- - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Miranda Lambert questions Brown’s Grammy appearance

Country singer Miranda Lambert doesn’t get why R&B star Chris Brown was allowed to perform twice at the Grammys on Sunday.

She tweeted on Monday: “He beat on a girl … not cool that we act like that didn’t happen.”

Mr. Brown beat up Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time, the night before the Grammys in 2009. He pleaded guilty to an assault charge and was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community labor.

According to the Associated Press, Miss Lambert suggested that Mr. Brown listen to her song “Gunpowder & Lead,” which is about avenging domestic violence, and “be put back in his place. Not at the Grammys.”

She attended the Grammys in Los Angeles with husband Blake Shelton, who was a double nominee. Miss Lambert joined a slew of others who questioned the move on social networks.

A message left seeking comment from a representative of Mr. Brown’s wasn’t immediately returned.

San Francisco honors Bennett, song anniversary

More than 1,000 people crammed into San Francisco’s City Hall on Valentine’s Day to honor singer Tony Bennett and the 50th anniversary of his famous song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a symphony, a children’s chorus and the Gay Men’s Chorus all sang the song to Mr. Bennett during a ceremony he attended Tuesday.

The tune had its first public performance in December 1961 in the Venetian Room of the Fairmont Hotel, where Mr. Bennett sang Tuesday night.

The song has become a part of San Francisco culture and is played after every home victory for the Giants baseball team.

Ray Charles Foundation wants $3M donation returned

The Ray Charles Foundation is demanding the return of $3 million given to Albany State University a decade ago.

The organization says the college has not used the money to build a performing arts center in the late artist’s name.

In 2001, Charles gave the south Georgia school $1 million and donated another $2 million a year later after receiving an honorary doctorate from the college. The native of Albany, Ga., died in 2004 at age 73.

The money was given solely for the construction of the performing arts center, yet it exists only “on the drawing board and in an unapproved downsized plan,” the foundation said in a statement.

Charles was specific about how the money was to be spent, said foundation President Valerie Ervin.

“It is incomprehensible that Albany State University failed to use the money in the manner Mr. Charles wanted. Mr. Charles would find ASU’s behavior unacceptable,” she said.

Albany State University spokesman Demetrius Love said the gift was never restricted and that the school continues to pursue funding for the building, which is expected to cost at least $23 million.

Susan Sarandon gift supports table tennis

Susan Sarandon has donated $75,000 to support table tennis programs in New York City public schools.

The city Department of Education said Wednesday that the money would pay for equipment and coaching. This year, 27 high schools and middle schools have added table tennis.

Ms. Sarandon is the co-owner of a Manhattan table tennis club called Spin. The actress told the Wall Street Journal that the sport relieves stress and is great for children who are unfocused and need exercise.

Deputy in Gibson arrest settles discrimination lawsuit

The deputy who arrested Mel Gibson on charges of drunken driving and later claimed he suffered religious discrimination at work settled his lawsuit Tuesday against the sheriff’s department.

Attorneys for James Mee said a $50,000 settlement was reached and must be approved by a county claims board. A trial scheduled to begin this week was canceled.

Deputy Mee, who is Jewish, claimed his superiors discriminated against him after arresting Mr. Gibson in 2006. Mr. Gibson had appeared in a public service announcement while building close relations with the department.

“Deputy Mee did not file his lawsuit for money, but he filed his lawsuit for the principle of what happened to him and he strongly believed in his case,” said his attorney, Etan Lorant.

Sheriff Lee Baca’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department acknowledged no wrongdoing in the settlement.

“The sheriff has no issues with the settlement,” Mr. Whitmore said. “It was purely a business decision.”

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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