Karl Slover, one of the last surviving actors who played Munchkins in the 1939 classic film, "The Wizard of Oz," has died. He was 93.
Laurens County Deputy Coroner Nathan Stanley says the 4-foot-5 Slover died of cardiopulmonary arrest and was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon in a central Georgia hospital.
Author John Fricke says Slover was best known for playing the lead trumpeter in the Munchkins' band but also had roles as a Munchkin townsman and soldier in the film. He says Slover was one of the tiniest male Munchkins in the movie.
Long after retiring, Slover continued to appear at Wizard of Oz festivals around the country.
Fricke says only three remain of the 124 diminutive actors who played Munchkins in the movie.
As Saturday’s run-off election approaches, Louisiana’s secretary of state's office is predicting a low turnout after fewer than 4 percent of Louisiana's registered voters cast ballots in early voting.
The final totals showed about 101,000 of the state's 2.9 million voters voted in advance.
Only 36 percent of voters showed up for the Oct. 22 primary, when five statewide offices were on the ballot. Saturday's turnout could be as low as 18 percent to 20 percent.
Here in Rapides Parish, the run-off for Sheriff is producing a much higher turnout than around the rest of the state with 6,267 voters having voted early last week.
The percentage of obese people in Louisiana has nearly doubled since 1999, and two-thirds of the state's schoolchildren get less than 20 minutes of vigorous activity a day.
State health secretary Bruce Greenstein says the obesity rate was 17.7 percent in 1999 and is now nearly 34 percent. He says the health department is working on a website to track exercise and goals, letting families work together and challenge others.
The 2011 fitness report card for Louisiana's children and teenagers was released Tuesday. It says less than one-quarter of high-school students get at least an hour a day of aerobic physical activity, though about 44.5 percent participate in muscle-strengthening exercise such as push-ups, sit-ups or weight-lifting.
The report also sets goals for 2020.
"Turn on the Holidays" will launch the Festival of Lights season in downtown Natchitoches on Saturday, followed by a fireworks display over Cane River Lake.
"Turn on the Holidays" is a day of free family entertainment, including the 6:30 p.m. official lighting ceremony of thousands of Christmas lights that shine through the first week of January.
Events in downtown Natchitoches will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday. From 1-5 p.m., Bart's Kids World will perform with magic, puppets and games. Other activities include the Natchitoches Parish Bookmobile, a monster spider jump and face painting.
Musical entertainment will include Uptown Jazz and Variety from 9-11 a.m. at the Cane River Green Market; a holiday concert by River Cities Jubilee Chorus at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. River Road will perform from 5-9 p.m.
For more about "Turn on the Holidays," call toll-free at (866) 941-6246 or visit www.DowntownNatchitoches.com.
Tune in for more news on Central Louisiana's Morning News weekday mornings on The Truth 104.3 FM from 6-9am.