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Ukraine, Russian-Backed Rebels Agree on Buffer Zone in Peace Talks

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

iStock/Thinkstock(KIEV, Ukraine) — While efforts are progressing to end the conflict in Ukraine, tensions were renewed Saturday with fresh provocations from both sides.

Ukrainian officials and Russian-backed rebels moved to strengthen a ceasefire, agreeing to an 18-mile buffer zone that would prohibit overflights and be free of heavy weapons.

In addition to the decision, both groups reportedly agreed to swap prisoners.

Still, ideas of peace did not linger for long as an arms factory was targeted near rebel-held Donetsk, and Russia again sent an unauthorized humanitarian aid convey to rebel-held cities hit hard by fighting.



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Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

US Targets ISIS with Five More Airstrikes in Iraq

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — U.S. military forces continued their attacks on ISIS this weekend, hitting the militant group with five new airstrikes.

Military crews targeted the areas near Haditha and south of Baghdad on Friday and Saturday, according to U.S. Central Command.

One strike destroyed an ISIS boat ferrying supplies across the Euphrates River, while the other four eliminated two armed vehicles, three of the group’s checkpoints, and two guard outposts.

“The strikes were conducted as part of the President’s comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL [ISIS],” officials said in a statement.

U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 183 airstrikes across Iraq since Aug. 8.



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Tom Brady Expecting a Tough Game Against Raiders

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in Sports News

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(FOXBORO) — The New England Patriots (1-1) will host the Oakland Raiders (0-2) on Sunday and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t looking past their poor start to the season. 

The Raiders have struggled on the East Coast, but Brady still is aware of what their defense will bring to the table with the team hungry for a win.

“I think we’re going to get their best shot. It’s a very good defense,” Brady said. “They’re hungry for the ball. They’re always trying to strip at it. They’ve got some playmakers in the secondary – very experienced secondary. [They have] a really good front, active front that gets into the pocket. So, we’ve got to do a good job all around. It’s got to be a great execution.”

Brady understands that the Raiders have a lot of veteran players scattered throughout the defense.

“They’ve got great coverage guys – one of the most experienced secondaries in the league with Tarell Brown, [Chimdi] Chekwa, Carlos Rogers as the three primary [defensive backs] and then Charles Woodson and [Tyvon] Branch as the safeties,” Brady said. “Those guys have a lot of experience. Teams have done a good job running the ball against their defense, but we’re going to need to do both. We’ve got to be able to stay balanced. “


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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Gun-Toting Pastor Stops Alleged Thief

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(BAYTOWN, Texas) — A gun-toting Texas pastor laid a trap for whoever was stealing packages from his front porch, and police say the 52-year-old grandmother he caught is suspected of pilfering packages from homes throughout the neighborhood.

Benny Homes, a pastor of The Church of New Beginnings in Baytown, Texas, was frustrated after losing two mailed packages, according to his wife, Pat Holmes.

“I’m going to sit here and I’m going to pull guard duty. I’m going to be a watchman on the wall,” Pat Holmes recalled her husband saying.

She said her husband then put out two dummy packages on the porch and waited to see if anyone would stop.

Months earlier the couple had seen a woman on surveillance cameras twice appearing to take packages from their doorstep.

In footage released to the public, a woman can be seen allegedly walking up to Holmes’ porch, taking a package, and putting it in her red car. In at least one instance, there were two children in the backseat.

Pat Holmes said the day her husband laid out the bait, he waited hours to see if could catch the individual.

Eventually, the woman allegedly turned into his driveway and started to walk over to the porch on the side of the house.

This time Holmes met the woman with his handgun drawn and told her to lie down on the ground while he called the police.

After stopping her, Holmes recognized the suspect as a woman he had stopped two years earlier when she walked by the side of his house claiming she was looking for a missing dog. This time Pat Holmes said the woman again claimed she was looking for her dog.

“I guess she uses that every time she gets caught,” Pat Holmes said. “This time he replied, ‘You found him, bow wow.’”

The Baytown Police Department identified the suspect as Laurie Ferguson, 52, and said she was arrested on a charge of theft, though more charges are possible.

Detective Luzette Watkins said they suspect Ferguson of being a habitual thief who took packages from the front doors of her neighbors.

Ferguson had not sold any of the items she allegedly took and police found at least 30 items in a closet in her home, Watkins said.

Pat Holmes said she has already gotten a gift for Ferguson, a cap that reads “forgiven.”

Calls to numbers listed to the suspect or her family were not answered.

Watkins said Holmes would face no charges for pulling out a gun and detaining Ferguson.

“Here in Texas you’re allowed to protect the property,” Watkins said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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SpaceX Delays Dragon Cargo Ship Launch

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Matt Stroshane/Getty Images(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — NASA cancelled its launch plans for the SpaceX Dragon on Saturday after rainy weather around Cape Canaveral made for poor conditions.

“The launch director and team have made the determination to scrub today’s launch attempt,” Mike Curie, NASA launch commentator said.

Officials rescheduled the mission for Sunday at 1:52 a.m., with a forecast calling for 40 percent chance of “acceptable conditions.”

NASA is hoping to send a 3D printer to the International Space Station via the SpaceX Dragon, as well as more than 5,000 pounds of cargo.



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Song of The Day

Pope Francis Names New Archbishop of Chicago

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Scott Olson/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Pope Francis named the next archbishop of Chicago, appointing Bishop Blase J. Cupich to succeed 77-year-old Cardinal Francis E. George, who has been in the office for 17 years.

Cupich moves from the Diocese of Spokane, Washington, to the third largest in the country. He will be formally installed on Nov. 18.

“Archbishop Cupich is well prepared for his new responsibilities and brings to them a deep faith, a quick intelligence, personal commitment and varied pastoral experience,” George said.

The Vatican’s first major U.S. appointment brings change, as George was known as a conservative, and Cupich brings a progressive perspective. The newly chosen archbishop took the opportunity to speak out on immigration reform during a Saturday news conference.

“I don’t want to dance around the issue that we need comprehensive immigration reform,” Cupich said. “Our bishop’s conference has called for that. It’s time for political leaders to put aside their agendas and to take up this issue.”

Still, he says he is still a bit shocked by the pope’s appointment.

“First of all, I’m no saint and this is a pretty big niche. So I hope that what the Holy Father has done I can measure up to the responsibility.”



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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5 Things To Know About the Pope’s Trip to Albania

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

Buda Mendes/Getty Images(TIRANA, Albania) — On Sunday, Pope Francis will make a one-day trip to Albania’s capital Tirana, his first visit to a European country outside of Italy.

After a quick flight over the Adriatic Sea, Francis will spend 11 hours in the predominantly Muslim country. He’ll meet the nation’s leaders and bishops, representatives of other religions and Christian denominations, disadvantaged children and others assisted by Catholic charitable organizations. He will also celebrate mass in a central square of the capital and lead a vespers ceremony.

But before he goes, here are five things to keep in mind:

1. No Extra Security

Despite security concerns in the media, he’s taking no extra security.

Last week, Iraq’s ambassador to the Holy See, Habeeb Al Sadr, told an Italian newspaper that “the Pope is indeed a target” of the militant group ISIS. Italian news outlets also reported that Albanian authorities were concerned about Muslim extremists who trained in Iraq and Syria and that they may have returned to that country to carry out attacks.

The Italian state security was doubled around St. Peter’s Square this week as a precaution, but the Vatican said they had not increased the Pope’s security on the trip because there have been no specific threats. Vatican spokesman Rev. Frederico Lombardi told reporters Monday, “We are obviously paying attention but there is no need for concern or a change to his program in Albania.”

Francis will even travel in his open-topped Pope Mobile to Mass as is his custom on oversees trips.

2. A Message of ‘Coexistence’

For his fourth international trip, Francis chose a country whose population is not predominantly Catholic, like some other European states, but predominantly Muslim. Some 60 percent of Albanians are Muslim, while only 15 percent are believed to be Catholic. The Vatican hopes the trip will offer a message of coexistence and dialogue between different religions.

Francis is expected to make a trip to Turkey at the end of November.

3. ‘Rekindle the Faith’

For most of the 20th century, Albania was under an atheist Communist dictatorship where many clergy and believers were tortured and executed for their beliefs. More than 1,000 churches totally razed.

A cause is underway for the sainthood of 40 Albanian martyrs from this period in the country’s history.

After the Cold War ended, Saint Pope John Paul II was the first pope to ever visit Albania, doing so in 1993. During his trip, he “practically re-established the [Catholic] hierarchy” after the communist dictatorship by ordaining four bishops to lead the church there, according to Lombardi.

Francis is expected to honor those who were “martyrs for the faith who lived in Albania, the victims of atheistic Communism,” said Lombardi. The trip is meant to encourage those who have rekindled the faith and kept it alive through persecution by commemorating those who were persecuted under communism.

4. Francis to Honor Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, who was eventually beatified by Saint Pope John Paul II, was present with him during that visit to her home country. “In Albania, Mother Teresa is a national heroine, as well as a figure of extraordinary Christian holiness,” Father Lombardi said.

Francis will hold his one and only mass on the trip in a square named in her honor.

The day’s events will conclude with a journey to visit children at the Betania Centre, along with various people from other charitable centers in Albania.

5. Will Francis Visit the US?

At an audience with the Pope on Thursday morning, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles J. Chaput, formally invited Francis to the World Meeting of Families there next September. Francis didn’t immediately accept the invitation, but he didn’t say no. The last papal visit to the U.S. was by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. Congress and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have also extended invitations.


Nugget of Knowldege

Brad Keselowski Wins Pole at New Hampshire

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in Sports News

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(LOUDON, N.H.) — Brad Keselowski took home the pole on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and will start up front after winning last weekend at Chicagoland.

Keselowski set a track-record lap of 140.598 mph and is hoping to win the second race in the first round, even though he’s already advanced.

“This kind of track is kind of right in my wheelhouse, right in our team’s wheelhouse,” Keselowski said. “We had this race circled before the Chase started and we felt decent about Chicago, but really felt like this was a race of emphasis for us to get a win and get out of the first bracket.”

Keselowski swept the Cup and Nationwide races at Loudon in July.

“It’s positive momentum,” he said, “but when it resets it resets and nothing that you’ve done in the past really matters as long as you’re eligible for the bracket. I’m a long, long ways from using the word favorite or feeling overly confident.”

Jamie McMurray, who is a non-chase driver finished second and was followed by Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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Texas Cancer Doctor Gives Testimony of Alleged Poisoning in Former Lover’s Trial

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) — A cancer researcher will return to the stand next week in the trial of his co-worker and former lover who’s accused of poisoning him.

Dr. Ana Gonzalez-Angulo is accused of poisoning Dr. George Blumenschein, an oncologist at the prestigious cancer hospital MD Anderson in Houston.

“She said she had a special Colombian coffee for me to try,” testified Blumenschein.

According to prosecutors, Gonzalez-Angulo, a fellow oncologist at MD Anderson, spiked the coffee with a sweet-tasting chemical used in antifreeze. The chemical is also commonly found in medical labs, including those at MD Anderson.

Prosecutors allege that Gonzalez-Angulo poisoned the coffee after Blumenschein picked his girlfriend over her.

Blumenschein said he asked Gonzalez-Angulo why the coffee tasted so sweet and that she responded that she had put Splenda in it.

The poisoning left Blumenschein with permanent kidney damage, according to testimony from doctors who treated him.

Gonzalez-Angulo sat expressionless in the courtroom while Blumenschein testified. Next week, he will return to the stand when prosecutors play tapes of phone calls between the two.

In his opening statement, Gonzalez-Angulo’s attorney, Derek Hollingsworth, said that his client “has been accused of something she did not do. Our first priority is to make sure the jury has the evidence to see that.”



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Pet of the Week

“The Cosby Show” Turns 30: 30 Things You May Not Have Known About the Show

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Larry Busacca/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Thirty years ago today, audiences were introduced to The Cosby Show, a sitcom about the Huxtable family in Brooklyn, New York, that would remain on the air for eight seasons.

The series was a huge hit, winning six Emmys, two Golden Globes and a slew of other awards — not to mention ranking number one in the Nielsen ratings for five years in a row.

While most people know a little bit about its creator, Bill Cosby, here are 30 things you may not know about the show:

1. The Cosby Show wasn’t the first show named after Bill Cosby. There were three others that came before, The Bill Cosby Show, The New Bill Cosby Show and Cos. After The Cosby Show ended, Cosby and Phylicia Rashad moved to CBS to star in Cosby.

2. Cosby’s real-life family was the basis of the Huxtables. Both families consisted of four daughters and one son in the middle.

3. The character Theo was patterned after Cosby’s own son, Ennis, who like the character had dyslexia. Ennis was murdered in 1997.

4. Bill Cosby never received an Emmy nod for his acting on the series—apparently at his own request, because he was opposed to such competition between performers. He did receive, however, two Golden Globe awards for playing Cliff Huxtable.

5. Whitney Houston was up for the role as the Huxtables’ oldest daughter, but the part instead went to 26-year-old Sabrina Le Beauf because she had more acting experience and Houston was intent on becoming a recording artist.

6. On the show, the Huxtable brownstone was supposedly in Brooklyn, but the facade was actually shot in the East Village at 10 St. Luke’s Place in Manhattan.

7. Much of the artwork that hung on the walls of the Huxtable home was by renowned African-American artists Synthia Saint James and by the painter Varnette Honeywood.

8. Phylicia Rashad won the part of Clair, in part, because she spoke fluent Spanish. The show originally planned to have Clair’s character be a Dominican who would go on tirades in Spanish — a la I Love Lucy — but dropped the idea before the pilot was taped.

9. The show, according to TV Guide, was the biggest hit in the 1980s and almost single-handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC’s fortunes.

10. Cosby used material about family life from his stand-up routines for episodes of the show.

11. The show frequently promoted African-American and African culture by working into story lines artists and musicians, such as Jacob Lawrence, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Miriam Makeba.

12. Bill Cosby, along with his longtime collaborator collaborator Stu Gardner, composed the show’s theme music and during season four, it was performed by Bobby McFerrin.

13. The show helped usher in other successful sitcoms, featuring African-American casts, including 227, Amen and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

14. A Different World was a spin-off from The Cosby Show created after the character Denise, played by Lisa Bonet, left home to attend Hillman College, a fictional historically black college.

15. Raven-Symoné originally auditioned for Cosby’s Ghost Dad, but she was too young for the part. Cosby liked her so much that he gave her a role on his TV show as his step-granddaughter Olivia.

16. Four-year-old Alicia Keys appeared in an early episode as one of Rudy’s friends.

17. Adam Sandler also got his start on the TV show playing Theo’s friend, Smitty.

18. Cliff Huxtable was ranked No. 1 on TV Guide’s List of 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.

19. Story was always intended to have the parents in charge — and not the kids. Cosby thought too many shows were being done from the kids’ perspective and wanted the show to always be done from that perspective.

20. Many celebrities made guest appearances – Blair Underwood, Elaine Stritch, Stevie Wonder, Naomi Campbell, Lena Horne, Tony Orlando, Iman, Danny Kaye, Rita Moreno, Debbie Allen, Christopher Plummer, BB King, and Robin Givens … to name a few.

21. There weren’t five kids in the pilot. The character of Sondra was added in the second episode.

22. The Cosby Show was known for its fashion — Dr. Huxtable’s sweaters were a trade mark of the show, but so were Denise’s high-fashion looks.

23. The designer behind Cosby’s sweaters in the show was Dutch designer Koos van der Akker.

24. The show was also famous for its new openings each year.

25. Some of the characters are named after people in Bill Cosby’s life. His mom’s name is Anna — like the TV mom. And his real brother’s name was Russell, which became his father. His wife’s maiden name in real life is also Claire’s maiden name.

26. Speaking of names, Cosby’s character’s name was “Heathcliff,” though in the first few episodes, he was called “Clifford.”

27. A mural featured in the opening of The Cosby Show was taken out because of a dispute with the school responsible for it.

28. The finale of The Cosby Show was the seventh most-watched of all time, with 44.4 million viewers.

29. Rudy was originally supposed to be a boy, but it wasn’t until Keshia Knight Pulliam was permitted to audition for the role that producers felt they found the right person to star.

30. It’s rumored that Carl Anthony Payne II, who played Cockroach on the show, was fired after he refused to comply with Cosby’s request that he cut his hair.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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