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New Year's baby born on freeway after South Carolina police chase

A South Carolina father watched his baby girl’s birth while he was in handcuffs.

>> Watch the news report here

WCIV-TV reports Carl Alewine’s fiancee’s water broke early on New Year’s morning and he was racing down Interstate 26 near Charleston to get her to the hospital.

>> On WSOCTV.com: South Carolina woman slips out of handcuffs, hijacks cruiser, deputies say

The car was traveling at more than 90 miles per hour when several law enforcement officers started chasing Alewine.

He just kept going until officers eventually boxed him in and forced him to pull over.

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

They had Alewine in handcuffs when his little girl, Anastasia, came out with one push.

>> On WSOCTV.com: New section in North Carolina DMV handbook explains what to do when pulled over

"I'm sitting there, watching her born on the hood of the car, fireworks going off in the background, because it's 1 in the morning on New Year's and then they let me out of handcuffs and all the cops started clapping and congratulating us," Alewine recalled.

>> Read more trending news 

The baby was born healthy, even though the mother went through a high-risk pregnancy. 

The family said they're thankful for the first responders' help. 

Slain Colorado officer's 4-year-old daughter consoles her grieving mother at vigil

Gracie Parrish, the widow of the 29-year-old Colorado police officer who was shot and killed on New Year’s Eve in Douglas County, said she never imagined the love and support across America would be like this.

Parrish stepped up to a podium at Mission Hills Church in Littleton on Monday night and spoke to the crowd that had gathered there to pay their respects to her husband, Zackari Parrish.

>> On Rare.us: Slain Douglas County Deputy identified as Zackari Parrish, 29

Through tears, she thanked everyone at the church and also asked friends, family and colleagues of her husband to come forward and tell stories about him.

“I am overwhelmed with by the love and support of the community and of the nation. Never in my world would I have imagined this,” she said, according to KUSA. “And I will raise my girls to love you.”

The most moving moment of the vigil came when Parrish’s 4-year-old whispered in her ear.

>> Watch the video here

“It’s OK, Mama, it’s OK. Just be happy,” the girl said.

“I will do everything in my power, Zack Parrish, to honor you. And I will raise these girls to love you,” Gracie Parrish said.

>> Boy sings 'Coco' song at late baby sister's altar in emotional viral video

President Donald Trump reacted on Twitter Sunday afternoon to the news of Parrish’s death in the line of duty by sending condolences to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office victims and their families.

“My deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible shooting in Douglas County @DCSheriff, and their families. We love our police and law enforcement – God Bless them all! #LESM” he said.

Parrish was killed and four others law enforcement officers were wounded Sunday, New Year’s Eve. Two civilians were also injured.

The shooting happened after deputies were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance in Highlands Ranch, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) said on Twitter. The gunman was also shot and killed.

Shots were fired in the course of the investigation at the Copper Canyon Apartments, a landscaped complex 16 miles (28 kilometers) south of Denver, the sheriff’s office said. Residents in the vicinity were advised to stay inside and avoid exterior walls and windows.

>> Read more trending news 

A hospital where three people were taken for treatment says those people suffered noncritical injuries. Another nearby hospital said it received four patients but wouldn’t release their conditions.

The DSCO shared video on Twitter of a motorcade procession for the fallen deputy.

Officers said the shooter was Matthew Riehl, 37. Riehl died Sunday during what officials called an ambush at his apartment building in Highlands Ranch. He fired more than 100 rounds in his apartment before he was killed by a SWAT team, authorities said.

Authorities reportedly had been contacted with concerns about Riehl’s mental health over a month before the violence Sunday; however, Riehl was never held for mental evaluation.

>> On Rare.us: President Trump reacts to Colorado shooting

Riehl was honorably discharged from the Wyoming Army National Guard in 2012 and was an Iraq War veteran.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Boy sings 'Coco' song at late baby sister's altar in emotional viral video

A Texas boy is reminding people that love lives on forever, no matter what.

Alex Deais, 4, of San Antonio said goodbye to his 4-month-old baby sister, Ava Lynn, last May. For her first birthday, he sang a special song for his sister, which his mother, Stephanie Deais, caught on camera.

>> Read more trending news 

The emotional video shows Alex strumming a tune on his plastic guitar while he sings “Remember Me” from the movie “Coco.” He didn’t know he was being recorded because he was facing a photo of his sister.

>> Watch the video here

Ava Lynn’s first birthday would have been Dec. 30.

Alex’s parents posted the video to Twitter, where it has been viewed more than 1 million times.

Kirsten Dunst and fiancé Jesse Plemons are expecting their first child

Former “Friday Night Lights” star Jesse Plemons and his famous fiancée, Kirsten Dunst, are expecting their first child together, according to a report in Us Weekly.

In 2014, Dunst spoke to the U.K.’s Red Magazine about her desire to have kids soon.

>> Read more trending news

“I’m in baby mode, because two of my really good friends are pregnant right now. One of them is pretty chilled, and the other’s like, ‘I can’t wait to have a glass of wine!'” Dunst said. “I love it though. We’ve already picked her girl’s name; it’s done! I think 33 is a good age to have your first baby.”

Us Weekly also reports that Dunst, 35, and Plemons, 29 – who began dating after working together on the FX series “Fargo,” in which they played a married couple – will get hitched in Austin, Texas, in the spring of 2018.

“It was a gift,” Plemons said when the pair began working together. “I loved Kirsten’s work for a long time, and I was really excited once I’d met her, and she’s a great person. We’re both actors that just … have fun with the material.”

It was revealed that Dunst and Plemons were dating in May 2016, when paparazzi caught them kissing behind a fence. At the time, Dunst had only recently ended her relationship with long-term partner Garrett Hedlund. The “Bring It On” star had spoken to InStyle UK about her plans to marry Hedlund, but that obviously did not happen.

“I am someone who wants to get married,” she told the magazine.

>> ‘Full House’ star John Stamos announces he’s finally going to be dad in real life

”If it happens in my mid-to-late 30s, it’s going to be intimate. Courthouse, dinner party and DJ with friends and family. I’ll treat it like it would be my 40th birthday.”

Plemons and Dunst aren’t the only expecting celebrity couple. “Full House” star John Stamos recently revealed to People that he and fiancée Caitlin McHugh are expecting a child.

The 54-year-old actor shared that he and his soon-to-be bride had been considering a baby for a while, and the timing was just right.

“We have the same morals and the same values that all clicked nicely. So we said, ‘Oh, well, maybe we should have a family,’” Stamos said.

He revealed that his fiancée jokingly thought they should have a baby before getting married “because [he’s] old.”

Hitler-themed homework assigned to middle-schoolers angers parents

Parents in a Chicago suburb are furious after their kids brought home a homework assignment called “If You Give Hitler a Country.” The assignment reportedly told the students to “create a comic strip for little kids that exemplifies Europe’s appeasement towards Hitler.”

>> Watch the news report here

At Woodland Middle School in Gurnee, Illinois, eighth-grader Michael Masterton told WGN that “everyone in the class was given the paper and it tells you all the requirements.” His mother, Kelly, was a bit more taken aback by the homework, telling the Chicago station, “I asked him, ‘Did you ask the teacher if you could use these images?’ and he said yes. … I’m not sure what the appropriate manner is to use a swastika.” The concerned mother posted the image to her Facebook page and said, “[I] don’t think [the teacher] did it to be anti-Semitic. I think she was trying to teach that there was propaganda. ... It did not come through that way.”

>> Read more trending news

On the handout, a cartoon character is shown wearing a Nazi uniform and sporting an Adolf Hitler mustache while giving a Nazi salute. Michael told NBC Chicago that he asked for an alternative assignment, saying, "Some kids were being a bit immature and trying to make this assignment a little bit funny, and it’s disgusting.”

School board president Carla Little apologized in a statement and said the assignment was aimed at teaching students about the appeasement negotiations between the Nazis and opposing countries and the events leading up to World War II. Kelly said she’s not satisfied with the school's explanation and wants to know “that they’re not going to go ahead and give more assignments and make light of it.”

Read more here.

Titans, Vols players offer support to bullying victim who made heartbreaking viral video

When a boy from the Knoxville, Tennessee, area was revealed to be a victim of bullying, players for the Tennessee Titans and Vols football teams decided to step up.

>> Read more trending news

A video went viral Friday afternoon of a Knoxville boy detailing the bullying he had endured at school.

>> Watch the heartbreaking clip here

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

University of Tennessee sophomore receiver Tyler Byrd and freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano both pledged to visit the boy and offer support.

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker responded with his own video and invited the boy and his family to an upcoming game.

>> Click here to watch

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Expecting mom says pregnancy photos show late husband's spirit

An expecting mom is honoring her late husband in a touching photo shoot.

Kelly Luethe’s husband, Jarrett, was killed in a car crash in August by a man who police say admitted to driving after drinking, the Star Tribune reports.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Military mom spreads smiles with creative holiday card

The couple from New Prague, Minnesota, had two children and another on the way in January.

Kelly recently had a maternity photo shoot ahead of the baby’s arrival. Photographer Jessica Brandau shared the stunning images to her Facebook page last week.

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

Many of the photos captured rainbows and lens flares, which Brandau calls “orbs.”

“As we were doing the shoot, I noticed that a rainbow had popped up in a few of the photos,” Brandau wrote on Facebook. “Kelly and I talked about how neat/cool/weird it was, and I literally had goosebumps/was on the verge of tears for most of her session.”

>> See one of the photos here

According to the Epoch Times, orbs are usually caused by light reflecting off dust in photographs, but some believe they represent the supernatural – like spirits or ghosts.

“Imagine how insane it was when I opened up the files on my computer and realized that the rainbows and orbs (yes I totally believe in orbs. Read up on them if you haven’t heard of them!) show up in almost all of the photos that we took that day,” Brandau wrote. 

>> Read more trending news 

Kelly shared her story with news personality Frank Sommerville on Facebook. Kelly said she believed her husband was watching over her that day.

She wrote: "There is a rainbow on my belly in almost every picture and we had a miscarriage earlier this year and so our little man (who will be named after his Daddy) is our rainbow baby. And the orbs that are shown are of my favorite color green and from doing some research on what the color of an orb means, green is from a happy spirit visiting, sending healing energy. I truly believe my husband was there and is watching over the kids and I."

>> See more photos here

Facebook unveils parent-controlled messenger app just for kids

Facebook on Monday announced it would be rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids in the United States, a new parent-controlled app to make it easier for kids to video chat and message with loved ones.

>> On AJC.com: How to keep your kids safe on social media

In a company blog post, Antigone Davis – public policy director and global head of safety at Facebook – wrote that the media site has been working on the product for the past 18 months, working closely with leading child development experts, parents and educators.

Davis named some reasons Facebook decided to create Messenger Kids and why they decided to create it right now.

>> Facebook wants users' nude photos to fight 'revenge porn'

She cited research that shows some 93 percent of U.S. kids ages six to 12 have access to tablets or smartphones — and 66 percent have their own device, often using apps meant for teens and adults.

In a collaboration with the National Parent Teacher Association on a study with more than 1,200 American parents of children under the age of 13, Facebook found three out of every five parents surveyed said their kids under 13 use messaging apps, social media or both, while 81 percent reported their children started using social media between the ages of 8 and 13.

>> On AJC.com: Did you fall for these fake ads? How Russian trolls got into your Facebook feeds

Kids said they want to use the platforms to have fun and connect with family. But safety is a growing concern among parents.

“My concern is safety, getting friend requests from people you don’t know, chatting with people you don’t know, giving out information to strangers,” one parent participant in the National PTA roundtable said.

>> On AJC.com: Georgia high school student in trouble after ‘threatening’ social media image

With the guidance of experts at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Center on Media and Child Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics among others, Facebook developed a set of principles for Messenger Kids:

  1. Putting kids first
  2. Providing a safe space that fosters joy, humor, play and adventure
  3. Enabling kids to mine their own potential by building for empowerment, creativity and expression
  4. Helping kids build a sense of self and community
  5. Recognizing the relationship between parent and child, and that we take our responsibility and their trust in us seriously.

>> On AJC.com: Google celebrates 50 years of kids coding languages – 5 ways to get your kid engaged

“We created Messenger Kids with the belief that parents are ultimately the best judges of their kids’ technology use, and the parents we’ve spoken to have asked for a better way to control the way their children message,” Davis wrote.

Because research on the long-term effects of screen time and technology on children is still limited, Facebook also announced a $1 million research fund to work with experts to explore the growing concerns.

>> On AJC.com: Study finds best way to control kids’ time online

About the new Messenger Kids app

The Messenger Kids app, aimed at kids ages 6-12, rolled out Monday on iOS in the U.S. An Android version is coming soon.

It’s important to note that kids under 13 are still not allowed to sign up for a Facebook account. Instead, parents can download the app on their child’s iPhone or iPad, create their profile and approve friends and family for their kids to chat with directly from the main Messenger app.

Kids will not show up in Facebook search results, so if a kid wants to chat with a friend, the parent will have to work with the friend’s parent to get them both approved. “This is by far the most clumsy part of Messenger Kids,” TechCrunch reported.

>> Read more trending news

Facebook added special proactive detection safety filters to prevent children from sharing sexual content, nudity or violence. A dedicated support team will work 24/7 to address any flagged issues. Parents won’t be able to spy on their kids’ chats.

To ensure an enjoyable experience, the company created a kid-friendly version of the Giphy GIF sharing engine. Kids can also play around with augmented reality masks and stickers, including fidget spinners and dinosaur AR masks.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook will not be directly monetizing the kids app, but hopes they will become dedicated Facebook users in the future.

More at newsroom.fb.com.

Donor found for toddler born without kidneys; Tyler Perry buys mother car

A Georgia mother whose toddler has been waiting for a kidney transplant his whole life was given a car on Tuesday — hours before a kidney donor was found.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Toddler’s kidney transplant stalled due to dad’s latest arrest

Carmellia Burgess of Gwinnett County brought her son home from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Nov. 8, where he’d been since Oct. 29. 

The family expected to wait for the news that his father, Anthony Dickerson, would be permitted to donate a kidney after a battle with the transplant team over his criminal history.

>> On AJC.com: Toddler heads home from hospital to wait for kidney transplant

AJ battled a potentially deadly infection, contracted pneumonia, had surgery to implant a new port for his dialysis treatments and received blood transfusions before he was released from the hospital, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

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

But his mother didn’t have a car to get AJ to his hemodialysis appointments three times a week, she posted on Facebook.

That trouble ended Tuesday, when actor Tyler Perry gave Burgess a new car.

>> See her Facebook post here

The family later learned a deceased donor kidney will be given to AJ on Wednesday, attorney Mawuli Davis said.

>> Read more trending news 

“Father and mother are there excited and are being supported by Mr. Dickerson’s mentor, David Manuel, and Pastor Derrick Rice from Sankofa Church.

5-year-old seriously injured in restaurant bounce house

An Oklahoma boy is recovering after suffering a serious injury in a restaurant bounce house. 

>> Click here to watch the news report (WARNING: Linked video includes graphic images.)

A trip to an Incredible Pizza location in Warr Acres on Nov. 5 ended with the Lambert family’s 5-year-old son Bentley, who had been playing in a bounce house, asking if he was going to die.

>> Bounce house takes flight with children inside it

Incredible Pizza, known fully as America’s Incredible Pizza Co., shows on its website that it offers both food and entertainment at its restaurants, listing a bounce house among the number of attractions.

Shali Lambert spoke to KFOR about her son’s condition and said that, while he is on a long road to recovery, it was immediately clear to her and doctors how serious it was when a hook inside the bounce house came loose and tore into the child’s arm.

>> Read more trending news 

A hook inside of a padded wrecking ball came loose and seriously injured Bentley.

“He was screaming, ‘I’m stuck!' I just remember picking him up, and I had to unhook the clip and slide it out of his arm,” Lambert said. “He was asking if he was going to die. He saw all the blood in his arm, and so he was asking if he was going to die.”

>> 5 children hurt after bounce house goes airborne at church carnival

The child had to be rushed from the pizza place to the hospital, where doctors performed an emergency surgery. The boy’s arm has since been sewed up, but he may have to undergo physical therapy and additional surgeries in the future.

“No kid should have to go through that,” Bentley’s mother said.

It’s not clear at this time if the cost of the child’s surgery will be covered by the company, but its insurance company is involved.

On its website, Incredible Pizza says its mission is “to bring families and friends together through great food and fun,” adding that it operate its business “by Christian principles, delivering a positive family experience and a fair return to our company.”

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