Wednesday, January 29, 2014

COLD WEATHER CONTINUES
Winter Storm Leon is still at it, causing us to keep the heat up and the water on for at least another day.  We're not expected to get above freezing today, then overnight low temperatures 10 degrees or colder. You can see the entire 5-day forecast HERE.
 
ALABAMA NATIONAL GUARD HELPING WITH MEDICAL TRANSPORTS, MOTORIST RESCUES
This is a walk in the park, however, compared to what some of our friends and family members in other states are dealing with. In Alabama, the Governor has activated National Guard members to help with medical transports and rescues, but says the snow and ice is impeding the rescue.

ATLANTA SNOWSTORM STRANDS THOUSANDS
And in the Atlanta area, where traffic is already a challenge, rescue efforts are underway after hundreds of schoolchildren and drivers spent the night stranded at schools and along ice-covered highways.  The National Guard is sending military Humvees onto Atlanta’s snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to students on them, Gov. Nathan Deal said early Wednesday.  The Georgia State Patrol is also sending troopers to schools where children remain stuck after spending the night in classrooms. His statement says state transportation crews are continuing to treat roads and bring gas to stranded motorists.

SOCIAL MEDIA HELPS WITH ATLANTA RESCUES
 A Facebook group called SnowedOutAtlanta, helped connect stranded motorists with people willing to put them up for the night, had thousands of members.. helping each other, by late last night.

SUPERBOWL WEATHER, COLDEST ON RECORD, BUT NO SNOW
The weather forecast for the Super Bowl, which is being held in New Jersey, shows that it'll be sunny in the afternoon - easing fears that it'll be too treacherous for fans and players.

WEATHER CHANNEL REPORTER KNEES KID IN GROIN DURING LIVE SHOT
This winter has kept Weather Channel's Jim Cantore busy. And don't mess with him when he's reporting on a winter storm. He was caught on video kneeing a kid in the groin. Actually, the kid ran INTO Cantore's knee, as he tried to videobomb the meteorologist.
The 49 year old Rockstar of Meteorologists was reporting from the College of Charleston campus in South Carolina when the incident happened.  You can see it HERE.
 
MAJORITY OF AMERICAN EMPLOYEES GO TO WORK SICK
You may have figured this out, already, but a new survey finds MOST Americans WILL come to work, sick. Seventy-percent of the employees surveyed say they do.  Employees in the 35 to 44 age range are the most likely to come in when they're still contagious, and spread that stuff around. Bosses who were surveyed, however, tend to not KNOW it's happening. 

ROYAL CARIBBEAN SHIP COMING HOME BECAUSE OF SICKNESS
A big floating "sick room" is heading home early.  Royal Caribbean's "Explorer of the Seas" is returning two days early because nearly 600 passengers got a stomach bug... apparently a norovirus. The ship  should be docking in New Jersey today.  

PRESIDENT SAYS, "IF YOU DON'T DO IT, I WILL."
President Obama says he'll bypass lawmakers with executive action if Congress doesn't work together and get things done.  Delivering the State of the Union address, Obama urged Congress to embrace "concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class." 

QUEEN ELIZABETH TOLD TO STOP OVERSPENDING!
Perhaps Queen Elizabeth II could learn something from her thrifty granddaughter-in-law Kate Middleton. The 87-year-old monarch has been overspending the royal family's famous fortune, according to a report published by the Commons Public Accounts Committee on Monday.
    Her Majesty the Queen's reserve fund has fallen from ($58 million) in 2001 to just ($1.6 million) in 2014. (The report states the royal family is "spending above their means and dipping into the reserves...the balance now stands at an all-time low." The report also reveals that 41 percent of the more than 300 royal palaces are in "dangerous or deteriorating" conditions.  Taxpayers pay for the palaces. )

TARGET CREDIT BREACH
The credit and debit card security breach at Target last year has resulted in banks replacing 15.3 million cards so far.  The Consumer Bankers Association says it's cost banks more than 153-million to replace the cards.  The group wants Target to pay some of the costs to protect customers after the massive data theft.

COLORADO MEN GET PROBATION FOR DEATHS
Remember that deadly listeria outbreak that was linked to a cantaloupe farm in Colorado? The two Colorado men who owned the farm have been sentenced for the outbreak, that killed at least 33 people. They got five years on probation. 

NASHVILLE'S RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE GETS 75-THOUSAND DOLLAR CHECK FROM HAMBURGER SALE FUNDRAISER 
The Ronald McDonald House in Nashville is getting a check for 76-thousand-dollars to help with flood damage.  On Monday, 141 McDonald's locations in Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky sold 79-cent cheeseburgers and donated the money to the charity.  An entire wing of the House was flooded on January 7th when cold temperatures caused a pipe to burst.

COLORADO COUNTY FAIR ADDS POT-RELATED EVENTS
As marijuana is now legal in Colorado, Denver County is adding cannabis-themed contests to its 2014 summer fair. It's the first time pot plants will stand alongside tomato plants and homemade jam in competition for a blue ribbon. Pot-related categories will actually be judged off-site. There WILL be a joint rolling competition at the fairgrounds... but that's being allowed only because competitors will use oregano instead of marijuana.
Denver's county fair also includes a drag queen pageant and a contest for dioramas made with Peeps candies. (Huffington Post)

ON YOUR TV: MILEY CYRUS UNPLUGGED ON MTV TONIGHT, SPECIAL GUEST MADONNA
Miley Cyrus' surprise guest performer for her upcoming MTV Unplugged special is none other than Madonna!  Miley Cyrus: MTV Unplugged taped Tuesday and will air Wednesday night... with surprise guests to help Miley sing songs that made her career.
Cyrus kicks off her 38-city Bangerz tour on Feb. 14 in Vancouver, Canada.

SUPERBOWL STIRS UP MORE TALK OF MANNING RETIREMENT
With Denver and Seattle in the Superbowl this weekend, there's new talk about Denver quarterback Peyton Manning... and when he'll retire. He's pretty much dodging that conversation right now. Manning is in his second season with the Broncos after playing 13 years with the Indianapolis Colts. So far, the Superbowl is still set for Sunday, though we've been told they may change the date, if Sunday's weather is expected to be too nasty.

15-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN SHOOTING IN HERMITAGE
A 15-year-old is dead from what appears to be an accidental shooting.  Investigators say several teenagers were at the Burning Tree Apartments in Hermitage Tuesday night and one of them was playing with a gun.  Police are looking for the person reportedly holding the gun when it went off. Police say he goes by the name "Bandit."

TERRORIST THREAT CALLED IN ABOUT HILLWOOD HIGH SCHOOL 
It's business as usual today at Hillwood Comprehensive High School following Tuesday's lockdown.  Metro police say someone called the school around 11:30 a.m. and said there was a man in the gym with a gun.  The school was placed on lockdown as a precaution, but nothing suspicious was found. 

WHAT DO YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO TRULY HAS EVERYTHING?
Oprah Winfrey turns 60 today, but reportedly cancelled her birthday bash because the guest list was getting out of control. Instead, she celebrated at a spinning class, getting some exercise on a bicycle. 
As far as GIFTS, for someone who could buy her own country, Oprah's bestie Gayle King said, "It's not like Oprah needs anything, but she oves books... and she's a fan of cashmere. I don't care who you are, everybody likes a present."