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Indianapolis Archdiocese cuts ties with school over refusal to fire gay teacher

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has cut ties with a school that refused to fire a gay teacher, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School received notice Thursday that a formal announcement would be made Friday, declaring the school would no longer be formally recognized as a Catholic school, the Indianapolis Star reported.

After being made aware one of the teachers married a partner of the same sex in 2017, Brebeuf Jesuit began fighting to keep the teacher who had been with the school for years and did not teach religion classes.

The school’s president posted to the school website, saying the Archdiocese’s decision would not affect the school’s mission.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the school has a robust nondiscrimination policy, and only the president, principal, religious studies teacher, and campus minister are required to be practicing Catholics.

Carrie Underwood, NFL and NBC sued over ‘Sunday Night Football’ song

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Carrie Underwood, the NFL and NBC have been hit with a lawsuit that accuses them of plagiarizing the “Sunday Night Football” theme song.

Singer Heidi Merrill and three songwriting collaborators filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan, claiming she created a song in 2016 called “Game On” and pitched it to Underwood’s producer, Mark Bright, who passed on it.

Merrill alleges that Underwood’s song of the same name, “Game On,” which was played during the opening of “Sunday Night Football” in 2018, is a direct copyright violation of the song she sent over to the country superstar’s team a year earlier.

“This is a blatant attempt by a celebrity singer to rip off other artists’ work, and it won’t be tolerated,” Merrill’s attorney, Sam P. Israel, said in a statement to CNN. “It’s indefensible to steal music created by hard-working songwriters and then broadcast that theft on national television.”

A representative for NBC Sports said the network doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

CNN has reached out to Underwood and the NFL.

Below is Merrill’s song, which the suit says she uploaded to YouTube in 2017.

This is Underwood’s “Game On” from “Sunday Night Football” last year.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages to be determined at trial.

We’re now growing little skull horns because of our phones, research finds

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It sounds like a crazy tabloid headline—humans are growing little horns in the back of their skulls.

Except it comes not from a tabloid but a peer-reviewed study in Scientific Reports. Australian researchers say more people, young ones especially, are showing up with what’s known as an “enlarged external occipital protuberance” on the back of their skulls, just above the neck, reports the Washington Post.

The leading theory is that these spikes are caused by all the time people spend hunched over their phones. It’s throwing the body out of whack, resulting in the formation of what’s been variously described in coverage as bone spurs, phone bones, a bird’s beak, and head horns. (The study itself includes an X-ray photo.) If you have one, you’d likely be able to feel it with your fingers, notes the BBC. It might even be visible as a little bump if you’re bald.

“I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly I have been discovering that my patients have this growth on the skull,” says researcher David Shahar of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

A previous Shahar study looked at 218 X-ray images of people between ages 18 and 30 and found that 41% had a lump of between 10 and 30 millimeters, per the The more recent study looked at a broader sample of 1,200 people of all ages and found the lump in 33% of the population, but most prominently in younger people.

Yet another study made the case that the cause isn’t genetic, but a result of the modern posture of staring down at tiny screens.

“These formations take a long time to develop, so that means that those individuals who suffer from them probably have been stressing that area since early childhood,” Shahar says. (Texting takes a heavy toll on your neck—about 60 pounds’ worth.)

More From Newser:

Quad City leaders exploring natural ways to prevent future flooding

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DAVENPORT-- With the record flooding, comes talk of how to prevent future floods from overtaking land. We've all heard the argument of building a permanent flood wall along Davenport's riverfront. But now local lawmakers are exploring a more natural option.

With the birds chirping, you can hear it. With the sun glistening on the water, you can finally see it. With the rain gone and the river down, Nahant Marsh in Davnport is welcoming back two-legged visitors.

On Thursday, June 20, 2019, local leaders and policymakers headed to the marsh after 94 consecutive days of flooding.

Now Nahant Marsh Executive Director Brian Ritter worries some plants and animals won't make it back.

"They can tolerate a little bit of water, but that long duration, it's questionable if it will survive," says Ritter.

Despite those questions, this place has been an answer when it comes to fighting the Historic Flood of 2019.

"Not only do they serve as a place for recreation and habitat, but they're a release valve for the Mississippi River," says Ritter.

Once the Mississippi in the Quad Cities hits 12 feet, this ecosystem in the middle of city limits starts taking on water, preventing it from pouring into fields or streets. It's supposed to.

"Flooding is getting worse all the time, and this is one way to deal with it," says Ritter.

Right now Nahant Marsh is a 305-acre flood fighting basin. Ritter thinks the answer to future flood prevention is creating more of these. He says in the next few years, he hopes to expand the marsh by 200-acres.

"If we can do it naturally and keep our riverfront open, it would be such a great opportunity," says Iowa State Representative Cindy Winckler. She represents the part of Davenport that was directly impacted by the temporary barrier failure at Second and Pershing Streets back on April 30.

After learning more about the marsh, Winckler agrees. She says the next step is spreading that education to others.

"Give the public an alternative, because right now they think the only way to resolve this is a flood wall," says Winckler.

You can hear it, but Ritter wants to see it; people using nature to prevent future floods.

"We can only do so much. We need more of these places as a strategy," says Ritter.

Concerned citizens say closed bridge in Cable, Illinois is a public safety concern

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CABLE, Illinois – A bridge that links Cable, Illinois and Sherrard, Illinois has some Mercer County residents concerned.

The bridge is on 300th Street between Camp Creek Road and Meadow Gate Road.

“Its really a safety issue that should have been addressed,” says resident Don Ditto.

He says the bridge is the fastest way for him to get from his home to downtown Sherrard.

A trip that used to take only two or three minutes, now takes him and his neighbors about twenty minutes.

That’s because of detours brought on by the closed bridge.

But, he says more than an inconvenience, the closed bridge is a public safety issue.

“Say this house right here has a fire, or there`s an elderly person living there. The response time is ridiculous. Especially when they could just drive right through here,” said Ditto.

It’s not a new problem at all. In fact, Ditto, who has lived in his home with his wife for nearly three decades, says the bridge has been closed for about four years.

Ditto says this bridge issue is a testament to the infrastructure issues in Mercer County.

He has contacted his local representative Dan Swanson.

“I got a call returned to me telling me that they were gonna work on it in May and they was gonna try and get it done by December,” he said.

Ditto said he has yet to see any progress made and he now is calling upon leaders to find the funding and man-power to get this bridge fixed.

A rare, clockwise-spinning tornado touches down in South Dakota

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South Dakota doesn't get a lot of tornadoes, but a twister there last weekend was particularly rare -- because it was spinning clockwise.

The National Weather Service says the anticyclonic tornado only lasted for about 45 seconds on June 15. That was long enough for it to knock down seven trees at a farmstead outside of Estelline, which is about 80 miles north of Sioux Falls.

Only about 1% of tornadoes that hit the Northern Hemisphere rotate in a clockwise direction, the National Weather service says. The weather service used radar data and video to make its determination about the South Dakota storm.

Becky Bates shot one of those videos while chasing the storm with her family.

"It honestly didn't seem unusual to me," Bates told CNN. "This was my first catch. I just chase for fun. But it touched down a couple of times while we sat and watched."

The tornado had estimated peak winds of 75 mph and its path was about one-tenth of a mile long.

It caused only relatively minor damage. One of the downed trees bent the metal overhang on a shed.

Fisherman discovers two human legs in Pennsylvania river

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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A fisherman made a gruesome discovery last month in the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania – parts of two human legs, according to the Lycoming County Coroner.

They were cut at the knee, apparently with a thin-blade hand saw, authorities say. They think they might have belonged to a female because the toenails were painted pink.

The feet had white socks with “Polo Jeans” and “R.L.” on them above a red, white and blue flag. Investigators think they are Ralph Lauren brand.

The legs were found near the Hepburn Street Dam the evening of May 11th.

The coroner says since no one was reported missing in the Williamsport area, investigators are looking into the possibility that the legs belong to a person who was killed somewhere else.

The coroner believes the person was killed about six months before the grisly discovery.

Investigators searched the river extensively after the legs were found, but nothing else was discovered.

The coroner says state police have entered DNA from the remains as well as case information with into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

Custom ‘My Little Pony’ casket donated for 4-year-old Maleah Davis’ funeral

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HOUSTON – Maleah Davis, the 4-year-old found dead after she went missing in early May, will be buried in a colorful, one-of-a-kind casket, a tribute to her memory and her grieving family.

The casket was built and donated by SoulShine Industries to the Davis family.

“The casket is the most important part of remembering somebody, so it should be special,” said company owner Trey Ganem told CNN.

Ganem said he received over 200 calls from the community asking him to make a casket for the Davis family. She will be buried in a private funeral Saturday.

“It was such a blessing to provide something special for this loving family,” Ganem said.

The casket designer Courtney Sublett told CNN she worked closely with the family and the theme quickly became apparent. The final product was a white casket covered with rainbows, the color pink, “My Little Pony,” and even a portrait of Maleah.

“It’s such a tragic thing, I’m glad we could bring a little light to her story,” Sublett said.

The funeral home that is hosting the funeral, Richardson Mortuary, has been collecting flowers and condolences on behalf of the family, according to CNN affiliate KTRK.

Toys and teddy bears are also being collected at the apartment complex where the Davis family lived. A sign says the items will be displayed at the funeral and then donated to the Houston Fire Department.

Meleah’s remains were found in Arkansas May 30, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. Her mother’s former fiancé, Derion Vence, is charged with tampering with a corpse in connection to Meleah’s death.

Apple recalls batteries in some older 15-inch MacBook Pros

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(CNN) — Apple is doing a voluntary recall for certain versions of its 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops due to batteries that “may overheat and pose a safety risk.”

In a notice issued Thursday, Apple said the units were mostly sold between September 2015 and February 2017.

People can visit Apple’s website and enter their laptop’s serial number to see if their computer is part of the voluntary recall. If it is affected, Apple recommends not using the computer. The company will replace the batteries for free, but customers need to take their device to an Apple Store or authorized retailer, or mail it in to Apple support. The company says repairs could take one to two weeks.

Apple said the recall doesn’t pertain to other 15-inch MacBook Pros or any other Apple laptops.

This announcement comes just a few months after Apple issued a similar recall for two types of plug adapters because of a risk of electric shock. Issued in April, that voluntary recall affected the AC wall plug adapter sold with Macs and some iOS devices between 2003 and 2010, and a three-pronged plug sold in Apple’s global travel adapter kit.

‘Soak up this moment.’ Granger Smith’s family posts touching video tribute to son

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“What if you were given a gift of 1,000 days on this Earth?”

That’s how country star Granger Smith is now framing the tragic death of his 3-year-old son, River, who died after a drowning accident at the family’s Texas home earlier this month.

In an emotional, nearly 30-minute YouTube video titled “Finding Light in Our Darkest Time,” Smith and his wife, Amber, show photos and clips of their youngest child and speak about the time they had with him before he died.

Smith says his daughter, London, asked him how long her brother had lived, which is when he did the math and realized it was “just over a thousand.”

“If you could live those days barefoot, red hair flying back on your tractor full speed ahead, if you could do that with your family around you, with no real cares in the world … that’s a good way to live,” Smith says in the video.

Per People, Smith also recalls what he was thinking during those last few moments before his world was shattered, as he hung out with River and his other two children, 7-year-old London and 5-year-old Lincoln. While he and London did gymnastics, his two boys were having a water gun fight, and he found himself thinking, “Soak up this moment, because it’s not going to last forever.”

Then, between “30 seconds and three minutes” later, he notes, he and his wife were doing CPR on their son.

Still, Smith implores well-wishers not to feel sorry for their family: “There’s a lot of people that he affected, and it’s important to not stay dark forever. We had an incredible little boy for three years, and we feel really good about that.”

The Smiths end their tribute with one request: “Live like Riv.” (Read more country music stories.)

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Here’s the flood recovery plan for the City of Davenport

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — Flood waters have receded in Davenport but the damage repair and preventative planning remains underway.

First, community members will see River Drive reopen around 2 p.m. on Friday, June 21.  This comes nearly 100 days after the first closure was issued on March 15.

The Presidential Disaster Declaration has been extended to cover damages through June 15.  City leaders are planning a meeting with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the coming weeks.  After that, the city will have 60 days to solidify projects that they’re working on.

The city plans to apply for disaster and flood mitigation grants, in an attempt to fix roads that are subject to washout when river levels rise above 18 feet.

It could take months for some temporary repairs to be made.

Plenty of work hangs in the balance at Credit Island. Much of South Concord between River Drive and Utah has water over the road.  Many underground utilities will need to be cleaned and inspected; river levels need to drop even more for that to happen.

103-year-old ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins earns gold medal, sets records at National Senior Games

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana - A 103-year-old Baton Rouge woman is proving that you can win gold medals and set records at any age.

Julia 'Hurricane' Hawkins began running two years ago - when she was already over 100. Earlier this week, she competed in the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hawkins took home the gold for the 100-meter dash, completing the course in just 46 seconds. She also competed in the 50 meter race and set another Senior Games record for women over 100 with a time of 21 seconds.

In addition to this week's records, she is also the oldest woman to compete on an American track.

“I hope I'm inspiring them to be healthy and realize you can still be doing it at this kind of an age if you keep yourself busy and active through your life,” Hawkins said.

Despite feeling right at home blowing away her competition on the track, Hawkins said her favorite way to train is outside in her garden. She has an acre of land and 50 kinds of trees that she said she works on all the time.

Drenching tropical rains, thunderstorms still on track for the upcoming weekend

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What a great day it turned out to be as we briefly dry out for one full day.  Highs this afternoon are on track to climb in the warmer 70s across the area.  Having a dry full day in the forecast will be hard to come by especially as we head into the upcoming weekend. By the evening and overnight hours we’ll add a few more broken clouds as a weak disturbance slides in from the west.  This could lead to a passing light shower before the predawn hours.

More clouds than sun will be the highlight for Friday with temperatures right back in the 70s.  Trending dry through most of the day as a warm front from the south slowly track toward the area that evening into Saturday morning.  This front will carry a good amount of gulf moisture across the area resulting in an increase coverage of heavy showers and thunderstorms.

Plenty of warmth and humidity for your Saturday with highs in the 80s and heat index values approaching 90.

The rest of the weekend will remain very tropical as we’ll be in between showers and thunderstorms.  Before we dry out by the time we get to the start of the new week, rainfall amounts will likely exceed an inch or two in most spots.  Stay tuned!

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Alabama man accused of training meth-fueled ‘attack squirrel’ posts Facebook video about the claims

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - The Limestone County Sheriffs Office is still looking for a man after a drug bust involving a squirrel.

Mickey Paulk, 35, is wanted for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Deputies also believe he is illegally in possession of a firearm.

When authorities executed a search warrant at an apartment, they say they found meth, drug paraphernalia, body armor, and a caged squirrel. Ronnie Reynolds, 37, was arrested during the search.

Sources told the sheriff's office that Paulk fed the squirrel meth to help keep it aggressive and trained it to attack people.

Animal control officials were called to retrieve the squirrel but since there wasn't a safe way to test it for meth they released the squirrel into the wild, according to WHNT.

On Tuesday, June 18, Paulk posted a video on Facebook to dispute the claims from the Limestone County Sheriff's Office.

Paulk claims he doesn't live in the home deputies searched, and also addresses the idea of his apparent pet squirrel being on meth.

“He’s not a trained attack squirrel…" Paul says in the video. "And he’s not on meth I’m pretty sure. Better not find out he’s on meth, anyway," he said jokingly.

He is with a squirrel in the video, and claims that it was the squirrel released by officials.

In the video, Paulk also tries to dispute the warrant charges against him. But police say this isn't the first time they’ve dealt with Paulk, and they’re not concerned about his public comments.

“While this is a different case because of the other ones we’ve dealt with, because of the publicity, you’ve got to go back to what is our role," said Stephen Young with the Limestone County Sheriff's Office.

He says that role is getting the facts right, being thorough in their investigation, and keeping the public safe.

“While we keep the public informed about a lot of things that we do and what’s going on, but our job as law enforcement officers is not to engage in a public forum or debate about things that may or may not have happened or may or may not happen in the future," Young said.

Anyone with information on Paulk's whereabouts should contact the Limestone County Sheriff's Office.

WARNING: The Facebook video contains graphic language:

Can't see the video? Tap here. 

Why the summer solstice is the best time for farmers are gardeners

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MOLINE, Illinois  —  Friday, June 21st, marks the first official day of summer.

In fact, the summer solstice will officially happen at 10:54 a.m. Central.  This happens when the Earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees, where the North Pole is facing mostly toward the sun.

The solstice is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Plant and Garden expert Craig Hignight says this is the best time for farmers and gardeners.

“We get the best growth,” Highnight said. ” That’s why we grow so much corn and soybeans in the Midwest. Believe it or not, with all the rain we’ve had, July is technically our wettest month. When we get the most rain, it probably has to do in conjunction with the solstice. That’s why crops grow so well here in the Midwest.”

We will go through fall solstice in September.



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