Former Miss America Carlson named new chairperson after scandal

Gretchen Carlson poses at the 2017 Forbes Women’s Summit at Spring Studios in New York. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Former Miss America Carlson named new chairperson after scandal

WASHINGTON: Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson has been named the new chairperson of the Miss America beauty pageant, becoming the first former winner to lead the organization following a scandal over lewd and sexist emails.
Her appointment came just over a week after the resignation of the pageant’s under-fire CEO Sam Haskell, who had written some of the emails that contained misogynistic language.
“Honored to move this iconic program forward with so many amazing volunteers,” the 51-year-old Carlson, who won the competition in 1989, wrote on Twitter.
Carlson’s appointment was effective immediately, the organization said, adding that three other former winners would join the board of directors.
“Most previously serving directors have resigned,” the statement said.
Dozens of former beauty queens had demanded that Haskell step down after The Huffington Post published leaked internal emails that included a vulgarity to refer to past winners and the shaming of one over her weight..., with Haskell calling her “a piece of trash.”
The news site initially quoted the Miss America Organization as saying it was notified about the emails months earlier and fired a telecast writer — the “most egregious author of inappropriate comments.”
But in a matter of days, Haskell, Miss America President Josh Randle and board chair Lynn Weidner all resigned.
The scandal prompted the show’s producers, Dick Clark Productions, to sever ties with the organization.
Carlson — who is best known for her decade-long tenure as an anchor at Fox News — made headlines in 2016 when she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the network’s then boss Roger Ailes, precipitating his departure.
The suit was settled for a reported $20 million.
Commenting on the scandal, Carlson said: “Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program.
“In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”


Armored dinosaur with spiky head unveiled at Utah museum

This undated photo from the Natural History Museum of Utah shows the heavily ornamented skull of an ankylosaur, a squat plant-eater that was covered in bony armor from its spiky head to its clubbed tail, before its unveiling at the museum in Salt Lake City. (AP)
Updated 21 July 2018
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Armored dinosaur with spiky head unveiled at Utah museum

  • Paleontologists believe the animals migrated to North America several times over the eons when lowered sea levels allowed them to cross a land bridge
  • The fossil was discovered on the Kaiparowits Formation, a thick layer of sandstone that also has vast coal reserves inside a sprawling national monument

SALT LAKE CITY: A dinosaur that was covered in bony armor from its spiky head to its clubbed tail has been unveiled at a museum in Utah.
The species of ankylosaur was a squat plant-eater that roamed southern Utah on four legs about 76 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous Period. At that time, the desert state was hot and humid, covered with slow-moving streams and rivers as well as large conifer trees, paleontologist Randall Irmis said.
It was about as long as a large alligator and stood at a height that would have been about waist-high for a tall human. It likely used its distinctive clubbed tail and armor for protection, though they could also have been used for display.
The fossil unveiled Thursday at the Natural History Museum of Utah was first discovered in 2008 in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a rich dinosaur repository in southern Utah.
The fossil was discovered on the Kaiparowits Formation, a thick layer of sandstone that also has vast coal reserves inside a sprawling national monument that was one of two President Donald Trump ordered downsized last year. The spot where the fossil was found remains within Grand Staircase-Escalante boundaries, though areas that are now outside the boundaries also have fossil potential, Irmis said.
Researchers were expecting it to have smooth bony armor on its skull like other North American ankylosaurs, but were surprised to find evidence that it instead had spiky armor on its head and snout, similar to fossils found in Asia.
Paleontologists believe the animals migrated to North America several times over the eons when lowered sea levels allowed them to cross a land bridge.
The species was dubbed Akainacephalus johnsoni to recognize Randy Johnson, a retired chemist and museum volunteer who spent hundreds of hours painstakingly freeing the skull from rock and debris.
Along with a complete skull, the fossil also includes the distinctive tail club, large parts of its spinal vertebral column and parts of its body armor, including two neck rings and spiked armor plates, the museum said in a statement.