In my recent update on KMOV's Larry Conners, I didn't have a chance to tell Vickie Newton fans that she says she is still being cyber-stalked in Arkansas.
The former KMOV anchor says the harassment began here about five years ago after she innocently opened an unfamiliar email on her home computer. Later, messages began disappearing from her home and work accounts. She says the stalking only intensified when she moved back to her home state of Arkansas last summer to launch The Village Celebration, an online magazine that focuses on the accomplishments and heritage of blacks.
"I don't know who is stalking me and I don't know what the end game is," Newton said in a recent article on the magazine's website. "Recently, some of the postings have described key words that describe rooms in my home, family member names are included and so the level of the threat is more aggressive."
You can read the entire story and the magazine at www.TheVillageCelebration.com. One of the magazine's contributors is a former News-Democrat colleague of mine -- East St. Louis native Alonzo Byrd, who is now assistant vice president of public affairs for Enterprise Holdings.
Fruity answer?: After my story on the Beacon trivia night in last Sunday's BND Magazine, I had several calls and emails disputing my answer to the question "The common military grenade is named after what fruit?"
Turns out I had done a bang-up job on my research. Yes, the grenade often is slangily called a pineapple -- as even I remember from watching war movies and reading Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos comic books. But if you check your dictionary, you'll find the actual word "grenade" comes from the Old French "pome grenate" ("apple having many seeds") -- or pomegranate.
On the case: My recent trivia answer that actor William Katt ("The Greatest American Hero") was the son of Barbara Hale (Della Street on "Perry Mason") prompted Virginia Cecil, of Belleville, to remind me that Katt played Paul Drake Jr. in a half-dozen Perry Mason TV movies from 1986-88. While we're on the subject, Katt is reportedly a distant cousin of Nicky Katt, whom I remember from "Boston Public."
Better choice: When a woman asked for the name of a recently released movie on Franklin Roosevelt, I told her about "Hyde Park on Hudson" with Bill Murray -- but with reservations because of its R rating and mostly lukewarm reviews.
That prompted one caller to remind me of a much better FDR drama -- the 2005 made-for-TV movie "Warm Springs" with Kenneth Branagh and Cynthia Nixon as Franklin and Eleanor. Produced by HBO Films, it earned an incredible 16 Emmy nominations, winning five, including best movie and supporting actress (Jane Alexander)
It is available new at amazon.com for $9, including postage. HBO's six-hour 1976-77 "Eleanor and Franklin" double-disc set is also available for about $10.
Max to the max: In my recent answer to questions about the NBC series "Parenthood," I neglected to give the website for 15-year-old Max Burkholder, who has enthralled many viewers with his uncanny portrayal of Max Braverman, a young boy with Asperger's syndrome. At www.maxburkhoder.com, you not only can read all about this talented 15-year-old but also watch a 15-minute highlight reel of his work during the past 10 years.
The better to hear you: My advice for HDTV owners to buy a sound bar to improve the audio quality wouldn't have been so sound for Gracia Schlafly, of Columbia. She says that's what she did but the bar sat in front of the TV, blocking the infrared signals from her remote control. So for Christmas, her kids gave her and her husband a $400 BOSE Solo system to replace the bar. Now, everything's coming in loud and clear.
Parting shot: I was just joking when I recently suggested that Canadian sweepstakes winners probably wouldn't be asked who played left wing for Toronto in game three of the 1922 Stanley Cup. (Canadians have to pass a test of knowledge before they can win any chance giveaway.)
Well, wouldn't you know it, Dave Nichols, of Mascoutah, immediately wrote that the left winger was Lloyd "Shrimp" Andrews. He played in only 53 games during his four-year NHL career, but one of his 10 goals was the game-winner in game four of the 1922 finals, when the Toronto St. Pats trounced the Vancouver Millionaires 6-0 en route to a 3-2 cup title.
Now, there's a hockey/trivia fan.
Today's trivia: What was the first U.S. coin containing nickel?
Answer to Thursday's trivia: You'll likely often find that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in 1933 was the first major construction project to require workers to wear hard hats. Apparently, that's not true. During the construction of the Hoover Dam, the Oct. 28, 1931, edition of the Las Vegas Review Journal reported, "Nobody will be allowed in the canyon bottom without one of the helmets, henceforth, according to Ed Brockman, supervisor of insurance and safety for the Big Six (Companies)." By the way, those first hard hats apparently were made out of steamed layers of glued canvas painted black, according to the Nevada State Library and Archives.
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or firstname.lastname@example.org