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Dashboard cookie competition heats up in Arizona

Bikers will become bakers Friday in one of the hottest cities in America, The Arizona Republic reported.

>> Read more trending news

Competitors will meet in Lake Havasu City for the Almost 9th Annual Dashboard Cookie Competition. The baking contest, in which competitors roll the dough, place it on cookie sheets and set it on dashboards, is called “Almost 9th” because the cookies were eaten before they could be judged during the inaugural event in 2009, according to the contest’s website.

The event coincides with the arrival of cyclists raising money for the Journey of Hope, an annual cross-country bicycle-trek fundraiser for people with disabilities, the Republic reported.

Officials give competitors tubes of chocolate chip cookie dough at 7:15 a.m. and reveal a secret theme, the Republic reported. Last year’s theme was national monuments; the five teams of cyclists have 15 minutes to create cookies that match the theme, the newspaper reported.

The baking sheets must be on the dashboards of cars that are parked on a shade-free road near the London Bridge.

Judging takes place at 11:30 a.m. Friday’s forecast calls for temperatures as high as 113 degrees, the Republic reported.

New York man finds rattlesnake under hood of vehicle

A New York man trying to jump-start his vehicle had to jump back quickly when he discovered a rattlesnake resting on his engine last week, WBNG reported.

>> Read more trending news

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reported that a man in Hancock called on June 11 to report the snake resting on an engine block. The man opened the hood of his vehicle when he heard the distinct rattle of the reptile.

The man told investigators the snake then slithered to the battery and curled up, WBNG reported.

Conservation officials confirmed that the reptile was a timber rattlesnake, which is the largest venomous snake in New York. Officials said a conservation officer removed the snake from the engine and released it, WBNG reported.

Hundreds of Pittsburgh protesters marching over death of Antwon Rose shut down traffic for miles

Hundreds of marchers took to the streets of Pittsburgh Thursday night, protesting the fatal police shooting of a teenager during a traffic stop Tuesday night.

>> Read more trending news 

Traffic was brought to a standstill as protesters spilled onto Pittsburgh’s Parkway East.

The protest was described by WPXI reporters on the scene as “tense,” but “peaceful so far.”

Marchers, holding signs and cell phones, sat down in the street, blocking traffic and causing a back up for miles. 

Protestors were told to voluntarily disperse by 1 a.m. Friday. Pennsylvania State Police were preparing to open up the highway, according to state police major commander William Teper. 

Residents are angry and upset over the fatal police shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose.

Allegheny County police officials said that Rose was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in East Pittsburgh around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday because it fit the description of a car seen fleeing the area of a shooting in the nearby borough of North Braddock. As an officer handcuffed the driver of the car, which investigators said had bullet damage to the back window, Rose and a second passenger got out of the car and ran. 

Footage of the shooting posted on Facebook Tuesday shows the scene from a distance. The 18-second video shows Rose and the other passenger, who has not been found by police, get out of the car and make a break for the yard between two nearby houses.

Three shots are heard and one of the passengers appears to fall into the grass.

Rose, who police officials said was struck three times, was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

The Allegheny County medical examiner on Thursday ruled the teen’s death a homicide. 

The East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed Rose  was sworn in just hours before the fatal encounter.

Mayor Louis Payne told WPXI Wednesday that the unidentified officer who killed Rose previously spent seven years working in other departments, but confirmed that he was working his first shift following his official swearing in with the East Pittsburgh Police Department.

Teen sucked into drainage pipe by floodwaters, emerges across street

A Pennsylvania teenager admits he’s lucky to be alive after getting sucked into a drainage pipe underneath a road south of Pittsburgh.

>> Read more trending news

Ben Smith was helping clear debris from outside of neighbors’ houses during massive flooding Wednesday night.

"There was a quick moment when I thought I wouldn't get out. It felt like I was going down," Smith said. "We were trying to move a van away from it and clear some debris. I went to go after this wood panel and my foot slipped and I just went right under."

Neighbors tried to pull him out, but the floodwater was too strong and Smith was washed away.

He said his instincts and Eagle Scout training kicked in.

"It teaches you to be prepared for any sort of circumstance that comes your way," Smith said. "I knew going against the water would not work at all. So I just tucked in and hoped I could end up somewhere."

Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road.

He escaped with no broken bones and no major injuries, which shocked his friends and neighbors.

Weird-looking ancient sea creature named after President Barack Obama; it’s actually an honor

Former President Barack Obama was such a friend to science and so passionate about a diverse number of scientific issues that researchers at the University of California at Riverside decided to honor him by naming an ancient sea creature after him.

>> Read more trending news 

Obamus coronatus, translated means Obama crowned, was a disc-shaped, ocean-dwelling sea creature, which lived in the Earth’s shallow oceans between 580 and 540 million years ago, according to UCR researchers. It had raised spiral groves on its surface and scientists believe it was stationary, embedded in the ocean mat, “a thick layer of organic matter that covered the early ocean floor,” according to a statement.

The animals were soft-bodied and lived in the Precambrian era at the dawn of animal life, researchers said. They were discovered in South Australia’s Ediacara Hills in Flinders Ranges as fossils in sandstone that had been preserved for hundreds of millions of years.

These animals “are a new body plan, unlike anything else that has been described,” lead researcher Mary Droser said.

>> Related: New dinosaur with razor-sharp claws and jagged teeth unearthed in Argentina

“We have been seeing evidence for these animals for quite a long time, but it took us a while to verify that they are animals within their own rights and not part of another animal,” Droser said.  

The discovery of Obamus coroanatus was first reported in the online Australian Journal of Earth Sciences on June 14.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston suspended for first 3 games of NFL season, reports say

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will reportedly be suspended for the first three games of the upcoming NFL season for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. The news was first announced by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

>> Read more trending news 

The suspension stems from an alleged incident involving Winston and a female Uber driver in March 2016, after she accused Winston of grabbing her private parts. Despite the incident allegedly happening in 2016, the NFL opened an investigation in November 2017.

“I wasn’t just creeped out … I was frozen,” the driver, identified as just “Kate,” told Buzzfeed Sports in November.

Winston has not yet been notified of the suspension, according to Schefter, but that could change relatively soon.

“One source said Winston could be notified as early as Friday, but others think it will be handed down sometime in the next week, per sources,” Schefter said.

>> Trending: Funeral home owner faces criminal charges after cremation mix-up 

“Last month, multiple sources said they did not expect Winston to be disciplined, but whatever the facts were unnerved the NFL.”

Funeral home owner faces criminal charges after cremation mix-up

A Middle Georgia man thought his mother would rest in peace after her funeral service in January.

>> Read more trending news

However, the man learned that cremated remains he had buried weren’t those of his mother, the Telegraph of Macon reported.

Now, a Johnson County funeral home owner is facing criminal charges after he allegedly gave the man the wrong remains.

The situation began when John Hall Brantley, owner of Brantley Funeral Home in Wrightsville, contracted the man, whose identity was not released, to cremate his mother, the GBI told the newspaper.

From January to May, the crematory tried to get in touch with Brantley about cremains it had done for him, but could not do so. The crematory then got in touch with the son, listed as next of kin.

The son was puzzled because "in their minds, mom has been buried," GBI spokesman Scott Whitley said.

Eventually, the son realized what was up. He contacted Wrightsville police, who called in the GBI.

The urn has been disinterred, and the GBI will try to determine whose remains were in it.

In a search of the funeral home, GBI agents said they found three unlabeled containers with cremated remains inside.

Read more of the story here.

Update: Texas billboard urging liberals to leave state to be taken down

The Texas billboard urging liberals to get out of the state went viral, but will be taken down following backlash.

>> Read more trending news

According to KDFW, the owner of the advertising company said the billboard that reads "Liberals, please continue on I-40 until you have left our GREAT STATE OF TEXAS" will be taken down and the buyer will be reimbursed.

The billboard is located along Interstate 40 near Vega.

Facebook user Kyle Mccallie of Fritch shared a photo of the sign Tuesday.

"Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it," he quipped in his Facebook post, which has been shared more than 12,000 times.

>> See the post here

The billboard's owner was not identified in KFDA's report

Read more here.

Television personality and commentator Charles Krauthammer has died at 68

Longtime columnist and television personality Charles Krauthammer died Thursday following his battle with cancer.

>> Read more trending news 

His death was announced by two organizations that employed him, Fox News Channel and The Washington Post.

The 68-year-old had been paralyzed below the neck in a diving accident yet graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1975 and practiced psychiatry.

He later developed a career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and commentator.

Krauthammer is credited with coining the term “The Reagan Doctrine” for President Reagan’s policy of aiding anti-Communist movements worldwide. He was a leading advocate for the Iraq War and a prominent critic of President Barack Obama, whom he praised for his “first-class intellect and first-class temperament” and denounced for having a “highly suspect” character.

In early June, "A note to readers," was published by The Washington Post, Krauthammer, wrote that he had a cancerous tumor removed from his abdomen in August. There were setbacks in his recovery that prevented him from working, but he thought he was making progress in his recovery.

The cancer has returned in an aggressive form, Krauthammer wrote. 

"This is the final verdict. My fight is over," Krauthammer wrote.

In the post, Krauthammer thanked those who have assisted him during his medical treatment. He also thanked his Washington Post and Fox News colleagues, readers and viewers.

Krauthammer said he is leaving this life with no regrets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Southwest Key: A look at one of the companies sheltering migrant children

Following the implementation of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, aimed at those who would cross the border illegally, upward of 2,000 children were separated from their parents as the adults were turned over for criminal prosecution.

While the adults went to jail, the children, some only infants, were placed in the custody of the federal government. After briefly being detained by the Customs and Border Patrol, the children were then transferred to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services.

>> Read more trending news 

From there, children were sent to shelters – around 100 in 17 states – until family or friends can take custody of them or they are assigned to foster homes or other centers.

One company providing shelter for thousands of migrant children that have come before and after the zero tolerance policy is Southwest Key Inc. For years the company has had contracts with the federal government to care for immigrant children. Those contracts have made the company more than $1 billion in the past decade.

Here’s are a few things to know about Southwest Key:

  • It’s a nonprofit organization that, according to its website “contracts with government agencies and private foundations to operate three types of programs throughout the country: youth justice programs, charter schools for kids in underserved neighborhoods, and shelters for immigrant youth. 
  • According to Bloomberg, Southwest Key has the most lucrative contract with the federal government and will be paid the “most among the organizations, government agencies and companies that run a detention and care system for immigrant children on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services.”
  • In fiscal year 2017, 11,100 minors went through Southwest Key facilities in Texas alone.
  • Since 2015, it has been awarded $955 million in federal contracts. According to U.S. Health and Human Services data, Southwest Key Inc. has made $1.5 billion from the federal government since 2008. It is on track to be paid more than $458 million in fiscal 2018.
  • Juan Sanchez is president and CEO. He started the company in 1987. In 2016, his compensation was $1.5 million.
  • The nonprofit also operates schools for minors in the custody of the juvenile justice system.
  • According to The New York Times, only 10 percent of children in Southwest Key facilities were separated from their relatives. The majority of minors housed by Southwest Key came to the United States alone as unaccompanied minors.
  • Casa Padre, the Southwest Key’s shelter that has garnered attention in the past week, is holding nearly 1,500 boys, ages 10  to 17 years old.
  • Casa Padre has classrooms, medical offices, on-call physicians, work cubicles, movie theaters, a barbershop and a cafeteria.
  • Southwest Key runs 26 immigrant children’s shelters in Texas, Arizona and California. It also operates in four other states, Georgia, New York, Wisconsin and Florida
  • The company issued a statement about the policy of separating migrant children from their parents saying:  "Southwest Key Programs does not support separating families at the border. For 30 years, our work in offering youth justice alternatives, immigrant children's shelters, and education have served to improve the lives of thousands of young people. We believe keeping families together is better for the children, parents and our communities, and we remain committed to providing compassionate care and reunification. For every child who has come through our shelter doors, we start on day one to reunite them with their parents or a family sponsor and to provide the kind of service that will help them thrive. This has been our priority for decades."
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