×
September 14, 2018

A Cincinnati couple didn't realize that when they hired a caterer for their wedding, they'd be getting an officiant for free.

During the rehearsal dinner, the man who was supposed to officiate the wedding fell and broke his leg, leaving the couple without anyone to marry them, WLWT reports. Enter Manny Morales, a caterer for City Barbeque, the company that was preparing food for the rehearsal. He told the couple he had a license and offered to perform the ceremony, a proposal they happily accepted.

Bride Kelsey Schneck said she couldn't describe how grateful she was to Morales for stepping in. "Not only did we have a great dinner, but our wedding ceremony was saved and went off without a hitch," she said. "Thank you for saving my big day." Catherine Garcia

1:12 a.m.

When Michael Nieves found out his favorite coffee shop was closing, he decided then and there that wasn't going to happen, because he was going to buy it and keep the doors open.

Nieves went to Yellow Mug Coffee in Fresno, California, five days a week, always ordering an Americano or espresso. When the owner told him last year that he was drinking his last cup of coffee because they were closing, "I said, 'No, you're not,'" Nieves told The Fresno Bee. The shop felt like home, which is why he was adamant about it staying open.

Three days later, Nieves and his wife, Belinda Bagwell, purchased Yellow Mug Coffee, and they officially took over on Jan. 1. This is new territory for the couple; Nieves is a software developer and Bagwell is a stay-at-home mom to their three teenage sons. Nieves and Bagwell are excited, though, and so are their customers: When they announced on Facebook the business was staying open, the comments ranged from "This really is good news" to "So freaking exciting." While they have the same baristas and aren't changing the coffee formulas, they've already expanded the menu to include additional drinks and snacks and plan on hosting more community events. Catherine Garcia

12:37 a.m.

On Tuesday, Day 25 of the government shutdown, Senate Republicans said they are mostly on board with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) hands-off approach to negotiating a way out of the impasse, House Democrats said they are united behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi's position that President Trump has to sign their legislation to reopen the government before they will discuss border security, and Trump tried to peel off some rank-and-file Democrats to join his push for a border wall paid for by American taxpayers. So far, he's gotten no takers.

The White House had invited a handful of centrist Democrats to the White House for a Tuesday afternoon lunch, but all of them turned him down, citing previous engagements or lack of interest in being used as pawns. Pelosi, who wasn't invited, told her Democratic colleagues Monday night that she had no problem with other Democrats attending, USA Today reports. "They can see what we've been dealing with," Pelosi joked to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). "And they'll want to make a citizen's arrest."

After a House Democratic caucus meeting Tuesday in which Pelosi reportedly urged Democrats to stick together, Hoyer told reporters: "Is anybody surprised that the president is trying to get votes wherever he can get votes? ... We are totally united. Totally." Trump has invited more rank-and-file Democrats, part of the bipartisan "Problem Solvers" caucus, to the White House on Wednesday, and it isn't clear how many will attend, if any.

No known discussions have taken place between Democratic congressional leaders and the White House since Trump abruptly walked out on the last meeting. Bipartisan groups of senators have been huddling, looking for an off-ramp to the longest shutdown in U.S. history, "but hopes are slim in the Senate that they can reach a solution that the president will endorse," Politico notes. Peter Weber

12:07 a.m.

While campaigning, President Trump made it a point to court rural voters, telling them that their lives would improve if he was elected. On Tuesday night, Seth Meyers decided to check in on one portion of the area dubbed Trump Country, to see if things really are on the upswing.

Meyers focused on West Virginia, where Trump made "impossible promises" to voters, telling them they would get "so tired of winning." "I don't think he gets how winning works," Meyers said. "You don't get tired of it. I've never heard a New England Patriots fan burning his Tom Brady jersey and moving to Cleveland."

Trump promised he would put coal miners back to work, and after he became president, he returned to West Virginia and crowed that he had "ended the war on beautiful, clean coal." A new report out earlier this month contradicts Trump's claims; coal mines are closing faster than ever, with more shuttering during the first two years of the Trump administration that the first four years of the Obama administration.

This isn't because of regulations, but rather competition from cleaner and cheaper forms of energy. Meyers notes that this isn't even Trump's fault, "it's the march of time," but the problem is Trump gave a lot of coal miners false hope, and continues to insult them by saying they are incapable of doing any other jobs. Watch the video below for more on Trump's promises to coal miners, plus how cutting regulations on power plants is bad news for the air we breathe. Catherine Garcia

January 15, 2019

Jason Reitman considers himself "the first Ghostbusters fan," and it's only fitting that he will direct and co-write a new movie set in the original universe.

"I wanted to make a movie for all the other fans," he told Entertainment Weekly. "This is the next chapter in the original franchise. It is not a reboot. What happened in the '80s happened in the '80s, and this is set in the present day." His father, Ivan Reitman, directed the original 1984 movie, and will serve as producer of his son's project.

The movie will begin filming in the next few months, and is expected to be released in the summer of 2020, Sony Pictures said. Reitman isn't sharing any information on the plot or if any of the original actors will make appearances, because he wants "the film to unwrap like a present. We have a lot of wonderful surprises and new characters for the audience to meet." Catherine Garcia

January 15, 2019

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) indicated on Tuesday he's seriously considering a run for president in 2020, announcing that he plans on traveling to early-primary states over the next few weeks to meet with voters.

Brown will visit Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina on what he's calling the Dignity of Work Tour. After a stop in Cleveland on Jan. 30, Brown will head to Iowa on Jan. 31, and will visit the other three states in February. "Some national Democrats, they've created this sort of binary choice that you speak to the progressive base or you talk to working class voters of all races," Brown told reporters. "I don't think it's an either or. I think you do both. That's how you win the heartland. That's how we won in Ohio. That's what I hope the narrative is for all the presidential candidates on the Democratic side."

Brown made the announcement just hours after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) revealed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert she is launching a presidential exploratory committee. Catherine Garcia

January 15, 2019

Should the government shutdown still be in effect on Jan. 28 when tax filing season begins, the Internal Revenue Service will recall 46,000 furloughed employees, nearly 60 percent of the workforce, to handle tax returns and refunds.

The employees will not be paid. Last week, the Trump administration said it would go against precedent and still process tax refunds, despite the shutdown. The IRS on Tuesday said refund money will be drawn from a "permanent, indefinite refund appropriation" that can be accessed even in the midst of a shutdown, Politico reports.

The IRS will not be conducting audits or accepting applications by organizations for tax-exempt status, and a limited number of employees will be available to answer telephones. Tony Reardon, head of the National Treasury Employees Union, told Politico he is concerned that highly trained IRS employees who are forced to work without pay will leave the agency. "Who will replace these employees after seeing how poorly they are treated by the federal government as their employer?" he asked. Catherine Garcia

January 15, 2019

On the witness stand Tuesday, the onetime right-hand man of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman testified that the alleged drug lord once paid a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Guzman is accused of running the Sinaloa Cartel, and was extradited from Mexico to the United States in 2017 to face charges of trafficking heroin, cocaine, and other drugs. In a Brooklyn federal courtroom, witness Alex Cifuentes admitted under cross-examination by Guzman's lawyer that he told prosecutors about the bribe in 2016. He revealed to them that it was Peña Nieto who first asked for $250 million, and the bribe was paid in October 2012, two months before Peña Nieto was sworn in as president.

Cifuentes also said that during a meeting last year, he told prosecutors he was no longer sure how much was paid to Peña Nieto in bribes. Guzman told him that after Peña Nieto received the money, he sent a message to Guzman that he didn't have to live in hiding anymore, Cifuentes added. Peña Nieto, who served as president from December 2012 to November 2018, has denied ever taking bribes from people involved in the drug trade. Cifuentes is one of about 12 witnesses who have made deals with U.S. prosecutors in exchange for their testimony against Guzman, Reuters reports. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads