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Jennifer Garner plays with Arkansas kids at health center

Actress Jennifer Garner has brought a little fun to a northeast Arkansas childcare and family health center.

Thee Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Garner visited the ARcare Center for Education and Wellness in Augusta, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock, Thursday as an ambassador for Save the Children's Head Start program.

In a video posted to social media, Garner is surrounded by a gaggle of children, whom she sternly — and jokingly — tells not to follow her. She storms off, trailed by toddlers. When she turns around and surprises them, the children scream and laugh.

According to Save The Children's website, Head Start programs provide early childhood education, health and well-being services to low income families and children.

Garner also visited the state capitol.

Family, fans, of Tom Petty gather to name park in his honor

A Florida park was renamed after iconic rocker Tom Petty, who played at that park as a boy.

The Gainesville Sun reports that hundreds of members of the Tom Petty Nation! fan club visited Gainesville on Saturday to celebrate the star's birthday with his music and the dedication of the former Northeast Park as Tom Petty Park.

His family was also on hand.

"My brother and I grew up in this park. We played as kids. My cousin reminded me the other day of my remark that it was a sanctuary, and it really was," said brother Bruce Petty. "It was a place for us to escape and be kids and have fun. The fact that we are doing this today and the part that we played in it makes it so much more special."

Petty died Oct. 2, 2017. He was born Oct. 20, 1950 in Gainesville and lived in the small city until he left for Los Angeles to make it big in the music business.

Petty sold millions of records worldwide with the Heartbreakers, the Traveling Wilburys supergroup and as a solo artist. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

His family lived a block from the Gainesville park and it was like a second home for him and his brother.

Other area events celebrated the singer and included the Tom Petty Birthday Bash and Tom Petty Weekend.

Adria Petty, Tom's daughter, grew up in Los Angeles but spent time in North Florida with her parents. She talked about a song called "Gainesville" that's on "An American Treasure," a new four-CD box set of Petty's music.

"Gainesville is an extraordinary place and if you listen to my dad's music here, it has a different meaning. The idea of the air smelling good and the trees are green — there is nothing like this park to really illustrate that," she said.

"'Gainesville' has been blasting in my head since I landed," she said. "It's a very important town to Florida. Florida is a really beautiful and complex state and (Gainesville) fosters a lot of intelligence and compassion and incredible manners and incredible decency."

Local artists Carrie and Jesus Martinez painted a Tom Petty Mural at the Sidney Lanier Center, the elementary school Petty attended. They were asked to paint an 8-by-8-foot mural on canvas that was auctioned Saturday night to benefit the UF program.

"We hope to make a lot of money for a really good cause," Carrie Martinez said. "We're Tom Petty fans. Everybody is a Tom Petty fan."

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Information from: The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, http://www.gainesvillesun.com

Julia Louis-Dreyfus feted for career achievement in comedy

After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television characters to her name -- Elaine Benes of "Seinfeld" and foul-mouthed Vice-President Selina Meyer--Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been honored with the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in comedy.

On Sunday night at Washington's Kennedy Center, the 57-year-old actress received a stream of testimonials from celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey--touching on the multiple aspects of her career.

Fey paid tribute to Louis-Dreyfus at the award ceremony by tracking the similarities between their lives.

"We both started comedy in Chicago. We both moved on to 'Saturday Night Live.' We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall," referring to Louis-Dreyfus' husband and former SNL castmate sitting next to the honoree. Fey praised the "secret precision" of Louis-Dreyfus' comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.

"Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer," Fey said. "Julia's never been afraid to be unlikable--not on screen and not in person."

Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st Mark Twain recipient, joining a list that includes Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby, the winner in 2009, had his award rescinded earlier this year after he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

During last year's ceremony to honor David Letterman, Cosby's name was never mentioned. But this year, two of the performers felt comfortable making Cosby jokes. Late night host Stephen Colbert displayed a sign proclaiming, "167 days since the last Un-Twaining."

With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, "I think you'll be OK."

Later Keegan-Michael Key come onstage, dressed as Mark Twain himself and proceeded to roast many of the previous award recipients. When a picture of Cosby was briefly shown, Michael-Key quickly moved things along and said, "It's OK, he's not watching," then added that he doubted PBS was a popular channel "in the penitentiary."

Seinfeld, while on the red carpet before the ceremony, recalled first meeting Louis-Dreyfus during an informal audition. His iconic sitcom, "Seinfeld," was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on "Saturday Night Live."

"We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together," Seinfeld said. "As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one."

Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called "a very male show."

That confidence was evident very early for Louis-Dreyfus, who said she knew as a young child that she had a gift for comedy.

"The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn't come out!" Louis-Dreyfus said before the ceremony.

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of "Seinfeld" until he immigrated to the U.S as an adult.

"But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here," he said.

The co-writer of the movie "The Big Sick" particularly recalls her iconic, slightly convulsive "Elaine Benes dance" on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus' gift for physical comedy.

"There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them," he said. "But she was just fearless and ego-less."

At the end of the night, Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life's ambition to be a respected dramatic actress_stopping in mid-speech to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."

A native of the Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms school, alma mater of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a high school party.

Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford's testimony_framing it around her performance a high school presentation of the play "Serendipity."

"I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it," she said, to a round of laughter and applause. "But I can't remember who drove me there or who drove me home."

Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live." Her best-known role is her nine-year run as Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld." More recently, her work as Vice President Selina Meyer on "Veep" earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.

Production on the upcoming seventh and final season of "Veep" was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer. That season is currently in production.

PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.

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This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Meyer in the 1st paragraph.

'Halloween' scares up $77.5 million in ticket sales

Forty years after he first appeared in theaters, Michael Myers is still drawing huge audiences for a good scare.

Universal Pictures said Sunday that "Halloween" took in an estimated $77.5 million in ticket sales from North American theaters.

It captured first place at the box office with the second-highest horror opening of all time, behind last year's "It."

It also marked the second highest October opening ever behind "Venom's" $80.3 million launch earlier this month.

The studio also says it's the biggest movie opening ever with a female lead over 55, in star Jamie Lee Curtis.

David Gordon Green directed "Halloween," which brings back Curtis as Laurie Strode and Nick Castle as Michael Myers and essentially ignores the events of the other sequels and spinoffs aside from John Carpenter's original.

Reviews have been largely positive for the new installment, with an 80 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ Cinema Score from audiences that were mostly older (59 percent over 25) and male (53 percent). Internationally, "Halloween" earned $14.3 million from 23 markets.

Blumhouse, the shop behind "Get Out" and numerous other modestly budgeted horror films, co-produced "Halloween" with Miramax. It cost only $10 million to make.

"You take the nostalgia for 'Halloween,' especially with the return of Jamie Lee Curtis, and you combine that with the Blumhouse brand and its contemporary currency in the genre and it just made for a ridiculously potent combination at the box office this weekend," said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution.

With 10 days to go until the holiday, including another weekend, the studio expects "Halloween" to enjoy a much longer life than typical horror films that usually drop off significantly after the first weekend.

"Halloween" was enough to bump the comic-book film "Venom" out of the No. 1 spot and into third place. In its third weekend in theaters, it collected $18.1 million, bringing its domestic total to $171.1 million.

Meanwhile "A Star Is Born" held on to second place in its third weekend with $19.3 million. The Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga drama has grossed $126.4 million from North American theaters and is cruising to break $200 million worldwide Sunday.

Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic "First Man" tumbled to fifth place in its second weekend earning $8.6 million, down 46 percent from its launch.

It was a particularly busy week at the box office as critically acclaimed films such as the young adult adaptation "The Hate U Give" and the Robert Redford swan song "The Old Man & The Gun" expanded nationwide after a few weeks in limited release.

"The Hate U Give," now in 2,303 locations, placed sixth with $7.5 million, and "The Old Man & The Gun" took 10th with $2.1 million from 802 locations.

A number of well-received indies also made their debuts. At the top was Jonah Hill's directorial debut "Mid90s," which opened in four theaters with $249,500 (or a $62,375 per theater average).

The Melissa McCarthy film "Can You Ever Forgive Me," about the literary forger Lee Israel, grossed $150,000 in five locations.

October has never been a particularly strong box office month, but 2018 has helped to change that. The weekend was up nearly 72 percent from the same weekend last October and the year to date is up nearly 11 percent.

"The industry is on a major roll right now," said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Audiences are responding to movies big and small right now — You can have your cinematic fast food and fine dining all at once right now. The movie-going experience is as viable and relevant as ever."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1."Halloween," $77.5 million ($14.3 million international).

2."A Star Is Born," $19.3 million ($22.8 million international).

3."Venom," $18.1 million ($32.3 million international).

4."Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween," $9.7 million ($6.2 million international).

5."First Man," $8.6 million ($13.4 million international).

6."The Hate U Give,"$7.5 million.

7. "Smallfoot," $6.6 million ($14 million international).

8."Night School," $5 million ($1.5 million international).

9."Bad Times At The El Royale," $3.3 million ($2.5 million international).

10."The Old Man & The Gun," $2 million.

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. "Venom," $32.3 million.

2. "A Star Is Born," $22.8 million.

3. "Project Gutenberg," $14.7 million.

4. "Halloween," $14.3 million.

5. "Smallfoot," $14 million.

6. "First Man," $13.4 million.

7. "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween," $6.2 million.

8. "The Spy Who Dumped Me," $5.7 million.

9. "Lost, Found," $5.3 million.

10. "Hichki," $4 million.

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr

World Series 2018: Schedule, times released

The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers will meet in the 114th World Series, and Major League Baseball announced the dates and times for the Fall Classic on Sunday.

>> Read more trending news 

The Red Sox led the majors with 108 wins this season and eliminated the defending champion Houston Astros with a 4-1 victory in Game 5 of the ALCS. The Red Sox are 5-0 on the road this postseason as they seek their fourth crown in 15 years.

The Dodgers took Game 7 of the NL Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-1 win on Saturday night, landing their 23rd pennant. 

>> 2018 World Series: Some things you might not know

The World Series will open at Fenway Park for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, and all games will be televised nationally on Fox. ESPN Radio will carry the games on radio. 

Here is the schedule for the best-of-seven World Series:

 Game 1 - Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8:09 p.m.

Game 2 - Wednesday, Oct. 25, 8:09 p.m.

Game 3 - Friday, Oct. 26,  8:09 p.m.

Game 4 - Saturday, Oct. 27, 8:09 p.m.

x-Game 5 - Sunday, Oct. 28, 8:15 p.m.

x-Game 6 - Tuesday, Oct. 30, 8:09 p.m.

x-Game 7 - Wednesday, Oct. 31, 8:09 p.m.

x-If necessary

Amy Schumer backs Colin Kaepernick, won't appear in Super Bowl ads 

Comedian Amy Schumer is following pop singer Rihanna’s lead in not participating in Super Bowl LIII.

>> Read more trending news 

In a Friday post on Instagram, Schumer said she has decided to turn down any offers to participate in commercials for the Feb. 3 game at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The move, she said, was in support of the “take-a-knee” protests by NFL players that was started in 2016 by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, ESPN reported. Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.

“Hitting the NFL with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them,” Schumer wrote. “I know opposing the NFL is like opposing the NRA. Very tough, but don’t you want to be proud of how you’re living? 

Earlier this week, Rihanna turned down an offer to headline the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show as a way to support Kaepernick.

In 2016, Schumer appeared with Seth Rogen in a politically-themed Bud Light ad, "Raise One to Right Now," during Super Bowl 50, ESPN reported.

In her Instagram post, Schumer said she hoped Maroon 5, set to headline the halftime show at Super Bowl LIII, will reconsider and withdraw.

She also suggested that white NFL players should join black players by taking a knee.

“Why not kneel next to your brothers?” Schumer wrote. “Otherwise, how are you not complicit?” 

>> Rihanna turns down Super Bowl halftime show

Kaepernick was released by the 49ers after the 2016 season and hasn’t played since.

He filed a grievance against the NFL and team owners last year, accusing them of conspiring to keep him from playing in the league.

Nike ad campaign featuring Kaepernick as the face of the athletic retail giant’s “Just Do It” 30th anniversary has sparked debate, controversy and boycotts.

Schumer was arrested Oct. 4 during a protest in Washington against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, CNN reported.

It was not clear if Schumer was approached to appear in an ad to run during Super Bowl LIII, ESPN reported.

Britney Spears returning to Vegas in February with 'Dominations' show

Pop singer Britney Spears will be returning to Las Vegas for a new residency next year, Variety reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Spears’ “Dominations” show will debut in February at the Park MGM. The show was announced on Ellen DeGeneres’ YouTube channelBillboard reported.

Tickets will go on sale Friday.

In January, Spears ended a four-year run in Vegas at Planet Hollywood’s Axis Theater, Variety reported. She recently ended a European tour with Pitbull as her opening act. According to Pollstar, Spears grossed $2.38 million at Paris’ 15,000-capacity AccorHotels Arena on Aug 28 and 29.

Meghan's schedule in Australia cut back after hectic start

The pregnant Duchess of Sussex has had her schedule cut back during her first royal tour, after a hectic start to her visit to Australia and the South Pacific with husband Prince Harry.

The tour is an extremely busy one, with the royal couple scheduled to attend more than 70 engagements during a 16-day trip across four countries.

Meghan, who is about 12 weeks pregnant, skipped an event in Sydney on Sunday morning, leaving Harry to attend a cycling competition at the Invictus Games alone.

She later joined the prince to watch sailing events, and at a lunchtime reception hosted by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Kensington Palace said the royal couple had moved to reduce Meghan's schedule ahead of their visit to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in the second phase of their tour.

"After a busy program, the duke and duchess have decided to cut back the duchess's schedule slightly for the next couple of days, ahead of the final week-and-a-half of the tour," the palace said in a statement.

Meghan's envisaged role on a scheduled Monday trip to Fraser Island, off Queensland state in Australia's north, was unclear, with the palace statement saying only that "the Duke will continue with the engagements on Fraser Island."

The couple are due to leave Australia for Fiji and Tonga on Tuesday. They will return to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, Harry's brainchild and the focus of their tour, before finishing off with a visit to New Zealand.

Harry spent considerable time at the lunchtime reception chatting with competitors assembled for the Invictus Games, which gives sick and injured military personnel and veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball, and to find inspiration to recover.

Actress Selma Blair say she has been diagnosed with MS

Film and TV actress Selma Blair announced she is dealing with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

In a post Saturday on her Instagram account, Blair, 46, says she was diagnosed with the disease of the central nervous system on Aug. 16.

Blair says she is struggling with the disease's effects on her: "I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps."

She adds, however, that thanks to the support of the cast and crew of a Netflix show she is filming, as well as her friends and family, "we are doing it. And I laugh and I don't know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best."

Blair has co-starred in a number of films and TV shows, including the 2001 hit "Legally Blonde."

Lynn says she's better after illness sent her to hospital

Loretta Lynn says she is doing better after a brief hospital visit to treat an illness that kept her from attending a CMT tribute to her and other female country artists.

A message posted on Lynn's official Facebook page Saturday afternoon said she is feeling better and is now resting at home. Lynn's post said she was sick, but did not provide additional details.

The 86-year-old just released a new album, "Wouldn't It Be Great." She was unable to attend Wednesday's CMT Artists of the Year awards ceremony. Actress Sissy Spacek accepted the honor on Lynn's behalf.

Spacek won an Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter" and called Lynn a trailblazer.

Lynn wrote she had watched Spacek's tribute several times and appreciated the kind words from her "sweet friend."

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