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2 children removed from unsuitable conditions at Ohio home

Two children were removed from a Middletown home and placed with relatives after police determined the home was “not suitable.”

>> Read more trending news

Police received an anonymous tip from a caller who was concerned about the children, ages 10 and 13, according to a Middletown police report.

When police inspected the home on March 15, the children’s great-grandfather told police his grandson was being treated for alcohol-related illnesses at Atrium Medical Center, according to the report.

Police noticed empty vodka bottles and pizza boxes on the front porch and the great-grandfather told officers he was doing the “best he can” for his great-grandchildren and bedridden wife.

Inside the home, police found food and trash on the floor and soiled bed pads hanging off a bed in the living room.

Police then requested to see where the children sleep, according to the report. There were clothes and garbage piled in the dining room where the children stay, the report said. Mice also were seen in the room.

Police and a case worker from Butler County Children Services found relatives willing to temporarily care for the children.

Police said the children appeared happy to stay with relatives.

Austin bombing suspect identified as 23-year-old Mark A. Conditt

The suspected Austin serial bomber who apparently killed himself early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him was Pflugerville resident Mark A. Conditt, local and federal law enforcement sources told the American-Statesman and KVUE.

>> Read more trending news

As the sun rose, neighbors of the 23-year-old, who was home-schooled growing up and went to Austin Community College, struggled to wrap their minds around the news that he was the suspected bomber.

“I know this is a cliché but I just can’t imagine that,” said one neighbor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and whose children grew up playing with Conditt on Pfluger Street. The neighbor described Conditt as a nice kid from a great family.

Police have said that Conditt, who was home-schooled growing up, was 24, although some public records indicate he was 23.

Conditt received a degree from Austin Community College’s Northridge Campus and had worked at Crux Semiconductor in Austin as a “purchasing Agent/buyer/shipping and receiving,” according to a profile on a job recruiting website. He previously worked as a computer repair technician.

>> Related: Photos: Austin police investigate explosions

There are very few public social media posts under his name.

His mother, Danene Conditt, posted a picture of him in February 2013 to mark his completing a high school-level education.

“I officially graduated Mark from High School on Friday. 1 down, 3 to go. He has 30 hrs of college credit too, but he’s thinking of taking some time to figure out what he wants to do….maybe a mission trip. Thanks to everyone for your support over the years.”

>> See complete coverage of the Austin bombings from the Austin American-Statesman

He and his father, Pat Conditt, purchased a Pflugerville property last year that is now valued at about $69,000. The neighbor said Mark Conditt had been living in that house, which he built with his father’s help.

Police said Wednesday morning that they believe Mark Conditt created all of the explosive devices used in the recent bombings himself.

They are not sure how he spent his last 24 hours and cautioned Austinites to remain vigilant in case he placed bombs that have yet to go off.

Deputies rescue puppy dubbed 'Poncho' from storm drain

A 3-month-old puppy was rescued from a storm drain Tuesday in Riverview by two Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Deputy Tara Quezada said she was flagged down by residents who told her a puppy fell into the storm drain that was filled with water. Quezada called her partner to help. 

Deputy Zachary Shute brought tools and the deputies removed the drain cover.

>> Read more trending news 

The puppy, who they named “Poncho,” was deep inside the storm drain and out of reach, deputies said. 

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

That’s when Shute said he had a plan. Shute used Quezada’s duty belt to lower her head-first into the storm drain. Quesada said she used a net to scoop up Poncho.

Deputies said they were unable to find her owners, so Poncho the puppy was taken to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center

Search for Virginia homicide suspect leads to Florida 

U.S. Marshals are asking for the public's help in locating a wanted homicide suspect who has ties all over the East Coast, including the Jacksonville area.

>> Read more trending news

Darryl Faine, 54, is wanted for the 2015 shooting death of Monique Landis, 26, in Portsmouth, Virginia. 

There have been indications that Faine spent time in Florida since going on the run, specifically the Jacksonville area. He also has ties to Northern Virginia and Maryland.

Caitlyn Jenner has ‘sun damage’ removed from nose, warns fans to practice sun safety

Years of being in the sun has taken a toll on Caitlyn Jenner’s skin.

She recently posted on Instagram that she had what she called “sun damage” removed from her nose, US Magazine reported.

Jenner also reminded her followers to wear sunblock. The warning accompanied a photo of Jenner with a red nose where skin had been removed.

People Magazine reported that it was a cancerous basal cell carcinoma which was removed.

Jenner’s stepdaughter, Khloé Kardashian, also had a skin cancer scare in 2016. “There was one mole I had on my back that was skin cancer. I had 8 inches of skin removed,” US reported that Kardashian wrote on her website. “It was definitely painful because it was a lot of skin, but most of the time the removals hadn’t been that bad.”

Doctors remind everyone that they should use sunscreen when outside, People Magazine reported.

Warning signs of basal cell carcinoma

According to SkinCancer.org, there are five warning signs for basal cell carcinoma. 

  • Open sore that bleeds or crusts for a few weeks, then heals, then repeats.
  • Red patch on face, chest, shoulder, arms or legs that can itch or hurt at times.
  • Shiny bump or nodule that is pearly or clear. It can also be tan, black or brown and could be confused with a mole.
  • Pink growth with a slightly elevated rolled border. It could also have a crusted dent in the center.
  • Scar-like white, yellow or waxy area. It could be a warning of an invasive basal cell carcinoma that’s larger than than the surface area.

According to SkinCancer.org, there are multiple types of treatments for basal cell carcinoma:

  • Curettage, Electrodesiccation: The growth is scraped off with a curette and the tumor is burned with an electrified needle.
  • Mohs micrographic surgery: Doctors remove a thin layer of tissue that contains the tumor and it is repeated until the spot is cancer-free.
  • Excisional surgery: Doctors remove the entire growth and the surrounding tissue.
  • Radiation: X-rays are sent through the tumor.
  • Cryosurgery: The tumor is frozen with liquid nitrogen and the area blisters or crusts then falls off. 
  • Photodynamic Therapy: Doctors use blue light and a topical lotion on the lesion.
  • Laser Surgery: Lasers destroy the lesions either by removing the skin’s top layer or by targeting under the skin. 
  • Topical medications: Medications like Imiquimod or 5-Fluorouracil are able to treat specific basal cell carcinoma.
  • Oral medications: Vismodegib and sonidegib are given to patients with advanced basal cell carcinomas.

Cat reunited with owner 14 years after hurricane disappearance

Perry Martin probably can’t stop pondering about his cat.

>> See the Facebook post here

In 2004, the orange tabby Thomas 2, or simply just “T2,” disappeared.

It happened when the Fort Pierce man moved into a friend’s house in Stuart after Hurricane Jeanne stormed through the area, according to TCPalm.

>> Delta under fire after flying a puppy to the wrong airport

The retired K-9 officer grieved, but then came to terms with the idea that his cat had moved on to other ventures, or to that great catnap in the sky. 

That all changed on March 9 with a phone call.

“Someone said, 'What if we told you T2 was alive?' I figured it was a mistake," Martin told TCPalm. "It was too crazy to believe."

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

Worn and weary, the fiery feline was found wandering the streets of Palm City.

He was brought into the shelter, where a scan of his skinny shoulder detected a microchip, which eventually led him back to Martin. 

Next thing you know, the tabby, now 18 years old, is back snuggling on his owner’s lap

>> Read more trending news 

The cat is content, but Martin’s questioning persists.

"Could you imagine if he could talk for just 15 minutes to tell us what he's been through?" Martin told TCPalm. "He'd probably say, 'Why did you keep the door shut, Dad?'"

Read more at TCPalm.

Former Make-A-Wish patient now doctor at same hospital that treated her

Jen Pratt used to walk the halls of Children’s St. Paul when she was a child. She was diagnosed and treated for a tumor in her leg. 

She visited the hospital for a year as she received chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor, WCCO reported

Pratt became a Make-A-Wish kid, receiving a trip to Walt Disney World.

She was 11 years old at the time and knew then what she wanted to do with her life when she grew up.

>> Read more trending news 

Pratt wanted to go into medicine, WCCO reported

Flash forward a few years and now Pratt is called Dr. Pratt and she’s now on the other side of the hospital beds, treating the patients at the same hospital that saved her life.

“Some of the nurses that I had during my treatment are still nurses at Children’s, so I actually get to work with them,” Pratt told WCCO.

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

But Children’s St. Paul isn’t the only location from her cancer treatment she’s revisiting. During her trip to Disney, she stayed at Give Kids the World resort. She’s planning on volunteering at the hotel later this fall, WCCO reported.

Click here to learn about volunteering with Give Kids the World.

Photos: Austin police investigate explosions

Principal has musical snow day announcement inspired by Billy Joel

Sing us a song you’re the snow man?

A Kentucky principal has pulled out all the stops with his snow day announcements.

>> Read more trending news 

With yet another storm bearing down on his district, Chad Caddell drew inspiration from Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” to tell excited kids and their disappointed parents that there would be no school again this morning, WCPO reported.

This isn’t the first time the Union Point Academy principal put a musical twist to his announcements, WCPO reported. Earlier this year, he did announcements “honoring” Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks and Mariah Carey, WCPO reported.

Related video: 

Delta under fire after flying a puppy to the wrong airport

Delta Air Lines is coming under heat after accidentally flying a puppy to the wrong airport.

>> United suspends pet cargo service in wake of mix-ups, dog death

Josh Schlaich posted about the incident on Facebook over the weekend when he was trying to figure out where the 8-week-old puppy was. He was supposed to pick up the puppy at the airport in Boise, Idaho. But instead he got a message from a Delta rep at the Detroit airport saying the puppy would be sent to a boarding location because of a flight delay.

>> Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

After misrouting and confusion, the puppy was eventually delivered safely and “seems happy and healthy,” Schlaich posted later in the weekend.

But the incident has drawn national attention, in the wake of an incident in which a puppy died in an overhead bin on United Airlines.

Delta issued a statement after the incident: “We know pets are important members of the family and apologize for the delayed shipment of a dog, which is now in the hands of its owner, after it was routed to the wrong destination. Delta teams worked quickly to reunite the dog and his owner, while remaining in constant contact with the customer throughout the process to update him on the status of his pet.”

>> Read more trending news 

The airline said it refunded the shipping costs and started a review of the incident.

Former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal files lawsuit to speak about alleged Trump affair

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal is suing to break a 2016 contract that reportedly requires her to keep silent about an affair with Donald Trump years before he became president.

>> For the latest Trump coverage, visit Jamie Dupree’s Washington Insider blog

In the complaint — which was obtained by The New York Times — McDougal’s lawyers allege that she had a “10-month relationship with Mr. Trump” in 2006. They say McDougal decided to pursue a lawsuit because “she has become aware of the broad effort to silence and intimidate her and others.”

The former Playmate is suing in the Los Angeles Superior court, and she’s charging American Media Inc. with paying her $150,000 for her story, then killing it. American Media Inc. owns the National Enquirer, which has been friendly to Trump during his candidacy and tenure in the White House.

McDougal also claims that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was involved in the deal and that she was misled in the proceedings.

>> Read more trending news 

She is the second woman to accuse the president’s personal lawyer of paying her to keep silent about an extramarital relationship with Trump. McDougal says she was paid $150,000 for her silence — earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal outlined payments Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Both women claim that their affairs with Trump occurred in 2006, after he married Melania Trump.

Daniels is currently being sued by Cohen, who claims that she violated the confidentiality agreement she signed in 2016. Daniels' story doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon, as she’s lined up for an interview with “60 Minutes.”

Austin package explosions: Parts of downtown Pflugerville shut down due to suspicious package report

Police have shut down parts of downtown Pflugerville, an Austin suburb, due to a report of a suspicious package, the city’s police chief said early Wednesday. It is not yet known whether the incident is related to the Austin bombings.

The news came the day after investigators linked a fifth bomb blast at a FedEx ground delivery facility northeast of San Antonio to the deadly package bombs in Austin. A sixth blast at a south Austin Goodwill store was not related to the bombings, investigators said.

>> READ MORE: Trump says 'it's not easy to find' culprit in first public comment on Austin bombings'Hold your leaders accountable': Chance the Rapper tweets about Austin bombingsPhotos: Austin police investigate explosionsFor investigators, a race to decode hidden message in Austin bombingsMap shows location of 4 Austin bombsAustin explosions: 2 men hurt in fourth blast this monthOfficials increase reward to $115,000 for information on Austin bombingsMan held in SXSW threat ruled out as bomb suspect, police sayAustin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police sayThe Roots' SXSW show canceled after bomb threat; man arrestedAustin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony HouseMORE

Man facing child porn charges after 'gingerbread house' full of explicit photos found in forest

A Mill Creek, Washington, man is facing charges after a treehouse was found in the Snoqualmie National Forest with child pornography hanging on the walls inside.

>> Watch the news report here

KIRO-TV first reported on the discovery off the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in February. The unauthorized treehouse was reported by an employee of the Department of Natural Resources, according to court documents. A DNR worker took a couple of the photographs off the wall to show law enforcement and called the King County Sheriff's Office.

The DNR employee took a detective to the treehouse, which was described in court documents as "an elaborate tree house that resembled a fairy or gingerbread house." The treehouse was about 8 feet off the ground with a porch surrounding it.

>> On KIRO7.com: Treehouse filled with child porn found near North Bend

Investigators say that inside the treehouse they found photographs of naked young girls framed on the walls. There was also a bed, food, supplies, a book and an electronic keyboard.

They found an envelope with more pornographic images.

The King County Sheriff's Office handed the case over to the FBI to investigate. The FBI sent KIRO-TV new photos of the house on Monday.

The FBI searched the cabin in April 2017 and collected items to test for fingerprints and DNA to find out who built the cabin.

They took construction photos, smoking material, bedding, glasses, photos of girls, bags of batteries and glass from the photograph frames.

They sent the items to the FBI laboratory in Quantico.

Federal investigators said they also talked to a Search and Rescue volunteer who said he had seen an SUV near the cabin on multiple occasions, and he had the license plate information. Investigators tracked down the owner of the vehicle and watched him.

>> Read more trending news 

Investigators said they took a swab from the handle of his motorcycle and later got a paper drinking cup he discarded. Those items were also sent to the lab in Quantico.

According to court documents, the items tested at Quantico positively identified the 56-year-old Mill Creek man. Court records show Daniel Wood, of Mill Creek, has been charged with two counts of child pornography possession.

FBI agents searched Woods condominium in Mill Creek in February and collected his computers, Amazon Fire, SD cards, Polaroid tablet, VHS tapes and video recorder.

Parents of bullies could face $500 fine if Pennsylvania bill becomes law

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that could have parents footing the bill if their child bullies another kid at school.

>> Watch the news report here

It started out as a rule in Sharpsburg.

>> On WPXI.com: Parents face fines in new anti-bullying ordinance

WPXI checked with the police officer who enforces the law and he said it is working as a deterrent.

He also said it's raised awareness of how serious bullying is, and the potential consequences.

After Brentwood and Sharpsburg passed local anti-bullying ordinances that fine parents of bullies, a state lawmaker is proposing more encompassing legislation.

State Rep. Frank Burns' bill gives parents three strikes. He's from Cambria County.

>> Read more trending news 

The first time a child bullies someone, the school is required to inform his or her parents how it handled the situation. If it happens a second time, parents would have to take a class on bullying and attend a bullying resolution conference.

The third time, parents would receive a court citation and pay up to a $500 fine.

In a statement issued last week, the Democrat said bullying can lead to physical assaults and suicide.

He said holding students, parents and officials accountable "is the only way to put an end to this scourge."

The proposal also includes an anonymous bullying reporting system requiring the state education department to track bullying incidents and file monthly reports.

Sharpsburg police have yet to file any citations against parents.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pit bull bites children inside North Carolina elementary school

Police have found a dog that they said got into a south Charlotte, North Carolina, elementary school Monday afternoon and injured several children.

>> Watch the news report here

It happened around 1:30 p.m. at Lansdowne Elementary School on Prett Court, near Providence Road.

Animal Care and Control officials said a pit bull came into the playground area while children were outside. The children were rushed into the school by staff, but the dog managed to get inside the school.

Some of the children were frightened and tried to run, but officers said the dog reacted by jumping on and biting some of the children. Incident reports indicate that the dog bit the children in the leg, the thigh and the stomach.

>> Read more trending news 

A teacher was eventually able to confine the pit bull and contacted the animal’s owner from the information on the dog's collar. The owner, who was visiting from Fayetteville, picked up the dog named "Bro" and left before Animal Care and Control officers arrived at the school.

Seven children suffered minor injuries, authorities said, but paramedics were not needed.

Animal Care and Control officials said they have located the owner of the dog and confirmed that its rabies vaccination is current.

Charlotte's leash law says animals not on a leash must be contained within a fence or an operable and marked invisible fence. 

>> Click here to read the law

How did crucifixion kill Jesus?

On Friday, Christians around the world commemorate with prayers and fasting the death of Jesus Christ, three days before the arrival of Easter and the hope of the Resurrection.

The church calls on believers to solemnly reflect on the pain and suffering of Jesus of Nazareth, particularly beginning at 3 p.m. when it is believed Jesus died as he hung on a cross outside the city of Jerusalem.

While the Bible gives agonizing details of the crucifixion of Jesus, what do we know about what happens to a body undergoing this sadistic method of execution?

How does crucifixion kill you?

First, the history

Crucifixion is a gruesome mode of execution, and that’s why the Romans in Jesus’ day used it. A method of control and intimidation, Roman authorities used crucifixion to rid their cities of slaves, heinous criminals and, most important to the empire, insurgents.

Crucifixion was likely first used in what is modern day Iran. The vicious method of eliminating one’s enemies spread throughout the ancient world to Greece where Alexander the Great was known to have used it.

From there, the Romans adopted the practice and elevated it to a level that was unprecedented – at one point crucifying 500 people a day. It was practiced from the 6th century BC until the 4th century AD. The Roman emperor Constantine I banned the practice in 337 AD.

Why use crucifixion?

The Romans did not lack for ways to kill their enemies, but crucifixion allowed for two things – humiliation and a slow, painful death. The punishment was a method of intimidation that the Romans raised to an art form.

One Roman historian wrote of an event that saw 2,000 crucified on one day for the amusement of an emperor.

The process

Crucifixion followed a bloody script of sorts that maximized the suffering and prolonged death. It began when the one being crucified was stripped of his clothing then beaten with a flagrum, a short-handled whip made with lengths of leather that had bone and iron balls woven into the strips.

The person was beaten savagely with the whip which tore flesh then muscle, weakening the victim through blood loss and shock. While the aim was to inflict maximum injury, that part of the process was not intended to kill. 

After the beating -- where ribs were often broken from the repeated blows -- the victim would be forced to pick up and carry the beam of the cross he was to be hanged on.

Crucifixions were held outside of the city, and while the upright part of the cross, called the stripe, was permanently placed in the area the crucifixions took place, the crossbar, called the patibulum, had to be transported there. The patibulum usually weighed between 75 and 100 pounds.

We often see images of Jesus Christ nailed to a cross that is high above the ground, but this likely isn’t a true representation of Roman crucifixions.

The first crucifixions had the victims suspended just above the ground so their feet would not touch holy ground. By the time the Romans were crucifying people, the crosses were probably from 7 to 9 feet tall

Not all crosses were the familiar “t” shape we see depicted in art. Some resembled the letters “X” and “Y,” while some looked like an uppercase “T.” Some people, like the Apostle Peter, were crucified upside down on an inverted cross.

Some researchers say Jesus may have been crucified on a stake instead of a cross, which was another method of crucifixion.

While we read in the Bible of Jesus’ hands and feet being nailed the cross, that wasn’t always the case, either. When the hands were attached to the cross, it was usually done with spikes being driven into the wrists, not the hands, to better support the weight of the victim. Most victims, according to the writing of historians of the day, had their hands tied to the cross with rope, their feet nailed into the sides near the bottom of the cross.

The victims knees would be bent at around 45 degrees before their feet were nailed to the cross. The position eventually makes it impossible to hold one’s self upright, and the person would begin sag on the cross. The body’s weight would eventually pull the shoulders out of socket, thrusting the chest forward where it would become impossible to take in a breath.

It is written in the Bible that at one point Jesus was offered a drink of wine and a mild pain killer called gall or myrhh, and he declined it. The practice of offering those being crucified the drink is documented in other historical accounts. It was a service provided by a group of women from Jerusalem. 

How do you die?

If you survived the shock and blood loss from the beating, then were able to carry the patibulum to the place where you were to be crucified, then lived through your feet and your hands having spikes driven into them, your final misery was just beginning.

There are many theories as to what kills you as you hang on a cross. From blood loss from the beating, to shock and dehydration, it could be any combination of the factors, scientists believe.

The Royal Society of Medicine in 2006 published an article that centered on Jesus’ crucifixion, chronicling nine possible causes of death. And while suffocation from the weight of one’s body dangling from a cross has long been believed to be the cause of death in crucifixion, others think the process is a more complicated chain reaction of events.

The researchers from the RSM study believed death came to those crucified by one or more of the body’s failing processes.

The study suggested that as the person suspended on a cross struggles to breath, that lack of oxygen would trigger damage to tissue and veins causing blood to leak into the lungs and the heart. The lungs would stiffen and the heart become constricted from the pressure, making it difficult, then impossible to pump blood throughout the body. The lack of oxygenated blood would eventually cause each body system to fail and death would follow.

It could take hours, or, in some cases, days, but it was only a matter of time before death would come. 

In the biblical accounts of Jesus’ death, the process took six hours, and, in the end, he cried out to God.

Matthew 27:50-51 "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.…"

Sources: GizmodoBelieve.comNIM; The Guardian

Easter 2018: When is it; what is it; why isn't it on the same date every year?

“Hey, do you have any idea when Christmas is?” is not a question you usually hear in late November or early December.

Major holidays are stamped on our calendars, often with little symbols, in case you don't know, for instance, that a turkey means Thanksgiving. 

Easter, however, is different. The date of Easter, when Christians celebrate the risen Christ, is different every year. 

Many factors have contributed to keeping the date a guessing game, but the rolling calendar on Easter is due mainly to astronomy and a group of men who got together in the ancient city of Nicaea to come up with a system of deciding when to celebrate the holiest day in the Christian calendar.

Here is a look at the origins of the remembrance, the reason for the floating date and when Easter will be celebrated this year.

What is Easter?On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth was a carpenter who became an itinerant preacher at the age of 30. For the next three years, he drew thousands of followers in the relatively small area where he preached. 

When Jewish leaders and Roman officials began to feel threatened by his growing popularity, he was arrested as he came into Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. He stood trial, was found guilty by a crowd and was mocked, beaten and eventually crucified. Followers believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.

The Old Testament prophecy of a messiah being persecuted, then executed, then resurrected – all for the sins of his followers -- is believed by many to have been fulfilled with Jesus’ death.

Where in the Bible is the story of Jesus’ execution?The story of Jesus’ death appears in all four of the Gospels of the New Testament. You’ll find them in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 18.

When is Easter this year?Easter is on April 1 in 2018.

Why is it on different dates every year?

The answer is not a simple one. In 325 CE,  the Council of Nicaea, a gathering of Christian bishops, decided that there should be a more organized and universal way to decide when Easter would be celebrated. The council decided that the remembrance would be held the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.

The date for the vernal equinox was based on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is delayed a week.

How early and how late can Easter be celebrated?Easter can come as early as March 22, and as late as April 25 in the Gregorian calendar.

What does the word Easter mean?It could be from the name of the fertility goddess Eostre. It could be from the Norse "eostur" or "eastur," meaning “the season of the growing sun,” or some combination of those terms and others from pagan festivals and ceremonies.

When was Easter first celebrated?It’s not known when the first remembrance of Jesus’ death took place, but there are records of ceremonies beginning in the 2nd century. The celebrations were held around the Jewish Passover each year, a date that was dependent on the vernal equinox.

What are Good Friday and Maundy Thursday?Good Friday commemorates the day on which Jesus was crucified. Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus had with his disciples.

How did a bunny become a symbol?No one is really sure about how the Easter Bunny came into being, but, he/she likely is a combination of several ancient harvest festival symbols. History.com says the bunny could have come from the pagan festival of Eostre. Eostre is a goddess of fertility and, because of the rabbit’s reputation for, shall we say, productivity, the animal became the symbol for Eostre.

Historians believe it is likely that the festival with its bunny symbol made its way through Europe and gave birth to the Osterhase, or Oschter Haws – an egg-laying rabbit popular in German fiction. German immigrants brought with them to America the tradition of laying colored eggs as gifts in nests built by children during a spring festival. 

Eventually, the bunny started to bring candy and other gifts with the eggs on Easter morning as a sign of the celebration of new life.

Easter 2018: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing

With Easter fast approaching, you will want to get your egg situation under control.

Didn’t realize you had an egg situation? That’s why we are here.

>> Read more trending news

If you are going to engage in the long-standing tradition of dyeing Easter eggs, you are going to need to start out with a good, sturdy canvas. 

Coloring eggs has come a long way since the days of the early Christian Church where believers stained eggs red to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The practice was so popular among the faithful, the Church adopted the use of eggs as part of the celebration of Easter in the Roman Ritual, the official ritual works of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

Whether you are using commercial dyeing kits where you plop a color “pill” into a cup of vinegar then drop in an egg, or if you are more the Fabergé-has-nothing-on-me type, here’s a guide to producing the perfect hard-boiled egg.

Getting a good hard-boiled egg can be tough, but with the recipe below, you can impress your family and friends with your egg boiling skills.

  1. Put eggs in a pot large enough to hold them in a single layer.
  2. Cover the eggs with an inch of water.
  3. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegar in the water.
  4. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. Let the eggs boil in the water for about 30 seconds.
  6. Turn off the heat, and put a cover on the pot.
  7. Let the eggs sit in the covered pot for 12 minutes.

At the end of 12 minutes, the eggs will be perfect - no olive green-looking film on the yokes.

If you want to eat the eggs without coloring them, transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Leave the eggs in the ice water until they are cool.

Crack and peel the eggs under cool, running water. The shells should come off easily.

Why is it called Good Friday and what’s so good about it?

Christians believe Jesus was mocked publicly and crucified on a solemn Friday more than two thousand years ago. Today, the calamitous day is celebrated as Good Friday.

But what’s so good about that?

>> Read more trending news

One answer is that at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, “good” may have referred to “holy” in Old English, a linguistic theory supported by many language experts.

According to Slate, the Oxford English Dictionary notes the Wednesday before Easter was once called “Good Wednesday.” Today, it’s more commonly known as Holy Wednesday.

And Anatoly Liberman, a University of Minnesota professor who studies the origins of English words, told Slate if we consider the alternative names for Good Friday, such as “Sacred Friday” (romance languages) or “Passion Friday” (Russian), this theory makes a lot of sense.

Another possible reason for its moniker — a theory supported by both linguists and historical evidence — refers to the holiday’s ties to Easter Sunday, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

Because Jesus couldn’t have been resurrected without dying, the day of his death is, in a sense, “good.”

“That terrible Friday has been called Good Friday because it led to the Resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death and sin and the celebration of Easter, the very pinnacle of Christian celebrations,” the Huffington Post reported.

A third answer, some believe, is that the “good” in Good Friday was derived from "God” or “God’s Friday” — the way the term “goodbye” comes from a contraction of the phrase “God Be With You.”

Still, not everyone refers to this day as Good Friday. For example, 

The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions that, in the Greek Church, the holiday is known as "the Holy and Great Friday." In German, it's referred to as "Sorrowful Friday."

And as aforementioned, “Sacred Friday” and “Passion Friday” are also used.

In addition, because the holiday is also commemorated with a long fast, Good Friday was also referred to as “Long Friday” by the Anglo-Saxons.

Read more at Slate.com

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