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Florida drive-a-tank attraction gets initial green light

Published: Thursday, June 01, 2017 @ 1:32 PM

British Army Challenger 2 tanks. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
British Army Challenger 2 tanks. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

If anyone ever wanted to drive a tank in Florida, they may soon be in luck.

Melbourne City Council gave initial approval for zoning to Tank America, a company that would feature the state’s only “drive-a-tank” attraction, according to Florida Today.

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Accompanied by a Tank America employee, as many as six people would ride in a “2.5-ton Abbot FV432 armored vehicle” to a staging area, at which point two customers would get in a tank, with one allowed to drive, Florida Today reported.

The tanks, which would have non-functioning weapons, would reach a top speed of 10 mph, and an employee could kill the engine, if needed. The company plans to charge about $350 for a base package but also hopes to allow customers to crush junked cars for an extra cost, Florida Today reported.

Residents and city planners have reservations about the proposed attraction, which will would feature a tank trail about 500 feet from some homes, according to Florida Today.

The city council makes a final vote June 13.

Shirtless flag-bearer from 2016 Olympics qualifies for 2018 Games

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 2:27 PM

Pita Taufatofua carried the flag for Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Pita Taufatofua carried the flag for Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics.(Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The flag-bearer from Tonga who walked shirtless in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics will need to pack some warm shirts for the South Korean games.

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Saying that “a miracle happened,” Pita Taufatofua qualified for the Pyeongchang Olympics in cross-country skiing Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Taufatofua had failed in two previous attempts to qualify for the Winter Olympics, but on Saturday, he met the standards in five races to qualify, ESPN reported.

“I gave it absolutely everything,” he told the Journal. “I died at the end.”

Taufatofua qualified in taekwondo at the Rio de Janeiro Games, ESPN reported. He was eliminated in his first bout.

Hospital blames contraceptive app for accidental pregnancies

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 2:16 PM

Hospital Blames Contraceptive Phone App for Pregnancies

A phone app that claimed it was an effective digital contraceptive is now under fire after dozens of women who said they used the app became pregnant.

Natural Cycles was certified as a birth control method in the European Union last year.

It would help woman keep track of body temperature to predict when women could become pregnant when not using traditional forms of birth control, the Evening Standard reported. It was promoted as an alternative to birth control pills and researchers believed in the results after they found it was up to 99 percent effective, the newspaper reported last year.

>>Mobile app designed to prevent pregnancy approved in Europe

Now a Swedish hospital is casting doubts on the method after it has reported dozens of unwanted pregnancies from users over the past few months, The Daily Mail reported.

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The app is popular in Europe where users went from 5,000 in 2016 to 125,000 in 2017. 

And while there have been reports of unplanned pregnancies, the company markets Natural Cycles told the Daily Mail, “No contraception is 100 percent and unwanted pregnancies is an unfortunate risk with any contraception.”

Company officials said that the number that the hospital was reporting, 37 unplanned pregnancies out of 668 users, is within the 93 percent risk communicated to consumers, the Daily Mail reported.

The Evening Standard reported that the risk of unplanned pregnancy while using birth control pills is about 91 percent.

Boy, 12, dies from flu-like symptoms in Michigan

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:34 PM

Ohio has reported the third flu-related infant death this season.

12-year-old boy from Michigan who vomited during dinner one night, went to an urgent care facility the next night and had a flu test come back negative tragically died the very next morning.

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Michael Messenger’s family can’t believe how quickly their world was turned upside-down, losing a son and a brother who had been so full of life in just a matter of days.

The timeline of Messenger’s symptoms, evaluation and death has his mother Jessica Decent-Doll urging other parents not to wait if they see signs of flu.

“Don’t wait, it’s all I can say. This flu or whatever is going around this year is unbelievably dangerous,” she told the Times Herald.

Messenger vomited during dinner Jan. 9, was taken to an urgent care the next evening where he was cleared for flu and administered anti-nausea medication and was found unresponsive at home in bed the morning of Jan. 11.

An hour and a half later, he was declared dead at a hospital.

Decent-Doll said her son’s vital signs were deemed normal at the urgent care center and that the family was advised to give him fluids.

By 9:15 a.m. Thursday, it was clear Messenger’s life was in grave danger.

“I ran upstairs, and I sat with him, and I tried to get him to respond to me, but there was no response, nothing,” Decent-Doll said. “It’s indescribable, it really is.”

The grieving mother said that her son had just gotten a flu shot in December and that he “never stopped, ever. He loved science. He loved his family.”

Kristen Ervinck started a GoFundMe to help the grieving family:
"Mikey was so full of life and so energetic he lit up the room with his smile," it read.

The GoFundMe raised more than $12,000 as of Saturday. 
At least 30 children have lost their lives to the disease this flu season.

Michael Messenger's funeral was Thursday. His family is still waiting for the results of his autopsy.

Police: Man angry over chicken dinner puts wife’s hand in hot frying oil

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 8:46 AM

Husband Arrested for Putting Wife’s Hand in Hot Fryer Oil, Police Said

An Oregon man is behind bars after sheriff’s deputies said he put his wife’s hand in hot frying oil.

Jeremiah Crothers is also accused of nearly suffocating his baby son, KATU reported.

Police said Crothers covered his 7-month-old son’s mouth and nose until the baby’s legs turned blue, Oregon Live reported.

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According to police, Crothers’ wife hit her husband in the head with a frying pan to get him to let go of their child, KATU reported.

Later, police said, Crothers complained that his wife didn’t season the chicken she was preparing for dinner and then grabbed her hand and put it in the oil she was using to fry the chicken, KATU reported.

When police arrived, they said Crothers was not there, but they saw what they said were burns on the victim and the baby had signs of strangulation and a bruise on his head, Oregon Live reported. Crothers was arrested the next day in St. Helens. Crothers has been charged with attempted murder, strangulation, assault, coercion and attempted assault.

A judge set bail at $217,750.