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  • The operator of the Village Inn and Bakers Square restaurant chains filed for bankruptcy Monday in a Delaware court, The Wall Street Journal reported. American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC, the operator of the restaurant chains, filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, the newspaper reported. The filing comes after the Nashville, Tennessee-based company said it closed 33 locations and laid off 1,130 employees nationwide. Both restaurants are noted for pies, desserts and breakfast menu items. American Blue Ribbon said it would seek to reorganize in Chapter 11 and “will explore a variety of strategic and structural initiatives to best position the Company for success in the future,” according to court documents. The company still runs 97 restaurants in 13 states and has another 84 franchises. American Blue Ribbon said it employed 1,500 full-time workers and more than 3,000 part-time workers, The Wall Street Journal reported. In a news release Monday, American Blue Ribbon said it filed bankruptcy documents and will restructure under “a healthy core of restaurants.” The company said it is looking at “a variety of strategic and structural alternatives to best position the company for success in the future.” American Blue Ribbon said it had operating losses of $11 million during the 2018 fiscal year 2018 and $7 million in 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported. Kurt Schnaubelt, American Blue Ribbon’s chief financial officer, said in a declaration filed in court that the company solicited Chapter 11 loans from other lenders but said no other parties they discussed financing with were interested in funding the bankruptcy even though the company had no secured debt encumbering its assets. Blue Ribbon has about $14 million in unsecured debt, court papers said. According to court documents, American Blue Ribbon has $14 million in unsecured claims, including unpaid rent and litigation claims, according to Restaurant Business.
  • For a Rolex, which currently retails for about $2,600, one purchased for only $345 is a bargain. A man purchased a luxury Rolex in 1974 for $345.97, which would be about $1,803.25 now. But as the Air Force veteran found out, he has a goldmine in the form of a simple watch that was good for scuba diving, CNN reported. The man, only identified as David, paid about a month’s worth of pay when he ordered it at an Air Force Exchange in November 1974. It finally got to him in April 1975 and when he laid eyes on it, he decided it was too nice to get wet with saltwater. So he never wore the Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Reference No. 6263, putting the timepiece in a safety deposit box, CNN reported. He took it out of the secure location and visited “Antiques Roadshow” in Fargo, North Dakota about eight months ago. Appraiser Peter Planes said the watch, which is a popular style thanks to the Paul Newman movie “Winning” in which the blue-eyed heartthrob wore a similar model, was one of the best he has ever seen, CNN reported. The watch usually sells for about $400,000, The Washington Post reported. But more amazing news was to come. Not only is the watch rare, but due to the unworn condition, along with the documentation that came with it -- including a sales brochure, receipts and the watch’s boxes -- Planes estimated the watch’s value at $500,000 to $700,000, the Post reported. The man literally fell over when he heard the amount, the show’s executive producer said, saying his reaction was the first time that has ever happened. The man was OK and got up to finish his appraisal, CNN reported. “Antiques Roadshow” is in its 24th season, the Post reported.
  • Firefighters are battling a fire Wednesday morning at a 25-story residential high-rise building in Los Angeles, prompting some residents to jump to nearby floors, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fire was reported before 8:45 a.m. local time Wednesday on the sixth floor of the Barrington Plaza Apartments on West Wilshire Boulevard, officials said. It was not immediately clear how many people jumped from the building as the fire burned. At least one person was hospitalized, KNBC reported, citing fire officials. Video from the scene of the fire showed people, some dressed in bathrobes, standing on the roof of the building as a helicopter began evacuating residents, according to social media reports and The Los Angeles Times. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • 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.”