Sunday, January 31, 2010
Meet Matthew McConaughey's new daughter Vida!
On his official website, the actor, 40, and girlfriend Camila Alves have released the first photo of their baby girl, who was born Jan. 3 in Los Angeles (she weighed in at 7 lbs., 7 oz.).
"Our latest family member, Vida Alves McConaughey," McConaughey wrote under the baby's photo.
Alves, who makes her debut as host of the Bravo hairstyling reality show Shear Genius on Feb. 3, tells the new Us Weekly (out now) that the baby "is doing great."
See the cutest celeb babies born last year!
"It's easier with the second child, because, you know what she'll be like," said Alves, 27, who welcomed their first child, son Levi, in 2008.
She said their 19-month-old son is "at the fun stage where he's talking. He loves saying Vida's name!"
McConaughey couldn't be a more doting dad, she added.
Said Alves, "To see a father with his child is beautiful."
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Except, Aboriginal leaders don't see it as a tribute. They don't really see how it has anything to do with their culture at all.
Domnina and Shabalin are required to do an original dance that is representative of a country's culture. The U.S. pair of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, who won silver in Torino, perform a Moldavian folk dance. Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie Davis won the Grand Prix Final with an Indian-inspired dance.
The dances are not required to be strict interpretations of the culture -- they are meant to represent those cultures -- but Domnina and Shabalin completely miss the mark. At this point, it's likely too late for the pair to change their routine. Hopefully, an Australian will be on the panel who judges their original dance, and marks their unauthentic and offensive dances and costumes accordingly.
It was announced this week that the fourth installment of Disney's highly successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise will begin filming in Hawaii this summer. Johnny Depp once again plays the flamboyant Captain Jack, and Geoffrey Rush reprises his role as his adversary, Barbossa. However, costars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are not expected to return.
The film's story is loosely based on the 1987 pirate novel, "On Stranger Tides" by award-winning fantasy author Tim Powers. The book tells the story of a young man -- coincidentally named "Jack" -- who is captured by the pirate Blackbeard and forced to join in the search for the Fountain of Youth.
Ted Elliott, the co-writer of the first three "Pirates" movies, said that the story of the novel just happened to align with where they wanted to take the fourth film. He told Empire magazine, "We wanted to do a story about Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth, and Tim Powers wrote a book about Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth... it just turns out that to do that story you would need that book."
Johnny Depp signed on to appear in the fourth movie in 2008, before there was a script. It was announced at the same time he would also be playing Tonto in a film version of "The Lone Ranger," but that project has been delayed until after "Pirates" is finished.
Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom have both said they had no desire to return for a fourth movie. Knightley said in an interview, "It was a completely fantastic experience, and it was an amazingly large portion of my life, but I don't think I need to go there again. I think that it's done." Also, the director of the original trilogy, Gore Verbinski, will not be coming back. He is being replaced by Rob Marshall, the director of "Chicago" and "Nine."
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is scheduled to dock into movie theaters on May 20th, 2011. Johnny Depp will next be seen as the Mad Hatter in director Tim Burton's new version "Alice in Wonderland" coming this March.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
What does seem silly is that Demi Moore skipped out on the event all together. "Feeling sick and having a bad hair day!" the actress wrote on Twitter. Well, if we were sick, we definitely wouldn't want hundreds of cameras snapping our picture on the red carpet, but we can only dream about attending the fancy award show! It seems like a shame to miss the opportunity. (Her husband Ashton still attended the show, and presented the award for best actor in a comedy series alongside Jennifer Garner.)
Next up: Sofia Loren recycles her clothes! Gasp! Listen guys, when Miss Sofia Loren got on stage to present the award for Best Foreign Film she received a standing ovation. We even kinda got goosebumps. At 75-years-old Loren still looks stunning and sexy, and she can even get away with those glittery sleeves and weird pink-toned glasses. She is an icon! And if she wants to pluck a dress out of her closet to wear to an awards ceremony that she wore once to a cocktail reception in London, we sure as hell are not going to complain about it. It is a recession after all!
As for those who did purchase (or borrow?) new dresses: many of them will be putting their outfits up for auction to benefit the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Meryl Streep, Olivia Wilde, Josh Brolin, Amy Poehler, and Gerard Butler are all working with Artists For Peace And Justice on a public auction and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the people of Haiti. "It's my way of turning all this fashion madness into something positive," Olivia Wilde told Extra. Hopefully more stars will join in this great cause.
And as if this is of equal importance, the New York Daily News seems preoccupied with Mo'Nique's leg hair. The "Precious" actress gave a very poignant speech, and dedicated her trophy to abuse victims, but NYDN thinks she should have spent less time on her acceptance speech and taken a razor to her legs. Seriously people, get a life. If she doesn't care about it, perhaps we shouldn't either.
After more than 6 million votes were cast by AskMen.com readers, Megan Fox fell short of even scoring a position in the top 10, dropping down nine positions after being bumped out by women deemed "more desirable" by AskMen.com readers, such as British actress Kate Beckinsale (No. 3), "Single Ladies" singer Beyonce (No. 6), Jessica Alba (No. 5), and Penelope Cruz (No. 7). Fox's considerable plunge in the ranks is at first surprising, considering most men's magazines admittedly couldn't get enough of the actress in 2009, so much so that several men's websites teamed up for "A Day Without Megan Fox" on August 4, 2009. AskMen.com, along with the likes of other online men's magazine heavyweights like Asylum.com, dedicated a 24-hour period to talking about anything other than the over-exposed "Transformers" starlet.
But was Megan Fox's over-exposure in 2009 simply the result of her notoriously racy interviews and her overtly sexy red carpet poses in which she famously sticks out her tongue? And are those traits alone enough to be considered "desirable" by men across America?
Although once heralded as "the next Angelia Jolie," Megan Fox has yet to prove that she has the staying power and audience attraction of Oscar-winning Angelina, and it's not just AskMen.com's poll that's indicative of this. Fox's first headlining movie, October 2009's "Jennifers Body," only managed to bring in $6.8 million in North American ticket sales during its opening weekend, despite the film's racy content.
Fox's drop out of the top 10 on AskMen.com's list of the Top 99 Most Desirable Women of 2010 is not necessarily a sign that the actress' career has peaked, especially considering her position on the list has fluctuated over the years, debuting at No. 56 in 2006, dropping down to No. 73 in 2007, then moving up to No. 12 in 2008 before hitting No. 2 in 2009. But her latest rank at No. 11 might suggest that the actress has to show a little more dimension, if she's ever going to get back near the top.
Will Megan Fox have her own real-life version of "Revenge of the Fallen" in 2011? Can Megan Fox, the actress, transform herself into something other than a sexpot like Jolie managed to do? Only time will tell and, at the very least, there's always the upcoming "Transformers 3."
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
On Saturday, she was spotted at the LA Clippers Cleveland-Cavaliers game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles with her new pal, Dodgers star Matt Kemp, wearing her hair styled in angelic golden ringlets. The pop star, who will celebrate her 22nd birthday next month, appears to have kept her famous graduated bob hairstyle, adding playful curls for her day at the game.
In addition to the new style, photographers captured the singer with a perpetual and very sincere-looking grin on her face. Last week, Rihanna opened up to W magazine about coming out of the fog of last winter: "At first I completely shut down. But now I feel like this happened to me so I could be a voice for young girls who are going through what I went through and dont know how to talk about it."
She also revealed a desire to focus on her budding acting career, briefly cut short by all the media attention surrounding her private life last year. As everyone who watched her fall appearance on "SNL" can attest, Rihanna has comedic acting skills that rival her talent as a singer.
Take a closer look at the new style below.
Rihanna Super Sexy.
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski,Mariah Carey,Fergie,George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis,Cameron Diaz,
Kate Winslet,Gabourey Sidibe,Taylor Lautner,Chloe Sevigny,Mickey Rourke,Nicole Kidman,Jane Lynch,
Penelope Cruz,Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt,Marion Cotillard,Cher and Christina Aguilera,Diane Kruger,
Toni Collette,Courteney Cox and David Arquette,Amy Adams,Jane Adams,Tracy Morgan,
Glenn Close,Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin,Kristen Bell,Carey Mulligan,Neil Patrick Harris,
Kate Hudson,Patricia Arquette and Thomas Jane,Chace Crawford,Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson,
Julia Roberts,Anna Kendrick,Will Arnett and Amy Poehler,Maggie Gyllenhaal,Tina Fey,
Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston,Zoe Saldana,Vera Farmiga,Jennifer Morrison,Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy,
Julianne Moore,Sofia Vergara,Vanessa Minnillo,Ginnifer Goodwin,Lea Michele,Jessalyn Gilsig,
Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart,January Jones,David Duchovny and Tea Leoni,Olivia Wilde,
Lauren Graham,Heather Graham,Jessica Lange,Gerard Butler,Christina Hendricks,Carrie Ann Inaba,
Elisabeth Moss,Julie Bowen,Jayma Mays,Leona Lewis,Lisa Edelstein,Jane Krakowski,Paula Patton,
Monday, January 18, 2010
No. 1 for the fifth-straight weekend, Cameron's sci-fi saga raised its domestic total to $491.8 million and should top $500 million after revenues are counted on Martin Luther King Day, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Worldwide, 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" lifted its total to $1.6 billion, second only to Cameron's last movie, 1997's "Titanic," at $1.8 billion.
"One guy makes two movies in 10 years, and they're by far the biggest movies of all time. That's remarkable," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for the studio.
"Avatar" topped the original "Star Wars," which took in $460.9 million domestically in its original run and several reissues over the years. But factoring in today's higher admission prices, "Star Wars" remains well ahead of "Avatar" on actual number of tickets sold.
"Avatar" now is closing in on "The Dark Knight," No. 2 domestically with $533.3 million. After that, only Cameron's "Titanic" at $600 million will remain ahead of "Avatar" domestically.
"We'll be proud of our No. 3 slot," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., which released "The Dark Knight" and has hopes for more in the Batman franchise from its director, Christopher Nolan. "I can just give Chris Nolan a nudge that he's got to raise the bar."
Warner, which has Nolan's sci-fi tale "Inception" with Leonardo DiCaprio opening this July, had a strong No. 2 debut of $31.6 million for its action thriller "The Book of Eli." The movie stars Denzel Washington as a post-apocalypse prophet carrying the last known Bible to safe haven across a decimated America.
Expanding nationwide after a month in limited release, Paramount's drama "The Lovely Bones" came in at No. 3 with $17.1 million. Directed by "The Lord of the Rings" creator Peter Jackson, "The Lovely Bones" features Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz and Stanley Tucci in the story of a murdered teen looking back on the world from the afterlife.
Lionsgate's family action tale "The Spy Next Door" debuted at No. 6 with $9.7 million. It stars Jackie Chan as a newly retired agent forced back into the spy game when bad guys come after him and his girlfriend's kids.
Like "Titanic," which dominated the Academy Awards 12 years ago, "Avatar" is expected to remain aloft in the box office charts as Oscar season progresses. "Avatar" was up for best drama at Sunday's Golden Globes and is considered a likely best-picture nominee when Oscar nominations come out Feb. 2.
"It's kind of the cherry on top of the cake for this movie to not only be a massive box office hit, but to get all this awards attention," said Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com. "It's hard sometimes to get a 50- or 60-year-old out of their chair to go see a science-fiction movie in 3-D. But if `Avatar' gets enough recognition from the critics, they may just do it."
Fox executive Aronson would not say if the studio expects "Avatar" to pass either the $600 million domestic total for "Titanic" or its $1.8 billion worldwide total. Some box office watchers say "Avatar" could climb as high $2 billion, though.
"`Titanic' was a ship. Batman had a motorcycle. `Avatar's' a rocket ship," Aronson said. "Is there a lot of fuel left in the tank? You bet."
Even if "Avatar" sets a new revenue record, it's doubtful it would sell as many tickets as "Titanic" did because of today's higher admission prices.
"Titanic" sold about 130 million tickets domestically based on average ticket prices of about $4.60 back in 1997 and 1998. Based on today's average domestic price of about $7.50, "Avatar" would be at around half that mark.
Average admission prices for "Avatar" likely run even higher, given that much of its business comes from a 3-D version, which costs a few dollars extra to see.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Tuesday.
1. "Avatar," $41.3 million.
2. "The Book of Eli," $31.6 million.
3. "The Lovely Bones," $17.1 million.
4. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," $11.5 million.
5. "Sherlock Holmes," $9.8 million.
6. "The Spy Next Door," $9.7 million.
7. "It's Complicated," $7.7 million.
8. "Leap Year," $5.8 million.
9. "The Blind Side," $5.6 million.
10. "Up in the Air," $5.5 million.
While most celebrities had an escort to usher them through the pouring rain, Penelope Cruz was one of the few holding her own umbrella. When E!'s Ryan Seacrest pointed it out, Cruz replied: "I knew I would be holding my own umbrella. I'm not like Puff Daddy [Diddy], I hold my own umbrella."
Seacrest shocked Jane Lynch (who stars on "Glee" as the tyrannical cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester) by showing her (and us) never-before-seen footage of Jane being splattered on the forehead by an inconvenient bird on the red carpet at a movie premiere. "The cameraman promised me nobody would ever see that!" Jane exclaimed.
Jennifer Garner explained why she had an instant rapport with friend Jessica Biel: "She has a dirty mind. I guess I just gave myself away."
When asked by Ryan Seacrest what part of himself he brought to his role as Ryan Bingham in "Up in the Air," George Clooney instantly replied "The vapid part. The vapid part was a big part of me."
Mariah Carey explained her eccentric speech at the Palm Springs International Film Festival awards last week as being caused by "Lee (Daniels) calling me 'kitten.'"
After wishing Michelle Obama a happy birthday in singsong unison with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, a giddy Julia Roberts joked about Conan and Jay's late-night fiasco, telling NBC's Billy Bush "NBC? You guys are in the toilet right now!"
Similarly, Tina Fey described the rain to Billy Bush as "Just God crying for NBC."
The most awkward moment goes to E!'s Giuliana Rancic, who screamed George Clooney's name for an interview, and then tried plan B, screaming after his girlfriend in Italian, only to turn around and notice the live camera and saying "Are we still on? Oh, that's embarrassing."
It was a repeat of Cameron's Globes night 12 years ago, when "Titanic" won best drama and the directing prize on its way to dominating the Oscars.
This time, though, instead of being "king of the world," as Cameron declared at the Oscars, he has become king of an alien landscape, elevating space fantasy to enormous critical acclaim.
"'Avatar' asks us to see that everything is connected, all human beings to each other, and us to the Earth. And if you have to go four and a half light years to another, made-up planet to appreciate this miracle of the world that we have right here, well, you know what, that's the wonder of cinema right there, that's the magic," Cameron said.
Winning the dramatic-acting honors were Sandra Bullock for the football tale "The Blind Side" and Jeff Bridges for the country-music story "Crazy Heart." The crowd gave a standing ovation to Bridges, a beloved veteran generally overlooked for key Hollywood honors.
The acting prizes for musical and comedy went to Meryl Streep for the Julia Child story "Julie & Julia" and Robert Downey Jr. for the crime romp "Sherlock Holmes." The supporting-performance Globes were won by Mo'Nique as an abusive welfare mother in "Precious" and Christoph Waltz as a gleefully bloodthirsty Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds."
The Vegas bachelor bash "The Hangover" won for best musical or comedy, bringing uncharacteristic awards attention for broad comedy, a genre that often gets overlooked at Hollywood honors.
"I just want to thank my mom, who supported my decision to become a director when she realized I wasn't as smart as my two sisters," said "Hangover" director Todd Phillips.
As he accepted the directing Globe, Cameron had kind words for ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, nominated as best director for "The Hurt Locker."
"Frankly, I thought Kathryn was going to get this. She richly deserves it," said Cameron, whose "Titanic" earned the directing and best-drama Globes 12 years ago on its way to Academy Awards triumph.
The blockbuster "Up" came away with the award for animated film.
While Streep is a perennial at awards shows, the prize marked a dramatic turning point for Mo'Nique, who was mainly known for lowbrow comedy but startled audiences with her ferocious performance in "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' By Sapphire."
"First let me say, thank you, God, for this amazing ride that you're allowing me to go on," the tearful Mo'Nique told the crowd.
She went on with gushing praise for "Precious" director Lee Daniels and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, a best dramatic actress nominee at the Globes with her first film role, playing Mo'Nique's abused, illiterate daughter.
"Lee Daniels, the world gets a chance to see how brilliant you are. You are a brilliant, fearless, amazing director who would not waver, and thank you for trusting me," Mo'Nique said. "To Gabby, sister, I am in awe of you. Thank you for letting me play with you."
Streep's competition for best actress in a musical or comedy included herself. She also was nominated for the romance "It's Complicated."
"I just want to say that in my long career, I've played so many extraordinary woman that I'm getting mistaken for one," Streep said. "I'm very clear that I'm the vessel for other people's stories and other people's lives."
Waltz, a veteran Austrian actor who is a relative newcomer in Hollywood, won the supporting-actor Globe as a gleefully bloodthirsty Nazi in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."
"A year and a half ago I was exposed to the gravitational forces of Quentin Tarantino," Waltz said. "He took my modest little world, my globe, and with the power of his talent and his words and his vision, he flung it into its orbit, a dizzying experience."
Though one of Hollywood's biggest parties, the Globes bore somber reminders of tragedy in the real world, many stars wearing ribbons in support of earthquake victims in Haiti.
Films from Pixar Animation, the Disney outfit that made "Up," have won all four prizes for animated movies since the Globes introduced the category in 2006. Past Pixar winners are "WALL-E," "Ratatouille" and "Cars."
"Up" features the voice of Ed Asner in a tale of a lonely, bitter widower who renews his zest for adventure by flying his house off under helium balloons to South America, where he encounters his childhood hero and a hilarious gang of talking canines.
"When it came to finding the heart of the film, we didn't have to look very hard," said "Up" director Pete Docter, whose film also won for musical score. "Our inspiration was all around us. Our grandparents, our parents, our wives, our kids. Our talking dogs."
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner won the screenplay honor for "Up in the Air," which Reitman also directed. The foreign-language honor went to "The White Ribbon," a stark drama of guilt and suspicion set in a German town on the eve of World War I.
"Mad Men" won for best TV drama, while Michael C. Hall won for best actor in a TV drama for "Dexter," in which he plays a serial killer with a code of ethics, killing only other murderers. Hall's publicists revealed this past week that Hall is being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma and that the cancer is in remission.
"It's really a hell of a thing to go to work in a place where everybody gives a damn. That's really the case with `Dexter,'" Hall said. "It's a dream job. I'm so grateful."
"Dexter" also won the supporting-actor TV honor for John Lithgow. Other TV winners included Juliana Margulies as best actress in a drama for "The Good Wife" and Toni Collette as best comedy actress for "The United States of Tara."
The rain-drenched red carpet was a rare sight for an awards show in sunny southern California, stars in their finery getting damp under umbrellas as storms swept the region.
The Globes got a makeover, featuring Ricky Gervais as master of ceremonies, the first time in 15 years the show had a host.
One of his most biting quips came as he sipped a beer on stage.
"I like a drink as much as the next man, unless the next man is Mel Gibson," Gervais wisecracked as he introduced Globe presenter Mel Gibson, who made an anti-Semitic rant a few years back during a drunken-driving arrest.
Gervais opened by mocking Steve Carell, star of the U.S. version of "The Office," based on Gervais' British comedy series. While a stone-faced Carell watched, Gervais yammered on about how fans love Carell and wonder where he gets his ideas from.
Carell then mouthed and pantomimed, "I will break you," to Gervais, an executive producer on the U.S. version of the show.
Gervais joked about the international causes near and dear to Hollywood stars.
"You can be a little Asian child with no possessions and see a picture of Angelina Jolie and you think, `mommy,'" he said.
With stars sharing dinner and drinks, the Globes traditionally are a loose and relaxed affair compared to the courtly Oscars. Celebrities sometimes are caught more in reality-show mode — Jack Nicholson once mooned the crowd for a laugh, and Christine Lahti had to rush from the restroom to collect her Globe for the TV drama "Chicago Hope."
Sunday's winners could get a last-minute boost for the Oscars, whose nominations balloting closes Saturday. Last year's big Globe winner, "Slumdog Millionaire," went on to dominate the Oscars.
The Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 90 reporters covering show business for overseas outlets. The show airs live on NBC.
Avatar Movie wallpaper
Sunday, January 17, 2010
All that hard work has paid off. Between June 2008 and June 2009 the couple earned a combined $122 million putting them squarely at the top of our annual Top-Earning Couples list.
Our list includes actors, musicians, and professional athletes. We talked to agents, managers, producers, and lawyers to determine what celebrities earned from staring in movies, touring, selling albums, playing professional sports, creating lines of clothing and perfumes, and appearing in ads.
Jay-Z and Beyonce both contribute significantly to their joint earnings. Last year Beyonce out-earned Jay-Z, bringing in $87 million to his $35 million. (The couple also topped last year's list with $162 million. About half of that came from each star.)
For the couple in second place on our list, it's more about his big payday. Harrison Ford and his girlfriend, Calista Flockhart, earned a combined $69 million, $53 million less than Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Almost all of that came from Fords work in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Ford and producers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas made a unique deal with Paramount on the movie that gave them a significant portion of the film's earnings after the studio broke even. As a result Ford eared a jaw-dropping $65 million for putting back on Indy's trademark fedora. Flockhart earns for her work on the TV show "Brothers & Sisters."
In third place: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The power couple earned a total of $55 million split about evenly between them both. Pitt had one of the biggest hits of his career last year with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and Jolie has embraced her inner action hero with 2008's "Wanted" and the upcoming film "Salt."
Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, rank fourth with $48 million. Smith is perhaps the last of the great movie stars. Even in recessionary times he still can demand a $20 million paycheck. Pinkett Smith has a burgeoning career of her own. She voices Gloria the hippo in the popular "Madagascar" films and last year produced "The Secret Life of Bees."
The Smiths would earn even more if we were including whole families. Their daughter, Willow, appeared in "I Am Legend" with her dad and did voice work with her mom on "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa." Jaden Smith co-starred with his father in "The Pursuit of Happyness" and will star in the upcoming remake of "The Karate Kid."
Rounding out the top five are David and Victoria Beckham. The pair earned $46 million between June 2008 and June 2009. The vast majority of that comes from David Beckham, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy. He is also playing for A.C. Milan and could appear in his fourth World Cup this summer.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
"I'm beyond obsessed," Heidi said of her fixation on becoming what she calls "the best me."
It all began in 2007 with a rhinoplasty and breast augmentation, but on November 20, things kicked into high gear for Heidi and her plastic-surgery obsession. To achieve her idea of physical perfection, Heidi underwent an estimated $30,000 worth of augmentations and modifications in a single day. In all, she spent 10 hours under the knife of LA plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan.
The laundry list of procedures Dr. Ryan performed that day includes: pinning back Heidi's ears, buttocks augmentation, chin reduction, mini brow lift, liposuction in her neck, waist, and thighs, and fat injections in her cheeks and lips. And that's the abbreviated list.
"My ultimate dream is to be a pop star. I'm competing against the Britney Spearses of the world -- and when she was in her prime, it was her sex appeal that sold," she said. "Obviously, looks matter; it's a superficial industry."
Fellow "Hills" personality, Audrina Patridge, weighed in on her costar's decision to have more work done. "I think it's a case of, 'To each their own,' but 10 procedures in one day is a little much," Audrina said, adding: "As long as Heidi is happy, that's all that matters."
While the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons' estimated $30,000 pricetag for Montag's November surgeries may seem high to most of the world, the tab isn't enough to discourage Heidi. Despite her confession that her body now feels "a little fragile" as she recovers, she is already plotting to increase her bust from her current cup size of DDD. But all the work is not for the sake of pleasing her husband, Spencer Pratt.
"Honestly, the way I got Spencer, I had no surgery. It was my inner beauty that he loved."
Funny, that's the way she originally won over the fans who took to her more than they did the ostensible top star of "The Hills," Lauren Conrad. Maybe Heidi's doctor can find a way to take her back to her pre-2007 state.
There's just one catch: One of the Chicks won't be participating. And, you can probably guess which one.
Sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison are working on a project together sans lead singer Natalie Maines, according to CMT. The album reportedly will released on Columbia Records, which is the Chicks' label.
CMT also reports that Lloyd Maines, Natalie's father, is saying that the trio as a whole "is definitely still an entity."
This news, of course, is pretty fascinating, given the most recent history of the Dixie Chicks. We all know the tale: Natalie Maines makes disparaging remark about then-President G.W. Bush; the country world reacts negatively (to say the least). The group becomes an unwitting symbol/talkpoint in politically divided times.
Maines gives a forced apology (which she later retracted) but then the Chicks write an album about not really being sorry. Which wins Grammy after Grammy, completely knocking out that years' formidable competition ranging from Justin Timberlake to James Blunt to Rascal Flatts. Maines singsongs "ha-ha!" while accepting awards.
Moreover, the band--whether willingly or by circumstance--ended up distancing itself from the country music world, going so far as to publicly note they'd rather not be lumped in with the Reba McEntire and Toby Keith fans. (Note: Okay, we all know Toby can be a bit of a firebrand--but what did poor Reba do?!)
We all know how it went.
And so it went. Since then, the Chicks have laid fairly low, concentrating on family life (all three have young children). News of activity from the group, if only from two members, is quite big indeed.
In fact, quite bigger for the omission of Maines. Discussion has gone back and forth amongst fans and those in the thick of Nashville gossip about what exactly was Maguire and Robison's opinion of the Bush controversy (both sisters publicly stood by Maines's remarks and the resultant fallout).
Could the sisters be having a family collab just for the pure enjoyment of it? Or, is there a deeper meaning to the omission of their longtime pal and singer?
I, for one, am wondering if it's a bit of both. If, maybe, the two are preferring a lower-key re-emergence into the spotlight.
Back when Taking The Long Way came out, a Nashville buddy of mine mentioned, "It's such a great album, and a lot of us here just wish everyone would forget the bulls--t and enjoy the music." Which I think is a valid sentiment for many Chicks fans. It was a good album, with many personal facets and emotions ranging beyond the controversial obvious. (In fact, I felt "Not Ready To Make Nice" was one of the weaker songs in the tracklisting, overall.)
There will be no escaping the endless questioning about you-know-what-and-whatnot, but perhaps leaving out Maines--who has, undoubtedly, painted herself into the catalyst corner of this entire saga--is the easiest way to get back to the basics.
Then again--it could very well be Maines herself who wishes to remain out of the spotlight for a little bit longer. As the center of the storm, she's weathered the most criticism.
But, of course--I want to know what you think. Are you looking forward to the Chicks minus Maines? Or holding out for the trio's undiluted return? Let's hear your thoughts on the matter.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The Vatican newspaper and radio station are criticizing James Cameron's 3-D blockbuster for flirting with the idea that worship of nature can replace religion — a notion the pope has warned against. They call the movie a simplistic and sappy tale, despite its awe-inspiring special effects.
"Not much behind the images" was how the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, summed it up in a headline.
As the second highest-grossing movie ever, "Avatar" is challenging the record set by Cameron's previous movie "Titanic."
Generally it has been critically acclaimed and is touted as a leading Oscar contender.
Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales, has praised "Avatar" for what he calls its message of saving the environment from exploitation. But the movie also has drawn a number of critical voices. Some American conservative bloggers have decried its anti-militaristic message; a small group of people have said the movie contains racist themes.
To Vatican critics, the alien extravaganza is just "bland."
Cameron "tells the story without going deep into it, and ends up falling into sappiness," said L'Osservatore Romano. Vatican Radio called it "rather harmless" but said it was no heir to sci-fi masterpieces of the past.
Most significantly, much of the Vatican criticism was directed at the movie's central theme of man vs. nature.
L'Osservatore said the film "gets bogged down by a spiritualism linked to the worship of nature." Similarly, Vatican Radio said it "cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium."
"Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship," the radio said.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said that while the movie reviews are just that — film criticism, not theological pronouncements — they do reflect Pope Benedict XVI's views on the dangers of turning nature into a "new divinity."
Benedict has often spoken about the need to protect the environment, earning the nickname of "green pope." But he also has balanced that call with a warning against turning environmentalism into neo-paganism.
In a recent World Day of Peace message, the pontiff warned against any notions that equate human beings with other living things in the name of a "supposedly egalitarian vision." He said such notions "open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man's salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms."
The pope explained in the message that while many experience tranquillity and peace when coming into contact with nature, a correct relationship between man and the environment should not lead to "absolutizing nature" or "considering it more important than the human person."
The Vatican newspaper occasionally likes to comment in its cultural pages on movies or pop culture icons, as it did recently about "The Simpsons" or U2. In one famous instance, several Vatican officials spoke out against "The Da Vinci Code."
In this case, the reviews came out after a red-carpet "Avatar" preview held in Rome just a stone's throw from St. Peter's Square. The movie — which has made more than $1.3 billion at box offices worldwide, partly boosted by higher 3-D ticket prices — will be released Friday in Italy.
"So much stupefying, enchanting technology, but few genuine emotions," said L'Osservatore in one of three articles devoted to "Avatar" in its Sunday editions. The plotline of aliens who live on a distant unspoiled planet and the humans who want to pillage their resources is a universal theme that can be reminiscent of past colonizations and wars, the paper said. As such, it is easy to relate to it, but also unoriginal.
"Everything is reduced to an overly simple anti-imperialistic and anti-militaristic parable," it said.
In America, the big numbers and media hype have been accompanied by some controversy.
Blog posts, newspaper articles, tweets and YouTube videos have criticized the film, with some calling it "a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people" and that it reinforces "the white Messiah fable." Cameron says the real theme is about respecting others' differences.
An LA Times blog noted that the movie "has inflamed the passions of right-wing bloggers and pundits."
"Cameron incensed many voices on the right by acknowledging of-the-moment messages about imperialism, greed, ecological disregard and corporate irresponsibility," it said. Anti-smoking lobbies have denounced the cigarette-puffing character played by Sigourney Weaver.
Back at the Vatican, the reviews did praise the groundbreaking visuals of the movie.
Vatican Radio said that "really never before have such surprising images been seen," while L'Osservatore said the movie's worth lies in its "extraordinary visual impact."
Avatar Movie wallpaper
The 34-year-old actor and "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi will not be returning to the superhero franchise next year. Instead, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced Monday that a new "Spider-Man" film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on Peter Parker in high school would debut in the summer of 2012 with a new cast and filmmaking team.
"I am so proud of what we accomplished with the 'Spider-Man' franchise over the last decade," Maguire said in a statement Monday. "Beyond the films themselves, I have formed some deep and lasting friendships. I am excited to see the next chapter unfold in this incredible story."
The announcement of a reboot comes after reports that "Spider-Man 4" production stalled amid script revisions. The original "Spider-Man 4" release date seemed unlikely last week when Paramount Pictures announced that "Thor," another big-screen Marvel superhero adaptation, had hammered out the same May 6, 2011, release date as the fourth Spidey installment.
"Working on the 'Spider-Man' movies was the experience of a lifetime for me," Raimi, who directed all three "Spider-Man" films, also said in a statement Monday. "While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job."
Maguire said in an interview last week that there was "great stuff in terms of story and script" for the fourth chapter and the plan was to still release the film in 2011. He also said he had specific ideas about the evolution of the character on the big screen.
"Thor" experienced its own upheaval over the weekend. Stuart Townsend departed the adaptation because of creative differences, according to two AP sources close to the production. Townsend, who had been cast as an ally of the Norse god, was replaced by Joshua Dallas.
The three "Spider-Man" films continually snared moviegoers, earning over $1.1 billion combined. After glowing reaction to the first two films, critical response to "Spider-Man 3" was so-so. Raimi said he was undecided about returning to the franchise after the third movie but later said he didn't like thinking about somebody else making the Peter Parker story.
Sony said it would have more news about the next "Spider-Man" movie in coming weeks.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
“The stylist [Ted Gibson] was probably using top-quality hair. Hair costs between $500 and $2,000, and anytime you do celebrity extensions, you use the highest quality hair possible,” said the Neil George Salon’s senior extensionist (yes, that is her real title), Kacey Welch, who adds long locks for celebs like Kristin Cavallari.
Beyond the cost of the hair (she says the best for a blonde are Eastern European locks, which are the priciest), the application can be time-consuming. Welch explained, “It sounds like she got individual hairs added over her entire head, which is expensive because it takes so long to apply. And if her hair was short and she went long, she would need a lot of hair. $7,000 is definitely on the high side, but if he’s going to the client’s location, then spending 20 hours on color and cut and application, that all increases the cost.”
Stylist Ted Gibson also revealed the most time-consuming part of Kate's hair transformation: "I would say 15 of those hours were working on Kate, trying to convince her to cut her bangs,” he said. “I felt like she was hiding behind that front piece.” Gibson didn't mention whether Kate paid for the extensions herself.
In news first reported by The New York Post, a source confirmed to Access that the show would start shooting its fourth and final season on January 18. The network does not know how many episodes it will shoot or when it would wrap its season, but noted there are enough new episodes to air through 2011.
"You never know in this business . . . but right now we're scheduled to wrap [forever] after shooting this new batch of episodes," Disney Channel Worldwide's Adam Bonnett, senior VP of Programming, told the Post.
The plot of the final season will reportedly mirror Miley's own life, as her character must decide if she is going to leave her secret double life as a pop star for the life of an everyday teen.
Miley will have a few guest stars in the fourth season of "Hannah Montana."
According to the paper, Ray Liotta will guest in the fourth-season opener, and "Two and a Half Men" star Angus Young is slated for a future episode.
But could the end of "Hannah Montana" be a sign that the teen starlet is poised to transition into more mature big screen roles?
In October, Miley told Billy Bush for Access Hollywood and "The Billy Bush Show" that she has nothing but gratitude for her time on the Disney series, but that she would like to move on to different projects
"I could never say anything bad about it because [that's] what gave me my start and it has been so amazing. It's given me the opportunity to grow as an artist," she said at the time. "It was really a great learning experience. But I definitely am ready to go on and do other things."
The actress will next be seen in the coming of age drama, "The Last Song," adapted from the Nicholas Sparks novel in April and also in a cameo as herself in "Sex and The City 2," which hits theaters on May 28.
Throughout his career, Jackson worked on separate projects with the likes of Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder.
But there is one artist he never had a chance to work with-Lady Gaga.
Jackson wanted to invite the "Paparazzi" singer to join him on stage during his "This Is It" tour, his former choreographer Travis Payne told RafflesEntertainment.
When Payne asked Jackson if he wanted to feature other artists in the show, the late King Of Pop loved the idea.
"Sure, they can all come as long as their schedules [permit]," Payne recalled Jackson saying.
Payne suggested Janet, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, Sting, Seal, Bono, and Tina Turner.
Jackson was pleased with the list. But when Payne asked if there was anyone else he wanted to work with, Jackson named the 2009 breakthrough artist.
"[Michael] literally told me, 'You got to get into her,'" Payne said. "'She's good.'"
Jackson's admiration for Lady Gaga got Payne interested. "I started listening to her music more and going onto YouTube and looking at her performances, and I was like, 'You're right.'"
He initially thought getting the call was strange, but thought of his conversation with Jackson.
"I told her the story," Payne said. "Of course she got moved by it."
Payne ended up directing and choreographing Lady Gaga's performance on the American Music Awards, as well as her sets on "Ellen," "The Jay Leno Show," and "X-Factor."
In the photo, Watson's right leg appears to take a mysterious turn before disappearing altogether, perhaps the result of a post-photo shoot editing session gone terribly awry. There's the possibility that Watson's leg is fully obscured by her brother's, but that would likely mean she's standing on a box or posing with one leg up (which might explain why she's got her arm wrapped around him for support).
Without seeing the entire/original shot, we'll never know, but at least the missing limb reappears in this additional photo for the campaign.
Nobody involved in the photo shoot has yet to comment. But unlike the Demi Moore incident, in which all parties vigorously denied any touch-ups, Emma's missing limb seems like it will be considerably harder to explain away.
Maybe this time, everyone can just laugh it off -- after all, even skilled photo re-touchers make mistakes now and then. We're just glad Emma's okay.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The country star will make her acting debut with a guest spot on the sitcom, playing a new love interest for Ted (Josh Radnor)
Carrie will play a character named Tiffany, a pharmaceutical rep, in an episode set to air this March.
"What makes her... intriguing is the fact that she's a pharmaceutical rep, or Pharma Girl, which according to Barney [Neil Patrick Harris] has replaced nurses and stewardesses to become the Official New Profession of Hot Chicks," the creators of the show said, according to Zap2it.com.
Carrie isn't the first singing star to play a character with romantic feelings for Ted. In 2008, Britney Spears played Abby, a bubbly secretary who had a crush on Ted, but eventually fell for Barney.
Other stars slated to appear on "How I Met Your Mother" this season include Amanda Peet, New York Yankee Nick Swisher and CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, Creator Craig Thomas said, according to TV Guide.
The 100th episode of the CBS sitcom will air this coming Monday featuring guest stars Tim Gunn of "Project Runway," model Stacy Keibler and former "O.C." cutie Rachel Bilson.
Monday's episode won't be Rachel's only visit to the show.
She will appear in several episodes of the series and have something to do with Ted's future, according to reports.
Copyright 2010 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Brand, 34, is quoted in Wednesday's editions of the Britain Sun as texting, "It's true. Much love."
Her rep also confirms the engagement to Us.
Perry, 25, also has suggested that she will be walking down the aisle.
Early Wednesday morning, she referenced an Alanis Morrisette lyric to "Thank U" on her Twitter page: "So when do I start walking the streets naked singing that Alanis song?" The "Thank U" video features Morrisette walking naked in India, where UsMagazine.com first reported Tuesday that Perry and Brand -- who've been dating since September -- got engaged.
See also gushed about Brand in February's Glamour: "When he was filming [the upcoming comedy] Get Him to the Greek, I did a cameo with him. My scene called for me to make out with him. And on the way down the stairs after the scene, I was hopping like a bunny. I hop like a bunny when I'm happy - I get a bit childlike."
An insider tells Us that Brand popped the question with a ring, and Perry happily accepted.
The exotic trip, a Perry insider tells Us, "was his Christmas gift. She told him how much she loved Indian culture while they were eating curry in England, so he surprised her."
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Ms. Johnson, an heiress to the Johnson & Johnson company fortune, was no stranger to the public eye and to controversy. Casey's father was New York Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson. Mr. Johnson purchased the Jets in 2000 for $635 million. The Jets are currently one of 12 teams in the NFL playoffs.
Her uncle Jamie made a splash in 2003 with his documentary, "Born Rich." In recent months, Ms. Johnson had been romantically linked and "engaged" to reality-TV star Tila Tequila. After Johnson's passing hit the news, Tequila posted this on her Twitter page: "Everyone please pray 4 my Wifey Casey Johnson." Web searches on "casey johnson and tila tequila" and "was casey johnson engaged to tila tequila" both surged.
Johnson also made headlines last October when she got into an altercation with then-girlfriend Courtenay Semel. People magazine reports that the troubled Johnson "was arrested for allegedly breaking into another former girlfriend's house" in November.
Ms. Johnson was also, at one time, friends with Paris Hilton. In an article from Business Week, Johnson said that "the stupidest mistake of [her] life" was turning down the chance to co-star with Hilton on "The Simple Life." Ms. Hilton ended up co-starring alongside Nicole Richie instead.
The investigation into Ms. Johnson's death is ongoing. Foul play has been ruled out, but the authorities will perform tests in an attempt to explain more about her unfortunate passing. Johnson was a longtime sufferer of diabetes and her father was a supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Monday, January 4, 2010
In light of my new apartment, I've considered how to start off or "re-start" a relationship in the new year. Perhaps you can use the new year as a springboard for change that will make your relationship longer lasting and more fulfilling. Here are some suggestions for starting your relationship off right in the new year:
1. Avoid Holiday Letdown
It's easy to get wrapped up in the holiday spirit, and the romance of the decor and festivities. During the holidays, dating is fun and you're out and about quite often. You shop together, exchange gifts, take walks and do plenty of other holiday activities (get fun ideas for cheap dates here). For me, everything comes crashing to a halt on January 2nd as I trudge to work with the holiday hangover in the freezing cold. It's easy to recoil and hibernate until spring.
But if you can keep up the energy level, brainstorm fun activities, and spend time with your significant other, you'll get each other through the cold winter. Also, it shows that you were not just into "seasonal dating" if you remain enthusiastic beyond the holidays.
2. Get Rid of Your Worst Habit For You...And Them
You know that one thing that they love to complain about? My mom complains about my dad's pack-rat habit that takes over the basement. Many girls complain that I bite my nails too often, and too low. Smoking polarizes many couples. If you've been unable to get rid of a bad habit for yourself, than do it for your lover as a New Year's resolution. In the end, you'll be helping yourself while making them happy.
3. Try To Get Along With That Person You Hate...Really Try This Time
Make a conscious effort to get along with their mother, that annoying friend, or even their ex who is still in their life as a friend. You don't have to be best friends with that horrible person. You'll find that simply tolerating someone your significant other loves instead of complaining about them will do the trick.
4. Make More Sacrifices With Your Time
Fall and Winter time-sacrifices are tough for me because football monopolizes every Sunday. So, skipping something you love in order to hang out with your significant other will go a long way. Also, doing something with them that they love, but you're not that into, will mean a lot too.
5. Put The Past Behind You
Some things are better left alone, but sometimes past issues keep you from moving forward. If an apology is in order, or a discussion is necessary with an ex- and you're ready to do it- go for it. Or, come to grips with your past within yourself. You'll find that burying the hatchet with a past lover will help you be a better boyfriend or girlfriend for your current lover.
And if you're in a relationship, but you've been hurt in the past, remember this is a different relationship from your past: doomsday may NOT be on the horizon. And if you still talk to your jerky ex just to be nice, kick them to the curb for good and move on-- drop 'em like another bad habit.
6. Try Something New
A new year is the perfect time to try new dates: new venues, activities and styles. If you've been planning dates, give in to spontaneity. If you've done a lot of indoor activities, get outside. If you've gone out to dinner many times, stay in and make dinner together or for each other. A new, memorable experience will start the year off right.
Most of these tips involve sacrifice/stepping outside of your comfort zone. No one said New Year's resolutions were easy. Look back and reflect upon the things you didn't try. If you give them a shot, you could take things to another level.
What tips would you offer to start your a relationship off right in the new year? What do you think of my ideas? Do you historically hit a low after the holidays in dating, or are you able to sustain or improve your relationship when the New Year rolls around? Do you like to look at New Year's as a chance to renew your relationship?
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Both national stories and local stories were covered in the pages of Topsail Voice this past year, but in listing our year in review we decided to mainly focus on the local issues we felt were noteworthy in 2009.
Some will agree and some will disagree. For those that disagree they can go to our web page (www.topsailvoice.com) and voice their opinions.
These collections of stories do not appear in order of importance but rather by date from January to December.
The staff at Topsail Voice hopes you enjoy this look back at the year that was and hopes you make us a part of your 2010.
January 7, 2009 - Topsail High School opens doors to new building
HAMPSTEAD – After a ribbon-cutting and open house on Friday, students and staff at Topsail High School were eager for the first official day of school in their new building Monday.
Before cutting the ribbon at the Jan. 2 open house, officials and volunteers at all levels spoke about the process of making the new building a reality.
“This is a really big day in my life to have come this far and succeeded,” said NC Representative Carolyn Justice (R - Pender, New Hanover). “It only succeeded because the people of Pender County put education first.”
January 14, 2009 - Pender County unemployment surpasses state and national rate
PENDER COUNTY – Statistical information released by the Employment Security Commission (ESC) reveals as of Jan. 9, Pender County’s unemployment rate is higher than the state and the national average.
The statistics for Pender County notes, out of a labor force of just over 24,000, 1,997 residents are unemployed and looking for work.
As of November 2008, Pender County had an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, up from 4.3 percent 12 months earlier.
January 21, 2009 - A pending increase in home insurance rates concerns officials
TOPSAIL AREA – A pending increase in homeowners insurance rates has had many coastal areas crying foul and sparked a lawsuit, which local officials said they plan to discuss at upcoming meetings.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance agreed in December to an increase in homeowners insurance rates, though a lower increase than what was originally asked for. Statewide, the increase averages 4.05 percent.
However, the actual increases in different areas across the state vary widely. Some coastal areas are seeing increases of more than 20 percent while many areas further inland will receive a less than 5 percent increase or a decrease.
February 11, 2009 - Condemned homes to come down
N. TOPSAIL BEACH – The condemned homes at the northernmost end of Topsail Island will be coming down soon.
The North Topsail Beach Board of Aldermen voted last Thursday to accept a bid from Four Seasons Earthworks, Inc, of Wilmington, for $43,600 to tear down and remove the homes.
Mayor Donald Martin said on Tuesday that he had signed the paperwork and spoken to the contractor.
March 11, 2009 - Pender wins; U.S. Supreme Court affirms Pender should be whole district
PENDER COUNTY – A five-year fight for the right to elect one of its own to the NC House of Representatives is over and Pender County has won.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling decided legislators in the State General Assembly violated the state constitution’s whole county mandate when it unnecessarily split Pender into two House districts.
The court further affirmed the NC Supreme Court mandate that the General Assembly redraw district lines, keeping Pender whole in time for the 2010 election.
March 25, 2009 - NC chapter of the NAACP to look into diversity issues
PENDER COUNTY – Allegations of a lack of diversity in Pender County government have spurred the interest of the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP.
On Tuesday, NAACP state President Rev. William Barber, speaking on a conference call with Pender Chapter President Dr. Rachel Stephens, said the state organization supports Dr. Stephens’ effort to appoint a minority to the county planning board.
“Pender County needs to realize we have a right to equal representation within the system and government that makes decisions on our lives and livelihood,” he said.
May 13, 2009 - North Topsail Beach disbands beach committee – again
N. TOPSAIL BEACH – Another beach committee was disbanded by the board of aldermen at last Thursday night’s town meeting after they voted to eliminate the Beach Erosion Study Team.
This is the second time a beach committee has been done away with by the board in a little over a year.
The move came after Alderman Richard Farley read a resolution to dissolve the beach team and made a motion to adopt the resolution.
The measure passed by a 3-2 vote with Farley, along with aldermen Robert Swantek and Larry Hardison voting for it, and aldermen Richard Peters and Daniel Tuman voting against.
May 20, 2009 - 420 jobs to be eliminated as a result of plant closing
ROCKY POINT – The announcement that Coty Inc. was closing its Pender County plant and eliminating 420 jobs over the next 12 months sent shock waves through county government last week.
Commissioner David Williams said he was shocked and saddened over the news.
“I had no idea this was coming,” he said. “This is very bad news and I am deeply disappointed because they were a very environmentally friendly operation.”
Commissioner Chairman Jimmy Tate echoed the words of Williams.
June 3, 2009 - Commissioners asked to investigate animal control
BURGAW – A Columbus County animal cruelty investigator and the President of the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina have asked the Pender County Commissioners to investigate the county’s department of Animal Control
The request came Monday night when Lisa Hartman, an animal cruelty investigator in Columbus County, and Peter MacQueen III spoke to the commissioners regarding the May 7 seizing of horses and dogs in the Hampstead area.
Hartman told the commissioners she was the first to report the neglect of the Hampstead horses on April 21. After her attempts to reach animal control were unsuccessful, she said she contacted the sheriff’s office.
July 15, 2009 - Topsail Beach commissioner censured
TOPSAIL BEACH – The Topsail Beach board of commissioners censured one of its own in a 3-2 vote at the July 8 town meeting.
Commissioner R.E. “Buck” Taylor was censured after Commissioner Hal Hanig read a resolution calling for the measure.
Hanig said that at the June 10 town meeting, Taylor acted improperly in questioning a town volunteer and staff, left the dais and had made accusations in the past regarding employees.
August 5, 2009 - Sneads Ferry moves closer to referendum on incorporation
SNEADS FERRY – Residents are closer now than they have ever been in having their voices heard on whether they should incorporate their village.
On Aug. 3, NC House members voted unanimously to approve a bill that would allow Sneads Ferry to hold a referendum on incorporation.
The referendum has been a long time in coming. For years the people of the fishing village have debated whether or not to incorporate.
August 19, 2009 - SBI asked to investigate Senator R.C. Soles; Accuser reportedly recants
TABOR CITY – North Carolina’s longest serving lawmaker in the General Assembly is under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation for allegations he attempted to fondle a 15-year old boy.
The allegations against Senator R.C. Soles (D-Pender, Brunswick, Columbus) surfaced last week when WWAY news in Wilmington aired a year old interview it conducted with Stacey Scott.
Scott, now 27, said in the interview when he was 15 Sen. Soles, 74, tried to molest him and grab his genitalia.
August 26, 2009 - SBI asked to investigate shooting by NC Senator R.C. Soles
TABOR CITY – The SBI has been asked to conduct an investigation into a shooting that took place this past weekend involving state Senator R.C. Soles and a former client.
The incident took place at approximately 5:20 p.m. at Sen. Soles’, 74, residence outside Tabor City in Columbus County.
Sen. Soles (D) represents Pender, Columbus and Brunswick counties.
According to reports, Sen. Soles alleged two young men were attempting to break-in or kick-in several doors to his home when the he first fired a warning shot from a pistol, but when confronted again one of the men was shot directly or indirectly in the leg by the senator.
September 23, 2009 - Mayor Zander Guy appointed to North Carolina ABC board
SURF CITY – Surf City Mayor A.D. “Zander” Guy has been appointed to a seat on the state alcoholic regulatory board by North Carolina Governor Beverly Purdue.
“It’s an honor and a big task,” said Mayor Guy of the appointment.
The board has three seats but has been unable to meet because two of the seats have been vacant for the past four months. This has left the commission with a accumulation of work to tend to.
September 30, 2009 - Sloop Point woman found murdered in her home
SLOOP POINT – An autopsy of a Sloop Point resident found dead in her home Sunday evening has led the Pender County Sheriff’s Office to declare her death a homicide.
Captain Jamie Ezzell of the Pender Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday that an autopsy of Beverly Ennis Moore, 52, revealed she had been murdered.
“It was verified today after the autopsy that it was a homicide,” said Ezzell. “We were pretty sure but there were some questions due to the evidence at the crime scene.”
November 4, 2009 - School board chairman reacts to NAACP investigation of racial bias
BURGAW – Pender County School Board Chairman Tom Roper said he was “shocked” last week when he received an email form the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People claiming they were investigating him on charges of racial bias and other charges.
Roper said he received the email from Pender NAACP Chapter President Dr. Rachel Stephens early last week. In the email Roper said Dr. Stephens stated there had been complaints against him involving allegations and rumors he made comments that could be construed as racially biased, not representing the board in the community in the proper way and failing to attend board meetings.
“I wish I knew where this was coming from,” said Roper on Monday. “I was totally shocked when I got the email, it was so random.”
November 18, 2009 - Topsail student dies from complications of H1N1 virus
HAMPSTEAD – The Pender County Health Department has confirmed that a Topsail High School student has died from complications brought on by contracting H1N1, also known as swine flu.
“The state has confirmed that a child at Topsail High School died from complications from H1N1,” said Pender County Clinical Nursing Supervisor Shirley Steele.
When asked if it was the Topsail student that died this month, Steele said she was prohibited by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) from revealing the student’s name.
December 9, 2009 - Scotts Hill residents sign petition for fire substation
SCOTTS HILL – The residents of Scotts Hill turned out in force last week to discuss options for future fire protection in their small community in the southeast portion of Pender County.
More than 120 people attended the community meeting last Tuesday and opted to throw their support behind asking the county commissioners to allow the Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) to build a substation in their area.
“About 126 people signed the petition,” said Pender Emergency Management Director Charles Newman, who attended the meeting.
December 16, 2009 - Topsail Shoreline Protection Committee fired by board
TOPSAIL BEACH – Newly elected board members made some major changes after being sworn in at the Dec. 9 town meeting, including dissolving the Shoreline Protection Committee.
New Commissioner Grier Fleischhauer made the motion to abolish the Shoreline Protection Committee and have the board of commissioners assume its responsibilities.
He said that the committee had done a good job but it was time for the board to take over.
December 16, 2009 - David Williams announces deal for Hampstead boat ramp
BURGAW – It’s not a done deal, yet but Commissioner David Williams announced on Monday that an agreement has been reached for the purchase of land to build a free public boat ramp in eastern Pender County.
Williams made the announcement Monday afternoon during the board’s only meeting in December.
“We have got a deal for the boat ramp,” he said. “Mr. (David) Greer and John Barber from the state property office have reached an agreement and it will be presented to the Council of State in the first week of January.”
Williams said he did not want to “jinx” the deal but if all goes as planned he was told they could close on the land, located at the end of Lewis Road in Hampstead, in January.
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- Miley Cyrus' 'Hannah Montana' Coming To An End
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- Carrie Underwood is heading to, How I Met Your Mot...
- Russell Brand Confirms
- Casey Johnson was just 30 years old when she was f...
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- A local look back at the year 2009,Review year 200...
- ▼ January 2010 (25)