A Bolivian water frog once thought to be the last of his species has finally found a mate.
The solitary Sehuencas water frog, named Romeo, has spent the last 10 years in isolation in an aquarium at the Bolivia Natural History Museum, Alcide d’Orbigny, and was thought to be the last Sehuencas on Earth. Since the Sehuencas life span is about 15 years, scientists were getting desperate.
During a recent expedition into a remote rainforest, scientists captured five more Sehuencas, three males and two females, according to the group Global Wildlife Conservation.
One of the females, named Juliet, will meet Romeo after she undergoes a screening and treatment for an infection, called chytridiomycosis. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature said the fungus is wiping out amphibian populations around the world and was thought to have killed off all remaining Sehuencas.
The IUCN said the fungus is seriously threatening the world’s amphibian populations and that an estimated 40 percent are in danger of extinction, which is why researchers were overjoyed to find not one, but five Sehuencas in the wild.
The museum’s chief of herpetology, Teresa Camacho Bandani, was on the expedition and discovered the first Sueheuncas in the cloud forest where scientists were searching for a mate for Romeo.
“I got into the pond while the water splashed all over me and dove my hands into the bottom of the pond, where I managed to catch the frog,” Bandani told Global Wildlife Conservation. “When I pulled it out, I saw an orange belly and suddenly realized that what I had in my hands was the long-awaited Sehuencas water frog,” she said. The researchers soon found four more, and Bandani said she knew right away which female was perfect for Romeo.
"Romeo is really calm and relaxed and doesn't move a whole lot," she told Global Wildlife Conservation. “He's healthy and likes to eat, but he is kind of shy and slow.”
Juliet, meanwhile, is “really energetic,” she said. “She swims a lot and she eats a lot and sometimes she tries to escape.”
Romeo made international headlines last year when the museum set up a dating profile for him, in an effort to draw attention to his plight.
Now scientists hoping the pair will eventually mate and will help repopulate the species. All the frogs will eventually be returned to the wild.
A missing pet was reunited with its family after being rescued from a slick canal.
The Press-Enterprise reported that animal control officers responded to a call Monday afternoon about a dog stuck in a canal in Riverside, California, according to Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.
Welsh said Officer Denise Westbrook was the first to respond.
“After locating the dog, Westbrook asked for assistance and officers Mary Salazar and Mike Cox responded,” Walsh said. “Lt. James Huffman arrived shortly thereafter and the four officers were able to lead the dog to a location with shorter banks.”
Officers were ale to get a loop around the dog and bring it to safety.
According to KCBS, the dog was reunited with the family because it had a microchip with their information on it.
“We’re excited that it all worked out,” Huffman said.
Broadway icon Carol Channing has died at age 97, multiple news outlets are reporting.
According to Broadway World, the actress and singer, known for her roles in “Hello, Dolly!” and “Lorelei,” died early Tuesday in her Rancho Mirage, California, home. Publicist B. Harlan Boll said she died of “natural causes.”
“It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon – Miss Carol Channing,” Boll said in a statement posted on Facebook. “I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped ... or fell rather ... into my life.”
The statement continued: “It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other. Saying good-bye is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I know that when I feel those uncontrollable urges to laugh at everything and/or nothing at all, it will be because she is with me, tickling my funny bone.”
Channing, who was born in Seattle, won a Golden Globe and scored an Academy Award nomination in 1968 for her role in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Broadway World reported. She also received multiple Tony Awards, including one for best actress in 1964 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.
Channing leaves behind a son, Channing Lowe, and Sylvia Long, a “close family member,” Broadway World reported.
The man suspected of killing a couple in Wisconsin and holding their 13-year-old daughter captive for three months made his first court appearance Monday in Barron County.
Thomas Patterson, 21, of Gordon was formally charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary.
The two counts of intentional homicide in the shooting deaths of Closs’ parents are Class A felonies and both carry a life sentence, if convicted of the charges.
Patterson also waived his right to a preliminary exam at the hearing.
The judge set bail at $5 million, agreeing with the prosecutor that Patterson is a “flight risk” and a “danger to the public.”
Patterson is accused of killing James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, before abducting their daughter, Jayme Closs on Oct. 15, 2018.
Jayme Closs managed to escape from Patterson’s home on Thursday and get help.
Update 3:20 p.m. EST Jan. 14: Patterson confessed to killing James and Denise Closs and kidnapping their daughter in an interview following his arrest last week, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in court.
Patterson told authorities he first noticed Jayme as she was getting on a school bus as he was driving home from a short-lived job he took at a cheese factory.
Patterson told authorities that “he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house.” He told investigators that when he saw Jayme, “he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”
He told officials he didn’t know Jayme’s name before he abducted her and that he didn’t know her parents’ names until after they surfaced in news reports.
Patterson said he drove to the Closs family’s house twice before the Oct. 15 attack, but he told investigators that both times he was scared away by the amount of activity in the home.
Patterson is expected to be formally read the charges against him – two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary – at a court hearing scheduled for 3:30 p.m. local time Monday.
Update 3 p.m. EST Jan. 14: In a criminal complaint filed Monday, prosecutors said Patterson appeared to have fired a shotgun at the deadbolt to the Closs family’s home to gain entry to the residence on Oct. 15.
Jayme told authorities she woke early that morning to the sound of her dog barking only to find a car coming up the driveway to her family’s home. She told investigators she woke her parents. Her father went to check who was at the door and, after they realized the person was armed, Jayme said she and her mother hid in a bathroom.
Patterson broke down the door to the bathroom, shot and killed Jayme’s mother and then taped the 13-year-old’s hands and feet before dragging her to his car, according to authorities. Jayme told investigators that she was in the trunk of the car for about two hours while Patterson drove her to what would turn out to be his home.
There, he made Jayme hide under the bed in his bedroom, stacking totes and laundry bins around the bed with weights stacked against them “so she could not move them without his being able to detect it if she did,” authorities said.
Jayme told investigators Patterson made her stay under his bed for as many as 12 hours at a time without food, water or bathroom breaks.
She escaped last week after Patterson left her alone in the home.
Authorities were called to the Closs family house in Barron just before 1 a.m. on Oct. 15, according to the complaint. Screams could be heard in the background of the call, but the home was quiet when authorities arrived, officials said.
Authorities found James Closs dead of a gunshot wound to his head and neck near the front door, according to authorities. Denise Closs was found dead in the bathroom with a gunshot wound to her head.
Deputies said after Jayme was able to escape on Jan. 10, he admitted to killing the elder Closses and kidnapping Jayme.
“Patterson stated, I know what this is about, ‘I did it,’” according to the criminal complaint.
Authorities said Patterson will face two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary.
Update 9:30 a.m. EST Jan. 14: Patterson is expected to appear before a judge in Barron County Circuit Court at 3:30 p.m. for a hearing likely to last no longer than 30 minutes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Patterson is most likely to make his appearance by video, according to the newspaper, though his attorneys have requested he appear in person.
Prosecutors are set to formally charge Patterson with two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping, The Associated Press reported.
His attorneys, Charles Glynn and Richard Jones, told the AP they believe their client can get a fair trial, “but they’re not sure where.”
"It's been an emotional time for this community and a difficult time for this community,” Jones told the AP. “We don't take that lightly. But we have a job to do in protecting our client."
Update 4:15 p.m. EST Jan 13: A 13-year-old Wisconsin girl was reunited with several members of her family Friday after 88 days of captivity, the Star Tribune reported.
The reunion came a day after authorities in Wisconsin arrested a 21-year-old man, months after officials believe he killed a couple and abducted Jayme Closs, who was found safe Thursday afternoon in a northwestern Wisconsin town.
Jayme’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told The Associated Press his granddaughter is doing well, considering the circumstances.
“She’s doing exceptionally well for what she went through,” Naiberg said. “She’s in exceptionally good spirits.”
Update 6:01 a.m. EST Jan 12: “Jayme is the hero in this case, there’s no question about it,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a news conference Friday. “It’s amazing, the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape.”
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, will appear Monday in Barron County Circuit Court, where he will be charged with kidnapping and two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, the Star Tribune reported. He is being held in the Barron County jail.
Update 5 p.m. EST Jan. 11: In a 5 p.m. news conference, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said that Patterson broke into the Closs’ home with the intention of kidnapping Jayme Closs. Fitzgerald also believes that the suspect shaved his head to avoid leaving hair at the scene.
Patterson was out looking for Jayme when he was arrested.
Fitzgerald said that investigators don’t believe there was any social media connection between Patterson and Jayme.
Investigators are trying to determine how he “became aware” of the girl.
Update 11:40 a.m. EST Jan. 11: Authorities believe Patterson targeted Jayme, although Fitzgerald said as of Friday, investigators had yet to find any connection between the Patterson and the Closs family.
Patterson was not known to law enforcement before his arrest Thursday, after authorities said Jayme escaped from a home in Douglas County and approached a woman who was walking her dog. That woman knocked on Kristin Kasinskas' door, The Associated Press reported, and Kasinskas called 911.
She told the AP that Jayme said Patterson "killed my parents and took me." She added that the 13-year-old said she had no idea why she'd been targeted.
Fitzgerald said investigators believe Patterson killed Jayme’s parents because he wanted to abduct her and that Patterson took several steps “to hide his identity.”
“Based on the limited information I have, she was the target,” he said Friday, although he declined to elaborate on the evidence.
Prosecutors said at a news conference Friday that Patterson will likely be charged with two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping.
Jayme was taken to a hospital Thursday after she was found weeks after she was last seen in October. Fitzgerald said she had been medically cleared after the incident and that investigators were interviewing her Friday.
Authorities are expected to provide more updates at a news conference Friday afternoon.
Update 11:15 a.m. EST Jan. 11: Authorities on Friday identified a 21-year-old man who was taken into custody one day earlier in connection with Jayme’s disappearance and the death of her parents.
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, of Gordon, was taken into custody shortly after Jayme was found, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.
“Jayme was taken against her will and escaped from a residence,” Fitzgerald said. “(She) is safe and the family is requesting that you please respect their privacy.”
Original report: Relatives of a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl missing since her parents were killed in October expressed relief Thursday night after she was found alive, KARE reported.
Jayme Closs is safe and a suspect is in custody, the Barron County Sheriff's Department wrote on its Facebook page Thursday night. The department did not release any other details but said it would hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday.
"I mean I’m shocked," Jayme's aunt, Kelly Engelhardt, told KARE. "It's what we’ve prayed for every single day."
“Praise the Lord,” Sue Allard, another of Jayme’s aunts, told the Star Tribune. “It’s the news we’ve been waiting on for three months. I can’t wait to get my arms around her. I just can’t wait.”
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Jayme was found in Gordon, Wisconsin, at 4:43 p.m. Thursday and that a suspect was taken into custody 11 minutes later.
Jayme had been missing since early Oct. 15, when Barron County deputies responding to a 911 call found her parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, shot to death in the family home in Barron, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Gordon is located about 65 miles north of Barron. Denny Kline, the board chairman for the Town of Gordon, told KSTP he heard the teen had been found as he listened to a police scanner.
The woman who found Jayme, who asked that her name not be used, told the Star Tribune the teen, “came up to me and said she wanted help.”
About 4 p.m. Thursday, Kristin Kasinskas said the woman knocked on the family’s front door.
“This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” the woman said, Kasinskas told the Star Tribune.
“I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost,” Peter Kasinskas told the newspaper. “It was scary and awesome at the same time. My jaw just went to the floor.”
Jayme’s cousin, Lacey Naiberg, posted thanks on Facebook, noting “We will forever hold you all close to our hearts.”
“There are no words to describe how humbling it is to have so many people who don't even know you come together to help our family,” Naiberg wrote.
The sister of Denise Closs, Jennifer Naiberg Smith, told KSTP that Jayme was being examined at a hospital in Duluth. Smith told the television station she did not believe the middle school student was injured.
Jayme’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, also expressed joy and relief, KSTP reported.
"Everybody is so happy," Naiberg told the television station. "We can't believe it."
"A lot of people have been praying daily, as I have. It's just a great result we got tonight. It's unbelievable," Barron Mayor Ron Fladten told WISN. "It's like taking a big black cloud in the sky and getting rid of it and the sun comes out again."
An Ohio company is recalling nearly 2,000 pounds of raw pork sausage products that may be contaminated with rubber, the USDA announced Wednesday.
The products fall under the Daisyfield brand and were distributed by J. H. Routh Packing Co. in Sandusky, Ohio. The products were shipped to Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania before the problem was discovered on Jan. 7.
There have been no confirmed reports of illnesses or reactions to the product, but, as a precaution, customers are being asked to return or throw away the products.
The raw ground pork bulk and link sausage items were produced from Jan. 1 to Jan. 4. The following products are subject to recall:
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 818” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
Marking a significant milestone in Air Force history, a female pilot completed a routine F-35 Lightning II flight test at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Maj. Rachael Winiecki, 461st Flight Test Squadron developmental test pilot, completed the first flight mission led by a female. Winiecki said that there are several female test directors, test conductors, discipline engineers and flight test engineers at the 461st FLTS, in addition to those serving in engineering, maintenance and support functions.
“I am grateful for the women who have broken barriers previously. They built the path,” Winiecki said. “I look forward to the day when sorties like this are a regular occurrence.”
Winiecki was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Upon completion of pilot training, she flew the A-10C operationally including deployments to Southwest Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Pacific theater. She then graduated from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards and was previously assigned as an F-16 Fighting Falcon test pilot with the 416th Flight Test Squadron.
“Major Winiecki was selected to become an F-35 test pilot based on her exceptional flying ability and the important voice she brings to the F-35 development as a prior A-10 (Thunderbolt II) pilot,” Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton said.
It's a new year, and actor John Travolta is rocking a smooth new 'do.
The "Grease" star took to Instagram on Monday to share a snapshot of himself sporting a bald, shaved head.
"I hope everyone had a great New Year!" Travolta, 64, captioned the photo, which also featured his daughter, Ella.
For the most part, fans seemed to dig the lockless look.
Others said he now looks like another bald Hollywood star – actor Bruce Willis.
Travolta did not say what prompted the change.
Update 7:30 p.m. EST Jan. 7: A Florida girl who was injured in the rhinoceros exhibit at the Brevard Zoo has been released from the hospital.
A representative from the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children confirmed that the patient was released Monday after falling into the exhibit on New Year's Day.
According to the zoo, the girl “stumbled through steel poles separating the public space from the animals.”
The girl was immediately transported to the hospital under trauma alert status, according to firefighters. The girl's mother was also transported for a minor arm injury.
The exhibit remains closed to the public.
The family has yet to release a statement on the incident.
Update 5:00 p.m. EST Jan. 2: The Brevard Zoo officials said in a statement Wednesday morning that the rhinos in the exhibit where a toddler was injured Tuesday will not be punished.
“Early yesterday afternoon, during a Rhino Encounter, a hands-on, educational experience with our white rhinos, a young guest entered the rhino yard. They did not ‘fall in’ from an elevated public area as some have speculated.
“Rhino Encounter participants stand on ground level and are separated from the animals by steel poles. This child stumbled through the poles, at which point at least one of the rhinos touched the child with their snout. The child was retrieved in a matter of seconds and transported to a local hospital via ambulance.
“The welfare of the rhinos was never compromised and they will not be “punished” in any way.
“Rhino Encounters (and all other premium animal experiences) have been suspended until we have thoroughly reviewed our safety protocol to ensure this cannot happen again.
“Our hearts are with the family impacted by this incident and we are committed to being as transparent as possible without disclosing personal information about our guests. We are actively participating in a standard investigation conducted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Updates will be shared when they are available.”
Update 7:30 p.m. EST Jan. 1: Arnold Palmer Hospital issued a statement on behalf of the father of a 2-year-old girl who fell into a rhino exhibit at Brevard Zoo.
“Today has been a trying day for our family. We’re thankful to everyone who has reached out with their concerns,” the statement said. “Our daughter is in good care at Arnold Palmer Hospital and is doing well. My wife was also treated for her injury and has been released from the hospital. At this time, we ask for privacy as we focus on our daughter’s recovery.”
A toddler fell into the rhinoceros exhibit at the Brevard Zoo on New Year's Day, Brevard County Fire Rescue said.
Firefighters said the girl, who is about 2 years old, was sent to a hospital under a trauma alert status. They said the child's mother was also taken to a hospital to be treated for a non-life-threatening arm injury.
"Early this afternoon, during a Rhino Encounter, a hands-on, educational experience with Brevard Zoo’s white rhinoceroses, a young guest entered the rhinoceros yard and was injured," said Elliot Zirulnik, a zoo spokesman. "During the encounter, participants and the rhinoceroses are separated by a series of steel poles. According to witnesses, the child stumbled and fell in between two of the poles and at this point, the snout of at least one of (the) rhinoceroses made contact with the child."
The family was taken to a hospital by ambulance, Zirulnik said. The child's condition is unknown, he said.
Zoo officials said the animal experience has been offered daily since 2009. They said this is the first time a visitor has been injured during the experience.
"Our No. 1 concern is the safety and welfare of our guests and our hearts go out to the family," said Keith Winsten, the zoo’s executive director. "Safety has always been of paramount importance to us and we are suspending these encounters until we have thoroughly reviewed our processes and procedures to ensure this cannot happen again."
No other details were given.
Huge waves and rough weather on Lake Michigan annihilated a historic light beacon Monday in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
The South Pier Light Navigational Beacon, which has beckoned boaters near the Manitowoc Harbor for decades, is no more, according to news reports and social media posts.
The 20-foot tall, fiberglass tower fell into Lake Michigan around 8:30 Monday morning, MLive.com reported, after it was bashed repeatedly by massive surf.
Another nearby structure, the Manitowoc Breakwater Lighthouse, is still standing.
Lake Michigan was under a gale warning Monday with forecasts for 12 to 15-foot waves and 50 mph wind gusts when the beacon was demolished by the rough lake.
MLive reported that the Coast Guard will search for the beacon and is planning to replace it because it’s needed for navigation on Lake Michigan.
Singer Neil Young posted a moving tribute to his ex-wife, who died last week of cancer at age 66.
On his Neil Young Archives website Saturday night, Young spoke of Pegi Young, who died Jan. 1. They were his first public comments since his wife of 36 years, Margaret Mary Morton -- known as Pegi -- died.
Young, 73, posted the lyrics to the song, “Such a Woman,” adding his thanks to Pegi “For being such a wonderful mother to our children. You live inside of them and the many you have touched.”
The couple met in 1974 when Pegi was a working as a waitress and was living with her dog in a tepee, The New York Times reported. They were married four years later,
In his 1992 song, “Unknown Legend,” Young wrote about that first meeting:
“She used to work in a diner / Never saw a woman look finer / I used to order just to watch her float across the floor.”
She and Young had two children together, Ben and Amber. They were divorced in 2014; Neil Young married actress Daryl Hannah in 2018, The New York Times reported.
In his 2013 book, “Waging Heavy Peace,” Young wrote that his ex-wife “Was always organized and methodical in her approach to problems” and that performing songs with her was a thrill.
“Even with all the great singers I have sung with, there is nothing like singing with Pegi,” Young wrote.
Pegi Young sang backup on several of her husband’s songs, and in 2007 released the first of her five albums, the Times reported. Her final album, “Raw,” was released in 2017.
Actor Kevin Spacey appeared Monday in a Nantucket courtroom to face accusations that he groped a young man in 2016 at a bar on the Massachusetts island.
Update 11:10 a.m. EST Jan 7: Prosecutors asked that Spacey be barred from contacting the victim or witnesses in the case against him.
The two-time Oscar winner is accused of felony indecent assault and battery in connection to a 2016 incident at the Club Car. Prosecutors said Spacey groped an 18-year-old bus boy on July 7, 2016, after plying him with alcohol, Reuters reported.
A judge set the next hearing in the case for March 4. Spacey is not expected to attend the hearing.
Update 10:50 a.m. EST Jan 7: Spacey is expected to appear at 11 a.m. for an arraignment on charges of felony indecent assault and battery.
Update 10:40 a.m. EST Jan. 7: Spacey has said in court papers that he plans to plead not guilty to charges of felony indecent assault and battery, Reuters reported.
Original report: The typically slow season on Nantucket is seeing an onslaught of media arrive for the Monday morning arraignment for actor Kevin Spacey.
Spacey is accused of sexually groping a teenager in the summer of 2016, and is expected to be at Nantucket District Court sometime before 11 a.m. Monday.
Investigators say Spacey groped the 18-year-old son of former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh after getting him drunk in July of 2016.
The appearance is expected to only take a few minutes, but locals say the attention leading up to it is turning a quiet time of the year into quite an ordeal.
"It's a big deal because it's Kevin Spacey, but it's just an arraignment," John Fee of Clyde's Cab said.
Locals have been monitoring the case for years, and are now anticipating the appearance after the surprising allegations.
"He's a pretty good actor and I liked his work, so it was pretty shocking," Nantucket native Elliott Sylvia said.
The district attorney's office says the alleged crime happened at The Club Car restaurant and bar in Nantucket, only a few blocks from where Spacey will face a judge Monday.
According to the court complaint, the teen, who was working as a bus boy at the restaurant, told Spacey he was over 21 when Spacey started buying him beer and whiskey.
After repeated attempts to get the teen to leave the bar, the complaint says Spacey started groping him in the middle of the bar.
"Spacey stuck his hand inside my son's pants and grabbed his genitals," Unruh said. "Nothing could have prepared my son for how that made him feel as a man."
Unruh and her son are not expected in court Monday.
Spacey tried to get his court appearance waived, but the judge denied it, saying he has to appear.
Diane Flaherty has lived in Nantucket for 65 years, and hopes the criminal case isn't what people remember about the island.
"I'm sorry that this had to happen, and I'm sorry someone has gone through this," Flaherty said. "I'd rather have people for other reasons other than this, because Nantucket has a lot more to offer."
There is no clear indication when and how Spacey will arrive, but several officials told Boston 25 News he will likely fly in before the 11 a.m. arraignment.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is missing arguments for the first time Monday as she continues to recover from cancer surgery, court officials said Monday in a statement.
Her absence marks the first time she’s missed arguments since she joined the Supreme Court in 1993, The Associated Press reported.
Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Monday the 85-year-old Ginsburg is continuing to recuperate and work from home after doctors removed two cancerous growths from her left lung on Dec. 21. Doctors said last month that there was “no evidence of any remaining disease” after Ginsburg’s surgery, court officials said.
She was released from New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Christmas Day.
Doctors found cancerous growths on Ginsburg’s lung after she fell in her office in November and suffered three broken ribs, officials said.
The justice, who leads the court’s liberal wing, is the eldest person on the Supreme Court. She previously underwent surgery for colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009, according to the AP.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A star was born at Sunday night's Golden Globes – at least on social media.
As celebrities hit the red carpet before the awards show, a woman holding Fiji water bottles made appearances in several photos, sharing the spotlight with Idris Elba, Heidi Klum, Jim Carrey, Alyssa Milano, Richard Madden and other stars.
Meme-worthy snapshots of the model, affectionately dubbed #FijiWaterGirl on Twitter, quickly went viral.
She appeared to embrace her viral fame, sharing an Instagram photo with the hashtag she inspired.
Flight attendants on Frontier Airlines will no longer have to pool their tips, meaning any additional income they get is subject to individual passengers.
Bloomberg reported Monday that the low-cost airline used to split tips on each flight, but as of Jan. 1, gratuities won’t be pooled. The airline introduced tipping in 2016. Passengers have the option of leaving a gratuity through digital tablets after placing orders for food and drinks.
“We appreciate the great work of our flight attendants and know that our customers do as well, so (the payment tablet) gives passengers the option to tip,” Frontier spokesman Jonathan Freed told Bloomberg Friday. “It’s entirely at the customer’s discretion, and many do it.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that, according to Freed, the change at the Denver-based airline was made at flight attendants’ request.
“We view tips as additional compensation over and above flight attendants’ contractual wages.”
One fight attendants union isn’t a fan of the policy, however.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents 50,000 flight attendants with 20 airlines -- including Frontier -- opposes tipping and objected to the introduction of doing so three years ago.
“Management moved forward with a tipping option for passengers in hopes it would dissuade flight attendants from standing together for a fair contract — and in an effort to shift additional costs to passengers,” union President Sara Nelson told Bloomberg.
“Regardless of the tip issue, Frontier Airlines needs to step up and pay aviation’s first responders a wage that recognizes their critical safety role onboard,” Nelson told the LA Times.
The traditional dance between a bride and her father is an emotional moment, but a father-daughter dance at an Alabama wedding last month was particularly poignant.
Mary Bourne Roberts danced with her terminally ill father at her wedding reception, guiding Jim Roberts around the dance floor in his wheelchair to the strains of Lee Ann Womack’s 2000 hit, “I Hope You Dance,” AL.com reported.
Mary Bourne Roberts’ wedding to James Butts was held Dec. 29, 2018, in Point Clear, Alabama. Jim Roberts accompanied his daughter down the aisle at St. Francis at the Point Church, holding her hand. Jim Roberts returned to his room at The Grand Hotel to rest, but made it back to the reception in time for the their father-daughter dance, AL.com reported.
Holding her hand from his wheelchair, Jim Roberts accompanied Mary Bourne Roberts down the aisle at St. Francis at the Point Church in Point Clear to marry James Butts. After the wedding, Jim Roberts had to go to his room at The Grand Hotel to rest as the reception began. When he felt well enough, he arrived at the ballroom for their father-daughter dance.
It’s a song the pair danced to in the family kitchen when Mary Bourne Roberts was a child, the website reported. It took on new meaning in May 2017 after Jim Roberts was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer. He began hospice care in mind-December, AL.com reported.
Mary Bourne Roberts majored in dance at the University of Alabama and teaches at the Eastern Shore Dance Academy in Daphne. She took her father’s hands and swayed to the music while looking into his eyes as he wiped away tears, AL.com reported.
“We had always planned to use the song -- we weren’t sure how he was going to even feel that day -- we just knew that we were going to do it somehow,” the Mary Bourne Roberts told Fox News.
The bride told the network that her father said he “loved me so much” and that the dance “meant so much.”
“It was such a good thing to happen to him,” Tracy Roberts, the mother of the bride, told AL.com. “He would have cried through the whole thing even if he’d been on his feet.
“He was overwhelmed with pride and the love he feels for her. It was a great day for him, a beautiful, perfect day for all of us.”
Police in New York City were able to ring in the new year with a grate save.
For the second time in the last two months, police retrieved a ring from a sewer grate, WNBC reported.
Police officers noticed the ring stuck in a grate near the intersection of Eighth Avenue and 48th Street after the ring’s owner reported it missing, WCBS reported. Police and members of the New York City Fire Department were able to recover it, the television station reported.
In a tweet, the NYPD said the ring was returned to the couple Friday. The woman said she wanted to remain anonymous.
In November, a newly engaged couple visiting from England dropped their ring down a sewer grate in Times Square, WCBS reported. That ring was returned to the couple on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” WNBC reported.
The NYPD referenced that episode in its tweet, saying that this time, the ring’s return was not handled with as much fanfare. They did, however, offer a suggestion.
“PSA: Attention all newly engaged! Please avoid sewer grates at all cost! Thank you,” the NYPD said in its tweet.
Fiona — the world’s favorite prematurely born hippopotamus — turned 3 months old Monday.
The early days of cuddling the tiny, fragile hippo are long gone, Jenna Wingate, the Cincinnati Zoo’s Africa keeper, told our media partner WCPO.
Here are three updates about Fiona that Wingate shared with WCPO:
1. The ‘dung shower’: Apparently, male hippopotamuses mark territory by slinging feces around with their tails in what Wingate called a “dung shower.”
Fiona has taken an interest in the action exhibited by her father, Henry, whom zookeepers have introduced her to, along with her mother, Bibi.
“Fiona is now getting access to that, and she shows quite an interest in it for whatever reason,” Wingate said.
2. One sassy toddler: Fiona eats about 2 liters of formula five times a day. Zookeepers introduced grain to her diet this weekend and started training her to associate feeding time with a clicker that they can use when she weighs 600 pounds and is too dangerous to approach.
“She’s very sassy. She’s very feisty. If she doesn’t want to do something, you’re not going to make her,” Wingate said. “We kind of act like she’s a toddler, and if she doesn’t want to come, we’re, like, ‘Bye, Fiona!’ We’ll pretend we’re walking away and she’ll be, like, ‘Wait, I want to be with you guys!’ and then she’ll come with us. She has her very big, very own personality already.”
3. Too big to snuggle: “There’s a big difference just in her energy and she’s much stronger and healthier now, so there was a lot of worry and she would kind of lie there and wouldn’t do a whole lot,” Wingate said. “She’s too big and a little bit dangerous to actually cuddle and snuggle, but she does like to lie on our feet or use our leg as a pillow now.”
Superstar singer Celine Dion’s 5.7-acre oceanfront compound on Jupiter Island, Florida has sold for $28 million, far less than the $72.5 million price tag Dion was asking when she first put it on the market in August 2013, according to the deed recorded Friday.
The recorded sales price is also about $10 million less than the $38.5 million price tag last attached to the estate, according to the property.
The estate, which has s 415 feet of beachfront, is located in the tony town near Hobe Sound and boasts water slides, a main house and several other buildings. The property is said to have sold with most of its furnishings and contents.
The buyer is the Jupiter Island Trust, according to the deed recorded by the Martin County Clerk’s Office. An American who will use it as a vacation residence is reportedly behind the trust, according to one of the real estate agents involved in the deal.
Read more here.
A Texas junior high teacher can thank her students to help her cross one item off her bucket list.
Michelle Wistrand was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2015. Surgery couldn’t remove the tumor that was growing in her back, and chemotherapy stopped working. Eventually the cancer spread to Wistrand’s lungs and doctors gave her two years to live, KHOU reported.
In February, she broke the news to her eighth-grade students at Tomball Junior High that her cancer was spreading. She also told them about her dream to visit California.
Wristrand plans to retire from teaching at the end of the school year and will take her trip to the west coast in August.
She will finish her bucket list this fall by watching leaves change color in the Midwest and seeing sea turtles in Florida, KHOU reported.
Over the weekend, George Clooney skipped the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia, and submitted a video message in which he apologized for his absence.
His message may indicate that the twins his wife, Amal, is expecting are due soon.
“I really would have been (in Yerevan) but if I came there and my wife had twins while I was there, I could never come home,” he said, according to People. The twins are reportedly due in June.
Clooney was in attendance at last year’s ceremony as he is a member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee and presented the inaugural prize to honor victims the Armenian genocide.
The couple announced the pregnancy in February and after the news broke, Clooney’s mother accidentally spilled the beans and shared that the couple is expecting a boy and a girl.
“It will be one of each! Yes, a boy and a girl. That’s what I’ve been told,” Nina Clooney told Vogue at the time. “How marvelous! My husband and I are extremely excited.”
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