American Press: Your Best News And Advertising Source - Scene Features American Press: The Only Local Daily Newspaper In Southwest Louisiana. en-US Copyright (c) September, 2016 American Press. All rights reserved <![CDATA[Brad Pitt allegations relate to treatment of son]]> By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Allegations Brad Pitt was abusive on a private plane last week relate to the actor's treatment toward his 15-year-old son, sources said Friday, as the FBI continued to gather information before determining whether to open an investigation.

FBI Spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the agency hasn't made a decision on a formal investigation into what occurred on a plane ferrying Pitt, his wife Angelina Jolie Pitt and their six children.

Several news outlets have reported that a child welfare agency in Los Angeles is investigating the well-being of the children, who range in ages from 8 to 15.

Sources familiar with the allegations, but not authorized to speak publicly, say the child welfare investigation centers on Pitt's treatment of his son Maddox, 15, during an argument during the Sept. 14 flight. No law enforcement agency responded to the plane when it landed in Minnesota after the incident.

Amara Suarez, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, said the agency could not confirm whether it was investigating Pitt or the well-being of the former couple's children.

Calls to the offices of Pitt's attorney, Lance Spiegel, and Jolie Pitt's lawyer, Laura Wasser, were forwarded to recorded messages stating their firms do not comment on clients.

Jolie Pitt filed for divorce Monday and her lawyer released a statement the following day saying she came to the decision "for the health of the family." She listed their separation date as Sept. 15, the day after the alleged plane incident, and the actress is seeking sole custody of all six of the children.

Koochiching County, Minnesota, Sheriff Perryn Hedlund told The Associated Press on Thursday that Brad Pitt was on a plane that landed at the International Falls, Minnesota, airport near the Canadian border on Sept. 14.

Hedlund said his sheriff's deputies were not called to the airport, and International Falls police were also not called.

"There's no incident whatsoever reported to law enforcement," Hedlund said.

He said he didn't know why the plane landed in International Falls, but said it's not uncommon for hockey players or other celebrities to stop at the airport.

Pitt and Jolie Pitt — known as "Brangelina" — were together for 12 years but only wed in August 2014. They married privately at their French chateau in the Provence hamlet of Correns with their children serving as ring bearers and throwing flower petals. They announced the ceremony days later.

Their six children include 15-year-old Maddox, 12-year-old Pax, 11-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh, and 8-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.

This is the second marriage for Pitt, 52, who previously wed Jennifer Aniston. It's the third for Jolie Pitt, 41, who was previously married to Billy Bob Thornton and Jonny Lee Miller.


Associated Press Writer Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed to this report.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:15:26 CST 13309009 at
<![CDATA[J.K. Rowling: Harambe isn't part of Harry Potter universe]]> By The Associated Press

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has clarified that slain Ohio gorilla, Harambe, is not a part of her fictional universe.

A new feature on Rowling's Pottermore website allows users to find out what Patronus they would use in Harry Potter's world. A Patronus is an animal used to ward off soul-sucking creatures in the series.

Humor site The Chive put a fake picture on Twitter of Harambe the gorilla as a result on the Patronus page. Rowling retweeted the picture. A bit later she posted , "I've been asked to make it clear that Harambe is not a Patronus you can actually get on @pottermore." But she added that she thought the joke was "very funny."

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:14:11 CST 13309001 at
<![CDATA[ABOB to perform 'It's Only a Play' Saturday]]> Special to American Press

JENNINGS — A Block Off Broadway Community Theatre will present Terrence McNally’s “It’s Only a Play” at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

The play, which has been updated to include a hard-boiled Uber driver, features an array of narcissistic, ambitious and irrational characters — all eagerly awaiting the opening-night reviews of their Broadway play.

Seating is reserved. Tickets are $12, $10 for those age 60 and older.  

Tickets can be purchased 5-7 p.m. at the Strand on North Main Street or by phone at 337-821-5509.

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:34:50 CST 13308067 at
<![CDATA[On Go Mex brings authentic Mexican to Lake Charles]]> By Emily Fontenot / American Press

I’m a huge fan of the ’90s TV show “Frasier.” You might even call me an addict.

I fall asleep to it most nights at volume level four, right in the sweet spot, just loud enough to here the comforting jingle and the hum of familiar conversation. It even got me through a rough patch in college, along with jars of peanut butter and a certain oversized pajama dress.

Sure, there have been others since, shows filled with mind-bowing plot twists and steamy romances. But I always grew tired of them after a few seasons. I’d eventually return to that comfortingly bland apartment set, that cozy coffee shop, and that subtle chemistry between characters like Niles and Daphne, or, dare I say it, Frasier and Roz. Somehow it all came together to make something special.

I think it’s because of the show’s natural, understated feel. There are no gaudy displays of affection, no moments of indulgent wish-fulfillment. It never overwhelms or assaults the senses. The result is an overall pleasant, addictive quality that sort of lingers, for years in my case.

I was reminded of this same quality today when visiting a new Mexican restaurant on Nelson called On Go Mex. I was looking for a brand-new place for my first food review, and my boss, Crystal, had spotted this a couple days before. I showed up a little early, around 11 a.m., to find who I presume was the owner hauling ingredients inside. He flashed me a big smile and let me know he’d be open 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

I was on a bit of a tight schedule, but after seeing that the ingredients were obviously fresh and the staff was friendly, I decided to wait it out. When I walked in, I was shown to the counter, where I was able to order immediately before sitting down to be served — an efficient set-up that I’ve always admired in restaurants. I grabbed one of the temporary menus that read “great authentic Mexican cuisine.” It now had my attention.

Finding it difficult to decide between tacos, quesadillas, burritos and one of the fresh-looking salads, I decided to get a combo plate, which came with two tacos and a side of beans and rice for $8.50, not too shabby for a hardy lunch and a warm pile of chips and salsa. My food came out in about 5 minutes. I put on my critical palette and prepared to bite into my first taco, the citrus chicken, which incidentally costs only $3.50 a la carte.

Immediately I knew: This would be my “Frasier” of food. A perfect portion of cheese, cilantro and onions sat on top of an ample bed of fluffed chicken shavings, all wrapped in two thin corn tortillas. It wasn’t doused in a bunch of buttery sauce or spices. No, each flavor was true to its source — the chicken was tender and natural, with a slight hint of lemon, and the cheese and veggies tasted bold and fresh.

Every bite was more enjoyable than the last. Luckily, I had a second taco, so the experience wasn’t over quite yet. For this one, I chose shrimp on a flour tortilla. Coming from a family of fishermen, I’m rather particular about my seafood. But this shrimp passed my Louisiana-quality test with flying colors.

The shrimp taco was simple and bold, featuring five or six large pieces tossed in a light, peppery sauce with a few veggies sprinkled on top. Absolutely delightful. I decided to bite into my sides at this point before I filled up on tacos. The rice was zesty and soft, with diced tomatoes mixed throughout. It perfectly complemented the rich refried bean medley that was covered in a thin layer of melted cheese.

In summary, I had a pretty phenomenal meal today in what looks to be another staple lunch and dinner joint for this area. It’s also right next to Skate City, so you can relive your middle school days as an amateur figure skater before going to grab a delicious meal at On Go Mex, preferably in that order.

As I sit here in my little gray cubicle, now fighting the urge to Netflix “Frasier,” I’m thankful for those comforting little things about life that make good days better and bad days bearable. I expect that, for many Southwest Louisiana folks, On Go Mex will soon be added to their list of comforting, addictive little things. Who knows. You may have found your “Frasier” of food as well.


Follow Emily Fontenot on Twitter at

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:16:49 CST 13305789 at
<![CDATA[Saxophonists Mickey Smith Jr. to perform ]]> By Justin B. Phillips / American Press

The upcoming Sax in the City Benefit concert for MusicMakers2U will be more than just food, fun and socializing. It will be an opportunity for Southwest Louisiana residents to give back, and possibly change the lives of musicians throughout the area.

On Oct. 2, Sax in the City will host its lone fall concert of the year with the help of Grammy-nominated saxophonist Mickey Smith Jr. in the Buccaneer Room of the Civic Center. The event’s catered dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 7 p.m.

Event organizers said the dinner and concert tickets are $30. A concert ticket can be purchased at the door for $15. Louisiana saxophonists Marcus Davis and JB Saax; gospel sax performer Alex Allen; national recording artist Merlon Devine; and violinist Jairus Daigle will be the concert’s featured performers.

While the planned festivities surrounding the event are noticeable, the concert’s foundation is one of giving back, specifically to MusicMakers2U — a local group that refurbishes musical instruments and gives them to students who are interested in learning music but lack equipment.

All proceeds will benefit the program, and a drop-off area for people interested in donating instruments will be set up at the concert.

Eva LeBlanc, president of the MusicMakers2U program, said support for the event from the community, paired with the efforts of Smith, are why her program can function.

She said fall is MusicMakers2U’s biggest instrument-pairing season because students are beginning classes.

Earlier this week, the program paired a trumpet with a music major at McNeese State University — moving the pairing total to 266 since the program’s inception.

“What we had projected in donations for our first year, we actually doubled those projections. I would have to say on many different levels the reaction has been positive in terms of support from the community for the program. People have instruments in their home and are not knowing what to do with them,” LeBlanc said.

“For some of them, they have a child that left for college and there’s a clarinet sitting in the closet, so they donate it. There’s a recycling angle to all of this as well.”

The program also receives financial donations to help with the repairs and refurbishing of the instruments. LeBlanc said that by receiving the instrument, a young musician learns about ownership — which in turn improves musicianship.

She said data show students involved with band or orchestra are more likely to attend school on a regular basis.

Recently, several students involved with the program were able to play music at a New Orleans Saints game, and others were able to play with the Southern University marching band.

LeBlanc said the experiences made available by MusicMakers2U are part of the reason participants find a way to give back to the program.

“As they get older, the need to volunteer and give back becomes more profound. They just start finding ways to get more involved because they see what this can do for someone,” she said.

“We paired some sixth- and seventh-graders recently with instruments and those same kids also brought instruments to drop off so they can be given to someone else. You can see the support and the difference being made.”

Advance dinner and concert tickets for the event can be purchased until Sept. 27 through Ticketmaster; the Civic Center box office, at 491-1432; Swicegood Music, at 308 E. Prien Lake Road; or Bearden’s Music, at 202 Cities Service Highway in Sulphur.

For more information, call MusicMakers at 244-9314.

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:23:33 CST 13305460 at
<![CDATA[McNeese Theatre to begin its 2016-2017 season]]> By Shannon Roberts / American Press

McNeese State University Theatre will begin its 2016-2017 season Wednesday, Sept. 28, with “Lizard,” a coming-of-age story set in Southwest Louisiana and Birmingham, Ala., in the summer of 1976.

The play is by Dennis Covington and is based on his 1991 novel of the same name. Covington said he was inspired to write the story after being stationed at Fort Polk as a soldier in the 1970s.

Covington volunteered at the Leesville State School for Retarded Boys, as it was called. There he said he met a boy whose physical appearance resembled what the character “Lizard” looks like in the play, but the boy never spoke.

“One night I heard him sing,” Covington said. “The sound of that voice was going to stay with me.”

Covington said he heard the “voice” of his fictional character, Lucius, who “looked like a lizard,” later when he was in a fiction writing program.

“It was a miracle for me; I was being led by that voice,” he said. “(Lizard) had a beautiful voice. It took me surprising places.”

After he wrote the novel, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival commissioned Covington to write the play. It was first performed in 1994 at the festival, he said.

Covington said he is excited that his play will run again after a long hiatus, and in the “place where it all began.”

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in the Tritico Theater and at 2 p.m. Oct. 2.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for McNeese faculty and staff, senior citizens and youths; and free for McNeese students with a current ID. Some language is not considered suitable for younger audiences.

For more information, call 475-5040.

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:23:29 CST 13305458 at
<![CDATA[Lakefront show, in its 25th year, to include hundreds of vehicles]]> By Jacob Caldwell / American Press

The Midnight Fantasies Car Show will be Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 24-25, at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The event, in its 25th year, will feature an array of vehicles — from cars that predate World War II to 2017 models.

The show will include hundreds of vehicles, both indoors and outdoors, along with pit crew, burnout, audio and bikini contests.

Among the attractions will be a 1926 Ford Model T and the Mustang used for the interior shots in the 2000 film “Gone in 60 Seconds,” along with memorabilia signed by actors Nick Cage and Angelina Jolie.

There will be a Best in Show contest; cars will be judged on attributes such as paint and body, interior, detail, workmanship and condition. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Jonathan Verrete, owner of Verrete Motorsports, will show a 1964 Impala with custom hydraulics and a fully movable suspension system, along with a chrome undercarriage and custom engravings. The motor and interior are all original.

Jimmy Fontenot will display his “Tweety-Bird Truck” — a ’46 Chevrolet pickup with a 350 engine and a custom paint job inspired by a Harley-Davidson helmet.

The truck was in dismal condition when he got it, Fontenot said, but he has turned it into a masterpiece. “The kids love to take pictures in it,” he said.

Carroll Greathouse will show a ’57 Chevrolet Bel Air “Pro-Street” with digital gauges, four-wheel disc brakes, air-conditioning and a locking rear end.

Wesley and Patricia Blanchard will display their ’67 Chevelle SS, with a roaring 454 engine, custom interior with hand-done upholstery, and a custom red paint job.

Patricia Blanchard said “blood, sweat and tears” went into the Chevelle, and that they always “have a really good time” when they take it to benefits to show.

Wesley Blanchard, president of the local Idlers Club, encourages people to attend the show.

“We want everyone to come out,” he said. “It’s a great event to come to because you can bring anyone and anything you want. The kids even love it.”

Roger Miller, one of the event organizers, said it isn’t just a low-rider show. “This is an open show,” Miller said. “There’ll be vehicles of all types here, old and new.”

The show will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $10 each day for adults; children 10 and under will be admitted free. There will be music, vendors and entertainment.

Vehicles may register 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. The fee to preregister is $35; the fee for show-day registration is $40, $60 for an indoor location.

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:23:27 CST 13305457 at
<![CDATA[Madame Tussauds separates wax figures of Pitt, Jolie]]> By The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's split is a literal one at several Madame Tussauds wax museums.

A spokeswoman for the wax museum in London says they wanted to mirror Jolie and Pitt's separation, which came to light Tuesday. She says the wax figures "are now featured at a respectful distance from each other."

Jolie's figure has been placed near one of Nicole Kidman. Pitt's is hanging out with the figure of his co-star in several films, Morgan Freeman.

The couple will also be split up at Madame Tussauds' museums in the U.S.

Madame Tussauds says figures of Jolie and Pitt are on display at 15 of its 20 locations across the globe.

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:37:53 CST 13303526 at
<![CDATA[Jolie files for divorce from Pitt ‘for health of the family’]]> By The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Angelina Jolie Pitt has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, bringing an end to what began as the world’s most tabloid headline-generating romance before morphing into a glamorous engine of family and philanthropy.

Jolie Pitt, 41, cited “irreconcilable difference” in divorce papers filed Monday in Los Angeles. She is seeking physical custody of their six children, with visitation rights for Pitt.

An attorney for Jolie Pitt, Robert Offer, said Tuesday that her decision to divorce was made “for the health of the family.” The filing dated the couple’s separation to last Thursday.

“I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time,” Pitt said in a statement to People.

Mark Vincent Kaplan, a veteran divorce attorney who was Kevin Federline’s attorney in his divorce from Britney Spears and has handled several high-profile cases, reviewed the filing at the AP’s request.

“There is no indication on the face of the petition filed by Ms. Jolie that there is a prenuptial agreement, or that if there is a prenup, she is asking the court to consider whether or not to invalidate it,” said Kaplan.

Though together for 12 years, Pitt and Jolie Pitt — known as “Brangelina” — only wed in August 2014. They married privately at their French chateau in the Provence hamlet of Correns with their children serving as ring bearers and throwing flower petals. They announced the ceremony days later.

Their children are: 15-year-old Maddox, 12-year-old Pax, 11-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh, and 8-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.

This is the second marriage for Pitt, 52, who previously wed Jennifer Aniston. It’s the third for Jolie Pitt, who was previously married to Billy Bob Thornton and Jonny Lee Miller.

Their initial romance sparked a tabloid avalanche unlike any in recent memory. Pitt and Jolie became close while filming 2005’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” prompting widespread speculation — consistently denied by the couple — that Jolie prompted Pitt’s divorce from Aniston. Pitt and Aniston announced their separation in January 2005.

But after the media upheaval, Jolie Pitt and Pitt eventually settled into their own unique kind of globe-trotting domesticity. They were seldom-seen Hollywood royalty, their image predicated more on parenting than partying.

The pair adopted children from Cambodia, Vietnam and Ethiopia. In 2006, they formed the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, to which they funneled many of the millions they made selling personal pictures to celebrity magazines.

Jolie Pitt, who became special envoy for the United Nations in 2012, became an outspoken voice for refugees, as well as for breast cancer treatment after undergoing a double mastectomy herself. Pitt built homes in New Orleans for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Jolie Pitt also launched herself as a film director. Last year, the couple starred together in her “By the Sea,” playing a glamorous couple vacationing together in France while their marriage was on the rocks. It made a mere $538,000 at the box office domestically.

In a 2014 interview with The Associated Press, Jolie Pitt said playing a couple with marital problems was cathartic.

“It almost makes you get past those issues because you can laugh at them,” Jolie Pitt said. “You do a film about bad marriage and you witness that behavior. You study it, you let it out, you attack each other and then you just want to hold each other and make sure you never behave that way.”

Jolie Pitt earlier this year finished shooting her fourth feature as director, “First They Killed My Father.” The film, about the 1970s Khmer Rouge regime, was shot in Cambodia.

The pair was seen publicly together as recently as July, when they were spotted taking their twins to breakfast in Los Angeles.

Pitt stars with Marion Cotillard in Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming spy thriller “Allied” and narrates Terrence Malick’s IMAX documentary “Voyage of Time.”

In recent years, Pitt’s production company, Plan B, has been behind a growing number of acclaimed releases, including the Academy Award best-picture winner “12 Years a Slave,” last year’s “The Big Short” and the recently debuted festival hit “Moonlight.”

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:16:00 CST 13300746 at
<![CDATA[Emmy telecast hits another record low]]> By The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Facing tough competition, the Emmy Awards telecast on ABC reached a record-low total of 11.3 million viewers.

The Nielsen company said Monday that the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted awards show had the smallest audience for any Emmy Awards since records have been kept. Last year's Fox telecast had 11.9 million viewers.

In a simpler age, rivals wouldn't compete aggressively, reasoning it didn't make sense to distract from a show that celebrated television. That's changed: NBC's Green Bay-Minnesota NFL game had 20.5 million viewers, Nielsen said. Also, CBS had 10.3 million viewers for a two-hour special on the JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery.

The 11.3 million figure represented how many people were watching the Emmys during average minute. Nielsen estimated that nearly 26 million people tuned in to at least some of ABC's telecast.

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:24:42 CST 13298195 at