Hill also was charged with refusal to submit to an alcohol test, assault and two counts of criminal mischief.
· Small jet crashes after being ordered to take off. A small jet crashed Saturday at one of Houston’s airports after being instructed to take off quickly because of an incoming airliner. Both people on the jet were killed. The Cessna Citation 500 was preparing to leave Hobby Airport when controllers told its pilot to take off quickly because a Southwest Airlines 737 with some sort of problem was approaching, said Tommy Dowdy, district chief for the Houston Fire Department.
· Top Celebrity Golfer: Dennis Quaid. Dennis Quaid is the top golfer among the Hollywood set. Tea Leoni is the best among the women. Tom Cruise is awful at golf, but he tips the caddies well. Such are the conclusions of Golf Digest, which ranks Hollywood's top 100 golfers.
Saturday, November 5, 2005
· Warren Beatty blocked from entering Schwarzenegger campaign rally. The state's special election verged on a celebrity showdown Saturday when Warren Beatty and wife Annette Bening attempted to crash a campaign appearance by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Beatty's appearance caused momentary confusion at the rally. Just before the governor took the stage, the hangar door was closed — literally in the face of Beatty and Bening.
· Miami-Based Cruise Liner Attacked By Pirates. Pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade and machine guns Saturday in an attack on a luxury cruise liner off the east African coast, the vessel's owners said. Two armed boats approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off the coast of Somalia and fired as the boats' occupants attempted to get onboard, said Bruce Good, a spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.
· Judge tosses a blanket on topless protest Breasts Not Bombs told nudity not part of free-speech rights. A federal judge denied on Friday a request from a group of Mendocino women who wanted to protest topless on the grounds of the state Capitol. U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell said the group made no compelling argument that showing their breasts constitutes free speech. "Being topless is not inherently expressive" speech, Burrell said. The group, Breasts Not Bombs, had scheduled a protest for noon Monday.
· Customers Refuse To Leave Grocery Store On Fire. A small fire at a grocery store turned frustrating for firefighters Wednesday when some shoppers refused to budge from the checkout lines even as smoke filled the aisles. Afterward, a cashier said, "The store is on fire. Hello?"
· Officials 'Embarrassed' by Inmate Escape. Jurors and victims' relatives fear they might be targets of a death row inmate who freed himself from handcuffs and walked out of a county jail in civilian clothes. Convicted killer Charles Victor Thompson remained at large Saturday, authorities said. Thompson, 35, fooled at least four jail employees when he walked out of the Harris County Jail on Thursday. "This was 100 percent human error; that's the most frustrating thing about it," sheriff's spokesman Lt. John Martin said.
· Update: Ohio City to Drop $1.16 Tax Issue. City officials have decided to drop criminal charges against a woman who hasn't paid a $1.16 income tax bill. Deborah Combs, 51, had pleaded innocent to misdemeanor charges of failure to file city tax returns and not paying late fees. She faced up to $4,000 in fines and up to 18 months in jail if convicted.
· Man Jailed for Not Licensing Cat in N.D. A North Dakota man has served an unusually steep sentence for having an unlicensed cat: two days in jail. William T. Dennis, 38, was charged with failing to license his feline, which normally brings a fine. But a warrant was issued for his arrest when he didn't show up for a court appearance on the charge.
· Omar Sharif Accused of Assaulting Valet. Omar Sharif was sued by a restaurant parking valet who says the actor called him a derogatory name and punched him after the valet refused to accept his European currency. Sharif - best known for roles in "Dr. Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia" - became upset when his Porsche SUV was not waiting for him as he left Mastro's Steakhouse June 11, according to a lawsuit filed last month by valet Juan Anderson. The suit claims Sharif was belligerent and intoxicated and called the valet a "stupid Mexican" when he refused to accept a 20 euro note.
· Druken firefighter crashes stolen truck into movie set. A drunken probationary firefighter who is a Harvard University graduate stole a delivery truck Friday morning and crashed it into an idle movie set in Chelsea where Oliver Stone's Sept. 11 film is being shot, police and sources said.
· Man Executed After Taunting Victim's Family With Autopsy. Virginia Thomas will never have to worry about getting another letter from the man who killed her daughter. "Now, hopefully, we will have some peace and closure," Thomas said Friday after Brian Steckel, 36, died by lethal injection at Delaware Correctional Center. While awaiting trial in prison, Steckel sent more than 75 taunting and threatening letters to prosecutors, a judge and others involved in the case. In one of seven letters sent to Virginia Thomas, he enclosed a copy of an autopsy report on which he had scribbled, "Happy, happy, joy, joy ... Read it and weep. She is gone forever. Don't cry over burnt flesh."
· The Military Applications of Silly String. A Marine in Afghanistan writes: "Silly string has served me well in Combat especially in looking for I.A.Ds., simply put, booby traps. When you spray the silly sting in dark areas, especially when you doing house to house fighting. On many occasions the silly string has saved me and my men's lives."
· Elizabeth Taylor Attends Ribbon Cutting. Swathed in jewels and bathed in the spotlight, Elizabeth Taylor made a rare but regal public appearance to dedicate the new UCLA Clinical Research and Education Center.
· Paris Gets Served. A real-life version of Cops has seriously cut in on Paris Hilton's party time. For those of you wondering why the hotel heiress was late in arriving at Thursday night's Motorola party in Hollywood, she was busy dealing with the Los Angeles Police Department, who had served a subpoena at her Hollywood Hills home.
· Drug-sniffing dog dies in California after cocaine encounter. Basko took a bite out of crime — but it cost him his life. The 5-year-old drug-sniffing German shepherd died Friday after he bit into a bag of cocaine during an annual certification search in Riverside County, according to Sgt. Jim Banach with the Redondo Beach Police Department. Basko had successfully completed the search and was in his partner's car for the ride home when he had a seizure.
Friday, November 4, 2005
· Conn. Woman Sentenced for Sex Offense. A woman was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for having repeated sexual contact with her daughter's 8-year-old playmate, once sending him a love letter that said "I want you!" Tammy Imre, 30, apologized during the hearing. "I'm truly sorry for everything," she said.
· A deer's-eye view. Researchers at the University of Missouri have mounted wireless video cameras on white-tailed deer to get a better idea of how the animals see their world and what's behind their behavior. The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant for the work.
· 'Puggle' Is New Popular Designer Dog. A new hybrid mix designer dog that is a cross between a pug and a beagle. The $900 "puggle" dogs have a short snout and fur like a pug with the big brown eyes and droopy ears of the beagle.
· Sheen, Richards Rekindle Romance. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards' once doomed marriage seems to have weathered the storm. For the second time in recent months, Sheen took to late-night television Thursday to profess his belief that things with Richards "are really good."
· IRS Rakes In $47 Billion By Targeting Rich. More corporations and wealthy taxpayers had their tax returns audited by Internal Revenue Service examiners this year, helping the agency haul in a record $47.3 billion in unpaid taxes. IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said the audit rate of high-income individuals and families, those who report earning $100,000 or more, is "still too low."
· McCready Says She Still Loves Boyfriend. Mindy McCready says she still loves the man charged with nearly beating her to death earlier this year, and her two suicide attempts were the result of their troubled relationship.
· Hip, Waist Size May Best Predict Heart Attack Risk. A new study suggests that well-toned hips and a trim waist - not just the pounds a person carries - appear to be one of the best protections against heart attacks. Researchers said a hip-to-waist ratio is a better predictor of the risk of heart attack for a variety of ethnic groups than body-mass index, the current standard.
· Coke says Vanilla has no fizz. Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest soft drink maker, said Friday it will phase out its Vanilla Coke and Vanilla Diet Coke beverages in North America by end of this year.
· Motorist Who Helped Stop High-Speed Chase Arrested. James Strom, a Providence motorist who helped stop a speeding car, was placed under arrest shortly after doing a TV interview. Strom forced a truck driver under pursuit by police off the road and stoped the chase. State Police Capt. Raymond White said Strom was charged with failure to appear in court for not paying a fine.
· Yoko Ono Apologizes for McCartney Remark. Yoko Ono has apologized to Paul McCartney for insinuating that his songs are trite. Accepting an award on behalf of John Lennon last month, Ono said Lennon had sometimes felt insecure about his songs, asking "why they always cover Paul's songs and never mine."
· Will Holmes make Cruise sign a prenup? Sources say they will, and according to one report, that’s why Cruise and his preggers fiancée are taking so long to get hitched. Holmes’s father, Martin, is a lawyer and is representing his daughter in the negotiations, reports the upcoming issue of The Star. Martin Holmes “is playing hardball with the prenup negotiations,” according to the tab, which quotes a source as saying that Holmes wants to make sure that his daughter will receive “a lump sum payment in the millions if the marriage should dissolve before the five-year mark.”
· Man Kills 'Girlfriend' After Finding Out She Is 11. Police in Albuquerque said a man arrested in connection with the murder of an 11-year-old girl has confessed. Authorities said 20-year-old Robert Gonzales admitted to sexually assaulting Victoria Sandoval before choking her to death.
· Safety doubts over catapult death. Stricter safety measures may have prevented the death of a man who was killed when he was flung from a human catapult, an inquest jury has ruled. Oxford University student Kostydin Yankov, 19, of Bulgaria, missed a net after being thrown 100ft from the medieval-style contraption.
· Man Sues Ex-Girlfriend Over Glue Attack. A man claims his ex-girlfriend owes him more than $30,000 for gluing his genitals to his abdomen five years ago. "This was not just some petty domestic squabble," attorney Grey Pratt told the jury.
· Calif. Man Caught In 'HOV' Lane With Dummy. The California Highway Patrol gave Kevin Morgan, 28, of Petaluma, a $351 citation for driving in a high occupancy vehicle or "HOV" lane with a kickboxing dummy propped in the passenger seat. The dummy was wearing a Miami Dolphins windbreaker and a baseball cap but Officer Will Thompson noticed that the "passenger" had no legs.
· Black Friday at Wal-Mart revealed? Someone may have let the cat out of Wal-Mart's Black Friday bag early - and it looks like the No. 1 retailer is ready to aggressively battle on prices in the weeks ahead by going very low on some hot products. And here's what to expect: A Hewlett-Packard Pavilion ze2308wm notebook computer for $398; an HP Photosmart E317 digital camera for $98.88.
· House Vote Counters Eminent Domain Measure. Conservative defenders of private property and liberal protectors of the poor joined in an overwhelming House vote to prevent local and state governments from seizing homes and businesses for use in economic development projects. The House legislation, passed 376-38, was in response to a widely criticized 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court last June that allowed eminent domain authority to be used to obtain land for tax revenue-generating commercial purposes.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Eclectic [e·clec·tic] adj. 1. Composed of elements drawn from various sources 2. Not following any one system, but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems. "An eclectic taste in music; an eclectic approach to managing the business.
· Clooney's drunken bust-up. Hollywood star George Clooney was involved in a drunken bust-up with a security guard outside a West End club. The actor lost his customary cool after an attempt to dodge the paparazzi by using the back exit of Meze went disastrously wrong, leaving him stranded in a Soho alley at 2am.
» Update: Clooney denies he confronted guard. George Clooney denied a newspaper report that he was involved in a shoving match with a security guard outside a bar in London's West End. The Evening Standard said Clooney had gotten into a pushing fight with a guard at Meza in the early hours of Friday morning after using the bar's rear entrance to avoid photographers.
· Strip clubs, gambling & his own TV show. The son of murdered mob boss Joe Colombo is putting a new twist on house arrest - one where strip clubs, fancy restaurants and card games are part of his "confinement." Chris Colombo, 44, isn't just sitting around his Orange County home polishing his ankle bracelet. He's pushing his legal limits for an upcoming TV show that he hopes will be a hit without violating his bail restrictions.
· Convicted killer dons street clothes, escapes from jail. A Texas death row inmate escaped from the Harris County Jail in Houston on Thursday, dressed in civilian clothes and carrying identification indicating he worked in the attorney general's office, a sheriff's department spokesman said.
Thursday, November 3, 2005
· Female Teachers Accused Of Sex With Girls. A high school teacher in Citrus County is the second Florida woman in two days accused of having a lesbian relationship with a student. A Citrus County high school teacher and former coach has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student, authorities said.
· Farmers Harvest Online Dates. When the rooster crows, are you all alone? Do you milk the cow and churn butter by your lonesome self? Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? If you're a farmer reaping a bitter harvest on the field of love, there's now an online dating service just for you.
· Man Killed In House Fire Was Burglar Overcome By Smoke. A man found dead in a house last week died of smoke inhalation, apparently after setting a pair of fires to conceal a burglary, police said. Wayland Deputee Jr., 23, had coins belonging to the homeowner in his pockets when emergency crews pulled his body from the burning house.
· FEMA's Michael "Brownie" Buffoonery. As Michael "Brownie" Brown was botching the federal emergency response to Hurricane Katrina, the ousted FEMA director sent a series of embarrassing e-mails to colleagues. On August 29, as Katrina was striking the Gulf Coast, Brown responded to a compliment on a TV appearance by stating, "I got it at Nordstroms... Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?" An hour later, Brown wrote about his government-issued wardrobe: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god."
· Baggy pants trip up theft suspect. A man suspected of stealing discs from a Ferndale video store was tripped up by his baggy pants, falling twice before police captured him, authorities said. James Green, 30, of Detroit, took about a half-dozen DVDs on Sunday night, and initially made his getaway on a bicycle, police said, but his baggy pants fell to his ankles and he tripped, Ferndale Detective Sgt. Patrick Jones said.
· Boy Injured Making Homemade Shotgun With Web Instructions. A 15-year-old was severely injured when a homemade shotgun he was trying to build with instructions downloaded off the Internet exploded, according to police. Police in Round Rock, Texas said the boy apparently found the directions to make the weapon on the Web and then built it using pipes, parts of a gas grill and model rockets. The boy was loading the homemade gun with some self-made bullets when it exploded in his hands.
· Sun editor arrested for alleged assault on TV star husband. The editor of 'The Sun' was arrested for allegedly assaulting her husband, an actor famous for his tough guy role in a long-running soap opera. Rebekah Wade, editor of the tabloid title since 2003, married burly actor Ross Kemp in Las Vegas the year before.
· Jury Finds for Merck in Second Vioxx Case. Merck & Co. won a major victory in the battle over its Vioxx painkiller Thursday when a New Jersey state jury found that the drugmaker properly warned consumers about the risks of the medication.
· Blake Testifies for Final Time in Trial. Robert Blake asked that people respect him and his family as he testified for a final time in a wrongful-death trial, offering an "olive branch" to a lawyer who has confronted the actor about his slain wife. Blake was acquitted of murder in March, but Bakley's children are now suing him for damages, claiming he was liable for her death.
· Animal-lover Pam Anderson demands a leather-free Mercedes. "Baywatch" babe and outspoken animal rights activist Pamela Anderson is demanding that carmaker Daimler-Benz supply her with a new luxury Mercedes-Benz without leather seats and trimmings.
· OJ Simpson Ordered To Pay $33,000 In Fees In DirecTV Court Case. A federal judge ordered former football star O.J. Simpson to pay more than $33,000 in attorneys fees for DirecTV, two months after he was ordered to pay $25,000 for pirating satellite television signals from the California-based company. In a raid on Simpson's Miami home in 2001, federal agents seized illegal devices known as "bootloaders" that authorities said were used to steal television programming.
· Dr. Phil: 'Natalee Holloway is alive.' Dr. Phil was hesitant to reveal what he termed, "too much information" Wednesday night. However, the doctor's light-hearted appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno turned serious when discussing the issue of the missing Alabama teenager. "Without giving up too much information... we believe Natalee Holloway is alive.' Dr. Phil pointing to what he termed the "sex slave market" as the main point of focus in the ongoing investigation.
· Man sues Home Depot after getting stuck on glue-covered toilet seat. Home Depot has found itself in a sticky situation, defending a lawsuit filed by a man who claims the chain's Louisville store ignored his cries for help after he fell victim to a prank.
· Oliver Stone shoots Sept. 11 movie in New York. Oliver Stone has begun shooting one of the first Hollywood films about Sept. 11 in New York — without recreating the large-scale devastation that's all too familiar to residents who lived through the 2001 attacks.
· Judge wins $1 million verdict against State Patrol trooper. A federal jury awarded a municipal judge from southern Colorado a $1 million verdict against a Colorado State Patrol trooper who arrested the judge on a drunken-driving charge in 2001. The jury found the trooper did not have probable cause to arrest John S. Wilder for drunken driving and prohibited use of a weapon, and that he violated the judge's civil rights.
· Tyra Banks Goes Undercover As Obese Woman. Tyra Banks has gone undercover as a 350-pound woman. Banks wore the fat suit to experience what it's like to be obese. "It seemed like the last form of open discrimination that's OK, and I decided to put on a 350-pound suit myself and live that life for a day and see what happens," the 31-year-old former supermodel told AP Radio in a recent interview. "And it was one of the most heartbreaking days of my life."
· Son of Miami police chief arrested on drug charges. The 25-year-old son of Miami police Chief John Timoney was arrested for trying to buy 400 pounds of marijuana from an undercover federal agent, the Drug Enforcement Administration said Wednesday.
· Tony Town Nixes 'Hookers.' Sometimes it gets tough walking the street down old Hooker Lane. Tired of the giggles, the well-to-do residents living on the street in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich, Conn., have demanded a name change to Stonebrook Lane.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
· Aaron Brown departing CNN in shake-up that gives time slot to Anderson Cooper. Aaron Brown, once one of CNN's most prominent anchors, is leaving the network after a shakeup that gives his prime-time slot to rising star Anderson Cooper and expands it to two hours.
· Buttafuoco selling ice cream on the 'Desperate Housewives' set. Joey Buttafuoco is working on ABC's Desperate Housewives— at the show's concession stand, anyway. Buttafuoco, who made national headlines in the early 1990s when his teenage girlfriend shot his wife in the face, is working in craft services on the Hollywood sets of TV shows, according to a story in the latest issue of Inside TV.
· Greenpeace to pay fine for damaging reef. Greenpeace said it will pay nearly $7,000 in damages after the environmental group's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior II, hit a coral reef at a world heritage site in the southern Philippines.
· Jolie is lesbian favorite. Angelina Jolie is the woman lesbians would most like to marry, according to a new poll by Gaydar Radio. The bisexual stunner beat fellow actresses Charlize Theron and Jodie Foster to the top spot with 32 per cent of the vote.
· Mom Admits Killing Child To Rid Her Of Demon. woman accused of helping her husband kill their daughter because they believed she was demonic has pleaded guilty to murder. Valerie Carey, 29, has been sentenced to life in prison for the child's death at a downtown Atlanta motel last year.
· Update: Woman Gets Probation in Airport Case. A woman has been sentenced to a year of probation for responding to an airport pat-down search by grabbing the screener's breasts and asking, "How would you like it if I did that to you?"
· New book debunks claims of celebrity activists. "I don't own a single share of stock!" filmmaker Michael Moore proudly proclaimed. He's right. He doesn't own a single share. He owns tens of thousands of shares – including nearly 2,000 shares of Boeing, nearly 1,000 of Sonoco, more than 4,000 of Best Foods, more than 3,000 of Eli Lilly, more than 8,000 of Bank One and more than 2,000 of Halliburton, the company most vilified by Moore in "Fahrenheit 9/11," according to the new book, Do As I Say (Not As I Do).
· Why do women worry more than men? Dr. Robert Leahy says worriers tend to be more concerned about how other people feel and are better at empathy than nonworriers. Worriers also overempathize, and I think women are more likely to do this than men. In other words, they are concerned with the effect a particular action might have had on another person. Women also tend to ruminate a lot. They tend to go over something over and over again to be sure it’s the correct decision. Men are more willing to fail - or perhaps men have more of an illusion that they’re not failing.
· 1,218 people have committed suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is the world's No. 1 suicide magnet, in part because it makes suicide so easy. People jump and kill themselves there, an average of 19 a year. In the peak year, 1977, there were 40 suicides. Some dive expecting a welcoming body of water that inducts the jumper into nature. Unfortunately for the jumpers, there's nothing peaceful about it.
· Woman Accused Of Running Toll Booths 2,900 Times. A woman is facing criminal charges after being arrested for not stopping at toll booths more than 2,900 times, police said. Authorities said Evangelina Gonzalez, 41, may be the most notorious toll-booth runner in Texas, amassing fines of more than $76,000.
· Price of stamps going up. The cost of mailing a letter in the United States will rise two cents to 39 cents under a rate hike approved by the U.S. Postal Rate Commission on Tuesday. The increase, the first in three years, was not expected to take effect before early next year, the commission said in a statement.
· Israeli Rabbis Release Forbidden-Name List. A group of Israeli rabbis has put together a list of names they say should be off-limits to Jewish children. What names raise rabbinical ire? All those that sound non-Jewish — like Donna, Shirly, Roni, and Danielle.
· Man Burned When Sheep Costume Catches Fire. A man is recovering from burns after his Halloween sheep costume caught fire at a Halloween party. Kenneth Daigle Jr., 28, created a sheep costume to wear to a party by gluing about 1,800 cotton balls to a pair of long underwear. The cotton balls burst into flames when Daigle brushed up against someone's cigarette.
· Utah judge with 3 wives fights for job. A judge will ask the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to let him stay on the bench after a commission that oversees judges ordered him dismissed because he has three wives.
· Ryanair says all may fly free if gambling pays off. Ryanair, Europe's largest airline by market value, believes revenue from inflight gaming and gambling could eventually do away with the need to charge air fares, Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said.
· Army Chaplain Sentenced For Sodomizing Troops. A U.S. Army chaplain was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison after pleading guilty at his court-martial to three counts of forcible sodomy against enlisted men. Capt. Gregory Arflack, 44, a Roman Catholic priest serving as a chaplain with the 279th Base Support Battalion, also pleaded guilty to three counts of committing an indecent act, two counts of fraternization with enlisted service members and one count of conduct unbecoming an officer.
· Paris dating a soda jerk. Paris Hilton plaything Stavros Niarchos III is some kind of class act. After he fueled up at L.A.'s Element club the other night, the Greek shipping heir and a posse of pals stopped at Burger King. "Stavros offered a homeless man outside $100 to dump a soda on himself," according to Us Weekly. The desperate bum took the payout "and everyone laughed."
· Grandpa Is Sued Over Grandson's Downloads. A 67-year-old man who says he doesn't even like watching movies has been sued by the film industry for copyright infringement after a grandson of his downloaded four movies on their home computer. The Motion Picture Association of America filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Fred Lawrence of Racine, seeking as much as $600,000 in damages for downloading four movies.
· John Travolta stars in Scientology Night Fever. First came reported sightings of Tom Cruise and his pregnant fiancée, Katie Holmes, being chauffeured to Saint Hill Manor, the remote Georgian house which the Scientology founder, L Ron Hubbard, bought as his world base 45 years ago. Then John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, arrived at the same location in their private jet.
· Pot Now Legal In Denver. Mile High City residents on Tuesday voted to legalize the possession of a small amount of marijuana, capping a surprisingly nasty campaign that included allegations of misleading voters and exploiting their fears of violent crime.
· Nearly fired over his jury duty? Andrew L. Salter, 54, thought he was doing his civic duty by spending four weeks this year as a juror in the trial of the Duff family, which was accused of posing as a minority-owned firm to win City of Chicago contracts. But his bosses at Corning scolded him for not coming to them and letting them help him get out of jury duty so he wouldn't have to miss any work, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.
· Red carpet rolls for royal couple during U.S. trip. They arrive in Washington today loaded down with a wardrobe of 50 dresses (for her) and double-breasted tweeds, ties and tux (for him); 20 servants; makeup artists; and an entourage of 50 members of the British press at an estimated cost of close to a half-million dollars.
· What's in Bush's pockets? Inquiring minds want to know. What does President George W. Bush carry in his pockets? Not much, it turns out. Bush magnanimously answered by pulling out a white handkerchief with a flourish and then rummaged around in both pockets.
· 'Tonight Show' bandleader Skitch Henderson dies. Skitch Henderson, the Grammy-winning conductor who lent his musical expertise to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby before founding the New York Pops and becoming the first "Tonight Show" bandleader, died Tuesday. He was 87.
· Fla. Coach Accused Of Lesbian Affair With Student. A Tampa high school math teacher and former basketball coach is charged with having a sexual relationship with one of her students. Authorities said 28-year-old Jaymee Lane Wallace had an 18-month affair with a member of the Wharton High School basketball team.
· Top Al Qaeda Operative Escaped From U.S. Detention Facility. A man once considered a top Al Qaeda operative escaped from a U.S.-run detention facility in Afghanistan and cannot testify against the soldier who allegedly mistreated him, a defense lawyer involved in a prison abuse case said Tuesday.
· Man Who Broke Into Aniston's Home Sentenced. A transient who broke into Jennifer Aniston's rented Malibu beach house pleaded no contest to a burglary charge on Tuesday and was sentenced to one year in jail. Superior Court Judge Karen Nudell ordered David Hesterbey, 49, to undergo psychological counseling as part of a five-year probationary sentence.
· Convicted Crack Dealer, 74, Avoids Prison. A 74-year-old convicted crack cocaine dealer in Chickasha, Okla., won't be going to prison. George Lewis was given a 10-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of distribution of the drug. Lewis said he used the money from selling drugs to buy cancer medication for his wife and to pay her medical bills.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
· Airman Claims He Was Told To Remove Mormon Undergarments. A Mormon airman claims his Air Force commander threatened to kick him out of his entertainment unit unless he removed his sacred undergarments. Airman First Class Andrew Howells of Salt Lake City says the commander complained that the garments, worn by observant Mormons, showed through his uniform.
· Slater caught in Paris Hilton's bush. Christian Slater apparently fell off the roof of Paris Hilton's neighbor's house during a weekend party at the West Hollywood home of the hotel heiress. Slater, 36, purportedly made his climb to inspect some folks who complained about the noise. He then landed in the bushes and was "not injured, not hurt, not arrested," Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Karen Leong said.
· Clooney pranks pal with fake art gift. George Clooney once made his best pal Richard Kind display a ghastly discarded painting in his home for two years, after pretending he painted it himself. Hollywood prankster Clooney, who was best man at the former Spin City star's 1999 wedding to Dana Stanley, worked on the elaborate plan for 12 months, before putting his pal through the two-year embarrassment.
· Local MADD activists plan to sit in on DUI cases. few extra sets of eyes and ears soon will be monitoring drunken driving cases in courtrooms throughout Hampton Roads. Activists with Mothers Against Drunk Driving plan to mobilize volunteers who will go daily to general district and circuit courts and record details of drunken driving cases, said Linda Kaye Walsh, vice chairwoman of the group’s state chapter.
· Pope, Donald Trump's Hair Among Top Costume Picks. What's hot for Halloween this year? The owner of a New York costume shop said the big sellers are "Star Wars" characters, popes, priests and gladiators. Paul Blum of Abracadabra Magic and Costumes said another big seller is the Donald Trump wig.
· Judge Removed From DeLay's Criminal Case. In a courtroom victory for Rep. Tom Delay, the judge in the campaign-finance case against the former House Republican leader was removed Tuesday because of his donations to Democratic candidates and causes.
· Colorado Springs testing radiation detectors at intersections. Monitors designed to detect and help track down radiation sources such as "dirty bombs" will be installed on traffic-light poles in an early test of a homeland security system. "I think this could change the way we do homeland security," said John Merrick, the city's lead traffic engineer.
· Woman Auctions Self, With House. A woman in Alburquerque is selling a 95-year-old home, fully furnished, that also includes a wife. Deborah Hale, 48, said she decided to kill two birds with one stone and add herself to an eBay auction for the $600,000 home located in Denver.
· L. Ron Hubbard is World’s Most Translated Author. Guinness World Records has officially recognized L. Ron Hubbard as the world’s most translated author. With a professional career spanning half a century and with over 200 million of his fiction and non-fiction works in circulation in 156 countries, L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of Dianetics and Scientology, is among the most influential and widely-read authors of our time.
· Curtis Says She's Passing on Acting Work. Jamie Lee Curtis, who got her big break in "John Carpenter's Halloween," says she's replaced acting with creative work that is more conducive to raising a family. "I write books for children, (and) I'm a photographer," the 46-year-old actress told "Access Hollywood" in an interview set to air Monday night.
· Facing Recall, Mayor Regrets Using Gay Chat Rooms. The mayor of Spokane, Wash., fighting cancer and facing a recall election, said he regrets going online to access gay chat rooms. The Dec. 6 recall vote is based on the accusation that Mayor James West misused his position by offering an internship to someone he met in a gay chat room.
· Alec Baldwin, Basinger in Custody Dispute. Actors Alec Baldwin and ex-wife Kim Basinger traded personal jabs through their attorneys Monday, with each claiming amid a custody dispute that the other has serious emotional problems. In court papers, Baldwin claimed Basinger "has a pathological need" to turn their daughter against him, and he is asking for a psychological evaluation of the actress.
· Teacher Beaten At Alabama School Dies; Teen Held In Attack. A teacher who was beaten at a school last week has died, and authorities said murder charges were possible against the 15-year-old boy accused of attacking her.
· Businessman Offers Alternate Blake Theory. A businessman testified Monday that he tried to alert authorities to an alternate theory of who killed actor Robert Blake's wife, but his story apparently was discounted.
· Woman Hurt in Hot-Air Balloon Fall. A woman helping her husband launch his hot-air balloon was seriously injured when her leg got caught in a rope and she was pulled up into the air before falling and crashing through the roof of a barn.
· Barred Mayor Plans to Stay in Office. A Texas mayor can't set foot in the small city he leads until a criminal case against him is over, but he still plans on running it. Bartlett Mayor Bobby Hill, 61, was arrested last week and accused of stealing money and services from his 1,500-person city.
· Man Freed From Prison After Being Tried Four Times for Sex Assault. A man who was tried four times over seven years for an alleged sexual assault was freed Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from prosecutors.
· Russian Hockey Star Bure Wins Kournikova Libel Suit. Moscow court upheld a claim filed by Pavel Bure against a Russian magazine that claimed former tennis star Anna Kournikova lost her virginity to him. The magazine was ordered to pay Bure $10,500 in damages.