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  • ‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Had Mark DeFriest just waited a couple of months to collect his inheritance, he never would have gone to prison. Had he just behaved while he was there, he would have been released more than 30 years ago. But the man dubbed Florida’s “prison Houdini” kept escaping instead of simply serving…

  • Actress Diane Guerrero writing memoir

    NEW YORK (AP) — Through her own story, Diane Guerrero wants to change the lives of others. Henry Holt and Company announced Thursday that the Colombian-American actress known for “Orange is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin” is working on a memoir scheduled for early 2016. The book is called “In the Country We…

  • Freud’s goal: Keep Chicago’s Lyric Opera relevant

    CHICAGO (AP) — When Anthony Freud was 14, his favorite pastime was going to the opera in London and then, on the train ride home to Wimbledon where he lived with his parents, “dreaming about how I could do it better when I ran a company of my own some day.” He’s gotten his chance,…

  • A tourist in Detroit: Motown, coney dogs and art

    DETROIT (AP) — I arrived in a power outage, got a $45 parking ticket and drove past dozens of abandoned homes. But as a tourist on my first trip to Detroit, I also sang in the Motown studio, saw the paintings that were nearly sold to pay the city’s bills, and bumped fists with the…

  • Circus disputes citation for hair-hanging accident

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has contested a citation it received from federal regulators for an accident that sent eight hair-hanging acrobats plummeting to the ground during a live performance, severely injuring most of them. Stephen Payne, a spokesman for circus parent company Feld Entertainment, said this week that…

  • Artisphere arts center likely to close in Arlington

    ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan says the money-losing Artisphere arts center should close next June because it has failed to break even after years of subsidies. Members of the County Board tell The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/1AKftod ) they will likely support the recommendation. Donnellan says Artisphere hasn’t drawn enough visitors or…

  • Now that Detroit museum has been saved, go see it

    DETROIT (AP) — In the end, what saved Detroit’s art museum from being sold off painting by painting was a legal pad covered in doodles. The Detroit Institute of Arts has been owned by the city since 1919, when Detroit was “rolling in dough,” as museum director Graham Beal put it. But in 2013, with…

  • Artisphere in Arlington could close by summer 2015

    The Artisphere’s days may be numbered. Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan is recommending the county close the 4-year-old Arts Center in Rosslyn, according to a report from ARLnow. Citing Artisphere’s continued burden on taxpayers, Donellan noted the recommendation to close the multidisciplinary arts center was a tough one, and a “business decision,” at a county…

  • The AP picks its Top 10 theater of 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — This year’s best-in-theater list includes a musical with multiple murders, another with a cross-dressing German, one that’s set in a decadent Berlin nightclub, the revival of an America masterpiece and we celebrate someone who broke an important barrier. Our Top 10 list of the best in theater in 2014: 1. “Hedwig…

  • Broadway seeks a new Carole King with open auditions

    NEW YORK (AP) — If you think you can sing “It’s Too Late” and “So Far Away” like Carole King, some Broadway producers would like to hear from you. Nationwide open casting calls were announced Wednesday to find a new King and other cast members for “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical.” There will be…

  • Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

    They each turned a moment of violence into a call to action. For James Brady, that moment was when he was shot and wounded by a would-be presidential assassin. For Chung Eun-yong, it was the killings of his two children during a Korean War massacre. Brady took up a personal campaign for increased gun control…

  • The D’oh of Homer: Professors employ TV’s Simpsons

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Bart and Lisa Simpson have been in elementary school for 25 years. But that hasn’t stopped them from showing up on college campuses. Universities across the country are using satirical references from “The Simpsons” to grab students’ attention and convey lessons in literature and all manner of popular culture. “If the…

  • On Kickstarter, everyone wants to be ‘Staff Pick’

    NEW YORK (AP) — Want your project to get selected as a “Staff Pick” on crowdfunding site Kickstarter? Good luck with that. Entrepreneurs and other users have been seeking the secret to getting their projects selected as a “Staff Pick” — a designation that one of Kickstarter’s 98 employees can give a project based on…

  • Fla. parole commission hears ‘prison Houdini’ case

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A man known as the prison Houdini might finally see freedom after more than 35 years — this time without an elaborate escape. Florida’s parole commission voted Wednesday to move Mark DeFriest’s potential release date from 2085 to March 2015. DeFriest was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing tools…

  • Amazon-Hachette feud headlines book news in 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Like a serial for the digital age, the book world’s most dramatic story of 2014 unfolded in installments, often in real time. A dispute about e-book revenues between Amazon.com and Hachette Book Group led to Amazon’s removing buy buttons, cutting discounts and reducing orders for works ranging from J.K. Rowling’s latest…