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Mosquitos carrying Zika, other deadly viruses, could breed in much of U.S., CDC says 

Up to 75 percent of the contiguous United States may provide suitable conditions for several species of disease-spreading mosquitoes according to a new study by CDC researchers.

>> Read more trending news

The recent study, published in the Public Journal of Entomology, found 71 percent of counties in the 48 contiguous states were suitable for the aegypti species and 75 percent could support albopictus species.

Researchers found that the dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses in particular represented a “growing public health threat in parts of the United States where they are established,” according to the journal’s report.

>> Related: Zika virus: What’s the big deal? A lot. Here’s what you need to know

The maps show the CDC’s “best estimate” of potential ranges of where Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes could survive and reproduce if introduced. The maps do not show where the mosquitoes are currently nor where there is a risk of transmission, Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist with the CDC, said in a statement. 

“In other words, these maps show areas where CDC predicts Aedes aegypti and albopictus mosquitoes could survive and reproduce if introduced to an area during the months when mosquitoes are locally active,” Eisen told the publication.

Temperature is a key factor. If there were just one day in winter on average when the temperature exceeds 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the chances that the area would be suitable for mosquitoes increased. Areas with consistently cold temperatures, however, have reduced chances that the insects’ eggs would sustain through the winter, specifically for aegypti, according to Eisen. Rainfall had a significant influence on albopictus, as it relies more on water courses filled by rainwater to lay its eggs than aegypti.

The maps will help health professionals monitor for signs of the mosquitoes.

“Surveillance efforts can be focused in counties where Aedes aegypti and albopictus could survive and reproduce if introduced to an area during the months when mosquitoes are locally active or at least survive during summer months if introduced,” Eisen said. 

>> Related” Millions of bacteria-infected mosquitoes to be unleashed in California to fight Zika

The CDC suggested taking the following steps to avoid mosquitoes and potential disease:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens
  • Use insect repellents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, treating clothing with an insecticide, permethrin.

Teacher accused of gambling away $90,000; thousands stolen from homecoming fund

A Michigan high school teacher is accused of gambling away thousands of dollars from a school fund used for activities like the annual homecoming dance.

>> Read more trending news

Dakota High School teacher Lydia Johnson, 29, the school’s student activities coordinator, was entrusted with the funds collected from school events, which was supposed to be used for class activities, like dances and class trips.

Authorities said Johnson’s gambling addiction prevented her from effectively financing her pupils’ endeavors. Instead of buying materials for homecoming floats, for example, the educator was pumping money into the slot machines at the MGM Grand in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reported

In a press release, Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith said investigators found receipts from the casino next to empty envelopes that should have contained thousands of dollars from homecoming ticket sales.

Smith noted that ticket sales for the homecoming dance totaled nearly $30,000, but said Johnson only deposited $11,000 into the school’s account.

The teacher finally came under scrutiny when she reportedly paid a camp only $500 for a school trip that cost thousands. When camp staff called the district about the discrepancy, officials began an internal investigation.

Johnson was placed on administrative leave in May when officials first opened the investigation.

>> Related High school teacher in trouble after giving students a ‘purity’ quiz on sex, drugs

Investigators also said that records from the MGM Grand show the teacher spent over $90,000 on penny slots in 2016.

Her gambling addiction also took a toll on her personal life - Johnson reportedly emptied her bank account to feed her habit.

Roger Goodell calls Trump’s attack on NFL players’ protests ‘divisive’

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell has called President Donald Trump’s comments on NFL players’ national anthem protests, “divisive.”

>> Read more trending news

"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture,” Goodell said in a statement Saturday morning.

“There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month," he said.

Trump, speaking at a political rally in Alabama Friday night, used profane language while calling on the NFL to fire players protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love one of the NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now? Out. He’s fired!’” Trump said.

Goodell said Trump’s comments show an ignorance of what the NFL stands for and what it means to be a football player.

"Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities," the commissioner said.

Trump also blamed the protests for lower NFL ratings this season, contending that they have negatively affected the game.

>> Related: Donald Trump says NFL national anthem protesters should be ‘off the field’ and fired

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the national anthem last year to protest police violence against minorities. Since then other NFL players have joined in the protests, and players in other sports have, too.

 

Substitute teacher fired after teaching third-graders Nazi salute

A substitute teacher in Vermont is out of a job after she reportedly taught a group of 3rd graders a Nazi salute.

>> Read more trending news

In a letter to parents, Franklin West Supervisory Union Superintendent Ned Kirsch wrote that a long-term substitute was released after demonstrating the Nazi salute to students at Georgia Elementary & Middle School in Georgia, Vermont, local paper Seven Days reports. Kirsch wrote that students were standing outside the cafeteria when the teacher modeled the position and said “and now we say, ‘Heil Hitler.'”

The superintendent told Seven Days, “I’m at a loss on the whole thing … 

People are shocked. People I’ve spoken to are at a loss for words.” 

Kircsh said that the teacher admitted to the remark and she was “immediately relieved.” He also noted that this is the first situation where the substitute, who is replacing a teacher on maternity leave, has come under scrutiny.

>> Related: Gambling-addicted teacher swindled school’s homecoming money for slot machines

In his letter to parents, Kirsch stated, “We are dedicated to ensuring a safe learning environment for our students and families. This incident was completely unacceptable and I apologize.”

Trump withdraws White House invitation to Golden State Warriors

President Donald Trump has withdrawn an invitation to the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House after Warrior’s guard Stephen Curry told reporters on Friday that he didn’t want to go.

>> Read more trending news

“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,” the president tweeted Saturday morning

“Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump said.

It’s unclear if the Warriors were even invited to the White House to celebrate their NBA championship title, but Curry said on Friday, “I don’t want to go,” The Hill reported.

Trump’s tweet seemed to come after Fox News aired a segment Saturday morning on Curry’s comments.

When asked why he didn’t want to go, Curry told the SF Gate “that we basically don’t stand for what our president has said, and the things he hasn’t said at the right time.”

Curry commented again on Friday, “You can talk about all the different personalities that have said things and done things - from Kaepernick to what happened with Michael Bennett to all sorts of examples of what has gone on in our country that has led to change,” Curry told reporters, according to Sports Illustrated

“We’re all trying to do what we can using our platforms, using our opportunities to shed light on that. That’s kind of where I stand on that. I don’t think us going to the White House will miraculously make everything better, but this is my opportunity to voice that.”

>> Related: Donald Trump says NFL anthem protesters should be ‘off the field’ and fired

ESPN reported that the team had been in communication with the White House about a visit. 

It’s unclear if Trump’s tweet was directed at the entire team or just Curry.

Trump: McCain ‘never had any intention’ of backing latest health care bill

President Donald Trump took a shot at U.S. Sen. John McCain early Saturday in a series of tweets, saying the Arizona Republican “never had any intention” of voting for the latest GOP health care bill. McCain’s rejection of the Graham-Cassidy proposal effectively ends the party's chances at repealing Obamacare -- for now.

>> Read more trending news

McCain “let Arizona down.,” the president wrote on Twitter.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said in a statement Friday.

>> Trump touts transparency on Twitter

Since the entire Democratic caucus opposes the bill, Republican leaders can afford to lose only two GOP senators on it. McCain’s decision means the bill doesn’t appear to have the votes to pass. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has said he opposes the bill, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has said she’s “leaning against it.” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who voted against the last repeal bill, is also uncertain about backing the bill.

Trump was campaigning for fellow Republican Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama, Friday night. The president was backing Strange in a the state’s GOP primary runoff, and he covered a variety of subjects, including the health care bill and McCain’s opposition to it.

>> Trump: NFL anthem protesters should be fired

Trump said that McCain’s last senatorial campaign “was all about repeal and replace, repeal and replace.

“So he decided to do something different, and that’s fine,” Trump said. 

Trump was less conciliatory Saturday morning, saying that McCain “was sold a bill of goods” by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

J-Lo, other stars add pleas for relief to Puerto Rico

Jennifer Lopez said Thursday night that she still hasn’t heard from her family in Puerto Rico – two days after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island and left millions without power, People reported. Maria’s 155-mph winds ripped trees from the ground, tore roofs from buildings, and caused massive flooding.

>> Read more trending news

Lopez, 48, is one of several celebrities with ties to Puerto Rico. She was born in the Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents. She is making pleas for donations to help residents recover from the hurricane.

Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, Marc Anthony and Rosie Perez are also making appeals, People reported, using their star power to help raise awareness and money for Puerto Rico.

“What’s on my mind is what’s going on in Puerto Rico. The devastation is beyond belief,” Lopez said in an Instagram post. “Me and my cousin still haven’t been able to hear from our families over there.

“What’s foremost on my mind and many others is trying to figure out the best way to help,” she said. “Today, Puerto Rico needs our help. I urge you to support and donate to the efforts of the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Areizaga. Together we can help rebuild our island, and the Caribbean.”

Martin, who was born in San Juan, posted a similar plea for help on Instagram, People reported. Puerto Rico’s capital city was hit hard by the hurricane.

“Puerto Rico needs you at the moment. Just go to youcaring.com/rickymartin and help us,” Martin said in an emotional video. “Donate whatever you can, just one dollar would make a difference. If everyone would give me a dollar, my goodness. Puerto Rico is in a precarious position at the moment. We can’t do it alone. We need you.”

As of early Saturday, Martin’s site alone had raised more than $228,000.

Daddy Yankee, 40, asked his fans to bring donations to his concert in New York City on Thursday and shared a video of volunteers loading up trucks, People reported. He’s asking the same for those attending his Chicago concert on Friday.

Anthony, 49, posted a similar video to Lopez and Martin’s, while Perez 53 — who also has family in Puerto Rico she is still attempting to contact — tweeted out links to aid groups FRMA and Politica.

Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness

A middle school athlete from Michigan showed that sportsmanship was more important than winning a cross country race, UpNorthLive.com reported.

>> Read more trending news

Amelia Malburg, an eighth-grader at Mason County Eastern, was running in a meet when she noticed her teammate was on the ground and struggling.

Malburg said she generally is near the front of the pack when running, but on that particular day her ankle was hurting.

“We were almost close to done, we were getting up the big hill,” Malburg told UpNorthLive.com. “[My teammate] fell down, she didn’t want to move forward because it was so hot and has asthma.”

Malburg stopped running and picked up her teammate, seventh-grader Alexis Shubert.

A photo of Malburg helping her teammate was shared on Facebook by a parent from another school.

The picture shows Malburg holding up Shubert, whose arm is wrapped around her teammate as both girls walk up the hill.

“I just wanted to sit there and just lay down and just stop,” Malburg told UpNorthLive.com. “Then Amelia came by and she helped me up and walked me up the hill and we started running together.”

“By stopping to help Alexis, [Mia] was basically sacrificing her own time and performance to try and help a teammate which is a pretty cool thing,” Mason County Eastern Principal Mark Fornor said.

The principal says the photo demonstrates sportsmanship and putting generosity over finishing first.

“It was just something that I kind of expected Mia to do she doesn’t like it when other people are hurt around her,” said Ginger Malburg, Amelia’s mother. “Knowing that people are choosing kindness over competitiveness."

Katrina victim says FEMA demanded money back 7 years later

A Florida woman said she was forced to pay back thousands of dollars she received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Katrina.

>> Read more trending news 

Deborah Campbell said the IRS came after her seven years after she got the money.

"We were guaranteed that this was not needed to be repaid," the Jacksonville resident said. 

But Campbell said that guarantee didn’t last with FEMA.

"Five years ago I was transferred to Florida with my job and that's when everything started," Campbell said. 

Campbell was living in Louisiana with two other roommates in a quadplex when Hurricane Katrina hit and their place flooded, so they looked to FEMA for assistance.

"We were each given monies for our own personal possessions, which we had to prove," Campbell said. 

And over a nine-month period, she said she got a total of $12,000. Then in 2013, she said she was expecting her income tax refund in the mail.

“I get no income taxes, but I got a letter from IRS that FEMA directed them to take my income tax to reimburse them," Campbell said. 

She said her paychecks were garnished and she didn’t get income tax refunds for three years. 

"They're saying that they paid multiple people in the same household although there could only be one head of household, although we were all on the lease and had individual bills," Campbell said. 

FEMA said that payment could only go to one person per household and it goes to the person who pays taxes on that piece of property. 

"I really worry about these people in a hurricane situation now, in a roommate situation," Campbell said. 

And now, after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Campbell is now fearful this could happen to someone else. 

"Please, please just watch because I don't want this to happen," Campbell said. 

Campbell said she finally paid everything off, but now the same thing is happening to her former roommate 12 years later.

A spokesman from FEMA said a notice should have been received about an overpayment. 

Iran tests new ballistic missile

Iran tested a new ballistic missile that reportedly is capable of carrying multiple warheads, CNN reported Saturday, citing the nation's state-run broadcaster announced.

>> Read more trending news

“Iran has released footage of the successful test-launch of its new ballistic missile, Khorramshahr, a few hours after it was unveiled during a military parade in the capital city of Tehran,” Press TV said.

“The Khorramshahr missile has become smaller in size and more tactical and it will be operational in the near future.”

The missile was launched from an unknown location, CNN reported.

Called the Khorramshahr missile, the weapon has a range of 1,250 miles and can carry multiple warheads, according to Press TV. That would make it capable of reaching Israel and Saudi Arabia, CNN reported.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Friday that the country would press ahead with strengthening its missile capabilities and military defenses, Press TV reported.

“We will promote our defensive and military power as much as we deem necessary," Rouhani said. “We seek no one's permission to defend our land.”

“Whether you like it or not we are going to help Syria, Yemen, and Palestine, and we will strengthen our missiles.”

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