JUDGE ENDS LENGTHY CONSERVATORSHIP FOR ACTOR AMANDA BYNES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Actor Amanda Bynes has been released from a court conservatorship that put her life and financial decisions in her parents’ control for nearly nine years. Ventura County Judge Roger Lund terminated the conservatorship of the 35-year-old Bynes at a hearing on Tuesday in a courtroom in the California city of Oxnard. The judge says Bynes has demonstrated she is competent to handle her own affairs. Bynes became a teenage star on Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “The Amanda Show” and appeared in the films “Hairspray” and “What a Girl Wants.” The conservatorship was established in 2013 when her parents said her mental health struggles made them fear for her safety.
REPORT: RACHEL ZEGLER INVITED TO PRESENT AT OSCARS
UNDATED (AP) – “West Side Story” star Rachel Zegler may get her Oscars moment after all. The 20-year-old actor has been invited to be a presenter at the ceremony, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter. The gesture came two days after Zegler, who plays Maria, posted on social media that she had not been invited to the awards and would be rooting for “West Side Story” from her couch. The Steven Spielberg film is nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture, director and supporting actress for Ariana DeBose, who is expected to win. Representatives for the Academy, Disney and Zegler did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
TWO ST. PETER’S NCAA GAMES LAND IN NIELSEN’S TOP 20
NEW YORK (AP) – Here’s a pretty safe bet: last week was the first time ever that two St. Peter’s University men’s basketball games landed among the Nielsen company’s top 20 shows. The tournament’s underdog darlings beat both Kentucky and Murray State to land in the Sweet Sixteen. Fans appear to be intrigued, since the second game against Murray State had more viewers, even though Kentucky is an NCAA blue blood with a larger fan base. The “March Madness” of the tourney’s opening week led CBS to a dominant win the ratings. “60 Minutes” has its own winning streak going with its fourth straight week as the most-watched program.
WOMAN, 26, CHARGED IN SHOVING DEATH OF NYC SINGING COACH, 87
NEW YORK (AP) – A 26-year-old woman has been charged in the death of an 87-year-old Broadway singing coach who was shoved to the ground on a New York City street. Lauren Pazienza, of Port Jefferson, Long Island, turned herself in to face a manslaughter charge in the death of Barbara Maier Gustern. Gustern hit her head and was critically injured March 10 when a woman crossed the street, came up behind her and pushed her to the ground on West 23rd Street in Manhattan. She died March 15. Online court records did not list a lawyer who could speak on Pazienza’s behalf. Information about her arraignment was not immediately available.
DISNEY IN BALANCING ACT AS SOME WORKERS WALK OUT IN PROTEST
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Even though only a small percentage of Walt Disney Co. workers participated in a walkout, organizers felt they had won a moral victory with the company issuing a statement denouncing the anti-LGBTQ legislation that sparked employee outrage. Throughout Tuesday, pockets of employees staged demonstrations at various sites across the country, including near Orlando’s Walt Disney World and Walt Disney Animation Studios in California. According to a Disney official, there had been no interruptions in any operations. LGBTQ advocates and Disney employees called for the walkout in protest of CEO Bob Chapek’s slow response in publicly criticizing Florida legislation that opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
REALITY TV STAR LEANING ON FAITH AFTER SON’S FATAL SHOOTING
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The owner of a North Carolina towing and repossession business featured in a reality television show says he’s leaning on faith and urging fans to stop violence in the wake of his son’s fatal shooting. Ronnie Shirley Jr. told WRAL-TV he doesn’t hate the two teenagers accused of killing his 21-year-old son, Alex, in Garner last month but said he doesn’t know if he can forgive them. Detectives discovered Alex Shirley’s body in a car at a gas station on Feb. 17. A 20-year-old woman was also wounded and is now paralyzed from the waist down. A total of five people have been charged in connection with the shooting.