Cracking down on Harry Potter fests: AP PA Headlines, Features, Scores & Skeds

AP PA Headlines 6/17/18


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Warner Bros. is cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, saying it’s necessary to halt unauthorized commercial activity at such events. Fans, however, liken the move to greedy Dementors sucking the joy out of homegrown fun. Festival directors say they’ll transfigure the events into more general celebrations of magic. Festival directors in Philadelphia and elsewhere have been told new guidelines would prohibit much of the Potter-themed activities.

CRESCENT, Pa. (AP) — Authorities are crediting co-workers with quick action after an explosion burned a factory worker at a western Pennsylvania plant. Crescent Township police say emergency responders called to the Premier Pan building at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday found smoke billowing out of the plant and a 20-year-old man with burns to his arms, chest and face in front of the building. They said a glazing machine exploded and three workers grabbed fire extinguishers, fought the flames and got the victim outside.

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — One of two men facing charges in an all-terrain vehicle crash that killed a Pennsylvania high school student last year has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. Twenty-four-year-old Trenton Bilak also pleaded guilty Friday in Blair County to accidents involving death or injury, evidence-tampering and reckless driving. State police say 18-year-old Mikayla Focht died after the ATV that she was riding and Bilak was driving struck several deer in April 2017, and another vehicle then ran over her.

TANNERSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a man fell from a sixth-floor balcony and died at a Pennsylvania mountain resort in the Poconos. The Monroe County coroner’s office says the fall occurred at about 6:30 a.m. Friday at the Camelback Resort in Tannersville.  A resort official said the man was in his mid to late 20s and was visiting the resort with a group. She said no one else was injured.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A U.S. Army spokesman says officials have narrowed to five the number of cities under consideration to house a prestigious command center that’s meant to modernize Army operations and technology.  Col. Patrick Seiber tells the Austin American-Statesman that Austin, Texas, is a finalist for the Futures Command headquarters along with Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Seiber says 10 other cities — including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle — are no longer candidates. A final decision is expected by the end of June.  The Army wants the center to be near experts in technology and innovation who can figure out emerging threats and what equipment will be needed to answer them.  The complex will have a staff of roughly 500 people, led by a four-star general.


Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved



LOS ANGELES (AP) — Apple says it has reached a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey to create original programs for its streaming service.  Apple said Friday the programs will be released worldwide as part of a lineup of original content.  Apple has yet to launch its service, whose major competitors will include Amazon and Netflix.

Winfrey founded and heads the OWN channel as chair and CEO. She recently extended her contract with OWN through 2025.  An OWN spokeswoman said Winfrey has an exclusive on-camera deal with OWN but can appear elsewhere on a limited basis.  Winfrey’s content for Apple will be solely for the streaming service, the representative said.


NEW YORK (AP) — Giuliana Rancic will return to E! News this September as co-host of its nightly news program with Jason Kennedy, three years after leaving the gig.  She will replace Maria Menounos, who left last July following surgery to remove a brain tumor.  When Rancic left E! News, she stayed the network on as a co-host of its red-carpet coverage at award shows and on “Fashion Police,” which aired its series finale in 2017.

While anchoring E! News, Rancic’s likeability and humor landed her a reality series with her husband, winner of season one of “The Apprentice,” Bill Rancic. But she received backlash in 2015 when she critiqued Zendaya’s dreadlocks on a red carpet with what some believed were racist remarks.  Rancic apologized and said the full context of her comments were edited out. Months later she left E! News, though she was a guest host a handful of times.


NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Philharmonic is considering allowing female musicians to wear pants while playing Mozart and Tchaikovsky.  The New York Times reports that the 176-year-old orchestra has been quietly talking about relaxing its requirement that women wear floor-length black skirts or gowns at formal evening concerts.

The Times says the Philharmonic is alone among the nation’s 20 largest orchestras in not letting women wear pants at all performances.  Some musicians say wearing a dress is impractical when playing their instruments.

Julie Ann Giacobassi was playing an English horn with the San Francisco Symphony in the 1980s when one of the keys of her instrument got stuck in the folds of her skirt.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Warner Bros. is cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, saying it’s necessary to halt unauthorized commercial activity. Fans, however, liken the move to Dementors sucking the joy out of homegrown fun, while festival directors say they’ll transfigure the events into generic celebrations of magic.

“It’s almost as if Warner Bros. has been taken over by Voldemort, trying to use dark magic to destroy the light of a little town,” said Sarah Jo Tucker, a 21-year-old junior at Chestnut Hill College, which hosts a Quidditch tournament that coincides with the annual suburban Philadelphia festival.  Philip Dawson, Chestnut Hill’s business district director, said Warner Bros. reached out to his group in May, letting them know new guidelines prohibit festivals’ use of any names, places or objects from the series. That ruled out everything from meet-and-greet with Dumbledore and Harry to Defense Against the Dark Arts classes.


HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Firefighters had to break the windows and run a hose through a car that was blocking a fire hydrant in New Jersey.  Firefighters arrived on the scene of a house fire early Thursday in Hamilton Township. But they found the car parked in front of the hydrant.  A picture posted on the Hamilton Township Professional Firefighters’ Facebook page shows they punched out the windows and threaded the hose through the car.  They had the fire under control quickly and no one was injured.


BERLIN (AP) — A couple in eastern Germany have gotten married in a swing dangling from a motorcycle atop a tightrope, 14 meters (46 feet) above the ground.  The German news agency dpa reported that a pastor standing in a cage atop a fire service ladder presided over the wedding of Nicole Backhaus and Jens Knorr in the town of Stassfurt on Saturday.

The couple exchanged rings in the air but, for safety’s sake, waited until they were back on the ground to kiss.  More than 3,000 people watched the wedding in the sky, which took place during a local festival.  The tightrope was stretched between the town wall and a tower, and the motorbike was ridden by Falko Traber, a member of a family of artists.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming.  The couple released a joint album that touches on the rapper’s disgust at this year’s Grammy Awards and features a shout out from their daughter Blue Ivy to her siblings.

The nine-track album “Everything Is Love” dropped Saturday on the Tidal music streaming service that Jay-Z partially owns.

The album features Beyonce rapping on songs more than she has done on previous releases.

One song that has a profanity in its title includes Jay-Z lashing out at the Grammys. He was the top nominee at February’s awards show, but left empty-handed.  The rapper also says he turned down the NFL Super Bowl halftime show, rapping that the league needs him more than he needs them.  Blue Ivy ends the song “BOSS” with a shout-out to her 1-year-old brother and sister, Rumi and Sir.  In 2013, Beyonce released the self-titled album “Beyonce” without any notice.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


Sports, Scores & Skeds


Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:
Final Miami 5 Baltimore 4
Final Texas 5 Colorado 2
Final Toronto 2 Washington 0
Final N-Y Yankees 4 Tampa Bay 1
Final Detroit 7 Chi White Sox 5
Final Houston 10 Kansas City 2
Final Oakland 6 L-A Angels 4
Final Minnesota 9 Cleveland 3
Final Seattle 1 Boston 0
Final Pittsburgh 6 Cincinnati 2
Final Philadelphia 4 Milwaukee 1
Final Atlanta 1 San Diego 0
Final Chi Cubs 6 St. Louis 3
Final L-A Dodgers 3 San Francisco 1
Final N-Y Mets 5 Arizona 1
Final Indiana 96 Atlanta 64
Final Minnesota 85 N-Y Liberty 71
Final Phoenix 89 Connecticut 72
Miami at Baltimore 1:05 p.m.
Washington at Toronto 1:07 p.m.
Colorado at Texas 3:05 p.m.
Minnesota at Cleveland 1:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at N-Y Yankees 2:05 p.m.
Detroit at Chi White Sox 2:10 p.m.
Houston at Kansas City 2:15 p.m.
L-A Angels at Oakland 4:05 p.m.
Boston at Seattle 4:10 p.m.
San Diego at Atlanta 1:35 p.m.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh 1:35 p.m.
Philadelphia at Milwaukee 2:10 p.m.
San Francisco at L-A Dodgers 4:10 p.m.
N-Y Mets at Arizona 4:10 p.m.
Chi Cubs at St. Louis 8:05 p.m.
L.A. Sparks at Chicago 6:00 p.m.
Phoenix at Las Vegas 8:00 p.m.



Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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