American Press: Your Best News And Advertising Source - Scene Features American Press: The Only Local Daily Newspaper In Southwest Louisiana. en-US Copyright (c) April, 2017 American Press. All rights reserved <![CDATA[Ohio governor, ex-GOP presidential candidate, publishes book]]> By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A new book by Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk) looks at what Kasich calls the positivity of his presidential campaign compared with the election cycle's negativity.

Kasich's "Two Paths: America Divided or United" is being published Tuesday. The book reflects on Kasich's career, his run for the presidency and his views on a wide range of issues, from media coverage of politics to voting rights.

The 64-year-old Kasich was President Donald Trump's longest-lasting competitor in the GOP primary race and declined to endorse Trump after he clinched the nomination.

The two have continued to feud, with Kasich calling Trump's recent immigration executive order "ham-handed." Trump supported a contender for state party chair in Ohio who defeated a Kasich backer for the job.

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:01:20 CST 13786312 at
<![CDATA[150th anniversary: Lake Charles 'Festival Capital of the State']]> By Doris Maricle / American Press

Festivals have always been a part of Louisiana, and Lake Charles is certainly no exception.

Nicknamed “Festival Capital of the State,” the city is home to more than 75 fairs, festivals and special events, according to Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau Media Relations Specialist Will Precht.

“There are more than 75 fairs and festivals held in Lake Charles and that number seems to be growing every year,” Precht said. “From Contraband Days to the Iowa Rabbit Festival and the Louisiana Winter Beer Fest to Mardi Gras, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here in Southwest Louisiana.”

Those events are good for the city because it brings a lot of people from all over to Lake Charles for the food, music and fun, he said.

Contraband Days, one of the city’s oldest festivals and the second-longest festival in the state because it has traditionally been a two-week celebration, annually has a local economic impact of several million dollars.

Contraband Days has repeatedly been named Festival of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festival and was named one of the top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association.

The first Contraband Days festival was held June 29, 1958, as a one-day festival of water events. It later expanded to a two-week event featuring more than 100 activities, including carnival rides, live music, a car show, contests, fireworks and more.

This year’s celebration is being shortened to a four-day event, May 4-7.

According to Creole-Acadia legion, Jean Lafitte and his pirates abandoned their treasures at Barataria Bay near New Orleans, then fled westward taking refuge in “Charley’s Lake,” in what is now Lake Charles. Legend has it Lafitte buried his contraband along its shores.

That legend is celebrated each spring during the annual festival, which kicks off with Buccaneers taking over the city for the duration of the festival.

The city’s Mardi Gras has also exploded over the past few years, making it the second-largest Mardi Gras celebration in the state next to New Orleans.

Mardi Gras kicks off with the Twelfth Night celebration in early January with the grand promenade of more than 60 krewes. Parades with lavish floats, dances, cook-offs and more pack the days leading up to Fat Tuesday.

Among one of the city’s newest festivals is the Louisiana Winter Beer Festival, which began in 2015. The festival offers ticket holders a chance to sample dozens of different beers, while learning more about the products and different styles of beer.

The city also hosts a series of Cajun-themed festivals including the Fur and Wildlife Festival, Cajun Music & Food Festival, Marshland Festival, Arts and Crabs, Calca-Chew Food Festival, Marshland Festival and more.

Local events also embrace the diversity of styles and flavors where crawfish, boudin, barbecue, wine tasting and more are celebrated.

Dozens of other events provide holiday-themed activities for Christmas and the Fourth of July.

Cheannault Airshow, Flea Fest, Downtown at Sundown and more also provide fun for the whole family.

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 13:50:01 CST 13785265 at
<![CDATA[Singer Cuba Gooding Sr. found dead in car in Los Angeles]]> By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Cuba Gooding Sr., who sang the 1972 hit "Everybody Plays the Fool," has died.

Authorities say the 72-year-old singer and father of Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. was found dead in a car Thursday in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles.

Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter says the cause of death is under investigation, but drug paraphernalia and alcohol were found in the car parked on a busy street.

The elder Gooding rose to fame for "Everybody Plays the Fool," which he sang with the rhythm-and-blues group The Main Ingredient. The song helped the family move from the Bronx to Southern California.

Cuba Gooding Sr.'s own father fled Barbados and went to Cuba — hence the name of his son — before becoming a taxi driver in Manhattan.

An email message to Gooding Jr.'s agent was not immediately returned.

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:43:25 CST 13783066 at
<![CDATA[Glad Tidings revs up for annual car and truck show]]> By Crystal Stevenson / American Press

Glad Tidings Church will host a car and truck show 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 22.

The third annual event has become a labor of love for event organizer Jimmy Fontenot.

“The church had flooded a couple years ago, and I wanted to do something for the church to help,” Fontenot said. “That’s when I put together a car show, and it’s been growing ever since.”

Fontenot said that at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, a church security guard had just started making his rounds when he discovered the sanctuary was flooded. In some areas, the water was up to four and half feet, topping the church’s wooden pews.

It was later determined a water pipeline that feeds the church’s sprinkler system had burst, causing the flood.

As the church began the task of cleanup and repairs, Fontenot began organizing a car show to raise funds for that effort.

Fontenot said the show, which is free to participants and visitors, continues to be a fundraiser for the church.

Fontenot said the proceeds this year will go the church’s missionary project in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

“We’re buying some land and putting in some water wells and a church,” he said.

Tip buckets will be at food stations and registration tables, so people can donate money to the church.

The family-friendly event will feature antique, classic and newer model vehicles from all over the state, competing for 65 awards. Categories include top four pre-1960s trucks, top eight pre-1960s cars, top three jeeps and many more. There will also be live music by Chris Miller and Bayou Roots, a silent auction, special appearances by “Elvis” and Gumbo Gator and face painting.

Fontenot said complimentary food — including hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, jambalaya, gumbo and fried fish — will be served.

There are no restrictions for car show participants, said Fontenot, who said his goal is to have 50 vehicles on display.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and is free for all vehicles and spectators. Judging will take place throughout the day, and awards will be presented beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:42:33 CST 13783036 at
<![CDATA[ACTS Theatre presents musical 'lovingly ripped off' from 'Holy Grail' movie]]> By Emily Fontenot / American Press

ACTS Theatre will bring its 50th season to a close with the Tony Award-winning musical “Monty Python’s Spamalot” based on the cult classic film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

Performances will run April 29, May 5-7 and May 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. All shows will be at 1 Reid St.

Director Clay Hebert said the musical adaptation remains true to the original 1975 film — a comedic take on the legend of King Arthur — with the addition of a handful of song and dance numbers.

“It’s a very funny, very big, feel-good happy show,” Hebert said.

He said ACTS selected the musical because of its upbeat extravagant feel, just what they were looking for in a finale performance for a celebratory season such as this.

“To end something like the 50th anniversary, you want to go out with a bang,” Hebert said.

With over 20 cast members, the show was a challenge to bring together, he said, but one he thoroughly enjoyed.

“We’re just having so much fun with it,” Hebert said. “When you put the right people in the right places, everything goes a lot easier, and I think I have the perfect cast.”

He said the show has mild language and inuendo and is geared to young adults and up.

The cast features Mark Herbert as King Arthur accompanied by Kelly Rowland, Robert Goodson, Aaron Webster, Corey Tarver, Markie Hebert, Taylor Novak-Tyler, Lori Tarver, Brahnsen Lopez, Ryan Domingue, Dustin Duffy, Kathy Heath, Payton Smith, Frank Cooper, Darian Hodge, Aimee Mayeux, Larenzo Carrier and Dylan Conley.

Tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for Seniors and $15 for students with a valid ID. They can be purchased online at or at the box office on the day of show.

Vouchers can also be purchased by cash or check at the Lake Charles Civic Center, Gordon’s Drugs on Lake Street, Moss Bluff Flower and Gift and Hamilton House on Maplewood Drive.

For more information visit the website or call 433-2287.

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:34:51 CST 13783034 at
<![CDATA[Dragon Boat teams gear up for annual race]]> By Lisa Addison / American Press

Christus St. Patrick Foundation’s 5th Annual Dragon Boat Race, a free event open to the public, will get under way at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 22, along the seawall at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

In addition to the entertainment of watching colorful boats being raced along the lakefront, there will be food and drink vendors and music.

Approximately 30 teams, composed of 20 members each, paddle 41-foot vessels as they take part in the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing which has its roots in an ancient folk ritual of contending villagers that has been held throughout southern China for thousands of years.

Known for its team building aspects, each team in this year’s Dragon Boat Race has one hour of practice during the week. Teams develop a unique theme and team name and will compete in one race for their best time. After the qualifying race, all teams are classified into groups based on best time and then they will race up to two more times to determine the winners in each group.

During the races, Kohl’s Kids Club will hold a Healthy Living Fair 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the same location that will offer activities for all ages that encourage good nutrition and healthy choices.

“The Dragon Boat Race is our biggest fundraiser of the year for our Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) program here at the hospital,” said Cara Wyland, director of CMN, Christus St. Patrick Foundation. “It’s a time when the generosity, competitive spirit and family-oriented nature of this community come together to make a huge difference for the kids of Southwest Louisiana. On top of that, it’s huge fun!”

For more information, call 337-430-5353.

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:17:41 CST 13782019 at
<![CDATA[Bill O'Reilly loses his job at Fox News]]> By The Associated Press

NEW YORK  — The Latest on Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly:

1:43 p.m.

Bill O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel following reports that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations.

21st Century Fox issued a statement Wednesday that "after a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.

He had been scheduled to return from a vacation next Monday. O'Reilly was photographed in Rome shaking Pope Francis' hand on Wednesday.

It marks a stunning end to a near perfect marriage between a pugnacious personality and network. For two decades O'Reilly has ruled the "no spin zone" with cable news' most popular show, and his ratings had never been higher.

12:23 p.m.

Embattled Fox News host Bill O'Reilly had a brief handshake with Pope Francis on Wednesday as sexual harassment allegations dog him at home.

O'Reilly is on a vacation that on Wednesday took him to Francis' general audience in St. Peter's Square. His trip came as Fox News Channel's parent company 21st Century Fox is investigating sexual harassment allegations against him. Dozens of his show's advertisers have fled following a report that five women were paid $13 million in settlements after they alleged harassment or mistreatment. O'Reilly has denied wrongdoing.

On Wednesday, he was seated in the VIP section, where a photographer from the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano snapped a photo of Francis reaching out to shake his hand.

Francis always swings by the VIP seats at the end of his audience for a quick round of handshakes.

12:15 p.m.

There was no immediate response from Bill O'Reilly's bosses Wednesday to escalating reports that the Fox News Channel personality will lose his job following accusations he had harassed women.

New York magazine reported Wednesday, based on unnamed sources, that Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan, who run Fox parent 21st Century Fox, had decided that O'Reilly was out and executives were planning the exit. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal, a newspaper owned by the Murdochs, wrote that the company was preparing to cut ties with O'Reilly.

The New York Times reported April 2 that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about unpleasant encounters with O'Reilly, who has denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, on vacation in Rome Wednesday, O'Reilly shook Pope Francis' hand.

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:52:59 CST 13780488 at
<![CDATA[James Gunn to write, direct 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3']]> By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Marvel's continuing space opera "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" has yet to hit theaters, but plans are already in the works for the third installment.

On Monday, James Gunn announced on Facebook that he would be returning to write and direct "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." Gunn also wrote and directed the first and second "Guardians" films.

The franchise stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and features the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

In his post, Gunn said that "Guardians 3" will come after 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War" and conclude the story of this iteration of Guardians of the Galaxy, helping to launch Marvel's next 10 years.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" hits theaters on May 5.

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:36:38 CST 13777962 at
<![CDATA[Andy Karl will lead Broadway's 'Groundhog Day' opening]]> By The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Producers of the Broadway show "Groundhog Day" said the musical will open Monday night with star Andy Karl once again leading the cast despite having to miss the previous show after tweaking his knee.

Karl hurt himself during a preview performance Friday, forcing the cancellation of Saturday's matinee. An understudy filled in for him at the Friday-night performance. The show, at the August Wilson Theatre, doesn't run on Sundays.

"Groundhog Day" is based on the much-loved 1993 movie about a jaded weatherman forced to live the same day over, with Karl starring in the Bill Murray role of Phil Connors, a part Karl originated in London and won an Olivier Award as best actor in a musical.

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 13:58:19 CST 13777948 at
<![CDATA[Stage version of 'Frozen' musical casts 2 Broadway veterans]]> By The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The upcoming stage adaptation of "Frozen" has found its sisters Anna and Elsa — they'll be played by two Broadway veterans in Patti Murin and Cassie Levy.

Disney Theatrical Productions unveiled the pair Monday. Levy has starred on Broadway in "Ghost," ''Wicked" and the 2014 revival of "Les Miserables." Murin starred on the Great White Way in "Lysistrata Jones" and "Xanadu."

The duo will be joined by Jelani Alladin as Kristoff, Greg Hildreth as Olaf, John Riddle as Hans and Robert Creighton as the Duke of Weselton. Rob Ashford has also joined a choreographer, replacing Christopher Gattelli.

The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote music for the blockbuster 2013 film, is returning to work on the stage show, and Jennifer Lee, co-director and screenwriter of the film, is writing the story. Michael Grandage is directing.

The show will debut at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in August. It is expected to land on Broadway at the St. James Theatre in 2018 beside Disney hits "Aladdin" and "The Lion King."


Mon, 17 Apr 2017 13:57:16 CST 13777944 at