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Published: Sunday, November 26, 2017 @ 9:50 PM
— A Miss Minnesota Pageant contestant Saturday was the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss USA state pageant.
Mikayla Holmgren, 22, a student at Bethel University in St. Paul, is a triple-threat athlete, loves to dance and serves as a mentor to others with Down syndrome.
"I'm ready for this," Holmgren told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "When I'm performing on stage, I just want people to see me."
The winner of Miss Minnesota goes on to compete at Miss USA. The winner there goes on to Miss Universe. Pageant officials were ecstatic when they accepted her application.
"Mikayla is a trailblazer," Denise Wallace, executive co-director of the Miss Minnesota USA pageant told the Star Tribune. "What is amazing and beautiful about this is the fact that women are finally seeing representations of themselves in this capacity. It makes the next woman feel like they can do that, too."
Holmgren is no stranger to pageant competition. She won Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing, a pageant for girls and women with disabilities, in 2015.
She has a GoFundMe page set up to help defray some of the costs of competition.
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 11:10 PM
PITTSBURGH — Hundreds of marchers took to the streets of Pittsburgh Thursday night, protesting the fatal police shooting of a teenager during a traffic stop Tuesday night.
Traffic was brought to a standstill as protesters spilled onto Pittsburgh’s Parkway East.
The protest is described by WPXI reporters on the scene as “tense,” but “peaceful so far.”
Marchers, holding signs and cell phones, sat down in the street, blocking traffic and causing a back up for miles.
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:59 AM
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. — Time to get a new car!
A woman said she was driving when she felt something on her leg. And it wasn’t her imagination. The unidentified woman saw a six-foot-long snake slithering up her leg, WSPA reported.
A pest removal service in Rutherford County said that a customer of theirs had a box in her car that she was taking to the dump. The box had been sitting outside and the snake had crawled in. The Bug Man reminded people in its Facebook post about the incident, to always check boxes and planters before moving them. Snakes and other critters can make containers their home.
She called police for help and they got the serpent out of her vehicle using snake tongs, WSPA reported.
The stowaway’s story doesn’t end there. The snake actually got out of its container while police were relocating it, but eventually got out of the police car and made its way into a creek, WSPA reported.
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:43 PM
BETHEL PARK, Pa. — A Pennsylvania teenager admits he’s lucky to be alive after getting sucked into a drainage pipe underneath a road south of Pittsburgh.
Ben Smith was helping clear debris from outside of neighbors’ houses during massive flooding Wednesday night.
"There was a quick moment when I thought I wouldn't get out. It felt like I was going down," Smith said. "We were trying to move a van away from it and clear some debris. I went to go after this wood panel and my foot slipped and I just went right under."
Neighbors tried to pull him out, but the floodwater was too strong and Smith was washed away.
He said his instincts and Eagle Scout training kicked in.
"It teaches you to be prepared for any sort of circumstance that comes your way," Smith said. "I knew going against the water would not work at all. So I just tucked in and hoped I could end up somewhere."
Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road.
He escaped with no broken bones and no major injuries, which shocked his friends and neighbors.
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:40 PM
— Former President Barack Obama was such a friend to science and so passionate about a diverse number of scientific issues that researchers at the University of California at Riverside decided to honor him by naming an ancient sea creature after him.
Obamus coronatus, translated means Obama crowned, was a disc-shaped, ocean-dwelling sea creature, which lived in the Earth’s shallow oceans between 580 and 540 million years ago, according to UCR researchers. It had raised spiral groves on its surface and scientists believe it was stationary, embedded in the ocean mat, “a thick layer of organic matter that covered the early ocean floor,” according to a statement.
Obamus coronatus - an Organism from the Precambrian Eon named after Obama https://t.co/tN6TupTtRQ— bythesea (@bythesea66) June 22, 2018
The animals were soft-bodied and lived in the Precambrian era at the dawn of animal life, researchers said. They were discovered in South Australia’s Ediacara Hills in Flinders Ranges as fossils in sandstone that had been preserved for hundreds of millions of years.
These animals “are a new body plan, unlike anything else that has been described,” lead researcher Mary Droser said.
“We have been seeing evidence for these animals for quite a long time, but it took us a while to verify that they are animals within their own rights and not part of another animal,” Droser said.
The discovery of Obamus coroanatus was first reported in the online Australian Journal of Earth Sciences on June 14.
A recently discovered, 550 million-year-old animal was named after Barack Obama, to honor his love of science.— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 20, 2018
The name "Obamus coronatus" = "Obama crowned" pic.twitter.com/xo8OKRkDug