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Monday, October 31, 2005
· Update: Man charged in flu shot scam. The owner of a Houston health care company remains behind bars today after his company issued more than 1,000 fake flu shots to local Exxon Mobil workers during a safety fair last week.
· Teen Girls Protest Abercrombie & Fitch Shirts. About two-dozen teenage girls in Allegheny County are trying to create a "girlcott" against popular youth retailer Abercrombie and Fitch. They say some of the company's T-shirts degrade women and point to shirts with sayings such as "Who needs brains when you have these" or "I had a nightmare I was a brunette."
· Couple finds first home padlocked. A couple preparing to move into their first home arrived to find it padlocked and all of their belongings gone due to a real estate company's foreclosure error. Aaron and Lanell Yoder discovered that First Preston, a real estate management company, was supposed to foreclose at a home with the same numbered address on West LaSalle Avenue. Their home is on located on East LaSalle Avenue.
· Kabbalah guru arrested for fraud. A woman suffering from cancer was talked into paying $36,000 to the Israeli Kabbalah Center, on the pretext that the donation would help improve her condition. After her death at the age of fifty, the woman's husband filed a complaint against the head of the center, Shaul Youdkevitch, who was consequently arrested by the police Sunday.
· Jury gives man forced from store $7.7 million. Jurors awarded $7.7 million yesterday to the former owner of a cigar store who was forced to move by the city to make way for a new hotel. The city used its powers of eminent domain so a developer could build a Marriott Renaissance Hotel.
· Chrysler on bathroom breaks: Take your time. If assembly-line workers at Chrysler Group plants gotta go to the bathroom, they can take their time, according to a Web posting by a top executive. The statement is an apparent response to the Detroit News disclosure last week that trips to the lavatory are being monitored at a Ford Motor plant in Wayne, Mich., in an effort to cut costs at the beleaguered automaker.
· Jay & Dave: Talk-show hosts who still aren't speaking. If David Letterman felt an odd twitch around noon Friday, it may have been because Jay Leno was in town. The L.A.-based "Tonight" host doesn't venture into "Late Show" country too often. But it's safe to say that, even if he spent more time here, you wouldn't see his lantern jaw anywhere near his gap-toothed rival. Talking with Leno, it seems clear their relations are chilly as ever. "We haven't spoken in 13 years," he told us, stonily. "Everything is the same it has ever been."
· Stewart Planned to Bump Trump From Show. Before her version of "The Apprentice" began, Martha Stewart thought she was saying "you're fired" to Donald Trump. While "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" hasn't done well in the ratings, Stewart initially had much higher hopes - even that her NBC show would eclipse Trump's original. "I thought I was replacing The Donald," Stewart says in the Nov. 14 issue of Fortune magazine. "It was even discussed that I would be firing The Donald on the first show."
· School Evacuated After Pipe Bomb Explodes. A middle school in Orlando, Fla., was evacuated Monday after a pipe bomb exploded in the girls' locker room. Investigators said the device was thrown though the window of the locker room at Memorial Middle School and caused a small fire sometime over the weekend.
· Pastor electrocuted while performing baptism. A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning when he adjusted a nearby microphone while standing in water, a church employee said. The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was stepping into the baptistery as he reached out for the microphone, which produced an electric shock.
· The Tooth Fairy is dead. Doctors refused to let a little girl take her pulled teeth home for the tooth fairy - claiming they are now classed as body parts. Last night four-year-old Kimberley Cumming's mum hit out: "A stupid rule has basically killed the magic of the tooth fairy for my little girl. "My daughter was hysterical when she left the hospital without her teeth."
· Nurse Mistakenly Arrested, Charged As Drug-Dealing Stripper. For three weeks, police said she was a stripper named Gia who sold marijuana and had ties to a Columbus gang. But Tanya Robinson, 31, an emergency-room nurse and mother of two, was cleared of those charges when officers realized they'd nabbed the wrong woman.
· Never surf a tsunami, California town says. An exclusive California beach enclave has raised eyebrows by passing out tsunami safety brochures that warn residents, in capital letters, that they should never try to surf one. The pamphlets, part of an emergency preparedness campaign, inform residents of Malibu that tsunamis often follow large earthquakes and advise: "NEVER GO TO THE BEACH TO WATCH FOR, OR SURF, A TSUNAMI WAVE!"
· 'Saw II' Cuts Down 'Zorro' at Box Office. Horror swung a sharper blade than Zorro at the box office. With Halloween at hand, the bloody "Saw II" won the weekend with $30.5 million, almost double the $16.5 million opening of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones' swashbuckling sequel "The Legend of Zorro," according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Whose Life Is It Anyway? A company president announced, "As of January 1st, 2005, anyone that has nicotine in their body will be fired,” one employee remembers. “And we sat there in awe. And I spoke out at that time. ‘You can't do that to us’ And then he said, ‘Yes, I can.’ I said, ‘That's not legal.’ And he came back with, ‘Yes, it is.’” And it was legal: in Michigan, there’s no law that prevents a boss from firing people virtually at will. At Weyco, that meant no smoking at work, no smoking at home, no smoking period.
· Bush nominates Alito to Supreme Court. Moving quickly to pick a Supreme Court nominee after his last selection withdrew her name, President Bush on Monday nominated Circuit Court Judge Samuel Alito - a favorite of conservatives - to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
· The $25 trillion land grab. There has been an impressive amount of construction in the United States over the last three centuries: All told, we've built more than 300 billion square feet of homes, offices, factories and other structures. But according to new studies from the Brookings Institution and Virginia Tech urban planning professor Robert Lang, we're about to pick up the pace - it will take just 25 years to erect the next 200 billion square feet, which we'll need to accommodate 70 million more people and to replace homes and offices erased by everything from disasters like Hurricane Katrina to plain old obsolescence.
· Willie Nelson Fundraiser Nets $170,000 for Friend's Texas Gubernatorial Campaign. Willie Nelson opened up his central Texas ranch and private golf course Sunday, raising an estimated $170,000 for his friend Kinky Friedman, an independent candidate for Texas governor. Friedman, an author and entertainer, will need up to $5 million just to get his name on next year's ballot.
· Officers Accused Of Having Sex In Police Car. Two Philadelphia police officers are in hot water after allegedly being caught on tape having sex while on duty. According to police sources, the men got out of their police vehicle and then let two females out of the back seat of their patrol car. Allegedly, the officers then removed their police belts and guns and, moments later, the women performed oral sex on the officers.
· How do our brains keep track of time? Your brain is a time machine with three modes that control everything from instantaneous tasks such as moving, to maintaining long trains of thought and ultimately staying in synch with night and day.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
· 4 fraternity members sentenced in hazing death. Four fraternity members pleaded guilty in the death of a college student who was forced to drink large amounts of water during an initiation rite. Under the plea deals reached Friday, all four men will serve time.
· Some churches are embracing teaching methods devised by the Church of Scientology. 13 teenagers gather at the Glorious Church of God in Christ, a predominantly African-American church in a working class neighborhood of East Tampa. The teens bow their heads and pray Jesus will make this a productive evening. Then one hands out pamphlets titled The Way to Happiness, by L. Ron Hubbard.
· Caped Teen Kills Two, Then Self in California. 19-year-old in a black cape and a paintball mask went on a shooting rampage Saturday in his upscale Southern California neighborhood, killing a man and his daughter before committing suicide.
· Did Getty museum purchase looted art? The board of the J. Paul Getty Trust has formed a special committee to investigate claims that its world-renowned museum purchased looted art and its chief executive spent lavishly with tax-exempt funds. The $9-billion trust and its J. Paul Getty museum are under intense scrutiny: The Greek and Italian governments have claimed the museum bought ancient artworks that had been smuggled out of those countries.
· Kid with fake ID now suing bars that served him. Robert E. Nunez II got into a horrific car crash in Malden after a night of bar-hopping during which he says he had eight drinks of vodka and soda. The accident left him a paraplegic. Nunez, a 2001 graduate of Revere High School, acknowledges in court papers that he was driving drunk and also carrying a phony ID card because he was just 19 at the time, too young to legally drink in Massachusetts. Nevertheless, a state judge has ruled he can sue two bars for negligence on the grounds that they allegedly breached their duties by serving an underage customer.
· Homeland Security Misses Many Deadlines. The Bush administration has missed dozens of deadlines set by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks for developing ways to protect airplanes, ships and railways from terrorists. A plan to defend ships and ports from attack is six months overdue. Rules to protect air cargo from infiltration by terrorists are two months late. A study on the cost of giving anti-terrorism training to federal law enforcement officers who fly commercially was supposed to be done more than three years ago.
· Tips for avoiding speeding tickets. The National Motorists Association offers the following information on possible ways to avoid getting a speeding ticket from local law enforcement agents. The association warns that the information is not legal advice but merely tips.
· Jack LaLanne, still strong at 91, attacks child obesity. The kids in the audience had little clue that the man on stage was a fitness legend, but they were enraptured, nonetheless, with the dynamo that is Jack LaLanne. Wearing a blue body suit and looking impossibly fit and energetic at age 91, the man who invented the TV exercise show exhorted a gathering of children at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum to get on their feet and exercise.
· Police run over man on bicycle in chase. A 38-year-old man was critically injured early Saturday after an officer ran over him in a patrol car, police said. Detectives said Darrell L. Ward was pedaling away on a bicycle as they tried to arrest him for burglarizing a gas station.
· Indicted judge in classroom teaches criminal law course. He has been charged with grand larceny and is suspended from the bench, but that hasn't kept an indicted Brooklyn judge from teaching criminal justice and other civics courses at CUNY, the Daily News has learned. State Supreme Court Justice Michael Garson, who allegedly stole nearly $500,000 from the savings of an elderly aunt, has been teaching at Kingsborough Community College for years.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Visceral [vis·cer·al] adj. 1. Instinctual: proceeding from instinct rather than from reasoned thinking or intellect. "A visceral business decision." 2. Emotional: characterized by or showing crude or elemental emotions.
· Fires raise fraud suspicions at flooded homes. Some of the New Orleans homes drowned by the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina have been damaged by a second calamity - fire. Both Louisiana investigators and insurance companies are starting to look into the blazes amid reports that some may have been set by desperate people who had no flood insurance but want to collect on their policies.
· Generator destroyed when lit candle used to check fuel level. Two Florida residents narrowly escaped injury after causing a flash fire and destroying their portable generator Thursday night at a home near Fort Lauderdale, the Broward Sheriff's Office said on Friday. One resident was attempting to re-fuel the generator in the dark on the 2900 block of Northwest Seventh Court and decided to peer into the gas tank using a burning candle for light.
· U.S. Investigates Sale of MREs on eBay. Uncle Sam has tried to feed millions of hurricane victims this year with Meals-Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, only to fear that some of them have become Meals-Ready-for-eBay.
· Car Once Owned By Pope John Paul II Sells For $690,000. A light blue 1975 Ford Escort GL once owned by Pope John Paul II sold for $690,000 Saturday to a Houston multimillionaire who said he plans to put it in a museum he wants to build in his hometown.
· Don't Forget To Set Your Clocks Back. Sunday morning marks the end of daylight-saving time and the return to standard time, in all areas except Arizona, Hawaii and the parts of Indiana in the Eastern time zone.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
· New Jersey Cop Caught In Beer Shakedown. A police lieutenant has been suspended and others are being investigated after a cable television station filmed officers drinking on a city parking deck, smashing the windows of a vehicle, and bragging about shaking down a local business for free alcohol.
· 3 New Delhi Explosions Kill at Least 49. Coordinated explosions in India's capital ripped through at least two markets jammed with evening shoppers ahead of an upcoming Hindu festival and a bus, killing at least 49 people.
· Bar Owner Sent To Prison After Drink Kills Patron. The former owner of a bar in Kansas has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison, for the death of a woman who died of alcohol poisoning. Prosecutors said Juanita Goodpasture, 31, died after she was served a red, yellow and green concoction called the "Stoplight Challenge."
· Marion Barry Pleads Guilty in Tax Case. Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry pleaded guilty Friday to two misdemeanor counts stemming from his failure to file tax returns in 2000. Barry, 69, told the court that he was not sure how much money he earned between 1999 and 2004, conceding that tax forms provided by his employers may support the government's contention that he earned $534,000.
· 'Bragger' defense. Canadian Superior Court judge Margaret Eberhard must decide whether to believe a 21-year-old accused who says he could not have committed a sexual assault because his private part is too big. The prosecutor scoffed at the defense, referencing his size as a "two-by-four" is an exaggeration.
· Hit-and-run suspect claims discrimination. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is discriminating against the suspect in a fatal hit-and-run in Mesa because of her Arab descent, the woman’s defense attorney said Thursday.
· IRS has to pay Buffett firm $23 million. A federal judge ordered the Internal Revenue Service yesterday to pay billionaire Warren Buffett's investment company more than $23 million in taxes and interest for disallowing certain deductions.
· New Orleans police fire 51 for desertion. Fifty-one members of the New Orleans Police Department — 45 officers and six civilian employees — were fired Friday for abandoning their posts before or after Hurricane Katrina. Police were unable to account for 240 officers on the 1,450-member force following Katrina.
· Biggest kick of his life nets a million. A 25-year-old mechanical engineer won $1-million when his 50-yard field goal attempt snuck just over the crossbar at Rogers Centre last night, clinching the ultimate prize in the Wendy's Kick for a Million promotion.
Friday, October 28, 2005
· Exxon-Mobil Employees Got Fake Flu Shots. Federal investigators say fake flu shots were given out last week during a health fair at Exxon Mobil's complex in Baytown. An Exxon Mobil spokeswoman said a doctor provided the shots and that it was the company's first use of an outside contractor to administer them. The spokeswoman said the FBI told the company it was "definitely not the flu vaccine," but doesn't appear to be harmful.
· Courtney Love sued by law firm. Courtney Love is in legal trouble again, this time with the Seattle law firm that helped her obtain the publishing rights of Nirvana's songs. The Seattle law firm says they were told Love didn't have the money to pay the legal fees she owed them for helping her receive more than $7 million in advances on material from her late husband Kurt Cobain.
· Grassley 'embarrassed' but committed. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, played a key role in procuring $50 million in federal money for a $180 million enclosed rain forest in Iowa, but said he was embarrassed after a spate of devastating hurricanes and the need for massive federal aid to rebuild the ravaged areas.
· Registered Sex Offender Helps Run Haunted House. Police officials and child protection advocates say they are concerned about a haunted house drawing children to the rural home of a registered sex offender.
· 'Speak English' sign ruling appealed. An Ohio tavern owner is asking a state agency to reconsider a controversial ruling that declared as discriminatory a sign that says, "For Service Speak English."
· Halle Berry 'sells' Bruce Willis on film. Two former neighbors are now future co-stars. Bruce Willis says Halle Berry brought him the script for the thriller Perfect Stranger, which is expected to start shooting in January. "She knocked on the door and said, 'I'd like you to take a look at this,' and I'm doing it," Willis said.
· Judge refuses to drop R. Kelly porn case. A judge Friday refused to dismiss child pornography charges against Grammy Award-winning vocalist R. Kelly, rejecting arguments that the period in which the offenses were supposed to have occurred was too vague. Judge Vincent Gaughan of the Cook County Criminal Court said the 14-count indictment against the 36-year-old entertainer would stand and “the evidence is sufficient for Mr. Kelly to prepare a defense.”
· "Scooter" Libby indicted; Karl Rove not named. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, indicted by grand jury on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury in CIA leak probe.
· Phil Spector loses key court ruling. Phil Spector's potentially damning statements to police about the shooting death of an actress at his home can be used against the record producer at his upcoming murder trial, a judge ruled on Thursday. Most damaging to the defense may be testimony from a police officer who says that after Spector was shot with a stun gun, wrestled to the ground and hog-tied in his foyer, not far from Clarkson's body, he said: "I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident."
· Woman Used Stolen Card in Lottery. A woman bought a winning lottery ticket worth $1 million with a stolen credit card and could wind up with nothing if convicted, police said. Christina Goodenow, 38, of White City in southern Oregon faced numerous theft-related charges, forgery and possession of methamphetamine, said authorities, who searched her home Thursday. The card belonged to a deceased relative.
· Chocolate maker challenges nursing-wear name. The Hershey Company says the name's too familiar. Hershey makes Milk Duds - spelled D-U-D-S - the chocolate covered caramel. But there's a California company that sells clothing for nursing mothers under the name of Milkdudz - spelled as one word and ending in D-U-D-Z. The Patriot-News newspaper says Hershey's has complained to the U-S Patent and Trademark Office.
· World Series is lowest-rated ever. The Chicago White Sox's first world championship in 88 years was also the lowest-rated World Series ever. Chicago's four-game sweep of the Houston Astros averaged an 11.1 national rating with a 19 share on Fox. That's down about 7 percent from the previous low.
· Firefighters work to rescue base jumper. Elk Grove firefighters late Thursday night continued to work on rescuing a man who became trapped on a 2,000-foot television tower in this south Sacramento County town after attempting to base jump from the structure.
· Murder suspect's mother arrested. The mother of a 16-year-old charged in the brutal slaying of an attorney's wife was arrested Thursday on a charge of accessory to murder for allegedly telling her son not to come home because police had blocked off the neighborhood following the killing. Scott Edgar Dyleski, who will be tried as an adult on first-degree murder charges, was arraigned Thursday. He did not enter a plea.
· Lawsuit Dismissed in 'Wrong Beer' Case. A lawsuit filed by a man who alleged a Budweiser distributor wrongfully fired him after he drank a competitor's beer during his off-hours has been dismissed. Ross Hopkins, a former warehouse supervisor for American Eagle, alleged he was fired for sipping a Coors after a relative of the company's president spotted him in a Greeley bar in May 2003, according to court documents.
· Exxon Mobil, Shell Post Record Profits. High prices for oil and natural gas propelled Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC to their best quarterly results ever on Thursday, with Exxon becoming the first company ever to ring up quarterly sales of $100 billion.
· Texas Co. Hired Illegals to Make MREs. A Texas employment agency was sentenced to five years of probation for hiring illegal immigrants to work at the nation's top producer of military battlefield rations, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
· Vice President's Colorado Daughter To Join AOL. America Online Inc. has hired Mary Cheney, the daughter of the vice president, to a newly created position. Cheney will report to AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis and assist in managing the advertising, e-commerce and search engines considered AOL's core functions.
· Florida Power ignored state warnings on distribution pole inspections. Florida Power & Light Co., which experienced widespread failures of its distribution poles during Hurricane Wilma, dismissed warnings from state regulators earlier this year that its system for inspecting poles was inadequate. As of Thursday afternoon, about 1.8 million customers in South Florida remained without power.
· Lawyer plans to sue MLB over Minute Maid Park roof mandate. The World Series may be over, but the case to keep the roof of Minute Maid Park open is far from being shut. Houston attorney Lisa Sechelski is planning to file a class action lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig. She claims some fans got sick because they weren't given adequate notice that the roof would be open and therefore, weren't prepared for temperatures in the 50's. Some think the lawsuit is a joke, but Sechelski says she's serious.
· House Cracks Down on Frivolous Lawsuits. The House passed a bill that would take away lawyers' licenses if they repeatedly file frivolous lawsuits, the latest in a Republican drive to crack down on what they consider costly abuses of the legal system.
· George Takei Discloses His Homosexuality. George Takei, who as helmsman Sulu steered the Starship Enterprise through three television seasons and six movies, has come out as a homosexual in the current issue of Frontiers, a biweekly Los Angeles magazine covering the gay and lesbian community. Takei told The Associated Press on Thursday that his new onstage role as psychologist Martin Dysart in "Equus," helped inspire him to publicly discuss his sexuality.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
· Los Angeles tell gay community to take their 'last drag.' County officials concerned about high smoking rates in the gay community launched a campaign Thursday to encourage gays and lesbians to take their "last drag."
· Senate authorizes Rosa Parks honor in Capitol. The late civil rights icon Rosa Parks will be the first woman to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, a tribute usually reserved for presidents, soldiers and politicians.
· Male pro golfer wants to play in Women's British Open. French pro golfer Jean Van de Velde will attempt to enter next year’s Women’s British Open because he is upset women may qualify for the 2006 British Open. “I’ll even wear a kilt and shave my legs,” he said Thursday after shooting a 7-over-par 78 in the first round of the Volvo Masters.
· Handsome men have edge in election wins. Beauty may only be skin deep but it's apparently enough to carry an election, a new study says. Handsome male candidates had a 56 percent chance of winning an election while their less dashing counterparts had a 44 percent chance, according Daniel Hamermesh, the study's author and an economics professor at the University of Texas.
· Heavy drinking may harm male fertility. Problem drinking may dampen both a man's sex life and his chances of having children, according to a new study. Researchers in India found that men being treated for alcoholism had lower testosterone levels and more sperm abnormalities than non-drinkers did. They also had a far higher rate of erectile dysfunction (ED) — 71 percent, versus 7 percent of abstainers.
· Woman accused of leaving her infant in apartment. A woman charged with criminal abuse is accused of hiding her 7-month-old son in her apartment for up to 17 hours a day so she could party with friends, police said.
· After safe emergency landing, pilot crashes on takeoff. A pilot who had landed safely on a busy highway after running out of fuel hit two parked vehicles and crashed in front of television crews when he tried to take off again.
· Fertility clinic gets green light for sex selection trial. A clinical trial into the effects of allowing couples to choose the sex of their babies has been given the go-ahead at a fertility clinic in Texas. The controversial study was given the green light by an ethics committee after nine years of consultation. The purpose of the study is to find out how cultural notions, family values and gender issues feed into a couple's desire to choose the gender of their child.
· NJ Mom Arrested For Running One-Woman Brothel. Police say a 50-year-old single mother of three was operating a one-woman brothel out of her home. But Meryl James says she’s an ordained minister and massage therapist who practices holistic methods.
· Columnist compares NBA dress code to Rosa Parks. Columnist Drew Sharp says Rosa Parks' death offers a timely reminder of the power of conviction. The idea of one person taking a stand for their beliefs above all else transcends the relative value of the fight itself. NBA players disgruntled about the league's newly legislated dress code have a legitimate complaint. A business that has feverishly courted the young, hip-hop market - and its burgeoning advertising influence - happily squeezes dollars from the do-ragged, baggy denim crowd, and then in the next minute preaches its contempt of the hip-hop image to its more mainstream, buttoned-down corporate partners, according to Sharp.
· Jolie says she wants more kids. Angelina Jolie, often photographed with her two children in her arms, says she wants to adopt again. "It's a very special thing," the 30-year-old actress told People magazine at the recent Worldwide Orphans Foundation benefit in Manhattan.
· Hanging Mistaken for Halloween Decoration. The apparent suicide of a woman found hanging from a tree went unreported for hours because passers-by thought the body was a Halloween decoration, authorities said. The 42-year-old woman used rope to hang herself across the street from some homes on a moderately busy road late Tuesday or early Wednesday, state police said.
· Presley Tops Forbes' Dead Celebrities List. Elvis Presley tops the annual Forbes list of celebrities who are the top moneymakers from beyond the grave. The singer, who died in 1977, made an estimated $45 million in the past year. Cartoonist Charles Schulz (2000) is next on the list with $35 million, followed by musician John Lennon (1980), who raked in $22 million.
· Woman Sees Husband Off to War, Gets Fired. A woman who took an unpaid leave of absence from work to see her husband off to war has been fired after failing to show up for her part-time receptionist job the day following his departure. "It was a shock," said Suzette Boler, a 40-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three.
· Kids will say the darndest things. Largo police went to the Clearwater home of a suspect in a prescription fraud case, but Barbara King's boyfriend told police she wasn't in. According to the police, however, her 4-year-old boy quickly contradicted him. In a burst of truthfulness, he piped up: "Mommy's in the closet, Mommy's in the closet."
· Ford cracks down on rest room breaks. You know things are tense at work when management starts timing rest room breaks. But beleaguered Ford Motor Co. is doing just that. In a memo that was distributed Tuesday to workers at Ford's Michigan Truck plant in Wayne, plant managers said too many of the factory's 3,500 hourly workers are spending more than the 48 minutes allotted per shift to use the bathroom.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extemporaneous [ex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous] adj. 1. Unrehearsed. Done or said without advance preparation or thought; impromptu: "An extemporaneous lecture." 2. Prepared in advance but delivered without notes or text: "An extemporaneous speech."
· Ex-cop is given probation. A Wayne County judge sentenced a former Detroit police officer on Wednesday to two years' probation for killing a man while driving drunk, ignoring pleas from the victim's family that Steven Compton receive prison time.
· Pot not a major cancer risk. Although both marijuana and tobacco smoke are packed with cancer-causing chemicals, other qualities of marijuana seem to keep it from promoting lung cancer, according to a new report.
· Jury Duty Scam Spreading. The newest form of identity theft is targeting one of America's least favorite obligations, jury duty. Scammers pretend to be court officials taking victims' private information over the phone. Scammers call their victims at home claiming to be a jury coordinator. They say that you didn't show up for jury duty and a warrant has been issued for your arrest.
· Wis. Bridge Begins Raining $20 Bills. It was a clear morning in Green Bay — and then it began raining money. Traffic came to a halt on the congested bridge Wednesday after $20 bills from a money bag that had been accidentally dropped from an armored truck began blowing around and down to the Fox River banks below.
· Oil-for-food panel to finger Iraqi bribes to firms. More than 2,500 companies from at least 60 countries that did business with Iraq in the U.N. oil-for-food program were the target of bribes and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's government, a report on the program is expected to disclose on Thursday.
· Teacher Arrested at School for Being Drunk. Virginia Beach parents and students are reacting with shock and surprise after a 6th grade English teacher, with almost 20 years in Virginia Beach schools, was arrested at school for being drunk in public.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
· Federal Agent Accused Of Exposing Self In Mall. A 49-year-old special agent-in-charge with the elite Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations in Central Florida was arrested on suspicion of exposing and fondling himself in front of a 16-year-old girl at the Mall of Millenia, according to Orlando police.
· Man Kills Air Traffic Controller After Family Dies In Crash. A Russian architect will serve eight years in prison, for killing an air traffic controller who had been on duty when the killer's wife and children died in a mid-air plane collision. The controller was fatally stabbed in front of his wife in the back yard of their home.
· Nicollette Sheridan Splits With Fiance. Nicollette Sheridan is keeping the title of "Desperate Housewife," but she's no longer a fiancee. Sheridan, who plays Edie Britt on the hit ABC show, and Swedish actor Niklas Soderblom have called off their engagement, People magazine reported Wednesday.
· Wal-Mart memo: Unhealthy need not apply. An internal memo sent to the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. board proposes numerous ways to hold down health care and benefits costs with less harm to the retailer's reputation, including hiring more part-time workers and discouraging unhealthy people from seeking jobs, the New York Times said Wednesday.
· Janet Jackson Denies Having 'Secret Child.' Janet Jackson says she is not a mother. In a terse statement released Wednesday, the 39-year-old singer denied a former brother-in-law's claim that she has a "secret" 18-year-old daughter. "I do not have a child and all allegations saying so are false," Jackson said in a statement.
· Lawsuit Number Two For Kravitz Leaky Loo. Lenny Kravitz's leaky toilet has sprung another lawsuit. The rocker is being sued, for the second time, in connection with an overflow incident last August in his swanky Manhattan penthouse. In a New York State Supreme Court complaint filed Monday, Allstate Insurance contends that Kravitz owes it $9387, the amount the firm paid to policyholder Daniel Pelson for damage to his 4164-square-foot, third-floor loft (purchased in 2001 for about $2.5 million).
· Activists Decry 'Get Rich' Billboards. Activists want Paramount Pictures to take down billboards promoting the upcoming film "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," claiming the advertisements promote gun violence. The billboards depict Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson holding a gun in his left hand and a microphone in his right. One of the advertisements is next to a preschool.
· Actor Hunter Reflects on Past in Memoir. Tab Hunter writes about being a closeted gay actor in the spotlight of 1950s Hollywood in his new memoir, "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star." When Confidential magazine published a story in 1955 that implied he was gay, "I wasn't angry, I was more fearful," Hunter told AP Radio in a recent interview. "I had very, very few close friends and even a smaller number knew what my sexuality was."
· Man dies 12 days after being freed from death row. Clarence David Hill was freed after about 15 years on death row earlier this month after his first-degree murder conviction and death sentence were overturned. Hill, 57, won his release after a Mohave County Superior Court judge vacated the conviction and sentence based on DNA testing completed a year ago.
· Mom Arrested For Pushing Son In Front Of Trolley. A San Diego woman has been charged with pushing her 2-year-old son into the path of an oncoming trolley. Witnesses told police the woman led the toddler by the hand onto the tracks and then pushed him in front of the trolley Tuesday night. The driver was able to stop before hitting the child.
· Blake returns to the crime scene. Robert Blake returned to the scene of the last supper Tuesday morning. The ex-Baretta star walked jurors in his wrongful-death civil trial through a fateful evening out with wife Bonny Lee Bakley, who was gunned down shortly after she and Blake dined at Vitello's, an Italian restaurant in Studio City, California.
· Chicago city council panel backs foie gras ban. Amid comparisons to the mistreatment of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, a City Council committee agreed Tuesday to ban the sale of the liver delicacy known as foie gras in Chicago restaurants.
· Popular WNBA Player Comes Out Of Closet. Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes is opening up about being a lesbian, telling a magazine that she's "tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about." Swoopes was honored last month as the WNBA's Most Valuable Player. "Do I think I was born this way? No," Swoopes said. "And that's probably confusing to some, because I know a lot of people believe that you are." Swoopes, who was married and has an 8-year-old son, said her 1999 divorce "wasn't because I'm gay."
· House panel wrestles with analog cutoff. The House Commerce Committee on Tuesday began consideration of legislation that would shut off broadcasters' analog TV signal at the start of 2009, sparking rancorous partisan debate over just how much federal help people should get when the switch is made.
· Hollywood heavyweights love their guns. Pistol-packing Joe Mantegna is blasting a chink in the politically correct armor of some Hollywood heavyweights — he says they love to own and shoot guns. The "Joan of Arcadia" star says that such left-leaning showbiz types as Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and playwright David Mamet are all avid shooters. "Lots of guys in Hollywood love to shoot," Mantegna, a longtime gun sportsman, tells Fade In magazine. "But they ain't gonna talk to you."
· Watchdog says FBI violated surveillance rules. A government watchdog is calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate at least 13 occasions of alleged improper use of FBI surveillance, including searches and seizures of e-mail and bank records.
· IRS Says Unclaimed Tax Refunds Total $73 Million. Thousands of people have money sitting at the Internal Revenue Service that could be claimed if they would just tell the tax collectors where they live. The IRS said Tuesday that $73 million in tax refunds that were sent to taxpayers this year did not reach the destination. In most cases, the post office returned the checks as undeliverable because the taxpayers had moved. The money belongs to more than 84,000 taxpayers, some of whom have more than one check waiting to be claimed.
· Close Shave for Razor Bandits. Police have trimmed the crime rate in Mifflin County, PA, nabbing four suspects in the theft of electric razors from the Lewistown Wal-Mart. The four buzzed out an emergency exit at the Wal-Mart with more than $1,200 worth of electric razors.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
· Parents upset at schools in wake of rape arrest. Parents criticized the School Committee and Superintendent of Schools Stephen Foster last night for ineffectively handling the release of information about Susan Clickner, a school teacher accused of raping a male student.
· Singer, voice of Jolly Green Giant dies. Len Dresslar was familiar in Chicago-area entertainment circles as a jazz and popular music singer since the 1950s, and his deep baritone voice is known by virtually everyone in America who has turned on a radio or television since the mid-1960s. And that's for singing just three little words: "Ho Ho Ho," in a commercial for Green Giant food products that featured the Jolly Green Giant character.
· Smoking can lessen IQ, thinking ability. The poorer mental function seen among alcoholics, many of whom also regularly smoke cigarettes, may be partially due to the long-term effects of nicotine, new research suggests.
· U.S. military death toll in Iraq reaches 2,000. The war in Iraq saw two milestones Tuesday that reflect the country's path toward democracy and its human toll as officials said the referendum on a draft constitution passed and the number of U.S. military deaths reached 2,000.
· Heinz Kerry settled suit for $15 million. A lawsuit filed by Teresa Heinz Kerry after her first husband died in a midair collision in 1991 was settled for $15 million, according to newly unsealed court records. Heinz Kerry sued the owners of the airplane on which her husband, U.S. Sen. John Heinz, was traveling, as well as the owners of the helicopter involved in the crash. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, errors in judgment by pilots of both aircraft caused the crash that killed Heinz, a Pennsylvania Republican and six others - including two first-graders on the ground.
· Tax crusader Irwin Schiff found guilty on all counts. Irwin Schiff, the Nevada man who has made a career out of telling Americans that payment of federal income taxes is voluntary instead of mandatory, was convicted on all 13 counts by a federal jury in Las Vegas yesterday.
· Owner of comics store accuses IRS agent of theft. An Internal Revenue Service agent accused of stealing comic books from a Las Vegas store was previously suspected of swiping other books from the store without paying, the store's owner testified in court Monday.
· Mom gets 110 years in rape of kids. A woman who said she was forced to aid her husband in his rapes of two of their children was sentenced Monday to 110 years to life for her role in the crimes. The victims of the rapes were her son, now 18, and one of the couple's daughters, now 10.
· Aspen Car Dealership Sues Over Protest Signs. An Aspen man who took his frustration with a new car dealer to the public is being sued by the dealer after the man mounted a protest campaign. Seth J. Turok bought a $40,000 Audi A6 from Elk Mountain Motors in 2000 and said he has had problems with the car ever since. When he didn't get satisfaction from the dealer, he attached signs to his car saying "Friends don't let friends shop at Elk Mtn Motors."
· Report: Cheney Cited as Source in CIA Leak. Notes in the hand of a federal prosecutor suggest the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney first heard of the covert CIA officer central to a leak investigation from Cheney himself, The NY Times reported.
· Arkansas Attorney Jailed After Appearing in Court Drunk. An attorney appealing his second drunken driving conviction was jailed Monday after he came to court intoxicated, officials said. A Saline County Circuit Court judge ordered 59-year-old Jerry Stewart jailed for contempt of court.
· So, Frasier Crane, how come your show lost $200 million? One year after the final episode of Frasier was aired, the award-winning sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer is at the center of a Hollywood-style dispute over how it failed to turn a net profit. The show's co-creators are demanding to know why Frasier ended up $200 million in the red, despite being one of the most successful shows in television history, which ran for 11 seasons.
· Slaying suspect had 8 felony convictions - no prison sentence. Scott McAlpin stalked, harassed and threatened his former girlfriend for three years, once even carrying her down the street in an attempted kidnapping until someone maced him, authorities say. On Monday, the 24-year-old El Sobrante man was accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend.
· Potty peeper escapes jail sentence in New Hampshire. A man arrested after he was found peering at a teenage girl at a rest-stop outhouse pleaded no contest to criminal trespass, and a judge urged him to seek help for whatever drove him to climb into the waste-filled toilet. Gary J. Moody was given a 30-day sentence that will be suspended if he maintains good behavior for two years.
· UPS Agrees to End Cigarette Deliveries. The world's largest shipping carrier, UPS Inc., will stop delivering cigarettes to individuals in the United States under an agreement announced Monday with state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
· Girl, 8, Bags First Bear of Maryland Season. An 8-year-old girl bagged the first black bear of Maryland's 2005 season Monday, downing the 211-pound adult male with two rifle shots about an hour after dawn, the Department of Natural Resources said.
· Spokane County deputies suspended without pay. Three Spokane County Sheriff's deputies were suspended without pay Monday morning after Sheriff Mark Sterk reviewed administrative and criminal reports about their involvement in an on-duty driving prank. According to the Sheriff's Department, a uniformed deputy began chasing two plainclothes deputies who were driving an unmarked Ford Mustang on October 3. The fake pursuit ended when Spokane Police disabled the Mustang with a spike strip. City police officers thought they were stopping a real pursuit.
· Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks, 92, Dies. Nearly 50 years ago, Rosa Parks made a simple decision that sparked a revolution. When a white man demanded she give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, the then 42-year-old seamstress said no.
· Newark Pays Paper To Print Only Good News. Call it pay for praise, or bucks for beneficial publicity. The Newark City Council has awarded the Newark Weekly News a $100,000 no-bid contract to publish positive news about the city.
· Wal-Mart looks to get even bigger. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open 270 to 280 supercenters in the next fiscal year and add more than 60 million square feet to its total retail space, an increase of more than 8 percent.
Monday, October 24, 2005
· "Whites Only" Barber Shop. A "whites only" sign at a barber shop in Lafayette, LA might grab your attention and take you back to the Civil Rights era. Barber shop owner Herbert Leger put the sign up Saturday morning after having to continuously turn down customers he says he's not qualified to help.
· Rape victim: 'Morning after' pill denied. Although it is safe, effective and legal, emergency contraception - the "morning after" pill - can be hard to find. After a sexual assault, a young Tucson, Arizona woman spent three frantic days trying to obtain the drug to prevent a pregnancy, knowing that each passing day lowered the chance the drug would work. When she finally did find a pharmacy with it, she said she was told the pharmacist on duty would not dispense it because of religious and moral objections.
· NBC's Al Roker takes a fall during another Today Show stunt. As a crewmember held his ankles, Roker attempted a live report from Naples, Florida. He had just started when a gust of wind suddenly blew him off his feet.
· Why Women Feel More Pain. Women feel more pain than men, studies have shown. New research reveals one reason why. Women have more nerve receptors, which causes them to feel pain more intensely than men. On average, women have 34 nerve fibers per square centimeter of facial skin. Men average just 17. "This study has serious implications about how we treat women after surgery as well as women who experience chronic pain."
· Janet Jackson's Secret Child Finally Confirmed. After almost two decades, the existence of Janet Jackson’s child with former husband James DeBarge has finally been validated. James’ younger brother, Young DeBarge, revealed on a New York radio station that Janet and James have a daughter named Renee who is 18-years-old.
· Stern's Ratings Fall in Many Major Markets. Howard Stern’s year-long commercial for Sirius Satellite Radio, and continuous rant against traditional radio and the FCC, may be costing him a few of his 6.5 million weekly listeners. Or, it may be that the 50 plus-year-old graying shock jock’s schtick needs to take a new turn.
· Kentucky lands grant to protect bingo halls from terrorists. Kentucky has been awarded a federal Homeland Security grant aimed at keeping terrorists from using charitable gaming to raise money. The state Office of Charitable Gaming won the $36,300 grant and will use it to provide five investigators with laptop computers and access to a commercially operated law-enforcement data base, said John Holiday, enforcement director at the Office of Charitable Gaming. The idea is to keep terrorists from playing bingo or running a charitable game to raise large amounts of cash, Holiday said.
· Bernanke Picked by Bush to Succeed Greenspan at Fed. Ben Bernanke, chairman of Council of Economic Advisers and a former Federal Reserve governor, was named today by President George W. Bush to succeed Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman. Bernanke ``commands deep respect in the global financial community,'' Bush said as Bernanke and Greenspan stood by his side in the Oval Office. ``Ben Bernanke is the right man to build on the record Alan Greenspan has established.''
· Nascar's Unofficial Traffic Cops. Sunday afternoon, in Nascar's Subway 500, Rocky Ryan will be responsible for protecting a millionaire driver and a $100,000 car. If he does his job well, his team gets a chance at the race's top prize, a minimum of $139,490. If he makes a mistake, people can be seriously hurt or even killed as a result. For his efforts, he will earn about $750. Mr. Ryan is a spotter, Nascar's version of aerial reconnaissance.
· Girl May Lose Arm After Snakebite At School. Police said a Pennsylvania girl might lose her arm after being bitten by a poisonous snake at school. Authorities said a male student who caught a copperhead snake brought it to school in a shoebox on Friday. They said the boy was showing the reptile to students when it bit the girl's finger.
· Officer Goes On Trial For Allegedly Using State Computer To Get Date. Canton police officer improperly used a state computer system to try to get a date, prosecutors alleged. Steven Fowler, 37, is accused of using the Ohio Law Enforcement Automated Data System to track down the license plate number of a legal secretary in an unsuccessful attempt to take her on a date.
· Dad Pays $30,000 After Confronting Smokers At Son's Game. A central Ohio man is racking up court costs as he fights a disorderly conduct fine, but he says it's worth it if he can clear the air. Floyd Locke, of Urbana, was fined $35 after he confronted smoking spectators at his son's baseball game. The Sunday school teacher has paid about $30,000 fighting the ruling.
· Hummer Limo Carjacked. A Hummer limo filled with people celebrating a birthday party turned into a wild ride early Sunday after a man attempted to steal it, San Antonio Police said. What the suspect did not realize was there were 15 people in the back of the limo. Twenty-one-year-old Noe Ochoa was arrested, police said. He was held down by people in the limo until officers arrived.
· Louisiana study: Most victims over 60. A majority of people killed by Hurricane Katrina were older residents unable or unwilling to evacuate in the rising floodwaters, according to a study of almost half the bodies recovered in Louisiana. About 60 percent of the nearly 500 victims identified so far were age 61 or older, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reported.
· Teacher's sick joke: Behave kids or I'll blow up your bus. A teacher faces police questioning after allegedly telling pupils: "Behave or I'll put a bomb on your bus." Palestinian-born Mazin Albarq was said to have made the sick joke to a class of 13 and 14-year-olds. Parents complained andthe school contacted police.
· Poll: Will You Live Longer And Better? Despite wide-ranging concerns about getting older, most Americans want to live longer than the current average. But not too much longer. If it were up to them, Americans on average would like to live to be 87 years old — nine years older than current life expectancy. But there's a limit: Just a quarter volunteer that they'd like to live to 100 or older. And even if medical breakthroughs made living to 120 possible, most would say no thanks.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
· Pilot Taken Into Custody At Miami Airport After Screeners Smell Alcohol. A United Airlines pilot was taken into custody at Miami International Airport on Sunday after security screeners smelled alcohol as he prepared to board a flight to Washington Dulles International Airport, authorities said.
· Lauren Hutton Poses Nude at 61. At 61, model and actress Lauren Hutton is baring it all. "I want them (women) not to be ashamed of who they are when they're in bed," Hutton told "Good Morning America. "Society has told us to be ashamed."
· The Donald's cash advice costs $1.5 million. Millionaire wanna-bes will learn from the master today as Donald Trump passes on his wisdom - for $25,000 a minute. The mogul takes the stage as the highlight of the Learning Annex's Real Estate Wealth Expo for a record-breaking $1.5 million fee.
· Tech firm accused of overbilling after 9/11. Federal auditors say the prime contractor on a $1 billion technology contract to improve the nation's transportation security system overbilled taxpayers for as much as 171,000 hours' worth of labor and overtime by charging up to $131 an hour for employees who were paid less than half that amount.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Esoteric [es·o·ter·ic] adj. 1. Difficult to understand; abstruse. 2. Not publicly disclosed; confidential. 3. Of rare, special, or unusual interest: Her software success was based on an esoteric programming language.
· Woman allegedly steals to bail out hubby. A Miami County woman who allegedly used stolen credit cards to get cash to pay her husband's bail has ended up in jail herself. Katrina Hyde's husband, Todd Hyde, was being held on $25,000 bond in Miami County Jail on charges of dealing methamphetamine and illegal possession of anhydrous ammonia, a chemical used to make the drug. State police said the woman stole three credit cards from her parents' home, then used them to obtain a cash advance and used the money to pay the 10 percent surety bond required for her husband's release.
· Student Dies After Goal Post Pulled Down At College Football Game. A 20-year-old University of Minnesota-Morris student was killed Saturday when football fans rushed onto the field and pulled down a goal post at the end of the school's homecoming game.
· Vatican says firm 'no' to married priests. While acknowledging the acute shortage of priests in the Roman Catholic Church, bishops from around the world reaffirmed the church's stance on celibacy for priests Saturday in a set of 50 recommendations they agreed to submit to Pope Benedict XVI.
· Jury finds against Ford. A Florida jury said Friday that Ford Motor Co. should pay $16.95 million to a 35-year-old woman who was paralyzed when she slid under her seat belt during a collision, her attorney said.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
· Philly Councilman Released After Psych Evaluation. Philadelphia City Councilman Rick Mariano is out of the hospital Saturday after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, Philadelphia television station WCAU reported. His release comes only days after he had to be talked out of the city hall clock tower by Mayor John Street and Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson.
· Clooney: film injury made me suicidal. The scene was meant to depict two thugs beating a victim tied to a chair. But for the Hollywood actor George Clooney, it soon became all too real. His chair was kicked backwards and his head smashed on the ground, damaging his spine. The injuries left him in such intense pain that he entertained suicidal thoughts and continues to suffer short-term memory loss.
· Officials seize sex offender's baby. Child welfare authorities seized a newborn from a hospital Friday and placed the baby in a foster home because his father is a convicted sex offender. A judge granted the mother supervised visitation rights but prohibited visits from the father.
· "Dumb and Dumber" robbers strike a pose. As if sticking up a Vail, Colorado bank and fleeing via ski lift wasn't dopey enough, it turns out that a pair of young robbers made the mistake of photographing themselves with the pilfered loot.
· Instructor at N.C. State University: 'Exterminate white people.' Political Web sites throughout the country are crackling this week in response to statements by a former instructor at N.C. State University, who said blacks must "exterminate white people off the face of the planet." Kamau Kambon, an author who taught in NCSU's Africana Studies program as recently as last spring, made the comments Oct. 14 during a conference at Howard University in Washington.
· Anti-hurricane invention worth pursuing. Peter Cordani has an intriguing idea. His Jupiter, Fla.-based company produces Dyn-O-Gel, a polymer that gobbles 1,500 times its weight in water. It currently helps make diapers absorbent.
· Laci's Life Insurance Money Going to Mom. A judge ruled Friday that proceeds from a $250,000 life insurance policy Scott Peterson took out on his wife, Laci, will go to her mother instead. Because Scott Peterson was convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne said he is not entitled to collect the benefits of her life insurance policy. The judge said the money should go to the executor of Laci Peterson's estate, her mother, Sharon Rocha.
· H.S. Football Head Coach Accused Of Sex With Student. The head football coach of Lake Howell High School in Seminole County was arrested Friday on suspicion he had sex with a student at the school and snapped pornographic photos of her.
· Report: People fooled by Aniston’s double. Did People goof? The New York Daily News reported Friday that a photo in the magazine's recent cover package was not of Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. According to the Daily News, the photo is of Vaughn putting his arm around the woman who was Aniston's movie double in "The Break-Up," the movie the two filmed together recently. The photo was labeled as if it were Vaughn and Aniston.
· Prosecutors Want to Use Phil Spector's Comments. Prosecutors in the Phil Spector murder case asked a judge to allow statements he made shortly after an actress was shot to death at his home in 2003 to be used at his trial. Spector's lawyers have argued the statements he made after Lana Clarkson died should be thrown out because he was suffering withdrawal symptoms from seven prescription drugs when he talked to police.
· City to offer ID cards to illegal immigrants. Richmond, KY will begin offering identification cards to immigrants, regardless of whether they entered the country legally or not. The move could make the Madison County seat the first city in the country to issue such immigrant IDs - and draw Richmond into the large and sometimes fierce national debate over immigration reform.
· Teen Suspect Charged as Adult in Vitale Murder. A 16-year-old neighbor accused of killing the wife of a prominent defense attorney was charged as an adult Friday with murder and ordered held in lieu $1 million bail. The San Francisco Chronicle, quoting unidentified law enforcement sources, reported in its Friday editions that the teen was running a credit-card scam and went to Horowitz and Vitale's estate trying to track down some marijuana-growing equipment he had ordered.
· Spears: Pics of Baby on Web Were Stolen. Britney Spears threatened to take legal action Friday after pictures of her newborn son popped up on the Internet, apparently stolen from a private photo shoot. At least two Web sites showed photos of Spears embracing her child, as well as a family portrait.
Friday, October 21, 2005
· Paul McCartney gives Ohio couple permission to marry. An ordinary down-on-one-knee engagement request just wouldn't be memorable enough for Ben Okuly. So Ben took his girlfriend to a McCartney concert with a sign and held it up from his fourth-row seat: "CAN BEN ASK MELISSA TO MARRY HIM?" During the concert, McCartney spotted it and read it out loud. "Well, go on, get down on your knees and ask her, Ben!" the former Beatle ordered. Ben did, and Melissa said yes.
· Officer accused of roughing up 79-year-old. What started as a routine traffic stop last week ended with an elderly La Crosse man angry and in pain, and his daughter calling for the badge of the La Crosse police officer who took her father to the ground for failing to identify himself.
· Security screener at JFK Airport charged with stealing $80,000 from checked bag. A security employee at John F. Kennedy International Airport was charged Thursday with stealing $80,000 in cash from a checked suitcase headed for Pakistan, the Queens district attorney's office said.
· Report Details Murder of 'Dimebag' Darrell. A new police report details a chaotic scene at last December's Damageplan concert, with the tour manager getting wounded as he tried to prevent a gunman from climbing on stage - he then was helped to the side where he watched former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott get shot in the head three times.
· Elderly Woman Crashes Through Post Office. A 78-year-old woman sideswiped the fence of a daycare center and crashed her car through the wall of a post office Thursday, injuring three people. The woman had just dropped off mail and was trying to make a U-turn in the parking lot when she stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake, police said.
· Clear skies for Virgin spaceliner. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has collected $10 million in deposits from people wanting a quick ride beyond Earth's atmosphere. Another 34,000 would-be astronauts have registered for rides aboard a commercial version of the Ansari X Prize winner SpaceShipOne. The cost to experience four to five minutes of weightlessness is about $200,000.
· Miss America Pageant Has Date but No Place. Miss America's got a when — but no where. The famous beauty pageant, which is taking its show on the road after 84 years in Atlantic City, will air Jan. 21 on cable channel Country Music Television, pageant CEO Art McMaster said Thursday.
· 'Little Rascals' Actor Gordon Lee Dies. Gordon Lee, the chubby child actor who played Spanky McFarland's little brother Porky in the "Little Rascals" comedies, has died. He was 71. Lee played one of the younger members in the "Our Gang" shorts in the 1930s, appearing in more than 40 of them from 1935 to 1939.
· Young Singers Spread Racist Hate. Thirteen-year-old twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede have one album out, another on the way, a music video, and lots of fans. They may remind you another famous pair of singers, the Olsen Twins, and the girls say they like that. But unlike the Olsens, who built a media empire on their fun-loving, squeaky-clean image, Lamb and Lynx are cultivating a much darker personna. They are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate.
· $340 Million Powerball Winner Steps Forward. Steve West of Medford, Ore., is a wealthy, wealthy man. West, a self-employed businessman, confirmed to ABC News that he and three other family members are the owners of the winning Powerball ticket worth $340 million.
· George Lucas Donates $1M for MLK Memorial "Star Wars" director George Lucas has donated $1 million to build a memorial to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall, backers of the project announced.
· DeLay seeks new judge in money-laundering case. Rep. Tom DeLay appeared in court Friday for the first time since indictment, but arraignment on conspiracy and money laundering charges was delayed pending a hearing on his request for a new judge in the politically-charged case. Judge Bob Perkins told defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin that "the best way for me to handle" the request for a new judge would be to defer further proceedings. Judge Perkins had donated money to MoveOn.org, a liberal organization that has been "selling T-shirts with Mr. DeLay's mug shot on it."
· The lawyers always win. Eighty-one-year-old Alma Sherborne died four years ago happy with her will. The major share was to go to her son, with a lesser amount for two daughters from her first marriage. But after a lengthy legal dispute among her children, the sisters prevailed with $360,000 - and the sisters' lawyers walked away with $450,000.
· High school offers online gym class. Jacob Miller’s gym class isn’t about push-ups or running laps or dodgeball. It’s about computers and Frisbee. Miller discovered that through a new online class he could fulfill his phys-ed credit after school by playing on the Ultimate Frisbee team.
· Executive sued over $241,000 strip club tab. A Missouri businessman who claims that a $241,000 bill for a night of lap dance luxuriating at Manhattan's leading strip club is a fraud is being sued by American Express for refusing to pay the debt.
» Exec disputes strip club charges, but... Robert McCormick, 40, handed over his charge card - which has no spending limit - to the Scores strip club manager, who took steps to make sure McCormick was authorized to use it, including calling Amex every hour once the bill hit $10,000, Scores spokesman Lonnie Hanover said. The club also fingerprints its high rollers and checks their ID to make sure someone hasn't stolen their card, he said.
· Mayoral Hopeful Reveals Affair With Current Mayor. A man hoping to unseat Broomfield, Colorado Mayor Karen Stuart said that he had an affair with Stuart eight years ago. Clark Griep told the Rocky Mountain News that Stuart "accosted" him in a parking lot earlier this year and threatened to tell his wife about the affair if he didn't stop rumors of the affair from spreading.
· Teenage Suspect in Vitale Murder Reportedly a Satanist. The teenager arrested in the slaying of a prominent defense attorney's wife once drew a pentagram on the ground at school and told other students he was reading from the book of Satan, according to former classmates.
· Senators clash over Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere." Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a staunch opponent of pork-barrel spending, tried to block $453 million for two Alaska bridges that had been tucked into the recent highway spending bill. Coburn wanted to redirect the money to the Interstate 10 bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, a major thoroughfare that was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was dramatic in his response: "I don't kid people," he roared. "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state ... I will resign from this body." The $223 million "Bridge to Nowhere" would connect Ketchikan to an island where there is an airport and about 50 people.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Incongruous [in·con·gru·ous] adj. 1. Lacking in harmony; incompatible. 2. Not in agreement, as with principles; inconsistent: a plan incongruous with reason. 3. Not in keeping with what is correct, proper, or logical; inappropriate: incongruous behavior.
· 93-Year-Old Drives Through Toll With Body On Windshield. A 93-year-old driver apparently suffering from dementia fatally struck a pedestrian, then continued driving through a toll booth with the man's body on his windshield, police said. Investigators said Ralph Parker hit the man on 34th Street in St. Petersburg Wednesday night, according to a report. Ralph Parker of Pinellas Park drove for 3 miles Wednesday night after striking the 52-year-old pedestrian with his gold 2002 Chevrolet Malibu.
· Rape suspect caught after he forced victim to write him check. Police say a man who broke into an apartment and raped a woman at gunpoint Wednesday night was so brash he forced his victim to write him a check for $1,400 - in his own name. Officers arrested Anthony R. Roberts minutes after the crime at a check-cashing store two miles from his victim's home.
· Senate looks to spend $3 billion so people won't lose their TV. Lawmakers want to spend $3 billion to make sure millions of Americans won't wake up to blank TV screens when the country makes the switch to all-digital broadcasts.
· Dish Network Pulls Outdoor Life Network. The owner of The Dish Network said Thursday it pulled the Outdoor Life Network from its system after the cable channel failed to provide NHL games to the nation's second-largest satellite television provider.
· Fey to Return to SNL's 'Weekend Update.' Maternity leave is over for Tina Fey of "Saturday Night Live." She'll be back behind the "Weekend Update" anchor desk for this week's episode, her first show since giving birth to her daughter Alice on Sept. 10. "I had to get back to work," Fey said. "NBC has me under contract; the baby and I have only a verbal agreement."
Thursday, October 20, 2005
· 'Makeover' winner has criminal record. A disabled lobsterman who received a $500,000 log home from the TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in an episode yet to be aired has a criminal past, including an armed robbery conviction, The Portland Press Herald reported Thursday.
· Village People performer sought in drug case. The original policeman from the Village People disco group, who co-wrote such hits as "In the Navy," was being sought on arrest warrants today after he failed to show up to be sentenced on a drug case, authorities said. Victor Edward Willis was arrested July 11 after Daly City police found a loaded pistol and what they believed was crack cocaine in his vehicle, authorities said.
· Breast Adjustment Doc Suspended. A Michigan chiropractor has had his license suspended after state investigators charged that he fondled two teenagers after telling the girls that their breasts were "uneven" and in need of adjustment.
· Wealthy Senator wins $850,000. Amid all the Powerball mania comes word that one of the 47 runner-up winners is a U.S senator. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., announced that he matched five of Wednesday night's lottery numbers, minus the Powerball number - which means he wins a total of $853,492. He said he bought the ticket on a whim. According to his latest financial disclosure form, Gregg has between $1.5 million and $6.2 million in stocks and other major investments.
· Man Stops Carjacking With Hot Coffee. A would-be carjacker got quite a jolt when he picked the wrong car to try to steal, Jasper County deputies say. The suspect tapped the window of the car Wednesday morning with a gun and motioned the driver to get out, Chief Deputy Roy Hughes said. The driver of the car had just bought a cup of hot coffee. So he slammed his door into the carjacker's legs, threw the coffee on him possibly burning the suspect's neck and face, and wrestled him to the ground, Hughes said.
· War of Words over Cruise Site. The owner of a Tom Cruise-skewering Website that came under scrutiny from the Church of Scientology for its too-close-for-comfort URL has agreed to change the Web address. "When I started making a fool of what they consider to be the [spokesman] for Scientology," Glen Stollery said, referring to Cruise, "they got a little testy about it."
· Legendary felon requests sentence to match Bird jersey. A man got a prison term longer than prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed to because of Larry Bird. The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird's jersey number 33.
· Lawyer faces DUI charge after crash on way to court. A Tahoe City lawyer on his way to court in Nevada City was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of drunken driving after he rolled his van on Highway 20.
· Teen arrested in slaying of TV lawyer's wife. A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the murder of Pamela Vitale, wife of high-profile attorney and television legal analyst Daniel Horowitz, a law enforcement source told CNN Thursday. The suspect is from Lafayette, California, where the couple were building an estate. Vitale's body was found Saturday in the trailer on the property.
· Aniston and Vaughn Photographed Kissing. Does Vinnifer have the same ring to it as Brangelina? Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn were photographed kissing, possibly confirming that their relationship has grown romantic. People magazine published the photos, taken last week in Chicago.
· FBI: Carson Tormented by Murder Threats. Johnny Carson was a barrel of laughs on TV, but fear stalked him off the set with wacko after wacko threatening to murder the King of Late Night, FBI documents reveal. For more than a decade, Carson was dogged by a terrifying series of letters that told him he'd be shot dead, blown up or otherwise assassinated, according to the FBI.
· 'Tonight Show' Bandleader Says Thanks. "Tonight Show" bandleader Kevin Eubanks led a 30-minute jam session for about three dozen representatives from fire departments that helped save his home during a recent wildfire.
· FDA Asked to Require Blindness Label on Viagra. A prominent consumer advocacy group is calling for the government to add the most serious of warnings to the labels of Viagra and other impotence drugs, noting that some users have gone blind.
· Body found after woman seen dropping kids in bay. One body was recovered late Wednesday from the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay by officials searching for three children allegedly dropped off a pier by a woman.
· Katie Couric's "No Spine Zone" interview. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly was a featured guest on the Today Show this morning, and during a conversation with co-host Katie Couric, the title featured "No Spine Zone," rather than O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone" cable news and analysis program. NBC bias, or honest mistake?
· Cutting cutlery costs. "Yuck." That's the way some parents are describing one school district's practice of washing and reusing plastic utensils. They want to know why the district doesn't either throw away and replace the plastic cutlery daily or invest in metal knives, forks and spoons. "It's just a concern for us because it's not meant to be reusable; it's disposable." Many parents also complain that plastic utensils are "all bitten up" by the end of the year.
· Congress Cuts Funding for Impotence Drugs. Viagra users will have to give up their federal subsidies under legislation that aims to spend the money instead on the poor and victims of Hurricane Katrina.
· Update: Insurer does "right thing" — finally. After a 24-hour threat by the state insurance commissioner, Farmers Insurance finally agreed yesterday to pay Ethel Adams, the woman who was nearly killed in a road-rage wreck last spring. Some Farmers employees are furious their company has turned itself into exhibit A for why people don't trust the insurance industry. One Farmers administrator said her office was "getting a ton of cancellations."
· Cosby: Parents Must Set Goals for Kids. Bill Cosby, who created a stir in the black community when he criticized young people for the way they speak, challenged parents in this crime-plagued, largely minority city to set goals for their children. "Somebody said 'I'm either flippin' burgers or sellin' some drugs,'" said Cosby, echoing a common complaint of young people in poor communities. "But people flippin' burgers never seem to say 'I want to be the manager of the burger place.'"
· U.S. diplomats refuse to pay London's traffic congestion charge. U.S. diplomats who refuse to pay London's traffic congestion charge are guilty of an "abuse of hospitality", the city assembly's transport spokesman says.
· Beer Deliverymen's Strike Tests Loyalties. Teamsters on strike against an Anheuser-Busch distributor are urging people in St. Louis to boycott the hometown brew. But drinking anything but Bud is practically heresy in St. Louis, the home of Anheuser-Busch Cos. In fact, the strike has been the least successful labor action in St. Louis in at least 30 years, said Neil Bernstein, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
· Michael Jackson summoned for jury duty. Authorities want Michael Jackson back in court - this time as a juror. Jackson received a jury summons at his Neverland Valley Ranch, four months after he was acquitted of child molestation charges. It's unlikely that Jackson will show up for jury selection. His lawyers have filed paperwork for a deferment based on the fact that he now lives in Bahrain.
· In Katrina's wake, a tattoo boom in New Orleans. Tattoo artists report a surge in demand for designs that celebrate New Orleans: fleur-de-lis patterns, "NOLA," after the city's widely known abbreviation, and even a symbol modelled after the weather-map depiction of hurricanes
· Winning $340 million lotto ticket sold in Oregon. A ticket sold in Oregon matched all six numbers drawn in Wednesday's Powerball game to win the $340 million jackpot. It was the largest jackpot in the game's history and the second-biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
· FEMA documents tell a tragic disconnect on Katrina. Much of New Orleans is underwater when a FEMA official inside the Superdome sends an urgent BlackBerry message to his boss, director Michael Brown: "...the situation is past critical... hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the streets with no food or water... estimates are many will die within hours," writes Marty Bahamonde, who was sent to be Brown's eyes and ears within the city. Later Bahamonde was forwarded this Email, which shows Brown's press secretary fretting about Brown's dining plans for that evening. "...it is very important that time is allowed for Mr. Brown to eat dinner," she writes. "Given that Baton Rogue is back to normal, restaurants are getting busy. He needs much more [than] 20 or 30 minutes."
· Wal-Mart Heiress Returns USC Diploma. Elizabeth Paige Laurie's name was on a sports arena when a former University of Southern California roommate alleged the Wal-Mart heiress paid her $20,000 to do her homework. Now it isn't even on a USC diploma. Laurie, the granddaughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton, has returned her degree, nearly a year after Elena Martinez told ABC's "20/20" that she had written term papers and done assignments for Laurie for 3 1/2 years.
· Deputy pulls gun on slow golfers. Sure, it's frustrating to have to wait behind slow players on a golf course, but a Southern California sheriff's reserve deputy is charged with going to extremes to speed up some duffers. Orange County reserve Deputy Raymond Yi is accused of pointing a gun at two golfers and flashing his sheriff's badge to get them to speed up play.
· Actor Mel Gibson donates U.S.$1 million to Mexico's hurricane relief. Actor Mel Gibson, sporting a long beard and no socks, met with Mexican President Vicente Fox on Wednesday and donated US$1 million to help Mexico recover from Hurricane Stan. Fox's office said Gibson asked to meet with Fox because he wanted to help after Hurricane Stan hit the Gulf state of Veracruz, where the actor is filming a movie.
· New Orleans Saints To Be San Antonio Saints? New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says he'd hate for the city to lose the NFL's Saints, but his respect for team owner Tom Benson has plummeted. The comments came today after some Saints executives who had been supportive of keeping the Hurricane Katrina-displaced team in Louisiana were fired or resigned. San Antonio officials publicly have said that Benson is working to relocate the NFL franchise in Texas permanently.
· Judge Defends Self Over Remarks To Unwed Mom. An Orange County judge accused of chastising a deputy sheriff who had a child out of wedlock defended himself in front of a special panel Wednesday. Judge Alan C. Todd, a judge for 14 years, is accused of chastising a deputy sheriff who had a child out of wedlock, saying she was a "disgrace to society," "had no morals," and her child was "a bastard."
· Maine teacher charged with stealing $150,000 from union. A 58-year-old math teacher at Belfast Area High School has been released on bail after being charged with felony theft for allegedly embezzling $150,000 from his local teachers union.
· Oil Prices Fall More Than $1 a Barrel. Oil prices dropped more than $1 Wednesday after the U.S. government reported crude and gasoline inventories rose sharply last week a sign that oil supplies in the Gulf of Mexico are recovering from the recent hurricanes.
· Supreme Court nominee suspended from D.C. Bar Association. After becoming White House counsel earlier this year, the D.C. Bar Association suspended Harriet Miers' ability to practice in D.C. courts because she didn't pay her bar dues.
· High School Cheerleader Quits Over Gay Taunts. A male cheerleader at Platte Valley High School in Weld County, Colo., has quit because he said he's been taunted by other classmates who called him gay.
· Arrest Warrant Issued For DeLay. A Texas court on Wednesday issued a warrant for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's arrest, and set an initial $10,000 bail as a routine step before his first court appearance on conspiracy and state money laundering charges. Travis County court officials said DeLay was ordered to appear at the Fort Bend County, Texas, jail for booking, where he'd likely be fingerprinted and photographed.
· Dog Attacks Anti-Dangerous Dog Bill Author. The author of a new state law that allows felony charges against owners of dangerous dogs was hospitalized over the weekend after his own dog attacked him. Bob Schwartz, who also is Gov. Bill Richardson's crime adviser, was hospitalized at University of New Mexico Hospital on Sunday night with bites on both his arms.
· A city about to change colors. If you thought the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina was ugly, then you should take a look at what's happening now. It's not pretty. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin are up in arms because what has historically been a mostly black city may be on its way to becoming a largely brown city. Latino immigrants are coming to New Orleans from as far away as California to repair homes, clear debris, rebuild roads and do other jobs. Nagin told reporters that his new worry is how he is going to "ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers."
· Public school of Scientology. A San Antonio middle school is under fire for trying to change the curriculum. Zachry Middle School tried to introduce a new way to help get students to learn with a kit called “Learning How To Learn.” The problem? The kit has a connection to a controversial religion called, Scientology. The learning kit includes grammar books, dictionaries and teaching manuals based on the beliefs of L. Ron Hubbard.
· When a bonus isn’t a bonus. The Pentagon has reneged on its offer to pay a $15,000 bonus to members of the National Guard and Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by six years, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle). The bonuses were offered in January to Active Guard and Reserve and military technician soldiers who were serving overseas. In April, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs ordered the bonuses stopped, Murray said.
· Pakistan Quake Death Toll Rises To 79,000. Pakistani officials raised the death toll from South Asia's earthquake Wednesday, and they said it was still rising. Regional officials said more than 79,000 died in the Oct. 8 disaster.
· Update: State tells Farmers Insurance to pay. Washington is giving Farmers until the end of the day tomorrow to either agree to pay Adams, injured in a road-rage crash, or face legal action. State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler met yesterday with Farmers lobbyist Mike Kapphahn in Olympia and told him: "It's not a question of if you pay Ethel Adams, but when." "Nobody here has ever seen an insurance company come up with such a bizarre and imaginative way of applying insurance law as this case," Kreidler said in an interview.
· Bloomberg: I'm Not Looking for a Date. Someone with a political fetish placed a personal ad in The New York Times claiming to be the "Mayor of New York City," but the real mayor assured everyone — including his girlfriend — on Tuesday that he wasn't looking for a date.
· William Shatner Beamed to Hospital. The 74-year-old TV icon had wrapped shooting for the day on his current show, ABC's Boston Legal, when he began experiencing pain in his lower back, said publicist Stacey Luchs. Shatner was transported by ambulance from the show's set in the Los Angeles suburb of Manhattan Beach.
· Man shot after pulling boy from team. A football coach in Montgomery, Ala., is being sought by police who say he is accused of shooting the boyfriend of his star player's mother because the man pulled the boy from the team. Timothy Campbell, 32, was shot Tuesday outside the mother's home. Montgomery police spokesman Lt. Huey Thornton said Campbell had forced the 12-year-old boy to quit the team as punishment for some trouble he had gotten into. Campbell told police the coach confronted him with a gun.
· Antonio Banderas Gets Star on Walk of Fame. Antonio Banderas got down on his knees and rubbed his hands over his new Hollywood star on Tuesday, then stood up and reminisced warmly about the events that led to his being immortalized on the entertaiment capital's Walk of Fame.
· NBA calls for ban on gangsta clothes. NBA Commissioner David Stern has a warning for players who won't comply with his new dress-for-success policy: Take your ball and go home. The NBA's new off-the-court dress code bans sleeveless shirts, jerseys, T-shirts, sneakers, shorts, headgear, sunglasses indoors and "bling," including chains, pendants or medallions. Players are required to wear "dress" shirts (either collared or turtleneck), shoes, slacks or jeans. Players out of uniform on the bench must add a sport coat as well.
» Pacer says new dress code is ‘racist.’ The new dress policy is already taking some heat, with Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson telling ESPN that the league ban on chains worn over clothing is "a racist statement" from the league. Jackson told ESPN that the policy on jewelry was "a racist statement because a lot of the guys who are wearing chains are my age and are black."
· Men Sentenced For Stealing $43K From Girl Scouts. A man was sentenced to 11 years of probation Monday for stealing $43,000 from the Girl Scouts. T.J. Wilson was a bookkeeper for the Girl Scouts in Fort Dodge when the theft occurred.
· 'Technical virginity' becomes part of teens' equation. Ten years after Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky's relationship made oral sex a mainstream topic, there's still plenty of debate over whether oral sex is really sex. The latest fuss is spurred by new federal data that found that more than half of 15- to 19-year-olds have received or given oral sex.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Anachronism [a·nach·ro·nism] n. One that is out of its proper, chronological, or historical order, especially a person or practice that belongs to an earlier time. [the sword is an anachronism in modern warfare].
· Company Develops Plant That Sprouts Custom Messages. A company in Spokane, Wash., has developed a plant that releases text messages during the seven- to 10-day germination process that shows up on the plant's bud. The Amazing Message Plant was discovered by the president of Miracle Products and displays personalized words.
· Best Buy sued over ex-worker's cyberstalking. Nicole Christopoulos took her malfunctioning computer to Best Buy in hopes of getting it repaired. And while the man behind the counter accessed her hard drive, it wasn't solely to repair a problem. Instead, Greg Schaffter jotted down personal information stored on the Arlington Heights woman's computer and within days, she began receiving harassing messages.
· Gwyneth hits out at Britain. She once found fault with British men before, a year later, marrying one. Now Gwyneth Paltrow has turned her critical gaze on Britain itself. And the American actress, who has lived in London since her wedding to rock singer Chris Martin two years ago, has found plenty more to complain about.
· Pilot Receives Award for Saving Crew. Maj. John Groves earned the award for his actions while delivering supplies to Iraq as part of two-ship formation. The major’s wingman was shot down en route. Groves, while under fire, found and rescued the other aircrew.
· Wheelchair Search Upsets Mom. The mother of a teenage girl who received a written notice from the Tampa Sports Authority that her wheelchair cushion will be subject to a detailed security check says she thinks such a search is unfair and would embarrass her daughter.
· Hurricane Wilma: Dangerous Category 5. Hurricane Wilma jumped from a Category 2 to a dangerous Category 5 storm in mere hours Wednesday, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph - and possibly the lowest recorded barometric pressure, the National Hurricane Center said.
· Mattel goes to Canadian Supreme Court in effort to extend Barbie's trademark. Move over Malibu Barbie and Ballerina Barbie - now there's Litigious Barbie. Can Prima Donna Barbie be far behind? Toymaking giant Mattel said trademark infringements should extend to a pair of Montreal restaurant-bars called Barbie's to avoid confusion in consumers' minds.
· Saturday night is dead. The state of network television on Saturday nights has become so dire that ABC has essentially put a prime-time slot up for auction to anyone who has a compelling idea - as long as it's done very cheaply. ABC has put the word out to Hollywood producers that a Saturday night home is available to a program that can be made for no more than $500,000 an episode, which is about a quarter of what the traditional comedy or drama costs.
· Eyes wide open: Biographer digging for info on Cruise. Tom Cruise has a new biographer - even though he probably doesn't want one. Andrew Morton - who scaled the best-seller lists with books about Princess Diana, Madonna and Monica Lewinsky - is digging for fresh bits about the diminutive box-office Goliath. A source at St. Martin's Press, which published the Lewinsky and Madonna books, tells us it hopes to bring out the book next fall.
· Toyota delivers one-man "i-swing' mobility machine. Toyota caused a stir with a new one-seater "mobility machine" that allows users to zip along sidewalks upright on two wheels and swing into three-wheeled mode for the road.
· Lottery jackpot reaches $340 million. With $340 million up for grabs in the second-biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, people trekked to a small-town West Virginia convenience store to buy their tickets Tuesday in the apparent belief that lightning can strike twice in the same place.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
· Chapter 11 files for Chapter 11. A company called "Chapter 11 Bookstore," that once used the slogan "prices so low, you'd think we were going bankrupt" has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be closing its Gainesville store. The Chapter 11 Bookstores says on its Web site that the filing is "an effort to better serve its customers and strengthen its overall business operations."
· Mob Beats Sex Predator For Allegedly Trying To Grab Child. A convicted sexual predator in Jacksonville was attacked and beaten by eight men who claimed he tried to grab a child on the street. Police said the men confronted John Childers and beat him with their fists. Childers has been convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 16.
· Sizemore claims he bedded teenage Paris. Troubled movie star Tom Sizemore claims he has bedded Paris Hilton when she was a teenager. The Saving Private Ryan star, who has been in and out of court fighting drug and domestic abuse charges over the last two years, is the star of Vivid Entertainment's new sex tape "The Tom Sizemore Sex Scandal. The video features the self-proclaimed sex addict having "inexhaustible sex" with up to four young women at a time. But, even more shocking is what the 44-year-old actor says about an alleged one-night stand with socialite Paris Hilton in 2001 - when she was just 19.
· Springfield to return to General Hospital. He's returning to General Hospital Dec. 2 for at least four episodes. Springfield played Dr. Noah Drake from 1981 through '83 on the long-running soap. That's when he was sizzling - a fan favorite on the soap and he had a mega-hit with Jessie's Girl.
· Sex Slave Investigation Leads To Arrest Of 11. Investigators in Central Florida arrested 11 people this week who allegedly ran a massive prostitution ring that served Mexican farm workers in three Central Florida counties.
· Man Reports Missing Car, Not Missing Child. A Michigan City man called police to report his car missing, but did not mention that his 4-month-old son had been left inside it, authorities said. Porter County police officers found the car with the boy inside about 11 p.m. Sunday, parked in front of a home a few miles northwest of Valparaiso.
· Testimony with a bang. For dramatic effect, the revelation came with its own bolt of lightning and rumble of thunder. Taking the stand for a fifth day at his wrongful death trial, Robert Blake for the first time in his legal odyssey claimed three witnesses could confirm his whereabouts at the time wife Bonny Lee Bakley was shot dead on May 4, 2001. Right around then is when lightning struck the courthouse.
· Refco files for bankruptcy. It took just eight days for Refco Inc. to go from a $3.46 billion powerhouse to down-and-out, with a midnight bankruptcy announcement capping off the commodities broker’s stunning collapse. Refco previously gained notoriety for guiding Hillary Clinton in a commodity trading scheme that took her $1,000 and turned it into nearly $100,000 in 10 months.
· U.S. security chief strives to expel all illegal immigrants. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally. "Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.
· Rolex From Monroe to JFK Fetches $120,000. A watch that Marilyn Monroe reportedly gave President Kennedy as a birthday gift has fetched $120,000 at an auction. The gold Rolex is inscribed: "Jack, With love as always from Marilyn May 29th 1962."
· Cheney resignation rumors fly. Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
· Update: Turkey-tossing teen gets hand slapped. A Long Island teenager was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday for throwing a 20-pound turkey through a car windshield that critically injured a driver. Ryan Cushing, 19, will also serve five years probation. The victim, Victoria Ruvolo, urged leniency from the judge. Even though the turkey critically injured Ruvolo last November, she didn't want the teen to get 25 years in prison.
· World is more peaceful now than at any time in 12 years? Despite the daily horrors in Iraq and seemingly regular spasms of terrorist-sponsored violence, the world is a much more peaceful place than it was a little more than a decade ago, a new study says. Since the end of the Cold War, the number of armed conflicts has declined by more than 40 per cent, while the number of the deadliest conflicts - those involving more than 1,000 battle-related deaths - has dropped by 80 per cent, said the Human Security Report, which was released here yesterday.
· Mom Who Set Son On Fire With His Puppy May Get Death. A woman who was severely burned as a child has been found guilty of killing her 4-year-old son and setting his body on fire. An Ohio jury convicted Nicole Diar on 10 counts Monday, including two of aggravated murder aggravated arson and tampering with evidence. The 28-year-old woman could receive the death penalty.
· Ex-Governor Elected to Afghan Parliament. A former regional governor who oversaw the destruction of two massive 1,500-year-old Buddha statues during the Taliban's reign was elected to the Afghan parliament last month, officials said Tuesday as results from two provinces were finalized.
· Katrina evacuees boozing up on Cape Cod. Hurricane Katrina evacuees using federal assistance money are living the high life with alcohol and strippers in Massachusetts, the Boston Herald said Tuesday.
· Husband says slain wife 'fought like hell' for life. Pamela Vitale put up a desperate fight before she was killed by a blow to the head, and she apparently lay in the entry of her secluded Lafayette home for several hours before she was discovered, her husband said Monday. "She fought like hell," her husband, well-known defense attorney Daniel Horowitz, said Monday in an interview with The Chronicle.
· Coach who prays with team back on sideline. High school football coach Marcus Borden, who stepped down after school officials told him he could no longer initiate or participate in team prayer, rescinded his resignation and returned to his players Monday. "I have strong beliefs and principles," Borden said. "I don't want anybody to think that I backed down on them."
· 20 percent of 9/11 loans in default. A program designed to bail out small businesses affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks may leave taxpayers with a larger than expected bill - roughly $1 of every $5 in direct federal loans has fallen into default.
· 1,700 Warrants Out For Parents Whose Children Skip School. A police crackdown on truancy in York County, PA is targeting parents. School districts and law enforcement agencies have joined forces to fix the problem. Police have warrants for more than 1,700 parents whose children have cut class.
· Food for thought 'fattening.' Working with the brain instead of brawn may be adding to the obesity epidemic in the developed world, new research suggests, and not just because people get little physical activity while sitting at a desk. When people do "brain" work, such as reading documents or working on a computer keyboard, the brain uses glucose for energy, says Angelo Tremblay, a professor of kinesiology at Laval University.
· Lewis Says He, Martin Were Barely Speaking. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis barely spoke during the last 10 months of their decade-long partnership, Lewis writes in his forthcoming book, "Dean & Me (A Love Story)." The longtime friends shocked showbiz when they broke up after starring together for years in movies, radio and nightclubs.
· NFL Player Out For Season After Falling Through Window. Arizona coach Dennis Green said Cardinals defensive end Calvin Pace is out for the season after cutting his arm while falling through a window at his home over the weekend.
Monday, October 17, 2005
· Physician's rape trial begins today. Did Dr. Charles Momah, a Seattle-area gynecologist, use his role as a doctor to sexually abuse his patients, controlling them with his prescription pad and silencing them with warnings that they would never be believed? Prosecutors charged Momah with one count of second-degree rape, one count of third-degree rape and two counts of indecent liberties.
· Losing Weight Can Mean Gaining a Sex Life. Losing a little weight can do wonders for your sex life. So says Duke University psychologist Martin Binks, who presented a study Monday at a meeting of The Obesity Society showing that shedding a few pounds can improve things in the bedroom. "You reap a lot of benefit from a moderate weight loss of 10 percent," Binks said. "It's a wonderful message. You don't have to reach some ideal weight to be healthy and happy."
· Florida sheriff wrongfully accuses stuffed animal. Someone at Florida's Monroe County Sheriff's Office was having some fun last Friday while compiling the daily online arrest registry. Along with mug shots of Florida Keys residents nabbed for such things as probation violations and cocaine sales, one "Juan Llama" appeared in connection with his misdemeanor arrest for "loitering-or prowling" at Key West High School.
· Town's Sunday construction ban could affect do-it-yourself work. Spring Hill, Tenn. aldermen are facing a decision over whether to go after do-it-yourself enthusiasts who violate an ordinance banning construction work on Sundays. "What about Seventh-day Adventists?" Alderman Charles Raines said. "They go to church on Saturday."
· Marijuana arrests reach record high. Police arrested an estimated 771,608 persons for marijuana violations in 2004, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is the highest ever recorded by the FBI, and comprised 44.2 percent of all drug arrests in the United States. "This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that diverts law enforcement personnel away from focusing on serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism."
· DeLay Will Likely Be Booked This Week. Rep. Tom DeLay will likely be booked in a Texas county jail this week despite attempts by his attorneys to bypass the fingerprinting and mug shot process. "(Judge) Perkins believes that if God was charged with a felony, he would have to go through the booking process, too," said D'Ann Underwood, court coordinator for the judge.
· Up in Smoke: Prized Wine Warehouse Burns. Tens of millions of dollars' worth of vintage wine were believed to have been destroyed by a fire Wednesday at a huge Vallejo, Calif. warehouse that was considered one of the most secure places for wineries and individuals to store prized collections. The 240,000-square-foot specialty warehouse stored more than 500,000 cases of rare vintages believed to be worth up to $100 million, officials said.
· Charges In Rita Bus Fire Deaths. Charges are being filed against the driver of a bus that caught fire near Dallas while carrying people fleeing Hurricane Rita. The driver is being charged with criminally negligent homicide in the deaths of 23 passengers.
· Racial injustice? Here are two almost identical automobile accidents, one caused by a white female driver, and one caused by a black male driver. Guess who got the probation, and who got 30 years in prison.
· Lennon-Ono Photo Deemed Top Magazine Cover. On what would be the last day of his life, John Lennon posed for photographs with Yoko Ono in a session with photographer Annie Liebovitz. A naked Lennon curled around and kissing a clothed Ono became the cover for Rolling Stone magazine's tribute to him.
· Update: Lost lottery ticket sparks battle over winnings. A trip to a convenience store turned one man's trash into another man's treasure. Now a battle is brewing in Massachusetts over a $1 million lottery ticket. Edward Saint John found the lucky ticket in a garbage can, but another customer says he bought the winner and accidentally threw it away. That man has hired a lawyer to claim the cash.
· No direct link to Tasers found in autopsy. The autopsy report of a man stunned 19 times by police officers using Tasers labeled the man's cause of death as "excited delirium" and not the direct result of the shocks. State medical examiner Dr. Bruce Levy said that Patrick Lee's manner of death could not be determined.
· Ex-'SNL' Comedian's Death Ruled a Suicide. Charles Rocket, a comedian and actor who appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and had roles in a variety of movies and television series, committed suicide, the state medical examiner has ruled. Rocket, 56, whose real name was Charles Calervie, was found dead in a field near his home on Oct 7. His throat had been cut, the medical examiner said.
· Krispy Kreme unit files for Chapter 11. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. shares were halted at the open Monday after the company said its majority-owned unit Freedom Rings LLC has filed to reorganize under Chapter 11.
· 12,000 paid not to work. Ken Pool is making good money. On weekdays, he shows up at 7 a.m. at Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, signs in, and then starts working - on a crossword puzzle. Pool hates the monotony, but the pay is good: more than $31 an hour, plus benefits. Pool is one of more than 12,000 American autoworkers who, instead of installing windshields or bending sheet metal, spend their days counting the hours in a jobs bank set up by Detroit automakers and Delphi Corp. as part of an extraordinary job security agreement with the United Auto Workers union.
· Wounded soldiers face financial fire. The U.S. Army should be ashamed of dunning soldiers for its own payroll mistakes, and for billing wounded soldiers who lose combat gear. In Robert Loria's case, the Army turned him over to a collection agency. "I don't know how much you want from me. I already gave you one arm and part of a leg," Loria told The Post.
· White Settlement, Texas, debating a name change. City leaders are asking voters to consider taking the ''White'' out of White Settlement. ''When people see the name, the question of race comes to mind. They ask, 'What is that all about? Why is that name there?''' Mayor James Ouzts said.
· Ted Kennedy Assists in Rescue of Fishermen. U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy attempted to rescue six men who had become trapped by high tide on a jetty off Hyannisport on Sunday. Kennedy was walking his two dogs on the shore at 11:15 a.m. when he spotted the men cut off from shore by the rising waters.
· Former Pastor, Stepson Charged With Raping Girl. A former pastor and his stepson were charged with raping a 12-year-old girl after a DNA test showed that the pastor fathered the girl's baby, authorities said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Exacerbate [ex·ac·er·bate] transitive verb. To make more violent, bitter, or severe; to irritate or make worse [the prosecution's witness may exacerbate her legal problems].
· Michelle Wie's pro debut: Cheating on scorecard? 16-year-old Michelle Wie's pro golf debut made her look like an amateur Sunday when she was disqualified for taking a bad drop from the bushes in the third round of the Samsung World Championship.
· Unions seek video iPod residuals. If Apple's new video iPod is as successful as expected in delivering paid programing over the Internet, Hollywood's unions want their share and are worried about being shortchanged on residuals.
· AFLAC worker sues over love triangle at work. It was the firm's Christian foundation, morals and principles that attracted Lori Johnson to AFLAC, but her ex-husband - also an AFLAC associate - had an affair with another AFLAC associate. Now, Johnson wants to hold the company to its moral standards. The AFLAC duck was unavailable for comment.
· Man Killed Walking Into Funeral Home For Friend's Service. The Northampton County coroner says an elderly man walking to a funeral home to attend a friend's service was struck and killed by a van. Coroner Zachary Lysek says 74-year-old William Ruggiero Sr. of Roseto died outside the John A. Fiore Funeral Home in Bangor. His 66-year-old wife, Edith Ann, was also struck. She's in the intensive care unit at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill.
· 'Got Milk?' Ads Take On Steroids Controversy. One of the most successful advertising campaigns of all time veered off in an edgy new direction this week. The new "Got Milk?" advertisements spoof major league baseball's steroid abuse scandal. The commercials are already airing in California during the baseball playoff games, but not everyone is laughing.
· Honey, They're Playing Our Song ... in an Ad. The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up," Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life," Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" ... Songs like these, which once upon a time might have brought back memories of hanging out in the high school parking lot or driving your first car, are now more likely to recall Microsoft Windows, a family vacation or the latest Cadillac.
· Police, witnesses dispute whether crash followed police chase. A car fleeing East Haven police on Saturday crashed head-on into a bystander's vehicle, crushing the legs of the driver not involved in the incident and critically injuring the two people in the speeding car. East Haven police said the officer ended the pursuit before the crash, but witnesses said the cruiser was chasing the suspects' car moments before the crash.
· New face on dollar bill: Geena Davis. The U.S. dollar is getting a modern makeover of sorts, as the Treasury Department has given its blessing for actress Geena Davis' portrait to be temporarily featured on top of President George Washington.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
· A man on a mission. That man seated at the corner table is no ordinary latte-sipping, Internet-surfing Starbucks customer. He's a man on a mission, albeit a curious one: to visit every company-owned Starbucks on the planet. His tally so far: 5,100 Starbucks stores.
· Baghdad real estate market is booming despite escalating violence. A five-bedroom river-view house sold three years ago for $45,000. Two years ago it sold again, this time for $80,000. It sold a third time in August. The latest price tag? $300,000.
· Mining Companies Still Paying 19th Century Prices for Public Lands. A recent land sale was made possible by an 1872 mining law that lets the government sell, for just $2.50 or $5 an acre, public lands that contain minerals. This land sale, known as a patent, gives companies absolute title to the property.
· Update: PETA workers face 25 felony counts in North Carolina. The cats and dogs two PETA employees have been charged with euthanizing and dumping in an Ahoskie garbage bin were killed by injections of pentobarbital, a barbiturate commonly used to put down animals, according to new warrants issued and served on Friday. Additionally, the two employees were charged with three felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.
· McCartney apologizes for Ono's attack. Sir Paul McCartney has apologized on behalf of Yoko Ono for her embarrassing him at the Q Awards - insisting the Japanese artist is "not the brightest of buttons."
· If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. From Thursday's New York Times: ''Nalchik, Russia - Insurgents launched a series of raids today in this southern Russian city, striking the area's main airport and several police and security buildings in large-scale, daytime attacks that left at least 85 people dead.'' "Insurgents," eh? From Agence France Presse: "Nalchik, Russia: More than 60 people were killed as scores of militants launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings..." "Militants," you say? From the Scotsman: "Rebel forces battled Russian troops for control of a provincial capital in the Caucasus yesterday..." "Rebel forces,'' huh? From Toronto's Globe & Mail: "Nalchik, Russia - Scores of rebels launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings..."
· Listen to Democrats and it is easy to see what they're not. Democrats are not the party that led America to war in Iraq. They are not the party trying to privatize Social Security, cut taxes to the rich or add to the deficit. They are not the party responsible for the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Democrats, some barely able to contain their glee, seem to have embraced the strategy of Napoleon Bonaparte, who famously advised: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." It is far more difficult to say what Democrats are for.
· 'Your restaurant has landed.' Chicken and dumplings being served to people on a Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737? It's happening in Walnut Ridge in northeast Arkansas, where one of Dallas-based Southwest's retired 737-200s has been incorporated into the Parachute Inn restaurant at the city's regional airport.
· A man walks into a bar association ... Why does California have the most lawyers and New Jersey the most toxic waste dumps? New Jersey had first choice. Lawyer jokes. They've been around forever. Lawyer jokes have gotten nastier in the past 25 years. Where jokes about lawyers used to include some grudging admiration for the work they do, they are increasingly hostile and mean.
· Court looking to penalize jury no-shows. Shawnee County court officials have been cracking down on people who don't show up for jury duty. Through the end of September, more people summoned to serve on a jury had ducked their court date than the number who answered. Judge Richard Anderson has begun sending out letters warning no-shows that they could be held in contempt for not reporting for duty and be forced to pay a $100 fine for each day of unexcused absence.
· Wife of prominent TV legal analyst found dead. The wife of prominent defense attorney and TV legal analyst Daniel Horowitz was found slain in the couple's San Francisco area home, police said. Horowitz called 911 Saturday evening to report that the body of his wife, 52-year-old Pamela Vitale, was in the entryway of their home in an upscale neighborhood.
· Troubles at Getty Ripple Through Art World. A plot fit for a Hollywood thriller has been unfolding at the venerable J. Paul Getty Museum, a gleaming hilltop refuge that Italian authorities claim houses pilfered art. A decade after leading efforts against the illegal trade of artifacts, the museum's recently departed antiquities curator faces trial next month in Rome over allegations that she knowingly received dozens of stolen items.
· Group That Graded Tests Wrong Offers Scholarships. A testing company that incorrectly scored online versions of Virginia's high school exit exam has offered $5,000 scholarships to five students who were blocked from graduating.
· Powerball jackpot to hit record $340 million. With no big winner in Powerball Saturday night, the jackpot rises to $340 million for Wednesday's drawing. Saturday's numbers: 1 7 8 34 45 Powerball 15 Power play 3.
· Muslim's celebrate Ramadan by setting fire to Temple. Suspected Muslim militants killed a Buddhist monk and two teenage boys and set fire to a temple in Thailand, in separatist violence that has claimed more than 900 lives. The militants who attacked the Buddhist temple in the southern Pattani province late on Saturday had slit the 76-year-old monk's throat. The charred bodies of the two teenagers were later found in the temple.
· Million-dollar RVs are luring the wealthy. Theese real estate developers from Chattanooga, Tenn., travel around in a 45-foot recreational vehicle that has marble steps, five closets, a queen-size bed, a full-size refrigerator, and front and rear 48-inch plasma TVs. Plus, two motorized "slideouts" expand the living area by as much as 30 inches to 11.5 feet, when the RV is parked.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
· A White Wash at Vanity Fair? Beyoncé Knowles, who appears on the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair, is the first African-American woman to front the glossy since Tina Turner flashed her gams in 1993. But is she too black for publisher Graydon Carter? Publishing insiders have been whispering about the cover girl’s strangely pale visage ever since the November issue hit newsstands. Now, a high-level source at Vanity Fair is alleging that the mag digitally altered Beyoncé’s image to appear several shades lighter.
· Protest Gone Wrong. A crowd that gathered to protest a white supremacists' march Saturday turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police and vandalizing vehicles. At least two dozen members of the Roanoke, Va.-based National Socialist Movement, which calls itself "America's Nazi Party," gathered at a city park to march under police protection.
· Principal cancels prom. Kenneth M. Hoagland had heard all the stories about prom-night debauchery at his Long Island high school: Students putting down $10,000 to rent a house in the Hamptons for a weekend bash. Pre-prom cocktail parties followed by a trip to the dance in a limo loaded with liquor. Fathers chartering a boat so their kids could go out on a late-night "booze cruise."
· Amish Split on How to Face Polio Threat. Residents of an isolated Amish community appear divided on what to do after doctors diagnosed four cases of the polio virus in their children. Some have decided on vaccinations to ward off future polio cases, while others prefer leaving the matter in God's hands.
· Brosnan rages as he's axed for no-name actor. Pierce Brosnan is both shaken and stirred about getting deep-sixed as 007. "It ... sucks. Completely," the ex-007 ranted in a decidedly unsuave interview with Premiere magazine. "It would have been sweet to go back for a fifth [installment]. I was just getting the hang of it, you know?" Brosnan said. "It would have been wonderful to go out there for one last game and pass the baton."
· Elderly driver smashes into downtown Burger King. An elderly man crashed his car into the Burger King in downtown Wausau on Friday morning. The man smashed his car into the main entrance at about 9:30 a.m. He got out of the car, went inside and asked to be served breakfast. Burger King employees served the man, who was found inside eating his breakfast when police arrived.
· 'Toilet' Cam Allegedly Used To Watch Employee. A supervisor at IAP Worldwide Services is accused of setting up a surveillance camera inside a company bathroom and allegedly recording an employee on the toilet. IAP Worldwide Services provides goods and disaster-relief services for the military and government.
· Preventing Pandemic Impossible. After wandering amid cages of birds and rabbits at an open-air market in Hanoi, after watching the gutting of a freshly slaughtered chicken, and after visiting a Haiphong family sickened by bird flu, the United States' top health official came to a grim conclusion: Preventing the start of a global flu outbreak is just about impossible.
· Behl death was an accident. Amateur photographer Ben Fawley has admitted to being with Virginia University freshman Taylor Marie Behl when she died, but he says her death was accidental, according to a jailhouse statement he has given to police. Sources said he described the 17-year-old girl's death as an accident that occurred when he restricted her breathing during sex.
· Driver Allegedly Makes Ill Child Leave Bus. A school bus driver no longer has his job after he allegedly told a sick child to get off his bus. The diabetic child was left several blocks from his house, according to his mother, Leigh Nowning. The 12-year-old used his cell phone to call her. She picked him up and later took him to a hospital emergency room. "If my son had not had that cell phone, he'd be dead," Nowning said.
· Hawks center Collier dies of possible heart attack. Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier died Friday night, possibly of cardiac arrest, the team said. He was 28. Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche said no other details immediately were available and did not say where Collier was when he died.
· Remains of Star Trek's 'Scotty' headed for space. Evidently "Star Trek" actor James "Scotty" Doohan took the catchphrase "beam me up" very seriously - his cremated remains will be launched into space in accord with his last wishes.
· Police: Former bar employee stole six-pack marked 'busted.' A man charged with stealing beer from a bar where he used to work was busted by the very cans he stole, police said. Alibi Bar owner Frank Martin knew someone was stealing beer in recent months, so he took two six-packs and wrote the word "busted" on the bottoms of the cans, one letter per can, Corry police said.
· Judge cuts award to ex-Orleans Parish DA employees. A federal judge has cut slightly the $2.8 million that a jury ordered the Orleans Parish district attorney to pay to 43 employees fired after a change of administrations. A federal magistrate is scheduled to rule later on attorneys' fees, which the winning side has totaled about more than $1.4 million.
· Trash barrel yields treasure. For the last couple of months, the gray-haired old man has been a regular morning sight for passersby, his arm thrust deep into the trash barrel outside the White Hen Pantry on Main Street as he fishes for discarded lottery tickets. But lately 83-year-old Edward St. John has been doing his best to disappear.
As he sifted through the throwaways in front of the convenience store earlier this week, St. John picked out a $1 million winner, and now he’s trying to keep a low profile.
· Man said he purchased $1,300 computer, found only wood inside box. A Best Buy customer threatened to kill a female employee Tuesday after complaining that he purchased a $1,300 computer, only to find wooden blocks inside the box once he got home. According to police reports, the customer came to the store to make the complaint, but became enraged after being told nothing could be done for him.
· Woman Stabs Co-Worker In Fight Over Using Microwave First. A Walgreens employee allegedly stabbed a co-worker in an argument over who could microwave her soup first, authorities said. Both women wanted to use the microwave in the employee break room Wednesday afternoon.
· Edmund N. Bacon, city planner, dies at 95. Edmund N. Bacon, a renowned city planner whose vision transformed postwar Philadelphia and whose influence continued to shape the look and feel of the nation's fifth-largest city, died Friday. Bacon, whose children include actor Kevin Bacon, died of natural causes at his home in Philadelphia.
· Man Faces Murder Charge in 1973 Shooting. suspect was charged Friday with murder in the death last year of a man who had been shot 32 years earlier during a racial dispute. Jose Colon, 47, died from infections related to gunshot wounds suffered when he was 15, a medical examiner ruled. The shooting paralyzed Colon from the neck down. Ralph Alini, who already served three years for the shooting, was arrested Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on a second-degree murder charge.
· Producer: Bruce Lee's Death Was Accident. Bruce Lee's former producer, Raymond Chow, says the kung fu star's sudden death at age 32 is a straightforward case of taking the wrong medicine. Lee died of an edema, or swelling of the brain, in the home of Hong Kong actress Betty Ting Pei in 1973. The coroner described his passing as "death by misadventure."
Friday, October 14, 2005
· Angry Vikings owner plans conduct code for team. Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said Friday he had met with players to express his anger and embarrassment over reports of sexual misconduct on a charter cruise last week, and vowed to do all he could to prevent further scandals. Wilf and the Vikings have been pursuing state money for a new $675 million stadium, but an official now says the stadium deal is "literally off the radar screen."
· Burning Victim Had Told Judge She Was Scared. A woman badly burned when her estranged husband allegedly doused her with gasoline had told a judge the man was intimidating her. Yvette Cade appeared before District Court Judge Richard Palumbo last month to challenge efforts by Roger Hargrave to have a protective order lifted.
· Today Show segment takes an embarrassing turn. Today Show reporter Michelle Kosinski took to the water-drenched streets of New Jersey in dramatic fashion... paddling a canoe. There was one small problem. Just as the segment came on the air, two men walked in front of Kosinki, and the water barely covered their shoe tops. Kosinski's canoe was in no more than six inches of water.
· Woman told off by police for "fat" comment. A woman struck by a hit and run car driver in northern England said she was told off by a police officer for using the F-word to describe the driver... "fat." Mary Magilton, 54, suffered cuts and bruises after being hit by the car, but was ridiculed by a police officer when she said the driver of the car was a "fat" woman.
· Farmers' Insurance finds loophole in devastating crash. Ethel Adams was driving along minding her own business when a pickup truck slammed into her head-on. Even though Adams didn't know the driver of the pickup, he was intent on causing a crash, according to Farmers' Insurance, therefore the company does not consider it an accident and has denied her insurance coverage despite being critically injured and in a wheelchair.
· Police officers misjudge pregnant woman's plea. Two Jacksonville police officers will face discipline for chasing a pregnant driver to a hospital and tackling her in the emergency room after she said she told them she was bleeding and heading to get help.
· Katie Now "Shame"-less. Apparently, Katie Holmes is rehearsing the role of stay-at-home mom. The actress who revealed she is carrying fiance Tom Cruise's baby, has pulled out of the Dennis Quaid drama Shame On You in order to focus on her pregnancy.
· Sen. Hillary Clinton hits Hollywood money trail. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ventured to the West Coast on Thursday to hit the Hollywood money trail as she gears up for her first re-election campaign and weighs a possible White House bid in 2008.
· Man Accused of Punching Out Plane Window. A passenger punched out the interior pane of an airplane window on an American West flight from Las Vegas to Florida, authorities said. Ryan J. Marchione, 24, shattered the inner plastic shield covering the glass window and disconnected its frame about 90 minutes into the flight, according to an FBI affidavit. The outer window was not damaged and the plane did not depressurize, the airline said.
· Ohio Police Arrest Woman For $1 In Unpaid Taxes. An Ohio woman was arrested after she didn't pay $1.16 that she owed in income taxes. "One sheriff approached my car with his hand on his gun," she said. "Another from the other side of the car leaned in and said, 'Are you Deborah Combs?' He said, 'We have a warrant for your arrest.' Combs said she thinks the arrest and charges are over-the-top for the amount she owed. "What they've spent in stamps is more than what I owe," she said.
· Tori Spelling's Husband Seeks Divorce. Tori Spelling's husband has filed for divorce, a little more than a year after the couple married. The couple separated last month. Actor and writer Charlie Shanian is seeking spousal support from Spelling, according to papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday.
· Airline throws off nine blind passengers. Irish no-frills airline Ryanair defended its policy on disabled passengers on Thursday after it was slammed for ejecting nine blind and partially sighted holiday-makers from one of its flights.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Autonomous [au·ton·o·mous] adj. 1. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. 2. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: "an autonomous judiciary."
· Men Planned To Kidnap Jaguars Cheerleader. A man who was fatally shot by police was part of a botched conspiracy with two other men to kidnap and kill a Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleader and steal her Mercedes, police said on Thursday.
· ABC's use of college interns for investigation angers colleges. ABC News is drawing fire for using college interns in an investigative report that alleges lax security at nuclear reactors on 25 U.S. college campuses. ABC said its interns found unlocked doors, saw unmanned security booths and, in some cases, were given guided tours that gave them access to control rooms and reactor pools.
· Traffic stop turns up guns, drugs. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper said when he walked up to a gray Mustang he smelled marijuana. Then the driver gave a false name. Ultimately, a search of the car turned up multiple guns and drugs weighing in the pounds. After troopers took the man into custody, he tried to make a deal, offering "all the guns in the car" in exchange for his freedom, the report says.
· GOP picks up tab for $48,000 junket. The Republican Party of Florida will pay a gambling company $48,000 in hopes of sparing four lawmakers a possible ethics problem after they took a two-day trip to Toronto at the company's expense.
· Men In Halloween Masks Rob Pizza Delivery Person Of $8. Police in Clermont, Fla., are searching for three men who wore Halloween masks during an attack of a woman delivering pizza. They said the attack was well planned because the order had been called in to a vacant house. The men robbed the woman of $8 and four large pizzas.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
· Lawmaker Turns Herself In On Drug Charge. Oregon Rep. Kelley Wirth was arrested Thursday for drug possession after turning herself in to Salem police. Wirth was leaving the Capitol last month when another woman allegedly tried to run her down with a car. While investigating the incident, police reportedly found a small amount of a white powder/crystal substance, believed to be methamphetamine, in her car.
· Man trapped in sewer while hiding from police. Deputies say Daniel Rhodes crawled into a sewer drain when he saw a sheriff's helicopter flying overhead. Rhodes has an outstanding warrant for traffic offenses, and apparently thought deputies might be looking for him. After spending the night crawling around in the sewer, Rhodes got stuck and called for help.
· Panel Urges Limits On Mortgage Tax Breaks. A presidential panel says home ownership tax laws need to be changed. It also says changes are needed in the laws that encourage businesses to give workers health insurance. The panel said current homeowner tax breaks, such as the mortgage interest reduction, help wealthier taxpayers buy bigger houses but do little to help others purchase homes.
· Stallone squares up for Rocky VI. 30 years since first putting on his boxing gloves - Rocky Balboa is making another comeback. Hollywood sources confirmed last night that Sylvester Stallone has agreed to star in the sixth instalment of the Rocky saga.
· Ray's recipe for success. Four years ago, nobody knew - or cared - about Rachael Ray. Today, the chirpy chopper is everywhere. Just try browsing a Barnes & Noble without seeing one of her 11 cookbooks. Dollars to doughnuts, you can't tune in the Food Network and not see her sunnily declaring some dish - any dish - "Delish!" or "Yum-O!" The self-described "nobody from nowhere" is suddenly a one-woman mini-industry. And she's about to get even bigger.
· Red-light refund gets green light. Officials have begun reimbursing motorists wrongfully cited this summer due to a snafu with the red-light enforcement cameras that could end up in the city paying out nearly $500,000 to return of the fines cover related expenses.
· Farrakhan: Bomb, not Katrina, broke dikes. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan fueled a rumor that explosives, not Hurricane Katrina, broke New Orleans' dikes and flooded poor African American neighborhoods. "A member of the Army Corps of Engineers saw burn marks on the concrete," Farrakhan told reporters. "They found two types of explosives used by the military," he said, without naming the source, adding that a 25-foot crater had been blown in the dike.
· Mob suspect may have good excuse for missing court. The feds believe that a reputed Genovese crime captain on trial in Brooklyn could have a very good excuse for missing court: He might have been whacked, sources said yesterday.
· John Edwards determines capitalism isn't that bad after all. The 2004 Democratic candidate for Vice-President joins Fortress Investment Group, where he will serve as a part-time global dealmaker for the $15 billion investment powerhouse.
· Madonna's parenting secrets. The woman who made her name in the mass media says "My kids don't watch TV. We have televisions but they're not hooked up to anything but movies. TV is trash. I was raised without it. We don't have magazines or newspapers in the house either."
· The smarter you are, the longer you wait for marriage. A Census Bureau study being released Thursday found many regional differences in the marrying habits of Americans, with those near the East and West coasts generally waiting longer to get married than those in Middle America. The study also found that Southerners are the least likely to live together without getting married. "Later marriage is very strongly associated with higher levels of education," said David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University.
· Claim: Priest's molestation 'bent' me into homosexual. A wealthy Manhattan socialite is planning a $5 million lawsuit against the Catholic Church, claiming his being molested by a priest at age 7 turned him into a homosexual. J. David Enright IV, now 51, alleges he was molested as a boy at Camp Tekawitha on Lake Luzerne in upstate New York by by Father Joseph Romano, a seminarian counselor at the camp run by the Diocese of Albany.
· VFW motorcycles drown out protestors. God spoke with the roar of revving motorcycle engines during a protest Tuesday by six members of a Kansas church that believes God is punishing the U.S. for protecting homosexuals by killing soldiers overseas. Chelsea residents, however, believed God spoke on their behalf as the engines of more than 100 Veterans of Foreign Wars motorcycles drowned out the voices of the Westboro Baptist Church members who were allowed to protest from 1-1:30 p.m. before the 2 p.m. funeral services for Staff Sgt. John Glen Doles.
· Fox Cancels 'The Simple Life.' "The Simple Life" is over - at least on Fox. The network said Wednesday it has canceled the Paris Hilton-Nicole Richie reality series after the show's two stars no longer proved compatible.
· Name of James Bond Star to Be Revealed. The suspense is almost over. Sony Pictures said Thursday it would end months of speculation on Friday, revealing the name of the next James Bond at a press conference in London. British tabloid reports this week said the role will go to Daniel Craig, a blue-eyed British actor who would be the first blond Bond.
· Lottery Commission Investigating Allegations of Fraud. While the Oklahoma lottery is less than 24 hours old, someone may have already found a way to play the system. In Oklahoma City, a man and his wife went to buy a few lottery tickets Wednesday, but ended up with something completely different. They say a convenience store sold them phone cards when they had asked for Oklahoma lottery tickets.
· Former N.C. Congressman Gets Four Years. Former Rep. Frank Ballance was sentenced Wednesday to four years in federal prison for conspiring to divert taxpayer money to his law firm and family through a charitable organization he helped start. According to a 51-page indictment, Ballance channeled $2.3 million in state money from 1994 to 2003 to the nonprofit foundation he operated to help poor people fight drug and alcohol abuse.
· Reporter who investigated Nixon dies. Jack White, a reporter whose story on President Nixon's underpayment of income taxes won a Pulitzer Prize and prompted Nixon to utter the famous line, "I am not a crook," died Wednesday at 63.
· Comcast, Google Said in Talks Over AOL. Google Inc. and Comcast Corp. are talking with Time Warner Inc. about acquiring ownership stakes in America Online's Web portal AOL, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Under the deal, the three companies would form a new entity through which they would jointly own the Web portal.
· Over dose may have killed son of O.J's lawyer. The 24-year old son of renowned defense attorney Robert Shapiro died Monday of an apparent drug overdose, authorities said. Brent Edward Shapiro, a USC student on the dean’s list, had been partying with friends at a residence near the Hollywood Bowl after Saturday’s USC-Arizona football game.
· Druglord Sought Jay-Z, Puffy Handout. An imprisoned druglord who has been called the secret power behind a leading hip-hop label recently told a music industry associate that he was going to approach "Jay and Puff" to help fund his defense effort against homicide, racketeering, and narcotics charges that could carry the death penalty. In a recorded April 29 call from the Brooklyn federal lockup, Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff appeared to be referring to rap titans Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Sean "Puffy" "Puff Daddy" "Pee Diddy" Combs as he spoke with Christopher "Chris Gotti" Lorenzo, a top executive with The Inc., the music label that, investigators allege, McGriff secretly controls.
· Police Cars Going Back to Classic Black-and-White. Police departments from Florida to Arizona are converting their squad cars to the old color scheme made famous by the Adam 12 TV police drama that aired from 1968 to 1975. The reasons: tradition and better visibility. "Studies have shown that cars with alternating light and dark colors are more visible in low light or high illumination," says department spokesman Chuck Trapani.
· Man Kills Self As Shot Wife Gets Help. A man shot his wife, then forced his way into the ambulance where she was being treated by paramedics and fatally shot himself, authorities said. Police called to the scene of an auto accident discovered that one driver, a 35-year-old woman, had multiple gunshot wounds from an earlier incident. "She was trying to get away from her husband, and lost control of the car. She was basically running for her life."
· Officer takes skull piece for 'ashtray.' The family of a deceased New York man has indicated it intends to sue after a police officer took part of the man's skull from the scene of an automobile accident and bragged he would use it as an ashtray.
· Kennedy: I'll Support Kerry in 2008 Race. Sen. Edward Kennedy said Wednesday he would back fellow Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 even if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton also pursues a White House bid. "If he runs, I would support him," Kennedy told The Associated Press in an interview at his Boston office.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
· Minnesota Vikings Sex Party Update. New information on allegations that a wild Minnesota Vikings boat party involved prostitution, drugs and sex acts. The yacht's crew say at times they feared for their safety, yet players not involved were embarrassed and apologized for their teammate's actions. Stephen Doyle, the boat company's attorney, says crew on board complained to the captains, saying people were drinking, taking off their clothes and performing sexual acts for money.
· Update: Man Arrested on Charges of Stealing Jet. A man was arrested on charges of stealing a private jet and taking it on a 350-mile joy ride from Florida to Georgia, police said Wednesday. Investigators said they made the arrest after interviewing five people who said they were on the 10-passenger, $7 million Cessna Citation 7 when Daniel Wolcott, 22, flew it.
· Store Clerk On Trial For Selling Adult Toys. A Houston store clerk could face up to a year in prison because of the provocative items being sold at the adult video store where he works. Houston police charged Jose Escalante with obscenity because he was in possession of adult toys with the intent to promote and sell them. Escalante faces up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine.
· Katie’s dad furious about shotgun wedding. Katie Holmes’s dad is said to be “very upset” because his unmarried daughter is pregnant with Cruise’s child. And, what’s more, the devoutly Catholic Martin Holmes reportedly is none-too-thrilled about his daughter’s involvement in her husband-to-be’s controversial religion, Scientology.
· Lawyer: Officers Beating Man On Video 'Didn't Do Anything Wrong.' The lawyer for three New Orleans police officers seen in a videotaped violent arrest says they "didn't do anything wrong." Frank DeSalvo said the 64-year-old man on the video had been stumbling down Bourbon Street and staggered into a police horse. When officers intervened, the lawyer said Robert Davis "was belligerent" and used an expletive.
· Teacher Accused Of Oral Sex On Her 9-Year-Old Student. A third-grade teacher accused of performing oral sex on a 9-year-old boy, allowing students to peek down her blouse and slashing her wrists with glass in front of her students pleaded not guilty to the 24 criminal charges she faces.
· The rightful king of England? If Australian forklift operator Mike Hastings is, as genealogists contend, the rightful heir to the British throne, then he really needs to brush up on his tea-making skills. "I reckon I might send Lizzie (Queen Elizabeth II) a bill for back rent, the old girl's family have been living in my bloody castle for the last 500 years."
· Wrongly jailed man sues O.J. Dream Team. O.J. Simpson's Dream Team allegedly became a nightmare for a Queens man who spent six years in prison for a rape he did not commit. Lee Long is suing the law firm of the late Johnnie Cochran and his partners Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck for malpractice, charging they missed the deadline for filing a claim for wrongful-imprisonment damages in state court.
· 75 years of pervert priest records found. The confidential personnel files of 126 clergymen in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles accused of sexual misconduct with children provide a numbing chronicle of 75 years of the church's shame, revealing case after case in which the church was warned of abuse but failed to protect its parishioners.
· Living large - and bored - at taxpayers expense. With satellite TV, gourmet food and a cruise ship cabin provided at taxpayers' expense, one might expect Creola Oliver to be living large. But the elderly New Orleans woman, who lost her Uptown home to floods after Hurricane Katrina, doesn't feel she is. "All I do is walk around, look at the soap operas on TV," Oliver said. "Nothing to do, nowhere to go." Oliver is among 5,600 people who are living on three cruise ships rented from Carnival Cruise Lines in a controversial $192 million deal to find housing for police, firefighters and other people left homeless by the storm. Critics point out that the contract costs about $2,550 per guest per week, about four times the base price of a seven-day Caribbean cruise.
· Teens Run Over During Game Of 'Chicken.' Police are searching for the driver of a sport utility vehicle who ran over two teenage girls who were laying in the middle of the road in an apparent game of "chicken" during a slumber party over the weekend. The girls, ages 13 and 14, remained hospitalized Tuesday in Lufkin, Texas.
· Bad News for Newspapers. It's now more expensive to buy the paper on which to print the words that fewer people are reading. Newsprint prices climbed about 11% in August and September as a host of commodity prices were pushed up by rising energy costs. Throw in worsening demographics — 55 is the average age of a newspaper reader — along with declining circulation and the news is barely fit to print.
· Oprah Rewards Women Who Helped Nab Man. Two women received $50,000 checks from Oprah Winfrey's show for their part in capturing a fugitive sex offender from Indiana. Friends Karie Miller of Fargo and Jean Rosenthal of Moorhead, Minn. held hands while walking onto the set of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to a standing ovation by the audience on Tuesday.
· Beaten in jail, molester is released. Since entering jail more than a year ago after admitting he sexually abused a teenage girl, Richard Frankenfield has been beaten up by other inmates, transferred to another prison and found the doors closed to work-release opportunities. On Tuesday, Bucks County Judge John J. Rufe took pity on the Richland Township man, and ''reluctantly'' agreed to release him early under house arrest.
· Axe falls on Reagan tour guides 'for being too old.' Elderly volunteers at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library claim they have been barred from giving tours and welcoming visitors because they are too old - even though many are younger than the former president while he was in office.
· Jesse Jackson busload of workers includes few New Orleanians. Reverend Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition brought about 200 people to town Tuesday to find jobs reconstructing New Orleans, but most were not displaced residents.
· Al Qaeda letter called 'chilling.' Senior U.S. intelligence officials call a letter from al Qaeda's No. 2 man to its leader in Iraq "chilling" because of how "calm, clear and well argued" it is in urging preparation for a U.S. departure from Iraq. According to a translation of the 6,300-word letter provided by the U.S. government, Ayman al-Zawahiri predicts "the Americans will exit soon" from Iraq and says "things may develop faster than we imagine."
· Police Arrest Man For Improper Photography At Octoberfest. Thousands of people milled through the Southlake Town Square Sunday night during the community's Octoberfest celebration. One man, however, was arrested during festivities after police said he used a digital camera to take inappropriate photographs of women and children.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
· Spokane deputies face discipline for prank car chase. A red-faced sheriff has apologized to city police, who joined deputies in a phony car chase that a sheriff's spokesman called "horseplay that has gone seriously awry." The Oct. 3 chase ended when police used a spike strip to disable the fleeing car and drew their weapons on the driver, who turned out to be an undercover deputy being chased by another deputy on the way to the Public Safety Building to end their shifts.
· Crime witnesses got it wrong. Web Wilson hurried into the post office to drop off some letters, but when he returned to the car and opened his trunk, two of his children surprised him after sneaking into it from the backseat using the trunk's "pass-through" area. "I said, 'You guys get back in the back seat,' " Wilson said Saturday. U.S. Postal Service employees witnessed this, and led them to believe Wilson was abducting the children. They called Cincinnati police, who immediately issued an Amber Alert.
· Charter Jet Stolen From Florida Found In Georgia. Authorites are trying to find out how a 10-person passenger jet reported stolen in Florida wound up at an airport near Atlanta. The $7 million Cessna Citation VII landed at the Gwinnett County airport late Saturday or early Sunday. Authorites said they found no evidence of weapons or drugs, and they said they've "ruled out anything diabolical or sinister."
· Original R.E.M. members rock wedding. A few hundred lucky wedding guests got the surprise of their life last weekend as R.E.M.'s original four members reunited to play a seven-song set at the wedding of one of the group's road crew.
· Tip on N.Y. subway threat a hoax. Information that led to heightened security for the New York City transit system was a hoax, government sources said Tuesday. The sources said an informant in Iraq who provided the tip had told investigators there was a terrorist plot involving New York's subway system. That informant admitted he gave false information, the sources said.
· California H.S. Issuing Breathalyzers. Students who attend homecoming dances this weekend will be doing some heavy breathing — into Breathalyzers. At Santa Barbara High School, officials will screen every third or fourth student who arrives and anyone who appears drunk, said Principal Paul Turnbull.
· Lawyer: Taped Beating Subject Wasn't Drunk. A 64-year-old man who was repeatedly punched in the head by police in an incident caught on videotape was not drunk, as police have alleged, and put up no resistance as he was being pummeled, his lawyer said Monday. The man, a retired elementary school teacher, said "I haven't had a drink in 25 years."
· Delphi Chief Sees GM Bankruptcy Without Wage and Health Benefit Concessions. Delphi Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Miller said General Motors Corp., his biggest customer, will also have to file for bankruptcy if it can't get wage and benefit concessions from the United Auto Workers union during their next contract talks.
· Wis. residents raise stink over Amish. Residents are raising a stink over the growing amount of manure left by Amish horses on buggy trips to this central Wisconsin community, officials say. Members of the religious sect, who favor plain dress and plain living in their farming communities, avoid most modern conveniences and travel by horse and buggy.
· Viagra helps out endangered species. The use of Viagra may be benefiting some endangered species. The suggestion comes from a survey showing that traditional Chinese-medicine users are switching from medicines based on animal products to 'the little blue pill' to treat erectile dysfunction.
· Victoria's Secret tones down suggestive displays. Shoppers are getting their panties in a twist over racy marketing again. And this time, appropriately enough, the outrage is over lingerie. Local residents are railing against scantily clad - and provocatively posed - mannequins: women on all fours, others intertwined on a bed, still others in "garters and whatnot, and the only thing missing is a whip," says Stan Zurawski, who's leading the charge.
· Veteran Comic Louis Nye Dies at 92. Comedian Louis Nye, who created a national catchphrase belting out "Hi, ho, Steverino!" as one of the players on Steve Allen's groundbreaking 1950s TV show, has died.
· Candidate nabbed for DWI twice in 3 hours. A first-time candidate for public office was arrested twice in a three-hour span for driving drunk, authorities said Monday. Brian E. Karst, 34, who is running for Oneida Common Council as an independent candidate was arrested Friday night by Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Chrysler and ticketed for numerous traffic violations. Sobriety tests revealed his blood alcohol content was 0.14 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08, deputies said.
Monday, October 10, 2005
· In the pursuit of safety, teeter-totters and swings are disappearing from playgrounds. Andrea Levin is grateful that Broward County schools care about her daughter's safety. But this year when they posted a sign that demanded "no running" on the playground, it seemed like overkill.
· Dating Service Employees Told To Date Clients. Imagine your boss asking you to date a company client. It may sound over the top, but a Houston-area woman said she was not only told to date clients, but to take their money as well - all in the name of love. A man named Paul went in search of a soul mate at a local dating service. "I was just looking to find someone with an outgoing personality, a good heart," he said. "I figured you would get what you paid for." He paid nearly $4,000, but said he only got dates with staff members.
· Teacher sex abuse charges rock tiny Sheridan school. A female Sheridan, Oregon high school teacher has been charged with sex abuse with a 15-year-old male student. Adrienne Raymond, 38, was charged Friday with six counts of sex abuse following a short initial investigation of Sheridan.
· N.D. May Require Web Auctioneer License. To sell things over eBay, Mark Nichols may be required to take instruction in rapid-fire speaking, breathing control and reading hand gestures, even though the transactions are done by computer keyboard and mouse. North Dakota's Public Service Commission is exploring whether people like Nichols, who runs a small consignment store in Crosby, must obtain auctioneer licenses before they can legally use eBay to sell merchandise for others.
· Newton-John Thought She'd Never Sing Again Olivia Newton-John thought she'd never sing again after her longtime boyfriend disappeared. Patrick McDermott hasn't been seen since he went on a fishing trip four months ago.
· Joel's days of wine and polish. It's well known Billy Joel has a drinking problem, what with the car accidents and his various stints in rehab — but it was so much worse in his early years, says author Hank Bordowitz. In his new book, "Billy Joel: The Life & Times of an Angry Young Man," Bordowitz details how the Piano Man's early cries for help were even more obvious than driving a car into a house or a tree while intoxicated: He drank furniture polish.
· Explosives Found Near Tech Dorms. Three explosive devices found in a courtyard between two Georgia Tech dormitories on the East Campus Monday morning were part of a "terrorist act," an Atlanta police official said. One of the devices exploded, injuring the custodian who found them inside a plastic bag. Two others were detonated by a bomb squad.
· New French study reveals poor hygiene habits. It’s official. The French DO smell. After generations of jibes about hygiene in France, a study yesterday revealed nine out of ten French people do not wash regularly. That means that out of a population of 60.5 million, more than 54 million risk being smelly. Shockingly, 2.5 million never shower or bath while 1.8 million never brush their teeth.
· New Orleans Police Charged After Violent Arrest Taped. Two New Orleans police officers repeatedly punched a 64-year-old man accused of public intoxication, and another city officer assaulted an Associated Press Television News producer as a cameraman taped the confrontations. After being questioned, the three patrolmen were arrested late Sunday and charged with battery. They were released and ordered to appear in court at a later date, Capt. Marlon Defillo said. [View Beating Video]
· Japanese successfully test supersonic airliner. Japan successfully tested a revolutionary design for a supersonic airliner to replace the Concorde, three years after the first attempt ended in a fiery crash in the Australian desert, officials said.
· Mob boss ordered JFK hit, book says. "Mafia Princess" Antoinette Giancana, daughter of the late Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, claims in a new book that her father ordered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
· Survey Finds Plenty Of Fake Excuses For Missing Work. According to CareerBuilder.com's annual survey of absenteeism at the office, 43 percent of workers said they called in sick with bogus excuses at least once during the last year. In the 2004 survey, only 35 percent admitted to fibbing.
· Ousted tots aren't always to blame. More day care providers than ever are kicking out "misbehaving" toddlers as young as 18 months, leaving working parents worried and scrambling for child care, pediatricians reported Sunday.
· Photographer trying to snap Reese charged. A photographer was charged with child endangerment and battery for allegedly striking a 5-year-old child with his camera and shoving another out of the way to take pictures of actress Reese Witherspoon and her children.
· 'Were-Rabbit' scares 'Flightplan' from top box office slot. Clay paid off at the box office for "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit." The clay-animated family film debuted as the top weekend movie with $16.1 million. The airplane thriller "Flightplan," which had held the top box-office slot the previous two weekends, slipped to second place with $10.8 million.
· Vogue editor gets pie compliments of PETA. French anti-fur activists said they struck Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, in the face with a tofu cream pie on Saturday to protest against her support for the use of animal fur by the fashion industry.
· Stanford Volkswagen Wins $2 Million Robot Race. A driverless Volkswagen won a $2 million race across the rugged Nevada desert Sunday, beating four other robot-guided vehicles that completed a Pentagon-sponsored contest aimed at making warfare safer for humans. The race displayed major technological leaps since last year's inaugural race, when none of the self-driving vehicles crossed the finish line.
· FBI May Relax Rules on Marijuana Use. Just Say No is still the doctrine, but the FBI may decide it's OK that some applicants didn't heed Nancy Reagan's advice once or twice in college. Senior FBI managers have been deeply frustrated that they could not hire applicants who acknowledged occasional marijuana use in college, but in some cases already perform top-secret work at other government agencies.
Sunday, October 9, 2005
· Katie Holmes now completely Cruise controlled. Katie Holmes fired her publicist of nearly eight years this week. During her conversation with Leslie Sloane-Zelnick, Holmes did not mention that she was pregnant by fiancé Tom Cruise. The next day, the news broke. In short order, since meeting Cruise in April, Holmes has now fired her manager, changed agents and discharged her publicist. All had been her longtime allies.
· Heather blasts 'hypocritical' Naomi. Heather Mills McCartney has launched a ferocious attack on supermodel Naomi Campbell for wearing fur. The second wife of ex-Beatle Sir Paul described the British model as 'superficial, shallow and hypocritical.'
· Vatican enjoys foreign immunity in abuse case. A federal judge in Kentucky has ruled that the Holy See is a foreign state that enjoys certain immunity protections, placing restrictions on a lawsuit by three men who allege the Vatican covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests.
· Big stars prefer smaller guards. Hollywood bodyguard is getting a makeover. The silent man-mountain with sunglasses is out and in his place, thanks to pressure from young stars such as the singer Beyoncé Knowles, is the pint-sized “protection pal.” The next generation of bodyguards being trained at America’s “security academies” are shorter, smoother and more articulate than the shaven-headed behemoths who have traditionally protected stars at film premieres.
· Extracurricular activities. Frustrated by her meager salary, a Montreal math teacher took advantage of school holidays to work - as an escort. Using the pseudonym Dawn, the 29-year-old, who recently retired from teaching, sold her sexual services by night and taught high school math by day.
· Pastors create XXXchurch.com, an online ministry dubbed the "#1 Christian Porn Site." Nudity and sex are normally taboo subjects in the pews Sunday morning. At Atascadero First Assembly Church on Sunday, they will be front and center. The Atascadero church is participating in the first National PornSunday, a day when about 75 churches across the nation will discuss pornography in hopes of helping parishioners who struggle with it.
· Ashlee Simpson Really Does Sing on 'SNL.' Ashlee Simpson sang - really, she did - without incident on "Saturday Night Live" in her return to the scene of last year's lip-synch fiasco. "I wrote this song after my last 'Saturday Night Live' appearance," she said, introducing the mournful "Catch Me When I Fall."
· Vatican: Celibate gay men can become priests. A Vatican document expected to be made public soon stops short of a sweeping ban on homosexuals entering the priesthood, allowing those who have lived chastely for three years to be candidates for the clergy, a senior Vatican official said yesterday. The document, in the works for at least three years, updates Vatican policy, which had held that gays or men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained, regardless of whether they can remain celibate.
· Four vehicles finish in $2 million robot race. Four robotic vehicles finished a Pentagon-sponsored race across the Mojave desert Saturday and achieved a technological milestone by conquering steep drop-offs, obstacles and tunnels over a rugged 132-mile course without a single human command. The vehicles, guided by sophisticated software, gave scientists hope that robots could one day wage battles without endangering soldiers.
· Delphi files for bankruptcy. Auto parts giant Delphi said Saturday it filed for bankruptcy after warning for months that a filing was in the cards. The United Auto Workers local units said that Delphi is seeking massive wage and benefit cuts.
» Flashback: More UAW workers bankrupt. Oscar Gray is finding it difficult to make ends meet as auto parts giant Delphi tries to cut back on overtime pay. Mr. Gray, a $100,000 per year forklift driver, joins hundreds of others that need their overtime to keep from going bankrupt - with many finding it difficult to make their mortgage payments on their second homes.
· 30,000 Lives Lost In Pakistan Quake. The top official in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir says more than 30,000 people were killed in Saturday's magnitude 7.6 earthquake. The quake flattened entire villages of mud-brick homes, triggered landslides and toppled a 10-story apartment building on Saturday.
Saturday, October 8, 2005
· Pierce Brosnan offers to solve casting problem on next Bond film.
“Casino Royale,” the new James Bond film, is three months away from commencing filming, and after months of wrangling, producers still haven’t found an actor to slip into 007’s shoulder holster. But the man who was fired from the role, Pierce Brosnan, said Friday that producers could solve their $150 million problem simply by picking up the phone.
· A cell phone that points to Mecca. For Muslims, it's a high-tech call to prayer. A new cellular telephone generates five automated reminders a day at prayer time and points Muslims in the direction of Mecca.
· Work for Sears, shop at Sears. Sears' new CEO, Aylwin Lewis, recently hit the roof after learning an employee boarded a company-paid airplane carrying a rival store's shopping bag. Lewis then demanded that employees prove their loyalty by no longer bringing competitors' shopping bags, packages or anything advertising competitors' logos onto Sears Holdings property.
· Darryl Strawberry's wife files for divorce. Charisse Strawberry filed a petition for dissolution of marriage from the former baseball star Friday in Hillsborough County family court. "My marriage is past the point of reconciliation, "the 37-year-old woman said in a statement provided to The Associated Press.
· Off-duty firefighter dropped his beer, saved a life. Gene Laferriere was enjoying a beer with buddies at Major's Pub when a man stormed in, alerting everyone to a fire next door. The off-duty Fire Department lieutenant rushed over to the scene, climbed the stairs to the apartment and used a martial-arts kick to break in the door to Unit 2F. There he found Rose Hawkes in the intense smoke and took her out to safety. Mr. Laferriere then went back to the bar to finish his beer.
· Maid for celebs indicted again. The housekeeper to the stars charged this summer with filching from Robert De Niro and Candice Bergen carried a phony green card and used a Social Security number stolen from an 8-year-old girl, prosecutors said Friday.
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.
· Johnny Carson Sat Here. With a plastic top and shag carpeting underneath, there's a certain desk up for auction at Heritage Galleries in Dallas that isn't much to look at. But, CBS correspondent Anthony Mason reports, its value lies in who sat behind it. From 1974 to 1981, it was where Johnny Carson hosted the "Tonight Show," interviewing a parade of stars. He was a late night icon who made millions laugh. Now, we'll see just how much those memories are worth. Internet bidding on the desk has already passed $30,000.
· Memo: NYC attack was scheduled for Sunday. Details emerged about an alleged plot to attack the city's subways with bombs hidden in bags and possibly baby strollers as local and federal officials jostled over the credibility of the threat. A Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by The Associated Press said the attack was reportedly scheduled to take place on or around Sunday, with terrorists using timed or remote-controlled explosives hidden in briefcases, suitcases or in or under strollers.
· New Orleans mayor seeks gambling to rebuild city. New Orleans' mayor on Friday proposed building a casino zone near the historic French Quarter to jump start the hurricane-ravaged city's economy, saying a bold move was needed to restore lost tax revenue.
Friday, October 7, 2005
· Youth Football Coach Accused Of Having 'Hit List'. The city of Leesburg, Florida is investigating accusations that a youth football coach created a "hit list" of children and ordered his players to injure them at a recent game. During an Oct. 3 youth football game in Leesburg, 11-year-old player James Morris had his wrist shattered when he was intentionally tripped by another player after a touchdown.
· Singer Boy George arrested on drug charge. Singer Boy George was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs and making a fake police report after he called 911 early Friday and falsely said his home had been burglarized, police said.
· New Orleans cops investigated for allegedly stealing cars. State authorities are investigating allegations New Orleans police officers broke into a dealership and made off with nearly 200 cars - including 41 new Cadillacs - as Hurricane Katrina closed in.
· Gingrich calls for major changes. U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said illegal immigrants have better tools than the officials looking for them. "Everybody coming across the border is using a cell phone and blackberry to figure out how to get across and everybody trying to stop them uses carbon paper."
· Renee confronts reporter. Renèe Zellweger stormed into a newspaper office to confront a reporter about a story that she claimed made her 'look slutty.' The actress, who recently announced her divorce from country singer Kenny Chesney after just four months of marriage, was said to be fuming after reading that she planned to visit her 'new beau', singer Damien Rice, in Ireland.
· Ga. Mayor Criticized For Flying Mexican Flag For Slain Immigrants. A south Georgia mayor is being criticized for flying a Mexican flag over city hall. Tifton Mayor Paul Johnson said he's flying the red, white and green flag in memory of six immigrants who were killed with guns and baseball bats during a crime rampage.
· Sex Offender Nabbed After Oprah Show. The same week Oprah Winfrey began devoting time on her show to tracking down sex offenders, she has a collar to show for it. William C. Davis, 33, of Wadesville, Ind., was arrested in Fargo on Thursday, two days after the talk-show host broadcast his face and offered $100,000 for information leading to his capture.
· Girl, 11, Accused Of Attacking Students On Bus. An 11-year-old girl was taken into custody for attacking students on a school bus, sheriff's deputies said. Deputies said a fight apparently broke out on the bus on the way home from school. The girl allegedly also got rowdy when deputies attempted to take her into custody. Authorities said she kicked the side of a squad car and kicked out the back window of the vehicle.
· Kansas judge ousted for watching porn. The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday ousted a county judge for viewing Internet pornography on his office computer. Saline County District Judge George R. Robertson, 56, had been on the bench for 10 years.
· Girl Sues Over Teacher Murder Fantasy. A teenage girl who penned a fictional story culminating with the shooting of her high school math teacher is suing a Georgia school board, claiming that her free speech rights were violated when she was suspended - and nearly expelled - from school.
· Next storm for Katrina victims: Bad credit score. A second storm surge may soon start slamming into Gulf coast residents hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Mounting unpaid bills will lead to a surge of black marks on victims' credit reports, say consumer advocates, sinking their credit scores.
· Stockard Channing Pleads No Contest to DUI. Emmy-winning actress Stockard Channing pleaded no contest Thursday to a misdemeanor DUI charge stemming from her arrest last December. Although the West Wing star didn't show in court Thursday, her lawyer entered the plea for her.
· DNA Exonerates Snipes in Paternity Suit. A paternity lawsuit against Wesley Snipes was dismissed after a DNA test determined that another man was the father. The woman, who didn't attend the brief proceeding, alleged she had sex with Snipes in a Chicago crackhouse and that he was the father of her 3-year-old son.
· Man-made diamonds sparkle with potential. In the back room of an unmarked brown building in a run-down strip mall, eight machines, each the size of a bass drum, are making diamonds. Real ones, all but indistinguishable from the stones formed by a billion or so years' worth of intense pressure, later to be sold at Tiffany's.
· UPS Worker Sends Stolen Packages To His House. Police in Oxnard, California say they've solved the mystery of the missing UPS packages. Authorities say a worker found a different and illegal way of dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of parcels, by delivering them to himself.
· Quit yellin', it's only childbirth. Katie Holmes' mission impossible will be giving birth without painkillers - or screaming. That's because her fiancé, "Mission Impossible" star Tom Cruise, is a Scientologist. Practitioners of Scientology are against drugs but insist on "silent birth" because they believe it's traumatic for babies to hear their mothers groan or cry.
· Hilton Gives Evacuees The Boot. Hotels along the Gulf Coast are trying to make the transition from putting up hurricane evacuees to welcoming their normal business travelers. Hilton Hotels said they were told when they checked in that room availability would dictate how long they could stay.
· Plane Carrying Viruses Crashes in Canada. A cargo plane carrying small amounts of flu virus crashed on railway tracks near Winnipeg's city center Thursday, killing the pilot but missing buildings and vehicles, authorities said. The research samples of frozen influenza and herpes viruses were destroyed in the crash and ensuing fire along with other freight, Federal Express spokeswoman Karen Cooper said.
· Firm turns cremated remains into precious gems. Everyone said she was a gem. Now, just eight ounces of cremated remains is all it takes to turn your mother into a diamond. In fact, there's enough carbon in those ashes to make about 20 gems. LifeGem uses super-hot ovens to transform ashes to graphite and then presses the stone into blue and yellow diamonds that retail for anywhere from $2,700 to $20,000.
· "Cool Mom" leaving hospital, bail set at $550,000. The so-called "Cool Mom" should be out of the hospital within the next 24 hours. Shortly thereafter she'll go back to jail. Silvia Johnson, 41, was seriously injured in a car wreck on September 25. The Colorado State Patrol says Johnson was sitting in the back seat when a 14 year old driver lost control of an SUV and flipped it about 35 miles south of Denver along I-25. It's not entirely clear why Johnson allowed the 14 year old girl to drive the car, but the crash occurred the day before Johnson was to be sentenced on sex assault charges. She faces up to 58 years in prison on those charges.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ephemeral [e·phem·er·al] adj. 1. Lasting for a markedly brief time: "The ephemeral nature of slang." 2. Living or lasting only for a day, as with certain plants or insects.
· Danza Slams Cruise. Former Taxi star Tony Danza is far from impressed with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' baby news - because they're having a child out of wedlock. "Here's a guy out there lecturing people about drugs, but out of wedlock births don't seem to bother him. He's never (appearing on) my show, so it doesn't matter." He adds, "I'm happy for them, but we're going to send them to Maury Povich's show for a DNA test."
· Man Charged With Felony Video Voyeurism For Upskirt Shots. A 37-year-old man accused of taking pictures up the skirt of a 10-year-old girl was the first person in Rhode Island to be charged under a new felony video voyeurism law.
· Florida mom hopes 8-year-old's arrest will help get treatment. The mother of an 8-year-old boy who was charged with felony battery for repeatedly kicking a teacher says she hopes the arrest will help get her boy treatment.
· Al Qaeda puts job ads on Internet. Al Qaeda has put job advertisements on the Internet asking for supporters to help put together its Web statements and video montages, an Arabic newspaper reported. The London-based Asharq al-Awsat said on its Web site this week that al Qaeda had "vacant positions" for video production and editing statements, footage and international media coverage about militants in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and other conflict zones where militants are active.
· Record low for home affordability in California. Soaring prices in California's housing market have shut out a record 86 percent of households from buying a typical home with a traditional down-payment, according to a study released on Thursday. Home prices across California have more than doubled since late 2001, increasing pressure on home buyers, who needed a minimum household income of $133,800 to buy a home at the August median price of $568,890, the California Association of Realtors said in its report.
· Ted Koppel to retire "Nightline." Ted Koppel will anchor his last edition of "Nightline" on Nov. 22, with the first post-Koppel edition of the ABC newscast airing Nov. 28, the network said Thursday.
· Software founder to build mega home. The founder of PeopleSoft is seeking permission to build a home that would be larger than the White House, William Randolph Hearst's castle in California or the home of Bill Gates. David Duffield is seeking permission to build a three-story, 72,000-square-foot main home in Alamo, Calif. He's also seeking permission for 25,000 square feet of other buildings on the grounds, including a stable, pool and 20-car underground garage.
· Bomb threat disrupts Rolling Stones concert. A bomb threat halted a Rolling Stones concert in Charlottesville, Virginia overnight, but police found nothing and the band returned to the stage about 45 minutes later, officials said on Friday.
Thursday, October 6, 2005
· Police: "High probability" that body found is Taylor Behl. Police investigators say there is a "high probability" that a body found yesterday in eastern Virginia is that of Taylor Behl, the VCU student who disappeared in early September. Behl's mother said late this morning she believes the body found in a wooded area is her daughter. Janet Pelasara says the body found is "most likely my baby's."
· Inmates scam FEMA for $2,000 checks. Two inmates jailed in Avoyelles Parish in La. used FEMA's toll-free number to apply for hurricane relief funds and later received $2,000 each from the agency, authorities said. The inmates are originally from the New Orleans area but have been jailed in Avoyelles Parish for at least a year.
· New Orleans levees aren't being built stronger. Even though Hurricane Katrina exposed the weakness of the levee system around New Orleans, officials won't rebuild the barriers higher and better. Col. Lewis Setliff, the engineer overseeing the levee repairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the Corps only has the authority to rebuild levees to the strength they were prior to the storms that damaged them.
· Is it OK for church to take drug money? When a Mexican bishop declared that drug traffickers often donate to the church, shock waves ran through this Roman Catholic nation - not because the news was a surprise, but because admitting it was tantamount to confessing that nothing, not even God, is sacred when it comes to organized crime in Mexico.
· Trouble in paradise for Britney. Is there trouble in paradise for Britney Spears and her hubby? Since Spears brought home little Sean Preston, his dad has been “a real brat” — partying and chatting on the phone until well until the night, an insider tells Life & Style Weekly. Spears has reportedly complained that she’s “raising two kids now.”
· Ohio Town Rejects Plan To House Katrina Victims. Officials in a small Ohio town turned down a church request to shelter people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The minister of Christ Community Church, in Ridgeville Corners, is blaming some of the opposition on racial prejudice.
· J.K. Rowling rival labels Harry Potter "gay." A cleric turned top-selling author of supernatural children's novels was thrown out of a school where he was delivering a talk after he told pupils that Harry Potter was "gay." Reverend Graham Taylor, who penned the novel "Shadowmancer" which, like the tales of the famous boy wizard created by J.K. Rowling, centres on witchcraft and battling evil, got his marching orders after teachers accused him of homophobia.
· Unpaid fee costs man his home. Carl Berg failed to pay a $25 annual fee for rural fire protection and, as a result, firefighters let his house burn to the ground last month near International Falls, Minn. Fire Chief Jerry Jensen said, "It's not the way we're trained. It's just wrong. My job is to put out fires, not to watch them burn, [and] I don't want this to happen again."
· Not watching Oprah saves woman's life. Angelique Fiorillo says the boulder that crashed through one wall of her second-story apartment and out another might have struck her if she'd been in her usual spot watching "Oprah."
· Woman bounced from Southwest flight for T-shirt. A Washington state woman intends to press a civil-rights case against Southwest Airlines for booting her off a flight in Reno after fellow passengers complained about her wearing a T-shirt with the pictures of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a phrase similar to the popular film, Meet the Fockers.
· Ex-Door Lighting Their Ire. Drummer John Densmore refuses to let the group's songs be used in TV ads, much to the chagrin of his former bandmates. "People lost their virginity to this music, got high for the first time to this music," Densmore said. "I've had people say kids died in Vietnam listening to this music, other people say they know someone who didn't commit suicide because of this music. On stage, when we played these songs, they felt mysterious and magic. That's not for rent."
· Man In Wheelchair Steals Squad Car. A disabled man in a wheelchair, arrested for allegedly trying to steal a power saw at Home Depot, managed to slip out of his handcuffs and steal the squad car he was placed in.
· Katrina evacuee hits jackpot. Jacquelyn Sherman had not had much luck since Hurricane Katrina sent her fleeing from her New Orleans home. That changed on Tuesday, when the money flooded in. The 57-year-old retired librarian won $1.6 million playing the slot machine at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, Louisiana.
· Fire guts Pasadena mansion where movies, TV shows were filmed. Stately Wayne Manor is no longer. A Wednesday night fire gutted a Tudor style mansion that served as the home of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, in the 1960's "Batman" television series, said Lisa Derderian, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Fire Department. It was being remodeled by the owners, she said. "It was a fully engulfed inferno, for lack of a better term," Derderian said. TV footage showed flames leaping high into the night sky.
· Cops: Paparazzi Had No Role in Lohan Crash. Authorities investigating a car crash involving actress Lindsay Lohan said Wednesday that contrary to reports from some witnesses, paparazzi had nothing to do with the collision. Lohan, 19, and a female passenger sustained minor injuries Tuesday after the actress's black Mercedes-Benz convertible collided with a van on a busy West Hollywood street. The crash occurred because the driver of the van made a U-turn in front of Lohan, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The van's driver may be cited, he added.
Wednesday, October 5, 2005
· Michelle Wie turns pro; pledges $500,000 to charity. Michelle Wie, the Hawaii teen who has been competing against golf's best players since she was in the seventh grade, turned professional Wednesday. She has signed endorsement deals with Nike and Sony said to be worth $10 million a year, and her first act as a professional was to give some of it back. Wie pledged $500,000 to the U.S. Golf Hurricane Relief Fund.
· Lottery winner hangs himself. Seven years ago, Gerald Muswagon was all smiles as his troubled life took a fairy-tale turn when he won a $10-million lottery jackpot. On Sunday, Muswagon hanged himself in his parent's garage. Muswagon, 42, somehow managed to do what seemed unthinkable and spent nearly every penny of his winnings in only a few years.
· DVD mix-up surprises Mormon movie fans. Copies of a movie aimed at a Mormon audience have been pulled from store shelves after a recording mix-up left buyers watching "Adored: Diary of a Porn Star" instead of the squeaky clean "Sons of Provo."
· Too much honesty? In a news conference Tuesday that was as bizarre as it was refreshing, new Detroit Tigers' manager Jim Leyland told reporters "I know very little about your ball club" and "I don't really know about the American League" and "I'm rusty" and, at his last job, "I stunk."
· Calif. governor signs ban on subsidized Viagra for sex offenders. California taxpayers will no longer help pay the cost of impotency drugs for registered sex offenders under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bill, from Assemblyman George Plescia, R-San Diego, amends current law that requires the state's health insurance program for the poor to help cover the cost of drugs used for treating erectile dysfunction.
· Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Expecting. Let the couch-jumping begin: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are expecting a baby. Holmes' pregnancy was reported Wednesday by People magazine. The couple have been dating since April and became engaged in June. "Tom and Katie are very excited, and the entire family is very excited," Lee Anne Devette, Cruise's spokeswomansaid.
· Eddie Murphy Calls Up Pre-Nup as Divorce Heats Up.
Comedian/actor Eddie Murphy is recalling a 12-year-old pre-nuptial agreement with his estranged wife Nicole as their divorce gets messy. In court papers filed by the star, Murphy insists the couple's "premarital agreement" is "valid and enforceable" and he intends to use it to make sure he doesn't lose a valuable chunk of his fortune to his soon-to-be ex.
· Wanna buy a used car? Perhaps 10% of cars and trucks in Louisiana and Mississippi - 571,000 vehicles in all - were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The bad news is these so-called "flood cars" - cleaned up and then put on the block by sellers who sometimes hide the car’s past - will start appearing around the nation in the coming months.
· Counterfeiter Tries to Pass Million-Dollar Bill. Hey, buddy... Got change for a million? Police in southern Idaho are looking for someone trying to pass phony million-dollar bills. Officers in Twin Falls say the counterfeits are high quality except for one big problem. The U.S. Treasury never issued a million-dollar bill. [The largest domination bill ever produced was the $100,000 gold certificate issued in the mid 1930's].
· DaimlerChrysler CEO's Wife Fined. Gisela Zetsche, the wife of incoming DaimlerChrysler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche, was fined $500 and ordered to pay $2,500 in court costs Wednesday for her role in hosting a party at which more than 20 underage drinkers were ticketed.
· Extra weight may be factor in boat accident. Just days before a tour boat capsized on a New York lake, killing 20 elderly people, the Coast Guard began rethinking its passenger-weight calculations to take into account Americans' expanding waistlines.
· Teller recognizes robbery suspect. The robber of a Wells Fargo Bank figured the plastic paintball face mask would keep him anonymous. But the teller recognized his eyes and voice, and three hours after Monday's holdup, a 20-year-old Alpine man was under arrest.
· Bar breathalyzers might foster competition, not safety. Last week the Daily Nebraskan reported on the growing trend of putting breathalyzers in bars. While a noble attempt to curb a disturbingly large national problem, there’s a high likelihood these breathalyzers would tempt some drinkers to try to get a high score by 'who can drink the most,' rather than shooting darts at a board.
· Lindsay Lohan in another paparazzi crash. Lindsay Lohan and two other people were taken to a hospital Tuesday after the actress' black Mercedes-Benz convertible collided with a van in West Hollywood, authorities said. Witnesses said Lohan was trying to avoid paparazzi photographers when the crash occurred.
· Septic truck slogan doesn't mince words at work by elementary school. Any school kid could get sent to the principal's office for sounding out one of the words carefully painted on septic trucks owned by Paul Trufant. Cleaning up the four-letter part of the message, the phrase on the trucks would read "Poop happens." "I don't think it's a good thing for my son to read," said Debbie Lawton, mom to a McGovern School first-grader.
· Martha Stewart not allowed in Canada. The town of Windsor spokeswoman VanEssa Roberts said Tuesday night the domestic guru and television personality can’t make it to a local pumpkin festival on Sunday because she’s not allowed to enter Canada.
· Time well spent. New York Times jailbird Judy Miller has landed a $1.2 million book deal with Simon & Schuster. The tome will presumably detail Miller's imprisonment for refusing to reveal her source in a probe about a leak of a CIA operative's name.
· Music Instructor Suspended Amid Sex Allegations. A former Newark high school music instructor, accused of having a sexual relationship with a student, has been suspended from his new job at a middle school in nearby Irvington. Hassan Vann, 28, was barred from University Middle School in Irvington after The Sunday Star-Ledger of Newark disclosed that he had been accused of misconduct with a former student and removed from West Side High School in Newark in the spring.
· Ex-DC mayor investigated over taxes. Former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, now a city council member, is under investigation for failing to pay income tax, local media reported on Tuesday. Barry, 69, who made a comeback in Washington politics despite a conviction for smoking crack cocaine that ended his mayoral term 15 years ago.
· Yoko Ono to hold Japan concert 25 years after Lennon's death. Yoko Ono said she will hold a memorial concert this weekend in Japan to mark the 25th anniversary of her husband John Lennon's murder. The 72-year-old said she will sing Beatles songs solo for the first time at Friday's concert, something she felt both "embarrassed and thrilled" about.
· R.J. Reynolds Fights to Give Away Tobacco. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. doled out free packs of cigarettes, and in some cases, free cartons to nearly 15,000 adults at six California public events ranging from a San Jose beer festival to a motorcycle event in Del Mar. Six years later, after losing two court challenges, the cigarette maker is still fighting the $14.8 million fine levied against it for violating a 1991 state law prohibiting tobacco freebies.
· New nickel gets hint of a smile. After nearly 100 years of depicting presidents in somber profiles on the nation's coins, the Mint is trying something different: The new nickel features Thomas Jefferson, facing forward, with the hint of a smile.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
· Pastor charged with embezzling from church he founded. A pastor who helped build Abundant Life Church from 22 members who met in motel function rooms to a congregation of nearly 800 with a $2.5 million facility is now charged with embezzling from the church he created.
· Teacher Banned After Ripping Out Boy's Insulin Pump. A substitute teacher in Lake County, Fla., was terminated and banned from teaching after he ripped out a student's insulin pump during class apparently thinking it was a ringing cell phone.
· Country star finds out baby isn't his. Chris Cagle was excited about becoming a new dad, only to learn after the baby was born that he isn't the father. In a posting on his Web site that asks for privacy, Cagle told fans: "As many of you are aware, I had been anxiously awaiting the addition of a new baby to my life. The baby has been born and both mother and child are in good health. "Since the birth, however, we have discovered that biologically, the child is not mine."
· Nebraska Man Breaks Leg Fleeing Deputies Who Weren't Looking for Him. A Lincoln man who jumped from a second-story balcony breaking a leg in the process was arrested Monday by the sheriff's deputies he was trying to evade. But they weren't even looking for him.
· Dine for America benefit is tomorrow. On October 5, 2005, restaurants across the country will band together in a "Dine for America" day, a national fundraising effort for the American Red Cross to help the survivors, victims, their families and other arising needs from the Hurricane Katrina and Rita disasters.
· Doctor sued for sex treatment for back pain. An Oregon woman whose doctor convinced her that he could cure her lower back pain by having sex with her is suing him and his medical clinic for $4 million, according to legal documents obtained on Monday.
· Owner of capsized boat faces $25 fine. The owner of the boat that capsized on Lake George, killing 20 elderly tourists, could face a fine as low as $25 for failing to have enough crew members on board, police said Tuesday.
· Web service offers help for the harried romantic. Would-be Prince Charmings who are neither princely nor charming may find a soulmate in a new Web site that makes romantic gestures on their behalf. SaveMyAss.com allows its relationship-challenged subscribers - 99% of whom are guys - to prearrange flower deliveries for every birthday, anniversary, holiday and special occasion.
· Scary living for India's ghost man. Mothers use his name to scare their children while even adults hope they don't bump into him in the dark - for more than 40 years Gopal Haldar has been making his living in India's Sunderbans mangrove region as a ghost. Measuring a mere four feet and weighing a slight 52 pounds, Haldar - now near to retirement age - says he has been malnourished all his life.
· Man who reported marijuana farm upset by denial of reward. A man who said he and another bow hunter barely escaped with their lives after stumbling onto a marijuana farm is upset about being denied a reward after he reported his find.
· Killer asks to practice law in Arizona. Three decades ago, James Hamm took Willard Morley Jr. out into the Tucson desert and shot him in the back of the head after promising to sell him 500 pounds of marijuana. Yesterday, Hamm asked the Arizona Supreme Court to conclude his character is good enough to let him practice law.
· Morbid billboards urge tourists to visit Alaska before they die. The billboards in Seattle, Los Angeles and Minneapolis proclaim "Alaska B4UDIE" — or Alaska, before you die. The Alaska Travel Industry Association launched the monthlong, $180,000 campaign yesterday.
· Group Warns Florida Tourists They Could Be Shot. Florida has a new law that gives legal protection to someone who shoots somebody else as long as the shooter feels threatened or is attacked. Florida's "stand your ground" law, which took effect Saturday, says citizens no longer are obligated to retreat from an attack if they're somewhere they have a legal right to be, such as a public street. Shooters also get immunity from prosecution so long as the person shot is not a police officer.
· City not liable for actions of police chief. A judge has ruled that the victims of a 2002 fire in Lanesboro, MN cannot sue the city for damages. Authorities said former Lanesboro police chief John Tuchek set the blaze in an attempt to impress his former girlfriend by rescuing her from the fire. But the fire soon got out of control, and several Lanesboro businesses and apartments were destroyed.
· Woman Fakes Kidnapping & Rape to Avoid Date. It's an extreme way to skip a date. But a Kentucky woman is now charged with lying about being kidnapped, raped, shot and stabbed – so she wouldn't have to meet her Internet boyfriend and his mother.
· Disabled woman sues RIAA. Justice can sometimes be poetic: the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which has sued 14,800 people for using peer-to-peer networks, is itself being sued. An Oregon woman is using anti-gangster RICO laws to countersue the organisation which spends its time suing individual file sharers. She denies ever having downloaded or distributed music and accuses the organisation of trespass - by secretly snooping into her computer.
· Ashlee Simson gets another chance to embarrass herself on 'SNL.' Ashlee Simpson will have the chance to redeem her vocal reputation with another performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend. The singer has faced almost a full year of ridicule and backlash after a widely publicized blunder on the show, when she held her microphone at waist level while a pre-recorded version of her hit "Pieces Of Me" was played.
· Lawsuit asks: He took secret nude photos of me - so why was I fired? A Decatur woman alleges in a federal lawsuit that she was wrongly fired her after she complained to her employer that a co-worker took nude photos of her without her consent and circulated them around their workplace.
· Dozing on the $14.6 billion Dig. A stunning lack of oversight is allowing Massachusetts Big Dig workers to sleep on the job, read newspapers in idling vehicles and drive backhoes aimlessly through city streets – all while pocketing their $49-an-hour taxpayer-funded pay.
· Update: Priest likely killed two people in 2002. A judge ruled Monday that a Roman Catholic priest who hanged himself in December almost certainly killed two people at a funeral home more than three years ago. The possible motive? The funeral director suspected the priest was molesting children and planned to confront him the day of the killings.
· Spears donates bra for hurricane relief. The 23-year-old former teen queen, famed for her provocative stage outfits, Britney Spears has donated a treasure trove of personal items - including a two-piece sofa, a bikini and a jewel-encrusted brassiere - to be auctioned off to help victims.
· Are 'Flocks' of Airplanes in Our Fuel-Strapped Future? As airline companies struggle with skyrocketing fuel prices in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, some scientists believe one solution has literally been flying in front of our eyes for millennia. Migrating birds, including geese, pelicans and gulls, have long demonstrated the art of efficient flight by positioning themselves in a V formation.
· City Council approves tougher strip-club rules. By a G-string-thin margin, the Seattle City Council yesterday voted 5-4 to approve an ordinance that will require clubs to keep dancers and patrons at least four feet apart, install a 3-foot railing between the stage and audience, ban direct tipping and install brighter lighting.
· Slowing Is Seen in Housing Prices in Hot Markets. A real estate slowdown that began in a handful of cities this summer has spread to almost every hot housing market in the country, including New York. In Manhattan, the average sales price fell almost 13 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter.
· Is Demi and Ashton’s marriage kosher? The pair was married by Eitan Yardeni, a rabbi for the Kabbalah Centre, the controversial mystical offshoot of Judaism. But some Kabbalah watchers say there may be a problem: they say that as best they can tell, Yardeni isn’t an ordained rabbi.
Monday, October 3, 2005
· Victims may sue Catholic parishioners over pervert priest claims. In a letter sent out by the archdiocese, more than 80,000 parishioners are being told that if they opt out of the sex abuse lawsuit, they can then be sued individually by the church's creditors, since the church says that the parishioners own the buildings.
· Marshals round up immigrants at Red Cross. Last week, police and the U.S. Marshals Service swept into a Red Cross shelter for hurricane refugees. They blocked the parking lot and exits and demanded identification from about 60 people who looked Hispanic, including some pulled out of the shower and bathroom, according to witnesses. The shelter residents were told to leave within two days or else they would be deported.
· Grand Jury indicts DeLay on new charge of money laundering. A Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering Monday, less than a week after another grand jury leveled a conspiracy charge that forced DeLay to temporarily step down as House majority leader.
· SUV sales take nose dive. Sales of sport utility vehicles took a dive in September, dragging down U.S. automakers who were already expecting payback after a summer of employee-pricing discounts. Asian brands, which didn't offer employee discounts, felt less pain.
· Motorcyclist on freeway stands up on his seat - for awhile. A motorcyclist trying to stand up on his seat while traveling down Interstate 35 was killed when the bike ran off the road and crashed, the Iowa State Patrol said Sunday. The State Patrol said that according to witnesses, Jon David Jones, 43, was standing on the seat of his motorcycle with his arms crossed when the accident happened about 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
· Palestinians fire guns in air to protest lack of bullets. More than three dozen Palestinian police officers broke into the parliament building in Gaza City on Monday, firing in the air to protest a lack of bullets and equipment in what they said was a humiliating confrontation with Hamas.
· Man Has Model A Ford He Bought In 1929. Clarence Curtiss isn't the kind of guy to trade in his car every few years. He still has his first car, a 1929 Model A Ford he bought during the Depression for $10. He jokes that people have offered to triple his money.
· Drug ruse by Mexico prostitutes kills clients. Half a dozen Mexico City prostitutes have been arrested for using eye drops containing a sleep-inducing drug to knock out and rob their clients, leaving at least five men dead, a newspaper said on Monday.
· Female race car driver dies after accident at track. A female race car driver died Sunday after being injured during a racing accident Saturday night at a Nashville-area track. Eyewitnesses say Anita Clem's car rolled over onto its top coming out of turn two after hitting another car and the wall.
· $1 million government toilet doesn't work. A $1 million composting toilet at Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park will never work as planned, park officials said. The rock-sided, four-hole, solar-powered privy was completed in 1998, as part of a $2.4 million overhaul project.
· Little Richard's Hometown Show Causes Stir. Concertgoers won't have to pay for a Little Richard concert in the singer's hometown. But who will? Macon Mayor Jack Ellis announced the concert Friday. He asked local business leaders — including the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce — to pick up the estimated $75,000 tab for this Saturday's event, the chamber's president said. But business leaders say they haven't been given enough time to come up with the money.
· Raunch on the rise: Porn-star culture spurs young girls to sex it up, author says. Mothers of today's teens and 20-somethings grew up during serious feminist times, fighting for the right to attend top colleges and hold top jobs in the 1960s and '70s. Author Ariel Levy said young women who adopt strippers and porn actresses as role models thinking it is a continuation of the women's movement don't realize that they're merely advancing the objectification of women.
· Clooney Proudly Wears 'Liberal' Label. George Clooney is mad that liberal has become a dirty word. "I'm going to keep saying 'liberal' as loud as I can and as often as I can," Clooney told Newsweek magazine in an interview about the film "Good Night, and Good Luck," which he co-wrote and directed.
· Nicolas Cage and Wife Have Baby Boy. Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage is a new father. His wife, Alice Kim Cage, gave birth Monday to a boy, Kal-el Coppola Cage, in New York City, said Cage's Los Angeles-based publicist, Annett Wolf. No other details were available. "They are healthy and happy and it's quite lovely," Wolf said by phone from New York.
· Proposed law: Companies can't keep employees from bringing guns to work. Florida businesses could soon face criminal charges if they try to stop employees from bringing guns to work in their cars, thrusting the state into a growing national debate pitting individual freedom against job safety.
· Clooney takes on Joe McCarthy in new movie. History has not been kind to Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Since his death from alcoholism in 1964, he has grown into a symbol of government run amok - the witch-hunter feeding on rumor and innuendo, a hero for some but a reckless villain for many others.
· Has Jagger's girl turned into Yoko? She may be a stylist to the stars, but Mick Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott has ruffled a few feathers with her attempts to smarten up the Rolling Stones. The 38-year-old is causing friction between Sir Mick and his bandmates with her determination to get them to tidy up their appearance and live a healthier lifestyle on their world tour.
· Man sues over false sex label. A York, Florida resident says his neighbor and an online registry wrongly identified him as a sexual offender, suing them for $2.35 million, claiming their actions were slanderous.
· From strip-joint to the Supreme Court: Anna Nicole's last stand. It's not every day the Supreme Court of the United States takes an interest in ageing pin-up models with artificially enhanced breasts and a claim to hundreds of millions of dollars from one of Texas's most extensive family oil fortunes.
· Bush Chooses Harriet Miers for Supreme Court. President Bush has chosen Harriet Miers, White House counsel and a loyal member of the president's inner circle, to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, a senior administration official said Monday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Visceral [vis·cer·al] adj. 1. Instinctual: proceeding from instinct rather than from reasoned thinking or intellect. "A visceral business decision." 2. Emotional: characterized by or showing crude or elemental emotions.
· Ads booming on big screen. Think going to the movies is just for watching flicks? Think again. Screenvision - the movie advertising company that has some fans grousing about being bombarded with commercials in the theater - is about to shake up screens once again. New York-based Screenvision, whose clients include the city's Loews theaters, is set to strike a deal with cable network E!, to spruce up its before-the-movie, "pre-show."
· Hey - what's with the clown in the operating room? A clown in the operating room may relax anxious children who are about to undergo surgery, but the entertainer has to learn to keep out of the way, Italian researchers said Monday. A study of 40 children between 4 months and 3 years old who were accompanied by at least one parent prior to minor surgery found having a clown present significantly reduced anxiety levels for both child and parent.
· Casino boat robbery doesn't deter gamblers. A day after five masked robbers took $100,000 from a Freeport casino cruise ship, patrons were hopping back on board, slightly jittery, but ready for another round of gambling and determined not to let the incident ruin one of the summer's last warm days.
· Bicycle sales boom in U.S. amid rising gas prices. More bicycles than cars have been sold in the United States over the past 12 months, with rising gas prices prompting commuters to opt for two wheels instead of four.
· Man arrested for hitting police horses in Tampa. Thanks to a new Florida law that took effect this weekend, a New York tourist is facing jail time after he reportedly punched two horses from Tampa Police's mounted patrol.
· Holloway 'Wall Of Hope' Comes Down. A "Wall of Hope" with messages for the 18-year-old Alabama student who went missing in Aruba has been taken down outside a Mountain Brook, Ala., church and placed in storage. A note and yellow ribbon were left in its place at the entrance to the youth center at Mountain Brook Community Church.
· Student Blows Self Up. A University of Oklahoma student with "emotional difficulties" was identified Sunday as the person who apparently committed suicide near a packed football stadium using an explosive attached to his body.
Sunday, October 2, 2005
· 'Flightplan' Lands on Top of Box Office. Jodie Foster's "Flightplan" stayed aloft at the box office, as the airplane thriller took in $15 million to remain the No. 1 movie over a rush of new wide releases. The science-fiction tale "Serenity," a continuation of writer-director Joss Whedon's cult TV series "Firefly," debuted in second place with $10.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· 20 dead in New York tour boat accident. A tour boat carrying 49 people on a senior citizens' cruise overturned Sunday on a lake in upstate New York, killing at least 20 people, the county sheriff said. Authorities were investigating whether a large passing tour boat created a wake that caused the accident.
· Framed man freed after 19 years. Barry Gibbs was a forgotten man convicted of a forgotten crime he said he never committed: the 1986 slaying of a prostitute in Brooklyn. It took a more memorable case - the arrest of a former detective on charges he doubled as a mob hit man - for authorities to finally listen to Gibbs.
· Most of Saudi’s Internet Users Aim for the Forbidden. Of the estimated 2.2 million Internet users in the Saudi Kingdom, the majority regularly try to access forbidden or indecent material, ArabNews.com reports. “Of those who log on to the Internet, 92.5 percent are trying to access a website that has been blocked.”
· Irish bookmaker blasted over 'Last Supper' ad. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was fending off the wrath of Christians in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Ireland on Friday over an ad depicting Jesus and the Apostles gambling at the Last Supper.
· Courthouse evacuated after attorney brings in firecracker evidence. A county courthouse was evacuated Thursday after officials said they found a possible explosive device - one brought in by an attorney. Officials said the item brought into the Carroll County Courthouse in Berryville was an undetonated firecracker that Cindy Baker intended to enter as evidence in a trial. Sheriff Chuck Medford said a member of the Springdale bomb squad happened to be in the courtroom. The officer viewed the device and ordered an evacuation. Subsequently, the entire Springdale bomb squad was called to detonate the possible explosive object.
· Rocker boyfriend of Kate Moss held in anti-drugs swoop. British police have detained Kate Moss's boyfriend in a drug raid. Pete Doherty's spokesman says the musician was held overnight by police in central England. But he says he didn't know if Doherty had been arrested or charged with any offense. Doherty's group - the Babyshambles - has canceled a sold out show set for tonight.
· Actors Aniston, Pitt put Calif. house on market. Actors Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, whose highly publicized divorce is expected to be finalized this week, have placed their Beverly Hills estate on the market for $28 million, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.
· Woman burns to death in her apartment. A 39-year-old woman burned to death late Friday, apparently after her clothing caught fire in her kitchen. Rhonda Marie Ash often used stove burners to light cigarettes, family members said.
· U.S. Millionaire Blasts Off From Russia. A Soyuz rocket carrying U.S millionaire scientist Gregory Olsen and a Russian-American crew lifted off Saturday from the Central Asian steppe, launching the world's third space tourist on a two-day journey to the international space station. Olsen, the 60-year-old founder of an infrared-camera maker based in Princeton, N.J., reportedly paid $20 million for a seat on the Expedition 12 flight.
· Just another day in a $1 million Ferrari. About the 12-cylinder Ferrari Enzo: Only 399 of these beauties exist in the universe, so seeing one on the road is a rarity. Now imagine parking one at the supermarket, $97 for fuel, $700 for an oil change, or up to $80,000 for a brake job.
· Martha Stewart Working on a Third TV Show. Martha Stewart, already with two TV shows, is working on a third. Stewart's company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, purchased a house in Norwalk last month that will be featured in a new home-improvement television show next year.
· A truly chilling likeness of the King at state fair. Elvis is back in the building — but this time he's cooling in the fridge. Nearly a half-century ago, Elvis Presley thrilled a crowd of 26,500 at the Cotton Bowl at Dallas' Fair Park. Now, he's back for an encore, his likeness captured as the State Fair of Texas' traditional butter sculpture.
· When the duck quacks, people listen. When most people hear about AFLAC, they think of those talking duck commercials. But when Horace Jackson hears the insurance giant's name, he thinks about his shares of stock he bought 50 years ago. 100 shares at $11 a share in 1956 has grown to 187,980 shares that are now worth $8.5 million.
Saturday, October 1, 2005
· Man killed in alleged carjacking attempt of FBI agents. One man was shot to death and another wounded after they allegedly attempted a carjacking against two FBI agents who were conducting surveillance, officials said.
· Chocolate May Help Smokers’ Blood Vessels. Chocolate may help repair damage to smokers’ blood vessels, at least temporarily, a new study shows. The benefit may stem from antioxidants called flavonols that are found in chocolate (and fruits and vegetables), write the researchers in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
· Kansas Mayor Calls Birthday Card 'Offensive.' Don't send Mayor Bill Bunten this birthday card. He won't be amused. The birthday card produced by Hallmark bears the title "CSI: Topeka" and features a cartoon of two people standing over a corpse, with one saying, "Looks like he was bored to death." Inside the card is the message, "Hope your birthday is anything but dull."
· Michelle Wie turns pro. Michelle Wie plans to announce Wednesday she is turning professional, six days before her 16th birthday, ending an amateur golf career in which she spent most of her time playing against the pros.
· Boeing ad "unleashes hell" on mosque. Boeing and its joint-venture partner Bell Helicopter apologized yesterday for a magazine ad published a month ago — and again this week by mistake — depicting U.S. Special Forces troops rappelling from an Osprey aircraft onto the roof of a mosque. "It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell," reads the ad.
· O.J. Simpson appearance drew little interest. Testing the waters of his tarnished celebrity a decade after his acquittal on murder charges, O.J. Simpson appeared at a Halloween-themed comic book convention on Friday night to sign autographs, but few beside the media seemed to care. Simpson’s rare public outing in Los Angeles at the annual NecroComicon show drew little interest, with no more than a dozen people traipsing up a rear stairwell into a small room to glimpse the former football star and actor.
· Fannie's errors may require "small" change. Fannie Mae's estimated $10.8 billion earnings restatement may only require a "small" increase following a report of new accounting errors, said analysts at firms including JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley.
· Forest Service says court order stops Capitol Christmas tree. The U-S Forest Service is threatening to hold up the Christmas tree slated to light up the grounds of the U-S Capitol building this year. The 80-foot spruce sits in a forest in New Mexico. The agency has put hundreds of small projects on hold while it reviews a decision by a California federal judge throwing out limits on public participation in forest decisions.
· FBI Admits to Making Mistakes in Wiretaps. The FBI says it sometimes gets the wrong number when it intercepts conversations in terrorism investigations, an admission critics say underscores a need to revise wiretap provisions in the Patriot Act. The FBI would not say how often these mistakes happen.
· Paris Hilton, Greek Heir End Engagement. Paris Hilton has ended her five-month engagement to a Greek shipping heir. The celebutante-turned-model broke off the wedding plans with Paris Latsis, according to Us Weekly's Web site.
· Update: Murder charge filed as search continues for missing mom of little girl. A Queens man was charged Saturday with murdering his live-in girlfriend during a fight in their apartment, the latest twist in a weeklong mystery that began when the slain woman's 4-year-old daughter was found wandering barefoot and alone in the middle of the night, authorities said. Cesar Ascarrunz, 32, was arrested on murder charges two days after he was picked up by investigators, police said. The defendant allegedly confessed to the crime, and acknowledged putting his girlfriend's body into a trash bag and dumping it on a corner in Queens.
· Police Investigate Moss for Drug Use. Detectives have searched the recording studio where supermodel Kate Moss allegedly snorted cocaine, London's Metropolitan Police said Saturday. Police searched the west London building on Thursday, but a spokeswoman refused to comment on whether drugs were recovered. "We can confirm that officers from the specialist crime directorate executed a ... search warrant on Sept. 29 at an address in (west) London as part of an ongoing inquiry," she said.
· Congress sends stop-gap funding bill to Bush. The U.S. Senate on Friday passed legislation to keep funds flowing to federal agencies through November 18, averting any chance of a government-wide shutdown this weekend. The House of Representatives passed identical legislation on Thursday and President George W. Bush is expected to sign the measure into law. Without the stop-gap spending bill, most government agencies would not have money to continue operating after midnight, the end of the 2005 fiscal year.