2022 People’s Choice Awards: See the full list of winners

The 2022 People’s Choice Awards was held on Tuesday, December 6, hosted by Kenan Thompson and airing on NBC and E! The fan-voted awards show was held at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, featuring nominees from over 40 categories. The ceremony honored some of the biggest stars of the year with Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Selena Gomez, Adam Sandler, and Lizzo taking home top prizes.

Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness won The Movie of 2022, with star Elizabeth Olsen taking home the awards for Female Movie Star and Action Movie Star. Sandler was named Comedy Movie Star and Styles Male Artist of 2022. Gomez received the Comedy TV Star award for her work in Only Murders in the Building, as well as the award for Social Celebrity of the year. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift won the Female Artist, the Album of 2022 for Midnights, and the Music Video of the year for “Anti-Hero.”

Sarah Michelle Gellar presented Selma Blair the award for Competition Contestant of the year for her appearance on Dancing With the Stars.  Honorary awards went to Ryan Reynolds, recipient of the ‘People’s Icon Award;’ Lizzo, who received the ‘People’s Champion Award’ (and also won the Song of 2022 for “About Damn Time”); and Shania Twain, who was honored with the ‘Music Icon Award’ and performed a medley of some of her biggest hits.

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Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeats Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate runoff election

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Georgia runoff election Tuesday, ensuring Democrats an outright majority in the Senate for the rest of President Joe Biden’s term. With Warnock’s victory, Democrats will have a 51-49 Senate majority, gaining a seat from the current 50-50 split with John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania. There will be divided government, however, with Republicans having narrowly flipped House control.

Warnock led Walker by 37,000 votes in last month’s election out of almost 4 million cast, but fell short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Walker, a football legend who first gained fame at the University of Georgia and later in the NFL in the 1980s, was faced with damaging allegations against him, including claims that he paid for two former girlfriends’ abortions.

About 1.9 million runoff votes were cast by mail and during early voting, with state officials estimating an additional 1.4 million votes cast — slightly more than in the November midterm and the 2020 election. The Democrats outright majority in the Senate means the party will no longer have to negotiate a power-sharing deal with Republicans — and won’t have to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris to break as many tie votes. Warnock’s victory also cements Georgia as a battleground state expected to play a prominent role in the 2024 presidential election. Democrats have now won three Senate races in the past two years in the former Republican stronghold; Democratic President Joe Biden carried Georgia in 2020.

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Jury finds Trump Organization guilty on all counts of tax fraud scheme

On Tuesday, a New York jury found the Trump Organization guilty of all charges in a 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors alleged was orchestrated by top executives at the company. Jurors deliberated for just over a day before returning the guilty verdicts on a total of 17 counts, including scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. The company faces roughly $1.6 million in fines at sentencing.

The Trump Organization and its former longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, were indicted last year after a multiyear investigation into the company’s financial practices by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Prosecutors alleged that two corporations that are a part of the company — Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. — paid executives including Weisselberg more by “cheating on their taxes” through a series of schemes that included off-the-books perks like luxury cars and free apartments.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said Tuesday: “For 13 years the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation got away with a scheme that awarded high-level executives with lavish perks and compensation while intentionally concealing the benefits from the taxing authorities to avoid paying taxes … Today’s verdict holds these Trump companies accountable for their long-running criminal scheme.”

Trump, who was not charged, complained about the case on social media Tuesday morning. The former president said the district attorney’s office had been “fighting a political Witch Hunt for D.C. against ‘Trump.’”

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Cleveland Guardians sign free agent Josh Bell to 2-year, $33M deal

The Cleveland Guardians have agreed to a two-year, $33 million deal with first baseman Josh Bell that includes an opt-out clause after the 2023 season.

The 30-year-old Bell spent the first five seasons of his career with the Pirates before playing for the Nationals in 2021; and played for both the Nationals and Padres last season after being shipped to San Diego at the deadline as part of the Juan Soto trade.  In 156 games between D.C. and San Diego last year, Bell hit .266/.362/.422 (128 OPS+) with 29 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs, 71 RBI, 78 runs and 3.0 WAR.

Bell – who was an All-Star in 2019 and won a Silver Slugger last season — hit .301 with an .877 OPS for the Nationals last season. A switch-hitter, Bell has generally been better from the right side through his career, though last season he hit better as a lefty.

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Tennessee Titans fire GM Jon Robinson after seven seasons

Tennessee Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk announced Tuesday they have fired general manager Jon Robinson. The 46-year-old Robinson became the Titans general manager in 2016. The Titans said vice president of player personnel Ryan Cowden will take over player personnel duties for the rest of the season; and they will search for a new general manager this off-season.

Adams Strunk said in a news release: “Since becoming controlling owner in 2015, my goal has been to raise the standard for what is expected in all facets of our organization. I believe we have made significant progress both on and off the field through investments in leadership, personnel and new ideas … This progress includes the core of our business, the football team itself, which is regularly evaluated both by results (wins and losses) and team construction/roster building. I am proud of what we have accomplished in my eight seasons of ownership, but I believe there is more to be done and higher aspirations to be met.”

Robinson was a college football assistant coach before he worked as an administrator and scout for the New England Patriots. He worked from 2013 through 2015 as the director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before heading to the Titans.  Under Robinson, Tennessee advanced to the postseason four times during his first six full seasons with the franchise. However while the Titans won the AFC South in each of the last two seasons, they lost in the first round in each of the last two postseasons. They also lost in the AFC Championship game after the 2019-20 season.

The Titans (7-5) will host the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) at 1 p.m. EST Sunday in Nashville.

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Morgan Wallen adds 14 shows to his ‘One Night At A Time World Tour’

Morgan Wallen has added an additional 14 new shows across 13 cities (with back-to-back nights at 10 stadiums) on his recently-announced “One Night At A Time World Tour.”  The “One Night At A Time World Tour” will consist of 58 shows—26 of those being stadium shows—and will travel to arenas, amphitheaters, and festivals across four countries and two continents.

The trek is set to kick off overseas Mar. 15 – 24 with performances in New Zealand and Australia featuring Hardy, before returning stateside on April 14 at Milwaukee’s American Family Field with Hardy. The journey will then hit New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and Boston’s Fenway Park with Parker McCollum, before wrapping on Oct. 7 at Tacoma Dome in Washington. Ernest and Bailey Zimmerman will serve as support across all U.S. and international dates.

All tickets for the added dates will be sold through the verified fan sale beginning Wednesday, Dec. 7.  For more information, head to www.morganwallen.com

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Travis Tritt Announces 2023 Tour Dates

Travis Tritt has announced the first run of dates for his 2023 U.S. tour, set to kick off March 30 in Troy, OH. The Travis Tritt 2023 Tour will take Tritt and his band through Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina. Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, featuring support on select shows from War Hippies, the newly-formed duo of Scooter Brown and Donnie Reis, and Tyler Reese Tritt.

Tritt and his band will be performing some of his greatest hits, including “Anymore,” “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” “It’s A Great Day to Be Alive,” “Here’s A Quarter” as well as songs off his most recent album release, Set In Stone. To purchase tickets or for more information on Travis Tritt’s 2023 tour dates, please visit https://travistritt.com/tour/.

Travis Tritt announces 2023 tour dates

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28th Annual Critics Choice Awards: ‘Abbott Elementary,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ lead the list of nominations

The ABC comedy “Abbott Elementary” leads the nominations for the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards, announced on Tuesday morning by the Critics Choice Association.  The Emmy-winning show nabbed six nominations overall, including best comedy series and acting nods for stars Quinta Brunson, Janelle James, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Chris Perfetti and Tyler James Williams. In the drama category, the final season of AMC’s “Better Call Saul” led with 5 nominations including best drama series and acting nods for stars Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Giancarlo Esposito and Carol Burnett.

Other series with multiple nominations included “Gaslit” (Starz), “Reservation Dogs” (FX), and “The Good Fight” (Paramount+), tied with four nominations each.  This year the CCA categorized “The White Lotus” as a drama series, with leading star Jennifer Coolidge nominated for drama supporting actress. Other notable mentions include posthumous nods for Leslie Jordan (“Call Me Kat”), Ray Liotta (“Black Bird”) and Norm Macdonald (“Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special”)

Nominations for the Critics Choice Awards film categories will be announced on December 14 at 9 a.m. PT.  The 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards ceremony will take  place Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023 at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel. The CW will broadcast the ceremony at 7 pm. ET.

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Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor resigns after flashing her badge to escape ticket

The police chief in Tampa, Florida resigned Monday after using her position to escape a ticket during a traffic stop on Nov. 12 by a Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy, involving a golf cart driven by her husband.  Chief Mary O’Connor submitted her resignation after an internal affairs review found she violated police department policy. The internal review found O’Connor, who had been on the job less than a year, violated regulations on standards of conduct and “abuse of position or identification.”

The stop, which was recorded on video by the deputy’s body camera, shows O’Connor identifying herself as the Tampa chief, flashing her badge and saying “I’m hoping you will let us go tonight.” The deputy issued only a verbal warning instead of a citation. The golf cart did not have a license tag, a requirement for when such vehicles are driven on public streets. O’Connor’s husband, Keith, said they had just come from a restaurant and didn’t usually drive the cart on streets.

O’Connor had issued a statement apologizing for her conduct: “In hindsight, I realize how my handling of this matter could be viewed as inappropriate, but that was certainly not my intent,” she said. In her resignation letter, O’Connor took responsibility for her actions: “I would never want my personal mistake to stand in the way of the progress I have made in mending relationships between the police department and the community … so for that reason, I am resigning.”

Mayor Jane Castor, a former Tampa police chief herself, said in a statement requesting the resignation: “The Tampa Police Department has a code of conduct that includes high standards for ethical and professional behavior that apply to every member of our police force. As the Chief of Police, you are not only to abide by and enforce those standards but to also lead by example. That clearly did not happen in this case.” Castor has appointed assistant chief Lee Bercaw as acting chief.

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Inmate admits to killing five women in infamous Long Island ‘Torso Killer’ slayings

Long Island, NY prosecutors said Monday that a New Jersey inmate dubbed the “Torso Killer” pleaded guilty to a 1968 slaying near New York City, as well as admitting to four other homicides. Richard Cottingham — believed to be one of America’s most prolific serial killers — admitted to strangling 23-year-old Diane Cusick on Feb. 15, 1968, at the Green Acres Mall in Nassau County Officials said that in addition to Cusick’s case, he also confessed to four other Long Island slayings, officials said.

Cusick had left her job at a children’s dance school and then stopped at the mall to buy a pair of dance shoes when the New Hyde Park woman was strangled by Cottingham, authorities said. District Attorney Anne Donnelly told reporters in Mineola, NY: “Today is one is one the most emotional days we’ve ever had the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office … In the case of Diane Cusick, her family has waited nearly 55 years for someone to be held accountable for her death.”

Nassau County investigators said Cottingham could be responsible for as many as 13 homicides in their jurisdiction, but these slayings are the only ones they can positively link him to now. He’s been dubbed the “Torso Killer” due to the savage manner he maimed some of his victims. Cottingham had also been called the “Times Square Killer” for murders he committed in New York City.

Cottingham is in poor health and living out his days in a New Jersey prison, serving life for murders committed there. The 76-year-old appeared via remote feed from New Jersey.

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