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How not to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is Saturday, and before everyone gets ready for happy hours and parties, it helps to go in with a plan.

>> Read more trending stories

There are plenty of ways to celebrate the day, which commemorates Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5 1862, during the French-Mexican war.

Make sure you do not do any of the following:

Dress up in sombreros and fake mustaches

There is no need to "dress up" for this day, but if you do, do not wear a sombrero, mariachi suit, serape, fake mustache or anything of the sort if you are not a member of that culture. Those things have historical and cultural significance, and donning them just for a day caricatures and stereotypes people. That's not fun.

Go out and get drunk

There is nothing wrong with drinking in moderation and doing it socially, but responsibility is key. What is the use in celebrating a day if you get sick or can't remember it?

Make English words Spanish by adding an "o" on the end

Not only does it not make any sense, but by doing this, it makes fun of another language and turns it into a joke. The same goes for plays on the holiday name, so no parties or themes like "Cinco de Drinko."

You can make a margarita cupcake or a fun cocktail, or have dinner at a family-owned Mexican restaurant. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo without doing any of the three above.

Australia pledges millions to protect Great Barrier Reef

The Australian government on Sunday announced a multimillion-dollar investment aimed at protecting the Great Barrier Reef from the effects of climate change.

>> Read more trending news

Officials hailed the $500 million (about $377 million USD) effort as the government’s largest single investment for reef conservation

The bulk of the money -- $444 million (about $335 million USD) -- will go toward reducing pollution in the reef, mitigating the impacts of climate change and dealing with coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish through a partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, officials said. 

"We'll be improving the monitoring of the reef's health and the measurement of its impacts," Australian Environment Minister Josh Freydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "The more we understand about the reef, the better we can protect it."

John Schubert, chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, told the news station that the new government funding “brought real solutions within reach,” but some criticized the government for not focusing further on tackling climate change.

“There’s a huge missing piece in the puzzle,” Australian Marine Conservation Society campaign director Imogen Zethoven told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "The reality is, hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars has gone into reef rescue packages for nearly 20 years to deal with poor water quality. Yet we've had very little gain, so it's extremely important that this time around the money is spent properly and we start to see the tide turning."

The government released the following breakdown of the spending:

  • $201 million (about $152 million USD) for improving water quality through changed farming practices, like reducing the use of fertilizer and adopting new technologies
  • $100 million (about $75 million USD) for scientific research to support reef restoration, resilience and adaptation
  • $58 million (about $44 million USD) to fight crown-of-thorns starfish
  • $45 million (about $34 million USD) to support community engagement and awareness
  • $40 million (about $30 million USD) for enhancing health monitoring of the reef
  • $56 million (about $42 million USD) to expand environmental management and compliance operations on the reef

Aerial surveys conducted last year showed widespread coral bleaching across the Great Barrier Reef, an indication that water temperatures stayed too warm for coral to survive. Officials found severe bleaching in the central part of the reef, an area that was spared the severe widespread bleaching seen in 2016.

>> Related: Mass coral bleaching hits Great Barrier Reef for 2nd consecutive year

Bleaching occurs when coral, invertebrates that live mostly in tropical waters, release the colorful algae that live in their tissues and expose their white, calcium carbonate skeletons. Bleached coral can recover if the water cools, but if high temperatures persist for months, the coral will die.

Eventually the reef will degrade, leaving fish without habitats and coastlines less protected from storm surges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

8-year-old boy dies at soccer practice

A family in West Virginia is mourning and looking to make a change at their local soccer fields after their 8-year-old son died suddenly at soccer practice.

The first practice of the soccer season had just finished Thursday when Caleb Ray told his dad he wasn’t feeling right, WSAZ reported.

“He told me, ‘Daddy I can’t see,” Ryan Ray. “He fell and started convulsing a little bit. I yelled over there to call an ambulance and everybody came running over and Kristy and I performed CPR on him until the ambulance arrived.”

Kristy Ray told WSAZ that Caleb didn’t have any signs of medical issues. He had a heart murmur as a baby and asthma, but nothing that would have caused a sudden death.

“You don’t think it’s going to happen to you,” Kristy told WSAZ. “You hear about it happening a million miles away to somebody else, in another state, you don’t know the situation. You never think it’s going to happen to your kids or even anyone you know.”

>> Read more trending news 

The Rays now want to make sure that children are given a physical before sports, but also to make sure that all sports fields have defibrillators available. One wasn’t at the fields last week.

They are also getting their daughter checked out before she hits the playing field again. 

“We don’t want her to do anything strenuous until we get a cardiac workup on her. We’re scared. We’re scared it’s going to happen again. The chances are probably slim, but if it’s any chance we don’t want to take it,” The Rays told WSAZ.

The family has been receiving donations after Caleb’s death, WSAZ reported. They will be using it to buy defibrillators for the teams in their area and they’re working with lawmakers to make sure that all games and practices have the lifesaving devices.

Charges sought after owner admits to amputating dog's leg with steak knife

A Michigan man may face animal cruelty charges after he admitted on camera to amputating his dog's leg, WXYZ reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The dog's owner, Charles Wofford, told WDIV that he thought he was doing the right thing. He said his dog Blackie developed an infection in his leg after a dog fight.

The owner told WDIV that he couldn't afford to take the dog to a veterinarian, so he removed the leg himself with a clean steak knife. He told WXYZ that he used dental numbing cream before the amputation and the dog did not appear to be in pain, but instead was "relieved" after the leg was removed.

The Michigan Humane Society is caring for the dog after it was picked up Wednesday after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen, WDIV reported. Humane society officials believe a kitchen knife and garden shears were used to remove the dog's leg. The dog has undergone surgery and his prognosis is good, according to humane society officials.

The Michigan Humane Society told WDIV that it is working with authorities in hopes of animal cruelty charges being filed in the case.

Wofford told WXYZ that he hopes people can forgive him and that he loves his dog.

Brave babies get capes for National Superhero Day

National Superhero Day is Saturday and it's a day to honor the real-life, everyday heroes.

The Allegheny Health Network is celebrating by honoring its tiniest superheroes. 

PHOTOS: Brave babies get capes for National Superheroes Day

Nurses at West Penn Hospital dressed the brave babies in its neonatal intensive care unit in superhero capes. 

RELATED HEADLINE:  Superhero window washers surprise patients at Children's Hospital

>> Read more trending news 

The capes show their parents and caregivers that their tiny bodies pack a big punch and that they are amazing fighters. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Dark chocolate could be good for your brain, vision, pain relief

Like we need a reason to eat more chocolate, but researchers say that dark chocolate may have more  medicinal benefits.

The indulgent candy may boost your brain, immune system and vision according to three separate studies that were recently released, ABC News reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Brain benefits

In the first study, researchers gave volunteers a dark chocolate candy bar and studied their brain waves with an electroencephalogram machine, or E.E.G. They saw an increase in gamma rays half an hour after the treat. “Gamma frequency is associated with neurosynchronization, in other words neuroplasticity. It is the highest level of cognitive processing,” Dr. Lee Burk told ABC News.

Immune system

Burk also conducted a small study on how chocolate boosts the immune system. Ten subjects were given dark chocolate and Burk noted that they found an increase of anti-inflammatory markers, T cells and infection-fighting cells.

Both of Burk’s studies were only conducted on 10 participants, and the findings were announced at a scientific meeting, but not published in a medical journal. They were not peer-reviewed before the release, ABC News reported. Burk presented his findings at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting, USA Today reported.

Berk told USA Today that the study was funded by Loma Linda University’s School of Allied Health Professions, and was not affiliated with chocolate companies.

Vision benefits

A third study that was published in a medical journal -- JAMA Ophthalmology -- showed that dark chocolate can boost vision. Researchers gave 30 participants dark and milk chocolate bars then did a vision test two hours after the the bars were eaten. They had small vision improvements after eating the dark chocolate, ABC News reported.

Mostly they saw an improvement in contrast sensitivity. They were able to separate objects in low light or high glare situations.

Doctors believe that the chocolate affects blood vessel function and blood pressure, or basically allowing more blood to flow into the eye, according to ABC News.

But before you dig into the Hershey bars, the doctors said the key is dark chocolate that has 70-percent cacao, or those bitter, super-dark, dark chocolate bars, USA Today reported. Normally a chocolate bar has 11 percent cacao. ABC News reported.

GQ magazine calls Bible 'foolish,' lists it among books 'you don't have to read'

The Bible’s been around for centuries, but GQ magazine is like, eh? What’s so great about it? 

>> Rev. Billy Graham chose John 14:6 to be placed on his grave marker

The Good Book makes the mag’s list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” While allowing “there are some good parts,” the post calls the Bible “repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish and even at times ill-intentioned.”

Instead, GQ suggests, how about “The Notebook" by Agota Kristof? It’s billed as “a marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough.”

>> Read more trending news 

The Bible finds itself in the company of works by J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway on the list of books that GQ is just not that into. “Catcher in the Rye” is dinged as being “without any literary merit whatsoever.” “Huckleberry Finn” is tedious, meandering and hamfisted, GQ says. Hemingway’s sentences? Too short. Even Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” makes the roster of books to skip.

Here’s the entire list, which includes contributions by various writers.

Lemon-glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts available for one week only

Krispy Kreme is offering its signature doughnuts with lemon glaze, but only for a week.

Participating shops of the doughnut chain are offering the flavor from April 23 to April 29. The glaze was one of four options customers could vote for. The others, Food and Wine reported, were caramel, maple and blueberry.

>> Read more trending news 

According to a news release, the #VoteForGlaze campaign pulled in nearly 2 million votes. Maple had 18 percent of the vote, while blueberry had 20 percent and caramel was second with had 26 percent.

Depending on the success of the limited run, Krispy Kreme could sell the lemon-glazed doughnuts seasonally, Food and Wine reported.

“Experimenting with the many flavor profiles lemon presents to create an all-new lemon glaze was a fun, but serious culinary challenge,” Jackie Woodward, Krispy Kreme’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “There has been so much anticipation and zest for the new Lemon Glaze Doughnut, we can’t wait to share the joy with our fans!”

Customers can find out if the Lemon Glaze Doughnut is available at a Krispy Kreme near them at KrispyKreme.com.

‘Safety alert’ Facebook post an example of good intentions gone awry

In the age of social media alerts, viral Facebook posts and public shaming, something occurred in our own backyards last week that can serve as an example to everyone: What you see on social media rarely tells the entire story. Take it with a grain of salt.

I first saw this Facebook post Thursday afternoon in a group for Wellington moms.

“SAFETY ALERT!!!” it began. “Ladies, my husband just had a panicked woman with a small child walk into his RPB (Royal Palm Beach) restaurant to tell him the man who walked in behind her followed her from the Buy Buy Baby parking lot. He was watching her and didn’t order anything for a while until he noticed people watching him. He continued to order a (to-go order) and then sat one table away from the woman. The police were called and asked the man to leave. They told my husband that there have been several attempted child abductions in the area of Wellington and Lake Worth lately. They are targeting women who are by themselves with their kids and then kidnapping their children! Please, please be vigilant especially when you are by yourself! If you feel uneasy, it’s probably for a reason! Make a scene and ask for forgiveness later bc it’s better to be safe than sorry!! Stay safe everyone!!”

I’m not a mom yet but I am a mom-to-be, and this had me shaken. Not just as a woman but as a woman who has been assaulted, I felt for this mother concerned for her child in a place where we should be safe: a local restaurant.

My first instinct as a reporter was to reach out to the woman who made the post. She replied politely and said her husband would be in touch with me soon. She also confirmed the restaurant: Bolay.

Then I contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to ask about the post’s claim of an increase in kidnapping attempts in our area. The response surprised me.

>> Read more trending news 

The PBSO districts that include Royal Palm Beach and unincorporated Wellington and Lake Worth did not report increased kidnapping attempts or reports of suspicious people, a spokeswoman said.

I paused. Should I continue pursuing the story? I decided to wait until I heard from the restaurant’s manager.

Meanwhile, the post had been shared thousands of times. Hundreds of people reacted. And in that time, Brian Pollack saw the post.

Pollack, 33, grew up in Wellington and recently moved to Loxahatchee. He has been married for 10 years and has two sons aged 8 and 6. He has coached baseball at the Willows in Royal Palm Beach for six years, and he’s a captain with Delray Beach Fire Rescue.

He also happens to be the man referred to in the post.

“When I read the post I thought, let me just head this off,” Pollack said. “I mean, what are the odds that this is the same situation?”

So he took to Facebook himself, typing out his side of what happened last Thursday at the Royal Palm Beach Bolay.

Pollack drove to the restaurant down State Road 7 from his unit at CubeSmart Self Storage on Belvedere Road, around the corner from the Buy Buy Baby plaza. He went to Bolay to get lunch for himself and dinner for his wife and sons. It was his first time ordering there. When he arrived, he said he sat inside for awhile before placing his to-go order because his wife had not yet replied with her order. After the food was ready, he ate his meal before leaving to pick up his sons from school.

As he left the restaurant, Pollack said he was stopped by two PBSO deputies who pulled him aside and asked him what was going on. The deputies did not ask Pollack for identification and did not take down his name, Pollack said. He explained he was picking up dinner.

“They did it properly,” he told me. “They pulled me to the side and said, ‘What happened?’ They raised no concern of me doing anything.”

The deputies did not file a report on the incident. According to dispatch logs, a woman in a gray tank top with a child told the Bolay manager that a man with a green T-shirt and black shorts was following her. When deputies arrived, they talked with the man — Pollack, whose name is not mentioned in the log. The “event comment” says the subject come to Bolay to eat and never made contact with the woman at any time.

Pollack said in writing his responses to the many Facebook posts, he thought about one thing: What would happen if someone had taken a photo of him and sent it to his chief at Delray Fire Rescue?

“I told some of my friends about it and they said, ‘That was you? Oh my God, we were talking about that for a few days,’” Pollack said.

He’s not upset with the woman who was concerned and reported him to Bolay employees. As a first responder, Pollack said he understands what she did in reaching out for help, and he’s glad she did so.

“I can’t fault the woman who feels scared,” he said. “I’m a father of two. But I can fault the person who’s spreading erroneous information.”

I once again contacted the woman who originally posted on Facebook. She and her husband declined to comment for this article. I have not been able to find the woman who thought Pollack was following her.

Pollack said he plans to reach out to Bolay to hopefully clear up any confusion. The original post since has been deleted, but copies remain on Facebook.

“This is where these groups are great, because you share this information immediately,” Pollack said. “But what are we sharing, and at what expense?”

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