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Seahawks Michael Bennett stands during national anthem ahead of Veterans Day

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 10:21 PM

Running back Thomas Rawls #34, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson #91, defensive tackle Nazair Jones #92, defensive end Branden Jackson #67, defensive tackle Jarran Reed #90 and defensive end Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks stand during the national anthem for the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 9, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Running back Thomas Rawls #34, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson #91, defensive tackle Nazair Jones #92, defensive end Branden Jackson #67, defensive tackle Jarran Reed #90 and defensive end Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks stand during the national anthem for the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 9, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett -- known for sitting during the national anthem -- stood before Thursday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

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According to an NFL sportscaster, Bennett told NBC that he stood for the anthem on Thursday to make it clear he supports the military. 

For months, Bennett has said he sits during games as a demonstration for equality, not because he doesn't respect people who have served. His father served 10 years in the U.S. Navy.

In September, a story about Bennett went viral when he shook hands with veterans on the side of the road outside the Seahawks practice facility. 

Dayna Mink Coats posted a photo of that encounter. She wrote on Facebook that when driving near the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton Sept. 26, she saw a parked car in the middle of the road. 

Coats said as she drove by the veterans and Bennett shaking hands, she became emotional. So she pulled over in tears.

“A few of the veterans came over to see if I was ok and behind them walked up Michael Bennett,” Coats wrote. “I was unprepared and not expecting this situation in my morning. But with eyes welled up with tears and speaking from my heart … I simply said, ‘Michael, I am so torn and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to disrespect our country, our flag or my husband who’s in the military but I want to understand. I’m a big Seahawks fan and I don’t know what to do?’ He reached in and hugged me.”

They talked for nearly 20 minutes, and Bennett explained how he had family in the military too.

“The word unity was used several times and he admitted he didn’t know where to go from here. I do not know either,” Coats wrote. “Nor do I know what the correct answers are … but I do know, I am thankful for those veterans and thankful Michael stopped to talk with them … and inadvertently, me.” 

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Construction on temporary Pulse memorial set to begin

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 7:35 PM



onePulse Foundation
(onePulse Foundation)

Construction of a temporary memorial to remember the victims and survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting will begin this week, according to the onePulse Foundation.

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Crews have started gathering photos, flowers and other keepsakes left at the nightclub where 49 people died and more than 100 others were injured in the June 12, 2016, shooting.

>> Related: Pulse nightclub shooting: 1 year later, Orlando remembers victims

The temporary memorial will allow families, survivors, first responders and other people to pay their respects to the victims as details of the permanent memorial are being finalized.

It will have shade, places to sit and reflect and an area where visitors may leave messages.

The onePulse Foundation and the Orange County Regional History Center will collect and conserve all the items, artwork and messages left at the Pulse site Sunday.

Construction will begin Monday. It's expected to last two months.

>> Related: On WFTV.com: Judge rules on crucial evidence in Noor Salman trial

Meanwhile, the federal trial for the wife of the Pulse gunman begins March 1. 

Noor Salman faces charges of aiding a former terrorist organization and obstruction of justice.

WFTV.com will have a team of reporters in the courtroom. Coverage of the trial begins March 1.

Pulse Nightclub Attack Timeline

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$10K reward offered for information in case of missing CDC employee

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 12:56 PM

Timothy Jerrell Cunningham
Timothy Jerrell Cunningham

The family of a missing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worker has partnered with Crime Stoppers to offer a reward for information in the case.

>> Watch the news report here

Timothy Cunningham, 35, was reported missing Feb. 16 after he called in sick to work Feb. 12 and has not been seen or heard from since, according to Atlanta police.

>> Father of CDC employee missing 10 days says disappearance 'not normal'

Police said Cunningham's parents went to his home and found his wallet along with several other belongings.

Police said Saturday that they have not been able to locate Cunningham, and they are asking for the public's help.

"This is an appeal to the public. Anyone who has seen Tim, or may know anything about his whereabouts, we're seeking your help in bringing Tim back safe to us," Cunningham's father, Terrel Cunningham, said.

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Cunningham's family and Crime Stoppers are offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and indictment in the case. Police said that at this time they do not have any evidence of foul play, but it is their practice to explore any and every possibility in a case such as this one.

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Daredevil squirrel makes Olympic dash onto ski slope, snowboarder misses it by inches

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 9:41 AM

Daniela Ulbing of Austria barely missed slicing a squirrel in half during a heat for the Ladies' Parallel Giant Slalom Elimination Run on day fifteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 24, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Daniela Ulbing of Austria barely missed slicing a squirrel in half during a heat for the Ladies' Parallel Giant Slalom Elimination Run on day fifteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 24, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A squirrel became an unwitting Olympic participant on Saturday when the furry rodent dashed onto the parallel giant slalom snowboarding course and barely missed being run over or sliced in half by Austrian snowboarder Daniela Ulbing.

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Unfortunately for Ulbing, she wasn’t quite as lucky as the squirrel. Though she won the heat that was almost thwarted by the squirrel, she fell in the next round to Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic.

>> Related: Olympian Gus Kenworthy rescues puppy from Korean dog meat farm

But, Ulbing can’t be too disappointed with her loss to Ledecka. The Czech snowboarder is a regular winter games sensation. At only 22 years old, she made history at the 2018 games by becoming the first female athlete to win gold medals in different sports — she won the gold in alpine skiing last week.

After a fun and freezing few weeks, the winter games are finally preparing to wrap up. At the moment, the Norwegians are at the top of the pack with 13 gold medals and 38 total. They’re followed by Canada and Germany. The Americans are in fourth place with nine gold medals and 23 total.

What You Need To Know About Chloe Kim

>> Related: Photos: 2018 Winter Olympics: U.S. women's hockey team wins gold

And, while the sports and squirrels were fun, this year’s games also had a lot of diplomacy going on in the stands and around the venue. Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the games with his visit to South Korea where he sat only feet away from the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during the opening ceremony. President Trump’s daughter and special adviser, Ivanka Trump, is in South Korea now for the closing ceremony.  

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Florida school shooting survivor's mother says her family has received death threats

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 9:45 AM

WATCH: Survivors Recount Florida High School Shooting

The mother of Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg is speaking out after her family received death threats because her son and another survivor were accused of being crisis actors.

>> Florida sheriff rejects calls from state lawmaker for his ouster after Parkland school shooting

Hogg and fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have made frequent media appearances to call for action on gun control after police say Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others in a Valentine’s Day massacre.

>> Delta latest company ending discounts, benefits for NRA members

The students have since become the center of a false conspiracy theory claiming that they are actually actors who are coached before television appearances.

>> Teachers to Trump: #ArmMeWith funding, supplies and resources, not guns

Rebecca Boldrick, Hogg’s mother, told The Washington Post that her family has received death threats since the conspiracy theories started surfacing, saying, “I’m under so much stress.”

“I’m angry and exhausted,” she added. “Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”

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The student has said he's not a “crisis actor” but rather someone who witnessed a tragedy.

“It’s annoying. I hate it. But it’s part of American democracy,” Hogg said in an interview with the Post. “Am I an actor? No. Am I a witness? Yes.”

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