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Country music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85

Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis died early Sunday morning in Ocala, Florida, according to his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs. He was 85.

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In his six-decade career, the singer recorded more than 60 albums, had three dozen Top 10 singles and wrote several hit songs that are now regarded as classics, the Tennessean reported.

During the 1960s, Tillis’ songs charted for several artists, with hits like “Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town),” “Mental Revenge” and “Detroit City,” becoming classics, the Tennessean reported.

As a recording artist, Tillis scored during the 1970s with two dozen Top 10 hits. Five of them topped the charts, including “Coca Cola Cowboy” in 1979.

His other No. 1 hits were “I Ain’t Never” in 1972, “Good Woman Blues”  in 1976, “Heart Healer” in 1976, “I Believe in You” in 1978. He also went to No. 1 in 1980 with “Southern Rains.”

The Country Music Association named Tillis Entertainer of the Year in 1976, the Tennessean reported, and he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame that same year.

Tillis appeared on several television shows, including “Hee Haw” and “Hollywood Squares.” He also appeared in films such as “Cannonball Run” and “Smokey and the Bandit.” He  did commercials for Whataburger, a fast-food restaurant chain, the Tennessean

reported.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born on Aug. 8, 1932, near Tampa, Fla. He developed a speech impediment after a childhood bout of malaria, the Tennessean reported. But he used the stammer to his advantage as an entertainer.

“After a lot of years and more hurting than I like to remember, I can talk about it lightly — which eases things a bit,” he wrote in “Stutterin' Boy,” his 1984 autobiography. “It's a way of showing people that it hasn't licked me, so it doesn't have to lick others.”

In 2007, Tillis was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry Hall of Fame by his daughter, singer Pam Tillis. Later that year, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

"I'm just so thankful, for everything," he  said when he was inducted.

In 2011, Tillis was named a National Medal of Arts recipient for his contributions to country music, the Tennessean reported. He received his award in February 2012 during a White House ceremony.

Woman killed, employees tied up at popular Atlanta restaurant

Police are investigating a fatal shooting that happened at Barcelona Wine Bar.

According to Atlanta police, officers responded to the restaurant in the 1000 block of Howell Mill Road just before 2 a.m. Sunday in reference to a person shot.

Police said they found a 29-year-old woman had been shot once in the shoulder during an apparent robbery. 

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As the restaurant was closing, three men entered the location and tied up employees with electrical tape, according to police.

They said the victim was forced upstairs to open the safe and then shot.

She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she later died. 

The victim has been identified as Chelsea Beller, of Atlanta, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner. 

The investigation continues, according to police.

Woman killed, employees tied up at popular Atlanta restaurant

Police are investigating a fatal shooting that happened at Barcelona Wine Bar.

According to Atlanta police, officers responded to the restaurant in the 1000 block of Howell Mill Road just before 2 a.m. Sunday in reference to a person shot.

Police said they found a 29-year-old woman had been shot once in the shoulder during an apparent robbery. 

TRENDING STORIES:

As the restaurant was closing, three men entered the location and tied up employees with electrical tape, according to police.

They said the victim was forced upstairs to open the safe and then shot.

She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she later died. 

The victim has been identified as Chelsea Beller, of Atlanta, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner. 

The investigation continues, according to police.

Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball

Carl Spackler is back.

Bill Murray played the hilarious golf course groundskeeper in “Caddyshack,” determined to keep a pesky gopher from ruining his lush fairways. He will play a similar role in “Bill Murray and Brian Doyle Murray’s Extra Innings,” an unscripted series that debuts Monday on Facebook, Entertainment Weekly reported.

>> Read more trending news

The show will stream on Mondays for the next 10 weeks.

The brothers will chronicle their adventures to several baseball parks and will attempt to get rid of animated gophers at the Martha’s Vineyard stadium. Bill Murray dresses in his Spackler outfit, with shredded cargo shorts and a floppy bucket hat, to play “Whack-a-Mole,” Entertainment Weekly reported.

“I have issues with my own personal space,” Murray says as he wanders into the outfield, armed with a watering can. “In an ordinary situation, I need about a meter around me to be comfortable. However, on a baseball field, I need to be far away from any burrowing animal.”

Bill Murray, perhaps the most famous fan of the Chicago Cubs, also sings the new show’s theme song, “The Thing About Baseball,” written by the brothers and Paul Shaffer.

Robert Mugabe expelled by Zimbabwe's ruling political party

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was dismissed as leader of ZANU-PF, the country’s ruling party, on Sunday, Reuters reported.

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He was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy Mugabe fired this month, sources at a special ZANU-PF meeting to decide Mugabe’s fate told Reuters.“He has been expelled,” one of the delegates said. “Mnangagwa is our new leader.”

Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who had harbored ambitions of succeeding the 93-year-old leader, was also expelled from the party, Reuters reported.

Speaking before the meeting, war veterans’ leader Chris Mutsvangwa said Mugabe was running out of time to negotiate his departure and should leave the country while he could.

“He’s trying to bargain for a dignified exit,” he said.

Mutsvangwa said he would call for street protests if Mugabe refused to leave.

“We will bring back the crowds and they will do their business.” he told reporters.

Oklahoma quarterback apologizes for obscene actions on sidelines

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield said he was caught up in the heat of the moment. After a chippy football game against Kansas, the Heisman Trophy front-runner apologized for his “unacceptable” and “disrespectful” actions toward the Jayhawks during the No. 4 Sooners’ 41-3 victory Saturday, ESPN reported. 

>> Read more trending news

During the game, Mayfield grabbed his crotch and yelled expletives toward the Kansas players. His actions were caught on camera and were criticized as “inappropiate” by broadcasters during the telecast.

“I got caught up in a competitive game, a chippy game, but what I did was unacceptable,” said Mayfield, who completed 20 of 30 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns. “I apologize. It's disrespectful. It's not the example I want to set. It's not the legacy I want to leave at OU. I truly do apologize. Thinking about the kids that are watching this now, it's not something I want to do to the parents out there. I'm sorry.”

Mayfield also posted an apology on his Twitter account.

The tensions began before the kickoff, as Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. refused to shake hands with Mayfield before the coin toss. Mayfield scoffed and began clapping his hands as he walked back toward the Oklahoma bench.

Moments later he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr.

In the second quarter, Mayfield took a late hit to the head from Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense. Mayfield retaliated after throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews in the third quarter that gave the Sooners a 28-3 lead, grabbing his crotch and cursing at the Jayhawks, ESPN reported.

“You get caught up in the emotional stuff,” Mayfield said. “But when the coaches said something about it, that's when I realized I had really messed up. Cameras are always on me. You've got to be smart.”

Mayfield was also caught on camera turning around to a group of Kansas hecklers and apparently telling them, “You have one win! Stick to basketball,” ESPN reported.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said there was “no excuse” for Mayfield's actions and said he would consider disciplinary action after reviewing film of the game, ESPN reported.

“It was a chippy game, and it was chippy from the second their guys decided they didn't want to shake our hands at the coin toss,” Riley said. “The chippiness started there. ... Baker is a competitive guy and let his emotions get the best of him. We can't have that, he can't do that.”

“Football is a competitive game for a reason,” Mayfield said. “There's a lot of emotion. On the field, there's a lot of trash talk that goes on. Today I just took it too far.”

Lena Dunham slammed for defending 'Girls' producer accused of rape

Social media users are slamming actress and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham after she defended one of the show’s producers, Murray Miller, following allegations that he raped a teen actress, Page Six reports.

>> On Rare.us: Lena Dunham responds to backlash after she announced she had to give up her dog, Lamby

“Life comes at you fast @lenadunham,” S.E. Cupp tweeted with a screenshot of one of Dunham's previous tweets, which reads, “Things women lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape,” side by side with her defense of Miller.

After actress Aurora Perrineau accused Miller of raping her when she was 17, Dunham and co-showrunner Jenni Konner responded in a joint statement, saying, “While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”

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Dunham continued her thoughts on Twitter, later writing, “I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.”

However, that was also met with the ire and mocking from users:

In her statement, Perinea, now 23, claimed she woke up in Miller’s bed after consuming alcohol with him at a hotel, and he was “having sexual intercourse with me.” On Friday, she filed a police report in regard to the incident. Miller has since “categorically and vehemently” denied the allegation.

'SNL' slams former cast member Al Franken on 'Weekend Update'

"Saturday Night Live" slammed Sen. Al Franken just days after Los Angeles news anchor Leeann Tweeden accused the Minnesota Democrat and former "SNL" cast member of groping and kissing her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour.

>> Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent

Colin Jost and Michael Che took aim at the comedian-turned-senator during the show's "Weekend Update" segment.

"Thursday is Thanksgiving, and there is so much to be thankful for this year – unless you're a human woman," Jost said before showing a photo of Franken smiling as he appears to grope Tweeden's chest.

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"Now, I know this photo looks bad, but remember: It also is bad," Jost continued. "And sure, this was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It's pretty hard to be like, 'Oh, come on. He didn't know any better; he was only 55!'"

>> Watch the clip here

Che added: "And without even looking, you can bet that President Trump called out Al Franken and not Roy Moore, who's accused of way worse, by the way. But Franken is a liberal and Trump and Moore are conservatives, and in this country, everybody has to pick a side – except for me. I think they're all [expletive]."

>> Watch the segment here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

Photos: Notable deaths 2017

'Project Runway' contestant Wendy Pepper dead at 53

Anne Eustis Pepper Stewart, known as Wendy Pepper, has died at the age of 53, Page Six reports.

The “Project Runway” first season contestant “died peacefully" Nov. 12 while "surrounded by her loving family," according to her obituary. The news comes just one month after the death of fellow contestant Mychael Knight, who appeared on Season 3 of the fashion competition series, at age 39. In addition to Pepper coming in third place on the series, she “designed and hand-sewed exceptionally beautiful clothes for children and adults," her obituary said.

>> Designer Mychael Knight, ‘Project Runway’ alum, dead at 39

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of another member of the 'Project Runway' family, designer Wendy Pepper, this year,” a spokesperson for Lifetime, which began airing “Project Runway” after the show left Bravo, said on Friday. “Wendy was one of the original designers that sent creations down the catwalk, paving the way for other designers to come. We wish her family and friends peace during this difficult time.”

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

“She was an artist who proudly forged her own path in life,” her family wrote of her in her obituary. “She was a chef, a writer and a lifelong entrepreneur. Her wit and humor were unmatched, as was her generosity of spirit.”

Pepper, of Washington, D.C., is survived by her daughter, Finley M. Stewart, as well as her parents, three brothers, one sister and many nieces and nephews. Her cause of death is currently unclear. A funeral service will be held for her on Dec. 1 in Georgetown.

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Following her passing, many fans took to social media to share their condolences, with one appearing to quote “Project Runway,” writing, “If you really want to succeed, you’ve gotta be willing to throw yourself into the arena. #wendypepper you will be remembered for being a talented designer and a witty and humorous lady and mother.”

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