Thursday, April 18, 2013

TEXAS FERTILIZER PLANT EXPLOSION
Rescuers are digging through the rubble today, looking for bodies in the community of West, Texas after a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant. About half the houses in the community of 2600 people had to be evacuated. The mayor says it was like a nuclear bomb went off. The blast was so strong it registered like a 2.1 earthquake on the richter scale.

CHICAGO FLOODING
Torrential downpours in Chicago are causing serious problems there... A sinkhole opened up this morning, swallowing three cars, part of a high school building sank a foot into the ground, more than a hundred other schools are closed. So far parts of Chicago have gotten more than 5 inches of rain. 

PRESIDENT VISITS BOSTON
President Obama goes to Boston today for a memorial service for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

LOCAL LAWN MOWING ACCIDENTS, AND WARNING FROM SAFETY OFFICIALS
With lawn mowing season, comes lawn mowing accidents. Two just this week. One was a 4 year-old who was reportedly riding a mower his 10 year old sister was driving. He fell off and was run over. The child is at the Monroe Carell Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt hospital with severe injuries to his arms and legs.
Although it's common here in Tennessee to see "Pawpaws" carrying around  toddlers on their riding mowers like the mowers are toys, safety experts say you should never, ever let a small child near a running mower of any kind.

PROFESSIONAL LAWN CARE EXPERT KILLED IN LEBANON MOWER ACCIDENT
And a 29 year old man working for a professional landscaping company was killed in Goodletsville yesterday when the mower he was riding, rolled on a steep hill. Cody Bennett's co-worker says Bennett was trying to do the job quicker, and chose to mow on an incline, rather than using the weedeater. He leaves behind three small children.
 
FORMER JUSTICE OF PEACE'S WIFE CONFESSES TO MURDERS
Kim Williams, the wife of former Texas justice of the peace Eric Williams (already jailed), has been arrested. She's confessed that she helped her husband kill Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLellan and his wife and the Assistant DA. 

MISSISSIPPI MAN ARRESTED FOR RICIN LETTERS, INCLUDING TO PRESIDENT
A Mississippi man has been arrested for sending letters containing poisonous ricin to President Obama and a Senator. 45-year-old Paul Kevin Curtis was arrested yesterday afternoon at his apartment near the Mississippi /Tennessee state line... about 100 miles east of Memphis.

IRS AGENTS IN TN INDICTED FOR STEALING UNEMPLOYMENT WHILE WORKING
Wow! IRS agents in trouble with the IRS. At least 13 Tennessee Internal Revenue Service employees are facing federal charges for stealing unemployment and other benefits while they were fully employed... and getting paychecks from the government. 
   These indictments come just weeks after a state audit found more than $73 million in overpayments were made by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development over the past several years… to state employees who got unemployment, AND their regular state paycheck… and thousands paid out to at least 7 people who had died. 

TENNESSEE LAWMAKER PASSES RESOLUTION TO HONOR HIMSELF
A Tennessee lawmaker is being criticized for wasting time and money by passing a resolution to honor himself.
Resolutions are basically congratulatory notes for an achievement, an occasion or a job well-done and -- this is gonna floor you -- so far this year, lawmakers have passed 476 resolutions - each one typically costing taxpayers about $300. Senators have passed resolutions honoring their interns, their grandparents, and now, Senator Jon Lundberg has honored himself and his P.R. firm. He passed one a few years ago honoring his daughter for graduating high schoool, and says he stands by that one, too.

FRIENDS REUNION SEASON NOT HAPPENING
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman says the rumor that there'll be a whole new season of Friends is not true. Rachel, and Ross and the gang will not be back for a reunion.

THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND
(more complete details on each event below)
You have lots of choices for things to do this weekend! The Southern Women's Show starts today (Thursday) at the Nashville Convention Center, The Nashville Film Festival starts today with more than 200 films from 50 countries at the Regal Green Hills Cinema, Saturday is Earth Day with a huge celebration at Centennial Park, and another at Pinkerton Park in Franklin, and Sunday is the March for Babies, a fundraiser for March of Dimes.

NASHVILLE DOCTORS IN TROUBLE
Four local doctors have been disciplined by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for various reasons. Nashville doctor Anjalie Narasimhan was caught with narcotics during a shoplifting arrest at Cool Springs Galleria, Dr. James Gekas of Brentwood was found to be verbally harassing hospital personnel, Dr. Robert Cochran had improper documentation for some of his patients and Dr. James Bachstein of Lebanon, for writing scrips for controlled substances … without making a diagnosis or treatment plan. 

MCDONALD'S ROBBER CAUGHT BY MOM
If only more parents got this involved! A mom in Czechoslovakia recognized her 20-year-old son on police surveillance photos as the guy who'd been robbing local fast food restaurants. She literally grabbed him by the ear, and marched him down to the police station and made him give police a full confession.
 
STAR WARS MOVIE A YEAR
Disney has announced it'll roll out a new "Star Wars" movie every year, starting in 2015. (There's no word yet on who will direct the "Star Wars" spin-offs.)

EVENT INFORMATION
EARTH DAY IS SATURDAY
This Saturday is Earth Day. There'll be celebrations all over the place, including the Nashville Earth Day festival at Centennial Park… 11 to 7. There'll be nearly 100 booths, family-friendly fun and activities, live music, free bicycle valet parking, food and beverages and you can even recycle and/or properly dispose of some of your household items, like old cell phones, chargers, MP3 players and digital cameras at the Public Works booth, and your unused or expired meds, at the Metro Nashville Police Department's booth. Admission is free.
In Franklin, Saturday's Earth Day Celebration will be 10 to 2, at Pinkerton Park, on Murfreesboro Road (Highway 96) in Franklin.  Music, food, and freebies, including free seeds from Farmer's Market booth, and free tree saplings while they last.

THE NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL IS THIS WEEK AT REGAL GREEN HILLS CINEMA
Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), April 18 - 25, 2013, brings the world to Nashville in an 8-day celebration of film. Attended by filmmakers and industry insiders, and open to the public, NaFF screens more than 200 films from nearly 50 countries. The 200 films in 8 days includes "Mud" tonight, opening night, starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepard.

NO MORE IRON MAN
Robert Downey Jr. is hinting that the next "Iron Man" will probably be the last one -- at least, with him in it.

9 MILLION DOLLAR WEDDING. WHAT?!
Napster founder Sean Parker is planning a $9 million wedding.

YOU'RE SPENDING 9 GRAND A YEAR ON YOUR CAR
Apparently the rest of us are spending our money on our vehicles. A new study finds we spend 9,000 dollars a year to own and operate a car, when you include gas, maintenance and depreciation.

WOMAN CHARGED WITH SHOPLIFTING AND ASSAULT IN FRANKLIN
35 year old Karen Fox of Columbia has been charged with theft and assault, for trying to steal clothes from Macy's in Franklin, then assaulting a store employee who tried to stop her. She made it to her car, but cops caught up with her shortly after and took her to jail.

LADY GAGA ONE OF MOST INFLUENTIAL
Lady Gaga is proving to be one of the most powerful public figures around.  In its tenth anniversary list, "Time" started a March Madness-style bracket asking online readers to pick the "most influential" person of the decade.  Lady Gaga came in second place, just behind Burmese freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi. 

MOST HATED CELEBS
Madonna, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez may be banking millions, but apparently they're also among Hollywood's "most-hated."  All three have made the top ten in "Star" magazine's new survey of the most disliked celebrities of the moment.   Number one most-hated, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, then "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart.