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Cleveland kidnapping hero flatly rejects free burgers

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 @ 10:12 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 @ 1:47 PM

A love for the Big Mac and quick actions to help rescue three kidnapping victims and a child from a Cleveland home gained Charles Ramsey a place in the national spotlight earlier this month.

But the 43-year-old straight-talker credited with helping rescue Amanda Berry, her daughter, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight on May 6 doesn’t want a free meal and in no uncertain words has told restaurants to hold the lettuce, tomato and nonsense.

Through his attorney, Ramsey said he wants help for the women allegedly held captive by Ariel Castro and no undue publicity, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“I want everyone to know that I have nothing to do with this trash,” Ramsey said in a written statement released by attorney Patricia Walker. His comments were in response to a burger named in his honor and an offer for free burgers for life.

Police say Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight had been held captive in the Castro’s house for at least nine years.

Read: Commentary: 7 creepy things you didn’t know about accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro

The trio disappeared separately.

Ramsey and his neighbor Angel Cordero helped kidnapping victim Berry and her young daughter. The other two young women were freed soon after.

Walker told the PD Ramsey was disgusted by an online video game that depicts him and Ariel Castro in a hamburger food fight.

Ramsey famous stopped eating his Big Mac to help Berry.

More than a dozen restaurants have offered Ramsey free burgers for life. A “Chuck Card” was being developed.

The dishwasher’s employer, Cleveland’s Hodges, released the Ramsey Burger, an an 8-ounce Angus Beef burger with a secret sauce.

The restaurant has removed the burger from its menu, the Plain Dealer reports.

“The Ramsey burger was named to honor an employee at a time he indicated he would be returning to his job at Hodge’s. It was not developed to generate additional revenue for the restaurant — nor has it,” the business said in a statement. “We are saddened to hear that Chuck did not take this — or the offer of so many Cleveland restaurants to give him free meals — in the spirit we intended.”

What do you think about Ramsey turning down the burgers?

Contact this columnist at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth

Too many Americans aren’t using vacation time; when they do, they still work

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 1:50 PM

A new, online survey finds two out of every three Americans use only about half of their  eligible vacation time, and when they do take time-off, they tend to bring a laptop and their work along.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Summer vacation season is approaching, which means it’s time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. But, according to a new study, not only do too many Americans skip vacations, they tend to work during time off, too.

>> Read more trending news

Glassdoor surveyed more than 2,200 people on how they spend their time off. The online job and recruiting site found that two out of three Americans work while on vacation. Researchers also discovered that the average employee only takes about half of their eligible time off

About 14 percent of respondents admitted that a family member complained when they were caught working on their laptop. However, employees aren’t always to blame. About 29 percent revealed that they were contacted by a boss and co-worker while on vacation

“We are seeing a push and pull situation when it comes to employees taking vacation and paid time off, in which people attempt to step away from the office for a break from work, but technology is keeping them connected with the swipe of a finger,” said Carmel Galvin, Glassdoor chief human resources officer. 

>> Related: Atlanta named one of the best summer vacation spots for 2017

Glassdoor offered some advice to help professionals completely unplug while away.

Employees should submit their PTO as soon as possible, and create a back-up plan with a manager to delegate responsibilities. The website also recommended workers set up an “out of office” email reply, and "ensure your back-up person is primed for success.”

Learn more about the research here.

Mother asks Facebook community to help punish her daughter

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 12:24 PM

An Arizona woman turned to Facebook after her 10-year-old daughter was accused of vandalizing a school bathroom.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An Arizona woman turned to Facebook to help teach her daughter a lesson after the 10-year-old was accused of vandalizing a school bathroom. 

Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School sent photographic evidence: wads of toilet paper stuck to the bathroom ceiling.  

"Even though it's minor, it's significant to me," Jeanene Lacasse, the girl’s mother, said. "We don't run that type of ship."  

Lacasse went to her community's Facebook page and volunteered her 10-year-old for work.

The post reads: "My sweet daughter decided to participate in vandalism on the last day of school... If anyone owns a business and needs/wants a 10 year old volunteer please let me know."

>> Read more trending news

People responded immediately.  

Lacasse’s daughter, Anni, now has days of cleaning up other messes ahead of her. Anni says her mother's mode of discipline might be unconventional, but not unexpected. 

"She's kind of, like, different sometimes," Anni said.  

Anni denied taking part in the vandalism, but said she was there when it happened. Her mother said there is still some guilt by association.

5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

Muslims around the globe are gearing up for the holy month of Ramadan, which begins this weekend.

Throughout the holiday, observers fast from sunrise to sunset and partake in nightly feasts.

» RELATED: Muslims in America, by the numbers

Here are five things to know about Islam’s sacred month:

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the holy month of fasting, spiritual reflection and prayer for Muslims.

It is believed to be the month in which the Prophet Muhammad revealed the holy book — Quran — to Muslims.

The word “Ramadan” itself is taken from the Arabic word, “ramad,” an adjective describing something scorchingly dry or intensely heated by the sun.

» RELATED: Mahershala Ali makes history as first Muslim to win an Academy Award 

When is Ramadan?

The Islamic calendar is based on the moon’s cycle and not the sun’s (what the Western world uses), so the dates vary year to year.

By the Gregorian solar calendar, Ramadan is 10 to 12 days earlier every year.

In 2017, Ramadan is expected to start on May 27 and last through June 24.

Last year, the first day of Ramadan was June 6, 2016.

To determine when exactly the holy month will begin, Muslim-majority countries look to local moon sighters, according to Al Jazeera.

The lunar months last between 29 and 30 days, depending on the sighting of the moon on the 29th night of each month. If the moon is not visible, the month will last 30 days.

» RELATED: 5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay 

What do Muslims do during Ramadan and why?

Ramadan is known as the holy month of fasting, with Muslims abstaining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting during the holiday is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with the daily prayer, declaration of faith, charity and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Last year, according to Al Jazeera, fasting hours around the globe ranged between 11 and 22 hours and in the US, 16 to 18 hours.


The fast is intended to remind Muslims of the suffering of those less fortunate and bring believers closer to God (Allah, in Arabic). 

During the month, Muslims also abstain from habits such as smoking, caffeine, sex, and gossip; this is seen as a way to both physically and spiritually purify oneself while practicing self-restraint.

Here’s what a day of fasting during Ramadan is like:

  • Muslims have a predawn meal called the “suhoor.”
  • Then, they fast all day until sunset.
  • At sunset, Muslims break their fast with a sip of water and some dates, the way they believe the Prophet Muhammad broke his fast more than a thousand years ago.
  • After sunset prayers, they gather at event halls, mosques or at home with family and friends in a large feast called “iftar."

» RELATED: Photos of famous Muslim Americans

How is the end of Ramadan celebrated?

Toward the end of the month, Muslims celebrate Laylat al-Qadr or “the Night of Power/Destiny” — a day observers believe Allah sent the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad to reveal the Quran’s first verses.

On this night, which falls on one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, Muslims practice intense worship as they pray for answers and seek forgiveness for any sins.

To mark the end of Ramadan, determined by the sighting of the moon on the 29th, a 3-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr brings families and friends together in early morning prayers followed by picnics, feasts and fun.

Does every Muslim fast during Ramadan?

According to most interpreters of the Quran, children, the elderly, the ill, pregnant women, women who are nursing or menstruating, and travelers are exempt from fasting.

Some interpreters also consider intense hunger and thirst as well as compulsion (someone threatening another to do something) exceptions.

But as an entirety, whether Muslims fast or not often depends on their ethnicity and country.

Many Muslims in Muslim-majority countries, for example, observe the monthlong fast during Ramadan, according to 2012 data from the Pew Research Center.

In fact, in Saudi Arabia, Muslims and non-Muslims can be fined or jailed for eating in public during the day, according to the Associated Press.

But in the United States and in Europe, many Muslims are accepting of non-observers.

Related

Doctor: Popular charcoal masks could cause permanent skin damage

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

A popular “do-it-yourself” charcoal mask that has been trending all over the internet could cause serious damage to your skin, according to a dermatologist.

"It might be dangerous if you like all three layers of your skin," Dr. Seth Forman, a dermatologist in Tampa, Florida, said in an interview with WFTS

Many people have taken to YouTube to show users the painful process of peeling off the charcoal mask. Many of these products are sold from “unregulated vendors,” WFTS reports. Forman said that some of these products are mixed with a foreign charcoal powder and super glue, and will “most likely” be illegal soon. 

If certain layers of skin are peeled off, it can lead to scarring and infection “especially when you get down to the second layer (of skin),” according to WFTS

The good news is that there is a large variety of FDA approved facial masks that are safe, Forman said.