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Woman finds out she's having triplets after husband dies in crash

Published: Monday, March 21, 2016 @ 9:03 PM

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Courtney Hill has experienced a whirlwind of a turn of events in a short of amount of time.

Six weeks ago, the Chicago woman's husband, Brian Hill, died in a trucking accident in Oklahoma.

Hill told WBBM that she and her husband, a retired Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait, were trying to have another child the day before he died.

Hill found out she was pregnant the day of her husband's wake.

"I was able to go hold his hand (and tell him I was pregnant)," she said.

But two weeks ago, she had a complication and had to go to the hospital.

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"We were frightened that she was losing the baby," her dad, Oscar Blomgren, said. "She said, 'Dad I have news for you.'"

Hill told her father she was expecting triplets.

"I just feel sorry that Brian won’t be able to see them," Blomgren said. "I guess maybe he will see them."

"I’m excited to have three more smiles that remind me of him," she said.

To help Hill with costs of raising four children, her sister, Amanda Willey, set up a GoFundMe page.

It has raised over $15,000.

He was a retired decorated Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

Posted by CBS Chicago on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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How did crucifixion kill Jesus?

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 11:46 PM

Actor James Burke-Dunsmore playing Jesus drags the cross during the Wintershall's 'The Passion of Jesus' production on Good Friday in Trafalgar Square on April 3, 2015 in London, England. Good Friday is a Christian religious holiday before Easter Sunday, which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Wintershall's theatrical production of 'The Passion of Jesus' includes a cast of 100 actors, horses, a donkey and authentic costumes of Roman soldiers in the 12th Legion of the Roman Army.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Actor James Burke-Dunsmore playing Jesus drags the cross during the Wintershall's 'The Passion of Jesus' production on Good Friday in Trafalgar Square on April 3, 2015 in London, England. Good Friday is a Christian religious holiday before Easter Sunday, which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Wintershall's theatrical production of 'The Passion of Jesus' includes a cast of 100 actors, horses, a donkey and authentic costumes of Roman soldiers in the 12th Legion of the Roman Army. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

On Friday, Christians around the world commemorate with prayers and fasting the death of Jesus Christ, three days before the arrival of Easter and the hope of the Resurrection.

The church calls on believers to solemnly reflect on the pain and suffering of Jesus of Nazareth, particularly beginning at 3 p.m. when it is believed Jesus died as he hung on a cross outside the city of Jerusalem.

While the Bible gives agonizing details of the crucifixion of Jesus, what do we know about what happens to a body undergoing this sadistic method of execution?

How does crucifixion kill you?

First, the history

Crucifixion is a gruesome mode of execution, and that’s why the Romans in Jesus’ day used it. A method of control and intimidation, Roman authorities used crucifixion to rid their cities of slaves, heinous criminals and, most important to the empire, insurgents.

Crucifixion was likely first used in what is modern day Iran. The vicious method of eliminating one’s enemies spread throughout the ancient world to Greece where Alexander the Great was known to have used it.

From there, the Romans adopted the practice and elevated it to a level that was unprecedented – at one point crucifying 500 people a day. It was practiced from the 6th century BC until the 4th century AD. The Roman emperor Constantine I banned the practice in 337 AD.

Why use crucifixion?

The Romans did not lack for ways to kill their enemies, but crucifixion allowed for two things – humiliation and a slow, painful death. The punishment was a method of intimidation that the Romans raised to an art form.

One Roman historian wrote of an event that saw 2,000 crucified on one day for the amusement of an emperor.

The process

Crucifixion followed a bloody script of sorts that maximized the suffering and prolonged death. It began when the one being crucified was stripped of his clothing then beaten with a flagrum, a short-handled whip made with lengths of leather that had bone and iron balls woven into the strips.

The person was beaten savagely with the whip which tore flesh then muscle, weakening the victim through blood loss and shock. While the aim was to inflict maximum injury, that part of the process was not intended to kill. 

After the beating -- where ribs were often broken from the repeated blows -- the victim would be forced to pick up and carry the beam of the cross he was to be hanged on.

Crucifixions were held outside of the city, and while the upright part of the cross, called the stripe, was permanently placed in the area the crucifixions took place, the crossbar, called the patibulum, had to be transported there. The patibulum usually weighed between 75 and 100 pounds.

We often see images of Jesus Christ nailed to a cross that is high above the ground, but this likely isn’t a true representation of Roman crucifixions.

The first crucifixions had the victims suspended just above the ground so their feet would not touch holy ground. By the time the Romans were crucifying people, the crosses were probably from 7 to 9 feet tall

Not all crosses were the familiar “t” shape we see depicted in art. Some resembled the letters “X” and “Y,” while some looked like an uppercase “T.” Some people, like the Apostle Peter, were crucified upside down on an inverted cross.

Some researchers say Jesus may have been crucified on a stake instead of a cross, which was another method of crucifixion.

While we read in the Bible of Jesus’ hands and feet being nailed the cross, that wasn’t always the case, either. When the hands were attached to the cross, it was usually done with spikes being driven into the wrists, not the hands, to better support the weight of the victim. Most victims, according to the writing of historians of the day, had their hands tied to the cross with rope, their feet nailed into the sides near the bottom of the cross.

The victims knees would be bent at around 45 degrees before their feet were nailed to the cross. The position eventually makes it impossible to hold one’s self upright, and the person would begin sag on the cross. The body’s weight would eventually pull the shoulders out of socket, thrusting the chest forward where it would become impossible to take in a breath.

It is written in the Bible that at one point Jesus was offered a drink of wine and a mild pain killer called gall or myrhh, and he declined it. The practice of offering those being crucified the drink is documented in other historical accounts. It was a service provided by a group of women from Jerusalem. 

How do you die?

If you survived the shock and blood loss from the beating, then were able to carry the patibulum to the place where you were to be crucified, then lived through your feet and your hands having spikes driven into them, your final misery was just beginning.

There are many theories as to what kills you as you hang on a cross. From blood loss from the beating, to shock and dehydration, it could be any combination of the factors, scientists believe.

The Royal Society of Medicine in 2006 published an article that centered on Jesus’ crucifixion, chronicling nine possible causes of death. And while suffocation from the weight of one’s body dangling from a cross has long been believed to be the cause of death in crucifixion, others think the process is a more complicated chain reaction of events.

The researchers from the RSM study believed death came to those crucified by one or more of the body’s failing processes.

The study suggested that as the person suspended on a cross struggles to breath, that lack of oxygen would trigger damage to tissue and veins causing blood to leak into the lungs and the heart. The lungs would stiffen and the heart become constricted from the pressure, making it difficult, then impossible to pump blood throughout the body. The lack of oxygenated blood would eventually cause each body system to fail and death would follow.

It could take hours, or, in some cases, days, but it was only a matter of time before death would come. 

In the biblical accounts of Jesus’ death, the process took six hours, and, in the end, he cried out to God.

Matthew 27:50-51 "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.…"

Sources: GizmodoBelieve.comNIM; The Guardian

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Easter 2018: When is it; what is it; why isn't it on the same date every year?

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 11:14 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 11:14 PM

Fun Facts About Easter

“Hey, do you have any idea when Christmas is?” is not a question you usually hear in late November or early December.

Major holidays are stamped on our calendars, often with little symbols, in case you don't know, for instance, that a turkey means Thanksgiving. 

Easter, however, is different. The date of Easter, when Christians celebrate the risen Christ, is different every year. 

Many factors have contributed to keeping the date a guessing game, but the rolling calendar on Easter is due mainly to astronomy and a group of men who got together in the ancient city of Nicaea to come up with a system of deciding when to celebrate the holiest day in the Christian calendar.

Here is a look at the origins of the remembrance, the reason for the floating date and when Easter will be celebrated this year.

What is Easter?
On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 
Jesus of Nazareth was a carpenter who became an itinerant preacher at the age of 30. For the next three years, he drew thousands of followers in the relatively small area where he preached. 

When Jewish leaders and Roman officials began to feel threatened by his growing popularity, he was arrested as he came into Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. He stood trial, was found guilty by a crowd and was mocked, beaten and eventually crucified. Followers believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.

The Old Testament prophecy of a messiah being persecuted, then executed, then resurrected – all for the sins of his followers -- is believed by many to have been fulfilled with Jesus’ death.

Where in the Bible is the story of Jesus’ execution?
The story of Jesus’ death appears in all four of the Gospels of the New Testament. You’ll find them in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 18.

When is Easter this year?
Easter is on April 1 in 2018.

Why is it on different dates every year?

The answer is not a simple one. In 325 CE,  the Council of Nicaea, a gathering of Christian bishops, decided that there should be a more organized and universal way to decide when Easter would be celebrated. The council decided that the remembrance would be held the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.

The date for the vernal equinox was based on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is delayed a week.

How early and how late can Easter be celebrated?
Easter can come as early as March 22, and as late as April 25 in the Gregorian calendar.

What does the word Easter mean?
It could be from the name of the fertility goddess Eostre. It could be from the Norse "eostur" or "eastur," meaning “the season of the growing sun,” or some combination of those terms and others from pagan festivals and ceremonies.

When was Easter first celebrated?
It’s not known when the first remembrance of Jesus’ death took place, but there are records of ceremonies beginning in the 2nd century. The celebrations were held around the Jewish Passover each year, a date that was dependent on the vernal equinox.

What are Good Friday and Maundy Thursday?
Good Friday commemorates the day on which Jesus was crucified. Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus had with his disciples.

How did a bunny become a symbol?
No one is really sure about how the Easter Bunny came into being, but, he/she likely is a combination of several ancient harvest festival symbols. says the bunny could have come from the pagan festival of Eostre. Eostre is a goddess of fertility and, because of the rabbit’s reputation for, shall we say, productivity, the animal became the symbol for Eostre.

Historians believe it is likely that the festival with its bunny symbol made its way through Europe and gave birth to the Osterhase, or Oschter Haws – an egg-laying rabbit popular in German fiction. German immigrants brought with them to America the tradition of laying colored eggs as gifts in nests built by children during a spring festival. 

Eventually, the bunny started to bring candy and other gifts with the eggs on Easter morning as a sign of the celebration of new life.

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Police offer tips for spotting suspicious mail with Austin serial bomber on the loose

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 10:31 PM

Police tape marks off the neighborhood where a package bomb exploded on March 19, 2018 in Austin, Texas. 
Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images
Police tape marks off the neighborhood where a package bomb exploded on March 19, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)

Tulsa police are helping area residents stay aware of suspicious packages after multiple package explosions in Austin, Texas.

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The police department posted the tips on Twitter Tuesday.

Local residents said that even though the explosions happened in Texas, they are nervous and extra cautious when checking the mail.

Police said residents should make sure that they know who is sending the package and to avoid opening packages without a return address.

Police Investigating Fatal Package Explosions In Austin

They also said that unexpected mail from a foreign country with excessive tape, restrictive markings, misspelled words, suspicious substances, strange odors, protruding wires or rigid or bulky contents could also be suspicious.

>> Related: Austin package explosions: Sixth blast not related to serial bombings, police say

Those who receive mail that they believe could pose a threat should isolate the area immediately, call 911 and wash their hands with soap and water.

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Dog viciously killed by owner in driveway, horrified neighbors now seeking justice for Gabriel 

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 10:05 PM


Residents in North Tulsa, Oklahoma, want justice for a dog they believe was killed by his owner. 

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James Penix said he looked out his window on Feb. 21 after hearing the screams of a dog. Penix said he saw his neighbor killing his dog named Gabriel with a dumbbell in the driveway. 

Penix said he called 9-1-1 and emergency operators referred him to the City of Tulsa's animal control division. But he said responding animal welfare officials allegedly said they could not find the home involved in the dog’s death and left. 

>> Related: United suspends pet cargo service in wake of mix-ups, dog death

Penix began a petition on, calling for justice for Gabriel. It had more than 2,500 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.

Animal Control reopened the investigation and will present possible charges to the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office. 

An update to the petition suggests the neighbor's other dog was taken as evidence and remains in the custody of Animal Welfare. 

>> Related: Girl injured by emotional support dog while boarding Southwest flight

The City of Tulsa responds to animal cruelty reports Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and forwards such calls to Tulsa Police after hours. 

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