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Maddie & Tae's Taylor Dye is engaged to hit songwriter Josh Kerr

No Comments Country Music News

UMGMaddie & Tae‘s Taylor Dye will soon be Mrs. Josh Kerr

“Bought the house. got the ring. asked her dad. got the girl,” the singer/songwriter/producer shared on Instagram, along with a photo of himself proposing on the porch. 

“Forever started Sept 2nd,” he added. “I love you Taylor Dye.” 

Tae’s sentiments were much the same: “I’M ENGAGED to the man of my dreams y’all,” she posted, along with a picture of the two kissing on the porch.

Josh co-wrote Kelsea Ballerini‘s “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Dibs,” as well as Dylan Scott‘s “My Girl.” 

Tae’s musical partner Maddie Marlow plans to tie the knot too: She got engaged to boyfriend Jonah Fount in June of 2018.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Watch now: Trailer for "anti-hate spoof" 'Jojo Rabbit' stars Scarlett Johansson…and director Taika Waititi as an imaginary Hitler

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Photo by: Kimberley French. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved(LOS ANGELES) — New Zealand-born director Taika Waititi [TIE-ka Wah-TEET-ee] has released the madcap full trailer for his “anti-hate spoof” Jojo Rabbit — which is sure to be controversial.

Set in Germany during World War II, the story centers on a young boy called Jojo Rabbit, played by newcomer Roman Griffin Davis, whose imaginary friend happens to be Adolf Hitler.

The satire is meant to shows the absurdity of the dictator — who is presented as a bratty buffoon — and the culture of hate that brought him to power. The writer-director apparently pulls no punches doing so.

In the trailer, Jojo confronts the fanaticism of far too many of his countrymen when he learns his mother, played by Johansson, is hiding a young Jewish girl in their home.

The film also features performances by Rebel Wilson, The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant, and Oscar winner Sam Rockwell. It’ll premiere at the Toronto Film Festival before coming to theaters October 18.

Behind the camera, Waititi will follow his blockbuster movie Thor: Ragnarok with Thor: Love and Thunder, which opens in 2021.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Midland "Let[s] It Roll" all the way to #1

No Comments Country Music News

BMLGAfter much critical acclaim — including shout-outs from the likes of Justin Bieber — Midland‘s sophomore album, Let It Roll, lands at number one on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart this week. 

“Retweet if you have a number 1 album,” the trio tweeted, in keeping with their wacky sense of humor that’s almost always on display. Of course, they immediately retweeted it — adding “Big retweet.”

Mark WystrachCameron Duddy, and Jess Carson are nominated for both New Artist and Vocal Group of the Year at November CMA Awards.

September 17, they kick off their Let It Roll Tour at Terminal 5 in New York City. 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gun loophole allowed western Texas mass shooting suspect to buy AR-type assault rifle: Sources

No Comments National News

kenlh/iStock(ODESSA, Texas) — The suspect who allegedly gunned down seven people and injured more than 20 in a Labor Day weekend massacre in western Texas appeared to have exploited a loophole in federal gun regulations to obtain the AR-type assault rifle he used in the rampage, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News on Tuesday.

Suspected mass shooter Seth Aaron Ator, 36, who was killed by police, was able to get his hands on the weapon through a private sale despite being considered a “prohibited person” barred by law from possessing a firearm because he had been diagnosed by a clinician as mentally ill, federal and local law enforcement sources said.

Under federal law, a gun seller may not sell a weapon if he or she knows the buyer has been flagged by law enforcement but is not obligated to conduct a background check or even ask the purchaser’s status to own a weapon.

John Wester, a special agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, confirmed that Ator had previously failed a firearms background check.

“The background check was run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The NIC system did work. He applied to get a gun. He was denied a gun,” Wester said at a news conference on Monday, but declined to say why Ator was rejected.

Sources later told ABC News that Ator was rejected because he was mentally ill.

Ator was terminated from his job at the Journey Oilfield Service in Odessa on Saturday morning, just hours before he allegedly went on a killing spree and minutes before he contacted law enforcement to complain about his employer, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at the news conference.

“Right after that firing, he called Odessa Police Department’s 911, and so did his employer,” Gerke said. “And basically they were complaining on each other because they had a disagreement over the firing.”

During the calls to the 911 center and a subsequent call to the FBI National Tip Line, Ator never made any threats of violence, Gerke said.

Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, described the calls Ator made to law enforcement as the “rambling and incoherent” gibberish of someone in “great mental distress.” He said Ator complained that the employer who fired him was holding him against his will.

“Frankly, the dispatchers, the call takers, couldn’t figure out what he was talking about,” said Combs who added that the FBI tip line gets 800,000 calls a year.

Combs said investigators do not believe being dismissed from his job prompted Ator to allegedly commit the massacre.

“He showed up to work in a very distressed mental state. So it’s not because he got fired,” Combs said. “This did not happen because he was fired. When he showed up to work he was already enraged.

“He was on a long spiral of going down,” Combs said. “He didn’t wake up Saturday morning and walk into his company and then it happened. He went into that company in trouble. He’s probably been in trouble for a while.”

The shootings unfolded at 3:15 p.m. local time on Saturday, about 15 minutes after Ator called the FBI’s National Tip Line, Combs said.

The first victim in the rampage was a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who pulled the suspect over for failing to signal before making a turn, Gerke said. As the trooper approached the car, Ator allegedly opened fire with an AR-type assault rifle, wounding the trooper, he said.

Gerke said the trooper had no prior knowledge of the phone calls Ator made to law enforcement before pulling the suspect over.

Ator then allegedly drove around in his vehicle randomly firing at victims in 20 different locations, including a car dealership and outside a movie theater, police said.

The victims killed ranged in age from 15 to 57.

One of the victims was Mary Granado, a 29-year-old U.S. Postal Service worker, who Ator allegedly shot to death during a carjacking, Gerke said.

The suspect allegedly ditched his car and stole Granado’s postal service van after killing her, Gerke said. He continued driving around the Odessa area, firing at people at random, the chief said.

The alleged killer then sped toward the Cinergy center, a local entertainment complex that includes a cineplex and a laser-tag range.

Gerke said the carnage could have been much worse had the police not killed Ator before he got inside a crowded movie theater.

A cellphone video taken by a witness showed the suspect speeding toward a police roadblock outside the theater before a police officer in a marked SUV rammed the stolen postal van on the driver’s side, causing it to spin out and stop. Within seconds, police opened fire on the van, killing the driver inside, Gerke said.

Gerke said the motive for the shooting may never be known because Ator is no longer alive to answer questions.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Remains of 20 victims recovered in California boat fire, 14 still missing, police say

No Comments National News

vmargineanu/iStock(SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, Calif.) — The 34 people believe to have perished when a 75-foot charter diving boat burst into flames early Monday in Southern California were trapped in a sleeping deck when flames apparently blocked a stairway and an escape hatch, officials said on Tuesday.

The remains of 20 victims were recovered after the diving boat named the Conception caught fire off Santa Cruz Island around 3:30 a.m., Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a news conference.

Capt. Monica Rochester of the U.S. Coast Guard announced Tuesday that the search-and-rescue mission has been suspended and has now become a search-and-recovery effort.

“It is never an easy decision to suspend search efforts. We know that this is a very difficult time for families and friends of the victims,” Rochester said. “We have suspended these search efforts due to no additional individuals having been witnessed entering the water.”

She said the decision to end the search for possible survivors was made after a search aircraft made one last flyover of the area where the boat is located in 65 feet of water.

There were 41 people on board the ship at the time of the incident, officials said.

Brown said that on Monday, dive teams recovered the remains of 11 women and nine men. He said four to six other victims were spotted inside the doomed vessel, but divers could not reach them before darkness fell.

He said the remains of a total of 16 victims have yet to be recovered, and some may be in a debris field the size of a half-mile on the ocean floor.

Sheriff Brown said autopsies on the victims recovered have not started, and investigators are asking family members for DNA samples to identify the victims. He said the youngest victim is believed to be 17 and the oldest victims are in their 60s.

He said the majority of the victims were from Santa Cruz in Northern California and the Bay Area.

Brown said the investigation into what caused the disaster is being handled by the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Agency.

He clarified reports the doors to the sleeping quarters were locked, saying there were no doors to the sleeping quarters, only curtains.

Brown said a stairway leading from the sleeping quarters to the upper decks was blocked by flames, as was an escape hatch in the sleeping quarters.

The sheriff said the captain and crew quarters were on the top deck of the 3-deck vessel, explaining why they were able to escape the boat alive.

He said one crew member was in the lower deck sleeping quarters when the fire broke out and is believed to be among those who died.

Rochester said the boat was required to have smoke detectors, fixed firefighting equipment in the engine room and fire extinguishers throughout the vessel, including ones at the front and rear of the boat.

She said that during the most recent inspection of the boat, all the required firefighting apparatus was accounted for.

Rochester said it remains under investigation whether the smoke detectors were working at the time of the fire and if the crew attempted to use the firefighting equipment before abandoning ship.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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