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The Latest Entertainment Headlines

    The Sundance Film Festival, coming at the start of a new movie calendar, is an annual rite of renewal. New movies. New filmmakers. New voices. And that feels especially welcome this year. Sundance always rolls around just as the worst movies are being dumped in theaters ( see: “Dolittle” ) and Hollywood’s long-running awards season is petering out. This year, the run-up to the Oscars has been dispiritingly homogeneous, coalescing around a field of nominees lacking in diversity both behind and in front of the camera. With some notable exceptions, it feels like the same old. Sundance, though, is a different story. This year’s festival, in Park City, Utah, is not only its most inclusive edition yet — 44% of its 118 feature-length films were directed or co-directed by women, 34% were directed or co-directed by a person of color — but features a dynamic slate of proudly unconventional narrative and documentary films. “Zola,” from director Janicza Bravo and co-writer Jeremy O. Harris, is based on a viral 148-tweet thread from 2015. “Nine Days,” the feature directing debut of Edson Oda, is set in a surreal pre-life realm where an interviewer (Winston Duke) is selecting souls to be born. The documentary “Boys State,” by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, is a story of American democracy in microcosm, told through an unusual experiment in which a thousand teenage boys build a government from the ground up. “We do think of it as the new year of culture where people have to sit up and take notice,” says John Cooper, the director of Sundance. “Audiences have changed, too. They’re more hungry for different. That’s not just from the Oscars. That’s from, let’s face it, the world we’re living in right now. It’s the urgency of thinking outside of old normalities.” Sundance, which kicks off Thursday and runs through Feb. 2, will bring plenty of established names. Taylor Swift will be there for the opening day premiere of Lana Wilson’s documentary on her, “Miss Americana.” The Hulu documentary series “Hillary” will bring Hillary Clinton to Park City. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell will be attendance for the premiere of the “Force Majeure” remake “Downhill.” And Lin Manuel-Miranda will be there with several films, including “Siempre, Luis,” about his father Luis Miranda, and “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme,” about his pre-“Hamilton” improvising hip-hop group. But many go to Sundance looking for discoveries of filmmakers like Radha Blank, a New York playwright who stars in her black-and-white directorial debut, “The 40-Year-Old Version.” She plays a slightly fictionalized version of herself as a middle-aged woman who, after the death of her mother, rededicates herself to rapping. “My protagonist, her passion is speaking truth through hip hop. For me, my passion is filmmaking. It just took me a little bit longer to articulate that for myself,” says Blank. “I know that people have labeled me a late bloomer but I’ve been writing for years. I don’t think I’m the person who’s late.” Like many others premiering films this week in Park City, Blank has been through the lab programs of the Sundance Institute, the nonprofit founded by Robert Redford that also puts on the festival. “I’m a Sundance baby,” says Blank. “I started in the lab.” Those workshops have been a breeding ground for American filmmakers (Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino are among their many former participants), but the distribution landscape awaiting those filmmakers has often been fraught. Some in the industry are predicting less ravenous buying at Sundance this year after several of the high-priced acquisitions fizzled at the box office, including the Amazon titles “Late Night” and “The Report.” But streaming services have undoubtedly helped sales at Sundance, adding an influx of buyers looking to beef up their digital libraries. Disney Plus has a movie in this year’s children’s slate (Tom McCarthy’s “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made”). Apple had one of the festival’s most anticipated movies’ in “On the Record,” about women who have accused music mogul Russell Simmons of sexual abuse, but backed out of the film after executive producer Oprah Winfrey departed it. WarnerMedia, which is preparing the launch of HBO Max, will for the first time have a presence at the festival. Kim Yutani, director of programming at Sundance, believes streaming services have been an unquestionable positive to the post-festival lives of Sundance films. “I remember reading the press coverage of Sundance back in the day, and I would think: How will I ever see these films?” says Yutani. “You would see a handful of them in theatrical distribution. The rest of them were almost impossible to see. So, it’s such an exciting time to release our program and know the majority of these films will get seen.” Netflix already has at least nine films at Sundance, including “Miss Americana,” another opening-day documentary in “Crip Camp,” about the disability rights movement, and Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” follow-up, “The Last Thing He Wanted,” a Joan Didion adaptation starring Anne Hathaway and Ben Affleck. Rees, who will also serve as a juror, has deep ties to Sundance, where she first attended workshops and later premiered both her debut, “Pariah,” and “Mudbound.” She says it was “a validating force” in her development as a filmmaker. But Rees would like to see the industry embrace more daring films. It’s not just about Netflix, she says. “The better question to ask is: What studios didn’t make this film? We took this film all over and no studio wanted to make it. Am I not supposed to make it because Netflix is the only one raising its hand?” says Rees. “I hope people will ask: Why didn’t Universal make this film? Or why didn’t Paramount make this film?” “Audiences are smart,” Rees adds. “People want interesting, complicated, not-happy-ending films, and I think it’s up to the industry to meet the audience’s taste. If we were doing ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ and ‘Panic in Needle Park,’ people would show up.” At Sundance, some of the most urgent movies may be more likely to be documentaries. Among those at this year’s festival are “The Dissident,” about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; “The Fight,” about the American Civil Liberties Union’s legal battles with the Trump administration; “Us Kids,” about the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, high-school massacre; and “Welcome to Chechnya,” about activists secretly saving LGBTQ Chechens from a government crackdown. Regardless, Sundance remains the pre-eminent launching pad of new talent in American cinema and a place where little-known dreamers become established filmmakers. Oda, the Brazilian-born “Nine Days” director, had a successful career in advertising before quitting his job to study film at the University of Southern California. “I don’t know how but I’m now making this movie and it’s at Sundance,” said Oda, chuckling. “This is surreal to me. All my favorite filmmakers screened at Sundance and still screen at Sundance. Sundance was the goal. That’s the top of the mountain. Of course, there’s no top of the mountain — my movie’s about that — but you still have that in your head.” ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
  • CBS was the first major network to break away from President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate on Tuesday, allowing its viewers to watch their regular afternoon fare instead of a debate over a proposed amendment to subpoena White House documents. The decision illustrated the on-the-fly judgments television executives will face every day of the trial, juggling concerns over millions of dollars in advertising revenue, news purists cognizant of the weight of history and angry soap opera fans. Uncertainty over the Senate's schedule from hour to hour, much less day to day, complicates things even further. The decisions were easier when ABC, CBS and NBC dominated the landscape and were very cognizant of their public service responsibility. Now viewers have options — cable networks from CNN to C-SPAN and streaming services — if they want to follow the trial. While Tuesday's session was historic, opening the third impeachment trial ever in the United States, it will still a while before the meat of the case was examined. Yet it was noticed when CBS cut off the trial around 3:15 p.m. ET, while rivals ABC and NBC stuck with it. “Uncle Walter is crying,” tweeted New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg, referencing the late, legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite. Tweets of incredulity at CBS for abandoning history mixed with those from angry daytime TV fans. “Why do you have impeachment on all platforms?” tweeted one viewer, who was more interested in watching “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold & The Beautiful.” A CBS representative noted that the network's news streaming service was continuing to carry the trial, and that network affiliates were given the choice to continue to show the Senate if that's what their executives preferred. Rivals at ABC and NBC privately noted that the fact that it was the trial's opening day played into decisions to stick with it longer. Fox's broadcast network, which doesn't have its own news division, infrequently breaks away from traditional programming. All of the the broadcast networks had contingency plans in place depending on what was being shown and the time of day. There was little interest in making public pronouncements of their plans given the fluidity of the situation. “These decisions are difficult and they're not always solely in the hands of the news divisions,” said Mark Lukasiewicz, a former NBC News executive and now dean of Hofstra University's School of Communication. Network entertainment and corporate executives also weigh in. Sticking with news coverage becomes more difficult for the networks in the prime-time hours of 8 to 11 p.m., because that means a more significant loss of advertising revenue, Lukasiewicz said. That's why network executives were keenly interested in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision Tuesday that impeachment managers for the House and president would have three days instead of two to make their cases. It means fewer hours in prime time are likely to be chewed up. There were no such tough decisions at the cable networks CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC. Each carried virtually every minute of House hearings and votes on impeachment, and are expected to do the same with the trial. It's a winner for them financially; all cable news ratings soared during the House proceedings. On Tuesday, CNN was already using its programming choice in advertising. “Don't miss a moment,” CNN promised in a network ad. “Complete coverage.”
  • The ousted Grammys CEO fired back at the Recording Academy on Tuesday, alleging that she was removed after complaining about sexual harassment and pay disparities and for calling out conflicts of interest in the nomination process for music's most prestigious awards. Lawyers for Deborah Dugan, who was placed on administrative leave last week after six months in the job, filed the discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just five days before the Grammy Awards. She alleged she was sexually harassed by the academy’s general counsel, Joel Katz. Dugan detailed the harassment and other issues in an email to an academy human resources executive on Dec. 22, according to the complaint. The complaint also stated that Dugan was paid less than former academy CEO Neil Portnow, who left the post last year, and that she was also subject to retaliation for refusing to hire Portnow as a consultant for nearly half his former salary. Portnow had been criticized for saying women need to “step up” when asked backstage at the 2018 show why only two female acts won awards during the live telecast. Portnow called his comments a “poor choice of words” and later said he chose not to seek an extension on his contract. A filing with the Internal Revenue Service shows that Portnow was paid $1.74 million in 2016. Dugan said she was pressured to hire him as a consultant for $750,000 annually. Dugan's Grammys compensation was not revealed in Tuesday's filing. She earned nearly $537,000 in 2016 in her previous job as CEO of Bono’s (RED) charity organization. Last week, the academy said Dugan was put on leave following an allegation of misconduct by a senior leader at the organization. On Tuesday, the academy said the issue was a complaint by a female employee that Dugan had been “abusive” and created a “toxic and intolerable' work environment. Dugan's attorneys called that accusation false, saying there was no mistreatment and identifying the employee as the executive assistant she inherited from Portnow. In her Dec. 22 email, Dugan called the academy “a boys' club.' While trying to resolve a lawsuit against the academy, Dugan said one of the claimants characterized the organization’s leadership as “a boys' club” that “put their financial interest above the mission.” “At the time, I didn’t want to believe it,” said Dugan. 'But now after 5 months of being exposed to the behavior and circumstances outlined here, I have come to suspect she is right.” The academy said in a statement that it “immediately launched independent investigations to review both Ms. Dugan’s potential misconduct and her subsequent allegations. Both of these investigations remain ongoing.' Dugan, according to the statement, was placed on administrative leave after offering to step down and demanding $22 million from the Academy, which is a not-for-profit organization. “Our loyalty will always be to the 21,000 members of the Recording Academy. We regret that music’s biggest night is being stolen from them by Ms. Dugan's actions, and we are working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.” An email from Katz said the attorney was out sick. Katz's firm said it had not yet seen the complaint and could not comment on its allegations. In the complaint, Dugan alleged that in May 2019, when she had accepted the CEO position but had not begun her work, she had dinner with Katz, the academy's general counsel, alone at his request in Laguna Niguel, California, on the eve of a meeting of the academy board. There, Katz acted “extremely inappropriately,” according to the complaint, calling Dugan “baby” and making “an obvious and unwelcome attempt to ‘woo’ Ms. Dugan into a romantic relationship.” Dugan, the complaint said, made it clear she wasn’t interested and was in a relationship, but he still attempted to kiss her at the end of the night. She “quickly turned away, repulsed.” Katz continued the harassment in subsequent interactions, the complaint alleged. It also contends Katz and his firm were paid inappropriately by the academy, and that his role representing both the academy and artists who are up for Grammys was a conflict of interest. Tuesday's academy statement alleged Dugan raised her concerns only after being accused of misconduct. Dugan's attorneys denied that, staying in a statement that she had spoken on those issues throughout her tenure. The complaint was also critical of the Grammys voting process, specifically its use of nomination committees to select the final list of nominees, which can range from five to eight depending on the category. “Rather than promoting a transparent nomination process, the Board has decided to shroud the process in secrecy and ultimately controls, in large part, who is nominated for Grammy Awards,” the complaint read. For the top four awards, committees select the final nominees from the top 20 contenders, based off ballots from its voting members. But the complaint said the committee members sometimes include artists who did not make it in the top 20 because of their personal or business relationships with those artists. “This year, 30 artists that were not selected by the membership were added to the possible nomination list,” the complaint read. The complaint also claimed that one of the song-of-the-year nominees — who placed 18th in the top 20 — sat on the committee deciding the song-of-the-year nominees and is represented by a member of the academy board. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.
  • Netflix is holding its ground in the streaming wars, passing its first big test since Apple and Disney launched rival services. The company added 8.8 million worldwide subscribers during its fourth quarter, surpassing expectations at a time when it faces heated competition. Netflix had said it expected to add 7.6 million subscribers, and analysts thought the service would fare even better. The increase pales slightly next to the 8.9 million subscribers the service added in the fourth quarter of 2018. The stock dropped about 2.5% immediately in after-hours trading, likely due to a cautious forecast for the first quarter. But shares rebounded and later traded up more than 2%. The company — a pioneer in producing streaming media and binge-worthy shows — now boasts more than 167 million subscribers worldwide, bolstered by a list of well-received movies and shows released late last year. That includes the fantasy show “The Witcher” and Oscar nominees “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story.” The boost helps reaffirm Netflix’s strong standing in the increasingly crowded world of video streaming. The fourth quarter was an important milestone for Netflix, as it was marked its first head-to-head competition with Apple’s $5-per-month streaming service and Disney’s instantly popular $7-a-month option. Still, it’s unlikely to be a smooth road for Netflix. NBC, HBO and startup Quibi are all planning to launch new streaming services soon. Two big questions loom: How much are consumers willing to pay for each video streaming option? And how many will they pay for before reaching subscription fatigue? Netflix CEO Reed Hastings acknowledged the increased competition in a call following earnings, but said he believes the services are mostly capturing new viewers who are transitioning from traditional TV watching. 'It takes away a little bit from us,” he said of the Disney Plus launch. “But again, most of the growth in the future is coming out of linear TV.” Netflix has one major advantage over competitors: it has been collecting data on the shows viewers crave for years. “Netflix's scale allows it to reach mass audiences, which makes it easier for them to create hits when compared to newcomers to the market,' EMarketer analyst Eric Haggstrom said. Netflix’s most popular plan costs $13 a month, far more than competitors from Disney, Apple and Quibi. But its price is comparable to HBO Now, and it boasts one of the largest libraries of TV shows and movies, not to mention regularly updated original shows. Hastings reiterated that Netflix isn't interested in introducing ads. Noting that the digital advertising market is dominated by companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, he said, “there's not easy money there.” It's also less controversial to avoid digital advertising and the scrutiny around companies making customers' personal information that comes with it, he said. In its quarterly letter to shareholders, Netflix included a chart of Google search trends that showed people searching more often for “The Witcher” than for competing shows including “The Mandalorian,” “The Morning Show” and “Jack Ryan,” from Disney, Apple and Amazon, respectively. In the U.S., Netflix added 420,000 subscribers, below its own estimates. Growth in its home country has been slowing in the last year, partly because most people in the U.S. who want Netflix already subscribe. The company reported profit of $587 million on revenue of $5.47 billion, exceeding expectations. Netflix said it expects to add 7 million subscribers during the first three months of this year, well below the 9.6 million subscribers it added in the first quarter last year. — Technology writer Michael Liedtke contribued to this report.
  • Taylor Swift has revealed in a new interview that her mother has a brain tumor. Swift, who has spoken about her mother's battle with cancer over the years, told Variety in an interview published Tuesday that while her mother was going through treatment, “they found a brain tumor.' “And the symptoms of what a person goes through when they have a brain tumor is nothing like what we’ve ever been through with her cancer before. So it’s just been a really hard time for us as a family,' Swift said. Though Taylor Swift is the celebrity, Andrea Swift has become a recognizable figure among the pop star's die-hard fans, with some of them even posting about her online. Andrea Swift is often seen smiling by her daughter's side at award shows and in public. “Everyone loves their mom; everyone’s got an important mom,” Swift, 30, told Variety. “But for me, she’s really the guiding force. Almost every decision I make, I talk to her about it first. So obviously it was a really big deal to ever speak about her illness.”
  • Four Florida passengers were in for a shock when actor Will Smith answered their Lyft call and gave them a ride around town. The actor was in Miami promoting his new movie, “Bad Boys for Life,” over the weekend. He picked up four riders in a 2020 Porsche Taycan, occasionally getting into the attitude of his movie character detective Mike Lowry and encouraging passengers to do their best Bad Boys imitation as his partner in crime. Smith made one of his passengers FaceTime with his girlfriend during the trip after the man said his girlfriend watched the original movie weekly. Smith had another passenger practice her scariest “Freeze. Police.' voice. Before dropping them off, the actor told each passenger they would receive free rides from the ride-sharing company for the next year.
  • Pamela Anderson has married movie producer Jon Peters. Anderson and Peters married Monday in a private ceremony in Malibu, California, a representative for Anderson said Tuesday. It's the fifth marriage for both the 52-year-old model-actress and the 74-year-old film producer, who recently reunited after first dating more than 30 years ago. Anderson's husbands have included rocker Tommy Lee and rapper Kid Rock. Peters' former wives include actress Lesley Ann Warren, and he was once in a long and high-profile relationship with Barbra Streisand. Peters was a producer on Streisand's 1976 version of “A Star Is Born” and the 2018 remake, along with dozens of other films including 1989's “Batman” and 1999's “Wild Wild West.” Anderson starred on television's “Baywatch” and in several films, and has made frequent appearances in Playboy.
  • The winners of last year’s acting Academy Awards will return to the Oscar stage next month to present the coveted statuettes. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday that Olivia Colman, Rami Malek, Regina King and Mahershala Ali will present during the Feb. 9 ceremony. It is an Oscar tradition to have previous year’s acting recipients serve as presenters the following year. Last year’s winners were notably more diverse than this year’s field of acting nominees, which features just one performer of color: Cynthia Erivo of “Harriet.” The 92nd Academy Awards will be presented at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and be broadcast live by ABC. For the second year in a row, the ceremony will be without a host. Colman won best actress last year for “The Favourite” and Malek took home the best actor award for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” King won the supporting actress honor for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” while Ali's performance in “Green Book” earned him his second supporting actor Oscar.
  • Harvey Weinstein's lawyers want to use intimate emails from his accusers to try to convince jurors in his rape trial that any contact was consensual, the defense said Tuesday as an appeals court rejected an 11th-hour request to move the trial out of town. Opening statements are set for Wednesday in one of the most prominent cases of the #MeToo era, involving a once-celebrated movie producer now vilified as a predator by scores of women, including some well-known actresses who plan to testify or attend the trial. In a three-paragraph ruling Tuesday, a panel of state appeals judges declined to move the trial or delay it for further deliberation. The same court turned down a s imilar request three months ago from Weinstein's lawyers, who say it's impossible for him to get a fair trial in media-saturated New York City. Meanwhile, Weinstein's attorneys foreshadowed their strategy to defend him against charges that he raped a woman in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performed a sex act on another woman at his apartment in 2006. If convicted, the 67-year-old could get life in prison. The defense has “dozens and dozens and dozens of loving emails to Mr. Weinstein” it wants to use to discredit witnesses, attorney Damon Cheronis told the Manhattan judge overseeing the trial. Some of the women who claim they were victimized by the disgraced Hollywood mogul “also bragged about being in a sexual relationship with him,” Cheronis said. Judge James Burke barred the defense from using the actual emails in a presentation planned for opening statements but permitted referring to the messages' “substance and content.” While the New York charges involve two women, scores of others also have accused the former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love” of using his influence as a license to lure women to him and then sexually assault or harass them. The allegations became a jumping-off point for the #MeToo reckoning with sexual misconduct from the corridors of power to everyday offices, campuses and other settings. Weinstein has denied wrongdoing. His lawyers claimed fervent media coverage, loud protests and even the spectacle that surrounded supermodel Gigi Hadid’s brief appearance in the jury pool created a “carnival-like atmosphere” around the trial. The negative publicity 'is magnified tenfold by its dissemination in a city obsessed by news, politics and entertainment, the trifecta that is the Weinstein story,” defense attorney Arthur Aidala wrote in court papers last week. He asked that the trial be moved to largely suburban Suffolk County or to Albany, the state capital. Manhattan prosecutors said the defense claims didn’t add up. “The inhabitants of those jurisdictions have access to the same news sources and social media' as Manhattanites do, Assistant District Attorney Harriett Galvin wrote in a filing. She called the request to move the trial “a transparent attempt to delay the proceedings.” Galvin noted that the chosen jurors indicated they could be fair and impartial. A jury of seven men and five women was picked last week to decide Weinstein’s fate in a selection process marked by discord, including defense objections over the inclusion of a woman who wrote an upcoming novel involving young women dealing with predatory older men. The trial is expected to last at least six weeks. Later, Weinstein is to answer rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles. Those charges were filed this month as jury selection in his New York trial was getting underway.
  • Masha Gessen, the Russian-born author and journalist, has a new book out in June. It's called “Surviving Autocracy,' and is her first book since “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,' winner of the National Book Award in 2017. “Surviving Autocracy” was announced Tuesday by Riverhead Books. It builds upon Gessen's reporting for The New Yorker, often drawing upon her experiences in Russia, and focuses on President Donald Trump and his impact. ““I feel like my job, for the last three years, has been to try to observe and make sense not so much of Trump as of what Trumpism does to us — our sense of who we are as a society, our language, our institutions, and even our ability to absorb the news,' Gessen said in a statement. “I wanted to try to cut through this sense of unreality and offer some definitions and descriptions of what we are living through.” The 53-year-old Gessen's other books include “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin' and “Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A lot of listeners to News 96.5 WDBO have been calling the newsroom and using the open mic feature in our app to ask about smoke all over Orange and southern Seminole County on Tuesday afternoon. According to the St. Johns River Water Management District, there’s a 1400 acre prescribed burn happening within the Lake Apopka North Shore, west of Lake Level Canal road.   “The purpose of the burn is to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations and maintain fire-dependent ecosystems,” SJRWMD said. Orange County Fire and Rescue tweeted there are also two burns on the east side of Orange County at 528 and 520, as well as 528 and Dallas. (App users tap here to see tweet) Our meteorologist George Waldenberger says the winds today are driving the smoke over Orlando. (App users tap here to see tweet) Waldenberger later tweeted an aerial view of the smoke: (Tweet)
  • Lucky's Market will close all but ONE of its stores in Florida. It was confirmed by the Sun Sentinel Tuesday morning.  All five stores in Central Florida will close including the Colonial Landing shop that opened 8 months ago.  The only location to survive will be the store in Melbourne.  After an unfavorable portfolio review last year, Kroger pulled out its investment.  Lucky’s hasn’t made a public statement yet but the closures would effect 2,500 employees.
  • A California mother of two died during childbirth last week while acting as a surrogate for another family, according to multiple reports. Community members came together to support the family of Michelle Reaves after she died Thursday, according to KGTV and a GoFundMe campaign set up to support Reaves’ family. Jamie Herwehe, a close family friend of Reaves', launched the GoFundMe campaign last week, with donations slated to go toward covering funeral costs and supporting Reaves’ husband and children, CNN reported. “For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Michelle, she will always be known for the love she had for her family,” Herwehe wrote on the campaign page. “Michelle has the best, most sarcastic, funny personality and always had you laughing.” Herwehe said Reaves was acting for the second time as a surrogate for a family when 'one complication led to the next.' She died during childbirth, but Herwehe said the baby she was carrying survived. 'I can’t even begin to imagine what her husband Chris and her two babies are going through,' Herwehe wrote. 'No one deserves to lose their mama so young or the mother of their children.' Reaves was survived by her husband and their children, Gage and Monroe, Herwehe said.
  • The Lake City Police Department in Florida is asking for the public’s help in locating Kellie Woofe, 13. Kellie was last seen running west on Faith Road near the Bascom Norris intersection on Monday. Police said her grandfather reported her missing. After an argument that happened in his car, he told police Kellie got out of the car while they were in the Interface parking lot and ran off. LCPD said she was wearing a black jacket and ripped blue jeans. If you see her, you are asked to call police at 386-752-4343 or call 911. Kellie is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She has red hair and blue eyes.
  • Search crews have found the body of a Montana teen who vanished on New Year’s Day, deputies said. According to USA Today, 16-year-old Selena Not Afraid was found dead near an Interstate 90 rest area Monday morning, weeks after she disappeared while traveling from Billings to Hardin after a New Year’s Eve party. Investigators do not suspect foul play, the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office said. In an FBI notice, authorities said the girl “left a disabled vehicle and walked into a field adjacent to the rest area” about 2 p.m. Jan. 1. She was “not dressed for the weather conditions,” authorities said. Not Afraid’s disappearance sparked a multiagency search involving hundreds of people, the Billings Gazette reported. Read more here or here.

Washington Insider

  • Facing opposition from within Republican ranks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented an amended rules proposal on Tuesday to govern the start of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, most significantly giving more time for House prosecutors and the President's lawyers to make their opening arguments. The changes came after a lunch meeting of GOP Senators, where Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and others expressed reservations about the idea of forcing each side to cram 24 hours of opening arguments into just two days. 'She and others raised concerns about the 24 hrs of opening statements in 2 days,' a spokeswoman for Collins told reporters. Along with that change, McConnell backed off a provision which would not allow evidence from the House impeachment investigation to be put in the record without a vote of the Senate. The changes were made as House prosecutors and the President's legal team made their first extended statements of the Trump impeachment trial. 'Why should this trial be any different than any other trial? The short answer is, it shouldn't,' said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), as he made the case that the Senate rules would not pass muster in a regular courtroom. 'This idea that we should ignore what has taken place over the last three years is outrageous,' said Jay Sekulow, the President's personal attorney, who joined White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in arguing against the impeachment charges. 'It's very difficult to sit there and listen to Mr. Schiff tell the tale that he just told,' Cipollone said, in one of the first direct jabs of the impeachment trial. “A partisan impeachment is like stealing an election,” Cipollone added. While there were GOP differences on the rules package offered by Republican leaders, GOP Senators stuck together on the first substantive vote of the impeachment trial, defeating an effort by Democrats to subpoena certain materials from the White House. The first vote was 53-47 to block an amendment offered by the Democratic Leader, Sen. Schumer.  It was straight along party lines. A second vote along party lines blocked a call by Democrats to subpoena documents from the State Department. Opening arguments are expected to begin on Wednesday.