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‘It just dragged me:’ Pit bull bites third-graders after escaping from Seattle home

pit bull escaped a Seattle home and bit a third-grade girl inside nearby St. Therese Catholic Academy on Thursday. 

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St. Therese Catholic Academy is an elementary and middle school.

“(It) jumped on one of my friends and started attacking me,” said Doris Dickerson, the 8-year-old who was attacked and bitten on her head and hand. “It just dragged me.”

Dickerson is related to KIRO 7 reporter Michael Spears. Her mother took her to the hospital, where she spent much of the day. She was released Thursday night with stitches in her face and hand.

All three students are expected to be OK.

“Screaming and then my teacher was trying to get the dog away from me,” said Dickerson, who had been in a hallway on a bathroom break when the dog got inside the school.

Police said two dogs managed to get loose from a nearby residence and entered the school grounds as students were ending their recess period. Two other students also received several minor bites. 

Animal control investigators are conducting a follow-up investigation. Click here for more information on the incident from the Seattle Police Department.

Huggable moment: Kindergartners' daily greeting goes viral

Hugs can go a long way toward making someone’s day happy.

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That’s the idea behind a viral video shot at a kindergarten class in northwest Wisconsin, KARE reported. It was a huggable moment by students that has been viewed more than 10 million times on social media.

The reaction to the video on Facebook, shot at an elementary school in the tiny village of Birchwood, surprised Nicole Schlapper, the teacher who came up with the idea.

“It’s incredible,” Schlapper told KARE. “Within a few days it went crazy.”

The video shows Schlapper’s students choosing the way they wanted to be welcomed to class. The choices included a handshake, a fist bump, a wave, a high-five or a hug.

On the day Schlapper recorded her video, the assigned greeter was 5-year-old Colin Baker. In the video, most of his classmates chose to hug Colin.

“He’s so loving,” Schlapper told KARE. “He loves hugs.”

Schlapper told the television station she began using the greeting this school year, and said she liked the idea that her students had a choice.

“I think some mornings for them at home might not be easy,” Schlapper told KARE. “Maybe they don’t want a hug that day, maybe just a simple wave is all they need. We just want it to be a good, positive start to the day.”

Georgia teacher's assistant accused of pushing child to floor

Georgia police said they are investigating after a paraprofessional at McNair Discovery Learning Academy was arrested on simple battery charges.

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The incident happened Dec. 7.

Carlas Smith, 47, is accused of using her hands to push a 10-year-old student in the chest, causing the victim to fall to the floor, according to DeKalb County police. The woman initially approached the child in a provoking way, according to a warrant.

The warrant did not provide any other details on what led up to the incident.

Smith was arrested Thursday and later appeared before a judge.

Some parents said the woman was friendly and competent, especially on field trips. Her arrest is something they never expected.

"I think it's upsetting," one parent said.

DeKalb County Schools has not commented on the incident.

Oregon OKs language for ballot measure to legalize psychedelic mushrooms 

Proponents of psychedelic mushrooms in Oregon received good news from the state’s attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, who approved language last week for a ballot measure to legalize them, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

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If passed, the measure would reduce criminal penalties for the manufacture, delivery and possession of psilocybin, which is the hallucinogen contained in psychedelic mushrooms, OPB reported.

In a tweet, members of the Oregon Psilocybin Society said it will begin gathering the 140,000 signatures required to put the measure on the ballot for the 2020 election.

On its website, society members asserted there is more evidence now that the drug is safe and can be used in treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD and even drug addiction.

The federal government controlled use of mushrooms during the 1970s, OPB reported. 

Group flies large Confederate flag along North Carolina interstate

The Sons of Confederate Veterans have placed a 20-foot-by-30-foot Confederate flag along I-40 in North Carolina.

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The group is flying the flag in eastern Burke County because it believes the University of North Carolina is trying to hide the toppled Confederate statue, Silent Sam, by placing it inside a building.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans erected the flag to honor those from Burke County who fought in the Civil War.

The organization said it will place huge flags along major highways in North Carolina for every Confederate memorial removed in the state.

“This is our repercussion for this,” Burke Tigers Sons of Confederate Commander Elgie McGallird said. “As long as they keep desecrating and taking our memorials down, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”

 

Brenda Snipes replaced as Broward County elections supervisor

Brenda Snipes, the Broward County elections supervisor who was the lightning rod for the voting controversy during midterm elections in Florida, was suspended by Gov. Rick Scott on Friday, the Sun-Sentinel reported. 

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Snipes, 75, was replaced by Peter Antonacci, 70, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. Antonacci will serve for the remainder of Snipes’ term until a replacement can be chosen by voters in November 2020, according to Scott’s office.

In a statement, Scott cited “misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty” as the reasons for suspending Snipes, who said she was resigning Jan. 4.

>> Who is Brenda Snipes?

“After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a supervisor of elections who has already announced resignation,” Scott said in a statement.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Snipes in 2003, WPLG reported.

Snipes could not be reached for comment. Antonacci deferred questions to the governor’s office, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Antonacci grew up in Hialeah, Florida, and earned urban planning and legal degrees from Florida State University and the FSU law school, WPLG reported. 

Election 2018: Panthers QB Cam Newton gets 11 write-in votes

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton received 11 write-in votes for an election in North Carolina, officials said.

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Newton’s name was written in for the Mecklenburg County Soil and Water Conservation district position, according to the Board of Elections.

The two people who won received more than 100,000 votes each.

Newton has thrown for 2,086 yards and 17 touchdowns this season for the Panthers, who are 6-3 and trail the New Orleans Saints by two games in the National Football League’s NFC South division.

Who is Brenda Snipes, Broward County’s supervisor of elections?

The lightning rod for the voting controversy in Florida this year has been Broward County and its supervisor of elections, Brenda Snipes.

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President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that Snipes “has had a horrible history and all of a sudden they are finding votes out of nowhere,” The New York Times reported. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, holding a razor-thin lead in the race for the U.S. Senate over incumbent Bill Nelson, announced Thursday that his campaign had filed a lawsuit against Snipes and Susan Bucher, the supervisor of elections in neighboring Palm Beach County, WFOR reported.

The suits accuse both offices of not complying with the state’s public records laws, and Scott publicly blasted both officials for “rank incompetence,” the Sun-Sentinel reported.

A Broward County judge ruled in favor of Scott on Friday and said Snipes must allow “immediate” viewing and copying of records that had been requested, WFOR reported.

However, a spokeswoman for the Department of Law Enforcement told the New York Times that no fraud allegations had been made and that no criminal investigations would proceed against Snipes or Bucher.

Here are some things to know about Snipes:

Brenda Calhoun Snipes, 75, is a native of Talladega, Alabama, and has lived in Broward County since 1964, according to the official Broward County Supervisor of Elections website.

She graduated from Westside High School in Talladega and then attended Talladega College, where she majored in modern foreign languages. After moving to Florida, she earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction for adults from Florida Atlantic University and was awarded a doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University, according to the website.

She began teaching in Broward County after being invited by Blanche G. Ely, a social activist and principal of the Pompano Beach high school that bears her name.

She served as a co-principal at C. Robert Markham Elementary School in Pompano Beach before being appointed principal at the school.

She retired from the school system in June 2003. Five months later, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Snipes to replace Miriam Oliphant, who was removed from the post after accusations of mishandling the 2002 gubernatorial primary, CNN reported in 2003. She was elected in her own right in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016, 

Snipes and her husband, Walter Snipes Jr., were married in Talladega County, Alabama, in April 1964, according to Alabama marriage records. They have two grown daughters: Derrice Snipes who is a grants management director at Southwest Community College in Memphis; and Melanie Snipes, an attorney in Cartersville, Georgia. Snipes and her husband have two grandchildren.

Some of the previous glitches that have occurred during Snipes’ tenure as supervisor of elections:

A court ruled Snipes had broken election law when she destroyed ballots from the 2016 election 12 months after it, instead of the 22 months required by federal law, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Election results in the 2016 primary were posted on the election office’s website before the polls closed, the newspaper reported.

In 2012, nearly 1,000 uncounted ballots were discovered a week after the election, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

In 2004, approximately 58,000 mail-in ballots were not delivered to voters, the newspaper reported.

NFL pioneer Wally Triplett dies at 92

Wally Triplett, one of the first black athletes drafted by an NFL team, died Thursday morning, the Detroit Free Press reported. He was 92. 

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Triplett, who played collegiately at Penn State, was drafted out of Penn State University by the Detroit Lions in the 19th round of the 1949 NFL draft. There were three black players drafted that year, but Triplett was the first to play in a regular-season game, according to an obituary that appeared in the Lawrence Journal World

Triplett, a 5-foot-11, 173-pounder who was a running back and kick returner, played two years with the Lions and two with the Chicago Cardinals. He played in 24 games, starting nine with the Lions, and rushed for 321 yards in 70 carries. He scored one touchdown.

>> Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Triplett a native of La Mott, Pennsylvania, also made 17 catches for 175 yards.

“As the first African-American to be drafted and to play in the National Football League, Wally is one of the true trailblazers in American sports history," the Lions said in a news release. "He resides among the great men who helped reshape the game as they faced the challenges of segregation and discrimination.

“His contributions date back to his days at Penn State as the Nittany Lions’ first African-American starter and varsity letter-winner, highlighted by his appearance in the first integrated Cotton Bowl. Wally’s legacy also reaches beyond breaking color barriers, having served in the United States Army during the Korean War.

“We fondly reflect on his great achievements and send our heartfelt condolences to the Triplett family.”

Triplett had 34 career punt returns for 401 yards and a touchdown, and returned 18 kickoffs for 664 yards and a touchdown.

On Oct. 29, 1950, Triplett set a then-NFL record with 294 yards on four kick returns, including a 97-yard touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams, the Free Press reported. The record stood for 44 years and is now the third-highest mark in league history.

Triplett was drafted into the Army after the 1950 season and served two years before finishing his career with the Cardinals.

How – and when – to protect your pipes from freezing

When temperatures fall below freezing, water pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. They can release several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in a big – potentially costly – mess in your home.

What causes pipes to burst?

Pipes burst because of the pressure that's exerted when water freezes. It can exceed 2,000 pounds per square inch, so it's no match for metal or plastic pipes, which will burst under this extreme pressure.

Ice particles can also cause problems in your pipes by blocking valves or other areas.

What should you do to protect your pipes?

When temperatures are expected to drop to about 20 degrees, you should take the following steps to keep your pipes from bursting:

  • Leave water dripping or trickling slowly from your faucets. This helps reduce the buildup of pressure inside your pipes. If the water stops dripping, it could mean that ice has formed and is blocking the pipe, providing a good indication that the situation needs close monitoring.
  • Closely monitor all pipes. This is especially important for those located in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls and near electrical outlets, because these have the most exposure to cold temperatures.
  • Learn where your water shutoff valve is located. That way, you'll be able to shut it off in case your pipes burst. If your home is built on a slab, your shutoff valve is probably near your hot water tank. If you have a basement, you'll probably find your shutoff valve there. And if your home is built on a crawl space, the valve will probably be located there, under the front wall of your house. If all else fails, you can also shut the water off at the city water line's covered box near the front of your home.
  • Open cabinets beneath sinks. This is especially helpful if the sink is on an outside wall, because this helps keep the pipes underneath it warmer.
  • Use an insulating dome or similar covering. This can cover and protect outdoor spigots. 
  • Check the areas around pipes and hoses that come into your home. Look for signs of daylight or outside air that's getting into your home. Block the holes with insulating foam or caulk.
  • Wrap your pipes. Look for thick foam or fiberglass insulating sleeves, UL-listed heat tape or other insulating products at a home improvement store. Wrap your pipes tightly and secure with acrylic or duct tape, cable ties, or aluminum foil tape or wire every foot or so to make sure it stays secure. Wrapping your pipes isn't expensive, and it can save a great deal of money and aggravation.
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