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Patti LaBelle confronted by anti-fur protesters at book signing

Patti LaBelle's book signing Tuesday was crashed by anti-fur protesters, TMZ reports.LaBelle was signing copies of her "Desserts LaBelle" book at a Barnes & Noble when protesters posing as fans asked for a group photo. When LaBelle obliged, they pulled out signs and began chanting, "Patti LaBelle has blood on her hands."

>> Read more trending news

LaBelle is known for having an extensive fur collection.Store security removed the protesters. 

Jeff Goldblum reprising original role as brash mathematician in ‘Jurassic World 2’

 

A familiar face is returning for the latest installment in the “Jurassic Park” franchise.

>> Read more trending news

Actor Jeff Goldblum, played the brash mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm in 1993’s “Jurassic Park” and its sequel in 1997 “The Lost World,” and has now has signed on for “Jurassic World 2,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Goldblum, who also reprised his role in last year’s “Independence Day: Resurgence, sat out “Jurassic Park 3” and the series reboot “Jurassic World” in 2015.

The newest installment, “Jurassic World 2” will be directed by J.A. Bayona, and actors Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are returning for the sequel, THR confirmed.

“Jurassic World” earned almost $1.7 billion worldwide and is the fourth highest-grossing film in history, Time reported.

Woman scares burglar away through security camera

A Newton County, Georgia, woman stopped a burglar in his tracks while he was inside her home, and it’s all on video.

>> Read more trending news 

She had some choice words for him, too, and he clearly got the message.

The man broke into her Covington home on April 14 around 5:30 a.m. He checked out the TV, got on the floor to look under a couch and then got an abrupt welcome.

“Hello. You better get the f*** out because the police are on the way. You better get the f*** out,” Camille Hunter said through her camera.

Hunter told WSB-TV that she was visiting family members in Gary, Indiana, when she got the alert on her phone.

“I was chilling with my friends, and my alert came through on my phone. He went through the back window,” Hunter said.

Hunter said the burglar was in her house for about three minutes.

“The alarm company got the call. Law enforcement was notified and during that time she accessed her camera,” said Allan Seebaran, who is the public information officer for the Covington Police Department.

While police were on the way, the man got away empty-handed.

“He was looking around. I don’t know if he wanted to sleep there or what his purposes was,” Hunter said.

Covington police are asking anyone who recognizes the man to call them.

Trump tax plan: What is the AMT, tax repatriation, the death tax?

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced a proposal to drastically cut taxes for corporations and simplify the tax filing system for individuals.

Companies would see a business tax rate of 15 percent, down from 35 percent, and individuals would benefit from a doubling of the standard deduction and a simplified form to fill out on tax day each year.

Here is what was proposed on Wednesday:

Reduce the seven tax brackets to three brackets of 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent.

Double the standard deduction.

Increase tax relief for families with child and dependent care expenses.

Eliminate targeted tax breaks for the wealthiest taxpayers.

Keep mortgage interest and charitable gift tax deductions, but eliminate other itemized deductions.

Repeal the alternative minimum tax.

Repeal the “death tax.”

Drop the business tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.

Implement a one-time tax (a repatriation tax) on trillions of dollars held overseas.

What does it mean?

Tax bracketTax brackets indicate the rate at which you pay on portions of your income. 

Taxpayers will pay the lowest rate up to a certain amount, the next highest rate on the next portion, then the highest rate on the rest of their income.

As an example using the tax rates suggested by Trump – 10, 25 and 35 percent -- income from $1 to $10,000 would be taxed at 10 percent; $10,001 to $20,000 at 25 percent; and income over $20,001 at 35 percent.

Standard deductionThe standard deduction is a set amount of income that is not subject to being taxed.

A taxpayer can choose to use the standard deduction or can itemize allowed deductions to lower a tax bill. Single taxpayers can claim a $6,300 standard deduction; married couples can take a $12,600 deduction and a person filing taxes as “head of household” can deduct $9,300.

Alternative minimum tax According to the Tax Policy Center, the alternative minimum tax “operates alongside regular income tax. It requires many taxpayers to calculate their liability twice – once under the rules for the regular income tax and once under the AMT rules – and then pay the higher amount. 

Originally intended to prevent perceived abuses by a handful of the very rich, it now affects almost 5 million filers.” 

The AMT was designed to stop wealthy taxpayers from using too many loopholes to avoid paying taxes.

Death taxThe estate tax, or “death tax,” is a tax “on your right to transfer property at your death,” according to the Internal Revenue Service. The value of the property and cash you own when you die is calculated and the amount arrived at is taxed. It's good news if you have a small estate: The IRS offers an exemption on the first $5.49 million.

Six states – Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – impose an inheritance tax. That means that if you live in one of those states when you die, your beneficiaries will likely owe a tax on what you leave them.

Tax repatriation A repatriated tax break is an arrangement directed at multinational corporations that offers a one-time tax break on money earned in foreign countries.

U.S. companies hold cash – an estimated $2.5 trillion -- overseas to avoid paying a 35 percent tax on foreign earnings. The last repatriated break taxed foreign earnings at a rate of 5.25 percent. 

Trump has proposed that overseas earnings would be deemed repatriated and taxed one time, at 10 percent.

Couple says 'hello and goodbye' to baby born without brain

The Oklahoma couple who decided to carry their baby without a brain to term in hopes of helping others has said "hello and goodbye" to their newborn girl.According to the Facebook posts of Keri and Royce Young, baby Eva Grace was born April 17, and died the same day. 

>> Read more trending news

 

In February, Royce Young's Facebook post about his wife's reaction to learning their baby would be born without a brain went viral. Keri Young asked the doctor if she carried the baby to term, if she could donate the baby's organs to help others.It was unclear from the new Facebook posts if the Youngs were able to donate Eva's organs, but Keri Young said that she would share more about Eva's incredible story at a later date.

WATCH: Body camera captures cop saving man from jumping off 6-story building

A police officer’s body camera captured the rescue of a man who tried to jump off a six-story building. 

>> Read more trending news

The Hamden, Connecticut, officer chased the man up six flights of stairs after he was called to the Whitney Center retirement community to check on a combative man, WFSB reported. 

According to WFSB, while Officer Justin Martin was meeting with staff members and a resident at the retirement home, the resident ran away from the group.

Martin followed the man six stories up a staircase. Upon reaching the landing, the officer found the man attempting to jump over a railing.

Martin grabbed the man and pulled him back to safety.

“I was able to grab his foot, and he had a belt on so I was able to pull him up enough to get the belt,” Martin told WTNH. “I got both hands on his waist, and I was able to pull him up after that.”

Martin, who played basketball in college, said he used his long reach to make the grab of his life. 

“Everybody got to go home safe and everything worked out well. I was able to help the community that day, and I’m really glad it turned out that way,” he said. 

The man, who lived in the independent living part of the Whitney Center community, was taken to a local hospital, according to WTNH.

In other news ... 

>> Kidnapped woman found in hole, hidden under debris 

>> Dash cam captures baby born along SR 725 in Greene County

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

ESPN lays off 100 employees including on-air talent, reporters

Cable sports network ESPN is expected to lay off close to 100 employees on Wednesday.

Several on-air personalities and reporters have already been notified.

“Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent -- anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play -- necessary to meet those demands. We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week. A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs,” ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement to employees.

Below are messages from a few broadcasters and reporters affected by Wednesday’s decision:

ESPN laid off around 300 employees in October 2015.

WATCH: Dropping bag of cocaine in traffic court turns minor ticket into major felony

 

What started off as a minor traffic violation for an Ohio man quickly turned into a major felony when he dropped a bag of cocaine in court Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

Loraine resident Lamar Reed approached the bench to make a plea on a traffic ticket. When he took his hat off before the judge, a bag of cocaine suddenly fell out of his hat and landed on the floor, according to media outlets.

No one noticed the bag of drugs for about an hour, KRON-TV reported. Finally a court officer noticed the cocaine on the floor.

The judge in the case told WBKO-TV he’s never seen anything like it.

“He was only here for a traffic ticket, and he made a simple traffic ticket, where there’s only the possibility of a fine, and turned it into a felony,” Judge Mark Mihok said.

>> Related: Pacemaker data used to charge Ohio man with arson, fraud

The episode was caught on court surveillance camera, so officials were able to see who dropped it.

Reed was later arrested and charged with a fifth-degree felony.

Missing woman found in well hole in neighbor’s shed; man charged with kidnapping

Police arrested a man Wednesday morning after authorities found a missing woman trapped inside his shed.

>> Read more trending news

Jennifer Elliot was reported missing just after midnight Wednesday and was found around 4 a.m. after residents heard her cries coming from a shed on Central Avenue in Blanchester. 

Police went to the 100 block of Central Avenue after a neighbor reported hearing screams coming from the property. Once authorities arrived, they entered a shed in the backyard and found a woman in a well hole covered by multiple objects.

Authorities arrested Dennis Dunn on kidnapping charges after a four-hour standoff with Blanchester police. He was taken to the Clinton County Jail. 

Elliot was taken to the hospital and has since been released. Police said officers saw no obvious signs of physical trauma to Elliott.

Police said Elliot had previously reported that Dunn harassed her. Elliott and Dunn live on the same street.

Elliot filed a report with police in October after she said she got harassing phone calls and texts from Dunn. Elliott declined to participate in any prosecution of Dunn in that case.

Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said Dunn has a history of mental illness.

Freedom Caucus says it now backs GOP health care plan

Members of the House Freedom Caucus announced Wednesday that It will now back a Republican health care plan since an amendment that allows states to opt out of some Affordable Care Act rules has been included.

"While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs," the Freedom Caucus said in a statement.

The Freedom Caucus includes 30 conservative Republican members who successfully blocked a GOP plan to hold a vote last month to repeal and replace the ACA.

The amendment allows states, under certain conditions, to apply for waivers from provisions that ban insurance companies from charging people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums if the state offers high-risk insurance pools as an alternative.

"The MacArthur amendment will grant states the ability to repeal cost driving aspects of Obamacare left in place under the original AHCA," the Freedom Caucus said in a statement.

With the support of the Freedom Caucus, House leadership is close to the 216 votes needed for passage.

The Associated Press reported that House Speaker Paul Ryan said the changes were helping the legislation gain support, but he stopped short of saying the plan has the votes the GOP would need to finally push the high-profile measure through the House.

School district: No shooter at Washington state middle school, despite report

School district officials said authorities did not find a shooter at Hawkins Middle School in Mason County, Washington, on Wednesday afternoon, after deputies said they were responding to a report of an active shooter.

>> Read more trending news

Mason County sheriff’s deputies told KIRO7.com they received a report a shooter in the school’s cafeteria.

Here’s what we know:

Madonna unhappy with biopic in works on life of Material Girl before fame

 

Madonna has some strong words for the producers of a planned biopic on her younger years, before she hit the big time.

>> Read more trending news

“Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen,” she said in an Instagram post. 

“Only I can tell my story.”

Universal acquired the rights to a script, called “Blond Ambition,” about the Material Girl’s life in New York and her struggles before her first album, “Madonna,” was released, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Brett Ratner is expected to produce the film.

Madonna isn’t pleased about someone else telling her story, saying that “anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool.”

She said the project is an example of “instant gratification” and “disease in our society.”

 

2-year-old bound with tape at Charlotte day care, police report says

A 2-year-old’s arms and mouth were bound with packaging tape by her day care teacher, according to a police report that WSOC obtained.

WSOC reporter Ken Lemon spoke to the child’s mother who filed a police report on the incident at The Children of America Education and Childcare Centers in the University area.

The 2-year-old’s mother, who didn’t want to be identified, said that she found out about the incident three weeks ago when an employee walked by a classroom and saw the little girl in a corner with her hands bound by several pieces of tape and tape covering her mouth. The mother said the employee was so stunned she asked another employee to look into the class and witness the incident.

“You are not going to get away with torturing my child,” the mother said.

She said her child’s teacher had been at the day care for a few months and got upset.

“She said my daughter wouldn’t be still and listen to what she was saying,” the mother said.

The mother claims that’s when the teacher wrapped packing tape around her child’s wrists and over her mouth.

The mother said administrators told her what happened the next day and fired the teacher. But the mother said that’s not enough, and that the teacher should face charges.

Statement issued by The Mintz Fraade Law Firm, representing Children of America:

"This is in response to the recent inquiry pertaining to an incident at the Children of America childcare center in Charlotte. Please be advised that as a licensed child care provider in the State of North Carolina, Children of America must adhere to strict state mandated guidelines. Specifically, with regard to this recent incident with which you are inquiring about, Children of America took immediate, appropriate action as mandated and pursuant to Children of America's internal policies and procedures which included the termination of the employee. Children of America cannot comment any further on the incident because it is an ongoing investigation."

She waited three weeks for the day care to report the incident to police. She said when that didn’t happen, she called police.

The executive vice president for the school said that what happened is upsetting. He said teachers go through training and are told they can take a break any time the stress gets too high. He said administrators will also reinforce procedures for teachers.

The executive vice president added that the day care took swift and appropriate action and that the staff notified child services and state licensing agencies, which is the day care’s protocol.

[LINK: NC Division of Child Development and Early Education report]

WSOC checked the Division of Child Development records on the five-star facility and learned that three years ago, a 2-year child was left unsupervised for more than 30 minutes. The division discovered in 2015 that criminal records weren’t complete for all staff members. The state also found that a 2-year-old child was picked up by the arms and dropped on the floor in 2015. 

Couple married almost 70 years dies minutes apart

An Illinois couple married for 69 years died minutes apart, according to their daughter.Isaac and Teresa Vatkin died last weekend, their daughter, Clara, told WGN.

>> Read more trending news The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, according to Clara, and had a loving marriage until the very end.The couple's health had declined in recent years and they were both taken to the hospital last weekend. When doctors determined that the couple did not have much time left, they were placed side by side so they could hold hands. Teresa died first, and Isaac died not more than 20 minutes later, according to Clara.

Florida woman finds grenade in grandfather's war memorabilia

A Holly Hill woman found a potentially dangerous item while cleaning out her grandfather’s house after his passing.

Among his war memorabilia, the woman, who police did not identify, found a rusty grenade.

>> Read more trending news

The woman dropped the grenade off Monday at the police department, which called the Volusia County Bomb Squad to remove it.

Police blocked the roadways around the fire station and evacuated the building until the grenade was safely removed by the bomb squad.

The grenade is believed to be a relic from World War II. 

NYPD officer accused of drunken driving in crash that killed woman celebrating sister’s birthday

A Long Island woman acting as the designated driver for her sister’s 21st birthday celebration was killed in a crash that investigators said was caused by an off-duty police officer who was drinking and driving. 

Vanessa Raghubar, 22, of Elmont, died Monday of injuries she suffered in the crash, which occurred early Sunday, according to the New York Post. Raghubar, a native of Georgetown, Guyana, underwent surgery for internal injuries and a broken pelvis before her death at Jamaica Hospital. 

Raghubar’s cousin told the Post that Raghubar went so far as to turn down a sip of alcohol to toast her younger sister, who the family celebrated with dinner and time at a bar. Raghubar planned to drive family members home after the gathering. 

“They did blood tests at the hospital after she was hit (and) it showed she didn’t have a drop,” Diana Chand told the newspaper

Raghubar was taking her sister, Maria Raghubar, and her sister’s boyfriend home around 4 a.m. Sunday when the Honda she was driving was struck from behind on the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens, the Post reported. The impact pushed the car into a tree and a light pole. 

An off-duty New York City detective, Neville Smith, was driving the Mercedes that hit Raghubar’s car. Smith, 32, was initially charged with multiple counts of vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a breath test. 

New York court records on Wednesday showed that the charges were upgraded to include vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in Raghubar’s death. 

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told WABC-TV in New York that drinking and driving is a “deadly combination.”

“The defendant, a police officer bound to enforce the law, is now accused of breaking the law, and with deadly consequences,” Brown said. “An innocent woman, just 22 years old, is dead. The others in the vehicle with her were also injured.”

Raghubar’s family told WABC-TV on Monday that Maria Raghubar, who was also critically injured, spent much of Monday in surgery as doctors tried to save her life. Her boyfriend, Justin Harricharra, suffered head, back and spinal injuries. 

“It’s really foggy,” Harricharra, 20, told the news station. “What I remember was waking up in the hospital and them telling me I was in an accident.”

>> Read more trending stories

Vanessa Raghubar, a York College senior studying psychology, was anticipated to graduate in June. Family members described her bond with her younger sister as “closer than twins.”

“My daughter was such a sweet child,” Raghubar’s mother, Janice Perry, told the news station. “My daughter was so educated. She had a big future ahead of her. And that someone would just take her life is wrong. The cop was wrong.”

“We need justice for our baby,” Perry said. “She can’t -- it can’t go like this. We need justice.”

Friends and strangers alike mourned Raghubar on social media. 

The Root reported that Smith was placed on a 30-day suspension without pay following his arrest.  

Passerby rescues 5-year-old from lake

A truck swerved into an Oklahoma lake on Wednesday to avoid a car that ran a stop sign.

Police in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, responded to the area Wednesday morning after a woman’s truck was reported in the water. 

>> Read more trending news 

The woman, whose 5-year-old grandson was in her vehicle, was trying to avoid another driver when her vehicle plunged into Sahoma Lake.

She got out on her own, and a family passing by stopped to help. 

A man jumped out of a passing car and pulled the 5-year-old out of the lake. 

KOKI-TV was at the scene when the 5-year-old’s mother arrived. 

“I was devastated and screaming and crying,” she said. “I didn’t know if they were really OK or not.”

She said she was grateful for the family's help. 

“It’s a good thing those people were here, because I don’t think she would have been able to get him out as fast as they did,” she said.

The child’s grandmother went to the hospital with some health issues. The child was not injured. 

Police officers step in when dad can’t make father/daughter dance

Two sisters are thanking their local police officers for saving the day when their dad couldn’t make it to the daddy-daughter dance.

>> Read more trending news 

“I got to finally go to the dance that I really wanted to go to instead of just me and my mom,” 10-year-old Haley Olsen of Phoenix, Arizona told KNXV.

>>RELATED: Police officer adopts 83-year-old veteran with dementia living alone 

Olsen’s dad couldn’t make it at the sat minute because of work.

“My husband wasn’t able to come and I don’t have a lot of positive male role models in my life, so I thought, ‘Why not police officers?!'” said mom Laura Castaneda.

Four officers went above and beyond to make the night magical for the sisters.

“My and my police officer created a giant circle of the cha-cha-cha and it was super fun!” Haley said with a big smile.

Their mom can’t thank the officers enough.

“I will forever be grateful and my girls will have this memory for the rest of their lives, so I can’t thank them enough,” said Castaneda.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft starts historic dive between Saturn and its rings 

After nearly 20 years in space and 13 years in orbit around Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft begins its grand finale, going where no craft has gone before.

>> Read more trending news

The final mission, according to NASA, involves a “daring” series of dives (22 in total) between Saturn and its icy rings, and ends with Cassini plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere in its final orbit in September.

>> Related: How to watch the rare total solar eclipse this summer

In its first dive Wednesday morning around 5 a.m., Cassini used its high-gain antenna as a protective shield as it passed through the ring plane.

According to NASA, the first images of Cassini’s opening dive should be available earlyThursday morning.

The historic event was also featured in a Google Doodle Wednesday.

>> Related: Where is Cassini now?

During its flight through uncharted territory, Cassini will collect new data about Saturn, including its internal arrangement based on the planet’s gravity and magnetic fields, how much material is in its icy rings and the spacecraft will, of course, deliver “ultra-close” images of Saturn’s rings and clouds.

Even in its final moments on Sept. 15, as Cassini meets its demise by burning up like a meteor and becoming a part of the planet itself, scientists will receive real-time data about Saturn’s composition.

But scientists say there is one concern about the possibility of flying particles tripping up the entire spacecraft, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Though models of Saturn show the narrow region between the planet and its rings should be free of dust, the models could be wrong — that’s why Cassini’s high-gain antenna was used as a protective shield in its first dive.

Cassini mission project manager Earle Maise said the risk puts them at a 97 percent chance of success.

>> Related: NASA Astronaut returns to Earth after 173 days in space

During its historic 20-year journey, Cassini has observed jets of water containing organic chemicals (including hydrogen) from one of Saturn’s moons, which has led scientists to believe there could be microbes using chemical energy to produce methane and energy for life, Vox reported.

And that’s just one of several remarkable achievements.

But with Cassini running low on rocket fuel and the risk of it potentially colliding with two of Saturn’s moons, NASA has chosen to “safely dispose of the spacecraft in the atmosphere of Saturn.”

More about Cassini’s Grand Finale here.

More about Cassini’s Grand Finale at Saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Brother shoots, kills 13-year-old sister while playing with gun, police say

Police arrested a 17-year-old on Tuesday night after authorities said he shot and killed his 13-year-old sister in an apparently accidental shooting.

>> Read more trending stories

Authorities responded to the family’s home in Florida City, Florida, around 6 p.m. after 17-year-old Martaevious Santiago called 911, Miami-Dade police said.

Medics with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue found Santiago’s sister, 13-year-old Tedra King, dead of a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

Investigators determined that Santiago was holding a loaded semi-automatic handgun and joking with his sister.

“(Tedra) was being playful with him due to it being his birthday,” police said. “(Tedra) then hugged her brother as he held the handgun. As (Tedra) turned around to walk away, Santiago pointed the handgun to the back of the victim’s head and pulled the trigger, shooting her.”

Authorities booked Santiago into jail on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child under 18.

Tedra’s stepfather told WTVJ that he was home when the shooting happened.

“There’s no weapons in my home,” Vernon Williams told WTVJ. “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Police said the gun came from a 14-year-old friend of Santiago. The unidentified juvenile was arrested on an outstanding delinquency warrant, officials said.

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho on Wednesday morning called the shooting the result of “heartbreaking, reckless gun violence” in one of a pair of tweets about the shooting.

Police continue to investigate.

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