Pumpkin spice smell forces school evacuation

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 8:51 AM

Pumpkin Spice Craze Shuts Down High School

Pumpkin spice is EVERYWHERE. And it’s so pervasive that it forced the evacuation of a Baltimore-area school. 

There was a strong smell of something that filled the third floor of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Upper Fells Point, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The principal had the school evacuated and the fire department called in with the hazmat team following.

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They ran several tests that all came back negative. 

Whatever the smell was ended up sending two students and two teachers to a hospital, WBFF reported.

Firefighters had the windows in the school opened to air the building out, when the source of the smell was discovered: an aerosol plugin with a canister of Pumpkin Spice room spray.

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Heart doctor for former President H.W. Bush killed in bicycle drive-by shooting

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Former President George H.W. Bush waves with his cardiologist, Mark Hausknecht, after a news conference in Houston in 2000. Hausknecht was shot and killed by a fellow bicyclist Friday, July 20, 2018, while riding through a Houston medical complex.
David J. Phillip, AP
Former President George H.W. Bush waves with his cardiologist, Mark Hausknecht, after a news conference in Houston in 2000. Hausknecht was shot and killed by a fellow bicyclist Friday, July 20, 2018, while riding through a Houston medical complex.(David J. Phillip, AP)

A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was shot and killed Friday in a bicycle drive-by shooting near Texas Medical Center in Houston.

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Police said Dr. Mark Hausknecht, 65, was riding his bicycle near Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women just before 9 a.m. on Friday when he was shot by another bicyclist going in the other direction, Houston Police tweeted.

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The man fired two shots at Hausknecht before taking off on his bike, police said.

Hausknecht was on his way to work at the time, KTRK reported. A witness flagged down a private ambulance driving by the scene. Emergency crews rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

Investigators do not know if the shooting was random or targeted, or possibly the result of road rage.

Jim McGrath, spokesperson for former President H.W. Bush, 94, issued a statement on Twitter.

“Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man,” President Bush said in the statement. “I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care. His family is in our prayers.”

The suspect in the shooting is still at large, CNN reports. He is described as a 30-year-old white or Hispanic man, wearing a tan baseball cap, grey jacket, khaki shorts and riding a light-colored mountain bicycle. 

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Transgender woman says CVS pharmacist refused to fill hormone prescriptions

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 4:19 AM

Transgender woman Hilde Hall said a pharmacist at a CVS store in Phoenix, Arizona, refused to fill her hormone prescriptions. CVS said that employee has since been fired.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Transgender woman Hilde Hall said a pharmacist at a CVS store in Phoenix, Arizona, refused to fill her hormone prescriptions. CVS said that employee has since been fired.(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A transgender woman in Phoenix has filed a formal complaint against CVS with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, after she said a pharmacist refused to fill her hormone prescriptions and humiliated her in front of other customers.

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In a blog on the ACLU of Arizona website, Hilde Hall said it was the first time she filled the prescription for hormone therapy.

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“I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I’ve always known myself to be,” Hall said.

Hall said the pharmacist loudly questioned her need for the medication and wouldn’t give her a clear reason why he wouldn’t fill the prescription, KSAZ reports.

“I nearly started crying in the middle of the store. I didn’t want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor,” Hall wrote. “I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers. I just froze and worked on holding back the tears.”

Hall also said the pharmacist refused to give her back the doctor’s note so that she could go to another pharmacy. 

Hall said she called the CVS customer service complaint line twice, and when she didn’t hear back, she filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

CVS said in a statement to CNN the pharmacist violated company policy and has been fired. 

Steve Kilar, communications director with the ACLU of Arizona, said CVS spoke with Hilde over the phone on Friday after the incident.

The ACLU of Arizona issued the following statement:

“Hilde appreciates that CVS took her experience seriously. She spoke with a CVS representative today who offered a sincere apology on behalf the company and said that the pharmacist who mistreated Hilde acted outside of the company’s guidelines. Hilde hopes that CVS will make its nondiscrimination policies public, so that transgender and non-binary customers have some assurance the corporation will take appropriate action if similar discrimination occurs in the future.”

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Michael Cohen secretly taped Donald Trump in 2016, attorney confirms

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 6:32 PM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 6:32 PM

Michael Cohen Secretly Recorded Donald Trump in 2016

Update 7:00 p.m. EDT July 20: An attorney for 

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime former attorney, has confirmed that Cohen secretly recorded conversations with Trump and that he does have a recording made in 2016 before the presidential election about a former Playboy Playmate who claims that she had a year-long affair with Trump in 2006.

Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis denied that the tape would help Trump, as a Trump attorney claimed.

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“Obviously, there is an ongoing investigation, and we are sensitive to that. But suffice it to say that when the recording is heard, it will not hurt Michael Cohen. Any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape,” Davis posted on Twitter.

>> Jamie Dupree: Cohen’s lawyer confirms existence of Trump tape 

(Original story)

Recordings that attorney Michael Cohen secretly made of his longtime client, President Donald Trump, were seized earlier this year when FBI agents raided Cohen’s office, The New York Times reported Friday.

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According to the newspaper, Cohen recorded a conversation he had with Trump two months before the 2016 presidential election, in which they talked about possibly paying Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate who claims that she had a year-long affair with Trump in 2006.

>> Who is Karen McDougal? 6 things to know about the woman who says she was Trump’s mistress

Trump and Cohen discussed buying the rights to McDougal's story about one month after the publisher of the National Enquirer, American Media Inc., paid her $150,000, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The recording obtained by authorities was less than two minutes long, according to the Journal. It cut off while the conversation was ongoing, the newspaper reported.

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed the existence of the recording to the Times, but he said it lasted less than two minutes and that no payment was ultimately made to McDougal.

“Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Giuliani told the newspaper.

He confirmed to CNN that Cohen also made other recordings, which he described as “mundane discussions.”

The recordings were among the things seized in April by federal agents who raided Cohen’s hotel and office, according to the Times. Other items seized included Cohen’s computer, his phone and several records, The Washington Post reported.

>> Trump allies fear investigators seized Cohen recordings in raid: reports

Trump allies worried after the FBI raid on Cohen was made public earlier this year that recordings might have been among the items seized, as Cohen was known to sometimes tape conversations he had with associates. He kept the recordings as digital files that he would replay for colleagues, the Post reported, citing unidentified sources.

Authorities sought details on Cohen’s efforts to stave off negative publicity of Trump, CBS News and the Times reported. Among other things, authorities sought information on the release of an infamous tape in which the president could be heard on a hot mic making derogatory comments about women and payments Cohen made to a pair of women who claim they had sexual relationships with Trump, including McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels, according to the Times.

>> Trump says he may sue over 'illegal' 2005 'Access Hollywood' video
Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, called for the release of what he called the “Trump tapes” on Friday.

"If Michael Cohen is a patriot, then ALL of the tapes should be released to the American people," Avenatti wrote on Twitter. "Now. Too much is at stake."

 

During the April raid, officials also sought details on the role AMI played in keeping McDougal’s and Daniels’ stories from going public, according to the Times

Just before voters went to polls in the 2016 presidential election, the Journal reported that the company agreed to pay McDougal $150,000 for her story about her affair with Trump. The tabloid never published a story on the alleged affair, which McDougal claims took place in 2006, while Trump was married to his current wife, Melania.

>> National Enquirer paid Trump doorman $30K to spike unproven 'illegitimate child' rumor: AP report

The publisher has denied accusations that McDougal’s story was bought in order to “catch and kill” it in an effort to shield Trump from bad publicity in the run-up to the 2016 election. In a statement, company officials told the Journal that the payment to McDougal was for “two years’ worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers as well as exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man.”

Then-Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied that McDougal and Trump had an affair and told the Journal that campaign officials had “no knowledge” of the agreement between AMI and McDougal.

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Deadly duck tour boat crashes date back nearly two decades

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 7:42 AM

Duck boats like the one that sank in Branson, Missouri, have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people since 1999.
Charlie Riedel/AP
Duck boats like the one that sank in Branson, Missouri, have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people since 1999.(Charlie Riedel/AP)

As families and friends mourn the deaths of 17 people killed on a tourist duck boat in Branson, Missouri, the National Transportation Safety Board is beginning its investigation into what caused the crash.

>>Related: 9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri 

The tragedy at Table Rock Lake wasn’t the first time a duck amphibious vehicle had been involved in a deadly crash.

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Since 1999, 40 people have been killed in deadly crashes involving amphibious tour buses, according to The Associated Press.

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1999: Arkansas

“Miss Majestic” sank May 1, 1999 near Hot Springs, Arkansas in Lake Hamilton. 

The boat was only seven minutes into its tour when it sunk by the stern and went to the bottom of the lake, according to the Associated Press

Thirteen people were killed.

The boat had to be hoisted out of the lake by a crane.

The NTSB report found that roofs or canopies on the duck boats put passengers in danger, because passengers could become trapped underneath them -- especially if they were wearing life jackets, because of their natural buoyancy.

The cause of the accident was determined to be inadequate maintenance of the vehicle, built by the U.S. Army in 1944.

2003: Boston

Rosemary Hamelburg, 63, fell backward off a duck boat into a parking lot while taking a photo.

She died four days later.

Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Her family and lawyers said the duck boat operation failed to follow its own safety policies on board the Boston Duck Tours Boat.

The company settled with Hamelburg’s estate for $425,000.

2010: Philadelphia 

A collision between a duck boat and a stalled tugboat on the Delaware River in Philadelphia caused the duck boat to sink.

Two students from Hungary were killed and over 25 people hurt, WPVI reports.

The NTSB determined that the tugboat operator was distracted by talking to family members on his cellphone and laptop. 

The duck boat was also found at fault -- investigators found the boat had maintenance issues and faulted the captain for anchoring in an active boat channel.

2015: Philadelphia 

Elizabeth Karnicki, 68, of Beaumont, Texas, was hit and killed as she crossed a busy Philadelphia street at rush hour in May 2015.

Her husband argued duck boats have large blind spots and drivers cannot see pedestrians. 

According to the Kansas City Star, he sued the company but eventually settled.

2015: Seattle

Five college students were killed and 69 others hurt after a duck boat collided with a charter bus on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge in September 2015.

The NTSB determined that an axle on the duck boat broke, causing the driver to lose control and slam into the charter bus, carrying a group of international students.

NTSB investigators determined that Ride the Ducks International, the duck boat parent company, violated law by not telling regulators about a safety defect on the duck boat’s axle and failing to recall the vehicle.

The company agreed to pay all penalties. 

2016: Boston

Allison Warmuth, 28, was hit and killed by a duck boat while riding a motor scooter in downtown Boston in 2016, NBC reports.

NTSB investigators found that the duck boat driver took his eyes off the road to point out landmarks along the tour before the accident.

This prompted the Massachusetts legislature to pass a new law prohibiting drivers from serving as a tour guide and driver.  

The duck boats were also required to add new safety equipment, including blind spot cameras.

The  Associated Press contributed to this article

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