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‘Free Speech’ rally in Boston draws large crowd of counter-protesters

A “free speech” rally in Boston Saturday afternoon drew a large crowd of counter-protesters.

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An estimated 15,000 counter-protesters marched through the city to Boston Common, where rally attendees gathered to deliver a series of speeches. 

The rally ended abruptly, and attendees were escorted by police from the rally area. Tense clashes between rally attendees, counter-protesters and authorities occurred after the rally ended.

>> Tensions high in N.C. amid rumored KKK march

Woman who poured Windex into office coffee maker sentenced to prison

A Virginia woman who admitted putting cleaning products in the coffee maker at her workplace for months was sentenced to prison Thursday.

Mayda E. Rivera-Juarez, 33, who was charged with one count of adulteration of food with intent to injure or kill for the 2016 incident, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison, the Commonwealth Attorney's Office in Leesburg said in a news release.

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Rivera-Juarez admitted to pouring Windex and Ajax dish soap into the coffee maker's water reservoir at Jas Forwarding Worldwide Inc., where she worked, WUSA reported. She tampered with the coffeemaker from January 2016 through October 2016, when she was caught in the act on surveillance video after employees suspected the office coffee was making them sick. She was immediately fired.

Authorities said Rivera-Juarez admitted to tampering with the coffee maker in order to make her supervisor ill. She admitted to pouring Ajax dish soap directly into her supervisor's coffee cup, authorities said.

Rivera-Juarez will serve her sentence in the Virginia Department of Corrections, and will then be placed on three years of post-release supervision.

Mom Didn’t Report Molestation Because of ‘Hectic Work Schedule’

Mom Didn’t Report Molestation Because of ‘Hectic Work Schedule’

Police investigating after ATM stolen by forklift driver

Authorities in Arkansas are investigating the robbery of an ATM by a forklift driver. 

The incident happened Wednesday at a First Service Bank in Conway. 

The driver of the forklift removed the entire ATM and took an undisclosed amount of money. 

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A worker at the First Service Bank told police she noticed damage to the bank when she first arrived to work Wednesday morning. 

Police believe whoever is responsible works at a nearby construction site. 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Conway Police Department at 501-450-6130. 

Carjacker Chose Wrong Victims, Ends in Beating

Carjacker Chose Wrong Victims, Ends in Beating

Duke removes Robert E. Lee statue from chapel entrance

Duke University released a statement Saturday morning that said the school removed the Robert E. Lee statue from its chapel entrance.

The announcement comes days after the statue was one of many vandalized around the nation after the Charlottesville, Virginia protests.

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The Duke University president, Vincent E. Price, sent the following statement to the students:

To the Duke community,

After hearing from and consulting with a number of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and with the strong support of the Board of Trustees, I authorized the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from the entrance of Duke Chapel early this morning.

I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university.

The removal also presents an opportunity for us to learn and heal. The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future.

Wednesday night’s act of vandalism made clear that the turmoil and turbulence of recent months do not stop at Duke’s gates. We have a responsibility to come together as a community to determine how we can respond to this unrest in a way that demonstrates our firm commitment to justice, not discrimination; to civil protest, not violence; to authentic dialogue, not rhetoric; and to empathy, not hatred.

As part of this effort, I am creating a commission, to include faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees and members of the Durham community, to advise on next steps and to assist us in navigating the role of memory and history at Duke. The commission will look at how we memorialize individuals on the Duke campus in buildings and sculpture and recommend principles drawn from Duke’s core values to guide us when questions arise. I will ask this commission to work expeditiously.

In addition, and in concert with Provost Sally Kornbluth, we will use the next year to explore various aspects of Duke's history and ambitions through teaching and scholarship. This will include an exhibition in the Library; a campus conversation about controversy and injustice in Duke’s history; and a forum to explore academic freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly in the university. Further information about these programs will be forthcoming.

As this process moves forward, I welcome your thoughts about how Duke can best address the troubling events of the past few months, learn from a careful and unvarnished understanding of our national and institutional history, and build a stronger, more inclusive future as a university community.

Police: Cook threw hot grease on customer during fight at Memphis gas station

A gas station cook is a facing serious charge after police said she attacked a customer and threw a pot of hot grease on her. 

The victim told officers she entered a Shell gas station in Memphis early Friday and ordered chicken wings. 

She said the wings were undercooked. When she tried to explain the problem, she said the cook, Olivia Gipson, became agitated and started arguing with her.

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Police said Gipson punched the victim in the face when she tried to talk to a manager and pulled out a box cutter, slicing at the victim's face. The cook is also accused of throwing a hot pot of grease in the victim's face. 

Gipson told police the victim started the fight and she was just trying to defend herself. She was charged with aggravated assault.

When officers arrived, they said the victim was covered in blood. Police said there was a trail of blood all over the store. She had second-degree burns to her face, eyes, chest and shoulders, and was taken to Regional One in noncritical condition.

FOX13 spoke to the store owner, who said the victim never actually bought any chicken on the day of the incident. He also told us the victim has caused problems in his store before.

Mom Flees Carjacker

Mom Flees Carjacker

Police: Mom tried to breast-feed after being pulled over on suspicion of DWI

A woman pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated attempted to breast-feed her child while an officer spoke to her, police said.

Natasha Abrams, 27, was pulled over Thursday night in Albuquerque after police observed her driving erratically, KOB reported. As an officer tried to speak to Abrams, he witnessed Abrams attempting to feed her baby, according to the police report. The officer noted Abrams had watery, bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcohol was present.

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Abrams told police that she had been looking at her phone when the dog jumped on her, causing her to swerve. She said she had a glass of wine earlier in the day. Abrams failed sobriety tests and blew at or above the legal limit during a breath test, police said.

Abrams was arrested and charged with child endangerment in addition to DWI. The baby was placed in the temporary custody of the grandparents, police said.

Man Shoots and and Kills AAA Worker Over Long Response Time

Man Shoots and and Kills AAA Worker Over Long Response Time

Man tried to sell stolen refrigeration unit back to owner, police say

An Iowa man accused of trying to steal a stolen refrigerator back to its owner pleaded guilty to felony theft charges Thursday.

Roger Otts, 38, stole a refrigeration unit worth $12,000, police said. He then tried to sell the unit back to the owner, who was disguised as a buyer, for $8,000, KCCI reported. Otts was immediately arrested.

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Otts pleaded guilty to felony theft and probation violation charges, KCCI reported. A judge ordered Otts to serve 90 days for parole violations. Otts then will serve a two-year probation for the theft charge. If he violates the probation, as a habitual offender, he will be required to serve at least three years in prison.

Drawbridge Starts Rising As Man Crosses With His Family

Drawbridge Starts Rising As Man Crosses With His Family

Trump to skip Kennedy Center Honors

The White House announced in a statement Saturday that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will not attend this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

The statement said that the president made the decision to not participate to “allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.” The statement said the president and first lady “extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”

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The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual tradition. Past presidents and first ladies host a reception for honorees at the White House before the Kennedy Center gala and attend the televised event. 

One of this year's honorees, television writer and producer Norman Lear, had announced he was skipping the White House reception due to Trump, and other honorees also planned to boycott the reception, the Washington Post reported.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Police: Man's attempt to carjack football players ends in beating

A man accused of attempting to carjack a group of football players ended up getting a beating, police said.

Angelo Martinez, 21, was seen hanging around a community center in Albuquerque on Aug. 11,  when a group of men were playing football. As the men returned to their car, Martinez asked them for a ride. They obliged, but as they pulled up to an address Martinez provided, he pulled out a gun and demanded they give up the car, KOAT reported. 

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The men exited the vehicle but as Martinez tried to take control of the car, he dropped the gun and one of the men reached in and punched Martinez in the face. The other men joined in, and were able to restrain Martinez, KOAT reported. The men told police they found a knife and a fake gun on Martinez.

Police were called and arrested Martinez at the scene. 

Jacksonville officer in critical condition after shooting 

One Florida officer is in critical condition and another is stable after being shot Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.

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The officers were responding to an attempted suicide call, Sheriff’s Office Director Mike Bruno said.

The suspect was shot by police and later died, deputies said.

The injured officers were taken to UF Health Jacksonville after the shooting.

When officers arrived at the house, they encountered a man armed with a high-powered rifle, Bruno said. Three people were barricaded in a bedroom inside the home.

>> Central Florida policeman shot, killed

The shooter shot through the front door at the responding officers, then exited the house and exchanged gunfire with police, Bruno said. One officer was shot in the hands and another was shot in the stomach, Bruno said.

The three people who were inside the home are safe, Bruno said.

Earlier Friday night in central Florida, one officer was killed and another was gravely wounded in a shooting in Kissimmee.

Girl burned with boiling water during sleepover happy to be home

A New York girl who was severely burned after another girl poured boiling water on her face while she was sleeping is making a nice recovery, her mother said Friday.

Jamoneisha Merritt told the New York Daily News, “I’m so great,” upon being released from the hospital and returning home. Merritt said she was dancing and listening to music. Her mother said her daughter is in good spirits, but still has a long recovery ahead of her. She will likely miss the beginning of the school year, requiring home schooling while her burn injuries continue to heal.

Read the original report below.

A sleepover at a friend’s house ended with an 11-year-old girl in a New York burn unit and a 12 -year-old in police custody after police said the 12-year-old poured boiling hot water over the younger girl’s face.

Police said that Jamoneisha Merritt, 11, was sleeping at the 12-year-old’s home when the older girl got a cup of boiling water and poured it on Jamoneisha, WNBC reported

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Jamoneisha’s relatives said the two had been arguing.

Her aunt, Yolanda Richardson, told WNBC, “Her and her friend got into an argument and she told her if she goes to sleep they were going to do something to her.”

Jamoneisha woke when the burning water hit her face, back, shoulders, neck and chest. 

She suffered second-degree burns and was taken to a burn unit at Harlem Hospital, listed in serious but stable condition.

Her mother told NY1 that her daughter is in a lot of pain, not only physical pain, but emotional pain too.

“She’s very sad. She’s emotionally messed up. She don’t understand why they did that to her. She thought they was her friends,” Ebony Merritt told NY1.

Her mother told the television reporters that those involved had been bullying her daughter.

The 12-year-old was arrested and police charged her with assault.

Charlottesville victim’s mother won’t take Trump’s call

The mother of the woman killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend said she does not want to hear from President Donald Trump because she believes he was “equating the protesters” like her daughter, Heather Meyer, to white supremacists,  CNN reported.

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"I'm not talking to the president now," Susan Bro said Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "I'm sorry. After what he said about my child, and it's not that I saw somebody else's tweets about him. I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters like Ms. (Heather) Heyer with the KKK and the white supremacists."

Earlier this week, Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville.

Heyer, 32, was killed Saturday when a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters gathered to oppose a “Unite the Right” rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups. Nineteen others were injured in the incident.

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, is charged with second-degree murder in Heyer's death.

Bro said the White House attempted to reach her repeatedly during her daughter's funeral on Wednesday, CNN reported. 

"At first, I just missed his calls," she said. "The call -- the first call looked like it actually came during the funeral. I didn't even see that message.

"There were three more frantic messages from press secretaries throughout the day and I didn't know why that would have been on Wednesday,” Bro said. “I was home recovering from the exhaustion of the funeral and, so I thought well, I'll get to him later and then I had more meetings to establish her foundation, so I hadn't really watched the news until last night.”

Messages left with the White House about efforts to contact Bro were not returned Friday. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with her and her family," CNN reported.

The president called Heyer "truly special" in a tweet Tuesday but was criticized for not calling Bro directly to express his condolences.

After seeing Trump’s news conference, Bro said it was too late for apologies.

"You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying 'I'm sorry.' I'm not forgiving for that," she said. “Think before you speak.”

New biography about David Bowie reveals details of his wild life

An upcoming biography of David Bowie reveals new details about the singer’s life, including some strange propositions, NME reported.

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“David Bowie: A Life” will be released Sept. 12. Written by Dylan Jones, the biography is described as “intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn” about Bowie, who died Jan. 11, 2016, after an 18-month battle with cancer.

In the book, groupie Josette Caruso describes the time Bowie was offered a “warm, deady body” to have sex with while on tour in Philadelphia in September 1972, NME reported.

According to the Daily Mail, Caruso told how Bowie’s bodyguard answered the door and then called for the singer, looking “white as a sheet.”

“He obviously looked like such a freak that some sick people thought he might be into necrophilia,” Caruso said.

“Who on earth do they think I am? Why would they think I’d be interested in something like that?” Bowie reportedly said.

Other details from the book, according to the Daily Mail:

  • Bowie’s sex addiction drove him to sleep with 13-year-old groupies, engage in orgies and declare he was bisexual.

  • Because of his brother's schizophrenia, he did not like LSD but developed a cocaine habit.

  • Born David Jones, he changed his last name to Bowie -- like the Bowie Knife -- after British media nicknamed Mick Jagger, 'Jagger Dagger' 

The book also gives a detailed insight into the singer’s life from his childhood in Brixton, through his wild and successful music career, to his relatively calm last few years with wife Iman, NME reported.by

“David Bowie was his very own creation, his very own work of art,” Dylan Jones writes.“This was the boy from postwar Brixton with his sights set on the world.”

 

Taylor Swift wipes social media accounts; website goes dark

Taylor Swift has wiped her social media accounts clean, and fans of the singer are trying to figure out why, Billboard reported.

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On average, Swift has put out a new album every two years since her debut in 2006. Her last album, however -- “1989” -- was released in October 2014.

Friday morning, fans noticed that Swift had deleted her Twitter avatar and header, along with blanking out her Facebook page. All of her posts on Tumblr also were deleted, Billboard reported.

Swift has more than 102 million followers on Instagram, but that site also has been wiped clean, Billboard reported. Her official website is blacked out.

What does it all mean? Have her sites been hacked, or is she gearing up for a comeback. Several Twitter followers speculated about both scenarios. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the singer could not be reached for comment, Billboard reported.

On Monday, a jury ruled in favor of Swift in her countersuit against former radio host David Mueller for alleged assault and battery.

Large rattlesnake found beneath New Orleans home

A wildlife removal expert captured a rattlesnake measuring nearly 6 feet long beneath a home in New Orleans, WVUE reported.

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Ryan Cook, who operates Gulf Coast Wildlife removal, said he was called after homeowners spotted the canebrake rattlesnake earlier this week.

“This thing gets out from underneath the deck and it's pretty much the biggest rattlesnake, the biggest snake I've seen in Louisiana,” Cook told WVUE. “Anything over 5 feet with a rattlesnake is considered a monster. This one was 5 foot 8 inches and has 13 rattles on it, so it's been around a good long time.” 

Cook said it’s not the first time he’s heard of rattlesnakes in the area.

“I've been hearing of a lot more rattlesnake activity in the New Orleans East area. I believe especially around the Six Flags area because it's so overgrown,” Cook told WVUE. “No one's really doing anything to knock the numbers down, so you're starting to see more and more of these guys showing up in residential neighborhoods.”

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