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Half-snouted gator spotted in Fla.

The power of nature can sometimes be terrifying -- or just sad.

An alligator was spotted Monday by a woman in Lakeland, Fla., missing the top half of its snout, ABC News reports.

Myra Evers photographed the poor gator when she saw it swimming in the marsh in Lake Hancock.

“The alligator looked really horrible like he couldn’t eat anything. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about it,” Evers told ABC News.

Unfortunately, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said these types of injuries are common.

Gary Morse, FCC spokesman, told ABC News that alligators “fight with each other, mostly for territorial or cannibalistic reasons … they tend to get aggressive toward one another, particularly males during mating season.”

Even worse news, Florida does not provide funding to help these injured alligators since they are not listed as endangered.

“We can feel for these animals, but there are unfortunately times when there is nothing you can really do to help,” Morse said to ABC News.

In other alligator news, one recently took a bite out of a man's truck.

Read the full story at abcnews.go.com

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 14:15:23 -0400

How do you spell W-I-N-N-E-R? 5 things to know about the National Spelling Bee

It's a sporting event for kids and adults alike, but it doesn't take a ball or a puck to compete.  All it takes is being not just a good speller, but a great one as the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee has begun just outside of the nation’s capital. 

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Held at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center  in National Harbor, Md., 285 students from all 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense schools all over the world are trying to spell many words that would not come up in everyday conversation.

>>Could you pass the National Spelling Bee test?

1. Some of the competitor favorite words include, flibbertigibbet, schadenfreude, tchotchke and of course triskaidekaphobia and onomatopoeia, according to the National Spelling Bee's official site.

2. The competitors range in age from 9 to 15, but the vast majority are between the age of 12 and 14.

3. Three spellers have a brother or sister who have previously won.  

4. 117 spellers speak more than one language. 

5. Indian Americans have won all but four of the last 15 competitions- including the last seven, The Washington Post reported.  The streak has received much backlash as the newspaper discovered.

Last year, the co-champions SriramHathwar and Ansun Sujoe were the subject of hate on social media. Many of the views, despite the fact the students are American citizens, featured comments that assumed that they were not.  

One Twitter post last year, quoted by The Washington Post said "We need an american [sic] to win this spelling bee."

>>Click here to read The Washington Post's feature on the Scripps National Spelling Bee and the past winners.

The Spelling Bee is being televised.  The Semifinals will be shown live Thursday on ESPN2 starting at 10amET.  The Finals will be live Thursday night at 8pmET on ESPN. If you can't watch it, you can follow the Scripps Live Tweet here or below.

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 13:51:49 -0400

Watch: This owl is an epic surprise ring-bearer at wedding

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2MDB-0k-Ps

Shaun Palmer wanted to surprise his bride on their wedding day, so he decided to add a little twist by choosing a unique ring-bearer.

Palmer said he came up with the idea of using an owl to deliver the rings when he had seen it advertised a number of years earlier at a wedding show. 

In the video, you can see the owl released from the back of the church to Palmer's Best Man, Chris. He took the rings and Bilbo flew back to his handler.

The handler and the owl stayed after the wedding so guests could meet him and get photos with the bird.

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 13:28:25 -0400

Woman reaches in for a grape, comes out with Black Widow bite

A Vermont woman is recovering for an unexpected stowaway in her bag of grapes. 

The woman, whose name has not been released, reached into a bag of grapes and a spider crawled out, biting her, WCAX reported.

>> Read more trending stories  

But it wasn't your everyday spider, it was a Black Widow. 

The woman and her mother caught the critter and took it, along with the woman to the hospital.

She had to spend the night in the hospital, and had to endure several shots, WACX reported.

>>See the top 10 terrifying spiders

The grocery store where she purchased the grapes inspected all of its produce company-wide and contacted the grape supplier.  It also replaced all of the food in the family's refrigerator, according to WACX.

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 13:22:16 -0400

Teacher lets bullied student shave her head

A timid fourth-grader was feeling low last week when he was teased by an older kid for his new haircut. 

According to KCPQ, nine-year-old Matthew Finney shaved his head over the weekend, and one of his peers couldn't resist giving the boy a hard time about an apparent new bald spot.

Finney's Winlock Miller Elementary School teacher, Tori Nelson told KCPQ her student was really upset.

“The comment crushed him,” Nelson told the Washington State station. “He refused to come into our classroom and would not remove his hat.”

So, she made a deal with him. If he came to her class, she would shave her head too.

“After talking to him for a while, I finally said, ‘If I let you cut my hair so it’s just like yours, will you come learn with us and take your hat off?'” Nelson told KCPQ.

He said yes and was coaxed into coming to class.

After lunch, all of Nelson's fourth-graders gathered in her classroom to witness the dramatic haircut -- at the hands of Finney himself.

Once she and Finney shared the same haircut, she told the boy, “Now if anyone makes fun of you, they’re also making fun of me.”

Nelson wrote on her Facebook page: "Now no one is ashamed or embarrassed…except maybe my mom. I’m sorry mom!!”

"I wasn't thinking, 'Man, I'm going to change this kid's life today by getting a hair cut.' I was just thinking, 'I need to get him in the classroom to learn!" she told Today. "To me, it's just hair. I'm okay with not having it. I didn't even have to think twice about it."

And what was Finney's reaction to the whole thing?

"It doesn't really surprise me too much that she did it," he told Today of his teacher. "Sometimes she's crazy and funny." 

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 12:54:38 -0400

Watch: Sharks like belly rubs too

This shark proved that tummy rubs aren't just for furry creatures. Our finned friends apparently enjoy a little love from humans too. 

As an aquarium employee works to clean an indoor tank, this shark approaches and soon rolls over like a cat for an extensive rub down. 

While the description on the YouTube video, written in French, seems to indicate the creature is a leopard shark, some outlets like CBS report it is actually the similar looking zebra shark.

Either way, the aquarium employee is probably not risking his life by petting the sea creature. Both types of sharks are more into smaller sea fare.

According to the National Aquarium, zebra sharks are mainly into smaller sea creatures like mollusks, little fish and crustaceans.

Video of the seemingly lovable shark comes from the Aquarium des Lagons in New Caledonia, a French-speaking Pacific island off the coast of Australia. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzbUZp4vxds

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 12:36:29 -0400

Residents who have possibly contaminated water hire attorney

A Salisbury attorney is representing dozens of residents whose drinking water could be contaminated by Duke Energy coal ash ponds.
 
The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural resources sent letters to residents earlier this month, alerting them to the potential dangers.
               
Channel 9 learned that some residents received notification only within the past few days.
 
Channel 9 is asking the state for answers about the delays and the actions being taken. See the full report on Eyewitness News at 5 p.m.

Read more trending stories on wsoctv.com:

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 12:19:03 -0400

Police: Female jewelry store employee beaten during violent robbery

Police are investigating a violent jewelry store robbery that occurred Wednesday morning in Albemarle.

Albemarle police said the robber beat a female employee with his fists at Morgan Jewelers around 10:30 a.m.

SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS: Suspected jewelry store robber


Police said the man began looking at jewelry while being helped by one of the employees. That’s when police said the man began grabbing jewelry from an open showcase compartment.

As the employee attempted to stop the man from stealing, he struck the employee with his fist and took the items before exiting the store.

The owner of the jewelry store said the female employee is at the hospital getting checked out.

Police said the attack was caught on surveillance video. They are currently reviewing the video.

Police also got surveillance video from Dollar General next door to the jewelry store.

Officials have asked people with any information to call 704-984-9500. 

Channel 9 anchor Liz Foster is at the scene and working on learning more about the attack for Eyewitness News at 5 p.m.

Stay with wsoctv.com for more on this story.

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 12:09:21 -0400

Watch: Sharks like belly rubs too

This leopard shark proved that tummy rubs aren't just for furry creatures. Our finned friends apparently enjoy a little love from humans too. 

As an aquarium employee works to clean an indoor tank, this shark approaches and soon rolls over like a cat for an extensive rub down. 

While the description on the YouTube video, written in French, seems to indicate the creature is a leopard shark, some outlets like CBS report it is actually the similar looking zebra shark.

Either way, the aquarium employee is probably not risking his life by petting the sea creature. Both types of sharks are more into smaller sea fare.

According to the National Aquarium, zebra sharks are mainly into smaller sea creatures like mollusks, little fish and crustaceans.

Video of the seemingly lovable shark comes from the Aquarium des Lagons in New Caledonia, a French-speaking Pacific island off the coast of Australia. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzbUZp4vxds

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 11:57:28 -0400

Woman pulled from flooded car in dramatic rescue caught on video

A Good Samaritan in Houston jumped into action when he saw a woman trapped in her submerged car under a flooded overpass.

According to ABC13, Steven Shannon, assisted by three others, saw Glenda Reynolds drive into the rising water caused my heavy rain in Texas. Her car quickly submerged into the water and Reynolds couldn't escape.

Shannon was able to swim to her car and help Reynolds and her dog escape to safety.

Read more here 

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 11:41:52 -0400

Deputies question driver after woman claims boyfriend hit car

Sheriff's deputies in Caldwell County are trying to determine who caused a crash involving a couple south of Lenoir.  

An accident shut down a portion of Connelly Springs Road around 9 a.m. Wednesday. 

A woman claims her boyfriend rammed her from behind with his truck after the two had gotten into an argument Tuesday night.

The boyfriend is being questioned by sheriff deputies after leaving the accident scene.

Read more trending stories on wsoctv.com:

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 11:41:45 -0400

Do you remember the Buckhead crane-sitter?

If you lived in Atlanta 10 years ago, you likely remember the three days in May when Buckhead was brought to a standstill by a man sitting on a construction crane.

Even if you didn't live in Atlanta, you might have heard of him. 

The man was Carl Edward Roland, who was at the time wanted by police in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Gonzalez.

The strangled and badly beaten body of Gonzalez, 36, was found in a retention pond on May 24, 2005. Police  in Pinellas County, Florida, said she was last seen with Roland, and they issued a warrant for his arrest when he didn't return to his Clearwater home.

Roland showed up the next day at a construction site in Atlanta. The AJC reported that Roland had a sister here, and that many family members had lost touch with him and were not aware he had been living in Florida.

As CNN reported, when Roland showed up at the construction site, he "ordered a worker out of his way. He then rode up the crane's elevator before climbing out onto the horizontal arm. He is reported to have told the worker he'd 'hurt someone.' "

Roland spent 56 hours on the crane, 350 feet above Buckhead, as Florida police pieced together their case. 

During his three days on the crane, Roland refused food and water offered to him.

In an attempt to keep him awake and prevent him from falling 25 stories, police positioned "a large bucket used for carrying concrete along the crane's arm. When Roland moved, the bucket followed underneath him. The bucket also contained a loud siren," CNN reported.

Roland dismantled the siren and other parts of the crane, and dropped parts onto the street.

The suspect eventually agreed to accept water from the police. When he got close enough, an officer tasered, tackled and retrained him. Shortly after midnight on May 28, police brought Roland down from the crane.

Roland was extradited to Florida, where he stood trial. On Feb. 12, 2009, he was found guilty of first-degree murder. 

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Timothy Peters sentenced Roland to life in prison with no possibility of parole, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 11:19:27 -0400

Police: South End car break-in thieves targeting guns

Police believe thieves behind dozens of car break-ins in South End are searching for guns.

Earlier this month, assailants smashed windows of four vehicles in the parking garage at the Ashton.

Just a couple of months ago Channel 9 reported someone broke into more than two dozen vehicles at other apartment complexes in the area.

In all cases, thieves targeted larger vehicles, police said.

Channel 9 reporter Alexa Ashwell is talking with police about the trend and what's behind done about it.
        
Watch her full report starting at 5 p.m. on Eyewitness News.

In 2014, Channel 9 reported on thieves targeting cars with gun-related decals. Read that report here.

Read more trending stories on wsoctv.com:

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 11:14:37 -0400

FBI agents seen in Waxhaw neighborhood

Police were in a Waxhaw neighborhood Wednesday morning.

Residents told us they saw several FBI agents on Kronas Circle off Newtown Road.

When Channel 9 arrived at the scene deputies scattered. It is not clear why they were there.

Channel 9 reporters will continue to ask deputies for more information and bring you any updates at wsoctv.com.

Read more trending stories on wsoctv.com:

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 11:10:07 -0400

Lilly Pulitzer under fire for fat-shaming cartoons at headquarters

When “New York” magazine’s The Cut blog recently ran behind-the-scenes photos of Lilly Pulitzer’s print-crazy headquarters, eagle-eyed observers found the above illustrations to be of particular interest.

They read “Put it down, Carb Face” and “Just another day of fat, white and hideoous … you should probably just kill yourself.”

https://twitter.com/socarolinesays/status/603226823644848128

The cartoons were pinned in an employee’s personal cubicle, although that wasn’t initially clear.

Some on Twitter scolded Lilly Pulitzer the company, others expressed compassion for an individual trying to motivate herself with the drawings.

https://twitter.com/sparklebliss/status/603237072527298561

https://twitter.com/jessepstein/status/603228164437970944

On Tuesday, a Lilly spokesperson told Bloomberg: “These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work area,” she said. “While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values.

“We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”

In April, Lilly Pulitzer sparked outrage when a special promotion the company was running with Target caused long lines and briefly disabled the Target website. 

https://twitter.com/michelleox/status/589759269391704064

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 10:39:31 -0400

Football players escort fallen teammate to field one last time

A south Georgia football team paid a special tribute to a teen who lost his battle with cancer.

Family, friends and other high school students said their final goodbyes to Malik Sparkman at the Coffee County High School football stadium over the weekend.

As a special honor for Malik, his fellow football players carried their friend and teammate across the field one last time.

More than 500 people showed up to say a final farewell to the teen.

According to the Coffee County Police Scanner, a Facebook blog, teammates held their heads high until a video of Malik played. The teens could not hold back their tears.  

The high school junior would have graduated next year.

Channel 2's Jovita Moore shared this story on her Facebook page. We invite you to leave your messages of support for the team. 

 

 

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Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 10:33:09 -0400

Football players escort fallen teammate to field one last time

A south Georgia football team paid a special tribute to a teen who lost his battle with cancer.

Family, friends and other high school students said their final goodbyes to Malik Sparkman at the Coffee County High School football stadium over the weekend.

As a special honor for Malik, his fellow football players carried their friend and teammate across the field one last time.

More than 500 people showed up to say a final farewell to the teen.

According to the Coffee County Police Scanner, a Facebook blog, teammates held their heads high until a video of Malik played. The teens could not hold back their tears.  

The high school junior would have graduated next year.

WSB-TV's Jovita Moore shared this story on her Facebook page. We invite you to leave your messages of support for the team. 

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 10:33:09 -0400

Man named Bacon charged in fight over sausage

A New Jersey man was charged in a fight that broke out over eating the last bit of sausage. 

This man's name was Thomas Bacon, according to USA Today.

The fight broke out at about 3:30 a.m., and Bacon was later released on his own recognizance, police said.

USA Today says it's not clear how the men are linked.

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 10:20:29 -0400

Dad of boy found dead in swing speaks out

The father of a boy whose mother was pushing his dead body in a park swing in La Plata is speaking out.

"I'm not saying she is an unfit parent, but at this particular time, she wasn't fit to take care of our son,” James Lee said to MyFoxDC.

Ji'Aire Lee, 3, was found dead in a park swing being pushed by his mother Friday. An autopsy has not revealed the cause of death, according to police.

His mother, 24, was hospitalized Friday for evaluation. Witnesses said she may have been at the park with the boy for hours before someone called authorities to request a wellness check.

Lee went to court for a custody battle for his son about a month ago. That was the last time he saw his son alive.

“That's my little man -- he loved having fun just like me,” he said. “He'll always be -- that's my little man."

The family set up a GoFundMe account  here to help pay for funeral costs.

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 09:51:12 -0400

Second person charged in 2011 homicide, police say

A second person was arrested in connection with a 2011 homicide in west Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Wednesday.

Fernando Solorio was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Wilson Murillo.

Murillo was found shot to death in front of his business on Tuckaseegee Road in July 2011.

Detectives believe his killing was the result of a robbery that went wrong.

Hugo Martinez was also charged with murder. Police said DNA evidence linked him to the scene.

He was charged in 2014 while in jail on heroin trafficking charges.

Channel 9 is asking detectives for more information on who Solorio was arrested. Check back for updates to this developing story.

 

Published: Wed, 27 May 2015 08:51:38 -0400