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Selena Gomez reveals she had kidney transplant, Francia Raisa was donor

Singer and actress Selena Gomez revealed that she quietly underwent a kidney transplant, and her best friend Francia Raisa was her donor.

The 25-year-old singer took to Instagram on Thursday to share the story of her recovery with a photo of the two women holding hands together as they recover in a hospital room.

>> See the post here

“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of,” Gomez wrote. “So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”

She also shared photos of the scar along her stomach and took a moment to share her gratitude for Raisa.

>> Read more trending news

“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,” she wrote. “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”

In October 2015, Gomez revealed she had been diagnosed with lupus and was undergoing chemotherapy treatments. The following year, she took a break from her career to check into a facility to treat her anxiety and panic attacks.

Target lowering prices on thousands of items, including groceries

Target stores nationwide will reduce prices on thousands of items, including toilet paper, baby formula, razors, milk, eggs, cereal and other groceries, among other items, the company announced Friday

>> Read more trending news

The move comes as the retailer positions itself as a competitor amongst other grocers, including Whole Foods, which announced lower prices after being acquired by Amazon.

Target also announced plans to simplify signage at stores that indicate sales and promotions, saying it would cut more than two-thirds of its “price and offer call-outs” so that customers can more easily spot savings.

“We want our guests to feel a sense of satisfaction every time they shop at Target,” said Mark Tritton, Target executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “Part of that is removing the guesswork to ensure they feel confident they’re getting a great, low price every day.

“We’ve spent months looking at our entire assortment, with a focus on offering the right price every day and simplifying our marketing to make great, low prices easy to spot, all while maintaining sales we know are meaningful to guests. And guests are taking note, appreciating much easier, more clear -- and more consistent savings -- at Target.”

Chip, Joanna Gaines team up with Target to release home-decor line

Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” are expanding their brand.

>> Read more trending news  

The Waco, Texas, husband and wife -- whose recent projects include the wildly successful Magnolia Market, a book from Chip Gaines called “Capital Gaines” and a new annual event in Waco called “Silobration,” to happen next month -- announced a new line with Target on Tuesday called Hearth & Hand.

RELATED: TJX opens HomeGoods spinoff store: Homesense

The collaboration will feature unique on-brand items for house and home, mostly under $30, and will be available in stores Nov. 5.

RELATED: “Fixer Upper” couple Chip and Joanna Gaines step up to help the people of Houston

“At the core of the Magnolia brand is the desire to make homes beautiful, but with a focus on family and practicality. We want to create spaces that families want to gather in,” Joanna Gaines said in a statement. “We’ve always dreamed of working with a retailer to create a collection that could reach more people at a more affordable price point. Coming together with Target not only allows us to design beautiful pieces for people all over the country, it also allows us to help communities in a bigger way than we could have ever imagined.”

Is light drinking while pregnant really dangerous?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. say they refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

» RELATED: Do you drink too much? 

But new findings published this week in the journal BMJ Open sought to answer whether or not research fully supports the notion that even one light drink is truly dangerous for pregnant women.

>> Read more trending news

After assessing all of the research published between 1950 and July 2016, the researchers looked closely at the studies involving drinking up to 32 grams of alcohol -- equivalent to approximately two glasses of wine or two pints of beer-- but only 24 studies met the criteria for review. 

» RELATED: WATCH: Here’s the scary reason some people turn red when they drink alcohol

“The distinction between light drinking and abstinence is indeed the point of most tension and confusion for health professionals and pregnant women,” Luisa Zuccolo, a health epidemiologist at the University of Bristol and the study’s lead author, told CNN.

“We were surprised that this very important topic was not researched as widely as expected.”

» RELATED: Is alcohol really good for your heart?

But just because the evidence for the possible dangers of light drinking during pregnancy is lacking doesn’t mean there are no risks at all, according to Janet Williams, professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health San Antonio.

“Why not give the child the chance not to have this potential limitation or health risk in their life? There are so many other factors one can worry about, so how about one less concern? There are all sorts of non-risk-based beverages or ways to relax or express one's emotions that do not confer fetal or lifelong effects,” she said.

Read more from CNN.

Still, Zuccolo and her co-authors concluded that further studies are needed to better understand alcohol’s effects on pregnant women and their unborn child.

Read the full analysis from Zuccolo and her team at bmjopen.bmj.com.

But for now, the resounding answer from experts around the globe for pregnant women asking if that one light drink is safe: No.

Research shows that alcohol in the mother’s blood can pass through the umbilical cord and reach the baby, causing a variety of problems, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, abnormal facial features, learning disabilities and more.

More about alcohol’s effects on pregnant women and the unborn baby at CDC.gov.

At-Work Perk: The Scott Brothers House Party

   

For their millions of fans around the world, twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott are masters of the impossible – finding and transforming ordinary houses into stunning dream homes on their HGTV show Property Brothers. And now we have your chance to see them in person at The Scott Brothers’ House Party, presented by HGTV.   

This week for your At-Work Perk, Charly Morgan has your chance to score a four-pack of tickets to The Scott Brothers’ House Party on September 19 at the Cobb Energy Centre… PLUS one Grand Prize Winner will be upgraded to great seats and get the opportunity to meet the brothers.     Get more info on The Scott Brothers’ House Party and buy tickets at cobbenergycentre.com 

If your neighbor's tree falls in your yard, who pays for cleanup?

If a tree falls in your yard, what you do next could save you money, a limb and maybe even your life.

>> Read more trending news 

According to Trees Atlanta, the metro area has the nation's highest "urban tree canopy," defined as the layer of leaves, branches and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above.

During the stormy summer months, fallen trees are fixtures in metro Atlanta's landscape. The steps you take after a tree falls can mean the difference between headache and heartache.

The first thing to do is call your homeowners insurance agent, said Bob Delbridge, owner of 404-Cut-Tree, one of the largest tree service companies in the Atlanta area.

"Occasionally we will deal directly with the insurance company. But that's more likely if there is a storm that covers a large area, like a whole neighborhood." Delbridge said. "Typically, the homeowner deals with their own insurance company."

Where the tree falls determines who pays for what. "Almost everyone is surprised when we tell them, the way the law works is, wherever the tree landed, that person is responsible for dealing with it regardless of where the tree came from."

That's right, even if the tree is rooted in your neighbor's yard, if it crashes onto your property, it's your problem.

Once the insurance agent gives the green light, the homeowner is responsible for hiring contractors. Homeowners can save money cutting up the tree themselves and then hiring someone to simply remove logs and branches. However, unless skilled with a chainsaw, owners should leave tree removal to professionals, Delbridge said.

"Typically, if the homeowners are out there with chainsaws, we'll talk to them about some basic safety information. This might save somebody's leg," he said. "There are just very easy steps to take that could really minimize injuries."

He recommends people wear protective chapssafety glasses and other gear.

"It's a federal law that commercial tree cutters wear chaps whenever they handle chainsaws on the ground. All the established companies do this," Delbridge said. "The most common injury caused by the chainsaw is an injury to the leg."

These chaps are available at retailers like Lowe's and online. "They are made of material that will stop the chainsaw blade even when it's turning at full speed without even bruising your skin." he said. "Protective glasses will help you avoid eye injuries from flying splinters."

Cutting up a fallen tree is not a DIY project for amateurs. "They might avoid paying the tree cutter some money, but they'll probably end up paying the emergency room," Delbridge said. "It's very dangerous to cut trees, and storm situations are the most dangerous. It really depends on the skill of the owner."

Even those skilled with power tools need to take precautions before tackling a fallen tree. "Whenever trees are down, the first thing to do is look for power lines." Delbridge said. "Believe it or not, trees conduct electricity, and every year there are so many people that are electrocuted by touching a branch that is also touching a live power line."

Delbridge cautioned homeowners to be wary of branches that may be bent beneath a fallen tree. "They can really have a powerful spring effect. Another common injury happens when someone cuts a branch and the tree jumps because they've reduced the weight, and the tree falls on someone. They could lose a leg or their life."

Lataunya Tilstra, an insurance agent with New York Life, said depending on the extent of damage, a homeowner might need several contractors to finish the job. One of her neighbors recently had a tree fall on her house.

"She had to call the tree service first. Then she needed a roofer, and she'll need a builder to rebuild the part of her house that was damaged. So she has several moving parts."

Speaking of insurance claims, most policies cover only damage if the tree falls on a part of the home. "Sometimes the fallen tree can cover your whole yard, and they're not going to help you with a dime of it unless it's actually on a patio, the fence, house or garage," said Corey Cargle, owner of Steve's Tree and Landscape Service in Atlanta.

"I had one homeowner's insurance company turn one of my customers down for a tree that was hit by lightning. It was uprooting, splitting, leaning all over her house and was ready to fall. But they would not approve of any preventive work to remove the tree before it damaged the home," Cargle said. "They basically told (the homeowner) to take care of it or it would be negligent because she knew the tree was about to fall. In hindsight, the homeowner should have waited and let the tree fall on the house I guess, and saved themselves thousands. Insurance companies can be rough."

Cargle recommends you take plenty of pictures. "If it leaves your property and hits someone's home, car or anything else, it's off you. It becomes their tree. A lot of people call us and say, ‘Hey, this tree fell from my neighbors house into our yard, and I want you to give us an estimate and we'll give it to them,’ but it doesn't work like that."

Hurricane Irma: For undocumented immigrants, this isn’t the worst storm of their lives

There are storms of the earth and storms of the heart. Walter Villa Toro knows this too well. 

This is why the 30-year-old undocumented immigrant from Guatemala packed up his young family, boarded up their rental apartment in Lake Worth and sought shelter at Forest Hill High as Hurricane Irma loomed. 

>> Hurricane Irma: Live updates

Villa Toro says he doesn't want to lose a family again. He left his hometown, Santa Cruz Barillas, and moved to Florida 12 years ago, with dreams of becoming a musician.

“I haven’t seen my parents or four siblings ever since I moved from Guatemala,” says Villa Toro, who mows lawns for a living. “My mom tells me to come back, to have the family together again, but I have goals in America.” 

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida, leaves damage behind

Hurricane Irma may be the unifying force for Villa Toro and the many who sought refuge at the storm shelter. But like other immigrants at this facility, with the cramped corridors and stinky bathrooms, it is American goals that thread their stories together. 

For Maria Resendiz, a 45-year-old mother from Hidalgo, Mexico, the goals are not about possessions, but security. 

>> More Hurricane Irma coverage from the Palm Beach Post

“I’m not afraid to lose material things," says Resendiz, who arrived at the shelter with her husband and three children Friday morning. “I pray everyday for the safety of my family.” 

There's another prayer as well. It is evident at lunchtime, when Resendiz intently reads from a book titled “Ciudadania Americana" (American Citizenship) between bites of applesauce and meat patty. 

>> Hurricane Irma: Florida woman delivers own baby at home as storm rages

Resendiz, who has worked for 10 years at a local cosmetics factory, is studying for her U.S. citizenship exam, which could be scheduled at any time now. She says she already knows most of the answers, though she's concerned about her accent and English pronunciations. 

She must focus on such details because a critical matter depends on her passing the test. Her mother is dying of complications from diabetes in Mexico. Resendiz can't travel there without citizenship. If she does, she may not be able to return. 

Other stories you may like from the Palm Beach Post:

>> Hurricane Irma: Live from the Palm Beach Central shelter 

>> Scenes of sadness, sharing in a Boca Raton shelter

>> Fleeing Hurricane Irma: A special needs family, and a survivor of Katrina and Harvey

For fellow immigrant Noe Aguilar, the concerns are less about homeland and more about here and now. The 32-year-old Guatemalan man came to the shelter with his wife and four kids, whom he supports by doing lawn work. 

On his mind as he chats with a Lake Worth neighbor outside the shelter: What to do with all this unexpected down time. 

>> Hurricane Irma: Georgia sheriff's office's snarky, viral post warns residents to avoid 'stupid factor'

"I wish I brought my soccer ball to kill time. I’m not used not doing anything an entire day.”

Meantime, Villa Toro uses the downtime to allow himself a glance back in time. He remembers a Guatemalan childhood so poor he would have to make his own swimming goggles with a piece of glass to fish underwater. He couldn’t afford fishing gear, much less fresh fish from the market.

>> Hurricane Irma: Florida deputy, corrections sergeant die in head-on crash during storm

“I still remember the taste of fresh fish from the river,” he says. 

That fish would be delicious now with tortillas and rice, he joked as he munched on a storm-shelter granola bar. 

Truth be told, he says, he's worked hard here to scrape together the little that he has. If he loses everything due to Irma, it would take him a long time to get back on his feet and support his family here.

>> Read more trending news

Still, he hangs on tightly to his dreams.

Villa Toro says he is saving to buy a piano. He hopes to return to Guatemala one day and play music for his mother.

Hurricane Irma: Florida woman delivers own baby at home as storm rages

A South Florida woman delivered a baby at home after being coached through the delivery by emergency personnel and doctors during Hurricane Irma

>> Hurricane Irma: Live updates

The Miami woman went into labor Sunday, but because the storm’s winds were too strong, fire rescue teams couldn’t get to her right away, according to the Miami Herald

>> Hurricane Irma: Follow the latest headlines from the Palm Beach Post

“We weren’t able to respond. So she delivered the placenta, also. Dispatch told her how to tie it off. She’s stable at home,” Assistant Fire Chief Eloy Garcia told the Herald. “We made contact with the assistant medical director here. Talked things through.”

>> Read more trending news

The mother and newborn girl were later taken to the hospital by emergency workers

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: Photos of Hurricane Irma

Read more at the Miami Herald

Your cellphone can be a valuable resource during Hurricane Irma

Your cellphone can be one of your most useful tools during and after a hurricane.

In inclement weather, consumers need to know how to perserve the battery life of their mobile devices.

First, you need to make sure your phone is fully charged. It may seem elementary, but how many times have been surprised when you go to make a call and find your battery life has been mysteriously depleted? You have probably had multiple apps open or played games without being aware of how much juice they use.

Don’t let  it get low before you plug it in again. As long as cell towers are functioning, you can use for phone for important matters.

Related: 

Tropical storm and flash flood warnings for metro Atlanta

Also consider buying an external battery pack  or charger, which  can provide extra battery life for your phone and other devices. Some are the size of a tube of lipstick and can add 2-3 hours of battery life. Others, about the size of a deck of cards, can keep your phone working for hours.

Be sure to close apps that you don’t need or aren't necessary at the time. They will simply drain your battery.

Here are some other tips to preserve battery life ,according to Michael Poh, in How-To Guides and Digital Trends.

Having your phone on vibrate uses more power than ringtones. Also lower the volume of your ringtones.

Related: 

Where is Hurricane Irma now?

Dim your screen, which will reduce power usage. You don’t need it to light up the sky.

Shorten screen time out.

Use your phone to make calls. Only use it sparingly for other functions. Playing games and using the internet can  be a big user of battery life.

Turn off Wi-fi and bluetooth when you don’t need them.

Minimize notifications. You may only want to use them for texts or when the message is important. You don’t need to know when the next sale is at your local retailer.

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