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Thomas Duncan, the First Ebola Victim in the U.S., Remembered as Caring, Compassionate Man

10/19/2014 AT 10:30 AM EDT

Thomas Eric Duncan was remembered Saturday as a big-hearted and compassionate man whose virtues may have led to his infection with Ebola in his native Liberia and subsequent death as the first victim of the disease in the United States.

Family and friends gathered at a small Southern Baptist church with a primarily Liberian flock near where Duncan’s mother and other family members live.

Duncan’s neighbors in Liberia believe he was infected by helping a pregnant woman who later died from Ebola. It was unclear if he knew about her diagnosis before traveling to the United States. Duncan denied helping his Ebola-sickened neighbor, but it would be consistent with the caring nature he always showed, said his nephew Josephus Weeks of nearby Kannapolis.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that what’s described in the news is something that Eric would do,” said Weeks, who like Duncan is 42 and grew up in the same households as his uncle. “Eric would have been out there and helped that woman. And he would have done everything that he needed to do for that woman to make sure she was fine.”

Retired United Methodist bishop Arthur Kulah said Duncan attended a high school the cleric helped establish in neighboring Ivory Coast for refugees from the Liberian civil war that raged through the 1990s. To generate much-needed income, Duncan jury-rigged a telephone connection allowing fellow refugees to contact family abroad for help, Kulah said.

“People would go there without any money and appeal to him, and he was willing to give them time to talk to their people. There were some people who paid and some people who didn’t pay,” Kulah said. “He was such a compassionate young man, respectful young man.”

Thomas Duncan, the First Ebola Victim in the U.S., Remembered as Caring, Compassionate Man

Josephus Weeks, nephew of Thomas Eric Duncan

Nell Redmond / AP

About 40 friends and family members – many women wearing colorful headscarves – collected inside the 100-seat church and listened as speakers remembered Duncan accompanied by an electric piano and bongos. His weeping mother sat in the front row. Weeks’ 3-year-old son dabbed at the elderly woman’s teary eyes with a tissue.

Duncan left Ivory Coast and learned auto mechanics and welding at a United Nations school for refugees in Ghana, relatives said. He came to the United States hoping to work multiple jobs, save money and build a future, said his relative, Harry Korkoya of Woodbridge, Virginia.

Duncan is also survived by four children, none of whom could attend the memorial service, Weeks said. The four people living in the Dallas apartment where Duncan stayed after arriving in the United States are due to leave quarantine next week after the end of a 21-day incubation period for the disease.

Weeks remembered the Duncan he last saw 22 years ago as an athletic youth who was their neighborhood’s best at soccer played with a tennis ball, the only kind available. He drove motorcycles so fast it scared Weeks, and named their pet dog Superstar to reflect the pride he had in the animal. Duncan commonly gave away money, then asked Weeks for a loan, he said.

“He cared for everybody, it doesn’t matter who you were. If he was driving he saw you over there, he wouldn’t splash you with dirty water. He’d pull over and let you in his car,” Weeks said.

For more information on Ebola, go to nnwww.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/.

Thomas Duncan, the First Ebola Victim in the U.S., Remembered as Caring, Compassionate Man
Source: Thomas Duncan, the First Ebola Victim in the U.S., Remembered as Caring, Compassionate Man

Christine Taylor & Ben Stiller Are Cool Parents (But Their Kids Don’t Get It)

Christine Taylor & Ben Stiller Are Cool Parents (But Their Kids Dont Get It)

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor

Noam Galai/WireImage

10/19/2014 AT 10:00 AM EDT

Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller have a message for their two children: You can talk to us!

But daughter Ella, 12, and son Quinlin, 9, don’t seem to be taking them up on the offer.

In fact, the kids think their famous parents are “dorks,” Taylor revealed at Thursday’s 16th Annual Tomorrow Is Tonight Gala Benefiting Project A.L.S. in New York.

“I said to my daughter, ‘You can talk to me about anything. I’m a cool mom. You don’t have to be embarrassed. You can tell me anything,’ ” Taylor says. “And she goes, ‘You just saying that made you uncool.’ “

“We’re at the age where our daughter gets embarrassed of us no matter what we do,” adds Taylor, 43, insisting that Stiller, 48, is a “cool dad, definitely.”

The couple do, in fact, hang out with some very cool people, such as Jennifer Aniston and her fiancé Justin Theroux. Asked if the couples double date much, Taylor laughed, “They’re busy people. Ben and Justin are working a lot together right now. They’re busy, good people.”

Christine and Ben, meanwhile, have a busy season coming up, including Thanksgiving, a favorite of Taylor’s.

“I’m not a big cook,” Stiller says. “I like being around the kitchen, though. But that’s her big thing. She loves Thanksgiving.”

He’s also got a semi-big birthday coming in November: the big 4-9. “I haven’t even thought about that,” Stiller admitted. “We don’t do a big deal ever.”

As for their enduring marriage, Stiller recalled taking Taylor to a Project A.L.S. event soon after they first got together over a decade ago. “It’s been a long time,” he said. “It’s an amazing organization.”

Stiller, like one of the evening’s honorees Katie Couric, was also a close friend of Project A.L.S. co-founder Jenifer Estess, who died in 2003 after battling ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. But Stiller stays involved in the cause.

Asked how their relationship has evolved in the years since, Taylor replied, “It’s all change for the better. Right? We’re older, we’re wiser.”

“We’re hopefully getting better,” Stiller agreed.

Added Taylor, “I found a picture of us from 15 years ago, and I saw youth. You don’t see [the change] on a daily basis. We looked like kids. Now we look like parents.”

Christine Taylor & Ben Stiller Are Cool Parents (But Their Kids Dont Get It)
Source: Christine Taylor & Ben Stiller Are Cool Parents (But Their Kids Don’t Get It)

Candice Accola Marries Joe King

Candice Accola Marries Joe King

Candice Accola and Joe King

Andrew Toth/Getty

10/18/2014 AT 11:00 PM EDT

Candice Accola and Joe King are married!

The Vampire Diares star and The Fray rocker exchanged “I do’s” Saturday in New Orleans, PEOPLE confirms.

Accola’s CW costars past and present Kayla Ewell (who was a bridesmaid), Michael Trevino, Kat Graham, Claire Holt and Paul Wesley all attended the romantic nuptials, while Ian Somerhalder couldn’t make it but sent love to the couple via Instagram and offered best wishes for their “magical day.”

King, 34, popped the question in May 2013. The couple first met at a Super Bowl event – but it took costar Nina Dobrev to seal the deal.

“I was too chicken to give him my number, so Nina did,” Accola, 27, told PEOPLE in June 2013 of their sweet first meeting.

The marriage is also a match made in music heaven: King plays guitar for the Grammy-nominated band, and Accola has shown off her own impressive pipes on TVD.

The couple even shared a steamy kiss in The Fray’s “Love Don’t Die” music video.

This is the first marriage for Accola and the second for King, who has two daughters, Ava and Elise, from his previous marriage.

Candice Accola Marries Joe King
Source: Candice Accola Marries Joe King

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American Idol Contestant Joanne Borgella Dies at 32

10/18/2014 AT 08:15 PM EDT

Joanne Borgella, a contestant on season 7 of American Idol, died on Saturday morning after battling cancer. She was 32.

Borgella’s family posted a message on her Facebook fan page announcing her death.

“Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered,” they said. “We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven.”

Borgella – who made it to the top 24 on her season of Idol – also appeared on MTV’s MADE and the Oxygen network’s Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance, and was signed to Wilhelmina Models.

The singer suffered from endometrial cancer, and regularly updated fans on her health on her Facebook page. Her last post, dated September 23, read: “Gooooood morning!! We are heading back to radiation for 2 procedures!! God js with us!! I have lots to fill you in on.. The presence of The Lord is here.. Prayers up!!! I love you guys #GodsGotThis #ThePowerofPrayer #Faith #IWillbeCancerFree2014 #JoanneBorgella”

American Idol Contestant Joanne Borgella Dies at 32
Source: American Idol Contestant Joanne Borgella Dies at 32


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