Slideshow: Famous Hoosiers throughout the years

Alex Karras Alex Karras became the best known member of a football-playing family, with a career as a dominant defensive lineman in the National Football League, followed by an acting career that included notable roles in "Blazing Saddles" and "Webster."Karras was born in Gary on July 15, 1935. His father was a Greek immigrant and doctor; his mother a nurse. Karras' brothers Lou, Ted and Paul all played football, Lou and Ted in the NFL.Karras graduated from Emerson High School and attended the University of Iowa, where he earned the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in college football. He was drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 1958 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions.Karras played for the Lions from 1958-62 and 64-70. He was suspended for the 1963 season after admitting to gambling on NFL games. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to the 1960s All-Decade NFL team.His wider fame had its start in the major role he played in George Plimpton's book "Paper Lion," chronicling the writer's experience as an amateur quarterback for the Lions. When the book was adapted as a movie, Karras played himself opposite Alan Alda's Plimpton.Karras appeared in a variety of movies and TV shows, including "Blazing Saddles" as the outlaw Mongo, who memorably knocked out a horse with a single punch; "Porky's"; the TV miniseries "Centennial," and his starring role in the sitcom "Webster," which he produced with his co-star and wife, Susan Clark.Karras also worked as a commentator on Monday Night Football broadcasts from 1974-76, alongside Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford.Karras had six children with his two wives. He died at age 77 on Oct. 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, suffering from kidney failure, cancer and dementia. Becca Bruszewski Whether it was basketball or volleyball, Becca Bruszewski found a way to stand out.The 6-foot-1 Wheeler graduate was The Times Player of the Year and an Indiana All-Star in 2007, finishing second runner-up for Miss Basketball. In Continue Reading

The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea

The United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, so there is no embassy in Washington, but for years the two countries have relied on the “New York channel,” an office inside North Korea’s mission to the United Nations, to handle the unavoidable parts of our nonexistent relationship. The office has, among other things, negotiated the release of prisoners and held informal talks about nuclear tensions. In April, I contacted the New York channel and requested permission to visit Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The New York channel consists mostly of two genial middle-aged men: Pak Song Il, a husky diplomat with a gray brush cut; and his aide-de-camp, Kwon Jong Gun, who is younger and thinner. They go everywhere together. (The North Korean government has diplomats work in pairs, to prevent them from defecting, or being recruited as spies.) Under U.S. law, they can travel only twenty-five miles from Columbus Circle. Pak and Kwon met me near their office, for lunch at the Palm Too. They cautioned me that it might take several months to arrange a trip. North Korea periodically admits large groups of American journalists, to witness parades and special occasions, but it is more hesitant when it comes to individual reporters, who require close monitoring and want to talk about the nuclear program. Americans are accustomed to eruptions of hostility with North Korea, but in the past six months the enmity has reached a level rarely seen since the end of the Korean War, in 1953. The crisis has been hastened by fundamental changes in the leadership on both sides. In the six years since Kim Jong Un assumed power, at the age of twenty-seven, he has tested eighty-four missiles—more than double the number that his father and grandfather tested. Just before Donald Trump took office, in January, he expressed a willingness to wage a “preventive” war in North Korea, a prospect that previous Continue Reading

February 2017 concerts in Phoenix: Blink-182, Ariana Grande, Jake Owen, Alter Bridge, AFI, Young the Giant

Ariana Grande is launching her Dangerous Woman Tour in a month that also features Blink-182, Jake Owen, Toby Keith and Kaskade headlining the Phoenix Open Birds Nest concert series. February also brings Crush to Rawhide and concerts by the likes of AFI, Young the Giant and Dashboard Confessional.The Academy of Country Music's Top New Male Vocalist pick for 2009, bro-country heartthrob Owen headlined last year's Country Thunder Arizona festival, inspiring one massive singalong after another, from his own hits to Van Halen's "Jump" and Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home." His best-known hits include three No. 1 appearances on Billboard’s country songs chart – “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” “Alone With You” and “Beachin’” – as well as Top 10 country singles “Startin’ With Me,” “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You,” “The One That Got Away,” “Anywhere With You” and “American Country Love Song.” That last one is from last year’s “American Love,” which topped the country album charts. Also playing: Chase Rice.Details: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1. TPC Scottsdale, 17020 N. Hayden Road. Located directly across from the main tournament entrance at 82nd Street and Bell Road. General admission tickets start at $50, with VIP tickets starting at $200. 800-745-3000, to Banhart's latest effort made me think of Donovan – it's all in the trembling vocal. Anyhow, thinking of Donovan got me to thinking about the time I was talking to Donovan and decided to ask if he felt a connection to Banhart. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," he said. "I went to see him when he came to Ireland. And it was very cool. There's very much a lot of gypsy stuff in Devendra, just like me. I walk out there, the light comes up, and then I play guitar (makes guitar noise), and then when I sing, I'm Continue Reading

Travolta in ‘Spray’ revolts gays

John Travolta may live to regret squeezing into the house-dress of Edna Turnblad. Gay critics are hissing at Travolta for inserting himself into the remake of 'Hairspray' because they charge that his faith, Scientology, is homophobic. 'It's well-known that Scientology has operated reparative therapy clinics to try to 'cure' gays,' says Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff, who is calling for a boycott of the movie, which opens next month. 'Scientologists are required to donate a hefty portion of their income to the church,' Naff tells us. 'So, by going to this movie, gay people are literally putting money into an organization that seeks to 'cure' them.' Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his 1950 best seller, 'Dianetics,' that gays were 'sexual perverts' and 'very ill physically.' In a federal lawsuit filed in 1998, ex-Scientologist Michael Pattinson claimed the church deceived him by using Travolta as an example of a satisfied member who'd gone straight. Reps for Travolta — who has been married to Scientologist Kelly Preston for 13 years — and the church have called Pattinson's charges 'meritless' and 'hogwash.' Travolta's rep didn't respond to our e-mail yesterday. But John Carmichael, president of the New York branch of the Church of Scientology, told us, 'Scientology doesn't try to tell people what their sexual orientation should be. The emphasis is on helping people survive better in the world. If a person comes into Scientology and they are involved in doing anything that they consider detrimental to their survival, then they can change that compulsion.' Naff considers the notion of remaking John Waters ' 1988 camp classic 'ridiculous. The role of Edna Turnblad was played brilliantly by Divine. I'm a huge John Waters fan, but shame on him for signing on to the casting of this film.' The openly gay Waters wasn't available for comment yesterday, but we're sure he'll have some thoughts. Quivers' diet team ensures Robin eats like Continue Reading