Rachael Ray donates $500,000, food to Sandy pets

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LOS ANGELES — Rachael Ray is donating $500,000 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help pets and families who are struggling to rebound from Superstorm Sandy.

The Emmy-winning chef said Friday that her pet food brand, Nutrish, is also shipping 4 tons of wet and dry dog food for Sandy animals, and her Yum-o! organization is donating $100,000 to City Harvest and the Food Bank for New York City.

“When you make your living in food, you have to give back in the same way,” the host of “Rachael Ray,” the syndicated CBS Television show, said.

The ASPCA had rescued more than 250 animals and treated or provided supplies to nearly 6,000 in New York City and Long Island. It will use the money to lease a building that can be used as a central shelter for Sandy animals and to continue searching for lost pets, provide mobile veterinary services and hand out supplies.

The donation is the largest single gift made by Rachael’s Rescue, whose nearly $4 million in donations to date are funded by the sale of Nutrish products.

“I hope this becomes a center of very happy endings,” Ray said.

Ashley Judd doesn’t rule out run for US Senate

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Actress Ashley Judd isn't ruling out a run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

The former Kentuckian is an active supporter of Tennessee Democrats. She said in a statement Friday that she's honored to be mentioned as a potential candidate, but she sidestepped the question of whether she would get into the race.

“I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I'm very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let's focus on coming together to keep moving America's families, and especially our kids, forward,” she said.

Judd lives in Tennessee and would have to re-establish a residence in Kentucky before she could challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in his 2014 re-election bid.

No Democrats have stepped forward to challenge McConnell, a political powerhouse who already has $6.8 million in the bank for his re-election.

In 2008, McConnell won re-election to a fifth term and became Kentucky's longest serving senator. McConnell spent some $20 million on his last election, beating Democrat Bruce Lunsford, a wealthy Kentucky businessman, by 6 percentage points. Judd is a regular at University of Kentucky basketball games and the Kentucky Derby and has starred in such movies as “Kiss the Girls,” ''Double Jeopardy,” ''Where the Heart Is,” and “High Crimes.” She is married to three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti and is an annual spectator at the race.

Actress, boyfriend had unlawful sex, mom charges

LOS ANGELES — Authorities are investigating an allegation by the mother of “Modern Family” star Ariel Winter that her daughter’s 18-year-old boyfriend had unlawful sex with the 14-year-old actress, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

The L.A. County Sheriff”s Department’s Special Victims Unit also is separately examining whether Winter’s mother, Chrisoula Workman, physically abused the teenage actress.

So far, detectives have not gathered any specific evidence to substantiate the allegations in either investigation involving Ariel, otherwise known to millions as Alex Dunphy, the brainy member of “Modern Family’s” Dunphy family.

The investigations began last month after a judge awarded temporary guardianship of Ariel, whose real name is Ariel Workman, to her adult sister, Shanelle Gray, also an actress. Ariel, through her sister’s attorney, alleged in a court filing that she was subject to ongoing physical and mental abuse by her mother.

Three days after Ariel took legal action to split from her mother, Chrisoula Workman reported on Oct. 6 to the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley station that her daughter’s 18-year-old boyfriend had unlawful sex with the underage actress.

Work from Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ fetches over $43M

NEW YORK — A work from Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” series has been sold for more than $43 million at a New York City auction.

The money will benefit the Hackley School in suburban Tarrytown, N.Y.

The work dates from 1905. That’s the year Monet began a feverish phase of paintings depicting his garden’s lily pond in Giverny, France. The work that was sold is considered among the best.

The painting is from the estate of Ethel Strong Allen, widow of Wall Street executive Herbert Allen Sr.

She bequeathed the Monet to the school, along with two Impressionist landscapes by Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.

Christie’s auction house says the three works on Wednesday raised a combined total of nearly $51 million for the K-12 boarding school.

The Monet’s sale price was $43,762,500.

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