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Woman who allegedly helped topple North Carolina Confederate statue arrested

The woman who allegedly climbed a ladder to the top of a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, and put a rope around its neck so the gathered crowd could pull it down has been arrested.

>> Watch the clip here

Takiyah Thompson, 22, who reportedly admitted she was the one who climbed the ladder — and she said she’d do it again — was taken into custody shortly after protesters held a news conference Tuesday afternoon at North Carolina Central University, according to WTVD in Raleigh-Durham.

She was charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, damage to real property, participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500, and inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500.

>> WATCH: Protesters topple Confederate statue in North Carolina

Those who took part in the toppling of the Confederate statue held the news conference Tuesday to call for any charges related to the incident to be dropped. However, according to WTVD, more arrests could be coming. The video showing the toppling of the statue went viral.

Thompson was given a $10,000 unsecured bond. The World Worker’s Party Durham chapter, of which Thompson is a member, has set up a legal defense fund to help fight her case in court.

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

“The people decided to take matters into our own hands and remove the statue,” said Thompson, a student at N.C. Central University. “We are tired of waiting on politicians who could have voted to remove the white supremacist statues years ago, but they failed to act. So we acted.”

More statues could be attempted to be torn down by protestors, according to World Worker’s Party activist Lamont Lilly, who said, “I hope so,” when asked by ABC 11 if more statues would be toppled. She said the group believes the statues are monuments to racism.

>> Read more trending news

The monument that was ripped down was of a Confederate soldier holding a rifle. It was erected in 1924, and inscribed on it are the words “In memory of the boys who wore the gray.”

“I feel like it’s important to tear down these vestiges of white supremacy,” Thompson told WTVD.

Read more here.

Boy and cow snuggle at fair in viral photo that the internet is loving

A father captured a picture of his son snuggled up with their cow, and, of course, internet users found it prize-worthy. 

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: LOOK: Child creates a superhero you didn’t know you needed

Mitchell Miner, 15, of Iowa, and his cow, Audri, had a long day at the Iowa State Fair after competing in the youth cattle show Sunday. So, the best friends decided to take a nap. 

>> See the photo here

“I was asleep. I think she was, too,” Miner told the Des Moines Register on Monday. 

While the duo didn’t win the cattle show, they did win the internet’s heart. 

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: WATCH: Man builds cat-tastic maze for his furry friends

The picture on Facebook had over 26,000 likes and 3,096 shares as of Wednesday morning; it’s since been taken down or its privacy settings have been changed.

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

While the bond between the teen and heifer is evident, unfortunately, they are just hanging out for the summer

>> Read more trending news

The cow will be sent back to a dairy farm in Blairstown later this fall, according to the Des Moines Register

Read more at the Des Moines Register

Investigation into Natalee Holloway’s disappearance leads to discovery of human remains

Twelve years after her unsolved disappearance, human remains have been discovered in connection to a search for Natalee Holloway.

>> Read more trending news

Her father, Dave Holloway, and private investigator T.J. Ward announced on Wednesday’s episode of “TODAY” that an 18-month investigation, which was documented for an Oxygen show that airs Sunday, led them to discover the remains, which are currently being DNA tested to confirm if they are indeed Holloway’s.

>> RELATED: Docu-series about Natalee Holloway’s disappearance sparks a new lawsuit

“When we determined these remains were human, I was shocked,” her father said. “I know there’s a possibility this could be someone else, and I’m just trying to wait and see.”

Natalee Holloway disappeared in 2005 on a post-high school trip to Aruba, and her disappearance has remained a mystery as no one has been charged. Speculation has swirled around Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch man whom Holloway was last seen with at a bar. Van der Sloot is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for killing student Stephany Flores on the fifth anniversary of Holloway’s disappearance in 2010.

An informant put the young woman’s father and his private investigator in contact with a man who claimed to have helped van der Sloot hide Holloway’s body. The man claimed Holloway died after being given a date rape drug and was buried in a park. He then led them to the discovery of the human remains.

>> RELATED: Eleven years after her daughter went missing, Natalee Holloway’s mother is still searching for justice

“We have a person who states he was directly involved with Joran van der Sloot in disposing of Natalee’s remains,” Holloway’s father said. “I thought, you know, there may be something to this … We’ve chased a lot of leads and this one is by far the most credible lead I’ve seen in the last 12 years.”

The DNA test would take several weeks to a month to determine if the remains are Holloway’s, but her father is looking forward to possibly gaining some closure.

“It would finally be the end,” he said.

Confederate monument in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles removed

The Long Beach chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy has removed a monument to the Confederacy at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

KABC reported that many were unaware that the Confederate memorial was in the cemetery. It was installed in 1925.

>> Read more trending news

“The Daughters said we are a benevolent organization. We didn’t seek this attention. We don't want to be part of this uproar,” president and co-owner of the cemetery, Tyler Cassity, told KABC.

The monument was removed around 4 a.m. Tuesday, KNBC reported.

Cassity told told the Los Angeles Times someone wrote, “No” in black marker under the monument’s plaque.

Related: There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

Significant attention was drawn to the monument after the LA Times wrote an op-ed about California’s Civil War history. The violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which led to the death of Heather Heyer, an anti-racist counterportester, increased demand for the monument’s removal.

“Some people said, ‘If you don't take it down, we will,’” Cassity told KNBC.

After the vandalism, Cassity contacted the Daughters of the Confederacy about removing the monument.

“All we wanted was peace, quiet, as we had for many years,” a Daughters of the Confederacy spokeswoman said. “Cemeteries should be respected.”

Theodore Hovey, a spokesman for the cemetery, told the Los Angeles Times the monument will be moved to an undisclosed location.

Man shoots himself in heart with nail gun, drives to hospital

Doug Bergeson is your typical construction worker, except he’s got a story that would make even the most hardened roofer shudder.

>> Read more trending news

The Peshtigo, Wisconsin man was working on a fireplace when his nail gun accidentally fired and a 3.5-inch nail sunk dangerously close to his heart. A graphic photo of the image shows just how disturbing the situation was.

(Warning - Video has graphic images)

Thankfully, Bergeson is back on his farm, but he had a close call. He had to undergo open heart surgery to remove the nail. He explained to WBAY “I was just bringing the nail gun forward and I was on my tip-toes and I just didn’t quite have enough room, and it fired before I was really ready for it, and then it dropped down and it fired again.”

Rather than calling for help, Doug decided to take himself to the emergency room. He joked with WBAY, “I felt fine, other than a little too much iron in my diet.”

Hospital staff at the Bay Area Medical Center decided to rush Doug to another medical center where cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Alexander Roitstein, was working. Roitstein was able to remove the nail but noted that “a wrong heartbeat [or] a wrong position” could have been the end for Doug. But he made it out all right and humbly admitted he “must have somebody watching over [him].”

Woman’s long-lost engagement ring found on carrot

A Canadian woman was reunited with a long-lost engagement ring that she believed she’d never see again.

>> Read more trending news

Our news partners at WPTV report that Mary Grams, 84, believed that she had lost the  ring while pulling weeds in her garden in 2004. After losing the ring, she had it replaced.

She received the ring in 1951 from her husband, the year before they married.

Almost 13 years later after losing the ring, Grams said her daughter-in-law was pulling carrots on the family farm this week, and pulled up a carrot that had the ring on it.

Read more at WPTV.

MoviePass app lets subscribers go to the movies once a day for $10 a month

Remember the days when going to the movies cost less than $10? Maybe you remember when it was less than $5.

These days, a trip to the theater can cost a pretty penny. While the national average is $8.65, in many cities, like Los Angeles and New York, a ticket can cost up to or more than $15.

But thanks to one app, $10 can now go a lot further at the cinema. 

>> Read more trending news

MoviePass, run by Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe, is offering subscribers a deal in which they can see one movie per day for $9.95 per month.

According to KSDK: “MoviePass completes their one ticket per day services through the use of a credit card they send you. You pay the $10 a month through their app, then you select the exact movie you're going to see, and the company adds that ticket amount onto the credit card for you to use. You use this credit card at the theater to pay for your ticket. There's no gimmicks or fancy scanning you have to do, just using the credit card they send you.”

MoviePass only works at theaters that accept debit cards as payment.

And although subscribers receive tickets at a significant discount, MoviePass pays theaters the full price of each ticket used subscribers, Bloomberg reported.

Still, major movie theater chain AMC threatened the company Wednesday, calling MoviePass as “a small fringe player” and claiming its $10 plan “is not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theatres and movie studios,” Variety reported.

“While AMC is not opposed to subscription programs generally, the one envisioned by MoviePass is not one AMC can embrace,” the company said in a statement read. “We are actively working now to determine whether it may be feasible to opt out and not participate in this shaky and unsustainable program.”

“This is so much like Blockbuster was when we rolled out Netflix or Redbox,” said Lowe, according to Variety. “It’s the big guy being afraid of the little guy offering better value to consumers.”

MoviePass, founded in 2011, originally offered the service to subscribers for about $30 a month. The company’s aim was to profit from subscribers who paid the monthly fee but didn’t use the service often enough to take advantage of the deal. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, MoviePass’s official website would not load and the company wrote on social media that it was experiencing technical difficulties as a result of overanticipated demand.  

Read more at Bloomberg and Variety.

Giant 'hyper-hybrid' roller coaster will be tallest and fastest of its kind

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, just announced that its adding another monstrous roller coaster to its already world-breaking collection. 

>> Read more trending news

Set to open in 2018, Steel Vengeance is promised to be the park’s “wildest ride Cedar Point has ever built,” according to a CP news release. 

The coaster required a new classification all its own, becoming the world’s first “hyper-hybrid” roller coaster. 

>> 3 things to know about King’s Island 

Vengeance will make its home in Frontier Town, where “three new outlaws have banded together to 'unsaddle' the reign of Maverick, FrontierTown’s low-to-the-ground, double-launching roller coaster.” 

>> King’s Island tests new Mystic Timbers roller coaster 

Combining the power of steel, with the thrill-factor of a wooden coaster, Vengeance, according to Cedar Point, will be an extremely smooth and comfortable ride while enabling the coaster’s trains to perform maneuvers previously unheard of on a wooden roller coaster. 

“There are so many unexpected moments on Steel Vengeance, it’s just plain twisted,” said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “It’ll be an extremely wild experience for our guests.”

Man shot, drives to hospital in bullet-riddled car

A man drove himself to the hospital in a car with six bullet holes after a shooting near Tukwila.

>> Read more trending news

Washington State Patrol is investigating a shooting that happened shortly after 5 a.m. near Interstate 5.

A KIRO 7 photographer was at Harborview Medical Center when the man drove up to the hospital in bullet-riddled car with a shattered back window.

The man was being treated.

KKK's request to burn cross on Stone Mountain denied

The Stone Mountain Memorial Association this week denied a Ku Klux Klan request to burn a cross at the park in Dekalb County, Georgia, citing the trouble at a “pro-white” rally last year.

>> Read more trending news

Joey Hobbs, a Dublin man with the Sacred Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted to hold a “lighting” ceremony on Oct. 21 with 20 participants, according to the application. This would have been to commemorate the KKK’s 1915 revival, which began with a flaming cross atop Stone Mountain on the evening of Thanksgiving.

“We will light our cross and 20 minutes later we will be gone,” wrote Hobbs, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, in an application dated May 26. It wasn’t immediately clear if Hobbs holds a formal position with the group.

>> Related: George H.W., George W. Bush condemn ‘racial bigotry’ in Charlottesville statement

“We don’t want any of these groups at the park, quite frankly,” John Bankhead, spokesman for the association said Wednesday, referring to white nationalists groups and the KKK. “This is a family-oriented park.” 

But since it’s a public park, the association created a permit process to consider each application individually.

In a statement, the memorial group, which oversees the park, said it “condemns the beliefs and actions of the Ku Klux Klan and believes the denial of this Public Assembly request is in the best interest of all parties.”

>> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in CharlottesvilleWriting to deny Hobbs, CEO Bill Stephens cited the trouble at the “Rock Stone Mountain” rally of April 23, 2016. The park had to close that day as white power revelers, including KKK members, clashed with counter-protesters.

Stephens said an event like Hobbs’ would require public safety resources beyond what park police could provide, and thus, would put guests, employees and public safety workers in danger. 

Besides creating a potentially-dangerous scene, the cross-burning would’ve also been an act of intimidation, Bankhead said.

>> Related: University of Florida denies request for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak

“I think anybody who knows about cross burning knows why it’s used,” Bankhead said, recalling the KKK’s track record of setting crosses on fire to intimidate African Americans. “We’re just not going to allow that.”

Georgia's terroristic threats and acts statute also specifically bars the practice when it’s done with the intent to “terrorize.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that states can ban cross-burning, though it warned that the intent to intimidate must be proven in each case.

Whatever Hobbs’ intent, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association CEO said the event would violate its ordinances against disruptions to the park and actions that present a “clear and present danger.”

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