Disney thumb-wrestles Ebert in negotiations
Chicago - A rift between Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert and the syndicator of his TV show, "Ebert & Roeper," while negotiating a contract has Disney-ABC Domestic Television prying his famous "thumbs" from the program.
Ebert literally owns the trademark on the "thumbs up/thumbs down," along with the family of the Chicago Tribune's late Gene Siskel, with whom he first teamed over 30 years ago.
On Friday, Disney said Ebert was barring use of the "thumbs" until signing a new contract. But the critic, absent from the show for more than a year since cancer surgery, disputes that.
Ebert said Disney's offer was "offensively low," and he responded with a counteroffer. "They did not reply to this, and on Monday ordered the 'thumbs' removed from the show."
Sheriff: Suspected drugs found in rapper's home
Phoenix - Deputies searching the home of rapper DMX during an investigation into claims of animal cruelty found about a half-pound of suspected illegal narcotics, the Maricopa County sheriff said Saturday.
No charges have been filed or arrests made. Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the investigation into alleged animal cruelty was ongoing, and the suspected drugs were being tested to confirm their content.
Friday's search was prompted by reports that pit bulls kept by the rapper at the home in rural north Phoenix were not being given enough food or water. A dozen pit bulls were seized, the bodies of three dogs were dug up in the yard and a variety of assault-style weapons were taken from the home, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was not at home and his lawyer said he hasn't been there for two months.
Arpaio said there was no indication the dogs were used in fights.
The weapons are being checked to see if they are legal, the sheriff said. Richman said Simmons has no felony convictions that would prohibit him from owning weapons.
Johnny Cash's son visits dad's old home
Dyess, Ark. - The son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash has returned to the country legend's boyhood home to look for traces of his father and pick some cotton.
John Carter Cash has been in northeast Arkansas since Tuesday. The 37-year-old Cash said it's part of a personal venture to understand his father and Dyess, the town the Cash family called home.
"My father talked about the cotton farm, and the flood, many times," Cash said. "He not only talked about it, it inspired him to write about it as well. His Arkansas roots were always a part of who he was, and he was proud of that. When I visit the places he walked and played, it brings to life many stories he told me about living here."
Johnny Cash, born in Kingsland in 1932, moved to Dyess with his family as a child. With no money down, the Cash family was given 20 acres and a 5-room house in which to live. The house is still standing just west of Dyess, and the current owner gave him a tour.