Kercher family remembers beloved daughter

Originally published: September 30, 2011 9:00 AM Updated: September 30, 2011 1:47 PM By The Associated Press  COLLEEN BARRY (Associated Press) Quick ReadMeredith Kercher’s family remembers beloved daughter as Knox appeal reaches end Photo credit: AP | FILE – This is an undated file photo released by the Italian Police of 22-year-old murdered British university student Meredith Kercher. Her family awaits an appeals verdict expected Monday Oct. 3, 2011, against former roommate Amanda Knox, convicted along with the defendant’s former Italian boyfriend of murdering her four years ago. The Briton’s gruesome killing has spawned one of Italy’s most sensational and closely watched trials. Yet to her family’s frustration, Kercher has been eclipsed in the public’s eye by Knox, as supporters of the photogenic 24-year-old American mount a high-profile campaign to free her. (AP Photo/Italian Police, File) EDITORIAL USE ONLY (AP) — Meredith Kercher would have been 25. The British student would have finished her degree at Leeds University and perhaps been preparing for another Halloween, a day she loved.Instead, her family awaits an appeals verdict expected Monday against former roommate Amanda Knox, of Seattle, who was convicted along with her Italian ex-boyfriend of murdering Kercher in 2007.Kercher’s…

Holly Madison insures her breasts for $1 million

Holly Madison arrives at the premiere of "The Hangover Part II" on May 21, 2011, in Las Vegas.(Credit:Getty) (CBS) Holly Madison wants to protect her “assets.” The reality TV personality and Las Vegas performer took out a $1 million insurance policy on her breasts from Lloyd’s of London. Pictures: Holly Madison The 31-year-old told People magazine that she took out the policy to protect herself and others who appear in “Peepshow,” the burlesque show she stars in at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. “I’ve heard about people getting body parts insured and I thought, ‘Why not?’, because if anything happened to my boobs, I’d be out for a few months and I’d probably be out a million dollars,” she said. “I thought I’d cover my assets.” She added, “I think it’s kind of funny. I think they’re getting the credit they deserve. They’re my primary money makers right now.” Madison, who was Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend and appeared on “The Girls Next Door,” also stars in the reality show “Holly’s World,” which documents her life in Vegas.

‘Courageous’ makes Wellsville debut tonight

The Grand Theater on Main Street, Wellsville is one of just 100 theaters across the country which will debut “Courageous” tonight. Theater owner Darrin Jones said, “There is no way we should have gotten this movie for a first run showing, but we sold over 1,000 tickets through the Wellsville Bible Church and the Brookside Wesleyan Church, so we got it.” Ryan Nixon who advocated for the movie said Pastor Dan Kenyon of the Wellsville Bible Church was already trying to get the movie here, when Nixon started pushing Pastor Robin George of the Brookside Wesleyan Church to try for the movie. “My wife (Katie Thomas) and I pre-screened the movie when we took a Family Life Cruise last February and I saw how powerful it was,” said Nixon who was an advisor for and had a small role in the recently released “Green Lantern” movie. “Courageous” is the story of four police officers who courageously perform their jobs, but who after a tragedy befalls the tight-knit group, decide to pursue their duty as parents just as courageously according to the synopsis of the movie written by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick and starring Alex Kendrick. Nixon said, “This is the fourth film from Sherwood Pictures which was started by the Sherwood Baptist Church, Ga. With the increase in the divorce rate and the breakdown of society we need more films like this that get back to our grass roots. This is what we’re supposed to be doing — standing up and doing what is right. It is a powerful and wholesome film.” According to Jones the nearest place to Wellsville the movie is being shown is in Buffalo and Rochester. For each showing the theater will seat 200, downstairs. Preference will be given to those who have purchased the pre-sale tickets. Others may purchase tickets after pre-sale ticket holders are seated. Showings will be at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, and at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. This is the third time the theater has worked with local churches to debut a limited, first run movie under Jones’s ownership. Over a year ago it showed “To Save a Life” and in the spring it showed “Soul Surfer.”

Photos of the Day, Sept. 5, 2011

[...] View previous gallery Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesPolice storm the law office building where a young girl was being held hostage in Paramatta on September 6, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. A man entered the law office building this morning with a young girl, alleged to be his daughter, claiming to have a backpack with a bomb, sparking a hostage scenario response from police, hostage negotiators, bomb squads and emergency crews. The standoff was underway for over 11 hours before police safely negotiated the release of the girl and took the man into custody. Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesA young girl is escorted from the law office building where she was held hostage in Paramatta on September 6, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. A man entered the law office building this morning with a young girl, alleged to be his daughter, claiming to have a backpack with a bomb, sparking a hostage scenario response from police, hostage negotiators, bomb squads and emergency crews. The standoff was underway for over 11 hours before police safely negotiated the release of the girl and took the man into custody. Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesA man is escorted from the law office building where he held a girl, alleged to be his daughter, hostage in Paramatta on September 6, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. The man entered the law office building this morning with a girl claiming to have a backpack with a bomb, sparking a hostage scenario response from police, hostage negotiators, bomb squads and emergency crews. The standoff was underway for over 11 hours before police safely negotiated the release of the girl and took the man into custody. REUTERS/Peter Dejong/PoolMomcilo Perisic, the former chief of staff of the Yugoslav army, takes his seat as he enters the court room of the Yugoslavia war crimes court in The Hague, to hear the verdict of the court Sept 6, 2011. Prosecutors accused Perisic of providing crucial aid to Bosnian Serb forces that allowed them to carry out atrocities including the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men at Srebrenica and the four-year siege and campaign of shelling and sniping targeting Sarajevo. REUTERS/David LohA white Bengal tiger stares at visitors at the Singapore Zoo September 6, 2011. According to conservation group WWF, there are about 4,000 tigers left in the world and they are considered endangered species. REUTERS/David LohTourists feed the Aldabra a giant tortoise at the Singapore Zoo September 6, 2011. The Aldabra giant tortoise, from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, are the second largest species of tortoises on Earth and can weigh more than five times the weight of an average human being, according to the Zoo. REUTERS/Francois LenoirAn activist from Friends of the Earth Europe wears a bee headband during a protest outside the Monsanto's office in Brussels September 6, 2011. Europe's highest court is expected to rule that honey containing pollen from nearby GM maize plants must be considered under EU law as food produced from GM plants, and therefore requires an EU marketing authorisation. BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty ImagesIndonesian football fans attend a FIFA Asian World Cup football qualifier between Indonesia and Bahrain in Jakarta on September 6, 2011. Bahrain led 1-0 at half-time. FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty ImagesLibyan NTC figthers fire their wepons in the air as elder representatives of the Warfalla tribe meet NTC representatives at the Malti mosque, in Wishtata village, on the road from Tarhuna to Bani Walid, during negotiations to starve off a battle in one of the last bastions of support for former Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi, on September 6, 2011. [...]

West opens up a bit about past issues

Delonte West has been through varying degrees of controversy the past two years.West came to the Celtics last season, getting a chance to redeem himself on the court and stabilize his life off it. But the guard recently revealed to SLAM magazine that nothing was easy about the season. He was under house arrest for eight months, which complicated his professional life.“When I wasn’t in the arena, I had an ankle bracelet monitor on,’’ he said. “And right after the game, they’d put it right back on and I’d have to go straight back home.’’West also gave the magazine his version of what happened when he was caught with the weapons, saying that after taking medicine for the mood disorder, he got a call from his mother telling him some of his friends were playing with guns in his Washington D.C.-area basement studio.West said he decided to relocate the guns to an empty house he owned nearby, so he gathered the weapons and set off.“I’m on the Beltway, cruisin’,’’ said West. “Soon I start realizing I’m dozing in and out. I open my eyes and I went from this lane to that. I’m swervin’, and by the time I wake up, I’m about three exits past my exit.“There’s this truck flying beside me . . . and I’m scared to death. So I seen an officer coming up and I try to flag him down. I pull up next to him. He slows down and I get up in front of him. I tell the officer I’m not functioning well and I’m transporting weapons. The rest of the story is what it is.’’“I’m not proud of it,’’ said West, “but it looks way worse than it was.’’West is an unrestricted free agent this season. He was on his best behavior last season in Boston, but was snakebitten by injuries, playing just 24 games.Still, coach Doc Rivers, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, and ownership are supporters, and West has said he wants to return to Boston.© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.

Columbus Day parade draws thousands – Queens Chronicle: South Queens News

Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54253 The crowd of more than 10,000 people loved the floats, includingthis one of Christopher Columbus. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54252 The crowd went wild for James JohnsonÕs renditions of Italianballads. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54250 Ave Maria Catholic Academy students and their parents marchproudly in the annual event. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54242 Performers from the United Service Organization were a hit. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54251 Sons of Italy Vice President Rosemary Ciulla-Frisone, centerright, and President Anne Romano are joined by members of theirorganization at SundayÕs event. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54254 The Crossbay merchants float included Crossbay Travel Serviceand Rag Time. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54243 Students and teachers from the Howard Beach Columbus DayFoundationÕs Italian program have fun marching. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54256 Councilman Eric Ulrich shakes hands with constituents along theparade sidelines. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54247 Miss New York, Kaitlin Monte, at the parade. Photo by STEVE MALECKI ColumbusDay54246 Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation President Mario Faulisi,left, with Grand Marshals Mitchell Weiss and NYPD Sgt. AnthonyCesapano. Courtesy photo ColumbusDay54263 The Scholars’ Academy Seawolves marching band, directed byAlexander Leicht, play “Stars and Stripes Forever” at theparade.

’50/50′ review: Cancer comedy that rings true

50/50 Comedy-Drama. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick. Directed by Jonathan Levine. (R. 99 minutes. At Bay Area theaters.) Right now comedy is where everything is happening in movies. Dramas are dramas, and action movies are lost in 3-D hell, but comedy filmmakers are trying new things, expanding the form to include bigger chunks of life, aspects of the human experience seemingly ineligible for comic treatment. And so we get “50/50,” about a 27-year-old guy who gets cancer. Inevitably, it follows the usual pattern of Illness Epics: “Hey, what’s this pain in my back? Oh, it’s probably nothing … ” But everything about the handling of the usual scenes is different, made palatable not by glossing over things with jokes but by staying human scale and true to the characters. For the record, I usually loathe illness movies even if they’re well made, because who wants to spend two hours watching somebody get sick – unless they’re getting something like leprosy or scurvy, which you probably don’t have to worry about? But “50/50″ will be liked and appreciated even by people who can’t imagine wanting to see it. Some moments are hard to take, such as the one of Joseph Gordon-Levitt waking up in the middle of the night following chemotherapy and throwing up in the bathroom. A few other scenes feel a trifle forced, such as the camaraderie that develops between the young man and two much older guys during their chemotherapy sessions. But for the most part, and to an impressive extent, “50/50″ finds ways to be honest about something awful and yet appealing and watchable. In one scene, young Adam (Gordon-Levitt) eats some medical marijuana-laced cookies and then walks through the hospital where he is being treated. It’s a chamber of horrors that would be terrifying to any sober person, but because of the filmmakers’ strategy of making Adam stoned at this moment, the sequence works in a complicated, sophisticated way. We see what Adam is seeing, but we also see how he is seeing it, and his drugged capacity for distance at this moment becomes funny. Director Jonathan Levine and screenwriter Will Reiser do this throughout – they know what they have to show but figure out how to do so in imaginative and engaging ways. “50/50″ is not about a fight for survival. The protagonist is more like a bystander to a fight being fought by his illness on one side and his body and the doctors on the other. He can do nothing but stand there and wait, the one person with everything to lose. Often dark onscreen, Gordon-Levitt has an open-faced probity that grabs the audience’s interest and compassion. It’s an interesting portrait in innate, unfussy dignity. Just as essential is Seth Rogen, as Adam’s best friend. Rogen isn’t even 30 yet, but he is already an important actor – not just because he’s popular but because he best embodies this particular comic moment. He can be brash, vulgar, absurd, clueless, ridiculous and laughable and in the next minute be warm, unguarded, sensitive, humane and steadfast, without either side of his nature registering as inconsistent or less true. Instead, these contradictions are harmonized within the structure of Rogen’s screen personality, which here and elsewhere – but especially here – hardly seems like his personality alone but emblematic of a generation. Anna Kendrick has a nice role as Adam’s psychologist, a softening and an elaboration of Kendrick’s role as a young careerist in “Up in the Air,” and Bryce Dallas Howard is Adam’s girlfriend, who is not unlike the likable but superficial woman Howard took on in Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter.” Howard is too good at such roles, and too good for them. If she doesn’t want to be playing such women for the rest of her career, she needs to stop now. This article appeared on page E – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Baptist Press – ‘Courageous’ No. 1 in movie ticket sales – News with a Christian Perspective

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 | by Michael Foust Updated 3:39 p.m. EasternNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The church-made film “Courageous” is No. 1 in ticket sales among all movies according to a leading ticketing website — a significant feat considering it is an independent movie that will open in far fewer theaters than most big-time movies. It opens Friday. The ticketing website, Fandango.com, puts Courageous No. 1 in its “Fandango 5″ list of the week’s hottest tickets, besting No. 2 “The Lion King 3D,” third-place “Moneyball,” fourth-place “Dolphin Tale 3D” and fifth-place “Drive.” Made by the same church that filmed the 2008 hit “Fireproof” — the top independent film that year — Courageous will open in 1,126 theaters in the United States. By comparison, The Lion King 3D opened in 2,300 theaters and Dolphin Tale 3D opened in 3,500.As of Thursday, Courageous had reached $2 million in pre-sales, officials close to the film said. Also, Kerusso, which makes Christian apparel, reports it has sold five times more Courageous T-shirts than it sold Fireproof T-shirts. Courageous tells the story of five men — four of them police officers — striving to become better fathers. Its production budget of $1 million was twice that of Fireproof’s $500,000. Despite the data, Courageous almost certainly won’t finish No. 1 at the box office over the weekend. For starters, it is not opening in enough theaters. Its pre-release sales have been boosted by churches across the country buying out entire showings for the film and using it as a ministry tool, particularly to men. They then resell the tickets to members. One church, Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., said Wednesday it had sold out of tickets for all four showtimes it had purchased. Most reviewers who have seen Courageous are calling it the best film yet from Sherwood Baptist Church, which made Fireproof and Facing the Giants. The church is located in Albany, Ga.–30–Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press. Read how your church can get involved in Courageous at bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=35942.Read Baptist Press’ review of Courageous at bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=35579.Read what Tony Dungy said about Courageous atbpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=36092.

Justice John Fusco named grand marshal of Staten Island’s Columbus Day Parade

Advance file photoBorough President James Molinaro said Supreme Court Justice John Fusco, above, is “an example of both ethnic pride and community service.”STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Supreme Court Justice John A. Fusco has been named the grand marshal of the 21st annual Columbus Day Parade, which takes place Sunday in New Dorp.The march steps-off at 1 p.m. from New Dorp High School. “At Sunday’s Columbus Day celebration, we have an opportunity to honor an exceptional Italian-American, native Staten Islander,” Borough President James Molinaro said in a press release. “Judge Fusco has consistently demonstrated through his work as both a councilman and a judge, his dedication to all our borough’s residents. This honor is well-deserved as Judge Fusco lives his life as an example of both ethnic pride and community service.”The parade route goes up New Dorp Lane and disperses at South Railroad Avenue. As a result of the march, New Dorp Lane will be closed to traffic from Mill Road to South Railroad Avenue, and South Railroad Avenue will be closed from Rose to Jacques avenues. The road closures are expected to last from noon to 4 p.m.Molinaro also announced named Luanne M. Sorrentino and Doreen P. Cugno of the St. George Theatre as the 2011 Italian Month honorees.”Along with their mother, ‘Mrs. Rosemary’ Cappozalo, Luanne and Doreen rescued the St. George Theatre from demolition in 2004 and restored the building to its original grandeur,” said Molinaro. “Thanks to their efforts, Staten Island once again has a cultural center that attracts top-flight Broadway entertainers and children’s shows, and provides afterschool programs in the performing arts.”The Italian Heritage Ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. at New Dorp High School.

First drive: Chrysler Ypsilon

Remember the Lancia brand? Many enthusiasts do and are still sad at the Italian sporting brand’s departure from the UK in 1994.Well, now its back – sort of. In case you weren’t aware, Fiat Auto has taken over the US car maker Chrysler. As part of its plans, Lancia and Chrysler are to be merged in Europe, with the Italian manufacturers models rebadged as Chryslers in Europe, in much the same way as Vauxhall and Opel brands work.One of two new Chrysler models launched here is the Ypsilon supermini. This all-new five-door version made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year and for Lancia anoraks, yes, it can trace its roots back to the individually styled first-generation Y10, which was sold in the UK.The badge on the bonnet might have changed, but like the Y10 and Ypsilons of the past, the looks of the new car are pleasingly individual.Highlights include the curvy floating roof that’s similar to its bigger brother, the Delta. At the front, there are distinctive sloping headlights, a shield-like chromed front grille and a clamshell bonnet. Move to the back and the highlights are the curvy rear light clusters and deep rear window line.I thought it looked at its best with the optional two-tone paint, which is expected to cost around £1,200 extra.Sadly, the interior of the Ypsilon isn’t as interesting as the exterior. You sit high and there’s nothing wrong with the centrally-mounted instruments or soft-touch trim. However, the instruments are not very well integrated into the rest of the dashboard design.Still, the finish is up to Fiat 500 standards, which is interesting as this car is built on a stretched 500 floorpan. The seats are comfortable, there’s enough room in the back for six-footers and there’s the practicality of a 245-litre boot.A choice of three engines is available for the Ypsilon in the UK: two petrol and one diesel. Petrol engines start with the 2011 Engine of the Year, the 0.9 turbo TwinAir, which, like the bigger 69bhp 1.2-litre, has a 99g/km emissions figure.The one diesel engine is the 95bhp, 1.3 Multijet with emissions of 115g/km and a Combined consumption figure of 57.6mph.All of these engines feature green technology including a start-stop system and are Euro 5 compliant.The cleverest feature of the Ypsilon has to be the Magic Parking system, which works by pushing a button on the dashboard, then uses radar sensors in the front bumper combined with wheel speed sensors to measure the length of empty parking spaces.If it finds a space free from obstacles and is the length of the car plus 40cm at either end, the driver is notified by a beeping noise and a message on the dashboard. If you go for the space, the car takes over the steering, with the driver retaining control of the accelerator.Other Ypsilon innovations include the Smart Fuel System, that prevents misfuelling.S, SE and Limited trims are available, with prices starting from £10,695. Standard equipment on all models are electric windows, CD and MP3 player and a height adjustable driver’s seat. Options include the award-winning Blue&Me system, that can be combined with a TomTom Go1000 sat-nav system.I had the chance to drive the range-topping Limited with the TwinAir engine. It’s a characterful engine that has a surprising turn of speed considering its size, but you have to get used to its lumpy idle and Citroen 2CV-like soundtrack.The slick five-speed manual gearbox and light, acurate steering are other Ypsilon attractions. However, if you work the engine hard you’ll struggle to meet this engine’s amazing 67.3mpg economy figure. There’s too much body roll in corners and the ride, though generally good, is unsettled by large potholes.To sum up, if you think of the Ypsilon as a bigger, American Fiat 500, which talks with an Italian accent, the Chrysler is an interesting and high value alternative to the supermini mainstream.