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Hundreds celebrate former first lady Barbara Bush in Houston

The memorials to former first lady Barbara Bush have begun with a celebration of her life in front of Houston's City Hall.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and several of Houston's leading clergy members from different faiths offered tributes to Bush. She died at her Houston home Tuesday at age 92.

The Houston Children's Chorus, a choir of 60 children that sang dozens of times for Mrs. Bush and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, performed at the City Hall event Thursday.

Meanwhile at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, rock star Bono praised Barbara Bush for her public service impulse. He said he believed that moved her son, former President George W. Bush, to create the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Bono was at the center to accept a medal for distinguished leadership.

Co-defendant in Hawaii concert scam gets 2 months in jail

A Florida man was sentenced Thursday to two months in jail and four months home confinement for his role in scamming the University of Hawaii out of $200,000 for a Stevie Wonder concert that never happened.

The university paid a $200,000 deposit in 2012 and began selling tickets before learning that neither Wonder nor his representatives authorized a show. The scam, dubbed the "Wonder Blunder," humiliated the university and prompted investigations.

Sean Barriero pleaded guilty in 2012 to aiding and abetting the transportation of stolen property. Prosecutors say he created a fake document telling the university its money would be placed into an escrow account, when instead Barriero distributed the money to himself, co-defendant Marc Hubbard and others.

Barriero was facing a sentence of 12 to 18 months in prison, but a prosecutor asked for a lighter sentence because Barriero's cooperation led Hubbard to plead guilty to wire fraud in 2016. Hubbard was sentenced earlier this month to nearly five years in prison.

The "cooperation is the reason there was no trial in this case," Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Wallenstein said. "It would have been a messy trial."

Hubbard duped Barriero, who believed they could pull off the concert, and led him to believe he was in touch with Wonder's management, Wallenstein said.

Barriero was misled and "put out to be the fall guy," Wallenstein said.

Barriero's federal public defender, Peter Wolff, asked for a sentence of home confinement.

"I am sorry for the embarrassment I helped cause the university," Barriero said

Stuntman pinned under SUV driven by Sizemore settles lawsuit

A stuntman who was pinned beneath an SUV driven by Tom Sizemore on a TV production has settled a lawsuit with the actor and Paramount Pictures.

Court papers show that a notice of settlement was filed March 29, and the sides are scheduled to appear in court in July to finalize it. No terms of the deal were disclosed.

The stuntman, Steve de Castro, alleged Sizemore was intoxicated at a remote desert airport north of Los Angeles in July 2016 while filming the Paramount-produced USA Network show "Shooter" when he pinned and dragged de Castro.

De Castro had to be airlifted from the set and left with broken bones and other serious injuries that he said have hurt his ability to work.

State records obtained by The Associated Press showed that Sizemore, 56, was only supposed to be sitting in the unmoving SUV for the scene.

"When, after rehearsals, the scenes were filmed for live action, Mr. Sizemore improvised at the end of the scene and drove away in his car," said a Paramount investigative report given to the workplace safety agency Cal/OSHA. "Mr. Sizemore's decision to drive was not in the script, and not expected to occur."

The agency issued no citations over the accident after determining it didn't have jurisdiction because the stuntman was an independent contractor, not a studio employee.

Lawrence B. Castro, attorney for the defendants, declined comment. Lawrence Grassini, attorney for de Castro, did not immediately reply to a message.

Sizemore, whose addiction struggles have plagued his career and derailed comeback attempts, was fired from the show before the suit was filed.

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Follow Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

Kanye West announces new albums, release dates on Twitter

Kanye West has been doing a lot of tweeting lately, teasing a philosophy book and sharing his thoughts on life and creativity.

His latest set of tweets, however, is about music.

>> Read more trending news 

The rapper, husband and father of three announced two new albums.

One album, called “Kids See Ghost,” will be a joint effort with Kid Cudi,  who is signed to West’s GOOD Music label  imprint. The name of the album is also the name of West and Cudi’s group.

“Kids See Ghost” will be out June 8.

“Me and Cudi album June 8th,’ West tweeted. “It’s called Kids See Ghost. That's the name of our group.” 

Before the release of that album, West will release his own seven-track album June 1.

“My album is 7 songs,” he tweeted. “June 1st.”

West also announced the release dates for albums from other artists on GOOD Music. Teyana Taylor’s album will be out June 22 and Pusha T has a release May 25.

IndyCar star Dixon to try skills on "American Ninja Warrior"

Scott Dixon will be the latest IndyCar driver to enter the realm of reality TV when he auditions in Indianapolis next week for "American Ninja Warrior."

The four-time IndyCar champion, nicknamed "The Iceman," thought it sounded fun when he was approached with the idea of trying out. As the competition has drawn near, Dixon is wondering what he got himself into.

"I feel a lot of pressure on this one," Dixon said Thursday in a telephone interview. "When it got to be about a month away, I figured I should start training for it, and it's pretty hard stuff."

IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden and Tony Kanaan all auditioned for the show, which follows competitors as they tackle a series of obstacle courses in qualifying rounds across the country. None of IndyCar's contestants advanced out of the first round and neither did NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Dixon's appearance comes about the same time the Game Show Network has Sebastien Bourdais as a guest host for "Daily Draw" for the entire week leading into the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Most recently, Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly teamed to finish fourth on "The Amazing Race," and James Hinchcliffe was a runner-up last year on "Dancing With The Stars." Castroneves is a former "DWTS" winner.

Dixon, the 2008 winner of the Indianapolis 500 who ranks fourth on IndyCar's all-time wins list, is accustomed to success. But the New Zealander not so sure he's going to become the next great ninja. Most of his fitness work focuses on endurance training, and preparing for the obstacle course has taken Dixon out of his element.

"It's not my wheelhouse," he said. "This is agility kind of stuff and I'm looking forward to the process. I'm not looking forward so much to the failure, because it's going to happen at some point, so I guess I just have to make the most of it and enjoy the experience."

Dixon was famously robbed at gunpoint in the drive-thru of a Taco Bell last year hours after he won the pole for the Indy 500. Asked if his ninja training will have him better prepared should that happen again, he did not think so.

"I suppose if I run away it would help," Dixon said. "But I don't exactly have a ninja toolkit to get me through that situation."

His main focus right now is Sunday's race in Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, where Dixon goes in ranked sixth in the IndyCar standings through three events.

He is frustrated with his finishes — his season best was fourth at Phoenix — because he believes his Ganassi car has had the speed to finish higher. He twice had to go to the back of the field in the season-opener at St. Petersburg because of penalties but still finished sixth, and he was racing Sebastien Bourdais for second at Long Beach last weekend when he was caught on pit road under caution. He finished 11th.

"I'm most disappointed that we've left a lot on the table so far this season," said Dixon. He added the downsizing of Ganassi from a four-car operation to a two-car team (with Ed Jones, who was third at Long Beach) has reduced the amount of data available to him.

Dixon said he has talked with Bourdais about the pass Bourdais made on him for second early in Sunday's race at Long Beach. Bourdais used a big run to catch Dixon and pass him on the inside of Turn 1 and then slingshot past another car. It was one of the most spectacular moves in recent memory, but ruled illegal because Bourdais dipped below an out-of-bounds line.

Dixon said not crossing that line has been stressed in driver meetings and he was pleased series officials showed consistency in calling a penalty against Bourdais.

"It was beaten like a dead horse about this line, so it was a very prominent. A rule is a rule and it's good to see that IndyCar actually set a standard," Dixon said. "You've got to imagine it's an imaginary wall. If the wall had been there, we all would have crashed. But Seb came from a long way back and I think that's why it looks so dramatic. It looked fantastic and kudos for Sebastien, he did an amazing job, but there's a lot of things that could have gone differently there.

"I get both sides of it, but a rule's a rule, right?"

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More AP Auto Racing: https://racing.ap.org/

'Fearless Girl' to leave Wall Street's 'Charging Bull'

New York's "Fearless Girl" statue that has become a global symbol of female business prowess will be moved from her spot staring down Wall Street's bronze "Charging Bull" to a new home facing the New York Stock Exchange.

And the bull, a longtime fixture and tourist attraction at the foot of Broadway, may wind up following in her footsteps.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that "Fearless Girl," a sculpture by Kristen Visbal of a girl with her hands on her hips and chin pointed up, will be moved by the end of the year to a permanent home near the stock exchange.

The statue was installed in March 2017 by the Boston-based State Street Global Advisors financial firm as a temporary display lasting a few weeks to encourage corporations to put more women on their boards. But its popularity spawned an online petition seeking to keep it. The city agreed.

Much of its popularity hinged on its juxtaposition with the 11-foot-tall (3-meter-tall), 7,100-pound bull statue, which Italian sculptor Arturo Di Modica created as a symbol of American financial resilience following the 1987 stock market crash. Di Modica wanted the girl gone, saying she altered the dynamic of his bull and was no more than what he called "an advertising trick."

Relief for the sculptor, though, may not be coming.

"The Bull will almost certainly be moved and will very likely wind up reunited with 'Fearless Girl,' " de Blasio's spokesman, Eric Phillips, wrote on Twitter.

The two figures on a Broadway traffic median have become such a popular draw that it constitutes a safety hazard, with crowds often spilling into the street, city officials said.

After the announcement, visitors from around the world swirled around the ponytailed girl in a windblown dress.

The bull and the girl belong together, said Martine Guillon, a high school teacher visiting from Paris.

"A little girl can be stronger than a big animal; she's a human mental force that is bigger than animal force," Guillon said in her native French. "It touches me a lot to see, in front of this enormity, the force of a little girl with her hands on her hips who knows how to say, 'I'm here too, I count too, and even if I'm a very little girl, if you push with animal strength, you won't get far.'"

The relocation to the stock exchange, three blocks away, would bring the bull back to its original place where it was delivered on a forklift truck as guerrilla art during the night in December 1989 to express financial survival after the stock market collapse.

"Moving her to the stock exchange will show that a woman really has a place there," said Lin Mateedulsatit, a 26-year-old woman who works for a chemical trading company in Thailand.

8,000 Disneyland tickets stolen from youth farming group

Thieves made off with 8,000 Disneyland tickets worth about $800,000 when they stole a box trailer from a youth agricultural education organization that was going to distribute them to participants at a conference in Southern California, officials said.

The trailer owned by Future Farmers of America was stolen Wednesday from the group's office in the city of Galt, south of Sacramento, the California Highway Patrol said.

Security footage shows a dark pickup truck backing up to the trailer and driving it away, said Matt Patton, executive director of the California chapter of Future Farmers of America.

Patton said the thief broke through a gate and broke a lock before hooking the trailer to the pickup truck.

"They had definitely been scoping it out because they went directly to the trailer and didn't waste any time doing anything else," Patton said.

The trailer also was loaded with another $800,000 in audio and visual equipment for use at the group's upcoming annual leadership conference in Anaheim, which starts Sunday.

Patton says Disneyland has canceled the tickets and is working to print new ones for the California students attending the four-day conference so they can visit Disney's California Adventure Park on Tuesday.

The highway patrol warned people to be cautious when purchasing Disneyland tickets from unknown sources.

'60 Minutes' report details progression of Alzheimer's

Filmed over 10 years, a "60 Minutes" report this weekend shows in startling detail the progression that Alzheimer's disease takes on a patient.

CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook began interviewing Mike and Carol Daly of Staten Island, New York, in 2008, shortly after Carol learned of her diagnosis. She was mildly forgetful but functional, although upset at how it had affected her ability to cook, or enjoy books and movies.

"I don't want to be like this, I really don't," said Carol Daly, then 65.

LaPook went back to the couple, who volunteered for the project, six more times. By this January, Carol Daly was uncommunicative and slumped in a wheelchair with restraints holding her in place. She required round-the-clock care.

"It broke my heart," LaPook said of the most recent visit.

While there may be clinical studies, the national Alzheimer's Association is unaware of any broadcast report that followed a patient with the disease over this length of time in this manner, said Mike Lynch, a spokesman for the group.

"We would hope that it raises awareness about the challenges these families face, given that it's a very devastating disease," Lynch said. "People are aware of that, but to see it really up close and personal, it will have an impact."

LaPook found the couple a decade ago when he was doing a story about research into treatment of the disease, and proposed the extended look. His first five reports were broadcast on "CBS Evening News," and "60 Minutes" accepted his pitch to take a longer look at their experience. Considering most Alzheimer's patients generally survive four to eight years from the initial diagnosis, Daly has already exceeded that.

Just as illustrative as the changes in his wife is the progression of her husband, a retired New York City police officer. He talked bravely of taking care of her at first, viewing duties such as helping her with her makeup as returning the favor for years that she had done things for him.

Years later, he said darkly of the burden of full-time caregiving: "I'm ready to put the gun to my head."

After the cameras stopped, the doctor LaPook — instead of the television correspondent — evaluated him to make sure he wasn't truly suicidal.

The report was an unusual and important opportunity, LaPook said.

"I think it will take your breath away," he said in an interview. "It is very sobering, but it is information that people need."

LaPook said he hoped viewers will realize the importance of talking about end-of-life and health care decisions while they are still able.

High winds delay opening of Coachella festival camping

Gusty winds swept the mountains and deserts of Southern California on Thursday, forcing managers of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to close campgrounds where thousands of fans were heading for the annual event's second weekend.

"The National Weather Service has issued a severe high wind warning beginning Thursday morning lasting through early morning Friday," the festival tweeted. "Opening of camping is delayed."

The campgrounds were rescheduled to open at 3 a.m. Friday, an hour after the weather service warning was set to expire. The festival noted that the timing was still dependent on safety conditions. Campgrounds normally open a day ahead of the festival, which runs Friday through Sunday for two consecutive weekends each spring.

Festivalgoers diverted to store parking lots in Indio, the Riverside County desert community 130 miles (209 kilometers) east of Los Angeles that hosts the festival. Some set up chairs and tables and tried to make the best of the delay.

A late-morning gust in Riverside County hit 61 mph, the weather service said.

Kathleen Lewis of Reno, Nevada, said winds can be a menace to festival campers.

"It's actually a nightmare when it's windy," she told KABC-TV . "I want to say, two years ago, we went back to the campsite because I had a migraine and the wind picked up. It picked up all of our canopies and luckily a couple of us were there to strap those canopies down. Once you get 'em down low to the ground it's not so bad."

The California Department of Transportation warned travelers to expect a high volume of traffic Friday due to the arrival of delayed campers.

Meteorologists said a trough of low pressure brought the blustery weather to Southern California and an associated cold front pushed rain showers across the regions while dusting mountains with snow.

Wind advisories also were issued northward through the mountains of Kern County and along the eastern Sierra Nevada as far north as the U.S. 395 town of Bishop. Snow fell intermittently at the nearby Mammoth Mountain ski resort.

After the winds depart overnight, a ridge of high pressure will bring warming through the weekend.

'Dance Moms' star Miller has cancer, underwent spine surgery

Former "Dance Moms" reality TV star Abby Lee Miller has been diagnosed with cancer.

Doctor Hooman Melamed tells People.com she contracted what they thought was a rare spinal infection and nearly died this week.

The doctor says Miller went to a California emergency room, where her condition deteriorated and she became "paralyzed from the neck down." He says Miller underwent spinal surgery Tuesday and parts of some vertebrae were removed.

It was determined Miller had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Miller is recovering and discussing treatment with her doctor.

Miller ran Abby Lee Dance Company outside Pittsburgh. She was sentenced to a year in prison for hiding income from a bankruptcy judge. She transferred to a California halfway house in March and is to be released in May.

Her attorney says she was "ill-equipped to deal with the brand that she became."

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