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Pedestrians fatally struck by Christmas-themed train

Two pedestrians were struck and killed by a Christmas-themed train in Wareham, according to Massachusetts State Police.

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Police and emergency workers responded to the scene at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday to discover two people had died near 72 Minot Avenue after being hit by the train.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's office, the preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased victims were a 33-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man, both from Wareham.

The victims are not being identified at this time.

Massachusetts State Police confirmed they were assisting with the scene, and an Airwing was also called in to help.

Investigators said the "Train to Christmas Town" had more than 300 people on board, most of them children. No passengers were injured.

According to the DA's office, the train conductor made attempts to stop the train and activated the emergency braking system before the collision occurred.

Children on the train weren't told of the incident, but instead were told the train had run out of "magic gas" and had to stop.

Police said the incident doesn't appear to be suspicious and is being investigated by the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Police and the Wareham Police Department.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Toyota offers to replace man’s truck burned by California wildfires

A nurse used his Toyota Tundra to evacuate patients from the California wildfires at the intensive care unit he oversees. 

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While Allyn Pierce was able to help get himself and others to safety, the truck, nicknamed “The Pandra” was not as fortunate. The fire’s heat welded the rear doors shut, the light covers were partially melted and the hood warped, the Washington Post reported

“This truck literally saved my life today,” Pierce wrote in a post on social media. “My little town of Paradise was literally burning down around me and @the_pandra got me to safety where I could help others … twice.”

The Camp Fire is one of the most devastating in California history. 

Toyota found out about Pierce and the Pandra.

"We are humbled you'd risk your life and Toyota Tundra to drive people to safety,” their official account responded on Pierce’s post. “Don't worry about your truck, we're honored to get you a new one!"

Later Toyota reiterated its commitment to get Pierce a new truck.

"Our hearts go out to the victims of the devastating California wild fires. We are extremely grateful to all of the emergency crews who are working tirelessly to extinguish the fires and helping people to safety,” officials told Motor Trend. “We are especially thankful to one hero in particular, Allyn Pierce, for risking his life and sacrificing his Toyota Tundra to drive people to safety. Toyota is so humbled by Mr. Pierce's selfless act that we're pleased to offer him a brand new Tundra."

Book sold after 28 years at independent bookstore

After spending nearly 30 years on the shelf of an independent bookstore, a book has a home.

According to a tweet from Broadhurst Bookshop in Southport, England, the book was sold on Saturday after having been in the store since 1991.

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“I have just sold a book that we have had in stock since May 1991,” the tweet said. “We always knew its day would come.”

Joanne E. Ball, of the University of Liverpool, said on her own Twitter account that she tweeted the good news.

“As well as archaeology I also work part-time in a bookshop (@BroadhurstBooks),” Ball wrote. “I did this Tweet late yesterday afternoon at work & it has gone viral; this is a totally surreal experience.”

In a follow-up tweet from the bookshop account, Ball said the book was a children’s biography of William the Conqueror. 

Florida officers escorting Santa bust theft ring

Two Daytona Beach police officers escorting Mr. and Mrs. Claus to a tree lighting ceremony broke up a major theft ring in the parking lot Saturday night, the Police Department said. 

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Officers Joe Evans and Courtney Wooleyhan were returning to duty, after escorting Santa and Mrs. Claus to the Tanger Outlets tree lighting, when they saw two men stealing a tire from a vehicle in the parking lot. 

The officers detained the men as well as two women who accompanied them.

Inside the suspects’ car, the officers found stolen merchandise from Old Navy, H&M, Express, Polo, Rue 21 and Under Armour. 

Police identified the suspects as Johnarian Young, 19; Shaijuan Christie, 25; and Debbie Champagnie, 47, and an unidentified 16-year-old. 

The stolen merchandise and tire were returned to their rightful owners, police said. 

Tennessee man arrested, charged with raping 16-month-old, officials say

A man investigators said raped a 16-month-old child has been taken into custody, officials said Sunday.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, Simon Porter, 33, has been located and captured in Scottsboro, Alabama.

Porter was arrested and charged with aggravated rape.

Stacey Abrams tells Hollywood not to boycott Georgia after Bryan Kemp wins governor's race

With several celebrities posting on social media that they plan to boycott Georgia after Brian Kemp won the gubernatorial race, his former rival Stacey Abrams implored them not to do so.

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In a tweet Saturday evening, she wrote, “I appreciate the calls to action, but I ask all of our entertainment industry friends to support #FairFightGA - but please do not #boycottgeorgia. The hard-working Georgians who serve on crews & make a living here are not to blame. I promise: We will fight - and we will win.”

She has heavily criticized several of Kemp’s actions as Secretary of State, which she called “voter suppression” tactics, such as regular purging of voter rolls, closing voter precinct sites and rejecting absentee ballots for minor issues such as possible signature mismatches. She lost the race by about 1.5 percentage points, or 55,000 votes out of 3.9 million. 

Kemp has stated his support of the generous state production tax credits that have brought hundreds of Hollywood productions into Georgia over the past decade and generated billions of dollars in direct spending. The state is the most generous in the country in terms of direct tax credit payouts, in part because there is no cap. 

Some entertainers who have used or supported #BoycottGeorgia on Twitter have been actress Alyssa Milano, “West Wing” actor Bradley Whitford, actor Steven Pasquale and actor Ron Perlman.

Writer Jacob York, who works in Atlanta for Adult Swim, responded on Twitter.

“When you say #boycottgeorgia you boycott me paying rent,” he wrote. “You boycott raising kids, paying for braces and trying to make a living. All the artists I know in Georgia are mad as hell. But you saying ‘boycott Georgia’ primarily hurts people who already agree with you.” 

Investigators find rocket launcher, pipe bombs during raid on Florida white supremacist gangs

Investigators seized 110 illegal weapons, including a rocket launcher and two functional pipe bombs and several pounds of drugs, and indicted 39 members or associates of Florida white supremacist gangs, the U.S. attorney’s office said Thursday.

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The three-year investigation, dubbed “Operation Blackjack,” snared members of the Unforgiven and United Aryan Brotherhood gangs, WFTS reported.

Those indicted range in age from 24 to 48 and were facing various charges, including possessing firearms and pipe bombs and possession and distribution of heroin and meth, WTSP reported.

“You know, these are one of those very proud moments we have," Pasco County Sheriff Chris told WFTS. “It’s scary when you look over that table and you see those guns and they are in the hands of felons."

The suspects are facing two years to life in prison, WFTS reported. Some indictments have already led to convictions and sentences of up to 10 years, WTSP reported.

Cleveland Browns say they are not interviewing Condoleezza Rice for head coach job

Update 2:20 p.m. EST Nov. 18: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey have each released statements in response to a report that the NFL team was interested in interviewing her.

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Rice said she wasn’t ready to coach, but said she wouldn’t mind calling a play for the team.

“I love my Browns -- and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level. 

“On a more serious note, I do hope that the NFL will start to bring women into the coaching profession as position coaches and eventually coordinators and head coaches. One doesn’t have to play the game to understand it and motivate players. But experience counts -- and it is time to develop a pool of experienced women coaches.  

“BTW -- I'm not ready to coach but I would like to call a play or two next season if the Browns need ideas! And at no time will I call for a ‘prevent defense.’”

Dorsey said Rice was not discussed when putting together coaching candidates.

“Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a great leader, possesses the highest possible character and also happens to be a Browns fan,” he said in a statement. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for all she’s accomplished and was honored to meet her for the first time earlier this season. Our coaching search will be thorough and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed.”

Original report:

A new report says the Cleveland Browns hope to interview former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to fill the team’s head-coaching job.

ESPN reported the news Sunday, citing an unnamed NFL source. The outlet also reported that John Dorsey, the Browns’ general manager, said last week that the team was open to hiring a woman as head coach, ESPN reported.

Rice, who grew up in Alabama, is a longtime Browns fan, and has appeared in the team’s jersey in NFL ads. There have been rumors before about her becoming league commissioner.

From 2013 to 2016, Rice was one of the first members of the College Football Playoff selection committee. 

Rice served in President George W. Bush’s administration, first as national security advisor from 2001 until 2005, and then as secretary of state from 2005 until 2009.

In 2012, Rice became one of the first two women admitted to Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament.

If the interview happens, Rice would be the first woman to interview for head coach in the NFL.

Florida woman forces girl, 13, to walk naked down street

A 34-year-old woman forced a teenage girl to walk naked down a Florida road Thursday as punishment, investigators said.

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Rosalie Contreras drove the 13-year-old girl to a remote location around 4 p.m. She then made the girl get out of the car, disrobe and walk naked and barefoot down the road as Contreras followed behind her, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

When another car approached, Contreras told the girl to get back into the car, WFTS reported. Contreras then smacked the girl in the face, punched her in the back and pinched and twisted her breasts, Pasco County deputies said. 

The victim told investigators that Contreras was mad at her for misbehaving, the Times reported. She also showed deputies visible bruising and red marks on her body. 

Contreras told deputies she struck the girl to discipline her, the Times reported.

The relationship between Contreras and the victim is unclear, Bay News 9 reported

Contreras was arrested and charged with child abuse.

Police looking for man who punched 63-year-old woman on New York subway

Police in New York are looking for a man after a 63-year-old woman said he punched her in the face on the subway because she asked him to move his bag so she could sit down.

Authorities said the incident happened at 9:15 a.m. Nov. 4.

WPIX reported that the woman, who is 63, said she was on the train headed to work. She said the punch knocked her to the floor.

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“I asked him politely, ‘May I sit?’ and he said bad words and punched me in the face,” she told WPIX.

“The man looked normal,” the woman said. "But he wasn’t normal and I was so scared because I didn’t know if he would attack me again.”

Police are asking the public for help identifying the man, who is thought to be in his 20s and about 6 feet tall, weighing 165 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black hat, a green hoodie and jeans.

Police tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-8477.

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