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Report Find All-Time High Rate of Child Homelessness

Report Find All-Time High Rate of Child Homelessness

Xavier_S/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new report from The National Center on Family Homelessness at the American Institutes for Research found that 2.5 million American children experience homelessness each year.The rate of childhood homelessness is at an all-time high, the report says, and has increased by eight percent nationally compared to last year. A stunning 31 states and the District of Columbia have seen child homelessness rates increase in the last year."Child homelessness has reached epidemic proportions in America," Dr. Carmela DeCandia, the director of the National Center on Family Homelessness said. "Children are homeless tonight in every city, county and state -- in every part of our nation."The report also ranked the states using grades in four categories -- extent of child homelessness, well-being of the children, risk for family homelessness and policy responses undertaken. Minnesota received the best grades, with Nebraska, Massachusetts, Iowa and New Jersey rounding out the top five. Meanwhile Alabama received the worst ranking, with Mississippi and California joining them at the bottom of the list.The report lists the national poverty rate, a lack of affordable housing and the ongoing impact of the Great Recession among the main causes of childhood homelessness.

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Investigation Underway in Fatal Chemical Release in Texas

Investigation Underway in Fatal Chemical Release in Texas

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board arrived in Houston Sunday to begin its investigation into the fatal chemical release at the DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas.The accident at DuPont’s facility, located east of Houston, killed four workers and injured a fifth when methyl mercaptan, a toxic chemical used in the company’s insecticide and fungicide manufacturing process, was released. A chemical tank containing methyl mercaptan sprung a leak.CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said in a statement, “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the deceased workers. Our goal in investigating this accident is to determine the root cause and make recommendations to prevent any similar accidents throughout the industry.”"There are no words to fully express the loss we feel or the concern and sympathy we extend to the families of the employees and their coworkers," a statement from DuPont said. The company also acknowledged that it would cooperate with "local, state and federal authorities as they conduct a thorough investigation into the accident."The CSB does not issue citations or fines, but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.

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15 Hospitalized Due to Fumes on Cheerleaders’ Charter Bus

15 Hospitalized Due to Fumes on Cheerleaders’ Charter Bus

iStock/Thinkstock(THORNBURG, Va.) — Fifteen people were hospitalized after heavy fumes were reported on a charter bus carrying a group of cheerleaders in Virginia Sunday, authorities said.The situation was reported before 7 p.m. Sunday, Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed to ABC News.Passengers on the bus reported smelling the fumes while the bus was headed south on Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Virginia, authorities said. The bus pulled off the highway about 20 miles later in Thornburg, and five ambulances were called to bring victims to area hospitals.The bus was headed back to North Carolina after the cheerleaders competed in an event in Washington, D.C., officials said.

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Teen Killed After Gun Discharges in Adjacent Hotel Room; Man Charged

Teen Killed After Gun Discharges in Adjacent Hotel Room; Man Charged

aijohn784/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- A teenager was killed at a hotel Friday after a gun discharged in the next room, according to the Raleigh Police Department.Nathan Andrew Clark, 13, was killed while staying at a hotel for a soccer tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, according to ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina.Police said Clark was killed when a bullet struck him from a gun that discharged in the next hotel room. The gun allegedly belonged to Randall Louis Vater, 42, who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to jail records.According to police Clark was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said Vater did not know Clark before the incident.In a 911 call, an unidentified caller said a guest needs an ambulance because the boy "has a bump on the back of his head and blood is everywhere."The caller said Clark was "not responding."Clark was in town to participate in the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL), but his team did not participate after his death, according to WTVD-TV.The league released a statement the day after Clark's death mourning the young player."We awoke this morning with great sadness to the unsettling news that Nathan Clark tragically lost his life late Friday night," read the statement sent to WTVD-TV. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Nathan's family and to his extended soccer family: the North Carolina Fusion players, parents, and coaches."Nathan's coach also released a statement calling the eighth grader "fun loving" and "energetic.""Everyone on the team is deeply saddened by this tragic loss," Coach Ben Kerth wrote to WTVD-TV. "We ask you to please pray for Nathan's family. Heaven gained an amazing young man today."Vater was being held the Wake County Detention Center. and was expected to be in court in Monday.

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Nearly 200 Fall Ill with Norovirus on Cruise Ship

Nearly 200 Fall Ill with Norovirus on Cruise Ship

AlexanderCher/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Nearly 200 people on a Princess Cruises ship have fallen ill with norovirus.According to Princess Cruises, the Crown Princess, scheduled to sail from Tahiti to Los Angeles, was delayed by a day after a crew member suffered a "serious medical condition." The Crown Princess diverted to a nearby island during the trip -- Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands -- where the crew member was taken to Los Angeles by helicopter.The ship did eventually dock in San Pedro, Calif., with 158 passengers and 14 crew members reporting being ill during the voyage.A total of 3,007 guests and 1,160 crew were onboard the ship. Princess Cruises said it would enact "stringent disinfecting protocols."

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Four Killed in Texas Chemical Leak

Four Killed in Texas Chemical Leak

HPCPHOTO/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LA PORTE, Texas) -- Four people were killed and one remains hospitalized one day after a chemical leak at a DuPont facility in Texas.On Saturday, a chemical tank containing methyl mercaptan sprung a leak. The chemical, used to give natural gas an odor and for crop protection, is hazardous, though officials said Saturday that the odor given off by the chemical is not. "There are no words to fully express the loss we feel or the concern and sympathy we extend to the families of the employees and their coworkers," a statement from DuPont said. The company also acknowledged that it would cooperate with "local, state and federal authorities as they conduct a thorough investigation into the accident."

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Woman Asks Thieves to Return Late Husband’s Ashes

Woman Asks Thieves to Return Late Husband’s Ashes

Robyn Mackenzie/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) --  A Washington woman is hoping police catch the thieves who took a safe containing the ashes of her husband.Dede Thomason said a 400-pound safe was stolen from her garage last month, according to ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle.While the thieves nabbed precious jewels like Thomason's engagement ring and her grandmother’s engagement ring, they also took a small white box that contained the remains of her late husband."I don't think (the thieves) had any idea that's what they were taking," she said. "But once they realized it, I think they should've found a way to get those back."Thomason's husband Clint died suddenly at age 52, she told KOMO. She said there's probably no way the thieves could have realized what was in the safe when they took it.

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Colorado Police Officer Shot During Traffic Stop

Colorado Police Officer Shot During Traffic Stop

aijohn784/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AURORA, Colo.) -- A Colorado police officer was shot during a traffic stop on Friday night by the driver of the vehicle he had just pulled over.According to Aurora police spokesperson Frank Fania, the officers weren't able to provide a description of the driver, saying that the incident "happened so quick." It wasn't clear what the driver had been pulled over for, or what led to the shooting.Such dangers aren't uncommon though. Fania noted that "you hear it all the time. It's one of the most dangerous parts of the job, is a traffic stop...you never know what you're getting into."

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Chemical Leak Spreads Odor East of Houston, Officials Say Residents Not in Danger

Chemical Leak Spreads Odor East of Houston, Officials Say Residents Not in Danger

HPCPHOTO/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- A leak in a chemical storage tank at a DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas caused an odor to permeate the air across the area.The leak, ABC's Houston affiliate KTRK said, sprung Saturday morning. One person was reportedly unaccounted for.Officials say there is no danger from the chemical, methyl mercaptan, which is used to give natural gas an odor and in crop protection products. While the chemical itself can be hazardous, the odor is not.Four people were treated at the scene and one was sent to a nearby hospital. Their conditions were unknown.

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U.S. to Contribute $3 Billion to Green Climate Fund in Fight Against Climate Change

U.S. to Contribute $3 Billion to Green Climate Fund in Fight Against Climate Change

panemoj/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The United States will contribute $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, President Obama announced on Saturday, joining with a number of other nations in helping to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen resilience in developing countries.Mexico, Korea, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland have already pledged their financial support, and the White House says that other nations are expected to do so soon.The U.S. previously pledged $2 billion to the Climate Investment Funds in 2008 under then-President George W. Bush. The U.S. did limit its contributions, ensuring that they will not contribute more than 30 percent of total confirmed pledges -- a total the White House says is "consistent with the U.S. contribution to other funds in which we have exercised U.S. leadership to catalyze other contributions."The funding will go towards creating early-warning systems for vulnerable communities, improve defenses against storm surges and create climate-resilient infrastructure while helping to limit greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

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New Videos Show Darren Wilson After Fatally Shooting Michael Brown

New Videos Show Darren Wilson After Fatally Shooting Michael Brown

welcomia/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- New surveillance videos show Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson leaving for the hospital hours after he fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking weeks of protest in the Missouri city.The videos, which were obtained by the St. Louis-Post Dispatch, show Wilson, 28, leaving the police station with another officer and a police union lawyer two hours after the shooting, the newspaper reported.Dispatch calls also obtained by the newspaper reveal how quickly the situation between Wilson and Brown escalated.Wilson can be heard just before noon on August 9 asking other units if they need his help locating a robbery suspect.“You guys need me?” he asks in the recordings.Less than 10 minutes later, another officer asks for help controlling the scene where Brown was shot.“Get us several more units over here. There’s going to be a problem,” says the officer.During the call a woman appears to be crying in the background.

"From the very beginning, the Ferguson Police Dept. has followed what is now seemingly standard operating procedure for police departments around the country: to vilify the victim and put the shooter on a pedestal," read a statement from attorneys representing the Brown family."Information was leaked from within the police department that Wilson was severely beaten and suffered an orbital eye socket 'blowout,' indicating that Michael Brown somehow deserved to die. From the video released today it would appear the initial descriptions of his injuries were exaggerated," the statement continued. "Furthermore, the audio clearly demonstrates that the initial interaction with the officer and Brown had nothing to do with the incident at the convenience store. The remaining portions of the audiotape did not establish any connection with the convenience store incident." Brown was unarmed when he was shot six times by Wilson. Weeks of protests and some incidents of looting followed after the shooting outraged the Ferguson community.Wilson, who has been suspended with pay, claimed he was injured in a confrontation with Brown.A state grand jury is investigating whether he should face criminal charges. A decision is expected this month.The Department of Justice is also looking into the case.

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Eric Frein Manhunt Cost More Than $11,000,000

Eric Frein Manhunt Cost More Than $11,000,000

PA Dept of Transporation(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- The manhunt for alleged cop killer Eric Frein cost more than $11 million according to the Pennsylvania State Police.Overtime costs for the state police accounted for the majority of this total, with $6.9 million being paid out to officers who worked extra hours throughout the 48-day manhunt.

The $11,046,653 total only accounted for the costs for the Pennsylvania State Police and not the supporting agencies like the FBI or the U.S. Marshalls, who were the officers who ended up finding Frein Oct. 30 in an abandoned airport hangar in the Poconos.In addition to overtime wages, nearly $3 million was spent on benefits and more than $657,000 in standard salaries. Travel costs amounted to more than $66,000 and nearly $200,000 for inventory and operational expenses.

The manhunt for Frein began after he allegedly ambushed two state troopers on Sept. 12, killing one and wounding the other.Frein, a war reenactor, excellent shot and self-taught survivalist, eluded the massive police dragnet for nearly seven weeks. He has been charged with murder and possession of weapons of mass destruction (two bombs). Police this week added a terrorism charge. He has not entered a plea and is being held without bail.

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Florida Active Shooter Drill With Gun-Toting Cop Angers Middle School Parents

Florida Active Shooter Drill With Gun-Toting Cop Angers Middle School Parents

iStock/Thinkstock(WINTER HAVEN, Fla.) -- A school lockdown drill in Winter Haven, Florida, angered parents whose children apparently texted in alarm, with one noting that a police officer with an assault rifle came into a classroom.

Initially, only three people knew the lockdown at Jewett Middle Academy on Thursday was only a drill, police said. Parents, teachers and students were not told in advance about the scheduled event because, the school district said, the element of surprise is vital to make the drill effective.

"We don’t want students to be scared, but we need them to be safe," the Polk County School District said in a statement. "Unfortunately, no one gets an advanced notice of real-life emergencies."

Schools throughout the nation run such drills, but often it is up to local districts to determine the specifics of how the drills are run.

There have been two non-drill lockdowns at this school in the past year, police said, adding that neither was found to involve an active shooter. The first came after someone heard what they thought was a gunshot, but no gunman was ever found. The second was prompted by a seemingly threatening note found in the school's trash.

Thursday's drill was announced as another lockdown over the school's intercom system, Jamie Brown, a spokeswoman for the Winter Haven Police Department, told ABC News. Teachers were supposed to follow specific protocols for keeping the children safe in the classrooms.

A school resource officer -- who is a known presence on campus who wears a holstered, loaded pistol -- and a local police officer carrying an unloaded AR-15 went room to room, telling the teachers and students that it was a drill, Brown said.

Brown told ABC News neither officer pointed their gun at students.

Nevertheless, one mom, Stacy Ray, said her children texted her in alarm to say police with guns were in the classroom, according to local station WTVT.

"A lot of people started getting scared because we thought it was a real drill," one of Ray's children, seventh grader Lauren Marionneaux, told the station. "We actually thought that someone was going to come in there and kill us."

"I'm panicking," Ray told WTVT, "because I'm thinking that it's a legitimate shooter is coming, that something bad is happening at the school."

Ray, who did not immediately respond to ABC News’ calls seeking comment, wasn’t alone. Cherrise Tate said her son texted his dad and he started racing to the school.

"It makes me upset that they didn’t let us know," Tate told ABC News. "My husband almost got a ticket coming over here yesterday."

Polk County Public Schools spokesman Jason Geary said parents were sent an email from the school after the drill was complete and the incident is under review by the district's Department of Safe Schools. The district has announced that it will continue to have unannounced drills but uniformed officers will not carry weapons during those drills.

PTA board member Heidi Calvelage, whose son is a seventh grader at Jewett Middle Academy, said she was surprised any parents were upset about the secrecy surrounding the "very necessary" drills.

As for the student apparently texting before the drills have concluded, Calvelage said, "they shouldn’t be using their cells in class in the first place."

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West Virginia University Student Involved in Fraternity Incident Dies

West Virginia University Student Involved in Fraternity Incident Dies

iStock/Thinkstock(MORGANTOWN, W. Va.) -- The student whose "catastrophic medical emergency" at a fraternity house prompted the suspension of all Greek activities at West Virginia University died on Friday.According to the university, the Wednesday incident required a 911 response to a fraternity house at around midnight. That incident was the second in less than a week involving members of fraternity organizations. Both incidents are being investigated by both Morgantown police and University Police.University President E. Gordon Gee offered his condolences on Friday, saying that "words cannot describe the heartache we, as a West Virginia University family, feel at the loss of one of our own -- Nolan Michael Burch -- who passed away today."Burch, 18, was a freshman from Williamsville, N.Y., the university said. He was majoring in pre-sport management."The outpouring of love and support from his friends and this community has been what you would expect from Mountaineers," Gee said, "and I would ask that you continue to keep the Burch family and many friends in your thoughts and prayers."

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Miami TV Anchor and Meteorologist Get Engaged in Newsroom

Miami TV Anchor and Meteorologist Get Engaged in Newsroom

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) --  A love match made at a news station turned into a marriage proposal inside the newsroom with cameras rolling Thursday.Jacey Birch, the morning anchor for local ABC station WPLG in Miami, was at the news desk preparing to do a taped interview on holiday gifts for pets when the man who appeared on the screen next to her was instead her boyfriend, WPLG meteorologist Trent Aric.As a shocked Birch tried to figure out what was going on, Aric threw to a pre-taped package documenting the couple’s road to love.The duo met 10 years ago when they both worked in the weather department at WPLG but only began dating 10 months ago when they were both assigned to weekend newscasts.“It was a schedule change that started it all,” Aric told ABC News on Friday.Once the Aric-written, produced and narrated news package ended, Aric appeared in person, got down on one knee and asked Birch to marry him.Birch, of course, said yes.“I had no clue. Not even an idea,” Birch said Friday. “I’m still in shock.”Aric planned the proposal far in advance -- including taking a trip to Birch’s parents’ home in Vero Beach, Fla., to ask for their permission -- but only told a handful of the couple’s colleagues at the station just hours before.The proposal was done off-air but cameras were rolling so the couple would have a record of it just for themselves and their family and friends, or so they thought.After news of the proposal was a hit on WPLG’s social media, the station posted the entire proposal on their website.“We thought it was just going to be private and maybe it would go on Facebook for our family and friends and that was it,” Birch said.“I was quite surprised when I woke up this morning,” Aric said of all the happy attention his romantic proposal has received, including a mention on ABC's Good Morning America.The public attention has led to some confusion since certain moments of the video -- like a time when Birch’s mom mentions her daughter’s two babies and when Aric’s father is crying in a hospital bed -- were just inside jokes like any family has.“Simba and Jagger, those are my two dogs,” Birch said, laughingly clearing up any confusion that she might have kids.As for Aric’s dad, he was in the hospital earlier this month when his spot in the video was filmed, but he is fine and his tears were for purely dramatic effect.“My dad is fully healthy and getting a good laugh out of this,” Aric said.The couple says they plan to elope in Bora Bora next summer.

Click here to watch the full proposal video on WPLG’s website.

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Why the US Had Only One Wrench for Three Nuclear Bases

Why the US Had Only One Wrench for Three Nuclear Bases

Air Force Global Strike Command(WASHINGTON) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday that he is making changes to the Air Force and Navy’s nuclear forces after two reviews found systemic problems and mismanagement.A prime example of the problems Hagel cited Friday was a toolkit that included a wrench needed to install a nuclear warhead atop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Only one of the toolkits remained available, so the three bases that maintain the fleet of 450 Minuteman ICBM’s would share the toolkit. How? Hagel said they would use FedEx to ship it to the base that needed it at the time.“They were creative and innovative, and they made it work,” said Hagel. “But that's not the way to do it. We now have a wrench for each location. We're going to have two wrenches for each location, soon.”The wrench in question is officially known as a Heat Shield Counter-bore Tool and was originally used for the now-defunct Peacekeeper missile. But it was needed again when the Minuteman III’s weapon system was upgraded, but it has seldom been used. Air Force Global Strike Command has been used less than five times since 2008.Hagel said the episode is “reflective and indicative of a system that's been allowed to kind of slowly back downhill. ...We have seen...as a result of the intense reviews, internal and external, these kinds of things which you just mentioned about the wrench.”Other problems, Hagel said, included a culture of micro-management and over-inspection, as well as manning, infrastructure and skill deficiencies. In addition, he said, there appeared to be inadequate communication, follow-up and accountability on the part of senior leaders in the nuclear force.The micro-management and over-inspection may have partly resulted from efforts to prevent a recurrence of the mishandling of nuclear gear in 2007 and 2008 that led to the firing of the Air Force’s senior leadership.Hagel has ordered that the command of the Air Force’s nuclear fleet be upgraded to a four-star command and he is looking to boost spending for the nuclear force by 10 percent over the next five years to address short-term needs.“I will hold our leaders accountable up and down the chain of command to ensure that words are matched with actions,” particularly in the Air Force, said Hagel. “We must change the cultural perception of a nuclear enterprise, which has particularly suffered in the Air Force. We must restore the prestige that attracted the brightest minds of the Cold War era so our most talented young men and women see the nuclear pathway as promising in value.”The defense secretary acknowledged that much of the focus over the last decade has been on the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the nuclear enterprise mission has been taken for granted.“I think this nuclear enterprise has kind of been allowed to back downhill a little bit," he said. "It's not paying attention where we should have, in some areas.”Hagel warned that “if we don't fix this, eventually it will get to a point where there will be some questions about our security."But he offered some good news too: “There's nothing here that we can't fix. The good news is that none of this has endangered America, Americans, or put our security at risk. That's all good news.”

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Eric Frein Lookalike Gets Car from Online Donations

Eric Frein Lookalike Gets Car from Online Donations

The Tully Family(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- The man stopped over 20 times by police because of his resemblance to accused cop killer Eric Frein has a reason to celebrate: two weeks after the manhunt came to an end, community donations have bought him a car for his journey to work.James Tully of Canadensis, Pennsylvania, was stopped repeatedly by law enforcement during the 48-day manhunt for Frein in eastern Pennsylvania as he walked to and from work. Treading along the wooded roads of the Poconos while resembling the suspect, Tully constantly drew the attention of a law enforcement community on edge after Frein’s alleged deadly attack that killed one state trooper and injured another.In one especially tense encounter, an officer drew a rifle on Tully and forced him to the ground. Tully said he feared for his life until another trooper intervened after recognizing him from a previous stop.

“I was just trying to do what I have to do every day: go to work, pay my bills and make sure my child support was taken care of,” Tully told Pennsylvania-based ABC affiliate WNEP. “I never expected anything like this.”

Tully, who did not own a car and could not afford gas, began wearing his work identification around his neck and donned a highlighter yellow reflective vest to ward off suspicion during his treks.

Now, his days of trudging through the Poconos on foot may be over. A campaign through the online fundraising site GoFundMe raised over $24,000 for Tully, which he’s put toward a used 2007 Subaru Outback. The leftover cash will go towards the car’s maintenance, insurance and gas.

The campaign was started by Dawn DeBiase, of nearby East Stroudsburg, who said she wanted to get Tully “a reliable car able to handle the rough [Pennsylvania] roads and hills he lives on,” according to the campaign’s GoFundMe page.

“Everybody loves James and his story,” DeBiase told WNEP.

“I’m truly overwhelmed by the community’s support and everything,” Tully said. “I want to thank everyone for their support.”

The campaign has attracted donations from 997 people and has been shared over 3,400 times on social media.

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Formerly Homeless Woman Donates Baked Goods to Los Angeles’ Homeless

Formerly Homeless Woman Donates Baked Goods to Los Angeles’ Homeless

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- For Los Angeles resident Latrina Wilcher, being in the kitchen and making something special is a warm and comforting memory of her early childhood. It reminds her of her grandmother making her signature pie -- Katie May’s sweet potato pie -- at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Throughout most of her childhood, Wilcher, now 26, lived in orphanages and foster care, and was even homeless, but, she said: "Even through the hardships and the hard times, finding home and shelter, I still managed to keep connection with my grandmother."

Now, Wilcher, a baker by trade, wants to share those warm memories with others who are in need. Twice per month, she and a friend feed the homeless on Skid Row, the downtown Los Angeles area with one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the country.

She called it the Sweet Tri Pastries Project, and, on a recent visit to Skid Row, Wilcher distributed potato pies, protein bars, chocolate chip cookies and water.

Wilcher explained her motivation.

“I needed a purpose,” she said. “I needed to give back, and I wanted to help other people have hope.”

The people on Skid Row are grateful, as is Eric Garcetti, the city’s mayor, who dropped by to express his thanks to Wilcher.

“You know, Latrina's an angel in the City of Angels,” he said. “If we had four million Latrinas, we would be done with this issue tomorrow. And I'm hoping it inspires more people to do the same. The government needs to step up and do its part, but we as individuals have to, also.”

Wilcher’s friends, Zachary Greenblott and LaToya Alvare, help her with her outreach to the homeless.

“It’s beautiful to see how she interacts with people down there,” Greenblott said. "She understands what it’s like to miss out on love."

Wilcher acknowledges that there’s a lot that she cannot do for the homeless, but hopes that her small part helps.

“I know that I can't give them a home, but I can give them a pastry. I can give them some water. I can give them hope that people care out there...and that's why I love to do this -- because I care,” she said. “And I love. We’re spreading love, one slice at a time.”

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Census Data Reveals Re-Marriage Rate on the Rise

Census Data Reveals Re-Marriage Rate on the Rise

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- If the last wedding you went to felt like deja vu, it may be not be just the trendy buffets and cocktails. A growing number of Americans are saying 'I do' more than once.An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released on Friday by the Pew Research Center revealed that four in 10 new marriages in 2013 included at least one or both partners who had previously wed.While marriage itself is in decline in the U.S., "previously married people are as willing as ever to jump back into wedlock," noted the study.There are currently 42 million Americans who have taken multiple strolls down the aisle -- triple the number in 1960. Reasons behind the rise in recurring nuptials can be attributed to both an increased life expectancy and an increase in couples splitting up in the first place."Divorce has grown much more common in the last 50 years or so," said Pew's senior researcher Gretchen Livingston. "What this means is, there are a lot more people who are ‘available’ for remarriage. And aging has also contributed to the increase -- the older you are, the more likely you are to have ever remarried. In 1960, 46 percent of adults were ages 45 or older, and now that number is 53 percent."But while Baby Boomers are happy to take a second spin to the wedding chapel, another trend revealed by the data is that younger generations are less inclined than they used to be."Over the last 50 years, the age pattern in the likelihood of remarriage has shifted dramatically," said Livingston. "In 1960, almost three-fourths of previously married adults younger than 55 had ever remarried, as compared with 42 percent of older adults. Since that time, there has been a retreat from remarriage among younger people."

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Woman Charged in Alleged Fake McDonald’s Coffee Burn Case

Woman Charged in Alleged Fake McDonald’s Coffee Burn Case

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(VICTORVILLE, Calif.) -- A woman, who sued McDonald’s over a spilled cup of coffee faces fraud charges, with prosecutors alleging that she faked evidence that she was seriously burned.Selena Edwards, 38, of Victorville, California, is charged with 21 felony counts of insurance and worker’s compensation fraud after filing a claim against McDonald’s alleging a loose coffee lid led to second-degree burns.Officials say Edwards submitted false medical documents and photographs. The images showing her injuries were possibly pulled from the Internet, prosecutors say.“At least one of the photographs had been pulled off the Internet from a hospital site,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “It was a photograph of a burned hand, but it wasn’t her burned hand.”

Edwards may have been inspired by a landmark case from 1994, Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, in which Stella Liebeck, 79, was awarded $640,000 from the fast food chain after she accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in her lap.The scalding coffee caused third-degree burns, leaving her hospitalized and forced to undergo skin grafting. That case was so famous that it was parodied on the TV sitcom Seinfeld.Edwards surrendered to authorities on Oct. 29 and is free on bail. She has pleaded not guilty, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 18. If convicted, she could spend time behind bars, Jones said.“This particular type of crime can lead not only to monetary sanctions but potentially jail time as well,” Jones said.

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