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Philip Seymour Hoffman's partner talks about the late actor's 2014 death

Costume designer Mimi O’Donnell shared the story of her late partner Philip Seymour Hoffman’s battle with addiction, in a candid essay for Vogue.

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“From the beginning [of our relationship], Phil was very frank about his addictions,” she wrote. “He told me about his period of heavy drinking and experimenting with heroin in his early 20s, and his first rehab at 22. He was in therapy and AA, and most of his friends were in the program. Being sober and a recovering addict was, along with acting and directing, very much the focus of his life.”

Hoffman, the father of O’Donnell’s three children — Cooper, 14, Tallulah, 11 and Willa, 9 — died from a heroin overdose in early February 2014 at the age of 46.

O’Donnell addresses her late partner’s stints in rehab, and his numerous attempts to get sober to no avail.

“As soon as Phil started using heroin again, I sensed it, terrified,” wrote O’Donnell. “I told him, ‘You’re going to die. That’s what happens with heroin.’ Every day was filled with worry. Every night, when he went out, I wondered: Will I see him again?”

On one occasion, Hoffman returned from rehab and was acting strangely. She encouraged him to stay in a rented apartment so as not to upset their kids. But Hoffman again relapsed and returned to rehab. Which was when she decided it was time to be honest with the children.

“We sat in a common room, and they asked him questions, which he answered with his usual honesty,” she recalled. “He never came out and said, ‘I’m shooting up heroin,’ but he told them enough so that they could get it, and they were just so happy to see him. It was hard when we left, because they all wanted to know why he couldn’t come home with us. But it felt healthy for us to deal with it together, as a family.”

In late 2013 and early 2014, Hoffman was filming “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” in Atlanta. When he returned home to New York, he relapsed again and died just three days later.

“It happened so quickly. Phil came home from Atlanta, and I called a few people and said that we needed to keep an eye on him. Then he started using again, and three days later he was dead,” she wrote. “I had been expecting him to die since the day he started using again, but when it finally happened it hit me with brutal force. I wasn’t prepared. There was no sense of peace or relief, just ferocious pain and overwhelming loss. The most difficult—the impossible—thing was thinking, How do I tell my kids that their dad just died? What are the words?”

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration‘s national helpline on 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Second Georgia Dome implosion scheduled to bring down remaining wall

The portions of the Georgia Dome that remained standing after the building’s implosion last month will be brought down next week, officials said Wednesday.

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“supplemental implosion” has been scheduled for 1 a.m. on Dec. 20 to remove a long wall on the stadium’s east end and a structure around Gate B on the northwest corner. 

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operated the Dome, said the second implosion “has been determined to be the safest method to bring down the remaining infrastructure still standing.” 

>> Related: Dust from Georgia Dome’s implosion impacts residents and businesses

The Georgia Dome was the home of the Atlanta Falcons until the Falcons’ new home  Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in August.

PBS suspends ‘Tavis Smiley’ show amid sexual misconduct investigation

PBS has suspended the “Tavis Smiley” show following allegations of sexual misconduct between Smiley and former production staffers.

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According to Variety, PBS hired a firm to oversee Smiley’s behavior after reports of misconduct. As many as 10 witnesses, both men and women, spoke to investigators.  

A PBS spokesperson released a statement on the suspension:

"Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company. PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision."

Man stuns fellow drivers by stripping naked, jumping on cars

Wild footage taken during a Tuesday afternoon Incident shows a naked man running down a highway and jumping onto vehicles after crashing his own truck — causing the road to close to traffic.

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Police responded to a call about an accident near Washington Dulles International Airport and a man possibly fleeing the scene without his clothes on. According to officers, one of the drivers involved in the crash got out of his car and assaulted the other driver. That’s when the suspect reportedly undressed and jumped onto a passing vehicle. After causing damage to the truck, he got off of it and ran away.

The video shows the man trying to climb into a dump truck. At one point, he jumps onto the back of a passing truck, clinging on as the driver attempts to drive away. Theo Garner watched the entire episode from the Herndon office building.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I see a ... half-naked guy cross eight lanes of traffic on 28. He then climbs up on the back of the dump truck that a pickup truck had slammed into the back of, disrobes and then proceeds to throw things on 28,” he said. “It’s not something you see every day. I’ve been working there for 17 years and I’ve never seen any shenanigans like that man. That was absolutely insane. But I’ll tell you it did brighten up a boring workday.”

The man was later located on Dulles property, arrested and taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are reportedly still working to identify the suspect, and charges against him are pending.

AL sen.-elect Doug Jones says message of ‘common ground’ resonated with voters

Alabama’s new U.S. senator-elect, Democrat Doug Jones, says he wants to find common ground after a hard-fought, come-from-behind victory against Republican candidate Roy Moore Tuesday night.

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Jones, in his first press conference as the state’s new senator, told reporters Wednesday “this has been an amazing night,” referring to his victory in the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Although Jones beat Moore, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court who had been accused of sexual misconduct, he said he has not talked with Moore, who has refused to concede the election. Asked whether Moore should concede, Jones said, “I’m going to leave that to him.”

Jones’ message, both during the campaign and after, is “common ground.”

“Let’s find common ground,” Jones said. “The key is finding the common ground.” 

“The people of this state have more in common than we do that divides us.”

"I think I'm a lot more center-of-the-road political figure, public figure," he said.

Jones is the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in deep red Alabama in 25 years.

>> Related: Trump on Roy Moore's loss in Alabama Senate race: 'I was right'

He credited volunteers and “boots on the ground” for winning the election in what seemed like a long shot.

“We knocked on 300,000 doors ... we knew the importance of minority votes ... we had a lot of support.”

“We were true to ourselves and I think that was an important piece of winning this election,” he said.

“This campaign is giving a lot of people a reason to believe.”  

President Donald Trump called Jones Wednesday to congratulate him and invited him for a White House visit. The new senator also talked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Jones also told reporters he believed the eight women who came forward to accuse Moore of pursuing them when they were underage or young teenagers and he was in his 30s.

“We’ve reached the tipping point in this country where women need to stand up.”

When asked if he thought Moore’s accusers impacted the election, Jones responded,

"I think Roy Moore was disqualified from this job to begin with."

>> Related: 5 things to know about Doug Jones, winner of the Alabama Senate race

The Alabama election is not yet certified, but Jones said he’s in the process of forming a transition team and is expected to be sworn into office early next year.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle to spend holidays with royal family

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly breaking tradition again with their holiday plans. Kensington Palace confirmed that the former “Suits” star will be spending the holidays with her soon-to-be in-laws at Queen Elizabeth’s private estate in Norfolk, England.

“You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day,” a spokesperson for the palace  told “Entertainment Tonight”.

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This reportedly is breaking royal protocol, as the royal family typically reserves holiday invitations to the Sandringham House for after an engaged couple has wed. The royal family usually spends the holidays at that estate but last year skipped the trip, after the queen and Prince Philip both caught colds.

“The Queen and members of the Royal Family will attend the Morning Service on Christmas Day at Sandringham Church,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

It was previously reported that the couple would be hosted by Prince William and wife Duchess Catherine for Christmas and would stay at their home in Norfolk. On Christmas Day, the family will attend the church service together before lunch.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are planning for a May wedding at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Following the “I do’s,” they will settle into their new home at Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace, where they will be next-door neighbors with Prince William, Duchess Catherine, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and their baby number three, who’s due in April.

2 dead after shooting at Penn State Beaver campus

Two people died Wednesday afternoon in a shooting at Penn State’s Beaver campus in what police described as a domestic situation, WPXI confirmed.

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State attorneys general ask FCC to delay net neutrality vote

The attorneys general of nearly 20 states asked the Federal Communications Commission to delay a vote on changing the country’s net neutrality rules as they investigate reports that impersonators posted hundreds of thousands of fake comments on the commission’s notice of the proposed change.

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“If the well of public comment has been poisoned by falsified submissions, the Commission may be unable to rely on public comments that would help it reach a legitimate conclusion to the rulemaking process,” the attorneys general of 18 states said in a letter sent Wednesday to the FCC. “Or, it must give less weight to the public comments submitted which also undermines the process.”

The FCC plans to vote Thursday on gutting the Obama-era rules, meant to stop broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

“This is akin to identity theft on a massive scale – and theft of someone’s voice in a democracy is particularly concerning,” said the letter, led by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and signed by the attorneys general of 17 other states: California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

>> Read the full letter sent to the FCC on Wednesday

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused the FCC last month of stonewalling his office’s investigation into thousands of suspicious comments made the to the commission’s net neutrality rule change notice. Since then, Schneiderman said his office has gotten more than 5,000 complaints from people whose identities were used to submit fake comments to the FCC’s notice.

In its letter to the FCC, the 18 other state attorneys general said they have received similar complaints.

>> Related: New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC

“I’m sick to my stomach knowing that somebody stole my identity and used it to push a viewpoint that I do not hold,” an Ohio resident wrote in one of the complaints. “This solidifies my stance that in no way can the FCC use the public comments as a means to justify the vote they will hold here shortly.”

A South Carolina resident said one of the false comments was posted using his or her mother’s information, even though she died in 2009.

“This is terrifying,” a Missouri resident wrote in another complaint. “Who knows what else has been said falsely under my name?”

As many as 2 million comments posted to the notice are believed to have been made using stolen identities, Schneiderman said Wednesday.

“The FCC is moving full steam ahead with a vote based on this corrupted process, while refusing to cooperate with an investigation,” Schneiderman said. “As we’ve told the FCC: moving forward with this vote would make a mockery of our public comment process and reward those who perpetrated this fraud to advance their own hidden agenda. The FCC must postpone this vote and work with us to get to the bottom of what happened.”

Net-neutrality rules bar cable and phone companies from favoring certain websites and apps — such as their own services — and give the FCC more oversight over privacy and the activities of telecom companies. Supporters worry that repealing them would hurt startups and other companies that couldn't afford to pay a broadband company for faster access to customers.

Critics of the rules say that they hurt investment in internet infrastructure and represent too much government involvement in business. Phone and cable companies say the rules aren't necessary because they already support an open internet, and have lobbied hard for their repeal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Generous diner leaves $2,000 tip on $17 bill

Delia Meek had worked 22 years at the diner and had never seen the man before Saturday.

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He sat down for breakfast at the 5 & Diner. When he paid the $17.23 bill, he left a $2,000 tip and a note:

“Please split with the whole staff. Merry Christmas!”

The nine employees working that day split the tip. The woman who served the man got $400, and the rest of the staff got $200 each, Meek told the Arizona Republic.

"I just want to say (to the customer), 'Thank you very much,'" Meek said Tuesday. "You helped out a lot of people with this generous tip you left for all of us.'"

Dinner? Train slices semi in half, sending chicken, beef flying

A semi stalled on a Florida railroad track was sliced in two after a train smashed into it just before midnight Tuesday, news reports stated.

Frozen boxes of chicken, beef and seafood — the truck’s load — spilled onto the ground after the crash created a meaty mess to clean up in Lakeland, according to WTVT

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And as no one was injured, some neighbors immediately thought about dinner.

While Colorado and Meat Seafood Co. employees were tossing the food into a dumpster, people began pulling it out. 

"People are hungry," Jessie Woulard told Fox 13. "Some people are so hungry they'll wash it off. Everybody needs something. It's Christmas."

Read more at Fox 13.

 

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