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Spike Lee pays tribute to Bill Nunn, best known as Radio Raheem

Spike Lee broke the news that actor Bill Nunn, best known for his role as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee's hit film, "Do the Right Thing," has died. He was 62.

A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on Sep 24, 2016 at 10:56am PDT

The president of Morehouse College confirmed the report. There has not been official confirmation from the family regarding Nunn's death, and he was the center of a death hoax rumor earlier this week.

Nunn played Robbie Robertson in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" film trilogy.

Man arrested for encouraging 3-year-old to smoke joint, police say

A man was arrested after a video surfaced of him allegedly allowing a child to smoke marijuana.

Lamel Yancy, who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, uploaded a Facebook Live of him encouraging his 3-year-old nephew to smoke a joint, police said.

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According to CNN, Yancy has been arrested, charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, and remains in jail.

As for the child, he is in his grandmother’s custody.

Police told CNN an officer stumbled on the video. 

"The officer that made arrest was looking into possible burglary suspects when he came across the individual and the video," North Little Rock Sgt. Brain Dedrick told CNN.

VIDEO: A man was arrested for encouraging his 3-year-old nephew to smoke a joint. What we have learned: by FOX13 Memphis on Friday, September 23, 2016

Father hurls infant over 8-foot fence, flees without pants, police say

A 31-year-old Florida man was behind bars Friday after police said he threw his 4-month-old child over an 8-foot fence, stripped naked and fled on foot.

The man, later identified as Richard Harris, was eating dinner with his family Thursday night when he said he was going to take a walk with the baby, his wife told investigators.

When she came looking for the two, she walked outside just in time to see police tackle her naked husband in a nearby apartment complex parking lot.

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The baby was found face down in the dirt a few minutes later, police said.

Neighbor Kevin Reaves could not believe what happened.

“He just came over to the side where my trailer is and threw the baby over the fence into my other neighbor’s yard,” Reaves said.

After that, for some reason, Harris took off all his clothes, Reaves said.

“My neighbor said when he saw (Harris), he was in a pair of shorts, and then all of a sudden, he saw him sitting on the trashcan and by then had had no clothes on,” he said. “I’m just more bewildered about what was going through his mind to make him do something like that.”

The child received lacerations to its body and extremities, but was not seriously injured, investigators said.

Harris was arrested by Longwood police and charged with cruelty toward a child/aggravated child abuse, battery on an officer or firefighter and resisting an officer with violence.

He is being held without bail at the Seminole County Jail. 

'Jesus is Lord' billboard with Georgia mayor's name on it causes stir

A religious billboard in Brunswick is causing some to question the separation of church and state in the city.

It says, “Jesus is Lord! Welcome to Brunswick!” It then says, “Mayor Cornell Harvey and City Council.”

We found out that no public money was used for that religious message. The money came from a local business owner, who’s now taking the billboard down.

>> Read more trending stories

She said even though she had permission from the mayor to use his name, she felt pressure from the city manager.

“I got a call from the city manager that said he had some calls and there were some issues with some people. They didn’t want it up, and something called separation of church and state,” said business owner Victoria Hightower.

Harvey said he didn't know the city manager even had a conversation with the billboard owner.

He said he didn't mean to make a statement by giving Hightower permission to include his name in the message. He said he liked the idea of welcoming people to the city.

The owner will take down the message by Oct. 1.

Mariners suspend catcher Steve Clevenger for rest of season over BLM tweets

The controversial tweets of Mariners’ reserve catcher Steve Clevenger have led to his suspension.

Clevenger was suspended for the rest of the season without pay Friday for tweets made this week regarding a recent police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Black Lives Matter movement which many found to be offensive.

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Clevenger’s Twitter account is currently private. Screen shots of the tweets showed Clevenger made disparaging comments about protesters, tweeting, “Keep kneeling for the Anthem” and “BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”

Clevenger was informed of the suspension on Friday. He will lose 10 days' pay from his $516,500 salary in the major leagues, which comes to $28,224, according to The Associated Press.

The Major League Baseball Players Association could challenge the suspension, but has not yet commented on the case.

Mariners Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Dipoto released a statement Thursday afternoon:

“The Seattle Mariners are very disappointed at the tweets posted on Steve Clevenger’s account. While he is certainly free to express himself, his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments. We are currently examining all internal options that are available to us as we determine appropriate next steps. We will have no further comment at this time.”

On Thursday night, MLB on FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal shared a statement from Clevenger, who apologized for "the distraction my tweets on my personal Twitter page caused when they went public.”

"I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms," continued Clevenger's statement. "My tweets were reactionary to the events I saw on the news and were worded beyond poorly at best and I can see how and why someone could read into my tweets far more deeply than how I actually feel."

Statement from Steve Clevenger    "First and foremost I would like to apologize to the Seattle Mariners, my teammates,...Posted by Ken Rosenthal on Thursday, September 22, 2016

Clevenger appeared in 22 games for the Mariners this season. He has been on disabled list with a fractured hand since June 30. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Woman stabbed by her dog, no one believes her

A Colorado woman had a difficult time convincing hospital staff and police that the gash on her arm was the result of her dog stabbing her.

Celinda Haynes told 7News Denver that the bizarre incident happened Wednesday. Her 1-and-a-half year old Chesapeake Bay retriever, Maya, has a habit of grabbing stuff off counters to play with. While in the kitchen, Maya grabbed a paring knife. Haynes tried to get the dog to let go of the knife, but Maya was stubborn, so Haynes placed treats on the ground to distract her. In the dog’s excitement, she reached over with the knife still in her mouth, slashing Haynes’ arm as she dove for the treats.

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Haynes suffered a forearm wound approximately 4 to 5 inches long and a quarter of an inch wide, which required several stitches. She sought treatment at a nearby hospital, but when she explained how the stab wound occurred, she was met with disbelief. Authorities were called to the hospital and then dispatched to her home to investigate what they suspected was a case of domestic violence.

In the meantime, Haynes’ husband, who had been at the DMV when the incident occurred, arrived home to find a “bloodbath” in the kitchen. Authorities then realized that Haynes had been telling the truth all along, as hard as it was to believe.

[Editor’s note: 7News Denver spells the dog’s name as Mia, but according to the owner’s Facebook post, the dog’s name is spelled Maya.]

Posted by Celinda Haynes on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Truck driver gets caught with mannequin in carpool lane

A California man who claims he had gotten away with driving in the carpool lane with a mannequin passenger for some time was caught when he got a bit too close to a motorcycle cop.

The incident happened Wednesday on the congested 57 freeway, according to The Associated Press.

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As the driver veered out of the carpool lane, his truck came close enough for the motorcycle cop to see that the truck’s passenger was not a living human being as required by law.

In California, drivers face a fine of almost $500 for carpool lane violations.


Police: Brinks employee stole at least $30K from ATMs on the job

A Brinks Security “money messenger” stole more than $31,000 while delivering cash to ATMs, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said after arresting him this week.

La Que Jefferson, of Vero Beach, told investigators he spent the money on medical bills, credit card payments and items for his family — like a new TV and an Xbox game system, according to a police report made public Friday.

Jefferson was booked Thursday on a charge of grand theft greater than $20,000. He was released from the Palm Beach County Jail after posting $7,500 bond.

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The sheriff’s office said Jefferson, 26, took the money from two SunTrust bank ATMS. As a “money messenger,” he delivered money bags from the Brinks Security office in Mangonia Park to ATMs and banks to replenish their cash.

Audits found money shortages to ATMs assigned to Jefferson of $1,900 on July 20, $11,800 on Aug. 3 and and $18,000 on Aug. 18. The amount of money missing totaled to $31,220, the report said. It did not specify the locations of the ATMs.

When confronted about the shortage by Brinks supervisors, Jefferson admitted that he “was sorry for his actions” and said he “used the money to pay for medical bills, to purchase things for family, and to pay credit cards,” the police report states.

A Brinks Security official offered not to report the incident to police if he was able to return the money in full. Jefferson said he could only give back some of it, because he spent most of it “and cannot get it back,” authorities said.

Jefferson was able to return around $10,560 in cash. Police then contacted Jefferson on Wednesday, and he agreed to surrender himself.

“He wishes he never took the money because of the situation that he has placed himself in at this time, and now (he has) lost a great job because of his mistake,” the report said.

Stephen Hawking: Be wary of answering if space aliens come calling

Physicist Stephen Hawking said he is convinced that humans are not the only intelligent life form in the universe.

In a newly released 25-minute film from Curiosity Stream — an online video on demand site — Hawking discusses his quest to find alien life.

>> Read more trending stories   

In “Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places,” Hawking told USA Today that scientists have found thousands of planets outside our solar system in recent years. 

“Some are burning hells, gates of fire and lava, others are solid diamond made in deadly X-rays from a dying star, but some are more like home,” he said. 

Hawking takes viewers to Gliese 832c, which could be one of the closest habitable planets discovered so far.

He said one day we might receive a signal back from a planet like Gliese 832c.

“We should be wary of answering back,” he said.  “Meeting an advanced civilization could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus — that didn’t turn out so well.”

Hawking said the discovery of intelligent life would be the greatest scientific discovery in history.

“It would force us to change,” he said. “We would have to give up the idea that we are unique and start acting with more compassion and humility."

Dodgers pay tribute to longtime broadcaster Vin Scully

The Dodgers paid tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully on Friday, and a crowd of 52,320 roared its approval during an hourlong ceremony on his appreciation night before Los Angeles’ 5-2 victory against Colorado.

Scully, holding hands with his wife, Sandi, walked from the dugout to home plate for a ceremony honoring his 67 years in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth. The 88-year-old Scully is retiring next weekend after Los Angeles concludes its regular season in San Francisco.

>> Read more trending stories  

"Hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you," Scully said in his signature greeting. "I thought I'd get that out of the way right away."

Scully thanked Dodger fans for making him feel like a child again.

"When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled for a brief moment I'm 8 years old again," he said. "You have allowed me to be young at heart. I owe you everything."

The first 50,000 fans in attendance received a typed letter signed by Scully containing recollections from his career, which began in Brooklyn with the Dodgers and continued when the team moved west to California for the 1958 season.

"You were simply always there for me," Scully wrote. "I have always felt that I needed you more than you needed me and that holds true to this very day. I have been privileged to share in your passion and love for this great game."

Actor Kevin Costner, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw were among the speakers paying tribute to Scully.

Scully joked that he is often asked about his future. He turns 89 in November.

"I'm going to try to live," he said. "I'm looking for a much smaller house and a much larger medicine cabinet."

Dodgers chairman Mark Walter, former owner Peter O'Malley and former managers Tom Lasorda and Joe Torre, now an MLB executive, were among those on hand. O'Malley's father, Walter, first owned the team and was instrumental in bringing the Bronx-born Scully west when the Dodgers relocated to the vast Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Walter said the team would add Scully’s name to the stadium “ring of honor,” next to the retired numbers. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave Scully a key to the city. Manfred said the league would donate $50,000 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation in honor of Scully.

Costner starred in the 1999 baseball movie "For Love of the Game," in which Scully narrated the play-by-play of his character's perfect game.

"We're all taking deep breaths, Vin," Costner said. "We're all struggling with our own emotions as we admit we're down to our last three outs with you. You're our George Bailey and it has been a wonderful life. You can't blame us for trying to hold on to you for as long as we can. And shame on us if you ever have to pay for another meal in public."

At the end of the tributes, Scully returned to the microphone.

"It's time for Dodger baseball," he said.

Triple suicide bombing kills 11 in Iraq

A provincial spokesman in Iraq said a triple suicide bombing killed at least 11 members of the security forces, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

>> Read more trending stories   

Col. Mohammed al-Jabouri, the spokesman for the Salahuddin province police force, said three militants rammed explosives-laden vehicles into a checkpoint. Al-Jabouri confirmed that 34 other security officers were wounded.

The attack occurred as the local police chief and head of the provincial security committee were visiting the site, al-Jabouri said. Both officials escaped unharmed.

No group has claimed responsibility.

Study: Smoking permanently damages DNA

Smoking scars DNA in clear patterns, researchers reported this week. And while most of the damage fades after five years if people quit smoking, researchers found that not all of it does.

>> Read more trending stories   

NBC News reported that information based on a study of 16,000 people. The patterns are made in a process called methylation, which is an alteration of DNA that can inactivate a gene or change how it functions — often causing cancer and other diseases, researchers said.

Heart disease and cancer are caused by genetic damage — some of it inherited, but most of it caused by day-to-day living. Smoking is one of the biggest causes, researchers said.

The research team examined blood samples given by 16,000 people taking part in various studies since 1971. In all of the studies, people have given blood samples and filled out questionnaires about smoking, diet, lifestyle and their health histories.

They found smokers had a pattern of methylation changes affecting more than 7,000 genes, or one-third of known human genes. Many of the genes had known links to heart disease and cancers known to be caused by smoking.

Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable illness, killing more than 480,000 Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monty Python's Terry Jones diagnosed with dementia

Terry Jones of the Monty Python comedy troupe has been diagnosed with dementia.

A representative for the writer and director told The Telegraph that “Terry has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a variant of frontotemporal dementia.”

>> Read more trending stories  

The representative added that the illness affects Jones’ ability to communicate and prevented him from giving interviews.

Jones, 74, and the other Pythons organized in 1969 and wrote and performed the television series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” until 1974.

He co-directed the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” with Terry Gilliam, and was sole director on two further Monty Python movies, “Life of Brian” and “Monty Python's The Meaning of Life”, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Original Song Written for a Film in 1984.

Washington mall shooting: What we know now

Five people are dead after a man with a rifle opened fire Friday night at Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington.

The shootings occurred in the makeup department at a Macy's in the mall at approximately 7 p.m. PT, Washington State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis said. 

The suspect is still at large. Francis said authorities are looking for a Hispanic man wearing a black T-shirt, who was last seen walking west toward Interstate 5 from Cascade Mall. The shooter was armed with a "long gun," Francis said, " a hunting-type rifle." 

Burlington is located approximately 65 miles north of Seattle.

>> Read more trending stories 

According to troopers, the shooter left the scene before police arrived.

The names of the dead were not immediately released.

Tari Caswell told the Skagit Valley Herald that she was in the Macy’s women’s dressing room when she heard “what sounded like four balloons popping, and I thought that was strange because I hadn’t seen any balloons.”

“Then I heard seven or eight more, and I just stayed quiet in the dressing room because it just didn’t feel right. And it got very quiet. And then I heard a lady yelling for help, and a man came and got me and another lady, and we ran out of the store.”

Stephanie Bose, an assistant general manager at Johnny Carino's Italian restaurant near the Macy's, told The Associated Press that she immediately locked the doors to the restaurant after hearing about the shooting from an employee's boyfriend.

"He was trying to go to the mall and people were screaming," she said. "It was frantic."

She said he could see police at the doors with assault rifles and said they were no longer guarding the doors as of 9:30 p.m.

Brandi Montreuil told CNN she was at the movies when attendants told them to leave. "I didn't know anything," she said. "The theater attendant came in and apologized for stopping the movie and said they (theater staff) were asked to have everyone leave immediately."

Doc Barron, who had been teaching a boxing class at the mall, told the Skagit Valley Herald that he heard a commotion outside and a bunch of people yelling and screaming for help.

“Someone ran by and said, ‘There’s an active shooter in the mall,’ and told us to lock our gate,” said Barron, who was able to get out of the mall and was interviewed in the parking lot.

The Cascade Mall is an enclosed shopping mall that opened in 1990, according to the mall's website. In addition to Macy's and the theater, it features J.C. Penney, TJ Maxx, and several restaurants. On its Twitter account, mall officials said the facility would be closed on Saturday "out of respect" for the victims and their families.

<iframe src="//" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//"></script>[View the story "WSP: 4 dead in shooting at Cascade Mall, authorities searching for gunman" on Storify]

Backstreet Boys coming to Vegas for residency

Backstreet's going to Vegas.

The boy band now made up of men, husbands and fathers announced on their website Friday that they are gearing up for a residency, following in the footsteps of other '90s pop stars like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez.

>> Read more trending stories

But it's not a full-fledged residency run just yet.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the quintet is launching a trial residency of "Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life" starting March 1 at the Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. It's the same location Spears and Lopez are performing at for their current residencies, "Piece of Me" and "All I Have," respectively.

The band said in a promotional video announcing the residency that the show is going to live up to its name.

"We’re going to call the show Larger Than Life, and we’re taking that theme and we’re going to run with it," Kevin Richardson said.

“If you’ve ever been to a Backstreet Boys show, it’s going to be that on steroids," Brian Littrell added.

A.J. McLean was succinct: "Be prepared."

Ticket prices start at $39 and there will be VIP packages and Meet & Greets available. Dates run from March to July 1.

Man gives out free hugs as violent protests unfold in Charlotte

While violent protests broke out in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this week, one man tried to calm racial tension by giving out free hugs. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

CNN reported that Ken Nwadike started the Free Hugs Project two years ago after the Boston Marathon bombings. 

Nwadike went to Charlotte to try to spread a message of peace. 

Related: Little boy gives free hugs and donuts to officers in Charlotte

Video shows Nwadike hugging several officers in full riot gear as violent protests started to unfold around them. 

As protesters gathered around him, this man gave free hugs to the officers working to keep the streets of Charlotte safe. ( by WSB-TV on Friday, September 23, 2016

Some of the protesters started to taunt him over it. 

"I wasn't sure if I would get grabbed by the police officers," Nwadike told CNN. "But also on the protest side -- because there was so much anger and frustration -- I didn't know what to expect."

Nwadike admitted that he wasn't sure how the officers would respond, but several of the officers ended up thanking him for the hugs. 

Angry gator takes a bite of man's airboat

Some Brevard County, Florida, boaters came face to face with an angry alligator Wednesday night. 

John Morgan and Jeff Dixon said that they were on an airboat on the Saint Johns River, when they encountered the gator. 

>> Read more trending stories 

The nearly 11-foot gator, which was blocking their path on the river, suddenly lunged at the boat and clamped down on it. 

The boaters quickly accelerated and were able to get away from the gator. 

The boaters said that the gator survived the confrontation, but it was still angry when they left. 

Little Miracles: Twins born 4 months early celebrate first birthday

Twins Jaxson and Cadence Moore just celebrated what their parents are calling a miracle: their first birthday.

Jaxson and Cadence were born on Sept. 23, 2015, in Portland, Oregon. They arrived 16 weeks early, weighing just over 1 pound.

>> Read more trending stories 

Doctors told parents Jourdan and Matt Moore that there was little chance of the babies’ surviving.

Happy one week birthday Jaxson Brave and Cadence Grace. You bring a whole new meaning to the word "mini" in #journeytominimoore but this mamma's heart is full of massive love!Posted by Journey To Mini-Moore on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Now, they’re celebrating their first birthday.

“Doctors basically told us we should let nature run its course, that there was nothing they could do for a baby born at only 23 weeks old,” Jourdan Moore told People. “But we weren’t going to give up. And we didn’t. And now look at them!”

This photo is from Thursday, but I'm holding her again now so the moment is similar. Both babies are on NIPPV, both had...Posted by Journey To Mini-Moore on Sunday, October 25, 2015

Both babies are doing well.

Cadence was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and hypertension. She relies on a feeding tube to eat.

Jaxson is nearsighted and wears glasses.

Matt and Jourdan say the journey has only made their babies stronger.

“They are so loved and so wanted. They are our miracles,” said Matt.

Can you believe these two will turn one in less than a month?! They are currently 11 months (7 months adjusted). They...Posted by Journey To Mini-Moore on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 

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