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April 27, 2007

Miss America Aids in Sexual Predator Cases

Sting operations targeting online sexual predators featuring Miss America have landed eleven men, reports the Associated Press.
Lauren Nelson, 20, worked with police to capture would-be sexual predators by enticing them via Internet conversations, according to the AP. Nelson pretended to be a 14-year-old girl, inviting grown men to meet her at a Long Island, NY home.
During the conversations, Nelson sent the men pictures taken of her as a teenager, reports the AP.
Of the 11 men arrested for attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors, four actually went to the Long Island home, while seven turned themselves in later, according to the AP.
"'The story was that they knew I was 14, and I told them I was cutting school to meet with them,' Nelson said. 'I stood outside on the porch, and I would say hi to them and wave them inside,'" according to the AP.

Sarah Silverman To Host MTV Movie Awards

Comedian and actress Sarah Silverman has signed on to host the 16th annual MTV Movie Awards, reports the Associated Press.
Silverman, 36, told the AP, "I'm training for this the way what's-her-face trained for `T2,"' in reference to Linda Hamilton in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."
This year's program will be the firtst MTV Movie Awards show to air live, according to the AP.
"I mean, I'm not a big swearer or anything, but I still seem to say things that you can't say on basic cable, so ... we're gonna have to have, like, a plan," Silverman said.
The program will air June 3 from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, reports the AP.

Minneapolis Tourist Dies In Florida

A Minnesota tourist visiting the Florida Keys died after a watercraft accident Sunday, reports the Associated Press.
Rickey McMurrin of Minneapolis was killed when his personal watercraft hit a low-lying tree branch, according to AP.
McMurrin suffered injuries to his head and torso, reports the AP.
A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission indicated McMurrin's passenger was unharmed in the accident, according to the AP.
McMurrin had been traveling with a tourist group when the accident occurred, reports the AP.

April 21, 2007

Pimp My Planet: MTV Show Goes Green For An Episode

Popular MTV show "Pimp My Ride" will celebrate Earth Day Sunday the only way they know how: making a 1965 Chevy Impala run on canola oil, reports the Associated Press.
The previously-recorded episode will air Sunday and will feature an introduction by Cali. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to the Los Angeles Times.
What begins as a rusted, beat-up old muscle car, gets transformed into an environmentally conscious machine, reports the LA Times.
Additions include: "upholstery made of renewable hemp fiber and carpeting from recycled plastic bottles," and a "6.6-liter Duramax diesel V-8 engine from General Motors Corp." capable of up to 600 horsepower, according to the LA Times.
Schwarzenegger's endorsement of the episode is part of a slew of events attempting to draw international attention to issues of environmentalism and problems of global warming, reports the AP.

NASA Contractor Allegedly Responsible For Murder-Suicide

The NASA contractor allegedly responsible for Friday's murder-suicide at Johnson Space Center received a bad performace review and feared losing his job, reports the Associated Press.
William Philips, 60, snuck into the Houston space center with a snub-nosed revolver and barricaded himself in a room that housed communications equipment, according to the AP.
Philips confronted a superior, 62-year-old David Beverly about his performance review. After several minutes, Philips shot Beverly twice and left, only to return later and shoot him twice more.
The contractor then held Fran Crenshaw, a contract worker, hostage for hours by duct-taping her to a chair, reports the AP.
Police freed Crenshaw after hearing Philips self-inflicted gunshot, according to the AP.

April 13, 2007

It's A Nice Day For A White Wedding

More than half of 2,000 wedding gowns stolen en route to an California charity event were recovered at the Mexico-United States border Wednesday.
Valued at $2 million-plus, the gowns were discovered while a tractor-trailer driver attempted to re-enter the U.S. at Nosgales, Ariz., reports the Associated Press.
The gowns were initially stolen in transit to a charity event benefitting breast cancer, reports the AP.
The driver has not been officially connected with the theft, according to the AP.
He was arrested and the truck has been impounded, reports the AP.

April 6, 2007

Man Kicks It Old School

A Milwaukee man was charged Friday with felony damage to property after kicking a hole in a $300,000 painting depicting the battle of David and Goliath, reports the Associated Press.
Timothy L. Kubena, 21, began kicking the 17th century painting entitled "The Triumph of David'' by Ottavio Vannini after he became disturbed by the depiction of David holding the giant's severed head, according to the AP.
A Milwaukee Art Museum designer was alerted to the distubance when he heard a crash in the next room, reports the AP.
Kubena was kicking at the painting when security guards attempted to stop him. When he caused a hole in the bottom right corner, he reportedly said, "I'm done," according to the AP.
"He was charged with felony damage to property, a charge that carries up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine," reports the AP.
Kubena said the crime was premeditated, according to Fox 6 News.

Clothespin Punishment Hangs Sub Out To Dry

An Ohio substitute teacher was fired Wednesday for using clothespins to silence kindergartners, reports the Associated Press.
Ruth Ann Stoneburner, a retired school nurse, was reported for using spring-type clothespins on four boys who had been talking too much in class, according to WJACTV.
The clothespins were placed on the upper and lower lips of the chatty students, reports the AP. The principal, Mike Johnsen, received a call from a parent of one of the boys, accotding to WJACTV.
Officials of the Amanda-Clearcreek school district announced that Stoneburner has been indefinitely suspended, according to WJACTV.
The officials have stated that they do not condone such dicipline practices, reports WJACTV.

March 30, 2007

200-Pound Milk Chocolate Jesus Causes Controversy

The New York exhibition of a milk chocolate, all-nude, anatomically correct statue of Jesus set to go on display Good Friday was cancelled due to Catholic outrage, reports USA Today.
The "My Sweet Lord" display was shut down by the Manhattan hotel in which the exhibition was set to occur. The gallery's creative director, Matt Semlar, resigned in protest, reports USA Today.
Cardinal Edward Egan led the protest, calling the exhibition a "sickening display," according to the Associated Press.
The hotel was forced to cancel the display after some of the angry letters threatened the lives of the artist and the gallery personnel were threatened, reports USA Today.
The artist, Cosimo Cavallaro, is recognized for his creative use of food as art, reports the Associated Press.
"Past efforts include repainting a Manhattan hotel room in melted mozzarella, spraying five tons of pepper jack cheese on a Wyoming home, and festooning a four-poster bed with 312 pounds of processed ham," reports USA Today.

Britney Spears Goes To Church and A Gun Is Pulled

A security guard pulled a gun on a paparazzo attempting to get shots of celebrity Britney Spears leaving church Tuesday, reports The Mirror.
Spears had left the church only to be followed by the photographers rapidly giving chase, dodging police attempting to stop traffic. One of the paparazzo apparently came close to one of the traffic officers, reports the Mirror.
The security guard, supposedly a retired police officer, pulled out a gun and stopped the snapper's Lexus 4x4, reports the National Ledger. The photographer was handcuffed and made to sit on the side of the road.
The guard accused the paparazzo of attempting to run over the traffic officer, which the snapper denied, reports AHN.
Spears was not witness to the event, according to the Mirror.

Teen Golfer Falls Victim to the Dreaded Rear Admiral

A 13-year-old Georgia boy allegedly suffered an extreme wedgie late last week landing him in the emergency room and leading to the arrest of two upperclassmen, reports Local 6 News Online.
The boy, who has remained unidentified, was a member of the junior varsity gold team. While riding the bus with the varsity team, he was summoned to the back by two older students, reports Local 6.
The upperclassmen reportedly picked the boy up by his underwear and held him upside-down, according to Local 6.
"It was so extreme it ripped his boxer shorts in two," the boy's mother said. "He was bent over and couldn't hardly walk. He cried for probably 30 minutes," she said, according to USA Today.
The varsity players, who also punched the boy in the stomach and groin, were charged with simple battery, reports USA Today.
The boy, traumatized by the prank, is too afraid to return to school, according to Local 6.

March 23, 2007

Mel Gibson Verbally Attacks Professor

In a university screening of his film Apocalypto Thursday, Mel Gibson got into a heated argument with a professor ending in profanity and her removal.
The argument began when "Alicia Estrada, an assistant professor of Central American studies at California State University, Northridge, accused the actor-director of misrepresenting the Mayan culture in the movie," reports the Australia Herald Sun.
Gibson reportedly used the F-word and told the professor to "get a history book and read," according to the Herald Sun.
The professor stated that her question was in no way aggressive, reports the Associated Press.
Estrada was described as a rude and risruptive heckler, according to Alan Nierob, Gibson's publicist, reports the AP.

Depraved Dog Decapitator Made Video

Police charged a St. Paul man Friday for the decapitation of an unrequited love interest's dog, claiming he made a video of the horror, reports the Star Tribune.
Anthony Albert Gomez is a 24-year-old that lived in the neighborhood of Crystal Brown, the 17-year-old owner of her deceased companion dog Chevy. Brown befriended Gomez, mainly out of sympathy, according to the Star Tribune. When Brown refused to take their relationship to the next level, Gomez allegedly went haywire.
Chevy was reported missing four months ago, causing Brown increased distress in her life. Brown comes from a broken home and a history of drug abuse, reports the Star Tribune. Being a delinquent isolated her from other people. Chevy was her only friend. When Chevy finally returned, however, he was greeted with horror not happiness.
Chevy had been decapitated, his head put in a box with Valentines candy and gift-wrapped.
Gomez was arrested Friday and charged with "one count of killing a companion animal and one count of animal cruelty done to threaten or terrorize another person," according to the Star Tribune.
According to a criminal complaint, Gomez had cell phone video clips of the dog being beheaded with a chainsaw, reports the Star Tribune.
He allegedly was not involved in the decapitation of the dog's body, but he told police that he had told others to do it.

March 16, 2007

Man Climbs White House Fence, That's About Where It Ends

A 66-year-old man climbed over the White House fence Friday bearing a bundle of packages he falsely claimed was a bomb, reports the Associated Press.
Catalino Lucas Diaz, a possible Florida resident, was charged with "unlawful entry, threatening with a bomb and throwing a missile," reports the AP.
The bundle contained three separate packages: a tape recorder, a book and some other items, according to White House press secretary Tony Snow.
The packages were destroyed using a water cannon. They reportedly contained no dangerous materials, reports the AP.
Diaz's escapades put the Whitehouse on security lockdown for three hours, according to the AP.

A Short Time In The Future In A Mailbox Not So Far Away...

The US Postal Service has teamed up with Lucasfilm Ltd. to bring some character to the mail.
To commemorate the 30-year anniversary of Star Wars, the US Postal Service will announce a stamp of the famous epic March 28.
As a "teaser" for the upcoming announcement, mailboxes across the country will be fitted with a special covering to make them look like R2-D2, a popular robot from the film.
The approximately 400 special mailboxes will be in 200 major cities nationwide, according to the Associated Press.
People are strongly urged not to tamper with the mailboxes, Anita T. Bizzotto, the post office's chief marketing officer said, noting that it is a crime, reports the AP.

Girl Gets Gift of Valentines Day Candy, Severed Dog's Head

A 17-year-old St. Paul girl was subject to intense depravity in the form of an unassuming present two weeks ago, according to the Star Tribune.
When Crystal Brown's 4-year-old Australian shepherd mix Chevy wandered off nearly four months ago, she was devastated. Chevy was her "therapy dog," and she confided in him with her most private secrets.
Her search included posting up flyers in her neighborhood and going door to door, asking if anyone had seen Chevy.
Then, two weeks ago, Brown received a gift-wrapped package on her front doorstep marked, "Congratulations Crystal. This side up. Batteries included," according to the Associated Press. She thought it was a gift from her cousin, reports the Star Tribune.
When she opened the box she found Valentines Day candy and a black garbage bag. Then she saw the dog's head.
"Is this my dog, Grandma? No! That's not my dog? Is it my dog?" Brown hysterically screamed to her grandmother, according to the Star Tribune.
Police say the attack was an isolated incident, likely done by someone who knows the family, reports the AP. No motive has been identified.
The Humane Society has raised its reward for information about the beheading from $2,500 to $10,000, according to the Star Tribune.
Brown recently got a new puppy that she named Diesel, reports the AP.

February 26, 2007

Martin Scorsese wins Best Director

Martin Scorsese won the best director Oscar for his film "The Departed" at the 79th annual Academy Awards Sunday.
"Could you double check the envelope?" the eight-time nominee said, according to ABC News.
Scorsese has been nominated for best director six times for his work on such classics as "Raging Bull" and "Taxi Driver," according to the Los Angeles Times. He has also been nominated for best screenplay twice.
The award was presented by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. Scorsese received a standing ovation for the long-overdue acknowledgement.
"So many people have been wishing this for me," Scorsese said, joking about all the encouragement he received prior to the award show.
Other nominees in the category were Clint Eastwood for "Letters from Iwo Jima," Stephen Frears for "The Queen," Paul Greengrass for "United 93" and Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu for "Babel."
"The Departed," Scorsese's highest-grossing film to date, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon. The film also won best picture.

February 23, 2007

Britney Spears back in rehab

Britney Spears has checked into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, which may help her retain custody of her children, reports FOX News.
Spears checked into Promises Malibu drug and alcohol rehab center Thursday. This was her third one-day stint in rehab in the past week, according to FOX News.
"It actually may reflect well on her that she's now gone back, if she stays and sees herself through the program," said Jason Adess, a family law attorney in Chicago. "That way she can present to the court that she has an issue, she has acknowledged the issue, she has gotten help and now she is able to resume primary custody of the children," reports the Associated Press.
Currently, the 25-year-old entertainer and estranged husband Kevin Federline have joint custody of their two children, Jayden James, 5 months, and Sean Preston, 17 months, according to the AP.
Spears and Federline split in November, citing irreconcilable differences, reports the AP.

"Ingenious" Fla. teen escapes captor

A 13-year-old child was abducted early Friday near his school bus stop only to escape hours later, reports the Associated Press.
Clay Moore was abducted at gunpoint in front of about a dozen other children at around 9 a.m., according to the AP. The suspect drove a red or maroon pick-up truck.
Moore was then driven 20 to 30 miles away from where he was abducted, a town called Parrish about 30 miles southeast of St. Petersburg, Fla. He was bound and left in a "desolate" area, according to CNN.
The boy then freed himself and walked a "conserable distance" until he found a farm worker. Moore asked to use a cell phone, and called his mother around 1:30 p.m., reports CNN.
It is unclear what the kidnappers motives were, but Moore was found with nothing more than scratches and scrapes.

February 16, 2007

Nicole Richie Charged With December DUI

Celebrity Nicole Richie was charged Friday with a misdemeanor driving under the influece from a Dec. 11, reports the Associated Press.
If convicted, Richie could face one year in jail and an upwards of a $1,000 fine. Also, based on the judge's subjectivity, her license may be restricted and she may be given community service, reports E! News.
Her arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21.
On Dec. 11, Richie was pulled over for allegedly driving the wrong way on a Los Angeles freeway. Though no drugs were found in her car, she failed a field sobriety test and allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana and taking perscription painkiller Vicodin before driving, reports E! News.
When police found the 25-year-old's black SUV, she was facing the correct direction, but was braking and talking on her cell phone, according to E! News.

Teens Dancing: A National Pandemic?

The Star Tribune reported Thursday of a trend that seems to be reflexive on a national level: high school students dancing sexually and the hazards that result from such actions.
High school officials and parents have apparently been taking offense to the "freak dancing" that goes on at the school dances. These dances include "grinding" and "twerking," both are reported as simulating sex, according to the Star Tribune.
The Sparta Independent said Thurday that current trends in dancing are far cries from the old, more refined, dances involving girls and boys on opposite ends of the dance floor timidly awaiting a request.
Students seem to feel that they should be allowed to wear and dance the way they want.
"We're not hurting anyone," said Sophomore Ryan Grant in the Star Tribune article.
Included with these dances nowadays is the ever-present police authority. Students are required to take a breathalyzer test at Fridley High School and police patrol the hallways and the dance floor, reports the Star Tribune.
The rise in regulation has led to a decline in dance attendance. Many students opt not to go to dances anymore because edited songs, strict dress codes and signed consent forms (if a student wishes to attend a dance at a different high school).
This drop in interest has caused turmoil for numerous DJ companies who rely on high school dances as main sources of work. The percentage of high school dances as a DJ gig has gone from 80 to 50, according to the Star Tribune.

February 9, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theatres

In promotion for the upcoming film Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theatres, Lite-Brite toys were used in a guerilla advertising campaign which caused a bomb scare, the resignation of Cartoon Network's chief and cost Turner Broadcasting $2 million.
On Jan. 31, small light-up signs depicting characters of the Cartoon Network show Aqua Teen Hunger Force were mistaken as bombs and reported to police in Boston. A small panic ensued, causing bridges and roads to be closed and bomb squads to be called, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Upon hearing about the scare, Turner Broadcasting and Cartoon Network called for the signs to be taken down, and claimed full responsibilty for the chaos they caused, acknowledging that it was a marketing move.
At a press conference the following day, Aqua Teen advertisers Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens used the forum to discuss haircuts of the seventies. Their attorney had advised them not to discuss the bomb threat issue.
"On Monday, Turner Broadcasting and an advertising agency involved agreed to pay $2 million in compensation for the emergency response the devices had spurred in Boston," reported the Detroit Free Press. Also, Jim Samples, chief of Cartoon Network, resigned with the hopes of putting the entire situation behind him and the company.

Anna Nicole Smith dies at 39

Celebrity Anna Nicole Smith's early autopsy has not revealed any clear cause of death, reports CNN.
The former Guess Jeans spokeswoman died Thursday after a private nurse found her body in her Hollywood, Florida hotel room.
She was autopsied Friday, but no clear cause of death has been determined. Some of the findings of the investigation thus far have been: blood was found in her stomach, there were no illegal drugs in her room, only prescription drugs were found, she collapsed and hurt her back earlier in the week, and there were no signs of blunt force trauma, gun shot wounds, asphyxiation or other physical trauma, reports CNN.
The former Playboy model was 39, recently married to attorney Howard K. Stern and had a three-month-old daughter Dannielynn Hope.
Her death is shrouded in mystery, and that mystery is intensified by the fact that her son, Daniel, died in the Bahamas September. His death is also unsolved. The death of Anna Nicole Smith has resurfaced the investigation of her son's death, according to the Associated Press.

February 2, 2007

Florida storms kill 19

Strong storms accompanied by at least one tornado rocked Central Florida Friday, killing 19 and damaging property.
The intense thunderstorms began at 3 a.m. and ended by 6 a.m. according to the Los Angeles Times. The main section of the storm hit around 4 a.m.
In the three main hours of the storm trucks were thrown and houses and mobile homes destroyed. Power was also lost within the counties. Cost etimates of the damages have yet to be released.
The most significant damage, however, was the loss of human life. Initial reports estimated the death toll at 14, but was then raised to 19 after five more bodies were found, reports the Orlando Sentinel. One of the victims was a 15-year-old boy named David Downing; his two twin sisters survived the weather.
Officials have noted that the number one priority at this point is finding the injured.
"The storms were expected to move east and south [sic], and the National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for Orange and Seminole Counties," reports the New York Times.

January 31, 2007

Herpes Outbreak Stalls High School Wrestling

The Associated Press is reporting today that high school wrestling programs in Minnesota have been suspended due to a herpes outbreak among the athletes.
The infection herpes gladiotorum is caused by the herpes simplex virus and typically causes a rash to occur on the face, neck, shoulders and arms for a period of 10 to 14 days, says The Star Tribune. Currently 2.6 percent of all high school wrestlers are pinned by the virus.
The virus is nicknamed "mat herpes" as it is most commonly found in wrestlers and athletes of other sports that involve high levels of skin-to-skin contact. Treatments for the virus include prescription drugs Zovirax and Valtrex.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that 7,500 wrestlers on 262 teams are affected by the suspension. 24 cases of the virus have been reported so far.
Though herpes lasts forever, the suspension ends February 6, which allows enough time for currently affected wrestlers to recover from their symptoms. Athletes still showing symptoms of the virus at the time of the state tournament, which is set to occur February 28-March 3, will not be eligible to compete.
This is the first time in history that Minnesota high school wrestling has been suspended due to a viral outbreak. Though sentiments have been mixed, some coaches feel that a suspension now is much less troublesome than a post-season interruption.