Archive for October, 2012

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Authorities searched fields and along highways in suburban Denver on Monday for signs of a 10-year-old girl who has been missing since leaving for school on Friday and whose backpack may have been found miles away.

The effort to find fifth-grader Jessica Ridgeway also focused on the area around the home in Westminster where she lives with her mother, and a neighborhood 6 miles to the north where the backpack believed to belong to her was found Sunday.

Ridgeway was last seen Friday walking to a park where she meets classmates before school. A police flier with her photo was posted on the front door of her two-story home that was decorated for Halloween.

The FBI was assisting the investigation, and investigators have been in contact with relatives in Independence, Mo.

Jessica’s great-grandmother Dana Moss told KSHB-TV that she consented to a search of her house because “we’d do anything in the world to get her back.”

“Safely, alive, however we can have her back,” she said.

The Associated Press couldn’t immediately reach Moss.

In Westminster, police stationed officers at elementary schools to assist children, though they said there was no indication that other children were in danger.

“We have no reason to believe there is a person going around abducting children,” police spokesman Trevor Materasso said.

However, police in the nearby suburb of Arvada said they were investigating whether the disappearance of Jessica was related to two recent child enticement cases that involved a man who tried to lure two boys about the same age as Jessica into a car.

No suspects were identified in those incidents, which took place about 6 miles south of Jessica’s home.

“Our detective is working to see if they’re related,” Arvada police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan said.

A resident in a neighborhood in Superior, a town along U.S. Highway 36 linking Boulder and Denver, reported finding the backpack on a sidewalk.

Police declined comment about its contents. Materasso said it was sent to the state crime lab for analysis that involved DNA samples from the family.

Authorities got a late start searching for Jessica because her mother works nights and slept through a call Friday from school officials after Jessica didn’t arrive for classes.

People in the area have been moved to help in the search.

More than 800 volunteers turned out for Saturday’s search, and at least 300 leads have been called in to a tip line.

So many police fliers have been posted on fences and windshields around the city that authorities were having trouble keeping up with demand for the material.




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Seth MacFarlane’s Big News

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Seth MacFarlane perhaps most famous as the creator of the animated show “Family Guy,” will be hosting the Academy Awards show early next year, the Academy announced on Monday.

And he is pumped. “[I am] ecstatic. I was surprised. I have done a fair amount of hosting in the past but nothing of this magnitude. I was very, very pleasantly surprised,” MacFarlane told Deadline Hollywood.

This comes off the heels of the success of his foray onto the big screen with the comedy “Ted,” about a foul-mouthed, talking teddy bear — also starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. The film, which cost $50 million to make, has brought in $217.8 million in the U.S. and $420 million total (worldwide).

MacFarlane provides the voice of many of his non-human characters including Ted, Peter Griffin (“Family Guy”), Stan Smith (“American Dad”) and many more. He got his start in animation working for Hanna-Barbera and then became an animator and writer at the Cartoon Network, working on “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Cow and Chicken,” “I Am Weasel,” and “Johnny Bravo.”

If you’re thinking MacFarlane is a left-field choice for one of the most-watched live televisions shows on the planet, here are some facts that build a strong case in his favor:

Seth can sing. He was actually nominated for two Grammys last year: One for his debut album “Music Is Better Than Words” and the other for a Christmas-themed song he co-wrote for “Family Guy.”
He is popular with young people. The Academy has tried and failed in the past to reach a younger demographic (*cough* Anne Hathaway and James Franco). Since MacFarlane has a proven track record on live T.V. (Remember when his mic wasn’t working at the Emmys last week and he came out smelling like a rose? He also did pretty well as a recent “Saturday Night Live” host.) — he could have that magic ingredient to pull it off this time.
America thinks he’s funny. A lot of people were holding their breath as MacFarlane tested his ever-growing small-screen appeal on the big screen with “Ted.” For a first-timer movie director-writer-actor, he pretty much nailed it.

There are also some forces that could work against MacFarlane:

His humor is typically raunchy. If MacFarlane’s irreverent style of humor goes too far or puts a bad comedic taste in people’s mouth, it will literally be heard — and criticized — around the world. I’m sure past awards-show-hosting gaffes made by the likes of David Letterman and Ricky Gervais will be held up as examples of what not to do.
He is a non-tested entity. Unlike Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, the late Bob Hope and Johnny Carson — who have hosted the Oscars multiple times with moderate-to-great success — MacFarlane hasn’t done it before. The pressure will be on.
His face is not famous. All other hosts who have graced the Academy Awards show stage — whether film or T.V. stars — have been instantly recognizable. While a lot of people know MacFarlane’s animated shows and his film, audiences are still becoming familiar with his actual face.

“It’s truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars,” MacFarlane said [via the Academy’s press release]. “My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don’t find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen Roast.”

In terms of his hosting game plan, MacFarlane, who noted the late Johnny Carson is his favorite Oscar host, said it’s still too early to tell, but that, “The trick is really going to be to make it as funny as I can and true to what I do but at the same time respectfully adapting the tone for this event which is a very different event than I have been a part of in the past.” [via Deadline]

Methinks you will be seeing a lot more of MacFarlane’s mug leading up to the big event on February 24th.




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Antoine Ashley, better known as Sahara Davenport on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died.

“Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport. He was an amazing artist and entertainer who’ll be deeply missed by his Logo family. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, especially his boyfriend Karl, in their time of need,” the network said in a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday.

Alongside 11 other contestants, Ashley competed for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on the hit show’s second season in 2010 – but his talents spanned far beyond the realm of reality television.

A classically trained dancer, Ashley started performing in drag while attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Upon earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, Ashley left Dallas for New York City where he appeared in drag regularly at various bars and nightclubs.

In addition to his role on Drag Race, Ashley also appeared in 15 Films About Madonna, Magnificent Obsessions and One Life to Live.

Earlier this year, Ashley released a single, “Go Off,” which later reached no. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.

RuPaul expressed his condolences via Twitter on Tuesday morning.

“Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal,” he Tweeted.

Ashley’s boyfriend, Karl Westerberg, competed on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race as Manila Luzon. The couple released a cover version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” last December.

On Sunday night, he Tweeted simply, “I love him so much.”

The cause of death is unknown at this time.



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