Pizza parlor in Alaska helps family of Las Vegas shooting victim

Published: Saturday, October 07, 2017 @ 4:18 AM

Pizza sold at a record pace at the Moose's Tooth in Anchorage, Alaska.
Seth McConnell/Denver Post via Getty Images
Pizza sold at a record pace at the Moose's Tooth in Anchorage, Alaska.(Seth McConnell/Denver Post via Getty Images)

A pizza parlor in Alaska has raised some record-setting dough to help the family of an employee whose mother was killed in last week’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, KTVA reported.

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The Moose’s Tooth in Anchorage had record sales Friday night as it donated $5 of every pizza sold to the family of Dorene Anderson. The 49-year-old was killed Sunday night during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival outside Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire from a hotel window.

As of Friday night, more than 2,400 pizzas have been sold at Moose’s Tooth, KTVA reported. The pizzeria’s previous record was 2,164.

>> Las Vegas shooting: Remembering the victims

Moose’s Tooth customer service manager Megan McBride said the record sales reflected the community’s compassion for Anderson and her family.

“You know, I think Dorene was the highlight of everybody’s life,” McBride told KTVA. “Just like her daughter, she was a bastion of cheerfulness. And I think the turnout tonight represents just how many people and how many lives she touched.”

Thank you everyone for your patience today! It's a busier day than normal because we're donating a portion of all pizza...

Posted by Moose's Tooth on Friday, October 6, 2017

US Marine helicopter window falls from sky, injures child

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 7:47 AM

File photo.  (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)(Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

A 20-pound window of a US Marine Corps helicopter fell off in mid-flight onto a school playing field Tuesday, slightly injuring a child on the Japanese island of Okinawa, CNN reported. 

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US Forces Japan said in a statement that the window of a CH-53 transport helicopter fell onto a sports field at an elementary school outside Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

"We take this report extremely seriously and are investigating the cause of this incident in close coordination with local authorities," the statement said. "This is a regrettable incident and we apologize for any anxiety it has caused the community."

The child was not seriously injured, CNN reported.

Watch: He’s going to Harvard, and Louisiana student’s reaction is priceless

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 1:33 AM

VIDEO: Student’s Priceless Reaction to Harvard Acceptance Letter

It has been quite a week for two Louisiana brothers. Both were accepted into big-name colleges, and separate videos of their reactions have gone viral.

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On Tuesday, 16-year-old Ayrton Little and his classmates at T.M. Landry College Preparatory waited as he opened his email to see if he had been accepted into Harvard University’s 2019-2020 class, WAFB reported. The junior’s reaction is priceless when he gets the good news.

His classmates shout “three-peat,” as it is the third consecutive year that a T.M. Landry student has been accepted to Harvard, WAFB reported. 

Ayrton said he plans to major in applied math and computer science.

HARVARD THREE-PEAT!!!! TM Landry gets an acceptance from Harvard three years in a row! HARVARD SAYS YES TO GRADUATING JUNIOR ARYTON LITTLE!!!! Here’s his acceptance video!

Posted by TM Landry College Prep. on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

His celebration came on the heels of a joyous day for his older brother, Alexander Little. On Friday, Alexander got the news that he had been accepted into Stanford University.

Alexander said he plans to major in physics with a minor in computer science.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY SAYS YES TO TM LANDRY SENIOR ALEXANDER LITTLE! Here’s his acceptance video!

Posted by TM Landry College Prep. on Friday, December 8, 2017

Florida man stranded on lake fountain after stolen swan boat drifts away

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:28 AM

Firefighters rescue a man stranded on a fountain in the middle of Lake Eola early Friday.
WFTV.com
Firefighters rescue a man stranded on a fountain in the middle of Lake Eola early Friday.(WFTV.com)

Firefighters rescued a Florida man early Friday who was stranded on Lake Eola’s  iconic Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain after the swan-shaped paddle boat he allegedly stole drifted away, the Orlando Police Department said.

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Police said they were dispatched to an unknown trouble call shortly after 3:45 a.m. when a person at the Post Parkside apartments reported that a man who was standing on the fountain was shouting for help.

Firefighters donned dry suits and used a different city-owned boat to rescue the stranded man from downtown Orlando’s centerpiece, investigators said.

Police said the man, whose identity hasn't been released, was taken to a hospital for an unknown reason.

What it’s like decorating a Tournament of Roses Parade float

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:08 AM

Florist K. Mike Whittle helped create this rolling botanical wonderland.
Photo: Courtesy of Rain Bird Corp.
Florist K. Mike Whittle helped create this rolling botanical wonderland.(Photo: Courtesy of Rain Bird Corp.)

Sports fans watching the 2018 Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 will be eager to see if No. 3 Georgia can get past No. 2 Oklahoma when the teams meet at the College Football Playoff semifinal in Pasadena, Calif.

One local florist will be watching the preceding Tournament of Roses Parade with a trained and appreciative eye.

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“It was one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever done,” said K. Mike Whittle, who helped decorate a parade float years ago. “You learn so much.”

As operator of K. Mike Whittle Unique Floral Designs just off the Marietta Square, he doesn’t have a lot of free time at any point in the year. Certainly not during the holiday season. But with the University of Georgia heading to the Rose Bowl for just the second time ever, he let us tag along the other day while he set up for a party at the the Hilton Atlanta Marietta Hotel & Conference Center so we could press him for intel.

The main takeway: you just cannot believe how many flowers go into all those floats.

(Photo: Jennifer Brett)

“We used 35,000 roses,” he said, his voice still full of awe at the memory. “I was a kid in a candy store with all those flowers. They didn’t know me from Adam’s house cat but they turned me loose.”

A Marietta native who got his start as an entrepreneurial kid who would dig cattails from a ditch and sell them to an area flower shop, Whittle was working in Carrollton when he got the call to go west.

“It really steamed up my career,” he said. He didn’t love getting up on scaffolding to attend to the top of the float, but otherwise enjoyed learning floral problem-solving skills on that big a stage. “We worked 29 hours straight. It just showed me yeah, it can be done.”

The annual parade, older than the football contest, dates back to Jan. 1, 1890. That first year, horse-drawn buggies festooned with blooms were meant to echo a festival of roses in Nice, France. Two years later, winter weather threatened the supply of roses and nearly turned the event into the “Orange Tournament,” but the fledgling tradition held.

Automobiles showed up in 1901 and were shoved to the back of the parade, so they wouldn’t spook the horses. The following year saw the first merger of flora and football, when the University of Michigan rolled over Stanford University, 49-0. One year, 1913, organizers thought a camel vs. elephant road race would be fun. The elephant won, and the species’ record remains unbroken as there have been no similar matchups since.

Famed zookeeper Jack Hanna rode on the float Whittle worked on in 2002, accompanied by giant botanical tigers, monkeys and exotic birds. If your Rose Bowl party plans call for slightly less elaborate floral decor, Whittle likes roses (of course) as well as red ginger and anthurium.

“Carnations are not bad, either. It’s a sturdy football kind of rose,” said Whittle, who has created displays incorporating football helmets.

Proper hydration is key – he’ll give newly arrived blooms a couple of days to drink up before placing them in arrangements – and he uses a sharp knife, not scissors, to ensure a clean, angled cut.

Then again, he mused, there’s one major flub people make when setting out to arrange flowers.

“That is the mistake,” he said with a twinkle, “doing it yourself.”

The float Mike Whittle helped create in 2002 was an award-winning beauty.(Photo: Courtesy of Rain Bird Corp.)