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  • The Georgia Department of Public Safety has taken disciplinary action against employees after an investigation found that dozens of new state troopers cheated on an entrance exam.  Channel 2 Action News first learned of the wide-sweeping internal investigation last week involving the training academy and the 106th Georgia State Patrol trooper class. On Wednesday afternoon, department commissioner Col. Mark W. McDonough is expected to make a statement on its findings. A total of 33 troopers graduated from the 106th class at the Forsyth training center in August. Dozens have been implicated in the cheating allegations, which involve the online radar gun exam, Channel 2 reported. The troopers have been assigned to 52 patrol posts around the state. As cadets, they spent 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in field training.  McDonough is scheduled to hold a news conference at 2 p.m. at DPS headquarters in Atlanta. Read the full story from Channel 2 Action News here.
  • Famed WWE Divas, “Total Bellas” stars and twin sisters Nikki and Brie Bella have announced that they’re both expecting, with due dates less than two weeks apart. The siblings announced their pregnancies in an interview published Wednesday in People magazine. “People are going to think that’s a joke,” Brie Bella, 36, told People. “We are both shocked. People are going to think we planned it, but you can’t really plan pregnancy!” Brie Bella is expecting her second child with her husband, 38-year-old WWE professional wrestler Daniel Bryan, while Nikki Bella is expecting her first child with her fiancé, 37-year-old professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev, USA Today reported. 'Someone told us today, they're like, 'Wow, you guys are only a week and a half apart? It's like you guys are having twins, it's just the twins decided to grow in different wombs,'' Brie Bella told People. 'I was like, 'whoa.'' In an Instagram post, Brie Bella added that 'never in a million years' did she think she and her twin sister would be pregnant at the same time. She told People that she and her husband stopped trying to have a second child after having trouble getting pregnant in the months after Birdie was born. “My husband and I were trying for seven or eight months,' she said. 'But then I felt in my heart it was a sign from God, like, ‘You guys are good with one,’ so we stopped trying.' She said she learned she was pregnant during a trip to France to meet her Chigvintsev's family. “I felt a little off,” she told People. “I was irritated and uncomfortable in my body. When we got home, I took a test two days before Thanksgiving, and when I saw the positive sign, I was like, ‘Oh (expletive)!’” Nikki Bella, 36, said she and Chigvintsev weren't trying for a baby when she learned she was pregnant. 'I was in yoga, and I kept getting this feeling that you need to take a pregnancy test, but I wasn't even late yet,' she told People. 'And so I'm like, 'Why do I keep having this feeling? Am I getting twin vibes from her? Because she just told me she's pregnant?'' Nikki Bella announced earlier this year that she and Chigvintsev got engaged in November. The couple met on the set of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2017 and began in 2019 to date after Nikki Bella split from her ex-beau, actor and professional wrestler John Cena, E! News reported. “Even though I feel really sick… (I) can’t believe I’m going to be a mom soon,” Nikki Bella told People. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life.”
  • Gianna Bryant wanted to play basketball for the storied University of Connecticut women’s team. On Monday night, she became a member of the Huskies forever. In a moving tribute, UConn honored “Gigi,' the 13-year-old daughter of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who with her father were among nine people killed Sunday in a helicopter accident in California. Before UConn’s Monday exhibition game against the US Women’s National Team, the Huskies draped a No. 2 jersey -- the number Gianna Bryant wore -- over one of their bench seats, the Hartford Courant reported. A bouquet wrapped in blue-and-white ribbons was placed in front of her chair, and a section of courtside seats remained empty. Gianna Bryant wore No. 2 while playing for the Mamba Academy. Referencing her nickname in a tweet, UConn said, “Mambacita is forever a Husky.” Kobe Bryant’s self-proclaimed nickname was “Black Mamba.” Before the game began, fans at the XL Center observed a moment of silence for all of the victims, CBS News reported. Players for the women’s national team paid tribute to the Bryant family on the court, borrowing gestures that have been used in NBA games since the death of the 41-year-old former Lakers star. Team USA guard Sue Bird, a former UConn player, refused to bring the basketball onto the court, resulting in an eight-second violation -- a nod toward the number Kobe Bryant wore when he broke in with the Lakers as a teenager in 1996, CNN reported. When the ball was awarded to UConn, the Huskies’ Crystal Dangerfield took the inbound pass and held the ball, allowing the 24-second shot clock to run out. That was a tribute to the number Kobe Bryant wore in high school and during the latter part of his pro career, CNN reported. “The first time they were at a game, you know the old saying, she was like a little kid, looking up at our players,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma told reporters after the game. “You could just see the look in her eyes. She was just so excited. Now imagine the absurdity of that. Your father is Kobe Bryant, and the most excited you’ve been in a long time is being around college women’s basketball players. But that’s what it meant to her. That is what she aspired to be.” Players like Team USA forward Breanna Stewart honored all nine victims of the crash by writing their names on her sneakers, the Courant reported. The Bryants were recognized before Monday night’s game, the newspaper reported. A picture of the Bryants wearing UConn shirts was shown on the scoreboard over the court. “Kobe was an inspiration to many of the people on the floor tonight and was an advocate for women’s basketball,' the scoreboard announcement read. “He did as much to grow the game, globally, as anyone in recent memory. He and Gianna were tremendous supporters of UConn, friends to both teams, and their untimely deaths leave us heartbroken.”
  • The CEO of the car liner company WeatherTech received horrible news about his beloved dog Scout. The golden retriever had only a month to live after a veterinarian found the 7-year-old dog had cancer -- specifically a tumor on his heart, the company said. The diagnosis came after the dog collapsed, WMTV reported. Scout is not only David MacNeil’s pet, but he’s also the company’s unofficial mascot. MacNeil took a chance and took Scout to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison. He had only a 1% chance of survival, but with aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, Scout is still live today, WMTV reported. To thank the school, MacNeil is paying for a $6 million Super Bowl ad to show his appreciation and hopes that those who see and hear about the spot will donate to the veterinary school’s research. But there may be more hope from the work that the veterinary scientists do. Their cancer research could be translated to humans as doctors use the research done on animal cancer treatments to help advance research and treatments in people, WMTV reported. The spot will air Sunday during the Super Bowl and will feature not only Scout, but also the University of Wisconsin staff and faculty who helped save his life, university officials said. Cancer, according to the school, “is the number one cause of illness and death in the aging dog population.”
  • A metro Atlanta attorney is in jail after Cherokee County authorities said he paid a 16-year-old girl to have sex with him.  Officials charged Enan Stillman, 43, of Atlanta, with trafficking a person for sexual servitude and interference with custody, Cherokee sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said Wednesday in a news release. Stillman is a partner at a Chamblee law firm that bears his name. Stillman Welch specializes in transportation and logistics, mergers and acquisitions, commercial litigation and general corporate law, according to the firm’s website. The charges against Stillman stem from an investigation that began in mid-December. Cherokee deputies were responding to a domestic dispute when allegations arose that Stillman had been sexually involved with the teenager.  Investigators said Stillman met the teen on social media. He picked up the girl outside a local high school and took her to a hotel in Canton, Baker said. He then paid her for sex.  “Although 16 is the age of consent in Georgia, providing money, food, drugs or shelter in exchange for sex to a person under the age of 18 is considered sex trafficking,” he said. Stillman turned himself in Tuesday night at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center, according to Baker. He remains there without bond.  In other news: 
  • Emotions ran high for a Nevada mother who got to ring a cancer-free bell this month for her 4-month-old daughter. Leann Borden, of Sparks, Nevada, was barely able to hold back tears as she rang the bell at the Oakland Children’s Hospital, with Lillian Grace Borden grasping the cord while being held by her father, Patrick Borden. “Everyone in the hospital is in shock,” Leann Borden told KGO. “They say it’s magic. I say it’s faith.” Lillian was born Sept. 5, 2019. When a nurse noticed the infant was not moving her arms and legs properly, an MRI was done and a tumor was found near her brain stem and spinal cord, the television station reported. According to a GoFundMe set up to help Lillian’s family cover her medical expenses, the MRI was sent to specialists in Oakland, California. The family took Lillian from their home in Nevada to California, and doctors discovered a tumor near Lillian’s brain stem and spinal cord, KGO reported. Doctors were unable to operate on the tumor because of its location, but they decided to use a recently approved form of chemotherapy that had worked on these types of tumors, the television station reported. After three weeks of chemo, doctors did another MRI and found the tumor was gone, KGO reported. Doctors allowed Lillian to go home in November, and after a few more treatments, the infant was declared cancer-free in January, the television station reported. “I want to thank Dr. (Caroline) Hastings for saving my baby. You guys are all incredible. I’ve never met such amazing people in my whole life,” Leann Borden said on a Facebook video that captured the bell-ringing ceremony.