Illinois man brings crosses to Las Vegas to honor shooting victims

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 7:41 AM

Fifty-eight white crosses for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting stand on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. They were built by Greg Zanis, a retired carpenter from the Chicago suburbs.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Fifty-eight white crosses for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting stand on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. They were built by Greg Zanis, a retired carpenter from the Chicago suburbs.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

An Illinois man known for honoring the victims of mass shootings around the country brought 58 crosses to the Las Vegas Strip to honor the victims of last weekend’s shooting, WGN reported.

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Greg Zanis, 66, a retired carpenter from the Chicago suburb of Aurora, made the 58 crosses for the victims and placed them in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, KABC reported.
He previously made crosses for the Pulse Nightclub shooting victims in Orlando, Florida, and for gun violence victims in Chicago. He also erected crosses after the  Columbine and Sandy Hook school shootings. He has built more than 20,000 crosses in 20 years.

“This row of crosses will show the severity of what really happened there. More so than numbers and pictures in the paper,” Zanis told WGN before driving the 1,800 miles to Las Vegas.

>> Las Vegas shootings: Remembering the victims

Each cross had a heart attached, and Zanis also brought Stars of David for Jewish victims. He wrote the names and glued pictures of the victims on each one when available, WGN reported.
Zanis said he sympathizes with the families of the victims because recalls the pain of personal tragedy, KABC reported. His father-in-law was murdered 20 years ago.

"That just changed my life," Zanis told The New York Times. "My first cross was for somebody that I loved. And when I put up these crosses here, I always think of my personal loss here too. Always."

Owl turns routine oil change into real hoot

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 3:05 PM

An owl was found on a car engine during an oil change in New Hampshire.
Salem NH Police Department
An owl was found on a car engine during an oil change in New Hampshire.(Salem NH Police Department)

A mechanic in New Hampshire attempting to perform an oil change Friday found a surprise guest on the car's engine.

An Eastern Screech owl was discovered on the engine, according to a Facebook post by the Salem, New Hampshire Police Department. 
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Police said the owl was friendly and easy to handle, but did appear to be a bit lethargic. While the car owner told police they had no idea how the bird got in the car, it's believed the owl sought the car's engine for warmth, or perhaps while chasing a mouse.

The owl, which police named Shazam, was taken to On the Wing, a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Police: Florida man drives through bedroom with 3 children inside

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 1:50 PM

The wreckage is seen after a Florida man allegedly plowed through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
WFTV
The wreckage is seen after a Florida man allegedly plowed through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said.(WFTV)

A Florida man is facing a charge of reckless driving after plowing through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

Johnny Woodberry, 44, was driving a 2005 Cadillac in Cocoa around 2 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and drove into the house, troopers told WFTV
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The three children were asleep inside the bedroom when the car drove through it, but troopers said they only sustained minor injuries.

Troopers said the children were transported to Wuestoff Hospital and later released, WFTV reported. 

Report: CDC given list of 'forbidden' words for budget

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

WATCH: CDC Given List of ‘Forbidden’ Words

The Trump administration has issued a list of seven words and phrases that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are "forbidden" from using in documents related to next year's budget, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The list of banned words includes: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based, according to The Washington Post report. In certain cases, alternative phrasing was offered. CDC employees were encouraged to use the phrase, “the CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes," in place of “science-based” or “evidence-based” according to a source cited in The Washington Post report.

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It is not clear why the Trump administration issued such a directive, but The Washington Post notes that other federal agencies, like Health and Human Services, have altered language addressing sexual orientation in its documentation since Trump took office.

The directive was met with an "incredulous" reaction when it was announced at a meeting Thursday with CDC employees, The Washington Post reported.

The White House has not released a response to The Washington Post report.

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Panthers' Thomas Davis donates $15K for high school state championship rings

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

Panther’s Thomas Davis Donates $15K to High School for State Championship Rings

Carolina Panthers defensive linebacker Thomas Davis has made a huge donation to help the Harding University High School football team get its players and coaches championship rings.

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Davis confirmed he donated $15,000 to the team in a tweet to WSOC-TV anchor John Paul.

The football team finished its 14-1 season with a 30-22 win over Scotland County in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A State Championship game in Winston-Salem. It’s the first state championship for the team since 1953.

Head football coach Sam Greiner was on the radio Friday morning when Davis called in and said he would help. The football program was trying to figure out ways to purchase rings for its players who couldn't afford them.

The rings cost about $400 apiece, so the school was trying to raise about $20,000. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the team buy rings, which had raised nearly $7,000 by Friday morning.

When Greiner accepted the head coach position two years ago, the football program was one of the worst in the state -- winning just one game in both 2014 and 2015. The players didn't have uniforms until the coach’s church bought them. They still practice on a beat-up baseball field and have to dress behind the stands.

"If someone wrote a movie script about everything that's happened, they would think it's a fairy tale,” Greiner said. “They wouldn't think it's real life.”

WSOC-TV asked what expenses Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cover and was told it provides for game officials, security and coaching stipends.

Everything else is up to the school, families or a booster club.

Harding doesn't have a booster club, and a majority of the students’ families don't have the money.

"We have kids on our rosters that don't really have homes,” Greiner said. “They really don't know what they're going to eat (from) day to day.”

Greiner and his church created a family before building a state championship-caliber team. The church provides meals before games and Greiner let his quarterback, Braheam Murphy, who was homeless, live with him.

"I have two daughters because I think the good Lord knew I had enough sons, coaching football," Greiner said.