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Brad Stevens Denies Rumors He’s Going Back to the College Ranks

Brad Stevens Denies Rumors He’s Going Back to the College Ranks

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the Boston Celtics dive further and further into their rebuilding effort, head coach Brad Stevens has denied any rumors that he will eventually leave the team for a college job.

“I’ve committed to being here,” Stevens told Paul Flannery of SB Nation. “I’ve already left a situation once and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to choose to do. This is something that as long as they want me to be here, this is what I want to be doing and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got."

As the team slips further into the standings, there have been whispers saying Stevens will jump ship back to the collegiate ranks -- specifically replacing Tom Cream at Indiana.

"I know it’s all specific to the rumor mills and the discussion of one spot," Stevens continued. "I think they’ve got a good coach who’s done a helluva job. He doesn’t deserve that speculation."

Stevens experienced tremendous success at Butler, which led him to being hired by the Celtics last season at the age of 36. He signed a six-year deal with the Celtics prior to the 2013-2014 season.

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Instant Racing Earns Big Bucks, Draws Concerns

Instant Racing Earns Big Bucks, Draws ConcernsBOISE, Idaho (AP) – Idaho racing officials say instant racing machines are succeeding in helping boost Idaho’s declining horse industry. However, critics are pointing out that the machines may be cleverly disguised illegal slot machines. Idaho Racing Commission Executive Director Frank Lamb says machines used at places like Les Bois Park outside of Boise are […]

More Yellowstone Roads Open for Snowmobiling

More Yellowstone Roads Open for SnowmobilingYELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) – Yellowstone National Park has been receiving snow lately, and park officials say they’re opening more roads in the park to snowmobiling and other forms of motorized snow travel. Snowmobiles and commercial snow coaches with rubber tracks or large tires may now travel from the park’s South Entrance through West […]

Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin Returning to Team in 2015

Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin Returning to Team in 2015

National Football League(MIAMI GARDEN, Fla.) -- Despite another season that will have them sitting out of the playoffs, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says head coach Joe Philbin will return to the team next season.

At 8-7, the Dolphins flirted with the playoffs but ultimately came up short in Philbin's third season as the team's head coach.

"It's frustrating that we didn't make the playoffs. I feel as bad as everybody," Ross said. "But I think we're building something here, and I believe in the coach."

Despite a mediocre season, Philbin has support from his players.

"Coach Philbin is a big part of this franchise," Linebacker Cameron Wake said. "He's obviously part of the success of this team. That's great news and I'm looking forward to it."

Since taking over the team, Philbin has a 23-24 record, not quite what they were hoping for when they hired him.

The Dolphins haven't made it to the postseason since 2008 when Tony Sparano was the head coach.

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Missing Idaho Cows Recaptured by Employees

Missing Idaho Cows Recaptured by EmployeesPOCATELLO, Idaho (AP) – Pocatello police say two cows that escaped from a meat-processing business have been captured. The Idaho State Journal reports that officers were told by Anderson Custom Pack that employees found the missing cows and brought them back to the business Saturday. Five cows fled from Anderson Custom Pack in two recent […]

Idaho Unemployment Rate Lowest in 7 years

Idaho Unemployment Rate Lowest in 7 years  BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Latest jobless rates show that Idaho is at its lowest in nearly seven years. According to the Idaho Statesman, a declining labor force and above average employer payrolls drove Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate below 4 percent in November. It’s the lowest since early 2008 and down two-tenths of a […]

Holiday Sales Will Likely Rise 4-5% from 2013, Analysts Say

Holiday Sales Will Likely Rise 4-5% from 2013, Analysts Say

Darren Hauck/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Despite a disappointing start to the holiday shopping rush, with sluggish sales on Black Friday, overall holiday sales are likely rise 4 to 5 percent compared to last year, according to analysts.One likely reason for the boost: Lower gas prices, which have left consumers with more money in their pockets.Consumer electronics chains and home improvement retailers, in particular, may benefit from the last minute shopping trips.Teen retailers, however, may turn out to be this year's biggest losers. Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO stepped down this month, and two chains -- Delia’s and Deb Shops -- are going out of business.

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Report: Sony May Release “The Interview” on Crackle

Report: Sony May Release “The Interview” on Crackle

Sony/Columbia(NEW YORK) — Sources told the New York Post Sunday that Sony is planning to release The Interview on the streaming site Crackle.According to the Post, the Sony-owned site would host the film and allow people to watch it online free of charge.  However, a spokesperson from Sony said, “The studio has not made a decision and is still exploring options.”On NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, Sony lawyer David Boises said the film "will be distributed. How it's going to be distributed, I don't think anybody knows quite yet. But it's going to be distributed."The studio pulled the James Franco-Seth Rogen comedy after hackers made terroristic threats. In the film, Franco and Rogen play journalists enlisted to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.After Sony’s decision to cancel its release, President Obama criticized the studio for being “intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.”Meanwhile, an email claiming to be from the hacking group Guardians of Peace was sent to journalists early Saturday. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the email included links to a YouTube video mocking the FBI. The clip calls investigators idiots and features writing in a foreign language.North Korea on Sunday reportedly accused the U.S. government of being involved in the making of The Interview, and promised counteraction. Former United Nations Ambassador Bill Richardson comments, "North Korea responds like this in typical bluster, threats, which is what they always do, making threats but in the end they don't take this action."

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Memorial Service Held Sunday for Slain NYPD Officers

Memorial Service Held Sunday for Slain NYPD Officers

Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Community leaders and family members gathered in Brooklyn Sunday night for a memorial service to remember the two NYPD officers who were shot point-blank and killed in their patrol car Saturday afternoon while patrolling Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot point-blank and killed while sitting in their parked patrol car.New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said Officers Liu and Ramos were sitting in their vehicle shortly before 3 p.m. when a man approached the car on the passenger side, took a "shooter's stance" and opened fire.Liu and Ramos may have not even seen the gunman before they were shot, Bratton said."Officer Liu and Officer Ramos never had the opportunity to draw their weapons," Bratton said. "They may never have actually seen their assailant, their murderer."Police said the suspect -- identified by police as Ismaayil Brinsley, 28 -- then ran to a nearby subway entrance, with cops in pursuit, the commissioner said.Brinsley went down into the subway and ran onto the platform, where he shot himself in the head, killing himself, Bratton said.Police believe Brinsley shot his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore earlier in the day, and then posted "anti-police postings" on her Instagram account, the police commissioner said.Police in Baltimore alerted the NYPD about Brinsley after finding the post and seeing that his phone pinged from Brooklyn, but their message arrived about the same time the shootings occurred, Bratton said.Authorities say Brinsley traveled to New York by Bolt Bus, a discounted fare coach.NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Sunday that moments before Brinsley shot and killed the two officers, he told bystanders to "watch what I'm going to do.”Liu, 32, had gotten married just two months ago. Ramos, who had just turned 40, was a police officer for two years, fulfilling what Bratton said was a lifelong dream of being a cop. Before joining the NYPD he had been a school safety officer.Brinsley has 19 prior arrests in his criminal history in the states of Georgia and Ohio. He also had what family described as "undiagnosed mental problems." His estranged mother said he had a troubled childhood, was violent, and she told police she "feared him."President Obama released a statement Saturday condemning the killing of the two officers. “Two brave men won't be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification,” the president’s statement read.“The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day -- and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day. Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal -- prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen," the statement concluded.

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Slain Officer’s Family Calls for ‘Peaceful Coexistence’ Between Cops and Public

Slain Officer’s Family Calls for ‘Peaceful Coexistence’ Between Cops and Public

Lucy Ramos, the aunt of slain police officer Rafael Ramos speaks at a news conference, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) — Family and friends of one of the New York police officers who were shot dead in what officials call an "assassination" this weekend spoke out Sunday night for the first time since the attack, praising him and calling for calm.Officer Rafael Ramos, who was fatally shot while sitting in his patrol car alongside his partner Officer Wenjian Liu, "will always be loved and missed by many," his aunt Lucy Ramos said Sunday.She, like other community leaders who appeared with her at a press conference, called New Yorkers and police to come together "so that we can move forward and find an amicable path to a peaceful coexistence."Juan Rodriguez, who was a friend of Officer Ramos' for 20 years and serves as the community council president for the 75th precinct, said he doesn't "want the city of New York to think everyone is against the police department."Though he didn't go as far as the leader of the city's largest police union -- who has been in an escalating standoff with Mayor Bill de Blasio and who Saturday said that the mayor has "blood on his hands" for the deaths of these officers -- Rodriguez was critical of de Blasio and urged him to "please show your leadership."Tensions have been rising between police and de Blasio ever since he spoke at length after the Eric Garner grand jury decision about the ways that he taught his biracial son to approach police tentatively."What about if that was your son who got shot in the police car? What if it was your son who got shot in the head?" Rodriguez said at Sunday night's press conference.Rep. Nydia Velasquez, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and other community leaders also spoke at the press conference, which was held in front of Ramos' home.

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Missing College Student Shane Montgomery’s Keys Found in Schuylkill River

Missing College Student Shane Montgomery’s Keys Found in Schuylkill River

Courtesy Montgomery Family(PHILADELPHIA) — Keys belonging to a missing college student in Pennsylvania were discovered in the Schuylkill River, his uncle said Sunday.The family of Shane Montgomery, 21, confirmed to ABC station WPVI-TV that divers found the keys near the river bank -- the first physical clue to emerge in Montgomery’s Nov. 27 disappearance.“They discovered a set of keys in the water. They brought them to the surface and brought them to us. I identified them as Shane’s,” his uncle Kevin Verbrugghe told WPVI-TV.The keys were recovered in the river -- not in a nearby canal where earlier searches were concentrated, Verbrugghe said.The keys were attached to an Eagles lanyard.“It’s just a piece to the puzzle. The puzzle is definitely not done,” Verbrugghe told WPVI-TV.Montgomery, a student at West Chester University, hasn’t been seen since leaving a bar in Philadelphia’s Manayunk section early Thanksgiving morning after a night out with friends. The reward in Montgomery’s disappearance is now $65,000.

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Florida Teen Recovering Following Bear Attack

Florida Teen Recovering Following Bear Attack

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(EASTPOINT, Fla.) — A Florida teen is recovering Monday morning after being attacked by a bear.Leah Reeder, 15, sustained injuries to her legs, back, neck and face, her mother Sherry Mann told ABC affiliate WMBB.“Even as I sit here now, I can’t believe it happened,” Mann said. “The bears are all over the place, and I know how hard I would fight to protect my kids, but a momma bear can do so much more damage than me with just one swipe.”The attack happened near dusk Sunday in Eastpoint, Franklin County, on Florida’s panhandle. Mann told WMBB that her daughter was walking her dog when the bear attacked, dragging the teen into a ditch.Her daughter “played dead” and the bear retreated, Mann said. The girl sustained deep wounds across her face, but Mann said her daughter remained upbeat.“She managed to crack a few smiles at me before she went in for surgery,” Mann told WMBB.Florida Fish and Wildlife authorities received a report of the encounter and worked to trap the bear Sunday.

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Kourtney Kardashian Reveals New Baby’s Name

Kourtney Kardashian Reveals New Baby’s Name

Timothy White/ E!(LOS ANGELES) — A week after Kourtney Kardashian and longtime partner Scott Disick welcomed their third child, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star has finally revealed the baby boy's name."Madly in love with my little Reign Aston Disick," Kourtney, 35, posted on Instagram Sunday. The message was accompanied by a picture of her son's hand.The baby was born December 14, the same day her oldest son, Mason Dash, celebrated his fifth birthday.Kardashian and Disick, who have been dating on and off since 2006, also have a two-year-old daughter named Penelope Scotland.

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Tom Brokaw Reveals His Cancer Is in Remission

Tom Brokaw Reveals His Cancer Is in Remission

Paul Drinkwater/NBC(NEW YORK) — Tom Brokaw told NBC News staffers Sunday that his cancer is in remission."A year ago my future was more uncertain than I cared to acknowledge but now I face the New Year with very encouraging news," the 74-year-old NBC News veteran said in a note to NBC News staff.Brokaw, who anchored NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004, revealed in February that he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks bone marrow. He said he will soon begin a drug regimen to keep the cancer in remission.He also wrote about how during the previous weekend he was a presidential delegate to the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge and that it reminded him of “how fortunate we all are.”“I flew home reflecting again on how lucky we are that generation gave us the lives we have today -- how my last year was a challenge but I was meeting it in world class hospitals with brilliant physicians, not in a foxhole in the Ardennes,” he wrote.He signed the note, "Happy New Year all. T Bone."

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Craig Ferguson Signs Off as Host of “The Late Late Show”

Craig Ferguson Signs Off as Host of “The Late Late Show”

Monty Brinton/CBS(LOS ANGELES) — Craig Ferguson said goodbye to late-night TV Friday with the help of Jay Leno and various surprise guest stars.In his last opening monologue on CBS' The Late Late Show, the 52-year-old Scotsman talked about becoming a U.S. citizen during his time as host. He called it the most “astonishing” thing that happened to him while working on the show.He also stressed that he’s not retiring. "I wanted to do this show, and now we've done this show, and if you will indulge me in whatever I am doing now and come to whatever I do next, I'd be very grateful, because my kids are still young,” Ferguson, who currently hosts the syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game, said.The final episode also featured a music video that transitioned into Ferguson singing “Bang Your Drum” by the Scottish group Dead Man Falls inside his studio. In the clip he was joined by an array of previous guests including Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Carell, Kristen Bell, Lisa Kudrow and Betty White.Leno was Ferguson’s final guest, and he complimented him for not taking part in the late-night wars. "You've always been fair. You didn't join the late-night talk-show snippy club," Leno said.The former Tonight Show host also told a funny story about zoning out while interviewing Trista from The Bachelorette. He said when she approached him in the parking lot for a photo, he didn’t even realize he had interviewed her that day.Ferguson ended the show with a pre-taped sketch in which Secretariat, Ferguson’s famous pantomime horse, finally took off his mask, revealing Bob Newhart underneath.  Ferguson then channeled the series finale of Newhart by waking up next to Drew Carey -- Ferguson starred in The Drew Carey Show -- and recounting a horrible dream he’d had of being a talk show host.Ferguson hosted The Late Late Show for 10 years. British comedian James Corden will take his place in March of 2015. In the meantime, a series of guest hosts will be filling in.

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Mike Myers Reprises Dr. Evil on “SNL” to Address “The Interview” Controversy

Mike Myers Reprises Dr. Evil on “SNL” to Address “The Interview” Controversy

Dana Edelson/NBC(NEW YORK) — Mike Myers made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend to reprise his role as Austin Powers villain Dr. Evil.In the cold open skit, Dr. Evil interrupts a Sam Smith Christmas special to comment on the recent hack attack on Sony and the controversy over The Interview. “North Korea, you’re one of the most evil countries in the world and your act of war is to kill a movie?” Myers said. “It’s easy to kill a movie, just move it to January.”He also taunted the hackers, asking what they were going to do next, “Ask for one million dollars?”Myers even managed to poke fun at himself by referencing one of his movie failures. “If you really want to put a bomb in a theater, do what I did: Put in The Love Guru.”Myers was a regular on Saturday Night Live from 1989 to 1995.

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Does Anyone Truly Take Time Off from Work Anymore?

Does Anyone Truly Take Time Off from Work Anymore?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When you take time off from work for the holidays, do you really take time off? 

The data protection company Zix recently commissioned a survey of 1,000 full-time employees and found that of those who plan to take time off for the holiday, 57 percent said they intend to spend part of their holiday break working. Forty-nine percent said they’d work at least an hour a day, and one-third said they’d work at least two hours. Twelve percent said they plan to work more than six hours per day while “off.”Observers note that working for just a little bit is understandable in this era of smartphones. The survey found that 80 percent of employees admit to responding to emails after work even when they’ve enlisted an out-of-office reply. 

And while keeping up with a constant stream of emails while you're off can be stressful, sifting through hundreds of unread messages when you return to work can be worse.

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Car Rentals Soar During Christmastime

Car Rentals Soar During Christmastime

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Renting a car over the holidays?  Be prepared to spend big bucks.A new study examined the car rental rates of 30 popular U.S. destinations over the period spanning December 23 to 27 and found sky-high holiday increases.  For example, in West Palm Beach, Florida, the daily rental rate for the cheapest available car is $133.  That’s a 600-percent increase over the regular, non-holiday rates in that town.New York City has the highest Christmas season average daily rate -- $178 a day -- but that’s only a 177-percent increase over regular rates.Here’s a rundown of the 10 U.S. destinations with the highest car rental rates during the Christmas season, along with a percentage-wise comparison to regular, non-holiday prices.

1. New York City, $178 (+177%)2. West Palm Beach, $133 (+583%)3. Honolulu, $106 (+278%)4. Fort Myers, $98 (+302%)5. Sarasota, $97 (+81%)6. Portland, $89 (+155%)7. Denver, $88 (+287%)8. Baltimore, $85 (+76%)9. Boston, $81 (+94%)10. Philadelphia, $80 (+14%)

The survey was conducted by CheapCarRental.net.

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New Wristband Tells Your DVR to Record When You Doze Off

New Wristband Tells Your DVR to Record When You Doze Off

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Big news for couch potatoes who’ve fallen asleep in front of the TV and missed a show they wanted to watch.  Virgin Media will begin a trial next year on KipstR, a new wearable device that will monitor your pulse and detect when you've fallen asleep.The wristband will then mimic your TiVo remote control and tell it to pause the current show and begin recording it for later viewing.The device was designed by two British teens, ages 14 and 15.Interested in signing up for the free trial? Go to Virginmedia.com.

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A Lack of Teeth May Take a Bite Out of Your Memory

A Lack of Teeth May Take a Bite Out of Your Memory

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Does the number of teeth in a person’s mouth have any link to decreases in their memory and walking ability?A new study by researchers at University College London suggests that total tooth loss could provide an early warning of increased risk of physical and mental decline in older people.In a study of more than 3,100 participants 60 and older, participants with no teeth did about 10 percent worse on tests of memory and of walking speed than those with at least some choppers.The connection between total tooth loss and mental and physical problems was strongest in participants aged 60 to 74 years old compared to those 75 and older.The study’s authors note that socioeconomic factors, such as education and income, may be the common links between tooth loss and poor physical and mental health.The authors point out that the findings don't prove that tooth loss causes the physical or mental decline."Regardless of what is behind the link between tooth loss and decline in function, recognizing excessive tooth loss presents an opportunity for early identification of adults at higher risk of faster mental and physical decline later in their life," notes study lead author Georgios Tsakos, professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London.The study is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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