PA AG To Challenge Trump Administration In Historic Supreme Court Case

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Cropped Photo: outcast104 / Flickr / CC BY 2.0HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his staff will make history Wednesday when they deliver oral arguments in a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the Trump Administration’s rules on employers ignoring requirements that they provide employees with birth control and contraceptives coverage based on the employers’ religious beliefs. The public, for the first time, will be able to hear arguments as they happen due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Shapiro also said during a teleconference with reporters, with WNYNewsNow in attendance, that the case will determine the future of reproductive rights of Americans.“Reproductive rights are on the line here. Guaranteed contraceptive coverage is on the line and, so to, importantly, is the rule of law,” Shapiro said. Shapiro says he and Congress tried “repeatedly” to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed under the Obama Administration. When the ACA wasn’t repealed, Shapiro says Trump issued “illegal” executive orders.“We can not, in good faith, allow for federal agencies to dismantle laws they don’t like and don’t have the votes to change,” Shapiro said. “Allowing employers to dictate how and for how much you can receive your birth control aims to systematically break the law. The will of the people ensured that everyone in this country will be provided with affordable health care and access to treatment.” “Tactics like this to take that away are not just wrong, they’re illegal. And as we poise ourselves to make these arguments to the highest court in the land, we are prepared to continue to do what we’ve done for years. Winning the big fights on behalf of all Pennsylvanians.”WNYNewsNow asked Shapiro what gives him and his team confidence that they can win in next week’s case. Shapiro indicated that results from previous hearings have been in his staff’s favor.“I have tremendous confidence in our argument, in our preparation,” Shapiro said. “I think I’m confident that we’ll do well.”Shapiro says that several lower courts have ruled in favor of his office during a two-and-a-half year battle with the Trump administration, adding the administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act by “lacking good cause” with the rules that they implemented.In addition, Shapiro says that the Trump Administration violated Congressional authority with their rules.Shapiro says that several attorneys general, including New York AG Leticia James, have expressed their support for his staff in the case. He adds that James’ staff has provided “much needed, and very important support” to his staff.WNYNewsNow reached out to the New York Attorney General’s Office for comment. The office released the following statement:“Employers should have no role in reproductive health care decisions about their employees, yet the Trump Administration’s rules call for just that. This is not about religion. It’s about whether women can control their health care choices. We will continue to fight for health care access for all, including reproductive health care.”last_img read more

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Jamestown Woman Accused Of Sex Trafficking Two Young Girls

first_imgPixabay Stock Image.BUFFALO – A 23-year-old Jamestown woman is facing federal charges after allegedly sex trafficking two young girls.The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Jasmin Osteen was arrested and charged with two counts of sex trafficking of a minor.Prosecutors allege Osteen threatened to harm the girls if they did not engage in prostitution. Furthermore, it is alleged Osteen took the girls to Buffalo hotel rooms to engage with several men.“This investigation and arrest are a result of interagency cooperation,” said Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone in a statement. “Human Trafficking is all too real and continues to victimize too many people. These investigations will continue with the help of our federal, state, and local partners. And we continue to ask for the public to report any suspicious activity as this form of slavery cannot continue.” According to a criminal complaint, the first victim moved in with Osteen in August of this year.Law enforcement was made aware of the alleged activity when one of the child’s parents reached out to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office with concerns.Prosecutors say the mother and grandmother provided screen shots of messages between Osteen and the victim talking about having sex for money.After working with the Child Advocacy Program in Chautauqua County, the first victim admitted she was forced to have sex with multiple unknown adults in exchange for money that was given to Osteen, which prosecutors say the second victim confirmed.Osteen made an initial appearance Friday afternoon before a U.S. Magistrate Judge and was detained.The arrest is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, the Jamestown Police Department and the Ellicott Police Department. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),It is good to hear of the crazy bad things happening in this world but it would be great to hear more of the good that happens in this world. Even to hear how people can help make this world a better place.last_img read more

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Annaleigh Ashford Sums Up Her Kinky Year!

first_img What was the easiest thing about the job? Spending hours and hours with all of the amazing people that make Kinky Boots happen every day, onstage and off. Related Shows What was the highlight of your time at the job? There were too many highlights to count. One of my favorite moments was our first night with an audience. Everyone in the building stood stage right and held hands before we shared our story with New York. It was theater magic! How do you think you’ve grown during your time at this job? I grew as an actor and as a human in ways I never dreamed. I got to create a role from scratch, I got to watch Cyndi Lauper perform from stage left at Radio City at the Tony Awards, and I became a Sadie Sadie married lady. If you don’t grow from a year like we have had, then you are either an alien or a robot. I am so lucky. How do you feel now that you’re leaving? So nostalgic about the incredible blessing that this last year was to me and those around me. I am so grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience with this once-in-a-lifetime group. Why are you leaving? I will be reprising the role of Betty DiMello on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, so I’m off to L.A. to shoot the second season. How did you feel when you first got the job? I was excited… Well, excited and scared. (How about that musical theater reference!?) I couldn’t wait to be in the room with Jerry Mitchell, Harvey Fierstein, Cyndi Lauper, and the incredible cast and crew. I knew from the first moment that everyone was in the same room together that this was a special group of people. I couldn’t wait to see them every day. Kinky Boots What skills do you think are required for future job applicants? Lauren would say, “Think outside the box. All them other sods who survived went out looking for an underserved niche market and aimed to fill the void!” Lauren is a feisty factory girl that will have the heart of whoever plays her in the perfect way. Jeanna de Waal, who is coming in next, is going to give her some authentic British magic!!! I can’t wait for the company to have a proper Brit! In the corporate world, employees departing a job are asked to sit through an exhausting “exit interview” about their stint at the company. Although that model doesn’t exist for Broadway performers, we think it’s fun to check in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Tony nominee and Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Annaleigh Ashford, whose run in Kinky Boots is coming to a close, looks back on her dragalicious “once-in-a-lifetime experience” in the Tony-winning musical. View Comments What will you miss most about the job? Telling 1,000 people every day that they can change the world if they change their mind, and my family at the Hirschfeld Theatre. Thank you for everything! Show Closed This production ended its run on April 7, 2019 Annaleigh Ashford Employee Name: Annaleigh Ashford What are three words you would use to describe your experience at the job? Family. Laughter. Love. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. I could also say Poonchcard, Come On, and PoonBoot. but only the cast and crew would get that 🙂 What was the hardest thing about the job? The hardest thing will absolutely be saying goodbye to all of those amazing people. Star Files What advice would you give to future employees in your job position? Bring gluten-free treats for Megan Bowers. Your dresser and friend of dreams!!! Learn everyone’s factory names and drag names. They were chosen thoughtfully with care and love.last_img read more

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Broadway Grosses: Hedwig & Cabaret Bring In Crowds

first_img Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending April 27: View Comments UNDERDOGS (By Gross) 5. Rock of Ages ($359,970)  4. The Bridges of Madison County ($351,946)  3. Casa Valentina ($210,585)* 2. Mothers and Sons ($192,942) 1. The Velocity of Autumn ($84,521) FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross) 1. The Lion King ($2,143,746) 2. Wicked ($2,074,749) 3. The Book of Mormon ($1,674,070) 4. Kinky Boots ($1,519,830) 5. Les Miserables ($1,258,537) A popular tune says “the neon lights are bright on Broadway,” but audiences also love gritty and seedy! Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Cabaret, which opened on April 22 and 24, respectively, both enjoyed packed houses this week. Rock goddess Neil Patrick Harris played to 102.14% capacity, and the Kit Kat Klub overflowed at 100.17%. Meanwhile, The Lion King took the lead as the highest grossing show, a spot frequently dominated by Wicked (which trailed closely behind). The recently opened Les Miserables and the usual suspects The Book of Mormon and Kinky Boots took the remaining spots in the top five. UNDERDOGS (By Capacity) 5. Rocky (72.60%) 4. The Velocity of Autumn (67.03%) 3. Act One (61.21%) 2. The Bridges of Madison County (60.38%) 1. Mothers and Sons (50.03%) *Number based on 1 preview performance and 7 regular performances **Number based on 1 preview performance and 6 regular performances ***Number based on 3 preview performances and 5 regular performances FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity) 1. The Book of Mormon (102.63%) 2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (102.14%)** 3. Matilda (100.53%) 4. Cabaret (100.17%)*** 5. Aladdin (100.04%)last_img read more

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Pageant Extends Off-Broadway

first_img View Comments Pageant: The Musical has extended off-Broadway at the Davenport Theatre. Initially set to shutter on September 1, the production will now play through September 21. Directed by Matt Lenz, Pageant plays Monday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Pageant: The Musical Conceived by Robert Longbottom, Pageant features contestants desperately vying for a glittering tiara. With swimsuit, talent and evening gown competitions, the show includes both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Unlike some (though possibly not all) beauty pageants you’ve seen before, the female contestants are all played by men and the audience gets to select the winner each night. The show is penned by two-time Tony nominee Bill Russell and Frank Kelly and features music by Albert Evans. Star Files Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 26, 2014 The cast of Pageant: The Musical includes John Bolton as the host, with Nick Cearley, Alex Ringler, Marty Thomas, Seth Tucker, Curtis Wiley and Nic Cory as the gaggle of tiara-crazed hopefuls. John Boltonlast_img read more

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Two-Time Tony Winner Judy Kaye Flies into Cinderella

first_img View Comments In addition to Clark, the current cast of Cinderella includes Paige Faure as Cinderella, Nancy Opel as Madame, Joe Carroll as Prince Topher, Ann Harada as Charlotte, Stephanie Gibson as Gabrielle, Peter Bartlett as Sebastian, Todd Buonopane as Jean-Michel and Phumzile Sojola as Lord Pinkleton. Kaye won Tonys for her performances as Duchess Estonia Dulworth in Nice Work If You Can Get It and as Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera. She was also nominated for her roles in Mamma Mia! and Souvenir. Her other Broadway credits include Ragtime, On the Twentieth Century, Sweeney Todd and Grease. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015 Judy Kaye will make the impossible possible on the Great White Way. The two-time Tony winner will play the Fairy Godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway beginning September 12. She will replace Tony winner Victoria Clark, joining a cast that will include Keke Palmer as the titular princess and Sherri Shepherd as evil stepmother Madame. Palmer and Shepherd begin performances on September 9. Related Shows Cinderella Star Files Judy Kayelast_img read more

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Lauren Zakrin Makes Broadway Debut in Rock of Ages

first_img Beginning November 10, Frankie J. Grande will step into the role of Franz, replacing Cody Scott Lancaster. Justin Matthew Sargent will play Drew in place of an injured Constantine Maroulis through November 9. The current cast also includes Chester See, Genson Blimline, Adam Dannheisser, Josephine Rose Roberts, Paul Schoeffler Cody Scott Lancaster and Teresa Stanley. The search is over, and Lauren Zakrin is finally making her Broadway bow! She steps into the role of Sherrie in Rock of Ages beginning November 3. Zakrin takes over for Carrie St. Louis at the Helen Hayes Theatre. View Comments Related Shows Zakrin was a finalist on the MTV reality show Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods. She was previously seen off-Broadway in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 and on tour in Legally Blonde, Grease and Wicked.center_img Featuring a score of such classic rock hits as “Here I Go Again,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, an aspiring rock star who moves to Los Angeles to make his dreams come true. Rock of Ages Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 18, 2015last_img read more

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This Week’s Picks! On the Twentieth Century, The Last Five Years & More

first_img Star Files See James Barbour Don the MaskBegins February 9 at the Majestic TheatrePlaying the title role in The Phantom of the Opera is a major accomplishment for a Broadway actor. It’s bigger than getting to cut the line at the Times Square Olive Garden and grander than having the Naked Cowboy begging to have your photo taken with him. So congrats to James Barbour (Beauty and the Beast, Carousel), who starts his run as the Phantom, replacing Norm Lewis. Click for tickets! View Comments Welcome a New Gal to Gentleman’s GuideBegins February 10 at the Walter Kerr TheatreLisa O’Hare exits A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and who is replacing her as Sibella? Two-time Olivier nominee Scarlett Strallen. But this isn’t the first time O’Hare and Strallen have played the same role—the stars both played our favorite nanny in London’s Mary Poppins (and Strallen later went on to play the role on Broadway). This is getting weird, though not enough that it will diminish our enjoyment of a great show. Our priorities are in order. Click for tickets! Hey, you, trying to choose the right novelty teddy bear for your significant other. Who cares if you get “Doctor Love” or “Sir Hugsalot”? That thing will be coddled for three seconds before it’s tossed under the bed. There’s a better way to use your time. We have Scarlett Strallen’s arrival to Gentleman’s Guide, the debut of The Last Five Years (the movie!) and Kristin Chenoweth’s return to Broadway. Here comes this week’s picks! Get Enchanted by Cathy & Jamie AgainOpens February 13 in movie theaters and on demandFinally! The movie version of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years took forever to get here. Now that the day has come you may not know what to do. Do you throw party? Get a tattoo? Write a poem? Whatever you it is, don’t forget to actually watch the movie, which stars Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan in a rare instance of musical-to-movie casting that makes total sense. Enjoy a Madcap Twentieth CenturyBegins February 12 at American Airlines TheatreThe mingling of the past and present can get awkward. Have you ever been to a family reunion? Or tried to explain Wi-Fi to your grandma? On Broadway, this co-mingling is most welcome. Here’s a perfect example: Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher tackle the lead roles in the revival of Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s train-bound, frenetic musical comedy On the Twentieth Century. And, yes, take grandma with you! Click for tickets! Celebrate Valentine’s Day Broadway-StyleFebruary 12 at 54 BelowUnless you like Zagat-ignored restaurants and lovestruck couples clogging sidewalks, don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day. It’s all long lines and frustrated sighs, so love it up early. Head to A Very Broadway Valentine’s Day, which features the Great White Way’s favorite couples celebrating “Broadway romance, on and offstage.” Among the guests: Alysha Umphress, Amy Spanger, and Santino Fontana. Isn’t that romantic—and non-aggravating? Click for tickets! Kristin Chenowethlast_img read more

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David Yazbek, Hal Prince & More Tapped for ATC’s 2015-16 Season

first_img View Comments These Paper Bullets! Related Shows The 2015-16 Atlantic Theater season—the company’s 30th anniversary—will include the world premiere of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses’ The Band’s Visit. Harold Prince will direct the musical adaptation of the 2007 film next spring. The season will also feature two New York debuts, including These Paper Bullets! with music by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, and a world premiere from Dominique Morisseau.The season kicks off this fall in the Linda Gross Theater with a revival of Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchill. Set in British colonial Africa and late ‘70s London, the play explores a hypothetical modern society—one where the characters who have aged only 25 years since the Victorian era. James Macdonald will direct the production.Jackson Gay directs These Paper Bullets!, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 2014. The show is a modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, adapted by Rolin Jones and featuring songs by Armstrong. It follows four Liverpool band members (the Quartos—get it?) who have seven days to find true love and cut an album—as their former drummer attempts to destroy them. Think the Beatles meet the Bard. Performances will begin in November in the Linda Gross Theater.Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew will begin performances in January 2016 at Atlantic Stage 2. The drama marks the final installment of her Detroit trilogy, following Paradise Blue and Detroit ‘67; it tells the story of a makeshift family of workers at the last remaining auto plant in the city.With music and lyrics by Yazbek and a book by Moses, The Band’s Visit follows an Egyptian Police Band who, after a mix-up at the Israeli border, are sent to a remote village in the desert instead of their expected concert venue. They are quickly welcomed by the locals, and form an unlikely and unexpected relationship. The tuner, which will premiere next spring at the Linda Gross Theater, is directed by 21-time Tony Award winner Prince.The season concludes with the New York premiere of The Purple Light of Joppa Illinois. Written by Adam Rapp, the play follows a Kentucky recluse who is forced to confront his tragic past when two teenagers arrive at his duplex doorstep. The play will run starting in June 2016 at Atlantic Stage 2.Additional information for the five productions, including cast and creative team, will be announced at a later date. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 10, 2016last_img read more

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Idina Menzel & James Corden Had the Time of Their Lives!

first_img View Comments Idina Menzel Star Filescenter_img Idina Menzel stopped by CBS’ The Late Late Show on April 30 and had the time of her life! First the Broadway and Frozen superstar admitted to host James Corden that when belting “Defying Gravity” at the White House she was “literally spitting on the President, the First Lady and their two kids.” Later the two Tony winners did what we of course all hoped they would do: perform a number. They opted for the Dirty Dancing hit “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” and it was everything we could have asked for. Check out the fun and frolics below!last_img

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