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Renowned physicist and professor Stephen Hawking dead at 76

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 5:48 AM

Stephen Hawking Fast Facts

Professor Stephen Hawking died at his home in Cambridge, England, Wednesday. He was 76.

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According to a statement released by a family spokesperson, Hawking died peacefully in the early hours of the morning.

>> PHOTOS: Stephen Hawking through the years

His children issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and peristence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

The family said in their statement that the “University of Cambridge has very kindly offered to open a book of condolence at Gonville and Caius College for anyone who would like to pay tribute to the life and work of Professor Hawking.”

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2018

Hawking was diagnosed with progressive and degenerative motor neuron disease in 1963 when he was 21 years old, according to, and given just two years to live by doctors.

>> Stephen Hawking dead at 76: Celebrities, public figures, scientists pay tribute

He’s defied those odds by more than 50 years. Most patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) live no more than roughly three years after diagnosis, according to the ALS Association.

>> Stephen Hawking quotes: Words of wisdom, humor from the physicist and pop culture icon

Despite the disease, he was able to communicate from his motorized wheelchair using his cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating computer. 

While the illness may have forced Hawking into a wheelchair and left him voiceless, it never slowed down his intellect or genius and, if anything, seemed to accelerate his scientific drive and ambition. He spent 30 years as a professor at Cambridge, and, in addition to his scientific accomplishments, he’s also a prolific writer and penned one of the most iconic books of the 20th century “A Brief History of Time,” making him one of science’s biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Who is Mark Anthony Conditt, the suspected Austin bomber?

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 9:57 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

VIDEO: Who is Mark Anthony Conditt, the Suspected Austin Bomber?

The suspected Austin serial bomber who killed himself early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him was Pflugerville resident Mark A. Conditt, local and federal law enforcement sources told the American-Statesman and KVUE.


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Girl, bored with sister’s soccer game, makes 65-million-year-old fossil find

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:01 AM

FILE PHOTO (Makro_Wayland/Pixabay license:
FILE PHOTO (Makro_Wayland/Pixabay license:

An Oregon girl decided digging in the dirt was more her speed than watching her big sister’s JV soccer game. And that decision turned into a major discovery.

Naomi Vaughan found something that she called her “Moana rock” after it reminded her of the Heart of Te Fiti from the hit Disney film, last year, CNN reported.

The “Moana rock” turned out to be something that dated back at least 65 million years.

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It was actually an ancient fossil called an ammonite. Ammonites are extinct marine invertebrates, CNN reported.

Paleontologists told Oregon Live that they’re not normally found in Bend, but have been discovered more than 80 miles away.

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One paleontologist believes it came from an area further away, a town of Suplee, 112 miles east of Bend, Oregon Live reported. He believes that either there was a family connection between the two towns or that the fossil came from a school collection. 

And while well-preserved ammonite fossils can fetch big bucks -- up to thousands of dollars, Vaughan’s sample may be worth about $10 or $20.

Vaughan plans on keeping her find, Oregon Live reported.


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2 charged after woman found being eaten alive by maggots, police say

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 4:03 AM

Woman Found Being Eaten Alive By Maggots, 2 Charged

A Georgia woman was found covered in cockroaches and maggots, bedridden on a sheet smeared in feces, a police report says. 

Her caretakers and family members, 54-year-old Terry Ward Sorrells and 18-year-old Christian Alexander Sorrells, have both been charged with neglect of a disabled adult or elder person

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Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services responded to the Sugar Hill home where the woman lived with Terry Sorrells and Christian Sorrells on March 15 after receiving a call for medical assistance. The woman was unresponsive but still alive, the report says.

The AJC is not identifying the woman because she is an alleged victim of neglect.

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When the fire crew arrived, they said they saw that maggots and roaches were eating the woman’s flesh and her legs were “completely black and showing signs of decomposition.” They had transported her a month earlier with a “mega mover” — a tarp-like object used by emergency medical technicians to move obese patients — and she was sitting on the same mega mover, now “completely brown and black” and covered in feces. The fire crew called police because “they did not believe she would live much longer and felt a moral obligation to report this,” the report says.

The living conditions inside the home on Pine Tree Circle were “deplorable,” the responding officer said in his report. The officer was “overwhelmed with the smell of human feces and garbage” when he walked into the house, and roaches were crawling on the walls and ceiling of “every single room,” the report says. Garbage lined the floor from the entryway to the kitchen, and covered the floor of the bathroom. In Terry Sorrells’ bedroom, there was a two-foot-high pile of empty Monster energy drink cans, with garbage piled in a closet and covering a dresser, the report says. 

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Terry Sorrells had gone with the woman in an ambulance before the officer arrived, but Christian Sorrells remained at the house. He told the officer that the woman had been bedridden for one or two years and had been progressively getting worse; she had been admitted into a long-term care facility, but returned home after Medicaid would not cover the cost, the report says. Christian Sorrells also told the officer that no one in the house worked. 

Christian Sorrells was transported to Gwinnett County police headquarters and Terry Sorrells was arrested later that day. Both were booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center after 10 p.m. March 15. They remain in jail, each held on a $22,200 bond. 

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Trump: 'Crazy Joe Biden' would 'go down fast and hard' in a fight

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:58 AM

Trump Tweets Joe Biden Would ‘Go Down Fast and Hard’ In A Fight

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Thursday to slam Joe Biden over controversial comments that the former vice president made at a rally Tuesday.

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