With Black Friday just hours away, here is a look at some of the best deals of the 2018 holiday shopping season.
Apple iPad 2018, 128GB: $329 – Best Buy
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2018 for $1,150 – Best Buy
Dell G3 15.6-inch gaming laptop for $899 - Office Depot
Dell XPS 13 for $1,500 – Costco
Google Pixelbook laptop for $699 – Google Store
HP 15.6-inch laptop for $349 – Office Depot
HP 1.6-inch Chromebook for $119.99 - Target
HP Pavilion 15 for $499 - Staples
Samsung Chromebook 3 for $99 – Walmart
Surface Go base model for $399 – Microsoft Store
Amazon Echo for $69 - Kohl’s
Fire HD 10 for $99.99 - Amazon
Fire TV Cube 4K for $59.99 - Amazon
Google Home Hub for $99 – Jet
Nest Hello Smart Doorbell for $129 – Google Store
60 percent off select office chairs – Office Depot
KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart stand mixer for $279.99 - J.C. Penney
Twin sheet sets for $5.99 - Macy’s
Bath towels for $2.99 each - J.C. Penney
Element 55-inch smart UHD TV for $199.99 - Target
65-inch TCL 65S4 4K Roku TV for $398 - Walmart
Samsung 75-inch 4K UHD TV and Xbox One S for $1,279 – Sam’s Club
LG 65-inch 4K UHD Smart TV for $599 - Sam’s Club
Apple Watch Series 3 (32mm) for $229 – Best Buy
Fitbit Versa smartwatch for $149 - Target
Canon T6 DSLR Camera Bundle for $399 – Sam’s Club
Potensic GPS FPV RC Drone, D80 with 1080P Camera Live Video and GPS Return Home for $199.99 – Amazon
Get select doorbusters free after mail-in rebate - Macy’s
Want to check out the Black Friday ads? Here are some links:
“Friendship and money: oil and water.”
Michael Corleone told that to a priest in the 1990 movie “The Godfather: Part III” when the prelate confessed that he trusted friends with the Vatican Bank’s money, and it had a disturbing ring of familiarity to a South Dakota woman who was victimized in a lottery scam by a friend that cost her more than $600,000 over a 16-year period.
A California woman who won $5.2 million in a 1989 lottery pleaded guilty in a South Dakota federal court last week for scamming six people -- including her friend, Kelly Lhotak -- out of more than $1 million, the Rapid City Journal reported.
Judy Carroll, 59, of El Cajon, and her husband won the California lottery in 1989. According to court documents, Carroll scammed Lhotak and five other people out of money in part by telling them the IRS had frozen her assets.
Carroll pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Rapid City on four counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion, the Journal reported.
Carroll was originally charged with 35 counts of wire fraud, but that indictment was dropped as part of her plea deal, the newspaper reported.
Each of Carroll's wire-fraud counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while the tax-evasion charge has a maximum of five years in prison. As part of the plea deal, Carroll must pay $1.55 million in restitution.
Of that total, $622,236.01 must be paid back to Lhotak, who loaned her the money over a 16-year period, the Journal reported.
It was the classic case
“It’s been a long time coming, and she deserves punishment for what she did for several victims,” Lhotak, who was Carroll’s neighbor in California during the mid-1990s and moved to South Dakota in 2002, told the newspaper. “My heart is broken. I have had the worst betrayal of a friendship that anyone can ever experience.”Lhotak loaned Carroll money beginning in November 2000 through October 2016, according to court documents obtained by the Journal.
Carroll told Lhotak the IRS froze all her assets and she owed the agency money, according to court documents. However, the IRS only froze assets and levied Carroll’s accounts once during that time, in 2007-2008, the Journal reported. She also told Lhotak she needed money, falsely claiming he was a victim of identity theft.
Lhotak said she didn't doubt Carroll's stories until she called the IRS in October 2016 to ask if her friend owed tax liens, the Journal reported. When the IRS said it had not, the agency launched an investigation.
"I did it because I loved her with all my heart," Lhotak told the newspaper.
Ohio police officials have released the chilling 911 call made by the sister of a disgraced former Cuyahoga County judge Saturday, in which she reported her brother stabbed his ex-wife to death in his driveway.
Lance Mason, 51, of Shaker Heights, was removed from the bench in 2014 after he viciously beat his then-estranged wife, elementary schoolteacher Aisha Fraser, in front of the couple’s two children.
Fraser, 44, died in a pool of blood Saturday morning as her children, Audrey, 11, and Ava, 8, screamed and sobbed inside their father’s Chagrin Boulevard home. The older girl has Down syndrome.
As of Tuesday morning, Mason had been charged with felonious assault on suspicion of striking a police officer with his vehicle as he tried to flee the scene. Charges had not been filed in Fraser’s death.
The former state legislator and common pleas court judge, who allegedly tried to kill himself after the fatal stabbing, remains in the hospital. He is being held without bond.
The audio released by Shaker Heights authorities begins with Mason’s distraught sister, Lynn Mason, telling her nieces to “come here.”
The 911 dispatcher asks about her emergency.
“I need the police immediately,” Lynn Mason says. “My brother is attacking his ex-wife.”
She gives the dispatcher her brother’s address on Chagrin Boulevard before tearfully telling her they will also need an ambulance.
The dispatcher asks if both Lance Mason and Fraser are still there.
“They’re outside. I… I… I don’t know. I heard her screaming,” Lynn Mason says.
“OK, are there any guns or knives involved?” the dispatcher asks.
“I don’t know. I think there might be,” Lynn Mason says. “Please hurry.”
Listen to Lynn Mason’s 911 call below, courtesy of WKYC in Cleveland. Warning: The call may be too disturbing for some listeners.
The dispatcher asks the caller to stay on the phone and relay to her what is happening. Lynn Mason says she can’t tell what is going on because she is inside the house with the couple’s children.
“I’m inside with the daughter. I don’t want her to see anything,” she says.
The dispatcher tells her to keep the girl inside and try to stay calm so the girl doesn’t get upset.
“I’m going to get my guys started out that way, OK, so just stay on the phone with me,” the dispatcher says.
After a few moments, Lynn Mason can be heard telling her niece to stay where she is while she goes and checks outside to see what’s going on. The dispatcher can be heard relaying information to responding officers while Mason’s sister checks on Fraser and her brother.
“Ma’am? Ma’am,” Lynn Mason says upon her return.
“Yes ma’am?” the dispatcher says.
“He stabbed her and he said she’s dead,” Lynn Mason says.
“Oh my gosh,” the dispatcher responds.
The dispatcher relays information of a “possible stabbing and DOA” to responding Shaker Heights police officers.
There are several moments in which the dispatcher and officers talk back and forth about the logistics of the police response. After a while, Lance Mason is heard coming back into the house.
The dispatcher gets a description of his clothes from his sister and asks if he still has the knife or if he left it outside.
“I don’t know. He walked in and there’s blood everywhere,” Lynn Mason says as at least one of her nieces wails in the background.
Lance Mason walks out again and the audio consists for a while of the dispatcher talking to officers, the back and forth punctuated by the shriek of sirens.
“Oh my God,” Lynn Mason whispers to herself at one point.
Lance Mason comes back inside the house as officers start to pull up to the scene. The dispatcher relays that information to the officers.
“Ten-four, we know,” an officer says.
“OK, are my officers there?” the dispatcher asks him.
An officer comes on and says there is a female down at the scene.
“She does look like she’s been stabbed,” the officer says.
A little while later, another officer comes on the audio.
“Radio, send a squad to my location. The guy rammed me from behind,” says the officer, who was later identified by Shaker Heights police officials as Officer Adam Flynt.
News 5 in Cleveland reported Monday that the officer suffered serious injuries to his legs and ribs. Court records obtained by Fox 8 in Cleveland indicated Mason was driving “fast enough to cause multiple airbag deployments and disabling damage to both vehicles.”
Flynt and Lance Mason were both hospitalized.
The dispatcher asks Lynn Mason if she knows where her brother is.
“He’s walking around,” she responds. “He’s walking around. I think he wants to die to, so…”
The dispatcher asks Lynn Mason where she and the girls are in the house because three officers, plus a detective, are about to enter. She tells the woman they are in the living room, facing the street out front.
Lance Mason paces around the kitchen for a while before going into the living room with his sister and daughters. An officer comes over the radio and says Fraser is down and not breathing. The dispatcher tells him paramedics are on the way.
A few seconds later, officers can be heard yelling as they get inside the house.
The children can be heard crying. One girl is talking to her aunt, though WKYC edited the audio to remove things the children said during the call.
News 5 reported that the girl, sobbing, said, “He killed her.”
“I know, baby. I’m so sorry,” Lynn Mason responds.
A former babysitter for Fraser and her ex-husband told Cleveland.com Monday that the little girls were Frazer’s life. She also loved her job at Woodbury Elementary School, where a candlelight vigil was held Monday evening to remember the longtime teacher.
The Shaker Heights Teachers’ Association organized the vigil and established a GoFundMe page for Fraser’s children. As of Tuesday morning, the fundraising page had raised nearly $110,000.
“We are in deep mourning,” read a post on the association’s Facebook page. “Aisha exemplified the best of Shaker Heights teachers: smart, amazingly caring of her students and her colleagues, active in her profession and in our association. She is loved by many.”
Hundreds of people gathered Monday night to remember Fraser, whose photo was displayed at the school’s entrance as family members, colleagues, students and friends recalled her spirit. Cleveland.com reported that Woodbury Principal Danny Young remembered her kindness, compassion and love, as well as her sense of humor.
“We have lost an angel, as well as a phenomenal educator,” Young said.
Fraser’s pastor, Chip Freed, of Garfield Memorial Church, told the crowd they have all been left with questions about why her life was ended.
“Aisha’s light is now shining on another shore,” Freed said. “As for the rest of us, we can either curse the darkness, or we can light candles.”
WKYC reported that Mason was removed from the bench about a month after an Aug. 2, 2014, assault on Fraser, in which he punched Fraser about 20 times and slammed her head repeatedly against the dashboard of his SUV. He also bit her and choked her as he drove, Cleveland.com reported.
The estranged couple were driving back from a family member’s funeral with their daughters. According to a 911 call Fraser made, which was obtained in 2014 by Cleveland.com, Mason kicked her out of the SUV and, after beating her some more outside of the vehicle, drove away with the children.
Fraser, who feared for the safety of her daughters, begged dispatchers to find her children.
“I’m afraid he’s going to hurt my daughters,” a frantic-sounding Fraser said. “Please find my kids!”
Mason was arrested at his home, where officers found smoke grenades, semi-automatic rifles, more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest and a sword, Cleveland.com reported.
After serving nine months of a two-year prison sentence for the beating, which left Fraser needing surgery to repair a fractured eye socket, Mason was hired last year by Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, who named Mason the city’s minority business development administrator.
Jackson issued a statement Saturday in which he said city officials were aware of Mason’s arrest and that the former judge had been terminated, effective immediately. City officials were cooperating with Shaker Heights investigators in the homicide case.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Ms. Aisha Fraser, especially to her children,” Jackson said.
Fox 8 reported Monday that Jackson stood by his hiring of Mason following his prison stint, saying he had no way to predict the future. He also stood by his policy of giving people second chances.
“We’re gonna look at it as a policy. Our policy is second chances unless there is something that would prevent us from doing it,” Jackson told the news station. “For example, you wouldn’t hire a convicted felon and put them around children. You wouldn’t hire an embezzler and put them in the finance department.”
At the end of every fiscal year, a spending spree of billions of federal tax dollars occurs in a matter of days. But not all of that money goes to essential items. We found examples of federal purchases for wine, snowboards, pianos, guitars and fancy gym equipment.
We dug through thousands of federal contracts for September, the last month of the fiscal year. In just one month, the U.S. government spent more than $6.2 million dollars on gym equipment. That includes millions spent on CrossFit equipment, one of the country’s hottest fitness trends. The State Department specified in a contract for jump ropes that they specifically needed the brand endorsed by CrossFit star Rich Froning.
We also found orders for music equipment, like a $20,000 grand piano, Fender guitars and saxophones. Other contracts included $10,000 for snowboards and dozens of iPads.
The end-of-year spending is part of a practice called “Use it or Lose it” budgeting. Federal agencies worry they will not receive as much money in the next year’s budget if they don’t spend every penny they currently have.
One out of every nine dollars spent by the federal government occurs in just the last seven days of the fiscal year, according to Adam Andrzejewski of Openthebooks.com, a government watchdog group.
“When the bureaucrats cannot even spend all the money that Congress is sending them, there's a problem,” Andrzejewski said.
We looked at spending in the nearly two months since the fiscal year ended. So far in October and November, only two contracts were issued for gym equipment, totaling $20,000. That is compared to the more than $6.2 million dollars spent the month before.
Openthebooks.com has been tracking government purchases as well. They placed an ad in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal listing more than one hundred examples of wasteful federal spending. Last year, they found thousands of dollars in year-end spending specifically on fidget spinners, liquor and wine.
“We identified in the last fiscal year that $50 billion dollars of contract spending went out the door in the last 7 days of the fiscal year,” Andrzejewski said.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, introduced a bill that would award bonuses to federal employees who cut budgets. We first reported on that legislation two years ago, and so far it has gone nowhere.
We asked the Defense Department why they needed these purchases in a short period of time, and they referred us to individual branches of service. The Army, the largest spender among the military, has not yet responded to our questions.
President Donald Trump signaled in a statement Tuesday that he plans to stand beside Saudi Arabia after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and critic of the country’s leadership, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 2. Intelligence officials in the U.S. and Europe believe Khashoggi was killed by a team of Saudi agents and then dismembered, The Washington Post reported.
Trump said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. does not condone the killing of the U.S-based columnist, but that “foolishly” canceling $110 billion in arms sales — as some in Congress have suggested — would only mean that Saudi Arabia would go to other countries to acquire them.
U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, an unidentified U.S. official told The Associated Press.
“Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump wrote in Tuesday’s statement.
Read the full statement from the president:The world is a very dangerous place! The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq’s fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force, “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Iran is considered “the world’s leading sponsor of terror.” On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading the fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism. After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries – and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States! The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone. Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body. Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t! That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world! I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction – and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A North Carolina charter school principal accused of raping a 12-year-old student on campus was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted injury, The News & Observer reported, citing a police report.
Authorities in Orange County found Richard Omar Knight, 35, in a wooded area near Mebane on Friday, WRAL reported. Two hunters found his body and called 911, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Police said no foul play was suspected, the television station reported.
Goldsboro police announced Knight’s death Monday afternoon, but said the investigation into his alleged crimes would continue, WRAL reported.
Goldsboro police learned of the student’s allegations Thursday and obtained a warrant Friday, charging Knight with statutory rape, a sex act and indecent liberties with a female at Dillard Academy Charter School, The News & Observer reported. Knight, of Smithfield, was principal of the charter school.
According to his LinkedIn page, Knight had been principal at the school since July 2016.
"This has had a devastating effect on this school and the school community as a whole," Hilda Hicks, executive director of Dillard Academy, told WRAL.
Hicks started the school in 1998.
“I can safely say this is the most difficult school day that we've ever had," Hicks told WRAL.
Police said a 14-year-old girl was killed Monday night when a bullet tore through the ceiling of an Atlanta apartment.
The teen, identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office as Sanja Star Harrison, was shot in the head at 6:30 p.m., the Atlanta Police Department said.
Police think the shot was fired from an upstairs apartment.
“Investigators are working to determine if the shooting was accidental and at this time there has been no arrest made,” Atlanta Police Department spokesman Officer Jarius Daugherty told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a statement.
“She was a good person. She didn’t bother anyone,” her brother, who didn’t want to be identified because the investigation is ongoing, told WSB. “She didn’t deserve it.”
It's that time again.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted the annual presidential turkey pardoning ceremony Tuesday afternoon in the White House Rose Garden, where one lucky bird will be named the National Thanksgiving Turkey.
Trump announced that Peas won the election with Carrots, despite a recount, according to the president.
The pardoning has been an annual tradition since 1989, but Thanksgiving turkeys have been presented to presidents for seven decades, The Associated Press reported.
This year, Peas and Carrots, two turkeys from South Dakota, vied for the honor. Peas, a 39-pounder with a 36-inch wing span, loves Brad Paisley and popcorn, while the 41-pound Carrots enjoys yoga and boasts a "strong and confident" gobble, the White House joked on its website.
After the ceremony, Peas and Carrots will live at Gobbler's Rest at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A family is demanding changes to protect others after a woman died after she was stung by a wasp and neither of her county’s ambulances came when called.
Donna Martin died in her yard over the summer in Madison, Georgia. Her daughter, Ellen Sims, told WSB Martin suffered a severe allergic reaction within minutes. Martin’s niece called 911 for an ambulance.
“You call with the expectation that someone is going to be coming and when they don’t, it’s a big game of Russian roulette,” Sims told WSB.
An ambulance from a neighboring county eventually came 28 minutes after the call to 911. By that point, Sims said, Martin was too far gone. She later died at a hospital.
“In 28 minutes, when you’re in cardiac arrest and you’re not breathing and your brain’s not receiving oxygen, you don’t have a chance,” Sims said.
“Our job is here to help people in need,” Huey Atkins, director of National EMS for Morgan County, told WSB. “That’s what we’re here for and anytime there’s a death, we take that seriously.”
Atkins said that at the time Martin’s emergency took place, both county ambulances were busy on other calls.
"There are occasional instances where everybody is busy and, just, you know -- an immediate truck to send is not available.”
National EMS said those instances are rare and it would be open to adding a third ambulance, if Morgan County can find the money to pay for it.
Martin’s family is now pressuring the county to find a solution that could have saved Martin’s life.
“She’s not going to be at the Thanksgiving table. It’s a hard thing to swallow as a family," Sims said.
Morgan County manager Adam Mestres told WSB the county still has confidence in National, but also said they are constantly reviewing their performance to see if any additional resources might be needed.
“The County reviews National EMS call data on a quarterly basis to ensure compliance within the scope of the contract for services,” Mestres said in a statement to WSB. “Public Safety response throughout the County is fluid and with that we cannot predict time or severity of an emergency. What we can do however, is review public safety data on a continuous basis to help determine if additional resources are needed whether temporary or permanent. With the resources the county has, we strive to provide the best service we can to our community.”
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