Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In Today's News, below: where you can get free food today, the hostage standoff is over, gas prices jump, the "pizza-cryer" was faking it, where to see Betty White's Celebrity Birthday Party tonight, and Oprah Winfrey's being sued by an ex-employee.

IHOP 'FREE PANCAKE DAY' RAISES MONEY FOR CHILDREN'S HOSPITALS 
It's pancake day at IHOP. You get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes... and THEY hope you'll make a donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Our own Monroe Carrel Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is one. You can have your pancakes from 7am till 10pm, just remember it's dine-in only. (IHOP is looking to raise three million dollars for charity today on National Pancake Day.)

"GREATEST BIRTHDAY" FOR FIVE-YEAR-OLD RESCUED FROM BUNKER
Alabama boy is set for the "greatest" birthday of his life after being freed from a week's captivity in an underground bunker, a pastor said Tuesday.  The boy, snatched from a school bus in a fatal shooting, was rescued after a daring raid by FBI agents that left his kidnapper, Vietnam Veteran Jimmy Lee Dykes, dead.  The 5-year-old, who is recovering in hospital, turns 6 on Wednesday.  “I would imagine it’s going to be the greatest birthday that family and that little boy has ever experienced and probably will ever experience,” local pastor Michael Senn told TODAY.  The boy was reunited with his mother and is "laughing, joking, playing, eating," said Special Agent in Charge Stephen Richardson at a press briefing Monday.

ARMY TAKES ON SPIKING SUICIDE RATES, MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AMONG ITS RANKS
Meanwhile, the the U.S. Army says it's working on plans to help soldiers with mental health problems. The Army Secretary says he wants to cut the stigma and the red tape for soldiers who are trying to get help, and has given a deadline of February 15th for officials to come up with some proposals. There were a record number of military member suicides last year.

BETTY WHITE BIRTHDAY ON TV TONIGHT
And the Betty White Birthday Celebration is on TV tonight.. with lots of celebrities... including Whoopi Goldberg, Blake Shelton, Bill Cosby, and former President Bill Clinton...who says he supports Betty White for president.
it's called, "Betty White's 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special," and it's on NBC.

GAS PRICES JUMP 18 CENTS
In case you hadn't noticed, gas prices have jumped again. Up 18 cents! BUT.. they're not up uniformly. I noticed prices were 15 cents different within just a few blocks.).. so it may benefit you to look around online or on your mobile device before you just pull in somewhere and fill-up.

TRAYVON MARTIN DEFENSE LAWYERS ASK FOR POSTPONEMENT ON WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN BIRTHDAY
Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 today and lawyers will be in a Florida courtroom trying to postpone the trial of his accused murderer.  Before this morning's court hearing for former Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman,  the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation will hold a prayer gathering and sing "Happy Birthday" on the steps of the courthouse.

CLEVELAND POLICE SHOOTING INVESTIGATION RESULTS
The long-awaited results of the investigation into a deadly Cleveland police shooting will be released today.  The chase in November ended with 13 officers firing nearly 140 shots into a car, killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.  The investigation will determine if criminal charges are possible.

OPRAH WINFREY'S "OWN" SUED FOR SEX DISCRIMINATION
Carolyn Hommel was hired to be OWN's senior director of scheduling & acquisitions but was fired after she became pregnant in 2011 and had to go on medical leave due to a pregnancy-related condition
She was allegedly informed by her higher-ups that she was being laid off due to "restructuring"
Hommel is seeking unspecified damages for sex discrimination, disability discrimination, retaliation and willful failure to pay wages upon discharge or termination among other allegations

FED'S BORROWING LIMIT RAISED
A bill increasing the federal government's borrowing limit is now law. President Obama signed the legislation yesterday that temporarily suspends the 16.4-trillion-dollar limit on federal borrowing.

TIME WASTED IN TRAFFIC
You think YOU spend a lot of time sitting in traffic. Well, you do. But NOT as bad as people in Washington D.C. A new survey finds people in the nation's capital spend more than 67 hours a year waiting in traffic. It's the worst in the country for traffic congestion. The best? Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina...  ranks as the easiest major city to get around.

FOR DENTAL HEALTH; DON'T EAT LATE
If you want to keep your teeth sparkling white and cavity-free, don't eat after dinner. Eating food at night makes you more likely to have cavities, and even more likely to lose your teeth, than people who stop eating when dinner is done. And, it doesn't matter what kind of food. Fruit eaten late is as bad for your teeth as ice cream.

TEETH, NOT CAR, MAKE MEN MORE DATE-WORTHY
And it'd be good to remember that if you're single, and looking for a date. A new survey of women for www.Match.com found a good smile, with reasonably nice teeth, will shoot you right to the top of the potential dates list. That means you guys who post photos of your cars, your motorcyles, sunsets -- everything BUT a closeup of your smiling face -- are not showing a woman your potentially- strongest feature.

DELL BUYOUT
Computer maker Dell is close to a 23 BILLION dollar buyout.  It would be the biggest buyout since the financial crisis.

PIZZA CRY-ER WAS FAKING IT
Remember that robber at a Pizza place in Montana recently… who started crying and told the clerk he was only stealing to support his wife and kids… .and the clerk took pity and gave the guy some food? Well, turns out the thief, 35-year-old David Lacey … admitted to police that he WAS trying to rob the place, but he started crying when he SAW HOW LITTLE MONEY WAS IN THE REGISTER! He made up the wife and kids story to get pity and get away. He didn't. He's in jail. (Independent Record) 
 
BRITISH ARTIST SCORES VALENTINE'S HIT WITH ZOMBIE TEDDY BEARS
www.undeadteds.com
Guess what's supposed to be a hot gift this Valentine's day. Teddy bears. No, wait. Let me correct that: ZOMBIE teddy bears, called Deady bears. Each little Undead Ted is hand-zombified with special effects makeup and tattered coat. For that zombie-crazy person in your life, the link is www.UndeadTeds.com

NEW APP LETS USERS 'TALK' WITH HOUSE PLANTS, SHRUBBERY
There's a new mobile app that lets your plants tell you when they need to be watered. The app creator says he got tired of killing plants, and came up with the application that even lets you water them, from wherever you are. It's called Plant Link.

LEE MAJORS JOINS DALLAS
Lee Majors is joining the cast of "Dallas" as a former boyfriend of Sue Ellen.  The 6 million dollar man has a 2-episode guest-star role this season.

MAN CRASHES CAR HOURS AFTER DWI ARREST
A New York man is recovering from a car accident he got into just a few hours after his drunk driving arrest.  Authorities in Genesee County say Jeffrey Hamill was arrested over the weekend in the town of Pembroke and had a friend follow him home instead of getting a ride.  The plan didn't go very well as the 34-year-old slammed his car into a tree not long after he was released.  It was a serious wreck that required him being airlifted to a hospital.  He was last reported to be in satisfactory condition. 

MANY AMERICANS FIND CALLING BUSINESSES FRUSTRATING, UNPRODUCTIVE
The majority of Americans HATE having to call a business. 6-in-10 of us say calling businesses is frustrating because at some point we're usually put on hold, and then we're rarely connected with someone who is helpful and can resolve our problems. Half of us say we spend up to 20 minutes a week on hold… nearly 43 days out of an average lifetime.