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Michigan woman facing financial crisis wins lottery jackpot

It has been a difficult year for a Michigan woman, who has struggled to pay the bills while taking care of her mother full time.

>> Read more trending news

Shawna Donnelly said she was even facing the prospect of being homeless, but her luck changed dramatically when she won $25,000 a year for life in a Michigan Lottery game on Jan. 15, WDIV reported.

Donnelly, 50, from Clarkston, matched the five balls drawn to win the big prize in the Lucky For Life game. 

“I woke up in the middle of the night and had a feeling I should check my tickets,” Donnelly told WDIV. “When I saw I matched five numbers, I must have refreshed my phone 100 times to make sure I really won.

"The last year has been the most difficult of my life. I've been taking care of my mom full-time, and it's hard to make ends meet. Winning this prize couldn't have come at a better time.”

Donnelly decided to take the prize in a one-lump sum of $390,000, instead of taking annuity payments, WDIV said. She visited the Michigan Lottery headquarters Monday to claim her prize.

Donnelly told WDIV that she plans to buy a new home and car, and then save the remaining balance.

OSCAR NOMINATIONS: ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Dunkirk,’ ‘Three Billboards,’  lead nominees

Who will be among the Hollywood elite to vie for this year’s Academy Awards? The nominations were announced Tuesday morning by Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis served as hosts from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Leading the pack was “The Shape of Water” with 13 nominations, including best picture, original screenplay and best director. It was one fewer than the record, according to The Washington Post.

The war movie “Dunkirk” earned eight nominations, including best picture, but it was snubbed in the acting categories, The Washington Post reported.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” received seven nominations, including best picture, leading actress and supporting actor.

The Oscar ceremony will be held on March 4 and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

>> Read more trending news 

What You Need To Know About Neil Diamond

What You Need To Know About Neil Diamond

Tsunami warning canceled after 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Alaska coast

tsunami warning has been canceled after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska.

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Migos producer arrested, accused of driving 125 mph on Georgia freeway

A record label co-owner and producer credited with the speedy success of Atlanta-based Migos is facing charges after his alleged speed behind the wheel caught the attention of Alpharetta, Georgia, police.

>> Watch the news report here

Dashcam video obtained by WSB-TV’s Mike Petchenik shows officers pulling over Pierre “Pee” Thomas last Sunday. Thomas, the chief executive of record label Quality Control, has produced records for rappers such as Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby and Rich the Kid.

The officer "observed a red SUV traveling at a high rate of speed,” said Officer Jason Muenzer. “He noticed the vehicle was going about 100 mph.”

Muenzer said the officer got on Ga. 400 near Old Milton Parkway and began following Thomas north.

“That officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, but he himself got up to about 120, 125 (mph) and even then, the officer noticed the vehicle was pulling away from him.”

Eventually, video shows Thomas pull over off McFarland Parkway in Forsyth County.

He told officers he was heading home from the studio.

>> Read more trending news 

“When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver acted as though he didn’t see the officer,” Muenzer said. “The only excuse he had was he didn’t see the officer and he wanted to get home.”

On the dashcam video, the officer questioned Thomas and his speed.

“What were you doing going that fast, man?” he can be heard asking. “You were pulling away from me. I was doing 120 (mph) just trying to catch up to you. You were pulling away from me.”

Officers would later handcuff Thomas and take him to the North Fulton Jail annex on reckless driving charges.

Police told Petchenik this arrest was just one of a series recently on the busy highway.

“It’s getting old,” Muenzer said. “Those speeds, the slightest crack, the slightest item in the roadway, road debris, you can lose control of your vehicle.”

Thomas’ attorney, Drew Findling, told Petchenik that his client was not impaired and complied with officers.

“We will go to court in the city of Alpharetta and look forward to putting this matter behind him,” Findling said. “We will resolve it in court.”

– The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.

Georgia State soccer player withdraws from school after backlash over racial epithet

A Georgia State University soccer player who was suspended from the team after she used a racial epithet on social media has withdrawn from the school, officials said.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Georgia State soccer player suspended over racial slur used on social media

Some students had called for the expulsion of 18-year-old freshman defender Natalia Martinez after the epithet appeared on her Finsta page, a secret version of Instagram that is growing in popularity among teens.

>> On AJC.com: What is a ‘Finsta'? Teens and their secret Instagram accounts

“As a progressive, diverse university, we ... feel like this sort of behavior should not be tolerated,” said India Bridgeforth, who created a petition demanding the university take a tougher approach with Martinez.

The petition had garnered more than 500 signatures by Monday afternoon when the university announced Martinez had “officially withdrawn.”

Associate athletic director Mike Holmes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that officials were made aware of Martinez’s post Friday morning — just days after the University of Alabama expelled a 19-year-old student who posted a video of a racist rant on her Finsta page.

>> Read more trending news 

That student, Harley Barber, uploaded a second video on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in response to people who were upset by the language and threatened those who wanted to report her fake Instagram account, The Washington Post reported

In a statement, Georgia State University said the school does “not tolerate the language (Martinez) used in her post.”

Heath Ledger's sister remembers him 10 years after his death

Heath Ledger’s sister, Kate Ledger, is opening up about how his family is honoring his memory 10 years after his death.

Kate opened up for a rare interview with WHO last week before the 10th anniversary of her brother’s Jan. 22, 2008, death. She told the publication that keeping Ledger’s memory alive in her home has helped her cope with the pain of his death and said she still misses her “soul mate” brother.

“We spoke almost every day regardless of where Heath was in the world or what he was doing,” she recalled. “Our conversations ranged from talking about projects to what we were having for dinner. Nothing was off limits.”

>> Read more trending news 

Now, Kate is trying to share her brother’s legacy with her children.

“Heath is hugely important in the lives of my children,” she said of her two daughters, who are too young to remember their uncle before he died. “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t share stories or talk about him. He is very much alive in our house.”

She said that to help her children remember, she often shares some of his films with them, even though it is “especially difficult” for her.

“It’s especially difficult to see his moving images on screen and hear his voice — something which we as a family have had to learn to cope with constantly,” she said. “But it’s a blessing that we have all the images and footage, so that we can share a part of him with our girls.”

Kate said she is regularly in contact with Ledger’s ex, Michelle Williams, and their daughter, Matilda, 12.

“She is an amazing girl and a source of delight to us all,” she told the publication of Matilda.

The Ledger family has memorialized the late actor’s love of filmmaking by creating the Heath Ledger Scholarship, which helps support young Australians who want to work in the industry.

>> Mark Wahlberg donating reshoot fee after pay discrepancy controversy

“Heath himself helped so many of his Aussie actor mates by letting them stay at his house when in L.A.,” she said. “It is with this same generosity we continue the legacy.”

Ledger died after an accidental overdose. He was 28 years old.

Florida woman, 81, smashes car into McDonald's: 'Glass flew everywhere'

An 81-year-old woman suffered minor injuries after she lost control of her Toyota Solara and backed into the glass windows of a McDonald’s west of Boynton Beach, Florida, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

The woman will be charged with careless driving, PBSO spokesperson Teri Barbera said Monday.

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: PHOTOS: A history of cars crashing into things in South Florida

The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. at Military Trail and Boynton Beach Boulevard when the woman backed up and inadvertently drove through the window.

“Glass flew everywhere,” said a witness, who said she was drinking a soda inside when the car plowed through the window.

>> Read more trending news 

The witness, who asked not to be identified, said the glass cut her fingers. She said the driver then drove forward and hit her parked Volkswagen. The driver continued about 150 feet and hit a tree next to a canal, Barbera said.

A McDonald’s representative declined to comment. The store and drive-through remain open.

12-year-old charged as adult in armed carjacking at Walmart

A 12-year-old boy in Lauderdale Lakes has been charged as an adult in a carjacking last week, Broward County Sheriff deputies said Monday. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to the sheriff’s office, Shaquille Dixon is one of three juveniles who carjacked an elderly woman at gunpoint on Jan. 15 in a Walmart parking lot. 

Surveillance video from the store on North State Road 7 shows Dixon and two other suspects following the woman into the store. When she is done shopping the woman is seen walking to her car, with the suspects close behind. 

Once the woman got to her car, two of the suspects walked up behind her and the other suspect walked around to the front of the car, pointed a gun and demanded the car keys. The woman complied and the suspects fled with the car so quickly, they almost hit the victim. 

Deputies took Dixon into custody on Jan. 19 and he’s facing felony carjacking charges. 

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