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Attorney representing Trump in Russia probe resigns

The top lawyer representing President Donald Trump in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election resigned Thursday, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Attorney John Dowd’s resignation came days after he called for an end to Mueller’s investigation, claiming it was “manufactured” by former FBI Director James Comey and based on an infamous -- and mostly unverified -- dossier that was funded in part by the Democratic National Committee and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“I love the president and wish him well,” Dowd wrote Thursday in an email to The Washington Post.

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation

The newspaper reported that Dowd’s departure was “a largely mutual decision” based on Trump’s recent belief that Dowd couldn’t handle Mueller’s investigation and the attorney’s frustration with the president’s recent additions to his legal team. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow earlier this week brought one of his friends, veteran Washington attorney Joseph diGenova, onto the team, according to The New York Times.

It was not immediately clear who would take over as lead of the president’s legal team. 

>> Related: Trump slams Mueller, McCabe in Sunday tweets

“John Dowd is a friend and has been a valuable member of our legal team,” Sekulow said Thursday in a statement to the Times. “We will continue our ongoing representation of the president and our cooperation with the office of special counsel.”

CNN reported that Dowd’s exit could hint that Trump’s legal team plans to become more aggressive in defending the president.

>> Related: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation

Dowd, who took over Trump’s legal team last summer, has advised the president to cooperate in Mueller’s investigation and refrain from publicly attacking the special counsel, the Times reported. Still, Trump has targeted Mueller for criticism in recent days, repeating his claims that the probe is little more than a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

Last month, Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three organizations on charges of interfering in the election. Three of Trump's associates -- former national security adviser Michael Flynn, deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and campaign aide George Papadopoulos -- have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate. Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to a variety of money laundering and other criminal charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Man drowned after killing mother with hammer as Irma approached, sheriff says

A Port St. Lucie man who was reported missing days before Hurricane Irma drowned moments after he attacked his mother and caused her death, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news

Investigators said Lance Whatley, 40, beat his 67-year-old mother, Kathie Whatley, with a hammer while in a manic state on the night of Sept. 7, 2017. He then drowned after driving her car into the North Fork of the St. Lucie River.

DNA analysis confirmed that a badly decomposed body found Sept. 13, 2017, in the water at Port. St. Lucie’s Veterans Memorial Park was that of Lance Whatley, Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said Wednesday.

Kathie Whatley died Sept. 9, a day after she was found unconscious next to a partially submerged car at River Park Marina, about 5 miles north of the park. Investigators found a hammer covered in blood next to her.

Lance Whatley was reported missing when investigators could not find him. 

Further investigation revealed that Lance Whatley struck his mother with a hammer, then drove her car into the river, Mascara said. He fell out of the car and drowned as the current carried him downstream.

Lance Whatley was known to have chronic mental issues. Sheriff’s investigators concluded that prior to the attack, Kathie Whatley had driven Lance Whatley around in her car in an effort to calm his anxiety as Irma approached. 

The hurricane made landfall in Florida on Sept. 10, 2017, as a Category 3 storm. Exposure to the hurricane and the elements made identification of Lance Whatley’s remains “extremely difficult,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news conference broadcast on its Facebook page.

Frank Avruch, known for playing Bozo the Clown, dies at 89

Frank Avruch, the Boston TV personality and entertainer who portrayed Bozo the Clown, has died. He was 89 years old.

CNN reported that Avruch’s manager confirmed that he died Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news 

“While it's hard to say goodbye, we celebrate the legacy of joy and laughter he brought to millions of children around the world as Bozo the Clown on TV and as a UNICEF Ambassador and later as host of Channel 5’s ‘Great Entertainment’ and Boston’s ‘Man About Town,’” a statement from Avruch’s family said. “Our dad loved the children of all ages who remembered being on his show and was always grateful for their kind words. We will miss him greatly.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Avruch became the first nationally syndicated Bozo the Clown. He played the character from 1959-1970.

The Associated Press reported that Avruch is survived by is wife, Betty, sons Matthew and Steven and several grandchildren. 

Utility pole held together with duct tape to be repaired

A utility pole that apparently is being held together by duct tape will be repaired next week, according to officials.

>> Read more trending news

A truck damaged the pole about three weeks ago, according to WJAR

“It definitely needs to get fixed,” resident Neal Rogers told WJAR. “I think it's a danger to the community, actually. It could fall onto my house or it could fall onto an unsuspecting motorist."

While National Grid checked out the pole and deemed it safe, the utility will be repairing it next week, according to WJAR.

Male birth control pill? New drug appears to block sperm production

A safe and effective birth control pill for men is one step closer to becoming a reality.

>> Read more trending news

That’s according to new research presented this week at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, which found that the new pill, called dimethandrolone undecanoate (or DMAU), successfully reduced testosterone and other hormone levels responsible for sperm production without causing major side effects.

"People have been working on male hormonal contraception for 40 to 50 years," Dr. Stephanie Page, an endocrinologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine and lead author of the study, told CNN. "There are ways of delivering male contraceptives with long-acting implants and injections, but men are interested in having an oral pill available, and the work we presented here is a step forward."

>> Related: Male birth control shot effective, study finds, but researchers worry about side effects 

For the study, researchers carried out a trial with 83 men, aged 18 to 50. Each man was randomly assigned to either one of three treatment groups, or a control group. The treatment groups received varying doses (100, 200 and 400 milligrams) of the drug, and the control group took a placebo.

After 28 days, the men taking the drug saw a significant reduction in testosterone. In fact, their testosterone levels dropped to "castrate levels" with all three doses. The group receiving 400 mg, the highest dose of the drug, also saw a significant reduction in LH and FSH, hormones that work to regulate sperm and testosterone production by the testes.

"Normal testosterone in a man is anywhere from 350 to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter," Dr. Seth Cohen, an assistant professor of urology at NYU Langone Health, who was not involved in the study, told CNN. "And they got these guys down to 13 nanograms per deciliter."

>> Related: Women who use IUDs may have reduced risk of cervical cancer, study says

But the study did have its limitations. Considering the relatively small sample size, more trials need to be undertaken to fully understand the effects of the drug. Nine of the participants in the study experienced a major decrease in libido, or sex drive, as well.

"When you put that on a large, multimillion-person basis, you have a huge portion of men running around with very low libido," Cohen said.

Nonetheless, Page remains confident that the drug appears safe for men, allowing them to maintain all important male characteristics.

"The brain, which is important in sex drive, maintain muscle, all of those important male characteristics are maintained by the hormone that we're giving the men," she told CBS News. "The very important point here is that despite having those low levels of testosterone, the steroid that is given in this prototyped male pill provides the androgen activity in the man in all the other parts of their body."

>> Related: Hospital blames contraceptive app for accidental pregnancies 

Page also stressed that there needs to be more birth control options available to men.

"The important next step is to show that this does, in fact, suppress the production of sperm, and that requires at least a three-month study, which we're going to be undertaking starting next month," Page said. "After that, we'll need longer-term studies to look in detail about fine-tuning any potential side effects and ultimately doing a study in couples that actually demonstrates that it works in a real-world use."

This isn't the first time that researchers have attempted to develop an effective male birth control method. A study published in 2016 revealed that men can take hormone injections to prevent pregnancy in their partners with nearly the same success rate that women have with the pill. However, the shot caused a variety of negative side-effects – including depression, acne and lowered sex drive.

Read the full ENDO study at

NYPD snowball fight with kids turns into cops’ good deed to keep children warm

The New York Police Department showed that not only do officers have the skills to enjoy a snow day during the latest nor’easter but they also have big hearts for the children of their beat.

>> Read more trending news 

It all started with the kids challenging the officers to a snowball fight. 

When it was all said and done, the cops noticed that the kids didn’t have gloves to keep their hands warm in the snow, WABC reported. Instead they were using plastic gloves to protect their hands.

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

The officers were not going to let that continue so they went to a nearby store and bought new gloves for those who didn’t have them, WABC reported.

The officers’ good deed was posted to Twitter and has gone viral with more than 18,000 views in less than 24 hours.

Jill Scott won’t have to pay estranged husband spousal support

Jill Scott won’t have to pay her husband spousal support.

Bossip reported that, according to court documents, a Tennessee judge has denied the 45-year-old singer’s estranged husband, Mike Dobson, spousal support.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the gossip site, the judge has enforced the estranged couple’s prenuptial agreement. Under that agreement, Scott and Dobson agreed to not seek spousal support, alimony, or maintenance and that no “marital property” would come from the union.

Court papers said the judge still had the right to throw out the prenup should something happen that calls it into question, Bossip reported.

Scott and Dobson married in June 2016. Scott filed for divorce in November 2017. 

Brawl breaks out at IHOP after manager confronts unruly party

Owners of the Midtown IHOP are working to add more security at the restaurant after an early-morning attack.

>> Read more trending news

During the early-morning hours on Friday, March 16, the restaurant's manager, Mohammad, confronted an unruly party of five. 

Tuesday, police arrested Malachi Okelley.

“They started getting louder and louder. The customers inside started getting annoyed,” said Mohammad Al Hourani.

The manager said Okelley was one of several customers who became loud and aggressive before he asked them to leave.

Shortly after, he found himself in a fight with the five customers, who began throwing objects at him as he fought off others. 

“My face was covered with blood. I couldn’t even open my eyes,” he said. 

Mohammad is back at work, now with 16 stitches on his face and four staples in the back of his head. 

He said he is planning to have more security inside his restaurant.

FBI investigated Jeff Sessions for possible perjury: reports

The FBI investigated U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for possible perjury last year amid allegations that he misled lawmakers about his contacts with Russians ahead of the 2016 presidential election, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

The investigation into Sessions started before the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is tasked with probing Russian efforts to meddle in the election and possible ties to President Donald Trump and his campaign officials, Sessions’s lawyer, Chuck Cooper, told The New York Times. The investigation into Sessions has since been closed, Cooper said.

>> Related: Who is Jeff Sessions, the new Attorney General?

“The special counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” Cooper told the Times in a statement.

Sessions told lawmakers during his January 2017 confirmation hearing that he had no communications with Russians during Trump’s campaign for the White House, but he faced criticism after it was reported by The Washington Post that Sessions met twice with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

>> Related: Democrats call for Sessions' resignation over meetings with Russian ambassador

Sessions claimed he didn’t remember meeting with Kislyak, according to Bloomberg News. He emphasized in a statement released after the Post’s report that he “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign.”

Unidentified sources told multiple media outlets, including the Times, Bloomberg and ABC News, that Sessions was unaware of the investigation when he announced the decision Friday to fire FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

>> Related: Why was Andrew McCabe fired? What we know now

McCabe authorized and oversaw the federal criminal investigation into Sessions, according to ABC News. The news network was the first to report Wednesday on the investigation.

The FBI frequently launches perjury investigations based on congressional referrals, according to the Times, though it’s rare for such investigations to lead to charges.

>> Related: Sessions interviewed by Mueller team as part of Russia probe, report says

Mueller’s team interviewed Sessions in January. Cooper told the Times that officials with the special counsel’s office have since told him that the attorney general was considered a witness in the case.

Couple, 80, 92 prove it's never too late to fall in love

 Renee Weiss and Miles Miller met last October at a speed dating event at Somerby Sandy Springs, a retirement community, and immediately clicked.

>> Read more trending news

The event, the first of its kind at Somerby Sandy Springs, brought together 10 men and 10 women ranging in age from 75 and 96. Weiss and Miller, who live independently nearby (she lives in Alpharetta; he lives in East Cobb) heard about the event and were encouraged by friends and family to participate.

She’s 80. He’s 92.

At the event, men and women were paired up for only four minutes before the sound of a whistle signaled it was time to move spots and meet another potential love interest.

For Weiss and Miller, four minutes with each other was enough time for a love connection. They have been together ever since, recently returning from a cruise. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently interviewed the lovebirds, who prove it’s never too late to fall in love. The interview has been edited for length.

Q: Tell the story how you met.

Weiss: I was sitting at table No. 3 and it was his turn to come to Table 3. We talked. And you had a little piece of paper in front of you, and if you said you sort of liked a guy and he liked you, you put a mark there. And at the end, we both liked each other. Then he called and we went to dinner. We went to dinner and he kept calling and I kept going out with him … . We just came together so easily and enjoyed each other’s company and we liked the same things.

He loves nice restaurants and I love to go to nice restaurants. We laugh and we kid around. He is (a) pleasure to be with and he is very smart.

Miller: I left my name and address. I called and she called … . We finally got together and it has been fun ever since. It’s been real nice. She’s the best. We just got back from a cruise seven days, went to the west Caribbean and had a great time.

Q: Talk about your relationship. You two seem to kid around a lot. Is this different than other relationships? You two seem like two teenagers in love and I mean that the best way possible.

Weiss: I was married (for) 56 years to one man and he passed away five years ago, and I didn’t date, didn’t have anybody else. The first time I went to this meet-and-greet thing, it just clicked. It felt like [Miles and I] knew each other forever and everything we do is fun. We go to restaurants; everybody loves us wherever we go. They always say we are (an) awesome couple.

When I make a reservation, I usually go to Open Tables to make the reservation. They have a little spot for a comment and I always put down a little thing saying, “two seniors in love.” That seems to get their attention. We went to one restaurant, this waitress was so great.

Miller: She sat down with us and took photos. And desserts free, coffee free, appetizers, Champagne free.

Q: What does it feel like to find each other right now at this moment in your life?

Miller: The interaction between us, doing thing together instead of staying home staying sorry for ourselves and so forth. To get out and do something, and plan ahead. If you don’t plan ahead, you are not living.

You get old, and you can sit and die, or you can get out and do things and if you get do things and are happy, and you can make other people happy. Making other people happy makes us happy.

Weiss: We can go just go and feed ducks, or go to a movie or we go on a walk … . What we do is not crazy. We just have fun and we enjoy each other and we look forward to seeing each other and we talk on the phone at least twice a day.

Charity sues after high bidder fails to pay for Trump portraits

When a wealthy Naples businessman reneged on his promise to pay $21,530 for six-foot-tall paintings of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump at a gala charity auction in Mar-A-Lago last month, the nonprofit sponsoring the auction, The Truth About Israel, filed suit.

Timothy Lane, 70-year-old CEO of the Hong Kong-based Everest Advisors, “is in breach of his agreement with The Truth About Israel to allow it to charge his American Express credit card for the purchase of the two paintings,” attorney Jonathan Bloom wrote in the lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

» RELATED: Palm Beach Post coverage of President Trump

But Lane, who has served as a chief executive of various global companies during his decades-long career, insists he didn’t stiff the charity maliciously or because he had second-thoughts about the artwork. Rather, he said he became suspicious when the organization couldn’t give him its federal tax identification number so he could write off the purchase as a charitable deduction.

“I asked for the tax-exempt number for tax purposes,” Lane recently told the Palm Beach Daily News. “They couldn’t give it to me. Nobody seemed to know what it was or where it was, so I told them not to run the credit card until I had the number. I’m still waiting.”

»RELATED: The latest in Florida political news

Boca Raton businessman Steven Alembik, who organized the Feb. 25 benefit for the The Truth About Israel, insisted the group is a legitimate nonprofit. He scoffed at the claims Lane made in a Palm Beach police report.

On March 8, the Internal Revenue Service approved the organization’s tax-exempt status and assigned it a federal identification number, according to a letter Alembik sent The Palm Beach Post. It doesn’t matter that the number was issued after the gala, Alembik insisted.

“The tax ID has been provided to him,” Alembik said. “He can come up with all the excuses he wants. At the end of the day, he’s going to pay. He’s going to court and he’s going to lose.”

Bloom agreed. “It’s a contract,” the attorney said of the paperwork Lane signed.

Self-described “speed artist” Michael Israel, who did the Trump paintings and delighted the roughly 500 gala guests by producing other huge pieces of art in five or six frantic minutes, said he’s performed all over the world and never had a high bidder fail to pay up.

“It’s extremely rare for this to happen,” Israel said.

But it isn’t the first time a painting Israel did of Trump has created controversy. During the real estate tycoon’s 2016 presidential campaign, The Washington Post reported that Trump in 2007 paid $20,000 for a giant portrait Israel painted of him during another charity gala at Mar-A-Lago.

>> Read more trending news 

The purchase raised questions because records showed he paid for it and other personal items with funds from the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Tax experts said he may have violated laws that prohibit tax-exempt organizations from engaging in “self-dealing” by purchasing goods with contributions to the foundation. On tax returns, the newspaper reported that Trump’s accountants admitted as much by checking a box, admitting assets were transferred to what the IRS deems a “disqualified person.”

Alembik said Lane’s failure to pay for the Trump paintings at the recent gala hurt his efforts to raise money for The Truth About Israel, which was founded by Daniel Ayalon, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, and is dedicated to educating the world about the Jewish state. As part of his contract, the artist Israel doesn’t charge for his performance but instead shares in the money raised from auctioning off his artwork.

“If the guy reneges, the charity has to pay for it,” Alembik said. He declined to reveal how much was raised at the event, saying only: “Not enough.”

Although he built a successful data resource company, Alembik said he was new to party planning. “I’ve never thrown so much as a birthday party before,” he said.

But he said that after 22 people were killed in a ISIS-fueled suicide attack outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England in May, he wanted to do his part to stop terrorism. Longtime friends with Ayalon and familiar with the work of Ayalon’s group, Alembik said he hatched the idea of holding a benefit fundraiser in September to mark the 45th anniversary of the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

When those plans were delayed, he decided to hold it at Mar-A-Lago in rebuke of charities that were then planning to boycott the club to protest Trump’s controversial statements about a racially-charged rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left one woman dead.

Alembik said he was criticized for his selected venue. But he said he voted for Trump and still supports him. “This president has Israel’s back like no other president since Ronald Reagan,” he said.

Still, he didn’t anticipate such controversy. “This was strictly a goodwill thing — for Israel and for Danny,” he said.

Related video:

Chaka Khan says flu is to blame for ‘difficult performances’

Chaka Khan reportedly delivered a lackluster performance at the 13th annual Jazz in the Gardens show in Miami Gardens, Florida, and has issued a statement about it.

>> Read more trending news 

Ebony reported that Khan’s show had run into several issues and some fans believed the singer was inebriated.

On Twitter, one concert-goer said that fans started walking out of the Sunday performance.

According to a statement, the flu was to blame for the singer’s behavior. A representative for Khan told The Jasmine Brand the musician performed despite doctor’s orders to rest:

“Chaka Khan has been supporting her scheduled show dates as she has been battling the flu for a number of weeks despite the doctor’s orders to cancel these shows and rest. Unfortunately, Chaka not wanting to disappoint her fans has performed, while not totally 100%, and the media has been turning these difficult performances into something else.

“Chaka values her fans and supporters and would never do anything to jeopardize their support and love. Under doctor’s orders Chaka will be resting for the remainder of the week until her next performance engagement in Macon, GA, Saturday, March 24th.”

Toys R Us liquidation sale begins: What you need to know

Shoppers looking for a bargain lined up at Toys R Us stores across the country to cash in on the liquidation sale that was expected to begin Thursday.

However, the sales have been postponed, according to multiple reports.

WYFF reported that a sign on the Greenville location stated that the liquidation sale was postponed until further notice.

The sales are now expected to start Friday, CNN Money reported.

But no matter when the sales start, experts told CNN Money that bargain hunters should be ready to go as soon as the sales begin.

Toys R Us announced last week it was closing or selling all of its stores in the United States, but shoppers need to act fast.

MORE: Toys R Us store locator

Industry experts say shelves will clear out quickly and the sale may only last about 30 days.

Inventory on the most popular toys are already slim, and whatever is left will be the first to go.

People with Toys R Us gift cards and Endless Earnings Gift Cards should use those first.

Toys R Us will not accept them after April 20.

>> Read more trending news 

Starting Thursday, stores will not be accepting coupons or rewards.

If you have a return, Toys R Us will accept items for the next 30 days, but anything purchased during the liquidation sale is final and cannot be returned.

Amazon, one of Toys R Us’ most fierce competitors, is apparently considering buying up some of the empty store fronts once Toys R Us officially closes.

Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon would like to expand its brick-and-mortar presence by acquiring some of those locations.

MORE: What happens to Toys R Us employees, gift cards?

The Seattle-based company recently bought Whole Foods and opened its own line of bookstores and convenience stores.

Toys R Us is closing 735 locations, and will lay off about 31,000 employees.

Before you shop, check your location. Some local stores were part of the initial closing announcement and have been liquidating for weeks.

Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Queen Latifah’s mother, Rita Owens, dies after battling heart failure

After more than a decade of battling heart failure, Rita Owens, the mother of actress, rapper and singer Queen Latifah, has died.

Latifah issued a statement Wednesday confirming the news to Essence.

>> Read more trending news 

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” the statement said. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”

“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over. I am heart broken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latif‎ah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”

People reported that Latifah shared an Instagram post of her mother Wednesday night. 

“143,” she captioned the post. The numbers mean “I love you.”

Heart failure, according to the American Heart Association, is a chronic, progressive condition that “occurs when the heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen.”

Owens was diagnosed with the condition in 2004 after passing out while teaching at a New Jersey high school.

In 2015, Latifah opened up to People about caring for her mother’s heart failure.

“We’ve learned a new us,” Latifah said at the time. “We’ve gotten a lot closer and we’ve learned each other on a whole different, deeper level.”

“As a caregiver – it’s just like being a parent, like some things really don’t matter,” Latifah said. “All the kind of frivolous things sort of fall to the side because there’s something way more important than all that. And when we go through these things together as a family, I realize, these are the important things, these are the important moments.”

Girl, bored with sister’s soccer game, makes 65-million-year-old fossil find

An Oregon girl decided digging in the dirt was more her speed than watching her big sister’s JV soccer game. And that decision turned into a major discovery.

Naomi Vaughan found something that she called her “Moana rock” after it reminded her of the Heart of Te Fiti from the hit Disney film, last year, CNN reported.

The “Moana rock” turned out to be something that dated back at least 65 million years.

>> Read more trending news 

It was actually an ancient fossil called an ammonite. Ammonites are extinct marine invertebrates, CNN reported.

Paleontologists told Oregon Live that they’re not normally found in Bend, but have been discovered more than 80 miles away.

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

One paleontologist believes it came from an area further away, a town of Suplee, 112 miles east of Bend, Oregon Live reported. He believes that either there was a family connection between the two towns or that the fossil came from a school collection. 

And while well-preserved ammonite fossils can fetch big bucks -- up to thousands of dollars, Vaughan’s sample may be worth about $10 or $20.

Vaughan plans on keeping her find, Oregon Live reported.

School district cuts one day off school week; students will only go for four days a week

A three-day weekend every week! That’s what students in a Denver-area school district will get starting next year.

It was a plan that has been discussed over the past few months, but this week became a reality. The 27J school district officials have adopted a Tuesday-through-Friday week, with students in class longer each day, WTMJ reported

Elementary students will go to school from 7:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Middle and high school students will be in class from 8:30 a.m. to 4:32 p.m. 

But why the change?

District officials say they hope to recruit and retain teachers. Educators leave the 27J district for better pay. The district hopes that the shorter work week will keep their teachers in their district.

It will also help save $1 million a year on transportation, utilities and substitute teachers, the Denver Post reported.

The 27J district isn’t the only one in the country to adopt a shorter learning week. There are about 100 other districts in the U.S. that have longer weekends, WTMJ reported.

The district will offer child care on Mondays, from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. that will cost parents $30 per child a day, the Post reported.

For more, click here.

Man says he was kicked off flight over business logo on his shirt

He makes a living with his skateboard and his brand, but this month Justin Mallory said that’s exactly what got him in trouble. 

Mallory claims he was kicked off a flight out of Atlanta because of his business logo on his shirt which features guns. 

“I was flabbergasted. I was taken aback,” Mallory said. 

The professional skateboarder said he was kicked off a Frontier Airlines flight because of the logo.

“The shirt is just a graphic,” Mallory told Wilfon. 

>> Read more trending news 

He said the airline said the shirt made another passenger uncomfortable.

Mallory’s lawyer, Mawuli Davis, calls it discrimination.

“The shirt, some would say he’s dressed in a hip-hop fashion, and he’s African-American. Those three things may have all contributed to the discrimination and profiling against him,” Davis said. 

Frontier Airlines tells a much different story.

In a statement to WSB, the airline indicated Mallory’s shirt and race had nothing to do with it.

Frontier said Mallory “became argumentative prior to boarding when asked to check a skateboard. The passenger boarded the aircraft and continued to exhibit disruptive behavior.”

“That’s totally false,” Mallory told Wilfon. 

Because he was kicked off the flight, Mallory said he missed a skateboarding trade show where he planned to promote his brand.

Instead, he said it got him in trouble.

“It was a terrible situation. It was embarrassing. I don’t want to see it happen to anyone else. I wouldn’t wish it on someone,” Mallory said. 

Mallory and his lawyer told Wilfon they are considering a lawsuit.

Trump: 'Crazy Joe Biden' would 'go down fast and hard' in a fight

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Thursday to slam Joe Biden over controversial comments that the former vice president made at a rally Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news 

Without a voice, DC reporter Jamie Dupree's work still resonates across the US

A familiar Cox Radio voice is determined to be heard again.

>> On Cox DC bureau reporter loses voice in medical mystery

Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree has spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill, but nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.

>> The radio silence of Jamie Dupree

Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak.

“It’s hard, but I am working to come back hard,” Dupree tells WSB Radio.

>> Read Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider blog here

He is now hoping a meeting with specialists at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta will help him figure out why he lost his voice. 

And the reporter in him has not quit.

“He still does interviews; he feeds us audio,” WSB Radio News Director Chris Camp says. Dupree also covers Congress via Facebook, Twitter and Cox Media Group websites. 

>> DC reporter Jamie Dupree honored on House floor

“He may not be able to talk, but boy you can hear him awful loud,” Camp adds.

Dupree is thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that is not what he says hurts him the most.

“Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”

>> WATCH: WSB-TVs Berndt Petersen speaks with Jamie about his struggle over the past couple years

Dupree says Emory researchers are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of his tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.

“Even though he can't speak, Jamie is still the most trusted voice in Washington DC,” WSB Radio’s Bill Caiaccio says of his colleague and friend. “He was already the hardest working reporter in our nation’s capital, and now he works even harder to get the job done.”

WSB Radio anchor Chris Chandler echoes those sentiments, saying, "I've always said Jamie is the most valuable on-air presence on our stations, and he still is.

“There's not a word of news from Washington that he hasn't reported and broken down for us.”

Mark Arum, WSB Radio traffic anchor and talk show host, adds that Dupree is an invaluable resource: “He might have lost his voice, but he still has the drive to get the story and get it right.”

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Sabrina Cupit, who anchors midday for WSB Radio, says Dupree is so much more than his voice: “His knowledge of Washington, his connections, his balanced reporting; they are all still a major part of what we do on air every day here at WSB.

“Personally, I have never met a kinder, more honest or just downright great human being in my life. I am praying for the return of his voice. I do miss hearing it.”

Get Dupree's take on what's happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday by clicking here.

Jamie Dupree is a reporter for the Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau. 

Travis AFB: Driver dead after gaining 'unauthorized access' to base's main gate, crashing

Officials at Travis Air Force Base in California say a car gained “unauthorized access” to the base’s main gate and later crashed.

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