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A look back at the allegations against Woody Allen
mysanantonio.com / Tue, 4 Feb 2014 23:12:43 UT
The Ugly Explosion of an Unconventional Family, announced the Aug. 31, 1992, cover of Time magazine, which bore Woody Allen's bespectacled face. The sordid saga involving Allen and erstwhile romantic partner Mia Farrow had indeed exploded into the public consciousness days earlier. The most sensational part: an allegation that the celebrated director had taken their adopted daughter Dylan, 7, into an attic-like space at Farrow's Connecticut home and molested her. At age 78 he still puts out a movie a year, won his fourth Oscar in 2012 for "Midnight in Paris," and is nominated again this year — his 24th nod — for the "Blue Jasmine" screenplay. Allen was given a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes in January that included a glowing televised tribute. [...] this past weekend, Dylan Farrow, now 28, married and living in Florida, penned an emotional open letter, accusing Hollywood of callously lionizing her tormentor. Visiting Allen's apartment, Farrow discovers a set of nude, explicit photos Allen has taken of her 21-year-old adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn (her father is Farrow's ex-husband, Andre Previn). Farrow gives Allen a Valentine with a photograph of her and some of her children; a steak knife is stuck into Farrow's heart, covered with a photo of Soon-Yi, and meat skewers are stuck in the chests of the children. The doctor leading the probe, John M. Leventhal, will later say in a sworn statement, reported by The New York Times, that he theorized Dylan either invented the story or had it planted in her mind by her mother. The judge says he doesn't know if the molestation happened, but bars Allen from seeing Dylan for at least six months and limits visits with other children. In Litchfield, Conn., State's Attorney Frank Maco says there was "probable cause" to charge Allen with molesting Dylan and that police had drawn up an arrest warrant, but that he decided not to pursue the case, in part because it would traumatize Dylan. Allen loses his bid for disciplinary action against Maco when a state panel rules that the prosecutor was acting within his rights when he announced he had evidence Allen had abused Dylan. Allen had charged that Maco's statement essentially convicted him of child abuse and prejudiced his custody fight. The couple continues on to France, where the newspaper Le Monde describes the American reaction to Farrow's charges as "the outrage of a certain America, family-oriented and puritanical, against a man that didn't conform enough..." Robert Weide, director and producer of a PBS documentary about Allen, notes in a widely circulated article on The Daily Beast that Farrow had specifically agreed to the use of her "Purple Rose of Cairo" clip in the Globe montage. "Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse," she writes.

Slaying of popular Terlingua bar owner has ghost town reeling
mysanantonio.com / Wed, 5 Feb 2014 21:12:00 UT

Terlingua, a tiny town on the edge of Big Bend National Park in far west Texas, is an attraction for Houstonians seeking escape from urban life. But now it's reeling from the jolt of an alleged homicide, with one local resident accused of taking the life of another.


GI Joe, the world’s first action figure, turns 50
mysanantonio.com / Thu, 6 Feb 2014 12:20:00 UT
The birthday of what's called the world's first action figure is being celebrated this month by collectors and the toy maker that introduced it just before the nation plunged into the quagmire that would become the Vietnam War — a storm it seems to have weathered pretty well. Since Hasbro brought it to the world's attention at the annual toy fair in New York City in early 1964, G.I. Joe has undergone many changes, some the result of shifts in public sentiment for military-themed toys, others dictated by the marketplace. Levine and his team came up with an 11½-inch articulated figure with 21 moving parts, and since the company's employees included many military veterans, it was decided to outfit the toy in the uniforms of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, with such accessories as guns, helmets and vehicles. Into the '70s, G.I. Joes featured "lifelike hair" and "kung-fu grip" and were outfitted with scuba gear to save the oceans and explorer's clothing for discovering mummies. Over the decades, G.I. Joe has spawned comic books, cartoons, two movies starring Channing Tatum, and a G.I. Joe Collector's Club and its annual convention — GIJoeCon — held in Dallas in April.

Duck Commander now NASCAR title sponsor at Texas
mysanantonio.com / Thu, 6 Feb 2014 16:55:47 UT

Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday announced a multiyear title sponsorship agreement for its spring race with Duck Commander, the brand of best-selling duck calls and Robertson family-owned company featured on the A&E show "Duck Dynasty." TMS President Eddie Gossage says it's a unique sponsorship in professional sports, coming with celebrity spokespeople who are followed by millions of people each week.


Allen defends self against Farrow’s abuse claims
mysanantonio.com / Sat, 8 Feb 2014 07:47:50 UT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a nearly 2,000-word open letter punctuated with rhetorical questions and decades-old anecdotes, notoriously media-shy Woody Allen again defended himself against renewed claims that he molested adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow 21 years ago. Allen's response was published online Friday night by The New York Times, nearly a week after the same publication released an open letter from Dylan Farrow in which she claimed that in 1992 at the family's Connecticut home, Allen led her to a "dim, closet-like attic" and "then he sexually assaulted me." A team of child abuse specialists from the Yale-New Haven Hospital, brought in to the case by prosecutors and police, concluded that Dylan Farrow had not been molested. The 78-year-old director of such films as Annie Hall, ''Bullets Over Broadway and Midnight in Paris spent the majority of his letter lashing out against ex-partner Mia Farrow, calling her vindictive, spiteful and malevolent. There is even a lame attempt to do professional damage by trying to involve movie stars, which smells a lot more like Mia than Dylan. In a statement made to The Hollywood Reporter late Friday, Dylan Farrow called Allen's op-ed "the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has leveled at me for the past 20 years." Allen received a lifetime achievement award at last month's Golden Globes ceremony, and he's up for the best original screenplay trophy at next month's Academy Awards for "Blue Jasmine," which also received acting nominations for Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins.

Next step uncertain in Woody Allen allegations
mysanantonio.com / Sun, 9 Feb 2014 00:00:17 UT
NEW YORK (AP) — A week bracketed by op-ed letters of accusation and denial of child molestation left little clarity and scant hope for resolution in a bitter saga that has haunted Woody Allen and the Farrow family for more than two decades. The back-and-forth between Allen and his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, breathed new fire into a long dormant scandal, but what happens next is uncertain, with the possibility of legal recourse and continued scrutiny in the weeks and months ahead. Farrow, in her most detailed account yet, alleged in an open letter published Feb. 1 by The New York Times that Allen "sexual assaulted" her when she was 7 years old at the Farrows' Connecticut home, renewing a charge against the movie director that was first leveled in 1992. The two acrimoniously separated after Farrow discovered Allen was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who was 19 or 21 at the time. [...] the rampant debate sparked by Dylan Farrow's accusation will likely continue to stir questions over the alleged molestation, how claims of sexual assault are publicly weighed, and the legacy of Allen's acclaimed work as a filmmaker. Though a suit would offer the opportunity to retry the case in civil court, it would insure a drawn-out, very public battle that would be taxing for all involved.

Oscarcast: A fine scene hosted by Ellen DeGeneres
mysanantonio.com / Mon, 3 Mar 2014 05:40:20 UT
NEW YORK (AP) — With only a week to catch our breath after the lengthy cavalcade of Winter Olympics coverage, this year's Oscarcast may have seemed a refreshingly snug handout of awards. The show's kickoff, which, unlike so many years before, wasn't an extravagant comedic film featuring the host with a bevy of stars, but instead, found DeGeneres arriving on stage to deliver her simple, but satisfyingly funny, monologue. Unlike many hosts, she was a regular presence, at one moment gathering stars in the audience for a group selfie to tweet, at another bringing in a pizza delivery guy to share slices with audience members (and then confessing she had no money to pay the bill: "Where's Harvey Weinstein?"). Best supporting actor (for "Dallas Buyers Club") Jared Leto's acceptance speech paid tribute to his mother, thanking her "for teaching me to dream," then celebrated the dreams "in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela" — before pledging his support to those who have felt injustice "because of who you are or who you love." The ironic spectacle of veteran actress Kim Novak, who was a presenter in the category of animation but, at age 81, revealed an eerily baby-smooth face that seemed frozen in place. Pink performing "Over the Rainbow" against panoramic clips from "The Wizard of Oz" in a salute to that beloved film's 75th anniversary. Superfluous remarks from the president of the Academy, a mission statement whose pace-arresting effect was underscored by DeGeneres a moment later when she cracked, "Good luck following that, Amy Adams and Bill Murray!" The heartfelt acceptance spilling out of best supporting actress Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"), who made it clear she understood that "so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's."


Navy ‘super carrier’ headed for scrap in Texas
mysanantonio.com / Sun, 11 May 2014 21:09:06 UT

Aircraft carrier Saratoga headed for scrap The Navy says it tried unsuccessfully to donate the ship for a public display or as a museum.


Texas A&M simplifies tuition, but you’ll have to pay more upfront
mysanantonio.com / Fri, 31 Jan 2014 15:50:00 UT

The Texas A&M University System regents on Thursday adopted a new tuition and fee structure for their flagship institution, Texas A&M University, which is based in College Station but includes a campus in Galveston and the system's health science center.


Pope’s Harley goes for $327,000 at charity auction
mysanantonio.com / Fri, 7 Feb 2014 01:42:23 UT
Pope Francis' Harley-Davidson is hitting the road after an unspecified European buyer agreed to pay $327,000, including taxes and fees, for the motorcycle at a Paris auction to benefit charity. Money from the sale will be donated to charity Caritas Roma, which runs a soup kitchen and hostel for the homeless in Rome.


Dad accused of killing teen found in daughter’s room
mysanantonio.com / Thu, 13 Mar 2014 14:56:14 UT

A Harris County grand jury will decide what, if any, charges will be filed against a Spring father accused of fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy he found in his teenage daughter's bedroom Thursday morning.


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