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Winter storm pounding Midwest blamed for 2 deaths

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 10:56 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 10:55 AM


            Vehicles rest along the snowbound shoulder along Interstate 94, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, near Galesburg, Mich., after scores of vehicles were involved in an accident. (Mark Bugnaski/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group via AP)
Vehicles rest along the snowbound shoulder along Interstate 94, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, near Galesburg, Mich., after scores of vehicles were involved in an accident. (Mark Bugnaski/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group via AP)

A winter storm pounding the Midwest caused at least two deaths Friday, authorities said, while closing schools and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Snow-related crashed snarled highways across southern Michigan, with one person killed when a semitrailer struck the rear of a car stopped in traffic on U.S. 23 near Flint, police said.

A Michigan State Police trooper was hospitalized after a pickup truck lost control and slammed into his stopped squad on Interstate 94 northeast of Detroit. A pileup on the same highway just east of Kalamazoo in southwestern Michigan of collected 38 vehicle including 16 semitrailers in eastbound lanes Friday afternoon, causing only minor injuries.

In Naperville, Illinois, just west of Chicago, a man in his 60s died after suffering a heart attack while shoveling snow Friday morning, Edward Hospital spokesman Keith Hartenberger told the Chicago Tribune.

The National Weather Service reported 10 inches (25) of snow on the ground Friday afternoon in suburban Chicago and 11 inches (28 centimeters) near South Bend, Indiana. Chicago was forecast to receive as much as 14 inches (35 centimeters) of snow with Detroit expecting up to 9 inches (23 centimeters).

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city was gearing up for three more rounds of snow through the weekend.

"The good news is we're tried and tested here," he said. "We're up to it."

Three northern Indiana counties posted travel watches, recommending only essential travel

More than 1,000 flights were canceled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and more than 300 were canceled at Midway, the Chicago Department of Aviation reported Friday afternoon. More than 260 flights were canceled at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan.

Hank Stawasz was out shoveling his driveway by hand, clearing a path for the retiree to exit his home in the Detroit suburb of Livonia.

"It's part of living in Michigan," a smiling Stawasz said from underneath his Detroit Red Wings winter hat. "I saw the plows come by, so I figured I'd get a jump on it so I wouldn't have to shovel it when it's 4 feet high."

Thousands of children got a rare snow day off school after school districts in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee canceled classes. Schools across Nebraska and Iowa also closed or delayed the start of classes.

It made for a great day for kids to go sledding, make snow angels and play with pets outside instead of reading, writing and arithmetic. Angela Lekkas took her children sledding in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood.

"The kids couldn't wait to get out today," she said. "This is the first true snowfall of the season."

The Indiana Department of Transportation resorted to sending teams of as many as four plows simultaneously to clear some highways. Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Commissioner John Tully said 300 salt-spreading plows hit the streets late Thursday and would continue their work through the weekend.

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JAY-Z leaves $11,000 tip on $80,000 bar tab for friend’s birthday celebration

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 4:28 PM

Jay-Z and Beyonce Through The Years

JAY-Z reportedly spent big at a New York bar over the weekend.

According to the New York Post’s Page Six, the rapper and father of three spent a combined $110,000 at three locations in the city while celebrating Roc Nation Sports president Juan “OG” Perez, who is also a close friend of Hov.

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Although his wife, Beyonce, daughter, Blue and in-laws, Tina Knowles Lawson and Richard Lawson, were at the NBA All-Star Game, Jay was reportedly at Zuma, a high-end Japanese restaurant, for dinner. He and his friends, other Roc Nation executives, spent about $13,000, according to Page Six.

The tabloid also reported that the group later went to Manhattan’s Made in Mexico Mexican restaurant and spent $9,000 on drinks.

The last stop was Playroom nightclub, where Page Six reported Jay was seen handing out bottles of his own Ace of Spades Champagne to tables. His group paid full price for 40 bottles of the drink.

People reported that a server posted a photo of the tab at Playroom, showing the bottles totaled more than $80,000. The group left an $11,100 tip.

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Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves’ disease

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 2:13 PM

What You Need To Know About Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams is taking three weeks off from her talk show.

The former radio personality turned daytime TV show host was candid with her live audience Wednesday as she made the announcement. The 53-year-old has Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism, both of which she has spoken about in the past. 

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“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” a show representative told People. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism. Yesterday, Wendy’s doctor prescribed a necessary three weeks of rest to get her levels and medication in sync. The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

TV personality Wendy Williams announced she's taking 3 weeks off of her daytime talk show as she get treatment for Graves disease and hyperthyroidism.(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for AHA)

“My doctor has prescribed -- are you ready? As of today, three weeks of vacation,” she said.

Williams then described the symptoms that come with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism.

“Along with hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease, it promotes nervousness,” Williams said. “No, I’m not nervous. Anxiety, please. I’m over 30 years in this game.”

Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

The wife and mother to a teenage son did admit she has some symptoms, including a rapid heartbeat.

“Now, I can cop to irritability, but I’m just thinking it’s me micromanaging,” she said. 

Ever the workhorse, Williams said she would be back in less than three weeks.

“I’ll be back in two (weeks). I’m not an heiress. Who is going to pay my bills? Are you serious? I’m just saying, I come from working class,” she said.

Williams said she blamed her symptoms on the stresses of being a working wife and mother, encouraging women to put their health first.

“What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good,” she said. 

Williams took three days off last week after she said she was “feeling flu-ish.” It was the first time she was out sick from the show since it started in 2009. 
In October, Williams fainted on-air while introducing a segment.

Related: Wendy Williams addresses fainting on live Halloween show

“That was not a stunt,” Williams said at the end of that episode. “I overheated in my costume, and I did pass out. But you know what? I’m a champ and I’m back.”

CNN reported that there will not be a fill-in host for the show. Repeat episodes will air during the hiatus.

Watch Williams’ message to viewers below.

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Franklin Graham writes tribute to his late father, Billy Graham

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 2:38 PM

Billy Graham Dead at 99

The Rev. Billy Graham, the Christian evangelist known as “America’s pastor,” died Wednesday after battling various health ailments.

He was 99.

Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, posted a tribute to him on Facebook following the news of his father’s death.

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“Where is Heaven?” Franklin Graham recalled his father being asked, to which he then replied, “Heaven is where Jesus is, and I am going to Him soon!”

Franklin Graham (R) helps his father Billy Graham to the stage during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Franklin Graham posted a tribute to his father, who died Feb., 21, 2018, on Facebook.(Davis Turner/Getty Images)

“He will be missed by our family, his colleagues, faithful ministry partners, and, yes, many around the world,” Franklin Graham wrote. “But what joy he has to be welcomed by God the Father, and be reunited with my mother in the presence of Jesus who speaks peace to eternal souls.”

Related: Anne Graham Lotz on her father Billy Graham’s death: ‘Daddy is home’

Franklin Graham’s mother, Ruth Graham, died in 2007.

Read Franklin Graham’s Facebook post below:

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‘How to Get Away with Murder’ star Karla Souza alleges she was raped by a director in Mexico

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 1:26 PM

1. Karla Olivares Souza is a 32-year-old Mexican actress. 2. Souza is best known for playing Laurel Castillo on "How to Get Away with Murder" on ABC. 3. She went to an acting school in France and toured there with a theatre company. 4. Her TEDx talk "Sweet are the Fruits of Adversity" is the most-viewed Spanish-language TEDx talk. 5. In 2018, she said an unnamed director on "Murder" violently attacked and raped her.

Actress Karla Souza claims she was sexually assaulted by a director early in her career.

The “How to Get Away with Murder” star spoke to CNN en Español Tuesday, sharing that she was raped by a director while filming in her native Mexico early in her career, People reported.

The 32-year-old said the director, who she would not name, totally abused his power and held “psychological control” over her.

The actress felt she had to “give in” to his advances.

“I ended up giving in to him. (I let him) kiss me, to touch me in ways I did not want him to touch me and in one of those instances, he attacked me violently and yes, he raped me,” she said, fighting back tears.

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Souza said she was staying in a separate hotel than her co-stars, where only she and the director had rooms. The unnamed director would stop by at odd hours, claiming it was work-related.

“He knocked at my door saying he wanted to go over some scenes and I thought it’s 2 a.m., it’s not appropriate and it’s something that shouldn’t be happening,” she said.

Souza continued, adding that one night he knocked on her door and she refused to answer, which caused him to decide “to shoot my scene and then he suddenly started to humiliate me in front of the others on the set.”

The actress has come forward after countless powerful men in Hollywood have been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape, beginning with movie producer Harvey Weinstein in October.

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