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Lexi Elias

Likes: country music, big breakfast with my family, Kentucky Wildcat basketball, St. Louis Cardinal baseball, Friends (both my own and the TV show), cowboy boots, the city of Chicago, my nephew Eli (aka my little stud), Gerard Butler (I’m sorry, but he’s perfect), anything my Tennessee Grandmother cooks – southern style Dislikes: trying to find an apartment in the city I can afford (shout-out to my new, awesome roomie), cats, horror movies, sweet potatoes (besides sweet potato fries - those are delicious) With my Kentucky and Missouri roots, I am currently growing in the best city in the world – Chicago (aside from the fact that it is home to the Chicago Cubs). I have met my best friends at DePaul University where we spend the majority of our time country music singing at Houndstooth Saloon or at the one and only Wellington’s Tavern. In high school, I was just about the worst writer in the class; which actually wasn’t that bad, because I went to school with a bunch of 36-ACT-scorers (my ACT score, however, was average for my state – and proud of it!). My writing career took off when I discovered that I basically wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City. So, I found my voice, got down to business, and am on my way to being the next Andie Anderson from How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.

The Paterno family denies new findings in recent investigations

The Paterno’s will be hiring their own investigators

The family of Joe Paterno denied the findings of a special investigator who concluded the fact that Paterno covered up for Jerry Sandusky and knew about him sexually abusing children. For fourteen years, the late Penn State football coach remained silent about Sandusky’s sexual assault.
  

 Apparently, Paterno was much more concerned with keeping a good reputation for the university and the football program, and did not want the negative attention to reflect badly on the university. Leaving Paterno’s name on buildings and his statue up, will cause people in the future to not only forget about how he covered up for Sandusky, but worse, it will cause people to remain to hail him for his contributions to college football.
    

However, shouldn’t football only go so far? According to Louis Freeh, Paterno knew about how Sandusky sexual abused ten different boys, that we know about, over the course of fourteen years. In new findings, Freeh states that Paterno knew about the abuse and could have stopped it if he wanted to. In response to this report, Nike decided to change the name of the Joe Paterno Child Development center as its Oregon headquarters.
    

Now, the Paterno family has released a statement refuting Freeh’s report, and will be hiring their own lawyers and investigators to review and analyze Free’s findings.
“Our interest has been and remains the uncovering of the truth,” the statement read.”We are dismayed by, and vehemently disagree with, some of the conclusions and assertions and the process by which they were developed. Freeh presented his opinions and interpretations as if they were absolute facts.”

The Dark Knight Rises this Friday

Princess Diaries star transitions to play Catwoman

The anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises has been on the rise since audiences around the world were entertained with Batman and the Joker in The Dark Knight. Theaters everywhere are hoping for the same response to The Dark Knight Rises that comes out to theaters Friday, July 20, than they got with The Dark Knight as it was the highest-grossing film worldwide in 2008.
   

Although with The Dark Knight Rises, audiences everywhere will be reminded and saddened by the fact that Heath Ledger, and the Joker, are gone. One key character that The Dark Knight Rises has that The Dark Knight did not is Catwomen. Played by Princess Diaries star, Anne Hathaway, Catwoman brings a dark, sexy character to the movie. When Hathaway first met The Dark Knight Rises director, Christopher Nolan, to discuss the role in one of his new films, Hathaway had no idea, which character, or even which film, they were meeting about.
  

“It was very vague. I was so nervous. He told me about halfway through that the part was going to be Catwoman. When he told me what it was, I immediately had to shift into my slinkiest mode, ever so subtly,” said Hathaway.
  

After Hathaway screen-tested, Nolan auditioned a group of other girls for the part, and about four months later, Hathaway was shocked to find out that she got the part. “It’s like winning lottery after lottery after lottery,” said Hathaway.
   

In order to play Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, Hathaway had to complete four months of dance, martial arts and stunt training. The actress not only had to learn how to fight, but she had to do it in style wearing heels.
  

Aside from Anne Hathaway as Catwomen, audiences everywhere are also thrilled to see Christian Bale back with his Batman mask on. Although the city of Gothem still believes that their once adored Batman is responsible for the death of Harvey Dent, Batman finds himself having to suit back up for the better of the city.
  

 “It feels correct,” said Christian Bale in a conference room at the Beverly Hilton. “It feels as if we’ve achieved a beginning, a middle and an end. You should leave while you’re still confident in the storytelling. There’s always the danger that you stretch it too far and you end up weakening your own creation. So this seems like a good time to say goodbye.”

The guns of Bonnie and Clyde are to be auctioned off

The auction is September 30

According to an auction official that talked to CNN today, two guns recovered from the bodies of the infamous gangster couple, Bonnie and Clyde, are expected to go for more than $100,000 each.

Found around the waistband of Clyde Barrow, the Colt .45 of Bonnie and Clyde is one of the collectables that will be auctioned off. The other gun that will sell anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000 was a .38 caliber Colt that was found strapped to one of Bonnie Parker’s legs. Both guns were found on May 23, 1934, when Bonnie and Clyde were killed in an ambush near Gibsland, Louisiana.

 “This is one of the finest Bonnie and Clyde collections you will ever see,” vice president of RR Auction in Amherst, New Hampshire, Bobby Livingston said. “We expect the guns should sell anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000. But really, the sky is the limit for these types of guns.”

At an auction in Kansas City this past January, a submachine gun that was apprehended at one of the hideouts of Bonnie and Clyde was sold for $130,000. At that same auction, a shotgun that belonged to Bonnie and Clyde was also sold for $80,000.  

According to RR Auction, the Colt .45 that was found around the waistband of Clyde, was his “personal pistol.” When the car that Bonnie and Clyde was driving was searched by the police, weapons were found, including nine other guns; however, this particular Colt was favored by Bonnie and Clyde.

Being auctioned off with the guns is an extra clip for bullets, along with a letter from the son of one of the Texas Rangers who killed Bonnie and Clyde, Frank Hamer Jr.

Within Hamer’s letter, he states, “My father said that one reason she [Bonnie] had the gun taped to the inside of her leg was that, in those days, no gentlemen officer would search a women where she had it taped.”

The auction that will be selling the guns of Bonnie and Clyde will be held September 30, and will have more than 100 lots of gangster-related items.

Zac Brown Band releases new album

The country band is proud of their diverse CD

 

Country music fans everywhere have loved the unique sound the seven men of the Zac Brown Band have given us over the years. However, their new album, Uncaged, that is released this week and purposely avoids Nashville conventions, holds a different sound with a deeper meaning to the Zac Brown Band.

The Zac Brown Band aimed to create this album to have a powerful artistic declaration rather than focusing on having top hits and a lot of radio exposure. Uncaged will help give the Zac Brown Band a reputation of musical diversity rather than merely keeping with the safe sound and genre they, and most other country artist, tend to stick with. Uncaged touches in many different genres including rock, R&B, reggae, soul, bluegrass and country.

“We’re a vocal band and then the kind of music we decide to put around it is whatever we want it to be for that song,” Frontman Zac Brown said. “Each song has its own life. People are like, ‘You’ve got an R&B song on there?’ You’ve got to listen to it. In a weird way, it all works together.”

The Zac Brown Band explained how their music holds a greater meaning to them than just trying to get a lot of time on the radio. They are not trying to participate in the music industry game by reproducing the same sound and compete for good ratings on the music charts. The Zac Brown Band cares more about the meaning, the message and the feeling of each of their songs.

Touring in Europe with the Nashville-based rockers, Kings of Leon, and seeing their fans reactions to both of the bands blew the Zac Brown Band away.

 “That energy from that crowd was unlike anything I’d ever seen before … People were going crazy,” Zac said. “I was standing there and I wasn’t crying, but tears were just rolling out of my face. It was moving to see what kind of music evokes that energy from those folks.”

Hope Solo receives warning from US Anti Doping Agency

The US goalkeeper will still be playing in the Olympic games

 

            Hope Solo was accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs Monday, July 9. The U.S. national team goalkeeper received a public warning from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

            Hope Solo tested positive for a banned substance in a urine test due to taking a prescribed medication called Canrenone from her personal physician for pre-menstrual purposes. Unfortunately, she did not know that Canrenone contained a diuretic and that the drug is classified as a specified substance that can result in a reduced sanction in an athlete’s sample.

            Although Hope Solo merely received a public warning from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and will be permitted to take part in the Olympic tournament for the United States, the entire process and publicity over the intimate matter has been embarrassing for her. It is extremely unfortunate for Hope Solo that right before one of her biggest experiences in her soccer career, she has to deal with this sort of attention.

            The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was doing their job in finding the diuretic in Solo’s urine test; however, after the warning with Hope Solo, people have been accusing them of testing athletes too closely. Although the drug that was found in Solo’s urine has a diuretic, the medication did not contain anything that could enhance her performance in any way. Hopefully the reputation of Hope Solo will not be hurt in any way from this incident, and the U.S. goalie will be able to set this distraction aside to play to her full potential in the Olympic games.

            “As someone who believes in clean sport, I am glad to have worked with USADA to resolve this matter and I look forward to representing my country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” Hope Solo said.

The promising future of Team USA

Team USA’s 54 point victory

Kentucky Wildcat’s Coach John Calipari put his stamp all over Thursday night’s game when Team USA blew the Dominican Republic out of the water. The coach that just won his first National Championship with Kentucky this past year was on the sidelines coaching his last game for the Dominican Republic. Playing for the opposing team, Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft by the New Orleans Hornets that helped bring Kentucky their eighth national championship, made his debut for Team USA.

This week has been a whirlwind for Davis as he went from being cut from Team USA roster to being called back to Las Vegas after Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffen tore his meniscus. Davis will likely be the first player since 1992 Dream Team Christian Laettner to suit up for Team USA before making his NBA debut.

 With Coach Cal coaching the opposing team, Davis entered into the game with ten minutes remaining and scored nine points. According to the six foot ten forward, he received a pep talk from Carmelo Anthony, who told him to pretend he was still in college.

“That’s what I ended up doing,” he said. “And it was good to beat Coach Cal.”

Considering Davis knew none of the plays for Team USA, everyone, including Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, was very impressed and pleased with his performance. After scoring a three point shot while being fouled, the former Kentucky player turned to the Dominican Republic bench and shouted something to Coach Cal.

“He was telling me that I never let him shoot threes at Kentucky,” Calipari said.

In response, Coach Calipari drew up a play for one of his youngest players, sixteen-year-old Karl Town, to shoot a three pointer over Team USA Davis. However, his plan did not go as well as expected as Towns missed the shot. “I wanted him to make it so badly,” said Coach Cal. There have been rumors that Towns may be a future Wildcat as he was seen wearing Kentucky’s practice shorts after the game.

During a press conference after last night’s game, Calipari talked about how much one of his former college players, Derrick Rose, benefited from playing with Team USA in 2010.

“One year in this organization elevated Derrick Rose’s game, no question,” said Coach Cal. “Being around professional winners who sacrifice for each other and have a commitment to getting better will push Anthony Davis’s career ahead two years, in my opinion.”

Clearly, it was a successful and promising night for Team USA as they beat the Dominican Republic with 113-59 victory.

Barney Frank becomes first congressman to marry a same-sex partner

Barney Frank became the first congressman to marry a same-sex partner on Saturday, July 7. In 1987, Barney Frank shocked America and came out of the closet as the first openly gay representative in congress.

One guest described the wedding between Barney Frank and his five year partner Jim Ready as “the wedding of the century for liberal gay Democratic politics.” The happy couple celebrated their love with family and friends at the reception with great music and vegan dishes. The reception was held at the Marriott in his Congressional district, which overlooks a bend of the Charles River.

The actual ceremony began at 6 p.m. and took place in a beautiful garden outside the Marriott’s first floor. The congressman’s sister, Ann Lewis, walked Barney Frank down the aisle with tears in his eyes.

You could see the joy on their faces,” said Ms. Kucinich. “He’s humble, and at the same time, he carries a sense of joy about himself.”

At the reception, the guests of Barney Frank and his new husband dined on a four-course meal that included New England clam chowder, vegan soba noodles and a vegetable strudel.

After everyone enjoyed the wedding cake, lyrics sheets was passed out to the couple’s guest that included a rewritten version of the 1970s hit “Low Rider.”  The lyrics were rewritten with politically themed lyrics about President Obama.

The lyrics read, “All. My. Friends. Are voting O-ba-ma. … Take a little trip. Take a little trip. To help the e-con-o-mee. Take a little trip. Take a little trip. To help beat the G-O-P.”

The Natalie Wood case is reopened

The truth unravels

The tangled truth behind the death of Natalie Wood that occurred thirty-one years ago is just now starting to unravel. The actress was boating off Santa Catalina Island on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981 with her husband, Robert Wagner, actor Christopher Walken and other friends when she mysteriously went overboard and died.

At the time, officials ruled the death of Natalie Wood as an accident. However, thirty years later, much speculation has since come out and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced last year that the investigation has been reopened.

Officials stated that several sources have come forward with more information with what truly happened the night Natalie Wood mysteriously died. An anonymous law enforcement source explained that detectives do not have enough information to determine the ongoing Natalie Wood case as an accident or something else.

“It is an open investigation, and we are cooperating fully with the Sheriff’s Department,” Chief Coroner Craig Harvey said. “This department is making no comments at this time.”

Apparently, on the evening of the accident, Wagner went to bed after arguing with Walken to find that Natalie Wood was not in their bed. Wagner told officials that he was not worried at the time because he thought she had taken off on a small inflatable boat by herself as she had done before. However, after about fifteen minutes, Wagner went looking for Wood aboard a small cruiser. When she was not there, he contacted Harbor Patrol, and authorities later found the body of Natalie Wood about a mile away from the yacht around 8 a.m.

Since the Natalie Wood case has been reopened, the captain of the boat, Dennis Davern, appeared several times on television expressing his beliefs that Natalie Wood was a victim of foul play. However, nothing has been proven.

“At this point, it is an accidental death,” said William McSweeney, the sheriff’s chief of detectives. “Nothing has been discovered to suggest changing that at this time.”

Ann Curry replaced on NBC's Today Show

Co-anchor Matt Lauer seems thrilled with the change

NBC’s Today Show is fighting to stay alive. Even after fifteen years of co-hosting with Matt Lauer, Ann Curry is suffering from the consequences of the declining rates as she was fired from the show a few weeks ago. Savannah Guthrie officially made her debut this morning as the new co-anchor on the Today Show with Matt Lauer.

Merely a day after Ann Curry was fired, Guthrie’s new title was announced on June 29.

A couple days prior to her exit, Anne Curry told USA Today, “I know I am not to blame for the ratings worries. And my bosses have said to me there are many factors involved. There is no doubt that the rating wars have become meaner and less focused on our responsibilities as journalists.”

Ann Curry was not even mentioned on this morning’s show when Guthrie replaced her. Rather, the anchors seemed thrilled Ann Curry was not there and were not discrete about their feelings.

Lauer seemed thrilled about the change when he stated on-air, “It truly is a new day around here. . . I’m pleased to be sharing this new day with Savannah Guthrie, who after several years of playing a great role on this program, takes a step forward this morning and joins us as co-anchor of TODAY.”

Later that morning, Guthrie was presented with a celebratory bottle of champagne and a surprise visit from her favorite singer, Shawn Colvin.

Lauer went on to praise his newly promoted colleague. “You bring a great attitude and what we like to call a weird sense of humor to this program, so we’re all very happy to have you.”

Roger Federer is a hero in both the tennis and the charity world

The Wimbledon champion wins $158,000 for Oxfam International

Roger Federer was not the only winner Sunday afternoon when he claimed his seventh Wimbledon title. Thanks so Nick Newlife, from Oxford, southern England, Oxfam International won more than $158,000 with the victory of Roger Federer.

On July 8, most of Britain was cheering for Andy Murray to become the first British Wimbledon men’s champion in 76 years. However, Oxfam and its staff were adamantly rooting for the Swiss champion, Roger Federer, to capture his seventh Wimbledon title and tie Pete Sampras for the most wins.

“All of Oxfam have been cheering Federer’s progress for the past couple of weeks,” said Oxfam’s Andrew Barton.

Ten years ago, Newlife placed a bet of $2,350 at odds of 66 to 1 with bookmakers William Hill on Roger Federer winning seven or more Wimbledon titles. When Newlife died in 2009, the tennis lover left his entire estate, including his bet slip from 2003, to Oxfam International.

Oxfam is an international organization that works to fight poverty and provide emergency and development aid around the world. With the $158,000 Oxfam has collected with the victory of Roger Federer, Oxfam will be able to supply 10,000 people hit by the food crisis in west Africa with a month’s worth of food.

“The real hero, though, must be Mr. Newlife, for his generous gift and his tremendous sporting acumen,” said Barton.