CONGRESSIONAL PANEL TO INVESTIGATE ASTROWORLD DISASTER
WASHINGTON (AP) – A congressional committee is now investigating the Houston concert that ended up killing 10 people in a massive crowd surge. The House Oversight and Reform Committee has written the head of Live Nation Entertainment, seeking information about how the concert promoter handled the Nov. 5 Astroworld festival headlined by rap star Travis Scott. The panel seeks documents on security, crowd control – and plans to handle serious emergencies. The panel also wants to know what steps Live Nation has taken since Astroworld to make sure there’s no repeat of the tragedy at future events.
PROGRESS BEING MADE TO RESOLVE PRINCE ESTATE
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Court officials are getting closer to being able to divvy up Prince’s estate. A big step in that direction was made recently when the IRS and Comerica Bank & Trust agreed on how much Prince’s estate is worth. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports the specific number wasn’t disclosed, but it could be more than $100 million. Last year, the IRS determined Prince’s assets are worth $163.2 million, but Comerica pegged the number at $82.3 million. IRS officials felt Comerica’s total was so low, they imposed a $6.4 million accuracy penalty on the estate. Now that the worth the estate has been fixed, a county probate court can decide whether to approve the agreement, paving the way for beneficiaries to get their money. Prince died in 2016.
THOMAS RHETT AND THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC
NEW YORK (AP) – For now, anyway, the NHL is on hold. And while it’s gone into an early holiday shutdown because of coronavirus outbreaks, you can imagine that Thomas Rhett will be keeping an eye out for what the league might do next. He’s to perform at the NHL Winter Classic, set for New Year’s Day at Target Field in Minneapolis. His set during the nationally televised game will take place during the first intermission.
OSCARS GOVERNOR’S BALL POSTPONED BY NEW CORONAVIRUS VARIANT
LOS ANGELES (AP) – For the second straight year, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed a key event by the Motion Picture Academy. The Governor’s Awards have been postponed over concerns about the omicron variant. The event was to be held Jan 15 in Los Angeles. The new date and how the event will be carried out will be announced later. Elaine May, Samuel L. Jackson and Liv Ullmann are this year’s honorees and Danny Glover will get the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Last year, the event was canceled altogether, though two humanitarian awards were presented during the Oscars broadcast.
LONGTIME ACTOR SALLY ANN HOWES DIES; WAS IN “CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The actor who helped make “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” a movie favorite has died. Sally Ann Howes starred with Dick Van Dyke in the 1968 movie. Her son, Andrew Hart Adler confirmed his mom’s death yesterday, saying she died in her sleep – but cause of death was not given. The New York Times reports she died in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on Sunday. Howes began acting as a pre-teen in the 1943 movie “Thursday’s Child.” She ended up in more than 140 films and played the theater. But it was her work in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” that became her best-known role.
ALICIA WITT’S PARENTS FOUND DEAD IN MASSACHUSETTS HOME
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – A personal tragedy for actor Alicia Witt. Authorities in Worchester (WOO’-stur), Massachusetts say her parents, Robert and Diane were found dead in their home. The actor said she hadn’t heard from them in several days – and asked a relative to check on them. Police say the deaths are not considered suspicious. Autopsies are scheduled. Witt started her acting career at age 7 in the 1984 movie “Dune.” She has also been in “Orange Is the New Black,” “Twin Peaks” and “The Walking Dead.”