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Discovery of suspicious item in Oklahoma cemetery leads to laughs

Police in Collinsville got quite the laugh after an officer identified the true nature of what they first believed was a drug drop. 

When a local tree service was removing trees at a Collinsville cemetery for a road widening project, crews say they found what looked like a drug drop.

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They say they found a tube zip-tied to a broken branch hidden behind other branches. Inside the tube was a vial with a translucent rock substance.

People at the scene say they were concerned, because they found the items just across from the school and right next to someone’s grave site.

Collinsville police removed the items and took them back to the department, where Captain Matt Burke got a look at the items.

He says he started to realize the true nature of the items when he saw a list of names with the tube.

He says the items turned out to be part of a geocache, a treasure hunt that allows people to find locations via GPS coordinates shared on websites.

In geocaching, participants take trinkets at given sites and leave items for others to find. They usually write their names down on a list with the date they found it.

Burke says the Collinsville trinket appears to have been there for at least a year. He says the rock-like substance was a natural mineral, such as quartz.

City officials say they are relieved there wasn’t a drug drop in their cemetery.

Captain Burke says his kids love to geocache, and that’s why he realized what it was right away, but he told FOX23 that the find at the cemetery is the most suspicious geocache trinket he’s ever seen.

He says anyone else who found it would likely have thought the same thing as the workers, and he wants anyone to who sees something suspicious to always call police.

Unfortunately the “evidence” won’t be returned.

The tree was destroyed as planned.

Whoever put the trinket there can come to the police department to pick it up. Otherwise, it will be destroyed when a judge orders it to be destroyed.

Man accused of chopping down utility pole

A Kentucky man is facing charges after deputies said he chopped down a utility pole near his Graves County home with plans to sell the pole’s transformer back to the power company, according to multiple reports.

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Authorities arrested Jared Hayes, 40, Tuesday on charges of first-degree criminal mischief and theft by unlawful taking, according to Graves County Jail records.

His arrest came after utility workers with West Kentucky Rural Electric found a downed power pole while responding Monday to a power outage on Slaughter Road in south Graves County, the West Kentucky Star reported.

Utility employees spoke with Hayes, who lives on Slaughter Road. He admitted to bringing down the electrical pole with an ax and utility workers called sheriff’s deputies, according to the West Kentucky Star.

Hayes told deputies that he believed he was allowed to cut down the pole based on its distance from the street, WPSD reported.

“When asked why he was cutting the pole down, Hayes allegedly responded that he was going to take the transformer off the pole and sell it back to the West Kentucky Rural Electric Company,” the news station reported.

Records showed Hayes was released from Graves County jail on $5,000 bond by Thursday morning.

Boy, 1, found wandering after mother ODs in car, police say

A 1-year-old boy was found wandering in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, after his mother overdosed in a car, WPXI learned.

Police said the boy’s mother, Marissa Bailey, overdosed on Harrison Street. The boy was then able to get out of the car and wander around.

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Video surfaced on social media of police and paramedics responding to the scene where Bailey was found slumped over.

“If this isn’t a lesson to her, well then she’s in for a ruder awakening. She might not be so lucky next time, and my grandson might not be so lucky either,” Terri Letner, the boy’s paternal grandmother, said. “It just broke my heart, and I haven’t been able to keep myself together since.”

Bailey is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Police said she admitted to being on heroin and crack, and she hadn't slept in three days.

WPXI learned that drug charges were filed in June 2014 against Bailey by Glassport police. She pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to six months’ probation.

Narcan parties becoming disturbing trend, police say

“Narcan parties” are starting to pop up and WPXI has learned that they are becoming a trend in Pennsylvania.

According to investigators, addicts and dealers are taking advantage of the heroin-reversal drug by having parties where they sell heroin and Narcan as a package deal.

>> Read more trending news

"You can party and use the opioids to whatever degree you want, and with the intent that you can be saved by the use of the Narcan," Chief Jack Soberick of the Landsford, Pennsylania police said.

Police stressed that while Narcan does save lives, it is not a guarantee.

WPXI looked learned that Pittsburgh paramedics used Narcan on 2,300 overdose patients in 2016. That's nearly double from the year before.

Semi hits stroller with baby in it; 3-year-old in hospital

A semi in Tacoma hit a stroller with a baby sitting inside it while her family walked on the sidewalk.

The baby and her 3-year-old sister had to be pulled out from under the truck.

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The 3-year-old was in serious condition at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. The mother and baby suffered minor injuries, police said.

Police report the driver did not see the family as he was about to leave the parking lot. 

Florida woman arrested after fight over xylophone gets ‘heated’

An argument over a xylophone left a Florida man covered in grease.

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According to NWF Daily News, an unnamed 43-year-old woman was angered when a man in her kitchen refused to stop playing a xylophone and led the woman to dump grease on his head.

>> Florida woman attacks boyfriend after he denies ‘sleepover’ request

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene to find grease spots on the man’s clothing and a puddle on the floor near the xylophone.

The woman was arrested.

Read more at NWF Daily News.

Missing monkey spotted again in Florida, resident says

here has been another sighting of a monkey on the loose in Apopka. 

The first sighting came in this past weekend, when a woman and her family saw it near Central and Michael Gladden boulevards.

Wednesday’s sighting wasn't too far from where it was first found.

PHOTOS: Monkeys roaming Silver Springs State Park

A resident told Channel 9 she saw the rhesus macaque near a restaurant less than a block away from where it was originally seen.

On Sunday, a woman tried to photograph the animal, but she drove off instead when she said it charged at her and her kids.

The Central Florida Zoo deputy director said there's a big population that breed of monkey in Silver Springs in Ocala, and that the one wildlife officials are looking for could have been kicked out of its group and somehow made its way to Apopka.

READ: This history of rhesus macaques in Marion County

Wildlife officials said anyone who comes across the monkey shouldn’t stare at it or approach it, because the animal may see it as a sign of aggression.

They also want the monkeys carry diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis and herpes.

Anyone who spots the monkey is asked to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Firefighters rescue woman clinging to top of crane

A woman in Toronto can thank firefighters for getting her down from a precarious perch.

She had climbed a construction crane but then needed firefighters help getting down.

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When rescue crews arrived, she had been clinging on to a steel cable for at least four hours, The Associated Press reported.

Crews strapped her to a firefighter who rappelled, bringing her safely to the ground.

Officials do not know why the unnamed woman decided to climb the large crane, without the aid of safety equipment, in the middle of the night. She faces a mischief charge for her death-defying climb, The AP reported.

Dog food recalled after samples test positive for euthanasia drug

A dog food company has issued a nationwide recall after some samples tested positive for the euthanasia drug pentobarbital.

Party Animal said in a recent news release that it is recalling two lots of its Cocolicious dog food after a Texas retailer said a customer had brought samples of the food to a testing lab, which detected the drug.

The affected products, manufactured in 2015, include 13-ounce cans of Cocolicious Beef & Turkey dog food (Lot #0136E15204 04, best by July 2019) and Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food (Lot #0134E15 237 13, best by August 2019).

>> Read more trending news

"The safety of pets is and always will be our first priority," Party Animal said in a statement. "We sincerely regret the reports of the discomfort experienced by the pet who consumed this food."

Customers who have the recalled products "should return them to the place of purchase and will of course receive a full refund," the company said.

"Party Animal wishes to emphasize that we have submitted many recent lots of our beef flavors for testing and all have tested negative for any pentobarbital," the company added. "We have also had extensive discussions with our manufacturer regarding the potential cause of the reported contamination of the 2015 lots, and we will continue with such discussions even as we await testing results for the 2015 lots. In order to ensure adherence to our commitment to the safety of pets, we are also actively re-examining our manufacturing processes."

Read more here.

World’s largest Starbucks to set up shop on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

Chicago’s swanky Magnificent Mile will soon have a mega jolt of caffeine as Starbucks announces plans to open the world largest coffee shop of its brand.

The chain announced this week that it will open Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago in 2019, WMAQ reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The North Michigan Avenue business will be four stories tall and will be a “full sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world,” according to a press release from Starbucks.

The 43,000-square-foot Starbucks will open in the building currently holding a Crate and Barrel at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street.

It is the third roastery in the U.S. The first is in Seattle and opened in 2014. The second is scheduled to open in New York City next year. There are roasteries planned for Shanghai, Milan and Tokyo.

Army veteran wants to put an end to school lunch shaming

An Army veteran, who is now a teacher, is trying to put an end to lunch practices by school districts that take a child’s lunch and throw it away when their accounts don’t have enough money to cover the meal.

Kelvin Holt served in the Army for more than 32 years. When he retired, he went into education.

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Last year, he saw a pre-K student try to buy her lunch, and when her account came up short, he said they took the milk from the tray and threw away the rest of the 4-year-old’s food, sending her away crying, WFAA reported.

Schools have a policy that children won’t go hungry, but Holt says the way the children are treated when they don’t have enough money for lunch is the issue.

Texas does not spell out rules that prevent kids from being shamed with lower-quality food or being confronted in line in front of other students.

State Rep. Helen Giddings agrees, and introduced House Bill 2159 that forces all schools to have a two -week grace period, allowing students to have hot lunches despite the lack of money in their accounts. Schools are also required to try to make contact with parents that their children didn’t have enough money to pay for food, WFAA reported..

Holt says while the bill is a start, he says two weeks isn’t enough time, especially if the family has had a major change like a medical emergency or a loss of a job.

Holt has started a Change.org petition that has more than 110,000 signatures since last year and started a Facebook page called No School Meals Denied to gain support for changing Texas’ law.

HB2159 has its first committee hearing Thursday.

7 things to know now: Tax cuts proposed; NFL draft; Coulter canceled; Cosby, daughter speak out

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. More money: United Airlines has raised the limit on payments to customers who agree to give up their seat on overbooked flights. The airline says it will pay up to $10,000 for the inconvenience. The airline announced the new limit, along with other changes in the way customers are compensated, after a video of a man being violently dragged from a United flight went viral.

2. Coulter speech canceled: Conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter’s speech at the University of California, Berkeley, that was set for Thursday, has officially been canceled. Coulter was to give a speech at the school, but threats of violence led UC, Berkeley officials to cancel the event. Coulter said she may still show up on campus on Thursday, to “say hello.”

3. Tax cuts proposed: President Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed a drastic cut in taxes for U.S.businesses and a simpler tax code for the average taxpayer. The plan calls for the tax on businesses to be cut from 35 percent to 15 percent, and for the standard deduction for individuals to be doubled, among other changes to the tax code.

4. NFL draft: The 2017 NFL draft – the process where college football players are selected to play for NFL teams -- starts on Thursday night. The Cleveland Browns will have the first pick in this year’s draft, which will be held in Philadelphia. The draft begins at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. The second and third rounds are at 7 p.m. ET Friday, and the final fourth through seventh rounds will start on Saturday at noon ET.

5. El Chapo act: Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-Texas), is proposing to pay for President Trump’s border wall with funds seized from drug lords such as Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman. Cruz told Tucker Carlson on Fox News Wednesday that “there’s a justice” to using funds seized from drug cartels to build the wall. On Monday, Cruz introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act. The act would allow federal prosecutors to seize $14 billion in drug profits from Guzman, and to use that money to pay for the wall Trump promised during his campaign for president.

And one more

Bill Cosby and his daughter both spoke out on Wednesday, a few weeks before the comedian’s sex assault trial is set to begin. Cosby talked about missing his career and working on new material he hopes to use when the trial is over. His daughter, Erin, released a letter saying her father "loves and respects women." Erin Cosby wrote, "We live in a scandalous country where the more sexualized and provocative the story, the more attention it gets. If enough people think you are a bad person, you are branded a bad person and the media just reinforces that. My dad, like anyone in this country, deserves to be treated fairly under the law."In case you missed it

Admit it. We’ve all done this at one time or another.

WATCH: Adam Levine shares emotional tribute to Christina Grimmie on 'The Voice'

Adam Levine will always miss his mentee Christina Grimmie.

On Tuesday night, Levine and his current team on “The Voice,” Jesse Larson, Lilli Passero and Mark Isaiah, performed the Beatles hit “Hey Jude” in Grimmie’s honor.

>> Watch the video here

Before taking the stage, Levine addressed Grimmie’s parents and brother Marcus in the audience.

“I loved her so much,” he started. “I miss her. It’s unfair that’s she’s not here. And, we’re going to sing her a little song tonight and I am going to sing every word to her in her honor. Thank you guys for being here. Christina, we love you.”

>> Read more trending news

Team Adam then took the stage for a stunning and emotional performance. By the end of the performance, the audience and fellow coaches were on their feet applauding the number.

After the performance, Levine and host Carson Daly announced a new foundation that has been set up in her honor.

The foundation will work to provide assistance – both emotional and financial – for families and individuals who suffer from the devastating effects of gun violence and will support families facing breast cancer diagnosis.

Grimmie was killed in June 2016 after a man approached her after a concert in Orlando, Florida, and shot her. She was 22 years old. Levine was her coach on season 6 of “The Voice” and reportedly paid for her funeral.

Veteran, soldier boyfriend accused of shooting, killing therapy dog on video

A North Carolina Army veteran and her soldier boyfriend are facing animal cruelty charges after they allegedly tied her PTSD therapy dog to a tree and filmed themselves shooting and killing the animal.

According to the Fayetteville Observer, Marinna Rollins, 23, and Jarren Heng, 25, laughed on video as they shot Rollins' dog, Cam, with a rifle, said Cumberland County District Attorney Clark Reaves.

>> Read more trending news

Rollins shot Cam, previously named Huey, in the head before firing at him multiple times, the arrest warrant said. Heng also shot the dog on video, the Observer reported.

Rollins, who retired from the Army earlier this year for medical reasons, implied in an April 17 Facebook post that she had found a new home for Cam, the Observer reported.

"Sad he has to go, but he will be much happier where he is heading off to," she wrote, to which Heng replied, "He's gonna have such a great new life," according to the Observer.

Bail was set for $25,000 each for the pair.

Read more here.

Dad learns to walk again for his daughters' sake after doctors said he was paralyzed

Seven months after doctors told him he’d never be able to use his legs again, a man stood up and walked out of a rehabilitation center with his two young daughters at his side.

Cole Thomas, of Rochelle, Illinois, told “Today” that he shattered a vertebra in a September 2016 car crash.

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

“I realized I was hurt very badly,” the 34-year-old father of two said. “I looked down at my legs, and I couldn’t feel them, and I was like, ‘Oh, boy.'”

He later learned he shattered his L2 vertebra and had pieces of it embedded in his spinal cord. Doctors told him he was paralyzed from the waist down.

>> Read more trending news

Determined to walk his young daughters down the aisle someday, Thomas posted a video to Facebook from his hospital bed.

“They told me I will never walk again. I’m bound and determined to prove them wrong,” he said in the video.

He asked people for help connecting him to resources to help him learn how to walk. A relative reached out with information about the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.

He started therapy just eight days after the accident.

After months of hard work and determination, Thomas walked out of the rehabilitation center on Friday with his daughters by his side.

“I know I was going to have to give rehab and therapy 110 percent, just like I did my job. I have to walk again no matter what,” Thomas told “Today.” “I have to be the best I could be.”

Chipotle investigating credit card data breach

Chipotle Mexican Grill is investigating a data breach in its payment processing system after reporting a sharp increase in sales.

The fast-casual restaurant said it recently detected unauthorized activity on its network that supports the payment system. Chipotle said the transactions occurred from March 24 to April 18, and the company believes it took the proper precautions to stop the breach.

>> Read more trending news

The breach dominated the company’s other announcement that same-store sales grew 17.8 percent in the first quarter. Compared to the first quarter of 2016, revenue increased more than 28 percent to $1.07 billion. The chain also opened up 57 new restaurants.

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO of Chipotle, said the year "is off to a strong start, as our restaurant managers and teams are energized by our renewed focus on the customer."

He added: "By simplifying the focus in our restaurants to only those elements that lead to a great guest experience, our operations have improved every single month, which gives us confidence that we are on our way to achieve our mission to ensure that great food made with whole unprocessed ingredients is accessible to everyone.”

The increase in sales comes after Chipotle’s flurry of food contamination incidents a couple years ago. 

United unveils 10 policy changes, will pay bumped passengers up to $10,000

United Airlines has announced 10 policy changes after a video of passenger David Dao being dragged off a plane went viral earlier this month.

>> Man forcibly removed from flight after not voluntarily giving up seat

In what may be the biggest change, the airline will now offer travelers as much as $10,000 to relinquish their seats on overbooked flights, up from $1,350, according to Bloomberg.

>> United Airlines passengers describe scene as man dragged off flight

In a Thursday news release, the airline also pledged to take the following actions:

  • “Limit use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only.
  • “Not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk.
  • “Establish a customer solutions team to provide agents with creative solutions such as using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportation to get customers to their final destination.
  • “Ensure crews are booked onto a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure.
  • “Provide employees with additional annual training.
  • “Create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans.
  • “Reduce the amount of overbooking.
  • “Empower employees to resolve customer service issues in the moment.
  • “Eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags by adopting a 'no questions asked' policy on lost luggage.”

In a statement, United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized for the incident and said the airline is "taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right and ensure nothing like this ever happens again."

>> United Airlines changes policy after man dragged from plane

"Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: Our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered in doing what's right," Munoz said. "This is a turning point for all of us at United, and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline. Our customers should be at the center of everything we do, and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust."

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

Disney workers ask company to fight for 500 Haitian refugees

Union representatives speaking on behalf of 500 Haitian refugees working as Disney cast members in Central Florida are asking CEO Bob Iger to fight for them to stay in the U.S.

>> Read more trending news 

The group is part of 50,000 refugees from the island nation who are living in the U.S. following the earthquake that ravaged the country in 2010.

President Barack Obama gave the Haitian nationals temporary protected status in the U.S.

That status has been extended several times due to repeated catastrophes like cholera, outbreaks and damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.

The refugees’ protected status is scheduled to expire in July, and in a letter obtained by USA Today, members of President Donald Trump’s administration don’t want to see it extended again.

Disney employees, though, are calling for Iger, who sits on Trump’s Presidential Advisory Board, to fight for his employees and keep them from being deported.

If the protection is not extended, the 50,000 Haitian refugees, including the 500 Disney cast members, would be deported.

Facebook Live video leads to suspect in woman's death

A Facebook Live video led police to a suspect in the December 2016 death of a woman in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, neighborhood. 

>> Read more trending news

Isaiah Booker, 23, of Homestead, was charged Tuesday with criminal homicide, criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault and persons not to possess a firearm. 

The charges stem from the shooting death of 25-year-old Myanne Redman, who was found Dec. 19 in her car on the 2200 block of Wilner Drive. 

Redmen left behind three young children, including a 1-year-old. Booker is the father of the 1-year-old child, police said. 

Investigators said they identified Booker as a suspect after he posted a Facebook Live video nearly two months after Redman was shot to death. Gunshots can be heard in the video and a police officer is heard yelling "Stop."

Opinion: The ESPN we used to enjoy is dead and never coming back

The worst thing that ever happened to ESPN was the success of PTI.

>> READ MORE at Marcus Hartman’s “Cus Words Blog

Shortly after Pardon The Interruption debuted in October 2001, the network set about trying to replicate it on every other show on the network.

That has proven to be a disaster because nobody in Bristol gets the debate isn’t what makes that show great, it’s the debaters.

Tony Kornheiser and Michal Wilbon, not just colleagues but friends who genuinely seem to love arguing with each other about things they’ve actually put some thought into, have a unique rapport that can’t be copied easily.

And yet more than 15 years later, the people running ESPN continue to try in vain.

Collateral damage in this war against people who want good content has been mounting for years, and Wednesday was one of the worst as the company parted ways with a bunch of people who actually do good work and produce things worth consuming (mostly for their website) in an effort to offset financial losses wrought by spending more than they can afford on the rights to broadcast live sports.

If you wondered if the product on ESPN was ever going to get better, the answer is now clear.

For the most part, it appears ESPN kept the carnival barkers while cutting many of the people who actually gather the information people like Stephen A. Smith hyperventilate about.

>> Read more trending news

There’s a theory out there that mixing in too many liberal political messages has hurt the network’s bottom line, but I’m not sure I buy that. Of course, I don’t watch it enough to know just how liberal those messages are. It could be true. It’s probably at least a small factor.

I can’t imagine skewing in one direction politically helps, and I believe the whole stick to sports thing is actually good advice most of the time.

Not that everyone isn’t entitled to their opinion and encouraged to share it whenever they want, but there are a lot of sports fans who really don’t want political commentary in their sports.

And that’s a very fair request, at least 99 percent of the time. There are plenty of sources for news, politics and whatever else, but ESPN has the market cornered on live sports. So feel free to be obstinate, but don’t be surprised if there are consequences. 

Responding to consumer demand is important in any business, but ESPN hasn’t made a habit of that lately.

As often as they take a former athlete off the street and throw him or her into the studio – or worse yet, onto a broadcast – with no experience and much to learn about how to actually express themselves in an informative and entertaining manner, it’s clear ESPN doesn’t care about the quality of what it puts out there.

So at this point I assume if ESPN is having ratings problems (they are), it’s mostly because their product sucks.

I assume they’re cutting people from their website because it doesn’t generate much revenue in the grand scheme of things. The people who have run the network so poorly probably also figure whatever money the web does bring in can probably be maintained mostly by posting viral clips from their terrible sports opinion shows anyway.

Maybe I’m making a lot of assumptions for someone who gave up on ESPN long ago, but actually watching ESPN didn’t used to be essential in appreciating it.

I grew up without cable, but I knew all about SportsCenter.

There was no Twitter to make the catchphrases of Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, Stuart Scott, et al, go viral as they might today, but ESPN became a cultural icon in the 1990s anyway.

That was, oddly enough, because they presented sports in a fun and entertaining way. 

A lot of the good stuff was still there when I finally got cable in 2001 (dorm livin’, baby!), but it didn’t last long.

Within about three years, I quit watching for the most part (aside from live events and PTI), and nothing since has indicated I’m missing much. Certainly social media gives few endorsements, and neither have I found the few snippets I catch here and there appealing.

That’s why I keep coming to the same conclusion.

ESPN is dead and never coming back. Today is just one of the sadder reminders. 

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