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Fergie says National Anthem at NBA All-Star Game 'didn't strike the intended tone'

Fergie is responding to critics of her sultry, jazzy rendition of the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game. The singer issued a statement to TMZ, saying her version at Sunday night’s game in Los Angeles “didn't strike the intended tone.”

>> Read more trending news 

“I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA,” the statement said. “I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.”

WATCH: Fergie’s national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game baffles viewers

Wearing an off-the-shoulder dress, Fergie sang the national anthem with a number of ad-libs and some lengthy notes. At one point, Golden State Warriors player  Draymond Green could be seen stifling a laugh, and so could late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

One person who had some words of support for Fergie was Mariah Carey, who told TMZ cameras the singer needn’t listen to negativity.

“Darling, nobody needs to listen to that,” she said.

Fergie’s national anthem performance can be watched below.

Chrissy Teigen reveals second baby’s due date

Soon-to-be mom of two Chrissy Teigen stopped by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to dish about her pregnancy Monday. The model and cookbook author revealed that she and singer John Legend’s second bundle of joy is due in June.

>> Read more trending news 

“I’m having a baby boy in the spring,” she told DeGeneres, before jokingly whispering, “I’ll tell you: it’s June.” Teigen and Legend announced her pregnancy in November with an Instagram video showing their daughter Luna pointing to the baby in her mother’s belly. Amid speculation of the baby’s gender, the 32-year-old “Lip Sync Battle” host confirmed she is having a boy with a photo from the Grammy Awards red carpet.

While excited for her second child, Teigen shared that one thing she hadn’t quite figured out yet was what to name him.

“It’s just, boy names are really tough,” she said. “I don’t even think he’ll have a middle name, because we can’t even think of a first name.”

Related: Chrissy Teigen pregnant with second child with John Legend

When asked how she and Legend came up with Luna, Teigen revealed it was linked to a happy childhood memory.

“Well, there was a blood moon happening. It was like a very beautiful night. Really big, vivid red moon — just gorgeous. And I have this love for space, and I think about space camp all the time and my days at space camp as a youngster, so I just thought ‘Luna’ was perfect.”

Like a true comedian, DeGeneres joked that the second baby should follow the trend, saying, “What about Lunar?”

Teigen replied with a laugh, “Lunar? I like it,” while Ellen followed up, “What about Urban Legend?”

“I do like that,” Teigen said.

Related: Chrissy Teigen, John Legend expecting baby boy

The “Cravings” author went on to tell Ellen that her husband’s “ego” was all that was standing in the way of them choosing a far more common name.

“Everyone’s like, ‘Why don’t you do the JJ thing — John Jr. — but John and his ego. He was like, ‘I don’t want him to feel like he has to live up to that.'”

“What a jerk!” Teigen joked. “Oh, sorry. Heaven forbid he do what you do.”

Watch a clip of Teigen’s appearance on “Ellen” below.

Florida gun owner surrenders assault rifle after Parkland high school massacre

A Florida man spurred by the massacre that killed 17 people at a Parkland high school last week has “put (his) money where (his) mouth is” and surrendered his assault rifle to authorities.

Ben Dickmann, 40, wrote on Friday, in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, that he decided to lead by example.

“I own this rifle,” Dickmann wrote, sharing multiple photos of the semiautomatic AR-57 as he turned it in at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a caliber variant of the AR-15.”

The suspected gunman in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, former student Nikolas Cruz, is accused of using an AR-15 to gun down 14 students and three faculty members on Valentine’s Day. 

“I am a responsible, highly-trained gun owner. (I am not a police officer or sheriff’s deputy),” Dickmann wrote. “However, I do not need this rifle.”

Dickmann wrote that no one without a police badge needs an AR-57.

“This rifle is not a ‘tool’ I have use for. A tool, by definition, makes a job/work easier,” Dickmann wrote. “Any ‘job’ I can think of legally needing doing can be done better by a different firearm.”

Dickmann wrote that, although he enjoyed shooting the weapon, he has other types of guns that he can shoot for recreation. He could have sold the rifle, he wrote, but “no person needs this.”

“I will be the change I want to see in this world,” Dickmann wrote. “If our lawmakers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example. #outofcirculation.”

Officials with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office praised Dickmann for his decision.

“We commend Ben for helping us get one more dangerous weapon off the streets,” a post on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page read.

The post also offered two ways for the public to turn in an unloaded, unwanted weapon. A citizen can call the department’s non-emergency line, 954-765-HELP, and inform a deputy that they have a weapon to surrender for destruction. 

“Leave the firearm in a location away from you in the home/business, allowing the responding deputy to retrieve it when they arrive,” the post read. “The deputy will take possession of the weapon (and) ammunition for disposal.”

The second way to turn the weapon in is to secure the gun in the trunk of a vehicle and drive to the nearest Sheriff’s Office substation. After parking in the visitors’ lot, a citizen can go inside and tell the deputy at the desk that he or she has a firearm and/or ammunition in the vehicle for surrender. 

“A deputy will meet with you and retrieve the weapon from your vehicle for disposal,” the post read

Dickmann, who lives about 30 minutes from Parkland in Fort Lauderdale, told NPR in an interview that the decision to give up his assault rifle came after “a lot of soul searching.” He said that, like others, he sees a lot of “thoughts and prayers” being offered, but not much else.

“I thought, ‘Well, this is something I can do that I think is right,” Dickmann said. “And it’s something I can do that might spark a change. You know, my whole goal was maybe to inspire one friend on my Facebook page to do the same thing. And maybe that friend would inspire one other person.”

Dickmann said he considered taking action after the Las Vegas shooting, but thought that his gun was not hurting anyone sitting in his gun safe. The Stoneman Douglas massacre, however, hit close to home. 

He said response to a Facebook post he wrote the day after the school shooting is what spurred that action. In that long post, Dickmann wrote that it was past time to do something about the mass violence undertaken with firearms in the United States.

>> Read more trending news

“I can now say I know people who have been directly affected by three of the most horrific gun violence events in our history (Northern Illinois University, Las Vegas, Stoneman Douglas), and a couple more single events,” he wrote. “This makes me sick. This makes me mad. I’m tired.”

In the Northern Illinois University shooting, which took place 10 years to the day before the Stoneman Douglas massacre, former NIU student Steven Kazmierczak walked onto the stage in an auditorium where class was taking place and gunned down five students before killing himself. More than a dozen more were injured. 

Commenters on Dickmann’s post, who numbered in the thousands, varied in their responses. Some thought he spoke common sense, while others accused him of being a paid lackey for the anti-gun crowd. 

Dickmann told NPR that it was sarcasm from one man who told him, “Well, if you feel this way, why don’t you go turn your gun in?” The man even offered to drive Dickmann to the station. 

“Even though he was being extremely sarcastic about it because he’s a very staunch conservative, gun rights activist person, it kind of spurred me to say, ‘You know what? Yeah, I’ll do that,’” he said

Dickmann said he’s glad that his actions sparked a debate.

“I hope somebody, be it the students, be it the next generation, picks up the torch and does something,” he said

Girl, 16, killed when UTV crashes into Georgia lake

A 16-year-old girl was killed when the utility terrain vehicle in which she was riding crashed and went into a lake, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news

Kate Jones, 16, of Athens, was submerged when the UTV rolled into the lake on private property, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said on Facebook. The incident happened about midnight.

A deputy and a firefighter dived into the water, which was about 10 feet deep, and freed Jones from the vehicle, Berry said.

Four other people were in the vehicle when it crashed. One of them is being treated for serious injuries at an Athens hospital.

The crash was in the 5000 block of High Shoals Road in Bishop.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash.

7 Things Harder To Get Than A Gun

7 Things Harder To Get Than A Gun

Fire department raffles AR-15 rifle, draws criticism

A California fire department is facing criticism after offering an AR-15 rifle as a raffle prize at a fundraiser just days after police said a 19-year-old used the same weapon to gun down 17 people at a high school in Florida.

>> Read more trending news

Allison Merrill told the Sacramento Bee that she was so offended by the gun, which was raffled Saturday during the Cameron Park Fire Department’s crab feed, that she and her friends walked out of the event.

“When we walked out, the flag was at half-mast in front of the community center, and it was just so striking, how tone-deaf the whole event was,” she told the Bee. “We walk out and there’s the flag at half-mast for all those kids.”

Police believe the shooter in last week’s deadly attack in Parkland, Florida, used an AR-15 when he killed 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“To have our first responders be the ones kind of offering a military-style assault rifle as a prize – putting that out into our community, especially right now – it was appalling,” Merrill told KOVR.

>> Related: Florida school shooting: Probe focuses on gunman's motives, victims' lives

Merrill told the news station that she spoke with the fire chief, who apologized and acknowledged that the gun raffle could be seen as insensitive. She told the Bee that event organizers refunded her and each of her three friends the $40 fee for the event, although she added to KCRA that “the money wasn’t really an issue.”

“I was deeply disturbed by it,” Nancy Lugo, who attended the event with Merrill, told the Bee. “Not only the timing of the recent shootings but also the fact that it’s that easy to get an AR-15.”

>> Related: Third-graders in Missouri selling raffle tickets for AR-15 weapon

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean told KCRA that the Cameron Park Fire Department has held similar fundraisers since 2002. The fire department is under contract with Cal Fire, according to KCRA.

“These weapons are not any different than anything you could go into the gun store and buy,” McLean told the Bee, adding that the fundraiser was planned before last week’s deadly shooting.

The gun was taken to a gun store after the raffle, McLean said, where it will stay for a 10-day waiting period required by law as officials run background checks to ensure the winner of the raffle can legally own the firearm.

"I understand the concerns, by all means," McLean told KCRA. "No harm was intended."

R. Kelly evicted from Atlanta homes, owes $30K, court documents show

Filings with the magistrate court of Fulton County from Feb. 13 show that the Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly has been evicted from two homes in Atlanta. The  R&B singer was renting houses in the city’s Johns Creek neighborhood. The documents show that Kelly owes SB Property Management Global, LLC more than $31,000 in past due rent payments.  

>> Read more trending news 

Online records for Fulton County don’t show any criminal filings against Kelly. A spokesperson for the singer, Trevian Kutti, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Kelly has “no comment at this time” on the dispossessory affidavits filed against him.

When reached by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday, Edmond Green of SB Property Management Global, LLC said he could not comment on the filings. The court documents carry Green’s signature as the affiant.

According to the court documents, the homes Kelly has been evicted from are on Old Homestead Trail and Saint Devon Crossing. 

Related: R. Kelly accused of abusing women, running cult

These were the same homes that were reportedly burglarized in 2017A former associate of Kelly’s, Alfonso L. Walker, was accused of breaking into them and selling many of the items inside. Walker, 50, was arrested in December and charged with theft and burglary.

Court filings show that Kelly paid $3,000 per month in rent at Saint Devon Crossing and $11,542 per month in rent at Old Homestead Trail. The homes are 2 miles apart and have Duluth addresses. The Saint Devon Crossing home is in a cul-de-sac off Rogers Bridge Road. The Old Homestead Trail home is in a gated community off Bell Road. Google images shows a pool and a basketball court behind the home.

Related: R. Kelly’s Atlanta mansions emptied while singer was touring

At one time, Kelly rented a third home in Johns Creek on Creek Wind Court. In July 2017, after BuzzFeed published an article claiming that Kelly “held women against their will in a cult” there, Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, of Atlanta, held a press conference outside the home. They said their daughter Joycelyn was “beat” by Kelly and “part of the R. Kelly cult.” Joycelyn later released a video through TMZ saying she was “in a happy place.”

Related: R. Kelly ‘unequivocally denies’ claims he’s holding women against their will in ‘cult’

On Aug. 7, 2017, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office received a file on Kelly from Johns Creek police. The DA — Paul Howard — said his office did not request the file and was not pursuing charges against Kelly, but his office would review the file.

Dexter Bond, a spokesman for the DA’s office, said in an email earlier this month that the Kelly file is still open and under review.

’Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ celebrates 50th anniversary

It’s been “a beautiful day in this neighborhood” for 50 years.

Feb. 19, 1968, was the day that PBS aired the first episode of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and the lessons that Fred Rogers taught still resonate today. A re-imagined tales of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” several televised tributes and even a feature-length movie remind us of the legacy of Mr. Rogers. 

According to his official biography from the foundation that carries on his mission of education, Rogers was born in 1928 in the small town of Latrobe, Penn., east of Pittsburgh. After getting a degree in music composition, he was hired by NBC in New York as an assistant producer and eventually a floor director for some of the network’s programming in the ’50s.

History was made in 1953 when WQED in Pittsburgh asked Rogers to come up with their first schedule. He produced a show called “The Children’s Corner,” where he  introduced characters such as Daniel Striped Tiger, X the Owl and Henrietta Pussycat.

Those characters have found new life on “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” where children now learn those positive messages not in puppet form, but from cartoons. 

Fred Rogers’ belief in kindness led him to seminary, where he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Instead of moving toward a traditional religious calling, his charge was “to continue his work with children and families through the mass media.”

In 1963, he was offered the opportunity to start a show in Canada called “Misterogers.” Three years later, he went back to Pittsburgh and created a new show called “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which went national 50 years ago, on what would become PBS.

Fred Rogers died on Feb. 27, 2003, in Pittsburgh and was survived by his wife, Joanne, and their two sons and three grandsons.

>> Read more trending news 

Rogers’ message of love and kindness still resonates today. When there is a national tragedy, memes or video clips of Fred Rogers telling children and adults alike to “look for the helpers” gives those who need it a moment of reassurance that everything will be OK.

“Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” also helped launch the careers of some current stars. 

Actress Ming-Na Wen, known for her role as Agent Melinda May on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and as the voice of Disney’s Mulan, appeared on the show.

Bill Nye the Science Guy appeared on an episode in 1997 to help everyone’s neighbor perform an experiment, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Rogers also introduced kids to various genres of music, thanks to guest stars who dropped by, including Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma and Tony Bennett, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Michael Keaton, who went by his original name at the time, Michael Douglas, had one of his first jobs working as a stagehand on the show. He helped operate the iconic trolley, CBS News reported. He was also one of the “Flying Zookeeni Brothers,” Parade reported.

Keaton will host a one-night-only PBS special that pays tribute to Rogers on March 6. “Mister Rogers, It’s You I Like” will feature Keaton and cast regulars, including Joe Negri, who portrayed Handyman Negri, and David Newell, who portrayed Mr. McFeely.

Rogers will also be remembered by guests Judd Apatow, Whoopi Goldberg and Sarah Silverman, according to PBS.

But that’s not the only remembrance planned for Mr. Rogers. Starting on Feb. 26, PBS Kids will run a weeklong tribute to Rogers, PBS announced

A forever stamp will also honor Rogers this year and is scheduled to be released on March 23, WPXI reportedAnd a biopic has been announced in which Tom Hanks has been slated to star as Rogers.

Court: Woman who faked being federal agent to get Chick-fil-A discount indicted

Georgia woman was indicted Thursday for charges alleging she claimed to be a federal law enforcement agent to get a discount for her Chick-fil-A meal.

>> Read more trending news

Tara Marie Solem, of Marietta, faces two felony counts of impersonating an officer, according to court documents.

Police said the incident happened July 5 at the Macland Cross Circle location in Marietta.

She initially tried to convince a worker at the eatery’s drive-thru window that that she was a federal agent, the charges say, and when that didn’t work, she went inside.

Solem walked up to the counter, argued with two managers and uttered expletives within earshot of a few children, according to a warrant.

Police said she then flashed a silver badge in a black wallet to the managers to try to prove she was a federal agent.

“She stated that she was undercover and that for them asking her to be in uniform would blow her cover and (possibly) get her killed,” according to the warrant. 

Solem called the restaurant chain’s corporate office to complain and gave the name, “Agent Solem,” police said.

The charges say that at some point, she changed her story, saying that she was an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations; the officer wrote in the warrant that GBI said they had no record of such an agent.

Her next court date was not listed in Cobb County’s magistrate court system.

Petition seeks military burial for Parkland JROTC cadet who died saving fellow students

Peter Wang died proudly wearing his gray JROTC uniform, holding open doors so several of his classmates could escape the gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week. 

Though those classmates made it, Peter did not. And now, a White House petition has been established seeking full military honors at the burial of the 15-year-old freshman who was among 17 people killed in the Valentine’s Day school shooting.

As of Monday morning, the petition had reached just over 23,000 signatures. A petition must reach 100,000 signatures to get a response from the White House. 

The petition states that Peter was last seen, in uniform, holding doors open so that other students, teachers and staff members could escape.

“His selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area,” the petition states. “Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial.”

Friends of the teen said they want people to know how selfless he was, according to WPLG News 10 in Pembroke Park

“I want people to know that he died a hero; that he died saving many people,” friend and classmate Aiden Ortiz told the news station

His selflessness extended into his everyday actions, classmate Rachel Kuperman said. She recalled the last time she saw Peter, the day before he was slain. 

“I forgot my lunch that day, and he went to the vending machine with me and he bought me Sprite and candy and snacks,” Rachel said. “He put others before himself.”

Fox News reported that it would take government intervention for Peter to receive a military funeral, since JROTC does not provide basic training and thus does not count as military service. JROTC, or the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, is a federal program for middle and high school students that focuses on citizenship, service to the community and country and personal achievement.  

Peter was not the only JROTC cadet credited with springing into action that day. Colton Haab, a junior at Stoneman Douglas, heard gunshots and ushered several dozen people into the JROTC room.

>> Read more trending news

There, he and other cadets grabbed Kevlar sheets used for marksmanship practice and held them up in front of the students huddled together.

“We took those sheets and we put them in front of everybody so they weren’t seen, because they were behind a solid object and the Kevlar would slow the bullet down,” Colton told CNN the day after the shooting. “I didn’t think it was going to stop it, but it would definitely slow it down to make it from a catastrophic to a lifesaving thing.”

Peter’s cousin, Aaron Chen, described him to the Miami Herald as brave, while Peter’s best friend, Gabriel Ammirata, said he was “funny, nice and a great friend.”

“He’s been my best friend since third grade,” Gabriel told the Herald

Gabriel planned to celebrate Chinese New Year with Peter the day after the shooting at the Chinese restaurant Peter’s family owns, the Herald reported. Instead, he and members of Peter’s family started the new day frantically searching for information on Peter’s whereabouts. 

The teen’s parents speak Mandarin and very little English. 

Jesse Pan, a neighbor of Peter’s, has been sharing information about him and his funeral arrangements on social media. Peter’s family has a funeral planned for Tuesday at Kraeer Funeral Home, in Coral Springs.

An obituary on the funeral home’s website reiterates Peter’s ultimate sacrifice in the face of danger.

“He loved being in the JROTC and planned on attending (the) United States Military Academy at West Point,” the obituary read

Peter loved the Houston Rockets, hip-hop music, playing basketball and spending time with friends. He also aspired to become a world-renowned chef. 

He is survived by his parents and two younger brothers.

GoFundMe page created to help his family with expenses exceeded its $15,000 goal in just three days. 

Originally, proceeds (were) going to the help with misc. expenses, but the family has decided that they want to donate the money to Stoneman Douglas for their ROTC program,” the page creator, Chino Leong, wrote. “They want to ensure that future generations of kids are taught the same values that the program has instilled in Peter.”

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