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LeBron James again calls Trump a 'bum,' salutes NFL national anthem protests

Basketball star LeBron James doubled down on his criticism of President Donald Trump in a press conference with reporters in Cleveland on Monday after Trump criticized James’s friend and on-court rival, Stephen Curry.

>> Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” James wrote in a weekend tweet.

>> See the tweet here

Given the chance to soften his statements, James, once again, called Trump a bum.

>> Watch the moment here

“He is a bum,” James told reporters during the Cleveland Cavaliers’s media day. “He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country. He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president.”

>> Read more trending news

During his conversation Monday with reporters, James praised the NFL players who chose to silently protest before Sunday’s game. At one point, he chastised Trump by saying that he for “damn sure” didn’t run the country.

“The people run this country, not one individual, and damn sure not him,” James said.

>> Click here to watch

Hanging noose Halloween display a painful reminder of lynching in America, neighbor says

Halloween decorations featuring a body hanging from a noose startled neighbors in a Marietta, Georgia, community. The display includes tombstones, witches and skeletons, in addition to what appears to be a man with a hood over his head, with hands and feet tied, swinging from a rope.

>> Watch the news report here

"I just feel like Halloween is not an excuse to use that kind of symbolism," said one neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous.

She said she noticed the display Monday while going for a walk on Caribou Place. She said she was horrified by the display, took a picture and shared it. She told WSB-TV that she wanted to start a conversation about why the display is a painful reminded of lynching in America.

>> Read more trending news

"What's even scarier is people are going to ask, 'Well, did you go up and ask them?'" she said. "I felt scared to go to their front door because I don't know what kind of people live in that household."

WSB-TV's Carl Willis went to the home with the neighbor's concerns. A man who answered the door said it was his roommate who strung up the display. He took Willis' information, but no one responded.

Several neighbors said they didn't find a problem with the imagery. That troubled the concerned neighbor even more. 

>> ‘This is Halloween decoration, not dead body,’ police warn public

"This is 2017. We need to change it, and if that is your typical Halloween decoration, then it's absolutely not OK," she said. "It was not OK when we did it back in the day, and it's not OK now."

As it turns out, the people who simulated a man being hanged from a tree may have received that message. When Willis returned to the home to follow up, the display had been taken down.

"To be quite honest with you, it's very scary that people think that's acceptable," said the neighbor.

Tom Brady calls Trump's comments on national anthem protests 'divisive'

President Donald Trump has not been shy about pushing back on NFL players protesting the national anthem. As a result, the sports world has been set on fire with various players, coaches, front offices and even full leagues responding in kind. On Monday morning, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady followed suit.

>> Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

In response to Trump, with whom Brady is famously friendly, the legendary signal-caller took a stance in an interview with WEEI (via ESPN.com):

>> PHOTOS: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

“I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive.

“I just want to support my teammates. I’m never one that says, ‘Oh, that’s wrong or that’s right.’ But I do believe in what I believe in, and I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me and that’s how I try to live every day.

“I’ve been blessed to be in a locker room with guys from all over the United States over the course of my career. Some of my great friends are from Florida, Virginia, New York, Montana, Colorado, Texas. I think one thing about football is that it brings so many guys together, guys that you would never have the opportunity to be around, whether it was in college and all the way into the pros. We’re all different. We’re all unique. That’s what makes us all so special.”

>> Read more trending news

Brady did not blast Trump in the same way that many have, but he was plain in his comments about disagreeing and referring to Trump’s sentiments as “divisive.”

Read more here.

Pharrell Williams takes a knee in solidarity with NFL national anthem protests

Rapper and singer Pharrell Williams took a knee on Sunday night during a charity concert in Charlottesville, Virginia, to show his support for NFL players who knelt during the national anthem to bring attention to racial injustice.

>> Live updates: Trump slams players, NFL responds by taking a knee

Dave Matthews’ Concert for Charlottesville: An Evening of Music and Unity was held on Sunday night in the wake of the clashes last month after a rally by white nationalists.

>> PHOTOS: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

“If I want to get on my knees right now for the people of my city, for the people of my state, that’s what this flag is for,” Williams told the crowd, according to Billboard.

The concert was held on the campus at the University of Virginia and was free to members of the Charlottesville and university communities. Justin Timberlake, Chris Stapleton and Ariana Grande were among the performers.

>> On Rare.us: Jennifer Lopez will donate $1 million to aid hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

Williams joined Stevie Wonder in showing his solidarity with the protest after Wonder started his show in New York City by taking a knee.

>> Stevie Wonder takes 'both knees' after Trump slams NFL stars' national anthem protests

“Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America,” Wonder said, according to People. “Not just one knee, but I’m taking both knees. Both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, leaders of our world and our globe. Amen.”

>> See the clip here

>> Read more trending news

Many celebrities, including “Will and Grace” star Megan MullallyDiddy and the members of the band Pearl Jam joined the protest on social media, writing, “#TakeAKnee.”

Stink bugs are back; here's how to keep the pests out of your home

The dreaded stink bugs soon will be making an all-out assault to get into our homes.

>> Watch the news report here

The cooler weather and the stink bugs go hand in hand.

The brown marmorated stink bug was first released into the United States in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1996, according to Penn State University. The bug apparently traveled from northeast Asia in a shipping container that was delivered either to the port of Philadelphia or Elizabeth, New Jersey, and then trucked to Allentown.

This insect has now spread to 44 states and has very large populations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Ohio, and North and South Carolina, according to stopbmsb.org. It has also spread to California and Oregon allegedly via a car driven by a person traveling from Pennsylvania to California in 2005.

According to researchers at Penn State University, this type stink bug emerges in mid- to late spring. As temperatures cool, they begin to swarm near windows, doors and other cracks of buildings seeking refuge from the coming winter. Once inside, the stink bugs enter a physiologically inactive, diapause state or state of suspended development. They emerge from this hibernation over a broad range of time, which explains why we see active adult stink bugs throughout the winter and early spring. A mass emergence from diapause occurs as daily temperatures and length of daylight increase, especially in mid- to late May.

>> Read more trending news

The ability of these stink bugs to survive is quite remarkable. While there is some mortality among the hibernating bugs in the winter, a significant percentage of them make it through to spring and then mate. Colder temperatures in northern states typically reduce the bugs survival rate, but that appears to be changing.

Increasing temperatures linked to climate change are likely a cause for such an increase in stink bug populations, especially in middle and northern latitudes. While excessive heat may drive stink bugs out of hotter, Southern states, the warm but moderate temperatures at higher latitudinal locations have increased the survival of stink bugs with significantly larger spring and summer populations. 

The good news is, other than being incredibly annoying and having a pungent smell, stink bugs are pretty harmless to humans and animals. They cannot bite or sting nor seem to carry any known diseases. To get rid of them, it is recommended to flush them or vacuum them, then throw out the vacuum bag to avoid the bugs' odor.

But using vacuum bags and water to get rid of these bugs could become costly, so it is best to prevent invasions by making sure you seal up your home now. Replace old screens and make sure doors and windows close tightly. Also caulk any gaps, cracks or holes in your homes exterior, especially on the south and west sides. These bugs can squeeze themselves quite a bit, so they can fit through even small cracks.

Unfortunately, these insects are quite destructive to agriculture. This species feeds on over one hundred different types of plants including several of great economic importance to humans. Fruit trees (especially apple and pear), soybeans and peanuts are significantly damaged by these insects. The bugs have also been found feeding on blackberry, sweet and field corn and have been known to cause damage to tomatoes, lima beans and green peppers.

There is no way to kill them by spraying, at least not once they are on the plant, because they must be hit directly. The bugs can fly off the leaves and they aren’t harmed by eating the chemicals on the leaves or on the fruit. However, researches at Penn State did find that while there are very few controlling natural predators, it appears other local predators such as spiders and some birds may be becoming more immune against the bug’s protective secretions and increasingly aware of the growing stink bug feast around them.

– Eric Elwell is WHIO's chief meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Hot dog vendor gets $87K from donors after police confiscated his money

A hot dog vendor who went viral after a police officer confiscated his money is one step closer to achieving his dream, thanks to thousands of strangers.

>> Video showing campus police officer seizing cash from man's wallet causes outrage

A video of Juan “Beto” Macias went viral earlier this month after he received a citation for selling food outside a Golden Bears football game in Berkeley, California, KTVU reports. A UC Berkeley police officer also confiscated $60 from his wallet, which prompted strangers to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help Macias.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Strangers donate $350,000 to 89-year-old man selling ice cream to make ends meet 

Supporters presented Macias with a check for $87,921 Saturday, donated by more than 5,000 strangers around the country. The East Bay Express reports that he plans to use the money for a food truck, legal fees and other living expenses.

>> Read more trending news

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

KTVU reports that three other vendors were also given warnings for the same offense, but none received citations. The University of California Police Department has opened an investigation into the incident, according to KSWB.

>> Watch the video here

Girl, 2, left in unlocked vehicle in Walt Disney resort employee parking lot, deputies say

A 2-year-old girl was recovering Monday after deputies said she was left in an unlocked vehicle in the employee parking lot of the Grand Floridian Resort, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

>> Read more trending news

Walt Disney Security told deputies at about 1:12 p.m. that the girl had been found in the vehicle unattended with the windows cracked a few inches, investigators said.

Security officers said they got the girl out of the vehicle and called 911.

“Due to the fast response of the security department at Walt Disney, the 2-year-old female was successfully transported to the nearest hospital (Celebration Hospital) where she is in stable condition,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement released to the press.

The statement did not say how long the girl had been in the vehicle when she was discovered.

Deputies made contact with Myriam Luhincadet, 37, who is accused of leaving the toddler in the vehicle.

The Sheriff’s Office did not say what her relationship to the child was or if she was an employee of the resort.

Luhincadet was arrested on a charge of child neglect and was taken to the Orange County Jail without incident, deputies said.

No other information was immediately released on the incident.

Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee call for hurricane relief aid for Puerto Rico 

The entire U.S. territory of Puerto Rico remains without power after Hurricane Maria led to heavy destruction across the island Sept. 20. In the wake of the damage, three musicians with Puerto Rican heritage are calling for others to donate to relief efforts.

>> Read more trending news

Puerto Rican singer rapper Daddy Yankee appeared on CNN Monday morning to talk about the devastation on the island where he still lives and was born and raised.

“A lot of people don’t know I’m from Puerto Rico,” he said. “I have my family there, I have my wife, my daughter, and I live there still ... and we really need your help.”

The musician, whose birth name is Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, said people on the island continue to struggle and called for the government to step in to help.

“A lot of people don't know Puerto Ricans are American citizens ... we need the federal money for the citizens and for the government to help the locals.

“I know a lot of people are struggling. There’s no communication, no power on the island, the hospitals are not working,” he said. “We need the government to be more proactive.”

For his part, Yankee has donated $100,000 to Feed America and another $100,000 to the Red Cross. He said he has $1 million he plans to donate to various areas as the island begins to recover. Yankee has also asked that his fans donate insect repellent, water and batteries. He plans to personally take the items to the island. 

On Sunday, Jennifer Lopez announced during a joint news conference with New York Gov. Chris Cuomo that she was making a $1 million donation from the proceeds from her Las Vegas residency show to aid the island.

“Given the loss and devastation we need to pay attention and to urgently support the Caribbean with donations and contributions,” Lopez said at the news conference. She went on to say her boyfriend and former New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez would be working to get support as well.

“Alex Rodriguez and I, who are both New Yorkers, are using all our resources and relationships in entertainment, sports and business to garner support for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” she said.

Related: Jennifer Lopez donating $1M to aid hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lopez and her ex-husband, musician Marc Anthony, will also work to get aid to as many in the Caribbean and Mexico as possible, reaching out to more than 30 artists and athletes.

In a tweet Monday, Anthony had more pointed words than Rodríguez as President Donald Trump continues to speak out against NFL protests.

“Mr. President shut the (expletive) up about NFL. Do something about our people in need in Puerto Rico,” he tweeted. “We are American citizens too,” he tweeted. 

On Sunday, Anthony, like Lopez, delivered a video message saying help is on the way to Puerto Rico and encouraging those affected to “stay strong.”

Lopez and Anthony have asked the public to donate to United for Puerto Rico, an initiative from Beatriz Rosselló, the first lady of Puerto Rico.

Related video: Hurricane Maria Makes Landfall In Puerto Rico

Jordin Sparks sings national anthem with ‘Proverbs 31:8-9’ written on her hand in subtle message 

The Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals were not the only ones in University of Phoenix Stadium expressing support of protests across the NFL.

>> Read more trending news

Jordin Sparks, who performed the national anthem at the game Monday at Glendale, Arizona, has a subtle but still direct message for those in the league who have been protesting for social and racial equality.

KNXV reported that the singer, who is the daughter of former NFL player Phillippi Sparks, had “Prov. 31:8-9” written on the back of her left hand. It was noticeable has she used that hand to hold the microphone as she sang the anthem.

Related: Cowboys, coach Jason Garrett, owner Jerry Jones take a knee before national anthem in Phoenix

According to the New International Version of the Bible, the verses say, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Before Sparks sang the anthem, the Dallas Cowboys -- along with head coach Jason Garrett and team owner Jerry Jones -- kneeled as they linked hands.

Both the Cowboys and Cardinals linked hands and stood as Sparks sang.

Watch a video of Sparks singing the anthem below:

Related video: The NFL Responds to Trump’s ‘Divisive’ Remarks

Lone Steelers player to stand for anthem now has NFL's best-selling jersey

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva made headlines Sunday afternoon when he was the only member of the Pittsburgh Steelers to stand on the field for the national anthem.

>> Read more trending news

Since that moment, the lineman now has the best-selling jersey in the NFL.

Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who earned a Bronze Star and served three tours in Afghanistan, was the only Steelers player who came outside the tunnel during the national anthem Sunday afternoon.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin previously said the team collectively decided not to be on the sideline during the song.

Pictures and video of the 29-year-old West Point graduate standing alone, with his hand on his heart, quickly spread across social media.

According to ESPN, a spokesman for Fanatics confirmed that over the past 24 hours, Villanueva's gear has been ordered more than that of any other NFL player.

Officials with Fanatics, which runs the NFL’s official online store, said the gear includes jerseys and name T-shirts.

The offensive lineman beat out four quarterbacks : Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers -- for the top spot.

Villanueva jerseys are available in men’s and women’s sizes.

ESPN's Darren Rovell said this is the first time he can remember seeing an offensive lineman's jersey available in women's sizes.

“I was looking for 100 percent participation. We were (going to) be respectful of our football team,” Tomlin said after the game.

Nearly 200 NFL players didn’t stand for the national anthem during Week 3. Three teams -- the Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks -- didn’t come to the sideline until after the playing of the anthem had finished.

Cowboys, coach Jason Garrett, owner Jerry Jones take a knee before national anthem in Phoenix

The Dallas Cowboys took a knee before Monday night’s game -- all of them, including owner Jerry Jones -- as a show of support for those protesting police brutality and racial inequality across the United States. 

>> Read more trending news

Before playing the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the Cowboys locked arms and took a knee, head coach Jason Garrett and team owner Jerry Jones included. 

Sports Illustrated reported that the Cardinals players locked arms with members of the military during the anthem.

Jones has applauded the Cowboys in the past for not protesting the flag.

“I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have," Jones said on a Dallas sports radio show in August. “I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it.”

Related: Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

The joint effort took place before the anthem was performed by Jordin Sparks. The players and personnel were audibly booed as they kneeled.

Earlier Monday, 105.3 The Fan reported that the Cowboys planned to make a “statement of unity” before the game.

During the anthem, players on both sides were seen standing and locking arms.

Cardi B makes history as ‘Bodak Yellow’ reaches No. 1 on Hot 100 chart

Rapper Cardi B, formerly of “Love & Hip Hop” fame, has made history Monday with her single “Bodak Yellow.”

The musician’s hit has made her the first female rapper in nearly 19 years to have the No. 1 record on the Billboard Hot 100 chart without any guest features. The song has dethroned Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” Rolling Stone reported.

>> Read more trending news

Billboard reported that the song rose from No. 2 to No. 1 on the chart dated Oct. 7.

Cardi’s record is the first since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” debuted at the top of the November 1998 chart.

The publication reported that Cardi is the fifth female rapper overall to top the chart. Others include Lil Kim, who went No. 1 on “Lady Marmalade” with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Pink in 2001; Shawanna in 2003 with her feature on Ludacris’ song “Stand Up”, and Iggy Azalea’s 2014 No. 1 with “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX.

“I just want to say thank you everybody. Thank you for making this happen,” the rapper said in an Instagram video. “Thank you guys so much for everything!” 

Cardi also thanked other artists who have supported her.

Despite rumors of a feud between the two, fellow female MC Nicki Minaj congratulated Cardi on Twitter.

“Congratulations to a fellow NEW YAWKA on a RECORD BREAKING achievement. Bardi, this is the only thing that matters!!! Enjoy it,” she tweeted.

Lil Kim and Missy Ellitot were among other rappers to send their congrats to Cardi:

NASA facility named after ‘Hidden Figures’ heroine, human computer Katherine Johnson

NASA has named a new research facility after pioneer Katherine Johnson, the trailblazing 99-year-old human computer whose incredible work as a NASA mathematician inspired the book and movie, “Hidden Figures.”

>> Read more trending news

The $23-million Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, or CRF, is located at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and spans 37,000 square feet of server rooms and data centers.

There, scientists will have access to some of NASA’s most powerful computers as well as an office area in which researchers can do their work, NASA said on its website.

“You have been a trailblazer,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said to Johnson during the ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. “When I think of Virginia and the history of what we’ve gone through … you’re at the top of that list.”

Johnson, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, spent much of her career at Langley, calculating trajectories for America’s first spaceflights. She worked at the center from 1953 until she retired in 1986.

At the ceremony, after a speech from keynote speaker Margot Lee Shetterly, the “Hidden Figures” author who brought the work of Johnson and fellow human computers Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan into the spotlight, Johnson received four standing ovations and humbly said she had just been doing her job.

“I like the stars, and the stories we were telling, and it was a joy to contribute to the literature that was going to come out,” she said. “But little did I think it would go this far.”

Georgia man drove 1,000 miles to kill a Yale doctor he says fired him

After seven years of legal drama that led to Connecticut’s highest court twice, a Marietta, Georgia, man was sentenced to 32 years in prison Friday for murdering a Yale University doctor he claims had him unfairly fired years earlier.

>> Read more trending news

Lishan Wang, 51, opened fire on Dr. Vajindeer Toor and his pregnant wife outside their home in a New Haven suburb in 2010. The husband was killed, but the wife, Parneeta Sidhu, was unharmed.

In 2008, Toor worked at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York City, where he and other doctors had confrontations with Wang that led to Wang’s firing, according to The Associated Press. Wang said the unfair firing destroyed his medical career and that Toor was to blame.

Wang represented himself in the case until 2015 when a judge ruled him incompetent to do so and assigned a public defender.

Wang had been facing murder charges, but New Haven’s head public defender Thomas Ullmann negotiated lesser charges of manslaughter, attempted assault and other gun crimes.

Ullmann told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday that Wang had moved to Marietta with his wife and family sometime after the 2008 firing.

He said Wang’s wife told police her husband “left the house and never returned one day.”

According to authorities, Wang drove the nearly 1,000 miles from Marietta to the New Haven area to kill Toor, who was working with the infectious-disease department of Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The Hartford Courant reported that Wang stared straight ahead and showed no emotion in the courtroom Friday.

“My husband was bleeding and I was frantically trying to save him, still hoping he would be OK,” Sidhu told the court, according to the newspaper. “I sat down and placed my husband's head on my lap and held him in my arms as he breathed his last breath in my arms in front of our 3-year-old son.”

Wang was arrested the same day of the shooting.

The Courant said police found in Wang’s van a photo of Toor and the man’s family along with documents that referred to two other people involved in Wang’s firing, about a thousand rounds of ammunition, a wig, a hammer and a knife.

The case took seven years to resolve because it brought forward many legal pecularities.

The first trip to the state Supreme Court was over who pays for legal expenses if a prisoner represents himself, which Wang did, the Courant reported. The second was whether a judge can order a prisoner to be forcibly medicated in order to make them competent to stand trial.

Wang has been under a judge’s order to be forcibly medicated against his will to treat his mental illness.

His attorneys said Wang has delusional disorder and paranoia.

On Friday, Judge Patrick J. Clifford disagreed with Wang when he compared his loss with that of Toor’s family, according to the newspaper.

“The hell that this family has gone through and why? Because you’re a revengeful and disturbed person,” Clifford said.

Mazda recalling more than 60,000 Mazda 6 sedans over wiring problem 

Mazda is recalling more than 60,000 Mazda 6 sedans over a faulty wiring problem that can cause a loss of power steering.

>> Read more trending news

The wiring problem could also cause an issue with the passenger side airbag.

The recall affects 2015 and 2016 model Mazda 6’s in the United States and Canada.

So far, there have been no reported accidents related to the recall, but there is an increased risk of a crash if a driver loses power steering.

>> Related: 1.3 million Ford SUVs target of expanding investigation into carbon monoxide leaks

Wires under the front seat can short out because of welding debris, according to U.S. government documents, ABC News reported.

Warning lights in Mazda 6 sedans should alert owners to the problem.

The recall begins on Friday 29.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

>> Related: Ford recalls 117K trucks, SUVs

Dale Earnhardt Jr. quotes JFK in response to NASCAR’s ‘take a knee’ stance

Despite many of NASCAR’s team owners and executives saying they disprove of anthem protests, one of the sport’s most prominent and popular drivers is supporting the right to protest.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted in support with athletes who, by kneeling, sitting or in another form, have protested during the national anthem before games in support of social and racial equality.

>> Read more trending news

“All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK,” he tweeted Monday.

Earnhardt’s tweet came after President Donald Trump tweeted praise for there being no protests during the national anthem at the ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday.

The Associated Press reported that a number of NASCAR’s team owners and leaders spoke out against protesting.

“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period,” Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty said. “What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”

Petty responded, “You’re right,” when asked if a team member protesting would get them fired.

Richard Childress, who was a long time team owner for Eardnhardt, said protesting isn’t respectful. 

“It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.”

“(A)nybody that works for me should respect the country we live in,” Childress said. “So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”

NASCAR itself issued a statement Monday about the protests, saying, “Sports are a unifying influence in our society, bringing people of differing backgrounds and beliefs together. Our respect for the national anthem has always been a hallmark of our pre-race events. Thanks to the sacrifices of many, we live in a country of unparalleled freedoms and countless liberties, including the right to peacefully express one’s opinion.”

Villanueva regrets being the lone Steelers player to stand for the national anthem

Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva apologized to his teammates and the franchise Monday for standing alone during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

>> Read more trending news

He said he only told team leadership about his plan to leave the tunnel for the national anthem just before the game. 

Earlier Monday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said the team agreed in a players-only meeting late Saturday night that the team would stay in the tunnel for the anthem as a show of team unity.

Villanueva, a retired Army Ranger and veteran of combat in Afghanistan, said he received numerous texts from other veterans before the game imploring him to salute the anthem. He also noted the game was played at Chicago's Soldier Field, which is named to honor military veterans.

Villanueva confirmed statements made by Roethlisberger and defensive lineman Cam Heyward earlier in the day that they wanted to stand with him to support him but they were blocked by people going through the tunnel until the anthem began.

He said he had no doubt that if his teammates had known his intentions, they all would have stood with him, even those who were inclined to kneel or sit during the anthem.

"When everyone sees an image of me by myself, everybody thinks the team and the Steelers are not behind me, and that's absolutely wrong," he said. "It's quite the opposite."

Villanueva apologized to his teammates, head coach Mike Tomlin and the franchise, saying he felt "embarrassed" by photos showing him standing alone and appearing to break the image of unity the team wanted to project.

Teen trying to mimic Youtube stunt killed by train

An Ohio high school junior was killed after he was struck by a train in metro Dayton while trying to duplicate a stunt he saw on an Internet video, a relative said Monday.

>> Read more trending news

Centerville High School student Joseph Fernandez, 16, died Friday night in Miamisburg when he was hit by a Norfolk Southern train after he laid down on the tracks, police records show.

“I just hope this raises awareness with every single parent in this community,” the teen’s uncle, Joshua Fernandez, said Monday, when grief counselors were on hand at Centerville High.

The elder Fernandez added, “You’ve got to talk with the children because this is what happens when something goes wrong….All these videos on YouTube of people doing this exact same stunt and not dying is what encouraged these kids to do this. People should stop posting this stuff.”

service for Joseph Fernandez is set for Thursday in Centerville.

The fatality that happened about 7:40 p.m. Friday is considered an “an accidental death for now” with no indication of suicide, said Cindi Threlkeld of the Miamisburg Police Department.

>> Related: Ohio ranks high in rail pedestrian casualties

The railroad crossing arms and signals “were working exactly how they were intended to,” she said, noting there are “multiple avenues we’re investigating right now.”

A 911 caller told a dispatcher Friday night “I guess he didn’t hear the train” before admitting Fernandez had laid down on the tracks.

“I think he had the idea of laying on the tracks and tried to survive it,” the caller said.

Read more here.

Luke Bryan announced as second judge on ABC’s ‘American Idol’ reboot

Country singer Luke Bryan is joining ABC’s reboot of “American Idol,” according to Variety.

The trade publication reported that the country singer joins Katy Perry, who is making $25 million as a judge. She was announced as part of the show in May.

>> Read more trending news

Musicians Charlie Puth, Keith Urban -- who previously judged on Fox’s original version of the show --  and Lionel Richie were also reportedly in the running for a role as a judge, but none are likely.

Perry’s $25 million contract has reportedly taken up a significant amount of the shows budget, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

TMZ reported that Richie’s team wanted $10 million for the musician, but it was double what “Idol” wanted to pay.

ABC declined to comment. Representatives for Bryan have not commented.

“American Idol” is set to premiere in March. Auditions begin next week.

Girl gets pet hamster after her letter to Petco ends up at power company Pepco

It’s not often you get your pet from an electric company, but that was the case for an 8-year-old girl in Washington, D.C.

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Serenity Williams wrote a letter, meant to be sent to Petco, asking for a pet hamster, but an accident landed it in front of a customer care worker for the electric power company PepcoWJLA reported.

According to WTTG, Serenity addressed her letter to “Petco” but accidentally used the Pepco headquarters address.

This is what Serenity wrote:

“Dear Petco pets, 

I'm Serenity. I'm 8 years old. I live in Washington D.C. I'm going to 2nd grade. May I please have a hamester because I never had a pet. I (love) hamesters because they eat carrots, and grass. I will take good care of it because I'll let it eat. I will make sure I clean the cage. If I (receive) a hamster, I will do better in school, make more friends, and become responsible."

Cornell Reddon, with fellow customer care worker Clay Anderson, called Serenity’s mother to make sure it was OK if he bought the girl a hamster. When she said yes, he went to Petco and bought the animal, WJLA reported.

Serenity was presented with her new pet on Friday, and she decided to name the hamster “Brick.”

Pepco also provided Serenity with a hamster cage and supplies.

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