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Larry Nassar victims lend support to men who say Univ. of Michigan doc abused them

No Comments National News

pabradyphoto/iStock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — They stood up against one Michigan university over a doctor who took advantage of his patients, and now a group of women is standing in solidarity with accusers who say the same thing happened to them at another Michigan school.

Three women who were abused by former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nasser called on administrators at the University of Michigan Thursday to come clean about their knowledge and dealings with former school physician Robert E. Anderson, who has been accused of sexual assault by several men.

The Nassar survivors joined three of Anderson’s accusers at a news conference at Ypsilanti, Michigan, and saluted the three men for their courage in coming forward.

“To the survivors here and for anyone else out there … we are here for you,” said Amanda Thomashow, a former MSU student who filed a Title IX complaint against Nassar. “We believe you. We are listening. We stand with you.”

Anderson, who passed away in 2008, was a sports team physician at the University of Michigan from 1966 until 2003. Several former athletes and patients have come forward in recent weeks with allegations that Anderson molested and sexually abused them over several years.

Former student Robert Stone told reporters at the news conference that he remained silent for decades about the abuse he received while he was Anderson’s patient in the 1970s, but decided to speak out after seeing how the Nassar victims fought to have their accuser pay for his crimes. Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to 40-175 years in prison for multiple sex crimes.

A teary-eyed Stone slammed the University of Michigan for allowing Anderson to practice medicine and not taking action against him when victims complained.

“The university allowed it to continue. They provided a venue for his assaults. They gave him an exam room and they gave him a series of subjects that he could take advantage of,” he said.

Lawsuits have been filed by four former University of Michigan athletes who accused the school of covering up their sex abuse by Anderson.

Kim Broekhuizen, a spokeswoman for the University of Michigan, told ABC News in a statement that the school shares the goal of gathering the facts behind Anderson’s alleged abuse and that it is conducting an investigation into the abuse and “the institutional failings of the university.” It plans on sharing its findings publicly, according to the spokeswoman.

“For there to be a transparent reckoning of the full history, we again encourage all witnesses and former patients to come forward and share their stories,” Broekhuizen said in a statement.

Kaylee Lorincz, a Nassar victim, warned the University of Michigan to not repeat the same mistakes that MSU made during the Nassar case. One of the MSU gymnastics coaches, Kathie Klages, is currently on trial for allegedly lying to investigators about her knowledge of Nassar’s abuses.

“I’m asking you to be better than MSU,” Lorincz said. “Look at the course of action that MSU took, and take the exact opposite.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dan + Shay launch The (Arena) Tour with sold-out hometown shows and a donation to tornado relief efforts

No Comments Country Music News

ABC/Image Group LADan + Shay will kick off their lengthy The (Arena) Tour on Friday, and they’re starting things off with a pair of sold-out hometown shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. 

It’s an exciting start for the superstar duo, who have been taking both pop and country radio by storm with their new hit, “10,000 Hours,” a duet with Justin Bieber. They also kicked off 2020 by taking home the Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the second year running, this time for their hit, “Speechless.” 

But though they have much to celebrate, Dan + Shay have heavy hearts after the unforeseeable events of the week leading up to their tour’s kickoff. A devastating tornado ripped through Middle Tennessee on March 3, wreaking havoc on the band’s community as well as the surrounding area. 

In light of those events, the band is donating $100,000 to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to assist those affected by the storm. 

“We are heartbroken by the devastation the tornadoes left upon Tennessee earlier this week. Our love goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy,” the group declares. “We are so proud to call Nashville our home, and have seen first-hand that this community is strong, resilient and compassionate.”

Now, Dan + Shay are hoping that their upcoming shows will be an unforgettable experience of community and hometown pride.

“What this town does best in times of need is come together, so it is only fitting that our tour starts tomorrow in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena,” they say.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hours before execution of Nathaniel Woods, Alabama governor stays mum despite calls for a reprieve

No Comments National News

simpson33/iStock(ATMORE, Ala.) — With the clock ticking down to Thursday evening’s execution of Nathaniel Woods, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has given no indication she’ll grant a reprieve despite the condemned prisoner’s supporters contending he did not take part in the slayings of three police officers.

Woods, 44, is set to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. local time at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, unless Ivey grants him an eleventh-hour reprieve.

As of Thursday morning, Ivey offered no sign that she will intervene in Williams’ case.

When contacted by ABC News on Thursday, the governor’s press secretary had no comment.

Earlier this week, the son of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. joined a chorus of calls to halt the execution of Woods, who was convicted of capital murder in the 2004 killings of three Birmingham, Alabama, police officers.

“I stand with hundreds of thousands of Americans across Alabama and the nation, pleading with you not to execute Nathaniel Woods,” Martin Luther King III wrote in a letter sent on Tuesday to Ivey, a Republican.

In his letter, King, who was born in Alabama, told Ivey her state was “set to kill a man who is very likely innocent.”

King told Fox News Thursday, “If a person is innocent they should not be killed in this country. People have been killed and [hanged] for doing nothing. And in this context, if that is the prospect, we ought to at least go through the facts, go through the information, give the system the opportunity to work if it did not work.”

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 91,000 people had signed a petition on the website Change.org to stop the execution of Woods, who would become the first person executed in Alabama this year and the 67th since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Woods’ alleged accomplice, Kerry Spencer, confessed to being the sole gunman who killed the officers with a high-powered weapon, but separate juries convicted him and Woods of four capital murder charges, including killing the officers in the course of committing another crime.

Spencer’s trial was held before Woods’ case was heard by a jury, but his execution date has yet to be set.

During both trials, prosecutors presented the juries the theory that Woods and Spencer acted in tandem to lure the officers into the apartment to kill them.

On June 17, 2004, Birmingham police officers Carlos Owen, Harley Chisholm III and Charles Bennett were shot to death while executing a misdemeanor assault warrant for Woods at a suspected crack house in Birmingham. A fourth officer was also shot, but survived and testified against Woods.

A jury convicted Woods in December 2005, and in a nonunanimous verdict of 10-2 recommended a sentence of death.

Alabama State Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement Wednesday that Woods was “correctly found guilty and sentenced to death by a jury of his peers.”

“The only injustice in the case of Nathaniel Woods is that which was inflicted on those four policemen that terrible day in 2004,” Marshall said in the statement.

Woods appealed his conviction, arguing his lawyer gave him inadequate representation by misinforming him that he could not be convicted of capital murder as an accomplice and convincing him to reject a plea deal prosecutors offered him of 20 to 25 years in prison, according to court records.

Woods’ appeal was denied by the Alabama Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his letter to Ivey, King stated that Woods “has never had a fair trial” and has not gotten the opportunity to present new evidence since his conviction bolstering his claim that Spencer acted alone and that there was never a plan to lure the officers into an ambush.

The case has also garnered the attention of celebrities like Kim Kardashian West, who has become an advocate for criminal justice reform. She tweeted Thursday, Woods “is scheduled to be executed in Alabama TONIGHT for murders he did NOT commit. Join the broad coalition- including members of the jury and relatives of the victims – in urging @GovernorKayIvey and @AGSteveMarshall to stay Nate’s execution.”

#NathanielWoods is scheduled to be executed in Alabama TONIGHT for murders he did NOT commit. Join the broad coalition- including members of the jury and relatives of the victims – in urging @GovernorKayIvey and @AGSteveMarshall to stay Nate’s execution.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Watch Janelle Monáe transport through time in new teaser-trailer for 'Antebellum'

No Comments Entertainment News

Lionsgate(LOS ANGELES) — Janelle Monáe is mysteriously transported into a different era in the upcoming thriller, Antebellum.

In the new teaser-trailer, Monáe is seen giving a powerful speech to a group of diverse attendees.

“We’re expected to be seen, not heard,” says Monáe in the new promo. “But we are the future. Our time is now.”

Later, the teaser cuts to Monae on a cotton plantation surrounded by slaves. Someone then asks the “Make Me Feel” singer, “What is the plan?”

According to the official description, Monáe plays successful author Veronica Henley, who finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must “uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.”

Antebellum also stars Marque Richardson II, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Jena Malone.  It’s set to hit theaters on April 24.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kane Brown kicks off north American tour dates with back-to-back sold-out shows

No Comments Country Music News

1220 Entertainment Kane Brown just wrapped a run of European dates on his 2020 Worldwide Beautiful Tour, and now the country star is coming back to the U.S. in style. He kicked off the stateside leg of his tour with back-to-back sold-out stands in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Allentown, Pennsylvania on Feb. 29 and March 1. 

That streak seems likely to continue. The singer has already sold out his upcoming performances in Portland, Maine, and in Buffalo and Albany, New York.

During his current run on the road, Kane is continuing his tradition of partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of America to offer a VIP concert experience to Club members at no charge. The Boys & Girls Club of America is an organization that provides after-school programs for young people across the country. 

It’s been a busy month for the country star, who’s the subject of a new Amazon mini-documentary called Velocity that came out in February. His current single, “Homesick,” is climbing the charts at country radio.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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