Sunday, August 20, 2017

Jerry Lewis Dead at Age 91



From The ASSOCIATED PRESS


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. 

He was 91.

Publicist Candi Cazau says Lewis died Sunday of natural causes in Las Vegas with his family by his side.
Tributes from friends, co-stars and disciples poured in immediately.

"That fool was no dummy. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy's absolute!" Jim Carrey wrote Sunday on Twitter. "I am because he was!"

Comedian Dane Cook considered Lewis to be a mentor.

"The world has lost a true innovator & icon," Cook wrote.

Lewis' career spanned the history of show business in the 20th century, beginning in his parents' vaudeville act at the age of 5. He was just 20 when his pairing with Martin made them international stars. He went on to make such favorites as "The Bellboy" and "The Nutty Professor," was featured in Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" and appeared as himself in Billy Crystal's "Mr. Saturday Night."

"Jerry was a pioneer in comedy and film. And he was a friend. I was fortunate to have seen him a few times over the past couple of years. Even at 91, he didn't miss a beat. Or a punchline," Lewis' "The King of Comedy" co-star Robert De Niro said in a statement.

In the 1990s, he scored a stage comeback as the devil in the Broadway revival of "Damn Yankees."
In his 80s, he was still traveling the world, working on a stage version of "The Nutty Professor." He was so active he would sometimes forget the basics, like eating, his associates would recall. In 2012, Lewis missed an awards ceremony thrown by his beloved Friars Club because his blood sugar dropped from lack of food and he had to spend the night in the hospital.

A major influence on Carrey and other slapstick performers, Lewis also was known as the ringmaster of the Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association, joking and reminiscing and introducing guests, sharing stories about ailing kids and concluding with his personal anthem, the ballad "You'll Never Walk Alone." From the 1960s onward, the telethons raised some $1.5 billion, including more than $60 million in 2009. 

He announced in 2011 that he would step down as host, but would remain chairman of the association he joined some 60 years ago.

"Though we will miss him beyond measure, we suspect that somewhere in heaven, he's already urging the angels to give 'just one dollar more for my kids,'" said MDA Chairman of the Board R. Rodney Howell on Sunday.

His fundraising efforts won him the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2009 Oscar telecast, an honor he said "touches my heart and the very depth of my soul." But the telethon was also criticized for being mawkish and exploitative of children, known as "Jerry's Kids." A 1960s muscular dystrophy poster boy, Mike Ervin, later made a documentary called "The Kids Are All Alright," in which he alleged that Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association had treated him and others as objects of pity rather than real people.

"He and his telethon symbolize an antiquated and destructive 1950s charity mentality," Ervin wrote in 2009.

Responded Lewis: "You don't want to be pitied because you're a cripple in a wheelchair, stay in your house!"

He was the classic funnyman who longed to play "Hamlet," crying as hard as he laughed. He sassed and snarled at critics and interviewers who displeased him. He pontificated on talk shows, lectured to college students and compiled his thoughts in the 1971 book "The Total Film-Maker."

"I believe, in my own way, that I say something on film. I'm getting to those who probably don't have the mentality to understand what ... 'A Man for All Seasons' is all about, plus many who did understand it," he wrote. "I am not ashamed or embarrassed at how seemingly trite or saccharine something in my films will sound. I really do make films for my great-great-grandchildren and not for my fellows at the Screen Directors Guild or for the critics."

In his early movies, he played the kind of fellows who would have had no idea what the elder Lewis was talking about: loose-limbed, buck-toothed, overgrown adolescents, trouble-prone and inclined to wail when beset by enemies. American critics recognized the comedian's popular appeal but not his aspirations to higher art; the French did. Writing in Paris' Le Monde newspaper, Jacques Siclier praised Lewis' "apish allure, his conduct of a child, his grimaces, his contortions, his maladjustment to the world, his morbid fear of women, his way of disturbing order everywhere he appeared."

The French government awarded Lewis the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1983 and Commander of Arts and Letters the following year.
---

The late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas in Los Angeles and AP National Writer Hillel Italie in New York contributed to this report.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Glen Campbell Dead at Age 81




From the ASSOCIATED PRESS:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Glen Campbell, the grinning, high-pitched entertainer whose dozens of hit singles included “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman” and whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 81.

Campbell’s family said the singer died Tuesday morning in Nashville and publicist Sandy Brokaw confirmed the news. No cause was immediately given. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that it was in its early stages at that time.

In the late 1960s and well into the ’70s, the Arkansas native seemed to be everywhere, known by his boyish face, wavy hair and friendly tenor. He won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and 75 chart hits, including No. 1 songs with “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”

His performance of the title song from “True Grit,” a 1969 release in which he played a Texas Ranger alongside Oscar winner John Wayne, received an Academy Award nomination. He twice won album of the year awards from the Academy of Country Music and was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Seven years later, he received a Grammy for lifetime achievement.

He was among a wave of country crossover stars that included Johnny Cash, Roy Clark and Kenny Rogers, and like many of his contemporaries, he enjoyed success on television. Campbell had a weekly audience of some 50 million people for the “Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” on CBS from 1969 to 1972. He gained new fans decades later when the show, featuring his cheerful greeting “Hi I’m Glen Campbell,” was rerun on cable channel CMT.

“I did what my Dad told me to do — ‘Be nice, son, and don’t cuss. And be nice to people.’ And that’s the way I handled myself, and people were very, very nice to me,” Campbell told The Telegraph in 2011.

He released more than 70 of his own albums, and in the 1990s recorded a series of gospel CDs. A 2011 farewell album, “Ghost On the Canvas,” included contributions from Jacob Dylan, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.

The documentary “Glen Campbell ... I’ll Be Me” came out in 2014. The film about Campbell’s 2011-12 farewell tour offers a poignant look at his decline from Alzheimer’s while showcasing his virtuoso guitar chops that somehow continued to shine as his mind unraveled. The song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” won a Grammy for best country song in 2015 and was nominated for an Oscar for best original song.

Campbell’s musical career dated back to the early years of rock ’n roll. He toured with the Champs of “Tequila” fame when the group included two singers who formed the popular ’70s duo Seals & Crofts. He was part of the house band for the ABC TV show “Shindig!” and a member of Phil Spector’s “Wrecking Crew” studio band that played on hits by the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers and the Crystals. He played guitar on Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers In the Night,” the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” and Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas.”

“We’d get the rock ‘n’ roll guys and play all that, then we’d get Sinatra and Dean Martin,” Campbell told The Associated Press in 2011. “That was a kick. I really enjoyed that. I didn’t want to go nowhere. I was making more money than I ever made just doing studio work.”

A sharecropper’s son, and one of 12 children, he was born outside of Delight, Arkansas, and grew up revering country music stars such as Hank Williams.

“I’m not a country singer per se,” Campbell once said. “I’m a country boy who sings.”

He was just 4 when he learned to play guitar. As a teenager, anxious to escape a life of farm work and unpaid bills, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to join his uncle’s band and appear on his uncle’s radio show. By his early 20s, he had formed his own group, the Western Wranglers, and moved to Los Angeles. He opened for the Doors and sang and played bass with the Beach Boys as a replacement for Brian Wilson, who in the mid-‘60s had retired from touring to concentrate on studio work. In 1966, Campbell played on the Beach Boys’ classic “Pet Sounds” album.

“I didn’t go to Nashville because Nashville at that time seemed one-dimensional to me,” Campbell told the AP. “I’m a jazzer. I just love to get the guitar and play the hell out of it if I can.”

By the late ’60s, he was a performer on his own, an appearance on Joey Bishop’s show leading to his TV breakthrough. Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers saw the program and asked Campbell if he’d like to host a summertime series, “The Summer Brothers Smothers Show.” Campbell shied from the Smothers Brothers’ political humor, but still accepted the offer. He was out of the country when the first episode aired.

“The whole lid just blew off,” Campbell told the AP. “I had never had anything like that happen to me. I got more phone calls. It was awesome. For the first couple of days I was like how do they know me? I didn’t realize the power of television.”

His guests included country acts, but also the Monkees, Lucille Ball, Cream, Neil Diamond and Ella Fitzgerald.

He was married four times and had eight children. As he would confide in painful detail, Campbell suffered for his fame and made others suffer as well. He drank heavily, used drugs and indulged in a turbulent relationship with country singer Tanya Tucker in the early 1980s.

He is survived by his wife, Kim; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; and his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane and Dillon. He had 10 grandchildren.

In late 2003, he was arrested near his home in Phoenix after causing a minor traffic accident. He later pleaded guilty to “extreme” DUI and leaving the scene of an accident and served a 10-day sentence.

Among Campbell’s own hits, “Rhinestone Cowboy” stood out and became his personal anthem. Written and recorded by Larry Weiss in 1974, “Rhinestone Cowboy” received little attention until Campbell heard it on the radio and quickly related to the story of a veteran performer who triumphs over despair and hardship. Campbell’s version was a chart topper in 1975.

“I thought it was my autobiography set to song,” he wrote 20 years later, in his autobiography, titled “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Critical Injuries at Southeastern Kansas City MO House Fire


Two people have been critically injured- with one of the injured being transported to a hospital at this post- from a house fire in far south Kansas City...


The fire is reported to be in a residence in the 8600 block of East 116th Street- fire crews responded about 9:30 pm Saturday night.


At least 9 fire companies and several EMS units were sent to the scene.


Two victims were reported by the battalion chief officer at 9:43 pm- with "CPR in progress" on one person.


That victim was reported to be a female- and she was in very critical condition while enroute to Research Med Center via KCFD-EMS "Medic-30."

This person reportedly died from their injuries Sunday morning.The second victim was reported to be an unknown-age male- his injuries were less critical and he was also taken to Research.


The fire was reported under control around 9:55 pm..

At Least 2 Dead after Significant Flash Flooding in Branson MO

Thunderstorms have been rolling across extreme southern Missouri for the past few hours- dropping torrential rains.

As of Sunday morning- two persons were reported dead with a third person missing after a vehicle was swept away on Fall Creek Road.



According to BRANSON TRI-LAKES NEWS

"Communications Manager Jennifer Langford said at approximately 9:20 p.m. May 27, emergency personnel responded to a water rescue call.


“There were five people in a vehicle around Jupiter Way and Fall Creek Road,” Langford said.
Two people were able to get out, but three weren’t able to when flood waters overtook the vehicle.
The names haven’t been released. 
Around 2 a.m. Sunday, a male, age 37, was found deceased near Cooper Creek. A female, age unknown, was found deceased at 7:48 a.m. near Lilleys’ Landing Resort and Marina.
One female remains unaccounted for, Langford said.
Emergency personnel have set up a command post near Cooper Creek and will be working with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Division to search for the unaccounted female, Langford said.
“We’ve combed all of Cooper Creek and we’re now going into (Lake) Taneycomo,” Langford said."


Branson Police Chief Stan Dobbins said the bodies of 37-year-old Antonio Finley and 17-year-old Kaliea Munn were found early Sunday. 


Authorities were still looking for 31-year-old Whitney McDonald.

This from the NWS office in Springfield:  At 929 PM CDT, emergency management reported widespread flooding in Branson with numerous water rescues occurring. Up to four inches of rain has already fallen with an additional one to two inches of rainfall likely. 



Metro Kansas City Included in Tornado Watch No. 275

This watch runs until 7 pm this Saturday evening.

UPDATE- 1:40 pm- Metro Kansas City has been removed from this tornado watch.

There does remain a chance for a few scattered showers and storms through sunset....










Thursday, May 18, 2017

High Risk For Tornadic Storms in Central States Today

A swath of The Great Plains from around Salina and Wichita KS south to west-central Oklahoma is under the gun today for a high risk of severe thunderstorms and a possible "tornado outbreak."



This is according to the NWS' Storm Prediction Center's (SPC) convective outlook issued at 1 am Thursday morning.



Surrounding regions are at a lesser- but not insignificant severe risk today as well- and Metro Kansas City is included in an "enhanced" risk area.



This forecast will be updated several times through the morning and afternoon-  but be advised of this probable severe storm and tornado outbreak close to or in our area....

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fatality Tornado in Wisconsin

This is reported to be in Barron County WI in northwestern Wisconsin- where a tornado swept through a mobile home park....




Monday, May 15, 2017

Is No News "Fake News?"

Local commercial newscasts wonder why their viewership continues to decrease and one only has to see the below example of items that pass for local news to see why:




Perhaps this station could just resort to showing more social media videos and schlock stories from other TV markets

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fatality House Fire in Grandview MO

The alarm was dispatched to all Grandview Fire department units at 7:58 pm to an address in the 6500 block of East 155th Street which is also known as County Line Road.



GFD units arriving about 5 minutes later report the structure "fully-involved" in fire.


Three reported occupants- which reportedly included a wheelchair-bound male- are as yet unaccounted for.


As of 9 pm- GFD crews report finding the body of a male in the burned house.

.....

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

3 Dead, One Injured in Shooting in Kansas City KS

3 dead, one injured in shooting in KCK: Police in KCK are investigating a triple homicide at 9th and Boeke.



Investigators say four people were shot and several minors inside the home were unharmed. 
The shooting happened at 10:22 p.m. on Tuesday evening, according to police. 
Kansas City, KS police chief Terry Zeigler tweeted shortly before midnight that a suspect was in custody. 

Jerry Lewis Dead at Age 91

From The ASSOCIATED PRESS :  LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a l...