Applebee's waiter serves 3 kids alcoholic root beer

Published: Friday, March 11, 2016 @ 8:35 PM

            Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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Police in Johnson City, Tennessee, are investigating a call involving underage children being served alcohol.

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Johnson City Police Chief Mark Sirois said that officers arrived at a nearby Applebee's restaurant Thursday around 5 p.m.

A parent told them "Not Your Father’s Root Beer," an alcoholic root beer, was served to his three children, ages 9, 10 and 11.

"We walked in, we got seated, we asked for something to drink," the children's father, Scottie Barnett, told WJHL. "My kids said they wanted root beer, so she said ‘OK, fine.’ She brought them what appeared to me as root beer."

Barnett said his 9-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter drank some of the bottled drinks. His 10-year-old daughter was also served the beverage but did not drink any of it.

Barnett said when he told the waitress the drinks were alcoholic, she insisted they were root beer.

"This is a 5.9 percent alcoholic drink," he said. "They don’t even serve root beer here at this establishment.”

Barnett called police and reported the incident to Applebee's corporate office.

Sirois said no police report was filed.

According to Barnett, his son was taken to a hospital after he complained of stomach pains.

He was later released and is expected to be OK.

"Sincere apologies were made, the family accepted dinner as our guests and immediate re-training of all team members on duty took place," Applebee’s spokesperson Patrick Lenow said. "Re-training of all team members of all the restaurants operated by this owner will be completed (Friday)."

Lenow emphasized that this was a mistake limited to only one restaurant that is independently owned.

The employee who served the drinks has been suspended.

An internal investigation is pending.

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Powerball-winning ticket worth $457M sold in Pennsylvania

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 8:05 AM

Tips on Winning the Lottery

Do you live in Pennsylvania? You might be $457 million richer.

According to the Powerball lottery, a single ticket sold in Pennsylvania matched all five numbers and the Powerball to win Saturday's massive jackpot, a $273.9 million cash value. 

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The winning numbers were 22-57-59-60-66 with Powerball 7.

If you missed out on Saturday's prize, you have another chance to win big in Tuesday's $377 million Mega Millions drawing.

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Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 7:53 AM

Police Investigating Fatal Package Explosions In Austin

Friends and acquaintances of Draylen Mason, the 17-year-old who was killed in one of Monday’s package explosions in Austin, Texas, remembered him as a kind young man and a talented musician.

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Mason’s mother also was injured in the explosion first reported around 6:44 a.m. Monday, authorities said. She remained in the hospital on Tuesday and was in stable condition. Authorities haven’t released her name yet.

Mason’s Facebook page shows that he was a senior at East Austin College Prep and was heavily involved in local music programs such as the Austin Youth Orchestra, where he was the principal double bass player, and the youth music program Austin Soundwaves, where he was also the principal bassist.

“He was a cool guy, and he was just so fun to be around,” said his friend, Kylie Phillips. “He was always busy, because he always had gigs and he was always doing things for the orchestra here in Austin. … I used to sing in a band with him, so it was so devastating when I found out he died.”

Another friend from school, Stephanie Lucio, remembered him as “talented to the max, from dancing to playing so many instruments.”

“As for his mother, I pray for her strength and recovery,” Lucio said. “She raised an outstanding son, friend, student and global citizen.”

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Former Austin Council Member Mike Martinez said he had met Mason and re-posted on Facebook a photo of them together.

“I had the honor to meet Draylen Mason in 2013 after he won the Hispanic Bar essay contest,” Martinez wrote. “His essay was on racial profiling and was so insightful and mature for such a young man. All of these tragedies are so horrible for our community. We must put a stop to this. RIP Draylen.”

Mason had been accepted to the University of Texas Butler School of Music, UT spokesman J.B. Bird said Tuesday.

The dean of the College of Fine Arts, Doug Dempster, offered his condolences, calling Mason a “most remarkable talent” who had the “chops to study music in college.”

“We at the University of Texas were so eager to have him join our music school … He carried himself with a kind of quiet maturity that belied his youth,” Dempster said. “The loss of a child with such conspicuous ambition, talent and determination is the cruelest kind of heartbreak.”

Some of Mason’s teachers grieved for him on social media, describing him as a remarkable student.

Sam Osemene, a U.S. government professor at Austin Community College, said he was intelligent and well-loved by everyone in the classroom.

“He was a very vibrant young man, full of life, always smiling,” Osemene told the American-Statesman on Tuesday. “He had what I call a zeal to succeed.”

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Mason had previously shared a couple videos of classical string performances on his Facebook page, and several photos of him show him playing a double bass or sitting at a piano.

A spokesperson from Soundwaves said Mason had worked with its executive director since he was 11 years old.

Mason had left a five-star review on Austin Soundwaves’ Facebook page: “Austin Soundwaves is a great music programs that’s dedicated to the advancement of kids in East Austin thru the power of music,” he wrote. “They push everyone to strive and to do great things in life.”

The group had been contacted by Mason’s family and asked not to comment further.

Mason had performed with the Austin Youth Orchestra for the last six years, its conductor, William Dicks, said Tuesday.

“He was an outstanding young man that had the talent and artistry to be a first class professional musician,” Dicks said. “It’s senseless.”

The first victim

Mason was the second person killed in the series of package explosions that began earlier this month.

Anthony House, who was killed in the first package bombing on March 2, was father to an 8-year-old girl and a Pflugerville High School and Texas State University graduate. Friends remembered him as quiet, clean-cut and driven.

House ran track and played basketball at Pflugerville High School where he made friendships that lasted throughout his life.

“He wanted to be something different and bigger than what a lot of people thought he was going to do,” said fellow Pflugerville Panther Greg Padgitt, who graduated two years before House. “He was quiet, but jokey with the kids that he let in. He was a great kid.”

After graduating from Texas State University with a degree in business administration, finance and financial management services in 2008, House started a money managing firm, serving as president of House Capital Management LLC. More recently he worked as a senior project manager for Texas Quarries, a Cedar Park-based lime fabricator, and Acme Brick, a Fort Worth-based firm. According to public records, House had recently begun attending Austin Community College.

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House’s family members declined to speak to the media Tuesday, but Freddie Dixon, House’s stepfather, had previously told the Washington Post that he thinks the bombings were a hate crime.

“Are you trying to say something to prominent African-American families?” Dixon, who is close friends with Mason’s grandfather and is the co-founder of the Austin Area Urban League, told the Post. “It’s not just coincidental.”

State Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin, expressed his condolences for House via Facebook on Tuesday afternoon: “The family of Anthony Stephan House, including his wife and 8-year-old daughter, has endured such a terrible loss through an absolutely inexplicable act of violence. Anthony was laid to rest this past weekend. I’ve known his stepfather, the Rev. Freddie Dixon, for many years and send my deepest condolences to the family.”

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Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say

Published: Monday, March 12, 2018 @ 10:07 PM
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2018 @ 10:07 PM

Police Investigating Fatal Package Explosions In Austin

Three package explosions in Austin in the past two weeks appear similar and related, authorities said Monday, and police are warning residents against taking suspicious packages inside their homes.

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Teen hit by bus during Washington D.C. field trip dies

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:03 AM

File photo.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A North Carolina teen visiting the nation’s capitol on a middle school field trip died Thursday after he was hit by a bus March 9, according to officials. 

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Hunter Brown, 14, of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, was struck and trapped under a tour bus at around 6:50 p.m. near the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, according to the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.

Responders were able to jack up the bus and free Brown after about 10 minutes, according to WFMY. He was taken to Children’s National Medical Center where he was in critical condition. 

Brown was visiting Washington, D.C., on an eighth grade field trip with other students from Central Wilkes Middle School, according to WFMY

The incident is being investigated by the U.S. Park Police Traffic Safety Unit and Criminal Investigations

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