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Who is Ryan Adams? What you need to know about the singer-songwriter

David Ryan Adams is a 44-year-old singer-songwriter born in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He has had a long career across multiple genres and musical acts.

He is also the subject of a New York Times expose on numerous accusations he psychologically abuses women.


Adams first came on the music scene in an alt-country band he founded called Whiskeytown. The group released three major albums, making it big with “Strangers Almanac” in 1997.

The group split in 2000, after what a Guardian story called a “particularly gruesome Michigan show.”

>> Ryan Adams covers Bryan Adams and the internet can't get enough

Solo career

Adams’ first solo album, “Heartbreaker,” was a hit, especially with critics. A Pitchfork review called it “a startling 15-song masterpiece.”

His follow-up, “Gold,” was also a hit and earned him three Grammy nominations.

However, as the Guardian article put it, “Then something went askew… (he) got a reputation for being a boozy, druggy brat.”

At one point, Adams left a scathing message with profanities on the answering machine of the music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Since then he has performed with the band The Cardinals and done more solo work.

He is known for his 2015 release “1989,” a song-for-song alt-country cover album of Taylor Swift’s album “1989.”

He is a prolific producer, working with Willie Nelson and Fall Out Boy. He has also worked with Weezer, Norah Jones and Counting Crows.

Abuse allegations

On Wednesday, the New York Times published a story detailing allegations of abuse against Adams.

“In interviews, seven women and more than a dozen associates described a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex,” Joe Coscarelli and Melena Ryzik wrote.

>> Read more trending news 

For example, 20-year-old musician Phoebe Bridgers told the Times that Adams invited her to his studio. She said he praised her music, and the two had a short relationship.

However, she said, when she broke off the relationship, Adams rescinded an offer to be the opening act on his European tour.

One of the women who talked to the Times was Adams’ ex-wife, actress and singer Mandy Moore. She said he psychologically abused her and blocked her progress as a musician. They divorced in 2016.

Megan Butterworth, who was engaged to Adams recently, also called him “controlling and emotionally abusive.” She told the Times he tried to isolate her “socially and professionally.” They broke up in 2018.

Adams allegedly corresponded with a fan as well, starting when she was 14. She said he exposed himself during video calls on Skype. 

According to texts reviewed by the Times, Adams questioned her about her age and sometimes she gave a false, older one. 

In one text, he told the girl,” And tell me that your mom is not gonna kill me if she finds out we even text.” 

Adams called the article “inaccurate.”

Read more here.

Here’s how many pushups men should be able to do to avoid heart attacks, study suggests

Want to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease? Pushups may be able to help, according to a new report.

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recently conducted a study, published in JAMA Network Open, to determine the relationship between pushups and heart disease, which can lead to heart failure, heart attacks and strokes.

To do so, they examined health data from 1,104 active male firefighters collected from 2000 to 2010. The subjects, who were around 40 years old, completed annual physical examinations and health and medical questionnaires. The analysts also measured the participants’ pushup capacity and their performance on the treadmill.

During the 10-year assessment, there were 37 incidents related to cardiovascular disease. All but one of the events occurred in men who completed 40 or fewer pushups at the beginning of the trial.

After further analysis, the scientists calculated that men who could do more than 40 pushups had a 96 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease events compared with those who were able to do less than 10.

“Our findings provide evidence that pushup capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease risk in almost any setting,” first author Justin Yang said in statement

Furthermore, pushup capacity was more strongly associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease events than treadmill performance.

The team did note some limitations. They only evaluated middle-aged men, so results may differ for women or men of other ages. 

Nevertheless, they believe their findings are strong. 

“This study,” senior author Stefanos Kales said, “emphasizes the importance of physical fitness on health, and why clinicians should assess fitness during clinical encounters.”

Smollett's attorneys refute charges attack on client was staged

Chicago police released two brothers of Nigerian descent Friday who had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

>> Read more trending news 

The men were picked up by police Wednesday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and their apartment was searched Thursday. They were questioned Friday but police were obliged to release them.  

Update 11 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Jussie Smollett’s attorneys released a statement Saturday evening:

"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying. "One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video,It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity. "Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate. At Present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to "unnamed" sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels."

Update 9:45 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Chicago police said Saturday evening that “the trajectory of the investigation” into the reported attack on Jussie Smollett has shifted and they want to conduct another interview with the “Empire” actor.

According to the Associated Press, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi issued a statement saying: “We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”

Update 8:30 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Sources told CBS that the two brothers who were detained were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria on Wednesday and were promised $500 more when they returned to the United States.

In addition to the rope that was purchased at a hardware store, sources also said that the red hats worn in the attack were purchased at beauty supply store.

Update 7 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Law enforcement sources told WFLD that police are interested in speaking with Jussie Smollet’s lawyer after new evidence surfaced after they conducted interviews with two Nigerian brothers Friday. 

According to CNN, police reportedly believe that the brothers were paid by Smollett to “orchestrate the assault.” CNN did not identify their sources.

CNN also said that the brothers purchased the rope at hardware store that matched the rope used in the assault.

Original report: 

Chicago police denied reports that Jussie Smollett staged his own attack because he is being written off the show “Empire.” 

Two Chicago TV stations, citing anonymous sources, are reporting that Smollett lied to police about the Jan. 29 attack and that he helped plan it with two others who were extras on the show.

“We have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Investigators have confirmed they are interviewing two “persons of interest” in the attack.

The two men “are not considered suspects at this time,” but may have been in the area where the attack occurred, according to Guglielmi.

Guglielmi also said police won’t release any details about the case, including a timeline of events during the attack or the identities of those being questioned.

Police reportedly raided the home of the two “persons of interest” Wednesday night, according to WBBM-TV, removing bleach, shoes, electronics, and other items. 

The station is also reporting the two men have appeared as extras on “Empire,” meaning Smollett may have known them.

Smollett told police he was attacked around 2 a.m. Jan. 29 in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs. He said they attacked him and wrapped a noose around his neck. He was hospitalized briefly for treatment of his injures.

>> Related: 'I will only stand for love': 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett performs in California after attack

It’s taken police weeks to find the people they believe were in a surveillance video taken the morning of the attack.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Snowy conditions cause massive pileup at Donner Pass

Snowy conditions led to a multiple-vehicle wreck Saturday that left traffic at a standstill for hours along Donner Pass. 

>> Read more trending news 

The accident blocked multiple lanes of eastbound I-80 around 11:04 a.m., according to Caltrans

Drivers were seen standing outside of their vehicles as they waited for traffic to move again as a snowstorm blanketed the area. 

The vehicles were removed about an hour later, Caltrans said.

Intoxicated passenger who didn’t want to sit next to toddler removed from flight 

An intoxicated woman was removed from a flight after becoming disruptive and upset for having to sit next to a toddler. 

>> Read more trending news 

Valerie Gonzalez, 32, was removed Thursday from a JetBlue flight to Las Vegas before takeoff, WCJB reported

"I'm not sitting next to a (expletive) 3-year-old. I've been drinking all day," Gonzalez said, according to Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies. 

Then she went to a seat she was not assigned to. 

Passengers took video of the incident as it unfolded. 

"Oh, you want to (expletive) tape this, make this viral, (expletive)?" Gonzalez says in the video. 

Eventually she grabs her bags, blows kisses to the other passengers and leaves the plane when the flight crew asks for deputies to be called to the plane. 

Gonzalez tried to return shortly after and hit a JetBlue employee who tried to stop her, WCJB reported

Gonzalez spat at passengers, JetBlue employees and deputies as she was being taken into custody, WCJB reported. She stopped when officers requested a spit mask. 

She was arrested and charged with battery. 

Antonio Brown solicits questions on Twitter, responds to conflict with Ben Roethlisberger

Just when you thought a resolution could be found and wide receiver Antonio Brown would be able to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers next season, he goes to Twitter and burns more bridges. 

Brown solicited questions and the first he responded to asked about the conflict between him and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

“No conflict just a matter of respect! Mutual respect! He has a owner mentality like he can call out anybody including coaches. Players know but they can’t say anything about it otherwise they meal ticket gone. It’s a dirty game within a game. #truth”

It was reported Friday afternoon that Brown would meet with owner Art Rooney II in Florida to air out grievances and determine how both sides would move forward. 

When a fan asked Brown if he would ever play for the Steelers again, this was his response:

One fan asked Brown what he would tell people who say he only wants a new team to get a new contract:

Another fan asked Brown about the last time he sat out during the Bengals game last season:

Customers continue to line up as restaurant burns

Customers continued to line up Sunday at an A&W drive-thru as the restaurant was burning to the ground. 

>> Read more trending news 

Firefighters fought the flames around 5 p.m. as drivers continued to pull into the drive-thru, Global News reported

Everyone inside the restaurant were able to evacuate before responders arrived. One firefighter was injured but did not need to go the hospital, Global News reported

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Black History Month: Billie Holiday bio, music, facts and more

The gutsy Billie Holiday, fondly remembered as Lady Day, would have been 104 years old come April. Her discernible voice — sultry, mellow and strikingly melancholy — earned the “Strange Fruit” singer an indelible posthumous legacy.

>> Read more trending news

Born Eleanora Fagan to a pair of poverty-stricken teenagers, her personal life was plagued with tragedy and scandal from the very start.

Her stage name was a tribute to movie star Billie Dove and her father, jazz guitarist Clarence Holiday, who was only 15 when his daughter came into the world on April 7, 1915. Her mom, Sadie Fagan, was 13. The union didn’t last long.

Growing up, Holiday would run errands for a Baltimore brothel in exchange for a chance to listen to jazz icons Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith, two legends who inspired her most. But it was ultimately desperation — not desire — that led Holiday to song, according to her obituary in The New York Times.

Upon moving to New York, her mom fell into a debilitating depression and was unable to find work. A teenage Holiday went down to Harlem “looking for any kind of work,” the Times reported.

Both mother and daughter had ultimately turned to prostitution.

After a stint in prison for solicitation, Holiday landed her first singing gig at Harlem’s Jerry Preston’s Log Cabin, where the amateur had been turned down as a dancer. For $2 a night, six nights a week, you could hear Holiday serenade audiences with “Trav’lin All Alone” or “Body and Soul.”

In 1933, she entered the studio to sing “Your Mother’s Son-in-Law” with Jack Teagarden, Gene Krupa, Joe Sullivan and Benny Goodman, who had heard of her talents through producer John Hammond.

Her time with the group catapulted her to fame as Lady Day, a nickname later given to her by Count Basie tenor saxophonist Lester Young.

With her head tilted back and white gardenias in her hair, Holiday’s famous 1939 performance at New York’s Café Society introduced the world to two of her most renowned songs, “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit,” the latter of which left witnesses stunned then — and still resonates with many today.

Ahmet Ertegun, the legendary record producer, called the song, which Holiday first sang 16 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, “a declaration of war … the beginning of the civil rights movement,” Times critic David Margolick wrote in 2000.

Written by Jewish poet Abel Meeropol (pseudonym Lewis Allan), “Strange Fruit” was a protest song about lynching, “the first to shoulder an explicit political message into the arena of entertainment,” The Guardian reported in 2011. But “it was not, by any stretch, a song for every occasion. It infected the air in the room, cut conversation stone dead, left drinks untouched, cigarettes unlit. Customers either clapped till their hands were sore, or walked out in disgust.”

The biting depiction, further haunted by Holiday’s vulnerable performance and the measured cadence of her finger snaps, came at a time when lynching was on the decline in the country but still common in the South.

When she’d sing “Strange Fruit,” she said she always thought of her father, who died at age 39 after being denied treatment at a “whites only” hospital in Texas, according to her 1956 autobiography, “Lady Sings the Blues.” While touring in the South, she was banned from sitting with white vocalists and was asked to use a hotel’s freight elevator so as not to offend white clientele.

“Political songs legendarily age poorly, yet even with listeners desensitized to ‘Strange Fruit,’ the song has acquired a painful and unwanted freshness in the age of Walter Scott and Eric Garner,” The Atlantic wrote in 2015.

Holiday’s rise to fame in a world still ripe with racism further crumbled with her own growing battle with heroin. She was arrested for a narcotics violation in 1947, a conviction that kept her from retaining the cabaret license required to perform in New York’s nightclubs. Her entanglements with a series of abusive men and inescapable drug and alcohol abuse through the 1950s exacerbated the fall. Self-destruction eventually stole the luster from Holiday’s hardening voice.

On July 17, 1959, Holiday was arrested and handcuffed for drug possession as she lay dying of pulmonary edema and heart failure at New York’s Metropolitan Hospital. She was 44 years old. Her last album, “Recording,” was released just four months before her death. At the end of her short life, Holiday had just 70 cents in her bank account, and most of her recordings were out of print.

More than half a century later, you can find them all. With a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy to her name, spots on both the Grammy and the Rock and Roll Halls of Fame and much more acclaim associated with her work, Lady Day’s enduring legacy lives on.

Deputy recognizes suspect with face tattoos after passing him at McDonald’s

A man was arrested after a deputy recognized him as a suspect wanted in connection with a drug investigation. 

>> Read more trending news 

Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. R.D. Crouch was walking into a McDonald’s restaurant Wednesday when he passed Carl Ashworth, who was leaving, KFSM reported

Shortly after, Crouch heard a description that matched Ashworth, whose face is heavily covered in tattoos, related to a drug investigation, KFSM reported

Crouch approached Ashworth, who was walking down a nearby road and started to flee, KFSM reported

Ashworth was taken into custody shortly after. He was arrested on outstanding warrants, as well as charges of fleeing and possession of methamphetamines, KFSM reported.

Tesla adds Dog Mode to Model 3

In response to a suggestion on social mediaDog Mode is included as a software update to the Tesla Model 3

Possibly meme-inspired after good Samaritans would break car windows to save pets, a display indicates to passersby that the car is set to a comfortable temperature for the furry friends waiting in the car and that the driver will be back shortly. 

>> Read more trending news 

The company does say the mode is not intended to be used in places where local laws restrict keeping animals alone in vehicles.

The update is for the Model 3 and will come later to the Model S and X vehicles built after August 2017, Popular Mechanics reported. Dog Mode will be readily available on all newly purchased Model 3, S and X vehicles.

A Sentry Mode, which uses the car’s autonomous driving cameras to deter would-be criminals or anyone else from coming too close, is also added as part of the software update.

Beto O’Rourke: ‘I'd take the wall down’

Beto O’Rourke said he would remove the existing fences and barriers that separate El Paso, Texas, from Mexico, if he could.

>> Read more trending news 

O’Rourke, a Democratic former congressman who ran a high-profile senate campaign against Ted Cruz in 2018, made the statement in a Thursday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. He was answering a question asked on Twitter by Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, "If you could snap your fingers and make El Paso’s border wall disappear, would you?"

"Yes, absolutely. I'd take the wall down," O’Rourke said.

President Donald Trump held a rally Monday night in El Paso to drum up support for a border wall, citing the city’s bollard fence as proof that “walls work,” CNN reported. In his tweet, Crenshaw also said border fences have caused illegal crossings to drop. But O’Rourke, who held a rally Monday to counter Trump’s, disagrees that barriers on the border have helped security.

"Here’s what we know: after the Secure Fence Act, we have built 600 miles of wall and fencing on a 2,000 mile border," O'Rourke said. "What that has done is not in any demonstrable way made us safer."

"We do this, whether it is the war on terror, the war on drugs -- we project our fears and anxieties to places like El Paso, to the U.S.-Mexico border, and punish the people who live here. There's no reason to do that. But it is the fear and the anxiety that is stoked by people who should, and frankly do, know better that results in these policies," he said.

He said that the fencing has instead forced migrants to the most inhospitable areas of the southern border, "ensuring their suffering and death.”

O’Rourke criticized Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency in order to fund his border wall.

"It's hard to make a rational case for an emergency declaration or troops on the border or any amount of additional border walls or border fencing or steel slats," O'Rourke said.

Congress passed a government spending deal Thursday to avoid a government shutdown. The deal would provide further funding for border security but not for Trump's wall. Trump said Thursday he’d sign the spending measure, but would also declare a national emergency "to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border."

O’Rourke has said he will decide this month whether he will run for president in 2020.

Passenger attempts to breach security at Orlando International Airport, officials say

A passenger attempted to breach security at a TSA checkpoint at Orlando International Airport, an airport spokesperson said.

>> Read more trending news 

UPDATE 2:20 p.m. EST: Airport officials said delays continue as TSA workers resume screening passengers.

Passengers are being advised to arrive early for afternoon flights.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m. ESTOrlando police confirmed a man attempted to enter a checkpoint area and was later arrested. Officers said the man reached into his pockets during the arrest which caused a panic after someone yelled that he had a gun. Officers have not said if any weapons were found but said there is no current threat to the airport.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m. ESTOrlando police said a subject has been arrested after an attempted security breach at Orlando International Airport on Saturday.  The airport said security screening and shuttle services have resumed.

UPDATE 1:40 p.m. EST: WFTV reporter Michael Lopardi sees long line for gates 1-59 stretches all the way down the corridor past the food court.

Original report: A passenger attempted to breach security at a TSA checkpoint at Orlando International Airport, an airport spokesperson said.

The incident caused a security scare at around noon Saturday, WFTV-TV reported.

This attempted breach comes two weeks after a TSA worker died after jumping from a balcony inside the airport.

Airport officials said the incident occurred at the checkpoint for gates 1-59.

Law enforcement sources said the suspect was taken down with a stun gun.

Officials said the screening process was paused and will resume.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information comes in.

Rapper BlocBoy JB wanted by authorities on multiple charges

A well-known Memphis rapper is facing drug, gun and theft charges in Shelby County, Tennessee.

>> Read more trending news 

Shelby County Sheriff's Office Deputies say James Baker, 22, better known as BlocBoy JB, is facing multiple charges.

The rapper is wanted for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, a convicted felon in possession of a handgun\ and theft of property, according to SCSO.

BlocBoy JB is widely known for his hit song with Drake "Look Alive."

He's expected to perform in Memphis in May.

Police: Man who tried to rob Hardee's on Valentine's Day was trying to please girlfriend

A Springfield man is behind bars after he allegedly tried to rob a Hardee’s on Valentine’s Day.

>> Read more trending news 

Court records say 35-year-old Eric Dean walked into the restaurant just after 8 p.m. with a green and black bandanna covering on his face and threatened an employee with a butcher knife.

When the employee declined to give him any money, Dean said he had a gun and would shoot employees if they didn’t do what he wanted, court records state.

A different employee chased Dean out of the restaurant, and he fled the scene on his bike.

Jamie Skaggs, an employee at Hardee’s said she wasn’t working at the the time of the incident, but was concerned about her co-workers who were. She said the employee who was threatened with the knife was a little shaken up, but seemed to be doing alright.

“I wanted to make sure they were OK,” she said. “I’m glad he didn’t get anything.”

She said she was surprised when her manager confirmed the news she had seen on Facebook, but she wasn’t surprised when she learned who the suspect was.

She said she’s familiar with the man.

“I was friends with him for years a while back,” Skaggs said.

Records say Springfield police officers caught up with Dean in the 2200 block of Clifton Avenue shortly after the incident. Court records say Dean eventually confessed to the crime.

“He advised he has been going through some tough times right now financially and was only trying to get enough money to pay his electric bill. He also said that his current girlfriend was pressuring him to come up with money soon or she was going to leave him,” an affidavit says.

Officers found the knife that Dean allegedly used in the robbery in a nearby driveway, with a black backpack that was used to conceal the knife.

Dean was jailed and appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on charges of aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.

Dean told visiting judge Thomas Hanna that he lost his job within the last week.

Not guilty pleas were entered for him and his bond was set at $75,000.

NFL Hall of Famer suggests Colin Kaepernick could be Tom Brady's replacement

On the same day Colin Kaepernick and the NFL agreed to end Kaepernick's collusion grievance against the league, a Hall of Famer suggested the former 49ers quarterback could be Tom Brady's replacement when Brady's time comes to an end.

>> Read more trending news 

Former wide receiver Cris Carter brought up the topic on “First Things First” on Friday morning, saying the Patriots may not need to look at the quarterback class in the 2019 NFL Draft as they begin to think about a future without Brady under center.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots looked at (Kaepernick)," Carter said. "The Krafts are very, very fond of Colin Kaepernick. If someone will do it, it will be the people in New England."

In the past, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has shown his support for Kaepernick, telling the New York Times that he would "very much like to see him in the league."

Kaepernick threw 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in five seasons as a starter, and also ran for 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns to go with one Super Bowl appearance to his name.

Six people in country illegally, tied to drug cartel, arrested during drug investigation

A massive drug operation with ties to a Mexican drug cartel resulted in the arrest of six immigrants in the country illegally.

>> Read more trending news 

Six men are behind bars, accused of running an elaborate drug trafficking operation in Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.

The man the suspects are tied to is the main rival of El Chapo's drug cartel.

The operation was working under the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

The human rights group Justice in Mexico reported last year that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel started gaining power after El Chapo's arrest.

Federal officials said more than 1,800 grams of meth were delivered from a luxury home in Statesville in August and October of 2018.

The person who lived there, Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, is an alleged high-level cartel member.

Rangel-Gutierrez’s parents lived in a large home in Troutman, according to the indictment.

Agents said a credible informant told the Troutman Police Department in 2014 that large amounts of cocaine were being stored at the address.

Court documents indicated that Rangel-Gutierrez and the five other suspects were in the country illegally.

Agents said Rangel-Gutierrez transported 30 kilograms of cocaine and an unspecified large quantity of methamphetamine in a one-month period from Texas to Georgia and North Carolina.

An apartment in Hidden Valley, a home in Derita and another home in east Charlotte are tied to the investigation, according to court documents.

Misty Joyner lives near the home in east Charlotte where agents said Rangel-Gutierrez stored drug proceeds while he and another suspect went to a nightclub.

She can't believe her neighbors are potentially involved

“Just devastating,” Joyner said. “They were good people.”

Four of the suspects were in federal court uptown Thursday.

They waived their preliminary hearings. Two other suspects were arrested in Florence, South Carolina and Cleveland.

El Chapo was convicted of drug crimes earlier this week and will spend the rest of his life in maximum security prison. His cartel was once the biggest supplier of drugs to the U.S.


  • Rodolfo Martinez
  • Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez
  • Raul Rangel- Gutierrez
  • Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez
  • Francisco Garcia-Martinez
  • Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez

Lawsuit: Border agent detained U.S. citizens for speaking Spanish

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two women, both U.S. citizens, who say a border patrol agent unlawfully detained them outside a Montana convenience store because he heard them speaking Spanish.

>> Read more trending news 

Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez were at the convenience store when the border agent, identified as Paul O’Neal, approached them, according to the federal lawsuit filed Thursday. O’Neal allegedly commented on Hernandez’s accent and then asked the women where they were born. Hernandez was born in California and Suda was born in Texas, the ACLU said.

The women showed O’Neal their valid Montana driver’s licenses. At that point, the lawsuit said O’Neal detained the women in the convenience store’s parking lot. The women then began taking video of O’Neal on their cellphones.

"Ma'am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here," O'Neill said in the video.

The two were detained for about 40 minutes, according to the lawsuit.

The women’s ACLU lawyers said O’Neal should have let them go as soon as they identified themselves as U.S. citizens. In detaining them, the lawsuit argues that O’Neal violated the women’s Fourth Amendment rights barring unreasonable search and seizures.

The lawsuit also argues the women were racially profiled, a violation of the Fifth Amendment right to due process.

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jason Givens declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said in an email to The New York Times, “lack of comment should not be construed as agreement or stipulation with any of the allegations.”

In May, CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan told ABC News that speaking Spanish alone "is not enough" to pull someone over or ask for ID. However, he said it's possible O'Neal "very well could have been following procedure."

According to a statement from the ACLU, the experience was “humiliating and traumatizing” for the women. It said the women have been “shunned and harassed” by other town residents.

“This unjustified and discriminatory seizure is part of a longstanding pattern of abuse by local CBP agents. It is illegal and must stop,” said Caitlin Borgmann, executive director of the ACLU of Montana.

Suda and Hernandez are asking for an unspecified amount of money in compensation, punitive damages and a judge's order barring border officials from stopping or detaining anyone based on race, accent or language, according to the lawsuit.

Triplets born to New Jersey parents on Valentine’s Day

A New Jersey couple’s Valentine’s Day was made extra special with the earlier-than-expected arrival of their triplet daughters.

>> Read more trending news 

Alicia and Jim Brown knew they were having three daughters, but didn’t think they would arrive so soon, the couple told WABC-TV. The girls were born one minute apart Thursday, starting at 3:33 a.m.

The babies were due in April, so they’re currently growing stronger in Virtua Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Browns said the babies are doing “excellent” despite their early debut.

Jim Brown joked that Valentine’s Day will never be the same in their house.

"Not only is Valentine's Day much more expensive, now I have to buy stuff for three daughters and wife," he said. "But also birthdays now, as well."

The babies are expected to remain in the NICU until April.

Man pops question to girlfriend in school where they met as 3rd-graders

They met two decades ago as third-graders in Louisiana, and a week before Valentine’s Day, they returned to their school for a career day program.

>> Read more trending news 

But Nate Pierre was not thinking about his career when he visited Folsom Elementary School in Covington. He had a lifelong commitment in mind. After reading a very personal love story to Mindy Schayot’s third-grade class, he motioned for his girlfriend, Darcey Crawford, a physical therapist technician who was videotaping the event, to come to the front of the classroom.

Pierre then got down on one knee and proposed, in the same room where they met 16 years ago, WGNO reported.

St. Tammany Parish School District posted a video to its Facebook account Tuesday showing the surprise proposal. Pierre, who works in real estate, hatched the plan with Schayot, a family friend, and cleared it with the school’s principal, the Times-Picayune reported.

As part of the plan, Schayot’s students were told to boo when Pierre asked if they wanted to learn about real estate. Instead, they asked him to read a Valentine story, the Times-Picayune reported.

The plan was set, and Pierre did the rest, reading a story he wrote about his relationship with Crawford and then proposing to her.

Crawford, who began crying, said yes and kissed Pierre. The groom-to-be then high-fived the students, the newspaper reported.

The couple has not set a wedding date yet, WDSU reported.

Tedeschi Trucks band keyboardist Kofi Burbridge dead at 57

Kofi Burbridge, the longtime keyboardist and flautist for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, died Friday. He was 57.

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The multi-instrumentalist, who moved to Atlanta in 1987 to join the band Knee-Deep, was hospitalized last month after a setback stemming from his 2017 emergency heart surgery in Atlanta. In January, the band alerted fans about Burbridge’s condition and his inability to join them on their current tour, which played Washington D.C., on Friday with fill-in keyboardist Gabe Dixon.

The news of Burbidge’s passing was shared early Saturday by former bandmate Yonrico Scott; the cause and location of death has not been announced.

In an April 2018 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Derek Trucks spoke excitedly about how well Burbridge had recovered from his 2017 surgery.

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“Kofi is full force. It reminds me of ‘Lord of the Rings’ when Gandalf goes down and comes back as the white wizard -- he’s got a few extra layers of magic! His musicianship has always been amazing, but listening back to the studio (recordings) the last few days, he crossed over there for a minute!,” Trucks said in a preview of the band’s performance – with Burbridge – at SweetWater 420 Festival. 

Burbridge and his brother Oteil, a familiar presence on bass in the Allman Brothers Band and Dead & Company, met Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit in Atlanta in the late-1980s. Kofi joined Oteil in the band after Hampton departed in 1994; Kofi Burbridge joined the Derek Trucks Band in 1999 and remained with Trucks when he formed TTD in 2010 with wife Susan Tedeschi.

On Friday, TTD’s new album, “Signs,” was released -- featuring keyboards and flute from Burbridge. 

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