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Tyler Perry announces tour dates for Madea farewell stage play

Last month, Tyler Perry announced he would be saying goodbye to his beloved Madea character, and now, he’s revealed dates for her final performances

>> On AJC.com: Tyler Perry to end ‘Madea’ franchise

“Madea’s Farewell Play Tour,” which will kick off next year in January, marks the filmmaker’s 21st play and the end of the Madea franchise. 

“I just don’t want to be her age [still] playing her,” he joked during an interview in October.

>> Read more trending news 

The character Mabel Earlene “Madea” Simmons, played by Perry himself, first appeared as a 68-year-old in the 1999 stage play “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” followed by the play and film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”

According to Vanity Fair, Madea has appeared in dozens of productions since — and her films alone have grossed upwards of $500 million globally.

Perry wrapped up on the last series film, “Madea Family Funeral,” two years ago. The movie is set to premiere in March 2019.

Tickets for the January shows of “Madea’s Farewell Play Tour” are on sale now, with additional dates slated for announcement in coming weeks. Take a look below to find out which cities are on the schedule so far:

>> On AJC.com: How to get a job at the Tyler Perry Studios

  • Jan. 18-20, 2019 - Oakland, CA at Paramount Theatre
  • Jan. 22, 2019 - Phoenix, AZ at Comerica Theatre
  • Jan. 23-26, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA at Dolby Theatre
  • Jan. 27, 2019 - Las Vegas, NV at Planet Hollywood at Zappos Theater

'SNL': Steve Carell, 'Office' co-stars reunite, troll fans during opening monologue

Want a reboot of "The Office"? Looks like you'll have to keep on waiting.

Actor Steve Carell, who played Michael Scott on the popular NBC sitcom, hosted this week's "Saturday Night Live" – and managed to both treat and hilariously troll fans with a mini-cast reunion during his opening monologue.

>> Click here to watch the full monologue (WARNING: Linked video contains profanity.)

I am so excited to be back here tonight," Carell began. "It's been awhile; it's been 10 years, and I've been pretty busy doing movies. I actually have one coming out pretty soon –"

But before Carell could tell the audience about the film, a series of familiar faces – including "SNL" stars Heidi Gardner and Kenan Thompson, followed by "Office" cast members Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms and Jenna Fischer – interrupted to ask whether "The Office" would return to TV.

"People would really love to see an 'Office' reboot, especially because I need that money. Let's get that money, Steve!" Kemper joked.

Helms later added: "So I just don't think you understand how much money we're talking about. Like, you wouldn't have to do all those sad movies anymore."

>> Read more trending news 

Fischer also chimed in: "Steve, do you remember the last words that Pam secretly whispered to Michael as she left for Denver?"

"Not really," Carell replied.

"OK, she said, 'Steve, don't be a [expletive]. Do the reboot!'" Fischer said.

After another cameo by Carell's wife, Nancy, he turned to the audience.

"Feels like everybody wants this to happen," Carell said. "Do you guys want to see an 'Office' reboot? Is that's what's going on?"

As the crowd cheered, Fischer, Helms and Kemper took the stage for the ultimate fake-out.

"Alright, I am proud to announce, officially, that ... we have a great show tonight!" Carell said to groans from the audience.

Read more here.

Joe Biden adopts rescue dog, a German shepherd named Major

There's a new addition to the Biden family.

According to the Delaware News Journal, former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, adopted a rescue dog Saturday from the Delaware Humane Association after fostering the pooch, a young German shepherd named Major, for eight months.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Major will join the Bidens' other German shepherd, Champ.

"Today is Major’s lucky day!" the shelter said in a Facebook post. "Not only did Major find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden! The Bidens have gotten to know Major while fostering him and are now ready to make the adoption official. Best of luck and thank you for being one of our Friends for life!"

>> See a photo here

Major and five other puppies had been exposed to "something toxic" in their previous home before they were brought to the shelter earlier this year, the post said

>> Read more trending news 

"The puppies were surrendered to our care due to financial constraints, and working with a local veterinary emergency center, we were able to provide them with lifesaving medical care," the post said.

All six puppies are now in "loving homes," according to Patrick Carroll, the shelter's executive director.

Read more here or here.

>> See the Facebook post here

Good Samaritan couple finds, returns bag filled with $25,000

A good Samaritan couple found and returned a business owner’s deposit bag that was filled with $25,000. 

>> Read more trending news 

Jeff and Michelle Green recovered the bag, which belonged to Gautambhai Patel, the Rincon Police Department said

“We always encourage citizens to do the right thing both morally and legally, because if you find property that is not yours and do not attempt to find the owner, it is called theft of lost or mislaid property,” the department wrote in a social media post

Lee Corso wears full mascot outfit for UCF pick

Saturday is a historic day for the nation's largest university as it made its debut on ESPN's "College GameDay."

>> Read more trending news 

An estimated 20,000 fans filled the University of Central Florida's sprawling Memory Mall to witness the live three-hour broadcast in person.

"I'm stoked," UCF fan Caroline Klaffer said. "I got my sign ready. It's going to be a long day, but it's worth it all, because I'll never be able to do it again."

Famous for presenting paternity test results, talk show host Maury Povich appeared on Saturday's program with an envelope and said, "UCF: You are the winner!"

The show culminated with Orlando native and Lake Mary resident Lee Corso -- who typically puts on a mascot costume head to reveal his prediction for a game's winner -- donning a full Knightro mascot costume.

Corso shouted, "Go Knights! Go Knights! Go Knights!" as black curtains surrounding a stage were dropped, revealing his pick. The crowd roared with cheer and applause.

"I think this could really open up some eyes and give people an opportunity to have a good look at UCF and what (it has) been able to build here," ESPN commentator Rece Davis said.

UCF and the University of Cincinnati are Top 25 teams eager to show college football fans what they and the American Athletic Conference are all about.

The undefeated, 11th-ranked Knights and the once-beaten No. 24 Bearcats take a shot at stating their case Saturday in a prime-time, nationally televised matchup with league championship implications.

Teacher wins $30K for self, $70K for school in national skilled trades contest

A nationwide contest awarding cash prizes to the top skilled-trades teachers in the country named a Gwinnett County welding teacher as the first-place winner.

>> Read more trending news 

Charles Kachmar, who teaches metals and welding at Maxwell High School of Technology in Lawrenceville was awarded the 2018 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, earning him and his school $100,000 as part of $1 million awarded nationally

The school will receive $70,000 for the its skilled trades program and $30,000 goes to Kachmar. 

“The creativity and hands-on projects that Mr. Kachmar and the other winning teachers bring to their classrooms is an inspiration,” said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “This is education at its best, and we are humbled to honor these teachers and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education.” 

Two other $100,000 first-place prizes were awarded to a construction trades teacher from Michigan and an industrial diesel mechanics teacher from Ohio. Another 15 second-place winners across the country received $50,000. Harbor Freight Tools donated $34,000 to 34 semi-finalists. 

The prize was started in 2017 by Harbor Freight Tools Founder Eric Smidt to recognize extraordinary public high school skilled trades teachers and programs with a proven track record of dedication and performance. The prize is awarded by Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, a program of The Smidt Foundation. 

“These incredible teachers are an inspiration—to their students, to their communities and to us,” said Eric Smidt, Harbor Freight Tools founder. “They are masters of their trades and instill in their students a passion for the skilled trades that gives them a path to a meaningful, good-paying career. These are local jobs in every community across America, building and repairing homes, fixing cars and appliances, and so much more. We're honored to be able to recognize these teachers for inspiring and developing the future workforce our country needs.” 

Charles Kachmar has been a teacher for 23 years, following a career as a marine insurance underwriter. He has taught metals and welding at Maxwell High School of Technology since 2012. Kachmar has rebuilt and revitalized the skilled-trades program at the school by raising the curriculum standards and developing career opportunities for students through a dual credit program with Gwinnett Technical College, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor. 

“It’s all about showing students the doors to a future. That is my love,” Kachmar wrote in his application for the prize. “And I have never been so completely fulfilled in my profession as I am as a welding instructor.” 

Under his leadership, Kachmar has changed the image of the welding program at Maxwell High from a class of last resort to one of the most popular classes in the school. Kachmar’s students give back to the community by building beds for local homeless women and children in need of emergency shelter. With the same fanfare as signing ceremonies for college-bound athletes, Kachmar holds a signing ceremony for his graduating seniors to announce where they will go on to school or employment. 

“The students become my forever kids,” Kachmar said. “I keep in touch with a majority of them through social media to follow their personal growth. Their success is what gets me excited.” 

Kanye West donates $150K to family of security guard killed by police

A grieving family in Illinois has received a large donation from Kanye West.

>> Read more trending news 

The family of Jemel Roberson, the 26-year-old security guard who was fatally shot by police while subduing a shooting suspect at a bar, have a GoFundMe account to help pay for burial expenses.

Roberson was working extra shifts to make his 9-month-old son's first Christmas special, girlfriend Avontea Boose told CNNBoose is pregnant with the couple’s second child. 

On Friday night, West donated $150,000 to the Roberson family. 

West spent part of his childhood in Illinois and has long ties to the Chicago area. In September, he said he was buying a home in Chicago, People reported.

Photo of Utah police officer cradling baby goes viral

A photograph of a Utah police officer cradling a baby while the infant’s mother filed a domestic violence report has gone viral, KUTV reported.

>> Read more trending news 

One of the clerks at the West Jordan Police Department snapped a photo of Officer R. Lofgran holding and bottle feeding the baby and caring for the woman’s other young children, KSTU reported.

“He spent hours on this call. Thank you for your service,” one person wrote on the West Jordan Police Department’s Facebook page.

The photos and posts have been shared more than 370 times and have been liked by nearly 3,000 people since it was posted on Thursday.

Homeless man dives into dumpster to retrieve lottery ticket worth $4.82M

A homeless Michigan man who realized he won the state’s Lotto 47 game dived into a dumpster to retrieve the winning ticket, WFMY reported. 

The man, who chose to remain anonymous, was one of two people who split the $9.64 million jackpot with the winning $1 ticket he bought for the Oct. 10 drawing, the television station reported. He bought the winning ticket, worth $4.82 million, at a convenience store in Munger, WSMH reported.

“I have been playing the same numbers on Lotto 47 for more than two years,” the man told WDIV. “I always use the same playslip to buy my tickets. In fact … I accidentally threw it away and had to climb in a dumpster to get it back. I am so lucky that I found it.”

On Oct. 11, the man was out for a walk when he checked the winning numbers. He said he was stunned when the six numbers matched.

"Winning this prize has turned my life around in an instant. It means I can finally get some medical procedures that I couldn't have afforded before. This will undoubtedly improve my quality of life," he told WDIV.

The man went to Lottery headquarters Thursday and decided to take a lump sum of approximately $3 million, the television station reported.

Winnie the Pooh brings smile to face of child with cerebral palsy

Jessie Barber took her disabled 18-month-old son to Disney and a video of an interaction between the boy and Winnie the Pooh has become an internet honey pot. 

>> Read more trending news 

Barber and her wife traveled from Kentucky with their four adopted children to the Orlando theme park this week. 

The toddler was born with cerebral palsy that stems from a brain injury at birth and functions at a 4-to-6-month-old level, Yahoo News reported

In the video, while the child sits in an adaptive stroller at a character breakfast at The Crystal Palace at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Winnie the Pooh comes over, holds his hand and nuzzles his face. 

The child smiles.

"For those of you who have disabled children know the (feeling) when people look but aren't sure how to interact with your kiddo,” Barber wrote in a post with a video of the interaction on Facebook. “This Winnie the Pooh melted my heart and knew exactly what to do! He spent 10+ minutes with our little guy and he loved every second of it."

They bought a Winnie the Pooh pin and stuck it to his stroller to commemorate the experience.

"This was his first time at Disney World," Barber told WTSP. "I had no idea the video would go viral. We were just hoping to reach other special needs families to show this amazing interaction and that it is worth the trip to Disney."

They saw Pooh again the next day, which brought a smile to the child’s face.

“Our son recognized Pooh and started smiling,” Barber told Yahoo News. “We wanted to make sure he or she was recognized.”

Batkid cancer-free 5 years after battling crime in San Francisco 

It has been five years since Miles Scott, known as Batkid, swooped in and battled crime on the streets of San Francisco. But on the fifth anniversary of the day Make-A-Wish made Miles’ wish come true,, the foundation wanted to share the good news, that Miles is officially cancer free.

>> Read more trending news 

Miles, according to Make-A-Wish, has beat leukemia. He’s a 10-year-old fifth-grader who plays Little League baseball and helps on his family farm.

Miles had fought against leukemia since he was 1 1/2 years old. He has been in remission for five years and only has to see his oncologist once a year, the foundation said.

His wish to become Batkid was a celebration of the end of Scott’s treatment, Make-A-Wish said.

Miles’ mother, Natalie, recently asked Make-A-Wish to allow her to pay it forward and volunteered to be a wish granter.

Warner Bros. has also made a documentary telling Miles’ story called “Batkid Begins.”

Woman who needed soap cleans up with $200K lottery win

A North Carolina woman who forgot to buy soap while shopping decided to buy a lottery ticket when she walked back into the store.

>> Read more trending news 

Doralee Preston-Price cleaned up big time, winning $200,000 on a holiday scratch-off ticket, WRAL reported. 

While driving home after shopping, the Fayetteville resident realized she didn’t buy soap, the television station reported.

“I figured it would be cheaper to go to the Dollar Tree nearby (to get the soap),” she said. “They were closed, so instead I went back to Food Lion.”

Preston-Price did not immediately scratch off the winning ticket she bought Monday, leaving it in her purse for a few days. She said that Wednesday. She was folding laundry and watching a movie when she remembered that she had the scratch-offs and a $5 Mega Bucks ticket, the television station reported.

“I scratched the first ticket and didn’t win anything. I scratched this ticket and got through the first row but went back to watching the movie because it was a dance scene,” Preston-Price told the Fayetteville Observer. “I almost threw the ticket away, but then something just said, ‘Look back down.’”

Preston-Price did, and called her mother to confirm that she had the winning numbers. Assured that the ticket was a winner, Preston-Price and her mother drove to lottery headquarters in Raleigh to validate the ticket, WRAL reported. 

After taxes, Preston-Price will take home $141,003, the television station reported. 

She said she planned to use some of her winnings to go on a Disney cruise with her husband and son.

Second member of Jacksonville rock band accused of sex crimes

The lead singer in a Florida-based rock band was arrested Nov. 8 on charges of sex crimes involving a teenager. 

>> Read more trending news 

Chad Valeu, 42, of Jacksonville, was charged with unlawful sexual activity with a teen, between the age of 16 and 17, and possession of child porn.

Valeu is the second member of the band, Near Empty, arrested on child porn charges. 

Police said the victim’s mother came forward after finding explicit pictures on her daughter’s phone.

The report said the victim met Valeu through Facebook and he came to her house, where they had consensual sex.

Police said they found sexually explicit photographs that the suspect and victim sent to each other.

Valeu was the lead singer in Near Empty. Following his arrest, the band posted on Facebook that the group was parting ways.

The post said in part, “The time has come for us to say goodbye [sic]. We would like to thank each and everyone of you for all of your support over the past couple years.”

In June, 42-year-old Adam Ingram, the band’s bass player, was arrested after police said he produced child porn.

A member of Near Empty said Ingram was kicked out of the band immediately after his arrest.

Record setter: David Hockney painting sells for $90.3M

A painting by David Hockney fetched $90.3 million Thursday night, a record price for a living artist’s work, The New York Times reported. 

>> Read more trending news 

Hockney’s 1972 painting, “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures),” sold in nine minutes at Christie’s, The Guardian reported.

The British artist’s work topped the previous record of $58.4 million, set in 2013 for one of Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog” sculptures, the Times reported.

The high bid for the 81-year-old artist’s work was $80 million but soared to $90,312,500 after the buyer’s premium, the Guardian reported.

Bidding quickly reached $70 million among three people in the room and five others calling in, the Times reported. The bidding was decided between two of the telephone callers, the newspaper reported.

“We rarely can say, ‘This is the one opportunity to buy the best painting from the artist.’ This is it,” Ana Maria Celis, vice president of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, told the Guardian before the auction in Manhattan.

The buyer was not identified.

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl feeds barbecue to California firefighters 

This was a call for Dave Grohl, and the Foo Fighters’ lead singer responded in a big way for firefighters battling the blazes in Southern California.

>> Read more trending news 

Grohl used the resources from his company, Backbeat BBQ, to feed firefighters battling the Woolsey Fires in Southern California on Monday night, KSWB reported.

“To all the @losangelesfiredepartment and @lacountyfd heroes we met last night. … thank you,” the drummer wrote on Instagram. “It was an honor to cook for you.”

One of the firefighter’s wives also posted on Instagram. “How cool is this?” she wrote. “Dave Grohl and his family brought home cooked BBQ to babe’s station last night.”

Firestation 68 also thanked Grohl with an Instagram post, writing that it was “awesome” to get a visit from the rocker.

MInnesota great-grandma marries boyfriend she rebuffed in 1954

It took more than six decades, but a Minnesota great-grandmother finally wed her teenage sweetheart.

>> Read more trending news 

Janet Skillingstad, 82, married Gene Ertel, 81, on Oct. 26 -- 64 years after she broke off their engagement, KARE reported.

“Not too many people get a second chance,” Ertel told the television station.

In 1954, Skillingstad returned the engagement ring Ertel gave her, telling him she wanted to concentrate on nursing school.

“I didn't want to tie him down for three years,” Skillingstad told KARE. “I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.”

The couple moved on, marrying other people and raising families. Both of them lost spouses -- Ertel became a widower twice -- but the teenage boy never forgot his girl.

“I never stopped thinking about her,” Ertel told the television station.

When Ertel was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December, he decided to find Skillingstad. He hired a private investigator, who produced a telephone number, KARE reported.

“When I called her, I said, ‘Don't hang up, this is not a prank call,’” Ertel told the television station.

The couple talked for 90 minutes. That blossomed into a visit from Ertel, and then a date.

Two months after the ice-breaking phone call, Ertel gave Skillingstad a ring. This time, she kept it, KARE reported.

Skillingstad’s daughter, Ruth Beniek, said her mother would not reject Ertel this time.

“‘(She said) ‘I couldn't turn him down a second time, that would be devastating,’” Beniek told the television station.

Kim Porter, former model, ex-girlfriend of Diddy, dead at 47

Former model Kim Porter has died, according to TMZ.

The tabloid site reported that the actress who dated  music mogul Diddy for 13 years was found dead in her Los Angeles home.

>> Read more trending news 

A representative for Diddy confirmed the news to TMZ, saying, “Sadly, I can confirm the passing of Kim Porter. I ask that you give the families privacy at this time.”

The cause of death is unclear.

Porter dated Diddy off-and-on from 1994 to 2007, when they called things off for good, remaining on friendly terms. In that time, Porter gave birth to their son Christian, 20, and 11-year-old twin girls D'Lila Star and Jessie James. Porter was also mother to Quincy, 27, from her relationship with singer Al B. Sure.

Celebrities, including Sure, have reacted to the news on Twitter:

Rapper Young Dolph returning to Memphis to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys

A rapper is giving back to the city that he says made him who he is today. 

Young Dolph will make a guest appearance for teens and young adults from Memphis Athletic Ministries on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 4:30 p.m.

>> Read more trending news 

Students from all five ministry locations will be bused to a Memphis community center to hear a message delivered by Young Dolph. This event is not open to the public. 

Afterward, Young Dolph will be making sure several Memphis families have a turkey on their table for Thanksgiving Day. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

According to a news release, Young Dolph will be donating Thanksgiving turkeys to the community.

Butterball turkeys will be given to the residents of Castalia Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods at the MAM-Hamilton Community Center from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. 

The release doesn't detail how many turkeys will be given away. In past years he has donated them by the hundreds. In 2016, 300 turkeys were given away. In 2015, Dolph bought 200 extra turkeys when demand was so high that they ran out of the first round of items.

Couple offers refuge to 93-year-old evacuee who escaped California wildfires 

Tracy Grant was handing out hamburgers to wildfire evacuees when she met Lee Brundige standing by himself in the parking lot full of people. 

>> Read more trending news 

The 93-year-old man lived alone in a house he built years ago for himself and his wife in a neighborhood that is likely destroyed by the Camp Fire, which has been one of the most destructive in state history. 

“When I first met him, I knew he was special," Grant told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He was the only person in this parking lot who was by himself with no one else with him. I made it my mission to keep my eye on him. When the rangers came, I went up to him and said, 'You're coming with me.'"

After some hesitation, Brundige joined Grant. They went to her house in Oroville, where Brundige was able to change out of his two-day-old clothes. Grant called her boyfriend, Josh Fox, to let him know they were housing an evacuee. He brought home bags of new clothes for Brundige.

“They hit it off when Lee said he was the littlest guy in his unit so they made him be the tail gunner over the South Pacific," Grant told the Chronicle.

Brundige was able to contact his son, who is in his 70s, and let him know he is safe. 

Brundige has also bonded with Axle, the couple’s dog. 

"I thought, ‘If that were my grandpa, where would I want him to be?" Grant told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We told him this could be his forever home but that is totally up to him."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Country musician Roy Clark, of 'Hee Haw' fame, dead at 85

Grammy-winning country musician Roy Clark, best known for co-hosting “Hee Haw,” has died at age 85.

His publicist said in a news release that he died from complications from pneumonia in his Tulsa, Oklahoma, home.

>> Read more trending news 

In addition to work on “Hee Haw,” Clark was a Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member. USA Today reported he played multiple instruments, including the guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and harmonica.

On TV, he was a frequent guest host for Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.” He co-hosted “Hee Haw” for the program’s entire 24-year run.

Related: Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Clark is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara, his sons, Roy Clark II and his wife Karen;  Dr. Michael Meyer and his wife, Robin; Terry Lee Meyer; Susan Mosier and Diane Stewart; grandchildren Brittany Meyer, Michael Meyer, Caleb Clark, Josiah Clark; and his sister Susan Coryell.

Variety reported that a memorial will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A date has not yet been announced.

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