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10 ways to enjoy Fourth of July fireworks safely

With the national fireworks holiday here, it’s a good time to review safety guidelines that will keep everyone safe and enjoying the show.

>> Read more trending news 

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind:

1. Keep water nearby

When you light fireworks, you are literally playing with fire. Keep a bucket of water, a fire extinguisher or a working hose within easy reach just in case your clothes, the pile of dry leaves you didn’t notice, or any other flammable object gets one too many sparks.

2. Don’t let children use fireworks unattended

Children and fireworks are both miniature explosives, so putting them together is a bad idea. Even seemingly harmless sparklers can burn tiny hands and arms. If it’s hot enough to melt metal, it’s hot enough to burn your child.

3. Designate an official lighter

Choose one responsible adult to light the fuses. You avoid potential accidents with only one person in charge.

It should go without saying, but the designated lighter should not be under the influence. Alcohol, fire, and explosions are not a good mix.

4. If it’s a dud, it’s still dangerous

A dud can still explode even after it appears to have gone out. Your best bet is to soak it with water and leave it alone for at least 20 minutes.

In the case of bottle rockets that don’t ignite, DO NOT look into the opening. People have reportedly died from fireworks to the eye while making that exact move.

5. Fireworks are not throwing toys

It sounds like a story that starts with “Hold my beer and watch this,” but every year there are stories of injuries caused by people throwing fireworks.

Would you want someone throwing a lit cherry bomb at you? No, so don’t play around, even in a joking manner, with any fireworks.

6. Keep a safe space

What kind of fireworks you are using will determine how far is a safe distance for onlookers. In most cases, a distance of about 20 feet will work, but practice good judgment. Larger explosions require more distance.

7. Wear safety glasses

Safety glasses can save your eyes when sparks shoot around and jumping jacks fly into the air.

While it might not be possible for everyone to have safety glasses, the lighter should definitely have them.

8. Obey the law

Another somewhat self-explanatory tip, but obey the local laws when using fireworks. It is easy for stray fireworks to end up on a neighbor’s roof or to hit a passing car.

Check your local ordinances to find out what rules your town or city has for personal fireworks.

9. Listen to fire safety reports

If there’s a drought, it’s not a good idea to blast off fireworks. Dry leaves, trees, and grass can easily ignite if a spark from a firework lands in the right place. If those dry leaves are on the roof of your house or a neighbor’s house, you could have a fireworks display that will ruin your day.

If your local fire department prohibits fireworks until after a good rain, listen to them.

10. Only buy legal fireworks

Don’t buy explosives from an unknown vendor.

Legal consumer fireworks will have labels and instructions on them. If they don’t, then they are either for professionals or manufactured illegally. In either case, those aren’t the fireworks you want to set off around your friends and family.

Which fireworks cause the most injuries?

Independence Day is upon us, and lots of us will celebrate by watching fireworks – or shooting off our own.

>> Read more trending news

All that firepower results in thousands of injuries and a handful of fatalities each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“On average, 250 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4 holiday,” the agency notes. “Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries.”

According to a month-long report conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission during the summer of 2015, of the approximately 8,000 injuries caused by fireworks, sparklers caused the most injuries and rockets caused the second most.

Here are some more of the agency’s findings:

Celebrate Father's Day with these 10 so-bad-they're-good dad jokes

Happy Father's Day!

>> Father's Day 2018: Where can dad eat free, get a discount on meals?

Twitter users around the world are using the hashtags #DadJokes and #FunnyThingsDadsSay to celebrate their dads with baffling wisecracks and head-scratching words of wisdom.

>> Read more trending news 

Check out 10 of the best-worst jokes below:

1. "I've always had an irrational fear of speed bumps. But don't worry, I'm slowly getting over it." – @DaddingAround

2. "Why did the coffee go to the police? It got mugged." – @NPR

3. "It's not a dad bod. It's a father figure." – @chrismakespuns

4. "Was going to go to the new restaurant in space. Heard their food is great, but there is no atmosphere." – @MatBest11x

5. "Two peanuts were walking down the street. One was a salted." – @Fawcett_Matt

6. "If a short person waves at you, is it a microwave?" – @First_Jimothy

7. "I knew a guy who was addicted to drinking brake fluid. He said he could stop anytime." – @HouseofBoodles

8. "How do you find Will Smith in the snow? Look for the fresh prints!!!!" – @ProducerEddie

9. "That cow is amazing. ... She's outstanding in her field." – @GuyMcPerson309

10. "You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose." – @Johnsense38

Twins born Memorial Day weekend celebrate 'cookout style' in adorable costumes

Twins born at Pittsburgh's Washington Health System Washington Hospital over Memorial Day weekend were dressed to impress.

>> See the photo here

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

The hospital wrote on Facebook: "We know everyone was honoring the brave men and women that have served and sacrificed for our country on Memorial Day with cookouts and spending time with family. Even our newborns were celebrating 'cookout style' over the weekend!"

>> See the full post here

Read the original story here.

University of Memphis to offer free tuition to fallen service members' children, spouses

Next year, the University of Memphis in Tennessee will help cover the tuition of children and spouses of fallen service members.

>> Watch the news report here

The U of M is the first college in the country to ensure students who qualify for the Folds of Honor scholarship will not have to pay for their education.

>> PHOTOS: Memorial Day’s solemn reminder of those who made the ultimate sacrifice

“I'm excited for Memphis to be spearheading something as exciting news,” said Celeste Von Ahnen, who lives in Memphis.

The details of the program are not finalized, but a university spokesperson told WHBQ in a statement that “there will be a possible cap on how many will be admitted and that it is only for Tennessee residents.”

>> PHOTOS: Scouts place flags on veteran graves to mark Memorial Day

According to the Commercial Appeal, the nonprofit Folds of Honor has been searching for a university to accept its $5,000 scholarship as "payment-in-full," and the U of M is the first get on board. 

The university told WHBQ that it will locate other opportunities and scholarships to make up the rest of the nearly $10,000 in-state tuition.

>> Read more trending news 

“I think it's awesome to give back to people (who) have lost and given so much. That would be awesome to give back to them, especially in ways of scholarships,” said Allyson Carneal, a student at nearby Christian Brothers University.

It is unclear how many current students at the university are on the Folds of Honor scholarship.

>> JetBlue 'saves a seat' in honor of Memorial Day

WHBQ has reached out to the university to ask about the impact of the decision. It is also unknown how the university plans to supplement the remaining tuition balance.

“I'm sure it is just an extra weight off their shoulders. I can only imagine what that is like, not having to worry about something so burdensome,” said Von Ahnen.

>> President Trump marks Memorial Day

It is a move that Memphis is the first to do, but will likely not be the last. On Memorial Day, many Americans reflected on the sacrifice of men and women who serve the country.

The University of Memphis is making sure their relatives are taken care of year-round, and for years to come.

5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting

Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, observers fast from sunrise to sunset and partake in nightly feasts.

>> Read more trending news

Here are five things to know about Islam’s sacred month:

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the holy month of fasting, spiritual reflection and prayer for Muslims.

It is believed to be the month in which the Prophet Muhammad revealed the holy book — Quran — to Muslims.

The word “Ramadan” itself is taken from the Arabic word, “ramad,” an adjective describing something scorchingly dry or intensely heated by the sun.

When is Ramadan?

The Islamic calendar is based on the moon’s cycle and not the sun’s (what the Western world uses), so the dates vary year to year.

By the Gregorian solar calendar, Ramadan is 10 to 12 days earlier every year.

In 2018, Ramadan begins on May 15 and last through June 14.

>> Read more trending news 

To determine when exactly the holy month will begin, Muslim-majority countries look to local moon sighters, according to Al Jazeera.

The lunar months last between 29 and 30 days, depending on the sighting of the moon on the 29th night of each month. If the moon is not visible, the month will last 30 days.

What do Muslims do during Ramadan and why?

Ramadan is known as the holy month of fasting, with Muslims abstaining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting during the holiday is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with the daily prayer, declaration of faith, charity and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

In 2016, according to Al Jazeera, fasting hours around the globe ranged between 11 and 22 hours and in the US, 16 to 18 hours.

The fast is intended to remind Muslims of the suffering of those less fortunate and bring believers closer to God (Allah, in Arabic). 

During the month, Muslims also abstain from habits such as smoking, caffeine, sex and gossip; this is seen as a way to both physically and spiritually purify oneself while practicing self-restraint.

Here’s what a day of fasting during Ramadan is like:

  • Muslims have a predawn meal called the “suhoor.”
  • Then, they fast all day until sunset.
  • At sunset, Muslims break their fast with a sip of water and some dates, the way they believe the Prophet Muhammad broke his fast more than a thousand years ago.
  • After sunset prayers, they gather at event halls, mosques or at home with family and friends in a large feast called “iftar."
How is the end of Ramadan celebrated?

Toward the end of the month, Muslims celebrate Laylat al-Qadr or “the Night of Power/Destiny” — a day observers believe Allah sent the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad to reveal the Quran’s first verses.

On this night, which falls on one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, Muslims practice intense worship as they pray for answers and seek forgiveness for any sins.

To mark the end of Ramadan, determined by the sighting of the moon on the 29th, a 3-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr brings families and friends together in early morning prayers followed by picnics, feasts and fun.

Does every Muslim fast during Ramadan?

According to most interpreters of the Quran, children, the elderly, the ill, pregnant women, women who are nursing or menstruating, and travelers are exempt from fasting.

Some interpreters also consider intense hunger and thirst as well as compulsion (someone threatening another to do something) exceptions.

But as an entirety, whether Muslims fast or not often depends on their ethnicity and country.

Many Muslims in Muslim-majority countries, for example, observe the monthlong fast during Ramadan, according to 2012 data from the Pew Research Center.

In fact, in Saudi Arabia, Muslims and non-Muslims can be fined or jailed for eating in public during the day, according to the Associated Press.

But in the United States and in Europe, many Muslims are accepting of non-observers.

WATCH: Fiona the hippo gives mom hugs and kisses at Cincinnati Zoo

Fiona — the Cincinnati Zoo’s celebrity hippo — was recently spotted giving her mom hugs and kisses.

>> Hippo photo bombs engagement proposal

Videos from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden show Fiona interacting with her mom, Bibi.

>> Click here to watch

Fiona was born premature in January 2017 and received around-the-clock care. She weighed 29 pounds, which zoo officials said is well below a baby hippo’s typical weight. Hippos can grow to be 3,000 pounds.

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

When Fiona became dehydrated, specialists from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center helped give her an IV.

>> Read more trending news 

Henry, Fiona’s father, was euthanized in October. Henry had been struggling for several months with health issues and had lost hundreds of pounds, the zoo said.

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.

Cinco de Mayo: Five things you didn’t know

Cinco de Mayo is upon us. Many will be celebrating the holiday with margaritas and Mexican food.

>> Read more trending news  

Here are five facts about the Mexican holiday that you can use to impress your friends:

1) Despite a common misconception, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. The holiday celebrates the  Battle of Puebla , where, against all odds, the Mexicans made a stand against an invading French army in 1862.

2) Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico, with the exception of the city of Puebla. Mexico holds more of a celebration on its  Independence Day, September 16, than it does on Cinco de Mayo.

3) The holiday means big business for the avocado industry. The  California Avocado Commission says that Americans consume around 81 million avocados during Cinco de Mayo.

4) Chandler, Arizona, has a unique way of celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It hosts a Chihuahua race every year.

>>  Quiz: How much do you know about Cinco de Mayo?

5) The 2010 U.S. Census estimates that about 31.8 million U.S. residents are of Mexican origin. The largest concentration of Mexican-Americans is in Los Angeles, the city that holds the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S.

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.

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