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AP WIRE

Judge dismisses charges in exorcism case

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Charges brought against an East Tennessee pastor over an alleged assault during an exorcism have been dropped. The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1iWmbSB) reports Sevier County General Sessions Judge Ben Strand dismissed assault and false imprisonment charges against pastors Joel and Teresa Arwood of the Family Chapel ...

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Cold weather starts to hit across Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Frozen roads and chilled citizens were big concerns for Tennessee officials as arctic air blew through the state over the weekend. The National Weather Service issued an advisory for most of the state, with the wind chill through Tuesday expected to make it feel like negative ...

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James Avery of ‘Fresh Prince’ fame dead at 68

NEW YORK (AP) — James Avery, the bulky character actor who laid down the law at home and on the job as the Honorable Philip Banks in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has died. Avery’s publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday, Dec. 31, in Glendale, ...

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NASA responds to Beyoncé’s Challenger sample use

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — NASA officials say the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster “should never be trivialized” in response to a new song from Beyoncé that features an audio sample recorded just after the craft exploded on takeoff in 1986, killing all seven crewmembers. The space agency issued the statement late ...

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Nativity features Trayvon Martin instead of Jesus

CLAREMONT, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California church nativity scene is featuring a bloody Trayvon Martin in place of the infant Jesus in an effort to stir a community conversation about gun violence. The nativity scene on the lawn of the Claremont United Methodist Church — which shows Martin in ...

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“Hobbit,” “Frozen” lead box office to record year

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Over the bustling post-Christmas weekend, Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continued to lead the box office, landing in the No. 1 slot for the third weekend in a row. The Warner Bros. prequel earned $30 million, bringing the domestic gross to $190.3 million, ...

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