Fox News 2024-05-25 01:15:18


Judge rules on Alec Baldwin’s bid to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charge

The judge in Alec Baldwin’s “Rust” involuntary manslaughter case ruled to deny his motion to dismiss the indictment on Friday.

The judge rejected both of Baldwin’s dismissal arguments regarding the grand jury process, concluding it wasn’t prejudiced against him, court documents obtained by Fox News Digital showed. 

The defense had argued that prosecutors flouted the rules of grand jury proceedings to divert attention away from exculpatory evidence and witnesses, which prosecutors have denied, calling him “shameless” and pointing out contradictory statements he made. 

“We look forward to our day in court,” Baldwin’s lawyers Alex Spiro and Luke Nikas said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Friday.

‘RUST’ STAR ALEC BALDWIN’S LEGAL TEAM SLAMMED FOR ‘COUNTLESS LIES,’ ‘MANIPULATION’ AS ACTOR BATTLES INDICTMENT

Baldwin was indicted on two counts — involuntary manslaughter, negligent use of a firearm, or, in the alternative, involuntary manslaughter without due caution or circumspection — on Jan. 19. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died Oct. 21, 2021 after a gun Baldwin was holding discharged on the Western film set.

The actor skipped out on the May 17 hearing after waiving all of his pre-trial appearances.

His legal team appeared virtually, where they claimed the prosecution did not follow the rules during the grand jury process. Alex Spiro, the lead lawyer on Baldwin’s team, specifically focused on accusations that the prosecution did not alert the witnesses ahead of the grand jury.

“The way this is supposed to work is the grand jury’s in a week, there’s all these witnesses that could come, you hit them with a subpoena, they come to the grand jury, or you have them on stand by, and you talk to them,” Spiro said during the May 17 hearing. “This isn’t how you’re supposed to do it period.”

The witnesses “never” saw “an alert letter,” according to the lawyer.

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Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey slammed Spiro’s argument as a “complete misrepresentation” of what actually went down.

“Mr. Spiro wants to say to this court this morning that I’m just kind of making this up as I go along,” Morrissey said, referring to the state’s witnesses. “That I had no intention of ever presenting anyone over video.”

She also added: “I’m not going to sit here and be called a liar.”

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The “30 Rock” star’s legal team argued the prosecution acted unethically and failed to present crucial evidence to a grand jury in their original motion to dismiss the indictment, obtained by Fox News Digital.

“Enough is enough,” the court documents stated. “This is an abuse of the system, and an abuse of an innocent person whose rights have been trampled to the extreme.”

Since then, Baldwin has filed two additional motions to dismiss. One to dismiss based on destruction of evidence — referring to the firearm — and one to dismiss over failure to allege a criminal act.

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The state filed responses to both motions on May 21, but a court hearing has not been scheduled at this time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Black, Latino Trump supporters shut down reporter asking about ‘racist’ rhetoric

NBC News reporter Dasha Burns said that several Black and Latino Trump supporters shut her down when she attempted to confront them on the former president’s “racist” rhetoric on Thursday.

Burns appeared on MSNBC on Friday to talk about her coverage of Trump’s massive rally the previous day in deep-blue Bronx, New York. The reporter recalled that the Black and Latino Trump supporters she spoke to on the scene had completely bought into Trump’s anti-illegal immigration and economic policies, even if he had said “racist” and “bigoted” things in the past. 

“They are just so focused on what their lives are like right now, what they can feel tangibly, that when I push back with those comments, they shut that down,” Burns told MSNBC host Ana Cabrera, commenting that these voters don’t care about Trump’s rhetoric compared to his policies. 

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During the segment, Burns seemed surprised by the fact that many of the people she spoke to were immigrants who supported Trump’s points on heavily restricting immigration and potentially calling for mass deportations

“Well, this might sound a little counterintuitive, but I did talk to folks in that crowd who themselves were immigrants,” she said. “A lot of people that I talked to were born and raised in the Bronx. For some of them, this was their first ever Trump event. And when you talk to immigrants that are going to these Trump rallies, they agree with his message on immigration.”

She continued, “Their point is, ‘Look, I did it the right way. I came here legally.’ And especially those living in New York right now, the sentiment I heard from a lot of voters was, ‘We have these immigrants right now that the city is taking care in a way that I’ve never felt taken care of by this city.'”

Burns added that among the attendees were “Black and Latino voters that are sick of how much they’re paying for gas and groceries, that are frustrated with the situation at the border.”

In footage of Burns speaking to various minority Trump supporters at the rally, one praised Trump and slammed Biden for having “disrespected the people of the city of New York.”

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Another indicated to the reporter he hadn’t forgotten Biden’s comments to podcast host Charlamagne Tha God in 2020 that anyone who votes for Trump instead of him “ain’t Black.

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Burns said that she tried to push back, to no avail.

“Multiple people actually mentioned that Charlamagne tha God interview. I did press back with some of those folks, mentioning some of Trump’s rhetoric that’s been seen as racist and bigoted,” she added. “They said they don’t have a problem with that. They view his actions over his words in terms of what they feel he can do for their community.”

‘Star Wars’ creator has hilarious response to critics who say saga isn’t diverse enough

Legendary “Star Wars” creator George Lucas hit back at critics claiming his series hasn’t been diverse enough.

During an interview at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday – just ahead of a Palme d’Or ceremony honoring his contribution to film – Lucas recalled longtime criticism that his movies featured too many White males, and argued that the franchise has always featured diverse characters and its own unique commentary on discrimination.

“They would say, ‘It’s all White men.’ I’d say, ‘It’s not. Most of the people are aliens,'” the 80-year-old “Star Wars” creator said, according to People.

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Lucas continued, remarking how his colorful universe of alien creatures is actually his own statement about acceptance and diversity.

“And the idea is you’re supposed to accept people for what they are, whether they’re big and furry or whether they’re green and whatever — the idea is all people are equal,” he said.

The “A New Hope” director also described how robots often being discriminated against in the “Star Wars” universe is part of his commentary.

“And that was a way of saying, people are always discriminating against something, and sooner or later, that’s what’s going to happen,” he said, also tying that to humanity’s current distrust of Artificial Intelligence.

 “I mean, we’re already starting with AI, saying, ‘Well, we can’t trust those robots,’” he said. 

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The sci-fi legend also touted his famous Black characters as evidence his casts were diverse, pointing to Lando Calrissian, who was played by Black actor Billy Dee Williams in the 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” and later installments.

African American actor Samuel L. Jackson also played Jedi knight Mace Windu in Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequel series, which spanned from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.

Lucas also noted the famous female characters he established, like series favorite Princess Leia – played by the late Carrie Fisher. 

“Who do you think the heroes are in these stories? What do you think Princess Leia was? She’s the head of the rebellion,” Lucas said. 

“She’s the one that’s taking this young kid who doesn’t know anything and this boisterous, I-know-everything guy who can’t do anything and trying to save the rebellion with these clowns,” he added, referencing the cocky pilot character, Han Solo.

In terms of other major female “Star Wars” characters, actress Natalie Portman also played one of the prequel era’s most important characters, Senator Padme Amidala. 

Lucas has also contributed to diversity efforts offscreen. The filmmaker has funded a student diversity program at his alma mater, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, giving $10 million to the program in 2017 to support students from underrepresented communities who qualify for financial support at the school. 

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Officer who arrested Scheffler allegedly did donuts in cop car, was reprimanded over and over

An officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) in Kentucky received “corrective action” after an internal investigation into the arrest of two-time PGA major winner Scottie Scheffler revealed the officer did not follow proper protocols and turn on his body camera.  

It’s apparently not the first time Det. Bryan Gillis has gotten into trouble.

According to WLKY in Louisville, Gillis has been suspended at least three times, the most recent coming in 2013.

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In 2013, Gillis reportedly was suspended by the LMPD for five days after he was allegedly doing “donuts” in a parking lot with his police car while an “intoxicated civilian” was inside the vehicle.

A year earlier, he reportedly served a four-day suspension for violating the department’s policy on court attendance. Records reportedly say he had been disciplined for violating the policy four different times from 2010 to 2011. On two of those occasions, he was suspended for a day.

Gillis has received “numerous commendations during his time with the LMPD,” the outlet states.

Gillis was counseled by his supervisor after an investigation found he did not turn on his body-worn camera, as he was required to, during the Scheffler incident.

Surveillance footage appeared to show a series of events much different from what Gillis had reported. According to an arrest report, Scheffler was driving a credentialed PGA courtesy car when an officer said Scheffler “refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging” the officer to the ground. 

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However, in the video footage released, it appears a police officer ran up to Scheffler’s vehicle as Scheffler tried to enter the golf course. The police officer can be seen banging on Scheffler’s window, and Scheffler was later arrested. 

Fox News Digital’s attempts to reach Gillis for comment through the LMPD on Friday were unsuccessful.

Scheffler commended the LMPD, saying, “They were really kind. I’m grateful that we have such strong police, and they’re our protectors out there. And, like I said, we just got into a chaotic situation this morning. That’s really all it was.”

Scheffler’s arraignment date was delayed to June 3. There are reports, though, that charges against Scheffler may be dropped. 

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Scheffler is golfing at the Charles Schwab challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, this week.  

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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Beach in Christian town ordered to open on Sunday mornings for the first time in 155 years

A Christian shore town will open its beach on Sunday mornings for the first time in 155 years.

Since 1869, Ocean Grove, New Jersey, has kept its mile-long strip of Jersey Shore beach closed for religious observation until noon on Sundays.

Now, following ongoing pushback from the state of New Jersey, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) has been ordered to open the beach.

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“For 155 years, we have closed our beach on Sunday mornings to honor God — a core pillar of this community since the founding of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association,” the group wrote in a statement posted on its website. 

“Now, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is ordering us to open our privately owned beach on Sunday mornings.”

The OGCMA announced that it will challenge the order “to preserve our property rights and religious freedom.” 

The association wrote, “Our application for an emergent stay is pending, but we have no indication when an Order will be entered. We are currently compelled to comply with the NJDEP order to open the beach, but have not ceased nor abandoned our quest to protect our religious and property rights.”

NEW JERSEY CHRISTIAN BEACH TOWN FACES PRESSURE TO STOP ITS FAITH-BASED CLOSURES ON SUNDAY MORNINGS

Ocean Grove will provide lifeguards on Sunday mornings for the safety of beachgoers, in the meantime, it said.

“We continue to do ministry by providing opportunities for spiritual birth, growth and renewal through worship, education and cultural programs,” the OGCMA concluded in its statement. “As always, we welcome all to join us in ‘God’s Square Mile.’”

After finding the OGCMA to be in violation of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act, the NJDEP served the group with an administrative order in Oct. 2023 to remove the padlocks and chains from their beach site from May through September.

The agency threatened fines of $25,000 per day if Ocean Grove does not comply.

On May 21, NJDEP commissioner Shawn LaTourette denied the OGCMA’s subsequent request to stay, or halt, the order pending appeal.

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“I find that OGCMA has not demonstrated that a stay of departmental enforcement of applicable public access requirements is warranted in this matter,” the commissioner concluded in the legal document, which was shared with Fox News Digital.  

“Accordingly, OGCMA’s request for a stay is denied.”

The NJDEP declined further comment to Fox News Digital this week, as the “matter is in litigation.”

In Aug. 2023, Ocean Grove received a letter from the NJDEP warning of this outcome.

Several protests also occurred last summer, as opposition groups trespassed onto Ocean Grove’s private beach property while it was closed for Sunday worship.

In a previous interview with Fox News Digital, former OGCMA President Michael Badger said the Sunday morning beach closure is important for furthering Ocean Grove’s tradition and respecting religious observation.

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“It creates a quieter, less stressful environment,” he said. “It’s in keeping with the historic charm that is characteristic of Ocean Grove and differentiates us from our neighboring communities.”

He also said, “There’s less traffic in the streets. It’s slightly easier to get parking. You don’t have the Italian ice and ice cream trucks going up and down the street.” 

It also grants Ocean Grove’s lifeguards half a day off, he said — and allows people to attend church.

“Overall, it’s improving the quality of life that benefits both secular and religious intentions,” he said.

Ocean Grove has had its beach closed on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon between Memorial Day and Labor Day for a couple of decades, Badger shared. 

Before that, the city closed its beach all day on Sundays.

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OGCMA is a private, religiously affiliated nonprofit that owns the land in Ocean Grove — including the near-half-mile beach, boardwalk and pier — and is home to the longest-serving lifeguard corps in New Jersey, according to Badger.

Fox News Digital reached out to the OGCMA for further comment.

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‘Wheel of Fortune’ contestant goes viral for shocking answer: ‘Will be played for eternity’

Wheel of Fortune” might have made history on Thursday for one of the most mystifying answers ever given by a contestant. 

Things got X-rated on the family-friendly game show when a contestant named Tavaris misidentified a popular phrase.

Vanna White, as always, was on hand to reveal part of the phrase. The board read: _ _ _ _ /I _ /T _ E /B _ _ T! 

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Tavaris took a look at the game board, quickly buzzing in that he had the answer. 

“Right in the butt,” he said with confidence, until fellow contestant Tyra, on the opposite side of the stage, audibly expressed her bewilderment. The audience collectively guffawed at the awkward moment.

“What?” she said. The camera then panned to Tavaris, who looked like a deer in headlights. 

“No,” host Pat Sajak said, definitively.

The correct answer, which contestant Beth guessed, was “T H I S / I S / T H E / B E S T !”

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Social media was flooded with reactions to the X-rated flub, with several popular accounts sharing the moment with their followers. People had a field day with the raunchiness of the guess.

  • “Wheel of Fortune needs a new tv rating after this”
  • “Wheel of Fortune is a lot spicier than I remember”
  • “Will this end up being the most-viewed Wheel of Fortune clip of all time?”
  • “He just became a part of Wheel of Fortune history in a clip that will be played for eternity”
  • “The greatest wrong answer in ‘Wheel of Fortune’ history (and maybe game show history, period)”

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A post shared by Wheel of Fortune (@wheeloffortune)

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The show also shared the hilarious clip on their official Instagram page, eliciting even more reactions.

“The look on his face after saying it.” 

Sajak has been the show’s host since 1981. His final episode will air June 7.

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Meat of big game predator to blame for family infected with uncommon parasite

At least six family members, including a 12-year-old, who gathered for a meal of black bear meat during a family reunion in South Dakota were infected by a rare roundworm parasite known as trichinellosis, the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention said in a release on Thursday. 

Eight members of the family ate a meal together in South Dakota in 2022 that included the meat which one of them had been harvested in Saskachewan, Canada, and frozen for 45 days after a hunting outfitter recommended that as a way to get rid of parasites.

“Persons who consume meat from wild game animals should be aware that adequate cooking is the only reliable way to kill Trichinella parasites, and that infected meat can cross-contaminate other foods,” the CDC said in the release. 

The meat was then grilled and served with vegetables as kebabs. Two of the infected family members had only eaten the vegetables. 

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Because the meat was darker, it was inadvertently served rare, which some of the family members mentioned and then recooked. 

In July 2022, six days after the meal, one of the family members, a 29-year-old who had returned to Minnesota, began to experience symptoms, including fever, severe muscle aches, periorbital edema (swelling around the eyes), and eosinophilia. 

After the 29-year-old was hospitalized for the second time in 17 days, health care providers found out he had eaten bear meat, and he was diagnosed with the parasite and the Minnesota Department of Health was notified. 

The man was prescribed empiric albendazole as a treatment. 

“Albendazole is used to treat infections caused by worms,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “It works by keeping the worm from absorbing sugar (glucose), so that the worm loses energy and dies.”

Eight family members, who live in Minnesota, South Dakota and Arizona, were interviewed by public health officials and six of them were found to have the parasite.

A ninth person, who is a minor and whose exposure to the meat couldn’t be confirmed, appeared to be healthy, the CDC said. 

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Another two of the infected family members were hospitalized and prescribed albendazole, and all six family members recovered.  

After the infected meat is ingested and “After exposure to gastric acid and pepsin, the larvae are released from the cysts and invade the small bowel mucosa where they develop into adult worms,” the CDC said of the parasite. “Females are 2.2 mm in length; males 1.2 mm. The life span in the small bowel is about four weeks. After one week, the females release larvae that migrate to striated muscles where they encyst.”

The larvae can move through the body to muscle tissue and even to the brain, CBS reported. 

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The CDC advised: “Cooking meat to an internal temperature of ≥165°F (≥74°C) is necessary to kill Trichinella spp. parasites. Trichinella-infected meat can cross-contaminate other foods, and raw meat should be kept and prepared separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination.”

‘Seinfeld’ star says one of the show’s main actors almost quit after ‘The Pen’ episode

“Seinfeld” could have looked very different if one of the main stars followed through on his threat to leave the hit show.

Michael Richards, who appeared on the show as Kramer, revealed that Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza, nearly quit the show after “The Pen” episode. 

Neither Alexander nor Richards appeared in that episode, as Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) and Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) pay a visit to Jerry’s parents in Florida.

Page Six obtained an excerpt of Richards’ upcoming memoir, “Entrances and Exits,” where he says he took not being on-screen with “equanimity,” but says Alexander had a different approach.

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“Jason threatens to quit after learning that he’s also not in the episode. He’s furious,” Richards wrote in his memoir, according to the outlet.

Richards was able to sympathize with Alexander.

“Jason came onto the show with the most confidence of anyone,” Richards wrote, Page Six reported. “He had won a Tony Award on the New York stage, not an insignificant achievement, and until the table read for ‘The Pen,’ he has assumed that ‘Seinfeld’ is a buddy show, starring him and Jerry.”

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He continued, “But this business breeds both massive egos and incredible insecurity, and this episode is one of those ego-jarring wakeup calls.”

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Alexander confirmed Richards’ claims in 2017. He told Access Hollywood at the time that he had snapped at Larry David, the lead writer for the sitcom, and threatened to leave the show.

Alexander said he had told David, “If you do that again, do it permanently … if you don’t need me here every week, I’d just as soon go back home and do what I was doing.”

“Thank God he didn’t say ‘Take a hike,’ because I would have had no life and no career,” Alexander emphasized at the time.

Reps for Alexander did not have any additional comment.

“Seinfeld” had massive success during its nine-season television run. The sitcom won numerous Emmy Awards while it was on the air from 1989 to 1998. 

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Since his racist outburst nearly two decades ago, Richards has remained mostly out of the spotlight. Earlier this month, he returned to the red carpet for the first time in eight years to support his former co-star Jerry Seinfeld at the premiere of Seinfeld’s new movie, “Unfrosted.”

Richards recently spoke to Fox News Digital about his memoir, which includes anecdotes about the evolution of his character, Kramer, and other behind-the-scenes revelations. Of the hit show, he says, “It motivated us to work hard, to unfold greatness, to elevate comedy, and to serve it as gracefully as possible.” 

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Richards’ upcoming memoir will also address his infamous rant. 

In 2006, Richards faced a major backlash after he shouted racial slurs at hecklers in the audience of his stand-up show at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. The situation “drove him to a lifelong spiritual quest, one that would help him move forward from apology and accountability to a greater appreciation for our shared humanity, a quest that continues to this day almost eighteen years later,” according to his publisher, Permuted Press.  

Woman says she was forced to sell her long-time condo for $3 after HOA’s ‘mafia’ tactics

Some Georgia residents are speaking out after facing the wrath of their local homeowner associations (HOAs), with some people having their homes foreclosed on them, according to a recent report.

“It’s totally insane. It’s totally insane,” a former homeowner, Tricia Quigley, told WSB-TV earlier this month.

Quigley, who lives in Cherokee County in the north metro Atlanta area, learned the tremendous power that the HOA has over her property after she learned that her home of 18 years was sold at a foreclosure auction. 

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The price that her home was auctioned for? “$3.25,” she added. 

According to reporter Justin Gray’s WSB-TV report, Quigley admitted she missed a pair of HOA payments amounting to $800. She said she paid more than $10,000 as attorneys fees and late fees piled up before finally being forced to foreclose.

Quigley is one of many Georgia residents who say they have been terrorized by an out-of-control HOA. 

“You broke us. We’re broke,” Atlanta resident Juliet Graham told the outlet after being forced to sell her condo in Atlanta

“I can’t imagine the mafia having been any worse than what my experience was with this,” she said. 

Graham faced roughly $250,000 in bills with HOA because petitioners are also billed for emails, inquiries and attorneys fees as they try to fight for their homes. 

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In response to complaints about homeowner’s associations, Georgia lawmakers are seeking a more permanent remedy to stop abuses against residents. 

Bipartisan legislation in the Georgia State legislature passed earlier this year to begin the process of changing laws to protect homeowners in the future from having their property taken away from them. 

“People need to be protected and safeguarded against foreclosures,” Georgia State Sen. Donzella James told WSB-TV. 

“To have some outside group come and take that away to me is un-American,” Georgia State Sen. Matt Brass told the outlet. “We’re not going to stand for it in this state.”

Another homeowner in south Fulton County said he was hit with $36,000 in HOA fees, predominately for weed issues in his front yard, and he was forced to declare bankruptcy. 

When asked how he believed he could get out of his home nightmare with the HOA, McAdoo predicted he would have to leave. 

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“Selling my home and just getting out of this neighborhood,” he said.