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Stuntman injured on 'The Walking Dead' set declared dead

Published: Friday, July 14, 2017 @ 9:03 AM
Updated: Friday, July 14, 2017 @ 3:15 PM



Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
(Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC)

A stuntman seriously injured on the set of AMC hit “The Walking Dead” has been declared dead.

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Richard Hawk, coroner for Coweta County, Georgia, confirmed to WSBTV.com that John Bernecker died Wednesday.

Bernecker had been seriously injured in a fall and was taken by medical helicopter to a hospital.

“They were doing a stunt and something went wrong,” Hawk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He was flown to Atlanta Medical Center where he was pronounced brain dead July 12 at (6:30 p.m.).”

Hawk didn’t have further details about the circumstances that led to the accident. According to an accident report, Bernecker fell 25 feet onto concrete.

Production on the AMC action-packed zombie series has been halted following the fall.

Bernecker had a long and impressive list of film credits. His work included Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther,” due out next year, and “Rampage,” which just wrapped. Production temporarily halted on “Rampage” when another stuntman, Dave Macomber, was injured.

>> See the latest on WSBTV.com

Friends, loved ones and industry figures have been flooding social media accounts with words of grief and tribute. “Transformers” series executive producer Michael Bay posted this somber message:

Bernecker’s girlfriend, Jennifer Cocker, posted a message of anguish while he remained hospitalized.

“John deserves to be seen by every neurosurgeon and doctor there is until one of them sees the life we all know he has in him and bring him back to us,” she wrote. “This isn’t fair.”

Other messages of support came from those who have worked with Bernecker:

The tragedy happened to coincide with the latest legal action stemming from a fatal accident on the set of “Midnight Rider.” Crew member Sarah Jones, 27, died when a train came hurtling down the track where the film crew was setting up for a scene. The production did not have permission to film on the train trestle outside Jesup.

>> See the latest on AJC.com

Director Randall Miller reached a plea deal that avoided a trial and absolved his wife and business partner, Jody Savin. In pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing, Miller received a sentence of two years in jail and eight on probation, in addition to a $20,000 fine.

Jones’ parents, Richard and Elizabeth, settled a lawsuit filed against numerous plaintiffs involved with the case, but CSX, which owns the tracks where the unauthorized production work was taking place, is mounting a defense.

In his testimony on Thursday, Richard Jones acknowledged that the crew was trespassing but said CSX should have taken action to prevent the fatal wreck, Deadline reported.

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'The Baby-Sitters Club' could be headed for TV revival

Published: Sunday, June 03, 2018 @ 9:32 AM



Scholastic Corporation
(Scholastic Corporation)

“The Baby-Sitters Club” could be making a television comeback, according to multiple reports.

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Walden Media and producer Michael De Luca are shopping a modernized television series based on the wildly popular young adult books by Ann M. Martin, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood. The books sold more than 176 million copies between 1986 and 2000, and spawned both a movie and a TV show in the 1990s.

The series followed a group of girlfriends as they tackled issues like sibling rivalry and divorce after starting a babysitting service in the fictional town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut.

“We feel incredibly honored that Ann M. Martin has allowed us the chance to introduce the BSC to a new generation of future thought leaders and influencers,” Walden Media’s senior vice president of development and production, Naia Cucukov, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

The entertainment news site reported that De Luca is slated to serve as an executive producer on the television series. Lucia Aniello, an executive producer of Comedy Central’s "Broad City,” is in talks to direct the show, while Rachel Shukert, a writer and executive story editor on Netflix's "GLOW," is in talks to become the showrunner, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“As lifelong fans of ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ and its enduring messages of entrepreneurialism, empowerment, diversity and most importantly, female friendships, we couldn’t be more thrilled to work on this special project with Rachel and Lucia,” Cucukov told the entertainment news site.

The revival project will feature all of author Ann M. Martin’s original characters in half-hour episodes and focus on issues like racism, divorce and belonging, Deadline Hollywood reported.

“The Baby-Sitters Club” spawned an HBO TV series in 1990. The series was adapted into a movie in 1995, starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Schuyler Fisk and Larisa Oleynik, among others.

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Watch the 53rd Annual ACM Awards Sunday night on WHIO-TV

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 11:19 AM

The country music legend is back to host for the 15th time. The 53rd Annual ACM Awards air Sunday, April 15th on WHIO-TV.

Country music superstar Reba McEntire returns to host the annual Academy of Country Music Awards Show  live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 15th.

This year’s show will air live on WHIO-TV at 8 p.m. and feature several performances from some of Country Music’s biggest artists including Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, and many more. 

Chris Stapleton leads all artists with 8 nominations. Thomas Rhett is next with 6 nominations. 

For more on  the ACM Awards check out ACMCountry.com

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Omarosa returning to reality TV after White House exit

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 11:14 AM

In this Dec. 13, 2016 file photo, Omarosa Manigault smiles at reporters as she walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Manigault Newman is following up her year in the White House with a stint on
In this Dec. 13, 2016 file photo, Omarosa Manigault smiles at reporters as she walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Manigault Newman is following up her year in the White House with a stint on "Celebrity Big Brother." CBS unveiled the cast of the reality show's upcoming season Sunday with a commercial that aired during the Grammy Awards. Besides Manigault Newman, other contestants include basketball star Metta World Peace and actresses Marissa Jaret Winokur and Keshia Knight Pulliam. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)(Seth Wenig/AP)

Omarosa Manigault Newman, “The Apprentice” star-turned-White House aide, will return to reality television next month, CBS announced Sunday.

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Manigault Newman submitted her resignation last month as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, effective Jan. 20. Reports indicated Manigault Newman was escorted from the White House last month after an argument with Chief of Staff John Kelly, although the U.S. Secret Service denied that authorities escorted her from White House grounds.

She previously served as President Donald Trump’s chief adviser on African-American issues in the White House.

>> Related: Omarosa Manigault Newman ‘physically dragged’ from White House, reports say

Manigault Newman will compete with 10 other celebrities to win $250,000 on “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.” Other competitors include actress Shannon Elizabeth, Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath and former NBA star Metta World Peace.

The show will premiere with a trio of episodes starting Feb. 7 and 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Who is Omarosa Manigault Newman

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Katie Couric shares thoughts on Matt Lauer's firing

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 12:23 PM

What You Need to Know: Matt Lauer

Katie Couric shared her opinions about Matt Lauer's firing from the "Today" show in an exclusive People interview published Saturday.

Couric's opinion on the controversy was sought last month immediately after the bombshell sexual harassment and assault allegations against Lauer were made public, but at the time, Couric said that while the news was "incredibly upsetting," she wasn't ready to talk about it.

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Couric, 61, and Lauer hosted the "Today" show together for 15 years. 

Couric told People that the allegations have been painful for her to learn, and that she had no idea such activity was going on during her "Today" tenure. Couric said that she and Lauer had a "brother-sister" relationship and that he treated her with respect. She also addressed a 2012 clip of her on Andy Cohen's late-night show when she said Lauer pinched her on the buttocks a lot. Couric told People the comment was a joke.

Couric called the allegations made against her former co-host "disturbing, distressing and disorienting” and said such behavior is “completely unacceptable.” 

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