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Pastor of three young children found dead day before Thanksgiving

Tennessee authorities are investigating the death Wednesday morning of a Memphis pastor .

>> Read more trending news

Quentin Barlow, 36, was found dead in his home on the day before Thanksgiving from unknown causes.

Barlow’s cousin, Samantha Westbrook, said she received the bad news in a phone call from her cousin.

“We’re grieving, we’re hurting, but our faith and trust remains in the Lord,” Westbrook said. “That’s all we know to do at a time like this. It hurts.”

Police had crime scene tape up at Barlow’s home as family members converged on the scene.

Westbrook said police do not suspect foul play at this time.

“We feel like Jobe,” she said. “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.”

It’s  a sad holiday for the family.

Barlow leaves behind a wife and three young children, including a month old baby.

“I’m just shocked,” Westbrook said. “We’re all just shocked, my entire family.”

>> Related: Young woman vanishes after online date, family fears the worst

Police are still looking into the cause of death. The family does not have any funeral arrangements made at this time.

 

Writer Emily Lindin closes her Twitter after sexist tweets

Teen Vogue’s Emily Lindin has more than 23,000 followers on Twitter but, unless you’re in that crowd, you won’t be seeing her tweets any time soon. On Tuesday night, Lindin locked down her account after a wildly unpopular tweet earned her the scorn of what seems like just about all of social media. And that’s a lot of scorn.

>> Read more trending news

Lindin wrote: “Here’s an unpopular opinion: I’m actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.” When the backlash ensued, the writer tried to justify her position, writing “false allegations VERY rarely happen, so even bringing it up borders on a derailment tactic. It’s a microscopic risk in comparison to the issue at hand (worldwide, systemic oppression of half the population).”

Lindin then declared: “The benefit of all of us getting to finally tell the truth + the impact on victims FAR outweigh the loss of any one man’s reputation,” and added, “If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”

Critics lined up to criticize her, with CNN’s Jake Tapper referencing “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in which a character with high moral standards champions above a prejudiced town.

He also hit back on Lindin after her response, saying that her point of view is “immoral” and it’s not a price that she will pay.

Donald Trump Jr. also weighed in on the controversy.

While she claims that she’s a columnist Teen Vogue, according to her bio on the magazine’s website, she hasn’t written since mid-July. Rare has reached out to Conde Nast, the company that owns Teen Vogue, asking for a comment. At the time of publication, Rare has not heard back.

In addition to her work at the magazine, Linden has produced “Unslut,” which is a documentary about combating “slut-shaming” and sexual bullying in schools. According to her bio on the film’s website, she has also written for a number of other outlets including “The Daily Dot” and “Glamour UK” and did a piece entitled “Let’s Talk about Sex with our Children” for the popular blog “Scary Mommy.”

Linden’s remarks come as an avalanche of sexual harassment claims are leveled against powerful men. The floodgates burst when Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexually harassing scores of women but the allegations have since been leveled against powerful men in Washington and journalism.

Some critics have also warned about painting sexual predators with a broad brush; Bari Weiss of the New York Times posited that there’s cause to be disturbed by the “moral flattening” that’s going on.

Just for reference, here’s a clip of Emily Linden and Amber Rose on the popular show “The Doctors” in which they talk about sexual bullying.

Not everyone’s happy that the Girl Scouts now say girls 'don’t owe anyone a hug'

A new consent initiative from the Girl Scouts of America is drawing the fire of people who say the organization has gone too far and assumed too much about the long-term ramifications of the behavior of girls at a young age.

>> Read more trending news

“Holidays and family get-togethers are a time for yummy food, sweet traditions, funny stories, and lots and lots of love,” begins the post, entitled “Reminder: She doesn’t owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays.”

>> Related: Girl Scouts say not to force your kids to hug relatives this holiday season

“But they could, without you even realizing it, also be a time when your daughter gets the wrong idea about consent and physical affection,” the post continues. At its core, it’s about learning behavior in little girls that might come back to bite later and granting little girls autonomy, the organization says:

Telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she ‘owes’ another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life.

The Girl Scouts encourages families to “give your girl the space to decide when and how she wants to show affection.” It says that girls who want to show affection are more than welcome to, adding that “many children may naturally want to hug and kiss family members, friends, and neighbors, and that’s lovely—but if your daughter is reticent, don’t force her.”

The Girl Scouts post added: “Of course, this doesn’t give her license to be rude!”

In a statement provided to ABC News, the Girl Scouts confirms that the post was published in part because of the avalanche of sexual assault stories coming out about men in politics, media, Hollywood and more.

“Given our expertise in healthy relationship development for girls, and in light of recent news stories about sexual harassment, we are proud to provide girls’ parents and caregivers with age-appropriate guidance to use when discussing this sensitive matter and other challenging topics, should they wish to do so,” the organization told ABC.

Parents and others commenting on a Facebook post about the initiative were split.

One Facebook user wrote “No girl is going to seriously think she has to get physical with a guy to be polite, just because she had to give Aunt Betty a hug at Christmas when she was little.” In a response, one user wrote“Actually some do. that’s the point,” while a second responded: “Children are condition[ed] to give and receive affection, even if they don’t consent to it. After years of this, it becomes difficult to say no to those affections later because they are told they have to do what the other person wants … It’s important to let children have autonomy and a say over their body. They get used to being able to say no, so they can say it later in life when it’s important.”

Woman helps raise more than $40,000 for homeless veteran who gave her his last $20

A New Jersey woman has helped raise more than $44,000 for a homeless man who helped her when she was in a time of need. 

>> Read more trending news 

Kate McClure was driving on I-95 in Philadelphia recently when her car ran out of gas. According to PhillyVoice.com, McClure got out of her car to walk to a gas station when she was approached by a homeless man, identified only as Johnny. Johnny told McClure to get back in her car and lock the door. He later returned to the vehicle with a can of gas. He had purchased the gas with what little money he had. 

McClure, who was in town to visit a friend, didn’t have anything to give to repay Johnny at the time, so she told him she would return. 

She kept her word.

According to a post online, McClure says she returned to visit Johnny, 34, at his spot by the side of the interstate with clothes, food and money. Each time, Johnny showed gratefulness and generosity.

“One day, I stopped to see him and had a few things in a bag to give him, one of which was a box of cereal bars so he could have something that he could carry around and eat,” McClure wrote. “He was very appreciative as usual and the first thing he said was, ‘Do you want one?’ Another time I dropped off (two) Wawa gift cards and a case of water. The first words that came out of his mouth were, ‘I can’t wait to show the guys’ -- there are (two) others he hangs out with, and they all take care of each other.”

McClure still felt compelled to do more for Johnny, so she created a GoFundMe account, hoping to raise $10,000 to help get Johnny a car, an apartment and some materials and amenities. 

In less than two weeks, McClure raised more than $44,000.

“With the money, I would like to get him first and last month’s rent at an apartment, a reliable vehicle and 4-6 months worth of expenses,” McClure wrote. “He is very interested in finding a job, and I believe that with a place to be able to clean up every night and get a good night’s rest, his life can get back to being normal. (I) truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break.”

Johnny told PhillyVoice.com that he was once a licensed paramedic and also served in the Marine Corps. He said he moved to Philadelphia last year with plans to start a new job, but when things fell through, he became homeless. 

He says now he wants to get a job at the Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey, and hopes to one day become recertified as a paramedic.

“(This) changes my life,” he said.

Extra cinnamon may be the secret to weight loss this holiday season

If you're looking to shed a few pounds, you may want to go heavier on the cinnamon this holiday season.

>> Read more trending news

New research from scientists at the University of Michigan (or U of M) revealed that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives the spice its flavor, appears to have an anti-obesity effect, Newsweek reported.

The study follows previous research, which showed that cinnamaldehyde protects mice from obesity and hypoglycemia. Scientists at U of M wanted to better understand why this is, so they tested the cinnamon extract on human and mice fat cells.

>> Related: 10 ways to avoid overeating during the holidays

"Scientists were finding that this compound affected metabolism," Jun Wu, an assistant U of M professor of molecular and integrative physiology who oversaw the study, told Medical Xpress.

"So we wanted to figure out how—what pathway might be involved, what it looked like in mice and what it looked like in human cells.”

>> Related: Weight Watchers debuts diet wine to toast the holidays

Published in the December issue of of the journal "Metabolism", the findings show that cinnamaldehyde acts directly on fat cells, or adipocytes, causing them to burn energy through a process known as thermogenesis. Overall metabolic health is improved as a result, and fat is burned.

For the study, Wu and her team tested the cinnamon oil on a range of subjects, with different ages, body types and ethnicities. They noted that fat cells treated with cinnamaldehyde resulted in the expression of several genes and enzymes that enhance lipid metabolism.

>> Related: Want to lose more weight? Ditch your diet for a couple of weeks, study suggests

Normally, adipocytes store energy as lipids, which is beneficial when you go without meals for an extended period of time. Essentially, this fat can be used by the body for energy, instead of food. In cold temperatures, adipocytes are also induced to transform stored energy into heat.

"It's only been relatively recently that energy surplus has become a problem," Wu explained. "Throughout evolution, the opposite—energy deficiency—has been the problem. So any energy-consuming process usually turns off the moment the body doesn't need it."

>> Related: 6 of the best apps to track your eating

In modern society, where food is generally abundant and a sedentary lifestyle is normal for many, our bodies instinctively store fat even though it's not necessary. This can lead to weight gain and obesity, especially when a person is inactive and consumes fatty foods.

However, the results of this new study suggest that cinnamaldehyde may be one way of making this excess fats burn quicker.

Read more here.

Reporter finds black widow spider nestled in Christmas tree at grocery store

A news reporter in San Antonio made a potentially dangerous discovery in a Christmas tree at a local grocery store: a black widow spider.

>> Read more trending news

San Antonio-Express reporter Paul Stephen was shopping at an HEB grocery store Tuesday when he picked up a small Christmas tree and noticed the venomous arachnid, according to the newspaper.

"I saw the spider, snapped the requisite Instagram pic, put it down and moved on to the next tree," Stephen told mysa.com.

"Black widows aren't that uncommon, so it didn't occur to me to freak out," he said.

A HEB official told the newspaper finding a black widow in store merchandise “was a first” for the grocery chain.

>> Related: Watch: The biggest spider you’ve ever seen and it’s in your car 

Black widows are considered the most venomous spiders in North America, according to National Geographic. While they rarely kill people, they can cause extreme illness, but they only bite when they’re disturbed.

Young woman vanishes after online date, family fears the worst

A 24-year-old Lincoln, Nebraska, woman has been missing for several days following a date with someone she met online, and now police are calling the circumstance surrounding her disappearance “concerning.”

>> Read more trending news

>> Related: Police make gruesome discovery after teacher bails her boyfriend out of jail and disappears 

Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Jeff Bliemeister spoke to local media Tuesday and urged residents to continue looking for Sydney Loofe as the department conducts interviews and pieces together the events that led to her her disappearance, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Police confirmed that Loofe was last seen in Wilber, 40 miles southwest of Lincoln, on Wed. Nov. 15.. according to the Star.

Suspicion grew when she missed work the following day at a Lincoln grocery store where she is a cashier after apparently going out on a date the night before, her parents said. Loofe sent a Snapchat message saying she was “ready for my date” just hours before she disappeared.

Her family said she sent the Snapchat message about going on a date with a woman she met online, and that she was definitely “planning on coming home that night.”

She also left her cat and car at her home in Lincoln, her family said.

>> Related: Killer details brutal murder, final minutes of NY jogger in police video

Loffe’s family is circulating a flyer that suggest they fear she was abducted. The flyer indicated that her phone pinged off a cellphone tower in the Wilber area, but that it has since been turned off.

Her parents, Susie and George Loofe, find it suspicious that her phone is off, and that her cat and car were left at home.

Lincoln police have declined to say if they have spoken to the person Loofe was going out with that night or where in Wilber she might have been.

“Really what our focus is on at this point is trying to find Sydney,” the police chief Bliemeister said. “And to go out and to detail every investigative aspect really, I think, is going to detract from the overall message of, ‘We’re trying to find her as quickly as possible.'”

Police are asking anyone with information on Loofe’s whereabouts to call 402-441-6000.

>> Related: Teen who disappeared with her teacher says it was wrong, but she doesn’t regret it

Loofe is 5-foot-7 and weighs 135 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white Columbia jacket and a cream-colored shirt. She has a yin-yang tattoo on one of her forearms, the word “Believe” with a cross on the inside of her left wrist, and the phrase “Everything will be wonderful someday” on her right bicep.

Black Friday 2017: Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon deals, store hours, ads and more

 

It’s almost go time.

Sure, you have a turkey and all the fixins’ to fix, family to visit with and football to watch, but you also have sales to attend, deals to get and shopping to get over with.

With holiday shopping barking at the door like a pack of wolves, here's a quick guide to the best deals, store hours, ads and shopping apps. 

Good luck!

Below is a list of store opening times for Thanksgiving:

  • Bass Pro Shops – 8 a.m.
  • Bealls Florida – 6 p.m.
  • Belk – 4 p.m.
  • Bergner’s – 11 a.m.
  • Best Buy – 5 p.m.
  • Big Lots - 7 a.m.
  • Bon-Ton – 11 a.m.
  • Boston Store – 11 a.m.
  • Cabela’s – 8 a.m. 
  • Carson’s – 11 a.m.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods – 6 p.m. 
  • Dollar General – 7 a.m.
  • Elder-Beerman – 11 a.m. 
  • Five Below – 6 p.m. 
  • Fred’s Pharmacy – 9 a.m.
  • GameStop – 4 p.m.
  • Herberger’s – 11 a.m.
  • JCPenney – 2 p.m.
  • Kohl’s – 5 p.m. 
  • Kmart – 6 a.m.
  • Macy’s – 5 p.m. 
  • Meijer – 6 a.m.
  • Michaels – 6 p.m. (Opens at 5 p.m. for Rewards members)
  • Rite Aid – Hours Vary by Location (most stores open)
  • Sears – 6 p.m. 
  • Shopko – 4 p.m. 
  • Stage Stores – 2 p.m.
  • Target – 6 p.m. 
  • Toys R Us – 5 p.m.
  • Walgreens – Varies by Location
  • Walmart – 6 p.m. (for Black Friday deals)
  • Younker’s – 11 a.m.

See the complete list of Thanksgiving openings/hours here.

Below is a list of the store opening times for Black Friday:

  • Babies R Us - 8 a.m.
  • Bass Pro Shops - 5 a.m.  
  • Belk - 6 a.m. 
  • Best Buy - 8 a.m.
  • Big Lots - 6 a.m.
  • BJ's Wholesale Club - 7 a.m.
  • Cabela's - 5 a.m.
  • Costco - 9 a.m.
  • Dick's Sporting Goods - 5 a.m.
  • Guitar Center - 6 a.m.
  • Hobby Lobby - 8 a.m.
  • Home Depot 6 a.m.
  • JCPenney - Thanksgiving 2 p.m. through Black Friday
  • Kmart - 6 a.m.
  • Kohl's - Thanksgiving 5 p.m. to Black Friday 1 p.m. 
  • Lowe's - 6 a.m.
  • Macy's - 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Meijer - 6 a.m.
  • Michaels - 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Office Depot & OfficeMax - 7:45 a.m.
  • PetSmart - 7 a.m.
  • Sam's Club - 7 a.m.
  • Sears - 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Staples - 7 a.m.
  • Target - 6 a.m.
  • Toys R Us - Thanksgiving 5 p.m. to Black Friday 11 p.m.
  • Walmart - Thanksgiving 6 p.m. overnight into Black Friday
  • See the complete list of Black Friday 2017 hours here.

Check out the ads

Here is a list of some "leaked" Black Friday ads from national retailers.

(Click on the store name to see the Black Friday ad)

Black Friday best bets on TVs, laptops and tablets, electronics, smartphones and gaming

Black Friday television deals

Black Friday laptop deals

Black Friday tablet deals

Black Friday electronics deals

Black Friday smartphone deals

Black Friday gaming deals

Apps for shopping

Finding the best deals can be exhausting, but, as for most things in life nowadays, there’s an app for that. Actually a few of them. Here are a few suggestions that may help you with gift buying throughout the holiday season.

Christmas Gift Planner in iTunes (called Christmas List in Android Market)

You can see what you are spending in real time. It allows you to keeps lists of gifts purchased, the ones you are still looking for and whether the gift is wrapped.

Gifts HD2 for iTunes and Android You can create lists, set budgets mark things off as you buy them, and add ideas as you go. It also allows you to comparison shop, which is great for Black Friday.

No More Socks

As with the other apps, No More Socks is a list-making and shopping app. In addition to searching retail sites, the app can also do a general Google search for products.

Chameleon

Chameleon will find the best price for an item and coupons if they are available. Chameleon works at more than 3,000 locations across the country.

RedLaser

RedLaser allows you to scan barcodes to find the best price, online or locally. PriceBlink

A browser add-on, PriceBlink lets you know when there's a better price for a product you are shopping for online.

Camel Camel Camel

CamelCamelCamel is a site that tracks Amazon prices. It notifies you when the price drops on an item you've added to your Amazon shopping list.

How much will you have to exercise to burn off that turkey dinner?

How many burpees does it take to burn off a dollop of gravy? How far must you run to negate a slice of holiday pie?

>> Read more trending news

The Daily Burn tallied the caloric cost of a Thanksgiving feast, and the results might make you second-guess that decision not to sign up for the local turkey trot.

>> Related: One ‘hot’ Thanksgiving: Turkeys get Flaming Hot Cheetos makeover

According to the Daily Burn’s helpful infographic, the turkey trot will take care of one slice of pie. That’s it. You’ll have to walk for 35 minutes to equalize a single 6-ounce glass of red wine, dance for 14 minutes to negate a half-cup of green bean casserole or play flag football for 20 minutes for that hot buttered roll. And you’ll have to run the stairs for 10 minutes to make up for that half-cup of stuffing.

>> Related: Thanksgiving 2017: How to fry a turkey without burning down the house

Most Americans gobble up between 2,400 and 4,500 calories in a single sitting on Thanksgiving Day, according to this article in The New York Times. That includes turkey, stuffing, a buttered roll, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, some green bean casserole, and slices of pecan and pumpkin pie. That’s more than an entire day’s calories, especially if you add a glass or two of wine to the mix.

We’re all for overindulgent feasting on such a special occasion, but it does help to balance out all the calories with some exercise.

Woman pulled over by man impersonating law enforcement officer

A man impersonating a law enforcement officer pulled over a woman in Arkansas, according to the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened Saturday on Highway 38 near Hughes.

>> Read more trending news

Investigators said a man impersonating a game and fish officer stopped a woman and asked to check her vehicle for guns. He had a blue light on his dash and was in a dark-colored pickup truck.

The man did not show the woman a badge or a weapon. The incident happened during the daytime hours and appears to have been an isolated occurrence.

Investigators said they believe they know who the man is, but no arrests were immediately made.

Officials said the impersonator is not the same one who stopped people earlier this year.

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