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Shaquille O'Neal buys Krispy Kreme store

WSB-TV contributed to this report.

Shaquille O'Neal just took ownership of an Atlanta-area Krispy Kreme store.

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The basketball Hall-of-Famer and sports and entertainment superstar announced Monday that he has become the owner of the Ponce de Leon location, which has been there for more than 60 years.

O'Neal, who has previously admitted to loving Krispy Kreme doughnuts, has compared his visits to the restaurants to a kid's experience in a candy store.

"In addition to Shaquille's status as a sports and entertainment icon and businessman, he is known for spreading joy, which aligns with our positioning and mission," said Tony Thompson, president and CEO of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. "We are confident this partnership will have a big impact for us in Atlanta and around the world."

O'Neal will also assume the role of a global spokesman for the doughnut company.

"Krispy Kreme prides itself on spreading joy and supporting local communities, and that's a cause that I am thrilled to be a part of," O'Neal said. "Our goal is to help people find their happy place, and what better way than with a box of delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts."

For a limited time, Krispy Kreme is offering the "Shaq-or-Treat" promotion in which anyone who tags a social media post with #ShaqOrTreat will be eligible to win Krispy Kreme prizes or paraphernalia autographed by O'Neal. The promotion takes place Oct. 28-31.

Here's how to get free Chipotle today

Play a game and win free food. 

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 Chipotle lovers can score a free burrito, burrito bowl, salad or order of tacos by visiting the website for "Chipotle: A Love Story" and clicking "play now."

Users will be faced with a grid of 16 cards and a minute on the clock to match ingredients in a memory game. Click on the cards to flip them over and match garlic-to-garlic, cilantro-to-cilantro and so on. When users click the cards with additives, the time is reduced by five seconds every time they're clicked.

Even players who don't win the game have an opportunity to win the buy-one-get-one-free coupon. The coupon is valid until Nov. 30.

The game is based on the company's animated short film "A Love Story," which aims to show how, over time, competition between restaurants has caused food to become increasingly processed and filled with additives -- thus the reason the additives dock you valuable time in the game.


Chick-fil-A bringing back its original barbecue sauce

When the popular Atlanta-based chain replaced its classic barbecue sauce with the smokehouse barbecue sauce, some Chick-fil-A fans were not pleased.

But on Tuesday, the restaurant announced the return of the original sauce.

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"You asked for it, and we listened. The original Barbeque Sauce is coming back," the franchise posted on its website.


After fans' responses on social media, a few petitions against the smokehouse sauce and an all-out grassroots campaign to #BringBacktheBBQ, Chick-fil-A decided the good stuff is finally back.

The original sauce will replace the smokehouse flavor nationwide, Chick-fil-A announced in its Tuesday press release.

"We thought we were introducing a bold, new flavor you would love," the company told consumers. "We heard (your feedback), so we're bringing back the original Barbeque Sauce in November."

Read more at Chick-fil-A.

8-year-old admitted to college after inspiring pep talk

An 8-year-old was offered admission into a Texas university after her mother sent the school a video of the girl.

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Jordin Phipps proudly sported a University of North Texas T-shirt while talking to the camera as her mother recorded her. 

"(I'm going to) start my day in a positive way," Phipps said. "I will be respectful with the words I say. I will pay attention, and I will do my best, and I will study hard for every test."

The motivational pep talk was a presentation of a daily message that Phipps and her classmates at Watson Technology Center in Garland, Texas, recite at school.

"I will take advantage of what my teachers have to give. I will become a productive citizen in this world," Phipps said. "I am smart. I am a leader. Failure is not an option for me. Success is only moments away. I have the attitude of a North Texas eagle."

After seeing the video, UNT officials surprised Phipps at an assembly at her school and awarded her a $10,000 Presidential Excellence award, which is normally given to high school seniors. She was also guaranteed a spot in UNT's class of 2030.

Phipps' mother, Nichole Smith, is a University of North Texas alumna.

MEAN GREEN PRIDE: 8-year-old Jordin is our new favorite person.  Her mom just sent us this adorable and inspiring video of her.  We can't wait to have her on campus!Posted by University of North Texas on Friday, September 23, 2016

SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: Congrats to the latest student admitted to UNT, 8-year-old Jordin!  We got to surprise her today at...Posted by University of North Texas on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Chipotle adds chorizo option to menu

Chipotle is now offering chorizo at locations across the country after finding success testing the product at select markets earlier this year.

The offering became widespread in the U.S. starting Oct. 4, National Taco Day.

"The reaction to chorizo in the cities that have had it has been overwhelmingly positive, so we're making it available in all of our restaurants across the country," said Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells.

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The fast food chain first tested the meat at Chipotle locations in Kansas City, Missouri; Ohio, New York City, California, Colorado and Washington, D.C.

According to the company, Chipotle's chorizo is made with a blend of pork and white-meat chicken and is seasoned with paprika, toasted cumin and chipotle peppers.

In June 2015, Chipotle's Corporate Chef Nate Appleman told The Kansas City Star that he had been been "beating the drum" for the company to offer chorizo for years.

"It was one of the first things I worked on,"he said. 

Customers can request chorizo in any of the company's burrito, taco, burrito bowl and salad offerings.

"Since we opened the first Chipotle 23 years ago, our menu has changed very little, and our focus has been on constantly improving the quality and taste of the food we serve," Ells said earlier this year. "While we have never been opposed to changing our menu, we only do so when we think there's an opportunity to add something that is really unique but that fits within our overall menu, and where we can find ingredients that meet our high standards."

Chipotle's chorizo has received mixed reviews.

Many customers haven't given rave reviews of the new addition.

One Facebook user called Chipotle's chorizo "disappointing," Business Insider employees called it "chewy" and "mediocre," yet "passable," and Insider described it as "dense and dry."

Other customers were fans of the new addition, calling it "amazing" and "darn good."

Some have described Chipotle's chorizo as "spicy."

Chick-fil-A 'statistically the most polite chain'

Betsi Flores contributed to this report.

Business Insider said Chick-fil-A is "statistically the most polite chain in the restaurant business," after a QSR Magazine report showed positive attributes of customer service at the chicken chain.

The annual drive-thru report, released Monday, showed employees made eye contact with customers 87.9 percent of the time, said "please" 61.8 percent of the time and had a pleasant demeanor 93.9 percent of the time. Employees also smiled 90.9 percent of the time and said "thank you" 95.2 percent of the time.

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The report included data from 15 fast food chains and data from 1,948 visits.

Among the other restaurants included were Arby's, Panera, McDonald's, KFC, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Burger King and Wendy's.

Employees at Chick-fil-A were the most likely of the 15 chains surveyed to say "please" and "thank you" and to smile at drive-thru customers.

The only chain that had workers more likely to have a pleasant demeanor than Chick-fil-A was PDQ, a Tampa-based company known for its chicken tenders. PDQ has locations in less than 10 states.

"It's all about speed and accuracy, but we know our customers appreciate that we can be nice while being fast and accurate," Mark Moraitakis, senior director of hospitality and service design, told QSR. "Eye contact and smiling go a long way in the drive-thru experience."

>> Chick-fil-A to test 5 new menu items, including quinoa bowls, healthy breakfast options

QSR said data was collected and tabulated by SeeLevel HX. 

For each visit to each restaurant, a trained data collection specialist surveyed the drive-thru lane and then entered the line the same as any other customer, QSR reported.

The company said a minor special request was also made with each order, such as requesting beverage with no ice.

Pumpkin Spice Latte turns 13, Starbucks offers pumpkin spice whipped cream

In celebration of one of peoples' favorite fall beverages, Starbucks is promoting a limited-time offer to go with its popular Pumpkin Spice Latte.

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The coffee chain is offering Pumpkin Spice Whip, a pumpkin spice-flavored whipped cream, at select stores.

The offering serves as a celebration of the latte's 13th birthday, which made its official debut in Starbucks stores October 10, 2003. The company said the autumn latte is its "most popular seasonal beverage of all time."

The mix, made with real pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg, can be added to the latte is or any other Starbucks drink for no extra charge. 

Plus, baristas will give "HBD PSL" pins to costumers who order the Pumpkin Spice Latte until Monday, while supplies last.

Pumpkin Spice Whip is available until Sunday.

Here's why the VP debate will be in Farmville, Virginia

What do Hempstead, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and Las Vegas, Nevada, all have in common with Farmville, Virginia? 

Besides being home to universities, they don't have much in common. But each of the cities has been named the site of presidential and vice presidential debates.

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Never heard of Farmville? Most people probably hadn't until the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the vice presidential debate would be held there. 

Tuesday night's matchup between former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and current Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be held at Longwood University, a small liberal arts university of about 5,100 students.

But why Longwood and Farmville?

Farmville is a rural community of about 8,200 in the swing state of Virginia -- so it has appeal to both tickets. 

The town also has strong historical roots: The Civil War's Battle of High Bridge took place nearby, and it's home to what The Atlantic called "the forgotten school" in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Three-quarters of the plantiffs in that case were actually students at the nearby high school. 

USA Today reported one of the reasons Longwood got the honor was because it promised to incorporate a debate-centered curriculum this semester. And apparently, it wasn't just one college course; the university created over 30 courses. 

The debate-hosting will likely pay off immensely for the university. According to Washingtonian, the school has received donations from about 1,000 more donors this year compared to the same time last year. 

The institution is also using the debate honor as an opportunity to draw in prospective students. 

Panera's pink-ribbon bagels to raise funds for breast cancer awareness

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

Panera Bread Co. is teaming up with local organizations to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

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During the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the company will sell its signature Pink Ribbon Bagel, a twist on the Cherry Vanilla Bagel, a mix of cherry chips, dried cherries, honey, vanilla and brown sugar. A portion of the proceeds of the Pink Ribbon bagel will be donated to local nonprofits across the country. 

Erin Barnhart, community relations manager for a Panera Bread franchise based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said each participating market has its own breast cancer partners.

"The partner really does make a difference," she said. "We appreciate our local partners, as their support can make all the difference in achieving our goals of building awareness and raising funds for treatment and research."

Panera has more than 1,600 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia. 

Select markets offer a 100 percent donation day, during which the entirety of that day's sales of Pink Ribbon Bagels is donated to breast cancer focused organizations, according to Panera's website.

In Dayton, Ohio, proceeds will be donated to local nonprofit Pink Ribbon Girls and the Miami Valley Hospital Foundation.

"We make this campaign a priority every year for a reason," said Sam Covelli, owner and operator of Covelli Enterprises, the Ohio-based franchisee of Dayton-area Panera Bread restaurants. "The funds raised by the Pink Ribbon Bagel are helping to save the lives of local women with breast cancer. There's no better feeling than knowing you can help make difference."

Pink Ribbon Girls provide free direct services to patients and their families undergoing breast and other women's reproductive cancer treatment through their programs.

Mikki Clancy, chief operating officer of Miami Valley Hospital, survived breast cancer and said she benefited from the services of Pink Ribbon Girls and the hospital.

"Pink Ribbon Girls and Miami Valley Hospital were a godsend in my treatment and recovery," she said. "Supporting these community assets serves hundreds of local patients in their fight against cancer."

Twelve participating West Virginia area Panera locations will donate to Susan G. Komen West Virginia.

"We are so excited to partner with Panera Bread for the sixth year to raise funds and awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness month," said Donna DeHart, executive director West Virginia Susan G. Komen. "The Pink Ribbon Bagels are always a big hit with our survivors, volunteers, grantees and supporters. Money raised from the October campaign will be used to provide uninsured and under-insured West Virginians with life-saving screenings and awareness."

According to the Panera website, the franchise has raised tens of thousands of dollars for breast cancer partners through Pink Ribbon Bagel campaigns in the past 10 years.

"It's not a hard sell," Barnhart said. "People want to be involved in whatever way they can. That's what's so great about the Pink Ribbon Bagel. People might say, 'I can't write a check, but I can buy a bagel.'"

Read more at PaneraBread.com.

Student arrested for wearing gorilla mask, flaunting noose at Black Lives Matter protest

An East Tennessee State University student has been charged with civil rights intimidation after heckling Black Lives Matter demonstrators at a peaceful silent protest on the school's campus.

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Tristan Rettke, an ETSU freshman, arrived at the protest at Borchuck Plaza at the school's campus barefoot in a gorilla mask and denim overalls.

Video footage showed him attempting to hand out "noose-wrapped bananas" from a burlap sack to the demonstrators. The sack had a marijuana leaf and a Confederate flag printed on it.

"He pulled out his burlap sack and then he had the rope and whatnot and then he started offering us bananas," said Jaylen Grimes, one of the demonstrators. "A lot of us didn't take it, but I just took (it) as a sign of peace offering and just to show him that just because he's being disrespectful towards me, I won't be disrespectful towards him."

As part of his counterprotest efforts, Rettke held up a sign that said "Lives Matter."

A video posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Sep 28, 2016 at 7:54pm PDT

"He's just trying to get a reaction out of us that we're not going to give him. We're bigger than that," said one protestor who held a sign that read "Black Lives Matter (doesn't mean) all lives don't (matter).

Rettke, 18, was escorted from the protest by public safety officers and was later criminally charged by the Johson City Police Department. 

Rettke told police he went to the event "in (an) attempt to provoke the protesters."

ETSU President Brian Noland held a press conference Wednesday after seeing video of the incident. He discussed the event during a "community dialogue" on campus.

"I was offended, but I was also saddened," Noland said, calling Rettke's actions "incomprehensible, intolerable and impermissible."

Rettke has been placed on interim suspension from the college. 

In a statement, ETSU said Rettke's actions "go against the values" of the school and that the university is a place "where people come first and all are treated with dignity and respect." 

The university applauded the protestors for remaining clam despite Rettke's actions. 

"We are exceptionally proud of the students who were peacefully participating in the event and the manner in which they exercised restraint, thoughtfulness and strength in the face of inappropriate and offensive behavior," Noland said.

"Of course, it's hard to stay calm because they're doing it because they know they can get under your skin," Grimes told The Johnson City Press. "You've just got to have thicker skin and be the bigger person and just show that ignorance is not going to override your ability to be calm. Because being calm is a lot more difficult than reacting the way they want us to react, which is in a violent stereotypical black way. But we're not all like that."

"We hold no ill towards him," another student, Grant Madison said. "I added him on Facebook and want to speak with him about why he did it."

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.7";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Earlier today during a student-led Black Lives Matter event at Borchuck Plaza, our campus community was outraged by the...Posted by East Tennessee State University on Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Read more at the East Tennessean

During a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Borchuck Plaza, a man in a gorilla mask confronted protestors and dangled...Posted by East Tennessean on Wednesday, September 28, 2016

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