After 30 years of tending to the upkeep of the home in which Martin Luther King Jr. was born, National Park Service finally has the deed.
In late November, the King family, after owning the home for more than 100 years, negotiated a sale of the property.
In a statement issued by the National Park Foundation, officials said the organization “facilitated through private philanthropy the purchase of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home and its immediate transfer to the National Park Service. The transaction closed on November 27, 2018.”
Neither the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service nor the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change Inc. would confirm how much the property sold for, but several media outlets reported that it sold for $1.9 million.
Located in the heart of the King National Historic Site, the two-story, Queen Anne-style house was built in 1895 for a white family. It was purchased for $3,500 in 1909 by King’s maternal grandfather, the Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, who was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s mother, Alberta Williams King, inherited the home from her parents. Martin Luther King Jr. was born there Jan. 15, 1929.
In 1941, the family moved to a more modern, two-story, yellow-trimmed brick home five blocks away.
King’s younger brother, A.D. King, and his family moved back into the house for a brief period before leaving in the early 1960s when he was called to take over a church in Birmingham. They were the last family members to live there, as the family then used it as a rental property.
At some point, Alberta Williams King transferred the home and some of the original furnishings to the King Center. In 1980, Congress passed legislation declaring it a National Historic Site.
The National Park Service began offering tours of the home in 1982 on behalf of the King Center, and in 1984, the two sides agreed on a $50,000, five-year lease to assure regularly-scheduled free tours continue.
Since then, the National Park Service has been responsible for day-to-day maintenance of the house. Every day, dozens, if not hundreds, of people walk through the old home as part of guided tours, which are part of a bigger tour within the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which includes the grave sites of Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. and Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
As part of its statement, the Foundation said details of the transfer will be announced after Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, so it is still unclear how and if anything will change for tourists as it pertains to the home.
Around the world, people search Google for just about anything. In 2018, the term they searched most often was “World Cup.”
Google released its list of top searches, broken down by category and by country. Worldwide, the top five searches, in order, were “World Cup,” “Avicii,” “Mac Miller,” “Stan Lee” and “Black Panther.”
The top search term stayed the same in the United States, but was followed by “Hurricane Florence,” “Mac Miller,” “Kate Spade” and “Anthony Bourdain.”
Meghan Markle was the most Googled person in 2018, up from No. 2 in 2017. Her royal wedding to Prince Harry was No. 4 on the list of news searches.
Two Marvel blockbusters sparked curiosity globally: “Black Panther” clocked in as the No. 1 most-searched movie and “Avengers: Infinity War” was No. 4.
Google expanded its categories for country-specific results, including politicians, “who...?” “what is...?” and “how to... .”
More people in the U.S. searched for Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate in the Georgia gubernatorial race, than any other politician. Abrams beat Beto O’Rourke, Ted Cruz, Andrew Gillum and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in that order.
This year’s midterm elections sparked Americans’ need for information, specifically “How to vote” and “How to register to vote,” which were at the top of the “how to...” list.
More Google search trends from the year can be found at the Google Trends website.
A 27-year-old man has died after falling while working as a window washer at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.
Jonathan Garcia, of Las Vegas, fell to his death around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Clark County coroner. Garcia's cause of death is pending.
Witnesses said winds had pushed the rigging against the building several times before the man fell, reported KTNV-TV.
Officials with the Trump organization released the following statement Wednesday: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the incident today. We are working diligently with the owner of the third party company to investigate the details. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family."
The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident.
A homeless, hungry woman who broke into a police station was caught stealing popcorn and taken to jail, according to investigators.
Tressa Weathers, 40, climbed through a kitchen window of the Rose City police substation and was caught by an officer Dec. 6 with a handful of microwaveable popcorn packets, KLRT reported.
“I just broke in to get some food,” she told officers, KLRT reported. “I broke in here, take me to jail.”
Weathers, whose address is listed as homeless, was arrested and charged with burglary. She is being held in jail on $5,000 bond.
Accidents backed up a New Jersey highway after a Brink’s armored truck spilled cash.
NJ.com reported that police got several calls about the truck spilling cash on Route 3 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Thursday morning.
Several drivers stopped and got out of their vehicles to pick up the cash, which led to multiple accidents and some property damage, according to authorities.
News 12 New Jersey reported that police say there was an issue with a locking device on one of the vehicle’s doors that led to the spill.
East Rutherford Police Capt. Phil Taormina told the North Jersey Record that those who picked up the money on the road could face theft charges.
“You can be arrested for this, but the issue and the hard part is identifying who the actors are,” Taormina said. “Who picked up the money and left?”
Some video footage showed $1, $5, $20 and $100 bills on the road. Taormina said some people were jumping over the divider of the 12-lane highway to get to the side where the cash spilled. The amount of money missing from the truck is not know, but Brink’s is doing an audit to determine a total, according to Taormina.
Because Brink’s employees were seen retrieving some of the money, Taormina said the drivers and others who may have picked up the money have no claim to it. While in transit, the money belongs to Brink’s.
“They would have a duty to give the money over,” Taormina said.
Finding the people who took some of the money from the road will be a challenge. The Record reported that detectives are investigating by looking at photos and videos of the money grab on social media, as well as footage from New Jersey Department of Transportation cameras on the highway.
The East Rutherford Police Department is asking anyone with video footage or other information related to the incident to call them at 201-438-1065.
There have been multiple reports of emailed bomb threats to businesses, universities and newspapers across the country.
The FBI is investigating, saying it is in contact with law enforcement to provide assistance and reminding citizens to remain vigilant.
Police in New York City, among other law enforcement departments, confirm that there have been several threats made across the country, and so far, no credible threats have been found.
Some of the threats have already been determined to be hoaxes, KSL and other media outlets reported.
KCRG in Iowa reported the threats were a spam email that tried to scam receivers out of money.
In other locations, officials continued to investigate, and evacuated businesses out of an abundance of caution.
A 12-year-old boy who was doing odd jobs to raise money for a gravestone for his best friend achieved his goal after an outpouring of support and the donation of a headstone.
Kaleb Klakulak started raising $2,500 for a headstone to honor his best friend Kenneth “K.J.” Gross, who died in May. K.J.’s mother, LaSondra Singleton, had to quit her job to take care of her son and couldn’t afford a marker.
Funeral home owner David Techner was touched by the story and decided to donate a headstone, the Detroit News reported.
“Here’s this 12-year-old kid who saw a need and did what needed to be done,” Techner told the Detroit News. “So I’m just following this young man’s lead.”
The marker was finished Tuesday and was scheduled to be installed Wednesday.
“I’m glad,” Kaleb told the Detroit News. He also said all the money that was raised will go to Singleton.
Singleton has been overwhelmed and inspired by the support, which has caused her to relive some difficult moments.
"It's a double-edged sword because it's sad, but at the same time, it's so wonderful to see so much compassion," she said.
The headstone features an angel holding a heart with the inscription:
“KJ Gross cherished son, brother & friend.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Maria Butina, the Russian woman who used her interest in gun rights and her connections with members of the Republican Party to try to gain influence in the highest reaches of the U.S. government, reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors Thursday to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to act as a Russian agent in the U.S.
Part of that deal includes an agreement to cooperate with prosecutors on other matters, according to court documents released Thursday.
Butina, who faces a maximum of five years in prison, entered the plea which acknowledged that she failed to register with the Justice Department as a Russian agent as is required by U.S. law.
Prosecutors allege she tried to make contacts in the US at the direction of both a “Russian official” and at least one other person. Alexander Torshin, a Russian politician, is believed to be that Russian official.
A Southwest flight bound for Dallas returned to Seattle when airline officials realized a human heart was left on board.
The “life-critical cargo shipment” intended for a Seattle, hospital was supposed to be removed from the plane’s previous flight Dec. 9, KTVT reported.
“We made the decision to return to Seattle as it was absolutely necessary to deliver the shipment to its destination in the Seattle area as quickly as possible,” a Southwest official told Newsweek.
The heart would only be good for medical use within a certain amount of time. It’s believed the heart made it back in time, KTVT reported.
However, it is unclear for whom it was intended. Seattle-area hospitals said they were not involved. Organ-procurement organizations in Washington and California said they never use commercial flights for heart transplants.
The plane was taken out of service for an unrelated mechanical issue. Passengers were delayed for about five hours, WFAA reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
President Donald Trump may be spending 16 days at his Palm Beach, Florida, resort over the holidays.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that according to a temporary flight restriction issued Thursday by the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday, Trump could be in the area from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is in the West Palm Beach region of the state, the region for which the VIP temporary flight restriction was issued.
The alert does not say when Air Force One will arrive or depart from Palm Beach International Airport, according to Palm Beach Post.
The Post reported that Trump’s visit would be his longest to the resort since his January 2017 inauguration.
A Detroit news station is mourning the loss of one of its meteorologists.
“Our hearts are broken. Last night we were informed our Jessica Starr took her life,” anchor Amy Andrews said Thursday morning on Twitter. “Her Fox 2 family is deep shock and cannot believe such a wonderful, bright and intelligent woman is gone. Keep her family in your prayers in the coming days as we all deal with our grief.”
Detroit Free Press reported that Starr was recovering from Lasik eye surgery, which she underwent in late October, and was out from work for weeks, returning Nov. 13, according to a video on her official Facebook page.
“I do still need all the prayers and well wishes cause this is a hard go,” Starr said in the live video. “The doctor said it could take up to three months or so for me to feel 100 percent again.”
Starr said in a Nov. 14 tweet that she was taking more time off as she recovered.
“Yesterday was a struggle for me. I really wanted to come back but I need more time to recover,” she said. “Please keep me in your thoughts during this challenging time. Will keep you updated.”
Starr was a native of Michigan, earning meteorology degrees from from Michigan State University and Mississippi State University, according to Freep. She started her career as a meteorologist at WLNS and worked for four years at WBFF covering weather and community events. She had been with WJBK since 2012. She is survived by her husband, Dan, and two children, a 5-year-old son named Noah and a 3-year-old daughter named Riley.
Those struggling with suicide and suicidal thoughts can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255 and get more information on the Lifeline at SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.
A man is recovering after being shot in a suburban Chicago funeral home.
Police responded around 8 p.m. Wednesday to reports of shots fired at Hann Funeral Home in Bridgeview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. A man in his early 20s had been shot, Village of Bridgeview spokesman Ray Hanania told local media.
The man's injury was not life-threatening, police said.
Information on the shooter wasn't immediately available.
There was at least one visitation happening inside the funeral home at the time of the incident, reported WGN-TV.
For $100,000, officials with the company are asking people at least 18 years or older and residing in the United States to trade their smartphones in for a 2000s-era, calls-only phone. If you survive six months, you could win $10,000.
To compete, post a photo on Instagram or Twitter telling @vitaminwater why you need a break from your phone.
“What would you do with all that time? Go wild, be out there, and wow us,” the company posted on its website.
Contestants must enter by Jan. 8 and include the hashtags #nophoneforayear and #contest in their posts. One person can enter up to four times.
Once the contest is closed, VitaminWater will choose one lucky winner to ditch their smartphone. The company doesn’t go into details about how exactly it’ll monitor use, but lie detectors will be involved.
The non-legally binding guidelines are fairly simple. You cannot use a smartphone at all for 365 days, nor a friend’s or anyone else’s.
NBA player Steph Curry said he was joking when he said he didn’t believe humans landed on the moon.
The remark was made when the athlete made an appearance on the Monday episode of the “Winging It” podcast, which is hosted by Atlanta Hawks players Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore.
ESPN reported that the Golden State Warriors player was in the middle of a lighthearted discussion with teammate Andre Iguodala, Carter, Bazemore and podcast co-host Annie Finberg when the moon landing came up.
“We ever been to the moon?” Curry asked at the 46:45 mark of the episode. The group replied, “No.”
“They’re going to come get us,” Curry said. “Sorry, I don't want to start conspiracies.”
Finberg was skeptical, but the others mentioned part of the theory that says director Stanley Kubrick staged the moon landing footage.
People quickly responded, criticizing Curry for spreading the conspiracy theory, especially when he has young fans.
“Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast,” Curry told ESPN Wednesday. “I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, 'Oh my God, he's a fake-moon-landing truther,' whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada. So I was silently protesting that part about it, how the story took a life of its own.”
CNN reported that NASA responded to Curry’s claim Tuesday.
“There’s lots of evidence NASA landed 12 American astronauts on the Moon from 1969-1972,” NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said in a statement. “We’d love for Mr. Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets.”
Curry told ESPN he’d take NASA up on the offer.
“In terms of the reaction that I've gotten, I am definitely going to take them up on their offer. I am going to educate myself firsthand on everything that NASA has done and shine a light on their tremendous work over the years and hopefully people understand that education is power, informing yourself is power,” the father of three said. “For kids out there that hang on every word that we say, which is important, understand that you should not believe something just because somebody says it. You should do your homework and understand what you actually believe.
“I’m going to go to NASA and I’m going to enjoy the experience wholeheartedly.”
The remnants believed to be that of a ship that sunk 140 years ago have once again appeared along the shore of Lake Michigan.
Based on the location of the exposed timbers, researchers believe the wreck to be what’s left of the hull from the LC Woodruff, a commercial schooner carrying corn that sunk in November 1878.
“Having lived on the Great Lakes and having done shipwreck research, no, it did not wash ashore," Allan Dake, a researcher with the Muskegon Heritage Museum, told MLive.com. "It’s in the same place it’s always been.”
Shifting waves and currents exposed what’s left of the vessel, Dake said. Its remnants have appeared twice before, in 1942 and 1974, he said.
The 170-foot long barkentine schooner was built in 1866 in Buffalo, New York, and was capable of carrying 550 tons. The ship wrecked after a bad storm sank it in 13 feet of water about a half mile from shore, MLive.com reported. Three of the 13 crew members died.
The wreck is not expected to be visible for long.
"The sands are shifting, big storms will move large bodies of sand then reveal things," Valerie van Heest, president of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association, told WXMI. "This may be gone with the next storm. It's a small window in time where we can look at these ships, the remains of these ships."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Here are the 10 most deadly earthquakes ever recorded:
A boy from Texas found the true meaning of Christmas and Santa.
Matthew, who is blind and has autism, met Santa for the first time, KDFW reported.
Matthew’s interest in Santa started a few weeks ago when he found a Santa Claus figure in the store. Then he heard “Silent Night” playing on the radio. He was confused, asking his mother, Misty Wolf, if Christmas was for Santa’s birthday or for Jesus’ birthday, KDFW reported.
Wolf then took her 6-year-old son to a local store that was hosting a Santa meet and greet.
Wolf whispered to the man in the chair about her son’s blindness and autism, and said he was interested in Santa, KXAS reported.
Santa put Wolf at ease, telling her, “Say no more,” KXAS reported.
Matthew got close to Santa’s and started touching the big man’s beard.
The magic happened when a photo showed how comfortable Matthew was with the jolly elf. His parent said it showed the trust her little boy had in Santa that normally is only shown at home, KDFW reported.
Santa encouraged Matthew’s interest, inviting him to pull his beard, feel his hat and even touch a reindeer.
Wolf said that her son’s favorite book is “T’was the Night Before Christmas” but he didn’t know what a twinkle in Santa’s eye really was.
“It never occurred to me, but Matthew didn’t really know what a twinkle was. He wanted to know what eyes that twinkle were,” Wolf told KDFW.
Santa allowed the little boy to find out, by touching one of Santa’s eyes.
And what did Matthew ask Santa for during their meeting?
“He’s not like other kids who want toys. He’s not into that. He’d rather have the experience and find out what Santa is,” Wolf told KDFW.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced seven inductees for its 34th annual ceremony Thursday. Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, The Cure, Roxy Music and The Zombies are the newest class of inductees.
According to the Hall of Fame website, “inductees are recognized for having contributed over 25 years of musical excellence.”
NPR reported that the inductees were voted upon by over 1,000 past winners, historians and members of the music industry. The seven inductees were chosen from 18 nominees, which were announced in October.
Nicks is already a member as part of Fleetwood Mac, but she’s a first-time nominee as a solo artist. Billboard reported that Def Leppard and Roxy Music are also first-time nominees. Janet Jackson was nominated twice before and The Zombies were nominated three times.
“I have a lot to say about this, but I will save those words for later. For now I will just say, I have been in a band since 1968,” Nicks said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. “To be recognized for my solo work makes me take a deep breath and smile. It’s a glorious feeling.”
“Now we can stop holding our breath,” Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott told Rolling Stone. “How wonderful to be in the same club as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and the Who and Queen … It’s a nice badge of honor.”
“Thank you Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Jackson said in a statement. “I am truly honored and I am happy to be in there with my brothers.”
The New York Times reported Radiohead and The Cure were nominated twice before, but it’s unlikely Radiohead will be at the ceremony. Most of the band expressed no interest in a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone.
“It’s probably not at the top of my list of things to do,” drummer Phil Selway said.
“I don’t care,” lead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Greenwood said. “Maybe it’s a cultural thing that I really don’t understand.”
“I don’t want to be rude, but if you ask me what I’d rather be doing that night, I’d rather be sitting at home in front of the fire or going to a gig,” guitarist Ed O’Brien said. “I realized years ago that I didn’t like award ceremonies.”
Lead singer Thom Yorke echoed O’Brien’s remarks: “It wouldn’t be the first place … don’t ask me things like that. I always put my foot in my mouth.”
Bassist Colin Greenwood was the only member to lean more positively toward an induction. “I’d be grateful if we got in. Look at the other people that have been inducted. I don’t know if everyone else will go, though.”
Collectively, the band issued a broader statement in response to the induction news.
“The members of Radiohead have been surprised to learn of the band’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2019,” they said in a statement, according to Variety. “The band thanks the Hall of Fame voting body and extends congratulations to this year’s fellow inductees.”
The 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be March 29 at the Barclays Center in New York. An edited special will air in the spring on HBO.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection made a flighty discovery after a recent flight landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Customs agents said an agricultural specialist found 70 live birds, held in hair rollers stuffed in a duffel bag, USA Today reported.
The finches flew in on a flight that had landed from Georgetown, Guyana, South Africa, Homeland Security officials said in a statement.
The birds were taken from the passenger, whose name was not released, and quarantined before being transferred to the Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services.
UPDATE 2:10 p.m.:
Indiana State Police say the suspect who showed up to a middle school with a gun, exchanged fire with police and then killed himself was a 14-year-old from the Richmond area.
Police gave more details about the Thursday morning shooting at Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond, Indiana in a 1:30 p.m. press conference.
“It breaks my heart to stand here and say the things I have to say to you,” Indiana State Police Supt. Doug Carter said.
A caller reported a “potential violent act” to police around 8 a.m., police said. Officers were able to arrive at the school before the shooter.
Once at the school, the suspect shot out the glass of one of the locked doors and went inside. Police followed and engaged in gunfire with the shooter. Shortly thereafter, the shooter shot himself.
Because the shooter was a child, police said they aren’t yet releasing his name.
Investigators are working to determine how the teen got hold of a gun.
Police stressed that the tip helped speed up police response time and prevented the shooting from potentially being much worse.
Richmond police, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana State Police had officers responding to the scene.
A possible school shooting was thwarted Thursday morning at an Indiana middle school when police received a tip and were able to intercept the teenage suspect, who shot and killed himself.
The teen exchanged gunfire with police outside Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond, Indiana, before turning the gun on himself, said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Bowling. There were no other injuries.
“Somebody knew something and they said something,” Bowling said.
Richmond police contacted Richmond Community Schools and had the school locked down before the suspect arrived, reported WHIO-TV. Police confronted the suspect outside the school, which is where the shots were fired.
Students were evacuated to Richmond High School.
Police don’t yet know why the teen targeted the middle school or whether he was a student.
The investigation is ongoing, Bowling said.
Richmond, Indiana is in the eastern part of the state near the Ohio state line, about 50 miles west of Dayton, Ohio.
WHIO-TV contributed to this report.
This is a breaking news story. Return for updates.
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