Jussie Smollett refuses to reimburse Chicago officials for alleged hate crime investigation cost

Entertainment News  Jussie Smollett refuses to reimburse Chicago officials for alleged hate crime investigation cost https://linewsradio.com/jussie-smollett-refuses-to-reimburse-chicago-officials-for-alleged-hate-crime-investigation-cost/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/


Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — When Chicago prosecutors unexpectedly dropped charges last week against Jussie Smollett, city officials two days later demanded that the Empire actor reimburse the city $130,000 for the cost of the investigation.  Apparently, Smollett isn’t willing to do that.

A statement late Thursday from Bill McCaffrey, spokesperson for the City of Chicago Department of Law, declares: “Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019.  The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook Country.  Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team.”

The statement concludes: “The Law Department will file the suit in the near future.  As part of this legal action, the Law Department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance.”

The city asked for an “immediate payment” of $130,106.15 “in an attempt to resolve this matter without further legal action,” according to a letter obtained by ABC News last week, which was sent from the Chicago Department of Law to Smollett’s attorneys. 

The letter requested the payment to be made within seven days, and added that if the fee isn’t paid in a “timely” manner, the Chicago Department of Law would prosecute Smollett and impose a fine between $500 and $1,000, in addition to up to three times the amount of damages.

Repaying the $130,000 wasn’t required in exchange for prosecutors dropping all 16 felony charges against Smollett for what police said was his staging the January 29 alleged hate crime attack against him.  Smollett did forfeit $10,000, which was 10% of his $100,000 bond, and also performed some community service, prosecutors said.

A federal investigation into a threatening letter investigators say was part of the hoax is still underway.

21st Century Fox, which produces Empire, is now a part of Disney, ABC’s parent company.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 04 Apr 2019

At 80, Francis Ford Coppola readies dream project, ‘Megalopolis’

Entertainment News  At 80, Francis Ford Coppola readies dream project, 'Megalopolis' https://linewsradio.com/at-80-francis-ford-coppola-readies-dream-project-megalopolis/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/


Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — For years, Godfather director and Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola dreamed of an epic film called Megalopolis, and now — three days before he turns 80 — he’s announced he’s making it a reality.

According to Deadline, Coppola even shot footage for the film — about an architect’s plans to revamp a major city — but the project was shelved after the 9/11 attacks on New York.

Now, given what’s possible thanks to computer-generated special effects, Coppola has given himself the go-ahead, and the publication notes that Captain Marvel star Jude Law could be among its leads.

“I plan this year to begin my longstanding ambition to make a major work utilizing all I have learned during my long career, beginning at age 16 doing theater, and that will be an epic on a grand scale, which I’ve titled Megalopolis,” Coppola told Deadline’s Michael Fleming Jr. on Thursday.

“It is unusual,” Coppola said of the project. “[I]t will be a production on a grand scale with a large cast. It makes use of all of my years of trying films in different styles and types, culminating in what I think is my own voice and aspiration. It is not within the mainstream of what is produced now, but I am intending and wishing and, in fact, encouraged, to begin production this year.”

Coppola also mentioned that he’s re-edited a new version of his classic Apocalypse Now. While the 1979 Vietnam-set original “was too abruptly shortened,” a successful 2001 re-edit called Apocalypse Now Redux was “too long,” in Coppola’s eyes.  He says now, he’s “settled on what I now felt was the perfect version.” 

Apocalypse Now Final Cut will debut later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 04 Apr 2019

Card tricks turn hotel worker and boy with autism into fast friends

Megan Griffin Haas(NEW YORK) — At first, Colin Haas and Kahlief Hill seemed an unlikely pair.

But then Colin asked if he could show Hill a card trick — and a friendship quickly blossomed.

Colin, 13, was checking into the Hampton Inn in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where Hill was working the desk.

Their interaction might have ended there, except for one important thing.

“From the very first interaction, Kahlief was so friendly and nice,” Colin’s mom Megan Haas told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “We got to our room and Colin went right back out to see him.”

Colin has autism, his mom said, something Hill didn’t realize initially. In a Facebook post of their encounter that’s been shared thousands of times, Haas wrote, “He didn’t know that this little boy has autism. That learning and doing card tricks is a passion of his because it helps to quiet and focus his brain as well as keep his hands busy.”

“He didn’t know that this little boy lost his dad a few years ago, has been on the waiting list for a ‘big brother’ for well over two years now, and lives with only his mom and sister, so very much misses interacting with male figures,” she added.

Haas told “GMA” that while Colin is close with his grandfather and uncle, the boy, who spends the majority of time with his sister and mom since his dad passed away, enjoys spending time with other guys.

After the initial interaction at check-in last Friday night, Colin was happy to see Hill once again when he arrived to work on Saturday afternoon.

“Kahlief helped guests as he needed to, but when he wasn’t busy he taught Colin the card trick they had worked on the night before,” Haas said. “He was so patient and sweet.”

Haas eventually pulled Hill over to thank him.

“At first I was nervous,” Hill told “GMA.”

“Usually when someone wants to speak to you outside it isn’t good,” he laughed.

But it was good — very good.

“I didn’t realize it would affect him that way,” Hill told “GMA.” “I didn’t think it was such a big deal.”

Haas said she was “so appreciative.”

“He’s just a good person,” she said. “That’s just how he is.”

As for Colin, his mom told “GMA” he’s been going on and on about Hill since they got home. He even friended him on Facebook.

The two will be seeing each other again soon: The Hampton Inn Selinsgrove is hosting an Autism Awareness brunch at a nearby Applebee’s at the end of the month, and Hill has invited Colin to come as his guest.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Family of Ralph Nader’s niece killed Ethiopian Airlines crash files the first lawsuit

WORLD NEWS Family of Ralph Nader's niece killed Ethiopian Airlines crash files the first lawsuit  https://linewsradio.com/family-of-ralph-naders-niece-killed-ethiopian-airlines-crash-files-the-first-lawsuit/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Courtesy Clifford Law Offices(NEW YORK) — The first lawsuit stemming from the Ethiopian Airlines crash was filed in Chicago on Thursday by the family of a 24-year-old American woman killed in the disaster, who is the great niece of consumer advocate icon Ralph Nader.

The federal lawsuit was filed by the family of Samyo Stumo, who worked for the health systems development organization ThinkWell in Washington, D.C., and was among the 157 people who perished when the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed last month shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago names Chicago-based Boeing, the manufacturer of the aircraft and Ethiopian Airlines as defendants. The suit also names Rosemount Aerospace Inc., the Delaware company that made the airplane’s flight control system known as MCAS, which is now under scrutiny by investigators.

Nader phoned into a news conference Thursday morning that was held in Chicago by Stumo’s parents, her brother and their lawyers, and called for a global boycott of the Boeing 737 Max 8, noting that the cash came just months after another 737 Max 8 flown by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia on takeoff, killing everyone aboard.

“If we don’t get this right, if we don’t end the cozy relationship between the patsy FAA, the captured agency, which has been documented for years, and the Boeing company, 5,000 of these fatally flawed planes will be in the air all over the world with millions of passengers,” said the 85-year-old Nader. “An aircraft manufacturer, no matter what its past safety record, is not allowed two or more free disasters that are due to engineering misdesign of the Boeing 737 Max.”

Nader blamed the back-to-back crashes of two new aircraft on a rush by Boeing management to compete with Airbus 320neo planes and said Boeing’s engineers were “mercilessly pressured to speed up” in order to compete with Airbus.

“Those planes should never fly again. Those planes, the 737 Max 8, must be recalled,” Nader said.

The lawsuit came just hours after Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said preliminary findings from an investigation into the deadly crash show the aircraft had a valid certificate of airworthiness, the pilots were licensed and qualified to conduct the flight, and the plane’s takeoff appeared to be “very normal.” As the jet began nose-diving, the pilots “repeatedly” performed all emergency procedures provided by Boeing, but they “were not able to control the aircraft,” Moges told reporters at a press conference in Addis Ababa.

Based on the initial report, Ethiopian safety investigators recommend Boeing review the aircraft flight control system of its new 737 Max 8 model and that aviation authorities verify the flight controllability has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before resuming operations of this jet, according to the transport minister.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in clear weather on the morning of March 10, six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. The American-made jet, carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members, was headed to Nairobi, Kenya.

President Donald Trump announced on March 13 that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was ordering the immediate grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft in the United States after other countries — including Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, and Malaysia — had already grounded the planes.

The air disaster came less than five months after a brand new Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed minutes after taking off from Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, killing all 189 people aboard, including three children.

The cause of the Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air crash remains under investigation. The cockpit data recorder, which was recovered three days after the crash, showed that its airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on previous flights, investigators said.

A notice of claim was filed against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on behalf on the Stumo family, the family’s lawyer said. The notice is the first step before filing a lawsuit against the FAA and the federal agency has six months to respond before the Stumo family can file a formal lawsuit.

“They were responsible for assuring to the American public and to the world that the aircraft … was safe for flight. It is pretty clear they failed in that regard,” said a lawyer for the Stumo family, Kevin Durkin, of the Clifford Law Firm in Chicago.

Durkin said the FAA farmed out its responsibility of making sure a key component manufactured by Rosemount Aerospace Inc. called the maneuvering characteristic augmentation system, or MCAS, was safe.

“They delegated that responsibility to the manufacturer, Boeing, who had another motive of getting this aircraft out for sale,” Durkin said. “They should not have delegated that responsibility … and should have made their own independent determination that this system was safe.”

Frank Pitre, another family attorney from the California law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy said the crash exposed “a symptom of a larger epidemic” in with regulatory agencies lacked the resources to adequately enforce compliance with safety regulations.

“Simply put, the watchdog can’t do his job, so he just gives the fox the keys to the henhouse to county eggs,” Pitre said.

In a statement to ABC News, Boeing officials said, “We won’t comment on the lawsuit directly.”

“Boeing extends our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families and loved ones of those onboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302,” the company’s statement reads. “As the investigation continues, Boeing is cooperating fully with the investigating authorities.”

ABC News has also reached out to Rosemount Aerospace and Ethiopian Airlines for comment but have yet to receive a response from either company.

Samya Stumo parents, Michael Stumo and Nadia Millerron, and her brother, Adaan Stumo, fought through tears as they spoke at the news conference.

Micahel Stumo said his daughter was sent to Africa by her employer to open a new office in Uganda.

He said he and his family flew to Ethiopia as soon as they received word of the crash, hoping they would bring Samya home.

“Then we learned we would not bring home her body or even fragments of her body,” the father said. ” I stood on that Ethiopian and agricultural field with my family looking at the crater, feeling her. This should not happen to anyone again. That’s why we’re here.”

Millerron described her only daughter as “fearless” and said she had a “radiant spirit that inspires others to life brightly and fully.”

“We would all want to be like Samya, who was lighthearted. She brushed past negative and inconsequential comments and focused on what is good and what could get done,” she said.

“Those in charge of creating and selling this plane did not treat Samya as they would their own daughters,” she added. “We, as passengers, need to demand that planes be safe so no one else dies. Profits should not come before safety and we are making this effort here to help prevent a third crash.”

The preliminary information released Thursday morning by the Ethiopian transport minister disputes reports that a foreign object, referred to as FOD by Ethiopian investigators, damaged Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

Two aviation sources familiar with the probe told ABC News that the Ethiopian Airlines flight suffered a damaged angle-of-attack sensor upon takeoff from a bird or foreign object, triggering erroneous data and the activation an anti-stall system — or the MCAS — sending the pitch of the plane downward and ultimately crashing into the ground.

According to the sources, the pilots did not try to electronically pull the nose of the plane up before following Boeing’s emergency procedures of disengaging power to the horizontal stabilizer on the rear of the aircraft. One source told ABC News they manually attempted to bring the nose of the plane back up by using the trim wheel. Soon after, the pilots restored power to the horizontal stabilizer.

But Ethiopian Transport Minister Moges said Thursday that the investigation has yet to find any evidence of foreign object damage on the aircraft.

“The data provided by the FDR (flight data recorder) doesn’t indicate that there is an FOD,” Moges said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 04 Apr 2019

Shawn Johnson expecting first child after suffering miscarriage

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment(NEW YORK) — Shawn Johnson just announced some exciting news.

The former Olympic gymnast, 27, is pregnant with her first child with husband Andrew East. The news comes after Johnson shared an emotional video in which she revealed she suffered a miscarriage in October 2017.

Johnson shared the pregnancy announcement on her Instagram page on Thursday, writing, “Baby East… we cannot WAIT to welcome you to the world and shower you with love. @andrewdeast WE DID IT!”

Her husband shared a video of the couple holding tiny baby sneakers.

The duo also posted a full YouTube video expressing their excitement with the news and including footage of Johnson telling her husband about the pregnancy — and their thrilled reactions.

“This baby has been a long time coming,” East reflects in the video.

The couple, who share videos of their daily life often on social media, have been very open about their desire to have a child.

“Last time I was just terrified, and now I’m just excited, cautiously, and I’m proud of you, honestly,” East says to Johnson in the video. “It’s been cool how you shared the story of the miscarriage and inspired millions or spoke to millions and that message really resonated with a lot of people.”

Johnson shares how she struggled with the idea of trying to conceive after the miscarriage. “I’ve never really voiced any hesitation with trying again, but yeah, I’m absolutely terrified,” she admits.

“I can naturally feel that my heart is guarding itself because I don’t want to go through that again,” she says of the miscarriage.

“I was so new and naive to the whole situation that it was just raw emotion,” she continues. “I wasn’t holding myself or guarding myself at all from the what-ifs. I was just all in, which I’m obviously all in now. But I hope I’m able to let that guard down a little bit.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Prince Harry and Meghan move from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage

WORLD NEWS Prince Harry and Meghan move from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage  https://linewsradio.com/prince-harry-and-meghan-move-from-kensington-palace-to-frogmore-cottage/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — Prince Harry and Meghan have moved from their home at Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

The couple had been racing to finish renovations at the five-bedroom house on the grounds of Windsor Castle before Meghan gives birth to their first child. She has told well-wishers she is due in late April or early May.

Kensington Palace has not commented on the move nor announced whether Meghan plans to give birth at a hospital near Frogmore Cottage.

Harry and Meghan, who wed last May, started renovations on the home in October. It is an 18th century home that had been converted into apartments for royal staff and had not been lived in for several years, according to ABC News royal contributor Omid Scobie.

“They really started from the ground up,” Scobie told “Good Morning America” last month . “They took it back to a shell and turned it back into a beautiful home.”

Meghan and Harry had planned to move into the house in March but were delayed due to the renovations.

“They couldn’t just complete half of it and move in because from the very start they need their own quarters with the baby and also guest rooms for family and friends, including Doria [Ragland, Meghan’s mom] so it needs to be really finished when they get in,” said Scobie. “For them, this is a lifetime investment. It’s not temporary digs.”

Harry and Meghan’s move to Frogmore Cottage is a lifestyle change as much as a location change. Frogmore Cottage is located in Windsor, a town about 25 miles from London where the main attraction is Windsor Castle.

“It will be private and idyllic and that was the thing that appealed to them the most about moving to Windsor,” Scobie said. “It’s a perfect place to raise children and for them that’s what it’s all about, finding normalcy, privacy and a safe family environment for when [the baby] is born.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been hands-on in the design of their home, including making sure a gym and a home entertainment space are added, according to Scobie.

The couple relied on the expertise of interior designers Vicky Charles and Julia Corden, who own their own firm, Charles & Co., headquartered in New York City, according to Scobie.

Corden, the wife of TV host James Corden, and Charles have designed homes for Victoria and David Beckham and Amal and George Clooney, two couples who attended Meghan and Harry’s wedding.

“They’ve been very hands-on and they had a really clear idea of what they wanted from the beginning,” Scobie said of Meghan and Harry. “They have similar taste — or I should say, Harry leans on Meghan because she’s good at this.”

The move means Meghan and Harry will no longer be neighbors of Prince William and Kate, who live in Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

William and Harry recently split their royal households. Harry and Meghan’s office and new staff will be based at Buckingham Palace instead of Kensington Palace, where William and Kate’s office will remain.

Meghan and Harry’s staff will remain in London and the couple will commute into the city for official events and meetings.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 04 Apr 2019

Princes Charles, William and Harry have a guys’ night out at ‘Our Planet’ premiere

WORLD NEWS Princes Charles, William and Harry have a guys' night out at 'Our Planet' premiere  https://linewsradio.com/princes-charles-william-and-harry-have-a-guys-night-out-at-our-planet-premiere/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images(LONDON) — Prince Charles and his sons, Princes William and Harry, enjoyed a guys’ night out for the premiere of “Our Planet,” a new eight-part documentary series on Netflix.

The premiere at the Natural History Museum in London was a rare joint event for just Charles and his sons, with their wives Camilla, Meghan and Kate not attending.

The three royals, dressed in tuxes, were greeted at the premiere by Sir David Attenborough, who voices the documentary.

“Our Planet,” which is a sponsor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” examines how climate change impacts the world. The documentary premieres globally on Friday.

Protecting the environment is a cause close to the hearts of Charles, William and Harry. All three royals have been involved in conservation efforts around the world

Prince Charles has been president of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the U.K. since 2011. His father, Prince Philip, in the 1960s was one of the earliest supporters of the conservation organization, which partnered with a film company to make “Our Planet.”

Two years ago Harry, then 32, spent nearly three weeks in Malawi helping to relocate 500 elephants in danger of being killed by poachers. Harry is also patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana, an organization that works to help build the populations of rhinos in the wild.

William spearheaded the creation of United for Wildlife, which works to tackle illegal wildlife trade. He currently leads the organization, which is a project of The Royal Foundation, the charitable arm of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 04 Apr 2019

Marvel’s Avengers to assemble again during ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ takeover

Entertainment News  Marvel's Avengers to assemble again during 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' takeover https://linewsradio.com/marvels-avengers-to-assemble-again-during-jimmy-kimmel-live-takeover/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/


ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Some of Marvel’s Avengers — Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson — plus Black Panther and Infinity War star Danai Gurira, will assemble on Jimmy Kimmel Live! for another week-long takeover of the late night show, starting April 8.

Because the cast of the Avengers movies is so large, the actors traditionally spread out their appearances across several installments of Kimmel’s show.

Fans might notice that the only announced guests so far were the stars whose characters survived Thanos’ game-changing, genocidal finger snap in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

The next installment, Avengers: Endgame, opens April 26 from Marvel Studios which, like ABC, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 04 Apr 2019

‘The Chi’ season two will “explore the four stages of black manhood,” says new showrunner

Entertainment News  'The Chi' season two will "explore the four stages of black manhood," says new showrunner https://linewsradio.com/the-chi-season-two-will-explore-the-four-stages-of-black-manhood-says-new-showrunner/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/


(L-R) – Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jason Mitchell, Alex Hibbert, Jacob Latimore — Photo: Michael Buckner/SHOWTIME(LOS ANGELES) — Newly-minted showrunner Ayanna Floyd had a clear vision for the second season of Showtime’s drama The Chi.

“We go deeper, keep the grit of season 1, but I think this year is more heartfelt and funnier,” the veteran of shows like Hannibal and Empire tells Entertainment Weekly. “We do have some fun.”

She also makes this prediction: “Season 2 is going to be better.”

Creator Lena Waithe’s show takes an unvarnished look into life in Chicago, centering on four men at different points in their lives — from navigating school in a city so violent there’s no guarantee you’ll grow up, to raising a new baby, to a life behind bars.

“I wanted to go deeper in the characters and ground and explore and humanize this journey for black men in Chicago and make people see them the way I see them,” Floyd tells EW. “I felt like the best version of the show was exploring the four stages of black manhood.”

But it’s not all about the men, who include Jacob Latimore’s Emmett, Alex Hibbert’s Kevin, Jason Mitchell’s Brandon and Ronnie, played by Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine. Yolonda Ross, Tiffany Boone, and Waithe also star.

“I don’t think you can tell a man’s story, particularly a black man’s story, without a black woman’s story,” Floyd points out.

Floyd tells the magazine, “It’s a really complete season; it’s emotional, it’s fun, and it’s more Chicago. It really feels like the South Side.”

The Chi returns Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 04 Apr 2019