Answer Man: Where are the funnies in the BND e-Edition?

News-DemocratApril 18, 2014 

I have your paper delivered, but some days I end up reading the e-Edition. I also got my son the e-Edition for Christmas since he lives in St. Louis. Why don't we get the Sunday comics in the electronic version? -- Tony Calza, of Collinsville.

I hope I can bring a smile to your face by saying that they may be added in the not-too-distant future.

When we launched our online edition, we were, of course, most concerned with getting our primary news content to Internet surfers, explained John Grove, our vice president of audience and operations. Shipping extras like Parade magazine and the funnies through our vendor to be put on our website required additional work at some extra cost.

Since then, the subject of adding them has been broached several times but, for whatever reason, put on the back burner, Grove said. But when I mentioned that comics are sometimes fought over as soon as the blue wrapper comes off, Grove said he would put it back on his list of hot topics because of the ever-growing importance of giving our Internet followers the full Monty (and Garfield and Snoopy ... )

This is driving me crazy: On the most recent episode of "NCIS" there was a woman who played some sort of adviser to Gibbs in a case involving a female ensign who is reluctant to divulge a rape. I know I've seen this woman in another series but I can't for the life of me remember what it might have been. Help! -- Tony Ptacek, of Mascoutah

Before you tear out any more hair, let me render my best judgment based on your sketchy information. I think you may have seen Kelli Williams playing Special Agent Maureen Cabot, who tries to convince Ensign Holly Farrell that she can trust Gibbs and herself.

See if her resume turns on any light bulbs: The 43-year-old actress, who has been in commercials since she was a baby, has had recurring roles in such series as "Elvis," "New York News," "Medical Investigation," "Men in Trees," "Lie to Me," "Army Wives," and as Lindsay Dole in "The Practice."

If you don't agree with my verdict, call be back and I'll continue my own investigation.

I was cooking dinner recently and noticed the recipe came from Jack and Mary Billings' cooking column that used to run in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. They were cooking instructors in the St. Louis area and featured simple recipes. I don't recall seeing that column in recent papers. Do you know what happened to them? -- Louis Morgan

She probably didn't hang up her spatula, but Mary Billings did start to put her typewriter (or PC or whatever she used) in mothballs after writing her final column in February 2011.

For a decade, she and husband Jack taught at Dierbergs School of Cooking. In 1995, they started the "Their You Serve column, a he-said, she-said recipe column that ran for seven years.

Then, in 2000, they started their "Special Request" column, which focused on restaurant recipes from some of their favorite local chefs. It started with a recipe for Piccadilly Cafeteria's carrot souffle.

Mary Billings said she always had just one requirement.

"Because I'm trying new recipes all the time, the really acid test is whether I come back to a recipe and make it again for my own table," she said once.

In 2005, her husband died of emphysema at age 82, but Mary continued sharing her cooking secrets until her 501st Special Request column in February 2011. After that, her feature stories on the cooking scene started showing up only sporadically.

I'm looking for one of my favorite movies on DVD, but can't find it. What can you tell me about "Kentucky"? -- E.D., of Belleville

A 75-year-old family feud turns into a run for the roses in this heartwarming 1938 tearjerker that stars Richard Greene, Loretta Young and the always crotchety Walter Brennan.

For whatever reason, 20th Century Fox never released the movie commercially, but you can find offers on the Internet from sellers who claim the movie entered the public domain in 1965 and are offering relative cheap ($10 or so) copies recorded off TV.

I have ordered one and, while not as good as a typical commercial copy, it is acceptable. You might try or search for other offers.

Today's trivia

According to Visa, how much will a prom set back the family of an average teenager?

Answer to Thursday's trivia: Famed writer Truman Capote's only screen credit came in the 1976 Neil Simon mystery-comedy "Murder by Death." In a plot he might have cooked up himself, Capote plays the mysterious Lionel Twain, who invites five detectives to "dinner and a murder." In another classic comedy, Capote goes strolling by as Woody Allen says to Diane Keaton, "Oh, there's the winner of the Truman Capote look-alike contest." However, Capote received no credit for "Annie Hall."

Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or or call 618-239-2465.

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