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Pigs wandering I-95 in Florida after tractor-trailer crash

The Florida Highway Patrol was on the scene of a crash involving two tractor-trailers in St. Johns County early Thursday morning. 

FHP told ActionNewsJax the cause of the collision between the two tractor-trailers is still under investigation.

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According to FHP, when the tractor-trailers collided, one tractor-trailer that was carrying pigs overturned, causing the livestock to escape and wander along the road's edge.

The second tractor-trailer partially rolled over, FHP told ActionNewsJax.

There are no reported injuries, but FHP is asking motorists to use caution due to weather, lane closures and the possibilities of loose livestock. 

Ad selling 'used coffin' was joke, not everyone amused

An advertisement for a "slightly used coffin" raised eyebrows and the ire of some people.

The ad, posted Monday on a Facebook buy, sell and trade page, offered a "Slightly used coffin, only used once." The seller was asking $50 for the casket. A photo of a coffin with a discolored interior accompanied the ad. 

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The person who posted the ad told KRQE that it was just a joke to generate humorous comments. 

The ad did succeed in generating comments, such as, "That's a screaming deal," and "We have to URN your trust first," KRQE reported. 

But other people told KRQE they didn't find the ad to be funny and said it was in poor taste.

KRQE reported that in New Mexico, it's not illegal to sell a used coffin, as long as the buyer is informed of its prior usage.

Arizona DOT gets silly with 'Dilly Dilly' sign

In an effort to encourage sober drivers over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Arizona Department of Transportation decided to get silly. Or is that dilly?

Television viewers are likely familiar with Budweiser's latest ad campaign, featuring a court in a vaguely medieval setting. Those in attendance who bring Bud Light receive an enthusiastic reception, with everyone saying, "Dilly, dilly!" Those who do not bring Bud Light are sent to the "pit of misery."

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The Arizona DOT sign reads, "Sober driver? Dilly! Dilly!"

In case you're wondering, Merriam-Webster defines dilly as "one that is remarkable or outstanding."

An Arizona DOT spokesman told azcentral.com that the agency often uses pop culture references in its messaging to connect with drivers.

Source: Mugabe granted immunity; safety in Zimbabwe ensured

Former President Robert Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and was assured that his safety in Zimbabwe would be protected, Reuters reported. The announcement was part of a deal that led to the 93-year-old’s resignation, sources told Reuters.

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Mugabe, who had led Zimbabwe since its independence from Great Britain in 1980, resigned Tuesday after the army seized power and the ruling party turned against him. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president sacked by Mugabe earlier this month, is set to be sworn in as president on Friday.

A government source said Mugabe told negotiators he wanted to die in Zimbabwe and had no plans to live in exile, Reuters reported.

“It was very emotional for him and he was forceful about it,” said the source, who is not authorized to speak on the details of the negotiated settlement.

“For him it was very important that he be guaranteed security to stay in the country … although that will not stop him from traveling abroad when he wants to or has to,” the source told Reuters.

Poll: Americans wary about talking politics on Thanksgiving

It’s OK to talk turkey during today’s Thanksgiving dinner, but a new poll reveals that more than a third of all Americans do not want to discuss politics.

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According to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, only two out of 10 people said they were eager to talk politics. Four out of 10 do not feel strongly either way. 

Democrats are slightly more likely than Republicans to say they’re uneasy about political discussions at the table, 39 percent to 33 percent. And women are more likely than men to say they dread the thought of talking politics, 41 percent to 31 percent.

With a cascade of sexual misconduct scandals now echoing similar allegations against Trump during the campaign, tempers on the subject of Trump may not have cooled.

Those who do think there’s at least some possibility of politics coming up are somewhat more likely to feel optimistic about it than Americans as a whole. Among this group, 30 percent say they’d be eager to talk politics and 34 percent would dread it.

In the past, the Emily Post Institute Inc. received Thanksgiving etiquette questions that were typically about how to handle difficult relatives, author Daniel Post Senning said.

“Now, I am hearing questions like, ‘I don’t want to go,’ or ’I can’t imagine sitting at a table with someone who has this perspective and staying through the meal,’” he says. “My impression is that it’s still out there. ... The shock of that election is a little further in the rearview mirror, but I think people still have strong feelings about it.”

The AP-NORC poll of 1,070 adults was conducted Nov. 15-19. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later interviewed online or by phone.

Mississippi alderman charged with procuring prostitution

An alderman from a north Mississippi county was arrested and charged Wednesday with procuring prostitution, police said.

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Ronald Wayne Hale was booked into the DeSoto County jail with a $1,000 bond, according to the sheriff's office. He was released Wednesday afternoon. Hale had no comment as he left the jail.

Hale is the alderman of Ward 2 in Southaven. He is serving his second term as an alderman; his first time ran from 2009 to 2013.

Hale is also a Memphis firefighter.

The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department said it had no comment. Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite released a statement, calling the charges “very concerning,” but declined further comment.

Hale is scheduled to be in court on Nov. 27.

California woman thwarts abduction of her children

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man wanted in the attempted kidnapping of two children in California on Wednesday.

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Deputies said a mother was with her two children in a jogging stroller in Valencia around 11 a.m. Wednesday when the man suddenly approached her from behind, KCAL reported.

Investigators said the man grabbed the stroller’s handle and tried to pull it away, but the woman managed to regain control and ran away. She called 911 but the man was gone when officers arrived, KCAL reported.

“My energy goes out to this mother,” said Cindy Potts, also a mother of two young children.

Though she has no connection to the attempted kidnapping, it still leaves Potts rattled.

“The thought of someone taking away my most precious cargo, my life fulfillment, it’s an empty feeling and it’s a frightening feeling,” she told KCAL.

The man is described as a transient, police said.

Watch: North Korean guard makes dramatic defection

South Korea announced on Nov. 13 that an unnamed soldier defecting from the North was rescued and taken to a hospital after he was found shot in the shoulder and elbow in the border village of Panmunjom.

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A dramatic video of the 24-year-old, identified only by his last name, Oh, escaping North Korea, is fascinating to watch.

Officials in South Korea said that the escape took place after the North Korean guard abandoned his post and tried to escape. CNN reported that this was the third defection of a North Korean soldier this year and that there had only been four such defections in the past five years.

South Korean officials added that the soldier was in such a bad spot they needed to crawl to save him. Part of the video shows this.

“The defector was urgently transferred to a hospital in a helicopter of the United Nations Command, and there was no exchange of fire with our side,” a South Korean ministry official told Reuters. “Since it was an area exposed to the North, we had to crawl toward there to get him out.”

It’s not clear at this time how high-ranking the soldier was in Kim Jong-un’s army, but we do know he was in the military for eight years and was a vehicle driver.

The video shows multiple North Korean soldiers firing at Oh. He was shot at least five times.

The lead surgeon in South Korea said Oh is “not going to die” from these wounds, ABC News reported.

ABC News said it appeared North Korea violated the 1953 Armistice Agreement signed by the U.N., North Korea and China by firing guns across the military demarcation line and by physically crossing the line.

Floridians twerk for Trump during traffic jam he caused

It’s never the wrong time to get your twerk on, according to a few Floridians.

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President Donald Trump and his family traveled to his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach for the Thanksgiving holiday. As with any official trip made by the First Family, the Trumps traveled from Palm Beach International Airport to the property via a motorcade.

While motorcades are usually uneventful, and attention is usually focused on the person being escorted, one person caught the moment some locals decided to make the best of the traffic jam caused by the president.

A video lasting just over half a minute showed two people exit a car and start to twerk on the highway.

While twerking is certainly nothing new, HuffPost noted car twerking took South Florida by storm earlier in the year as young people flocked to Miami for Spring Break.

A young bikini-clad woman was recorded hanging out of a vehicle, leg draped along the roof and twerking up a storm while her friend sped down MacArthur Causeway.

Health care provider fires 50 employees who refused to get flu shots

A health care provider in Minnesota fired 50 employees because they refused to get flu shots, KBJR reported.

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Essentia Health had imposed a Monday deadline for employees to get flu shots or receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

Since September, Essentia employees, volunteers, students and vendors had three choices: get a flu shot, show an approved religious or medical exemption, or leave the company, KBJR reported.

Essentia chief of patient quality and safety Dr. Rajesh Prabhu said the company wanted to increase patient safety and boost its 82 percent flu vaccination rate from 2016, which he said was not going to increase voluntarily.

“Purely voluntary or more education doesn't get you those high levels of immunization compliance and as you know other states, other health care organizations have done the same thing we have,” he told KBJR.

Prabhu said that as of Tuesday, 99.5 percent of employees have chosen the first two options, but 50 so far have been terminated with more left waiting to hear back on their exemptions.

Minnesota Nurses Association Duluth chairman Steve Strand said with so many employees in limbo, his union doesn't know how many members may have lost their jobs yet.

“We believe that they will be denying some of those, and then those individuals may end up terminated also,” Strand told KBJR.

But Strand said his association intends to fight any terminations for a policy they say is unnecessarily intrusive and may not even be effective. He cited Centers for Disease Control research showing this year's vaccine is expected to be 60 percent effective against the flu.

“The flu shot isn't a be-all end-all, it only has a certain efficacy,” Strand said.

Essentia said it stands by its mandatory policy.

"People may debate on how effective that is but based on what the level of evidence is and what our peers are doing, we thought this was the best way to protect our patients," Prabhu told KBJR.

'Vapor Wake' dogs to provide extra security at Macy's Thanksgiving parade

The 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will have an added layer of security to protect the 1 million spectators expected to attend: a team of 14 Labrador retrievers trained to detect explosives on moving targets in large crowds, Fox News reported.

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The dogs completed an 18-month Vapor Wake program that was developed at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. They are different than normal bomb-sniffing dogs, which can identify explosives in stationary objects, Fox News reported. The Vapor Wake dogs look for mobile threats and can detect the “thermal plumes left behind in a person's wake,” Paul Hammond, the president of Vapor Wake training program VWK9 LLC, told Rolling Stone.

The dogs are trained to avoid the distractions of large crowds and loud noises at large events, and can sense explosive particles Wired reported. 

“You will see our Vapor Wake dogs and other canine dogs on both the balloons and during the route,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan told WABC.

The NYPD used eight Vapor Wake dogs at the Thanksgiving Day parade last year, Fox News reported.

In addition to the dogs, officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors will walk among the crowds, and sharpshooters on rooftops will scan building windows and balconies for anything unusual, police said. 

The parade begins at 9 a.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC. 

Deputies: Florida man had pickup repainted to avoid hit-and-run death charge

A Florida man accused of hitting a pedestrian while driving a pickup truck allegedly attempted to have the vehicle repainted to avoid prosecution, authorities said.

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Henry Earl Riner, 71, of Seffner, was arrested Monday and charged with leaving the scene of a crash with death, tampering with physical evidence and driving while his license was permanently revoked, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Just before midnight Friday, Linda Kay Fisher, 46, was walking home on a dimly lit road after her shift as a waitress when she was hit and killed by a vehicle, police said. Her body was found in a ditch the next morning, the Times reported.

While authorities were searching for an orange-red truck that was involved in the crash, Riner allegedly was getting it repainted black, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

“A piece of the vehicle found at the scene was a unique color,” sheriff’s Cpl. Larry McKinnon told the Times. "It was like the color of a traffic cone.”

A tip to Crime Stoppers led deputies to Riner, the Times reported.

Deputies said they found a 1966 Chevrolet pickup truck that had recently been painted black. A photo of the truck before the paint job showed the vehicle had been an orange-red color, the Times reported. Damage to the vehicle was consistent with the collision that killed Fisher, deputies said.

Riner was released on $19,000 bail Tuesday afternoon.

Ohio dealer ordered to pay funeral expenses for drug user who overdosed

As part of his sentence, an Ohio drug dealer was ordered to cover the funeral expenses for a user who overdosed, WLWT reported.

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Michael Chandler, 29, of Cincinnati, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 200 months in prison for distributing fentanyl.

Chandler also was ordered to pay more than $9,000 to cover the costs of a user’s death that was a result of his distributing the drug, WLWT reported. The user, a juvenile, overdosed and died after ingesting fentanyl on April 20, 2016, investigators said.

Authorities said they were able to trace the fentanyl to Chandler. He was indicted on six drug distribution charges in June 2016 and pleaded guilty in May 2017, WLWT reported.

103-year-old woman's secret to long life: 'Lots and lots of chocolate'

The fictional film character Forrest Gump famously noted that “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”

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In the case of a Washington State resident, it was longevity.

Mable Smith of Yakima turned 103 on Nov. 13 and credited her long life to chocolate, KIMA reported.

Smith celebrated her birthday with her three children, 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great grandchildren.

What’s her secret to long life?

“I don’t know, good luck,” she told KIMA. “Veggies and chocolate and lots and lots of chocolate, especially Hershey’s.”

Georgia high school girls basketball coach charged with sexual assault

Investigators said an alleged sexual assault that resulted in the arrest of a Georgia high school coach happened before a basketball game on campus.

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“It's very disturbing. We're talking about an adult and a child. It's not only illegal, it's inappropriate. It's wrong,” said Lt. Scott Ware of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

Webster Daniel, 52, a middle school teacher and Chestatee High School girls basketball coach, is charged with sexually assaulting one of his players.

He was arrested at his home Tuesday night.

“There was unwanted, inappropriate sexual contact,” Ware said.

Warrants were not immediately available, but an incident report obtained through an open records request revealed the alleged assault happened on Nov. 16 between 4 and 5 p.m. on campus.

An online schedule shows a set of athletic events going on at the same time, including a home varsity basketball game, which started just an hour later.

The next morning, the player told a school resource officer about the alleged assault and Daniel was immediately suspended.

Daniel was unavailable for comment Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he had submitted a resignation letter.

It was an end to the connection he'd had with the school for more than a decade.

“Less than a week's time between the disclosure and the arrest. Really quick,” Ware said.

In a statement Wednesday, the Hall County School District said it was “truly saddened by the incident.”

Daniel posted an $11,000 bond for the sexual assault and battery charges.

Don’t forget safety while shopping on Black Friday, police say

Holiday shopping mania can make it easy to forget some common-sense rules to keep you and your belongings safe. Police recommend these tips before hitting the stores on Black Friday:

1Remove valuables from view: After a successful shopping run, you should place and secure all holiday packages in your trunk, away from prying eyes. Thefts are crimes of opportunity, and thieves wait and watch those who park, so lock and secure all windows and doors.

2Plan your route: Park in well-lighted spots, which thieves tend to avoid. It takes only three minutes for a vehicle to be burglarized or stolen, safety experts say.

3Don’t leave vehicle idling: No matter how quick the trip into the store will take, always turn off the ignition, lock your doors, roll up the windows and take your keys.

4Report any suspicious activity: Call 911 if you see something fishy and be sure to give a good description of the suspicious subject.

5Follow all traffic rules: For instance, don’t block intersections or rights of way, and park only in marked spaces. If you create a parking space, you risk being towed.

6Keep your eyes peeled: Watch for shoppers crossing streets and walking in parking lots. Look for cars backing in and out of parking spaces. Sunset Valley police want shoppers to remember that all incoming mall traffic has the right of way and should not stop — exiting traffic should always yield.

Mama June proves she kept her weight loss promise 7 months later

Seven months after losing 300 pounds on “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” Mama June Shannon is here to prove she’s still keeping the weight off!

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The 38-year-old reality star was spotted out and about in Atlanta this week while Christmas shopping and was happy to show off her slim figure. Dressed in athletic wear leggings and a long-sleeved gray shirt, she was all smiles while proving she’s kept her weight loss promise.

“I can promise you I’m never going back to that size. I’m happy where I’m at,” Shannon told PEOPLE back in April after she underwent weight loss surgery and drastically changed her diet and exercise routine, going from 460 pounds to a size 4.

At the very beginning of her weight loss journey, she wanted to drop the pounds to make her ex Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson jealous at his then-upcoming wedding to his new love. However, over time it became much more than that.

“My goal when I first started this weight loss journey was to make Sugar Bear kind of jealous,” she said. “But it’s no longer about revenge. Doing all the surgeries really took a toll on me -- not just physically, but emotionally. I feel like [I’m] becoming the person on the outside that I always felt like [I was] on the inside.”

When she made her big debut after shedding the weight, her daughter and “Toddlers & Tiaras” star Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, said, “She looks great. I’m really proud of her.”

While Shannon continues to drop jaws whenever she updates fans on how she’s been keeping up her weight loss, she barely turns heads back at home.

“It’s kind of crazy. A lot of people don’t recognize who I am until I talk,” she said. “It’s kind of like I’m in my own disguise. Normally when I walk through the streets, everybody notices me, and now it’s like nobody [does].”

However, she may not slip under the radar for much longer, because she’s headed back to your television screens in January for “Mama June: From Not to Hot” Season 2:

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade 2017: What time, what channel, which balloons will be there?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has signaled the start of the holiday season for nearly 100 years. It draws 3 million people in person in New York City, and more than 50 million on television. 

There are stars who sing and dance, marching bands and balloons. Big balloons.

This year’s version of the parade is set to go off Thursday in New York City with a cast of more than 8,000.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s parade.

What time does it start?

9 a.m. ET. It is scheduled to last until noon.

What channel is it on?

The parade is broadcast on NBC.

How long is the parade route?

2.5 miles

What is the parade route?

The parade begins at 77th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan. It moves south on Central Park West, and at Columbus Circle, it turns east onto Central Park South. When the parade reaches 6th Avenue, it turns south on to 34th Street. At 34th Street it turns west to Macy's Herald Square and ends at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue.

When was the first Macy's Thanksgiving day parade?

The first parade was held on Christmas in 1924.

Which balloons will we see this year?

Angry Birds’ Red

Ice Age’s Scrat and his Acorn

Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger

Sinclair’s Dino

Hello Kitty

Pillsbury the Doughboy

Ronald McDonald

Trolls

SpongeBob SquarePants

Pikachu

The Elf on the Shelf

Charlie Brown

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Super Wings’ Jett

Paw Patrol’s Chase

The Grinch

Frozen’s Olaf

Novelty Balloons

Charlie, Kit & C.J. Holiday Elves

Harold the Policeman

Yellow Star

Pumpkins

Harold the Baseball Player

Rex the Happy Dragon

Cloe the Clown

Christmas String of Lights

Candy Cane

Blue Ornament

Red and Gold Macy’s Star

What about the floats?

There will be 31 floats in the parade.

Who is performing?

Gwen Stefani

98 Degrees

Sara Evans

Andra Day

Cam

Common

Dustin Lynch

Wyclef Jean

Goo Goo Dolls

Smokey Robinson

Kat Graham

The Radio City Rockettes

Olivia Holt

JoJo Siwa

Andy Grammer

Miss America Cara Mund

Leslie Odom Jr.

Padma Lakshmi

Tom Colicchio

Angelica Hale

Bebe Rexha

Lauren Alaina

Nicky Jam

Sabrina Carpenter

Patti LaBelle

Marching Bands

There are 12 marching bands in the parade. They are:

Nation Ford High School Band

West Harrison High School

NYPD Marching Band

U.S. Air Force

Colony High School Band

Ohio University Marching Band

Rockford High School Marching Band

Macy’s Great American Marching Band

Prairie View A&M Marching Storm

Rosemount High School Marching Band

Davis High School Marching Band

Trumbull High School

Parade History

According to the New York Tourist Commission, the inaugural Macy's Day Parade took place on Christmas 1924 and had an audience of 250,000 people. There were no giant balloons until 1927 when Felix the Cat showed up. The parade was first broadcast on radio in 1932.

The Balloons

The balloons are filled with 12,000 cubic feet of helium. They are inflated the day before Thanksgiving at the American Museum of National History from 3 p.m. -10 p.m.

Some numbers

  • On average, 300 bands a year apply for the 12 slots in the parade
  • Those handling the balloons, 30 to 100 of them for each balloon, are volunteers.
  • It  takes 15 minutes to deflate the balloon.

 

 

Joe Barton apologizes for graphic photo circulating online

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, issued an apology Wednesday after a sexually explicit photo of him made the rounds on social media.

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Barton reportedly sent the photo to a woman he was involved with after he and his now ex-wife had separated.

“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” he said, according to The Texas Tribune. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”

Barton, who recently announced he would run for re-election in 2018, said through a spokeswoman that he has no plans of resigning.

Thick dust from Georgia Dome implosion impacting residents, businesses

The Georgia Dome implosion Monday morning in downtown Atlanta caused a massive dust cloud that settled over the area, covering nearby cars and buildings in a thick coat of dirt and grime.

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It also left some city residents worried about the impact of the particle pollution on their health. 

Neighbors with asthma, allergies and bronchitis have been taking extra medicine and staying inside to avoid breathing in the dust, according to WSB-TV. The dust has also made an impact on nearby businesses, such as window and car-washers. 

Gregory Price with 70s Car Wash told the TV station that cars have been coming in caked in the dust, which he described as a hard, clay-like consistency that’s difficult to get off. 

“It usually takes about an extra 20 or 30 minutes because you got to rinse it all off,” Price said. 

He wasn’t the only one who noticed the difference. A window washer said he’s never seen dust so thick; a woman claimed the soot is causing her congestion, watery eyes and difficulty breathing.

>> Related: Goodbye, Georgia Dome – thanks for the memories!

The Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association has asked the demolition company for car wash vouchers, according to WSB-TV. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority had not responded to the station’s request for comment Tuesday. 

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