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Statt-us Update 5/25/22 – Today’s Headlines & More

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19 Children, 2 Adults Killed by 18 Year Old Shooter

The suspect was identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School.  Fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles was among those killed. Mireles worked in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District for 17 years.  She was married to a police officer with a college-age daughter.  The second teacher was named by friends and family as Irma Garcia, a mother of four and 23-year veteran at Robb Elementary School who had co-taught with Mireles for five years.  Married to Joe for 24 years, she was a mother of four – Cristian, completing Marine boot camp; Jose, attending Texas State university University; Lyliana, a sophomore in high school; and Alysandra, a 7th grader. The info on the children are still being released, the school hosts 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades.  Salvador Ramos reportedly shot his grandmother before heading to Robb Elementary which means 22 people lost there lives yesterday. The two officers who were also wounded “have no serious injuries, some other kids and adults were treated for injuries.  More to come.

Johnny Depp’s Motion to Dismiss Amber Heard’s $100M Defamation Countersuit Denied by Judge

A motion by Johnny Depp’s legal team to dismiss ex-wife Amber Heard’s defamation countersuit was denied by the judge.

Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million in damages, claiming she defamed him by writing a 2018 op-ed about coming forward with domestic abuse accusations, though she did not mention him by name. Meanwhile, Heard filed a countersuit seeking $100 million in damages, claiming Depp spearheaded a campaign to discredit her and her allegations as “fake” and a “hoax,” harming her career and reputation.

After Heard’s team rested their defense in this case on Tuesday, Depp’s side argued for the actress’ countersuit to be tossed out. With the jurors not present, attorney Ben Chew told the Fairfax, Virginia, courtroom that the basis of Heard’s countersuit — three public statements made by Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman in 2020 — can’t be directly linked to Depp having “participated” or “authorized” the comments.

Chew also argued Heard hadn’t shown actual malice, claiming Waldman had done investigating and believed his “hoax” comments to be true. (Waldman testified in the case, but he invoked the attorney-client privilege on most questions. He did not deny saying the comments. Heard testified that Waldman once threw a newspaper containing the statements at her.)

“There’s no evidence that Mr. Depp even saw the statements by Mr. Waldman until he was sued,” said Chew.

Oreo and Ritz Made a Cookie and Cracker Mashup

A new collaboration between two massive brands appears to be exactly that: a chaotic mashup where inevitable curiosity is the primary objective: Ritz Crackers and Oreo Cookies are being combined into a single sandwiched snack.

Oreo dates back to 1912; Ritz was launched in 1934. And yet, the Ritz x Oreo hybrid is the first time the brands have ever worked together.

Purely from a visual standpoint, the combo looks sensible: the Oreo wafer and the Ritz cracker are both round with similar circumferences and thickness. But things get trickier from there: The Oreo side of the self-described “salty-sweet” mixture features one chocolate wafer covered with the usual Oreo creme. Then, the Ritz side is inspired by Ritz peanut butter sandwiches, taking a single cracker and layering it with smooth peanut butter-flavored creme. The two halves are then jammed into one for a sandwich that looks like someone screwed up at the factory.

The thing is, even superfans may struggle to get their hands on this admittedly intriguing product. A spokesperson explained that “this very limited-edition combo” would be released exclusively at starting at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 26. To score a pack, all you have to do is pay $3.95 to cover the shipping. But then the rep tossed out the most frustrating of LTO warnings, saying that people would have to “act FAST.” (To be honest, that capitalization doesn’t inspire much confidence in landing a pack!)

Pepsi Will No Longer Sponsor the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Pepsi is bowing out of its association with the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

After a decade as the presenting sponsor of the Big Game’s star-studded entertainment break, Pepsi has decided this year’s performance featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will be its last.

The soft drink giant plans to concentrate more of its media spend in digital as traditional broadcast TV audiences continue to dwindle. While the Super Bowl may be one of the last vestiges of appointment television, its halftime show faces myriad challenges from social media, streaming and other mediums.

In a statement, Pepsi said ending the partnership reflects a “larger strategic shift to bring unprecedented music and entertainment experiences” to consumers “where they are now, and where they will be in the future.”

WIZARD OF OZ Dress Worn by Judy Garland Blocked from Auction amid Dispute Over Ownership

A U.S. district judge in Manhattan stopped the auction of a long-lost dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, after a relative of its deceased owner claimed it belonged to her.

Barbara Ann Hartke, 81, filed a lawsuit against the Catholic University of America and Auction house Bonhams earlier this month, according to court records, as news of the dress’ auction made headlines.

The blue-and-white checked frock with attached white blouse — seen on the ruby-slippered, tornado-transported Dorothy in the iconic 1939 film — was considered lost for nearly four decades before it was rediscovered last year in Catholic University’s drama department collection.

Department head Father Gilbert Hartke received the dress as a gift back in the 1970s. But after just a year at the Washington, D.C., campus, the costume was reported to have mysteriously gone missing.  Fr. Gilbert died in 1986. It wasn’t until May 2021, nearly four decades later, that the dress was found again in a discarded shoebox.

Bonhams planned to put the dress up for sale on Tuesday, as part of their Bonhams Classic Hollywood: Film and Television sale in Los Angeles. They estimated the dress, one of only four of the original costume in existence and one of only two still including the white blouse, was valued between $800,000 and $1.2 million. 

But Barbara Ann, Fr. Gilbert’s niece and his closest living relative, claims she’s the rightful owner of the costume. In her lawsuit, filed on May 3 and obtained by PEOPLE, she said actress Mercedes McCambridge in 1973 “specifically and publicly” gifted the garment to her uncle and that there is no documentation demonstrating that Fr. Gilbert “ever formally or informally donated the dress to Catholic University.”

“The dress has great and substantial sentiment value to the plaintiff, is unique, and is recognized worldwide as an iconic image of perhaps the most beloved and watched film in the history of cinema,” the suit states. “Catholic University apparently has made no attempt to locate decedent’s heirs since the dress was relocated [and] has no ownership interest in the dress.”

Amid the debate, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe on Monday granted a motion for a preliminary injunction. The ruling means the auction of the dress will be postponed until the case is resolved.  A pretrial conference is currently scheduled for June 9.

Miller Lite Launches New Beer-Infused Charcoal

Arriving just in time for the 2022 summer grilling season, Miller Lite announces the launch of new Miller Lite Beercoal, the first-ever Miller Lite-infused charcoal.

Miller Lite Beercoal features charcoal infused with a concentrated form of Miller Lite beer. When burned, the special charcoal releases the taste of Miller Lite wrapping whatever you’re grilling in a smokey beer blanket.  Miller Lite Beercoal is available at and can be purchased nationwide for a suggested price of $11.99 per 4-pound pack – plus shipping – while supplies last.