Saturday, June 28, 2008

Teenager Sam Leeson hanged himself over 'Emo' taunts

A 13-year-old boy hanged himself after he was bullied on social networking website Bebo.
Sam Leeson was targeted because he was a fan of 'Emo' music, which is popular with many children who feel left out of the mainstream.
The term originally meant 'emotional hardcore' and was an offshoot of punk music before it evolved into something more popular.
In common with many 'emos', Sam wore alternative black or dark clothing and had long hair, which attracted the bullies.
The boy, who had four sisters and two brothers, was found hanged in his bedroom by his mother and 12-year-old sister, after months of abuse which was only uncovered after his death.
His father Christopher, 39, of Hardwicke, in Gloucestershire, yesterday pleaded for other victims of bullies to not give in.
Mr Leeson, who is a builder, said: "Please talk to someone. Change your email address and change your mobile.
"Even change your school but don't destroy the lives of your mother, father, brothers or sisters.
"Mostly think of the people who will be putting flowers and cards on the gates of your school and trying to make sense of a pointless waste of a life.
"Bullies are cowards and you can beat them. Do it for Sam's sake."
He added: "I never knew things were so bad for Sam. I feel so sad he didn't speak to me."
Sam, who was a pupil at Severn Vale School in Gloucester, was found hanged in his bedroom on June 5.
Sam's laptop computer is now being examined by Gloucestershire Police and an investigation into his death has begun.

Girl found hanged in bedroom had become obsessed with ‘emo’ culture
A girl aged 12 who was found hanged in her bedroom had become obsessed with a teenage sub-culture known as “emo”, an inquest was told yesterday.
Rachel Jarvis, a fan of the band My Chemical Romance, died in January, a few days after making a new year’s resolution not to kill herself. She joins a growing list of children whose death has been linked to their involvement with the music and fashion of the angst-ridden cult, whose followers regularly talk of self-harming and suicide.
This month a 13-year-old boy, Sam Leeson, was found hanged in his bedroom in Gloucester. He had been bullied for his alternative dress and love of emo music. In May a coroner in Maidstone, Kent, ruled that the suicide of Hannah Bond, 13, another fan of My Chemical Romance, had “disturbing” emo overtones. She had earlier cut her wrists and discussed the “glamour” of hanging with other emo fans on the internet.
Emo is short for emotional hardcore. Its adherents – in Britain usually middle-class teenagers of both sexes – wear skinny black jeans, heavy, dark make-up and often dye their hair black.
Rachel, from Hull, was known to her family as a happy and friendly girl who performed well at school. Her form teacher described her as “wonderful . . . extremely mature for her age, very confident and bold”.
After her death it emerged that in the months before she was found hanged from her bedroom ceiling she had often visited an American emo website – her online name was Emos-rule – where young people spoke about depression, self-harm and killing themselves.
She had also kept a secret diary in which she recorded earlier suicide attempts. A statement from one of her close friends, a boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, was read to the hearing at Hull Coroner’s Court. He said that the pair had bonded over their shared passion for emo music and that Rachel had confided in him that she was going to cut herself.
“Other people used to say, ‘Don’t hang around with her because she’s weird and you will get depressed if you are around her,’ but I didn’t listen to them.”
Rachel’s mother, Maggie Jarvis, a former housing adviser, said that she had been about to give her two younger sons a bath and put them to bed and went to speak to her daughter about her playing loud music. “I went upstairs to ask her to turn it down otherwise they wouldn’t get to sleep. That’s when I found her,” she said.
Police investigating Rachel’s death found long-sleeved tops with blood stains at the wrists. They also found a diary with dark poetry and entries about eight earlier suicide attempts.
The coroner, Geoffrey Saul, recorded a narrative verdict in which he noted that “the suspension was at her own hand but the question of intent remains unclear”. He went on: “The evidence shows that she had talked to friends of hers about self harm but it doesn’t seem that they were strong statements of immediate intention.”

Teen Decapitated by Six Flags Coaster

A teenager was decapitated by a roller coaster after he hopped a pair of fences and entered a restricted area Saturday at Six Flags Over Georgia, authorities said.

Six Flags officials are uncertain why the unidentified 17-year-old from Columbia, S.C. scaled two six-foot fences and passed signs that said the restricted area was both off-limits and dangerous to visitors, spokeswoman Hela Sheth said in a news release.

Authorities were investigating reports from witnesses who said the teenager jumped the fences to retrieve a hat he lost while riding the Batman roller coaster, said Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce. Police have declined to release the teenager's name until an autopsy is completed.

Six Flags said it closed the roller coaster after the Saturday afternoon accident out of respect for the teen's family. The ride was expected to reopen on Sunday, according to a Six Flags news release.

Police said the ride was going full-speed when the teen was struck. The ride's top speed is 50 mph, according to the park's Web site.

No one riding on the roller coaster was injured, Sheth said. The teen was with another boy who also entered the restricted area but was not injured, Pierce said.

The teen and his parents were at the park with a group from the Oakey Spring Baptist Church near Springfield, S.C., police said.

In May 2002, 58-year-old groundskeeper Samuel Milton Guyton of Atlanta was killed after he wandered in a restricted area under the Batman roller coaster's path and was struck in the head by the dangling leg of one of the ride's passengers. The ride was closed for a day to allow the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to inspect the ride. It was deemed safe for passengers.

In June 2007, a teenager's legs were severed when cables snapped on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Ky. Doctors were able to reattach Kaitlyn Lasitter's right foot, but she had to have some of her left leg amputated and subsequent surgeries.

State officials blame a faulty cable and slow response by an amusement park ride operator in the accident. Her family is suing Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, claiming the park failed to maintain the ride and equipment and ensure riders' safety. The amusement park has denied liability in court filings.

Dog found in river had throat cut

The body of a partially decapitated dog has been found in the River Waveney in Suffolk, the RSPCA has revealed.

The lurcher dog, which had its throat cut, was found by canoeists on the river between Mendham and the Norfolk border at Harleston.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "It is not known how the dog died but it was almost decapitated and may have been in the water for several days."

The RSPCA are appealing to anyone with information to contact them.

The animal, which had a black leather collar, was found with a black plastic bin liner around its head.

Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal faces a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to £20,000.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz Says New Album May Sound Like AC/DC And White Stripes -- Or Not

'It's early, but the ideas we've got right now, they're really guitar-riff-heavy,' bassist says. Hey, bloggers! Pay attention, because Pete Wentz is about to make things very easy for you.
Here's what he has to say about Fall Out Boy's new album — you know, the one that may or may not have an Iggy Pop & the Stooges-meet-the Smiths feel to it? The same one they're currently working on with producer Neal Avron? Anyway, yeah, here's how Wentz describes it. And again, we urge you to have your OMGs and WTFs at the ready.
"It's early, but the ideas we've got right now, they're really guitar-riff-heavy. A lot of other bands, like AC/DC or the White Stripes, you know their songs by the opening guitar riff," Wentz told MTV News. "So basically, I want our record to be like an AC/DC album or a White Stripes album. I want to make sure the bloggers say that. Actually, I'm just kidding about that. Well, I was kidding about the White Stripes part. Not AC/DC."
So there you go. The new Fall Out Boy record is going to be heavily influenced by the fret-shredding heroics of Jack White and Angus Young. Except that it probably won't, because, as Wentz points out, pretty much every song the band has ever written has gone through about, well, 30 different permutations. And, like he said, it's still really early.
"We've put down, like, three to four songs, but they're just ideas right now. This is how we do our songs. They go through, like, 30 changes. 'Sugar [We're Going Down]' went through 30 changes, and then it just went back to the way it was when we first started, so I don't know if these ideas we've got now will change or end up just like they are now," he explained. "Right now, we've got a bunch of great parts surrounded by a web."
And they're weaving that web at Avron's home, which has perks the average recording studio wouldn't ("He's got a trampoline built into the ground, a pool and a really awesome kid. So it's really easy to do test marketing, because if his kid says it sucks, we know it sucks," Wentz laughed). And as for how the pre-production process works? Well, Wentz is quick to explain with a "Wizard of Oz" metaphor (why not?).
"The way it works is, Patrick is kind of like Dorothy from 'The Wizard of Oz,' and we're all the supporting characters. I'm like the Tin Man, Hurley is Toto, and Trohman is definitely the Lion, because he's got big hair and he's very boisterous," he laughed. "I go over there after I leave the set of 'FNMTV,' and usually before too. Usually twice a day. Patrick is always there, working on new stuff. We keep him chained in the basement."
So when can fans expect to hear the new album? Well, Wentz said FOB hope to start recording it this summer, and that it will hopefully be in stores before the end of the year. Then again, that wouldn't be the first time he's said something like that.
"I think we're gonna start recording this summer, because it's 116 degrees in Los Angeles, and I need to be someplace with extreme air-conditioning," he said. "But I always say that, and then we screw it up, so we'll see."
Source: MTV NEWS

Pete Wentz opens a bar, and Ashlee shows off baby bump
The Wentz’s were seen in Chicago at Pete Wentz’s bar opening, as Ashlee showed off her baby bump.
Newlyweds and parents-to-be Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz attended Wentz’s bar opening in Chicago this weekend.
Simpson-Wentz displayed her pregnancy for all to see in a fitted black dress and high heels, but only allowed a few pictures before stepping inside with her in-laws. Husband Wentz stayed out to field the hundreds of questions given by interviewers about the future for the happy family. He even revealed that he would rather raise a family in Chicago, rather than their home in L.A.
People quoted, “I think I would rather raise a family here than L.A.’ you go to your own coffee shop, you go to the dog park, it's smaller and I appreciate that.”
He also added that he is willing to do everything for his wife during her pregnancy: “oh year, I do the whole nine [yards], anything to keep her comfortable — massages, the works.”
Their night continued with a birthday photo montage for Wentz, followed up by a bulldog-shaped cake, a tribute to their bulldog, Hemmingway, who was the ring bearer at the wedding.

Woman Dead 42 Years Before Someone Noticed

We're not sure what was on TV in 1966 in the former Yugoslavia, but it was the last thing seen by a woman whose remains have only recently been found.
Hedviga Golik, who was born in 1924, was discovered by police in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, long-dead and sitting in her arm chair in front of her black and white television.
The deceased had been reported missing 42 years ago, and neighbors say they thought she had moved away to live with relatives. Oddly though, the police only recently broke in to try to determine who owned the apartment and they still have not figured out how the woman could have been reported missing so long ago without anyone checking the residence.
"When officers went there, they said it was like stepping into a place frozen in time," a police spokesman said. "The cup she had been drinking tea from was still on a table next to the chair she had been sitting in ... Nothing had been disturbed for decades, even though there were more than a few cobwebs in there."
A neighbor, fittingly, remembered Golik as "a quiet woman who kept herself to herself."

Potent Quotables: Katy Perry's Crush Confession
"I'm kinda saving myself for Miley Cyrus."--Katy Perry
The 'I Kissed A Girl' singer insists that she is holding out for the 'Hannah Montana' star.

Don Imus on Adam Jones: 'What Color Is He?'

Don Imus, the radio jock who was fired last year for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos," has once again put his foot in his mouth in comments related to the world of sports.
When one of Imus's on-air partners, Warner Wolf, discussed Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones' legal troubles, Imus asked, "What color is he." When told that Jones is African-American, Imus said, "Well, there you go. Now we know.
The full transcript is below.

Wolf: "Defensive back Adam 'Pacman' Jones, recently signed by the Cowboys. Here's a guy suspended all of 2007 following a shooting in a Vegas night club."

Imus: "Well, stuff happens. You're in a night club, for God's sake. What do you think's gonna happen in a night club? People are drinking and doing drugs, there are women there, and people have guns. So, there, go ahead."

Wolf: "He's also been arrested six times since being drafte

d by Tennessee in 2005."

Imus: "What color is he?"

Wolf: "He's African-American."

Imus: "Well, there you go. Now we know."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jamie Lynn Spears gives birth to a girl

Jamie Lynn Spears gave birth to a baby girl Thursday morning at a south Mississippi hospital, according to a friend of the Spears family. The friend, who asked not to be identified because the family had not yet announced the baby's birth, told The Associated Press that the baby was named Maddie Briann and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces.
The 17-year-old Jamie Lynn was the star of Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101," a sitcom about prep school friends, and is the younger sister of pop star Britney Spears. The Spears family announced in December that Jamie Lynn was pregnant. The father is Casey Aldridge, a pipe-layer from Liberty, Miss. The couple is not married but announced an engagement several months ago.
Ellen Brannan, spokeswoman for Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center, in McComb, would not give out any details. "We understand everybody's interested, but we don't give out information on anyone. Everyone's entitled to their privacy," she said.
The younger Spears lives near Liberty with Aldridge, 19, and has been seen around the small south Mississippi town often as her pregnancy became more apparent. Her family owns a home across the state line in Kentwood, La.
Spears announced her pregnancy through an article in OK! Magazine and was expected to receive a large payday for exclusive pictures of the newborn.
Nickelodeon issued a statement about the birth on Thursday, saying, "We wish her and her family well." Nickelodeon spokeswoman Marianne Romano said that filming of the fourth and final season of "Zoey 101" was completed last summer before Spears became pregnant.
Spears portrayed Zoey Brooks, a student at Pacific Coast Academy, a campus that had been an exclusive all-boys boarding school until Zoey and a handful of other girls arrived. At the end of the series, Zoey gets the boy — longtime crush Chase (Sean Flynn).

Jamie Lynn Spears Baby Sparks Interest In High School Pregnancy Pact

The big news of yesterday was that 17-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears gave birth to her first child—a daughter. But the news that followed—that several girls at a Massachusetts high-school planned to get pregnant and raise their kids together in a pregnancy pact—has caused an uproar among concerned parents.
According to reports, 17 students at Massachusetts’ Gloucester High School—none of them older than 16—had made a pact to get pregnant and raise their children together. School officials learned of the pact while trying to explain how the pregnancy rate of students in the school had quadrupled over last year.
The Boston Globe has reported that the mass pregnancy has sparked discussion in the largely Catholic fishing town about the availability of contraception. The news sent shockwaves through parents and administrators.
“More students are coming in and asking about pregnancy testing,” Gloucester’s public health director, Jack Vondras, told the Globe last month. “What’s odd is that some of them are disappointed because they’re not getting pregnant.”
MTV is reporting that several of the fathers are out of high-school and well into their twenties. One is a 24-year-old homeless man from the area, the Website reported.
At a recent city council meeting, the town’s mayor inquired about filing statutory rape charges against several of the men, according to MTV.
Jamie Lynn Spears went public with her pregnancy when she was just 16 years old in a dual interview with her mother Lynne Spears. Lynne Spears said at the time that while her daughter was obviously too young to be having a child, she stood by her decision to have the baby and be as involved as possible.
Late last year, Jamie Lynn’s older sister Britney Spears experienced some parenting problems of her own. She lost custody of her two young boys to ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Teacher Accused of Burning Cross on Kids

The school board of a small central Ohio community voted unanimously Friday to fire a teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs despite staff complaints and using a device to burn the image of a cross on students' arms.
School board members voted 5-0 to fire Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher John Freshwater. Board attorney David Millstone said Freshwater is entitled to a hearing to challenge the dismissal.
Freshwater denies wrongdoing and will request such a hearing, the teacher's attorney, Kelly Hamilton, told the Mount Vernon News.
School board members met a day after the consulting firm H.R. On Call Inc. released its report on the teacher's case.
The report came a week after a family filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Columbus against Freshwater and the school district, saying Freshwater burned a cross on a child's arm that remained for three or four weeks.
Freshwater's friend Dave Daubenmire defended him.
"With the exception of the cross-burning episode. ... I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district," he told The Columbus Dispatch for a story published Friday.
Several students interviewed by investigators described Freshwater, who has been employed by the school district located 40 miles northeast of Columbus for 21 years, as a great guy and their favorite teacher.
But Lynda Weston, the district's director of teaching and learning, told investigators that she has dealt with complaints about Freshwater for much of her 11-year term at the district, the report said.
A former superintendent, Jeff Maley, said he tried to find another position for Freshwater but couldn't because he was certified only in science, the report said.
Freshwater used a science tool known as a high-frequency generator to burn images of a cross on students' arms in December, the report said. Freshwater told investigators he simply was trying to demonstrate the device on several students and described the images as an "X," not a cross. But pictures show a cross, the report said.
Other findings show that Freshwater taught that carbon dating was unreliable to argue against evolution.

Martha Stewart Banned From Britain
Martha Stewart has been banned from Britain -- but she got a warm welcome Friday in Poland, her grandparents' homeland.
The lifestyle guru was planning to visit Britain in the coming days for business engagements, but the Daily Telegraph and other British newspapers reported Friday that she was denied permission to enter because of her 2004 conviction for obstructing justice.
Stewart's assistants confirmed the visa denial, but they gave no other details beyond saying they hope the decision will be reversed.
"Martha loves England; the country and English culture are near and dear to her heart," said Charles Koppelman, chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. "She has engagements with English companies and business leaders and hopes this can be resolved so that she will be able to visit soon."
On Friday evening in Warsaw, it would have been hard to tell that the headache was hanging over her head.
In an elegant home goods shop in the glistening Golden Terraces mall in downtown Warsaw, Stewart was feted by fans eager for a glimpse of the homemaking expert turned business tycoon.
She was in the Polish capital to promote her Martha Stewart Living magazine, which was recently launched in Polish, and to open an exhibition of her photographs, scenes of landscapes and gardens that she took herself.
During a brief speech, Stewart made a point of stressing the link she feels to the country where all four of her grandparents were born -- and crediting its hearty cuisine for providing inspiration in the kitchen.
She said that her mother, who was "a fabulous cook," taught her to make traditional Polish delicacies like pierogies, the traditional Polish stuffed dumplings; kielbasa, the Polish-style sausage; and babka, a spongy yeast cake popular at Easter.
"As a Polish-American, I feel a strong connection to this beautiful country and to its people," she said. "This trip is a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with my heritage."
Despite her roots, Stewart is not widely known in Poland -- though her legal troubles brought her a degree of attention for the first time.
In 2004, Stewart was convicted in federal court of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements related to a personal sale of ImClone Systems Inc. stock. She got a five-month prison sentence, and also served an additional five months and three weeks of home confinement.
A Home Office spokeswoman, however, refused to comment about Stewart's entry to Britain, but added: "We continue to oppose the entry to the U.K. of individuals where we believe their presence in the United Kingdom is not conducive to the public good or where they have been found guilty of serious criminal offenses abroad."
British and U.S. citizens generally enjoy visa-free travel between their countries. However, people with certain convictions must apply for visas.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mexico Declares War On Emo

Chances are if you aren’t emo, you hate emo. But you likely don’t hate this straight-haired, massacre-lined subculture as much as the Mexicans do. In recent weeks, a wave of emo bashings has swept across Mexico, several news agencies have reported, fuelled by punks, rockabillies, goths, metalheads and basically anyone who’s not emo.
According to Daniel Hernandez, who’s been covering the anti-emo riots on his blog Intersections, the violence began March 7, when an estimated 800 young people poured into the Mexican city of Queretaro’s main plaza “hunting” for emo kids to pummel. Then the following weekend similar violence occurred in Mexico City at the Glorieta de Insurgents, a central gathering space for emos. Hernandez also reports that several anti-emo riots have now also spread to various other Mexican cities. Via the Austin American Statesmen, several postings on Mexican social-networking sites, primarily organising spot for these “emo hunts,” have been dug up and translated. One states: “I HATE EMOS!!! They are not even people, they are so stupid, they cry over meaningless things… My school is infested with them, I want to kill them all!”
Another says: “We’ve never seen all the urban tribes unite against one single tribe before… Emos, their way of thinking is for crap, if you are so depressed please do us all a favour and kill yourselves!”
More recent reports state that the emos have begun to fight back against the other “urban tribes” and organised marches in Guadalajara and Mexico City, escalating the violence and leading to increased police presence. Also, some Mexican newspapers, such as El Porvenir, have called for government intervention to protect the emos, writing, “It’s the responsibility of the authorities to make sure the threats aren’t carried out and the aggressions are punished.”

Former Escape the Fate Singer Hunted Down By the Police
Emo kids might be getting beat up in Mexico, but in the United States, things are working out differently.
Ronnie Radke, the former singer for Escape the Fate attempted to live up to his old band’s name this week while eluding police. Radke skipped out on his parole and went on the lam before being apprehended outside of Las Vegas yesterday.
Radke was not involved with Escape the Fate’s next Epitaph album, but was apparently soliciting money while on the run to get his band back together when police nabbed him. Deputy U.S. Marshal Michael Picou said police “caught him by surprise” at a Henderson, Nevada home.
Radke’s trouble with the law began when he was charged and convicted of battery for his involvement in the murder of one Michael Cook during a fight. Another individual has been charged with the murder. Police have not stated if Radke stands to face any more charges for his brief flight.
It’s not known whether Radke plans to launch any humanitarian appeals on the basis that a singer from one of Epitaph’s newer signings doesn’t stand a chance in prison, however we’ll be sure to keep you posted should he do so.

Movie Soundtrack Features Exclusives From Aiden, The Von Bondies, Seether, and Eagles of Death Metal

Bloodsuckers and rock fans rejoice! There’s a new soundtrack for your hot, sweaty summer.
A 1987 cult hit, The Lost Boys’ soundtrack is arguably one of the most beloved movie soundtracks of the last 20 years. Armed with great, eerie songs that fit perfectly opposite the little film with a big bite, the soundtrack to the much anticipated sequel, Lost Boys: The Tribe, delivers just the same.
Helping to create a soundtrack worthy of it’s well-respected predecessor, the Lost Boys: The Tribe soundtrack includes AIDEN covering the classic anthem “Cry Little Sister” while THE VON BONDIES offer up “Only To Haunt You,” a never-before heard cut from their new album Love Hate And Then There’s You. Others include Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode fame, as well as the revamped Blind Melon.
Previously unreleased tracks include Aiden’s cover of “Cry Little Sister,” as well as Seether’s live acoustic rendition of “Burrito” and G.Love & Special Sauce’s “Long Way Down,” and The Von Bondies’ “Only To Haunt You.”
Says Aiden singer wiL Francis: "When we were approached to be a part of the new Lost Boys movie I was beside myself. Being such a fan of the original I could hardly set my excitement aside. This is a great opportunity for us to pay homage and be a part of something spectacular."
Artists’ Addiction Records is a leader in the horror soundtrack genre, releasing the popular SAW 1-4 Soundtrack CD’s. SaysAAR President Jonathan Miller: “I’m really excited to be a part of this project. I grew up with the original movie so to be involved with the second installment is amazing. We are all thrilled with the music that has been selected for the soundtrack and movie.”
Set in the shady surf city of Luna Bay, California, Lost Boys: The Tribe takes us to a world where vampires roam the night and feed on anyone who crosses their path. Into this dark world arrive Chris Emerson (Tad Hilgenbrink) and his younger sister, Nicole (Autumn Reeser). Having just lost their parents in a car accident, the siblings move in with their eccentric Aunt Jillian and become new prey for the locals’ way of life. When Nicole unwittingly falls for a local vampire, Chris must locate and destroy the gang’s lifeline before his sister’s transformation is complete; to do this Chris finds himself relying on the expertise of none other than Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman). With subtle references to characters from the original film, and cameos from returning actors,Lost Boys: The Tribe offers a homage to the Lost Boys legend while creating a sinister tone of impending doom.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Singer Wanted For Probation Jump Arrested

Metro police have arrested the former lead singer of a Las Vegas band who was wanted in connection with jumping parole.
Ronnie Radke, who was wanted in connection with jumping parole, was arrested Tuesday.
Radke was charged and convicted of battery in the death of Michael Cook.
A little more than two years ago, Cook was shot and killed near Shadow Ridge High School at 5050 Brent Lane.
The charges against the alleged killer were dropped, because Chase Rader, 22, had a viable claim of self-defense, police said.
This stemmed from a fight. Ronnie Radke, who was involved, was charged and convicted of battery, but police said he jumped parole and is a wanted man.
Radke was once part of the band Escape The Fate and still has a fan site on MySpace.

Boston Cheers as Celtics Rout Lakers

The sights, smells and happy chaos were familiar, as if borrowed from another era and another arena: Stale cigar smoke filled the air. Champagne soaked the locker-room carpets. Green and white confetti was everywhere.
Red Auerbach was not present for the moment in which the Boston Celtics restored their lost glory, but the party they threw Tuesday night at TD Banknorth Garden was unmistakably stamped with his outsize personality.
The Celtics did not just beat the Los Angeles Lakers, they crushed them – and left no doubt that the Larry O'Brien trophy belonged back in Boston after a 22-year hiatus.
Accompanied by chants of "Seventeen!" the Celtics routed their longtime rivals 131-92 to close out the finals in six games. Sixteen green-and-white banners will soon have company in the rafters.
Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce – three stars who had known individual glory but not gratification – will soon have their first championship rings. So will Coach Doc Rivers, who deftly blended their talents after they were united last summer.
It took Pierce, the longtime Celtics captain, 10 years to get here. Garnett waited 13 years for the moment, Allen 12. They all checked out of the game together, with 4 minutes 1 second left. They could not hug each other enough.
"Knowing that you were at rock bottom a year ago today, and to climb all the way to the top, this is a dream come true," said Pierce, who averaged 21.8 points in the finals and was unanimously named the most valuable player. "I'm going to cherish this forever."
They earned the moment with relentless defense that held Kobe Bryant, perhaps the game's premier scorer, to 40 percent shooting in the series. He had 22 points in the finale but just 11 points in the final three quarters.
Unbridled emotion came over the Celtics as the final buzzer sounded. Eddie House, the sharpshooting reserve, fell to his knees at one free-throw line. Garnett kneeled at center court and kissed the Celtics logo.
"I just want to say, other than my kid being born, this has got to be the happiest day of my life right now," said Garnett, one of the greatest power forwards of his era, whose intensity helped transform the Celtics this season.
In the din and the smoke, the Celtics paid homage their franchise patriarch.
"This win is for Red Auerbach," Wyc Grousbeck, the managing partner, said during a raucous trophy presentation on the court.
Moments earlier, Grousbeck had been shown on the video scoreboard chewing on a cigar, to the delight of the crowd.
After a taut series of wild comebacks, near-comebacks and tense fourth quarters, the finale proved anticlimactic – albeit exhilarating for the 18,624 green-clad fans, who hardly used their seats all night.
The Celtics had an 11-point lead in the middle of the second quarter, a 23-point lead at halftime, a 31-point lead by the middle of the third and very little to worry about for most of the night.
Allen buried the Lakers with his 3-point stroke and finished with 26 points. Garnett set the tone with a 10-point first quarter and finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists. Pierce had 17 points and 10 assists.
The Lakers never did win a road game in the series, and the Celtics finished their run with a 13-1 record at home. The 39-point margin of victory was the largest for a title-clinching game.
"We're disappointed," said Lakers Coach Phil Jackson. "Our fans are disappointed. I think everybody is disappointed that we didn't get a game out of this, give ourselves a chance."
The game was lost in the first half, when the Lakers failed to grab a single offensive rebound and shot 29.6 percent from the field. Garnett mowed over Pau Gasol, Allen bounced back from a poked eye (courtesy of Lamar Odom) and the Celtics put the game away early, with a 35-14 second quarter.
"We just didn't have it in us, I guess, tonight to be able to match that effort and that intensity," said Gasol, who finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
The story of the series, and the season, was the Celtics' commitment to relentless defense. They turned Bryant into a jumpshooter, made him work for every point and forced his teammates to do something spectacular. With few exceptions, they were not up to the task. Odom and Gasol seemed to shrink in the face of the Celtics' ferocity. A young bench anchored by Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar seemed overmatched and outwitted by a Boston bench that featured the savvy veterans P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell.
After much prodding, Bryant conceded that the Celtics' defense was the best he had seen in the playoffs.
"Just upset more than anything, frustrated," Bryant said. "But I'm proud. I'm proud of the way that we performed all year. I'm proud of my guys. I'm proud of the effort that we gave."
The city was primed for the moment. The arena boomed with "Beat L.A." chants in the first quarter. They booed Bryant's image on the scoreboard even earlier — during the national anthem. Fans amused themselves early in the fourth quarter by singing "Where is Kobe?"
The championship was ready to be claimed Tuesday, if only the Celtics could fight through exhaustion, attrition and whatever Bryant unleashed upon them. Over 48 hours, the Celtics had endured a sobering Game 5 defeat, a delayed flight and a sick child, all layered on top of the accumulated aches from a long playoff run.
Allen's youngest son had fallen ill in Los Angeles two nights earlier, which led him to miss the team flight back to Boston. Pierce played the final five games of the series with a sprained knee. Center Kendrick Perkins finished the series with shoulder and ankle injuries and point guard Rajon Rondo with a sprained ankle.
It took 26 games for Boston to win the championship, an NBA record. They were not always the most convincing contenders, going 3-9 on the road and requiring seven games to beat Atlanta and Cleveland in the early rounds.
But the Celtics were persistent, and unified, staying true to the South African theme of "ubuntu" that they established last fall. The word, introduced to the team by Rivers, literally means "I am because we are" and was invoked when the Celtics opened training camp, with the newcomers Garnett and Allen joining Pierce.
"They came in with no egos," Brown said. "Everything was about one thing — they came here to win a championship. It went throughout the whole team. Everybody bought in."
As an added bonus for the Celtics, they denied Jackson a 10th title, which would have broken his tie with Auerbach. That was, Danny Ainge admitted, a fringe benefit: "We wanted to keep Red's nine championships intact and not let Phil pass him."
Ainge was a vital role player when the Celtics won their last title in 1986 and is now their general manager. He absorbed Auerbach's wisdom, acquired the kinds of players who were worthy of his legacy, then watched them dismantle the franchise's greatest rival.
"Beating the Lakers," Ainge said, "is an added bonus. Yeah."

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Former Escape the Fate frontman Ronnie Radke is wanted by police for ESCAPING THE FATE. Apparently, he was involved in a fight a couple years back, that led to the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Cook. Though charges against the shooter, 22-year-old Chase Rader, were dropped on the ground of self-defense, Radke was convicted of battery in the case, but has since skipped parole:
“Still waiting for justice … Now to have Ronnie on the loose is another slap,” said Cook’s mother, Setta Freeman.
Cook’s mother said her hope is that Radke turns himself in.Radke has some unique physical traits, including a tattoo on his neck. It’s a bird with the word “Dad,” along with a spider web and skull. He also has a scar on his left wrist. Anyone with information is asked to call 775-684-2644.

Tokio Hotel Makes Teens Swoon
Move over Jonas Brothers, the Kaulitz twins are moving in.
The 18-year-old Kaulitz brothers comprise half of Tokio Hotel, a German glam-pop quartet that is creating Beatles-like hysteria among the teen set in their native land. They've sold close to 3 million CDs and DVDs in their country, and are hoping to replicate that rabid fan base in the United States.
"They're the stepping stone between the tween stuff and My Chemical Romance," says Andrew Gyger, senior product manager for Virgin Entertainment Group, a few days after the foursome appeared at Virgin's Times Square store in New York in May to promote its English-language album, "Scream."
"The in-store was massive in terms of sales and the amount of girls that showed up," Gyger says, relaying stories of at least one girl fainting and screaming teens lining up around the block for the event. "The band seems to have come out of nowhere."
Actually, Tokio Hotel came out of the Internet. A YouTube search shows 123,000 video listings compared to 88,100 for the Jonas Bros. or 21,000 for a grizzled veteran like Bruce Springsteen. To further sate their young fans' appetite, for the last six months the band has produced weekly episodes of Tokio Hotel TV for its U.S. Web site.
For Tokio Hotel, the visual is as vital as the vocals and is propelled by lead singer Bill Kaulitz's anime look: straightened, teased black hair; heavy eye makeup that accentuates his delicate, androgynous, doll-like features; chain necklaces and vintage rock and roll T-shirts. He's so thin he appears almost one dimensional on stage, adding to the cartoon-like appeal. But to hear him tell it, his look comes by way of Transylvania, not Japan.
When he was 10, Bill Kaulitz dressed as a vampire for Halloween and adopted the styling year-round.
"After that, I started to color my hair and polish my nails. I started to wear makeup and stuff. I'd never heard of (anime)," Bill Kaulitz said in an interview at the Avalon Hollywood before to the group's sold-out show in Los Angeles. He, his brother, bassist Georg Listing, 20, and drummer Gustav Schafer, 19, are squashed together in a leather booth in the lounge one floor above the Avalon stage. Both he and Tom speak very good, albeit heavily accented, English, although an interpreter stands by in case any translation is needed.
Tom Kaulitz, the older brother by 10 minutes ("A lot of people think Bill is the boss, but I am the boss," he laughs), developed his hip-hop/dreads look when he was seven or eight, in part as a way to differentiate himself from his identical twin. "When we were six, we looked the same," Tom Kaulitz said. "We had sweat shirts with (the names) Bill and Tom so that teachers had a chance to know who's who."
The Kaulitz brothers began playing guitar when they were seven - the instruments were gifts from their musician stepfather. By the time they were in their mid-teens, they were playing in clubs, often to less than five people, and Listing and Schafer had joined the band.
Their mother's backing was not only desired, but vital: "We needed the support of our parents because we had no car, no money," Bill Kaulitz says.
Mom has long since stopped driving the band to gigs; they have people who do that for them now as they have accumulated a team during their meteoric rise. The group's first single, "Through the Monsoon," went to No. 1 in Germany in 2005, a pair of No. 1 albums and sold-out European tours followed.
The fan frenzy in Germany has reached epic proportions, such as when a group of teen girls delivered a fan letter that was more than seven miles long. After seeing a young fan repeatedly at shows in different cities, the band later learned that she was a runaway who had left home to follow the group. "It's still crazy to us," Bill Kaulitz says of the distaff attention.
After witnessing the spectacle at the band's February appearance at New York's Gramercy Theatre, Amy Doyle, MTV's senior VP of music and talent, became a convert. "I could not believe the line outside of screaming teen girls," she said. "It reminded me of the audience of the late '90s and 2000 for Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync."
Following that performance, MTV added the video for "Ready, Set, Go" into heavy rotation, as well as highlighted the band online, on mtv2 and on "TRL." Tokio Hotel writes a tour diary for, which, Doyle says, had elicited more reader comments than any previous tour diary.
But the band has a long way to go before they reach Backstreet or 'N Sync like sales - since the group's CD was released in May, it has sold just over 23,000 copies. Tokio Hotel's U.S. label, Cherrytree/Interscope, has yet to take the first single, "Monsoon," to radio, but Doyle says the whole package is the band's selling point.
"Radio always helps, but there's a connection that clearly is made when the audience sees them that you can't connect with just a song; fans are making an emotional connection."
Tokio Hotel already has Madison Square Garden in its sights, but also knows it had to put in the footwork. On this trip, they went to the vaunted venue; not to perform, but to see Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige.
Indeed, at the Avalon show that evening, teenage girls packed up against the stage so tightly that security guards started a regular procession of lifting them over the railing as several teen become overcome by the nearness of their heroes and the pressure of those pushing behind them.
"It's so cool that we have fans already here. But we are at the beginning," Bill Kaulitz. "We really want to be successful in America, we really want to try it. There are not so many German bands who get the chance to come to America to play."
"It's a dream to play there," Tom Kaulitz says, shaking his head up and down. "Maybe in two years. You need goals in your life."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Suspect Leaves Trail of Dead Husbands

For two decades, Al Gentry begged investigators to take another look at the mystery of who killed his brother, Harold, and left his gunshot-ridden body sprawled on the floor of the home he shared with his wife.
He visited the sheriff's office dozens of times and made just as many phone calls. And when authorities finally listened, they wound up arresting the person Gentry had always suspected: his brother's now 76-year-old former wife, who was charged last month with hiring a hit man to gun him down.
"This is something I've been waiting for for a long time," Gentry said.
But Gentry's persistence may have led investigators to a far more chilling discovery about Betty Neumar. After arresting her, authorities realized that five times since the 1950s, she was married, and each union ended with the death of her husband.
Authorities say they've notified law enforcement officials where Neumar is believed to have lived with the men. So far, no one has said whether the deaths are suspicious, but some officials are reopening the cold cases.
Al Gentry had been showing up for years at the sheriff's office and talking to anyone who would listen about the case. His brother's body, with several gunshot wounds, was found inside the couple's home on July 14, 1986.
Neumar, who was out of town the day her husband was killed, showed no emotion when she got back, Al Gentry said. When she pulled up to the one-story brick house in a quiet neighborhood that was surrounded by flashing lights and filled with police officers, he recalled, she blurted out that she had been in Augusta, Ga., the previous night - before he even said a word.
"If she had gotten out of that car with tears in her eyes and asked me why would anybody kill Harold, I would never have suspected her at all," he said. "That's where she slipped up."
Harold Gentry met Neumar - who was then Betty Sills - in Florida and they married on Jan. 19, 1968, in Charlton County, Ga., when he was 29 and she was 36. The couple moved to Norwood, about an hour east of Charlotte, in the late 1970s after he retired from the Army after 21 years of service.
Over the years, Al Gentry recalls, she told the family she had been a nurse and that her first husband died of cancer. She also said she was a beautician and had lived in Ohio, and had children from a previous marriage. At various times, she worked in a drug store, drove a school bus and waited tables while Harold Gentry worked long hours driving a delivery truck for the Royal Chemical Co.
At first pleasant, she grew to become "cold" to his brother and family, Al Gentry said. By 1986, the marriage was strained and Harold Gentry was living in a camper in the front yard.
"She was the type of person who liked fancy things - jewelry and clothes. She had the means to live like that but that wasn't enough," Al Gentry recalled. "She always wanted more, more, more. And she found a way to get it."
After Harold Gentry was killed, Al Gentry and his brother, Richard, said Neumar collected at least $20,000 in life insurance, plus other benefits from the military and sold the couple's house and other items. But as recently as a few years ago, bankruptcy records indicate, Neumar had no income other than a small monthly Social Security check - but had more than three dozen credit cards and hundreds of thousands in debt.
At a hearing earlier this month, prosecutors said she also had at least one overseas bank account.
The couple were married for about 14 years. They filed for bankruptcy in April 2000, and records show they owed $206,300 on 43 credit cards. They listed $14,355 in assets, including a 1996 Lincoln Town car, and had a combined monthly income of only about $1,800. The bankruptcy filing allowed the couple to wipe away the debts
After Gentry's death, Neumar remarried two more times. Once was to 79-year-old John Neumar, who died in October. Authorities in Neumar's hometown of Augusta, Ga., are examining the death, and detectives went to her home two weeks ago and seized an urn with his ashes, said Richmond County, Ga., sheriff's investigator Lt. Scott Peebles.
His cause of death was listed as sepsis - an illness caused by a bacterial infection of the body's blood and tissues - and his body was cremated shortly after his death. Peebles said investigators would test the remains to see if there "were any other factors that contributed to his death," including whether he was poisoned by arsenic, which can cause sepsis-like symptoms.
"We're not going to rule anything out until we get the results back," he said.
Neumar was charged with a single count of solicitation of murder in Gentry's death and is being held on $500,000 bond. At her first court appearance, prosecutors said she tried to hire several people to kill her husband, offering one potential hit man cash and a pickup truck to do the job.
She does not yet have an attorney and a message from The Associated Press given to a jailer went unanswered. Her daughter with Harold Gentry, who also lives in Augusta, declined to comment about her mother's arrest.
The sheriff who reopened the case, Rick Burris, wasn't leading the department at the time Gentry was killed. Burris said he reviewed the thick case file and read transcripts of interviews conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation. He said they pointed to the likelihood that Neumar had hired someone to kill her husband, but police didn't collect enough evidence at the time to charge her. He assigned an investigator, who re-examined the evidence in the file and conducted new interviews.
"She was a suspect for a long time but we didn't have enough evidence. Now we do," Burris said.
Brothers Al and Richard Gentry said the pain of his death still lingers for the family. But after the arrest, the family visited their brother's grave, where Al Gentry said he delivered a simple message: "Brother, we got her."

Tomato Salmonella Cases on the Rise
The toll from salmonella-tainted tomatoes jumped to 228 illnesses Thursday as the government learned of five dozen previously unknown cases and said it is possible the
Six more states - Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Tennessee and Vermont - reported illnesses related to the outbreak, bringing the number of affected states to 23.
The Food and Drug Administration has not pinpointed the source of the outbreak. With the latest known illness striking on June 1, officials also are not sure if all the tainted tomatoes are off the market.
"As long as we are continuing to see new cases come on board, it is a concern that there are still contaminated tomatoes out there," said the agency's food safety chief, Dr. David Acheson.
Government officials have said all week they were close to cracking the case, but "maybe we were being too optimistic," Acheson acknowledged.
How much longer? "That's impossible to say."
On the do-not-eat list are raw red plum, red Roma or red round tomatoes, unless they were grown in specific states or countries that the FDA has cleared because they were not harvesting when the outbreak began or were not selling their tomatoes in places where people got sick.
The FDA is directing consumers to its Web site - - for updated lists of the safe regions.
Also safe are grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached. That is not because there is anything biologically safer about those with a vine but because the sick have assured investigators that is not the kind of tomato they ate.
What if you did not go to the store armed with a list, or the store or restaurant manager cannot assure that any plum, Roma or round tomatoes came from safe regions?
"If you don't know, don't take the risk," Acheson said.
Cooking also kills salmonella, but the FDA is not formally advising people to cook suspect tomatoes for fear they will not get them heated thoroughly.
Mexico and parts of central Florida, two chief tomato suppliers, are still on FDA's suspect list. But the agency would not say they were top suspects, and in fact, said certain parts of Mexico that were not harvesting when the outbreak began are working to be cleared.
At least 25 people have been hospitalized during the outbreak, caused by a relatively rare strain of salmonella known as Saintpaul.
"At this point, there isn't a lot of data to suggest this is a more virulent strain," said Dr. Ian Williams of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No deaths have been attributed to the salmonella. But the CDC for the first time Thursday acknowledged that the salmonella may have been a contributing factor in the cancer-caused death of a 67-year-old Texas man.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bird Flu Cull Underway In Hong Kong

June 11 2008 - Bird flu has been reported in Hong Kong, resulting in an order being given to cull all chickens being sold across city markets.
The H5N1 strain of the virus was found during the examination of chicken waste, resulting in a ban of poultry sales and thus the order to begin culling foul.
According to governmental officials, since the first cases of Bird flu were reported last week, additional cases have been reported.
"We have not found any dead chickens with the virus -- not yet. We have not had any human cases," said Cheng Siu-hing, director of agriculture, fisheries and conservation.
"Of course, we cannot be complacent. That is why we're now taking decisive measures to close all remaining outlets and to cull all remaining live poultry."
It is not known the exact number of chickens that will be culled.
Since 2003, more than 240 human lives have been lost thanks to the virus.

Oregon Court of Appeals protects medical marijuana
The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled that an employer must make a reasonable accommodation for medical marijuana use for a disability.
In an opinion issued Wednesday, the appeals court upheld a ruling by the state Bureau of Labor and Industries.
The agency said that Emerald Steel Fabricators in Eugene violated state laws barring discrimination against the disabled by discharging an employee who used medical marijuana.
A key issue was the fact the employee never used marijuana in the workplace — an issue the Oregon Supreme Court avoided in 2006 when it ruled against a registered medical marijuana user fired from his job at a Columbia Forest Products plant after urine tests detected traces of the drug.
Employers do not have to let patients smoke medical marijuana in the workplace. But the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act approved by voters in 1998 was unclear about whether employers must accommodate workers who smoke medical marijuana off the job.
In the opinion by Judge Timothy Sercombe, the Oregon Court of Appeals went back over the 2006 Oregon Supreme Court ruling to emphasize the Emerald Steel employee never used the marijuana at work — just like the worker in the Columbia Forest case.
The appeals court also noted the Oregon Supreme Court did not address some of the defenses raised in the earlier case, including the argument an employee could be affected by medical marijuana use while on duty or in "safety-sensitive positions."
It also rejected an attempt by Emerald Steel to raise new issues on appeal, including the fact that marijuana remains illegal under federal law despite state law allowing its use for medical purposes.
"Accordingly, we will not consider those issues for the first time on review," Sercombe wrote.
Medical marijuana has been opposed by the construction industry, which wants laws to prohibit medical marijuana users from potentially hazardous jobs such as operating heavy machinery.
Associated General Contractors has lobbied for laws defining safety-sensitive jobs, including driving large trucks, handling explosives, working at construction sites and other jobs listed as hazardous under state work safety laws.
Supporters of restrictions on medical marijuana use, including state Rep. Mike Schaufler, D-Happy Valley, have said they are trying to ensure public safety.
But medical marijuana activist John Sajo says that during legislative hearings last year, nobody was able to identify a single case where a medical marijuana patient had caused a workplace accident or problem.
He also said the vast majority of medical marijuana patients are too ill to work.
Eleven other states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state — have medical marijuana laws.

Common Sleep Problem Linked With Memory Loss
The part of the brain that stores memory appears to shrink in people with sleep apnea, adding further evidence that the sleep and breathing disorder is a serious health threat.
The findings, from brain scan studies conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, show for the first time that sleep apnea is associated with tissue loss in brain regions that store memory. And while the thinking and focus problems of sleep apnea patients often are attributed to sleep deprivation, the scans show something far more insidious is occurring.
“Our findings demonstrate that impaired breathing during sleep can lead to a serious brain injury that disrupts memory and thinking,” said principal investigator Ronald Harper, professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at U.C.L.A. The data appear in the June 27 issue of the journal Neuroscience Letters.
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat, soft palate and tongue relax during sleep. They sag and narrow the airway and the tongue slides to the back of the mouth, blocking the windpipe and cutting off oxygen to the lungs. The sleeper gasps for air, wakes up briefly and falls back to sleep in a cycle that repeats itself hundreds of times per night. The result is loud snoring and chronic daytime fatigue. The disorder also is linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. An estimated 20 million Americans have sleep apnea.
The study focused on structures on the underside of the brain called mammillary bodies, so named because they resemble small breasts. The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brains of 43 sleep apnea patients. Compared to images of 66 control subjects, the brains of the sleep apnea patients had mammillary bodies that were nearly 20 percent smaller, particularly on the left side.
The structures also are known to shrink in patients who have other forms of memory loss related to alcoholism or Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers don’t know why the sleep disorder affects brain tissue but theorize that it’s related to repeated drops in oxygen. During an apnea episode, the brain’s blood vessels constrict, starving its tissue of oxygen and causing cells to die. The inflammatory process, also linked with heart disease and stroke, further damages the tissue.
“The reduced size of the mammillary bodies suggests that they’ve suffered a harmful event resulting in sizable cell loss,” Dr. Harper said. “The fact that patients’ memory problems continue despite treatment for their sleep disorder implies a long-lasting brain injury.”
The data show the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. Unfortunately, the most effective treatment is a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine that many patients find unwieldy and uncomfortable. In a future study, the U.C.L.A. researchers will explore whether vitamin B1 supplements might help restore memory in sleep apnea patients by moving glucose into cells and preventing cell death.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lakers defeat Celtics 87-81 behind Bryant's 36 points

On his floor and on his game, Kobe Bryant revived the Los Angeles Lakers - and the NBA finals.
Bryant scored 36 points with an MVP-worthy performance, Sasha Vujacic added 20 points and the Lakers, teetering on the brink of falling into an almost impossible hole in the NBA finals, beat the Boston Celtics 87-81 in Game 3 on Tuesday night.
"What I tried to do with my teammates is just stay calm," Bryant said. "It wasn't the end of the world. They did a great job of defending home court. We knew we had to come here and do the same. They feed off of my confidence and I have all the confidence in the world that we can come here and win."
A change of time zones, jerseys and attitude did wonders for the Lakers, who staggered home from Boston in an 0-2 hole and couldn't afford to fall any further behind.
No team in NBA playoff history has overcome a 3-0 deficit.
Bryant made sure the Lakers won't have to.
And this time, he got some help.
Vujacic, the self-proclaimed "Machine," made three three-pointers, including a crucial one from the left corner with 1:53 left that gave the Lakers an 81-76 lead. Pau Gasol finally flexed his muscles with two inside baskets in the fourth quarter and Derek Fisher made two free throws with 1:33 remaining as the Lakers held on.
"We just wanted to play," said Bryant, whose only flaw was an 11-of-18 night from the foul line. "I don't think anyone was feeling desperate."
Game 4 is Thursday night at Staples Center, where the Lakers are 9-0 in the playoffs and unbeaten in 15 games since March 28.
But it took everything they had to keep that streak alive as the Celtics, two wins from their 17th NBA title but 2-8 on the road in this postseason, made the Lakers play a more physical, Eastern Conference-style game and nearly walked away with a win.
Ray Allen scored 25 points - 15 on three-pointers - for the Celtics, but only one-third of Boston's Big Three showed up.
Kevin Garnett scored 13 points on 6-of-21 shooting, and Paul Pierce was 2 of 14 for six points and limited to 32 minutes because of foul trouble.
"As bad as we played, we still had opportunities," Allen said. "That's the positive. But I don't think on either side of the floor we were good. We had so much more room for improvement."
The Celtics enjoyed a huge disparity from the line in Game 2, shooting 38 free throws to 10 for the Lakers.
But the whistles were more well-balanced as Los Angeles took 34 free throws to Boston's 22.
After Garnett's dunk brought the Celtics to within 83-78 with 1:28 to go, Bryant made sure he took L.A.'s next shot. He drove on Allen to get some space, pulled up and drilled the kind of jumper he has practiced thousands of times.
Eddie House, who gave Boston big minutes when Rajon Rondo went out with a sprained left ankle, countered with a three-pointer, and suddenly the Lakers crowd grew uneasy.
But Bryant calmed the fans' twitching nerves quickly.
On the Lakers' next possession, Bryant, whose shot wouldn't drop in Boston, backed down in the lane and dropped in a short jumper to make it 87-81.
Los Angeles Coach Phil Jackson knew whom to credit for the win.
"I think undoubtedly it's the leadership of Kobe Bryant," he said. "He was aggressive right from the start, put the defense on its heels."
Los Angeles is trying to become the fourth team to come back from a 2-0 deficit, and with two more games at home, the Lakers have a chance to turn this renewed rivalry around.
Celtics Coach Doc Rivers figured Bryant would take over the series at some point, but he didn't expect Vujacic, who scored a combined 16 points in Games 1 and 2, to be such a factor.
"Kobe was fantastic, but I thought Vujacic was the key to the game," he said. "I said before we are going to have to win a game when Kobe Bryant plays well. We know that. But when that happens, we have to shut off the other avenues."
This game won't be remembered as one of the better ones in the storied Lakers-Celtics rivalry, but it did have a few moments of the physical nastiness that defined their matchups during the 1980s.
"It was not a beautiful ballgame," Jackson said. "That's a transition game from East Coast to West Coast. But we'll have a day to catch up tomorrow and hopefully both of us will play better basketball on Thursday night."

Smith, Saints agree on six-year, $70 million extension
New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith has signed a contract extension that will make him one of the NFL's highest-paid defensive players.
Smith is guaranteed $26 million with his new six-year, $70 million contract, a source told's Len Pasquarelli.
The deal makes Smith the NFL's third highest-paid defensive end, behind Minnesota's Jared Allen and Indianapolis' Dwight Freeney.
Smith made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and his seven sacks in 2007 led the Saints. He also was among team leaders in tackles with 66.
"We are excited about getting this long-term contract done with Will," said Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. "We view him as one of our core players and look forward to him having an impact on our defense for years to come."
Smith, who received about $20 million in bonuses when signed as a first-round draft choice out of Ohio State in 2004, was expected to earn between $1.8 million and $3 million next season, depending on performance incentives.
Smith had been dissatisfied with his contract -- which paled in comparison to the league's top defensive ends. Freeney is paid close to $12 million a year.
Last year, the Saints signed defensive end Charles Grant to a seven-year contract extension worth as much as $63 million if he reaches all incentives.
Smith has arguably outperformed Grant in recent years. He had 26 sacks over the past three seasons, compared to 11 for Grant.
"The Saints really stepped up," said Smith's agent, Joel Segal. "It was a long negotiation and a great deal for both Will and the Saints."
Smith skipped much of the Saints' offseason training program because of unhappiness with his contract, but participated in a mandatory minicamp and remained in New Orleans afterward. He also worked out with the team during its final two weeks of organized team activities, which are voluntary.
"He'll be able to show up for training camp now with nothing on his mind but getting ready for the season and the Super Bowl," Segal said.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Celtics halfway to title

Paul Pierce did not need a dramatic exit, entrance, wheelchair or miracle cure Sunday to give his fans a thrill. All he needed was two free throws - the safety net the Boston Celtics surprisingly needed after a laugher turned tense at TD Banknorth Garden.
Pierce sank them both with 22.8 seconds left, and the Celtics held on for a 108-102 victory and a 2-0 lead in the NBA finals. Game 3 is Tuesday in Los Angeles.
"We knew we had to get this win and this was a big win going out West," Pierce said. "Our mindset is to get Game 3 and try to take away their confidence and win this series in L.A. We knew it was going to be tough, but nobody said it was going to be easy."
The Celtics led by 24 points with less than eight minutes left, which seemed safe enough. But the Lakers channeled their desperation into a hailstorm of three-pointers and put a momentary chill in the building. Vladimir Radmanovic, Sasha Vujacic, Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant all scored from beyond th arc as the Lakers whittled the deficit to 104-100 with 1:03 left.
Bryant made two free throws with 38.4 seconds left to make it a two-point game. But Pierce drove past Bryant and into traffic, drawing a foul from Fisher to earn the free throws. He extended the lead to 106-102, and the Lakers bowed out when Vujacic's three-point shot was blocked by Pierce on the next possession.
"We got cute when we got the lead," Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. "We tried to make sensational plays instead of keeping it simple."
For most of the evening Bryant had a contorted expression and a multiple-choice problem. Where should he aim his anger and frustration? At the referees who disagreed with his world view? At the teammates who abandoned him for most of the night? Or at the Celtics, whose relentless defense held all of them in check?
Lamar Odom had just 10 points in 32 minutes. He committed his fifth foul late in the third quarter and never played in the fourth. The Lakers shot 49 percent but could not stop the Celtics, who shot 53 percent. Boston also enjoyed a huge advantage at the free-throw line (38 free throws to the Lakers' 10).
Los Angeles Coach Phil Jackson clearly was irritated by the officiating, although he tempered his words. He was most irked by Boston reserve Leon Powe's being awarded more free throws (13) than his entire team.
"That's ridiculous," he said. "You can't play from a deficit like that."
Asked about the general disparity in free-throw shooting, Jackson credited the Celtics for being aggressive. But, he added: "I think my players got fouled. I have no question about the fact that my players got fouled and didn't get to the line."
Pierce scored 28 points on his sprained right knee. Powe, the former Cal star, collected 21 points and a lot of ovations from an appreciative crowd. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen had 17 points each, and the Celtics enjoyed a mostly stress-free evening for 3 1/2 quarters.
Bryant scored 30 points, but he battled on two fronts all night, taking on the Celtics' defense and the referees. He picked up three fouls in the first half and a technical foul in the third quarter. Still, he believed his team's furious comeback attempt wasn't all in vain.
"We played with a sense of desperation and aggression," Bryant said. "I think that's something to take home and learn from."
Any concerns about Pierce's knee and Kendrick Perkins' sprained ankle were put to rest shortly after tipoff. Perkins grabbed an offensive rebound and passed to Pierce for a three-pointer. A moment later, Perkins scored on a pass from Pierce. Then Pierce drove the lane for a layup, drawing a foul on Trevor Ariza and a gleeful roar from the stands.
Pierce had a game-high 16 points by halftime, a development that could only further Jackson's belief that his injury had been overdramatized. After Game 1, Jackson playfully suggested that Pierce - who was carried off the court and placed in a wheelchair before returning to make two big shots - was healed by angels. Asked before Sunday's game whether the Lakers' coaches had discussed Pierce and Perkins' injuries, Jackson said no.
"We discussed the wheelchair a little bit, but that's the only thing I think that was discussed," said Jackson, grinning. "First time I think we've ever seen it."
Bryant was called for two fouls in the first quarter, both for tussling with Allen, and neither one to his liking. He had words with referee Dan Crawford about the first call (at the defensive end) and with Bob Delaney about the second (on offense), which came with 1:59 left in the quarter. Odom soon joined Bryant on the bench after picking up two fouls in 21 seconds.
While the two Lakers stars sat, the Celtics opened the second quarter with a 10-0 burst and took a 30-22 lead. Bryant returned and hit two quick jumpers, but the relief was temporary. Pierce and Allen hit consecutive three-pointers to stretch the lead to 10 points. Then Bryant was tagged with his third foul for plowing over Pierce, and the crowd broke into a derisive chant of "Kooo-beee."
The Lakers' frustration was evident as they reached halftime down by 54-42. Pau Gasol missed two point-blank shots in the final seconds, then pounded his fist in the air and screamed after the buzzer, upset that no foul had been called.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pete Wentz 'excited' about becoming a dad

Fall Out Boy star Pete Wentz has said that he is "excited" about becoming a father for the first time.
The star, who recently married singer Ashlee Simpson, told E! News that he felt "totally content" when he heard the news.

"I'm genuinely a nervous person in general," Wentz said, explaining that he is now "excited to be a dad".

"The first time I ever went to the doctor's office and heard the (baby's) heartbeat, I felt totally content and at peace with everything," he said.

Supportive Pete Celebrates His B-Day Sans Cocktails

Pete Wentz turned 29 yesterday and marked the occasion with a big bash at Foxtail with new wife Ashlee by his side. And although the dad-to-be has lots of reasons to celebrate, a source says he never raised a glass the entire evening.

Looks like Pete's not drinking because Ash can't either...How sweet!

Even without booze, the birthday boy seemed to have a great time. Although Brent Bolthouse had the entire upstairs area reserved exclusively for their party, Pete and Ash spent most of their time downstairs, chatting and shaking hands with regular folks.

She was dressed in a black mini—that didn't show any signs of a belly—and gladiator-style stiletto heels. Pete matched perfectly, wearing black slacks and a button-up.

Around midnight, the waitstaff brought out a a cake for Pete and everyone (including his dad) sang "Happy Birthday."

(It took the Fall Out Boy bassist several tries to blow out his candles, but he finally managed, all while getting frosting smeared down the front of his suit.)

Soon after, the newlyweds called it a night, exiting Foxtail through the front door where they greeted by 30 or so of Pete's closest paparazzi pals.

Pete Wentz: Ready for Daddy Duty

Now that newlyweds Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz have finally confirmed they're expecting, papa-to-be Pete is ready to open up about the happy news.

"I'm excited to be a dad," he told me at the Op clothing launch party Tuesday night, while admitting he was initially scared. "I'm a genuinely nervous person in general. The first time I ever went to the doctor's office and heard the heartbeat, I felt totally content and at peace with everything. It feels good."

Pete, who came without Ashlee, has a lot to celebrate these days. Besides his new marriage and baby on the way, the Fall Out Boy rocker has an MTV show in the works and turns 29 this Thursday. But he got an early surprise at the bash...

Pete was presented with a huge cake and serenaded by partygoers with an early "Happy Birthday." Wilmer Valderrama, featured alongside Pete in the Op campaign, helped him blow out his candles.

Also on hand to celebrate the new ads: Kristin Cavallari, Rumer Willis, Corbin Bleu and Kim Kardashian.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cost of Polygamist Case Tops $7 Million

Removing 460 children from a polygamist sect compound and then reuniting them with their families will cost Texas $7 million, according to the state Department of Family and Protective Services.
The children were ordered returned to their families this week after the Texas Supreme Court found that the state did not have enough evidence to show that abuse was happening at the Yearning for Zion ranch near Eldorado.
The price tag includes costs from fighting a court battle to retain custody of the children, attempting to determine their parentage through DNA testing and reuniting the children with their parents.
The $7 million does not include more than $500,000 in estimated costs incurred by local governments whose law enforcement agencies were involved in the April 3 ranch raid, according to a budgetary presentation given to Texas lawmakers last month.
The raid was prompted by an anonymous caller who claimed that men at the ranch were involved in sexual relationships with young girls.
The ranch is owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon offshoot that practices polygamy. Child welfare officials said they found a "pervasive pattern" of sexual abuse through forced marriages between underage girls and older men. FLDS members have denied that any sexual abuse occurred and say they are being persecuted because of their religion.
Albert Hawkins, executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services, told the state Senate Finance Committee that as of May 15, the state had spent more than $5.2 million to provide food, shelter and counseling to the FLDS children. The bulk of those costs included employee overtime and transportation, Hawkins said.
Meanwhile, a state district judge told senators that legal costs in the case had topped $2.2 million. Most of that burden falls on Tom Green County, where the district court hearings were taking place, and Schleicher County, where the ranch is located, said Judge Ben Woodward, according to a Senate statement.
Neither county, Woodward said, has the money to cover the legal costs. "We're at a point now where we're going to start limping along pretty badly," he said.
The court costs estimate, presented to the Senate on May 20, does not appear to reflect the cost of an appeal handled by the Texas 3rd District Court of Appeals. The appeals court overturned the district court's ruling that the children should remain in state custody.
For comparison, $7 million would pay for 137 police officers in the city of Mesquite, Texas, at a salary of $51,060, according to a figure from a job posting. It would also pay for 180 new teachers at the average statewide salary of $38,857 given by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification and would more than double resources available for a state program aimed at children of incarcerated parents, according to the state's budget for fiscal 2008-09. In that budget, the program receives $5 million.
Texas Child Protective Services referred all questions about the costs of the operation to the state's Health and Human Services department. In response to the Texas Supreme Court ruling last week, CPS said in a statement that it "has one purpose in this case: to protect the children. Our goal is to reunite families whenever we can do so and make sure the children will be safe."
The removal of the children was thought to be the largest child protection case in the nation's history. If they had remained in state custody, Hawkins told lawmakers, the estimated monthly cost for their care would have been $1.3 million.
District Judge Barbara Walther, who decided after a chaotic hearing last month that the state would retain custody of the children, also ordered DNA testing to identify parents and children, as child protection officials said they were thwarted by FLDS members who gave them conflicting or misleading information about their names, ages and familial ties.
Those DNA test results, obtained by a North Carolina lab, were beginning to come in Tuesday, the Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office said. The lab was starting to deliver reports to the court, the office said, and CPS should have them by the end of the week.
Some 599 DNA samples were taken, the office said. Of those, only 36 were of adult males. Now that the children are being returned, CPS will decide how to use the results in its continuing case involving its oversight of the FLDS.
State Sen. Steve Ogden told officials during the hearing that the final costs would probably be more than the estimated figures presented.
"The cost of this operation is going to be a lot more than is on this sheet of paper," he said. "It doesn't reflect what is going on now, and there are huge legal costs out there that we haven't even discussed yet."
He asked officials to rework their analyses of future costs so the state isn't caught by surprise when the next legislative session begins in January.
However, all that is largely a moot point now, as FLDS children were allowed to reunite with their families beginning Monday. Though the state Supreme Court upheld the ruling that the state had no right to seize the 460 children, the justices said that court oversight of the FLDS could be accomplished through other means.
Also during the hearing, state Sen. Bob Duell questioned whether Texas could force FLDS adults to bear some of the costs. However, given the subsequent court decisions, it appears unlikely the FLDS could be forced to bear any financial responsibility.
To those familiar with FLDS history, the raid called to mind a 1953 mass arrest in the hamlet of Short Creek on the Utah-Arizona state line. More than 400 FLDS members were arrested and more than 200 children taken into foster care. However, news photographs of wailing mothers and children won public sympathy, and the raid backfired on then-Arizona Gov. Howard Pyle, who ordered it. In the next election, Pyle was voted out of office.
"For 50 years, [the FLDS] used the Short Creek raid as [a] reason to keep their people secretive and isolated," Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told the Los Angeles Times in a story Saturday. "We said that was not going to happen again. Well, it has happened again."
Eldorado residents, meanwhile, expressed frustration with the outcome of the raid and the court's finding that the state had no right to remove the children.
"I said from the word go, if there's sex with underage girls, nail their butt," Curtis Griffin, owner of the local fuel depot, told the Los Angeles Times. "But nail the right people. We're going to wind up with a $30 million bill here in this little county because these people didn't have their ducks in a row."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

8 Outrageous Wedding Sites

Would you marry in a graveyard? For some to-be-weds, a traditional ceremony site just doesn't appeal -- we asked brides to share stories of couples who chose to forgo the norm and wed in a truly unexpected setting. From a racetrack to a department store, here are eight outrageous wedding sites, plus tips for how they can inspire your own nuptials.
The Site: Racetrack
"Two of the members in our drag racing group got married on the track. It was really cute because immediately after they were married, she got into the car (in her wedding gown) and raced him to the end. The back of his car read, 'Just' and hers read, 'Married.'"
Our Take:
It's certainly dramatic, but you don't have to top 200 mph to create an unforgettable getaway. Ride off on bicycles, jump into the backseat of a vintage car, or, if your reception is nearby, have a brass band escort you and all your guests on foot.
The Site: Graveyard
"A hairdresser at a salon I used to go to was married at a cemetery on Halloween. Her bridesmaids and groomsmen all wore purple, black, and orange. She wore a black-and-red-dyed wedding gown, and all of her photos were taken next to headstones."
Our Take:
We love the idea of incorporating some holiday spirit into the wedding day, but you can get the idea across in more subtle ways. Something as simple as using lights to wash the room in color can help set a distinct mood and create a feel of the season without being overbearing with the theme.
The Site: Bookstore
"I saw a couple who got married at a Barnes & Noble because that's where they met. The store didn't close, but they said that for the duration of the ceremony, they wouldn't ring up any transactions."
Our Take:
If you're not fortunate enough to be able to wed in the place you met (exchanging vows in a bar, for example, might not best represent the sanctity of marriage), incorporate your first encounter in other ways. Print his pickup line on the cocktail hour coasters, name your reception tables after that and other significant places from your relationship, or sneak off after the ceremony and take some pics at the exact spot you first exchanged words.
The Site: Hockey Game
"A couple got married in between the first and second periods of a Chicago Wolves hockey game. The groom and groomsmen all wore jerseys, the bride wore a jersey over her dress, and the bridesmaids all carried hockey sticks."
Our Take:
Diehard sports fans have definitely been known to express their love for the game on their wedding day. Other ways to incorporate a sports theme: naming your reception tables after your favorite athletes and ordering a groom's cake in the shape of your team mascot.
The Site: Department Store
"A couple got married at JCPenney in Michigan. The bride walked down the escalator as the aisle, and the wedding was broadcast on the overhead speakers."
Our Take:
While we'd never heard of an escalator entrance, plenty of brides plan a grand entrance for their wedding day. Other ways to personalize the entrance: Walk down a monogrammed aisle runner, line the aisle with glowing luminarias, or enter the room to the sounds of a string quartet playing a rendition of your favorite pop song.
The Site: On Stage
"We got married in a theater on the set of Three Billy Goats Gruff. My husband and I are both actors -- so it made sense to us to get married on the stage. (We even had a stage manager who gave a curtain speech, there was a preshow, and several of our friends sang songs.) Instead of walking down the aisle, I walked over the troll bridge!"
Our Take:
Even without a troll bridge and curtain call, you can still show off your dramatic side. Donate to your favorite nonprofit theater in lieu of wedding favors, incorporate a line from your favorite play in your wedding vows, or steal the show by performing a choreographed routine for your first dance.
The Site: In the Air
"A lot of my skydiving friends have gotten married in freefall. One couple gave out 'Lovers' Leap' invitations."
Our Take:
If the thought of exchanging vows in front of all your friends and family has you nervous enough, seek an adrenaline rush in other ways. Take an adventure honeymoon exploring the jungle in Central America, send out save-the-date pictures of the two of you rock climbing, or add outdoor gear to your registry list.
The Site: Fast Food Restaurant
"Recently there was a story about three couples that all married at White Castle -- you know, the burger chain. They had their individual weddings back-to-back."
Our Take:
The smell of French fries makes our hearts melt too! Another way to satisfy everyone's taste buds: Have your caterer serve mini burgers, fries, and shakes for a late night snack at the end of the reception.

Source of this article:
I was just feeling lazy today. ^_^