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Hugging may feel good, but it might have health benefits, too, study finds

In a recent paper published in PLOS One, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University concluded that a hug can have a positive effect on mood and help lower stress after a conflict.

The study talked to 404 people every night over a two-week period. Participants were asked if they experienced conflict, if they received a hug and what their mood was, among other things.

People who faced conflict and got a hug on the same day said they experienced an increase in positive feelings and a decrease in negative ones.

“A very simple, straightforward behavior — hugging — might be an effective way of supporting both men and women who are experiencing conflict in their relationships,” explains co-author Michael Murphy, a post-doctoral researcher in Carnegie Mellon University’s Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity and Disease.

The tendency to feel better held true regardless of age, gender, marital status or number of hugs a person received.

Murphy conceded more research needs to be done, especially to look at the relationship between hugger and hug recipient.

“The lack of specificity regarding from whom individuals received hugs also restricted our ability to identify whether hugs from specific types of social partners were more effective than those from others,” he wrote.

In 2015, a similar study at Carnegie Mellon concluded that “people who experience high levels of social support and frequent hugs were protected from a higher risk of getting sick when under stress.”

“In times of stress and conflict, that’s when support from people in your life is important,” said psychologist Sheldon Cohen, who led the 2015 study. “It may make less difference in other times in your life.”

Tropical Storm Michael to become a hurricane ‘very soon’

Tropical Storm Michael has formed in the northwestern Caribbean Sea, and it could make landfall later this week as a Category 2 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Update 7:58 a.m. EDT Oct. 8: Tropical Storm Michael is “expected to become a hurricane very soon” and is pounding western Cuba with heavy rain and strong winds, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. EDT advisory.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and is about 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and 70 miles south of Cuba’s western tip. It is moving north at 7 mph, the advisory said.

Tropical Storm Michael expected to become hurricane very soon near Florida, USA. Se espera que la Tormenta Tropical Michael se convierta en huracán muy pronto cerca de Florida, EEUU. #prwx #usviwx pic.twitter.com/ISr8trjnxD — NWS San Juan (@NWSSanJuan) October 8, 2018

Update 5:05 a.m. EDT Oct. 8: Tropical Storm Michael has almost reached hurricane strength, the National Hurricane Center said early Monday in its latest advisory.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and is about 90 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico, and 100 miles south-southwest of the western tip of Cuba. It is moving north at 7 mph.

A hurricane watch has been issued for Florida’s Panhandle and Big Bend, the advisory said.

Tropical Storm #Michael is strengthening and it is almost a hurricane. Hurricane and tropical storm watches are now in effect for portions of the Gulf Coast. Here are the 4 am CDT October 8th Key Messages. Go to https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb for more information. pic.twitter.com/BEkmH6UvQL — National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) October 8, 2018

Update 11:15 p.m. EDT Oct. 7: Florida Gov. Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency in 26 counties across the Panhandle as Tropical Storm Michael takes aim at the state.

Scott has suspended his Senate campaign to focus on the impending storm, he announced Sunday.

“This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous,” he warned during a Sunday afternoon briefing.

“This storm has the potential to bring devastating impacts to the Panhandle and Big Bend and every family must be prepared,” Scott said.

The National Hurricane Center said an Air Force hurricane hunter plane would investigate Tropical Storm Michael.

Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season.

DANIELLE SPENCER (‘DEE’ FROM ‘WHAT’S HAPPENING) FIGHTS FOR LIFE AFTER EMERGENCY BRAIN SURGERY

According to online reports, former actress Danielle Spencer, who also a doctor of Veterinary medicine (see video above), is recovering from an emergency operation because of bleeding in her brain.

Ironically, it was exactly 41 years to the date of her major car accident resulting in the untimely death of her step-father, actor Tim Pelt, that Danielle experienced a massive headache, reports the LA Sentinel. Due to the bleeding of the brain and enormous headaches, she became unresponsive and almost died. The article continues, saying that after going back and forth to the doctor for medicine, the headache persisted until on the third day she became unconscious. With quick action from expert doctors, they did emergency brain surgery on the bleeding hematoma she received from that car accident so long ago.

As far as that accident 41 years ago that killed her father, she ended up being in a 3-week coma. Spencer, known for her role as “Dee” on the 1970s sitcom “What’s Happening,” also endured other critical injuries that included a broken leg, arm and pelvis.

Dr. Spencer is recovering, but there’s no word on the estimated time of healing as she also suffered breast cancer and spinal injury in the past. The combination of past health issues raises a red flag on her road to recovery but family and friends are hopeful for her fight.

Friends of Dr. Danielle have started a Go Funding Page as they are all claiming a successful prognosis she will continue to have a long recovery and stint in rehab again and funds raised will help with treatment, medication and sustaining.

Dr. Danielle Spencer, also known as Dee from the hit show “What’s Happening”, is dealing with serious medical conditions and needs our help. Please click on the GoFundMe link below and donate whatever you can. Every penny counts! We thank you in advance. https://t.co/J4bhHvrhbu pic.twitter.com/rc4bEpn2LZ — Mike Chisholm (@MykChiz) September 29, 2018

Since becoming the first black female child to regularly star in a TV series and after having to learn how to walk again after the tragic car accident as a kid, Spencer went on to continue acting, practice veterinary medicine and write a book.

89,000 pounds of ham recalled after at least one death from Listeria contamination

A North Carolina company is recalling thousands of pounds of ready-to-eat ham products that could be contaminated with Listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria.

Johnson County Hams announced a recall of 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat deli-loaf ham items that were produced between April 3, 2017, and Oct. 2, 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The deli ham products were sold in five states: Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia

At least one person has died and three others were sickened after eating deli ham products from Johnson County Hams, the USDA said.

Here’s a list of the recalled products:

Varying weights of 7 to 8 pounds plastic-wrapped “JOHNSTON COUNTY HAMS, INC. COUNTRY STYLE FULLY COOKED BONELESS DELI HAM.”

Varying weights of 7 to 8 pounds plastic-wrapped “Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham” with sell-by dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.

Varying weights of 7 to 8 pounds plastic-wrapped “Padow’s Hams &amp; Deli, Inc. FULLY COOKED COUNTRY HAM BONELESS Glazed with Brown Sugar.”

Varying weights of 7 to 8 pounds plastic-wrapped “Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham LESS SALT Distributed By: Valley Country Hams LLC” with sell-by dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.

Varying weights of 7 to 8 pounds plastic-wrapped “GOODNIGHT BROTHERS COUNTRY HAM Boneless Fully Cooked.”

Eating food contaminated with Listeria can cause serious infections, especially among older adults, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and their newborns, the USDA reported.

Symptoms of infection include fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, confusion and gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.

KELLY ROWLAND TAPPED TO PLAY GLADYS KNIGHT IN BET’S ‘SOUL TRAIN’ SCRIPTED SERIES

Kelly Rowland has been tapped to play music icon Gladys Knight in BET’s newest scripted drama series, “American Soul.”

According to The YBF, it’s a 70s period drama recounting the rise of the uber-popular dance television show “Soul Train,” created by the late Don Cornelius.

Singer Kelly Price has also joined the cast a series regular and “Power” star Sinqua Walls will play a young Cornelius in the series.

Knight was one of the first performers booked during “Soul Train’s” early days.

via Billboard:

Four-time Grammy winner Rowland will also record an original version of Knight’s signature hit with the Pips, “Midnight Train to Georgia” for the role.

Price joins the cast as a series regular, playing Brianne Clarke. Clarke’s character is described as the “wise yet cautious” head of the Clarke family whose children Simone and Kendall are rising stars in Los Angeles.

Gladys is no doubt pleased with this casting news. Two years ago, she made an Instagram post revealing her love for Kelly and approval of a biopic starring the Destiny’s Child  singer.

“It’s no secret that I love my @kellyrowland So many people have said that Kelly would be the perfect person to star in my biopic. What do you think, #Knights?!,” Gladys wrote.

The cast of “American Soul” also includes, “Greenleaf” star Jason Dirden, “This Is Us” actress Iantha Richardson, along with Christopher Jefferson, Katlyn Nichol and Jelani Winston.

Production is underway in Atlanta and the series is expected to premiere in 2019 on BET.

Georgia cop who lied about being shot by black man sentenced to 15 years in prison

Officer Sherry Hall’s call over the police radio that she’d been shot had fellow cops swarming a dark, wooded cul-de-sac in Jackson. Then they fanned out across Butts County in search of a suspect.

Hall described her assailant as a 6-foot, 230-pound African-American man wearing a green shirt and black jogging pants. Unprovoked, the man pulled out a gun and opened fire, Hall said. The bullet was found lodged in her protective vest. Hall’s account of the Sept. 13, 2016, incident came on the heels of shootings of law enforcement officers nationwide that were said to be in retaliation for white officers killing black men. And it stoked fears of unrest in the community some 50 miles south of Atlanta.

But Hall’s claim turned out to be a complete fabrication. After hearing evidence, including Hall’s own testimony, a jury recently convicted the former cop of 11 criminal charges, including making false statements, violating her oath and tampering with evidence.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson then made Hall, 43, pay for her crimes. He gave her 15 years in prison followed by another 23 years on probation.

Like many, Jackson Police Chief James Morgan said he doesn’t know why Hall did it.

“She did a great job for us, up until that night,” Morgan said. “So we didn’t see this coming. But this was not a mistake. It was a conscious decision and a choreographed act.”

A manhunt ensued in the days after Hall’s report, putting local residents on edge. At one point, a man who resembled Hall’s description of her shooter was taken in for questioning, but then released.

“We didn’t need an uprising,” Morgan said. “We didn’t want any racial tensions. This put a dim view on our department. But we rebounded. It defused pretty quickly.”

Hall worked for three months on the police force in Jackson, a city of about 5,000. She is now serving her time at Arrendale State Prison in Alto. McDonough attorney Jordan Van Matre said he recently filed a motion for a new trial on her behalf.

Hall could have resolved her case with a plea deal. Before trial, she was offered a sentence of five years in prison followed by five years on probation. But she turned it down.

“She’s scared to death of prison,” Hall’s brother, Steve Weaver, said. “She wanted to take a plea, but not one that included prison time. She thought spending 90 days in jail before posting bond was enough.”

The family never expected Wilson would impose such a lengthy sentence if she were convicted, said Weaver, a 47-year-old pastor of a small church in Griffin.

“She definitely didn’t get treated fairly,” he said. “As her brother, obviously it’s hard for me to admit she’s guilty. But if she is guilty, the sentence she received was especially harsh. We hope to seek a sentence reduction in the near future. I mean, this was a nonviolent crime.”

Hall initially told investigators that when she pulled into Camilla Court around midnight she turned her car spotlight on a black man wearing a green shirt. The next thing she knew was she was shot, she said, adding that she took cover behind her patrol car and fired off two rounds in response.

But in the ensuing days, Hall’s account of what happened began to unravel.

First of all, she didn’t realize that her squad car’s video system was operating even though she’d failed to turn on the blue lights, Assistant District Attorney James Moss said.

In the audio from that recording, you can hear only two shots being fired, not three, he said.

Three shell casings were found at the scene: two near the patrol car and one in the woods where Hall said her shooter had been.

As expected, the two casings near the car matched the gun Hall was carrying that night. But the one found in the woods matched a department-issued backup firearm that Hall kept in her nightstand, Moss said. And that gun’s firing pin, which would help further identify a bullet shot from the gun, had been tampered with.

No one has been able to say exactly what happened and how the bullet became lodged in her vest.

Hall also gave inconsistent descriptions about the alleged shooter, said Moss, who credited local authorities and the GBI for conducting a thorough investigation.

“It was dumbfounding that she went to trial,” he said. “She never took responsibility. She invented out of whole cloth a black man who shot her, and if law enforcement hadn’t done their jobs right, we could have had a gentleman wrongly charged with a crime.”

When asked if the lengthy prison term could have been the result of this happening amid national turmoil over police shootings, Moss said, “I think certainly that’s a factor that was taken into account.”

There has been speculation that Hall may have fabricated the incident to improve her stature in the department or to set herself up to get disability payments for post-traumatic stress disorder. But no one close to the case can provide any solid answers.

“I couldn’t prove what the motive was,” Moss said. “But I could prove that what she said was a big bucket full of malarkey.”

Kimberly Berry, who represented Hall at trial, said her client was suffering from severe emotional distress at the time of the incident.

“The day after, she checked herself into a facility for mental health treatment,” Berry said. “She was basically having a nervous breakdown.”

Berry added: “I think Sherry, to this day, doesn’t know exactly what happened.”

Ricin suspected in mail delivered to Pentagon facility

Two pieces of mail addressed to the Pentagon have initially tested positive for the deadly chemical ricin, according to reports.

Two defense officials  told CNN that the mail was delivered to the Pentagon’s mail facility, but it did not enter the Pentagon itself. The mail facility is a separate building.

A piece of mail delivered to the Pentagon mail facility has initially tested positive for ricin, two US defense officials tell @barbarastarrcnn @rabrowne75. The mail facility is a separate building on the Pentagon grounds. The piece of mail never entered the Pentagon building. — Dianne Gallagher (@DianneG) October 2, 2018 Pentagon: At least 2 packages suspected of containing ricin delivered to Pentagon today, but did not make it inside building. FBI has the lead on the investigation: spox — Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) October 2, 2018

CNN’s Barbara Starr is reporting that additional testing of two envelopes is underway. The mail that was delivered Monday to the facility is under quarantine.

two envelopes never entered the Pentagon building. 20,000 plus people work on the Pentagon grounds https://t.co/6B1xlisYzU — Barbara Starr (@barbarastarrcnn) October 2, 2018

The FBI is leading the investigation, the Examiner reported.

There are no reports of anyone falling ill because of the suspected substance, the Examiner reported.

The pieces of mail were intended for Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, CNN reported.

More than 20,000 people work in the Pentagon, according to CNN.

Ricin is one of the easiest poisons to make and can take several forms, according to Fox News. It is found in castor beans and the waste from the process of making castor oil is where ricin comes from, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

106,000 African American Voters Purged in Georgia

There’s a press conference today in Atlanta concerning 106,000 registrants purged from the voter rolls in Georgia. These are names of people who allegedly moved from the state, but have not.

Civil Rights Leaders have filed a lawsuit. Although the press conference in Atlanta is focusing on Georgia, this is the first of several nationwide actions, the result of legal actions and investigation in 27 states led by Rev. Jesse Jackson and investigative reporter Greg Palast following up on Palast’s exposé in Rolling Stone.

Read more on this eye-opening story:

https://bit.ly/2OsTQK4

Check with your County’s Supervisor of Elections to make sure your name is still on the voter rolls. Be ready to vote in the November election. The deadline to be registered is Oct 9th.

Vote family. Your vote is your voice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dunkin’ Donuts fires employees after video shows water dumped on homeless man

An advocate for the homeless has threatened a boycott of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Syracuse, New York, after a worker was caught on video pouring a pitcher of water on a man who sleeping in the store, Syracuse.com reported.

The video apparently was filmed Sunday night. In a mostly empty store, a man can be seen with his head down on the table while his phone is charging, Syracuse.com reported.

Then, the video appears to show a worker dumping a pitcher of water on the man, identified by WFRG as Jeremy Youngs, who scrambles to get to his feet. Two people can be heard laughing off-camera, according to the video.

“How many times I’ve got to tell you to stop sleeping in here, my (expletive),” the worker says in the video.

That incident prompted Al-amin Muhammad, who runs “We Rise Above the Streets,” for to help the homeless in Syracuse, to visit the store and ask to speak with the manager. He taped the exchange, Syracuse.com reported.

Muhammad asks workers about the video “disrespecting one of my homeless friends.” A worker attempted to contact the store manager but was unable to do so.

Muhammad threatened a boycott of the store if he did not hear from management by noon Monday, Syracuse.com reported. He was talking to people about what occurred on Facebook Live Monday morning.

Samuel Breazeale has started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise enough money to buy Youngs dry clothes and a new phone charger, WFRG reported.

Update 8:02 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: The employees involved in the incident have been fired, according to an updated statement from Kimberly Wolak, Dunkin’ Franchisee and chief operating officer for the Syracuse store. “We we will be contacting the individual in the video to apologize for the negative experience,” Wolak said.

Update 3:25 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: Officials at Dunkin’ Donuts suspended employees at a Syracuse store Monday, a day after video went viral on social media showing a worker dumping water on a homeless man, the company said in a tweet.

“We were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video,” Kimberly Wolak, Dunkin’ Franchisee and chief operating officer for the Syracuse store, said in a statement. “It not only violated our written policies, but goes against our core values as an organization.”

. @dunkindonuts suspends employees – says company is disturbed by viral video showing employee dumping water on homeless man to him to leave Syracuse, NY store. pic.twitter.com/eL17lYDX7X — Michael Benny (@MichaelBenny) October 1, 2018

Kimberly Wolak, Dunkin’ Franchisee and chief operating officer for the Syracuse store, said in a statement. Wolak said the employees were suspended “pending a complete investigation,” and that the company will better educate its employees on “how to engage with homeless individuals.”

 

Cardi B surrenders to police after fight at Queens strip club

Rapper Cardi B turned herself in to New York City police Monday morning in connection with a fight at a Queens strip club, the New York Post reported.

Cardi B, who was born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, surrendered at the Flushing precinct around 9:30 a.m., the newspaper reported. She did not answer questions.

Almánzar allegedly ordered an attack on two bartenders at the Angels Strip Club in Flushing on Aug. 29, WPIX reported.

The bartenders — sisters Jade and Baddie Gi — claim they were attacked because of allegations they had sex with Cardi B’s husband, Offset, the Post reported.

The bartenders are suing the Bronx-born singer for damages, according to the newspaper.

#breaking Cardi B emerges from @NYPD109Pct after being charged with two misdemeanors in connection to strip club fight in Queens. She’s due in court October 29. @PIX11News pic.twitter.com/SLtAygnGBg — Anthony DiLorenzo (@ADiLorenzoTV) October 1, 2018    

Lorne Michaels Says Kanye West Stepped Up When Ariana Grande Canceled ‘SNL’ Premiere Appearance

Kanye West, this week’s musical guest on the season premiere of NBC’s  Saturday Night Live, wasn’t the show’s first choice: the scheduled Ariana Grande canceled “for emotional reasons,” says creator Lorne Michaels.

“We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago,” Michaels says. West’s appearance, and that of host Adam Driver, on tomorrow’s  SNL was announced Sept. 17.

“That’s our premiere,” Michaels continued, “and then Kanye stepped up, and he’ll be there.” The  SNL exec producer said West’s last-minute agreement to appear indicated that “the reach of the show and the number of people who step forward” is “at its peak.”

Although Michaels didn’t go into specifics about Grande’s “emotional reasons,” the singer’s ex-boyfriend, MTV rapper Mac Miller, died of an apparent drug overdose on September 7.

SNL with Driver and West airs Saturday at 11:30 pm on NBC.

Will Smith celebrates 50th birthday with Grand Canyon bungee jump

Will Smith knows how to celebrate in style. The actor, who turned 50 Tuesday, celebrated the milestone by live streaming his bungee jump from a helicopter into the Grand Canyon on his YouTube channel. People reported that “Will Smith: The Jump” was hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro, his longtime friend and former “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” costar. The actor’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, and his children, daughter Willow and sons Trey and Jaden, gave him a group hug before the jump.

Tyler Perry buys home for ailing mother of Atlanta gospel singer

Filmmaker Tyler Perry is lending a helping hand to the mother of a former colleague.

Perry reportedly just purchased a home for her in Atlanta.

Perry recently bought a $350,000 house for Bettie Pace, the ailing mother of LaShun Pace, a gospel singer and actress who worked alongside Perry in a play in 1999.

When the “Madea” star learned Bettie Pace was sick and her dying wish was to own a home for her family, he made her dreams come true.

LaShun Pace, whose hits include “There’s A Leak In This Old Building,” revealed the news in a video obtained by TMZ.

In the two-minute clip, the mom, surrounded by cheering loved ones, thanks Perry before cutting a big red ribbon attached to the front of the home.

“Tyler Perry, thank you son,” she said. “Thank you for the house. God bless you.”

“Now you see what happens when you just live right and become Tyler Perry’s friend,” LaShun Pace gushed at the end of the recording.

Florida principal armed with gun to protect against school shootings

A Florida charter school principal is packing heat.

The principal of San Jose Academy &amp; Preparatory High School is one of the first Duval County charter school employees to graduate from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s training academy for “safe school officers.”

The principal of San Jose Academy &amp; Preparatory High School in Jacksonville is one of the first Duval County charter school employees to graduate from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s training academy for “safe school officers.”

Principal and Executive Director Alan Hall now walks through school hallways with the weight of a heavy responsibility on his belt.

If a school shooting happens there, it’s on him to respond.

“I’ve always worried, ‘Oh my gosh, what would happen?’ How am I going to put myself in those principals’ shoes that have actually had to live this? And I say, now, I at least have a chance to do something about it,” Hall said.

Before the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, many charter schools in our area hired private armed security guards.

The new law requires all Florida schools to have either a sworn law enforcement officer or a safe school officer, which is a school employee who receives high-level firearms training.

In August, ActionNewsJax was the first to report JSO would provide armed officers at all Jacksonville charter schools until the Sheriff’s Office could train school employees to take over.

At San Jose Academy &amp; Preparatory High School, Hall and another employee just completed their four-week JSO training.

This #Jacksonville principal is packing heat. He's one of the first #Duval County charter school employees to graduate from #JSO's firearms training academy for "safe school officers." That story is ONLY on @ActionNewsJax at 6 p.m. pic.twitter.com/Nh1A4Ne3s2 — Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) September 24, 2018

“I’ve always had the leadership style that I’m not going to ask any of my people to do something I’m not willing to do,” Hall said.

Hall said the schools’ board approved a full-time safe school officer position. He plans to hire someone this school year.

JSO said employees at Seacoast Charter Academy and Global Outreach Charter Academy have also completed JSO firearms training.

Disney pass holder hangs Trump re-election banner in Magic Kingdom

Those visiting Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park on Sunday might have noticed something unusual hanging in Main Street, U.S.A. – a banner calling for President Donald Trump’s re-election in 2020.

Dion Cini, 49, of New York, said he unfurled the banner and briefly hung it from a balcony overlooking the park’s Town Square with the help of a bystander to garner attention for Trump’s re-election campaign.

Cini told WFTV that the stunt cost him his annual pass, which he has had for 24 years, but he said it was well worth the free advertising.

Video showed a park employee approaching Cini.

“Sir, please remove the banner immediately,” the worker said.

Cini said he took the banner into a restroom, packed it up and changed his hat so no one would recognize him.

He said he has performed similar stunts for the past two years and will continue doing so.

 

Six Flags St. Louis offers $300 for spending 30 hours in coffin

In the 1942 film “The Corpse Vanishes,” actor Bela Lugosi explains that he finds a coffin “much more comfortable than a bed.”

Six Flags St. Louis is seeking people who find lying in coffins within their comfort level. The Missouri theme park announced on its website Friday that to celebrate the 30th year of Fright Fest, it will host a 30-Hour Coffin Challenge. Six contestants will be chosen to spend 30 hours in “deluxe,” “slightly used” coffins measuring 2 feet wide by 7 feet long, the Post-Dispatch reported. Hours of repose will be from 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, until 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at the park. Contestants will be allowed to bring a friend, the park said on its website, but only during Fright Fest operating hours. After hours — from midnight Saturday until noon Sunday — they will be on their own, but “some of our Fright Fest Freaks will be lurking about in the darkness.” There will be six-minute bathroom breaks every hour, but a contestant will be eliminated from the competition if he or she gets out of the coffin. Park officials did not specify whether this is an open or closed casket competition, but for health (and liability) reasons, we’ll assume it’s an open showing. However, to ensure comfort, contestants are encouraged to bring a pillow and blanket. The park will provide, food, drinks and snacks, and will provide cellphone charging stations to pass the time. Contestants who make it through the 30 hours will receive two 2019 Gold Season Passes and a Fright Fest Prize Package, which includes tickets to the haunted house and Freak Train. As for the $300 prize, if more than one person makes it through a drawing will be held to award the cash. But nobody goes home empty-handed. All winners will be allowed to keep the coffin, the park said on its website. After all, the challenge organizers want their contestants to rest in peace.  

Dallas police fire officer accused of shooting neighbor inside his home

Dallas police announced Monday that Amber Guyger, the officer accused of shooting and killing her neighbor in his apartment earlier this month, has been fired. pic.twitter.com/Bvt4ixHGsl — Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) September 24, 2018 Guyger was off-duty when she shot and killed Botham Shem Jean, 26, on Sept. 6, according to authorities. She told investigators she had mistaken Jean’s apartment for her own. Jean family attorneys and protesters have called for her firing following the shooting. Guyger joined the Dallas Police Department in November 2013.

Police warn parents after finding drugs designed to look like candy

Police are warning parents after confiscating drugs stamped to look like candy in the shape of animated characters.

Hapeville police recovered two guns, one of which was stolen, cash and drugs in a raid Friday.

“The pills and lollipops are designed to look like candy,” officials said in a post on Facebook. “Parents, teachers and Coaches please make our young people aware of these dangers.”

MARY J. BLIGE SUED FOR FAILING TO PAY RENT AND TRASHING L.A. MANSION

Mary J. Blige’s former landlord claims she bailed on her lease before it was up, left the place filthy and damaged, and even made off with some A/V equipment.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Golden Venus LLC. claims Blige and her ex-husband, Kendu Isaacs, rented a Beverly Hills back in May 2015, and the lease called for the couple to pay $25,500 per month in rent and put down a $51,000 security deposit.

In April of 2016, a lease extension with the couple was granted and the rent increased to $27,000 per month. But on August 5, 2016, they failed to pay rent for August through November, so Golden Venus served them with notice to pay up the $85,050 owed or vacate in three days, the report states.

Eventually, the two sides reached an agreement — Blige and Isaacs would pay $27,000 and keep the security deposit and the company would call it even.

But Golden Venus claims they never got paid.

via The Blast:

Furthermore, they claim they discovered $16,058.78 in damages to the home — including holes in the wall and repairs to the water heater, freezer, air conditioning unit and garage door. They also claim they realized $31,052.52 in audio/visual equipment had been “removed” from the home.

In all, Golden Venus says they are owed $58,211.13 from Mary J. Blige and Marin Isaacs, plus interest.

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