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'Toxic' beats out 'gaslighting,' 'incel' to become Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year

Oxford Dictionaries has chosen a single word to sum up the mood of 2018: toxic.

>> Read more trending news

The British publisher announced Thursday that “toxic” beat out words such as “gaslighting,” “incel” and “techlash” to become its 2018 Word of the Year.

“Reviewing this year in language, we repeatedly encountered the word ‘toxic’ being used to describe an increasing set of conditions that we’re all facing,” Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries, said Thursday in a statement.

In 2018, Oxford Dictionaries noted a 45 percent rise in the number of times the word “toxic” was looked up on The publisher chalked up the increased inquiries to the fact that the word was used in a wide range of contexts over the year.

>> Oxford English Dictionary extends definition of ‘woke’

“Qualifying everything from the entrenched patriarchy to the constant blare of polarizing political rhetoric, ‘toxic’ seems to reflect a growing sense of how extreme, and at times radioactive, we feel aspects of modern life have become,” Grathwohl said.

The word was often paired with terms such as “substance,” “environment” and “culture,” according to Oxford Dictionaries.

>> Xenophobia named 2016 Word of the Year

“Our corpus data shows that, after ‘chemical’, ‘masculinity’ is the most-used word in conjunction with toxic this year,” according to the Oxford Dictionaries website. “With the #MeToo movement putting a cross-industry spotlight on toxic masculinity, and watershed political events like the Brett Kavanaugh Senate judiciary committee hearing sparking international debate, the term toxic masculinity has well and truly taken root in the public consciousness and got people talking in 2018.”

Last year, Oxford Dictionaries chose the word "youthquake," meaning "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people," as its word of the year.

The publisher’s 2016 word of the year was “xenophobia.”

California wildfires: See a map of major fires

More than a dozen major wildfires are burning across the state of California. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has created a map to show where the fires are located and which have been contained.

>> Read more trending news 

Locations are approximate and are not all under CAL FIRE jurisdiction. 

The map can be seen and interacted with below:

Grandmother who won mega Powerball jackpot donates huge chunk to veterans group

A grandmother from Iowa is sharing her good fortune after hitting a mega Powerball jackpot. 

Lerynne West won half of almost $700 million in the Powerball lottery last month, The Associated Press reported. Her portion came to $343.9 million, the Des Moines Register reported.

West had misplaced the ticket she had bought that turned out to be the winner. It was found a day after the drawing on the floor of her sister’s pickup truck. 

None of her relatives believed that she was one of only two winners, the other coming from New York, the AP reported.

>>Read: Iowa grandmother claims $343.9 million Powerball jackpot

But it was true. West chose the cash option so, instead of the $343.9 million, she walked away with $198.1 million before taxes, the AP reported.

She said she would share her windfall with her daughters and other family members. She was also going to help pay for her grandchildren’s college educations. West had one more thing that she wanted to do with the money, so she set up The Callum Foundation, named after a grandson who was born premature and only lived for a single day, the AP reported.

The foundation will provide financial help for those who need it.

West made good on her promise on an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that aired Wednesday. 

She told DeGeneres, “When I won the lottery, I thought, ‘I have a responsibility to do good for other people and to help other people out, as well.’”

West announced that she is giving $500,000 through the foundation to a group that helps wounded veterans, the Register reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Why did she decide to help The Travis Mills Foundation? West told DeGeneres that her father was a Vietnam veteran and her three brothers also served in the military, the Register reported.

The Travis Mills Foundation helps vets and their families by using long-term programs to help overcome physical obstacles and to strengthen their families. It also gives them rest and relaxation. 

Monopoly for Millennials game isn't going over well with actual millennials

One of the latest editions of the popular board game Monopoly is being criticized by its target audience.

USA Today reported that Monopoly for Millennials plays up stereotypes that are routinely mocked about the age group, typically designated as those born between 1981 and 1996.

On the game box, mascot Rich Uncle Pennybags wears sunglasses, earbuds and a participation medal while he holds a coffee. 

The tagline for the game is, “Forget real estate. You can’t afford it anyway.”

>> Read more trending news 

So instead of playing for property, players collect experiences on the board, like a week-long meditation retreat, the farmer’s market, a vegan bistro, an animal rescue, their parent’s basement or their friend’s couch. The board still retains the traditional “Go to Jail” space, USA Today reported.

Fortune reported that game pieces include a crying laughing emoji and hashtag. 

Although the game is nowhere to be found on the Hasbro website, it’s listed for $19.82 on the Walmart website.

Although some millennials took to Twitter to voice their offense with the game, others found it amusing.

“We created Monopoly for Millennials to provide fans with a lighthearted game that allows Millennials to take a break from real life and laugh at the relatable experiences and labels that can sometimes be placed on them,” Hasbro said in a statement to Fortune. “With many of us being Millennials ourselves, we understand the seemingly endless struggles and silly generalizations that young Millennials can face (and we can’t even!). Whether you are a lifestyle vlogger, emoji lover or you make your ‘side hustle’ selling vegan candles, Monopoly for Millennials is for you!”

Couple, hero homeless man’s story fake, all part of GoFundMe scam, prosecutors say

You may remember the case from last year of the homeless man who gave a woman who had run out of gas his last $20 to get home. The woman and her boyfriend then set up a GoFundMe site for the homeless good Samaritan. 

As it turns out, the story was all a lie, according to prosecutors in New Jersey.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, prosecutors said that the couple, Mark D’Amico and Kate McClure, and Johnny Bobbitt knew each other about a month before the couple took a photo with Bobbitt and McClure and started the GoFundMe Campaign. 

The trio knew each other because the couple made trips to an area casino, KYW reported.

“The entire campaign was predicated on a lie,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said during the Thursday afternoon press conference. “Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live, McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was ‘completely made up.’ She did not run out of gas on an I-95 off-ramp, and he did not spend his last $20 to help her. Rather, D’Amico, McClure and Bobbitt conspired to fabricate and promote a feel-good story that would compel donors to contribute to their cause,”KYW reported.

 >> Read more trending news 

Coffina said during the press conference Bobbitt, McClure and D’Amico conspired to bilk people out of $10,000.

The site’s campaign raised more than $400,000 from complete strangers who wanted to help the man, KYW reported.

The scam came to light, prosecutors said, because Bobbitt only received $75,000 of the more than $367,000 the trio got from GoFundMe after the website took its fees. Bobbitt filed a lawsuit against the couple to get more of the donated cash, the prosecutor.

Wednesday, though, McClure and D’Amico turned themselves in to prosecutors in Burlington County, New Jersey, a source told WCAU.

They were released, The Associated Press reported.

Bobbitt was taken into custody in Philadelphia Wednesday night by U.S. marshals. He is being held on probation detainers and a $50,000 bond, the AP reported.

All three face charges of second-degree theft by deception and second-degree conspiracy to commit theft by deception, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The charges carry a potential sentence of between five and 10 years, the Inquirer reported.

As for the money that was donated, GoFundMe said it will return all of the money to the 14,000 donors, WCAU reported.

“While this type of behavior by an individual is extremely rare, it’s unacceptable and clearly it has consequences. Committing fraud, whether it takes place on or offline, is against the law. We are fully cooperating and assisting law enforcement officials to recover every dollar withdrawn by Ms. McClure and Mr. D’Amico,” GoFundMe said in a statement to KYW.

WATCH: College basketball player apparently elbows opponent's face, gets barred from campus

A basketball player for Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts has been indefinitely suspended from the team and barred from campus for apparently throwing an elbow into an opponent's face

>> Watch the news report here

The broadcast of the NCAA Division III basketball game posted to Fitchburg's website appears to show number 23, listed on the roster as Kewan Platt of Charlestown, throwing an elbow into the face of another player late in the game.

With Fitchburg State trailing Nichols College 73-63, freshman guard Nate Tenaglia of Tewksbury launches a three on a breakaway. As Tenaglia returns to the ground, Platt glances over his shoulder before apparently throwing an elbow right into the guard's face

>> Watch the moment here

Tenaglia hits the ground hard and remains there momentarily before hopping up as the referees huddle.

"Clearly shows the kid already let the shot go and then gets hit," Fitchburg State junior Prince Addo said. "I don’t even know what to say; I’m just speechless."

After a short stoppage, the refs decide to toss Platt from the game, assessing a flagrant foul.

In a statement, Nichols College Athletics Director Chris Colvin said the team is glad Tenaglia was not hurt.

“We’re very happy that the Nichols College student-athlete involved in the incident, Nate Tenaglia, was unharmed and able to finish the contest. We are proud of the way our student-athletes handled the incident and that they did not allow it to escalate. This matter is in the hands of the authorities and the Fitchburg State administration. We trust that they will handle it appropriately," Colvin said.

>> Read more trending news 

One Twitter user pointed out that Platt appears to have been frustrated by a no-call at the other end. 

"I feel it could’ve been a little feud like back and forth," Fitchburg State junior Eric Patel said.

The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying the organization is considering further sanctions against Fitchburg State University.

"It doesn't show a good side of the school," Fitchburg State student Eric Patel said Wednesday afternoon. "It kind of ruins the school's reputation. Other than that, it is just unsportsmanlike." 

The conference also said Platt's previous player of the week award had been vacated. 

"His behavior goes against the MASCAC’s mission, which includes good sportsmanship," the conference said on Twitter

WFXT reported that Fitchburg State University police are investigating. 

You can watch the full game here.

Disney World exec reveals more about new Epcot coaster, gondola system, 'stunt-atronics'

Walt Disney World is revealing more about some of its new attractions -- and showing off some of its newest technology -- that are coming soon to Central Florida.

“We’ve made the conscious decision to control our own destiny – to be the disruptor, not the disrupted,” Bob Chapek -- chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products -- said at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions conference in Orlando. 

At the conference, Chapek unveiled new animatronics called A1000s, which he said is Disney’s most innovative and expensive animatronics yet.

>> Read more trending news 

Disney is even developing new technology called stunt-tronics: Animatronics that can do stunts too dangerous for humans, like flying through the air and doing superhero-like moves.

Disney also revealed more about a much-anticipated attraction coming to Epcot: A new "Guardians of the Galaxy" ride being built at the former Universe of Energy pavilion. 

Chapek said it will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world. Just building the foundation was the largest concrete pour in Walt Disney World’s history. The building is so big, it can fit four Spaceship Earths inside, Chapek said.

The new roller coaster will spin as it moves, and will have a storyline that revolves around the plot and characters from the movie.

>>Read: Disney pass holder displays pro-Trump signs at park, gets banned again

“Guests will be able to experience it when it opens in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021,” Chapek said.

Disney also revealed more about the gondola system called Skyliner, which Disney now says will be operational in the fall of 2019. Crews have been building towers across the landscape of the property for months.

When it opens, Skyliner will connect Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and four resorts: Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and the new Rivera Resort, which is set to open in 2019.

>>Read: Up, up and away: WFTV gets exclusive look at Walt Disney World's Skyliner

What the actual gondolas look like remains a secret, though Disney has circulated artist renderings of the project.

One thing is clear, though: Mickey Mouse may be turning 90, but he and Disney aren’t slowing down.

“In this industry, complacency is the biggest threat,” Chapek said.

CMA Awards 2018: Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves score big

For only the second time in his career, Keith Urban walked away from the Country Music Association Awards cradling the most notable award – entertainer of the year.

>> On CMA Awards 2018: Backstage with Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and more

The gracious musician, who earlier in the show blasted through his sexy funk jam, “Never Comin’ Down,” reacted with genuine shock, likely assuming that the night’s other major winner, Chris Stapleton, would prevail.

Urban hugged wife Nicole Kidman tightly and wiped tears from his eyes before bounding onstage.

>> PHOTOS: Stars shine on the CMA Awards red carpet

“I wish my dad was alive to see this, but I think he’s watching over me tonight,” he said. “God bless country music.”

Urban reiterated backstage after the show that he harbored no expectations of winning.

“Someone said, ‘Did you do any campaigning?’ and I said, ‘We just played every night.’”

The 52nd annual awards otherwise unspooled with comforting consistency. 

Hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley’s easy chemistry was evidenced in jokes that ranged from cute to corny, Stapleton continued his reign as the shaggy savior of soulful country and Kacey Musgraves represented for the women with an album of the year win for her excellent “Golden Hour.” 

But for the second year in a row, the awards show opened with a dedication to country music fans killed while enjoying their pastime.

In 2017, it was the victims of the Route 91 Harvest music festival massacre in Las Vegas. 

>> CMA Awards 2018: Complete winners list from star-studded Nashville event

On Wednesday, a solemn Garth Brooks stood alone on stage to offer comforting words and a moment of silence for the 12 people gunned down at the Borderline bar and music venue in California last week. 

The tragedy hung in the air during the three-hour show, which aired live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Soft-spoken male vocalist of the year winner Stapleton noted while picking up a second award for “Broken Halos” (song of the year, single of the year), that it was written “about people who have gone on long before their time. I want to be thinking about the people in California right now.”

Midway through the telecast, Paisley and Underwood also acknowledged the firefighters battling the California blazes.

But the show adeptly balanced tragic and triumph with numerous inspiring performances.

Underwood’s potent rendition of her ballad of hopefulness, “Love Wins,” felt particularly poignant as she delivered it with a choir surrounding her onstage. She later scored her fifth female vocalist of the year win. 

Backstage, the pregnant Underwood – she revealed during the show that it’s another boy – welled up while talking about her life. 

“I’m honored to hold so many incredible titles – mom is definitely one of them,” she said tearfully. “Hopefully I can be an inspiration to my children and to other moms out there. We got this.”

Luke Bryan tagged a cadre of newish-comers for his Georgia-pines saluting “What Makes You Country” (Cole Swindell, a Bronwood native, and Lindsey Ell, a protégé of Sugarland’s Kristian Bush, were among those sharing the stage). 

Brooks took the guy-and-a-guitar approach to debut a tender ballad, “Stronger Than Me,” as a surprise to wife Trisha Yearwood, who was seated a few feet in front of him.

“I didn’t cry, so I was happy about that,” a black-hatted Brooks said backstage, and then added with a smile. “She lost the bet, man.”

The triple play from Stapleton, Maren Morris and Mavis Staples unfurled as fiercely as expected, with the trio trading lyrics on Stapleton’s “Friendship” and the twosome wisely stepping back to allow Staples to improvise and roar during the Staple Singers classic, “I’ll Take You There.”

Musgraves, who noted during her acceptance speech that the date marked the 10-year anniversary of her move to Nashville, captivated with her ethereal “Slow Burn.”

“The best things in life are a slow burn, what you enjoy the journey of. It’s about enjoying the ride along the way … It’s one of my most autobiographical songs. It’s very personal to me,” Musgraves said backstage. 

>> Read more trending news 

As with most awards shows, the actual winners become secondary to the performances, but there were several notables.

New artist of the year winner Luke Combs choked up while receiving his award (“God, I love country music, man.”), while Old Dominion also celebrated their first CMA, for vocal group of the year.

Brothers Osborne maintained their hold on the vocal duo of the year category, wining for the third time. 

“I don’t know why we keep winning this. If this was Florida, there’d definitely be a recount,” said John Osborne to much laughter. He then added, “Work hard, be diligent, be good to people.”

The CMA awards are voted on by the 7,300 members of the Country Music Association. 

CMA Awards 2018: Backstage with Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and more

Unlike other award shows, the CMAs usually deliver the biggest winners of the night to the media center backstage.

>> PHOTOS: Stars shine on the CMA Awards red carpet

Some pop in during the telecast – as Garth Brooks, Brothers Osborne and Old Dominion did – while others, usually the major names nominated in later categories, swing through after the show.

>> On Click here for a recap of the performances and winners from the 52nd annual CMA Awards

This year, the press room was especially busy with heavyweights, including entertainer of the year winner Keith Urban, multiple trophy-snagger Chris Stapleton and co-host/female vocalist of the year victor Carrie Underwood.

>> CMA Awards 2018: Complete winners list from star-studded Nashville event

Here is what they had to say:

Keith Urban

On the support he receives from wife Nicole Kidman: “I feel very blessed that I have the support of my family like I do. It’s a beautiful thing having two artists (in the family). We understand the passion, and the responsibility, of what we get to do. It’s very important.”On his unfailing passion for his work: “I love people. I love people. Every single person’s got a story. We have SO much more in common than different. We all have fears and hopes and dreams and insecurities and dysfunctional families. For me, I feel that in my life more than I’ve ever felt it … I’m perpetually curious. I don’t think of reinvention. I love curiosity and I love passion and I feel fortunate that I have both of those in spades. I feel exactly the same as I did when I moved to (Nashville) 26 years ago. I feel excited to get in the studio, I feel excited to put a show on.”About the remembering his father – who died in 2015 – during his acceptance speech: “I mentioned my father because he’s such a huge influence in my life – my mom and dad both are. I wish he could have seen this tonight; he set me on the path that I’m on. But I feel his presence and I’m very, very grateful for that.”

Chris Stapleton

On his blazing performance with Maren Morris, Mavis Staples and other musical talents: “I brought a bunch of ringers out there – Maren, Marty Stuart on guitar, all the guys on my band and from Anderson East’s band on horns. I tell you what, it’s a real treat to be up there with so many great musicians and artists. But to have Maren and Mavis and Marty and my wife up there, that’s a real treat. Mavis, we all owe her so much musically – some of us might not even realize it. She’s electricity. She’s so inspiring to be around as a person and a singer. If we can use some of our time to put her front and center, that’s exactly what we should be doing.”

Carrie Underwood

Underwood, who reveled during the show that she’s having another boy, joked about her numerous costume changes: “The wardrobe is definitely a challenge when you don’t recognize your own body,” she said with a laugh. “But I feel bad for returning dresses that aren’t maternity dresses all stretched out in the middle! I’m gonna go put my jammies on soon.”

About winning her fifth female vocalist of the year honor: “I think I’m still in shock, to be honest. When we were making this album, I would be lying to say I didn’t want awards. I’m competitive and I love these. I love the CMAs. I have such respect for the show and this organization. When you’re making an album, you want it to be better. For all the ups and downs we’ve been through and to make an album on top of that, this one definitely means a lot.”

Garth Brooks

Brooks reiterated that wife Trisha Yearwood didn’t hear the song he wrote for her, “Stronger Than Me,” until he performed it on the show: “The more I’d wait (to debut it here), it seemed like a bad idea! If you’re married there are points in your life that you never get across and we have three of those. That song addresses two of those three points. When I looked up at her at those points, she was laughing and crying at the same time. This song will make our relationship better whether it does anything in the business…I really wanted this to be a surprise to her. When it came to the last verse, that was a little… I couldn’t get to it. (Trisha) took it very well. She’s classy.”

Kasey Musgraves

Musgraves, clad completely in orange, shared her excitement about winning album of the year (for “Golden Hour”) for the first time: “This album is probably my most personal yet. What I was craving was time to make it. I took almost a year and a half. Going into the record, I was kind of in a confused place. I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence. I just wanted to find that thing that made my soul really happy again. I got off the road, blocked the schedule off for about a year, got with (producers) Ian (Fitchuk) and Daniel (Tashian) and when we got together it was an instant fit. I started imagining this land musically where it was possible to keep elements of country intrinsic in my music, but I wanted to explore this new frontier for myself with electronic elements. It was a big deal for me to give people kind of a hiding place with this record. We live in such a tumultuous time, but I wanted to turn away from (political commentary). I was inspired to write about this beautiful world we live in…getting married, leaving my 20s. It was a really positive time and my music is really inspired by that.”

Brothers Osborne

T.J. Osborne opined on the duo’s continued success (they won best vocal duo for the third time): “If I had to guess, John and I are unabashedly ourselves and sometimes that gets us in trouble! It’s nice to know where people stand on who they are and I think we’ve done that… I’m genuinely just as shocked as the first year I won one of these.”John Osborne made many instant media friends when he proclaimed on his way out: “Free press, speak loud! You are not the enemy of the people! You have a voice, use it!”

>> Read more trending news 

Old Dominion

Old Dominion scored its first CMA win (for vocal group of the year, unseating Little Big Town after six years. Singer Matt Ramsey had this to say about current single, “Make it Sweet”: “It was such a pure and honest moment for us. We wrote and recorded it in the same day. It really captured who we are as musicians right now and we’re really confident in our place right now. That feeds our soul.”

Mississippi bus crash: 2 dead, 44 hurt when tour bus flips on slick road

Two people are dead and dozens of others were injured after a tour bus flipped near the DeSoto County and Marshall County line in Mississippi.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On PHOTOS: 2 dead, dozens injured after tour bus crashes on slick Mississippi highway

The accident happened Wednesday afternoon as a wintry mix of precipitation was falling in the area. The bus overturned in the area of Highway 69 and Highway 78.

There were more than 40 people on board.

Investigators told WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, that the crash happened at the bottom of the overpass on the highway. They believe the bus hit a patch of ice and flipped. 

Notably, police said three other wrecks happened in that same area on Wednesday.

Two people were killed and dozens of others were injured in the crash. They were identified by officials as Cynthia Hardin and Betty Russell, both residents of Huntsville, Alabama. 

>> Read more trending news 

Police said all of the victims were taken to multiple hospitals in the area, including Baptist DeSoto, Baptist Collierville, and Methodist.

Nineteen people were sent to Baptist DeSoto – three in serious condition and 16 with an unknown extent of their injuries.

Seven people were sent to Baptist Collierville. The extent of their injuries is unknown.

Also, 18 people were taken to Methodist Hospital in Olive Branch, bringing the total number of injuries to 44. 

WHBQ spoke with one victim after she was released from the hospital, and she was still in shock. 

"I'm watching the bus, like it spinned once, and then the second spin, it started picking up speed," said Veronica Love.

The bus was operated by a company named Teague. It was based out of Huntsville and was on its way to Tunica, Mississippi. The company issued the following statement on Facebook:

>> See the post here

Love said she has taken the bus ride from Huntsville to Tunica several times before with no issues. 

"I don't know what happened honestly and truly," Love said. "I don't know what happened."

Vietnam veteran receives high school diploma 56 years later

It was a long time coming – 56 years – but a veteran from Pennsylvania finally got something he's waited decades for: his high school diploma.

>> Watch the news report here

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

"It took a long time to get here because people asked why I didn't come before – well, I was too busy making a living," said James Neal. "My friend was talking about the class reunion; I said I never did that because I never graduated."

>> Man finds Korean War soldier's battlefield love letters, searches for family

And before that he was busy serving our country, in Vietnam in the Navy.

But he had unfinished business.

As a junior, Neal withdrew from North Allegheny Senior High School and never got to graduate with his class of 1962.

When the school district recently heard about it, they set to work to change it with the help of a Pennsylvania law, "Operation Recognition." 

>> Read more trending news 

"I am at the end of the law," Neal said. "It went from WWII to Korean veterans to Vietnam veterans. I guess the law will run out when the Vietnam veterans are gone."

Operation Recognition allows districts to give diplomas to honorably discharged veterans whose service in World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam interfered with their schooling.

Man escapes jail, stops for pancakes, gets busted again with his mom, deputies say

Authorities in Georgia say a man is back behind bars after his mother helped him escape from jail, then they stopped for pancakes on their way home.

>> Watch the news report here

The Heard County Sheriff’s Office told WSB-TV's Berndt Petersen that Joshua Gullat was working his cleaning detail of mopping floors and cleaning bathrooms at the county jail when he slipped out a door. 

Gullat, who was serving time for burglary, slipped out a side door around 11:30 p.m. Monday to a getaway car that his mother, Kathy Pence, was driving, officials said

Investigators said that earlier that night, Gullat made a phone call instructing his mom about where to pick him up.

"And it just so happened, during that phone call, she was being stopped by the city of Franklin, because she ran a stop sign," Heard County Sgt. Dan Boswell told Petersen.

>> Read more trending news 

Detectives listened to the call, which the jail records, and then talked to the Franklin police officer who pulled over Gullat's mother to learn what she was driving. 

Investigators told Petersen that they tracked Pence's cellphone to a Coweta County IHOP restaurant, where they found the mother and son in a booth.

"He said they were sitting at the table eating. He was sitting with two of his kids at the table. His mom, him and two of his children," Boswell said.

Detectives said the children are now with their mother. 

Deputies said Gullat was about to be transferred to a work-release program. Instead, he will likely face more jail time, along with his mother, they said.

Cyclist riding across country for charity killed along 3,500-mile route

A Maine man who set out to cycle a 3,500-mile route across the country to raise money for a children's hospital died during his ride.

>> Read more trending news 

James Dobson, who was cycling from Dover, New Hampshire to San Diego, California was struck by a car and killed on his 44th day of riding. 

Friends gathered in Maine to honor Dobson, who they said had a vibrant personality. 

"He knew the risk but once he set out to do it, he was gung ho about it," said Corey Gilpin, a childhood friend.

For Dobson, it was just another challenge.

"There’s a lot of us that said he was nuts but, once James put his mind to whatever he wanted, he would do whatever he could to succeed," said James Richesn, another childhood friend.

Dobson set out on this journey to raise $10,000 for a New Hampshire children's hospital. He called it the positive vibes tour after months of training. 

He left Dover on Oct. 1, documenting his journey on YouTube every step of the way. 

In one video, Dobson spoke of his motivation for the journey. 

"Those kids don’t have the opportunity to make a choice, to get out of the hospital and not get the treatment, so I feel I have an obligation and that’s why I ride," he said in a previous YouTube video recording. 

He reached Mississippi on Tuesday, which was Day 44 of his trip, when he was struck and killed by a car. His childhood friends told Boston 25 News that life will be boring without him. The 32-year-old had a unique vibrant personality that radiated positivity. 

In just a matter of hours, Dobson's goal of $10,000 was  already surpassed.

His friends said this summer, they plan to continue a "Positive Vibes Tour" in memory of their beloved friend, on motorcycles from Mississippi to California. 

CMA Awards 2018: Complete winners list from star-studded Nashville event 

The stars were shining in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena Wednesday night for the 52nd annual Country Music Association awards.

>> Read more trending news 

The star-studded event draws the top talent in country music, including classic bands, favorites singers and new artists.

The dynamic duo, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, returned to host the awards show for the 11th time.

Here’s a list of the winners:

Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean Luke Bryan Kenny Chesney Chris Stapleton Keith Urban – WINNER


Male Vocalist of the Year

Dierks Bentley Luke Combs Thomas RhettChris Stapleton – WINNER Keith Urban


Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini Miranda Lambert Maren Morris Kacey MusgravesCarrie Underwood – WINNER


Album of the Year

From A Room: Volume 2, Chris StapletonGolden Hour, Kacey Musgraves – WINNERGraffiti U, Keith UrbanLife Changes, Thomas RhettThe Mountain, Dierks Bentley


Single of the Year

“Broken Halos,” Chris Stapleton – WINNER “Drinkin’ Problem,” Midland “Drowns the Whiskey,” Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert “Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line “Tequila,” Dan + Shay


Song of the Year

“Body Like a Back Road,” Sam Hunt“Broken Halos,” Chris Stapleton – WINNER “Drowns the Whiskey,” Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert “Drunk Girl,” Chris Janson “Tequila,” Dan + Shay


New Artist of the Year

Lauren AlainaLuke Combs – WINNER Chris Janson Midland Brett Young


Vocal Duo of the Year

Brothers Osborne – WINNER Dan + Shay Florida Georgia Line Maddie & Tae Sugarland


Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum Lanco Little Big Town MidlandOld Dominion – WINNER


Music Video of the Year

“Babe,” Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift “Cry Pretty,” Carrie Underwood “Drunk Girl,” Chris Janson“Marry Me,” Thomas Rhett – WINNER “Tequila,” Dan + Shay


Musical Event of the Year

“Burning Man,” Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne “Dear Hate,” Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill “Drowns the Whiskey,” Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” David Lee Murphy with Kenny Chesney – WINNER “Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line


Musician of the Year

Jerry Douglas, dobro Paul Franklin, steel guitar Dann Huff, guitarMac McAnally, guitar – WINNER Derek Wells, guitar


Family upset after raising more than $14,000 for son's service dog and receiving untrained puppy

A Franklin, Massachusetts, family is making an unexpected trip to North Carolina to pick up a service dog that was supposed to be specially trained for their son with autism, except the 8-month-old dog is not ready to help.

>> Read more trending news

Kristie and Tim Maxfield raised more than $14,000 from donations to acquire Teddy from a North Carolina nonprofit called RyCon, but the family has learned the company is going out of business and Teddy is not fully trained. 

The Maxfields live on a busy street and are hoping the service dog may prevent their 6-year-old son, PJ, from running out into the street.

"He's a wanderer. He's a runner. This dog was supposed to help us," said Kristie Maxfield.

The Raleigh-based company describes its service dogs as hearts of gold wrapped in fur. WFXT called owner Mark Mathis, who said financial trouble is forcing him out of business. 

"I care very much about this family, but the business itself has simply become unsustainable.," said Mathis.

The Maxfields are concerned they will bring Teddy back to Massachusetts and will have a dog with no training in order to help PJ. 

"I'm in the moment right now, trying to deal with this crisis. So, I can't comment on what I'm going to be able to do in the future, except to say I will do all I can," said Mathis.

For the Maxfields, that isn't good enough -- not for the friends and strangers who gave them money for Teddy, and definitely not for PJ. 

"At this point, $15,000 has been wasted. Money other people gave us, trusted, to help our son, has now been spent on a puppy," said Tim Maxfield. 

Homemade silencer last piece of evidence in arrest of 4 family members in 8 murders

After tens of thousands of hours of investigative work over 2-and-a-half years, the final clue in the investigation of the murder of eight people in Pike County came a week ago, according to law enforcement officials.

>> Read more trending news 

That’s when authorities confirmed the existence of a homemade silencer they say was built by the suspects.

“This particular evidence, along with all the other pieces of this giant puzzle, all the other key evidence in this investigation, have led us to today’s charges and arrest,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in announcing charges against six family members Tuesday.

>> Related: Death penalty possible for 4 of 6 arrested in Rhoden slayings

Four family members are facing murder charges. Two other relatives are charged with an alleged cover-up of the crime.

DeWine said the state and local murder investigation started the morning of April 22, 2016, when the bodies of the eight victims were found on three separate properties in rural Pike County.

>> Related: The shocking events of the 2016 Pike County shootings

Since then, they received more than 1,100 tips from the public, conducted 550 interviews, tested more than 700 pieces of evidence, and served more than 200 search warrants, subpoenas and court orders.

“We have been patient when it was painful to be, running down every lead, no matter how small,” said Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader.

>> Related: Who are the Wagners? Pike County murders investigators want to know

“Members of one family conspired, planned, carried out and then allegedly covered up their violent act to wipe out members of another family. They did this quickly, coldly, calmly and very carefully. But not carefully enough. They left traces, they left a trail. The parts to build a silencer, the forged documents, the cameras, cellphones, all that they tampered with. And the lies, all the lies they told us.”

1 dead, 1 hurt in plane crash at Texas' Laughlin Air Force Base

One pilot was killed and another hurt when a military jet crashed Tuesday at Texas' Laughlin Air Force Base, officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

According to a news release, the Air Force T-38C Talon crashed at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday on the base. One pilot died, while the other was taken to Val Verde Regional Medical Center for treatment.

>> See the Facebook post here

28 yr old Capt. John F. Graziano, an instructor pilot with the 87th Flying Training Squadron was killed in the crash according to the Air Force’s Air Education & Training Command.

Injured in the accident was Capt. Mark S. Palyok, also an instructor pilot. He was released from Val Verde Regional Medical Center on Nov.14.

The incident is under investigation, officials said.

Read more here.

Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on domestic violence charges, denies ‘ever hitting a woman’

Michael Avenatti has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and was booked Wednesday evening.

>> Read more trending news

Avenatti was taken into custody and released Wednesday after a police report was filed by an unidentified victim in Century City, according to KNBC-TV. Police had responded to a domestic violence incident a day earlier and took a report.

When he walked out of the police station Wednesday, Avenatti told reporters he “has never struck a woman.”

He said he has been an advocate for women’s rights and would never disrespect his children by “touching a woman inappropriately.”

Avenatti said he’s confident he will be fully exonerated after police complete a thorough investigation.

Los Angeles police confirmed that Avenatti was arrested Wednesday afternoon and his bail was set at $50,000.

Officer Tony Im, a police spokesman, said the victim had visible injuries. He declined to provide details about the victim’s relationship to Avenatti.

Avenatti disputed the allegations in a statement obtained by Buzzfeed News:

“I wish to thank the hard working men and woman of the LAPD for their professionalism they were only doing their jobs in light of the completely bogus allegations against me. I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night. Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated.”

Avenatti’s first wife, Christine Avenatti-Carlin, also provided a statement to Buzzfeed saying that “He is a very good man.”

"I've known Michael for the last 26 years. We met when he was 21 years old and we were married for 13 years. Michael has always been a loving kind father to our two daughters and husband. He has never been abusive to me or anyone else. He is a very good man."

The Vermont Democratic Party canceled a weekend appearance by Avenatti following Wednesday's report.

Avenatti has represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her court battle with President Donald Trump.

>> Related: Who is Stormy Daniels, the woman who claims to have had an affair with President Trump?

Avenatti is also mulling a 2020 presidential run.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Florida man who looks like the 'Joker' arrested again

A man who went viral last year for his green-haired mugshot has been arrested again in Florida. 

>> Read more trending news

Lawrence Sullivan, 30, was jailed Wednesday in Pinellas County on a probation violation charge. 

>> May 2017: Tattooed 'Joker' accused of flashing gun at cars

Sullivan’s new mugshot features the same green hair and extensive tattoos. The jail records noted that his tattoos featured a skull, sword, pot leaf, brass knuckles, devil and a rose. 

>> June 2017: Florida 'Joker' arrested again, says he was treated like a celebrity in jail

Sullivan was arrested in 2017 near Miami after he reportedly waved a gun at motorists. He was found with a loaded Smith & Wesson handgun in his pocket, the Miami Herald reported. 

The Herald reported that Sullivan's job as listed as "tattoo model." 

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