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Feb. 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM
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'Thief' steals weekend box office

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- "Identity Thief," starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, made off with the weekend's No. 1 spot at the box office, raking in $36.593 million.

"Warm Bodies" was second with $11.5 million.

All studio estimates of gross North American box office receipts are via Box Office Mojo.

"Side Effects (2013)" was third with $10.015 million; "Silver Linings Playbook" fourth with $6.908 million; "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" fifth with $5.75 million; "Mama" sixth with $4.323 million; "Zero Dark Thirty" seventh with $4 million.

"Argo" eighth with $2.5 million; "Django Unchained" ninth with $2.288 million; and "Bullet to the Head" 10th with $1.98 million.

'Argo' wins USC Scripter Award

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- "Argo," the film on the rescue of six Americans hiding in the Canadian Embassy in the Iranian Revolution, won the University of California's Scripter Award.

"Argo" screenwriter Chris Terrio shared the award with Antonio Mendez, the CIA operative who wrote the autobiographical "The Master of Disguise," and Joshuah Bearman, who wrote the Wired magazine article "The Great Escape" during the 25th annual awards program Saturday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

"Argo," directed by actor-director Ben Affleck, who portrayed Mendez in the movie, competed with "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "Silver Linings Playbook."

The "Argo" script also is nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award and the Academy Award.

Larry McMurty and Diana Ossana, adapted screenplay Oscar winners for "Brokeback Mountain," received the Scripter Literary Achievement Award, the Times said.

"Argo" is nominated for seven Academy Awards. It was named the best dramatic film and earned Affleck the director award at the Golden Globes, won Screen Actors Guild Award for ensemble; earned the top prize from Producers Guild of America Award and won the best director award from the Directors Guild of America.

Seagal leads school security training

PHOENIX, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Star Steven Seagal, 60, led members of an Arizona sheriff's volunteer group through a simulated school shooting, officials said.

The volunteer posse has been used to patrol shopping malls during the holidays and find undocumented immigrants, and now, they are set to patrol areas surrounding schools in the county of Maricopa, ABC News reported.

The volunteers Saturday learned how to handle one, two and three shooter scenarios as well as hand to hand combat and room entry tactics, the county sheriff's office said in a release.

Two dozen high school students volunteered to take part in the simulation and SWAT members posed as the shooters, ABC News said.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been sending volunteer members to patrol schools since the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Arpaio told ABC News that volunteers will receive 100 hours of training and some will be armed with weapons.

Seagal, the star of "Above the Law" and "Under Siege" occasionally worked as a deputy for the Jefferson Parish sheriff in Louisiana, ABC News said.

Orchestra leader James DePriest dies

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- James DePriest, one of the few black conductors to achieve international fame, died at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., at age 76, his manager said.

The cause of DePriest's death Friday wasn't mentioned in the announcement by Jason Bagdale but DePriest's wife, Ginette, told The (Portland) Oregonian he had been in and out of the hospital since having a heart attack in March.

In 1962, DePriest contracted polio while touring in Asia, leaving both legs paralyzed and forcing him to use the wheelchair, The New York Times reported Saturday. In 1964, DePriest won the gold medal in the Dmitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition and in 1965 he became an assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic.

DePreist was born in Philadelphia, completed his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, and studied composition and conducting at the Philadelphia Conservatory.

DePreist made his European conducting debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in 1969. From 1971 to 1974, he was appointed associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington.

He spent nearly 25 years with the Oregon Symphony in Portland beginning in 1980, transforming it from a popular regional group to an orchestra with a broader following because of the more than a dozen records the orchestra recorded while he was conductor, the Times said.

After he left the Oregon Symphony in 2003, DePriest joined the Juilliard School in New York, the Times said. From 2005 to 2008, DePreist was the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra's permanent conductor.

DePriest published two books of poetry and received many honors, including the National Medal of Arts in 2005.

Survivors include his wife, two daughters from his first marriage and two grandchildren.

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