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'The Chew' canceled: ABC kills foodie talk show amid Mario Batali allegations

ABC’s appetite for afternoon talk show “The Chew” is over after seven years.

Instead, a third hour of “Good Morning America” will air at 1 p.m. starting this fall. 

>> Mario Batali faces criminal investigation, NYPD officials say

“The Chew,” currently hosted by Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Michael Symon, replaced “All My Children” in 2011. Former co-host chef Mario Batali was fired late last year after several women alleged he sexually harassed them at his New York restaurants. Batali is now under criminal investigation by the New York Police Department.

>> Read more trending news 

The chat/food show’s ratings have fallen sharply this season to its lowest levels since its debut.

New episodes of “The Chew” will continue to air through the summer.

Details on who will host this third hour of “GMA” will be released later.

Rape victim wins $1 billion verdict in civil suit against security company

A Georgia rape victim was awarded a $1 billion settlement verdict Tuesday by a Clayton County jury in a civil lawsuit, according to court documents.

Hope Cheston, who is now 20 years old, sued a security company whose employee, Brandon Lamar Zachary, was convicted of rape and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The rape occurred in October 2012 when Cheston was 14. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s policy is to not name rape victims, but Cheston has chosen to speak out after the verdict. 

“Sexual assault is sexual assault,” Cheston said at a news conference Wednesday. “It’s not right, and it needs to be punished.”

She said the verdict was a pleasant surprise that validates her struggles and emotional pain.

>> Read more trending news 

“For the longest (time), I thought it would be pushed under the rug and no longer mattered ... but come to find out 12 strangers feel like what I went through and my story and how I feel six years later is worth a billion dollars,” Cheston said.

She originally filed the civil suit against the apartment complex, HACC Pointe South Inc., the property management company, Hammond Residential Group, Inc., and the security company, Crime Prevention Agency Inc.

HACC Pointe South Inc. and Hammond Residential Group Inc. were eventually dismissed from the suit.

The State Court of Clayton County ruled in Cheston’s favor against the security company, handing her the huge settlement, according to a statement from her attorney. 

“This is a huge victory for women,” Cheston’s attorney, Chris Stewart, said at the news conference.

Stewart said Crime Prevention Agency Inc. has since changed its name to International Security Agency Inc., which he said has prompted a subsequent lawsuit.

“You can’t change names or try to hide from your responsibility,” Stewart said.

Zachary, who is now 28, was arrested on charges of rape, statutory rape and child molestation, according to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. 

T.I. rails against Houston's restaurant after actresses' arrests from bathroom

Renewed criticism is emerging for Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta as three actresses say they were wrongfully arrested and attacked at the Peachtree Road restaurant after using the restroom.

>> T.I. arrest: Petition urges police to drop charges against rapper

The Atlanta Police Department is investigating whether an off-duty officer working security at the restaurant used excessive force, the agency told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday

Gerald Griggs, an attorney representing the women, said they asked for and were given permission to use the restroom. They were in the process of leaving when the officer escalated the situation, Griggs said.

>> Police report details events leading to T.I.’s arrest outside gated community

The incident is the latest in recent months to lead to accusations of mistreatment of black people at the restaurant chain. The allegations led to calls for a boycott, including from Atlanta rapper T.I., who eventually met with the company and announced that he approved of a plan to address the concerns.

“Absolutely unacceptable behavior!!!!,” he wrote Tuesday on Instagram, renewing his complaints about the chain.

The restaurant said in a statement that it is cooperating with Atlanta police on the investigation. The statement also said the women were asked multiple times to leave by employees because the restaurant was closed.

Griggs told the AJC that the women’s displeasure is with the restaurant as well as the off-duty officer. 

Brittany Lucio, Asia'h Epperson and Erica Walker, who described themselves as actresses, went to the restaurant on May 13, Mother’s Day, after attending an event nearby. 

What happened next is in dispute.

>> On AJC.com: Boy, 9, tries to save brother from carjacker at QuikTrip, cops say

The police report, which Griggs believes contains inaccuracies, said they went into the restroom at 10:26 p.m. and twice refused to leave before an employee asked Officer Jose Guzman to intervene. The restaurant closes at 10 p.m.

At 10:39 p.m., Guzman had a female employee open the door in case the women were using the toilet, the report said. He asked them to leave multiple times, but they ignored him.

The officer had a worker open the restaurant’s back door. Guzman said he grabbed Lucio’s wrist and said, “Let’s go,” but she told him not to touch her and still refused to leave.

Walker walked out of the restaurant.

>> LISTEN: 911 call released in rapper T.I.’s arrest

Guzman said Lucio punched him in the head. Once outside, he held Lucio and Walker to the ground while Epperson filmed with her phone before more police arrived and the women were arrested.

Griggs said the video and his clients’ statements don’t fit with the officer’s report.

First, the attorney emphasized, that despite the stated hours, the restaurant was not closed when the women arrived; it was a “full house.” 

They had been in the restroom 10 minutes or less when staff asked them to leave. The women said they would finish up in the restroom and leave.

“Next thing they know the police officer comes in,” Griggs said.

While the officer complained in the report of small lacerations on his face, Griggs said Lucio and Walker had markings on their bodies to prove they were attacked by the officer. 

The women were each charged with trespassing, and Lucio was also accused of obstruction. 

Griggs said he’s contacted the offices of the district attorney and solicitor to request that the charges be dismissed. He called for the officer to be placed on unpaid leave while the police department investigates the situation.

>> Read more trending news 

The police department said it will review “all aspects” of the incident.

“The Atlanta Police Department is aware of the excessive force accusations made by the arrestees and the Office of Professional Standards has opened an investigation into entire incident for appropriate action and whether proper procedures were followed, the agency said in a statement.

Griggs has been in touch with the legal team at Houston’s in hopes of setting up new meetings to discuss what he said appears to be a “climate” of racial mistreatment at the restaurant.

Georgia restaurant owner accused of assaulting employee over wrong order

Attorneys for a former Gwinnett County, Georgia, restaurant employee said their client was fired after a video posted on Facebook appeared to show the owner assaulting her after a customer complained about an incorrect order.

>> Read more trending news 

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Ju’Nea Turner said she suffered bruises on her breast during the alleged assault. which was captured by a customer’s cellphone.

Turner and her attorneys, Muwali Davis and Kayla Bumpus, have now filed a warrant application, allowing her to seek assault and battery charges against the owner, listed on the restaurant’s website as Mr. Lee.

A hearing is scheduled for June 13. 

The viral video, which has been online since the incident occurred on Friday, shows the former Doo’s Seafood and Deli employee yelling at Lee after he accused her of incorrectly filling an order. The owner said the customer’s refund would be taken out of her paycheck, Turner’s attorneys allege. The customer claimed in the video that Lee’s wife placed the incorrect order. 

“I was just trying to make sure I wasn’t financially punished for someone else’s mistakes,” Turner said at the news conference. 

WARNING: Video contains explicit language

Seconds into the cellphone video, the owner appears to knock food out of Turner’s hand and shove her in front of the complaining customer, the employees and the other customers inside the Snellville business.

The cellphone camera was not pointed at the employee or the owner when the physical contact occurred. 

Surveillance footage from a different angle shows that the owner grabbed the food tray from Turner and then pushed against her left shoulder.

“What happened to her was something that no one should have to endure, particularly a woman and a mother who just came to work, and that was her only intent,” Davis said at the news conference. 

Turner said she refrained from retaliating since she has a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old to feed. 

“It’s unfortunate on the day of the incident that the offender was not arrested immediately,” Davis said. “And I’m certain that, if the roles were reversed, that she would have been taken out in handcuffs. For us, this is a matter of both class and race.” 

Gwinnett County police responded to the scene but said the “parties involved in the dispute did not wish to pursue the case further,” Cpl. Wilbert Rundles told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Rumbles said Lee did not suffer any injuries during the assault. 

“The officers explained to each party how to request a warrant hearing from a judge, which is a common resolution and procedure in this type of case, if they changed their minds on the case,” Rumbles said. “Both parties were accepting of the officers’ handling of the call and the call was closed.” 

Davis said this was the first physical incident between his client and Lee, but said Turner has witnessed Lee assaulting other employees. Davis has encouraged other witnesses to come forward concerning Friday’s incident and any other alleged assaults. 

“We believe that this is a pattern and our intention is to stop that pattern,” he said. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tried to contact Lee for comment Wednesday afternoon, but was unsuccessful.

Stay away from dangerous sunscreen pills, FDA warns

The Food and Drug Administration issued warnings Tuesday addressing dietary supplements that claim to protect the public from sun damage.

>> Read more trending news 

“There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” the agency wrote. “We’ve found products purporting to provide protection from the sun that aren’t delivering the advertised benefits. Instead they’re misleading consumers, and putting people at risk.”

The warning letters were aimed at four companies and accused them of “illegally marketing pills and capsules labeled as dietary supplements that make unproven drug claims about protecting consumers from the harms that come from sun exposure without meeting the FDA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.”

>> Related: Mom warns other parents after baby burned by sunscreen 

The FDA specifically called out the following products for putting people at risk:

The agency said the companies need to reverse any federal violations associated with their products.

A representative with Napa Valley Bioscience told Time in a statement that their product “is made with ingredients that published clinical studies show protect skin from damage,” and is useful for supplemental protection and for users with sensitive skin.

>> Related: How to pick the right sunscreen — and which ones to avoid 

“However, to be abundantly clear: the sun is dangerous, and UV rays damage your skin. We don’t market Sunsafe Rx as a sunscreen, and we certainly don’t tell consumers that they don’t need any other protection from the sun or that they don’t also need to use a topical sunscreen,” the company said. “Everyone should exercise caution when exposed to the sun.”

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And one in five Americans are at risk of developing the condition in their lifetime.

>> Related: 6 mistakes people commonly make when applying sunscreen 

The FDA is also researching the effectiveness of current sunscreens on the market as some research has purported some ingredients popular in conventional sunscreens may seep through the skin, though human harm due to this hasn’t been concluded.

Scientists discover opioids in Seattle’s Puget Sound mussels

The opioid epidemic has now made its way into marine life in Washington’s Puget Sound. Scientists who track pollution have for the first time, discovered traces of oxycodone in mussels.

>> Read more trending news 

But scientists say those mussels don’t end up on your plate. 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, or WDFW, gets clean mussels from Penn Cove on Whidby Island and puts them into areas they want to test for water contamination – like in urban waters.

And they’ve discovered there’s enough oxycodone in Elliot Bay for mussels to test positive. 

“What we eat and what we excrete goes into the Puget Sound,” said Jennifer Lanksbury, a biologist at the WDFW. 

Scientists deposit mussels in cages in 18 locations. They teamed up with the Puget Sound Institute to analyze the data and discovered that three locations were positive for trace amounts of oxycodone - two near Bremerton’s shipyard and Elliot Bay near Harbor Island.

“It’s telling me there's a lot of people taking oxycodone in the Puget Sound area. The contamination is likely coming from wastewater treatment plants,” Lanksbury said. 

>> Trending: Sunken treasure worth $17 billion on 300-year-old shipwreck discovered off Colombian coast

After people consume oxycodone, some of it ends up in the toilet, and it goes into wastewater. The water gets filtered, but King County Wastewater Management said although their system can catch a lot of contaminants, it can't specifically filter out drugs. 

>> Trending: Great Pacific Garbage Patch 16 times larger than estimates: 87,000 tons of plastic and growing

And opioids, antibiotics, drugs for depression - mussels are testing positive for all of it

“Those are definitely chemicals that are out there in the nearshore waters and they may be having an impact on the fish and shellfish that live there,” Lanksbury said.

Again, Lanksbury says people have nothing to worry about when it comes to eating mussels from a restaurant or shop because they come from clean locations.

“They’re clean and healthy and delicious. We love to eat mussels from the Puget Sound. We use them for our food and we use them for contaminant analysis,” Lanksbury said. 

But the study shows it’s another sign of what's ending up in the water and harming marine life. 

“People should be wary,” Lanksbury said. “Hopefully our data shows what’s out there and can get the process started for cleaning up our waters.” 

>> Trending: Your bottled water is probably contaminated with tiny plastic particles, health experts say

This was a one-time study for prescription drugs, but Fish and Wildlife officials will seek more funding to continue testing and tracking what happening to in the water over time. 

What is the UV Index and how to protect your skin from sun’s fierce rays

During the spring and summer months you may often hear meteorologists talking about the strength of the UV index

>> Read more trending news 

The UV index is a scale used to measure the strength of the sun's UV rays and how it could have an impact on the average person. The higher the UV index, the more likely someone could develop a sunburn.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself:

--Limit sun exposure during the hours of 10am -4pm

--If outdoors, seek shade and wear protective clothing, hats and sunglasses

>> Related: The 14 most dangerous sunscreens for kids, according to experts

--Apply sunblock of SPF 30+ every two hours, even on cloudy days and after swimming

--Watch out for bright surfaces, like sand and water, which reflect UV and can increase exposure

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is something called the "shadow rule" that can help detect how much UV exposure you may be getting. If your shadow is taller than you are (early morning and late afternoon), your UV exposure is likely lower. If your shadow is shorter than you are (around midday), you are being exposed to higher levels of UV radiation. 

>> Trending: CDC warns pools, hot tubs, water parks are hotbed for disease outbreaks

Black driver pulled over, handcuffed by white cops over ‘vegetation’ on his car

An African-American driver in Winfield, Kansas, was pulled over by two white police officers May 13 for “vegetation stuff” on his car window, according to a Facebook Live video posted by driver Rudy Samuel.

>> Read more trending news 

Samuel started recording the traffic stop soon after it happened, when one of the officers first told Samuel he was pulled over for failing to signal.

"Officer says I failed to put my signal light on within a hundred feet," Samuel said in the recording.

"And it wasn't a hundred feet, but whatever."

>> Related: Facebook video captures aftermath of officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile

Samuel handed over his valid driver’s license and registration and the officer returned to the squad car, but when he came back, he gave a different reason for pulling Samuel over.

"Hey Mr. Samuel, what caught my attention was this vegetation stuff right here," the officer said as he pulled something from the outside of the car.

Samuel indicated the vegetation was probably from a tree and said he doesn’t smoke.

The officer asked Samuel to get out of the car so police could search it. When Samuel refused, they pulled him out, handcuffed him and searched the vehicle anyway. They didn’t find anything and eventually let him go with two verbal warnings.

>>Trending: New York gang member found guilty of Atlanta student’s murder

Samuel believes the incident was racially motivated, a spokesman for the driver told CNN.

Peter Wright is with the grassroots group Freedom 1 Organization, which says it looks for fair ways to solve complaints against police and other companies, CNN reported.

"He kept saying 'test it.' They snatched him out of the car, handcuffed him and banged him around a little bit," Wright told CNN.

>> Related: CDC researcher Timothy Cunningham’s death ruled a suicide by drowning

The police chief of Winfield, Brett Stone, also told CNN the incident is “under review.”

George Zimmerman, unemployed, $2.5M in debt, gets public defender in latest legal battle

A judge in Seminole County, Florida, has granted George Zimmerman a public defender to represent him in his latest legal battle.

>> Read more trending news

Zimmerman told the judge that he’s indigent, unemployed and has $2.5 million in debt and liabilities, according to court documents.

Zimmerman is facing a misdemeanor stalking charge that was filed by the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office earlier this month.

A sheriff's report said an investigator, Dennis Warren, contacted Zimmerman in September on behalf of Michael Gasparro, who is making a documentary on Trayvon Martin. The series is being produced by rapper Jay-Z.

Zimmerman allegedly told Gasparro, "Help Dennis out and give him a heads up. I'm going to find him. And I'm bringing hell with me."

He allegedly texted Gasparro and said, "Dennis is a (expletive) who bothered my uncle in his home. Local or former law officer, he's well on his way to the inside of a gator as well. 10-4?"

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the indigent applications are rarely scrutinized by the court because they are done under oath.

“As long as you can show your liabilities outweigh your assets, you are maybe entitled to a public defender and you are maybe entitled to the cost of defense,” Sheaffer said.

Zimmerman is scheduled to be in court May 30.

Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 of the 2012 shooting death of Martin, an unarmed teenager. of unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin.

Maker of Sweethearts candy message hearts, Necco Wafers sold for $18.83 million

The bankrupt maker of Necco Wafers, Sweethearts conversation hearts and other beloved American candies has a new owner.

>> Read more trending news 

The Ohio-based Spangler Candy Co. offered the winning bid of $18.83 million for the iconic New England Confectionery Co., the country’s oldest continuously operating candy company, at a federal bankruptcy auction in Boston Wednesday.

The acquisition ensures at least a short-term future for the candy maker better known as Necco.

Spangler Candy Co. and three other bidders all indicated they would keep Necco operating at its current location in Revere, just north of Boston, at least through the fall.

Spangler Candy Co. makes Dum Dums lollipops.

Interest in Necco has focused on its "sugar line" of chalky wafers and candy hearts. The fate of its chocolate Sky Bar and Clark bar remains unclear.

>> Related: 6 big name retailers who filed for bankruptcy in 2017

Necco filed for federal bankruptcy protection last month.

40,000 pounds of chicken feathers blocks freeway in Washington

Drowsy driving may have caused the driver of a semitrailer to hit a guardrail and roll his truck, dumping 40,000 pounds of chicken feathers onto Interstate 5 in Federal Way, Washington and causing a backup that stretched for miles.

Photos: Semi crash spills chicken feathers across I-5 (KIRO-TV)

The crash happened on northbound I-5 around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. 

>> Read more trending news

Initially, four lanes were closed by the crash. All lanes were back open more than four hours later. At the height of the commute, traffic was backed up 17 miles. 

Washington State Department of Transportation crews had a big mess to clean up. Heavy equipment was brought in to scoop up mounds of feathers, which were heading to Canada for agricultural use, but some of the mess had to be cleaned up by hand.

Nine hours later, crews were still cleaning up feathers in the I-5 median.

There was also the matter of the rolled over semi. A heavy-duty tow truck had to be brought in to bring the crashed rig upright again and then tow it from the scene.

Guardrail repairs were also needed.

The driver did not hit any other vehicles and was not hurt, but the Washington State Patrol said he told troopers he felt drowsy before the crash. He also said he woke up when he hit the guardrail.

The driver is facing a negligent driving citation, but WSP says if someone had been hurt or killed in the crash, he would have faced a vehicular homicide or assault charge. 

The driver, his employer -- West Coast Reduction Ltd., out of Vancouver, B.C. -- or its insurance company will be billed for the guardrail damage and tow services, a trooper said.

Stormy Daniels Day: West Hollywood honors adult film star with key to city

The city of West Hollywood, California, proclaimed May 23 Stormy Daniels Day and honored the adult film star with a key to the city.

>> Read more trending news 

The city said in a Twitter announcement that it’s honoring Daniels for her leadership in the #Resist movement.

“In these politically tumultuous times, Daniels has proven herself to be a profile in courage by speaking truth to power, even under threats to her safety and extreme intimidation,” the statement said.

>> Related: Porn star Stormy Daniels sues Trump over hush agreement, says it’s void, reports say

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has been embroiled in a lawsuit she filed against President Donald Trump last year in California state court, claiming a “hush agreement” she signed over their alleged affair a decade ago is null and void.

>> Related: Trump confirms Cohen represented him in 'crazy Stormy Daniels deal'

She was paid $130,000 by Trump attorney Michael Cohen shortly before the 2016 presidential election in exchange for keeping silent about the alleged affair with Trump. But Daniels’ attorney argued the agreement was no good because Trump never signed it.

Cohen has admitted using his own money to pay off Daniels and, while records have revealed Trump made payments to Cohen, the president has denied any involvement with the porn star.

Daniels has said she wants to tell her story, like other women who have had alleged encounters with the president, but the hush agreement prevents her from legally doing that.

>> Related: Trump acknowledges he reimbursed Cohen, lawyer who paid Stormy Daniels

FDA warns some teething medicines are unsafe for babies

Federal health officials are warning parents to stop using over-the-counter teething products that contain the drug benzocaine, because it can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those under two years old.

>> Read more trending news 

The FDA also sent letters to drug manufacturers Wednesday, asking them to stop selling the teething products.

According to the FDA, children who take medicine containing benzocaine are at a greater risk of developing methemoglobinemia, a serious condition that can cut off the amount of oxygen reaching the blood stream.

Symptoms include pale, grey or blue colored skin, light-headedness, shortness of breathing, fatigue and rapid heart rate.

Benzocaine-induced methemoglobinemia can be deadly if not treated properly, according to the FDA. And, more importantly, the FDA warns that it can fatal after only one use. 

Benzocaine is found in popular brands like Orajel and Anbesol, which are used to treat mouth sores in adults, CNN reports

New York gang member found guilty of Atlanta student’s murder

A New York gang member will serve a life sentence for the 2016 murder of a Clark Atlanta University student.

>> Read more trending news 

A Fulton County jury convicted Devin Kingdom, 24, of murder in the shooting death of 25-year-old Cierra Ford. Ford, a communications major at Clark Atlanta, was shot in the head when several accused gang members broke into her boyfriend’s Sandy Springs apartment in November 2016.

Ford was a California native who wanted to be a journalist. She was a good student and an inspiration to other young women, her brother said.  

“Cierra was intelligent, charismatic, and she had a vibrant sense of humor that resonated with her friends and family,” Clarence Ford said.

Her boyfriend, Tyrique Lobban, was shot three times and injured. Lobban was a leader of the same New York Gang, prosecutors said, and the men intended to kill him to remove him from his position.

Three accused gang members were arrested following Ford’s death and a fourth, Gregory Battle, is still on the run. Initially, police believed robbery was a motive. Kingdom was the first to be convicted.

>> Related: Clark Atlanta student killed in shooting outside condo

Malik Ortiz also stood trial last week and was acquitted of the homicide. The jury was unable to reach verdicts on the remaining 12 counts, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office. 

Joseph Clarke, another murder suspect, is still awaiting trial.

Prosecutors said the trouble started two years after the New York gang members relocated to Atlanta in 2014. They lived with Lobban in his apartment until infighting resulted in a leadership struggle.

“The dispute between Lobban and the other four men came to a head in October of 2016 when Lobban asked Clarke, Ortiz, and Battle to move out of the apartment,” said Chris Hopper, the spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. “Once they moved out of the apartment, the men made a decision to kill Lobban and remove him from his leadership position in the gang.”

In the deadly coup, the four allegedly entered the Sandy Springs apartment through an unlocked door with weapons drawn, the jury heard at trial.

>> Related: 3arrested in Clark Atlanta student’s murder

They first encountered a roommate and another alleged gang member, Jabar Brady. Hopper said the men gave Brady, who was 19 at the time, a chance to live and he left the apartment.

Prosecutors intended for Brady to testify, but he killed himself in New York shortly before the trial, according to the DA’s office. He was considered one of the state’s key witnesses. 

“The gravity of these violent deaths never seems to end,” Howard said of Brady’s death.

Ford and Lobban were shot when the group kicked in the door to Lobban’s upstairs bedroom and found them in bed, prosecutors said. 

>> Trending: 7 young men facing murder charges in Georgia motel shooting

In addition to felony murder, Kingdom was found guilty of first-degree home invasion, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, first-degree burglary and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. 

He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams to life in prison plus 10 years. 

The jury apparently could not reach a conclusion on Ortiz’s involvement in the crime.

7 young men facing murder charges in Georgia motel shooting

Seven young men are facing murder charges in connection with a deadly shooting at a motel in Carroll County, Georgia, southwest of Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news 

Villa Rica police found the victim lying on a second-floor landing at the Fairbridge Inn Express on Ga. 61 around 7 p.m. Tuesday, Capt. K.L. Shaddix said early Wednesday in a news release.

Brian Cook, 28, of Villa Rica, was pronounced dead on the scene.

During the course of their investigation, police located and arrested five people. Warrants were secured for two more, Shaddix said.

It appears the victim was shot after an altercation in a motel room.

Police said Ramon Higgs, 29, also of Villa Rica, went to the motel and Cook accompanied him. Higgs was seen on video surveillance entering a second-floor room while Cook remained outside. A confrontation inside the room turned violent, according to police.

Higgs then ran from the room with several men chasing him, Shaddix said. 

>> Related: What is an ‘incel?’ A look at the anti-women movement behind multiple terror attacks

“As Cook began to run away, he was grabbed by the suspects and shot while on the second-floor landing where he died from the injuries,” Shaddix said in the release. “Higgs was also shot but was able to flee the scene.”

Investigators learned six Villa Rica men were inside the hotel room at the time of the shooting. Khaaliq Sims, 24, Isiah Roberts, 20, Alvin Doby, 20, and Kyron Doby, 23, were all located and arrested.

Two others, Briahious McPherson and Ricardo Joiner, both 19, have not been caught.

All six face two counts of aggravated assault and a single count of murder. Roberts was arrested on an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Shaddix said police also charged Higgs with murder and aggravated assault as well as marijuana and weapons possession. Higgs was treated for a gunshot wound at Grady Memorial Hospital and released. 

The investigation resulted in two unrelated arrests, Shaddix said.

>> Trending: Teen died trying to shield class from Santa Fe High School shooter

Police contacted the occupants of the room next door to the shooting and reportedly located suspected marijuana. Two people, including a 16-year-old boy, were arrested on possession charges.

The other suspect, identified as 24-year-old Jaylon Stanton of Baton Rouge, La., was also charged with first-degree forgery after he was allegedly found in possession of a large amount of suspected drugs and counterfeit cash.

The search continues for the two remaining murder suspects.

Lawyer apologizes for accusing Texas trooper of sexual assault after bodycam footage released

The attorney for a woman who accused a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper of sexual assault during a traffic stop is apologizing after DPS released body camera video of the full encounter, which appears to refute her claims.

>> Read more trending news 

Philadelphia attorney S. Lee Merritt said in a press release Wednesday that the video of the traffic stop early Sunday morning “directly conflicts with the accounts reported to my office.”

According to KWTX, Officer Daniel Hubbard pulled over Sherita Dixon-Cole around 1:30 a.m. Sunday on suspicion of drunken driving.

The Grapevine woman was taken to the Ellis County Jail and booked on suspicion of DUI.

Cole told the trooper she was headed to her fiancee’s home in Waxahachie from downtown Dallas and had one drink, KDFW reports.

Cole said the trooper offered to let her go in return for sexual favors and she accused him of fondling, groping and sexually assaulting her on the way to the jail, KWTX reports.

Hours after her arrest, New York activist Shaun King posted on Facebook and Twitter that Cole had been “kidnapped” and explained in detail Cole’s claims as explained by her and Merritt.

King also claimed the trooper threatened to shoot her fiancee, KDFW reports. The posts were shared thousands of times online, but have since been deleted.

The Texas Department of Public Safety responded late Tuesday night by releasing the trooper’s body camera footage in full after receiving approval from the Ellis County District Attorney’s Office.

According to DPS, the only parts that have been blurred or rendered inaudible are those where personal information is shared.

“The video shows absolutely no evidence to support the egregious and unsubstantiated accusations against the Trooper during the DWI arrest of the suspect,” DPS posted on YouTube

During the field sobriety test, the trooper in the video pours out two bottles of alcohol he says he found in Cole’s front seat.

He places her under arrest and asks her to sit in the front seat of his patrol car. 

Throughout the two-hour footage, the officer is shown helping the woman through the intake process. At one point, he asks her if she’d like for him to turn off her cellphone in order to save the battery so she can use it later.

At one point during the interview, they appear to have a friendly chat about college and Cole talks about getting her master’s degree.

“The Department is appalled that anyone would make such a despicable, slanderous and false accusation against a peace officer who willingly risks his life every day to protect and serve the public,” the department stated.

In addition to deleting his prior posts about the incident, King also issued a statement walking back his accusations on Twitter.

Jared Kushner gets permanent security clearance: reports

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has gotten a permanent security clearance months after he lost access to top secret documents because of his failure to pass an extensive FBI background check, according to multiple reports.

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The background check was completed after more than a year, allowing Kushner to get his permanent clearance, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing an unidentified source.

White House officials have said that it’s not unusual for background checks to take so long for officials with complicated financial histories or with the sprawling foreign connections that Kushner has, The New York Times reported. Trump was not involved in the process to clear his son-in-law, according to the newspaper.

>> Report: Jared Kushner’s security clearance downgraded

“As we stated before, his application was properly submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process,” Kushner’s personal attorney, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement obtained by the Post. “Having completed all of these processes, he’s looking forward to continuing to do the work the president has asked him to do.”

Lowell said his client has been cooperating with the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He told the Times that Kushner has met twice with Mueller’s investigators with both meetings running for several hours.

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation

“In each occasion, he answered all questions asked and did whatever he could to expedite the conclusion of the investigations,” Lowell said.

Kushner and several other White House officials in February had their temporary security clearances downgraded after reports surfaced that a number of staffers had regular access to top secret U.S. documents despite only having interim clearances.

Ariana Grande talks split from Mac Miller, calls relationship ‘toxic’

Ariana Grande got candid about the end of her relationship with rapper Mac Miller in the form of a lengthy reply to a Twitter user. The singer, 24, split from Miller, 26, in April after two years together.

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Although initial reports -- and an Instagram story from Grande -- indicated an amicable, mutual split, Grande said the relationship was a toxic one.

ET reported that Grande’s reveal about her relationship came from reply to a fan on Twitter criticizing Grande. The tweet also referenced Miller’s May 17 DUI arrest and his struggle with sobriety.

“Mac Miller totalling his G wagon and getting a DUI after Ariana Grande dumped him for another dude after he poured his heart out on a ten song album to her called the divine feminine is just the most heartbreaking thing happening in Hollywood,” the fan wrote.

“How absurd you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship because he wrote an album about them, which btw isn't the case (just Cinderealla is ab me),” Grande tweeted in a reply. “I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man's inability to keep his (expletive) together is a very major problem.”

Miller has not publicly commented on his arrest, but according to officials with the Los Angeles Police Department, he was arrested at his home when officers tracked his license plate to his house. He reportedly left the scene of the crash with two passengers.

“Let’s please stop doing that," she continued. "Of course I didn't share how hard or scary it was while it was happening but it was. I will continue to pray from the bottom of my heart that he figures it all out and that any other woman in this position does as well.”

People reported that the fan replied with an apology, saying, “I’m really sorry this is something you took he time to read and that upset you enough to make such a thoughtful reply. ... I in no way think that you are the cause of Mac’s short comings we all have our demons.”

“Thank you for hearing me,” Grande replied. “I appreciate your response v much. sending u love.”

Grande may have already moved on from Miller. She is reportedly “casually dating” “Saturday Night Live” comedian Pete Davidson.

Memorial Day 2018: Macy’s, Best Buy, Kohls, others offering deals, freebies

Monday is Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor those who died in military service to the United States.

In addition to being a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, the last day in May is also seen as the “unofficial start of summer.”

Retailers are not letting that opportunity for a long weekend of shopping pass without offering a few deals.

Here are some Memorial Day deals, freebies and advice:

  • Ace Hardware: Ace Hardware pledges to give away 1 million free 8-inch by 12-inch American flags this Memorial Day. A second flag is donated to a local VFW post to be used to mark the graves of those who once served. No purchase necessary, while supplies last.
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors – Among other deals, get a Mosaic six-piece dining set for $99.99; a trampoline for $199.99 and round above-ground pool for $199.99.
  • American Tourister: Get an extra 40 percent off select items.
  • Ann Taylor: Get an extra 40 percent off regularly priced items.
  • Ashley Home Store: Up to 35 percent off sitewide plus an additional 15 percent off with the code “Freedom15.”
  • Ashley Stewart: Up to 50 percent off select styles.
  • Backcountry: Save an extra 20 percent off one full-price item.
  • Barneys Warehouse: Get an extra 25 percent off “Style Score” items.
  • Best Buy: Get up to 40 percent off appliances, plus other deals here
  • Blue Star Museums: Participating museums across the country offer free admission for active duty military families from Monday, May 28, through Labor Day, Sept. 3.
  • Boston Market: Get a whole rotisserie chicken, a half-rack of ribs, four sides and four pieces of cornbread for $29.99.
  • Callaway Apparel: Get an extra 40 percent off clearance items.
  • CanvasPop: Get 50 percent off all canvas and framed prints with the code MEMORIAL50 at check out.
  • Calvin Klein: Get an extra 40 percent off sitewide.
  • Carters: Get an extra 50 percent off sitewide.
  • Coleman: Get an extra 25 percent off on select items.
  • Crocs: Get an extra 30 percent off sitewide.
  • eBags: Get up to 50 percent off select items.
  • Ebay: Get an extra 15 percent off select items.
  • Eddie Bauer: Get 40 percent off sitewide using the code TRIBUTE. Exclusions apply.
  • Einstein Bagels: Beginning Saturday, May 26, until Monday, May 28, guests who present proof of local residence at participating locations will receive a buy-one, get-one offer on the company’s new Flavors Across America menu. The offer will return during Fourth of July week and Labor Day weekend.
  • EMS: Get up to 50 percent off select items.
  • Famous Footwear: Up to 40 percent off sandals.
  • Finish Line: Up to 50 percent off select styles.
  • Firebirds: Veterans and active duty military will get their meal for free on Memorial Day at Firebirds.
  • Fogo de Chao : Military veterans and active duty personnel will receive 50 percent off their meal Monday. Accompanying diners (up to three) will get 10 percent off their meals. Present your military ID to get this offer. 
  • Ford: Military members and first responders can get a special deal from Ford. This offer is valid at any time. Enter your ZIP code to find the nearest Ford dealer.
  • Home Depot: A 10 percent discount is offered in-store to all military veterans on Memorial Day. A year-round 10 percent discount is available at all U.S. locations to active duty personnel, reservists, retired or disabled veterans, and their immediate dependents. You must present a valid military ID. Some limitations may apply.
  • J.Crew: Get an extra 40 percent your purchase.
  • Kohls: Get up to 50 percent off outdoor furniture and décor.
  • LaMar’s Donuts: Active duty or retired service men and women get a free doughnut and cup of coffee Monday.
  • Land’s End: Get an extra 30 percent off one item.
  • Lenovo: Save up to 50 percent off gaming machines, plus up to 30 percent on select tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
  • LongHorn Steakhouse: The Grill US Hotline returns Memorial Day to offer free grilling advice. Call 1-855-LH-GRILL on Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET for advice ranging from “grilling basics to hard-core techniques.”
  • Lowe's: Grills, mowers, gardening material and outdoor furniture are among the items on sale at Lowe's through the holiday weekend.
  • Lucky Brand: Get 30-50 percent off the entire site.
  • Macy's: In addition to several deals, you can get up to 50 percent off on select items.
  • Marie Callender’s: On Monday, get a free slice of pie with the purchase of an entree. Certain desserts are excluded from this offer.
  • Moosejaw: Get up to 30 percent off select items.
  • Musicians Friend: Get an extra 15 percent off an order of $199 or more.
  • McCormick and Schmick’s: Military personnel, including Gold Star honorees, veterans and National Guard can get a free entree Monday.
  • Nautica: Get an extra 40 percent off clearance items.
  • Nectar: Get $125 off your purchase, plus two premium pillows free. The offer expires Thursday.
  • Nautica: Get an extra 40 percent off sale items.
  • Ninety-Nine Restaurant: Present your proof of service on Monday, purchase a meal and receive a free entree from the “9 Real Size Entrees for $9.99” menu.
  • Oneida: Get an extra 30 percent off the entire site. Sale ends Thursday.
  • OshKoshB’gosh: Get an extra 50 percent off sitewide.
  • Overstock.com: Through Monday, take an get an extra 20 percent off select outdoor dining products, and 15 percent off select summer bedding.
  • Perry Ellis: Get an extra 50 percent off all sale items and 40 percent off full-priced items.
  • Pier 1: Get up to 50 percent off on select items. All outdoor items are on sale.
  • Perkins Restaurant and Bakery: On any Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., enjoy a free slice of pie with purchase of an entree. Valid only at participating locations. Restrictions apply.
  • Samsonite: Save up to 50 percent on select items.
  • Sears: Save up to 60 percent on the “Red, White & You Event.”
  • Sherwin-Williams: During the month of May, active duty military and veterans save an additional 10 percent on paints and stains. Valid military-issued identification required.
  • Sperry: Get an up to 50 percent off select styles.
  • Stride Rite: Get an extra 40 percent off select styles.
  • Texas de Brazil: Active duty military and veterans will receive 50 percent off their lunch or dinner Monday. Additional accompanying diners (up to seven) will also receive 20 percent off their dinner or lunch.
  • The Children's Place: takes 60 percent off summer apparel 
  • TOBI: TOBI is offering up to 80 percent off select styles through May 31.
  • Under Armour: Veterans and active duty service members receive 15 percent off with a valid TroopID.
  • Vera Bradley: Get up to 40 percent off select patterns.
  • Walgreens: Active military and veterans get 20 percent off regular-priced eligible items with Balance Rewards Card on Monday.
  • Wilsons Leather: Get an extra 50 percent off sitewide. 
  • Zutano: Get 25 percent off the entire site from Friday through Monday.   

Watch a preview for Kanye West, Kim Kardashian’s ‘Celebrity Family Feud’ episode

A preview for an upcoming episode of “Celebrity Family Feud” featuring Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West and the Kardashian family has been released with a premiere date.

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Set to air in June, a preview for the season 4 premiere episode shows host Steve Harvey asking Kris Jenner and West to “name a reason you think Steve Harvey is a good kisser.”

“Lips,” West says, beating Jenner to the buzzer.

“I’m here to win, bro. I’m here to win,” West said.

The show was taped in February. Initially, the Kardashians were supposed to compete against Paris Hilton’s family, but they reportedly turned it down. Instead, West and Kardashian West were on a team with members of West’s family. Competing against them is Team Kardashian-Jenner, comprised of Kris Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kris’ mother Mary Jo Campbell and Cici Bussey, one of their cousins.

Watch a preview clip for “Celebrity Family Feud” below. The episode premieres June 10.

  

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