|April 2006 Archives|
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Sunday, April 30, 2006
· L.A. mayor picks NFL talks over immigrant boycott. Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles' first Latino mayor in the modern era, will skip huge pro-immigration rallies planned for Monday to meet with pro football officials in Dallas, leaving organizers feeling like "a ship without a captain." Activists predict that 2 million to 3 million people would flood the streets of Los Angeles alone.
· Children killed by falling TVs. Three New York City children have been fatally injured in the past two months by televisions that fell off of stands or furniture - a rare type of accident that usually occurs only a few times a year nationwide. The deaths have prompted a plea by some grieving mothers for new laws that would mandate warning labels about the potential danger of falling televisions.
· Teen sues mom in bid to ID dad. A 17-year-old is suing his mother in Macomb County Circuit Court to force her to reveal the identity of his biological father. Two years ago, the teen - identified as "Minor J" in court filings - learned that the man who helped raise him wasn't his real father. Now, with help from that man, who is his legal father, he's involved in a lawsuit that could help determine what rights children have to know the identity of their parents.
· Lawyers: Malpractice caps hurt patients. Limiting medical-malpractice damages would limit the ability of patients to hold wrongdoers accountable, a lawyers' group said. The Association of Trial Lawyers in America has expressed concern about a bill proposed by Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., that would place a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical-malpractice cases.
· Suspected crack dealer dies choking on 'stash.' A suspected crack dealer died in police custody early Thursday after trying to swallow a large cellophane package containing 23 pieces of crack and a small amount of powdered cocaine, police said.
· New Orleans Public School Bus for Sale on eBay. eBay Listing: This New Orleans Public School Bus is a 1993 International Blue Bird with 147,797 miles. The bus was substantially submerged for at least 10 days following Hurricane Katrina.
· Time magazine names 100 most influential. President Bush, Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and hip hop renaissance man Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs have made Time magazine's list of the year's 100 most influential people.
· Barbie is a lesbian? Natalie Young, who got in trouble for wearing a "Barbie is a Lesbian" shirt to her Queens middle school in 2002, won a $30,000 settlement two years later, after suing the city for violating her right to free speech.
· Movie Promotion Confused With Bomb in L.A. newspaper promotion for Tom Cruise's upcoming "Mission: Impossible III" got off to an explosive start when a county arson squad blew up a news rack, thinking it contained a bomb. The confusion: the Los Angeles Times rack was fitted with a digital musical device designed to play the "Mission: Impossible" theme song when the door was opened. But in some cases, the red plastic boxes with protruding wires were jarred loose and dropped onto the stack of newspapers inside, alarming customers.
· Ex-New Jersey governor goes Down Under to visit boyfriend's family. Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey is in Perth, Australia, this week on a sensitive mission - meeting the parents. The twice-married McGreevey currently lives in Manhattan with his boyfriend, 42-year-old financier Mark O'Donnell, while they are house-hunting in New Jersey.
· Georgia soldier found dead in Hilton air conditioner. A Fort Benning soldier missing 12 days before his body was discovered in a downtown hotel died after he got caught in an industrial-sized air conditioner, officials said Saturday. A maintenance worker at the DeSoto Hilton hotel found the man's body Friday in an area accessible through a maintenance door after guests complained of a foul odor in the lobby.
· Teenage girl fights off attacker. A 14-year-old is being credited with fighting off her attacker. Brittney Richardson says she was grabbed by a man last Friday night on 93rd Avenue in Westminster, after walking home from the grocery store. But her attacker quickly learned that Brittney isn't your typical teenager. She has a brown belt in Karate, and she used the skills she's learned during two years of classes. "I turned and I hit him," she says. "I just knocked this guy out."
· U.S. Olympian Free On Bail After Fraud Bust. Olympic gold medalist Tim Montgomery is free on bond after being arrested. Montgomery is accused of being connected to a multimillion-dollar bank fraud and money laundering scheme. The 31-year-old runner was banned from track and field for two years for doping, and all of Montgomery's performances were wiped off the books as of March 2001. Montgomery is separated from Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones, the mother of his child.
· A grave oversight. For more than four years, the 40-story Deutsche Bank tower in New York has stood silently at the edge of Ground Zero, a graveyard waiting to be found. The building was searched in 2002 and pronounced clear of all human remains. In the last few weeks, however, nearly 700 bone fragments have been found on the roof at 130 Liberty St. Along with a piece of human scalp. And a pair of plastic wings that airlines give to young passengers.
· Woman, Son Convicted In Mouse-In-Soup Scam. A woman and her adult son have been convicted of trying to extort money from the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain by claiming they found a dead mouse in a bowl of soup while celebrating Mother's Day in 2004. Jurors deliberated nearly four hours Friday before convicting Carla Patterson, 38, and Ricky Patterson, 22, of conspiracy to commit extortion.
· Bush in ‘chipper’ mood at reporters’ dinner. It was twice the fun for members of the White House Correspondents’ Association and guests Saturday night when President Bush and a look-alike, sound-alike sidekick poked fun at the president and fellow politicians. “Ladies and gentlemen, I feel chipper tonight. I survived the White House shake-up,” the president said.
· Don Johnson, Wife Have Baby Boy. "Miami Vice" and "Nash Bridges" star Don Johnson and his wife Kelley celebrated their seventh anniversary with the birth of their third child, a spokesman announced Sunday.
· Thieves Steal Trailer Filled With Red Bull. A trailer containing $100,000 worth of Red Bull energy drinks seemingly grew wings. A truck driver reported last weekend that his 53-foot trailer containing 2,880 cases of the energy drink was stolen.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
· Muslim leader jailed after running down strip club bouncer. A Muslim leader already charged with vandalizing an Oakland liquor store was jailed for allegedly using his BMW to run down a bouncer after being thrown out of a San Francisco strip club, police said.
· Companies realizing they should have hired legal workers. Thousands of illegal immigrants stayed home this week amid rumors of immigration roundups that federal officials say were unfounded. Len Mills, of the Associated General Contractors of South Florida, estimated at least 50 percent of construction workers had not shown up for work, while Katie A. Edwards, executive director of Florida's Dade County Farm Bureau, said nearly a third of farmworkers did not come to the fields this week.
· MySpace prank puts high school senior in jail. A senior at the Sonrise Christian School was arrested Friday after authorities began an investigation into his posting a countdown of the hours until he blew up the school on the popular "My Space" website, the Polk County Sheriff's Office reported.
· 'Oprah' guest convicted of raping 12-year-old cousin. A woman who made headlines after abandoning her baby in a rubbish bin more than a decade ago and then said she had been raped is facing jail after admitting the father was actually her 12-year-old cousin. Twyana Davis, who wrote a book and appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show talking about her ordeal, now faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading guilty to rape in Columbus, Ohio.
· Keith Richards falls out of palm tree, hospitalized. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards suffered a mild concussion while vacationing in Fiji and was flown to a New Zealand hospital for treatment, a band spokeswoman said Saturday. Media reports said Richards fell out of a palm tree and remained hospitalized.
· Mexico poised to legalize drugs. Mexico’s Congress approved a bill Friday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin for personal use — a measure sure to raise questions in Washington about Mexico’s commitment to the war on drugs. The only step remaining was the signature of president Vicente Fox, whose office indicated he would sign it.
· Update: Jury adds another $1.2 million in punitive damages to spanked employee. Jurors had awarded Janet Orlando $500,000 - $10,000 for economic loss, $40,000 for future medical costs and $450,000 for emotional distress, pain and suffering. Then they awarded her an additional $1.2 million in punitive damages. The total award according to CNN was $1.7 million.
· Rehab, $30,000 to keep Limbaugh out of court. Firebrand radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was charged Friday with fraudulently concealing information to obtain prescription drugs, but prosecutors will drop the charge after 18 months if Limbaugh remains in treatment for drug addiction, his lawyer said. Limbaugh also agreed to pay the state of Florida $30,000 to help cover the cost of the investigation into the conservative radio personality's alleged "doctor shopping," a felony in Florida.
· University snitches earn $50 for fingering fellow students smoking pot. Every year on April 20th, students and residents gather on Farrand Field at CU Boulder to defy the authorities and smoke marijuana publicly. This year, the University of Boulder Police Department fought back by taking lots of pictures. They have a website with photos up, offering an $50 reward to anyone who positively identifies someone who was photographed.
· Cops stop fall guy. A dopey daredevil hellbent on parachuting off the Empire State Building was plucked from the brink of disaster yesterday in a breathtaking drama that played out on a narrow ledge more than 1,000 feet above city streets.
Friday, April 28, 2006
· National anthem goes Spanish. The national anthem that once endured the radical transformation administered by Jimi Hendrix's fuzzed and frantic Stratocaster now faces an artistic dare at least as extreme: translation into Spanish. Can "The Star-Spangled Banner," and the republic for which it stands, survive? Outrage over what's being called "The Illegal Alien Anthem" is already building.
· Update: Jury Awards $500,000 To Woman Spanked At Work. A jury awarded $500,000 Friday to a woman who was spanked in front of her colleagues in what her employer called a camaraderie-building exercise. The jury of six men and six women found that Janet Orlando was subjected to sexual harassment and sexual battery when she was paddled two years ago at Alarm One Inc.
· Baldwin Brother's Coke Bust. It's a toss up as to which bodes worse for Daniel Baldwin's career: The fact that he was arrested on charges of cocaine possession or the fact that it took a week for anyone to notice.
· Elementary teacher arrested with meth on way to school. Authorities in West Memphis have arrested an elementary school teacher, charging her with carrying methamphetamine to school. Police say the woman also had a working meth lab at her home.
· Italian restaurant fined for "cruel" lobster display. An Italian restaurant was fined $855 for displaying live lobsters on ice to attract patrons, in an innovative application of an anti-cruelty law usually applied to household pets.
· Yellow Pages busted in nationwide check scam. Yellow Pages, Inc. allegedly sent "refund checks" to solicit small businesses across the country. When the businesses cashed what appeared to be $3 or $4 checks, they were automatically enrolled in the Yellow Pages Internet directory and were billed $177, according to The Business Journal. The California-based company is to pay $535,000 to affected consumers in 27 states and has agreed to modify its sleazy business practices.
· Mexican Lawmakers vote to launch Mexican Space Agency. Mexican lawmakers are preparing to launch a national space agency they hope could one day stand tall beside the United States' NASA. With an initial budget proposal of less than $2 million, the backers of the Mexican Space Agency say it would struggle to challenge its northern neighbor's National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, but hope it would draw Mexico into the international space community, bringing access to cutting-edge technology and research.
· Rosie O'Donnell Named New 'View' Co-Host. Access Hollywood has learned that Rosie O'Donnell will be named as the newest co-host of "The View," replacing the exiting Meredith Vieira. ABC will reportedly make the official announcement later today.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Dogmatic [dog·mat·ic] adj. 1. Expressing rigid opinions; Prone to expressing strongly held beliefs and opinions. 2. Asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.
· Students discover coin game no penny-ante matter. Two Greenville Middle students were arrested and charged with gambling after authorities said they were caught multiple times "flipping" during class. Flipping coins has become popular with kids, Greenville Police Lt. Mike Gambrell said. Rules vary, but it can be as simple as calling heads or tails and the winner gets to keep the coin.
· Liquor Chief Charged With Drunken Driving. The director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission abruptly resigned Thursday after she was charged with drunken driving. Teresa Kaiser was stopped Saturday night in Portland and was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit for driving in Oregon.
· White House reporter asks for the remote. It wasn't the price of gasoline or the rebuilding effort in New Orleans that preoccupied the White House press corps Thursday aboard a flight on Air Force One. It was what channel they could watch on the White House televisions, Fox or CNN. During a briefing led by White House spokesman Scott McClellan as President Bush was traveling to New Orleans, the Washington Post's Jim VandeHei asked why the White House televisions always seemed to be tuned to Fox News and if it was possible to have them tuned instead to CNN.
· Judge's Da Vinci code solved. A secret code embedded in the text of the judge's ruling in the case of Dan Brown's bestseller "The Da Vinci Code" has been cracked. London lawyer Dan Tench and The Times newspaper on Friday both claimed to have solved the riddle hidden in the ruling in "The Da Vinci Code" copyright lawsuit.
· Police Bullet Lands Perfectly In Suspect's Gun Chamber. Police fired a bullet directly into one of the chambers of a gun wielded by an angry man as they shot him to death in a confrontation at a bus stop, authorities said. Officers fired a total of about four shots from their .40-caliber Glock handguns, authorities said. One of their bullets entered one of the chambers of the man's .38-caliber revolver, shoving the bullet inside backwards.
· Novel by Harvard Teen Pulled From Stores. A teen novel containing admittedly borrowed material has been pulled from the market. Author Kaavya Viswanathan, a Harvard University sophomore, had acknowledged that numerous passages in "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life" were lifted from another writer.
· No celebrations planned if Bonds passes Ruth. Barry Bonds will have to wait until he passes Hank Aaron before baseball throws a party for him. Major League Baseball is not planning any celebration for Bonds if and when he tops Babe Ruth's mark of 714 home runs, commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
· Duke Lacrosse Accuser Made Previous Report. The woman who says she was raped by three members of Duke's lacrosse team also told police 10 years ago she was raped by three men, filing a 1996 complaint claiming she had been assaulted when she was 14. None of the men were ever charged with the alleged sexual assault. A phone number for the accuser has been disconnected and her family declined to comment.
· Immigrant boycott aims to "close" US cities. Pro-immigration activists say a nationwide boycott and marches planned for next Monday, May 1 will flood Americas's streets with millions of Latinos to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it tackles reform.
· Teacher Suspended For Offering Extra Credit For Wendy's Cups. A first-year teacher was suspended for five days without pay after offering students extra credit for bringing in paper cups from a Wendy's restaurant that he could cash in for a free plane ticket.
· Dad: Broomstick used on Duke stripper. The father of the accuser in the rape case involving Duke University lacrosse players said his daughter was raped with a broomstick during a party last month, and that explains defense lawyers' claims that no DNA from players was found on her.
· Man dies in airport shooting. Police confronted a man at a Cleveland airport ticket counter Thursday and shots were fired as they struggled, critically wounding a patrolman and killing the man, authorities said. The man grabbed one officer's gun and shot another officer twice in the chest, city Safety Director Martin Flask said.
· Owner fires entire football team. Montgomery Maulers owner Jamie LaMunyon had an emphatic response to her players' demand for back wages: You're fired. LaMunyon said she will field a replacement team for the National Indoor Football League game next week.
· Stone Gets Paid for Maternal Instincts. Sharon Stone was awarded undisclosed damages and a formal apology from London's Daily Mail Thursday for a report claiming Stone's basic maternal instincts were lacking. The newspaper agreed to pay damages after publishing a story last June entitled "Sharon's Son Sleeps in Car While She Dines Out" which alleges that the actress left her four-year-old son, Roan, with her driver for more than two hours while she dined at London's Ivy restaurant.
· Domino's delivery man transported pizza, corpses in same car. In what will surely repulse Pennsylvanians, a Domino's delivery man used a car to transport corpses to funeral parlors when he wasn't using the vehicle to bring pies and Cheesy Bread to pizza enthusiasts.
· Mine survivor: Four air packs failed. Trapped below ground by poisonous gases, the Sago miners realized at least four of their air packs did not work and were forced to share the devices as they pounded with a sledgehammer so rescuers could find them, the sole survivor says. "As my trapped co-workers lost consciousness one by one, the room grew still and I continued to sit and wait, unable to do much else," Randal McCloy Jr. wrote.
· ExxonMobil misses forecasts, still makes $8,400,000,000. ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported Thursday that quarterly profit rose 7%, driven by rising oil prices, but it fell short of expectations. Net income rose to $8.4 billion, or $1.37 a share, in the January-March period.
· Quick-thinking employee locks robber inside bank. A gunman who tried to rob a San Gabriel Valley bank Wednesday morning found himself locked alone inside the building by a quick-thinking employee, police said. The robber told the employee to go outside, look around and act normal. As soon as she got outside, she immediately locked the door, locking him inside as police surrounded the bank.
· Calif. Woman Spanked at Work Sues for $1.2 million. Lawyers for a woman who was spanked in front of her co-workers as part of what her employer said was a camaraderie-building exercise asked a jury Wednesday for at least $1.2 million for the humiliation she claimed to have suffered. Janet Orlando, 53, quit her job at the home security company Alarm One and sued, alleging discrimination, assault, battery and emotional distress.
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."
· Laptop Stolen With Information On Aetna Members. Health insurer Aetna Inc. reported that a laptop computer containing personal information on 38,000 of its members was stolen. The laptop contained personal information on 38,000 of its members, including names, addresses and Social Security numbers.
· Senators to push for $100 gas rebate checks. Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday. However, the GOP energy package may face tough sledding because it also includes a controversial proposal to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, which most Democrats and some moderate Republicans oppose.
· FEMA "beyond repair." The nation’s beleaguered disaster response agency should be abolished and rebuilt from scratch to avoid a repeat of multiple government failures exposed by Hurricane Katrina, a Senate inquiry has concluded. Crippled by years of poor leadership and inadequate funding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency cannot be fixed, a bipartisan investigation says in recommendations to be released today.
· Ohio Man Hit by Three Vehicles. A man walking on a dark street was struck by three vehicles that all drove away afterward, police said. Eric Pinson, 39, was pronounced dead early Tuesday after authorities were called by witnesses who saw the second and third vehicles run him over, said officer Betty Schwab, a police spokeswoman.
· Freedom Tower finally a go. World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein will finally begin living up to his mandate today - starting work on the Freedom Tower after months of acrimony and delays. As a result, the biggest building planned for the 16-acre site - a heavily secured, 1,776-foot office tower with a projected cost of more than $2.1 billion - will begin an estimated five-year-long rise into the sky.
· Snoop Dogg in custody after London airport fracas. Rapper Snoop Dogg was in police custody on Thursday after being arrested with five other men following a disturbance at London's Heathrow airport, a police source said. The 34-year-old star, a former member of the notorious Los Angeles Crips gang, was held after a fight broke out when police were escorting him and his entourage out of the airport on Wednesday evening.
· Lucky heart attack victim. A driver who suffered a heart attack and crashed into a guardrail was saved by a defibrillator salesman and two nurses who happened to be passing by. The salesman, Steve Earle, was transporting an automated external defibrillator, a device used to shock the heart into a normal rhythm. "When I saw what was happening, I jumped out and instinctively grabbed the AED, just in case," Earle told KSDK-TV in St. Louis.
· Don Johnson Pays $14.5M to Save Estate. Don Johnson has paid $14.5 million to save his 17-acre Woody Creek ranch from a foreclosure sale. The former "Miami Vice" and "Nash Bridges" star had until noon Tuesday to make good on the delinquent debt.
· Campaign manager not so brilliant. The campaign manager for Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox resigned Wednesday amid allegations that he altered an online biography of her Democratic opponent to add a mention of his son's arrest in a fatal drunk driving accident. Cox said an internal investigation confirmed that the posting about her opponent, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, on Wikipedia, a popular online encyclopedia, came from within her gubernatorial campaign. "My campaign manager Morton Brilliant, who is responsible for all the work in my office, has offered me his resignation and I have accepted it," Cox said in a statement.
· Somber night for '93' flight. A wrenching reminder of 9/11 was surrounded with red-carpet hoopla at the world preempreem of "United 93," which kicked off the fifth edition of the Tribeca film fest Tuesday at GothamGotham's Ziegfeld theater. After the film's devastating final scene, the screen abruptly went dark and a cacophony of loud, uncontrollable sobs could be heard coming from the back of the theater, where many of the nearly 100 family members of 9/11 victims were seated.
· Angelina Jolie Tops Most Beautiful List. She's got that pregnant glow, but it is Angelina Jolie's humanitarian efforts that make her most radiant, according to People magazine. The pillow-lipped actress graces the cover of People's "100 Most Beautiful People" issue.
· Barry Bonds Three Homers From Tying Babe Ruth. Bonds is three shy of tying Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time list after a pinch-hit, two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning off Mets closer Billy Wagner.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
· Congressman calls Mexican immigration policy 'hypocritical.' Congressman John Sullivan of Tulsa is sending a letter to Mexico's president in which he calls Mexican immigration policy "blatantly hypocritical." Sullivan says in the letter to President Vicente Fox that while Fox calls U.S. efforts to enforce immigration laws discriminatory Mexican laws deny basic human rights to immigrants in that country, adding it's the "least humane on the continent."
· How much will maintaining a high tech car cost you? Jennifer Matthews had to pay $6,000 to replace navigation system in her Lexus after her dog flew into it under hard braking. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Replacing a rear camera, for example, is $4,000, while Xenon headlights can set you back $1,600 to $3,700.
· Actress Exits Play Over Alec Baldwin. The play, "Entertaining Mr. Sloane" could be retitled "Exiting Jan Maxwell." In an e-mail, actress Jan Maxwell said Baldwin put his fist through a wall and was "throwing things around with all of us cowering," adding that she left over concerns of her "physical safety, mental health and artistic integrity."
· Democratic Congresswoman's son sentenced for slashing GOP tires. A Democratic congresswoman's son and three Democratic campaign workers were sentenced Wednesday to four to six months in jail for slashing tires outside a Bush-Cheney campaign office on Election Day 2004.
· English Language Hits 1 Billion Words. A massive language research database responsible for bringing words such as "podcast" and "celebutante" to the pages of the Oxford dictionaries has officially hit a total of 1 billion words, researchers said Wednesday.
· MADD wants breathalyzers on every car. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are trying to reduce the 17,000 alcohol-related fatalities a year say ignition interlocks are the only sure way to separate potential drunken drivers from their "weapons."
· Muslims urged to embark on space exploration. Malaysia's ambition to send an astronaut to space next year should inspire other Muslim countries to embark on space exploration, an Islamic professor said yesterday.
· Norway pledges $20 million for Palestinian bailout. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg pledged a $20 million aid package to the Palestinians that would be transferred to sources 'outside the Hamas government.'
· Late For Work? Many Lie To Boss About Tardiness. So, you hit the snooze button one too many times and now you're an hour late for work. You're busted. And the hairy traffic/tardy train/recalcitrant child excuse is wearing thin. What do you do? Lie, of course.
· Update: Costner exposed as actor behind sex act claim. Kevin Costner has been revealed as the celebrity accused of performing a sex act while having a massage at a prestigious hotel in Scotland, after a tribunal ruled there was not a strong enough reason to keep his name suppressed. The Hollywood star was accused of taking off his towel during the massage at The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Fife, in October 2004, exposing himself and then performing a sex act.
· Colorado Kills Plan To Make English Official Language. A Colorado House committee has killed a ballot proposal that would make English the official state language. But the committee killed the referred measure on a 6-to-5 vote after opponents said they didn't need to learn English to be an American. The referred measure would have asked voters to require all state documents be printed only in English.
· Drivers run out of gas to save money. Some California drivers are resorting to desperate measures to beat the surge in gas prices at the pump - deliberately running dry on the state's freeways then waiting for a free gallon of gas. "Every time fuel goes up, we start noticing it. But right now we are noticing it a lot more," Andy Lujan, owner of California Coach Towing in Orange County, said Tuesday. Lujan's 20 trucks roam the busy freeways of Orange and Los Angeles counties as part of a publicly funded patrol that gives a free gallon of gas to drivers who have run out of fuel.
· How far can you drive on a bushel of corn? Popular Mechanics magazine crunched the numbers on the actual costs and performance of each major alternative fuel. "Before we can debate national energy policy - or even decide which petroleum substitutes might make sense for our personal vehicles - we need to know how these things stack up in the real world."
· Magician David Copperfield Tricks Robbers. Illusionist David Copperfield magically escaped getting robbed. Two armed robbers allegedly got out of the car demanding the group's belongings. Copperfield said he turned his pockets inside out to reveal nothing in them, even though he was carrying his passport, wallet and cell phone.
· 'Lost' Actress Chooses Jail Over Service. "Lost" star Michelle Rodriguez surrendered to authorities Tuesday to begin a five-day jail sentence for drunken driving. Rodriguez, who portrays police officer Ana Lucia, opted for jail time and a $500 fine rather than 240 hours of community service.
· Snow takes White House job. Fox News' Tony Snow is set to move from the anchor chair to the hot seat, agreeing to take on the role of White House press secretary amid slumping poll ratings for President Bush. The appointment of Snow, who has formally accepted the job, will be announced Wednesday morning.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
· Chris Rock Linked to Crooked Hollywood P.I. Chris Rock's been hanging with some bad company. Rock's publicist has confirmed that the funnyman once employed indicted Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano when Rock was targeted in a paternity case years ago. Pellicano allegedly accessed confidential police databases to dig up dirt on Hungarian model Monika Zsibrita after she filed a lawsuit in 1999 claiming she was pregnant with Rock's child.
· Phil Spector's Murder Trial Delayed Again. The much-delayed murder trial of music producer Phil Spector was postponed again Tuesday, with a judge pushing the case back to January. Spector's trial in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson had been set for September. But at a hastily called hearing, the judge told attorneys he had scheduled two trials for the same time and had decided to try the other case first.
· Family sues over organ removal of illegal immigrant. The family of a 19-year-old Bronx construction worker who was pronounced brain-dead after a fall has filed a $180 million suit against the New York Organ Donor Network for allegedly removing the man's heart and other organs without proper consent. "Melesio Martinez may be a so-called illegal immigrant, but that doesn't mean they can take his organs without consent," said attorney Victor Serby.
· Clinic bomb victim's restitution: $57.69. For the pain of losing an eye and going through 21 operations since she was maimed by a blast at an abortion clinic, Emily Lyons has gotten all she ever expects to receive from the bomber, Eric Rudolph: $57.69. The court-appointed attorneys were paid $4 million to defend Rudolph.
· NY sniping at Super Mario's $12 million temple to food. Celebrity chef Mario Batali admits that putting duck testicles in the pasta at his new restaurant is a bit of a provocation, but in the cutthroat New York food world, it's not enough just to be provocative. In his latest venture, Del Posto, he has attracted as much attention for the price of valet parking, $29, as for the quality of the food.
· Girl Dies Looking for Mom in Burning Home. A 6-year-old girl who had escaped a house fire early Tuesday ran back inside to find her mother, not realizing the woman had jumped to safety from a second-floor window, police said. The child never made it back out alive.
· Duke Player Faces Trial in Other Case. A Duke University lacrosse player charged with raping a stripper was ordered Tuesday to stand trial in an unrelated assault case. Collin Finnerty, 19, appeared in D.C. Superior Court, where the judge determined he had violated conditions of the diversion program he entered last year after being charged with assaulting a man in Georgetown.
· Hamas government makes urgent appeal for funds. Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh made an urgent appeal to Arab nations on Tuesday to send money to the Hamas-led administration just days before a second month of government salaries are overdue.
· Attorney: Wal-Mart at fault for hiring sex offender. Wal-Mart was at fault for hiring a convicted sex offender and not supervising him, an attorney representing the family of a girl who claims the retailer failed to protect her from the employee said Tuesday.
· Dad Charged With Telling Daughter to Lie. A man accused of telling his 18-year-old daughter to lie on the witness stand when asked about the schoolyard murder of a 10-year-old boy was charged with witness intimidation. Prosecutors said Devonzo Dawson told his daughter in open court and within earshot of court personnel and others, "Say what I told you to say, that you don't remember nothing." If convicted, the father could be sentenced to 36 years in prison.
· Update: Former SI swimsuit model denied U.S. entry. Former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model May Andersen, accused of hitting a flight attendant on a plane from Amsterdam to Miami, was refused entry into the U.S. on Monday, officials said. Andersen, 23, will be returned to the Netherlands on the next available flight, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Zachary Mann.
· Woman Pleads to Stealing House. A woman pleaded guilty to fraud and other charges in what a prosecutor said was his first case in which a defendant stole an entire house. Wendy Jean-Francois, 44, of Morrisville, pleaded guilty Monday in Bucks County Court to multiple counts of fraud, forgery and related charges.
· Car thief returns baby, keeps car for weekend. The theft took place when a woman in her 30s, identified in the local media as Olga Botha, left her car idling outside her Pretoria home while she opened the gate. The unidentified man then drove off in the car, along with the baby and the woman's handbag, which contained her mobile phone. "The police called the number - the man answered, and indicated he was waiting for the call," Inspector Ramaloko said. "He indicated he didn't want the baby or the purse, only the car." The thief duly dropped off the baby at a school building. The man also said he would return the car later, as he only wanted to use it for the weekend.
· Maury Povich hit with sexual harassment suit. TV talk show host Maury Povich was hit with a $100 million lawsuit Monday by a producer who alleges she was forced to expose herself in the studio for crude videos that were shown to guests of the show. Bianca Nardi, 28, also alleged that Povich's relationship with a female producer created a hostile workplace that was abusive to women. Povich is married to television news anchor Connie Chung.
· Attorney seeks stripper's mental, drug records. The lawyer for one of the Duke University lacrosse players accused of raping an exotic dancer wants prosecutors to provide him with the alleged victim's medical records since "the complaining witness has suffered from mental and emotional problems for a portion of her life."
· McKinney attorney quits. Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is without an attorney after he quit yesterday. James Myart, a prominent Texas civil rights attorney whom McKinney retained after her altercation with the police officer, issued a statement Monday saying he no longer represented her. He did not explain why she was no longer his client.
· Couple charged with smuggling cocaine into jail in Bibles. Authorities in Indiana say they found cocaine hidden in the spines of two Bibles that a woman allegedly bought and tried to send to her husband in jail. Anthony Duckworth, who's been in the Huntington County jail for months, and his wife, Amy, have been charged with two counts of trafficking with an inmate.
· Airlines ponder standing-room-only "seats." The airlines have come up with a new answer to an old question: How many passengers can be squeezed into economy class? A lot more, it turns out, especially if an idea still in the early stage should catch on: standing-room-only "seats."
· 'Pregnant' suicide bomber kills 8 in Sri Lanka. A female suicide bomber disguised to look pregnant blew herself up in front of a car carrying Sri Lanka's top general, killing eight people in a brazen attack on the heavily fortified grounds of the country's army headquarters.
· Tony Snow likely to take White House post. Sources close to the White House said Monday that Fox anchor Tony Snow is likely to accept the job as White House press secretary, succeeding Scott McClellan. They expect him to announce his decision within the next few days.
Monday, April 24, 2006
· Feds Arrest 183 More Illegal Immigrants in Florida. Federal immigration authorities arrested 183 fugitives and other illegal immigrants in Florida alone last week, the state's largest roundup in a single week, officials said Monday. The arrests included people convicted of sex offenses, child abuse, cocaine trafficking and weapons violations. They were originally from 26 countries and most eventually will be deported.
· Deadly Blasts Kill 22 in Egyptian Resort City. Three nearly simultaneous explosions rocked the Egyptian resort city of Dahab on Monday, killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 150 in a terror attack at the height of the tourist season. The attackers struck a day after al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden issued a taped warning that ordinary Western citizens had become legitimate targets of his terrorist organization.
· Moussaoui lawyer asks for 'long slow death.' Zacarias Moussaoui's lawyer pleaded with jurors Monday to send his client to prison for life - "the long slow death of a common criminal" - rather than give him the martyrdom he seeks through execution.
· Stone buys Beverly Hills house for $11 million. Actress Sharon Stone recently purchased a home in the Beverly Hills area for just under $11 million. Stone has resurrected her role as crime novelist Catherine Davis Tramell with the release of Basic Instinct 2, the sequel to the 1992 hit that established her as a movie star. Her new digs sit on almost five acres. The gated estate, originally built in 1991, was completely refurbished in 2004. It has five bedrooms and six bathrooms in about 9,000 square feet.
· Keith Hernandez: Women Don't Belong In Dugout. New York Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez's comment that women "don't belong in the dugout" drew criticism from San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy, who supported the female member of his training staff and said he was surprised her gender even came up.
· TV station catches McKinney bad-mouthing staffer. Rep. Cynthia McKinney was caught on tape by a television station bad-mouthing a senior staffer after ending an interview with a reporter. "Oh crap now you know what. ...," said an irritated McKinney, D-Ga., "they lied to Coz and Coz is a fool." When McKinney realized her remarks had been recorded by the microphone, she then returned to face the camera and told the reporter that comments about Carson were off the record. But the TV station aired the footage Saturday, and CNN later picked it up.
· Judge: Web-surfing worker can't be fired. Saying surfing the Web is equivalent to reading a newspaper or talking on the phone, an administrative law judge has suggested that only a reprimand is appropriate as punishment for a New York city worker accused of failing to heed warnings to stay off the Internet.
· Bride's Brother Stabbed At Wedding Reception. The 18-year-old brother of the bride who was stabbed at a wedding reception on Saturday said the bride's stepfather, Eric Adams, ruined the special day for everyone involved. Years of family tensions apparently boiled over at Saturday's wedding reception when the cake was not cut fast enough for Adams.
· Bad spot to go fishing. A freight train struck and killed a boy in Warren, Maine on Sunday and critically injured a man who was fishing with the boy from the middle of a 77-foot-long railroad trestle.
· Game show winner buys Hummer, complains of gas prices. Since winning $252,000 on NBC's hit game show "Deal or No Deal", Mike Wallace has made a big purchase. A brand new black Hummer. But since taking the hummer home earlier this week, the harsh reality of soaring gasoline prices hits home when he pulls into the gas station. "Six and a half gallons in and it was 20-dollars, that's horrible," Wallace said. That's $120 every time he fills up his 40 gallon tank, which is at least once a week.
· Teacher accused of sex abuse, giving piercings. Authorities are encouraging parents of McHenry West High School students to talk to their children about a teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old male pupil and performing nipple piercings on two girls. Laura E. Sieradzki is accused of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse - felonies with possible sentences of four to 15 years.
· Lawyer charged with sex assault. Civil rights attorney Robert Corry has been charged with sexual assault in Jefferson County for allegedly causing a family friend to perform oral sex on him. "The complaining witness admits she was giving oral sex to someone but says she didn't know who and was really sleepy," according to his attorney.
· Advertiser Counts on Sheep to Pull Eyes Over the Wool. The latest low-technology billboards along highways in the Netherlands are startling enough to prompt motorists to indulge in U-turns. Or make that ewe-turns. These ads are walking, woolly flocks of sheep. Early this month, Hotels.nl, a Dutch online reservations company, began displaying its corporate logo on royal blue waterproof blankets worn by sheep.
· Illegal immigrants freed, still face uncertain futures. With no prospects for work in Mexico, Arturo Cuagtle figured he had two choices: turn to robbery or leave his family and emigrate north. "It was a necessity to leave them," Cuagtle said after his release Thursday afternoon. "It's hard in our country, and there's nothing else to do unless you rob someone, and it's more shameful to rob people than it is to be an immigrant."
· 'Loose Change Bandit' Sought In Florida. Police in Titusville, Fla., are searching for a man responsible for at least 20 burglaries in a community after a family's hidden camera catches the apparent thief breaking into their car for loose change.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
· Mexicans giving babies American names to fit in better. Mexicans are naming their babies Johnny and Leslie, so certain that their kids' future lies in the United States. Many families contend that giving their babies "American" names will help them fit in when they make the inevitable trip north.
· Actor Charlie Sheen denies abuse charges by ex-wife. Actor Charlie Sheen on Saturday denied charges from his estranged wife, actress Denise Richards, that he had been abusive toward her and their daughters and had threatened to kill her. Richards also alleged Sheen, son of actor Martin Sheen, abused prescription drugs, gambled compulsively, frequented prostitutes and liked to look at pornography on the Internet.
· "Baby bonus" turns into PR headache. It all started with a pre-election letter by Italy's prime minister to more than 600,000 newborns. "Best wishes for your arrival, do you know that the budget has put aside 1,000 euros for you? Big Kiss. Silvio Berlusconi," read the letter telling the parents of babies born in 2005 how to receive a 1,000 euro "baby bonus" from the state. Trouble is, the letter was sent in January to all families with a new-born, including immigrants, even though the cash bonus was meant only for Italian babies.
· Police: Man Kept Dead Mom For Social Security Checks. A 49-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion he kept his dead mother in her bed for several months while collecting her Social Security checks. The decomposing body of Vernice Bea was found inside a bedroom.
· 6 arrested in Alaska school shooting plot. Six middle school students in a small Alaska town were arrested Saturday on suspicion of plotting to bring guns and knives to school to kill their classmates and faculty. The seventh-graders wanted to seek revenge for being picked on by other students, Lindhag said.
· Al-Jazeera airs purported bin Laden tape. Parts of audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden aired Sunday on an Arabic-language TV network in which the al Qaeda leader attacks the West for cutting off funds to the Palestinian Hamas-led government.
· McDonald's goes upscale. Men in smart business suits ordered from a menu that included crispy chicken salads, roast beef and melted-cheese toasted sandwiches. Teenagers searched for the latest football news on internet terminals. But this is not just any upmarket cafe bar. With leather sofas and chrome tables, this is the latest incarnation of the UK operations of McDonald’s, the world’s biggest fast-food seller.
· Weak regulation fosters more abuse. Across the state of Washington, a Seattle Times investigation has found, health-care professionals have sexually abused hundreds of patients. As in other professions that are built on an imbalance of power and rely on trust — teaching, coaching, the clergy — some caregivers have violated that trust in ways that are shocking in their brazenness. But even more alarming is this: The state of Washington makes it easy for the abusers to get away with it again and again.
· Top 10 Windows XP Tips Of All Time. Here you'll find the tips that give you the most bang for your buck; that are most useful in terms of security, functionality, and PC performance; and that are just plain cool.
· Nagin, Landrieu Break Away From Crowded Field. Mayor Ray Nagin and Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu broke away from a crowded field in early returns from Saturday's first mayoral election since Hurricane Katrina, a tricky experiment of modern-day democracy that gave scattered evacuees a say in this battered city's future.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
· Mom Leaves Toddler In Hot Car To Discipline Child. Fort Collins police are investigating a possible case of child abuse after the toddler's mother said she placed her child in the car as punishment and the child wound up in the hospital.
· Work overtime, get a free T-shirt. Bankrupt Delta Air Lines has cut thousands of jobs, slashed salaries and considered abandoning its pilots' pension plan to stay in business. Now, the nation's No. 3 airline is asking some 50,000 employees to volunteer to clean aircraft at night on their own time. Their reward: a free T-shirt, reward points good for merchandise and a chance to show their pride in the airline.
· Passenger's Bomb Threat Diverts Flight. A man who claimed to have a bomb aboard a United Airlines flight was subdued by fellow passengers as the California-bound plane was diverted to Denver International Airport, airport officials said. Two F-16 fighter jets from Buckley Air Force Base scrambled to escort the plane as it flew into Denver Friday, according to Lt. Commander Sean Kelly, a spokesman for NORAD.
· Air Force One Subject of Internet Hoax. A startling Internet video that shows someone spraying graffiti on President Bush's jet looked so authentic that the Air Force wasn't immediately certain whether the plane had been targeted. It was all a hoax. No one actually sprayed the slogan "Still Free" on the cowling of Air Force One.
· Swimsuit model arrested for allegedly hitting flight attendant. Former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model May Andersen was arrested after allegedly becoming unruly and striking a flight attendant on a plane from Amsterdam to Miami, police said. Andersen, 23, of Denmark, continued being loud and violent after officers met Martinair Flight 643 on the ground Thursday, Miami-Dade Airport Police said.
· 'Chocolate city' votes for mayor today. The line was already 80 voters deep when the polls opened Saturday at the University of New Orleans as residents in the city's first election since Hurricane Katrina decided who should oversee the massive rebuilding effort that lies ahead.
· FBI Says 2 in Ga. Plotted Terrorism. A 21-year-old Georgia Tech student and another man traveled to Canada to meet with Islamic extremists to discuss "strategic locations in the United States suitable for a terrorist strike," according to an affidavit made public Friday.
· Duke rape defense will challenge IDs. Defense attorneys for two Duke University lacrosse players charged with rape are questioning the process by which the accuser identified her alleged attackers, a source close to the defense told CNN Friday. Under the procedure, the accuser was shown images of the team's 46 white players and told they were people police suspected were at the party, the source said. The defense will likely file a motion to suppress the identification because no pictures of non-team members were included in the presentation, the source said.
Friday, April 21, 2006
· Police: Boy killed bully, but his mother also should be charged. Tennessee police are urging prosecutors to press charges against the mother of an accused teen killer for allegedly telling him to stand up to his bullies. "I told my son, 'You cannot continue to run from bullies. You have to stand up for yourself if you want them to leave you alone,'" Tianna Onyebuagu said. Her son then hit the bully on the head with a rock.
· Teen Accused Of Stealing Judge's Gavel, Vandalizing Court Office. A judge has had enough of one 17-year-old. Cameron D. Wells, who was accused of vandalizing a court office and stealing a judge's gavel, repeatedly angered Circuit Court Judge Gene Schnelz with his behavior. On Wednesday, the judge sentenced Wells to 56 days in a county boot camp program on a larceny charge.
· Homeland Security grants spent on clowns and gyms. Fire departments are using Homeland Security grants to buy gym equipment, sponsor puppet and clown shows, and turn first responders into fitness trainers.
· Nothing new in Denise Richards complaint. In a searing court attack on Charlie Sheen, actress Denise Richards has alleged that her estranged husband is unstable, irrational, addicted to gambling, patronizes prostitutes, and visits pornographic web sites featuring girls who appear underage.
· Woman charged with blowing grandkids' cash. Lee Espinoza lost all of her morals the day of her son's funeral, said Charles Calvin, 31, one of Espinoza's sons. On April 22, 2003, the day Espinoza should have been mourning Spec. Roy Buckley's death in the Iraq war, she started a relationship with a general who spoke at Buckley's funeral, Calvin said. He said it went downhill from there. A month after Buckley was buried, Espinoza allegedly began spending the insurance money designated for Buckley's two daughters, racing through $250,000 in nine months on shopping sprees.
· 2nd stripper questions initial doubts of accuser. At first, a stripper who performed at a Duke University lacrosse team party doubted the story of a colleague who told police she was dragged into a bathroom and raped. Now, Kim Roberts isn’t so $ure.
· Southern Louisiana in a Severe Drought. Mother Nature has outdone herself with this cruel joke: Southern Louisiana, much of which was underwater not so long ago, is in the throes of a severe to extreme drought.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Venality [ve·nal·i·ty] n. 1. The condition of being susceptible to bribery or corruption. 2. The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain: "The venality of a corrupt court."
· Actor in 9/11 film denied entry to U.S. An Iraqi actor who plays a hijacker in a new film about the September 11 attacks on the United States has been denied entry into the country for the movie's premiere, he told a newspaper on Friday. Lewis Alsamari, who has lived in Britain since 1995, stars in "United 93," which premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York next week.
· Vanna White Gets Hollywood Walk Star. This time, it was Vanna White's turn to spell out a name her own. The longtime letter-turner on "Wheel of Fortune" was all smiles Thursday as she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
· Study: Distraction Behind Most Car Crashes. Those sleep-deprived, multitasking drivers — clutching cell phones, fiddling with their radios or applying lipstick — apparently are involved in an awful lot of crashes. Distracted drivers were involved in nearly eight out of 10 collisions or near-crashes, says a study released Thursday by the government.
· Woman to build house out of 747. A California woman is going ahead with the construction of a house made of elements from a 747 Jumbo jet. Francie Rehwald wanted her house to look "feminine", have curves and be eco-friendly. Her architect's answer was: "Let's use a 747!"
· "Hated" Julia Bows on Broadway. Well, maybe Oprah Winfrey liked her... The stars came out for Julia Roberts' Broadway debut Wednesday night. Unfortunately, for Roberts, so did the critics. "Brutal" would be too harsh a word to describe Roberts' reviews for the play Three Days of Rain; "bad" would not. Of the big-time New York papers, the New York Post's Clive Barnes extracted the most blood with just 10 words: "Hated the play. To be sadly honest, even hated her."
· TSA: Computer glitch led to Atlanta airport scare. A bomb scare that led authorities to evacuate security checkpoints at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Wednesday was the result of a "software malfunction," Transportation Security Administration Director Kip Hawley said. While screening carry-on luggage, a TSA employee identified the image of a suspicious device but did not realize it was part of routine testing for security screeners because the software failed to indicate such a test was under way, Hawley said.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
· Court: "Friends" writers' sex jokes not harassment. Sexually explicit jokes and off-color language by writers of the hit TV comedy series "Friends" did not create a hostile work environment, the California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
· As expected: Lawsuits Filed Over Eye Infections. A Miami attorney is seeking class-action status for a lawsuit blaming Bausch & Lomb for a painful eye fungus he says permanently scarred the cornea of a woman who used its contact lens solution.
· Texas tired of caring for evacuees. Seven months after two powerful hurricanes blew through the Gulf Coast, elected officials, law enforcement agencies and many residents say Texas is nearing the end of its ability to play good neighbor without compensation. Houston is straining along its municipal seams from the 150,000 new residents from New Orleans, officials say. Houston police say that evacuees were victims or suspects in two-thirds of the 30 percent increase in murders since September.
· 8-Year-Old Steals Teacher's Keys, Takes Joyride. He's being called the youngest car thief in Modesto's history. Police say an 8-year-old boy took the keys to his teacher's minivan out of her purse, walked out of class and drove home safely after school Monday.
· Yard Sign Says Man Will Pay For Virgin Child Bride. A man is causing an uproar in his rural southwestern Oklahoma town by advertising that he'd like to pay for a young virgin to be his bride. Michael Theleman, 45, said he doesn't understand the problem and thinks he just has some wicked neighbors.
· Florida Lottery Winner Shot By Deputy. A 54-year-old former lottery winner was shot by Seminole County, Fla., sheriff's deputies early Thursday as officers searched his property for a car theft suspect.
· Lower Tuition For Illegal Immigrants Approved. A key Minnesota House panel on Wednesday ignored a plea from Gov. Tim Pawlenty and approved lower tuition rates for college students living illegally in the United States. No one on the House Ways and Means Committee attempted to strip the provision from a higher education bill, even though Pawlenty sent a letter of opposition.
· Priest Confesses To Killing Pregnant Lover On Easter. A Mexican priest admitted strangling his pregnant lover after Easter Mass last Sunday. A state attorney general said the Rev. Cesar Torres confessed to killing a 22-year-old woman at his parish on Mexico City's eastern outskirts.
· Man offers free breast exams. 76-year-old Philip Winikoff was arrested this morning and charged with sexual battery after he posed as a doctor and went door-to-door - black doctor's bag in hand - offering women free breast exams.
· Hundreds seized in immigration raids. Federal immigration authorities rounded up more than 1,000 illegal immigrants at dozens of sites and charged nine individuals of the firm that employed them, federal law enforcement officials announced. Seven current and former managers of IFCO Systems.
· Attorneys: Photos Will Exonerate Players. NBC has obtained exclusive photos that defense lawyers for the Duke University lacrosse players feel will exonerate their clients of rape charges. Dan Abrams, a Duke graduate and former lawyer who now hosts "The Abrams Report" on MSNBC, said he has copies of a series of photos lacrosse team players said they took at the party.
· Paul Allen's world: Pipelines, insurance, and maybe bankruptcy. One of the world's richest men has become one of the neediest. Paul Allen's St. Louis cable company is $20 billion in the hole — equal almost to his personal worth—and he's hinting at bankruptcy again for another of his corporations, the Portland Trail Blazers. No matter that he is a Texas oilman who captains the world's biggest yacht and fields a Super Bowl football team, Allen may end up asking forgiveness from debtors and for more manna from taxpayers.
· U.S. lawmakers: Don't use Israeli bullets. Israeli-made bullets recently purchased by the U.S. Army should be used for training only, not to fight Muslim guerrillas in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. lawmakers told Army generals.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
· 'World's unsexiest man' named. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the voice of the Aflac duck in television commercials for the insurer, was crowned "unsexiest man in the world" by an alternative newspaper Tuesday.
· Too little, too late? The Montgomery, Ala. City Coucil has a message for late civil rights icon Rosa Parks and other blacks who were mistreated in Montgomery during the 1950s: We're sorry. The majority-white council voted unanimously Tuesday to make a formal apology to Parks, who died in October.
· Bankruptcy threatens gay pride parade. The Ottawa annual gay pride parade is in limbo after members of its organizing committee admitted it is "effectively bankrupt" and needs $25,000 or more from the city to stay afloat. The Ottawa-Gatineau Pride committee says it can't pay back its estimated $187,000 debt unless it gets more funding to run the annual festival and parade.
· Key Evidence Supports Alibi in Potential Rape Defense for One Indicted Duke Player. For Duke University sophomore lacrosse players Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, a long legal battle has just begun. But a look at the evidence behind one player's alleged alibi includes electronic records, photographs and witness statements dispute the DA's charges.
· FOX News' Tony Snow Among Possible White House Spokesman Candidates. With a few personnel shifts going on in the White House, there's speculation that presidential spokesman Scott McClellan may be looking to step down. One of the people the White House has approached as a possible replacement for McClellan is FOX News Radio host Tony Snow.
· Vegas Attack Likely Part Of 2-Day Terror Spree. Authorities in Las Vegas believe the brutal beating of a 22-year-old casino worker caught on surveillance tape may have been part of two days of terror inflicted by the same thugs throughout the Las Vegas metro area.
· Mexico Harsh to Illegal Immigrants. Considered felons by the Mexican government, these migrants from Central America fear detention, rape and robbery. Mexican police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers simply take their money. And though Mexico demands humane treatment for its citizens who migrate to the U.S., regardless of their legal status, Mexico provides few protections for migrants on its own soil.
· Eddie Murphy and Wife Officially Kaput. Over the past 48 hours, Eddie Murphy's marriage officially timed out. The Nutty Professor star's divorce from wife Nicole Murphy was made final Monday in Los Angeles, according to court papers.
· Judge: Doctors not required to report teen sex. In a victory for an abortion rights group, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that abortion clinic doctors and other professionals are not required under Kansas law to report underage sex between consenting youths.
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.
· TSA Uniform Mysteriously Appears In Woman's Luggage. An airline passenger who arrived in Florida from New Jersey opened her suitcase and found a uniform belonging to a Transportation Security Administration officer. Debra Sanders found the TSA uniform folded and packed with her items.
· Cruise, Holmes welcome daughter Suri. Actor Tom Cruise and his fiance, actress Katie Holmes, welcomed the birth of a daughter on Tuesday, according to Cruise's publicist. They named the girl Suri, which "has its origins in Hebrew, meaning 'princess,' or in Persian, meaning 'red rose,' " Cruise spokesman Paul Bloch said.
· Brian Grazer Files for Legal Separation. Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer has filed for legal separation from his wife of eight years, novelist Gigi Levangie-Grazer. In documents filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Grazer cited irreconcilable differences and asked for joint custody of their sons, 2-year-old Patrick and 6-year-old Thomas. Grazer's collaboration with director Ron Howard earned them a best picture Oscar in 2002 for "A Beautiful Mind."
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
· 72-Year-Old Woman Fights Attacker, Wins. A 72-year-old woman fought back when a man tried to steal her car. Police said the woman was leaving a shoe store in Bristol, Bucks County, when a man - allegedly 43-year-old Robert Gilman - attacked her and grabbed her car keys. "She grabbed him, threw him out of the car and started beating on him."
· Mexico criticizes Georgia's new anti-immigrant law. The Mexican government slammed a newly approved immigrant enforcement law in the U.S. state of Georgia, saying the legislation discriminates against Mexicans while failing to resolve the migration issue.
· Ben & Jerry's ex-CFO jailed for embezzling. A former executive at premium ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's was sentenced to more than two years in prison for embezzling nearly $300,000 from the company to pay for vacations, car repairs and clothing, authorities said on Tuesday.
· Jackson Molestation Lawsuit Thrown Out. A lawsuit filed against Michael Jackson by a Louisiana man who claimed the singer molested him over 20 years ago was thrown out by a federal judge on Thursday.
· Judge: Part of Spelling Case May Continue. A judge has dismissed the defamation portion of a lawsuit filed by Aaron Spelling against his former nurse, but allowed the TV producer to pursue a breach-of-contract accusation. Spelling, 83, and his wife in November sued the nurse, Charlene Richards, and her attorney for $5 million for allegedly violating a confidentiality agreement and spreading rumors that Spelling sexually harassed her. Richards, 56, later filed a sexual harassment suit against the producer that alleged he asked her to have sex with him and "dress like a hooker."
· You may be driving with Jimmy Hoffa. The convicted killer known as "The Iceman" contends in an upcoming biography that he killed Jimmy Hoffa. Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski gave author Philip Carlo what he claimed were graphic details of the infamous, unsolved killing of the union boss, including stuffing the corpse in the trunk of a car that was sold as scrap metal. "He’s part of a car somewhere right now," Kuklinski says in the book.
· Duke Lacrosse Players Arrested. Authorities arrested two 20-year-old Duke University lacrosse players early Tuesday on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree forcible rape and kidnapping, a jail official said. Durham police arrested Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, said Col. George Naylor of the Durham County jail.
· This man likes his sandwiches hot. A man in Uniontown, Pa., was arrested for allegedly beating his girlfriend to death with a microwave oven after she refused to heat up his sandwiches. After Walter S. Fordyce, 58, failed to find a neighbor to call 911, he returned home and checked Mary McCann's pulse. When he realized she was dead, he went downstairs and drank a beer.
· Mississippi senators’ rail plan challenged. Mississippi's two U.S. senators included $700 million in an emergency war spending bill to relocate a Gulf Coast rail line that has already been rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina at a cost of at least $250 million.
· "Die Hard" director pleads guilty in wiretap case. A somber "Die Hard" director John McTiernan stood before a federal judge and said he made "knowingly false" statements to an FBI agent about Anthony Pellicano, the celebrity private eye he admitted hiring to wiretap a business associate.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pugnacious [pug·na·cious] adj. 1. Quarrelsome or combative in nature; belligerent. 2. Expressing an argument or opinion very forcefully: Rather than maintaining a calm demeanor, his boss was quite pugnacious.
· Gay man wins Internet fight vs. Falwell. A gay New Yorker won a big Supreme Court victory yesterday in his Internet battle against Moral Majority founder the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Christopher Lamparello, 36, won the right to keep his fallwell.com site, which criticizes Falwell's views on homosexuality - and often snares Web surfers looking for the reverend's online ministry at falwell.com.
· Tom Cruise walks out during interview. Tom Cruise has been sitting down with a lot of reporters lately — but one recent chat didn’t go so well. The “Mission Impossible” star walked out of an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet Söndag after the conversation turned to Scientology and his ex-wife, Nicole Kidman. The conversation was all smiles until reporter Björn Benkow insisted that experts say that dyslexia cannot be cured by Scientology as Cruise has claimed. There was an awkward pause, then Cruise burst into laughter. “I’m going to, in any case, admit that you have the courage of a madman,” according to our translator.
· A Pileup of Charges in the Case of the Totaled Ferrari. Los Angeles prosecutors filed embezzlement, grand theft, drunk driving and weapons charges Monday against a former European video game executive, whose involvement in the crash of a rare Ferrari Enzo in Malibu two months ago has mushroomed into a case filled with international intrigue.
· Muslim newspaper to launch in Canada. The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada plans to publish a new national newspaper in four cities on Tuesday, spurred in part by the controversy over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
· Ex-professor pleads guilty to aiding Islamic Jihad. Former university professor Sami al-Arian has pleaded guilty to aiding the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad and agreed to be deported, according to documents made public on Monday by a U.S. court in Florida. Al-Arian and three co-defendants were arrested in 2003 and charged with helping the group carry out attacks in Israel. In December, a federal jury found al-Arian not guilty on eight charges and failed to reach a verdict on nine others after a six-month trial.
· Terrorists Recruiting 'White Muslims.' Terrorists have been working to recruit non-Arab sympathizers - so-called "white Muslims" with Western features who theoretically could more easily blend into European cities and execute attacks - according to classified intelligence documents obtained by The Associated Press.
· NYC Transit Union Fined $2.5 Million For Illegal Strike. A judge on Monday fined the union representing bus and subway workers $2.5 million for the illegal strike that shut down the city's mass transit system for three days just before Christmas. The union president, Roger Toussaint, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for criminal contempt.
· New Orleans mayoral hopefuls face off. Mayor Ray Nagin sought Monday during a nationally televised debate to stake his claim as the leader who weathered Hurricane Katrina. “I’ve been here, and I have a plan,” he said during the closing of the mayoral debate hosted by MSNBC.
· Springsteen begins tour next month in Boston. Bruce Springsteen has scheduled 18 U.S. tour dates in support of his folk album, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions," which comes out next Tuesday.
· Georgia governor signs sweeping immigration law. The state of Georgia approved a sweeping measure on Monday to crack down on illegal immigrants and the people who hire them as a passionate debate on immigration heats up in the U.S. The law could fuel a national controversy as the federal government and other states consider how to deal with millions of undocumented workers.
· Ex-Tour Manager in R.I. Fire Plans Apology. The former rock band tour manager who ignited pyrotechnics that started a deadly nightclub fire in 2003 has written personalized letters of apology to relatives of all 100 people who were killed.
· Jury convicts stepfather in rape case. In the 1990s, John Goff and his wife campaigned for a tougher state rape law - and they got it. Today, the same Ohio man was convicted of rape, sexual battery, and child endangerment of his 16-year-old stepdaughter.
Monday, April 17, 2006
· Two Duke lacrosse players indicted. A defense attorney has confirmed to ESPN that two Duke University lacrosse players have been indicted in the case of a stripper who accused team members of sexual assault at a team party. A grand jury adjourned for two weeks Monday without issuing any public indictments against members of the team. However, Superior Court Judge Ronald Stephens filed a court paper stating that he had sealed an indictment, after the grand jury had left for the day and issued its list.
· Moussaoui Mocks His Own Defense. Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui suffered a traumatic childhood that transformed him from a boy with a sense of humor who made friends easily to a man who spurned his family and embraced radical Islam, a defense witness testified Monday.
· Game Pulled From Stores After Man Finds Racy Picture. A Volusia County grandfather thought he was just buying a game of checkers for his grandson, but when he opened it up he found much more than just a game board. He found a very racy picture.
· Restaurant sales plummet after lobbyist gift ban. Florida Restaurants are struggling to adapt to a new social order forced by a recently enacted law prohibiting legislators, staff members and other government officials from accepting free meals and gifts from lobbyists.
· State says roadside memorial to drunken driving victim must go. The state Department of Transportation says a roadside memorial to a young woman killed by a drunken driver must go by the end of the month.
· School Makes Kids Use Buckets for Toilets. A principal trying to prevent walkouts during immigration rallies inadvertently introduced a lockdown so strict that children weren't allowed to go to the bathroom, and instead had to use buckets in the classroom.
· Woman accused of acid attack at wedding. An Albany woman was accused of crashing a Sudanese wedding party early Sunday and splashing people with a glass bottle full of acid, injuring six people, authorities said. Of those injured, two firefighters were burned when their latex gloves melted as they tried to treat the others splashed with the substance. "Acid thrown in someone's face is pretty unique," said firefighter Darren Marino. "You gotta be pretty twisted."
· New Orleans woman runs for mayor of Disneyland. Kimberly Williamson Butler is running for mayor of New Orleans, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her web site. Butler has been superimposed over an idyllic image of the French Quarter on her stump site. The image, however, seems a bit too idyllic - what with the perfectly clean streets, and tourists outfitted with fanny-packs. And, in fact, Butler isn't in New Orleans at all. She's pictured in what appears to be Disneyland's New Orleans Square.
· Academic progress: Minorities too stupid to count? States are helping public schools escape potential penalties by skirting the No Child Left Behind law's requirement that students of all races must show annual academic progress. With the federal government's permission, schools aren't counting the test scores of nearly 2 million students when they report progress by racial groups. Minorities - who historically haven't fared as well as whites in testing - make up the vast majority of students whose scores are being excluded. Among the student groups whose tests aren't being counted include Hispanics in California who don't speak English well, and blacks in the Chicago suburbs, according to the Associated Press.
· Testimony: Dead Homeless Man Treated Like Trophy. A relative of a homeless man beaten to death by "bored" Central Florida teens told a judge Monday that her cousin's body was treated like a trophy after the attack during testimony in the first day of the boys' sentencing hearing.
· Former Gov. Ryan Found Guilty in Corruption Trial. Former Gov. George Ryan, who drew international praise when he commuted the sentences of everyone on Illinois' death row, was convicted of racketeering and fraud Monday in a corruption scandal that ended his political career. Ryan, 72, faces up to 20 years in prison.
· Suicide Bomber Kills 9 at Tel Aviv Eatery. A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up outside a fast-food restaurant in a bustling area of Tel Aviv during the Passover holiday Monday, killing nine other people and wounding dozens in the deadliest Palestinian attack in more than a year. The new Palestinian government, led by Hamas, called the attack a legitimate response to Israeli "aggression."
· Easter Bunny jailed after Edison Mall brawl. The Easter Bunny was not the lovable cuddly rabbit everyone has come to know this weekend at Edison Mall in Fort Myers. This Easter Bunny, also known as Arthur McClure, 22, stands accused of punching a woman in the back of the head at an Easter photo set at the mall.
· Poisoned wife predicted her death. About two weeks before her death, Julie C. Jensen went to a neighbor, shaking and crying, and handed over a sealed envelope. If anything happened to her, she said, he should give it to police. In the note, the 40-year-old woman said "I pray I'm wrong + nothing happens ... but I am suspicious of Mark's suspicious behaviors + fear for my demise."
· Tax day: It could be a lot worse. Believe it or not, Americans enjoy some of the lowest income tax rates in the world. Today of all days, it might not seem so. “When you look at the overall tax burden, the U.S. is quite low," said Eric Toder, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., and former director of the office of research for the Internal Revenue Service.
· Man Ticketed For Changing Red Lights To Green. A Longmont, Colorado man has been ticketed $50 for suspicion of interfering with a traffic signal but says he really enjoyed using it. Jason Niccum told The Longmont Times-Call that he bought a device, called an Opticon, on eBay for $100 that let him change traffic lights from red to green. He told the newspaper the device "paid for itself" in the two years he had it, helping him cut his time driving to work.
· Registered Sex Offenders Found Shot To Death. Two registered sex offenders were shot to death Sunday in their homes in Maine. The state has taken down the Maine Sex Offender Registry Web site as a precaution. The site contains the photos, names and addresses of more than 2,200 registered sex offenders. The victims were a 57-year-old man from Milo and a 24-year-old man from Corinth.
· Children hurt during money drop at Mich. game. Two children were injured in a scramble to grab cash being dropped from a helicopter as part of a promotion after a minor league baseball game. About $1,000 in cash was dropped Saturday from the helicopter over Fifth Third Ballpark's outfield as children lined the outfield fence.
· Man Trading Up From Paper Clip to House. Kyle MacDonald had a red paper clip and a dream: Could he use the community power of the Internet to barter that paper clip for something better, and trade that thing for something else — and so on and so on until he had a house?
· Iranians volunteer for "martyrdom missions." Some 200 Iranians have volunteered to carry out "martyrdom missions" against U.S. and British interests if Iran is attacked over its nuclear program, a hardline group said on Sunday.
· Jolie reportedly to have baby in Namibia. A local governor in Namibia said Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt told him they will have their baby in his country and are considering giving the child a Namibian name.
· Baghdad postmen pine for days of vicious dogs. In a city where virtually nothing works and where anyone in uniform is as likely to shoot you as to help you, Faiq Mahmoud still makes his daily postal round. “I yearn for the good old days, when all a postman in Baghdad had to fear was someone’s mad dog,” Mahmoud said.
· Suspect blogged about cannibalism. The man accused of killing a 10-year-old neighbor girl had kept an online diary where he joked about cannibalism, wrote about the effects of not taking his anti-depression medication, his "dangerously weird fantasies" and said he'd be locked up if anyone knew what he was thinking. But Kevin Ray's shocked mother says he was "a wonderful boy."
· Neil Young sets his sights on Bush. He is country rock's biggest icon, and he is angry. Recorded in secret, his forthcoming album savages the war in Iraq. Not only has he recorded an entire album about the conflict, but in one of the songs he spells out who he thinks is to blame for the ongoing chaos and violence and what the consequences for that person should be. That track is called "Impeach the President."
· Crude Oil Price Hits $70 a Barrel in Asia. Crude oil futures hit $70 a barrel for the first time in seven-and-a-half months Monday, lifted by concerns over declining gasoline stocks in the U.S., supply disruptions in Nigeria and tension over Iran's nuclear program - the highest since Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf coast.
· Cons say they made Teflon Don crawl. Mob don John Gotti struck a deal with the murderous Aryan Brotherhood to protect him behind bars, but when he reneged, they forced him to "crawl back," a gang snitch told the feds. Gotti ultimately wound up paying "large sums of money" to the Brotherhood to ensure his safety in the federal prison at Marion, Ill., according to one of several key prosecution documents in a case against the group.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
· Tax Law Authors Have Pros Do Their Returns. Many lawmakers who sit on the tax-writing committees in Congress hire professional preparers to fill out their tax returns, rather than try to decipher by themselves the laws they’ve written.
· Jesse Jackson comes to rescue of stripper. The 27-year-old stripper, a student at North Carolina Central University, told police she and another woman were hired to strip dance at a team party. The woman told police that three men at the party dragged her into a bathroom and raped her March 13. No one has been charged in the case, but the allegations have rocked the community. Jesse Jackson has yet to speak with the woman, but said his group pledged to pay for her tuition even if her story proves false.
· Celeb Tax Perks: Can Nelly Deduct His Grillz? Here's a mouthful: Several tax experts agree that Nelly's bejeweled teeth — celebrated in the hit "Grillz" — should be treated as a business expense and be deducted on the rapper's income tax return. Because of the unique nature of their work, entertainers often claim deductions that most other people wouldn't try getting away with. In many cases, costly costumes, high-priced personal trainers, and even plastic surgery can be written off as a cost of doing business.
· Immigration March Won't Get Boy Scouts Merit Badge. The Boy Scouts from Salt Lake City were trying to earn merit badges for "Citizenship in the Community" by marching in last week's immigration demonstrations. But the Boy Scouts of America said that's a violation of the organization's policy against involvement in political events.
· Firefighters Find Secret Stash In Basement. Firefighters dousing a fire in a new home were confused when the man they thought was the owner suddenly left - until they found $700,000 worth of marijuana plants in the basement, officials said.
· Chad seeks $100M to keep up oil production. Chad’s oil minister said on Saturday he wanted a U.S.-led oil consortium to pay at least $100 million by Tuesday to circumvent a World Bank freeze on oil profits or else crude production would be halted.
· Mexico Says More Kids Crossing Illegally. The number of children deported from Arizona after U.S. agents caught them crossing the border illegally or found them in the desert more than doubled in the first three months of 2006, Mexico's Interior Department said on Friday.
· The tank runneth over for Exxon boss. Exxon Mobil's former chairman Lee Raymond drove off into the sunset earlier this year with a staggering $356 million retirement package - leaving motorists fuming. The price of a gallon of gas surged to more than $3 last summer as Exxon broke all corporate records with $36 billion in profits. A trip to the gas pumps is expected to be even more expensive this summer.
· As NYU student lay dying, they just 'laughed.' Four Harlem teens charged with chasing a New York University student to his death stood laughing as the 20-year-old was struck by a car, thrown into the air and lay dying in the street, prosecutors said yesterday.
· Priest faces trial in nun’s stabbing death. A 68-year-old Catholic priest goes on trial Monday in the stabbing death of a nun whose body was found covered by an altar cloth in a chapel 26 years ago.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
· Weather Channel Crew Arrested In Tennessee. Authorities in Tennessee arrested a Weather Channel crew for allegedly refusing to leave the property of a woman killed by a tornado. The three-member team was believed to be videotaping on the property of Sherry Bruce, who died when storms struck the area.
· Mom Who Let Daughters Have Sex With Lawyer Pleads Guilty. A woman who let her two underage daughters have sex with a wealthy lawyer for money pleaded guilty Thursday to endangering the welfare of a child. The 38-year-old woman, in exchange for a sentence of 90 days in jail, admitted that when her daughters were young teens she let them have paid sex with James P. Colliton, 42, a lawyer formerly at the prestigious Manhattan firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
· Update: Los Angeles Transit Worker Dies Just After Retiring. Less than a month after retiring on his 100th birthday, longtime Los Angeles County transit employee Arthur Winston died in his sleep, his family said Friday.
· Thief spills gas while siphoning, uses lighter to check wetness. A teenage boy accidentally set himself on fire early Wednesday morning after allegedly trying to siphon gas from a firefighter's car. The boy was taken to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns on his legs.
· Court Slaps L.A. Over Arrests of Homeless. Los Angeles' policy of arresting homeless people for sitting, lying or sleeping on public sidewalks as "an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter" violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, an appeals court ruled.
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.
· 'Offensive' Asian Easter Cards Pulled From Store Shelves. Some controversial Easter greetings cards being sold at Target stores in Florida and across the country are being removed from the shelves after members of San Diego's Asian community complained they were offensive.
· Republicans plan anti-Reid ads on Spanish-language radio. Ads criticizing Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid for "playing politics" with immigration reform legislation are scheduled to air on Spanish-language radio stations in four Western cities with large Hispanic populations next week. "Reid's Democrat allies voted to treat millions of hardworking immigrants as felons," the ad says, "while President Bush and Republican leaders work for legislation that will protect our borders and honor our immigrants."
· Dick Cheney overpaid income taxes; gets refund check. The White House released the 2005 tax return filed by Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne. According to the return, the Cheneys have overpaid their taxes this year and are entitled to a refund of about $1.9 million. Their adjusted gross income was about $8.82 million.
· Elementary Students Expelled After Prank On Teacher Backfires. Two 10-year-old girls in Pasadena, Texas, were expelled from their elementary school Thursday and are facing serious charges after a dangerous prank backfired, KPRC-TV reported. Pasadena Independent School District officials said two fifth-grade Bailey Elementary School students put a white powder into their teacher's water cup on Monday.
Friday, April 14, 2006
· Update: Elderly Woman's Jaywalk Ticket Draws Outrage. Mayvis Coyle got more than just a $114 jaywalking ticket for taking too long to cross a busy street. With the 82-year-old woman's fine has come international celebrity - she has camera crews showing up at her home, invitations to appear on television and support from around the world. "I didn't want all this publicity," Coyle said Thursday. "But I'm not objecting to being used if it gets the lights changed and gets respect for the elderly."
· CEOs say how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character. How others treat the CEO says nothing, they say. But how others treat the waiter is like a magical window into the soul. Be beware of anyone who pulls out the power card to say something like, "I could buy this place and fire you," or "I know the owner and I could have you fired." Those who say such things have revealed more about their character than about their wealth and power.
· Eminem Pays Tribute to Dead Rapper. Eminem has praised rapper Proof, who was shot dead earlier this week, for his "guidance and encouragement," calling him "my best friend," in a posting on his Web site. Police said Proof fired the first bullet inside the nightclub, touching off a shootout that ended his life. The bullet hit Keith Bender, 35, in the head, critically injuring him, police said.
· 'Free TV for every home' - even those with no electricity. India's voters are used to being wooed through their wallets but one party's offer of a "free color TV set for every household" has excited the interest of even the most sceptical.
· In Mexico, 'nothing gringo on May 1.' "The Great American Boycott" is spreading south of the border, as activists call for Mexicans to boycott U.S. businesses on May 1. The protest is timed to coincide with a May 1 boycott of work and shopping in the United States that also has been dubbed "A Day Without Immigrants." Ironically, the protest targets the U.S. business community, which is one of the strongest supporters of legalization or guest-worker programs.
· Another teacher arrested on sex charges - with a twist. A teacher in Coffeeville, Ala., has been charged with having sex with at least four students from Coffeeville High School, involving at least one of them in a plot to kill her husband, police said. Sharon Linton Rutherford, 30, was arrested in connection with the accusations, according to police.
· High School Speaker: "Republicans hate Latinos." Tucson, AZ High School brought in a pro-immigrant political speaker to do a 40-minute speech to about 2700 students. Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union, told the group that "Republicans hate Latinos." The students had been told they could go to the assembly or the library, but the library was locked.
· Apple Sends 3rd Grader Cease And Desist Letter. Like any nine-year-old, Shea O'Gorman spends a lot of time listening to her iPod Nano. So much so, that when her third grade class started learning about writing letters she thought, who better to write to than the man whose company makes her iPod. “I decided to write to Mr. Steven Jobs,” said Shea. Jobs is the president of Apple Computers. Her response 3-months later? A letter from Apple's legal department telling her Apple does not accept unsolicited ideas, and not to send any more.
· Bizarre cat rescue continues in New York. An unusual rescue attempt resumed today in Greenwich Village. It involves a kitten named Molly who has been trapped inside a deli wall for nearly two weeks. Engineers from the city's building department and animal care and control have been working 13 days to save the cat.
· Vegas judge faces complaint for cuffing defendant's girlfriend. Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge George Assad was hit Thursday with a Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission complaint for having the girlfriend of a traffic court defendant handcuffed and held for nearly three hours when he didn't show up for a hearing.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Anecdotal [an·ec·dot·al] adj. Based on casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis: "There is anecdotal evidence that the stock will soon double in price."
· AOL Censors Email Tax Opponents. Opponents of AOL's proposed email tax - which will charge $0.025 to "guarantee delivery" of email to AOL customers - are being censored by AOL, which is blocking emails containing the URL dearaol.com, an activist site for people who want to petition AOL to reconsider its actions. [Update: AOL has since corrected their "mistake."]
· Fake MySpace Page Created To Attack Teacher. Students in Coon Rapids, Minn., are believed to be behind a fake MySpace.com Web page that included shots of child porn, apparently created to damage the reputation of a teacher.
· IRS Agent Accused of Fraud and Tax Evasion. An IRS agent is indicted on charges he helped a real estate developer avoid taxes and failed to pay taxes on $336,000 he embezzled. The seven-count indictment against Bohdan Senyszyn of Roxbury Township was announced yesterday.
· 'I'm glad their families suffer... I wish they'd suffer more.' Zacarias Moussaoui scoffed yesterday at the 9/11 families who broke down as they told their tragic stories in court, mocking their grief as "disgusting." saying he has "no remorse" for 9/11 and only regrets more Americans weren't slaughtered in the terror attacks.
· Grand jury investigating whether Bonds committed perjury. Barry Bonds could be facing bigger problems than baseball's probe into his alleged past steroid use. A federal grand jury is investigating whether Bonds committed perjury when he testified in 2003 that he never used steroids, a person with knowledge of the probe told The Associated Press.
· From the not-so-shocking-news department: Tom says Katie's a Scientologist, too. Despite Katie Holmes' Catholic upbringing, there will be no baptism for the first fruit of her labor. "You can be Catholic and be a Scientologist. You can be Jewish and be a Scientologist," Tom Cruise - movie star and male half of the relationship otherwise known as TomKat - told Diane Sawyer in an interview scheduled to air Friday on ABC's Primetime. "But we're just Scientologists."
Thursday, April 13, 2006
· Police: Duke stripper 'passed-out drunk.' A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by members of Duke University's lacrosse team was described as "just passed-out drunk" by one of the first police officers to see her, according to a recording of radio traffic released by Durham police on Thursday and obtained by The Associated Press.
· A 15-Year-Old Girl Served Alcohol on Cruise Ship Falls Overboard. Paul O'Brien says his 15-year-old daughter Lynsey was served several drinks on their cruise vacation. In just 90 minutes, Lynsey had consumed at least a dozen drinks — including "Sex on the Beach" and other vodka cocktails, according to the charges on the tab. A short time later, Lynsey fell overboard.
· Comedy Central: Jesus fair game, but don't go after Muhammad. Banned by Comedy Central from showing an image of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the creators of "South Park" skewered their own network for hypocrisy in the cartoon's most recent episode. The comedy - in an episode aired during Holy Week for Christians - instead featured an image of Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush and the American flag.
· Offensive algebra problem sparks controversy at community college. To prepare for an upcoming exam, students at a Washington state college last month were given a sample test that contained an algebra problem involving someone named "Condoleezza," watermelons, and a federal building. The practice test was distributed to students in an algebra class at Bellevue Community College, and has triggered an uproar at the school.
· Kennedy gets hammered at business meeting. U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy was hit in the face with a hammer when an entrepreneur, demonstrating shock absorption, accidentally sent the hammer's head flying at Kennedy mouth. Kennedy received six stitches in his bottom lip after the incident on Wednesday during an economic development meeting, his spokeswoman said.
· Funeral director fakes death to avoid paying bills. A funeral home director has confessed to faking his own death to get out of paying child support and student loans. Allen Kirk Wolford, 45, admitted to forging his death certificate, according to court documents released Wednesday.
· Update: Five killed as India tech hub buries film icon. Police opened fire in India's technology hub on Thursday, killing four people as tens of thousands of fans mourning the death of a film icon torched vehicles and attacked company offices. An officer was earlier beaten to death as film actor Rajkumar's cortege made its way through the streets of Bangalore.
· TSA officer charged in boy's kidnap attempt. Authorities in Idaho say they aren’t sure of the true identity of a Transportation Security Administration officer charged with attempting to kidnap a 10-year-old boy because they found personal identification documents — including Social Security numbers — for five separate individuals in his possession.
· Oprah: Wealth Is 'A Good Thing.' Oprah Winfrey is a rich woman – and she's got no problem with that. Winfrey, 52, who is reportedly worth more than $1 billion, said she doesn't feel guilty about her wealth. "I have a closet full of shoes and it's a good thing."
· Woman Dies After Riding Epcot Ride. A 49-year-old woman died Wednesday, a day after becoming ill after riding "Mission: Space" at Walt Disney World's — the second death in less than a year related to the Epcot ride so intense that it has motion sickness bags and several riders have been treated for chest pain.
· Florida's Latest Problem: Pythons. Florida's latest problem is roughly the circumference of a telephone pole. It's the Burmese python. "Last year, we caught 95 pythons," said Skip Snow, a biologist with Florida Everglades National Park. That's not counting the 13-footer that exploded after trying to eat an alligator, or two others that got loose and ate a Siamese cat and a turkey.
· Grandson Arrested After 6 Found Slain In Pa. Home. Police arrested a man Thursday in connection with the killing of six relatives in his grandmother's home. Jessie D. Wise, 21, has been charged with homicide in connection with the deaths of six of his family members.
· Ruling will force meds for man on death row. A Texas judge who stopped the execution of a mentally ill man from Denver has ruled the inmate should be forced to take anti-psychotic medication that would make him well enough to be executed.
» Flashback: Hollywood Boulevard's Price of Fame. Those who want to be memorialized on the Walk have to pay $15,000 for the honor. There has been much ado about the oft-bewildering list of those with Walk of Fame stars versus those without. Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Redford, and Julia Roberts don't have stars - while David Spade, Pee Wee Herman, Pat Sajak, Ryan Seacrest, Leeza Gibbons, and now Winnie the Pooh do.
· Pervs get a break. Some 4,000 convicted sex offenders should be dropped from the Megan's Law list and left free to live wherever they want without their addresses being made available to the public, a federal judge ruled yesterday.
· Texas Suspends Public Intoxication Stings. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is suspending a program that's been sending undercover officers into drinking establishments. More than 2,000 bar patrons or workers have been arrested or issued citations since August in a program aimed at cutting down on drunken driving. It's based on laws against public drunkenness, even inside bars.
· Officer Considers Legal Action Against McKinney. The top police union official was in Washington today, urging the police officer who was involved in a run-in with Rep. Cynthia McKinney D-Ga. to take legal action against the congresswoman.
· FEMA's Solution: Raise New Orleans Homes 3 Feet. A long-awaited government recommendation on New Orlean's flood danger calls for thousands of homes and businesses in areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina be raised at least 3 feet.
· Wal-Mart Sues 'Wal-ocaust' T-Shirt Seller. Wal-Mart has filed a federal lawsuit over a warped version of its logo appearing on T-shirts and on a Web site with the word "Wal-ocaust" in blue over an Iron Eagle clutching a yellow smiley face.
· A tale of hope gets a jarring new chapter. A homeless, 22-year-old, illegal immigrant from Mexico was found secretly living inside a Twin Cities high school last year. Francisco Javier Serrano's story captivated the news media there and moved a wealthy developer to provide him with money, an immigration attorney, and a rent-free apartment overlooking downtown Minneapolis. Ultimately, immigration officials ordered Serrano back to Mexico. Then, two weeks ago, a tenant in Boston's North End heard a sound inside his apartment. A man with a knife had broken in. The tenant struck the intruder with a kitchen pan, and police responded to find Serrano and the tenant in a struggle, authorities said.
· Man Sentenced For Taking Money From Elderly Amish Man In Sex Scam. A man was sentenced to four years in prison for helping to extort $67,000 from an elderly Amish widower in exchange for keeping quiet about his solicitation of a prostitute.
· NASCAR to reprimand Biffle's girlfriend. Greg Biffle's girlfriend faces a reprimand from NASCAR about her pit-road confrontation with Kurt Busch's fiance after the two drivers wrecked at Texas Motor Speedway.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
· 'Sex Teacher' Arrested For Blog; Contacting Victim. A former teacher in Tennessee who was jailed for having sex with an underage student is in trouble again. Pamela Rogers was in a Warren County courtroom on Wednesday. Authorities say the 28-year-old woman may have committed several probation violations by allegedly using the Internet to contact the 13-year-old boy and his family. [Includes Blog Entries].
· Indian Actor Raj Kumar Dies, Fans Riot. Raj Kumar, a onetime child actor who became one of south India's most beloved movie stars, died Wednesday at age 77. Police used bamboo canes to drive away angry fans who shattered the windows of several buses and set a half-dozen cars and motorcycles on fire.
· Stripper Didn't Mention Duke, Athletes at Hospital. An anonymous staff member is giving a detailed account of what happened the night a stripper said she was raped. "She was hysterical. She was crying. She was pretty banged up. She said she was sexually assaulted, but she didn't say by whom," the staff member told ESPN.
· Tucson man arrested after burning Mexican flag. A Tucson man was arrested Tuesday for his role in the burning of a Mexican flag as part of a counterprotest at a pro-immigration rally. Tucson police cited Roy Warden, 58, on suspicion of assault, criminal damage and reckless burning, including charges he harmed a concrete shuffleboard court.
· Teacher Who Faked Cancer Pleads Guilty. The former special education teacher at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School accused of faking a cancer diagnosis and collecting tens of thousands in donations pleaded guilty in court Wednesday.
· Woman Wins $27.5 Million In Southwest Airlines Suit. A jury awarded $27.5 million in damages to a woman of Iranian descent who said she was racially profiled when Southwest Airlines Co. accused her of assaulting a flight attendant.
· La. parish might hire Michael 'heckuva job' Brown. The leaders of a Louisiana parish devastated by Hurricane Katrina may bring in hired help from an unlikely source — heavily criticized former FEMA director Michael Brown.
· Update: Police Say Dead Rapper Proof Fired First. Rapper Proof fired the first bullet in a Detroit nightclub shootout that ended his life, police said Wednesday. The bullet hit Keith Bender, 35, in the head, critically injuring him early Tuesday.
· Sperm donor sued for child support. Michael Wilford says he was simply a sperm donor. Christin Harris says he was much more than that to her. Now, the Glenview woman wants him to provide child support and a college fund and pay medical expenses for the 2-year-old twin daughters he fathered by in-vitro fertilization.
· Alaska Governor: Pot has evolved into "a dangerous drug." Alaska's law on marijuana possession is considered the most liberal in the country, but its governor wants to change that, saying pot has evolved into "a dangerous drug." Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski argues that recreational use of pot and the allowance of up to 4 ounces in their homes should no longer be legal in Alaska.
· Moussaoui Jurors Hear Flight 93 Tape. Federal prosecutors seeking the execution of Zacarias Moussaoui figuratively placed the jury aboard doomed Flight 93 for its last searing moments, playing a recording in which a passenger begs the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, "Please, don't hurt me" and another cries "I don't want to die."
· Muslim hardliners attack Playboy building. About 300 hardline Indonesian Muslims vandalized a building housing the office of Playboy magazine on Wednesday in a protest against its publication in the world's most populous Muslim nation. Clad in white shirts and skull caps the protesters threw rocks at the front lobby, breaking the windows of the building in Jakarta several days after the magazine hit news-stands for the first time.
· D.A. vows to continue with Duke rape case. Standing before a mostly black audience, the district attorney in charge of the Duke University rape investigation said Tuesday he does not need DNA to bring charges and vowed, “This case is not going away.” DNA testing failed to connect any of Duke’s lacrosse players to the alleged attack, but District Attorney Mike Nifong said “It doesn’t mean nothing happened.” The district attorney faces two challengers in a May 2 election.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Innocuous [in·noc·u·ous] adj. 1. Having no adverse effect; harmless. 2. Not likely to offend or provoke to strong emotion; insipid. [the seemingly innocuous e-mail actually contained a malicious virus].
· 'Ground Zero' air killed cop? An autopsy of a retired NYPD detective confirmed yesterday what his family and fellow cops long suspected - that James Zadroga's death was "directly related" to the Ground Zero cleanup. The stunning findings are believed to mark the first time the death of a cleanup worker has been officially tied to the aftermath of the terror attacks.
· Update: Spears' Son Fell From High Chair. Child welfare officials and a sheriff's deputy visited Britney Spears' home because her infant son was accidentally dropped from a high chair, the Los Angeles Times reported. Six-month-old Sean Preston fell April 1 as his nanny was lifting him from the high chair and they claim something in the chair snapped.
· Berkeley students arrested after 'sweatshop' protest. Eighteen students demanding that University of California-logo apparel not be produced in "sweatshops" were arrested at a sit-in at the UC Berkeley chancellor's office Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
· IRS seeks PayPal account information. The Internal Revenue service won approval Tuesday from federal court in San Jose to ask PayPal Inc. for account information on its customers. San Jose-based PayPal, which is owned by eBay Inc. is still evaluating its options, according to reports. The company enables online money transfers and the IRS is looking for information on people who may be evading taxes by hiding income in other countries.
· Child Welfare Visits Spears' Home. Child welfare officials and a sheriff's deputy visited the home of Britney Spears but declined to say Tuesday whether they were investigating the pop princess. The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services visited Spears' home in February after publication of photographs showing the 24-year-old singer driving with then 4-month-old Sean Preston in her lap, rather than in a car seat as required by law.
· NBC Secures Matt Lauer on `Today.' While the television world was paying attention to Meredith Vieira's selection as Katie Couric's successor on the "Today" show last week, Lauer quietly agreed to a contract extension to keep him on the show until 2011. His salary is expected to be in a similar $13 million to $15 million range a year that Couric's was.
· DEA Agent Who Shot Self In Foot Sues Government. A Drug Enforcement Administration agent who stars in a popular online video that shows him shooting himself in the foot during a weapons demonstration for Florida children is suing over the tape's release, claiming that his career has been crippled and he's become a laughingstock due to the embarrassing clip's distribution. Lee Paige, 45, blames the video's release on DEA officials in an April 7 federal lawsuit filed against the U.S. government.
· Woman tricks herself out of reward. When a German woman found a wallet containing $1,220 she decided it was better to get a reward from the owner than to keep the money - even if that meant resorting to an arrest on extortion charges, police said Friday. "It was stupid. She could just have kept the wallet," police said.
· 10-Year-Old Breaks Bowling Record. Michael Tang of San Francisco is 68 pounds of fury, television station KNTV reported. 10-year-old Tang bowled a 300 at a recent league game in Pacifica. Tang's future plans do not include bowling. He said he doesn't want to be a professional bowler. Instead he hopes to become a professional golfer.
· 'The Greatest' boxer Ali sells 80 percent interest in his name. Legendary US boxer Muhammad Ali has sold an 80 percent interest in his name and image to New York-based entertainment firm CKX for 50 million dollars, CKX said.
· Blast at celebration of Mohammed's birth kills dozens. An explosion at a celebration of Prophet Mohammed's birthday has killed at least 42 people and sparked a confrontation between Muslims and Karachi police. The blast comes just two days after a stampede broke out at a mosque where people had also gathered to mark the anniversary of Mohammed's birth, killing about 30 people.
· 'Page Six' Writer Surprised Other Journos Not Defending Him. Jared Paul Stern, the suspended Page Six gossip writer accused of trying to extort tens of thousands of dollars from a California billionaire, said he is surprised that more journalists did not come to his defense when the accusations were first put forth. "I guess it shows how effective the smear campaign was at first," Stern, 35, told E&P during a phone interview from his Upstate New York home Tuesday. "I was surprised that the coverage wasn't a little more balanced."
· Lawyer Accused of Molesting Members of Boy's Choir. A lawyer and former public defender in west Georgia has been arrested on charges of molesting two members of a boys' choir during a camping trip. Sixty-one-year-old Richard Ogleby Smith was arrested yesterday by the Harris County Sheriff's Department, which was working with the Columbus Police Department.
· Baby Sitter With AIDS Accused Of Molesting More Children. A 38-year-old man with AIDS in Edgewater, Fla., who was arrested on suspicion he molested neighborhood children he was baby-sitting faces new and more serious charges.
· Lawsuit Filed in Detroit 911 Call Response. A wrongful-death lawsuit was filed Monday in the case of a 6-year-old boy who called 911 after his mother collapsed and was told by an operator he should not be playing on the phone. Attorney Geoffrey Fieger has said Sherrill Turner, who had an enlarged heart, would have survived Feb. 20 if help had been sent immediately. Police eventually arrived at the house after the second call three hours later, but Turner was already dead. An ambulance never came.
· Immigrants Fired For Skipping Work To Protest. Fifteen immigrant women who missed work to attend an immigrant rights rally last month have been fired. An activist trying to get the women's jobs back said they were fired "for standing up for their rights."
· France surrenders again. President Jacques Chirac on Monday abandoned an employment measure that triggered massive protests and strikes, bowing to intense pressure from students and unions and dealing a blow to his loyal premier in a bid to pull France out of crisis.
· 100,000 protest immigration legislation in Phoenix. At least 100,000 people - and as many as 200,000 by some estimates - marched through the streets of Phoenix Monday to demand federal immigration legislation to create a path to citizenship for the estimated 500,000 people not legally in Arizona.
· Bomb Squad Called Out For Bag Of Doughnuts. A woman who dropped off a suspicious package at a Palm Desert fire station Sunday, motivating firefighters to call the bomb squad to investigate, was apparently trying to do a good deed. After shutting down two busy thoroughfares for about an hour to deal with the paper bag, it "turned out be be a bag of doughnuts and a thank-you card," police said.
· Hamas leader: No more suicide bombers. Hamas activists tell a British newspaper that the organization plans to stop suicide bombings in Israel. Yihiyeh Musa, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, told The Observer that winning a parliamentary majority began "a new era" for Hamas. But he suggested that Hamas might find another means of terrorizing Israel if the stalemate continues.
· Jennifer Lopez Sues Ex-Husband. Jennifer Lopez is suing her ex-husband, claiming he demanded $5 million to keep him from publishing a book containing private details about the star and their relationship. A description of the manuscript appeared Jan. 11 in the New York Post.
· Glenn Ford marks 90 years in rare appearance. Glenn Ford will make his first public appearance in 15 years when film preservation group the American Cinematheque salutes the actor May 1 on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
Monday, April 10, 2006
· No DNA match between stripper and lacrosse team. There is no DNA match between all 46 suspects on Duke University's men's lacrosse team and an exotic dancer who told police she was raped at a team party by three white men, attorneys said Monday.
· Florida county posts residents' sensitive data on public Web site. The Social Security numbers, driver's license information and bank account details belonging to millions of current and former residents in Florida's Broward County are available to anyone on the Internet because sensitive information has not been redacted from public records being posted on the county’s Web site. A county official said the information available on the Web is in full compliance with state statutes that require counties to post public documents on the Internet.
· Christians sue for the right to harass gays. Ruth Malhotra, a student at Georgia Institute of Technology, went to court last month for the right to be intolerant. With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment.
· Charges Dropped for Man Beaten by New Orleans Cops. Prosecutors have dropped charges against a retired teacher who was beaten by New Orleans police during an arrest caught on videotape shortly after Hurricane Katrina, he and his lawyer said Monday. Two fired officers and one current officer have been charged in the beating.
· Elderly Woman Ticketed For Walking Too Slowly. An 82-year-old woman has received a $114 ticket for taking too long to cross a street in the San Fernando Valley, California. Mayvis Coyle said she began shuffling with her cane when the light was green, but was unable to make it to the other side before it turned red.
· Two people charged with filing fake obituary. Police have arrested two people in Iowa accused of filing a fake obituary with a newspaper. Authorities say James Snyder and Mary Jo Jensen submitted a death notice to the Waterloo newspaper, saying that Jensen's 17-year-old son had died after a lengthy illness. Police say they did it so they could get off work for a few days.
· Gossip writer says he's being smeared. In an ironic twist, the attorney for New York Post gossip writer Jared Paul Stern, who's accused of trying to extort $200,000 from billionaire Ron Burkle, says "Mr. Stern has been the victim of a smear campaign."
· Douglas Denies Brangelina-Bashing Quotes. Michael Douglas says he was misquoted in a GQ article last month in which he slammed "good friend" Brad Pitt and girlfriend Angelina Jolie regarding Pitt's divorce from Jennifer Aniston. In the GQ story, written by Jeanne Marie Laskas, Douglas is quoted as saying: "I don't know about Brad Pitt, leaving that beautiful wife to go hold orphans for Angelina. I mean, how long is that going to last?"
· Gwyneth Paltrow gives birth to Moses. Gwyneth Paltrow and her rocker hubby Chris Martin welcomed a baby boy over the weekend, Paltrow's rep confirmed. Rather than drawing inspiration from the produce section, the couple apparently turned to the Bible while choosing their son's name, dubbing him Moses.
· Startup called Webaroo touts 'Web on a hard drive.' Search the Web from your laptop or handheld - without an Internet connection of any kind? This seeming impossibility is what a Bellevue, Wash.-based startup called Webaroo has set out to realize - they call it "search unplugged" - and even company president Brad Husick concedes that he found the idea "crazy" at first blush.
· At 105, oldest CEO sells Western wear to stars. At 105 years old, Western wear maker Jack Weil may be the oldest CEO in America, but he's making new fans daily from cowboys to Hollywood. Customers from Ronald Reagan, Clark Gable and Elvis Presley to Bob Dylan and Meg Ryan have donned Rockmount Ranch Wear.
· Court Official: No New Trial for Blake. A judge on Monday denied actor Robert Blake's motion for a new trial in the civil wrongful death case stemming from the slaying of his wife, a court official said.
· Immigration protests planned across U.S. Immigration reform may be stalled in Washington, but supporters of immigrant rights are moving full speed ahead with protests planned for Monday in dozens of cities expected to draw an estimated 1 million demonstrators across the country.
» School Criticized Over Credit for Protesting. The Montgomery County schools' decision to grant students community service credit for attending Monday's immigration rights protest is raising concern among some parents as well as activists who say officials should focus on education, not political advocacy. Montgomery is the only Washington DC area school system offering students credit for taking part in the event, to be held on the Mall - a decision Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said is consistent with how the system has operated.
· Disney to Make 4 ABC Shows Free Online. The Walt Disney Co. said Monday that its TV group plans to offer four ABC prime-time shows including "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" online for free beginning in May.
· New Orleans R&B star begins posthumous mayoral bid. Ernie K-Doe has some big hurdles to overcome to win his bid for mayor of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans: he lacks the political experience and financial clout of many of his rivals. He's also been dead for almost five years. No matter, said the widow of the flamboyant rhythm-and-blues singer as she launched his campaign for the April 22 vote. "He's the only one qualified."
· Felons, dead haunt new voter database. Three months after Florida launched a statewide voter registration system, some election supervisors complain of problems that range from shutdowns to a lack of information about dead voters and felons.
· Attorney: Photos will show dancer was injured, impaired when she arrived at lacrosse team party. Time-stamped photographs will show an exotic dancer was already injured and "very impaired" when she arrived at a party where she claims she was raped by members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team, an attorney for one of the players said Sunday.
· Update: Man Arrested in Crash that Destroyed Rare Ferrari. A man under investigation in the crash of an exotic $1 million Ferrari in Malibu has been booked on suspicion of grand theft, officials said Sunday. Stefan Eriksson, 44, was arrested at his Bel-Air home Saturday night after detectives served a search warrant, the Sheriff's Department said in a statement.
· Update: Canada Deaths Linked to Gang. Canadian police investigating the deaths of eight men found stuffed inside abandoned vehicles in a wooded field descended on a farmhouse on Sunday. A former motorcycle gang member said there were indications the deaths were linked to the Bandidos gang.
· Investor, or pauper or merely a front man? Johnny Moon Sr. died with a dollar in his pocket and an income consisting of government aid. But his name appears on more than $614,000 in mortgages. Moon, who looked far older than his 56 years, died of pneumonia brought on by malnutrition. He left behind a watch, a flashlight and a wallet containing a solitary dollar bill. And more than a half-million dollars worth of real estate.
· Post Gossip Reporter Says He Was Set Up. A New York Post gossip writer accused of trying to extort money from a billionaire businessman for positive press coverage said Sunday he was set up. Ron Burkle has said he and his lawyers repeatedly told the New York Post the articles about him in Page Six were inaccurate.
» All play, no pay for Page Fix. The New York Post "Page Fix" scandal grew yesterday as those familiar with the gossip page painted a picture of an out-of-control institution where lavish gifts are routinely bestowed on columnist Richard Johnson and his staffers. Johnson was feted at a bachelor party last month that cost in excess of $50,000 hosted by "Girls Gone Wild" producer Joe Francis at his palatial estate in Punta Mita, on Mexico's glorious Pacific coast.
· Michelle Wie: Not Your Average Teen. Lots of teenage girls dream of becoming rich and famous. But it's not a fantasy for Michelle Wie. Just before her 16th birthday last fall, she became the highest-paid woman golfer in history simply by turning professional and lending her name to commercial endorsements that will pay her between $10 million and $12 million a year, most of which will go into a trust fund until she becomes an adult.
Sunday, April 9, 2006
· Cynthia McKinney: Tax dollars at work. A few weeks before allegedly smacking a Capitol Police officer, U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney filed her latest piece of legislation: House Resolution 4968, "The Tupac Amaru Shakur Records Release Act of 2006." The bill declares that "all government records related to the life and death of Tupac Amaru Shakur should be preserved for historical and governmental purposes."
· X-Box Murder Trial Set To Begin. A grieving mother said she can only brace herself for the gory details she'll hear at a murder trial opening Monday in Florida. She said she's still coping with the "horror" of the 2004 beating deaths of her daughter and five friends -- all apparently killed for an X-box video game system.
· 911: 'A squirrel is stuck in my tree.' Vernetta Geric won't soon forget the 911 call she received from a frantic caller needing a police officer "right away." "What's the problem?" said Geric, 46, of East Pittsburgh. "I have a large tree in my backyard ... there's a squirrel stuck in the tree." "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but it's a wild animal, sitting in a tree, Geric said. It's supposed to be doing that."
· 'Brokeback' screening lands prison officer in hot water. A Massachusetts correctional officer is being disciplined for showing the gay cowboy movie "Brokeback Mountain" to inmates at the state's largest prison because his boss determined that the film includes content inappropriate for a prison setting.
· Pastor faces prostitution charges after luring woman from Africa. A Lubbock pastor was charged with compelling prostitution after allegedly demanding sex from an African woman he brought to the United States with the promise of a college education.
· Flockhart finally admits to eating disorder. Former "Ally McBeal" star Calista Flockhart has admitted she suffered from anorexia while filming the hit law firm TV comedy. After years of claiming her skinny figure was due to being "small-boned" the actress has finally revealed grueling work schedules and the stress of finishing the show, which was axed in 2002, made her stop wanting to eat.
· Mistake worth a million to granny. A 79-year-old grandmother from Sydney accidentally entered the winning numbers twice on her four-game entry in last night's $21 million Lotto draw. "I still can't believe I put in those two rows," the woman said today.
· 8 Men Found Dead In Rural Canada. The bodies of eight men were found Saturday in Canada inside four vehicles abandoned in a remote wooded area on a farmer's property. An aerial view showed the vehicles parked within 200 yards of each other, with the bodies still inside four vehicles, including a tow truck.
· Bush plans strike on Iran's nuclear sites. Plans are under way for a massive bombing strike on sites where Iran is believed to be enriching uranium. Richard Perle said that an attack could “be over before anybody knew what had happened. The only question then would be what the Iranians might do in retaliation.”
· Driver dies after car falls from fifth level parking garage. A 62-year old Spokane woman died after her car fell from an upper level of the River Park Square parking garage on Saturday. Witnesses say the sound of screeching tires echoed throughout the building seconds before the crash.
· Bigs bunny: monster rabbit devours English veggie plots. In a tale reminiscent of the last Wallace and Gromit movie, furious villagers in northeast England have hired armed guards to protect their beloved communal vegetable gardens from a suspected monster rabbit. "It is a massive thing. It is a monster. The first time I saw it, I said: 'What the hell is that?'" local resident Jeff Smith, 63, said.
· 'Undeclared Civil War' in Iraq. A car bomb killed six people Saturday near a Shiite shrine south of Baghdad, and the death toll from the deadliest attack of the year rose to nearly 90. A senior official warned Iraq was in an "undeclared civil war" that can be curbed only by a strong government and greater powers for security services.
· Judge OKs $2B AOL Class-Action Settlement. A judge has approved a $2.65 billion class-action settlement of claims that advertising revenue was counted in a fraudulent manner prior to the merger of America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc.
· Judge Says Man Can't Sign Driver's License As 'God.' Regardless of how he had signed a stack of other documents, from bank records to income tax returns, a judge rejected a man's request to be allowed to legally sign his driver's license as "God."
Saturday, April 8, 2006
· California set for battle over gays in textbooks. California school textbooks would highlight the role gays have played in the history of the nation's most populous state if a new proposal that has angered conservatives passes the state Legislature. History books record contributions by gays but their sexual orientation is often ignored, a situation gay activists say is inexcusable.
· Congress on Vacation After 2 Weeks of "Work." Congressional schedule-keepers had planned for a two-week sprint between vacations to produce weighty reforms on immigration, pensions and tax policy. But Friday, at the finish line, all of those measures were missing.
· Lawsuit: Company grading SATs blew it. A high school senior whose SAT was incorrectly scored low is suing the board that oversees the exam and the testing company that was hired. The lawsuit is the first since last month's announcement that 4,411 students got incorrectly low scores.
· Bus driver takes students on drunken ride. A Knox County bus driver is facing DUI and hit and run charges after allegedly taking Farragut High School students on a drunken ride. 44-year-old Jennifer Reddy apparently picked up 27 students while intoxicated. The Sheriff's Department says after driving erratically, Reddy sideswiped a parked car before taking the students to school. She blew a 0.264 on a breathalyzer test, or three times the legal limit.
· Coffee shop serves attitude with its java. There's a new java joint in town, but it's not the coffee that's got people talking, it's the name. It's coffee with a kick, named after an animal with an attitude at the "Bad Ass Coffee Co."
· Web site exposes Air Force One defenses. Whenever the president travels, security is a prime consideration. Motorcade routes are kept secret, and premature release of information about a presidential trip aboard one of the twin Air Force One planes can result in the Secret Service canceling a visit. Thus, the Air Force reacted with alarm last week after The Chronicle told the Secret Service that a government document containing specific information about the anti-missile defenses on Air Force One and detailed interior maps of the two planes - including the location of Secret Service agents within the planes - was posted on the Web site of an Air Force base.
· New York Post Scandal: "We know how to destroy people." The New York Post is cooperating with a federal investigation into whether a longtime contributor for the Page Six gossip column — the avidly read daily log of wrongdoing, double-dealing and sexual indiscretions by celebrities both minor and major — tried to extort money from a California billionaire, according to a spokesman for the newspaper. Several people involved in the investigation said the reporter, Jared Paul Stern, had been captured on a video recording. "We know how to destroy people," Mr. Stern said, according to a person reading a transcript of the meeting. "It's what we do. We do it without creating liability. That's our specialty."
» Billionaire's plea ignored. California billionaire Ron Burkle penned a personal letter to Rubert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., which owns the New York Post. "I'm not quite sure what to do when your paper keeps writing things about me that are not true," he said, citing reports that he was buying Elite Models Management for former President Bill Clinton to run, owned shares of Barnes & Noble, and leased a yacht for Clinton and Michael Jackson. "I hate to bother you with this; but at the end of the day, it is your newspaper," Burkle concluded.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Austere [aus·tere] adj. 1. Markedly simple without adornment or ornamentation. [an austere office] [an austere style of writing]. 2. Strict or stern in appearance or manner [an austere critic].
· It's official: San Francisco gayest city in the world. New statistics suggest San Francisco has the highest percentage of gay men among major cities in the world, with a quarter of them HIV-positive, a top city health official said on Friday.
· How to release a bad movie. Critics are being shut out of more films as studios forgo advance screenings on flicks they expect reviewers to trash, figuring the movies stand a better chance of box-office success with no reviews rather than bad ones. So far this year, 11 movies have not screened for critics before opening day, including the Rob Schneider-David Spade comedy "The Benchwarmers" and Mo'Nique's fashion comedy "Phat Girlz," both opening Friday.
· Immigration Bill Dead In Senate. Plenty of blame is being spread around by both parties on Capitol Hill after the Senate sidetracked sweeping immigration legislation. The finger-pointing is a far cry from Thursday, when both sides championed the bill as a breakthrough in immigration legislation.
· Why a Hairstyle Made Headlines. When Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) summoned the media to Howard University last week to tell her side of the story in an altercation with a Capitol Police officer, it was impossible not to stare at her hair. Aesthetically speaking, it was not one of McKinney's better moments. Her hair, which she had for years worn in thick braids, seemed to be in a limbo between a polished Afro and a head of funky twists.
· How the super-rich go car shopping. When it comes to buying cars, people with millions in the bank really aren't like the rest of us. Here's a sales pitch I'll bet you'd never expect for a 20-foot-long $390,000 luxury sedan: "It makes a great gift."
· Melanie Griffith Sued by Costume Designer. A designer sued Melanie Griffith for allegedly refusing to pay nearly $26,000 for dressing the actress and her daughters for the Golden Globes and reneging on a promise to mention his name on the red carpet.
» Jessica Sued Over Fashion Choices. As far as some of her business associates are concerned, Jessica Simpson is not exactly the employee of the month. The "In This Skin" singer has been sued for $100 million by an apparel company that claims she failed to promote their product as promised, the Smoking Gun Website reports.
· Threat of lawsuits change the way we listen to music. New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer continues to put the heat of 'pay for play' airing of songs at radio stations, so now many programmers aren't offering new titles. "If I want to accept 25 CDs to give away on air, I have to forward paperwork all the way up to the vice president," said Bill Weston, program director at WMMR-FM (93.3) in Philadelphia, where new policies about gifts and promotions have been drafted. "The new rules take forever. It's hardly worth the trouble."
· DHS official had previous pornography incident. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman charged with soliciting a minor over the Internet was disciplined in a previous job after an incident in which pornographic images were seen on an office computer, his friends and former co-workers said. Brian Doyle resigned from his Homeland Security Department post Friday, his 56th birthday.
Friday, April 7, 2006
· Parents Upset Principal Oiled Fence To Stop Ditching. A California principal is trying a slippery tactic to keep kids from cutting school - greasing the fence. Principal Sergio Garcia ordered heavy wheel-bearing grease applied to the fence around Artesia High School in Southern California. He was trying to keep students from skipping out on class to join last week's immigration protests.
· 3 more pervert priests defrocked in Philly Archdiocese. Three more priests accused of sexually abusing children have been defrocked, bringing to 17 the number of priest in the Philadelphia Archdiocese who have been defrocked since the clergy abuse scandal broke four years ago.
· Cost to Remove 12 Million Illegal Immigrants: $215 Billion. As Congress debates immigration reforms, some experts say the most extreme proposal — deporting millions of illegal immigrants — would be a huge legal and logistical morass, and ruinously expensive, too. The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, has put the cost at $215 billion over five years.
· Reward Offered After Hole Drilled In Nuclear Reactor Pipe. Florida Power & Light Co. announced a $100,000 reward Friday for information leading to whoever drilled a hole in a pipe that helps maintain pressure in a nuclear reactor.
· San Francisco Mayor: City would ignore immigration legislation if it were to pass. Mayor Gavin Newsom said Thursday that San Francisco will not comply with any federal legislation that criminalizes efforts to help illegal immigrants. Newsom signed a resolution urging San Francisco law enforcement not to comply with criminal provisions of any new immigration bill.
· 911 operator ignores plea of little boy. Six-year-old Robert Turner called 911 to get help for his mother, Sherel Turner, 46, whom he found lying unconscious on the kitchen floor of their Detroit apartment. The 911 operator thought it was a prank and told the boy she will call the police on him and "you gonna be in trouble." No emergency vehicle arrived and Robert's mother died.
· Local Teacher's Run-In With Homeland Security Creates Insecurities. A local school employee said a rough run-in with a couple of Homeland Security officers has left him with a strong sense of insecurity. Mr. Pickett asked the guy blocking the bus loading zone to move, and the guy told him he would move his car when he got ready to move it," said Englewood coach Alton Jackson. "At that point I intervened and I went up to the gentleman and said, 'Mr. Pickett is an employee here,' and they said that didn't matter," said Englewood media specialist, Terri Dreisonstok. "'We're with Homeland Security,' and on and on they went, and pretty soon, before you know it, he's handcuffed and slammed against a car," Brinson said. The DHS officers had pulled over to read a map. A DHS spokesman disputes the story.
· What a difference a day makes. A compromise bipartisan plan to overhaul U.S. immigration law stalled on Friday after failing to clear a procedural hurdle in a sharply divided Senate, but the bill's backers vowed to keep trying. "This fight is not over," said Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, who just 24 hours earlier helped broker a compromise which seemed to have majority support.
· Feds try to seize suspects' fancy teeth. Government lawyers tried to remove and confiscate the gold dental work known as "grills" or "grillz" from the mouths of two men facing drug charges. "Grillz" such as this one sported by Juicy J have been popularized by rappers.[Photo]
· 'Today Show' replacement already ruffling conservative feathers. Meredith Vieira said she was unconcerned about being criticized by some conservatives for having expressed anti-Iraq war views on "The View," including comments in which she said that "the entire pretext for war" had "been built on lies." L. Brent Bozell, head of the conservative Media Research Council, called Vieira "a megaphone for the liberal cause."
· Update: 'Dateline' defends planting Muslims at NASCAR race. After bringing Muslim men to Martinsville Speedway in Virginia to gauge the reaction of NASCAR fans, Dateline NBC won't have its cameras at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. In a statement released Thursday, NBC defended its reporting tactics, saying "there have been a lot of inaccurate comments" and that Dateline "had barely begun its reporting."
· Trouble on the line. VoIP customers around the world are discovering that their calls cannot be connected because telecom companies are blocking the movement of such traffic across the net. Theodore Peckler said "I contacted the ISP and was told it did not support third party VoIP," explains Peckler. "Vonage ran a test. It seems the ISP was blocking the cable modem when the Vonage adapter went into use."
· Member of audience scolds President Bush. President Bush isn't used to tongue-lashings, but he got a scolding Thursday. "While I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water," real estate broker Harry Taylor told Bush at a town hall meeting. "I have never felt more ashamed of nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, and I would hope, from time to time, that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself."
· Chiropractor Claims He Can Go Back In Time. A chiropractor who claims he can treat anyone by reaching back in time to when an injury occurred has attracted the attention of state regulators. The Ohio State Chiropractic Board, in a notice of hearing, has accused James Burda of being "unable to practice chiropractic according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care due to mental illness, specifically, Delusional Disorder, Grandiose Type."
· Jetstar sacks attendant over looks. Brooke Ogden is good looking enough to star in TV commercials but according to Jetstar her looks are not good enough to check in passengers. The 27-year-old was sacked as check-in attendant for the budget airline for looking too "gothic."
· Steven Spielberg Getting Into Reality TV Business. Somehow it's come to this: Steven Spielberg is part of a reality series to find the next hot director. He's joining with Mark Burnett of "Survivor" fame for a show on Fox called "On the Lot." Spielberg said he's always tried "to discover new talent and give them a start."
· Former Teen Idol Leif Garrett Sent to Jail. Leif Garrett has been sent to jail for 45 days after failing several drug tests while staying in a strict drug rehabilitation program, authorities said Thursday.
· Update: N.H. Congressional Candidate Found Alive. A volunteer searcher and her dog found a missing congressional hopeful alive in the woods Thursday night, more than 24 hours after he disappeared after a car accident. Gary Dodds, 41, of Rye, was found around 10 p.m., about a mile from the accident site.
· Gossip Writer Probed in Extortion Plot. A gossip writer for the New York Post has been suspended pending the outcome of a federal investigation into whether he tried to extort money from billionaire financier Ron Burkle. Jared Paul Stern, who worked as a freelancer for the newspaper's Page Six column, is suspected of demanding $100,000 and an annual $10,000 stipend from Burkle in exchange for not writing negative stories about him.
Thursday, April 6, 2006
· Paula Abdul says she was assaulted at party. Police are investigating a report by "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul that a man slammed her into a wall during an argument at a party, giving her a concussion and back injuries, a police spokeswoman said on Thursday.
· Teachers swing into action over kiddie hug. Parents of a kindergarten student are outraged that their daughter and her classmate were disciplined for hugging each other on the playground. Michael Marino and Brenda Brier said their 5-year-old daughter, Savannah, who attends Greenwood Elementary School, was forced to write a letter, complete with teacher corrections, claiming she didn’t like the hug.
· Maxim Cover of Eva Longoria Supersized. For air travelers flying over southern Nevada this week, the view offers more than miles of dusty desert. A barely dressed Eva Longoria, star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," graces the 75-by-110-foot display just outside Primm, near the California state line.
· Missing Candidate Baffles Police. A massive search is under way for New Hampshire congressional candidate Gary Dodds, who disappeared without a trace following a single-car accident last night, New Hampshire state police officials said.
· Biodegradable Cell Phone Cases Become Flowers. A researcher in Britain has created a biodegradable cell phone case that when planted, will grow into a sunflower. The eco-friendly cell phone cover has a seed implanted inside of it that grows into a flower in about two weeks.
· Drunken Driver In Fatal Officer Crash Sues Police. A Royal Oak, Mich. man convicted of drunken driving in a crash that killed a police officer has sued a Detroit suburb for his own injuries. Authorities say Joshua Campbell had twice the level of blood alcohol for drunkenness in Michigan.
· Illegal immigrants win in Senate compromise. Senate leaders on Thursday announced a bipartisan compromise on an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, giving some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and creating a temporary worker program. "I think we're looking like we may be able to dance this afternoon," Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada told reporters.
· High school coach killed in crash by illegal immigrant. Wyandotte County, Kansas prosecutors filed charges Wednesday in a wreck that killed a former football coach at Olathe North High School. Prosecutors charged Raul Cabrera, an illegal immigrant, with one count of involuntary manslaughter.
· Rockwell painting found behind fake wall. One of Norman Rockwell's most famous paintings was found hidden behind a fake wall in its owner's home, proving that the version the owner had long displayed was a forgery. "Breaking Home Ties" appeared on the cover of "The Saturday Evening Post" in 1954.
· Mafia cops guilty. A pair of highly decorated ex-NYPD detectives were convicted Thursday of murder while on the payroll of a mob underboss in one of the most astounding police corruption cases in city history. The federal court jury in Brooklyn deliberated for two days in the case against Louis Eppolito and Steven Caracappa, who spent a combined 44 years on the force and once worked as partners.
· Kelley Lists Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $18K. If you don't want to pay top dollar for a new car, there's good news for you. Kelley Blue Book has released a list of what it calls top-10 cool, affordable new vehicles. The prices start at about $15,500, topping out under $18,000. Cars on the list include the new Dodge Caliber, the Mazda3 and the Chevrolet HHR as well as some more familiar names like the Kia Sportage and the Honda Civic.
· Reporter Gets Soaked While Investigating Story. Some Orange County residents are still waiting for their loved one's headstones. Customers said the headstone maker has been hard to find since a suspicious fire at his business. Channel 9 went to his last known address, but didn't get any answers. Instead, the person at the home threw a pitcher of water on WFTV reporter Leland Vittert.
· McKinney case heading to grand jury. No more he-grabbed-she-slapped - whether U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney should be charged over a confrontation with Capitol Police last week will be decided by a grand jury, perhaps as soon as next week, said federal law enforcement sources familiar with the case.
» UPDATE: Too little, too late? Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., expressed "sincere regret" Thursday for her altercation with a Capitol police officer, and offered an apology to the House. This comes a day after prosecutors announced they have turned the case over to a grand jury to determine any charges against her.
· 2 Cabbies Fired After Denying Blind Woman Ride. Two cab drivers lost their jobs recently after a blind woman said she was denied taxi service twice. Mahalah Va Shem is legally blind. She can see a little, but needs her service dog, Burgee, to get around. Tuesday night she was not able to get far. Va Shem said she called Gator City Cab to take her to the store. However, when the driver arrived, she said he refused to allow her guide dog in the cab.
· Florida immigration official pleads no contest to exposing himself to girl, 16. A special agent-in-charge of central and north Florida immigration and customs enforcement has pleaded no contest to exposing himself in a shopping mall food court to a 16-year-old girl. Frank Figueroa's plea Wednesday means he will not have to go to trial, which was scheduled to start Thursday.
· NASCAR angry about ‘Dateline’ story. NASCAR said NBC confirmed it was sending Muslim-looking men to a race, along with a camera crew to film fans’ reactions. The NBC crew was “apparently on site in Martinsville, Va., walked around and no one bothered them,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Wednesday. “It is outrageous that a news organization of NBC’s stature would stoop to the level of going out to create news instead of reporting news,” Poston said.
· Teen Convicted Of Gun Possession In Online Photos. An Evergreen High School student who posted Internet photos of himself posing with guns, including one photo captioned "Angel o' death on wings o' lead," has been convicted of possession of a handgun by a juvenile. Evergreen High School is in the same district as Columbine High School, where two teenage gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves in 1999.
· Six reasons to bet against Tiger. Picking Tiger Woods to win the Masters this week? Too obvious. Betting against Tiger? Too silly. So instead, here are six reasons why he might come up short this week in Augusta.
· Hard Liquor Helps Houseplants. For home gardeners who don't want their flowers to tip over, a Cornell University horticulturist thinks he has the answer: Get the flowers a little tipsy with some hard liquor. Giving some plants diluted alcohol - whiskey, vodka, gin or tequila - stunts the growth of a plant's leaves and stems but doesn't affect the blossoms, said William Miller, director of Cornell's Flower Bulb Research Program.
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
· Congressional pork includes some real stinkers. While cutting back on many pet projects, lawmakers have included some real stinkers in federal spending bills for 2006, including $500,000 for a teapot museum, $1 million for water-free urinals, and a whopping $13.5 million for an Irish group that funds the World Toilet Summit. As expected, Alaska again takes the bacon as the most pork-laden state, the watchdog group said.
· 3 Arrested at Mass. Baby Shower Brawl. A baby shower erupted into a fight among guests in which one man was shot and several other people, including the seven-months-pregnant guest of honor, were beaten with a stick. Three people were arrested after the brawl, described by police as a "baby shower gone bad."
· New Hamas Government Is Broke. The new Hamas-led government is broke and missed the April 1 monthly pay date for tens of thousands of Palestinian public workers, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday. It was the Islamic militants' first admission they will have difficulty running the West Bank and Gaza without massive foreign aid.
· New Orleans Mayor Blocks FEMA Trailer Park. Mayor Ray Nagin suspended the construction of FEMA trailer parks in the city after a confrontation between federal workers and homeowners who were outraged that a government trailer park was being built inside their gated community.
· Aircraft company takes jobs money, then lays off 600. Vought Aircraft Industries announced Tuesday that it plans to eliminate up to 600 jobs in Dallas. The news comes after the state of Texas gave the company a $35 million grant in exchange for a pledge to create 3,000 new jobs by 2010.
· Police Uncover New Duke Lacrosse E-Mail. Hours after an exotic dancer was allegedly raped by members of the Duke University lacrosse team, a player apparently sent an e-mail saying he wanted to invite more strippers to his dorm room, kill them and skin them.
· Hasselhoff Wants Wife in Rehab. Anyone who would accuse David Hasselhoff of abusing his wife must be crazy and/or on drugs. At least that's the actor seems to contend in new court documents in which he implies that his estranged wife Pamela Bach has a drug problem and needs to be under the care of a mental health professional.
· Video Shows Burned U.S. Pilot Dragged By Enemy. A video posted on the Internet Wednesday in the name of an extremist group claimed to show Iraqi insurgents dragging the burning body of a U.S. pilot on the ground after the crash of an Apache helicopter.
· Schools Ban Patriotic Clothes, Flags. In the wake of last week's immigration-reform protests, one school district is taking drastic measures, banning all symbols of patriotism, both U.S. and Mexican. Critics of the move are calling it a violation of free speech.
· Self-Parking Cars Coming To U.S. Vehicles that are able to parallel park themselves while drivers sit and relax behind the wheel are coming to the United States. New Toyota hybrid cars are now available in Britain with a $700 "parking assist" option.
· 1st-Class Mom. While flying from New York to Los Angeles last Friday, Sharon Stone stayed in 1st-class while her 9-month-old son, Laird, sat in coach with the nanny. A spokesperson explained that only one 1st-class seat was available.
· Principal Joins Student Walkout. About 200 Lanier [Texas] high school students marched through the streets Tuesday to protest immigration reform. They walked around the downtown area chanting, and then returned to school. Lanier High School principal Richard Solis marched with them.
· $365 million Powerball jackpot winners donate $6 grand. Three of the meat-processing plant workers who won the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history dropped in on a homeless shelter with a $6,000 donation for people living there.
· Scott Peterson's mother seeks repayment for home costs. Scott Peterson's mother is seeking $35,000 from Laci Peterson's estate for mortgage payments and other costs she paid to maintain the couple's home after her son was arrested for killing his pregnant wife.
· Cruise: My dad beat me. Tom Cruise has told how his father bullied and beat him as a child. As the 43-year-old star prepares to become a biological father himself, he spoke for the first time about his troubled childhood.
· Confirmed: Katie Couric Jumps To CBS News. Katie Couric announced on air Wednesday that she is steppping down as host of NBC's "Today" show after 15 years in the job. She will join CBS News as the new anchor of the network's "Evening News" program.
· DHS spokesman arrested in child sex sting. A deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested today at his Maryland home on charges he used his computer in an attempt to seduce a child and transmitted harmful materials to a minor.
· But did he kill the bug? A teacher who kept a 40 mm shell on his desk as a paperweight blew off part of his hand when he apparently used the object to try to squash a bug, authorities say. The 5-inch-long shell exploded Monday while Robert Colla was teaching 20 to 25 students in his class.
· Garth Brooks' ex-wife kidnapped. The ex-wife of country music star Garth Brooks was kidnapped at gunpoint by a man who worked on her farm after she cooperated with a bail bondsman who wanted to arrest the worker, authorities said Tuesday. Sandy Brooks had allowed the bondsman onto her property Monday to apprehend the man, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant. The worker responded by drawing a weapon, forcing her into a car and ordering her to drive away.
· Mass. Lawmakers OK Mandatory Health Bill. Lawmakers have approved a sweeping health care reform package that dramatically expands coverage for the state's uninsured. Individuals deemed able but unwilling to purchase health care could face fines of more than $1,000 a year by the state if they don't get insurance.
· Man to donate website windfall. A New Zealand man who made $29 million from the sale of a website has said he will give it to charity as he does not know what to do with it. Economist Gareth Morgan made the money from the sale of his stake in his son Sam's auction website, TradeMe.
· EU: Give Hamas a chance to change. The European Union held out an olive branch to the Hamas-led Palestinian government on Wednesday, saying Europe did not want it to fail and it should be given a chance to change its attitude to Israel. Unfortunately, Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the movement advocates armed struggle, including suicide bombings.
· Couric expected to announce her 'Today' departure this morning. Couric is expected to announce this morning during the show's celebration of her tenure that she will leave by May 31, multiple sources said, when her contract runs out at NBC. That will set the stage for Couric to sign a deal worth at least $13 million a year to anchor "CBS Evening News" and take a spot on "60 Minutes."
· How I Work: Bill Gates. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is getting ready for Think Week. In May, he'll go off for a week retreat by himself and read 100 or more papers from Microsoft employees that examine issues related to the company and the future of technology. He's been doing this for over 12 years. As for keeping up with the news, "paper is no longer a big part of my day. I get 90% of my news online," Gates said.
· HIV blood theft stumps officials. Police and medical officials are scratching their heads over a bizarre, but eerie theft of 19 vials of HIV-tainted plasma from a locked freezer at a downtown Vancouver hospital.
· Scientists: Jesus Could Have Walked on Frozen Water. Rare conditions could have conspired to create hard-to-see ice on the Sea of Galilee that a person could have walked on back when Jesus is said to have walked on water, a scientist said today. The study, which examines a combination of favorable water and environmental conditions, proposes that Jesus could have walked on an isolated patch of floating ice on what is now known as Lake Kinneret.
· Aniston Faces Tension Over Wedding Rumor. Silence. Awkward silence. That was Jennifer Aniston's tightlipped response on Tuesday morning's "Today" show when asked about the latest rumor that Oprah Winfrey is planning to host an $8 million wedding for her and beau Vince Vaughn. The moment grew still more awkward when Aniston's "Friends with Money" co-star, Catherine Keener, weighed in on her behalf. "I thought you weren't going to go there," she told entertainment correspondent Jill Rappaport. "But you did."
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
· Hank Williams Jr. surrenders on hotel waitress assault warrant. Country singer Hank Williams Jr. today surrendered to cops on a warrant charging him with throttling a hotel waitress last month in Memphis. Williams, 56, is facing an assault rap for allegedly choking Holly Hornbeak during a March 18 incident in the Peabody Hotel lobby bar.
· Rapper Suge Knight files for bankruptcy. Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight filed for bankruptcy Tuesday to avoid losing control of his Death Row Records label in a $107 million civil court judgment, his lawyers said. Knight co-founded Death Row in the early 1990s and helped launch the careers of such rap stars as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
· Stay Up Late and See Something Odd. Call it a coincidental sign of our digital times or a reason to stay up late and stare at the clock. Either way, tomorrow morning the time and date will be 01-02-03-04-05-06 at 1:02 a.m. and three seconds on April 5, 2006.
· Migrants Find a Gold Rush in New Orleans. As the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina receded in September, roads filled with residents leaving New Orleans. But on the other sides of the highway, thousands of Mexicans were driving into the city. Word had spread throughout the Latino immigrant diaspora that the city had plenty of work, construction wages had doubled to $16 an hour and no one was asking for papers. "It's like a Gold Rush," said one immigrant.
· New Documents Suggest Mozart Wasn't Poor. For centuries, historians have portrayed Mozart as poor, but new documents suggest the composer was not nearly as hard-up for cash as many have believed. The new documents on display at Vienna's Musikverein, reveal that he earned about 10,000 florins a year or at least $42,000 in today's terms, which would have placed him in the top 5 percent of wage-earners in late 18th-century Vienna, experts say.
· Teacher charged with having sex with student, 13. A 34-year-old teacher from the Brandywine School District has been charged with having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student. New Castle County police spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro said the woman allegedly had sex with the boy 28 times during one week in March.
· Oven doors passed off as flat-screen TVs. A rash of oven-door thefts may be linked to a recent case in which a woman bought what she thought was a flat-screen TV, only to discover that the package held an old oven door, police said.
· Goats a Hot Commodity. The growth of Georgia's ethnic populations - Arabs, Asians and Hispanics - has made goats a hot agricultural commodity in the state, and the industry has even created an event to celebrate its success.
· Spitzer Sues 'Spyware' Co. Over Pop-Up Ads. New York's attorney general sued another Internet pop-up advertising company, accusing it of secretly installing malicious programs on personal computers and sending ads through "spyware" that is already installed. Eliot Spitzer said Direct Revenue has installed millions of pop-up ad programs that monitor the Internet activity of users.
· Thieves forget to fill gas tank before getaway. The thieves who police say broke into a Huntersville middle school last night managed to fill their car with audio-visual equipment. What they didn't fill their car with was gas, and that was their undoing.
· Update: Broward police retailiates after CBS4 investigation. After exposing the images of improper police behavior in his investigative piece, CBS4’s Mike Kirsch’s own personal information was being flashed on the Broward Police Benevolent Association website. What is normally referred to as a BOLO or Be On The Lookout by police - a bulletin announcing a criminal who is wanted - was being used by the Broward PBA to show Mike Kirsch as a wanted man. The website went on to show Kirsch’s personal driver’s license information.
· They all have their hand out. The nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste calls itself America's No. 1 taxpayer watchdog, and the group's annual "Pig Book" detailing the government's most wasteful spending programs has been praised by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain. But it turns out the group also acts as a lobbying firm with paying clients — including Mexican Avocado Growers, who paid $100,000 to lobby against restrictions on avocado imports and the tobacco companies, which paid at least $245,000 to urge the federal government not to regulate the industry.
· Fan Tosses Syringe Near Bonds. A fan tossed a syringe near Barry Bonds as he came off the field in between innings on Monday at Petco Park, and the San Francisco Giants slugger said he picked it up in his glove and carried it off the field.
· Update: Slain Motorcyclist Called Top-Ranking Hells Angel. A motorcyclist gunned down on Interstate 95 Sunday was a leader in the Connecticut chapter of the Hells Angels who had served time in federal prison on drug charges - part of a nationwide crackdown that resulted in 125 arrests and the seizure of $2 million in drugs.
· Hillary's no shoo-in with Hollywood. Depending on whom you talk to in Hollywood these days, Hillary Clinton is either too conservative, too polarizing, too famous, too stiff or — keep this to yourself! — too sexy. And those are just the opinions of the celebrities who vote Democrat.
· Hollywood director charged in Pellicano case. John McTiernan, director of “The Hunt for Red October” and “Die Hard,” was charged Monday with lying to the FBI in the Hollywood wire-tap investigation surrounding celebrity sleuth Anthony Pellicano. McTiernan, who also produced and directed “Die Hard 3” and ”Rollerball,” became the 14th defendant to face charges in a far-reaching federal case that has become a major Hollywood scandal and threatens to spill the motion picture community’s secrets.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ostensible [os·ten·si·ble] adj. 1. Intended for display, open to view. 2. Being such in appearance, plausible rather than demonstrably true or real. [the ostensible purpose of the trip was business].
· Girl Wins Spelling Bee After 41 Rounds. After 41 rounds and 4 1/2 hours, Anna Rose Wright won the Treasure State Spelling Bee Saturday. "I have never seen a bee go this long," said round judge Lynn Schwanke of Missoula, a previous state bee director for more than 20 years. "It was really remarkable." Anna Rose, a home-schooler competing in her fourth bee, won an all-expenses paid trip for two to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
· First 'milkshake murder' & now ... bloody mystery. The twisted tale of murdered millionaire banker Robert Kissel's family took another ugly turn yesterday when his brother was found slain in the bloody basement of his Connecticut mansion.
· 'Today' co-host Couric closer to CBS deal. Intense speculation swept two network news divisions on Monday that Katie Couric, co-host of NBC's top-rated morning show "Today," is about to jump to rival CBS and become its evening news anchor, a move many in the industry see as a gamble. Two people familiar with the situation told Reuters they believed Couric, 49, has reached a tentative deal with CBS.
· Woman kicked out of mall for cell phone. A Kansas City woman is screaming mad after a cell phone conversation got her kicked out of Crown Center. Zekia Geotcha, a professional stylist, says she was kicked out for talking. She was shopping at the Mirage Jewelry Store when she says a sales associate refused to assist her until she finished the conversation. After words were exchanged, security guards were called in who asked her to leave.
· DeLay calling it quits. U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, the once-powerful Texas Republican, plans to resign from Congress and will drop his re-election bid, citing a desire to keep his House seat in Republican hands. "I refuse to allow liberal Democrats an opportunity to steal this seat with a negative personal campaign," DeLay said.
· Stamos gets full-time 'ER' job. Following a successful guest stint this season, John Stamos is set to join the cast of NBC's "ER" as a regular in the fall. Stamos will reprise his role as Tony Gates, a flirtatious paramedic who also is a medical student and a Gulf War veteran.
· McKinney Case Goes to Federal Prosecutor. The U.S. Capitol Police on Monday submitted their case against Rep. Cynthia McKinney to the U.S. Attorney's office, which will consider whether the Georgia congresswoman will face charges for tangling with a law enforcement officer last week.
Monday, April 3, 2006
· Update: Aspen Hairstylist Admits Stealing Costner's Laptop. An Aspen hairstylist hired for the guests at Kevin Costner's 2004 wedding pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of stealing the actor's laptop computer. Pascal Bensimon, 45, was ordered to pay $1,500 restitution, serve two years of unsupervised probation.
· Aussie pours gasoline in spider hole, lights match. A red-faced Australian nudist who tried to set fire to what he thought was a deadly funnel web spider's nest ended up with badly burned rear end, emergency officials said on Monday. Ambulance workers, including a helicopter crew, were called to the scene after the man poured gasoline down the hole and then lit a match in an attempt to kill the offending arachnid.
· Playboy eyes UK for gay brand launch. Playboy Enterprises, the New York-listed adult publisher and broadcaster, wants to use Britain as its base to move into the gay market for the first time. The company, which describes itself as “pro-sex” rather than pornographic, wants to launch a new gay brand as it tries to boost revenues.
· Jury: Moussaoui is eligible for death. Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty, a federal jury decided Monday in the first U.S. trial about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
· Searching for truth in the Duke story. "Outrage" has been the operative word to describe community sentiment in Durham in the past week. And justifiably so, if the allegations against members of the Duke men's lacrosse team are even close to true. Among the details: the alleged victim was an N.C. Central student and mother of two children; she worked for an escort service; she had been hired to perform for five men at a bachelor's party - only to find more than 40 at the party.
· Sexy media a siren call to promiscuity? Sexually charged music, magazines, TV and movies push youngsters into intercourse at an earlier age, perhaps by acting as kind of virtual peer that tells them everyone else is doing it, a study said Monday.
· Destination India for many young Americans. After graduating from Northwestern University last year, Nate Linkon contemplated job offers in Chicago and New York. But he chose a less conventional path and started his career in India's booming tech capital.
· Tom Cruise Says Marriage Can Wait. Tom Cruise told Germany's leading tabloid in its Monday edition that he wanted to tie the knot this summer with fiancee Katie Holmes, after the birth of their baby and the upcoming release of his new film, "Mission Impossible III." "First the baby, then the film," he was quoted as saying.
· Nuke plant gets new locks after keys lost. German authorities are changing 150 locks at a nuclear power plant after its owner said they had lost keys to a security area, a ministry spokesman in the south western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said on Monday.
· Cell Phone Users: Others Are Annoying, But Not Me. Even cell phone users get irritated at others who yak on their portables about their personal business in public. But almost nine in 10 say they encounter others using those phones in an annoying way. Only 8 percent of cell users acknowledge their own use of cell phones is sometimes rude.
· "Basic Instinct" Director: It's Bush's fault. The last time "Basic Instinct" man-eater Catherine Tramell prowled the big screen, the studio erotic thriller was hitting box office heights. The first "Instinct" took the top spot in 1992, with an opening weekend of $20.45 million in today's dollars. By comparison, "Basic Instinct 2" limped into 10th place upon its arrival this weekend, grossing just $3.2 million.
· Shock jock Stern helps police nab deranged fan. Shock jock Howard Stern got the scare of his life when a crazed fan spit in his girlfriend's face and threatened both of them on an upper West Side street yesterday. But a frightened Stern quickly turned crimefighter, helping cops nab the screaming, arm-waving lunatic.
· Indian Reservation to offer abortions. If South Dakota's abortion ban stands, it won't ban them from all parts of the state. The Oglala Sioux tribe president wants to open a women's clinic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that will offer abortions only if House Bill 1215 becomes law.
· Motorist opens fire on Hell's Angels bikers, killing one. A motorist opened fire on a group of Hell's Angels motorcyclists along Interstate 95 on Sunday, killing one and injuring another, police said. Police were considering a number of possible motives including road rage, and were searching for a sport utility vehicle with Florida license plates, Vance said.
· For super-rich yacht owners, one boat isn't enough. Sometimes a 300-foot mega-yacht just isn't enough boat. For the seafaring super-rich, the solution is as simple as it is mind-boggling to those less blessed by wealth: Buy a second vessel. "Shadow boats," or "toy-haulers," are the latest wave in the rarefied world of mega-yachting. Often as long or longer than the primary boat they accompany, shadow boats transport those items essential to today's mega-yacht master: helicopters, speedboats, water scooters, SUVs, professional grade incinerators, even a SWAT team.
· Dems blast McCain for Falwell flip-flop. Sen. John McCain started feeling the heat of being the GOP White House front-runner yesterday as questions arose over his embrace of Jerry Falwell - a man he once labeled an "agent of intolerance."
· Hollywood Studios to Sell Movies Online. Hollywood studios will start selling digital versions of films such as "Brokeback Mountain" and "King Kong" on the Internet this week, the first time major movies have been available online to own. The films can't be burned onto a disc for viewing on a DVD player.
· Director has left Dallas. The man behind Legally Blonde has reportedly thrown a tanty and quit the project, unhappy with some of the casting choices. We're not sure just which actors he objected to but among those already signed up to play members of the Ewing clan were John Travolta as JR, Jennifer Lopez as Sue Ellen, Luke Wilson as Bobby and Shirley MacLaine as Miss Ellie.
· Chávez seeks to peg oil at $50 a barrel. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is poised to launch a bid to transform the global politics of oil by seeking a deal with consumer countries which would lock in a price of $50 a barrel. A long-term agreement at that price could allow Venezuela to count its huge deposits of heavy crude as part of its official reserves, which Caracas says would give it more oil than Saudi Arabia. "We have the largest oil reserves in the world, we have oil for 200 years." Mr Chávez told the BBC.
· Russell Crowe gets hometown fuming. Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe has got some people fuming in his hometown in New Zealand after smoking during performances of his rock band "The Ordinary Fear of God." New Zealand's public health officials are investigating whether Crowe breached smoke-free laws covering concert venues.
Sunday, April 2, 2006
· Hospitals Make Changes to Care for Obese. Going to the hospital is rarely fun. If you weigh over 300 pounds like Beth Henk, it can be embarrassing. "I've flipped an exam table - I sat on the end of it and it just flipped up," said Henk, whose weight peaked at 745. Last year, patient care director Colleen Becker decided to check the numbers. She looked at a daily hospital census at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and about one-third of the 900 patients weighed 350 pounds or more.
· 'Ice Age' Debut Nets $70.5M in Cold Cash. "Ice Age: The Meltdown" heated up the box office with a mammoth $70.5 million weekend, while audiences gave the cold shoulder to Sharon Stone, whose "Basic Instinct 2" debuted with a paltry $3.2 million.
· Food-stamp slip may eat up family's funds. Deborah Buckley swallowed hard before looking to the government for help. The family of five had to rely on a thin monthly budget: a $311 welfare stipend for the kids and $560 in food-stamp assistance. Now, two years later, the Jefferson County system that helped the once working-class family mount a comeback says it made a mistake - and it wants the food-stamp money back. All $12,889.
· Inmate ran purchasing for state agency. Until three weeks ago, Tennessee's emergency management agency employed a prison inmate to oversee its purchasing and for a time did not restrict his access to a storage area where guns were kept. The inmate, Daniel D. Erickson, is serving eight years for trying to hire a hit man to help him kill his wife.
· Minutemen Gather to Press Border Control. Minuteman volunteers concerned about the continued flow of illegal immigrants across the border from Mexico gathered Saturday with lawn chairs, binoculars and cell phones for a new monthlong campaign aimed at raising public awareness of the issue. The ACLU say they're concerned that the Minutemen are "attempting to enforce immigration laws," executive director Alessandra Soler Meetze said.
· Scott Peterson's Family Seeks 'Real Killer.' Scott Peterson's family on Friday offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the murder of his pregnant wife. Peterson was convicted of killing Laci Peterson and the couple's unborn child on Christmas Eve 2002 and is on death row at San Quentin State Prison.
· Pregnant Paltrow: Cheers! Gwyneth Paltrow has a new motto: "Guinness is good for the baby." Diners at sushi bar Cube 63 were surprised when Paltrow, who is five months pregnant with the couple's second child, downing a beer with her meal.
· FDNY family never knew of 911 tape. The widow of a fire chief killed in the twin towers raged at city officials yesterday for releasing recordings of her husband's last words - without getting her permission or even telling her the tape existed.
· Woman likely to fail her anger management class. A woman attending anger management classes became irate during her session last week, threatened to kill a classmate, then went out to the lobby and broke a display case, Valparaiso, Indiana police said.
· Sharp rise in teachers preying on New York's kids. Stripping down to a bra, miniskirt and crotchless panties, 30-year-old Bronx teacher Albania Abreu allegedly gave one of her GED students a lap dance - as a "Christmas present." A Daily News examination of city documents found shocking details about scores of sexual encounters between teachers and students in city schools.
· Miss America Turning Into Reality TV Show. The Miss America pageant will broadcast a seven-episode reality show/documentary series next year to draw in viewers and let the audience choose some of the finalists, officials announced Saturday.
· Detroit parents could pay for their children's crimes. The sins of children might mean fines and jail time for Detroit parents. Noting a 25% jump in the number of juvenile crimes in the last year, city police and 36th District Court judges pledged Friday to begin enforcing a little-used parental responsibility statute that has been on the books since 1987.
· The next big thing in sports programming is dominoes? The games almost always draw spectators, so perhaps it is no surprise that the ESPN sports network has declared dominoes the next big spectator sport and is promoting it as both a cultural touchstone and a highly competitive game, complete with rankings, formal tournaments, celebrity events and sponsors. Encouraged by the success of televised poker, the network has begun combing New York City for top players and colorful clubs for its coverage.
· Spring Forward: Daylight-Saving Time Returns. The good news is an extra hour of sunlight every day just as spring begins to bloom. And the bad news isn't that bad -- just an hour's less sleep or a curtailed night of revelry.
Saturday, April 1, 2006
· Update: ABC Suspends Producer Over Bush-Bashing E-Mail. ABC News suspended the executive producer of the weekend edition of "Good Morning America" yesterday over a pair of leaked e-mails in which he used inflammatory language to slam President Bush.
· Rifle that won the West gets bullet. John Wayne film Stagecoach was a source of pride for everyone at the factory that made the movie star’s signature Winchester rifle. “You have all these action scenes and you see him shooting his Winchester - killing Indians, of course,” Mr Gomez, who spent 44 years at the plant, recalled. But the iconic American firearm known as “The Gun that Won the West”, featured in so many Hollywood Westerns, is now riding off into the sunset for good.
· Reaching out to "Vanished" Kid Star via MySpace. Every week or so, Detective Robbie Davis of the Bremerton, Washington, police department visits Joe Pichler's MySpace page. For a sign. For a clue. For a teenager lost. "I'm just looking to see if he gets on it," says Davis. "Then I'm looking to see what they're saying." They are the friends and family of Pichler, the former child actor who went missing nearly three months ago from his Northwest hometown.
· Time change is money for Indiana teen. An industrious teenager is hoping time is money. Eighteen-year-old Evan Kelso is offering to change every digital clock in a customer's home or car after all of Indiana goes to daylight saving time this weekend for the first time in more than 30 years. His fee: $10.
· Chris Farley Returns in Ad Campaign. Chris Farley, the funnyman who died more than eight years ago of a drug overdose, is making an appearance - on billboards that advertise treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. The outdoor ads - the first major commercial use of his image approved by his family - feature a photo of the smiling, famously bloated comic with the slogan, "It wasn't all his fault."
· Judge To Mom: 'No More Sex.' A Brevard County mother accused of killing her own child is facing unusual sanctions. A judge has ordered her to not have sex. Prosecutors say Jaclyn Helsel, 20, gave birth to two babies just seven months apart, and they said she threw the second one out with the trash. So, a judge is trying to make sure she does not get pregnant again.
· Carroll 'happy' to be in Germany. A smiling Jill Carroll, the 28-year-old American journalist freed in Iraq this week, arrived in Germany on her way back to the U.S. on Saturday as a video posted on an Islamist Web site showed her praising Iraqi insurgents and criticizing American forces.
· Howard Stern Lashes Out at Some Fans. Howard Stern is angry more fans haven't followed him to satellite radio. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 52-year-old shock jock lashes out at those of his fan base who haven't made the transition to Sirius Satellite Radio. In January, Stern moved his popular and bawdy morning show to the subscription satellite radio provider. "It's insulting to me that everyone hasn't come with me. I take it personally," he says.
· David Lee Roth Struggling on Radio. David Lee Roth says he won't jump from his gig as a morning radio host. Roth, who replaced shock jock Howard Stern on seven stations in January, has struggled in making the move from rock star to radio host.
· St. Paul police get new rules on alcohol. Confronting the volatile mixture of cops and alcohol, St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington reprimanded 25 officers Friday for drinking after work on police property and launched a policy limiting how much alcohol undercover officers can consume.
· Keep it bloody quiet. Hot-tempered diva Naomi Campbell tried to cover up her alleged hissy fit by keeping her blood-soaked maid away from the hospital, the victim's lawyer charged yesterday. Campbell is facing assault charges after allegedly hurling a crystal-encrusted BlackBerry at Scolavino's head.
· Clooney Takes Aim at 'Gawker Stalker' Site. George Clooney is known as a prankster, but his plan to undermine a Web site that posts celebrity sightings is no joke, his publicist said Friday. There is a simple way to render these guys useless," Clooney said. "Flood their Web site with bogus sightings. Get your clients to get 10 friends to text in fake sightings of any number of stars.
· Iowa Man Convicted of Abuse for 'Contract of Wifely Expectations.' A man who created a sexually explicit contract requiring his wife to fulfill his every desire was convicted Friday of sex abuse and domestic assault. Travis Frey, 33, of Council Bluffs, was initially charged with first-degree kidnapping and domestic abuse assault causing injury.