Fiona the hippo inspires new zoo-inspired ice cream flavor

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 8:48 PM

In this photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Fiona, a baby Nile hippopotamus, born prematurely Jan. 24, 2017, swims outside for the first time with her father Henry, right, as her mother Bibi, left, watches in the pool of the zoo's Hippo Cove exhibit Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Cincinnati.
Michelle Curley/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP/AP
In this photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Fiona, a baby Nile hippopotamus, born prematurely Jan. 24, 2017, swims outside for the first time with her father Henry, right, as her mother Bibi, left, watches in the pool of the zoo's Hippo Cove exhibit Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Cincinnati.(Michelle Curley/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP/AP)

Cincinnati’s Graeter’s Ice Cream revealed a new flavor on Monday crafted specifically to celebrate the brand’s home city and one of Cincinnati’s favorite family-friendly attractions, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

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Inspired by the wildly popular and prematurely born baby hippo Fiona, Chunky Chunky Hippo will be available for ice cream fans in Graeter’s Cincinnati, Dayton and Oxford scoop shops, as well as in Northern Kentucky and at the Graeter’s location at the zoo.

The new, limited-edition flavor features a toffee ice cream base, salted roasted peanuts and milk chocolate caramel truffles. It will be served in cups, cones, dishes and sundaes.

WATCH: Baby hippo Fiona makes her outdoor debut at the Cincinnati Zoo

Like all Graeter’s ice cream, Chunky Chunky Hippo will be produced in small batches. It will be available while supplies last, likely through Labor Day, according to Tim Philpott, vice president of marketing for Graeter’s Ice Cream.

A portion of the proceeds from each purchase of the new flavor will benefit the zoo. Pints will be available at Graeter’s website in limited quantities.

PHOTOS: Fiona in Hippo Cove Pool

“It’s two Cincinnati traditions teaming up,” Chad Yelton, vice president of marketing for the zoo, said. “It’s a sweet partnership, pun intended, and certainly with Fiona, she’s kind of taken over not only the city, but it seems like the world.

“We’re excited that Graeter’s came in and supported the cause and continues to tell Fiona’s story.”

Graeter’s was founded in 1870, and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden opened in 1875.

The two Cincinnati icons partnered earlier this year when a Graeter’s scoop shop opened at the zoo, carrying 10 of the local ice cream company’s flavors.

Related: Cincinnati Zoo’s Fiona the hippo now has her own beer

“Back then we started talking about it and thinking of ways we could jointly work together,” Philpott said. “Obviously, Fiona was a phenomena at that time, and we just started to think about ways we could help and lend our ice cream to the cause.”

Related: Baby hippo Fiona reunited with her mom

If the flavor sells well, the ice cream company would bring it back “in force” next year, available in pints in area grocery stores as well as in scoop shops, Philpott said.

“We’re hopeful this goes on for a long time, but right now we’re just kind of throwing it out there to see how well it’s received,” Philpott said.

Graeter’s Ice Cream’s unveiling of limited-time Summer Bonus Flavors in scoop shops and online continues on July 24, Aug. 7 and Aug. 21.

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Mother crashed car into pole to prove to kids God is real, police say

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:24 PM

Bakari Warren, 25, is seen here in a mug shot. She’s jailed on a $22,000 bond on two charges of cruelty to children.
Gwinett County Sheriff’s Office
Bakari Warren, 25, is seen here in a mug shot. She’s jailed on a $22,000 bond on two charges of cruelty to children.(Gwinett County Sheriff’s Office)

Police say a mother intentionally crashed her SUV into a pole to prove to her two small children that God is real.

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Investigators say Bakari Warren, 25, told officers after the crash that she did it on purpose to show her kids that if they believe, God would protect them.

The crash and the 5- and 7-year-old kids’ explanation were all caught on camera. 

Police say Warren was driving northbound on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard when she crossed into the southbound lanes and drove head on into a concrete pole.

Sitting in a police car, her children explained what happened before the crash.

“You think she did it on purpose?” the officer asked.

>> Related: 12-year-old boy missing after getting on wrong school bus found near his home

“Yeah because she turned. Her eyes was closed and she was saying, blah, blah, blah, ‘I love God,’” one daughter said. “She didn’t want us to just have a car accident. She wanted us to know that God is real."

Police said Warren told her children to buckle up their seat belts just before she accelerated into the pole. Warren was frisked and handcuffed right after she got out of the SUV.

“When the officers asked the driver of the vehicle what had happened her first statement was to check her Facebook, and it would explain what happened,” Norcross police Sgt. Eric Butynski said.

>> Related: Missing Iowa family of 4 found dead in Mexico 

Nothing was found directly referencing the incident on what appeared to be her Facebook page, but police say she later gave the same reasons as her kids -- to prove that God will protect them. 

No one was hurt in the accident, but officers say it could have been much worse.

“It could have been a lot worse. It could have been heavier traffic at the time, she could have hit the pole at such an angle that she did more damage to the car,” Butynski said.

Warren remains in jail on $22,000 bond. She is charged with two counts of child cruelty. 

>> Related: College student seriously injured while on spring break in Cancun 

The children are now with their grandparents

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Justice Dept. announces proposal to ban bump stocks ahead of anti-gun rally in DC

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 10:25 PM

What is a Bump Stock?

The Department of Justice announced a proposal Friday to ban bump stocks, device that essentially convert semiautomatic weapons into machine guns. The announcement came just a day ahead of the “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington.

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Thousands of young people are expected to converge on the nation’s capital to demand gun control following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that left 17 people dead.

President Donald Trump announced the new proposal on Twitter. “We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns,” the president tweeted.

>> Related: What is a bump stock, how does it work and is it legal?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement on the proposed ban, referring to the Las Vegas massacre in October that left 58 people dead. The shooter used bump stocks on a number of weapons to increase their firepower.

“After the senseless attack in Las Vegas, this proposed rule is a critical step in our effort to reduce the threat of gun violence,” Sessions said.

>> Related: Trump sends memo to DOJ asking for bump stock ban after Parkland massacre

On Feb. 20, Trump issued a memorandum instructing Session to ban bump stocks. The proposal announced on Friday is a response to that memorandum.

A bump stock is installed on an AK-47 and its movement is demonstrated at Good Guys Gun and Range on February 21, 2018 in Orem, Utah. The bump stock is a device when installed allows a semi-automatic to fire at a rapid rate much like a fully automatic gun. (George Frey/Getty Images)

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs year-round daylight saving time measure

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:58 PM


Florida Gov. Rick Scott is signing off on a measure that would let Florida stay on daylight saving time all year long.

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Scott on Friday signed 74 bills into law, including the "Sunshine Protection Act." The measure won't take effect unless Congress also changes federal law.

But if Congress were to go along, Floridians would no longer set back their clock an hour each November.

>> Related: Florida Senate passes bill approving year-round Daylight Saving Time

That would translate into later sunrises and sunsets from November to March.

Scott in a statement said he supported the move because it would help the state's tourism industry. He said it would allow residents and visitors to "enjoy everything our beautiful state has to offer later in the day."

>> Related: Sen. Rubio files federal legislation to make daylight saving time permanent

The Florida PTA had asked for a veto because more children would go to school in the morning in the dark.

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Missing Iowa family of 4 found dead in Mexico

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 4:47 PM

Missing Iowa Family Found Dead In Mexico

A Creston, Iowa, family of four that was previously reported missing in Mexico has been found dead.

KCCI reported that 41-year-old Kevin Sharp, his wife, 38-year-old Amy Sharp, and their children, 12-year-old Sterling and 7-year-old Adrianna were found dead on a tourist condo complex in Tulum, Mexico, a tourist area. The Associated Press reported that the developer of the complex declined to comment.

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“The Sharps have been located. They were found last night in their condo deceased,” a relative named Ashli Peterson wrote on Facebook, according to The Des Moines Register. “There was no foul play! At this time that is all the information we have. 

“Please respect the family at this time as they go through the grieving process. Thank you for all the posts, shares, and kind words,” the post said

Tulum is in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. A March 16 travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State said there was a level 2 advisory in the state due to crime. There were no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in that state, which has other tourist areas, such as Cancun and Cozumel.

On Thursday, relatives filed a missing persons report through the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, KCCI reportedAccording to Peterson’s original post, the family had not been in contact with relatives after letting them know they made it to their condo safely.

Related: U.S. issues level 4 ‘do not travel’ advisory for 5 states in Mexico

Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer said the family had not boarded their flight from Cancun, Mexico, back to the U.S.

“It’s a very sad day for the Sharp family and the city of Creston as a whole,” Ver Meer said. “We’ll work through this together.”

Ver Meer said there was no sign of traumatic injury and autopsies are being conducted in Mexico. Results are pending.  

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