Here’s a look and individuals and issues making headlines throughout the country.
An Arkansas couple struck gold twice after winning $1 million and $50,000 jackpots, both of them during this past weekend. Stephen, 54, and Terri Weaver, 55, of Stuttgart, Ark., left on Friday for a weekend trip to a cabin near Greers Ferry Lake, more than 100 miles away. On Saturday evening, they stopped at T-Ricks convenience store in the nearby city of Pangburn. Stephen bought five $1 Million Riches instant scratch-off tickets while his wife bought four. Once they brought the tickets to the cabin, they realized one of Stephen’s $20 tickets won the $1 million jackpot. On Sunday, they stopped at the convenience store again and bought six tickets “just for the heck of it because it was fun,” Terri explained. This time, Terri’s Taxes Paid instant ticket for which she paid $10 was a $50,000 winner.
The death of Caleb Moore is shining a spotlight on growing concerns over safety in extreme sports. The freestyle snowmobile rider, attempting a backflip last week at the Winter X Games in Aspen, couldn’t rotate his machine enough to land the maneuver. The skis dug into the lip of the slope, bringing the 450-pound snowmobile crashing down on him. The vehicle slammed into Moore’s head and chest. After initially diagnosing Moore, 25, with a concussion after Thursday’s accident, doctors soon discovered bleeding around his heart. He had emergency surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction on Friday, a day after the accident. He had brain complications, and his family issued a statement saying he was in critical condition and being closely monitored. A week after the accident, Moore died.
A Middletown woman was arrested Monday night after allegedly pulling out a handgun and chambering a round during a fight with another parent at the Newington Chuck E. Cheese. Around 8 p.m. Monday, members of the Newington Police Department headed to the Chuck E. Cheese on the Berlin Turnpike after getting word of an argument between two women. When police arrived, they said they were told that Tawana Bourne, of Middletown, was at the restaurant with her child when she became involved in an altercation with another woman who was also with a child. During the fight, police said Bourne allegedly pulled out a .380 semi-automatic handgun and chambered a round. Chuck E. Cheese staff immediately called 911 and told operators what was taking place. Police said Bourne did possess a valid Connecticut pistol permit. Bourne’s gun and permit were seized and she was charged with breach of peace, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, threatening and reckless endangerment. She was released on $50,000 bond and was given a court date of Feb. 19.
District of Columbia
Energy Secretary Steven Chu will resign from President Barack Obama’s cabinet in the coming weeks, he told Energy Department staff in a letter. Chu, who turns 65 this month, was a leading advocate in the Obama administration for alternative energy development, making him a target of the fossil fuel industry and its conservative supporters in Congress. He was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 and headed the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and taught at the University of California before becoming energy secretary in 2009. Chu said he would stay on through an upcoming government energy research summit at the end of February, adding: “I may stay beyond that time so that I can leave the department in the hands of the new secretary.”
Flavor Battle, America’s premier DJ competition, has been taking place since November with DJ Clue, Just Blaze, Funkmaster Flex and Spinderella serving as judges to find America’s next hottest mix-master. Fans everywhere have voted for their favorite of 24 contestant-created videos. More than 400,000 votes have whittled the competition down to just three finalists—DJ Jena Red of Los Angeles represents the Big Mac and the West Coast; DJ Arty J of St. Louis represents the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Central Region; and DeeJay Element of NYC represents the Angus Third Pounder and the East Coast. Now, these three final contenders will sound off against one another in Miami on Feb. 7, all for a chance to win $10,000 and bragging rights as the 2013 Flavor Battle Champion. Fans can tune in live via webcast at FlavorBattle.com as the judges lend their expertise in order to crown this year’s champion.
More than 13,000 youth across Louisiana are expected to participate in the third annual Lemonade Day on Saturday, May 4. This year will mark the first year that Lemonade Day has expanded statewide. Lemonade Day Louisiana is a free, community-wide program that fosters entrepreneurship among Louisiana’s youth by supporting them in operating their own lemonade businesses. Young entrepreneurs are provided with a free backpack which contains detailed support to help them establish their lemonade stand. These “lemonaders” are advised to spend a little, save a little and share a little, donating a portion of their proceeds to a local charity of their choice. After covering their expenses and paying back their investors, children are encouraged to open a youth savings account.
Ryan Gosling is seeking tax credits from the state of Michigan to direct his first movie, “How to Catch a Monster.” MLive reported that Gosling applied for the tax credit through the Michigan Film Office, and plans to shoot the movie in Detroit, beginning in May. The Michigan Film Office awards incentives to productions with a budget of at least $100,000 that pledge to spend 27 percent of all purchases within the state and hire a staff made up of 32 percent Michigan employees.
According to reports, Bobbi Kristina Brown has a major problem with her grandmother, Cissy Houston, writing a tell-all book about her mother. Bobbi Kristina announced plans to boycott Cissy’s book, “Remembering Whitney,” on Twitter on Thursday, the same day the book hits shelves across the nation, noted TMZ. The only daughter of the late Whitney Houston said she finds the book “disrespectful” and has asked her fans not to read it. “Remembering Whitney” includes details of Whitney’s drug abuse, rumors of a gay relationship and problems with her ex-husband, Bobby Brown.
Parkwood Entertainment announced that The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour starring Beyonce kicks off in Europe on April 15. With stops in 20 European cities, including Dublin, Berlin, Paris and a four-night stint at The 02 in London, it is Beyonce’s first multi-city tour in more than three years. Live Nation also announced that Beyonce’s North American Tour begins on June 28 in Los Angeles. The tour will travel to more than 20 cities throughout North America this summer, including Brooklyn, at the Barclays Center; Atlanta, at the Gwinnett Center; Houston, at the Toyota Center; Toronto, at the Air Canada Centre, and Boston, at the TD Garden. She is confirmed to headline at the world’s largest music festival, Rock in Rio, on its first night, Sept. 13, at the “City of Rock” in Rio de Janeiro.
Obsessed fans can be a downside of stardom. It’s why Whitney Houston’s character hired Kevin Costner to protect her in the 1992 movie “The Bodyguard.”
The real life Houston had the FBI helping to protect her more than two decades ago when a “loner” in Vermont warned in 1988 that he “might hurt someone with some crazy idea” if the singer did not acknowledge him.
TARZANA, Calif.—Singer Bobby Brown was arrested in Tarzana today on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, his second such arrest in the San Fernando Valley this year.
Brown was arrested around 1 a.m. after an officer observed his Acura sedan being driven erratically in the area of Ventura Boulevard and Corbin Avenue, according to Sgt. Duane Aikins of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Topanga Station.
He posted $25,000 bail and was released from a Van Nuys jail at 3:55 a.m., police said.
Beyoncé does enjoy a dramatic reveal, and she’s at it again with a short video teasing what we can only surmise is a special announcement.
The six-second clip, which was posted to YouTube Wednesday, shows the singer ... and not much else. We get an intense stare, a glimpse of a hand outfitted in a glove that reminds us of the “Single Ladies” music video, and a command:
“4.4.2013. 9 a.m. EDT. #BeyHereNow.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Deputies handcuffed singer Bobby Brown and led him from a courtroom to a jail cell Wednesday morning, as Whitney Houston's ex-husband began serving time for a drunken driving conviction.
Although the judge sentenced Brown to 55 days behind bars for his second conviction in a year for driving under the influence, he will likely be free in eight or nine days, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Raise your hand if you're a teensy bit frightened of Beyoncé.
Between the Super Bowl show; the hardcore work ethic ("[I] practice until my feet bleed" will be the new mantra of aspiring performers everywhere); the insane GQ magazine cover a year after giving birth to Blue Ivy; an upcoming HBO documentary she put together; another new album and now a world tour, we're fairly sure she was sent here to either rule us or destroy us all.
Even her celebrity cohorts deferred to her greatness after yesterday's show.