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Will Smith, Lady Gaga, Ben Affleck Score SAG Nominations

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The Oscar race may be missing in-person glitz this year, but it doesn’t lack for star power. Will Smith, Lady Gaga and Ben Affleck landed individual nominations for the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday, while the casts of “Belfast” and “CODA” were among those nominated for the guild’s top award, best ensemble.

The nominees were announced Wednesday by actors Vanessa Hudgens and Rosario Dawson on Instagram Live. While the nominations were conducted virtually due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the streamed announcement still represented one of the most meaningful mornings in an awards season largely snuffed out by the pandemic.

Joining Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical “Belfast” and the coming-of-age drama “CODA” for best ensemble were the casts for Ridley Scott’s true-tale, high-camp “House of Gucci,” Adam McKay’s apocalypse comedy “Don’t Look Up” and the family tennis drama “King Richard.” Notably left out were the casts of Steven Spielberg’s lavish “West Side Story” revival (which landed a supporting nod for Ariana DeBose) and Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog.” Campion’s gothic drama, though, landed individual SAG noms for Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The SAG Awards have more of the awards season spotlight this year since the Golden Globes — usually the kickoff party to final Oscar stretch — made barely a peep. The Globes were unceremoniously announced Sunday on Twitter in a private ceremony due to Hollywood’s boycott of the beleaguered Hollywood Foreign Press Association over diversity and ethical issues. The omicron surge also prompted the Critics Choice Awards to postpone its January 9 in-person gala. For the second straight year, Oscar season has gone virtual — and struggled to make much noise.

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But the SAG nominations suggest that plenty of famous faces are in the hunt this year. Along with Will Smith (“King Richard”) and Cumberbatch, the nominees for best male lead actor are: Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”), Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”) and Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”).

Up for best female lead are: Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”), Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”), Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) and Jennifer Hudson (“Respect”).

Joining Dunst and DeBose in the best female supporting category are Caitriona Balfe (“Belfast”), Cate Blanchett (“Nightmare Alley”) and Ruth Negga (“Passing”). The best male supporting nominees are: Affleck (“The Tender Bar”), Bradley Cooper (“Licorice Pizza”), Troy Kotsur (“CODA”), Jared Leto (“House of Gucci”) and Smit-McPhee.

Kotsur is the first deaf actor to land an individual SAG nomination.

The SAG Awards, presented by the actors guild SAG-AFTRA, are among the most reliable Oscar bellwethers. Seldom does a movie or performance not nominated by the screen actors end up winning at the Academy Awards. Actors make up the biggest percentage of the film academy, so their choices have the largest sway.

But last year, SAG and the academy diverged more than usual. Only one of its acting winners — Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) — repeated at the Oscars. (The other SAG winners were Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and Yuh-Jung Youn in “Minari.”) The Aaron Sorkin courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” won best ensemble at a virtual SAG Awardswhile Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” — which included many nonprofessional actors and went unnominated for SAG’s ensemble award — triumphed at the Oscars.

That history will give hope to supporters of Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”), maybe the most notable performer overlooked Wednesday. Others that missed out include Peter Dinklage (“Cyrano”), Ciarán Hinds (“Belfast”) and Rachel Zegler (“West Side Story”).

While some have rooted for some of the year’s most popular blockbusters to give the flagging Oscars a populist jolt, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Dune” and “No Time To Die” received no major nominations from the actors guild. “Dune” and “No Time to Die” did, though, join “Black Widow,” “The Matrix Resurrections” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” in the stunt ensemble category.

Yet possibly the most popular TV series of 2021 did haul in plenty of recognition. Netflix’s much-watched “Squid Game” was nominated for four SAG awards including best drama series. The television nominations were also led by HBO’s “Succession” (four nods including best drama series and best actor for Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox); “Ted Lasso” (five nods including best comedy series); and “The Morning Show” (four nods including best drama series).

The 28th annual SAG Awards are to be held Feb. 27 and will be broadcast on TNT and TBS. The Oscars are scheduled for March 27.

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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Opera singer accepts insanity plea in Mar-a-Lago breach

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Connecticut opera singer who drew fire from law enforcement when she sped through a checkpoint outside then-President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida two years ago was found not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday.

Florida prosecutors and Circuit Judge Scott Suskauer accepted Hannah Roemhild’s plea during a three-minute hearing with the 32-year-old singer appearing by Zoom from her home state.

Federal prosecutors accepted a similar plea deal in August. Her attorneys have said she has a history of mental illness and had stopped taking her medication before her wild ride through Palm Beach on Jan. 31, 2020.

She had been charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing arrest and resisting an officer without violence.

Roemhild only spoke to acknowledge her presence during the West Palm Beach hearing. Under terms of the agreement, mirroring those in the federal case, she must undergo psychiatric treatment and counseling and take medications, with monthly blood tests to confirm compliance.

Prosecutors agreed Roemhild “does not create a substantial risk of injury to herself or others.”

Under Florida law, a person can only be found not guilty by reason of insanity if, because of mental illness, they did not know what they were doing or its consequences, or did not know it was wrong.

Roemhild came to the attention of law enforcement after she pulled a rented Jeep into the parking lot of The Breakers, a luxury hotel about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of Mar-a-Lago on Ocean Boulevard, according to court records. She climbed on top of the Jeep and began waving at guests and making obscene gestures. Hotel employees summoned Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Tony Kingery, who was working a security detail at the hotel.

When he drove up in his patrol car with his emergency lights turned on, Roemhild was sitting in her Jeep and tried to drive away over his commands to stop. Kingery broke the driver’s window with his baton, but she sped away onto Ocean and headed south, driving dangerously through Palm Beach’s downtown shopping district with the sergeant unable to keep up with her, court documents said.

She soon reached the checkpoints that had been setup around Mar-a-Lago in anticipation of Trump’s arrival later that day. She zigzagged around barriers and narrowly missed hitting two Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies and a Secret Service agent as she sped through the restricted area. They opened fire, breaking out her back window, but Roemhild was unhurt.

She then drove to nearby Palm Beach International Airport to pick up her mother, who had just arrived. The two then drove to a nearby motel, where Roemhild was arrested as she tried to run from officers into her room. She told them she was trying to escape people who were trying to kill her.

Mar-a-Lago was the scene of several intrusions during Trump’s four-year term.

In August 2020, three teenagers fleeing police while carrying a semiautomatic gun in a backpack jumped a wall at Mar-a-Lago but police did not believe they knew where they were.

In March 2019, Chinese national Yujing Zhang gained access to Mar-a-Lago while carrying a laptop, phones and other electronic gear. That led to initial speculation that the 33-year-old businesswoman from Shanghai might be a spy, but she was never charged with espionage. Text messages she exchanged with a trip organizer indicated she was a fan of the president and wanted to meet him or his family to discuss possible deals. She was found guilty of trespassing and deported.

In December 2019, the club’s security officers confronted another Chinese national, Jing Lu, 56, for trespassing and told her to leave, but she returned to take photos. Lu was charged with loitering and resisting an officer without violence after taking photos by entering a service entrance. She was later acquitted of trespassing but guilty of resisting arrest.

On Thanksgiving weekend 2018, a University of Wisconsin student visiting the area with his parents walked into Mar-a-Lago by mingling with a group that was entering. He was arrested and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

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Football coach cancels weightlifting, tells players to shovel driveways, help neighbors instead

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — While a number of activities were cancelled due to winter weather throughout the Pittsburgh region, one local high school football coach found the snowfall as an opportunity to allow his players to give back.

More than 6″ of snow blanketed Western Pennsylvania overnight from Sunday evening through Monday morning.

Before the snow started to fall, Bethel Park head football coach Brian DeLallo relayed a message to his players through social media.

On Twitter, DeLallo said that Monday’s weightlifting workout was cancelled due to the expected severe weather.

He then said to “Find an elderly or disabled neighbor and shovel their driveway.”

Lastly, DeLallo told his players not to accept any money, allowing the driveway shoveling to serve as Monday’s workout.

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2 critically injured after being hit by vehicle in Pompano Beach

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POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Two people are critically injured after being struck by a car in Pompano Beach.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said a driver slammed into the victims in the area of Northwest Sixth Avenue and Second Street, Tuesday.

The driver involved stayed at the scene.

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