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The Latest Entertainment Headlines

    Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush was awarded an Australian record of 2.9 million Australian dollars ($2 million) damages by a Sydney judge on Thursday in defamation case against a newspaper publisher and journalist over reports he had been accused of inappropriate behavior toward an actress. The 67-year-old Australian had sued Sydney's The Daily Telegraph's publisher and journalist Jonathon Moran in the Federal Court over two stories and a poster published in late 2017. Justice Michael Wigney found in April the publisher, News Corp.-owned Nationwide News, and Moran were reckless regarding the truth when they reported Rush had been accused of inappropriate behavior by actress Eryn Jean Norvill. She played the daughter of Rush's character in a Sydney theater production of 'King Lear' in 2015 and 2016. The judge found a poster and two articles contained several defamatory meanings, including that Rush was a pervert and a sexual predator, but the publisher had not proven the meanings were true. Wigney at the time awarded Rush AU$850,000 in damages plus AU$42,302 interest for non-economic loss. But he wanted to consider further special damages, including loss of earnings. Following an agreement between the parties, the judge on Thursday awarded Rush a further AU$1.98 million for past and future economic loss. The publisher and journalist are appealing the verdict. Rush's lawyer, Sue Chrysanthou, said Rush had offered in early 2018 to settle in exchange for an apology and AU$50,000 plus costs, but Nationwide News did not respond. Comic actress Rebel Wilson in 2017 had previously won an Australian record AU$4.7 million damages in a defamation case against a magazine publisher. But the damages were reduced by 90% on appeal. 'Orange Is the New Black' actress Yael Stone was revealed two weeks ago as the potential witness who Wigney refused to allow to testify in Rush's defamation suit. Nationwide News lost a mid-trial bid last November to amend its defense based on Stone's evidence. Wigney said the proposed amendment raised new allegations concerning Rush's conduct and would delay court proceedings and cause him 'manifest and palpable' prejudice. The trial by then had run for 12 days and ended three days later. The judge prohibited Stone from being publicly identified. The Netflix series actress was described in the media as 'Witness X.' Stone told The New York Times in December that Rush engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior when they starred in 'The Diary of a Madman' on a Sydney stage in 2010. She said Rush danced naked in front of her in their dressing room, used a mirror to watch her while she showered and sent her occasionally erotic texts. Rush said in a statement the allegations 'are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context.' 'However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work. I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention,' Rush said at the time. Rush won the best actor Oscar in 1996 for his portrayal of pianist David Helfgott in 'Shine' and was nominated for roles in 'Shakespeare In Love,' ''Quills' and 'The King's Speech.' He is also famed for his portrayal of Captain Barbossa in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' films. He received Australia's highest civilian honor in 2014, the Companion of the Order of Australia, for service to the arts.
  • Rihanna, the first black woman in history to head up a major Parisian luxury house, is unveiling her first fashion designs for Fenty at a pop-up store in Paris. The collection, named after the singer-turned-designer's last name, comprises ready-to-wear, footwear, accessories, and eyewear and is available for sale Paris' Le Marais area from Friday and will debut online May 29. 'This is a moment in history,' Rihanna, 31, said at a preview of the store in a white structure tuxedo dress. 'It's a big deal for me and my entire generation.' News of the singer's groundbreaking new deal with LVMH, the world's largest luxury group, shook up the fashion industry earlier this month. The Barbados-born star's lines are the second time LVMH has created an original brand. But the move also acknowledges the fashion industry of today considers a major popstar can have as much to say in fashion design as established and trained designers such as Nicolas Ghesquiere of Louis Vuitton, or even the lauded Alber Elbaz, formerly of Lanvin, who is out of work. Fenty has been heralded by some critics as the first major house of the Instagram age. Fenty says the brand will be based in Paris, like its parent company, conglomerate LVMH, but will operate from a digital flagship on a 'See-Now-Wear-Now' model forgoing to usual luxury fashion seasonal previewed designs. 'They were flexible enough to allow me to have a different perspective on the way I wanted to release things,' she said. 'Coming from such a traditional background in fashion (as LVMH), you don't think there's another way that will work and they allowed me to do that.' It's expected to capitalize on the acclaim received by her most popular luxury venture Fenty Beauty line in 2017 — which some said revolutionized the makeup industry by celebrating diversity by showcasing foundations in 40 shades. If she looks calm, 'it's a facade,' acknowledged the star when faced with the expectations before the historic launch. 'There's pressure every single second,' she said. 'It's not like crumbling pressure, but it's like 'you better get it good girl.'
  • Celebrity chef Mario Batali is facing a criminal charge on allegations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017. Batali, who recently gave up financial stakes in all his restaurants, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on a charge of indecent assault and battery, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said. It's the first criminal charge against Batali resulting from several sexual harassment and assault allegations that crippled his career amid the #MeToo movement. A criminal complaint filed last month says the woman told police that Batali noticed her taking a picture of him at the restaurant and offered to take a selfie with her, The Boston Globe reported . The woman says Batali then grabbed her chest, kissed her face and touched her groin without her consent. The details in the complaint mirror those in a civil lawsuit filed against Batali in August. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for 'severe emotional distress' including anxiety and self-doubt. A lawyer for Batali said the chef denies the allegations. 'The charges, brought by the same individual without any new basis, are without merit,' Attorney Anthony Fuller said in an emailed statement. 'He intends to fight the allegations vigorously and we expect the outcome to fully vindicate Mr. Batali,' Fuller said. Several other women have previously come forward to allege sexual misconduct by Batali. Batali stepped down from daily operations at his restaurant empire and cooking show 'The Chew' in December 2017 after four women accused him of inappropriate touching. Batali apologized that month, saying the allegations 'match up' with ways he has acted. 'I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team,' Batali said in an email newsletter. 'My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.' The New York Police Department said last year that it was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against the chef after a woman told '60 Minutes' that Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005. Batali denied assaulting the woman.
  • Nihar Janga, an eighth-grader from Austin, Texas, with an already impressive array of awards, took home top honors Wednesday in the 31st annual National Geographic GeoBee, an elite test of geographic knowledge. Janga triumphed during a competition at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington. The student from Austin's Canyon Ridge Middle School was also a co-champion of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee and a top-ten finalist in the 2018 GeoBee. The society also held the first-ever national-level competition of the GeoChallenge, a team competition that asked for innovative solutions to modern problems. This year's challenge: plastic pollution in our waterways. A team from Flushing Christian School in Flushing, New York, won by building a model filtration device to clear plastic debris from the Hudson River. The winning team will receive $25,000 plus support to implement their project. Janga will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll.
  • Prosecutors have declined to file charges against actor Rick Schroder after an arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in documents Tuesday that Schroder's girlfriend on May 1 told a 911 operator he punched her at his home in Malibu. But prosecutors say she was uncooperative with deputies when they arrived, and the next day said she suspected he hit her by accident because she startled him as he was sleeping. They also declined to file charges after an arrest about a month earlier in an incident that Schroder's girlfriend two days later called 'a big misunderstanding.' The 49-year-old Schroder is known for starring in the TV series 'Silver Spoons' and 'NYPD Blue.' An email to his publicist seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.
  • The fallout from Gov. Brian Kemp’s signing of the “heartbeat” abortion bill and his dismissive attitude toward Hollywood is having a real impact: multiple TV and film productions that were planning to come here have decided to go elsewhere. >> Read more trending news  Time magazine reports that an Amazon Prime drama called “The Power” was planning to shoot in Savannah and has been scouting locations for months but pulled out after Kemp signed the bill earlier this month.  The show’s director Reed Marino, who won a directing Emmy for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” told Time: “We had no problem stopping the entire process instantly. There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there.” >> Related: Ron Howard says he will boycott Georgia if abortion law takes effect Time and The Wrap also confirmed a film co-written by actress Kristen Wiig calld “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” has abandoned Georgia after the bill’s signing.  Kris Bagwell, who runs EUE Screen Gems in Atlanta, said he just lost a Netflix movie that was supposed to come to his studio because of the bill, a production that would have provided jobs to 300 crew members. He also represents the Georgia Studio and Infrastructure Alliance, a six-member lobbying group.  Bagwell said he has heard at least three TV shows, including “The Power,” have decided to go elsewhere.  This is clearly the worst crisis the state’s burgeoning entertainment business has faced since the sweetened tax credits were passed in 2008. The Georgia film industry now generates an estimated 92,000 jobs and billions in direct spending. It’s the third largest state for film and TV production in the United States behind only California and New York. It also hands out about $800 million in tax credits a year, more than Canada or any other state in the union.  Several independent productions companies - including the one that brought three “Hunger Games” movies to Georgia - have publicly stated that Georgia is now a no-go state for them. Dozens of actors such as Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Gabrielle Union, Uzo Aduba and Don Cheadle have vowed to avoid the state as well.  Major film and production companies are taking a more “wait-and-see” attitude publicly, but some may just choose to go elsewhere without ever saying so until the matter is settled.  There were some minor ripples two years ago when the state legislature passed a “religious liberty” bill two years ago but Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed it. Last year, a bill unfavorable to the LGBTQ community briefly slowed traffic to the state.  But Kemp signed this particular bill unapologetically and only stoked the fire over the weekend when he told the Georgia Republican Convention that “we value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk.” Several productions were already well into planning stages and others had already started when Kemp signed the restrictive abortion bill into law. Given the disruptive and expensive nature of moving a production at this juncture, many producers are choosing to stay put but making public announcements saying they will donate money to organizations fighting the law such as the ACLU.  Among those taking that stance include Ron Howard (Netflix movie “Hillbilly Elegy”),  J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele (HBO series “Lovecraft Country’) and  Peter Cherninand Jenno Topping (”Fear Street” film trilogy, Starz’ drama series “P-Valley”).  “Some shows are leaving or not landing, yes,” said Bagwell, whose studio has been home to “The Hunger Games,” “Flight” and BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” to name a few. EUE Screen Gems is currently housing multiple Netflix projects, including “Insatiable,” starring Alyssa Milano, a vocal proponent of the boycott who is contractually obligated to work here right now. But he said plenty of shows are choosing to fight from within: “Leaving is easy. Digging in is harder but makes a much bigger difference.” Existing shows that have shot here for years are unlikely to uproot and leave - at least not immediately. Jason Bateman’s Netflix show “Ozark,” for instance, is shooting its third season but he said he will move the show if the law actually happens next year.  >> Related: ‘Ozark’ star Jason Bateman boycotting Georgia if ‘heartbeat bill’ survives court challenges AMC purchased a studio in Senoia a couple of years ago, deeply committed to the production of “The Walking Dead” since 2010.  Bob Lucas, who owns Central Atlanta Props & Sets in East Point, said he hasn't seen a slowdown in his own business as of yet. 'We have had many new shows opening up accounts in the last couple of weeks,' said Lucas, who owns nearly 300,000 square feet of space for props ranging from artwork to clothing to furniture. He moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles in 2014 as the business in the state was ramping up and has since provided props for films as large as the past two 'Avengers' films and 'Black Panther' and TV shows like 'Stranger Things' and 'MacGyver.'  But the state may see new productions dry up in the coming months. What other films and TV series Georgia loses may be harder to ascertain because producers may simply knock the state off their wish list before they even start thinking about where to shoot.  If the courts stop the fetal heartbeat law before it’s set to go into effect in early 2020, Georgia may escape additional pain. Even if that’s the case, many believe the state’s reputation has been marred by Kemp’s actions and the impact might ripple for years, especially if more bills like it pass the legislature in the near future.  “There was some skepticism in the industry about Kemp early on and justifiably so,” said Rhonda Baraka, a local screenwriter who directed the Atlanta-produced film “Pride and Prejudice Atlanta,” which comes out on Lifetime June 1. “I think the bill - and the mentality behind it -cast our state in a negative light. It sends a message about us that does not accurately depict who we are. Even if this bill is scuttled, I don’t think people will easily forget.”  >> Related: Alyssa Milano calls for “sex strike” in protest of Georgia’s strict anti-abortion bill Bagwell said “the passage of this law threatens to destroy a significant portion of 11 years of goodwill between Georgia and the national film and television production industry. Isn’t the first rule of job creation ‘Don’t shoot the jobs you already created?’”
  • Kevin Hunter Jr., the son of talk show host Wendy Williams and her estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, has reportedly been arrested after punching his father at a store in New Jersey. “Entertainment Tonight” reported that officials with the West Orange Police Department confirmed Hunter Jr. was arrested. >> Read more trending news  According to police, the 18-year-old college student was charged with simple assault Wednesday. “Kevin Jr. was a bit aggressive towards his father and his father tried to control the situation,” an unnamed source said of the incident, according to “Entertainment Tonight.” “Kevin Jr. then punched his father in the face and the cops were called sometime later. Kevin Sr. and Kevin Jr. have always had a great relationship. Not everything is as it appears and Kevin Sr. looks forward to moving past this.” Related: Wendy Williams divorcing husband, manager Kevin Hunter amid rumors of affair “(Kevin Hunter Jr.) was arrested and charged with assault yesterday by the West Orange police. He was given a summons,” a spokesperson for Essex County Family Court told Us Weekly in a statement. “Basically this is a matter that will be handled in family court. … He was processed in West Orange and then released to appear on a summons at a later date.” In a statement to TMZ, Hunter Sr. said, “I love my son very much and I will not be pursuing this matter legally. Things are not always how they appear.” TMZ provided more details on the alleged incident, claiming that unnamed sources said Hunter Sr. and Hunter Jr. were arguing over Hunter Jr.’s demand for spousal support. According to the website, Hunter Sr. put his son in a chokehold and Hunter Jr. punched him in the nose to break away. Related: 'Trying to right some wrongs': Wendy Williams' estranged husband Kevin Hunter issues apology Williams filed for divorce from Hunter Sr. in April, citing “irreconcilable differences between the parties which have caused the breakdown of the marriage for a period of six months” and “no reasonable prospect of reconciliation,” according to “ET.” The divorce came after months of speculation that Hunter Sr. had an affair and rumors that he has a child with his mistress.  Related: Wendy Williams says she’s dating again, ‘rediscovering’ her love of men On her talk show, Williams has spoken about dating again, saying she’s “rediscovering” her love of men and living in New York, where her show is filmed. “I am working on my divorce pleasantly,” she said on her May 14 show.  “You don’t just throw away 25 years lock, stock and barrel. I’ve gotta tell you something right now, as a mature single -- almost single -- woman, I will tell you this: We do have our son, and he is away at college and he’s home right now. He’s home for college break. He sees me, he sees his dad.”
  • James Bond is out of commission for a few weeks. Star Daniel Craig is undergoing minor ankle surgery after sustaining an injury while filming the 25th installment in the franchise in Jamaica. The news comes Wednesday in a tweet from the official James Bond twitter account. The statement says that production will continue during the 51-year-old actor's two-week post-surgery rehabilitation and that the film will stay on track to hit its April 2020 release date. This is Craig's fifth outing as 007.
  • Philadelphia's top prosecutor called for a new trial and judge for rapper Meek Mill on Wednesday, saying the former judge who sentenced him 'abused its discretion' and has been biased against him. District Attorney Larry Krasner's office filed a brief questioning Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley's 'impartiality,' citing her decision to check in on Mill at a homeless shelter where he was doing community service and later criticizing him for not doing more. Krasner said she improperly referred to her own observations at his sentencing hearing. 'Judge Brinkley personally assumed the role of investigator,' the brief says. Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, became a symbol for criminal justice reform activists after Brinkley sentenced him to 2 to 4 years in prison for minor violations of his probation conditions in a decade-old gun and drug possession case in November 2017. He spent months in prison before a court ordered him released in April of last year. Krasner said Mill, 32, should get a new trial before a different judge. He said the court 'abused its discretion when it imposed' the sentence on Mill. He had asked for a new trial but his request had been shot down. His appeal efforts continue. Brinkley has denied any accusations she was biased against Mill during proceedings. A message was left Wednesday with attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr., who represents Brinkley. Mill's well-publicized sentencing became a lightning rod for calls to change state probation and parole laws. In January, he joined fellow rapper Jay-Z and the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and New England Patriots to announce the formation of the Reform Alliance.
  • Jersey Shore' star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro's on-again-off-again girlfriend got a new lawyer to defend her on a misdemeanor allegation that she attacked Ortiz-Magro at a Las Vegas club on New Year's Eve. Jennifer Annette Harley made a brief appearance Wednesday before a judge who set another hearing June 12 to let her court-appointed attorney and prosecutors confer. Harley remains free on bond. The 32-year-old Harley and the MTV reality show star have a daughter together, and court records show misdemeanor domestic battery charges against her in 2016 and 2018 were dismissed. Harley was arrested last week after Las Vegas police responding to her report of a man in a van with a gun learned she was sought on a warrant in the Dec. 31 incident at Hustler Night Club.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Violent storms and tornadoes slammed Missouri late Wednesday, leaving three people dead and pummeling the state's capital, officials said. >> Oklahoma flooding: 2 barges break loose, could hit dam, officials warn According to The Associated Press, a 'large and destructive tornado' hit Jefferson City before midnight, National Weather Service officials said. The twister caused several injuries, trapped residents, destroyed homes and buildings, and knocked out power to nearly 13,000 people, KOMU-TV reported. >> Read more trending news  No deaths have been reported in connection with the Jefferson City tornado, police said in a news conference early Thursday. >> Watch a video from the scene here >> See photos from Jefferson City The news came after officials said three people were killed when a 'suspected tornado' struck Golden City, NBC News reported. >> See the tweet here Tornado damage also was reported in Carl Junction, where several people were hurt, according to NBC News. One social media user shared a dramatic video of the twister sweeping through the area.  >> Watch the video here Earlier this week, storms were blamed for three more deaths – including two in Missouri and one in Iowa – and a possible fourth in Oklahoma, the AP reported. Read more here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • An Obama-era plan to feature Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill is crumbling. On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the 2020 unveiling of the note, timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of a Constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote, has been canceled. >> Girl, 3, reaching out to mural of Harriet Tubman caught in emotional photo He pushed back the redesign of the $20 bill at least nine years, offering no guarantees that it will bear the likeness of the celebrated abolitionist. “The primary reason we have looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues,” Mnuchin said in response to questions by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. “Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand.” Pressley said it is time for America to better reflect who built it. “People other than white men built this county. And Secretary Mnuchin agrees, yet he refuses to update our currency,” she said in a tweet. “Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt are iconic Americans and it’s past time that our money reflects that.” >> See the tweet here Andy Ambrose, executive director of the Tubman Museum in Macon, Georgia, called the decision “unfortunate” and noted that Tubman was long denied a military pension before Congress approved a $20 monthly payment. “Harriet Tubman deserves this national recognition that has been long delayed, as she is one of the most courageous, inspiring women in American history,” he said. “But this is part and parcel of the history of this country and the way in which African American women have been, and continue to be, treated and unacknowledged.” Susan Ades Stone, the executive director of the organization that initially proposed putting Tubman on the $20 bill, said Mnuchin’s punt is a calculated political move directed by President Donald Trump. She called for Congress to intervene. >> Read more trending news  “We’re not surprised that Secretary Mnuchin may be kicking the design reveal of the $20 bill to sometime beyond the potential interference of a Trump presidency,” Stone said. “The Tubman $20 design was supposed to be unveiled by 2020 and, even under the most optimistic timetable set out by the Obama administration, was never expected to be in our hands before 2026.” It was in the waning days of the Obama administration that then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the redesigned bills. Stone’s group, Women on 20s, had submitted a petition to the White House in 2015, urging Obama to consider replacing Jackson on the $20 bill with the image of the former slave. Women on 20s also had considered Rosa Parks, who sparked the beginning of the modern civil rights movement; former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. The initial plan was to replace the image of Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill as part of the Treasury’s redesign of bills to make them harder to counterfeit. That thinking began to change, in part because of the Broadway smash “Hamilton.” With the play’s success, the profile of Hamilton, the country’s first treasury secretary, began to climb. The focus then shifted to the $20 bill. >> On AJC.com: How much did Tubman get in her monthly pension for serving as a Civil War nurse? Tubman would have been the first African American on U.S. currency and only the second woman. Martha Washington appeared on the face of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1886 and 1891, and on the back of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1896, according to the U.S. Mint. Known as Moses, Tubman escaped slavery in Maryland then spent a large part of her life returning to the South as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a secret network that helped fugitive slaves get to free states. Tubman rescued approximately 70 people on more than 13 trips back to Maryland, according to Kate Clifford Larson’s 2003 biography, “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.” It has been nearly a century since one of the faces on U.S. paper currency has changed. In 1928 — for reasons that remain unclear — Grover Cleveland was replaced on the $20 bill by Jackson, America’s seventh president. Ironically, Jackson opposed the use of paper currency. Those who wanted to see him replaced pointed out that he owned hundreds of slaves who worked his Hermitage plantation in Nashville. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized Jackson to grant unsettled land west of the Mississippi River to southern tribes who agreed to give up their ancestral homelands. The mass removal of the Cherokee tribe to Oklahoma became known as the Trail of Tears. >> On AJC.com: Trump White House putting the brakes on Tubman on $20 Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump praised Jackson, whom he considers a hero and is said to have modeled his populist administration after. A portrait of Jackson hangs in the Oval Office, and Trump placed a wreath on his tomb to mark Jackson’s 250th birthday in 2018. He has said that the decision to put Tubman on the currency was “pure political correctness” and proposed putting her portrait on the $2 bill, which has the lowest circulation volume of any bill. Stone rejects that idea. “Now it is up to Congress to act on the Harriet Tubman Tribute Bill that is presently before the House Financial Services Committee, to compel the Treasury Department to accelerate the timetable and at the very least show us a Tubman bill design in time for the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020,” Stone said. “As we’ve been saying for years, symbols do matter.”
  • An employee at a Florida Wendy's is in hot water -- literally and figuratively -- after a video has gone viral showing him bathing in the restaurant's kitchen sink. The video, taken by a female employee at a Wendy's in Milton, shows a young man wearing shorts climb into the sink as the camera operator can be heard saying, 'Take a bath. Get in there!' She then tells him to 'wash your armpits,' which he does. Just before the video ends, she gives him a handful of paper towels to dry himself off and briefly turns the camera on herself. Mobile users see video here. The operations manager for Wendy's says officials are aware of the video and they're ‘investigating.’ He refused to comment further.
  • A Florida man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself in the leg -- while trying to move his concealed gun to a safer place. Arnel Villarreal was standing outside his vehicle in the parking lot of Summerlin Academy in Bartow on Tuesday, waiting to pick up a family member, police say. When the 39-year-old remembered his .9mm semi-automatic pistol was tucked in his waistband, he decided to remove it and put it in his car. In doing so, Villarreal apparently grabbed the trigger, causing the weapon to discharge into his leg. He's listed in stable condition.  Although Villarreal has a license to carry a concealed weapon in Florida, Bartow police say they're deciding whether to file charges against him. According to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Villarreal is among more than 1.9 million Floridians with concealed weapon permits -- the most of any state. Mobile users see video here.
  • Two weeks after a Massachusetts teen was mauled to death by a pack of dogs, Dighton's Board of Selectmen has decided what to do with those animals. >> Watch the news report here On May 9, 14-year-old Ryan Hazel was helping take care of the dogs when he was attacked, officials said. Hazel later died from his injuries. >> On Boston25News.com: Students to honor 14-year-old killed in fatal dog mauling Dighton Animal Control said none of those dogs were licensed and have been quarantined since the attack. The board discussed the animals' fate at a town meeting on Wednesday night after a tearful tribute to Hazel.  With support from the Dighton Police, Animal Control and the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, the board voted to put the dogs down without hesitation.  >> Read more trending news  'It was a tough decision however it was the right decision. I won’t be losing sleep over the decision. I don’t think any member will be,' said Board of Selectmen Chairman Kenneth Pacheco.  'Dighton is known as a small town with a big heart, and Dighton’s big heart continues to grieve for Ryan Hazel and his family,' said Nancy Goulart of the Board of Selectmen. 

Washington Insider

  • For the second time in three days, a federal judge rejected arguments by lawyers for President Donald Trump, refusing to block subpoenas issued by a U.S. House committee for financial records held by U.S. banks which did business with the President's companies. 'I think the courts are saying that we are going to uphold the rule of law,' said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has subpoenaed information from the Mazars USA accounting firm. Wednesday's ruling from federal Judge Edgardo Ramos, put on the bench by President Barack Obama, related to subpoenas by two other House panels to Deutsche Bank and Capital One, for records related to Mr. Trump's businesses. Lawyers for the President, the Trump Organization, and Mr. Trump's family had asked that the subpoenas be quashed - the judge made clear that wasn't happening, and also rejected a request to stay his ruling to allow for an appeal. As in investigative matters involving the President's tax returns, and other subpoenas from Democrats, Mr. Trump's legal team argued that there is a limit on the investigative power of the Congress. 'Congress must, among other things, have a legitimate legislative purpose, not exercise law-enforcement authority, not excess the relevant committee's jurisdiction, and not make overbroad or impertinent requests,' the President's lawyers wrote in a brief filed last week. But as with a case in federal court in Washington earlier this week, that argument failed to sway Judge Ramos, who said Deutsche Bank can turn over in the information sought by the House Financial Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. In the halls of Congress, Democrats said the legal victories were clear evidence that the resistance of the White House to Congressional investigation could only succeed for so long. 'The White House has attempted to block Congressional oversight, but the law is on our side,' said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT). And Democrats also were pleased by the quick action of both judges this week, amid worries that multiple legal challenges by the President could cause lengthy delays. 'We should not be slowed down in our work simply by a clock that goes through judicial processes,' said Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA). The legal setback for President Trump came several hours after he cut short a White House meeting with top Democrats on infrastructure, saying he would not work with them on major legislation until the House stopped a variety of investigations. 'Get these phony investigations over with,' the President told reporters in the Rose Garden. Mr. Trump seemed especially aggravated by statements earlier on Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who accused the President of resisting subpoenas and other document requests for a reason. 'And we believe the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up, in a cover-up,' Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol.