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Death penalty for some drug dealers part of Trump opioid plan, report says

President Donald Trump's proposal to fight the nation's growing opioid epidemic reportedly includes pursuing the death penalty for some drug traffickers. 

According to Reuters, Trump will detail his plan – which calls for stronger penalties for dealers, fewer opioid prescriptions, and improvements to drug education and access to treatment – Monday in New Hampshire.

>> Read more trending news 

Andrew Bremberg, Trump's domestic policy director, said the Justice Department "will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when it's appropriate under current law," Reuters reported. The death penalty currently can be sought for some drug-related murders, the news service reported.

Read more here or here.

Lion Gate Estate: Bizarre $550K home with carpeted ceilings, vintage cars takes internet by storm

In the market for a whimsical $550,000 home with carpeted ceilings, vintage cars and statues lurking around every corner?


You'll still want to check out the now-viral listing for Detroit's Lion Gate Estate. Trust us.

>> See the listing here

"Unique barely begins to describe this one of a kind Grixdale Farms estate," reads the listing by Real Estate One's Alex Lauer. "Every aspect of 'Lion Gate Estate' has been articulated with painstaking attention to detail and mind blowing decorative flair. Too many custom features to list!"

And he's not kidding. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, owned by a former automotive designer, is the definition of "extra," with a "Liberace-inspired living room" and "museum-like" interior, Curbed reports

>> Read more trending news 

The listing continues: "Highlights include heated swimming pool with outdoor shower and cabana. Custom two car garage with hand painted automotive murals. Finished basement with billiard room and entertainment area. Fenced in yard with fountains and statuary. Sale includes full contents of the house, including Kohler Campbell baby grand player piano, mint condition Frigidaire kitchen appliances c. 1950. One of a kind custom built 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Sedan, One of a kind custom built 1974 Lincoln Mark IV Coupe, Custom pool table, countless automotive relics and artifacts. Once in a lifetime offering."

But if you want to take a tour, you'd better check the weather forecast first. "Only shown on sunny days," the listing warns.

>> Click here or scroll down to check out some photos of the home

Americans binge 17 billion drinks a year, CDC estimates

College students have a reputation for binge drinking, but it’s not just them. Americans drink massive amounts of alcoholic beverages, according to a new report

>> On AJC.com: Even one drink per day can increase your risk of cancer, study warns

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, to determine how much booze United States citizens down. 

To do so, they examined information from the CDC’s 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which included self-reported data on individuals’ liquor consumption habits over 30 days. They calculated the annual binge drinking by “multiplying the estimated total number of binge drinking episodes among binge drinkers by the average largest number of drinks consumed per episode,” the authors wrote. 

>> Read more trending news 

After analyzing the results, they found the Americans guzzled 17 billion drinks in 2015. That equals 470 total binge drinks per binge drinker.

“This study shows that binge drinkers are consuming a huge number of drinks per year, greatly increasing their chances of harming themselves and others,” co-author Robert Brewer said in a statement.

>> On AJC.com: Do you drink too much? Here's what a new study says

The prevalence of binge drinking was more common among young adults ages 18-34, but more than half of the binge drinks consumed annually were by adults 35 and older.

Furthermore, about 80 percent of the drinks were consumed by men. And those who made less than $25,000 a year and had educational levels less than high school drank “substantially more” a year than those with higher incomes and educational levels. 

The researchers said the results “show the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to prevent binge drinking, focusing on reducing both the number of times people binge drink and the amount they drink when they binge.”

>> On AJC.com: Alcohol better than exercise to live past 90, study says

With their findings, the researchers hope to implement prevention tactics such as reducing the number of alcohol outlets in a geographic area and limiting the days and hours of sale.

Woman buys $600 worth of Girl Scout cookies, has Scouts give them out free to strangers

A Seattle Girl Scout troop is ending the cookie season on a sweet note.

KIRO-TV's Siemny Kim shows us how their cookies inspired strangers to pay it forward.

The annual cookie sale gives Girl Scouts a lesson in business.

>> Donald Glover meets Girl Scout who sang ‘Redbone,’ buys 113 boxes of cookies

For this troop, it's also given them a lesson in kindness.

“At first, I was really surprised. I didn’t know what to do,” Girl Scout Norah Wall said. 

Norah Wall and Ruthie Bridgman had set up outside of a Grocery Outlet store in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood when a good Samaritan approached their booth.

>> Dunkin' Donuts introducing Girl Scout Cookie-flavored coffees

“I remember this lady coming up and she was like, ‘Hey, if I buy all these cookies, will you hand them out to everyone that comes out of the store?’” Ruthie said. “And we were like, ‘Yeah, I guess.’”

The woman spent more than $600.

Norah and Ruthie even had a hard time giving the cookies away.

“Some people just didn't believe that somebody would actually do that,” Norah said. 

Incredibly, that random act of kindness didn't end there.

It made its way inside the Grocery Outlet, where Cami Nearhoff is a cashier.

“We had a lady in my line – people in front, people in back – and she bought all of their groceries,” Nearhoff said.

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

Nearhoff said people paid it forward all day.

“All day it just seemed like people were doing little things. So I think it kind of inspired people to give back to each other. Whether it was a dollar, someone was short 6 cents – all day long it was happening. It was just crazy. Really crazy day,” Nearhoff said.

>> Read more trending news 

This troop is excited knowing their cookies could inspire such kindness. 

“I think it's really cool, and it made me so happy that I was able to be a part of this,” Ruthie said.

The troop is raising money to attend Girl Scout camp this year.

If you're still looking for the sweet treats, you'd better hurry. Sunday is the last day of cookie sales.

Couple married 72 years die 10 hours apart

Malcolm and Betty Clynch never did anything apart, their family said. That proved to be true even in death.

The Texas couple married in 1945 when they were teenagers, WFAA reported. But soon the newlyweds were separated for the only time in their lives, while Malcolm served in the Army. Love letters shared by the family illustrate the couple's deep love and devotion to one another. Malcolm signed each love letter with: "I'll always love only you."

>> Read more trending news 

That love continued for the rest of their lives, as they raised a family and had long careers. After 72 years of marriage, Malcolm and Betty, both 90, were in failing health. Betty had Alzheimer's disease and Malcolm had heart issues, the family told WFAA.

The family believes that Malcolm felt like he had to die first, to show Betty the way. Malcolm did die first, at a Fort Worth assisted living facility. Betty followed him in death just 10 hours later, family told WFAA.

The family held a double funeral for the couple on Monday.

Florida man going blind sees beach for last time

Woody Parker and his wife, Genie, arrived at Fernandina Beach in style.

Woody has glaucoma, an eye disease that causes blindness, and he’s on the verge of losing the sight he has left.

Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living decided to help make Woody’s dream come true before he goes blind, ActionNewsJax reported.

>> Read more trending news 

He wanted to see the beach with his wife one last time.

“I love it. I love the beach,” Woody said.

He and his wife made their way down closer to the water.

“There’s nothing like the sound of the beach with the waves crashing,” said Woody.

“Always special to be anywhere with him, especially here. We enjoy it,” Genie said.

Hand in hand, they relaxed on the beach.

“It’s just real cozy. There’s just something about it that’s just different,” Woody told ActionNewsJax.

Woody says even though he may lose his sight, it won’t stop him from coming to the beach if he has another chance.

“Of course, I won’t be able to see the changes, but I’ll be able to feel them,” he said.

Photos: St. Patrick's Day 2018

Sonic will have pickle slushes on the menu this summer

Sonic Drive-In is bringing pickle juice to customers in its signature slush form.

Food & Wine reported that the drive-in restaurant chain will have pickle juice slushes on its menu this summer.

>> Read more trending news 

“Quite simply, pickle juice is fun,” Scott Uehlein, Sonic's vice president of product innovation and development, told Today in a statement. “Nothing says summer like a Sonic slush.”

According to Food & Wine writers who were able to taste the drink at Sonic’s Oklahoma City headquarters, the bright green treat is sweet and tangy. 

A Sonic team member told the publication that the syrup that makes the pickle slush can be added to anything once it’s on the menu, but it will be up to each franchise to decide if there is a charge for that.

Pickle juice slushes will be available to order at Sonic restaurants in June.

United Airlines mistakenly flies dog to Japan instead of Kansas City

United Airlines is under fire again after a family said the carrier accidentally sent their dog to Japan instead of Kansas City.

>> RELATED STORY: Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

According to KCTV, Kara Swindle and her family, who are moving from Oregon to Kansas, took a United flight to Kansas City. Their dog, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo, was supposed to be waiting in a United cargo facility when they arrived. 

But that wasn't the case.

When the Swindles went to pick up Irgo, they were greeted by a Great Dane instead, KCTV reported Wednesday. They soon learned that the airline had mixed up the two dogs and mistakenly flew Irgo to Japan, the Great Dane's intended destination.

>> Read more trending news 

In a statement, United told KCTV: "An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened."

Irgo will be returned to the Swindles "later this week," KCTV reported.

The news comes the same week another family's dog died on a United flight after a flight attendant reportedly said the pet had to travel in an overhead bin.

Read more here.

How barbershops can help trim high blood pressure in black men

Black men hoping to lower their high blood pressure may want to pay their favorite barber a visit — and bring a pharmacist along.

>> On AJC.com: Half of US adults now have high blood pressure, based on new guidelines

That’s according to new findings from the Smidt Heart Institute published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, for which a team of scientists studied 319 African-American men at high risk of heart attack and stroke recruited from 52 barbershops in the Los Angeles area.

>> Read more trending news 

For the study, the men were randomly assigned to two groups. Men in the first group met with barbers who encouraged them to speak with specially trained pharmacists during their monthly barbershop appointments.

During their visit to the barbershop, the pharmacists would assess the participants and prescribe appropriate medication. Any monitored blood tests and progress notes were sent to the patron’s primary care provider.

>> 7 ways to lower your blood pressure without medication

In the second group, barbers encouraged the men to seek advice from their respective primary care providers on treatment and lifestyle changes. Patrons were given pamphlets and blood pressure tips while getting their haircuts. There were no pharmacists involved inside the barbershop.

At the start of the study, the average top pressure number (or systolic blood pressure) averaged 154. After six months, it fell by 9 points for customers just given advice and by 27 points for those who saw pharmacists.

Two-thirds of the men who met with both their barbers and pharmacists were able to bring their unhealthy systolic blood pressure levels into the healthy range at that six-month mark.

Only 11.7 percent of the men in the second group experienced a similar difference in the same time period.

>> On AJC.com: Is your medical provider taking your blood pressure all wrong? Experts say probably 

Black men have especially high rates of high blood pressure — a top reading (systolic) over 130 or a bottom one over 80 — and the problems it can cause, such as strokes and heart attacks. Only half of Americans with high pressure have it under control; many don't even know they have the condition.

Marc Sims, a 43-year-old records clerk at a law firm, was a participant of the barbershop and pharmacist group. He didn't know he had high pressure — 175 over 125 — and when he came into the barbershop, the pharmacist said he was at risk of having a stroke.

"It woke me up," said Sims, who has a young son. "All I could think about was me having a stroke and not being here for him. It was time to get my health right."

Medicines lowered his pressure to 125 over 95.

>> On AJC.com: Suffer from hypertension? Sauna baths could help reduce it, study suggests

"Barbershops are a uniquely popular meeting place for African-American men," Dr. Ronald Victor, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and author of the study, told the Associated Press. “And many have gone every other week to the same barber for many years. It almost has a social club feel to it, a delightful, friendly environment" that makes it ideal for improving health.

Victor’s own hypertension was diagnosed by a barber in Dallas during his first barbershop-based study in the 1990s, he said in a news release. That study incorporated 17 Dallas shops, but no pharmacists. The results were modest at best.

But for the new research, the team “added a pharmacist into the mix" so medicines could be prescribed on the spot, he said. "Once you have hypertension, it requires a lifetime commitment to taking medications and making lifestyle changes. It is often challenging to get people who need blood pressure medication to take them, even as costs and side effects have gone down over the years. With this program, we have been able to overcome that barrier."

Victor and his team are now onto the next step: to determine if the benefits they found can be sustained for another six months and in black men with more moderate blood pressure levels.

Read the full study at nejm.org.

– The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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