Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church opens as shelter after criticism in wake of Harvey

Published: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 @ 6:06 AM
Updated: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 @ 12:58 PM

Joel Osteen Responds To Claims He Won't Open Church As Storm Shelter

Update 1 p.m. Aug. 29: Officials with Houston’s Lakewood Church said Tuesday on Twitter that the church was open to people seeking shelter in the wake of widespread criticism for its failure to open immediately after Harvey started to batter the city.

In a pair of tweets, the church's senior pastor, Joel Osteen, wrote for those affected by Harvey to "stay strong and know that God has you in the palm of His hand!"

Original report: Author and evangelist Joel Osteen, senior pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church, is responding after getting some criticism after posting messages of prayer on social media.

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Many have posted on social media demanding to know why the megachurch hasn’t been turned into a shelter for storm refugees.

The facility’s Facebook page posted an announcement that the historic flooding ravaging Houston have rendered the facility inaccessible and have suggested people seek other options:

Those who have been able reach the site explain in their own posts why the church isn’t able to function as a shelter at the moment. It’s also partially underwater:

Osteen and Lakewood Church responded with a statement late Monday, saying,

“We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need. We are prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity. Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm in helping our fellow citizens rebuild their lives.”

Lakewood Church posted on its Twitter page that it is coordinating with the city and collecting supplies to distribute to Houston area shelters.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

What You Need To Know: Joel Osteen

Country music star, actress Lari White dead at 52 after battle with cancer

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:19 PM

Lari White performs a tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman, not pictured, during the ASCAP Film and Television music awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, May 6, 2008. 
Matt Sayles/AP
Lari White performs a tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman, not pictured, during the ASCAP Film and Television music awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, May 6, 2008. (Matt Sayles/AP)

The multi-talented singer, songwriter, musician and actress Lari White has died.

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The artist was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer in late 2017. White first broke the news in a blog post on Artist Works, telling readers that she had already endured pneumonia, surgery and was dealing with pain management. A Caring Bridge page was then established by her family to keep family, fans and friends posted on her progress. Unfortunately, treatment, which included trying two new chemotherapy drugs, was unsuccessful, and on Jan. 23, White succumbed to the disease at the age of 52.

In one of the most recent posts on the Caring Bridge page, White’s mother wrote, “There is so much I could say about Lari, but multitudes of you have said it already. God gave us a very special gift when he sent this incredible baby to a young, inexperienced … and frightened … couple … But in spite of this, we loved her with all our hearts. From the beginning, we knew that she was ‘something else’ … wise and funny, intelligent and super-talented … so loving, kind and compassionate … with a heart as big as all of heaven. I have never known a person who did not love her and respect her, as evidenced by the great outpouring of love and concern of so many people. Every role she has played in life has been superb, and most of all, her role as mother. We are blessed to be her family. [Husband] Chuck [Cannon] and their three children are blessed to have her as wife and mother. Thank you, God, for Lari!”

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White earned Nashville’s attention in 1988 when she was named a winner in the reality competition show “You Can Be a Star,” a show that also helped launch the career of Trisha Yearwood.

She went on to release her first album, “Lead Me Not,” in 1993 and quickly established herself as a respected songwriter and singer with a sweet, but incredibly soulful, voice. Her sophomore album, “Wishes,” went on to produce three hit singles, including “That’s My Baby,” “Now I Know” and “That’s How You Know (When You’re In Love).” A 1997 duet with Travis Tritt, “Helping Me Get Over You,” cracked the Top 20 on “Billboard’s” Hot Country Songs chart.

In 1996, and then again in 1998, White became a Grammy winner for her contributions to “Amazing Grace: A Country Salute to Gospel” and “Amazing Grace 2.” She won a third Grammy in 1999 for her involvement on the soundtrack for the movie “The Apostle,” which featured June Carter Cash and Billy Joe Shaver. Lari performed the traditional hymn “There is Power in the Blood” for the collection.

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The star also had success as one of the few female producers working in country music. She produced Toby Keith’s 2006 album, “White Trash With Money,” and co-produced four songs on Billy Dean’s “Let Them Be Little” album in 2004.

White gained big screen recognition when she appeared in the 2000 film “Cast Away” starring Tom Hanks. She also went on to appear in the 2010 Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow movie, “Country Strong.” In addition, she appeared on the stage in the Broadway musical “Ring of Fire.”

Married to fellow hit songwriter Chuck Cannon (“I Love the Way You Love Me,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!”), White was the mother of three children–M’Kenzy, Kyra and Jaxon. White and Cannon co-wrote “I Will Not Say Goodbye” with songwriter Vicky McGehee, which became a Top 40 hit for Dany Gokey. Sadly, the song was inspired by the untimely passing of a dear friend’s 14-year-old son.

’Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten shows off fancy $15,500 stove

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:18 PM

Author and Food Network host Ina Garten attends the 2010 Matrix Awards presented by the New York Women in Communications at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday, April 19, 2010 in New York. 
Evan Agostini/AP
Author and Food Network host Ina Garten attends the 2010 Matrix Awards presented by the New York Women in Communications at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday, April 19, 2010 in New York. (Evan Agostini/AP)

Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten just took upgrading your appliances to a whole new level.

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The Food Network star and celebrity chef took to social media last week to show off a new, stunning stove that she just added to the kitchen of her Manhattan apartment.

“First day cooking on my new @lacanche_us range – so much fun!! #NYC#newapartment,” she wrote to followers on Jan. 18.

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The very fancy appliance was custom designed for Garten by Lacanche, a French-owned family business that makes about 50 stoves per year for American customers. According to PEOPLE, Garten went for the “Sully” model (which starts at $13,850) and added two burners, costing an additional $825.

The stove takes about four months to design and build and Garten had to pay extra for shipping, of course.

On Jan. 19, Garten shared the first treat she baked using her new oven. Sharing a photo of freshly baked pistachio meringues, she wrote, “First thing out of the oven – gorgeous Pistachio Meringues inspired by my friend Yotam @ottolenghi !!”

In April 2017, Garten opened up about the decision she and husband Jeffery made to not have children.

“We decided not to have children,” she said at the time. “I really appreciate that other people do and we will always have friends that have children that we are close to but it was a choice I made very early. I really felt, I feel, that I would have never been able to have the life I’ve had. So it’s a choice and that was the choice I made.”

The couple celebrated 49 blissful years of marriage in December.

Neil Diamond diagnosed with Parkinson’s, retiring from touring

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:44 PM

What You Need To Know About Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond will retire from touring due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

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The renowned singer-songwriter announced the news in a statement Monday that said his doctors advised that he cancel the upcoming leg of his 50th anniversary tour set for Australia and New Zealand.

“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said. “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years. My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows. I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come. My thanks go out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”

Diamond turns 77 on Wednesday and, in a bittersweet turn, this weekend will be honored at the Grammy Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The storied songwriter behind such chestnuts as “Love on the Rocks,” “I Am, I Said,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Heartlight” and dozens more, launched his anniversary tour in April 2017.

>> Related: Grammy Awards 2018: What time, what channel, who is nominated, who will perform 

His most recent non-holiday album, “Melody Road,” was released in 2014.

Megyn Kelly still angry at Jane Fonda, calls her ‘Hanoi Jane’ months after plastic surgery tiff

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 5:41 PM

What You Need To Know About Jane Fonda

It seems that neither Megyn Kelly or Jane Fonda has forgotten about that awkward September interview in which Fonda shut Kelly down after the latter asked about possible plastic surgery.

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In the interview, Kelly asked Fonda about aging and plastic surgery when she and Robert Redford were on “Megyn Kelly Today” to promote their film “Our Souls at Night.” Fonda didn’t want to talk about the topic and snapped, “We really want to talk about that now?”

Things never really got back on track after that, and the incident came up again just last week, when Fonda appeared on “TODAY” with her “Grace & Frankie” co-star Lily Tomlin. When Hoda Kotb asked how long the veteran actresses have been friends, Tomlin replied, “Oh, my gosh … I think before your first facelift!”

While Kotb and Savannah Guthrie exploded in a fit of giggles, Fonda was clearly unamused. “Never mind! Never mind!” she said. “Who are you, Megyn Kelly?”

On Monday, Kelly took time out of her show to address the actress’s remarks.

“And, now, a word on Jane Fonda, who appears to be fixated on an exchange I had with her months ago on this show,” Kelly said introducing the clip from September on her show on Monday. “When she first complained, publicly after the program and repeatedly after the program, I chose to say nothing because my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business.”

>> Related: After Matt Lauer’s firing, new NBC employee accuses ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ staff

“It’s time to address the ‘poor me’ routine,” Kelly said. She told the audience and TV viewers that Fonda appeared on her show last September to promote a film “about aging.”

“To her credit, she has discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show,” Kelly said.

Kelly then played a clip of a previous Fonda “Today Show” appearance discussing her history with plastic surgery, then referenced Fonda’s other interviews on the topic.

“Apparently, when she came here, however, again, to promote her film about aging, I was supposed to discern that this subject was suddenly off limits,” Kelly said. “Look, I gave her the chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well, and she rejected it. That’s OK. But I have no regrets about that question, nor am I in the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is or is not appropriate.”

The hits kept on coming when Kelly brought up the “outrage” Fonda has caused in the past.

“After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage. Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam War,” Kelly said as the audience cheered. “Many of our veterans still call her ‘Hanoi Jane.'”

Kelly then listed Fonda’s multiple offenses and added, “By the way, she still says she is not proud of America.”

>> Related: Rocker John Mellencamp’s daughter joins cast of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

It’s unclear if Fonda plans on responding to Kelly’s insults, but Fonda fans responded on Twitter.