Archive for the ‘News’ Category

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Authorities searched fields and along highways in suburban Denver on Monday for signs of a 10-year-old girl who has been missing since leaving for school on Friday and whose backpack may have been found miles away.

The effort to find fifth-grader Jessica Ridgeway also focused on the area around the home in Westminster where she lives with her mother, and a neighborhood 6 miles to the north where the backpack believed to belong to her was found Sunday.

Ridgeway was last seen Friday walking to a park where she meets classmates before school. A police flier with her photo was posted on the front door of her two-story home that was decorated for Halloween.

The FBI was assisting the investigation, and investigators have been in contact with relatives in Independence, Mo.

Jessica’s great-grandmother Dana Moss told KSHB-TV that she consented to a search of her house because “we’d do anything in the world to get her back.”

“Safely, alive, however we can have her back,” she said.

The Associated Press couldn’t immediately reach Moss.

In Westminster, police stationed officers at elementary schools to assist children, though they said there was no indication that other children were in danger.

“We have no reason to believe there is a person going around abducting children,” police spokesman Trevor Materasso said.

However, police in the nearby suburb of Arvada said they were investigating whether the disappearance of Jessica was related to two recent child enticement cases that involved a man who tried to lure two boys about the same age as Jessica into a car.

No suspects were identified in those incidents, which took place about 6 miles south of Jessica’s home.

“Our detective is working to see if they’re related,” Arvada police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan said.

A resident in a neighborhood in Superior, a town along U.S. Highway 36 linking Boulder and Denver, reported finding the backpack on a sidewalk.

Police declined comment about its contents. Materasso said it was sent to the state crime lab for analysis that involved DNA samples from the family.

Authorities got a late start searching for Jessica because her mother works nights and slept through a call Friday from school officials after Jessica didn’t arrive for classes.

People in the area have been moved to help in the search.

More than 800 volunteers turned out for Saturday’s search, and at least 300 leads have been called in to a tip line.

So many police fliers have been posted on fences and windshields around the city that authorities were having trouble keeping up with demand for the material.



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Antoine Ashley, better known as Sahara Davenport on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died.

“Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport. He was an amazing artist and entertainer who’ll be deeply missed by his Logo family. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, especially his boyfriend Karl, in their time of need,” the network said in a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday.

Alongside 11 other contestants, Ashley competed for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on the hit show’s second season in 2010 – but his talents spanned far beyond the realm of reality television.

A classically trained dancer, Ashley started performing in drag while attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Upon earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, Ashley left Dallas for New York City where he appeared in drag regularly at various bars and nightclubs.

In addition to his role on Drag Race, Ashley also appeared in 15 Films About Madonna, Magnificent Obsessions and One Life to Live.

Earlier this year, Ashley released a single, “Go Off,” which later reached no. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.

RuPaul expressed his condolences via Twitter on Tuesday morning.

“Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal,” he Tweeted.

Ashley’s boyfriend, Karl Westerberg, competed on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race as Manila Luzon. The couple released a cover version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” last December.

On Sunday night, he Tweeted simply, “I love him so much.”

The cause of death is unknown at this time.



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On Friday night a rare blue moon will rise in the sky in an astronomical event that occurs only once every three years or so. If you’re hoping to see the blue moon but the sky above you is cloudy, don’t fret. The web-based Slooh Space Camera will broadcast the event live beginning at 6 p.m. EDT. (The website’s even got a countdown clock to its blue moon coverage.)

Friday evening’s blue moon will allow fans of the late Neil Armstrong to marvel at man’s incredible feat. Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the lunar surface back in 1969. This photo was taken early Friday morning as the moon technically turned full. Photo: Travis Burke

If you’re more inclined to watch the real thing, the best viewing is usually available outside of town, away from the glare of city lights. Viewing is enhanced even more if you can find a nearby lake or pond that will reflect the moon’s light. Of course, avoiding cloud cover is a must, so knowing where to find patches of clear sky is key. Chances are there’s a micro climate near you to do so.

Folklore will tell you that strange things go bump in the night when there’s a blue moon–but what folklore won’t tell you is that blue moons aren’t really blue. The term is a misnomer and actually refers to the second of two full moons that occur during the same calendar month.

Because the lunar cycle is 29.5 days, most months only see one full moon. But every once in a while a full moon rises twice in the same month and becomes a blue moon–at least that is the accepted definition today, even though it originally arose from a mistake in Sky & Telescope magazine in 1946. The next time we humans will see a blue moon is on July 31, 2015.

There are varying theories as to where the term “blue moon” came from, given that color has nothing to do with it.

“Why ‘blue’ was chosen isn’t really known for sure,” Anthony Cook, the astronomical observer at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times.

Friday morning’s blue moon as seen through the lens of a telescope in the hills north of San Diego. Friday night will be your last chance to see the blue moon until 2015. Middle photo is of the moon rise over Lake Hodges. Photos: Travis Burke

Friday night’s blue moon is also sure to be savored by NASA fans, as it comes on the same day that astronaut Neil Armstrong is being laid to rest in a private ceremony. Armstrong, who was the first person to walk on the moon, died on Aug. 25 after suffering from complications related to heart surgery.

“This Blue Moon that Slooh will explore Friday night is somewhat rare, but not as rare as the courage and talent of the late Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on our nearest celestial neighbor,” astronomer and Slooh editor Bob Berman said in a statement on Slooh’s Facebook page. “To honor him, Slooh will explore the Sea of Tranquility with its Canary Island 20-inch telescope, live, and have guests who will reveal some of the lesser-known secrets of that historic 1969 event. I think many of our visitors will be in for quite a surprise.”

It appears as if the moon wants to send him off with a memorable goodbye–or perhaps welcome him home.



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People put a positive spin on the idea of mob mentality with flash mobs, happy groups that came together in a public place to surprise crowds with choreographed dance moves and songs. Then came cash mobs, when well-intentioned consumers boosted sales at a local store by buying up whatever was in stock. Now the flash mob has taken a sinister turn: A Chicago store owner says his shop is the latest to be robbed by a flash mob, when a group of young adults showed up all at once and stole more than $3,000 worth of merchandise.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, at around 6:40 p.m. on Saturday about 20 people entered the Mildblend Supply Co., a clothing store in a trendy part of Chicago, and started scooping up $200-a-pair jeans — and then walked out of the store without paying for them.

“I see a group of kids. They’re coming in the store in a marching way, like a team,” the store’s owner, Luke Cho, told the newspaper. “After the 15th or 16th teenager was inside I knew something bad was happening.”

The surveillance video, which Cho posted on YouTube, shows a flood of young adults entering the nearly empty store at about 6:40 p.m. Some mill around, looking at displays, but many make a beeline to the back of the store, where piles of jeans sit on out on tables.

They just look like regular shoppers — until you notice that several of them are slipping off their backpacks and stuffing clothing into them.

“We were extremely vulnerable and caught completely off guard,” Cho said. “There wasn’t a whole lot we could do other than lock the door and hope the police showed up right away.”

The crowd was too much for the four employees who were on duty that evening.

“They completely overwhelmed us. I went to lock the door and there were a dozen more waiting to come in,” Cho told NBC 5.

“They basically pushed us aside,” he added. “We were standing by the door. My staff got cuts and bruises and banged around until [the thieves] unlocked the door and got out.”

It took police more than 30 minutes to respond to 911 calls from the store, thanks to a local street fair that had closed some of the roads in the area; the outdoor fair also made it easier for the mob robbers to hide. No one has been arrested in the incident so far.

The last few months have seen a rash in flash mob robberies. In April, 20 or more people took $20,000 worth of clothing from the G-Star Raw store in Washington, D.C., police there reported, and in May, dozens of teens descended on a 7-Eleven store in Baltimore for free Slurpees and helped themselves to other merchandise as well. Several stores in Portland, Oregon — including a Chevron station store and high-end retailer Nordstroms — were flash-robbed in April as well.



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cuba-gooding-arrest-pics-mugshot-jr-gi.jpgNew Orleans police have issued an arrest warrant for actor Cuba Gooding Jr. for allegedly shoving a female bartender early Tuesday (July 31) morning, reports TMZ.

The scuffle went down at The Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street around 3 a.m. Gooding, who was out with a group of friends, reportedly got upset when some other bar patrons recognized him and started taking photos. The bartender approached and asked the “Jerry Maguire” actor to calm down, according to E! News, but instead he supposedly pushed the woman against a wall.

Another bar employee then called 911, and the female bartender claims the actor then pushed her again before leaving. A rep for Gooding had no comment.

The actor is currently in New Orleans filming “The Butler,” co-starring Oprah Winfrey and Lenny Kravitz.



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People who suffer from a medical disorder that causes chronic pain are buying marijuana on the street for relief, a new study has revealed.
The study, led by Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, a rheumatologist at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, appears in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

It shows that 13% cent of patients living with fibromyalgia (FM) use cannabinoids for relief from symptoms such as widespread pain, fatigue, and insomnia, and 10% buy cannabis illegally for these reasons. It says these people tend to have poorer mental health, and are often on additional prescribed medications that could result in negative drug interactions. Cannabinoids are a type of chemical in marijuana that causes drug-like effects all through the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system.

“Fibromyalgia affects up to three per cent of the population and is more common in women,” says Dr. Fitzcharles, who is also a professor of medicine at McGill University. “Unfortunately, FM pharmacologic treatments for pain have modest results, prompting some patients to self-medicate with more non-traditional therapies, such as marijuana.”

Dr. Fitzcharles says she and her colleagues assessed cannabinoid use in 457 FM patients being treated at the MUHC Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit. They determined that 13% of participants used cannabinoids to help manage pain, fatigue, and insomnia, and 10% cent bought cannabis illegally.



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