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Virginia college to build on-campus gun range

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, has announced plans to build a $3 million, state-of-the-art gun range on its campus.

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The university's president, Jerry Falwell, announced the plans Tuesday after the county unanimously approved the proposal. The gun range will sit on a 500-acre plot of campus land and will include a pistol range, three rifle ranges, a police shoot house and skeet and trap shooting.

Falwell discussed the gun range Friday on Fox News' "Fox and Friends."

"We have a mountain on campus, and we thought we'd use it for recreation," Falwell said. "We've been able to avoid a lot of the sexual assault problems that you see at a lot of universities by giving students positive alternatives to keep them busy and to keep them entertained. The shooting range will be part of that."

The gun range won't only be for students at Liberty University but will also be open to members of the community and law enforcement.

The range will be the first National Rifle Association-supported gun range at an American university and the first NCAA-certified outdoor shooting range that can be used for all Olympic shooting sports, according to the university's proposal.

The university hopes to have the range open by Labor Day.

Liberty University Unveils Plan for Outdoor Shooting Complex https://t.co/4uXA8snQ9D— SL4GR (@SL4GR) December 8, 2016

Woman sues Chipotle for $2.2 billion, claims the chain illegally used her photo

A California woman is suing Chipotle for more than $2.2 billion because she claims the chain used photographs of her for promotional purposes without her permission.

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In a lawsuit filed Dec. 20, Leah Caldwell says that in 2006, a photographer took pictures of her and a friend eating at a Chipotle restaurant near the University of Denver. According to KXTV, the photographer asked Caldwell to sign a release form for the pictures, but she refused.

Caldwell, who is representing herself in the action, said she saw a picture of herself on the wall of a Chipotle in Orlando, Florida, in 2014, then saw the same picture again in early 2015 at locations in Sacramento and Roseville, California. Caldwell also claims that Chipotle edited the photo to include beer bottles, which "put a false light upon her character associated with consuming alcoholic beverages."

"At each location, the plaintiff recognized the iconic picture, her distinct photographic image and likeness even with apparent editing," documents say. 

According to the complaint, use of the photo in advertisements by Chipotle began in 2006.

The lawsuit asks for $2,237,633,000, which is how much Caldwell estimates Chipotle profited from her picture between 2006 and 2015.

Caldwell is also seeking damages for commercial appropriation of the photograph and for invasion of privacy, according to The Wichita Eagle.

Chipotle does not comment on pending litigation.

US Virgin Islands to give $300 in vouchers to travelers this year

A deal being offered by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is offering travelers $300 in vouchers to visit the group of islands in 2017.

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The discounts can be applied to "spending credits for historical (and) cultural tours and activities" at more than 25 participating hotels, according to the tourism department. According to Thrillist, that includes activities that feature "eco-tours, museums, food tours and kayaking adventures."

The islands, which have an average temperature of about 80 degrees year-round, are offering the deal this year as a way to celebrate the islands being sold by Denmark to the U.S. 100 years ago.

Travelers must spend at least three consecutive nights on St. John, St. Croix and/or St. Thomas to earn the travel credit. They must book the Caribbean stay on the official website by Oct. 1 and can book dates through Dec. 31. 

Those who visit the tropical location in March, the month in which Denmark sold the islands, will also receive a "commemorative centennial souvenir."

See a list of participating hotels here.

Burger King restaurant invites customers to exchange bad Christmas gifts for Whoppers

One Florida Burger King is offering a tasty pick-me-up for those who receive unwanted gifts this holiday season.

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The Miami Beach Burger King is inviting customers to drop off their unwanted gifts at the restaurant. In exchange, they will receive free Whoppers.

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The promotion will run Dec. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the restaurant. All donations will be given to charity.

Whopper lovers who don't live in the Sunshine State can still participate through social media. Burger King will give "surprises" to the first 100 people who post pictures of their worst gifts to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #WhopperExchange.

World's first yearlong frozen hotel opens in Sweden

While many people book vacations to destinations with warmer climates during the winter months, some travelers prefer to embrace the cold and find wonder in frosty locales. For the latter, you may want to consider booking a trip to northern Sweden and staying at the world's first-ever permanent ice hotel, Sweden's ICEHOTEL 365.

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The original ICEHOTEL, a pop-up that has been rebuilt every winter, was the world's first hotel made of snow and ice when it opened in 1989, according to CNN.

But ICEHOTEL 365, which opened last month, will be the world's first frozen hotel to stay open all year.

Located about 120 miles north of the Arctic circle in Jukkasjärvi, the hotel features 20 suites, an ice bar and sculpting studio, an ice church and more.

According to the hotel website, ICEHOTEL 365 is cooled by solar panels during the summer months and during the winter, the Torne River provides the hotel with its ice.

Watch the video below from Business Insider for a peek inside.

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Snag free Frosty desserts from Wendy's for a year

Fast-food chain Wendy's is offering its customers the chance to receive free Frosty desserts for a year.

Customers need only purchase a $2 key tag.

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The company says 85 percent of the funds from key tag purchases will go toward the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to support foster children waiting for their forever homes. 

Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, became an important voice in adoption awareness in 1990. That year, he led a national public service campaign and encouraged business leaders to offer adoption benefits as part of their employee benefit plans. He later testified before Congress in support of adoption tax credits and adoption legislation, and he continued to be an advocate for foster children seeking permanent homes until his death in 2002.

The key tags can be purchased until Jan. 31. Customers who present the tag between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 will receive a free Jr. Frosty with any purchase.

Key tags can be purchased at most Wendy's locations and online.

November is National Adoption Month.

Matthew McConaughey offers college students safe ride home

University of Texas students had been studying for hours when one of Austin's most famous residents showed up in a golf cart.

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Matthew McConaughey volunteered with Meals on Wheels on Thanksgiving and decided to continue doing good deeds during the holiday season by helping out his alma mater.

The Texas college alum joined student volunteers in the SURE Walk program to give those staying late on campus some company on their way home. SURE stands for Students United for Rape Elimination.

The Student Government program at the university offers Longhorns who don't want to walk home alone a male and female companion to walk with. Since its inception, the program has expanded with the help of various other student organizations to multiple locations across the 40 acres and even acquired some wheels to transport students faster.

The school posted a photo of McConaughey driving some students back to their residences.

"Longhorns take care of each other, and it's 'safe' to say Matthew McConaughey agrees," a post of Facebook reads. "Don't forget to use SURE Walk when traveling home late at night; you never know who might pick you up."

SURE Walk operates from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday. SURE Walkers can be requested by phone or email. 

Longhorns take care of each other, and it's 'safe' to say Matthew McConaughey agrees. Don't forget to use SURE Walk when traveling home late at night; you never know who might pick you up! #BeSafe #SafeChatsPosted by The University of Texas Student Government on Monday, November 28, 2016

Dozens of retailers plan to stay closed on Thanksgiving

Nearly 50 retailers have announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, according to BestBlackFriday.com.

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In recent years, more stores have started Black Friday sales early, opening on Thanksgiving to offer deep discounts. But some customers have complained that the holiday should not be cut short for shoppers or store employees.  

Larger chains like Walmart, Target, Kohl's and Sears still plan to open on Thanksgiving.   

Here are the stores that have pledged to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day:

  • A.C. Moore 
  • American Girl
  • Barnes & Noble 
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (Select Locations)
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Burlington 
  • Cabela’s
  • Christmas Tree Shops (Select Locations)
  • Costco
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Dillard’s 
  • GameStop 
  • Gardner-White Furniture 
  • Guitar Center
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Home Depot
  • HomeGoods
  • IKEA
  • Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores
  • Lowe’s
  • Mall of America
  • Marshalls
  • Mattress Firm
  • Menards
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Outdoor Research
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Patagonia
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • Pier 1 Imports 
  • Publix
  • Raymour and Flanagan Furniture 
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Staples
  • The Container Store
  • T.J. Maxx 
  • Tractor Supply
  • Von Maur

Starbucks debuts not 1, but 13 holiday cups

Starbucks debuted its annual holiday cup on Thursday. 

But instead of offering customers one festive cup, the coffee company released 13 cups with different designs. All the cups are red with white designs and the company's green and white logo. Some designs feature hand-drawn snowflakes, reindeer, Christmas lights, candy canes, ornaments and Santa Claus riding his sleigh. 

According to Starbucks, the cup designs were created by customers from around the world. The designs were submitted to the company via its #RedCupContest last year.

"We crafted coffee. You made it art," Starbucks wrote in a promotional video with the hashtag #RedCups.

Customers complained last year that Starbucks' plain red cups were not festive enough and criticized the company for attempting to be politically correct by taking the Christmas theme off the cups.

The coffee giant's vice president of design and content, Jeffrey Fields, told Us Weekly that the plain cups were meant to embrace "the simplicity and the quietness" of the holiday season. 

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More recently, Starbucks debuted a green cup that features a mosaic of dozens of people drawn in one continuous stroke. The cup, meant to encourage unity and symbolize "shared values and the need to be good to each other," was criticized when customers believed that the cup was replacing the company's usual red cups. 

"All these faces on my green cup and not a one of them looks like Santa or Jesus. Why do you still hate Christmas?" one Twitter user asked the company. Another said the design was "political brainwashing," saying: "I want snowflakes."

College professor edits Latina student's essay: 'This is not your language'

A college student said she felt "disrespected and invalidated" when her professor wrote a discriminatory comment while editing an essay the student wrote for class. 

On the paper, she said the professor wrote, "Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste." She also said the professor circled "hence" on the paper and wrote, "This is not your word."

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Suffolk University senior Tiffany Martínez wrote about her experience in a blog post titled "Academia, Love Me Back" on Thursday. She wrote that the professor "challenged (her) intelligence" in front of other students in her class. 

"This morning, my professor handed me back a paper (a literature review) in front of my entire class and exclaimed 'this is not your language,'" Martínez wrote. "On the top of the page (she) wrote in blue ink: 'Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.' ... They assumed that the work I turned in was not my own ... On the second page the professor circled the word 'hence' and wrote in between the typed lines 'This is not your word.'" 

I was hurt badly this morning and publicly humiliated in front of my peers by a professor. They assumed I plagiarized my...Posted by Tiffany Corin Martínez on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Martínez told Buzzfeed News that the professor "spoke loudly enough that students at the back of the room heard and asked if (she) was OK after class."

"I spent the rest of the class going back through every single line, every single citation to make sure that nothing had been plagiarized, even though I knew I hadn't," she told Buzzfeed. 

Martínez, a Latina with aspirations of earning a Ph.D and becoming a college professor, wrote that she has battled stereotypes throughout her academic career. She discussed the disappointment she has felt with consistent assumptions that she is "weak, unintelligent and incapable."

"As a minority in my classrooms, I continuously hear my peers and professors use language that both covertly and overtly oppresses the communities I belong to," she wrote. "In the journey to become a successful student, I swallow the 'momentary' pain from these interactions and set my emotions aside so I can function productively as a student."

After Martínez's post gained attention online, Suffolk University president Marisa Kelly released a statement saying the school "must redouble efforts to create a more inclusive environment."

"Suffolk University is committed to making every member of our community feel welcomed, valued and respected," Kelly wrote. "I take (Martínez's) concern seriously on behalf of the institution as the acting president, and I take it seriously as an individual personally committed to diversity and inclusion."

Kelly also announced that faculty members will go through mandatory microagression training sessions on how to better interact with students.

 

In her Momentum blog, Acting President Marisa Kelly addresses the University's commitment to making every member of our...Posted by Suffolk University on Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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