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Actor Fred Savage denies assaulting former crew member of 'The Grinder'

Actor Fred Savage is being sued for assault and battery by a former crew member of the Fox show “The Grinder,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

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Youngjoo Hwang filed the suit Wednesday, and 20th Century Fox is also a defendant. She alleges that Savage used aggressive behavior and intimidation tactics toward female employees, the Times reported.

Hwang, who worked in the costume department for the 2015 series, alleged that Savage was hostile toward her during her time on the job, adding that the former star of “The Wonder Years” struck her on the arm three times, the Times reported.

Savage denied the accusations in a statement he released Wednesday. 

“After concluding a thorough investigation, Fox determined that there was absolutely no evidence to support these accusations,” Savage said. “None of her claims could be substantiated because they did not happen.”

“Ms. Hwang alleges that not only did she report Mr. Savage’s conduct to her superiors on the set of ‘The Grinder,’ but other female crew members similarly lodged complaints and reported Mr. Savage’s conduct,” said Hwang’s attorney, Anahita Sedaghatfar.

“Fox takes all allegations of improper conduct very seriously,” the network said in a statement. “We conducted a thorough investigation into these allegations and found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Savage. We will vigorously defend against these unfounded claims.”

NYC firefighter dies as blaze breaks out on set of Edward Norton film

A veteran New York City firefighter died in a five-alarm blaze on the set of a movie being filmed in Harlem on Thursday, the New York Daily News reported.

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Michael Davidson, 37, who is married and a father of four, died after the fire broke out on the set of “Motherless Brooklyn,” starring and directed by Edward Norton. Davidson, a 15-year veteran who was the nozzle man, arrived with his unit at 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, the Daily News reported.

Davidson was unconscious when firefighters found him, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday. Davidson died at Harlem Hospital at 12:16 a.m., the Daily News reported.

“This is an awful night. We’ve lost an NYC firefighter. Public briefing shortly at Harlem Hospital. Sick to my stomach,” tweeted Eric Phillips, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The film location is where the old St. Nick’s Jazz Pub once operated, the New York Post reported.

The movie also stars Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin.

The film crew was setting up to shoot outside the five-story building when Norton spotted smoke coming from the basement and alerted a nearby policeman, the Post reported.

Two firefighters were seriously injured and are being treated at Weill Cornell Burn Center. Three other people suffered minor injuries, Nigro said.

“Our entire department, our entire city mourns this horrific loss of a very brave firefighter,” Nigro said. “Our hearts and our prayers go out to his family and may God rest his soul.”

The film's producers issued a statement saying, "Our deepest condolences to the family of Michael R. Davidson. A fire broke out tonight in the building where we were shooting our film. Our production was towards the end of our working day and had dozens of people working on site, when our crew noticed that smoke was coming into our set and into other parts of the building from below us. As soon as we noticed smoke coming up into our set, our crew immediately alerted the fire department and began alerting residents of the building even as we evacuated our cast and crew. 

"To our great sorrow, we now know that a NYC firefighter lost his life battling the blaze that grew, and our hearts ache in solidarity with his family. “

Former mayor of California city arrested for violating protective order

The former mayor of a California city was arrested Thursday for violating the terms of a protective order issued against him, KTXL reported.

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Anthony Ray Silva, 43, who was the mayor of Stockton, faces charges of being in possession of a registered gun at his home. The protective order, issued by Amador County, mandated that he was ineligible to own a gun, KTXL reported.

“Mr. Silva was unaware of this legal restriction and was in possession of legally registered weapon,” Silva’s attorney, Allen Sawyer, said in a statement. “That is the basis of his arrest."

Arrest records show that Silva was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail.

Silva reached a plea deal last August after facing misdemeanor charges that he illegally recorded a game of strip poker played among teenage camp counselors at his Stockton kids camp in Amador County in 2015 and contributed to the delinquency of minors by providing alcohol to them, KTXL reported.

Tennessee man cleared of conviction after 31 years in prison awarded $1 million

A Tennessee man cleared of a rape and burglary conviction after spending 31 years in prison was awarded $1 million by the Tennessee Board of Claims, The Tennessean reported.

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Lawrence McKinney, 61, was awarded the cash after a unanimous vote by the board. He was released from prison in 2009 because of new DNA evidence that cleared him of rape and burglary charges handed down in Memphis in 1978.

McKinney will receive $353,000 up front to pay his attorney fees and debts and also to buy a vehicle, the Tennessean reported. The remaining $647,000 will be distributed in a monthly annuity that will pay McKinney $3,350 per month for life beginning on May 1, the newspaper reported. 

The payment is guaranteed for a minimum of 10 years. If McKinney should die within that span, the balance will be paid to his wife, or his estate if she also does not survive, the Tennessean reported.

The $1 million award is the maximum amount the board was allowed to allot for McKinney. Gov. Bill Haslam granted an executive exoneration to McKinney in December.

“We want to thank the board and the governor for standing by this man and seeing that justice was done,” said David Raybin, one of McKinney’s attorneys. "No amount of money can compensate somebody for that long a time (for wrongful imprisonment), but it's the statement that it makes that is important as well …”

Airline crew member caught with 9 pounds of cocaine taped to legs

Federal agents arrested a crew member of Fly Jamaica Airways for allegedly attempting to smuggle bags of cocaine into the United States by taping them to his legs, according to a statement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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On March 17, the man was taken to a private search room at JFK International Airport, CNN reported. The flight had arrived in New York from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Agents said they found four packages taped to his legs, with nine pounds of cocaine with a reported street value of $160,000, CNN reported.

The man has been charged with federal narcotics smuggling, CNN reported. He will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Protesters delay start of NBA game over fatal shooting by Sacramento police

Protesters in Sacramento, California, blocked the entrance to an arena where an NBA game was scheduled Thursday night, CNN reported.

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People holding signs such as “Shut it down!” outside the Golden1 Center demonstrated against Sunday’s fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, ESPN reported.

Clark, 22, an unarmed black man, was shot by police in his grandmother’s backyard, CNN reported.

The protesters delayed the start of the game for about 20 minutes, chanting “Black Lives Matter,” ESPN reported.

>> Body cam, aerial video shows police kill unarmed black man

Police officials said the officers who fired at Clark believed he had a gun, CNN reported. Investigators said they did not find a weapon, only a cell phone.

The Kings defeated the Atlanta Hawks 105-90 in a nearly empty arena, ESPN reported. There were no arrests.

After the game, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive addressed the fans who did make it into the arena, expressing sympathies to Clark’s family.

"We are so very sorry for your loss,'' Ranadive said. "We at the Kings recognize people's abilities to protest peacefully, and we respect that. We here at the Kings realize that we have a big platform. It's a privilege but it's also a responsibility. It's a responsibility that we take very seriously, and we stand here before you, old, young, black, white, brown, and we are all united in our commitment.

"We recognize that it is not just business as usual, and we are going to work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place, starting in our own community. We are going to work really hard to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.''

Senate approves $1.3 trillion spending bill

The Senate approved a $1.3 trillion spending measure early Friday morning, The New York Times reported.

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The Senate voted 65-32 in favor of the measure, which will keep the federal government open through September;

On Thursday, the House passed the bill by a 256-167 margin.

The measure, which was 2,232 pages in length, was passed less than 24 hours after it had been introduced, the Times reported.

The bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his approval.

The legislation will increase funding for the military and more domestic spending, CNN reported.

The spending package also includes money to fight the opioid epidemic and fund more than $21 billion in infrastructure projects, CNN reported.

The bill does not address the fate of young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children and have been shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the Times reported.

Tennessee woman allegedly opens fire on woman in church parking lot

A Tennessee woman is in custody after she allegedly fired shots at another woman who was dropping off her child.

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Freddrica Blair is charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon, Memphis police said.

Police said Blair shot twice into the air at the Abundant Grace Fellowship church parking lot, while her other toddler was in the backseat of her nearby car.

The whole scene played out less than 100 yards away from high-ranking Memphis Police Department officers and a television crew, who were at the Whitehaven church for a juvenile justice workshop.

Officers said they overheard an argument taking place on the southeast side of the church parking lot. The argument quickly escalated to a shooting, police said.

After the verbal altercation, Blair allegedly got out with a gun, started screaming and fired two shots into the air in the direction of the woman, her child’s father, and her other child.

“We were here for a community event and we heard a gunshot, got out of the car, and turned around to see what it was. (I) heard another gunshot, then saw a lady with a gun in her hand,” Lt. Col. Jeff Tow said. “I immediately went over there, pulled her out of the car, got the gun.”

One of Blair's children was with the other woman at the nearby car wash, alongside the child’s father. Apparently, a drop-off was supposed to happen, police said.

The mother with the gun had a girl in the backseat of her car.

Police reports said another woman was trying to apologize for previous encounters with the child.

The victim refused to prosecute and filled out a refusal form. 

“You could tell that she knew she had made a mistake," Tow said.

Police said Blair placed the handgun behind the driver's seat of the vehicle when officers approached the car.

After securing the gun and the child, Tow gave Blair a stern lecture.

“She got a fatherly discussion for me as well,” he said.

The two children were picked up by a relative. It is unclear if the Department of Child Services will get involved.

Feds: Postal worker on disability got $94,000, was in 35 motorcycle races

A former Ohio U.S. Postal Service worker is alleged to have participated in 35 motorcycle races during an 18-month period in which he was disabled or on light duty, according to federal court documents.

>> Read more trending news

Jerry French was indicted last week in Dayton’s U.S. District Court on counts of making false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to medical personnel and the postal service which led to Office of Workers’ Compensation Benefits of $93,971.42.

French is at least the eighth area postal worker to face allegations of federal crimes in the past few years.

Former West Carrollton postal worker Laticha Schroyer had pleaded guilty in a case where she was seen vacationing while injured, but she recently asked to withdraw her plea by bill of information.

No defense attorney is listed for French in federal court documents, and no dates have been scheduled in the case.

An indictment filed March 15 detailed how French allegedly injured his knee while falling on ice when he was delivering mail on Feb. 2, 2011.

French filled out a claim for disability pay and was off from work for a year until returning to one hour of limited duty per day, the indictment said.

The Department of Labor accepted French’s injury as a sprained knee in April 2011, according to court documents.

The indictment said French allegedly told two doctors that he could not perform most work duties, that his pain level was 8 out of 10 and that he was in pain 24/7.

A doctor amended his report to say an MRI indicated a meniscus tear and the Department of Labor approved an arthroscopic surgery, the indictment said.

The indictment said that in October 2011, another doctor performed the surgery and later submitted a report showing there was no meniscus tear and that the knee was normal.

On Dec. 1, 2011, French completed a medical history form at Kettering Medical Center in which he stated he had extreme difficulty doing tasks such as usual work, housework, hobbies, recreational and sporting activities, the indictment said.

French said, according to the document, that he had “moderate difficulty” doing activities including putting on socks, doling light activities, getting in and out of vehicles and sitting for one hour.

The indictment said in March 2012, a doctor reported French’s pain representations were out of proportion to the pathology.

In July 2012, French told a third doctor that he could no longer ride motorcycles because of his knee injury, according to the indictment.

The document said in September 2013, a Department of Labor form he submitted limited him to zero hours for lifting weight, walking, climbing, kneeling, bending, stooping and operating machinery.

In October 2013, French was interviewed by special agents from the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, the document said.

During that interview, French said he was physically unable to work, go up and down stairs, kneel, ride or race his motorcycles, pass a National Hot Rod Association physical, fill his nitrous oxide tank, drive a manual car or put pressure on his left leg.

The indictment said that from May 13, 2011, to Oct. 23, 2013, agents of the Inspector General observed French “participating in approximately thirty-five motorcycle races and one car race at various racetracks in Ohio and Indiana.”

The document also said agents saw French loading trailers, carrying equipment and moving metal tanks.

The indictment doesn’t explain why it was filed several years after the events and federal prosecutors didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

Bomb at FedEx facility targeted Austin Med Spa employee, worker’s mom says

A bomb found at a FedEx facility in Southeast Austin on Tuesday morning was addressed to an employee at Austin Med Spa, according to spa workers and the employee’s mother. 

>> Read more trending news 

Anita Ward, a nurse at Austin Med Spa, said FBI agents and Austin police told her Tuesday morning that her daughter, who also works at the spa in downtown Austin, was to be the recipient of the unexploded bomb at a FedEx sorting facility at 4117 McKinney Falls Parkway near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. 

Ward, who did not want to give her daughter’s name, said her daughter does not know Mark Conditt, who police say terrorized Austin with a series of bomb attacks that left two people dead and five injured.

Anita Ward said Conditt also did not look familiar to anyone who works at the spa.

>> Related: Austin bombings: Click here for complete coverage

“We’ve been trying to just keep it in the down low just for the FBI and police,” Ward said. “All of us here are just very thankful for the FBI and police and the work they’ve been doing.”

“I got to see a little bit of the inside of (the investigative process) and they were very quick at checking and stopping this package, and so we completely 100 percent credit this to them for stopping this from being delivered to our office,” she said.

>> Related: Austin bomber on recording: ‘I wish I were sorry but I am not’ 

Ward’s daughter attends Austin Community College, but did not attend the school from 2010 to 2012, when Conditt was pursuing a business administration degree but did not graduate.

They’re still investigating, we’re still providing them information,” Ward said. “We pretty much know as much as (authorities) can release to us. We still have a lot of unanswered questions.”

For now, Ward said she and her daughter are scared but thankful for the work of the FBI and Austin police. “We’ve both been very actively concerned and involved with this, her being targeted.”

Police said the unexploded package at the FedEx facility in Southeast Austin was one of two sent from a Sunset Valley FedEx Office store. Authorities determined it was a bomb and detonated in a controlled manner, they said.

>> Related: Austin bomb victim's father thanks authorities in letter, questions son's death

The first three victims, all in East Austin, were two black men who were killed in the attacks and a Hispanic woman. Two white men were injured on Sunday when they accidentally triggered a trip wire attached to a bomb in Southwest Austin. Ward and her daughter are white.

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