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Woman wins $100,000 on Valentine’s lottery gift

Don Holmes knew the $10 scratch off ticket was a winner when he saw it. 

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Holmes got the Casino Riches ticket Wednesday as a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife, Cynthia.

"I thought it would just be $100 but it turned out to be $100,000," he said

She didn’t believe she really won.

"(The machine) went, 'Woo hoo!' And I'm like -- my hands started shaking and like butterflies in my stomach," Cynthia Holmes, 54, said. "It is still sinking in."

Holmes, who works at Walmart, said she plans to pay off her house and car.

You may be able to better avoid a heart attack with this common snack, study says

What’s your go-to snack? If it’s yogurt, you may be in luck because it may help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from Boston University and Harvard University, recently conducted a trial, published in American Journal of Hypertension, to determine how high intake of the food could be associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk among hypertensive people.

"We hypothesized that long-term yogurt intake might reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems since some previous small studies had shown beneficial effects of fermented dairy products," the authors wrote in a statement.For the assessment, they pulled from a study that examined 55,000 women, aged 30-55, with high blood pressure, and they looked at another that analyzed 18,000 men, aged 40-75. The participants, which were followed for up to 30 years, completed a questionnaire that asked about their diets and any physician-diagnosed events, like strokes or heart attacks, that might have occurred.

After analyzing the results, they found that higher intakes of yogurt were associated with a 30 percent reduction in risk of cardiac arrest for women and a 19 percent decrease for men.

Furthermore, men and women, who ate more than two servings of yogurt a week had about a 20 percent lower risk of major coronary heart disease or stroke.

“Our results provide important new evidence that yogurt may benefit heart health alone or as a consistent part of a diet rich in fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains," they said.

While they didn’t note whether one type of yogurt was better than the other or why it could be beneficial, they said the treat may help prevent clogging of the heart’s blood vessels. 

“In fact, higher dairy consumption has been previously linked to positive effects on “cardiovascular disease-related comorbidities such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance,” they wrote.

Now the researchers hope to continue their investigations to confirm their findings and to help doctors better treat hypertensive patients. 

84 children have died so far this flu season, CDC says

As of Friday, 84 children in the U.S. have died from in the flu since October, according to the CDC. 

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In a news conference Thursday, the CDC said that of those who died, three-fourths of them did not receive the flu vaccine. 

"We continue to recommend parents get their children vaccinated even though it's late in the season," Dr. Anne Schuchat told CNN. 

Health officials on Friday said about one in every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu. The flu is currently widespread across 47 states except for Oregon, which is reporting local flu activity. 

In Massachusetts, there was a slight increase in flu-like illness this past week.Medical professionals continue to encourage people to get the flu vaccine, even though researchers have found it to be 25 to 30 percent effective. To find a flu shot near you visit vaccinefinder.org

Jennifer Lawrence to take time off from acting in order to ‘fix our democracy’

Jennifer Lawrence plans to take the next year off from acting in order to devote time working with a group trying to limit the influence of money in politics. 

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Lawrence, 27, is a member of the board of Represent.Us, a group working to pass anti-corruption laws which limit the amount of money that can be used to influence politicians.

"I'm going to take the next year off. I'm going to be working with this organization as a part of Represent.Us ... Trying to get young people engaged politically on a local level,” Lawrence told Entertainment Tonight while promoting the release of her latest movie Red Sparrow. “It doesn't have anything to do with partisan (politics). It's just anti-corruption and stuff trying to pass state by state laws that can help prevent corruption, fix our democracy."

Lawrence, one of the highest-paid actress in the world, has used her position to help causes in the past. 

She participated in the Women’s March in January, posting a photo holding protest signs with Cameron Diaz and Adele.

"I stand in solidarity for Women's rights, Equal pay, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program)," she wrote.

Lawrence was also honored with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women in Entertainment Power 100 breakfast in December.

“It’s not easy to speak out,” Lawrence said. “It’s not easy to face criticism on a global scale. But the fact is I have been given a platform, and if I don’t use it, then I don’t deserve it.”

14-year-old Charlotte girl found 5 months after disappearance

A 14-year-old Charlotte girl who disappeared five months ago was found in Georgia this week.

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Nakia Williams was last seen Sept. 7, 2017, after leaving her home on Wiegon Lane, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

Georgia law enforcement officials were able to confirm Wednesday that she was seen in Emanuel County, Georgia, and that she was possibly staying in Toombs County, Georgia, a neighboring county.

“And I thought I heard something wrong, and I was like, 'What did you say?' And she repeated, 'We found her,'” Shrounda Alston, Nakia’s cousin, said.

Nakia’s mother told Channel 9 that she was found that same day in Lyons, Georgia, which is more than 250 miles away from Charlotte.

“I was just able to wrap my arms around her, and just, we just cried for about five minutes,” Cherise Williams-Stowe, Nakia’s mother, told Channel 9. “We were just so happy to see each other.”

The family received the tip they have been praying for for months.

Family and friends did everything they to find Nakia, including handing out flyers and posting on a Facebook page called “Our missing hearts.”

Williams-Stowe told Channel 9 she still doesn't know the whole story of why Nakia disappeared and what happened in the past five months.

“She said she learned a lot while she was out,” Williams-Stowe said. “She learned it was hard trying to be out there on your own and everybody doesn't love you.”

Many of those questions are still being investigated, but Alston said the family can finally rest knowing Nakia is back home.

“And I had to keep the momentum going for her. I didn't want her to be forgotten,” Alston said.

Girl, 8, crossing street for bus, dies after she was hit by car

Charges are pending for a driver who hit and killed a girl while she was walking to the bus stop with her mother.

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The crash happened at Rays Road and Central Drive in DeKalb County. The mother, Dawt Chin Sung, was holding Tluang Tha Men, 8, in her arms when the car struck them.

Friends and relatives said they're still in shock.

“Everyone is praying for them,” a friend said, asking not to be identified.

Close friends and relatives of Tluang gathered at the little girl’s home in Stone Mountain after they heard the horrible news.

“They hit them at the bus stop,” the friend said.

Authorities said Sung was carrying her daughter to a bus stop at the corner of Rays Road and Central Drive, which is very close to their home.

Police said they were walking in a crosswalk when Ejigayheu H. Tsegaye, 38, hit them.

Witnesses told police the bus driver put out the stop sign arm but the driver went through the green light at the intersection anyway.

The little girl was killed. Her mother was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries, police said.

Investigators said they have to recreate the scene and decide if they’re going to charge the driver with a crime or not.

The driver’s relatives said that the mother and daughter were not walking in the crosswalk.

“When the accident happened, the lady, she’s not crossing in the crosswalk, she cross in the road,” the driver’s cousin, Lung Thawng, said.

Police will have the final say and the victim’s relatives said they’ll withhold their judgment pending the outcome of the investigation.

“If the stop sign was up and hit her, that’s a different story. But if the bus stop wasn’t there, I don’t know what to say about that,” the friend said.

Relatives said that the 8-year-old victim leaves behind three sisters, one of whom is a newborn.

Police: Mother accused of giving child hydrochloric acid, chlorine as autism 'cure'

An Indianapolis mother is accused of feeding her child a dangerous homemade concoction in an attempt to "cure" the child's autism, police said.

The woman's husband claims his wife placed drops of hydrochloric acid and a water purifying solution that contained chlorine into their child's beverage, FOX59 reported. The woman reportedly referred to the mixture as the "miracle mineral solution" and said she found the recipe on a Facebook group page. The husband told police that his wife had fed their child the toxic mixture a few weeks ago, but he only found out about it last weekend.

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The “miracle mineral solution” has been reviewed by the FDA, which warned that it is essentially bleach, FOX59 reported. The mixture is often promoted as being a cure-all for everything from cancer to autism.

The Indianapolis Police Department told FOX59 that the Department of Child Services is reviewing the case and has removed the child from the home. Police declined to release the names of the parents or any of the child's identifying information. The investigation remains active.

Woman says she found worm in fish bought at Costco

A Maryland woman says there was a live surprise in a package of fish she purchased at Costco last week.

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Emily Rhoades Randolph said she purchased a package of fresh cod on Feb. 9 at Costco. On Monday, she recorded video of what appears to be a worm wriggling around a corner of the sealed package and posted it on her Facebook page on Wednesday. The sell-by date on the package is the same day she recorded the video, according to Randolph.

Randolph said in the Facebook post that when she returned the contaminated fish to Costco, the clerk at the seafood counter commented that another customer had returned salmon with worms in it. Randolph said she did not receive an apology for the incident.

Randolph shared the incident to warn others to check their food.

Australian priest reacts to Parkland shooting with swipe at US on church marquee 

A rector at a church in Australia sent a pointed message to the United States this week in the wake of the shooting deaths at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, The Washington Post reported.

On the marquee outside the Gosford Anglican Church, the Rev. Rod Bower posted the message, “When will they love their kids more than their guns.”

In a Facebook post of a photo of the billboard, Bower called the United States “a society destroying itself from within,” and “an empire in decline.” 

“A culture that loves guns more than children has no future other than corruption, decline and death,” Bower wrote.

Australia’s gun laws are among the toughest in the world. The country’s Parliament passed strict gun control legislation in 1996, banning the possession, manufacture and sale of semi-automatic weapons except in “exceptional circumstances,” the Post reported.

There has not been a mass shooting in Australia since its gun control laws were passed, the Post reported.

In an interview last week with Radio New Zealand, Bower said the church should make statements about politics.

“Politics is simply the way we human beings organize each other. So yeah, I think everybody ought to be involved in politics,” Bower said. “Religious leaders have a responsibility, I think ethically and morally, to speak into the life of the nation.” 

Bower did say, however, that while he believes the church “always should be involved in politics,” he added that it “should never be involved in government.”

Study: Common household chore just as damaging as smoking 20 cigarettes a day

Love to keep a tidy home? The chemicals in common cleaning sprays could be detrimental to your respiratory system, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from universities in Norway recently conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, to determine how cleaners may contribute to lung decline over time. 

"While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well-documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact," senior author Cecile Svanes said in a statement. "We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age."

For their assessment, the researchers examined the lungs of more than 6,200 women and men from 22 health institutions, following them over a course of 20 years. During that time span, the participants were asked if they cleaned their homes and if they were professional cleaners. If so, they were also required to record how much they used typical liquid cleaning products. 

After analyzing the results, they found that women who cleaned as little as once a week had an accelerated lung decline risk. In fact, they said using cleaning products for 20 years is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 to 20 years for women. Men who cleaned did not see the same decline as women who cleaned.

The scientists said they were initially shocked by the results. "However, when you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all," they wrote.

They believe the cleaning chemicals irritate the mucous membranes that line the airways, which causes damage. To lower the risk, the British Lung Foundation suggests looking for products that are labeled "allergy friendly" as they have fewer chemicals. 

While the researchers acknowledge their study included very few people who did not clean, they said their findings are strong. 

"The take-home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs," they wrote. "These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes.”

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