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Bus driver's quick thinking likely stopped child abduction, police say

A quick-thinking bus driver helped prevent a potential child abduction in Georgia, according to Atlanta's WSB-TV.

Investigators in Jefferson said a brother and sister were about to get off their school bus Wednesday afternoon along Jett Roberts Road when an older, balding, white man in a gray, four-door car called out to the children to come get into his car. 

>> Read more trending news 

The bus driver, not recognizing the car, spoke with the man through the bus window and asked the children if they knew the man, police said.

The driver kept the children on the bus and called their mother, authorities said. The children’s mother said she didn’t send anyone to pick them up or know anyone matching the description, according to police.

That’s when the car drove off.

Officers said they were not able to get a good view of the suspect’s vehicle from the bus cameras. Police said they are warning others to be on the lookout for the man. They will also be stepping up patrols in the area.

Del Monte recalling more than 64,000 cases of Fiesta Corn in 25 states

Del Monte Foods is recalling thousands of cases of Fiesta Corn due to underprocessing concerns, the Food and Drug Administration said in a press release.

>> Read more trending news 

Some 64,242 cases of Fiesta Corn Seasoned with Red and Green Peppers are under recall as a precaution because underprocessing can lead to contamination, the FDA said.

There have been no reported illnesses linked to the corn.

It was distributed in 25 states including, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Carolina and Washington.

The cans of corn under recall are 15.25-ounce cans produced between Aug. 14 and Sept. 23.

The cans will have the following UPC number printed on the label: 24000 02770. The product will also have one of the following “Best if Used By” dates stamped on the bottom of the can:

  • August 14, 2021
  • August 15, 2021
  • August 16, 2021
  • Sept 3, 2021
  • Sept 4, 2021
  • Sept 5, 2021
  • Sept 6, 2021
  • Sept 22, 2021
  • Sept 23, 2021

>> Related: 29,000 pounds of Jimmy Dean sausage links recalled over possible metal fragments

Consumers are urged to return the cans to stores for a refund or to exchange or contact the company.

 

Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards says he’s giving up drinking; ‘I got fed up with it’

Longtime Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards said he’s been drinking less and less over the past year and finally just “pulled the plug on it.”

>> Read more trending news 

The Stones guitarist and founding band member, who turns 75 next week, told Rolling Stone magazine, “I just got fed up with it.”

He said he still has a glass of wine or a beer on occasion, but that he’s given up the harder stuff.

“It was time to quit,” Richards said. “Just like all the other stuff.” 

“I don’t notice any difference really – except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling [right]. I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore,” he said.

>> Trending: Cannibal Corpse guitarist attacks deputy as his ammo-filled home burns down

Richards, who survived a cancer scare in 2010, talked with Rolling Stone ahead of the band’s North American leg of the “No Filter” tour, which kicks off next year in Miami.

Disney World worker fired after stealing thousands, deputies say

A Walt Disney World hotel worker was arrested Monday after stealing almost $49,000 in 2016, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

>> Read more trending news 

Between April 2016 and December 2016, Jamaica Hall, 31, of Kissimmee, issued fraudulent credit card refunds to hotel guests, which he transferred to his checking account, investigators said.

>> Related: Disney employee accused of recording co-worker in bathroom, deputies say

Deputies said Hall worked as a front desk concierge host at multiple Walt Disney World hotels.

No hotel guests were affected by the $48,531 in fraudulent refunds, investigators said.

>> Related: 15 Disney guests treated after bus crash in Epcot auto plaza, officials say

Deputies said Hall admitted to stealing the money and was fired. 

He was booked into the Orange County Jail on charges of grand theft. He is being held in lieu of a $10,000 bail

3 people trapped in West Virginia coal mine found alive 

Three missing people have been found alive in an abandoned coal mine in West Virginia, according to numerous media reports.

>> Read more trending news 

Erica Treadway, 31, Kayla Williams and Cody Beverly, 21, went missing four days ago after entering the Rock House Powellton Mine in Raleigh County, WHSV-TV reported

A fourth person, identified as Eddie Williams, 43, managed to make his way out of the mine on his own Monday night, according to WSAZ-TV.

A spokeswoman with the West Virginia Department of Commerce told WHSV that rescue operations were underway Wednesday evening and that all three people were expected to need medical treatment after they were rescued.

>> Related: All 12 boys, soccer coach rescued from Thai cave

It’s still unknown why the group went into the mine to begin with. Sheriff official said entering an abandoned mine in the state is illegal. 

 

WATCH: Killer whales surround woman, swim with her off coast of New Zealand

Drone video captured an unusual incident off the coast of New Zealand on Monday. 

>> Read more trending news 

A group of three killer whales seemed to make a lone female swimmer part of their pod, swimming with her in the waters off Coromondel at Hahei Beach, New Zealand’s 1 News reported

The video shows the orcas playfully splashing alongside the swimmer and almost nipping at her toes.

Judie Johnson said at first, she was frightened when she saw the whales under her and quickly swam back to shore.

"I was also thinking they eat seals, and I’m in a black wetsuit," Johnson told 1 News.

Then she said she decided to return to the water to complete a training swim, and the whales -- an adult, a juvenile and a calf -- returned to swim with her.

Johnson said her fear quickly disappeared after she gazed into the largest orca’s huge eyes.

"It was so different to anything that’s happened to me before, and I thought, no, this is a life-changing experience,” Johnson said.

>> Related: LISTEN: Talking killer whale verifies orcas’ ability to mimic human sounds

She told 1 News, "They were as interested and curious about me as I was about them.”

An orca expert told the news station that killer whales are “just big dolphins with a fancy paint job,” and in fact are the largest members of the dolphin family.

Killer whales are carnivores and eat sea lions, seals and sometime other whales, but according to National Geographic, they are not known to attack humans, and at least one whale website said there’s never been a report of an orca in the wild eating a human.

Cannibal Corpse guitarist attacks deputy as his ammo-filled home burns down

The guitarist for the popular death metal band Cannibal Corpse was arrested Monday near his home in Tampa after he broke into a home and attacked a deputy, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

>> Read more trending news 

Deputies said Pat O'Brien, 53, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and burglary after he broke into a home next to the Northdale Golf and Tennis Club in Tampa and pushed a woman to the ground.

The Sheriff’s Office said in a release that O'Brien ran toward a responding deputy with a knife. The release said the deputy subdued O'Brien with a stun gun.

Authorities said O'Brien did not know the residents in the home.

Oddly, his nearby home on the 16000 block of Norwood Drive was on fire Monday night, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said. O’Brien’s home contained numerous weapons, ammunition and flame throwers, Fire Rescue said.

“Crews arrived at the one-story home in the 16000 block of Norwood Dr. to find flames coming through the roof of the structure,” Fire Rescue wrote in a Facebook post.

Officials said the ammunition was exploding due to the flames.

“It took us nearly an hour to bring this one under control. Thankfully, there were no injuries,” Fire Rescue said.

The HCSO bomb squad conducted a precautionary check of O’Brien’s home Tuesday morning.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

>> Trending: 50 Cent’s crew member killed on set of Starz series ‘Power’

O'Brien is being held on $50,000 bail.

Cannibal Corpse, which was formed in 1988 in Buffalo N.Y., has a large following around the world. The band is now Tampa-based and will be part of an upcoming leg of Slayer's farewell tour.

Mars lander sends back first selfie from Red Planet

NASA’s Mars InSight lander snapped its first selfie and sent it back to Earth.

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The photo shows the first complete look at the lander’s workspace in an area on the Red Planet known as Elysium Planitia, where the probe successfully landed on Nov. 26. The picture shows InSight’s solar panels and deck. It also shows the rover’s science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna, according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the InSight mission.

The selfie is actually composed of 11 images, which were taken by the lander’s Instrument Deployment Camera on the elbow of its robotic arm. The images were then stitched together into a type of mosaic photo, JPL officials said.

>> Related: NASA’s Mars InSight lander just days away from arrival on Red Planet

The $850 million InSight mission will study the deep interior of Mars and will help scientists understand the formation and early evolution of, not just Mars, but all rocky planets, including Earth.

 

Trump scrapping some Obama-era school lunch guidelines, allowing more salt, flavored milk

In an attempt to make school nutrition standards easier to attain, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently announced more “flexible” requirements. The final plan, published Wednesday in the Federal Register, goes into effect Feb. 11, 2019. It has brought cheers and jeers from school nutritionists and watchdog groups alike.

>> Read more trending news 

Supporters agree with Perdue that better nutrition is of no use if the students won’t eat the healthier options, which is already a problem for some schools. USDA data show the number of students eating meals at school peaked in 2010 and dropped by about 8 percent since: In 2010, 5.2 million students ate school lunch, but by 2017, it was 4.8 million.

Opponents of the changes argue that instead of scrapping the guidelines set in 2010, it would be better to stick with them and let children become accustomed to more nutritious foods. Most school systems had already met or were very close to meeting the sodium restriction by the deadline set previously and many are using technology to figure out what the kids want to eat and are making healthy adjustments based on feedback.

>> Trending: Why women having heart attacks wait longer to seek help than men

Opponents have called the rollback another attempt by President Donald Trump to undo gains that were made by the Obama administration. The stricter guidelines were part of former first lady Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act , which Congress passed in 2010.

In a May 1, 2017 press release on the impending changes, the headline proclaimed: “Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again.”

Public comment on the changes was overwhelmingly in favor, with most categories seeing less than 1 percent opposition.

The most notable changes are:

  • Allowing flavored, low-fat milk to children in school meal programs, and to participants age six and older in the Special Milk Program for Children and the Child and Adult Care Food Program;
  • Requiring that only half, instead of all, of the weekly grains in the school lunch and breakfast menu be whole grain-rich, permitting more white flour and other refined grains; and
  • Providing more time to reduce sodium levels in school meals.

Perdue said, “These common-sense flexibilities provide excellent customer service to our local school nutrition professionals, while giving children the world-class food service they deserve.”

School nutritionists in Georgia are among the supporters of the new standards.

>> Trending: Man impersonating Walmart employee steals TVs, pinatas, police say

“Here in metro Atlanta we don’t have the same challenges as some poorer rural communities in meeting the standards,” Cindy Culver, director of school nutrition for Marietta City Schools, said. Access to a variety of foodstuffs and fresh produce year-round make it easier to adhere to the 2010 rules. Some districts do less “scratch” cooking and rely heavily on processed or manufactured foods. Until the food industry develops palatable products with less sodium it will be harder for those schools to comply, she said.

Even so, it wasn’t easy for Marietta to meet the sodium and whole-grain requirements.

“Let’s face it, there are three things that make food taste good: salt, fat and sugar,” Culver said, adding that reconfiguring recipes and requiring vendors to supply lower-sodium options were difficult.

“And whole-grain pasta doesn’t hold up well on the line,” she said. “That was another big challenge that was hard to meet.”

Culver, the past chair for the School Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, understands the importance of the stricter guidelines, but said students consume less sodium through school meals than other sources, which statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm.

>> Trending: Uncle accused of slashing throat of sleeping 3-year-old niece, now facing murder charges

Meeting those old guidelines was exponentially more challenging for Gwinnett County, the state’s largest school district.

“We had to step outside the guidelines and had a few waivers in for the whole-grain requirement over the past couple of years,” said Karen Hallford, assistant director of school nutrition for Gwinnett County Schools.

Biscuits, pastas and saltines made from whole grains were items students just weren’t eating.

“We are currently meeting target one for sodium levels and now have more time to reach target two,” Hallford added, referring to the two-phase sodium-reduction plan.

All public schools in the federal School Nutrition Program were required to meet target one by 2014. The new rules give them ten years to meet the next target.

Gwinnett, like many other school systems, has devised ways to make sure kids are actually consuming the healthier foods put before them. With an app called Nutrislice, students and parents can get nutrition information, menus and updates on changes. They may also give feedback and rate the fare. The school system also conducts focus groups and seeks comments through student surveys.

“We’re constantly making adjustments to menus,” said Hallford who oversees 20.5 million lunches and 10.25 million breakfasts each year. “Students have much more sophisticated palates and they want food that’s more in line with what they eat outside school. We work to do that while maintaining nutrition standards.”

Margo G. Wootan, vice president for nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said, “Virtually all school districts have met the first sodium-reduction targets” and fewer than 15 percent sought waivers from the whole-grain rule. “Instead of building on that progress, the (Trump) Administration has chosen to jeopardize children’s health in the name of deregulation,” she said.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black applauded the guidelines for giving more local control and said they would help the state reach a goal of “having at least 20 percent of every meal in every Georgia public school comprised of Georgia products by the start of the 2020 school year.”

>> Trending: Texas firefighters rescue over 100 snakes from burning house, including pythons, boas

As students at Gwinnett’s Corley Elementary School tucked into slices of pizza with whole wheat crusts and burgers topped with whole grain buns on Wednesday, it didn’t seem the changes affected their appetites. When asked if they noticed a difference, several shrugged and continued eating. Others said the pizza crust was chewier, but they didn’t mind it.

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in prison 

A federal judge in New York sentenced President Donald Trump’s former long-time attorney Michael Cohen to 36 months in prison on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to several charges earlier this year.

>> Read more trending news

Cohen, 52, admitted to lying last year to Congress in connection to a Trump Tower deal in Moscow after prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team charged him with making false statements.

>> Michael Cohen pleads guilty to making false statements to Congress

He also pleaded guilty in August to eight charges including multiple counts of tax evasion and arranging illicit payments to silence women who posed a risk to Trump's presidential campaign.

>> Trump was implicated in two felonies: What does that mean?

Update 6:00 p.m. EST: President Donald Trump refused to answers questions about his former attorney Michael Cohen Wednesday after signing an executive order in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.

CNN is reporting Trump ignored reporters’ questions about Cohen’s three year prison sentence handed down Wednesday in New York.

CNN also reported, citing inside sources, that Trump is “seething” over the Cohen case and, again, called him “a liar.”

Update 1:55 p.m. EST: Cohen prompted American Media Inc. to purchase the rights to Karen McDougal’s story about an affair she claims she had with Trump years before the 2016 presidential election, federal prosecutors with the Southern District of New York confirmed Wednesday.

McDougal claimed she had a nearly year-long affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007. The rights to her story were bought in August 2016 by American Media, the publisher of the National Enquirer, the Wall Street Journal reported in July, McDougal’s story was never published.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that officials previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with American Media Inc. Company officials admitted to making the $150,000 payment “in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen also paid adult film star $130,000 in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006. Prosecutors said Cohen was reimbursed for his payment to Daniels in monthly installments “disguised as payments for legal services pursuant to a retainer, when in fact no such retainer existed.”

“Cohen made or caused both of these payments in order to influence  the 2016 election and did so in coordination with one or more members of the campaign,” prosecutors said in a news release.

Update 12:45 p.m. EST: U.S. District Judge William Pauley said Wednesday that Cohen’s cooperation with prosecutors "does not wipe the slate clean" of his crimes.

Pauley sentenced Cohen to serve three years in prison for crimes including tax evasion, lying to Congress and arranging illicit payments to silence Daniels and McDougal.

Cohen’s former attorney, Lanny Davis, said in a statement released Wednesday that Cohen “continues to tell the truth about Donald Trump’s misconduct over the years.”

“Mr. Trump’s repeated lies cannot contradict stubborn facts,” Davis said. “Michael has owned up to his mistakes and fully cooperated with Special Counsel Mueller in his investigation over possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian meddling in the 2016 election.”

Trump has accused Cohen of lying to authorities in order to get a lighter sentence and denied any wrongdoing.

>> Cohen pleads guilty to 8 charges, says Trump told him to pay off Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal

Update 12:15 p.m. EST: Cohen will be required to surrender to authorities on March 6 to serve the 36-month sentence handed down Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley III also required Cohen forfeit $500,000 and pay $1.4 million in restitution and $50,000 in fines, the news site reported.

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation 

Update 12:05 p.m EST: U.S. District Judge William Pauley III sentenced Cohen to 36 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to eight charges in New York over the summer, Newsday reported.

He was sentenced to two months for lying to Congress. The sentence will run concurrent with the New York sentence.

“Cohen pled guilt to a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct," Pauley said before handing down the sentence Wednesday, according to CNN

Pauley credited Cohen for his cooperation with Mueller's team, however, he added that as an attorney, "Mr. Cohen should have known better," Newsday reported.

Update 11:50 a.m. EST: Cohen said he takes “full responsibility” for the charges he's pleaded guilty to while addressing the court Wednesday.

“This may seem hard to believe but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life,” he said, according to CNN. “I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired."

Update 11:45 a.m. EST: Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Nicolas Roos said Wednesday that Cohen's crimes carried a "tremendous societal cost," CNN reported.

“In committing these crimes, Mr. Cohen has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law,” Roos said.

Update 11:35 a.m. EST: Jeannie Rhee, an attorney for special counsel Robert Mueller's team, said in brief comments in court Wednesday that Cohen provided investigators with "credible information" related to the investigation into Russian election meddling, Newsday reported.

"Mr. Cohen has sought to tell us the truth, and that is of utmost value to us," Rhee said.

Update 11:15 a.m. EST: Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, said in court Wednesday that Cohen cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office "knowing that he'd face a barrage of attack by the president," according to the Courthouse News Service.

Petrillo said Cohen “offered evidence against the most powerful person in our country,” CNN reported.

Update 10:55 a.m. EST: Cohen arrived at the federal courthouse in Manhattan early Wednesday ahead of an 11 a.m. sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge William Pauley III.

Original report: Federal prosecutors in New York have asked that Cohen receive a “substantial prison term” of around four years, saying in a court filing last week that he'd failed to fully cooperate with investigators and overstated his helpfulness. Cohen’s attorneys have argued for leniency, arguing that some of Cohen's crimes were motivated by overenthusiasm for Trump, rather than any nefarious intent.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Feds: Manafort lied to prosecutors, Cohen should get jail time 

The president has denied that he had affairs with either McDougal or Daniels, but prosecutors said Cohen orchestrated payments to the women at Trump’s direction. On Monday, the president wrote in a tweet that the payments were “a simple private transaction,” and not a campaign contribution.

Trump said that “even if it was” a campaign contribution, Cohen should be held responsible.

“Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me,” Trump wrote. “Cohen (is) just trying to get his sentenced reduced. WITCH HUNT!”

 >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Denouncing Cohen, Trump disputes campaign link to payoff of women

A sentence of hard time would leave Cohen with little to show for his decision to plead guilty, though experts told The Associated Press that Wednesday's hearing might not be the last word on his punishment.

Cohen could have his sentence revisited if he strikes a deal with prosecutors in which he provides additional cooperation within a year of his sentence, said Michael J. Stern, a former federal prosecutor in Detroit and Los Angeles.

"Few things spark a defendant's renewed interest in cooperating faster than trading in a pair of custom Italian trousers for an off-the-rack orange jump suit," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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