Tag Archive: North Carolina


life without korn still moving along

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/ct-ott-0831-brian-welch-20120830,0,7449231.story

By Allison Stewart Special to the Tribune11:56 a.m. CDT, August 30, 2012

When Brian “Head” Welch left his job as the guitarist for nu-metal pioneer Korn back in 2005, it wasn’t under the best of circumstances. He’d shaken his addiction to drugs (mostly meth and Xanax), found God (mostly Christian, but nondenominational), and, flush with the zeal of the newly converted, well, he said some things. There were complaints about his bandmates, about touring, about how life in Korn “was a little too crude for me.”

Welch’s departure kicked off years of mutual public insults, financial squabbling and tentative attempts at reconciliation. “I did act like an idiot,” admits Welch, 42. “I said stuff. I didn’t have any wisdom. I was in a shell before. I wore a mask. I just wanted to let everything out, what I was going through.”

This is all newly relevant because Welch finally rejoined Korn onstage in May, at a show in North Carolina. It was only for one night, for part of a set, but he liked it. “I was just going to the concert,” Welch recalls. “I didn’t tell anybody I was going until less than 24 hours before. I didn’t want people to stir up stuff. I just wanted to come and hang out. I finally texted the guys. I was like, ‘Hey, I’m coming.’ It just kind of fell into place. I’m glad it happened. Sometimes I put walls up too much, you know? … I just felt the love. It was a confirmation to me that I was supposed to be there. It was like, this is really good.”

Welch’s new band, Love and Death, recently released an EP, “Chemicals,” and he has a side career speaking at churches (he’ll be at the New Pointe Church in Hebron, Ind., on Saturday). He’s vague about plans, if indeed there are any, to rejoin Korn (“Who’s to say what will happen in the future?”), but Welch is beginning to realize that life on his own as a first-time frontman is overrated. “Once you get there and do it, you kind of wonder why you’re doing it. You take on all the stress, and there’s so much pressure. I can’t hide anymore like I used to. It’s really different, but I felt like I’m supposed to be doing it. It’s not my favorite thing to do.”

Welch was one of Korn’s founding members. When he left, near the height of the band’s success and during the early days of his life as a Christian, it was as if he left behind everything he knew. Everyone from his old life treated him as if he were an alien. “They all did, the fans and everybody,” he says. “When you have a drastic change like I did … I made a lot of people freak out. My family thought I was being brainwashed. Now that I’ve come back to the earth, I think everyone’s like, OK, cool. He’s back to normal. He’s like a better version of what he used to be.”

In the years since his departure, Welch has released a solo album and a best-selling memoir (“Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs and Lived to Tell My Story”) that detailed his religious conversion, including his 2005 baptism in the River Jordan.

Welch isn’t the only member of a rock band to have quit drugs, found religion and written a memoir about it. He isn’t even the only member of Korn — bassist Fieldy did too. What is it about life in Korn that drives its members to addiction, religion and memoir-writing? “I don’t know,” Welch admits. “It’s kind of crazy. … I think we’ll know after we pass from this earth.”

Fieldy stayed in Korn, but Welch says that was never an option for him, that reconciling his newfound religious convictions, his even newer sobriety and life in one of metal’s hardest-partying bands proved impossible. “I know for a fact that I was supposed to leave. I just knew it in my heart. … These seven years the most incredible things have happened to me, and I’m so glad I left.”

Welch is getting ready to sign a record deal with Love and Death, which isn’t strictly a Christian band, more like a really polite metal one. “I’m a Christian man and everything I do is as a Christian man. But I just write about life.”

He could easily juggle life in Love and Death, which isn’t going to be touring much, anyway, with life in Korn. If it came to that. Not that he’s saying he would. Just that he could. “We’ll see. At first I said I don’t know, then I said never. Now I’m back at I don’t know. Whatever’s meant to be, I’m fine with. Being a frontman is hard. It would be like a vacation.”

onthetown@tribune.com

Twitter @chitribent

When: 7:00 p.m. Saturday

Where: New Pointe Church, 676 W. Division Road, Hebron, Ind.

Tickets: Free; 219-759-4000 or newpointechurch.com

Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110518/ap_on_en_mo/us_schwarzenegger_legacy

By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Juliet Williams, Associated Press 2 hrs 35 mins ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s political legacy in California already was tenuous.

He left the governor’s office after seven years without making good on his central campaign promise to fix the state’s budgeting system, then commuted the manslaughter sentence for the son of a political ally in one of his final official acts, drawing the condemnation of prosecutors and the family of a slain college student.

Now he’s revealed to be the father of an out-of-wedlock child, a secret he kept during two gubernatorial terms.

No matter his accomplishments in office, Schwarzenegger may be best remembered as yet another philandering politician who got caught.

The former governor said in a statement early Tuesday that he had fathered the child of a longtime household staff member more than a decade ago, and that the woman continued to work in the family’s Brentwood home until January.

Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced earlier this month that they were separating and that Shriver had moved out, although they did not give a reason at the time beyond a reference to difficult transitions.

After leaving office in January, the former Republican governor had for a time been angling for a role as some kind of international political spokesman, perhaps on environmental issues. In April, he appeared at a Washington, D.C., forum on immigration hosted by President Barack Obama, but his grander plans for politics did not appear to be panning out, so Schwarzenegger lately has been trying to relaunch his career as a Hollywood action star.

“It’s over. There’s no political future,” said Patrick Dorinson, a Republican who worked on Schwarzenegger’s 2003 campaign and in his administration early on. “I’m just disgusted. It’s the only dang bipartisan thing these guys do — cheat on their wives. John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger — tell me the difference.”

The comparison to Edwards is natural. The former North Carolina senator frequently invoked his wife and children as he sought the 2008 Democratic nomination for president. He later acknowledged fathering a child with a campaign videographer at the same time his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, was battling breast cancer. She died last year.

Yet Schwarzenegger’s legacy and reputation already were under fire after he cut Esteban Nunez’s prison sentence for manslaughter to seven years from 16. Nunez, the son of former Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, had pleaded guilty in 2008 in the stabbing death of a San Diego college student, 22-year-old Luis Santos. Prosecutors say Esteban Nunez also stabbed two other people after he and a group of friends went looking for revenge after getting kicked out of a fraternity party.

San Diego County prosecutors last week asked a state court to overturn Schwarzenegger’s last-minute decision because he failed to seek input from the victim’s family before he made the commutation. State law requires such notification.

Schwarzenegger’s story now resembles that of so many other politicians beset by hubris and poor judgment. The indiscretion, which Schwarzenegger referred to as an “event” that occurred more than a decade ago, will be what sticks in the minds of many people, adding to the former “Terminator” star’s image as a Hollywood playboy.

“Long after Californians have forgotten the details of his fiscal policies, they’ll remember that he had a child out of wedlock. And more importantly, they’ll remember the cover-up,” said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College. “It doesn’t necessarily contradict his policies, but it certainly taints his reputation.”

Others said the news has a greater impact on Schwarzenegger’s family and his friends than it does on California voters.

“I think at the end of the day, it didn’t happen during his governorship, it happened before his governorship,” said former Senate Minority Leader Jim Brulte, who is now a Republican adviser. “Citizens in California already have a fixed impression of Gov. Schwarzenegger, good or bad, and I would be surprised if this changes that.”

It was a surprise that Schwarzenegger had kept an out-of-wedlock child a secret for more than 10 years while the mother continued to work in the Schwarzenegger-Shriver home, but the revelation itself was not a shocker.

Schwarzenegger, a former Mr. Universe who had often bragged about his sexual conquests before he met Shriver, had come under fire just days before the 2003 recall election after the Los Angeles Times reported allegations from 16 women that Schwarzenegger had groped and verbally harassed them during encounters dating to the early 1970s and as recently as 2000. Schwarzenegger apologized for his bad behavior but never fully addressed the claims.

“Yes, it is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right which I thought then was playful, but now I recognize that I have offended people,” he said then. “And those people that I have offended, I want to say to them, `I am deeply sorry about that and I apologize, because this is not what I’m trying to do.’ When I’m governor, I want to prove to the women that I will be a champion for the women.”

Ironically, Shriver was key to helping her husband beat back the allegations and win the 2003 recall election, lending him credibility when she appeared onstage to say that the accusers didn’t know her husband.

“I’m personally very torn about this issue,” said Eric Bauman, a vice chairman of the California Democratic Party. “I have great sympathy for his wife and children to learn about this, but as a concerned Californian, as one who strongly opposed his election during the recall campaign, I remember how his team treated the women who came forward that made complaints about untoward behavior and they were not very nice about it. They were very aggressive in batting down those women and their stories, and lo and behold, now we have this.”

Schwarzenegger did appoint women to high-profile posts during his seven years in office, and aides said he would drop everything when Shriver or their four children called. He ended his overnight stays in a hotel suite across from the Capitol to fly home every night, saying he wanted to be closer to his children.

But he also cultivated a masculine atmosphere in his Capitol office, setting up a smoking tent in the outdoor courtyard where he negotiated deals over cigars. His closest staffers donned his signature cowboy boots and oversized watches.

During his 2006 re-election campaign, a six-minute audio recording surfaced of remarks Schwarzenegger made about a female lawmaker in a closed-door speechwriting session.

“I mean Cuban, Puerto Rican, they are all very hot,” the governor said. “They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it.”

The lawmaker, Republican Bonnie Garcia, had a good relationship with the governor and defended him.

Another former female lawmaker was less forgiving of Schwarzenegger’s style.

Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, a Democrat, said in a 2009 interview in LA Magazine that she didn’t always feel like she fit in. As a legislative leader, Bass was among the small circle of lawmakers who would negotiate budgets with the governor.

“The governor is much more comfortable negotiating with men and likes to do the guy thing — the challenging and baiting, how guys will kind of come after each other. That doesn’t work well with me, nor does it apply to me,” said Bass, now a member of Congress.

Schwarzenegger has announced plans to star as a horse trainer in a planned drama called “Cry Macho” and has talked about resurrecting his signature “Terminator” character. He and comic-book legend Stan Lee recently announced he would voice the lead character in an animated TV series called “The Governator,” in which he would play himself.

Coast Guard closes stretch of Mississippi

An electronic bill board warns drivers the reason Mississippi Highway 465 is closed to Eagle Lake is because of flood waters from the Yazoo River, neahttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110506/ap_on_bi_ge/us_severe_weather_flooding

By ADRIAN SAINZ and CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Adrian Sainz And Cain Burdeau, Associated Press 1 hr 7 mins ago

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Coast Guard closed a stretch of the swollen Mississippi to barge traffic Friday in a move that could cause a backup along the mighty river, while police farther south in Memphis went door to door, warning thousands of people to leave before they get swamped.

Emergency workers in Memphis handed out bright yellow fliers in English and Spanish that read, “Evacuate!!! Your property is in danger right now.”

All the way south into the Mississippi Delta, people faced the question of whether to stay or go as high water rolled down the Big Muddy and backed up along its tributaries, breaking flood records that have stood since the Depression.

Because of levees and other flood defenses built over the years, engineers said it is unlikely any major metropolitan areas will be inundated as the water pushes downstream over the next week or two, but farms, small towns and even some urban areas could see extensive flooding.

“It’s going to be nasty,” said Bob Bea, a civil engineer at the University of California-Berkeley who investigated levee failures in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. How bad it gets depends on how well the flood protection systems have been built and maintained, he said.

The Coast Guard closed a five-mile stretch of the Mississippi to protect Caruthersville, Mo., and said barges could be banned for up to eight days. The fear was that the wake from big boats would push water over a floodwall and into the town of 6,700.

Barges regularly move coal, grain, ore, gravel, auto parts and other vital products down the Mississippi. A single barge can carry as much material as 70 tractor-trailers, and some towboats can move 45 barges at once.

Lynn Muench, a vice president of the American Waterways Operators, an industry group, said the eight-day shutdown would have a multimillion-dollar effect on the barge industry and slow the movement of many products.

“It’s just like if you took out every bridge going over the Mississippi what that would mean to railroad and vehicle traffic,” Muench said. “You’re shutting down a major thoroughfare.” She added: “The last thing we want is a levee to go, but we also want to keep moving.”

In Tennessee, local authorities were uncertain whether they had legal authority to order evacuations, and hoped the fliers would persuade people to leave. Bob Nations, director of emergency management for Shelby County, which includes Memphis, said there was still time to get out. The river is not expected to crest until Wednesday.

“This does not mean that water is at your doorstep,” Nations said of the door-to-door effort. “This means you are in a high-impact area.”

About 950 households in Memphis and about 135 other homes in Shelby County were getting the notices, Shelby County Division Fire Chief Joseph Rike said. Shelters were opened, and the fliers include a phone number to arrange transportation for people who need it.

Jeanette Twilley of south Memphis came home to find one of the yellow notices on her door. Her house is roughly 75 yards from Nonconnah Creek, which has overflowed its banks and flooded three houses on her street.

“Amazed. Amazed. I just can’t believe this,” said Twilley, who is retired and rents her home. She planned to leave in the afternoon and stay with friends or relatives. “There’s not going to be anybody here,” she said of the neighborhood, a working-class area in one of the poorer sections of Memphis.

In a section of south Memphis outside the evacuation zone, Billy Burke stood in his backyard, where water from a creek has been rising for days. About 20 feet away, a fish jumped out of a pool of standing brown water.

“I’m going to stay as long as I can,” Burke said. “But if the water goes up another 10 feet, I’m out of here.”

Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home and one of the city’s best-known landmarks, is about a 20-minute drive from the river and in no danger of flooding, spokesman Kevin Kern said. “We’re on a hill, high and dry and open for business, and will stay open,” Kern said.

Water pooled at the lowest end of Beale Street, the thoroughfare synonymous with Mississippi blues, but it was about a half-mile from the street’s world-famous nightspots.

The main Memphis airport was not threatened, nor was FedEx, which has a sorting hub at the airport that handles up to 2 million packages per day.

In Missouri, dozens of National Guardsmen and Highway Patrol members who had been rescuing people from floodwaters had to be rescued themselves after six boats got stuck in low water. Half were rescued before dark, and the others spent the night on a levee, relying on provisions dropped to them by the Guard.

Farther south, parts of the Mississippi Delta began to flood, sending white-tail deer and wild pigs swimming to dry land, submerging yacht clubs and closing floating casinos.

“We’re getting our momma and daddy out,” said Ken Gelston, who helped pack furniture, photos and other belongings into pickup trucks in Greenville, Miss. “We could have five feet of water in there,” Gelston said, nodding at the house. “That’s what they’re telling us.”

Bea, the civil engineer, said he is concerned because some levees across the U.S. have been built with inferior dirt, or even sand, and have been poorly designed.

“The standards we use to build these things are on the horribly low side if you judge them by world criteria and conditions,” he said. “The breaches, as we learned in New Orleans, are the killers.”

How long the high water lingers, and how much damage it does to the earthen walls of the levees as it goes down, are crucial factors.

“The whole summer will have to be watched,” said J. David Rogers, a civil engineer at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, a disaster that killed hundreds, Congress has made protecting the cities on the lower Mississippi a priority. The Army Corps of Engineers has spent $13 billion to fortify cities with floodwalls and carve out overflow basins and ponds — a departure from the “levees-only” strategy that led to the 1927 calamity.

The Corps also straightened out sections of the river that used to meander and pool perilously. As a result, the Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico faster, and water presses against the levees for shorter periods.

___

Burdeau reported from Greenville, Miss. Jim Salter in St. Louis and Travis Loller in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.

Obama re-election launches with email, website

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110404/ap_on_el_ge/us_obama2012

By LIZ SIDOTI, AP National Political Writer Liz Sidoti, Ap National Political Writer 14 mins ago

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama formally launched his re-election campaign Monday, urging grass-roots supporters central to his first White House run to mobilize again to protect the change he’s brought over the past two years.

The official start of his second White House bid, in the midst of three wars, a budget fight with Congress, and sluggish economic recovery, comes 20 months before the November 2012 election.

“We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does,” the Democrat said in an e-mail announcing his candidacy to more than 13 million supporters. “But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.”

He told them he was filing the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, and directed them to his new campaign website where a launch video featured clips from supporters talking about their continued backing of the Democrat.

“I don’t agree with Obama on everything but I respect him and I trust him,” Ed from North Carolina says, delivering what’s certain to become a key part of the president’s pitch as he tries to re-energize liberal backers who have criticized some of his policies and independent voters who have fled from him in his first term.

 

Between now and the election, the incumbent Democrat will work to convince a fickle America that he has delivered change, made the right moves and earned the chance to continue the job. He will have to defend policies that have proven divisive, chief among them his sweeping health care overhaul and his efforts to boost the slow-to-rebound economy.

Obama announced his bid just as the White House is in a budget standoff with Congress that could lead to a government shutdown, weeks after the commander in chief directed U.S. military operations to a third major warfront, Libya, and days after the post-recession economy showed more signs of a rebound with a report that the still high unemployment rate had fallen to 8.8 percent.

Republicans were quick to criticize the news.

The Republican National Committee circulated a research document that accused Obama of failing to lead on the budget and entitlement spending. And former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican competing for the chance to take on the Democrat next fall, released his own web video in which he says: “How can America win the future, when we’re losing the present? In order for America to take a new direction, it’s going to take a new president.”

Widely expected, Obama’s campaign launch was planned to coincide with the second fundraising quarter of the year. Filing paperwork will allow the president to begin raising money in earnest for what allies say could be a record-breaking haul of more than $1 billion for his campaign. That begins this month; he’s slated to visit major money venues of Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

The campaign is based in Chicago, and many of the same people from his first bid remain involved, including former campaign manager David Plouffe, who now is in the White House, and chief political strategist David Axelrod.

Managing the campaign this time is Jim Messina, who played a senior role in the first bid and in the White House. Messina has spent the past few months touring the country to lay the groundwork with donors in hopes of building a massive fundraising network featuring both large and small contributions. He’s asked some 400 donors — called bundlers — to bring in at least $350,000 this year; the re-election website is geared toward raising money from grass-roots backers. Obama raised $750 million for his 2008 campaign.

Obama faces no primary challenger.

On the other side, the race for the GOP presidential nomination is just getting under way; more than a dozen Republicans are considering seeking the chance to challenge Obama in the next election. Only a few have taken the initial steps toward a candidacy; Pawlenty is among them. Several more are expected go forward to this month, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who ran in 2008 and lost the GOP nomination.

It’s a wide open race with no clear front-runner.

Nevertheless, Obama said he’s not taking anything for granted.

“We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build,” he said in the note to supporters.

“So even though I’m focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today,” Obama added. He directed them to the new red, white and blue website for what he said was “a campaign that’s farther-reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we’ve built before.”

The website features Obama’s new campaign logo — 2012 with the rising sun in the background, a version of his 2008 campaign logo — and announces that the campaign is kicking off.

“We’re opening up offices, unpacking boxes, and starting a conversation with supporters like you to help shape our path to victory, and this is where you say you’re in,” it says, urging people to organize and donate.

The video is a montage of testimonials from a demographically diverse group of backers who intend to stay involved in this campaign.

“It needs to reflect the changes that we’ve seen in the last two-and-a-half years,” says Katherine from Colorado. “Then we had an underdog senator. Nobody thought that he had a chance. And now he’s the president.”

Gladys from Nevada adds: “We’re not leaving it up to chance” and “It’s an election that we have to win.”

___

Online: www.barackobama.com

Clay Aiken back on the road

http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-03-06/entertainment/28655491_1_clay-aiken-album-american-idol

After a successful run in the Broadway musical “Spamalot,” Season 2 “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is back on the road in support of his latest album, “Tried and True.” The disc, his first since coming out on the cover of People magazine and becoming a father to 2-year-old Parker, features faithful covers of button-up pop classics from the ’50s and ’60s such as “Mack the Knife,” “Crying” and “Moon River.” Earlier this month, Aiken’s most recent label, Decca Records, reportedly dropped him. We spoke to the 32-year-old North Carolina native in advance of his concert Saturday at the Warfield.

It’s good that Clay’s back on the road. I hope that he comes to Grenada, MS.

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