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What is the ‘mother of all bombs,' and what does it do?

The U.S. on Thursday dropped the most powerful conventional bomb in its arsenal on Nangarhar, Afghanistan. 

The bomb, known in military ranks as “MOAB,” or the “mother of all bombs,” was used Thursday for the first time in combat, though it was developed in the early 2000s.

U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, ordered the bomb dropped, according to reports. The target was believed to be ISIS tunnels and personnel in the Achin district of Nangarhar.

"This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K," he added, using the U.S. military's acronym for the IS affiliate.

According to The Associated Press, the U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said in a statement that the bomb was dropped at 7:32 p.m. local time Thursday.

Here’s what we know about the MOAB.

What is its name?

The bomb’s technical name is GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb. It became known in military circles as the “mother of all bombs” because of its size and power.

Who makes the bomb?

It was designed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and is manufactured by McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma.

How big is it?

The MOAB is 30 feet long and has a 40.5-inch diameter. The bomb weighs 21,715 pounds. The warhead weighs 18,739 pounds.

How is it dropped?

It is delivered by a C-130 Hercules military transport plane. It’s basically pushed out of the back of the massive plane. It is attached to a parachute.

What kind of blast does it produce?

The “blast yield” of MOAB equals 11 tons. It has a blast radius of 1 mile, meaning that it demolishes everything within 1 square mile.

When was it developed?

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was developed in 2003. The bomb was developed in only nine weeks to be available for use in the Iraqi War. 

It has been tested only twice, both times at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.

How many are in existence?

According to the Air Force, 15 units were made at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant. One of those was moved to the Persian Gulf in 2003.

When have they been used in combat?

The first and only time that one has been used in combat was on Thursday in Afghanistan. 

Does it penetrate the ground to blow up tunnels?

No. It is an “air-blast” bomb, meaning that the bomb explodes in the air and the blast from the weapon does the damage.

Is the U.S. the only country with the MOAB?

Yes. There have been reports that Russia developed a “father of all bombs” after news of the MOAB broke. It is said to be four times more powerful than the MOAB.

 

Glenn Jacobs, WWE star 'Kane,' officially announces his bid for mayor

When Glenn Jacobs' treasurer filed the necessary paperwork for a potential political campaign last month, it became national news that the World Wrestling Entertainment star known as “Kane” might run for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.

>> Read more trending news

On Tuesday, Jacobs made it official. Speaking to a crowd at Sweet P’s Barbecue and Soul House, the pro wrestler announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for mayor.

>> RELATED: Libertarian Republican Eric Brakey, “Maine’s 28-year-old political wunderkind” announces U.S. Senate run

“As Knox County mayor I promise to keep taxes low and make Knox County a place everyone can be proud of,” Jacobs promised. “I see my role as that of a facilitator among the different communities in our area. And also I think that Mayor (Tim) Burchett has done a very good job with transparency in government and I would continue along those lines.”

The 2018 election for Knox County mayor will be for an open seat to replace Burchett.

Jacobs focused on the themes of jobs, education and smaller government, repeating a version of Ronald Reagan’s conservative mantra that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Glenn Jacobs announcing his bid for mayor

The WWE star told Rare on Tuesday that his belief in free markets and individual liberty were part of what interested him in becoming involved in politics, and he saw his Republican brand as being similar to that of libertarians like Sen. Rand Paul, Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie, and also his own congressman, Rep. Jimmy Duncan.

Jacobs has lived in Knox County for over two decades, roughly the same amount of time his “Kane” character has endured as one of the top stars in the pro wrestling industry.

“For the past 22 years I’ve had the pleasure of living here in East Tennessee,” Jacobs said Tuesday. “Because my career with the WWE has taken me all around the world on a weekly basis, me family and I could live pretty much anywhere in the U.S.”

“We live here because we want to,” Jacobs said to applause. “We live here because we love it here.”

Jacobs and his wife Crystal own an insurance agency in the Knoxville area.

>> RELATED: WWE superstar puts libertarian charity first in dancing appearance back home

At least two other challengers for mayor are expected to run, including County Commissioner Bob Thomas, who has already announced, and Knox County Sheriff Jimmy Jones.

Though Jacobs wrestled under other monikers prior for a number of years, his “Kane” character was introduced to WWE fans in 1997.

Disclosure: Glenn Jacobs is a Rare contributor.

Why exactly is Trump hosting China president at Mar-a-Lago?

White House spokesman Sean Spicer wouldn’t say why President Donald Trump was hosting China President Xi Jinping at his Palm Beach, Florida, compound Mar-a-lago during a news briefing Thursday afternoon.

When asked specifically why the administration had picked the property for the April 6-7 summit, Spicer demurred. He simply said the location was just one of a host of issues agreed to by Trump administration officials and their People’s Republic counterparts, without offering details.

>> Read more trending news

Spicer said the location, as well as the length of the visit and the timing, were just three issues of numerous items that were the subject of “several weeks” of discussion between the two governments.

RELATED: Trump, China and Twitter: 9 tweets that likely irked PRC leaders

“This is what we arrived at,” Spicer said, referring to the two-day summit.

Spicer said the agenda will include a range of topics mostly focused on trade and security.

RELATED: How Chinese media are spinning Trump-Xi Palm Beach superpower summit

“We have big problems to address on everything from the South China Sea to trade to North Korea,” Spicer added.

Spicer was not asked why the Chinese president Xi Jinping chose to stay at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan.

New Eli’s Southern Comfort Food to host grand opening next week

A new restaurant called Eli’s Southern Comfort Food — part of a broader facelift for J.D. Legends Entertainment Complex in Franklin — will host its grand opening April 3-7.

“We completely gutted the prior restaurant, renovated the kitchen, stained the floor, and added new furniture and a garage door that opens towards the (bowling) lanes,” co-owner Wasfi Samaan said.

The new restaurant features home-style, from-scratch cooking, with items prepared daily, Samaan said. Signature items from the Eli’s menu include Kentucky Hot Brown, Brisket Sandwich, Homemade Meatloaf and Beer Brined Pork Chops.

The traditional J.D. Legends menu is still available to diners on the patio or in the sports bar portion of the entertainment complex, Samaan said.

Customer response to the new restaurant’s soft opening “has been amazing, especially to the food,” Samaan said. “People keep coming back and ordering what they had before.”

Samaan — who lived in Kentucky for 34 years before coming to Ohio — said Eli’s also boasts a strong bourbon selection. The new restaurant is named for Samaan’s late brother Eli, and is co-owned by Samaan’s nephew, Charlie Samaan.

RELATED: Franklin entertainment venue expanding (April 2015)

The restaurant renovation is part of a broader facelift that is still underway at J.D. Legends in advance of patio season. Crews are now working to refresh the exterior of the entertainment complex, which is a concert venue, bowling alley, tiki bar, restaurant, sports bar and sand volleyball destination. Samaan said the renovations represent a $50,000-to-$75,000 investment into the facility.

And that investment goes beyond physical improvements. With the opening of the new restaurant, the entertainment complex hired an additional 15 employees, bringing total employment at J.D. Legends and Eli’s to 50, Samaan said.

From Monday, April 3, through Friday, April 7, the Eli’s grand opening will include special offers such as a free appetizer with the purchase of two sandwiches at lunch, and free soup or dessert with any entree purchase at dinner. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 5, there will be live music with saxophone player Eddie Osborne.

Happy hour is on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and includes special prices on drinks and beers, as well as half-price appetizers.

Eli’s Southern Comfort Food’s hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Children find Spirit Airlines pilot, wife dead in apparent overdose

Four children found their parents – including their airline pilot father – dead Thursday in their Centerville, Ohio, home in what investigators said appears to be the latest incident in a scourge of drug deaths plaguing Montgomery County and Ohio.

>> Read more trending news 

The husband, Brian Halye, was an active pilot for Spirit Airlines, flying for them nine years, and captaining a passenger jet as recently as last Friday.

He and his wife, Courtney Halye, were found in a bedroom of their home on East Von Dette Circle, a suburban cul-de-sac.

RELATED: Centerville pilot, wife deaths may be fentanyl-related

The deaths appear “drug related due to paraphernalia found at the scene,” Centerville Police Officer John Davis said. Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, said the incident resembles other opioid cases and “could be consistent with what we’re seeing with fentanyl products in our community.”

“We’ve been talking about this for how long now?” Betz said by phone. “Here I go again … year-to-date, accidental drug overdoses exceeded 160 already this year.”

Official causes of death for the couple have not been released, as a full medical exam will be performed today.

‘They were very cold’

The couple each had two children from previous marriages. In two 911 calls to Centerville police shortly before 8 a.m., the children ages 9 to 13 told dispatchers their parents are on the floor and “not waking up.”

“They were very cold,” said the oldest child, politely answering “yes, ma’am” to the dispatcher as his sisters cried in the background.

The children ran outside the home to relatives as police conducted an investigation. By 10:30, police and emergency response vehicles cleared the usually tranquil neighborhood.

The Halyes purchased their home in summer 2013. The neighborhood, Pellbrook Farm, is just southwest of the Ohio 725-Wilmington Pike intersection. The quiet suburban cul-de-sac features homes valued around $150,000 to $225,000.

Warren County Court records show Brian Halye was divorced in 2011 in a shared parenting case. Courtney Halye was convicted of a felony drug possession charge in 2009, but the case was expunged. Her previous husband Jacob Castor, the father of two of the children, died in 2007 at age 27.

Neighbors were stunned by Thursday’s news.

“There’s never much activity going on over there,” said a neighbor, who declined to be named. Added another neighbor, “That’s what surprises us, because he was an airline pilot, and he flew for Spirit.”

Pilot flew last week

Halye last flew for Spirit on Friday, according to the “ultra low fares” carrier. The pilot’s social media accounts indicate he was based at its Detroit operations center. The airline does not provide service to Dayton International Airport.

“Captain Halye served at the airline for just over nine years,” Paul Berry, the company’s spokesman, said in a statement expressing the company’s sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.

The Dayton Daily News asked Spirit Airlines officials to provide more details about Halye’s last-flown routes and upcoming flights, as well as the dates and results of any drug screenings. Spirit declined to answer.

Federal regulations require employers to administer drug and alcohol testing in pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, post-accident, reasonable cause and follow-up situations, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said.

MORE: Spirit Airlines pilot suspected in OD flew 6 days ago

Pilots must hold valid medical certificates in order to fly. The Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which Halye held, requires a first-class medical certificate, which must be updated every 12 months for a pilot under the age of 40. Halye was 36.

The FAA database lists Halye’s medical certificate date as September, 2011, which would mean the certificate expired more than four years ago. Asked to double check, Cory said Halye’s certificate was up-to-date, with it due to expire this fall.

“I’m not sure why the online database does not have that information,” Cory said in an email to the Dayton Daily News. “The system could be in the process of update.”

Dr. Richard Garrison is among the doctors who conducts such tests locally. Garrison said that exam is roughly similar to an annual physical, and also includes vision testing and EKG heart tests for pilots over a certain age. But he said those exams do not include substance-abuse testing.

Drug issues everywhere

Multiple-death overdoses at a single site happened at least four times in Montgomery County in 2016 — including to Jamie Haddix and Darrell Morgan, who were found dead on Christmas Eve. The place where they died, a four-unit apartment building on Wiltshire Boulevard in Kettering, isn’t ground zero in the region’s opioid crisis because there is no ground zero.

“You always hear, ‘It can’t happen in my neighborhood,’ ” said Michael Link, who lives around the corner from the Halyes in Centerville. “But it does.”

Centerville ranked comparatively low on Montgomery County’s 2016 overdose list, with only five residents dying from drug causes, according to preliminary coroner’s data. That’s much lower than comparably sized Trotwood (17), Miamisburg (14) and Riverside (13). But nearly every community in the county had a spot on that list, which included 355 deaths.

Two of the children attended Centerville’s Tower Heights Middle School and two attended another district. Centerville schools Superintendent Tom Henderson said the district “continues to support friends of the students who were part of this family. Centerville had guidance counselors “on call and on deck as needed.”

Henderson said so many students know each other not only from school, but from sports and other cross-community activities that a tragedy like this can have a wider impact that people might think.

“These two students have come up through our district, so we try to be cognizant of that and get out to the other buildings they’ve attended,” Henderson said. “We’ll be ready (Friday) when students come in, and we’ll be ready when the students (in that family) come back to attend school again.”

Staff Writers Chris Stewart, Malik Perkins, Katie Wedell and Hannah Poturalski contributed reporting.

PHOTOS: Americana Amusement Park through the years

The former Americana Amusement Park site in Monroe was recently purchased by Butler Tech and is set to become a new school campus.

5 things you should know about the Great Blizzard of 1978

The Great Blizzard of 1978 struck the region with force on Jan. 26, 1978, when more than a foot of snow fell on the region, setting a single-day record that still stands.

Here are five things you should know about the event and its aftermath:

» PHOTOS: 53 images that show just how impactful the Blizzard of 1978 was

» MORE MEMORIES: Great Blizzard of 1978 paralyzed region

1. The area record for single-day snowfall was part of the blizzard. On Jan. 26, 12.2 inches of snow fell on the region, which remains a single-day record. Second place on that list is 11.5 inches, which fell on Dec. 22, 2004.

2. Many people had trouble doing the most basic things. The massive snowfall of Jan. 26 was part of more than 40 inches of snow in the month, which created snowdrifts up to 25 feet high.

» EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: Download our apps for real-time alerts on news you want most

3. Traveling was a significant challenge. As one example, the Miami University basketball team was returning from a game in Toledo and couldn't make it past Vandalia, so the team stayed in the Vandalia city jail.

4. Dozens died from the events. The death toll from this storm climbed to more than 70 people, with 51 of those deaths in Ohio.

» LOCAL MEMORIES: Where were you, and what was your experience?

5. Mail couldn't be delivered for the first time in 65 years. The great 1913 flood was the last time the postal service failed to do regular rounds.

Bob Evans sells all restaurant locations

Bob Evans Restaurants announced it has sold all of its restaurant locations to a private equity firm for $565 million.

Golden Gate Capital has bought the restaurant chain, and will retain the Bob Evans leadership team to guide the transition as it takes part of the company private, the company said. Net proceeds are expected to be between $475 million and $485 million, according to a company statement.

The transaction splits the company in half. Bob Evans Farms food division, which makes mashed potatoes, sausage and various side dishes, will become a standalone company.

“This is an important time for our brand, our company and our team, and this partnership will provide Bob Evans Restaurants with the resources, knowledge and flexibility needed to drive our growth, while remaining true to the values of our founder, Bob Evans,” said Saed Mohseni, CEO of Bob Evans Farms, Inc.

Mohseni will become CEO of Bob Evans Restaurants following the transition. The sale of the restaurant comes months after the company announced it would close 27 locations back in April, including one in Riverside.

Mohseni said the company’s executive team, including Bob Evans Restaurants President John Fisher, will remain in place to oversee the transition and following the completion of the transaction. Bob Evans is headquartered in New Albany, just outside of Columbus.

Bob Evans Restaurants currently operates 523 restaurants, in 18 states across the Midwest, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. The restaurant has locations in Centerville, Moraine, Dayton, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, Xenia and Springboro.

FIVE QUICK BUSINESS READS:

» Beer company issues recall impacting Ohio stores

» Residential, retail developments transforming Sugarcreek Twp.

» 5 businesses coming to Cornerstone of Centerville in 2017

» New t-shirt company opens in Kettering

» Woolpert opens office in downtown Cincinnati

2 new Chick-fil-As in Kettering, Troy to offer free meals for a year

Both the Chick-fil-A at the Town & Country Shopping Center in Kettering and on West Main Street near Meijer in Troy will offer the restaurant chain’s signature “First 100” promotion starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18. Both restaurants will then open to the public at 6 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19.

Chick-fil-A’s “First 100” promotion, launched 13 years ago to mark each restaurant opening, has given away nearly $31 million in free food through 2016.

Here’s how it works:

• Participants can begin lining up 24 hours in advance, at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at each restaurant. Only adults residing in specific zip codes within approximately 25 miles of the restaurant are eligible for the giveaway, and they must offer identification to prove their residence.

• A digital gift card loaded with a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Meals — 52 meals consisting of a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, medium waffle fries and a medium beverage — will be given to each of the first 100 eligible adults, ages 18 and older with identification, in line when the doors open at 6 a.m. Thursday.

• If more than 100 people are on site when the line officially forms Wednesday morning, then all 100 spots will be determined by a drawing held that morning — and those selected still need to camp out for 24 hours to secure their spot, Chick-fil-A officials said.

A complete listing of eligible zip codes and rules can be found at www.chick-fil-a.com/Locations/First-100. Other details and restrictions can be found at this Chick-fil-A FAQ web site.

Chick-fil-A also invites First 100 guests as well as restaurant customers to bring in new gently used childrens’ books as part of a book drive Wednesday and Thursday. Those collected at the Kettering location will be donated to Kettering Backpack Program, while books collected in Troy will benefit Free to Read in the Bethany Center in Piqua. The donated books at each restaurant will be placed in a nearly “Book House” that will serve as a free library exchange, Chick-fil-A officials said.

The 4,988-square-foot Kettering restaurant at East Stroop and Shroyer roads will seat 124. It will employ perhaps as many as 100, according to franchise owner Matt Eller. Eller grew up with Chick-fil-A: his father has operated one of the chain’s restaurants in Greensboro, N.C., for more than 23 years.

The 4,137-square-foot Troy restaurant is located at 1910 W. Main St. (Ohio 41) at Experimental Farm/South Stanfield Road. It will seat 106 and will employ 80 to 90, a Chick-fil-A spokeswoman last month. The Troy restaurant’s franchisee is Doug Knostman, a Troy native and graduate of Troy High School.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant chain currently operates a half-dozen locations in the Dayton region, including a restaurant that opened in 2015 in Cornerstone of Centerville. Another location on Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725) in Washington Twp. completed a $1 million makeover in 2016.

Like other Chick-fil-A restaurants, the two new locations will offer a full-service menu, including breakfast until 10:30 a.m., and will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, closed on Sundays.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. operates 2,100 restaurants in 45 states and Washington, D.C.

Crash victim's parents outraged at fundraiser for driver's family

The parents of a teenager killed in a 2015 car wreck are upset about a fundraiser to recoup legal fees, medical bills and other expenses of the family of the driver who caused the wreck.

>> Read more trending stories

The GoFundMe page called Family Help Fund seeks to raise $75,000 for the family of Abigail McGaha.

Prosecutors charged McGaha and later reached a plea agreement after she crashed an SUV in 2015. Police said the vehicle had been traveling more than twice the speed limit.

The crash killed Alex Mundt, 16, of Sante Fe, New Mexico. He had been wearing a seat belt and riding in the car with McGaha and one other passenger at the time.

The GoFundMe webpage lists the creator as Joseph McGaha.

The fundraiser description says, "Abby's criminal legal battle is pretty much behind us. But the civil battle remains with Alex's family."

It cites legal fees from criminal and civil cases, medical bills from the accident and a family knee surgery as creating a "financial burden."

The post said the two families settled out of court to avoid a civil lawsuit.

"The second portion of an established payment is due to Alex's family in February. The first payment was made in November. We are establishing a Go Fund Me for this purpose," part of the post read.

Mike and Lynn Mundt, Alex's parents, had not been not aware of the page until WSOC contacted the couple Monday.

"I'm stunned that they would do such a thing," said Mike Mundt. "I can't imagine what all was involved in the case and then a civil settlement afterwards, but those are natural consequences of crime and to ask the community to pay for the consequences of crime is incredulous to me."

Calls and messages made in attempt to reach the McGaha family were not immediately returned. 

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