19-year-old wins $500,000 in lottery, gives it to his parents

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 6:20 PM

One teen struck gold while playing the lottery in Lansing, Michigan, but instead of using the money to buy lavish gifts for himself, he decided to give most of the winnings to his parents.

>> Read more trending news

The Lansing State Journal reported that the 19-year-old won $500,000 playing Michigan’s Golden Wild Time scratch-off game after buying the ticket at a Sunoco gas station. He immediately decided to help out his parents by giving them the money, according to Michigan State Lottery officials.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

The Michigan state lottery website said the winner wanted to remain anonymous. 

“I’m going to keep about $5,000 for myself to invest, and I’m going to give the rest to my parents,” said the teen. “My parents have done so much for my sister and me, helping them takes a big weight off of their shoulders and mine.”

He said he’s glad he can help alleviate some of his parents’ financial burdens.

“It’s just incredible,” he said. “I can’t get the smile off my face.”

33 snakes, including endangered species, found dead at zoo

Published: Saturday, March 25, 2017 @ 9:36 PM

33 snakes, including endangered species, found dead at zoo

Knoxville Zoo officials are investigating why 33 reptiles, including three endangered species, died Wednesday. 

Herpetologists came to work that morning to find a majority of the 52 animals housed in one of the reptile buildings dead. They immediately evacuated the snakes and lizards, giving them oxygen and checking their heartbeats with an ultrasound device.

“This is a devastating and catastrophic loss to our zoo,” Lisa New, president at the zoo, told the Knoxville News Sentinel Saturday. “These animals were important ambassadors who helped so many people understand the role snakes and lizards play in the balance of nature.”

>> Read more trending news

Veterinarians from the zoo as well as from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine are investigating the cause of death.

“We also lost breeding programs for several endangered and threatened species,” she added. “It is especially difficult for our herpetologists who have dedicated their careers to caring for and advocating for these animals.”

Three critically endangered species died; the Louisiana pine snake, the Catalina Island rattlesnake and the Aruba Island rattlesnake. The zoo’s forest cobra and albino Eastern diamondback rattlesnake also died.

“We don't know exactly what occurred to cause this terrible event, but we do know it was isolated to a single building,” the zoo said in a post on Facebook. “We are continuing to investigate all the physical systems and conducting necropsies to see if we can gain any insight.”

Infowars' Alex Jones apologizes for spreading fake 'Pizzagate' story

Published: Sunday, March 26, 2017 @ 2:23 AM

Infowars' Alex Jones apologizes for spreading fake 'Pizzagate' story

Alex Jones on Friday apologized to the owner of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria for spreading the fake story last year that linked the restaurant to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and human trafficking.

Jones, as the Austin, Texas-based host of Infowars.com, has a long history of pushing wild and false conspiracy theories, such as claiming that the U.S. government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks or the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was a hoax.

But in a rare backtracking mea culpa, Jones apologized for his role in promoting the baseless “Pizzagate” story that went viral among right-wing bloggers and media sites during the 2016 presidential campaign.

>> Watch the clip here

The gist of the fake story accused Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta, of running a child sex abuse ring through the Comet Ping Pong restaurant owned by James Alefantis. Podesta’s comments about the pizzeria — made in Democratic Party emails exposed by WikiLeaks — became fodder for fake news web portals as well as popular user-generated content sites like Reddit and 4chan.

Jones, in a statement he read aloud for his online audience, tried to put some distance between himself and the fake story and blamed “scores of media outlets,” “third-party accounts of alleged activities” and “accounts of (Infowars) reporters who are no longer with us” for the “incorrect narrative” he discussed several times on his program.

>> Read more trending news

“In our commentary about what had become known as Pizzagate, I made comments about Mr. Alefantis that in hindsight I regret, and for which I apologize to him,” Jones said.

In language that was clearly sculpted by a legal mind hoping to avoid possible litigation, Jones added: “To my knowledge today, neither Mr. Alefantis nor his restaurant Comet Ping Pong, were involved in any human trafficking as was part of the theories about Pizzagate.”

For many people, the Pizzagate conspiracy theory became part of the mainstream political discussion only in December, after 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of North Carolina reportedly brought a gun into a Comet Ping Pong packed with customers, and pointed it at an employee in hopes of finding proof of “Pizzagate.”

Welch surrendered to police when he found no evidence that children were being harbored there, D.C. police said at the time. He pleaded guilty to weapons and assault charges Friday, CNN reported.

Miffed neighbors say Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner have 'ruined the neighborhood'

Published: Sunday, March 26, 2017 @ 1:36 AM

Neighbors of first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, held a meeting last week to complain that the new arrivals in D.C. weren’t doing their part to make things livable for others in the neighborhood.

Even though former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama live a short distance away, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also lives nearby, neighbors recently complained about the Trump and Kushner household at a recent meeting. Among those reportedly in attendance was Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

>> Read more trending news

Problems ranging from lack of parking near their home and improper trash removal have neighbors up in arms.

“They’ve completely ruined the neighborhood,” one neighbor told The Associated Press. Another noted that some of the ire may be due to the couple’s politics. 

Trump has been made aware of the issues, although she didn’t directly reference them in a statement to the AP.

“We love the neighborhood, and our family has received an incredibly gracious welcome from our neighbors," she said in the statement.

Gym owner Anne Mulhman requested a private meeting with Trump after she discovered she had attended one of her SolidCore workout classes. Muhlman wrote a note to other members saying that Trump's father was “threatening the rights of many of my beloved clients and coaches.” She later apologized for her comments.

1 dead, 1 injured in shooting near Vegas’ Cosmopolitan hotel 

Published: Saturday, March 25, 2017 @ 4:34 PM

1 dead, 1 injured in shooting near Vegas’ Cosmopolitan hotel 

For the second time in less than 24 hours, police have swarmed the Las Vegas Strip after at least one person was killed in a shooting near the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino.

>> Related: Burglary at Bellagio Hotel and Casino prompts lockdown on Vegas strip

Police said Saturday afternoon that the situation was not an active shooter situation. 

The suspect peacefully surrendered around 6 p.m., according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

>> Read more trending news

Around 11:30 a.m. Las Vegas police reported that they were investigating a shooting that occurred on South Las Vegas Boulevard.

Authorities believed an individual who was on a bus that was traveling on the strip is responsible for the shooting.

Police closed portions of the strip, and set up a staging area and a barricade.

Guests at the Cosmopolitan resort were evacuated.

Shortly after 11 a.m., KSNV reported that at least one victim of a shooting had been transported to University Medical Center trauma in unknown condition.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, authorities reported a second victim had been killed.

According to USA Today, police evacuated the nearby Cosmopolitan hotel and casino shortly after 1 p.m.

“The shooting incident happened on the bus,” said Larry Hadfield, a spokesman with Las Vegas Metro police. “We had one single shooting incident with two victims. Both were transported to the trauma center and one is deceased.”

Hadfield said police were negotiating with the suspect Saturday afternoon in an effort to take him into custody, USA Today reported.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.