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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.

>> Read more trending news

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

>> Read more trending news 

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.

 

Little brother stands up for his big sister in the middle of her wrestling match

No one was going to beat up his big sister -- no one. Not even her opponent in her wrestling match.

Ryan Pendergast, 5, was wrestling against a girl his age in an elementary wrestling league, WFLA reported.

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But one little boy wasn’t having any of it.

The 2-year-old rushed out to save his big sister, Ruby, from Ryan, despite it being a sporting event, The Huffington Post reported.

All the kids fell down and the referee was joined by a parent to break up the wrestling match turned melee. 

The gym was filled with laughter as the adults broke up the scuffle.

Gun range patron shot, killed by employee in freak accident

An employee of a gun range in Texas accidentally shot and killed a patron as he worked on a rifle Tuesday morning, police said. 

The patron, Joshua Luke Cummings, 36, of Cypress, had just exited his vehicle in the parking lot of Hot Wells Gun Range when a bullet struck him in the head, KTRK in Houston reported. He was flown to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where he died.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office officials told the news station that an employee was working on a hunting rifle inside the building when it accidentally discharged.

“The bullet went through the wall of the small range house and struck a patron who was walking through the parking lot,” Harris County Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland told the news station

It was not immediately clear why the rifle was loaded while the employee handled it. KTKR reported that homicide investigators were looking into whether it was human error or a gun malfunction that caused the gun to fire. 

Cummings’ Facebook page shows that he was the father of three young children. Heartbroken friends said the Cummings children are triplets. 

YouCaring fundraiser page was established to help his wife, Kathleen, and their children. As of noon Wednesday, the page had raised nearly $10,000 of the $25,000 goal. 

“Josh Cummings has always been an amazing father, faithful, hardworking husband completely devoted to his faith, family and friends,” one woman wrote on Facebook. “Until we meet again, goodbye, our sweet friend.”

Hot Wells officials apologized in a statement that they said would be brief because they “simply do not have the words to express the sorrow in (their) hearts.”

“For 44 years, we have operated this facility accident-free, yet today, we are shaken by tragedy,” the statement read

They said that they would have no comment on the details of the accident while the investigation was ongoing. 

“We understand that this accident has, and will continue to affect the lives of many,” the statement read. “We ask that our community joins us in prayer for the healing of all parties involved.”

Woman takes car in for repair, then shop disappears

A woman filed a police report that her car was stolen after taking it to a mechanic and the shop closed, leaving no trace of her vehicle.

>> Read more trending news

Angela Robbins took her daughter’s 2005 Chrysler Sebring to Mechanically Inclined for a water pump repair in November.

“At this point, in time I’ll take it as is and somebody else can fix it,” she told WXIN. “Just let’s have the car back.” 

Ted Franklin, the shop’s owner, told WRTV he moved the shop after a dispute with the landlord and he had neglected to tell Robbins that her car had been moved. He said it took longer than expected because he kept finding additional issues with the car.

“I said, ‘We’re going there because we can trust these people,’” Robbins told WRTV. “Famous last words, huh?”

Police: Drunken off-duty firefighter kills pregnant 18-year-old, unborn baby in crash

An off-duty Dallas firefighter is accused of killing a pregnant teenager and her unborn child early Wednesday in a crash in nearby Cedar Hill.

The unnamed firefighter was driving a Mercedes-Benz south on U.S. Highway 67 around 12:45 a.m. when he rear-ended a Mazda SUV, according to the Dallas Morning News. The driver of the Mazda, Alyssa Pimentel, 18, and her passenger were both ejected by the impact.

Pimentel and her unborn child died at the scene, the newspaper reported. Her male passenger, who Pimentel’s father identified as her boyfriend, was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

The firefighter and his passenger were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police investigators believe the firefighter was under the influence of alcohol and speeding at the time of the crash. 

Pimentel’s father told WFAA-TV that his daughter’s baby boy, whom she planned to name Josiah, was due next month. She had just picked up her boyfriend from work when the crash occurred.

The boyfriend has a broken neck, Pimentel’s father told the news station.

Pimentel identified her boyfriend on her Facebook page as Isaiah Perez. 

>> Read more trending news

Pimentel’s father described his daughter as a “sweetheart,” a kind and caring person who would do anything for people. 

Family members mourned Pimentel on social media.

“I’m going to miss you, my beautiful niece,” Mary Flores Pimentel wrote from Chandler, Arizona. “You will always be in my heart.”

KDFW Fox 4 in Dallas reported that the name of the firefighter has yet to be released, but investigators said he faces an intoxication manslaughter charge in Pimentel’s death.

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