UPDATE: Relationship Claim Against Elmo’s Puppeteer Withdrawn | KERA News

UPDATE: Relationship Claim Against Elmo’s Puppeteer Withdrawn

Nov 12, 2012

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Elmo's puppet master takes a break, KERA radio schedule pulls a do-si-do, revisiting the 'Think' interview with Petraeus' biographer and more. 

Update, Tuesday 5:02 p.m.: The accuser has recanted, one day after accusing Kevin Clash, the Sesame Street puppeteer who performs as Elmo, of having an underage relationship.

Clash said through a spokeswoman: “I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.”

Sesame Workshop, the show's production company, posted a statement on its blog after the New York Times broke the news:

We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.

Clash has been the puppeteer for the furry red kids’ icon since 1984. Fresh Air’s Terry Gross profiled him last December, when the documentary Being Elmo opened in theaters.

Update, Monday 3:10 p.m.: Clash, 52, issued a statement Monday afternoon, saying: "I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was." More from the New York Times here.

-- Rick Holter

Believe Your Ears: ‘Fresh Air’ Moves, ‘Tell Me More’ Returns

You’ll notice some changes in our radio schedule today. Short version: more national news and diverse perspective. A lot of exciting stuff here:

  • 4 a.m. Morning Edition begins.
  • 11 a.m. The Takeaway slides into Fresh Air’s former spot. It’s an hourlong national news program with hard roots in public media, co-produced by PRI and WNYC in partnership with the New York Times and WGBH. Emmy winner John Hockenberry is host. (We’re welcoming Hockenberry’s presence on KERA in an interview with Krys Boyd in the first hour of ‘Think’ today at noon.
  • 3 p.m. Fresh Air moves to this new time slot, with host Terry Gross and frequent pinch-hitter Dave Davies.
  • 8 p.m. Tell Me More with Michel Martin is back on KERA, digging deeper into what you’ve heard all day about politics, faith and spirituality, the family, finance, arts and culture and lifestyle.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Paula Broadwell’s Interview With Krys Boyd

The Takeaway’s KERA debut this morning kicked off with a report on the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus. Details emerged over the weekend about his affair with Paula Broadwell, who wrote a book about his life called All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.

Like many biographers of important figures, Broadwell stopped by KERA to talk with Think host Krys Boyd back in February.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Proton Therapy Drives The Star Wars On Tumors

America has talked all weekend about how much veterans have added to this country. Well, BJ Austin reminds us that we have veterans to thank for something else, too -- major medical advances.

We’re kicking off a new series, “Battlefield Breakthroughs,” today with BJ reporting on how Vietnam vet David Richard of McKinney is getting a new kind of treatment for prostate cancer -- proton therapy, an alternative to traditional radiation with its roots in research from the birth of the atomic age.

Richard had to go to Oklahoma for treatment, but BJ also looks at the two proton centers planned for North Texas in the next few years.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Downtown Loses A Landmark, But Gains Space For UNT Law School

The dismantling of the “cartouche” -- a kind of giant shield -- guarding downtown’s Titche-Goettinger Building began on Saturday and could take more than a week to complete. Robert Wilonsky is tracking the sculpture’s fate for the Dallas Morning News. 

So, why take it down? The cartouche’s removal will clear the view for the University of North Texas’ new law school classrooms and offices.

-- Lyndsay Knecht