Beyoncé Resurfaces at a New Orleans Restaurant and More Celebrity News
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The singer came out of hiding after her lip synching scandal. Also, Demi Lovato enjoys cooking
As we head into another awards show weekend, (hello, SAG Awards!) we recap the week that was filled with Sundance, Paris Couture Week sightings, and more.
After her lip synching controversy at the inauguration, Beyoncé resurfaced in New Orleans with Kelly Rowland. The pair had lunch at Mother's. [Instagram/BaddieBey]
Kim Kardashian and boyfriend Kanye West had dinner at Paris' Lasserre Restaurant while in town for Paris Couture Fashion Week. [Popsugar]
Demi Moore attended Salvatore Ferragamo's Spring/Summer Collection dinner and presentation at Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. [US]
Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise dined at Sarabeth's in in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood. [NY Post]
Drew Barrymore and husband Will Kopelman dined at Arlington Club with in-laws Arie and Coco Kopelman. The group dined on clams casino and various cuts of steak. In honor of Drew and Will becoming new parents, the restaurant sent out a dessert platter. Really sweet, right? [The Daily Meal]
Seen & Heard
Tim Gunn snapped a photo of his snack and wrote, "This is Chef Abby, who prepared this beautiful, very tasty snack for me!" [WhoSay/TimGunn]
Liv Tyler prepped for the frigid cold in New York City with some fitting libations. We're with you, Liv. [WhoSay/LivTyler]
Eva Longoria was surprised with a White House-themed sweet treat the morning after the inauguration at the Mandarin Hotel in D.C. [WhoSay/EvaLongoria]
Demi Lovato tweeted a photo of herself cooking what looks like peppers. Real Twitter-worthy, girl. [Twitter/DemiLovato]
Jessica Alba and a friend enjoyed lunch in Paris. [Twitter/JessicaAlba]
Anna Kendrick did some grocery shopping in Los Angeles. [US]
Alessandra Ambrosio cuddled up with a mug of hot chocolate in Park City, Utah. [Twitter/AngelAlessandra]
Michael Cera sipped on a drink at a Sundance afterparty in Park City, Utah. [Popsugar]
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis grabbed some iced tea at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Studio City, Calif. [US]
ALLELE: Former COLD Guitarist Resurfaces With New Music
ALLELE, the new project featuring Kelly Hayes (ex-COLD) and Lane Maverick (ex-OTEP), have posted an MP3 of their first single, "Closer to Habit", on their MySpace.com page. The unmastered track is the first glimpse of the band's Ben Schigel-produced (CHIMAIRA, DROWNING POOL, SWITCHED) debut album, "Point of Origin", due in stores on October 25 through Corporate Punishment.
In other ALLELE news, the band has lined up the following dates with TRIGGER POINT:
Sep. 08 - West Hollywood, CA @ The Whisky
Sep. 15 - Indianapolis, IN @ Birdies
Sep. 16 - West Lafayette, IN @ Purdue University
Sep. 17 - Bloomington, IL @ Pauly's
Oct. 01 - New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack's
Oct. 08 - Talahassee, FL @ Floyd's Music Store
Oct. 12 - Charleston, SC @ Village Tavern
Oct. 13 - Columbia, SC @ Headliners
Oct. 14 - Hardeeville, SC @ The Gold Club
Oct. 15 - Fayetteville, NC @ Johnny J's
New Pensacola Arena Proposal Resurfaces
A development group is reviving its new Pensacola arena proposal, pitching the venue as part of a larger redevelopment of the Pensacola Bay Center site.
In 2017, Pensacola Arena Development Partners (PADP)–a group formed by local hotelier Jay Patel–began pitching a new arena and adjacent field house as part of a mixed-use development. The proposal stalled in 2018 because of issues with securing federal tax credits, but PADP put the idea back up for discussion by presenting revised plans to the Escambia County Tourist Development Council (TDC) on Monday.
Under the current scope, the $80-million project would include a 6,500-seat arena and an 80,000-square-foot field house. Those facilities would be constructed over existing parking at Pensacola Bay Center, which would remain operational until the new venues are completed. Once construction concludes, the Pensacola Bay Center would be torn down to make way for a new parking garage and possible commercial development.
The plans remain a proposal at this point, as there will be plenty of consideration about funding before a decision is made on whether it will move forward. More from the Pensacola News Journal:
[International Coliseums Co. CEO Rick] Kozuback said under the updated financing for the project, the county would pay about $2.8 million a year for 30 years to fund the project. The county has traditionally paid about $1.3 million in an operations subsidy for the Bay Center, as well as $1.5 million for the debt payment on the Bay Center….
Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill, who is also a board member of the TDC, said he likes the design of the proposal, but it will come down to the finances.
“What you’re thinking about building looks great,” Underhill said Monday. “It’s the spreadsheet stuff, not the PowerPoint part, that I’m struggling with as I have been since the beginning of this conversation.”
Kozuback said the benefit of the plan, as opposed to the county financing a new arena itself, is the private companies would be responsible for managing the facility and if there is a shortfall, the county would not be on the hook for any losses.
There has been plenty of debate in recent years among local officials over potentially replacing Pensacola Bay Center, an aging facility that first opened in 1985, but no plans have moved forward thus far.
Cardinal Hoops Tradition Resurfaces
And the aroma -- despite one last springtime cold front -- is as sweet as honeysuckle.
But it came from out of the blue. Xavier blue.
When the in the realm of all matters insignificant memory passed through my mind before Chris Mack’s boffo intro, it should have been obvious then and there how anxious I was, we all were for a reinstitution of hope.
We were, frankly, predisposed to be pumped.
While Butch Beard leaned against a Yum! Center support column, finishing a phone conversation, I chatted up Mike Grosso, who has been a long time pal since the moment I met him at the Cardinal Inn.
He was the heralded transfer from Frank McGuire’s South Carolina squad, Grosso the fellow known universally as the “second best player in his high school class.” Which was more than faint praise since #1 was someone then named Lewis Alcindor.
Grosso had an infectious giggle that remains to this day, and asked awkwardly that afternoon decades ago after a coed he fancied with whom I’d just been talking.
That goofiness remains and was present last week when we talked our aches and pains and the possibility of new parts, one of which, a new knee to be exact, might have prevented the pivotman from limping through a coulda been betta stint for Peck Hickman and John Dromo.
Then I realized the quiet fellow on the other side of Beard was Milt, no last name necessary. (Wagner, should you be a newbie to this whole Cardinal adoration thing.)
Upon spying him, any number of images could have manifested at this gathering of the tribe where a sense of tradition permeated the proceedings. Those free throws against Memphis State in ‘86, that flick of long range jumper, the unflappable calm with which he played the game, especially disarming since he was a Jersey kid.
Yet what came to mind was a flicker of an inconsequential instant at the SuperDome in New Orleans in ‘82, minutes before tipoff with Georgetown.
John Thompson, white towel already draped over his shoulder, towered over Milt, Denny Crum and one of the zebras. Wagner had on a pair of black gloves, due to some skin condition on his hands, and the Cardinal brass needed Hoya permission for him to wear that unusual accoutrement during the action.
Anxious for sure before that battle -- the most intense defensive game I’ve ever seen -- fantasies ensued when I saw Milt would play with leathered hands, that he’d hit the winning shot, send Patrick Ewing and his evil mates back to D.C., and there would evolve Cardinal Final Four lore to be retold along with the Wiley Brown finger in the dumpster tale.
My point is that 36 years after the fact, the image, one of minor if any importance whatsoever in the history of U of L hoops, remains indelible.
I trust I wasn’t the only one reminiscing. What parallel evocations might the other acolytes assembled have experienced upon a sighting there of an old Card favorite?
Francisco Garcia straightening his ever bespoke mentor’s silk foulard, while being coached at the bench during a game?
The time the Doctors of Dunk wore actual physician’s jackets in warm ups, but made them a one and done because they were too constricting.
Beyond the game moments, the victories and defeats, each Cardinal fan has his own cherished memories, each of which a is a confirmation of his or her fealty.
Of course, there are those actually played out on the hardwood. Visions of . . .
. . . of Jerry Eaves, his deft maneuver to disconcert Kiki Vandeweghe from netting a wide open bunny late in Market Square. Of Roger Burkman, his improbable running jumper from the left side that felled Florida State in the Metro tourney final. Of Denny Crum, maybe adorned in one of those leisure suits he fancied early in his career, outfoxing Lefty or Dana in Freedom Hall.
So, yeah, it should have been obvious, as the introduction of the new Cardinal mentor began, that this crowd, this congregation of believers, was hoping for any sign the clouds over the program would part, the shroud of possible future sanctions could be lifted and set aside, if only for a time.
It was an introduction that craved importance, that might be remembered as much as that scintillating last minute against Tennessee, Luke’s four treys, Pervis’s putback, Grif’s jumper late to overtake the Bruins, the one he was destined to make since he and Bobby were phenoms in middle school.
The early returns are in. The fan base is ready, hopeful. This hoops-addled burg is rejuvenated, alive again.
For the first time since we initially heard the name Christian Dawkins, steps are lighter and the breeze fresher in this city where sixth graders have long learned to dribble around the snow they shoveled just to play, to shoot over clotheslines in their pals’ backyards, to slam like Silent L on eight foot hoops in this town where Loyola beat Cincy for the crown, where basketball is more than sacrament but the faith itself.
If Chris Mack never does anything else as U of L basketball coach, he has already achieved something monumental.
For this moment anyway, the pall has parted, light shines through. Hope springs.
Yet, reality is often bracing.
Ray’s gone, and we wish him all the best, but . . . but, damn, the Cards would be a lot better next season with the Trinity grad in the lineup.
And that graduate transfer from Dartmouth, the one’s whose mom is one of the 50 most important CEOs in the land, the one who we hoped would follow Mack down the river, instead will matriculate to Purdue.
A couple of legit websites have the Cards in their Way Too Early Top 25s. #12 in The Athletic. #14 at cbsports. But, sigh, they both assumed Spalding would return.
Which is a reminder that it shall be the proverbial tough row to hoe for U of L hoops for another season or two.
But if Mack’s original foray is a sign of successes to come -- and it says here it shall be done -- Louisville will be back in the upper echelon in the not too distant future.
All other plusses and minuses of Rick Pitino aside, I never understood why he felt compelled to lock the past, Cardinal tradition, in a storage closet. He did it in Boston, pushing Red Auerbach out the door. And did it again here.
I’m advised that those guys mentioned above, the Cardinal ballers who are U of L basketball -- Thank you, Chris Mack -- were never made welcome during the Pitino years. Didn’t make sense.
I’ve seen more of them around, at games, in the media room, since David Padgett took over than the whole time his predecessor was in charge.
So, if nothing else, as I wrote the other day, U of L basketball is back to where it once belonged, embracing its long, storied, successful tradition.
With Chris Mack, there is legitimate hope.
Now all we need is the Unknown Musician and to conjure John Tong one more once.
Danity Kane On Verge Of Break-UpIt appears there may be truth to the rumours of Danity Kane splitting. TMZ caught up with member Aubrey O’Day, who was looking slightly worse-for-wear outside a Hollywood restaurant. O’Day called out Diddy for essentially ditching the group. In what comes as, somewhat of, a surprise, Aubrey didn’t deny the reporter’s question of whether she is set to join the Pussycat Dolls. <Click here to watch the video>.
With the recent reports of D. Woods leaving the group to pursue acting (as reported by Wendy Williams), along with Dawn’s recent solo material, the news is hardly shocking. Still, it’s ridiculous seeing yet another Bad Boy act left out in the cold by Diddy. Despite the fact that the group’s album was certified Platinum, he opted to wrap theirs up and promote his own CD instead. With Bad Boy’s lacking roster, Danity Kane, showed the most potential. In spite of the rumours, member Dawn insists the group is still together and will be recording another album. Whatever the case, things are not looking good for the girls.
Blood Drive (Syfy), Wednesday 10 p.m. - "In the Crimson Halls of Kane Hill"
See more in our Highlights section above.
Outside of that? It's a pretty slow night. Catch up on the DVR, pull out a good book or dive into your streaming watch list. Personally, I'm rekindling a Battlestar Galactica rewatch on Hulu, and it's glorious.
'He wanted to know if I knew where we could sell it,' said Luisi who was running a cocaine trafficking ring at the time.
But he told Guarente he didn't know anyone who could sell stolen artwork.
'I knew I couldn't move it,' Luisi said. 'I didn't want to get involved in it.'
Guarente died in 2004, aged 64, without every sharing the precise Florida location of the artwork with Luisi.
FBI has visited Luisi, who served 15 years in jail for cocaine trafficking, in 2012 to question him about if Guarente and fellow mobster, Robert 'The Cook' Gentile, has tried to sell the stolen artwork in Philadelphia.
He told FBI agents about Guarente's about revelation but the agency refused to say if the clue had prompted a new search around Florida.
Missing piece: In this March 11, 2010 file photo, the empty frame, center, from which thieves cut Rembrandt's 'Storm on the Sea of Galilee' remains on display at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston
But the FBI has repeatedly searched Guarente's property in Maine, and Gentile's property in Connecticut, over the years.
Police records reveal Guarente listed a lakeside property in Orlando as is home in the early 1990s - built on a concrete slab in 1980.
However it demolished in 2007 and the demolition firm claim they saw nothing ordinary in the ruins.
Elene Guarente, his widow, denied any knowledge of a Florida property. But she told investigators in 2010 that her husband had given two of the stolen paintings to Gentile.
Gentile, 80, is currently facing charges in Hartford on gun charges.
He denied all knowledge of the stolen artwork, despite an 2014 Globe interview where he admitted that he and Guarente talked about trying to recover the paintings to collect the reward.
A federal prosecutor says that Gentile had attempted to sell the paintings to an undercover FBI agent last year.
His defense claim Gentile has dementia and has no knowledge of the paintings.
Luisi was released from jail a year later and given a new identity as Esposito after testifying against a former Boston mob associate.
Four coworkers claim Lawrence O'Brien is the man who can be seen in this footage from 24 hours before the heist. Investigators have looked into - and apparently discounted - that lead. O'Brien died in 2014 at age 77
During his mob days in the 1990s, Luisi found his atempts to become a Mafia boss blocked by the New England Mafia.
So he decided to join the Philadelphia family, which made him a capo in 1998 and let him run his cocaine trafficking out of Boston.
He has since turned his life around. A self-published author and respected pastor at a Mississippi church he is almost unrecognizable as the crime lord who ran the streets of Boston in the 1990s.
Luisi described himself at the trial as having found God in March 1998 but was too afraid to leave the mob.
'How could you go out and say, 'I'm with Christ,' Luisi said in an interview. 'They'll kill me.'
Luisi, who was affiliated with the Philadelphia mob, has decided to speak publicly about his past as he promotes his religious book, The Last Generation. My faith is so strong in God. He is also working on an autobiography, From Capo to Christian.
He also has a new wife Julie, whom he married 21 months ago, and three step-kids.
'I'm just not afraid,' he explained of the risk of coming forward.
Meanwhile his church are welcoming of their new pastor with a checkered past.
Prophet Gerald Coleman Sr., the bishop at Faith Keepers Ministries in Memphis, said that despite his history, he believes Luisi is a 'man of God.'
An FBI sketch of the two men who broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990 during the heist
Investigators have long since given up on getting justice for the Gardner theft and are focused on recovering the artwork by Vermeer, Rembrant and Degas.
Two years ago, the FBI said they had identified the two mystery men, but did not name them or say whether they were still living.
The FBI has also released surveillance video, showing a man being let into the museum 24 hours before the heist - in what could have been a dry run.
'The focus of the investigation for many years was: Who did this heist? And we have through the great investigative work identified who did this heist, and both those individuals are deceased,' Peter Kowenhoven, the FBI's assistant special agent in charge in Boston, said. 'So now the focus of the investigation is the recovery of the art.'
Kowenhoven again declined to identify the men.
Abath was found duct-taped after the heist
One lead that investigators have looked into - and apparently discounted - involves the museum's deputy security supervisor at the time of the heist, according to the Boston Globe.
Four former coworkers claim Lawrence P O'Brien is the man who can be seen in the footage being let into the museum via a side door by then-23-year-old guard Richard Abath.
Former guards Cynthia Dieges, Marj Galas, April Kelley and Michael Levin all maintain that O'Brien is the figure in the video although two other former guards disputed their assertions to the Globe.
Dieges said: 'I know that's Larry. He was stocky, and walked like that, always with his jacket collar up.'
The four guards said investigators had not contacted them, but an FBI spokeswoman Kristen Setera said the agency 'has followed up on all leads, including the one involving Mr O'Brien'.
O'Brien died in 2014 at the age of 77.
Abath has always said he did not recognize the man in the video and did not recall letting him into the museum via the side door, the same door he opened twenty minutes before the robbery.
After opening the door, a museum policy violation, he was duct-taped during the heist.
The two men allegedly went on to overpower other guards in the early morning hours of March 18.
Authorities have said that on March 18, 1990, two men dressed in Boston police uniforms gained entrance to the museum by telling the security guard at the watch desk that they were responding to a report of a disturbance.
Against museum policy, the guard allowed the men into the museum. The thieves handcuffed the museum's two guards on duty and put them in separate areas of the museum's basement.
While the FBI didn't name any of the people in the video, the Boston Globe reports that the security guard who let the mystery man the night before the heist was Abath, a rock musician who was moonlighting as a security guard at the museum at the time.
Abath was a center of suspicion 25 years ago, since he broke protocol by letting the intruders in. He has repeatedly denied the allegations that he had anything to do with the plot.
Renewed suspicions: Abath, the security guard who allegedly opened the door the night before and of the heist, is now 49, and living in Vermont, according to public records
The museum had a strict policy that stated security guards could not open the doors for anyone, including cops and firemen, without first getting permission from a supervisor.
The night of the robbery, Abath admitted to opening the doors, saying he was under the impression that it was his duty to check the security of the doors - something that higher-ups at the museum contested.
After the heist, Abath went on to lead a quiet life, most recently working as a teacher's aide. He is now in his late 40s and living in a Vermont.
In all the years that the fine works of art have been stolen, none of have surfaced in any legal art dealing channels.
Even if the suspects were still alive, it would be be too late to charge them with theft since the statue of limitations has expired.
However, authorities may still prosecute for possession of the stolen works.
U.S. Attorney Carmen M Ortiz said she is considering offering immunity to anyone who possesses the paintings in order to secure their return to the museum.
The FBI has taken a renewed interest in the heist in recent years. In 2013, authorities announced that they believed they knew who took the art, saying the paintings made their way through underground organized crime channels from Boston to Connecticut and onto Philadelphia where they were last believed to be seen.
THE PRECIOUS ARTWORKS STOLEN FROM IN THE 1990 GARDNER MUSEUM HEIST
None of the 13 artworks that were stolen from the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in 1990 have been surfaced to this day. It's estimated that they are worth at least $500million, and there has been a standing reward of $5million for information leading to their return.
Two years ago, authorities announced that they knew the paintings were taken to Connecticut after their disappearance and onto Philadelphia where they were last seen.
Since the thieves involved are dead, the FBI is now focusing on finding the missing artworks and returning them to the museum.