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Ohio lawmaker's bill to name Labrador retriever state dog gets 'ruff' response from PETA

Ohio State Rep. Jeff Rezabek wants to name the Labrador retriever as the official state dog, but People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would rather that the American mutt get the special designation.

>> PHOTOS: Official state dogs

PETA, an animal rights group with 6.5 million members, fired off a letter to Rezabek, R-Clayton, to tell him that his well-intentioned legislation could end up hurting Labradors.

>> Read more trending news 

Puppy mills would cash in on the demand, while Ohio’s animal shelters would see an uptick in Labradors when new owners discover that they’re expensive, time-consuming and in need of training, according to PETA.

>> On Patio pooch? Bills would let restaurants decide whether to allow dogs

“The last thing that Ohio’s already severely crowded animal shelters need is a deluge of yet another type of dog,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk in a written release. “If Ohioans’ hearts are set on naming an official state dog, PETA suggests the humble, healthy and 100 percent lovable all-American mutt.”

>> On Vicious dogs: Ohio moves to change laws on dog owners

Rezabek introduced the Labrador bill earlier this month, and it has yet to receive a hearing. He said he had not yet seen the letter from PETA.

Claire's mall jewelry chain files for bankruptcy

Claire’s Stores Inc., a fashion accessories chain, has filed for bankruptcy.

>> Read more trending news 

The retailer and its affiliates have filed for bankruptcy in United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The move could help with Claire’s $2 billion debt load. “Claire’s is growing, not shrinking, its business. The company expects its concessions business to grow by more than 4,000 stores in 2018,” the company said in a statement.

>> On Toys ‘R’ Us reportedly preparing to close all stores

Apollo paid more than $3 billion to acquire Claire’s from Rowland Schaefer, and began expanding the business, adding about 350 stores from 2010 to 2013. Claire’s expects to reduce debt by about $1.9 billion, after reaching an agreement with creditors including Elliott Management Corp. and Monarch Alternative Capital, which will give the company some $575 million in new capital.

>> On Jewelry store company expects to close 200 stores

Claire’s isn’t the only retailer to file bankruptcy recentlyToys ‘R’ Us also filed for bankruptcy and plans to liquidate all of its stores in the U.S. Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 in September 2017. The retailer was $5 billion in debt as of April 29. At the time of bankruptcy, the company said it would close about one-fifth of its store locations. Closing sales are expected to conclude in April.

Many students misbehaved this St. Patrick's Day, university president says

University of Dayton students who ignored orders and acted out against police during St. Patrick’s Day activities Saturday were called out in a letter sent this morning from University President Eric F. Spina to the student body.

>> Read more trending news

“Today I am deeply disappointed in the behavior of many of you. I witnessed groups of students assault police officers, shoot fireworks into crowds, and put themselves and their friends in danger,” Spina wrote. 

Police responded to the report of a large crowd that had gathered on Lowes Street. Bottles, rocks and firecrackers were reportedly thrown at officers, which forced them to retreat. Additional officers from the UD and Dayton police departments were called. By 6:30 p.m., police dressed in riot gear cleared the streets and ordered students to go inside their homes.

“The large gatherings that block streets, the disregard for the safety of others, and the disrespect for the police who were there to keep people safe in no way constitutes community,” Spina’s letter reads. “This police response was appropriate and necessary because this behavior presented significant danger to the safety of students and police.

One person was hurt by a thrown object during the police action on Saturday, according to the university.

Dayton officers dressed in riot gear and holding shields were also struck by thrown objects, but no injuries were reported, according to UD spokeswoman Cilla Shindell.

Shindell said there were a few other minor injuries, “a few misdemeanor arrests and student disciplinary referrals” reported during the day, but full reports were not immediately available.

Some minor damage to university property — lawns and landscaping — was reported and a few private vehicles were reportedly damaged during the day, Shindell said.

“No one has been arrested as yet for activities related to dispersing the crowd,” she said.

Shindell said, in terms of how police respond to large disturbances such as what happened on Lowes Street, each situation is assessed for the best response.

“In general, it is good practice to get everyone off the street as peacefully as possible and keep them out of harm’s way until the street is cleared,” Shindell said. “This helps police identify those who are involved in disorderly behavior and those who are not. After the street was clear, police went to each of the houses to let them encourage those who were not residents to leave the property and let residents know they were free to leave their houses.”

Keyless ignitions may be contributing to deaths across the United States

Constance Petot didn't think twice about the push button starter on her car until it almost killed her and her toddler last Valentine's Day.

>> Read more trending news

"He just went completely limp in my arms. It's the most terrifying moment in my entire life," said Petot.

The busy mom was ending her work day with a conference call as she was pulling into the garage of her parents' Florida home, where she was staying.

"As I came in I wanted the garage door to be closed when the conference call started so I went ahead and pushed the button to close the door," Petot said. "And I think in my head I just told myself I had pushed this button instead of that button."

The mistake sent carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas, flooding through their home as she got 13-month-old Parker ready for bed.

The car was still on after Petot left the garage.

"My son woke up around 12:30 a.m. and was screaming," Petot recalls.

She got out of bed to pick him up.

Petot thinks her son, Parker, may have had a headache because she now knows the level of carbon monoxide at the time was high enough to have killed them within about 20 minutes.

"Once I got dizzy, I knew I needed to get out of there," Petot said. "And walked down the stairs, opened the garage door and saw that the taillight was on."

A WSB-TV investigation has tracked more than two dozen injuries and deaths around the country connected to cars with keyless ignitions being left on, with families left wondering how this could happen.

Cars with keyless ignition have no key and are designed to start with the push of a button. But it is also easier to forget to turn off the car.

The family of Bill Thomason and Eugenia (Woo) Thomason say the couple likely never realized their mistake. Their Toyota Avalon ran inside their closed garage for 32 hours as they slept.

"We know that they went to bed that night and didn't wake up the next morning," said Will Thomason, who now lives in Atlanta.

His brother Dave Thomason also lives in the metro area, and they both rushed to Greenville, South Carolina, to get to their parents, but it was too late.

"By the time they were found they were essentially brain dead," said Will Thomason. "You can't prepare for something like this."

The sons say the active retirees had just renewed their wedding vows after 50 years and adored their five grandchildren, who they won't get to see grow up.

"Oh, it's been just absolutely terrible," said Dave Thomason. "We all know that people can get killed in car accidents due to different things, but a car sitting alone, basically doing nothing but running?"

The brothers said their pain is worsened by the number of times they've now heard the same story, with reported deaths and injuries connected to running cars around the country.

The Thomason family has filed a lawsuit against Toyota, which has already settled with several of the other families.

"Hell yeah, that makes me angry. I mean, we've lost our parents," said Will Thomason.

"Nobody is in the car, it's been running for however long. The car should have an automatic cutoff. I mean, to me that's a very easy fix," said Dave Thomason.

Records show since 2011 the federal government has been studying the need for an external alert to be placed on cars that have button ignitions, but has yet to require car companies to do anything to include an external alert.

"There's probably 25 other things that car makers do ... for safety. Well, this is a life and death safety thing and it seems to me that this is an easy thing for them to address, and they aren't addressing it," Will Thomason said.

WSB-TV tested more than a dozen of the most popular cars to see what happens when you leave them running and walk away with the key fob.

Most of the cars had a dashboard display that notes that the key fob has left the vehicle. Some even emit a low interior sound, similar to the one that reminds drivers to fasten their seat belts. 

However, if a driver has left the vehicle, he or she wouldn't see that display or hear that warning. Very few of the cars made an exterior noise.

The loudest warning came from the Chevy Impala, which utilizes the car's horn.

Petot didn't hear the three low beeps her car made and she's lived with the guilt ever since.

"I absolutely take responsibility for what happened," she said. "And I think that it could happen to anybody."

But she said the price for being distracted or forgetful should not be death.

"We were incredibly lucky. We absolutely wouldn't be here," Petot said while watching Parker play in their new Marietta home. "He is definitely my little hero Valentine."

Petot said the day they moved in to their new home she purchased carbon monoxide detectors for each of the rooms.

Latest Austin explosion has experts tweaking bomber profile

Law enforcement and others seeking clues into the mind of what now appears to be a serial bomber say the latest explosive incident on Sunday night, the city’s fourth over 17 days, provided more trail crumbs than definitive signposts pointing toward a potential suspect.

>> Read more trending news 

Austin interim Police Chief Brian Manley has said preliminary indications are that the newest bomb is similar enough in construction to be connected to the previous three. That doesn’t necessarily mean all were manufactured and planted by the same person.

But if that does turn out to be the case, experts said, the latest attack would slightly alter their profile of the serial bomber’s methods and motive.

Police on Monday said it appears as though a trip wire was used to trigger the latest blast in Southwest Austin, revealing two new important pieces of information about the bomber.

>> Related: Austin bombings: What we know about the bomber’s habits

The first is that the new form of detonation indicates the person making the explosive has a higher level of skill or sophistication, said Fred Milanowski, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ special agent in charge of the Houston field division.

The earlier bombs, which were hidden in packages, appear to have been detonated by movement devices, which would complete a circuit when the package was lifted or tilted, experts said. The latest incident means that investigators now must contemplate a bomber capable of using multiple methods to start an explosion, perhaps even by timer or remote control.

>> Related: Unabomber: TV shows, movies and books about Ted Kaczynski 

A trip wire, which typically works by stringing a taut string across a pathway, detonates a bomb when a person pushes into it. Stringing a wire across or near a route used by multiple people could introduce a new element of randomness to the attacks, said James R. Fitzgerald, a former FBI profiler who worked on the Unabomber case.

Employing a detonating device that doesn’t target any particular person would indicate a dangerous capriciousness and callousness, he said — the bomber “wants to strike out at some perceived wrong, and anyone 

>> Related: ‘Serial bomber' suspected in Austin explosions, police say: live updates 

By mixing his targets — from specific people who receive a package on their porch to anyone who stumbles by — the bomber could be trying to spread general fear and unease throughout the city, Fitzgerald said.

Or he might be purposefully trying to distract from his real intention.

>> Related: BACKGROUND: Bombs in Austin attacks constructed from readily available materials

That was the case when, in December 1989, an Atlanta attorney named Robert Robertson was killed when he opened a brown package he received at home. Investigators at first thought his death was connected to a virtually identical fatal bomb detonated at the house of federal Judge Robert Vance two days earlier. But they later learned Walter Moody had killed Robertson as misdirection.

Read more here.

Confessed Parkland school shooter’s brother arrested for allegedly trespassing at Stoneman Douglas

The brother of confessed school shooter Nikolas Cruz was arrested Monday afternoon for trespassing on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas campus in Parkland, according to the Broward County Sheriff’ Office. 

>> Read more trending news 

Zachary Cruz, 18, told deputies he went to the campus to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in,” according to the arrest report. 

The sheriff’s office said he rode his skateboard through the campus, passing all locked doors and gates. Deputies said he was previously warned by school officials to stay away from the campus. 

The sheriff’s office said Zachary Cruz has no connections to Broward County at this time. Before the shootings, he lived with his brother and family friend, Rocxanne Deschamps, in a Lantana-area mobile home. 

>> Related: Florida school shooting timeline: Seven minutes, three floors and 17 dead

Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged in a 34-count indictment with killing 17 people and wounding 17 others. He is being held without bail at the Broward County Jail after the Feb. 14 school shooting that left 14 students and three adults dead. 

After the fatal shootings, Zachary Cruz was put under a mental-health evaluation. He told investigators that as he drove home with Deschamps after he heard about the shootings he said, "I don't want to be alive. I don't want to deal with this stuff."

>> Related: Florida school shooting: What we know about the victims 

He has denied wanting either to kill or harm himself. 

Alert mail carrier saves man’s life in Georgia

A Georgia mail carrier is being credited with saving a man’s life.

>> Read more trending news

Amanda Nalley said her suspicion about uncollected mail led her to check with a neighbor and then call 911.

"I left his mail on the door knob. Tuesday, when I came back, I knew something was wrong because the mail hadn't been picked up," Nalley said.

Nalley, who has delivered mail on the same route for 13 years, told WSB-TV that one of her customers, Rodney Garner, looked forward to her arrival every day and usually waved out the window.

When she realized that Garner had not greeted her or answered his door for two days, she worried something may have happened to him.

And she was right.

Forsyth County sheriff's deputies and EMTs found the 84-year-old man barely conscious on the floor of his bedroom.

They believe he had been in the same location for two days.

"They said he might have had a heart attack or seizure. He was not responding well. His eyes were open a little bit. They said if he had been there another hour he would have passed away," Nalley said.

He said he had slipped while cleaning the floor in house. 

"I just hit the floor and that was it," Garner said.

He said that the staff at Northside Hospital Forsyth was taking good care of him and he looked forward to thanking Nalley in person for all her help.

"I appreciated that. A man that won't appreciate somebody for saving his life, that's pretty darn sorry," Garner said.

Nalley said she was only doing her job.

"I love my job. I love my customers. Whatever I can do, I just do it," Nalley said.

WATCH: Elderly woman drives mobility scooter onto busy freeway scaring drivers

A harrowing Facebook video has gone viral on social media. 

>> Read more trending news 

A woman, who appears to be in her 70s or 80s, was seen driving a mobility scooter onto a dangerous Memphis highway Friday evening around 7 p.m. The terrifying incident was recorded live on Facebook

The video was being filmed as a cry for help. Facebook user, Towanna Murphy, asked her friends to please share the information with police as she followed the woman onto Interstate 55.

"Whoever is watching this video, please call 9-1-1, so we can get this lady where she's going," Murphy said.

The video ended with a Memphis police officer working to assist the woman off of the scooter, but she refused to comply. 

>> Related: WATCH: Baby elephant takes tourist on roll through mud. It’s hysterical!

Police were eventually able to help the woman to safety.

Serial bomber Eric Rudolph targeted Olympics, gay club, abortion clinics

As federal, state and local authorities in Texas deal with a string of deadly bombings in Austin, residents in Alabama and Georgia are reminded of a similar terror that arrived under the name of Eric Robert Rudolph.

Rudolph’s reign of terror began at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, where the 1996 Olympic Summer Games were underway. Revelers were enjoying the festive atmosphere when, around 1:20 a.m. on July 27, an explosion rocked the park.

Two people died and another 110 were injured.

Related: ‘Serial bomber’ suspected in Austin explosions, police say

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the 20th anniversary of the bombing that security guard Richard Jewell, who was having trouble with rowdy college kids, went for backup and found Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Tom Davis. When they returned to the area where the kids had been, Jewell spotted an abandoned backpack.

Bomb specialists they called in to deal with the backpack took a look -- and ordered them to evacuate the area immediately, the Journal-Constitution reported. Jewell, Davis and other law enforcement officers cleared the area, including a nearby TV camera tower.

That’s when the bomb exploded.

“It was just a huge explosion,” Davis told the Journal-Constitution in 2016. “A very loud explosion and a lot of heat. It forced me to the ground. I just saw people laying everywhere, many of them screaming and hurt severely.”

Davis was one of the more than 100 who were injured by shrapnel from the bomb. Nearby, he could see the body of Alice Hawthorne, a 44-year-old mother from Albany who had traveled to Atlanta with her daughter to see the games. 

The second person who died that night was Melih Uzunyol, a Turkish journalist who suffered a fatal heart attack as he rushed to the scene, the Journal-Constitution reported

Jewell, who is now considered a hero for saving the lives of more than two dozen people, was initially considered a suspect in the case. Though he was cleared about three months after the bombing, the cloud of suspicion hung over his head until Rudolph’s arrest.

Jewell died of a heart attack in 2007 at age 44.

Rudolph, who years later issued a detailed manifesto outlining his anti-abortion, anti-gay beliefs, next bombed an abortion clinic in January 1997 in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. About a month later, he bombed an Atlanta lesbian bar, the Otherside Lounge, injuring five of the patrons there. 

In both of those bombings, Rudolph had planted secondary bombs timed to detonate after police and emergency personnel had arrived, the New York Times reported at the time. In the Sandy Springs bombing at Atlanta Northside Family Planning Services, it was the second bomb that injured six people, including detectives and reporters covering the first explosion. 

Police investigating the bombing at the Otherside Lounge found the second bomb in a backpack in the parking lot, the Times reported. The Atlanta Police Department’s bomb squad used a robot to detonate the device. 

Rhonda Armstrong, a bartender at the club, told the Times a few days after the bombing that patrons at first thought someone had shot a woman there.

“She rolled her sleeve up and had a spike nail through her arm,” Armstrong told the newspaper

All of Rudolph’s bombs were similar in that they used nails and other shrapnel to maim and kill his victims.

Related: For investigators, a race to decode hidden messages in Austin bombings

His final bombing took place Jan. 29, 1998, at New Woman All Women Health Care in Birmingham, where he left a FedEx box packed with dynamite and nails in some bushes near the entrance. As nurse Emily Lyons arrived for work around 7:30 a.m. that morning, she and clinic security guard Robert “Sandy” Sanderson -- also an off-duty Birmingham police officer -- spotted the package. 

As soon as Sanderson touched the package, it exploded, sending shrapnel through his body and killing him instantly, according to Lyons survived the blast, but lost an eye and was left with chronic injuries and pain. 

The bombing was the first fatal bombing of an abortion clinic in the United States.

It was in Birmingham that Rudolph finally slipped up. He used a remote device to detonate the bomb, watching from a distance the explosion that killed Sanderson and maimed Lyons.

A University of Alabama in Birmingham student who felt his dormitory shake from the blast ran outside. That alert pre-med student, Jermaine Hughes, noticed the sort of odd behavior that, decades later, would help federal investigators pin down the Boston Marathon bombers.

As everyone within blocks of the explosion ran toward the devastation, Rudolph walked in the opposite direction. 

Suspicious, Hughes jumped into his car and drove around Rudolph, who was on foot, to get a good look at his face. Then he ran into a nearby McDonald’s and called police, the Los Angeles Times reported

Jeff Tickal, a lawyer in Birmingham from Opelika, was there eating breakfast when he heard Hughes urging the dispatcher to send help. When he also spotted Rudolph, Tickal began following him. 

Seeing Rudolph disappear into some woods, Tickal got in his own car and began looking for the suspicious man. By happenstance, he found the road where Rudolph had hidden his truck and watched as Rudolph emerged from the woods.

Tickal followed him when he drove away, writing Rudolph’s license plate number on his coffee cup from breakfast, the Los Angeles Times reported. He pulled up beside Rudolph at a light and got a look at his face. 

When the light turned green, Rudolph drove on and Tickal sought out a police officer. By that time, Hughes had also spotted Rudolph behind the wheel and jotted down the truck’s license plate number on an envelope he had in his car.

The combined actions of Tickal and Hughes gave a name to the bomber. 

>> Read more trending news

Richard D. Schwein Jr., who in 2014 retired from the FBI as the special agent in charge of the Birmingham division, told in 2013 that identifying Rudolph underscored the importance of those witnesses. 

“This kid saw Rudolph as an anomaly, much like (in) the Boston bombings,” Schwein said. “Everybody else was going in one direction; this guy was going in another direction. Everybody else was kind of in a panic and he was calm. And the witness thought right away, ‘This has got to be the bomber,’ and followed him.”

Law enforcement descended on Rudolph’s North Carolina home, but he was nowhere to be found. He was soon on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, but it would be another five years before the avid outdoorsman and survivalist, who vanished in the mountains, would be captured. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was ultimately a small-town police officer who brought one of the largest manhunts in U.S. history to an end. Jeff Postell, a 21-year-old rookie on the Murphy, North Carolina, police force was on patrol around 3 a.m. May 31, 2003, when he spotted a man rummaging for food in a dumpster behind a grocery store.

Though the man, later identified as Rudolph, tried to hide, he was taken into custody.

Rudolph pleaded guilty to all four bombings in April 2005 to avoid the death penalty, the New York Times reported. He was sentenced to four life sentences without the possibility of parole. 

He remained unrepentant for his actions and, in a statement before the court, called his violent acts against abortion providers a “moral duty.”

“As I go to a prison cell for a lifetime, I know that ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,’” Rudolph said, quoting scripture

Birmingham clinic bombing survivor Emily Lyons called Rudolph a coward.

“I have more guts in my broken little finger than you have in your whole body,” Lyons said, according to the New York Times

Rudolph is housed at the Florence Supermax federal prison in Colorado, sometimes called the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” He self-published his autobiography, “Between the Lines of Drift: The Memoirs of a Militant,” with help from his brother in 2013. 

Rudolph is unable to receive any proceeds or otherwise benefit from his crimes. 

Your bottled water is probably contaminated with tiny plastic particles, health experts say

That water bottle you just purchased is likely contaminated with microplastic particles, according to a new investigation from researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia and journalism organization Orb Media.

>> Read more trending news 

Through an analysis of 259 water bottles from 11 brands sold across nine countries, including the United States, scientists found 93 percent were contaminated with an average of 10.4 plastic particles per liter of water. That’s twice the amount of contamination typically found in tap water.

Major brand names such as Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life and San Pellegrino were among the water bottles tested.

>> Related: Do you need 8 glasses of water per day? 6 myths and truths about drinking water

"In this study, 65 percent of the particles we found were actually fragments and not fibers," lead researcher Sherri Mason told AFP.

According to the research, the plastic debris found in the water bottles included polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate, which is used to make bottle caps. The particles are likely a result of the industrial bottling and plastic packaging process.

But the effects of these chemicals on human health, scientists say, are still unclear. 

“As much as 90% of ingested plastic could pass through a human body, but some of it may end up lodged in the gut, or traveling through the lymphatic system, according to research by the European Food Safety Authority,” Time reported.

>> Related: Considering the water diet? Here’s what you need to know 

Previous research has linked synthetic chemicals often found in plastic to “certain kinds of cancer to lower sperm count to increases in conditions like ADHD and autism,” Mason said, prompting calls for further studies on the possible health implications of plastics pollution.

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