About the author  ⁄ WFIN

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Some big names in music soaked themselves for a good cause over the weekend. Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi were just a few of the stars who joined the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

After being nominated by his manager Scooter Braun, Bieber posted two videos to Instagram in which he’s seen pouring buckets of ice cold water on his head. He then nominated Ellen DeGeneres, President Barack Obama, comedian Chris D’Elia, and “my Beliebers all over the world.”

On Saturday, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood, Fifth Harmony, and The Vamps were all videotaped completing the challenge by dumping icy water over themselves.

Jon Bon Jovi also got in on the action over the weekend, with some special help. Fellow New Jersey native Gov. Chris Christie and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft did the honors of drenching the rocker with a large bucket of ice water.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken off since it began last month, having raised more than 13 million dollars to date. Those who are nominated have 24 hours to respond or they have to donate $100 to the cause. Many people have been doing both.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Image Courtesy Monty Brinton/CBS(NEW YORK) — Days after Robin Williams apparently took his own life, a New Zealander revealed his wife received a private message from the Oscar winner to try to raise her spirits.

A chance to meet Williams was high on Vivian Waller’s bucket list, along with getting married, seeing her daughter’s first birthday, and turning 21. A fundraising campaign led Vivian and her husband Jack to get married and have a honeymoon, but suffering from lung, bowel and liver cancer, the Sunday Star Times reports she was too ill to meet the star.

Instead, her friends reached out to Williams, who sent her a brief but heartfelt message. “Hi Vivian, it’s Robin Williams here saying, ‘Hey girl, what’s going on down there in New Zealand?’” the actor comments, affecting a convincing Kiwi accent.

“I’m sending all my love to you, Jack and Sophie…knock this off your bucket list,” Williams commented, before “channeling Matthew McConaughey” with an “alright, alright, alright.” Williams signs off with “much love to you, baby.”

According to the video posted on Stuff.co.nz, Mr. Waller shared the private message because, “we love him, we want to show people how awesome a person he was.”

Unfortunately, Mrs. Waller’s condition has worsened. Her husband decided not to share the news of the actor’s apparent suicide with his ailing wife.

“We are just enjoying the time we have together. We take things a day at a time,” he said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

ABC(NEW YORK) — ABC’s interactive singing competition, Rising Star, continued Sunday night with three contestants advancing to next week’s finale after the East Coast vote and one additional act being sent through after the West Coast broadcast. Two other acts were sent home.

Jesse Kinch, Dana Williams and Austin French advanced after the East Coast broadcast.

Audrey Kate Geiger was saved by the West Coast and also advanced to next week’s finals.

Maneepat Molloy and Joshua Peavy were sent home.

The top 6 acts went up against one another to compete for the highest score. The first three sang with the wall up. The act with the lowest score from that point on was placed in the “hot seat.” The next contestant then sang with the wall down, trying to beat that person’s score. Viewers who downloaded the Rising Star app were asked to vote “yes” or “no,” just as they did in the audition round.

Host Josh Groban and the Rising Star experts — Kesha, Ludacris and Brad Paisley — presided over the performances. Votes from the experts only counted for one percent.

Here are the highlights from Sunday night:

Austin French kicked things off with OneRepublic’s “Love Runs Out.” French took the advice the experts gave him earlier to move around the stage a little more and it paid off, earning him 81 percent of the vote. Kesha voted “yes,” calling the 20-year-old Tifton, Georgia, native “infectiously cute.” Paisley also voted “yes,” calling French a natural. Ludacris added his “yes” vote, noting that during the performance, Austin moved farther off stage than any other contestant so far. French advanced to the finals.

Sixteen-year-old Bangkok, Thailand, native Maneepat Molloy was the next contestant to take the stage. Earlier, she was urged by the experts to let loose and be herself. Molloy chose Sia’s “Chandelier” for her performance and was only able to collect 27 percent of the vote. Ludacris voted “no,” explaining the young singer “didn’t look as comfortable” as he would’ve liked, but complimented her on her courage in taking on such a difficult song. Brad voted “yes” because he felt she took the experts’ advice and worked on her stage presence. Kesha also acknowledged Maneepat looked nervous, but believed she “sang beautifully” and voted “yes.” Molloy was sent home.

The previous Sunday night, Jesse Kinch was challenged by Paisley to show a softer side of his voice and prove he wasn’t a “one-trick pony.” That was Brad’s advice this week as well. Kinch answered the challenge, turning Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” into a power ballad that garnered 83 percent of the vote. Brad voted “yes,” commenting that Jesse “reminded everybody how great that song is.” Kesha called the performance a “God-like experience” and voted “yes.” Ludacris took Paisley’s comment a step further by saying Kinch made everyone “forget it was a Michael Jackson song.” He also voted “yes.” Kinch moved on to the finals.

Dana Williams, who sang with the wall down, channeled Billie Holiday for her version of Maroon 5′s “Sunday Morning.” Before the performance, Kesha told Williams she believed in the Los Angeles native and fought to keep her in the competition. However, she wanted the 24-year-old to prove she wanted it just as bad. Dana raised the wall with 75 percent of the vote. Kesha voted “yes,” calling Williams a “diamond in the rough” and adding that this performance was “the best she’s had on this show.” Ludacris felt she proved to him that she wanted it more than anyone else on the show and voted “yes.” Paisley called the performance “emotional,” adding Dana connected with the audience better than she’d ever done in the past. Williams advanced to the finals.

Next, it was Audrey Kate Geiger’s turn to “raise the wall or go home.” Earlier, Paisley called her “one of a kind,” but Ludacris and Kesha felt her stage presence needed work. She chose Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and failed to raise the wall with only 69 percent of the vote. The judges disagreed with America. Ludacris, who voted “yes,” noted the song choice might’ve turned voters off. Otherwise, he thought the performance was top-notch. Kesha was also disappointed with the song choice, but praised Audrey’s execution. Paisley voted “yes” and urged America to save her. Geiger was sent home after the East Coast performance, but was saved by the West Coast and moves on to the finals.

The last performer of the night was Joshua Peavy. Josh originally wanted to sing John Newman’s “Love Me Again.” Brad, however, wanted to hear the Georgia native sing a country song and suggested Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most.” Peavy collected 72 percent of the vote, not enough to raise the wall. Paisley was pleased with the performance and voted “yes.” Brad, who has a recording studio on his farm, even told Peavy, “If you get saved, we’ll see you next week. If you don’t get saved, come over to the farm, we’ll record something.” Ludacris voted “no,” confessing that it came down to a choice of eliminating Dana Williams or Peavy and reiterated his earlier comment that Williams wanted it more. Kesha said she was “on the fence” at first, but Joshua won her over at the end and voted “yes.” Peavy was eliminated.

The Rising Star
season finale airs next Sunday on ABC.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Scott Olson/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — A curfew imposed on the city of Ferguson by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon did little to quell disturbances Saturday night as one man was shot and seven people were arrested during protests over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Meanwhile, even before authorities imposed another curfew Sunday at midnight, multiple smoke canisters were fired at protesters in an attempt to disperse a crowd after Molotov cocktails were allegedly thrown by agitators.

On Aug. 9, Brown and a companion were confronted by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who witnesses say allegedly shot Brown multiple times while he had his hands in the air.

In an effort to calm the situation that has grown increasingly more volatile, Governor Nixon said early Monday he was directing the state National Guard to assist in restoring peace and order. Nixon blamed “the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state,” for jeopardizing the community. Meanwhile, all schools in Ferguson will be closed Monday.

In other developments, ABC News has confirmed details in the preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday by Dr. Michael M. Baden, who was hired by the family, according to The New York Times.

According to his findings, Braden said that Brown was shot six times, including twice in the head. One of the bullets, which was the fatal shot, entered the top of the skull, suggesting Brown was bending down. He was also hit four times in the right arm.

Furthermore, the Justice Department will perform its own autopsy on Brown’s body, which is in addition to one by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner and Baden.

Following nights of clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement, Nixon had the Missouri Highway Patrol take over security from local cops while imposing the curfew beginning Saturday from midnight until 5 a.m.

Although the streets were mostly empty Saturday, one person was left in critical condition by an unknown shooter, and when police responded, their car was also shot at. The victim remains in critical condition.

Meanwhile, some groups refused to disperse, prompting authorities to fire smoke and gas canisters. Seven people who refused to leave the streets were then taken into custody.

Afterwards, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson, who is in charge of the security, admitted feeling “disappointed in the actions of tonight.” However, he said that no looting occurred, largely because officers were guarding stores that were ransacked earlier in the week.

Brown’s death is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney and the FBI to determine if federal civil rights laws were broken. The teen was African-American, while Officer Wilson is white.

On Sunday afternoon, Brown’s parents hosted a rally at the Greater Grace Church in an attempt to bring the community together.

Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton also spoke, saying, “Anybody that is going to be taken seriously in this country needs to address the police and Michael Brown.”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Scott Olson/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — A curfew imposed on the city of Ferguson by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon did little to quell disturbances Saturday night as one man was shot and seven people were arrested during protests over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Meanwhile, even before authorities imposed another curfew Sunday at midnight, multiple smoke canisters were fired at protesters in an attempt to disperse a crowd after Molotov cocktails were allegedly thrown by agitators.

On Aug. 9, Brown and a companion were confronted by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who witnesses say allegedly shot Brown multiple times while he had his hands in the air.

In an effort to calm the situation that has grown increasingly more volatile, Governor Nixon said early Monday he was directing the state National Guard to assist in restoring peace and order. Nixon blamed “the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state,” for jeopardizing the community. Meanwhile, all schools in Ferguson will be closed Monday.

In other developments, ABC News has confirmed details in the preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday by Dr. Michael M. Baden, who was hired by the family, according to The New York Times.

According to his findings, Braden said that Brown was shot six times, including twice in the head. One of the bullets, which was the fatal shot, entered the top of the skull, suggesting Brown was bending down. He was also hit four times in the right arm.

Furthermore, the Justice Department will perform its own autopsy on Brown’s body, which is in addition to one by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner and Baden.

Following nights of clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement, Nixon had the Missouri Highway Patrol take over security from local cops while imposing the curfew beginning Saturday from midnight until 5 a.m.

Although the streets were mostly empty Saturday, one person was left in critical condition by an unknown shooter, and when police responded, their car was also shot at. The victim remains in critical condition.

Meanwhile, some groups refused to disperse, prompting authorities to fire smoke and gas canisters. Seven people who refused to leave the streets were then taken into custody.

Afterwards, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson, who is in charge of the security, admitted feeling “disappointed in the actions of tonight.” However, he said that no looting occurred, largely because officers were guarding stores that were ransacked earlier in the week.

Brown’s death is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney and the FBI to determine if federal civil rights laws were broken. The teen was African-American, while Officer Wilson is white.

On Sunday afternoon, Brown’s parents hosted a rally at the Greater Grace Church in an attempt to bring the community together.

Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton also spoke, saying, “Anybody that is going to be taken seriously in this country needs to address the police and Michael Brown.”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: St. Louis Cardinals 7 (66-57) – San Diego Padres 6 (58-65)

Miami Marlins 10 (62-62) – Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (53-71)

Chicago Cubs 2 (53-70) – New York Mets 1 (59-66)

Chicago White Sox 7 (59-65) – Toronto Blue Jays 5 (64-61)

New York Yankees 4 (63-59) – Tampa Bay Rays 2 (61-63)

Houston Astros 8 (52-73) – Boston Red Sox 1 (56-67)

Seattle Mariners 8 (67-56) – Detroit Tigers 1 (66-56)

Baltimore Orioles 4 (70-52) – Cleveland Indians 1 (62-61)

Texas Rangers 3 (48-76) – Los Angeles Angels 2 (72-50)

Kansas City Royals 12 (68-55) – Minnesota Twins 6 (55-67)

San Francisco Giants 5 (65-58) – Philadelphia Phillies 2 (54-70)

Milwaukee Brewers 7 (70-55) – Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (70-56)

Colorado Rockies 10 (48-75) – Cincinnati Reds 9 (61-62)

Washington Nationals 6 (69-53) – Pittsburgh Pirates 5 (64-60)

Atlanta Braves 4 (64-60) – Oakland Athletics 3 (73-51)

IndyCar: Will Power won the IndyCar ABC Supply Wisconsin 250

NASCAR: Jeff Gordon won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) — Not only did Jeff Gordon win his third NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the year, he won at Michigan International Speedway for the first time since 2001 as he won the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday.

This was Gordon’s 91st NASCAR Sprint Cup win, and his first three-win season since 2011.

Not only did he win the race, Gordon now holds the top of the points standings over Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gordon now holds a three-point lead in the standings.

“It wasn’t easy, it’s never easy to win at any of these tracks, especially when aerodynamics and track position mean so much,” Gordon said after the race. “I thought we learned a lot the last time we were here on track position so Allen called a perfect race.”

Kevin Harvick finished second in the race, followed by Joey Logano, Paul Menard, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

With three races left in the regular season, barring any attempt to not qualify the races, the 12 drivers have been determined in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — For the first time since 1999, the Florida State Seminoles will begin the season number one in the Associated Press preseason college football poll.

Florida State received 57 out of a possible 60 first-place votes. Albama came in a No. 2, No.3 Oregon, No. 4 Oklahoma, and Ohio State came in at No. 5.

The defending National Champions will be led by sophomore quarter and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. As a redshirt freshman Winston led the team to a 14-0 season capped off by their BCS Championship over Auburn.

The Bowl Championship Series has now been replaced by a playoff system. A selection committee will pick the top four teams in the country for two national semifinals.

Rounding out the top-ten was Auburn at No. 6, UCLA at No.7, Michigan State at No. 8, South Carolina at No. 9, and Baylor at No. 10.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: St. Louis Cardinals 7 (66-57) – San Diego Padres 6 (58-65)

Miami Marlins 10 (62-62) – Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (53-71)

Chicago Cubs 2 (53-70) – New York Mets 1 (59-66)

Chicago White Sox 7 (59-65) – Toronto Blue Jays 5 (64-61)

New York Yankees 4 (63-59) – Tampa Bay Rays 2 (61-63)

Houston Astros 8 (52-73) – Boston Red Sox 1 (56-67)

Seattle Mariners 8 (67-56) – Detroit Tigers 1 (66-56)

Baltimore Orioles 4 (70-52) – Cleveland Indians 1 (62-61)

Texas Rangers 3 (48-76) – Los Angeles Angels 2 (72-50)

Kansas City Royals 12 (68-55) – Minnesota Twins 6 (55-67)

San Francisco Giants 5 (65-58) – Philadelphia Phillies 2 (54-70)

Milwaukee Brewers 7 (70-55) – Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (70-56)

Colorado Rockies 10 (48-75) – Cincinnati Reds 9 (61-62)

Washington Nationals 6 (69-53) – Pittsburgh Pirates 5 (64-60)

IndyCar: WIll Power won the IndyCar ABC Supply Wisconsin 250

NASCAR: Jeff Gordon won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon at the Greater Grace Church for a rally hosted by the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old whose shooting by police sparked a week of unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

The rally was an attempt to bring the community together after the shooting of Brown last weekend, according to fliers distributed to Ferguson residents.

Bishop Larry Jones helped lead the service, during which he spoke about unity.

“When we get to the place where we respect everybody, regardless of race, creed or color, respect everyone,” Jones said.

Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton also spoke, saying “Anybody that is going to be taken seriously in this country needs to address the police and Michael Brown.”

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who is now overseeing security, said, “And I’m going to tell you I’m going to be here as long as it takes. My words will be honest. If we talk about it behind closed doors, I’m going to tell you.”

The rally was also hosted by Sharpton’s National Action Network and The National Bar Association.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →