By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  June 11, 2002 at 5:05 PM
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Warner Bros. says it's decided to step up its production of new Looney Tunes cartoons. According to the Hollywood Reporter, a major movie starring the wacky characters will also include human being Brandon Fraser. The project will be called "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" and will be directed by talented Joe Dante. Additionally, look for a new series of old-style Looney Tunes to be released to theaters. During the past 18 months or so, the old Warner Bros. animation unit has been beefed up under the company's new president, Sander Schwartz. Some direct-to-video are also on the drawing board. These would be produced with no intention of theatrical release and go directly to video store shelves. Also new "Baby Looney Tunes" cartoons will be seen on the Cartoon Network ... as early as this coming fall.


Fans of the flamboyant and fun Dixie Chicks may have wondered why they have "avoided" Nashville in recent months. Well, according to CMT, it's not that they've purposely boycotted Music City USA, they have just been involved in other things, such as participation in music awards shows and new music projects and video shoots. But they are back in Nashville this week, for the first time since last fall. Their much-anticipated return will occur during the first-ever Flameworthy Video Music Awards show. The trio will receive the new broadcast's initial award for outstanding work in videos. Additionally, the network says it would appear that the group's much-rumored departure from Sony records may not happen.


Did you know that Canada also has a celebrity walk of fame? Well, it does, and it's in Toronto. Its latest inductee is Monty Hall, honored with his own star. In accepting the award, the longtime TV personality (best known for his shepherding of "Let's Make a Deal" for decades) noted that now he can be "walked on" in three locations. He already has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and one in Palm Springs, Calif., and the Toronto star makes three. The board of directors for Canada's walk says it honored Hall for his long list of show business achievements and his humanitarian work. So far there are 53 stars on the Toronto walk. Among those are: Celine Dion, Anne Murray, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Christopher Plummer, Michael J. Fox, Martin Short, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Hume Cronyn and a spate of sports figures, including Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe.


Popular British entertainer Antony Costa was hit by a flying bottle during an on-stage performance of the group Blue at a university dance in Leeds. According to published reports, he stopped in midsong, leaped from the stage and went after the guy who threw the bottle. Some 2,500 people had shown up for the concert, but were kept waiting for more than an hour while a local disk jockey tried to quiet the increasingly unruly crowd. By the time the group arrived and the concert started, many people in the crowd who had used their wait time to hoist a few were pretty agitated. The crowd reportedly was further miffed by the fact that it soon became obvious that the group was simply mouthing the words of a pre-recorded soundtrack. The man accused of hitting the singer was removed from the venue by security guards. Where is Mr. Bean when you need him?


It was during the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago that Texan Warren Gunn caught the rodeo bug. For more than two decades, the Houston-based cattleman would ride the rodeo circuit, winning major awards at such prestigious events as the annual Calgary Stampede and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. He was also frequently seen in rodeo events at contests in New York's Madison Square Garden. Now the Houston Chronicle reports that Gunn has died from complications of pneumonia. In addition to his riding work, he was one of the co-founders of the first rodeo performers association, the Cowboys Turtle Association. That was in the mid-'30s. After World War II, several rodeo groups merged and became the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Gunn was named to its hall of fame just two years ago. A second-generation Gunn continues in the media limelight. Son Harold is a Houston television personality and local PR executive. Warren Gunn was 84.


That convicted murderer who gained national attention lately when irregularities in his trial came to the fore has won the right to a new trial. Court records in Houston show that Calvin Burdine will be retried by Texas. The reason for the decision is the fact that new court action on his behalf was filed when witnesses testified that Burdine's court-appointed lawyer slept from time to time during the proceedings. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review a lower court's reversal of the original guilty verdict. Twice during the time that Burdine has been on death row in Huntsville, Texas, he has received a last-minute reprieve. Joe Cannon -- Burdine's original lawyer, who is now deceased -- is said to have dozed off nearly a dozen times during the inmate's 1984 trial.


Here's today's question: "Have you made any travel or special plans for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday (which comes on a Thursday) this year?" Put FIREWORKS in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Last week we asked what three things you would grab if you had to evacuate your house or apartment, knowing that you could not go back. The question was somewhat reminiscent of the question asked in the final scene of the movie "The Time Machine," in which three books are missing ... and which three were they? So, here, taken at random from the in-box, is a sampling of replies: Donna says she would take family photos, her purse and birth certificate ... and of course her husband! Cheryl says she didn't have to give it a second thought: Her photo album, her aunt's diamond rings (given to her when her aunt died) and bag full of emergency stuff left by the door. Cheryl seems to have this down to a science, already having a bag of important papers, medications, insurance cards, a Bible and some money, both cash and coins, standing by. Michelle would bring her Bible, photo album and a safe. Cindy would bring her Bible, her cat and her flute. For Peggy it's her purse, computer set up and a family album. Deborah would "save all three cats, then a rag doll (she's had since she was five) and her Martin Guitar. Finally, Denise would salvage her Cookie Monster doll, some old photos and a box of Christmas ornaments with sentimental values. TOMORROW: Renaming ballparks. GBA.

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