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April 5, 2019

CHICAGO TO SUE SMOLLETT AFTER HE REFUSES TO PAY

CHICAGO (AP) — The City of Chicago says Jussie Smollett has refused to pay more than $130,000 to reimburse costs of investigating what authorities say was a staged racist, anti-gay attack.

The city’s law department also says in a statement Thursday that it would be drafting a lawsuit in response and would sue the “Empire” actor in Cook County Civil Court. The city “will file the suit in the near future.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s law chief sent Smollett a March 28 letter demanding the “Empire” actor pay $130,106 —plus 15 cents— within seven days.

A suit could lead to a drawn out battle in civil court that could end in a trial focused on the question of whether Smollett did or didn’t orchestrate the Jan. 29 attack.

Smollett, who is black and gay, maintains he has told the truth since reporting to police that two masked men assaulted him, shouting slurs and wrapping a rope around his neck.

POLICE CHIEFS CALL FOR FOXX’S RESIGNATION IN SMOLLETT CASE

CHICAGO (AP) — A group of suburban Chicago police chiefs are calling on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to resign in the wake of her office’s decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett that accused him of staging a racist, anti-gay attack.

Some 30 police chiefs attended a joint news conference Thursday with the Chicago police union president, Kevin Graham, to support that call.

Steven Stelter, of the West Suburban Chiefs of Police Association, told reporters it wasn’t only about her handling of Smollett’s case. He also pointed to broader Foxx policies to not prosecute many lower-level felonies. He said residents needed to know Foxx “is letting them down.”

Asked why there were no African-American police chiefs at the event, Graham said only that all county police chiefs had been invited. The county includes Chicago and more than 130 other communities.

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059960-a-109:20-(Kevin Graham, president, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, at news conference)-“Attorney Kimberly Foxx”-Chicago police criticize Foxx on Smollett case (4 Apr 2019)

<<CUT *059960 (04/04/19)££ 109:20 “Attorney Kimberly Foxx”

059961-a-119:04-(Kevin Graham, president, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, at news conference)-“anything to anyone”-Chicago police criticize Foxx on Smollett case (4 Apr 2019)

<<CUT *059961 (04/04/19)££ 119:04 “anything to anyone”

059962-a-143:76-(Chief Steven Stelter, Westchesterville Police Department and vice president, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, at news conference)-“officer safety issue”-Chicago police criticize Foxx on Smollett case (4 Apr 2019)

<<CUT *059962 (04/04/19)££ 143:76 “officer safety issue”

YABBA DABBA DON’T: CALIFORNIA TOWN REJECTS FLINTSTONES HOUSE

HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. (AP) — The latest battle in the war between government rules and property rights is going down in a posh San Francisco suburb over landscaping inspired by a 1960s cartoon.

Retired publishing mogul Florence Fang has installed an elaborate homage to the stone-age Flintstone family, with towering dinosaurs and fanciful mushrooms on property that is visible from a nearby interstate highway.

The town of Hillsborough says the property is a public nuisance and landscaping was added without permits. Officials want the fixtures removed.

Fang’s attorney says elitist town officials are denying her client the right to enjoy her own property and vows a vigorous fight.

The controversy over the “Flintstone” house has sparked international media coverage. Thousands of people have signed an online petition to save sculptures that they say delight children.

LIONSGATE CHAIR: ‘THE SKY IS NOT FALLING IN HOLLYWOOD’

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Lionsgate’s motion picture group chairman Joe Drake says the sky is not falling in Hollywood and the feature film business is not dead. It’s certainly a message that the audience of movie theater owners and exhibitors wanted to hear at the final Hollywood studio presentation at CinemaCon.

The studio on Thursday announced a multi-platform deal with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures and a new banner for faith-based films called Kingdom. It also offered a first look at Rian Johnson’s crackling Agatha Christie-style whodunit “Knives Out,” with Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas.

The studio brought out stars like Halle Berry, of “John Wick 3,” Jamie Lee Curtis of “Knives Out” and Charlize Theron of “Long Shot” to promote its slate.

NOW YOU SEE IT: PODCASTER MIKE ROWE HAS BOOK DEAL

NEW YORK (AP) — Podcaster Mike Rowe has decided to write a few things down.

Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced Thursday that Rowe is adapting material from his popular “The Way I Heard It” for a book of the same name. It is scheduled for Oct. 15 and includes 35 stories from his show, “accompanied by wholly original anecdotes and ruminations.” Gallery promises a cast of movie stars, “bloody do-gooders” and other notables. For those who still want to hear his stories, Rowe will narrate the audio edition.

Rowe says in a statement that Gallery publisher Jennifer Bergstrom finally wore him down after asking him for years to write a book. Bergstrom calls “The Way I Heard It” a combination of Charles Kuralt and George Carlin.

Rowe was the host of the former Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs.”