Disney teases ‘Nemo” sequel, other films at expo

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Will the Force be with Disney fans this weekend? The Walt Disney Co. is pulling back the curtain for more than 45,000 expected fans at this weekend’s D23 Expo across the street from Disneyland.…

Judge sides with Usher in child custody battle

ATLANTA (AP) — A judge in Atlanta is set to hear arguments in a child custody battle between R&B singer Usher and his ex-wife. Tameka Foster Raymond requested the hearing earlier this week after the former couple’s son…

Detroit Historical Society gets $500,000 grant

DETROIT (AP) — The Ford Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Detroit Historical Society as part of the society’s $20.1 million fundraising effort. The grant announced this week will be used to support exhibitions, public programming…

Judge sides with Usher in child custody battle

ATLANTA (AP) — A judge in Atlanta is set to hear about a child custody battle between R&B singer Usher and his ex-wife. Tameka Foster Raymond requested the hearing earlier this week after the former couple’s son got…

Films featuring Karen Black

NEW YORK (AP) — Among films that featured actress Karen Black: “You’re a Big Boy Now,” 1959. “Hard Contract,” 1966. “Easy Rider,” 1969. “Five Easy Pieces,” 1970. “Drive, He Said,” 1971. “Little Laura and Big John,” 1972. “Portnoy’s…

Review: B’way musical ‘First Date’ is madcap fun

NEW YORK (AP) — An awkward blind date has the potential for great comedy — as long as it’s not happening to you. In an alternate world, such a date might unfold amid a series of snappy musical…

‘Five Easy Pieces’ star Karen Black dead at 74

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Karen Black, the prolific actress who appeared in more than 100 movies and was featured in such counterculture favorites as “Easy Rider,” ”Five Easy Pieces” and “Nashville,” has died. Black’s husband, Stephen Eckelberry, says…

UP festival honors 100-ton, 1,500-year-old fungus

CRYSTAL FALLS, Mich. (AP) — A 1,500-year-old, 100-ton fungus gets its due this week with northern Michigan’s annual Humungus Fungus Fest. The festival in Crystal Falls honors the Armillaria fungus, which covers about 37 acres in Iron County’s…

‘The Real,’ ‘Exhale,’ take new approach to TV talk

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Five women sitting around talking has become a TV staple. Five women talking, each of whom is either black, Asian or Latino, is something different. It’s the approach tested by two shows: “The Real,”…

A reality show with depth: Live ocean exploration

WASHINGTON (AP) — There are vicious fights, stunning beauties and surprises around every corner. Yes, it’s reality TV but with a lot more depth — as much as 10,000 feet. It’s live coverage of deep-sea exploration off Nantucket…

Behar makes exit from ‘The View’

NEW YORK (AP) — Joy Behar (BAY’-hahr) makes her exit from “The View” on daytime television Friday. Except for program inventor Barbara Walters, Behar is the last of the original hosts from when the show made its debut…

Country Hall of Famer ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — “Cowboy” Jack Clement, a producer, engineer, songwriter and beloved figure who helped birth rock ‘n’ roll and push country music into modern times, died Thursday morning at his home. He was 82. Dub Cornett,…

Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ to close New York Film Fest

NEW YORK (AP) — Spike Jonze’s futuristic romance “Her” will close the New York Film Festival. The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the gala selection Thursday for its 51st festival. The film stars Joaquin (wah-KEEN’) Phoenix as…

In $25M gift, casino mogul bets on blindness cure

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn is donating $25 million to the University of Iowa to accelerate the search for cures to rare eye diseases such as the one that hampers his own…

Mystery writer Barbara Mertz dies at 85

NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Mertz, an Egyptologist who wrote dozens of mystery and suspense novels under two pen names, has died. She was 85. Mertz’s daughter Elizabeth told her publisher HarperCollins that her mother died Thursday morning…

‘Wizard of Oz’ Munchkin Margaret Pellegrini dies

PHOENIX (AP) — Margaret Pellegrini, one of the original Munchkins from the 1939 classic movie “The Wizard of Oz,” has died. She was 89. Pellegrini suffered a stroke Monday at her Glendale home and died Wednesday at a…

Queer marriage for the straight couple? I do!

NEW YORK (AP) — No, it wasn’t just an excuse to avoid getting hitched: Some heterosexual couples who postponed their weddings until gay couples had the right to marry are now making plans to say “I do.” And…

Tom Hanks films to open, close London Film fest

LONDON (AP) — The London Film Festival is getting a double dose of Tom Hanks. Organizers announced Thursday that the festival will close on Oct. 20 with “Saving Mr. Banks,” which stars Hanks as movie mogul Walt Disney.…

Romania museum: Ash may hold stolen art’s secret

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian museum official says some of the paint pigments recovered from an oven of a woman whose son is charged with stealing seven multimillion-dollar paintings in the Netherlands contain chemicals from colors used…

Group aims to save NY home with ‘Wizard of Oz’ tie

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — If it weren’t for one home in Syracuse, there would be no Wizard of Oz. That’s the contention of the Lyman Frank Baum Foundation, named for the central New York native who wrote “The…