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Santa poses with teddy bear for memorial to child

Published: Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 3:09 PM

FILE PHOTO: A teddy bear is completed at the Steiff stuffed toy factory.
Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: A teddy bear is completed at the Steiff stuffed toy factory.(Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)

A grieving mother clutching a teddy bear stood in line to see Santa at a Pennsylvania mall.

There was no child with Amanda Berman, only the stuffed bear, named Ian, The York Daily Record reported.

In 2016, Berman’s son, Ian, was stillborn, and it has been 15 months since he died. Berman said the pain has not lessened, but the bear helps her cope after it was given as a gift by Sweet Grace Ministries.

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The group gives a basket or bag to families that have lost a baby either by stillbirth or a neonatal death. The group also creates burial gowns from donated wedding gowns.

She and her husband have taken the bear on trips to Ocean City and Hershey Gardens. This year they wanted a photo of Ian the bear with Santa, portrayed by Thomas Timmons. 

Timmons told the Daily Record, “When I first saw her coming and saw her carrying the teddy bear, I pretty much knew right away what this was going to be about.”

Timmons spent extra time with the Berman family, holding the bear as if it were a baby.

All the couple wanted was one photo, but the photographers who run the event at the mall only offered $30 packages. After reaching out on Facebook, trying to find a location that would do a single photo, strangers gave the family their condolences and support. 

Someone offered to pay for the $30 bill at the mall for Berman, who will put the photo in a memorial for Ian.

 

Disney: Best time to visit theme park

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:06 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Theme-parkgoers at Disney World are always trying to crack the code to see when it’s the best time to visit.

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Channel 9’s Jamie Holmes crunched the wait time numbers and learned the quieter times at the park are changing.

Peter Pan has been flying over Neverland since Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. The wait time is still among the longest of all the rides at all four parks.

Disney does not release park attendance numbers on a monthly basis, but ride wait times can be an indicator of when crowds hit the parks.

EasyWDW, a website dedicated to all things happening at Disney World, tracks wait times every day.

The website said on average the wait to get on the Peter Pan ride in December was 74 minutes. It January, the wait time edged down to 72 minutes. 

EasyWDW said the best time to ride Peter Pan is in September with a 49-minute wait.

“September is the one lull after the end of summer and the start of Halloween and convention season, which makes it a great time to go, especially on weekdays, and even weekends in September aren't that bad,” said Rick Munarriz, with The Motley Fool.

To add to the crowds, Brazil is slowly emerging from a recession and the euro is stronger.

Financial analysts have said with the Toy Story and Star Wars attractions coming soon, the quieter times may be gone forever.

"This may be the end of the slow season as we know it. Which is good for Orlando tourism in general, but maybe not so good for us as pass holders,” Munarriz said.

Disney didn't comment for the story.

Wait times don't always reflect park attendance.

If a ride is down, or fewer vehicles are running, ride times could be up even if park attendance is lower.

Christina Aguilera belts a Whitney Houston tribute at American Music Awards

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 10:29 PM

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19:  Christina Aguilera performs onstage during the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Christina Aguilera performs onstage during the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Christina Aguilera delivered a tribute to the late Whitney Houston that only a vocalist of her caliber could do.

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At Sunday night’s American Music Awards, Aguilera celebrated the 25th anniversary of Houston’s blockbuster movie “The Bodyguard” and its top-selling soundtrack.

Related: Christina Aguilera to pay tribute to Whitney Houston, ‘The Bodyguard’ at AMAs

Beginning her set in a black pantsuit and a singular spotlight, Aguilera sang the a capella opening of “I Will Always Love You,” transitioning to the big note before going into “I Have Nothing,” followed by “Run to You,” a song Houston herself has praised Aguilera for singing.

2017 American Music Awards Red Carpet

Related: Christina Aguilera to pay tribute to Whitney Houston, ‘The Bodyguard’ at AMAs

Assisted by a choir, Aguilera ended her tribute with “I’m Every Woman” recieving a standing ovation.

Watch the full performance below.

Children left in freezing car while mother talked to friends in mall, police say

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:39 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

After getting calls about mothers leaving their kids in freezing temperatures, police are warning parents not to leave their children in their vehicles.

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A mother left her two young children in a car as she spoke with friends for more than 45 minutes, according to WXIN

Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer Stephen Jones found an 11-year-old girl clutching her 2-year-old brother inside a Toyota Corolla around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Castleton Square Mall. The outside temperature was 8 degrees at the time, according to WXIN

The girl told Jones she had the keys to the car but had turned it off. Jones asked her to turn on the car. 

Jones went into the mall and found the 29-year-old mother speaking with a group of her friends in front of a store. She was very apologetic. 

Jones filed a report with the Department of Child Services and warned the woman to never leave her children alone again, according to WISH

Hours earlier, police had also responded to a call that a woman left her son, 4, and daughter, 7, in a car in freezing temperatures for more than an hour, according to WISH.

Georgia mom's post about 5-year-old paying rent sparks viral Facebook conversation

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:53 PM



Alex Wong/Getty Images
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

At the age of 5, most kids are still learning the basics of counting, but one Georgia mom has tasked her 5-year-old with not only counting but learning the art of financial planning.

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Essence Evans has received international attention for her recent Facebook post, about requiring her 5-year-old daughter to pay toward the family’s rent, water, electricity, cable and food. Evans, who says she lives in Georgia, said in a Facebook post Jan. 14, that she gives her daughter a $7 allowance each week, so paying rent is a way to teach her some “real world” concepts.

“I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves,” Evans wrote. “So, I make her give me $5 dollars back. $1 for rent $1 for water $1 for electricity $1 for cable and $1 for food.”

Her daughter gets to keep $2 for herself or for saving.

I MAKE MY 5 YEAR OLD PAY RENT. Every week she gets $7 dollars in allowance. But I explained to her that in the real...

Posted by Essence Evans on Sunday, January 14, 2018

The post has since been shared more than 314,000 times, and there are more than 44,000 comments, mainly praising Evans’ efforts to teach her daughter responsibility. 

“I think this is absolutely amazing! It is a great way to teach her how the real world works and to get her a little savings account of her own so she has a good start when she moves out or goes to college or whatever she chooses to do,” Jennifer Barfield wrote in response to the post.

Cathy White Stark agreed, writing that Evans is “a fantastic parent! Kids are clueless how things work and yes,they have this sense of entitlement. ... Good job.”

Some supporters even told personal stories of how similar tactics served them well.

“My father did that with me. I never complained. But when he died. He left me close to $28,000.00 I was shocked,” wrote Jim Koloski.

While the chorus of praise resonates throughout most of social media, there have been some who call her methods a bit much for a 5-year-old.

Some applauded the general idea but critiqued Evans for charging her child for necessities, even if just a small fee.

Evans’ Facebook post and the conversation around it have been featured on “Loose Women,” a television program in the United Kingdom, and several online news sites.

Evans did not immediately return The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s request for comment.