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National

    It's been a major distraction for drivers on Florida’s Turnpike in Osceola County. They don't know if she has a home, but a dog, whom some are now calling Ozzy, certainly has a lot of people watching out for her. >> Read more trending news  Dispatchers at the turnpike’s Traffic Management Center have spent months doing everything they can to catch the dog before she or a driver gets hurt. On Friday, Florida Turnpike officials said she was captured. She is very calm and quiet. There's a whole team of people watching hundreds of cameras along the turnpike and keeping an eye out for anything that may be dangerous for drivers. But consistently since May, in one particular part of the road, they kept seeing the same dog over and over. Road Ranger Jonathon Hester patrols a stretch of the turnpike near the Yeehaw Junction. “Our No. 1 job is safety,' Hester said. He's usually routing drivers around wrecks or helping with a flat tire. But lately, he's been determined to find the furry fugitive. 'This one has just evaded us for a long time and we keep trying to find him,” Hester said. For about two months, dispatchers were seeing the yellow Labrador between mile markers 196 and 205 on the turnpike, headed southbound. 'And just kind of runs up and down the roadway. It's a big distraction for the motorists driving by,” Hester said. “People see it and slam on their brakes.' Officials said they have no idea where she came from. 'It's possible it could've come from a vehicle crash,” Hester said. “A motorist could've been traveling with this dog, and crashed and the dog got scared and ran away.' Because she's been living on the road in Osceola County, they have affectionately named her Ozzy. Osceola County Animal Control let Hester borrow a trap in an effort to catch Ozzy. Now that the dog is caught, they plan to scan Ozzy for a chip to see if she has a home. If not, Ozzy may be up for adoption.
  • The Jacksonville Game Center has been burglarized twice in less than a month with thieves making off with nearly $10,000 worth of Magic the Gathering cards.  >> Read more trending news  Store owners told Action News Jax that both times, the thieves busted through a wall to get in. Hector Ortiz is a regular at the game center. Action News Jax caught up with him as customers and staff were preparing for their Friday night Magic the Gathering tournament. “The place is pretty packed, we have anywhere from 20-plus players,” Ortiz said. “It’s like a second home. A lot of people come to get away from issues.” So, when these crimes occur, Ortiz said the customers take it as a personal attack. “The first time it happened was really heartbreaking,” Ortiz said. Action News Jax first reported three weeks ago when thieves busted a hole in the wall to take more than $5,000 rare Magic the Gathering cards. The owner said they came back again overnight Friday. Surveillance video showed the glow of their flashlights. The owner said this time, they left another hole in the wall and stole more than $3,000 in those same, valuable cards.  He said they busted through the wall at the restaurant next door. Friday, Hunan Wok had a board up in the window where the thieves broke their glass to get in.Ortiz had a message for the thieves. “Just grow up,” Ortiz said. “It’s not necessary. You’re attacking us for a quick buck. Just go out there and get a job, man.
  • A moonstruck nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of humanity's first footsteps on another world Saturday, gathering in record heat at races and other festivities to commemorate Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's 'giant leap.' At NASA's Kennedy Space Center, cars were backed up for miles outside the visitor complex at opening time. In Armstrong's hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, nearly 2,000 runners competed in 'Run to the Moon' races. 'We're celebrating the 50th anniversary of perhaps the most historic event in my lifetime, maybe in anybody's lifetime, the landing on the moon,' said 10K runner Robert Rocco, 54, of Centerville, Ohio. 'The '60s were very turbulent. But that one bright wonderful moment was the space program.' The Eagle lunar lander, carrying Armstrong and Aldrin, landed on the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969. Armstrong was the first one out, proclaiming for the ages: 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.' 'Few moments in our American story spark more pride than the Apollo 11 mission,' President Donald Trump said in a Space Exploration Day message. His statement reiterated the goal of sending astronauts back to the moon within five years and taking 'the next giant leap — sending Americans to Mars.' Armstrong died in 2012, leaving Aldrin, 89, and command module pilot Michael Collins, 88, to mark the golden anniversary. Both astronauts and the Armstrong family met with Trump in the Oval Office on Friday, with Collins pushing for a direct mission to Mars and skipping the moon, and Aldrin expressing dismay at the past few decades of human space exploration. On Saturday, Aldrin and Armstrong's son, Rick, traveled with Vice President Mike Pence to Florida to visit the Apollo 11 launch pad and the building where the astronauts suited up for liftoff on July 16, 1969, now known as the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. In New York City, organizers moved a moon-landing party from Times Square into a hotel because of the heat wave. Youngsters joined former space shuttle astronaut Winston Scott there, as a giant screen showed the Saturn V rocket lifting off with the Apollo 11 crew in 1969. Countdowns were planned across the country later in the day at the exact moment of the Eagle's landing on the Sea of Tranquility — 4:17 p.m. EDT — and Armstrong's momentous step onto the lunar surface at 10:56 p.m. EDT. The powdered orange drink Tang was back in vogue for the toasts, along with MoonPies, including a 55-pound (25-kilogram), 45,000-calorie MoonPie at Kennedy's One Giant Leap bash. Halfway around the world in the 100-degree heat (38 degrees Celsius) of Kazakhstan, meanwhile, an American, Italian and Russian boarded a Russian rocket for their own liftoff to the International Space Station. Only one of the three — cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov — was alive at the time of Apollo 11. The three already living on the space station also were born long after the moon landings. ___ AP reporter Angie Wang contributed from Wapakoneta, Ohio ___ Follow AP's full coverage of the Apollo 11 anniversary at: https://apnews.com/Apollo11moonlanding ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • A woman is in jail facing felony charges after Clayton County authorities said she allegedly sneaked a firecracker into a courtroom and threatened to blow up the place.  >> Read more trending news  Whitney Jefferies, 32, was arrested Monday night after a judge saw the threat the woman allegedly posted on social media, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Judge Michael Garrett said Jefferies was in the front row in his courtroom. He told Channel 2 she seemed agitated that it was taking so long for her case to be called.  Later, he saw a video she posted on her social media page in which she held up a firecracker and said she was going to blow the courtroom apart, the news station reported.  It is not clear how Jefferies got the firecracker into the courtroom, and Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has not commented on the situation. Deputies went to Jefferies’ condo in Morrow to arrest her, Channel 2 reported. Nobody answered when agents first knocked on her door, according to the news station.However, deputies realized someone was inside the home when a pizza was delivered to the house later that evening, Channel 2 reported.  Deputies went back to Jefferies’ door and brought her out in handcuffs, the news station reported.  Jefferies was booked into the Clayton jail, where she remains held on a $35,000 bond. She face three charges, including making terroristic threats and possession of a destructive device.
  • President Donald Trump's suggestion that four activist Democratic congresswomen of color 'go back' to countries 'from which they came' has excited some in his political base. Yet in many of America's workplaces and institutions, the same language would be unacceptable and possibly illegal. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces federal laws against workplace bias, explicitly cites comments like 'go back to where you came from' as examples of 'potentially unlawful conduct.' Similar phrases routinely show up in lawsuits that the EEOC files against employers alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on race or national origin. Apart from its legality in workplaces, Trump's language has ignited impassioned responses across racial, ethnic and political divides. 'It wasn't Racist!' tweeted Terrence Williams, a black comedian who supports Trump. 'No matter what color you are YOU can go back home or move if you don't like America.' By contrast, Rachel Timoner, a senior rabbi at a Reform Jewish synagogue in Brooklyn, said such language would never be tolerated among members of her congregation. 'I'd want to sit down with them and ask them, where that's coming from?' she said. 'If a person persistently degraded other human beings, I would need to say to them they could no longer participate. It's really important for us to create an environment where people of color and people of all identities feel welcome.' Facing an uproar from critics accusing him of racism, Trump has insisted that he wasn't being racist when he tweeted this week that the four Democratic members of Congress — all but one of them born in the United States — 'originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe.' Trump urged them to 'go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.' Rather, his message, the president explained the next day was: 'If you hate our country, if you're not happy here, you can leave.' Yet Trump's exhortation for the four minority congresswomen to 'go back' to their countries of origin, if uttered by an employee in a workplace, could constitute a firing offense or cause for a costly lawsuit. Sam P. Israel, a New York lawyer who handles harassment cases, noted that plaintiffs usually must prove that an offensive comment wasn't made in isolation but as part of a broader hostile environment. If Trump were an employer facing a lawsuit, Israel said, there would arguably be enough examples to suggest a pattern of racially or ethnically disparaging remarks. 'All of those things are actionable if you have enough of them, and it could be illegal,' Israel said. 'The EEOC teaches that all of these things are bad and should be avoided, and the president is making a mockery of it.' In the aftermath of Trump's 'go back' tweet, a suburban Chicago gas station clerk was fired after a video posted on social media appeared to show him telling Hispanic customers to 'go back to their country.' Stephen Kalghorn, general counsel for the parent company of Bucky's Mobil gas station in Naperville, said the employee's comments couldn't be clearly heard on a surveillance video. But he was fired for engaging in a verbal confrontation with the customers. Elizabeth Tippett, a professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, suggested that Trump's comments could make things worse for anyone who tried to echo him in a workplace. Tippett explained that the president's rhetoric would make it difficult to argue that a similar comment was made innocuously or out of ignorance of its racist connotations. 'When you have these cultural environments, you might see repeated comments from multiple people,' she said. 'The more frequent the comments are, the stronger the harassment claim.' Most Republican leaders have declined to characterize Trump's comments as racist. And a few supporters have parroted his remarks, including some at a Trump rally in North Carolina this week who chanted 'send her back!' in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Donna Givens, an African-American neighborhood organizer who leads the Eastside Community Network in Detroit, said Trump's tweets were deeply hurtful. 'It immediately reminded me of being a child and being told to 'go back to Africa, (n-word)' — that got said to me repeatedly,' she said. 'My grandmother used to tell me to tell them to 'go back to their caves in Europe.' ' In light of the inflammatory rhetoric, 'I don't think that we can pretend like the American workplace is a safe place for immigrants, for people of color or for women,' Givens said. 'The president has a bully pulpit. And the president sets the tone. And so there are people who feel justified in their hatreds now.' Andrew Pappas, a self-described conservative Republican who holds elective office in Anderson Township, Ohio, acknowledged that Trump's language, taken in a vacuum, was 'not appropriate.' Yet he expressed some understanding of it. 'I think that when you see Donald Trump react in a human way, it upsets a lot of people that are expecting maybe your true quintessential politician,' Pappas said. 'But it also resonates exponentially with the common American who says, 'You know what? I'd react that way, too.' ' The Rev. Tom Lambrecht, general manager of the conservative United Methodist magazine Good News, cautioned against any rush to declare certain forms of political rhetoric unacceptable 'The difficulty here is, who decides what is unacceptable?' Lambrecht said by email. 'And how is that unacceptability enforced? Censorship?' 'At the same time,' he added, 'such despicable rhetoric is a teachable moment. It is incumbent upon Christians and others of good will to call out racism when we hear it in public debate or private conversation and to teach our children and grandchildren what is wrong with such attitudes.' Another pastor, E.W. Lucas of Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox, Virginia, has firmly backed Trump, even posting sign outside the church declaring 'America: Love or Leave It,' explicitly echoing the president. 'People that feel hard about our president and want to down the president and down the country ... they ought to go over there and live in these other countries for a little while,' Lucas told ABC 13 in Lynchburg. Some advocates of free speech argued that censorship of political rhetoric should never be the solution, suggesting that there were better ways to combat it. 'Every American has the right to make up his or her own mind about what public officials say and how they say it —and if enough people disagree with a politician, they have the right make those opinions known in peaceful protest, or at the ballot box,' said Robert Shibley, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. 'Censorship of political speech only serves to rob citizens of the right to make up their own minds, which is fatal to a democratic society.' Chris Finan, executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, agreed that attempts to ban racist rhetoric 'will never solve the problem.' Instead, Finan said, 'It has to be challenged and refuted wherever it occurs.' Retired college football coach Bill Curry, who grew up in the segregated South, had some advice based on playing in the NFL under legends Vince Lombardi at Green Bay and Don Shula in Baltimore. 'One racist word out of your month and you were gone,' said Curry, 76. 'It didn't matter who you were. Period.' During college coaching stints at the University of Alabama and elsewhere, Curry followed the same policy. 'When you put down those rules like those great coaches did, it doesn't become a problem,' he said. 'You cannot let that racist thing get started. It will destroy unity, just like is going on in our country now.' ___ AP video journalist Angie Wang in Cincinnati and AP writers Leanne Italie in New York, Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama, and Corey Williams and Mike Householder in Detroit contributed to this report.
  • A Charlotte, North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend were murdered while they were traveling the world, officials said. >> Read more trending news  Chynna Deese, 24, and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, 23, were found shot and killed on a remote western Canadian highway Monday near their broken down van, WSOC-TV reported. Officials said they were exploring Canadian national parks and heading to Alaska. Police said this does not appear connected to any other crimes. Friday night, WSOC-TV interviewed Chynna's mother Sheila Deese, who said despite not knowing how her daughter died, she's comforted in knowing her daughter and Fowler were together until the end. 'It is a love story, a southern girl goes out of the country, meets this Australian and they were just the same personality,' Sheila Deese said. Canadian Police said they don't know if Deese and Fowler were targeted or if this was random. They said they are working with the FBI to find the couple's killer. 
  • A 77-year-old convicted murderer who was released from prison after being deemed 'too old' to kill again was convicted this week of fatally stabbing a Maine woman. >> Read more trending news  Albert Flick was found guilty Wednesday of killing 48-year-old Kimberly Dobbie in July 2018 outside a Lewiston laundromat. The attack happened in front of Dobbie's 11-year-old twin boys. 'I'm glad the verdict is done and over and I'm glad he'll never be able to walk the streets again,' said Dobbie's friend James Lipps, NBC News reported. This is Flick's second murder conviction. Flick was convicted in the 1979 death of his wife, Sandra. Similar to Dobbie's death, Flick stabbed his wife as her daughter watched, CNN reported. Flick was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 1979 murder. He was released and was released in 2000 after 21 years for good behavior, The Washington Post reported.  By 2010, when he was in his late 60s, Flick had been convicted of assaulting two other women. Despite his record, the judge in the 2010 case sentenced him to four years. “At some point Mr. Flick is going to age out of his capacity to engage in this conduct,” Maine Superior Court Justice Robert E. Crowley said, according to the Portland Press Herald. “And incarcerating him beyond the time that he ages out doesn’t seem to me to make good sense.” Judge Crowley retired in 2010. He hasn't responded to media requests for comment. Flick is scheduled for sentencing August 9. He faces 25 years to life behind bars. “I firmly believe this could have been prevented,” Elsie Clement, whose mother was stabbed to death by Flick in 1979, told the Press Herald last year of Dobbie's death. “There is no reason this man should have been on the streets in the first place, no reason.”
  • Public school students in New Hampshire will be provided with free menstrual products thanks to the passage of a new law. SB 142, signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Chris Sununu, will require public schools to provide feminine hygiene products in women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms in high schools and middle schools starting January 1, The Concord Monitor reported.  >> Read more trending news  “This legislation is about equality and dignity,” Sununu said. “SB 142 will help ensure young women in New Hampshire public schools will have the freedom to learn without disruption – and free of shame, or fear of stigma.” The idea for the law came from 17-year-old Caroline Dillon, a high school student in Rochester, N.H. The high schooler was inspired to act after learning in U.S. History class about 'period poverty,' where those who can't afford feminine hygiene products miss work or school during menstruation. “It was sad to think about,” Dillon told The Monitor. “Girls in middle and high school would never dream of telling somebody that they have to miss school or use socks because they can’t pay for pads.” Dillon approached state Sen. Martha Hennessey with her idea, and Hennesey became a main sponsor of the bill. Educating some lawmakers was initially awkward, Dillon said. Most lawmakers are men, and wanted to avoid words like 'menstruation,' 'tampon' and 'feminine hygiene products,' The Monitor reported. “They would say ‘the thing’ or just try to avoid saying it all together,” Dillon said. “I would say to them, ‘If this makes you uncomfortable, think about how uncomfortable it is to be in this situation yourself. If you can't really picture it yourself, think about any woman in your life: your mom, your daughter, your aunt – think about how uncomfortable she feels – you are in the position to make it so these women don’t have to feel that way.’ ”  Dillon's efforts were ultimately successful. Funding for the new measure will come from school districts' budgets, according to CNN. Districts can partner with nonprofit organizations to provide the feminine hygiene products. Opponents of the bill said its amounts to an unconstitutional unfunded mandate,  USA Today reported. Similar laws currently exist in New York, Illinois and California.
  • A 30-year-old man who was pulled from a Georgia lake last week died Thursday, which is a day after his 9-year-old son’s death, authorities told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. >> Read more trending news  Libao Chen, of Hoschton, tried to rescue his son, Ethan Chen, after he didn’t surface at Lake Lanier last Thursday, Hall County fire spokesman Zach Brackett previously told AJC.com. The father slipped into the water and didn’t reemerge until lifeguards and bystanders on the beach found him and the boy. Lifeguards attempted to resuscitate both of them until paramedics arrived. About 2 p.m. Wednesday, Ethan died at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said. On Thursday, Libao died at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Their causes of death have not been released. An investigation by the DNR is ongoing.
  • A Memphis family said their son was rushed to the emergency room because he didn’t put down the video game controller. >> Read more trending news  The family said the 8-year-old boy was playing 'Fortnite' and he didn’t stop to use the bathroom. Doctors said this is becoming more common with young children. Even the World Health Organization named gaming disorder as a new disease last summer. Doctors say parents should pay close attention to how much time their kids are spending in front of the screen and know when to shut it off. A WHBQ-TV viewer said her 8-year-old son was rushed to the ER for constipation because of 'Fortnite.' The parent said, “My son is stuck on that 'Fortnite' game and was holding himself from the bathroom to continue playing.” Dr. Mark Corkins, chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Le Bonheur’s Children’s Hospital, said these kinds of incidents are most common for kids between the ages of 5 and 11, especially for those playing on a regular basis. “We all have that kind of desire to win, and then it becomes so focused on the game that they likely ignore the cues,” Corkins said. “Those kids can develop significant constipation that can lead to things like abdominal pain, and some of them develop problems that they actually leak stool because there’s such a backup and they’re so full.” Epic Games, the creator of 'Fortnite' offers parental controls that include restrictions on playtime. Corkins said parents should limit screen time for their kids. He said the younger the child, the less time they should spend in front a screen. “As a parent, you have to look at this and say 'What’s the balance here? Is my child doing some sort of activity? Are they doing something active?' And most parents have a sense of that, but they need to actually step in and say OK that’s enough.” WHBQ-TV reached out to Epic Games for comment on this story but they had not gotten a response. The viewer said their son won’t be playing 'Fortnite' any time soon.