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  • The attorney general for the District of Columbia announced Wednesday that his office sued President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee and others, accusing them of illegally using nonprofit funds to benefit the president’s family. In an 18-page complaint filed Wednesday in the Superior Court for the District Columbia, officials accused the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee of overpaying for event space at the Trump International Hotel in Washington by about $1 million. “District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies,” Attorney General Karl Racine said Wednesday in a statement. “In this case, we are seeking to recover the nonprofit funds that were improperly funneled directly to the Trump family business.” The committee has maintained that its finances were independently audited, and that all money was spent in accordance with the law. In the complaint, officials said the inaugural committee paid for event space at the Trump-owned hotel despite objections from the group’s event planner, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. Officials said she warned inaugural committee Deputy Chairman Rick Gates, Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, that they were being charged at least twice the market rate. Authorities said despite her concerns, the committee never considered holding events in less-expensive venues. The committee also paid for event space at the hotel even for days on which they did not hold events and while other groups were utilizing the space, officials said. 'Another nonprofit corporation using the same space during inauguration week paid only $5,000 for the space, an amount with the Trump Hotel's pricing guidelines, while the (presidential inaugural committee) was charged amounts well in excess of those pricing guidelines,' according to the complaint. The other nonprofit corporation was identified as the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast. He said Trump's inaugural committee paid the $175,000 full-day usage fee for the event space despite the double booking. Prosecutors say the committee also used nonprofit funds to throw a private party on Jan. 17, 2017, the night off the inauguration, for Trump’s family — a $300,000 affair. The reception was for three of Trump's children — Donald, Jr., Ivanka and Eric. In a statement obtained by The Hill, Trump Hotels spokeswoman Kimberly Benza dismissed the lawsuit as “false, intentionally misleading and riddled with inaccuracies.” “The rates charged by the hotel were completely in line with what anyone else would have been charged for an unprecedented event of this enormous magnitude and were reflective of the fact that hotel had just recently opened, possessed superior facilities and was centrally located on Pennsylvania Avenue,” Benza said, according to The Hill. 'The AG’s after the fact attempt to regulate what discounts it believes the hotel should have provided as well as the timing of this complaint reeks of politics and is a clear PR stunt.” In addition to the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, the suit also named the Trump Organization and Trump International Hotel. Racine said his office focused on the inaugural committee and the companies that profited because investigators believe that's the best option for them to possibly recover the funds. The inaugural committee is also being investigated by New York and state authorities in New Jersey, who are looking into, among other things, whether foreigners illegally contributed to the inaugural events. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Jay Gruden as their offensive coordinator, head coach Doug Marrone announced Wednesday morning. “Coach Gruden is one of the brightest offensive minds in football and I’m pleased to welcome him to the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Marrone said in a release. “In going through the search process, it was important to me and our staff to identify a candidate who had a clear and concise vision for how to lead our offense and how to get the most out of our players and assistant coaches. I believe that Coach Gruden is the right person for what we need right now and the direction that we want to take our offense. In his last stint as an offensive coordinator for three seasons in Cincinnati, he had great success with the Bengals and played a key role in their three postseason berths from 2011-13. During the interview process, it became very clear that Coach Gruden learned a lot from his experience as a head coach and he’s ready to get back to work.”  Last week, the Jaguars and the team’s previous offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo “agreed to part ways.”  Gruden, 52, has 26 years of coaching experience, including 16 seasons in the NFL. He served as the head coach of the Washington Redskins from 2014-19 after serving as the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator from 2011-13.  Gruden led the Redskins to an NFC East division title after being led by QB Kirk Cousins, who threw for 4,166 yards and 29 TDs. Gruden helped Cousins earn Pro Bowl honors in 2016 with the Redskins’ record-breaking offense, which posted team records in total net yards (6,545), net passing yards (4,758) and yards per play (6.40), ranking in the top three in the NFL in all three categories.
  • Terry Jones, a member of the Monty Python comedy group, has died, his agent said Wednesday. He was 77. The Welsh actor’s family said in a statement that he died Tuesday evening following 'a long, extremely brave but always good-humored battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD,” according to the BBC and The Associated Press. “We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humor has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades,” the statement read. With Eric Idle, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam, Jones formed Monty Python’s Flying Circus, whose anarchic humor helped revolutionize British comedy. Jones appeared in the troupe’s TV series and films including “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “The Life of Brian.” After the group split in the 1980s, Jones went on to host several documentaries and write historical non-fiction, CNN reported. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1986 musical fantasy film “Labyrinth,' according to the news network. “His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programmes, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath,” family members said in their statement Wednesday. “We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely.” Jones announced in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a neurological syndrome that progressively impairs a person’s ability to communicate, according to The New York Times. Jones is survived by his wife, Anna Soderstrom, and children Bill, Sally and Siri, according to the statement. Fans and friends took to social media to remember Jones. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • This morning features wind chills in the 20's and temperatures hovering near freezing, the coldest air of winter.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says winds will be the big weather story throughout today.  “Wind chills will be a factor so unless you can protect yourself from the wind, you’ll want sweaters, jackets and coats throughout the day and something to protect your ears too from all that wind”, said Buresh.  Afternoon temperatures will only reach the low to mid-50’s today.  It won’t be as cold overnight and Thursday morning. Low temperatures will fall to the low 40’s but everyone stays above freezing.  Thursday afternoon may feature a few showers from I-95 to the beaches and temperatures that climb into the low 60’s.  On Friday we warm up even more, into the low 70’s with an afternoon or evening shower.   The weekend is looking seasonal with morning lows in the 40’s and afternoon highs in the 60’s. 
  • A former college and high school football standout was killed Tuesday in Alabama, Birmingham police said. According to the Clarion Ledger, authorities found De’Runnya Wilson, 25, unresponsive inside a home on Birmingham’s Northland Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. Officers said the death appears to be a homicide but have not revealed how he died, the newspaper reported. Authorities have not arrested any suspects in connection with the case, WBRC-TV reported. Wilson played football for Birmingham’s Wenonah High School and from 2013 to 2015 was a wide receiver for Mississippi State, the Clarion Ledger reported. Anyone with information about Wilson’s death is asked to call police at 205-254-1764, authorities said. Read more here or here.

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