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  1. A member of a Ramona family that has invited adults and children to their home later this month for free rides on their miniature railroad is a registered sex offender who molested children, The San Diego Union-Tribune confirmed this week. Christopher Russell Green, 45, is a registered sex offender who lives with his parents at their home in Ramona, his father, Russell Green, confirmed Monday by phone. The family has invited the public Dec. 22 and 23 for free train rides on a miniature railroad that Christopher and Russell Green spent years constructing on five acres of the family’s residential property, according to a news article published last month in the Ramona Sentinel. With the help of about 15 volunteers, the family hopes to accommodate several hundred passengers, according to the article. The trains are built to one-eighth scale and run at about 5 mph on a 7,000-foot network of track. The family planned to offer free rides on the railroad for other holidays and special events, such as the Fourth of July and birthday parties by appointment, the article said, adding that the family has previously offered rides in Costa Mesa. When asked why he did not disclose to the public his son’s status as a sex offender when advertising the train rides, Russell Green said his son’s criminal history was irrelevant. “I don’t think it’s any of their business,” he said. Russell Green said he didn’t know where his son would be during the holiday train rides, but that there would be “plenty of supervision” during the event. According to criminal court records, Christopher Green pleaded guilty in 2003 to crimes including two felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. He admitted to befriending the child for the purpose of committing the sex crimes. Christopher Green also pleaded guilty to two felony counts of sex with two girls and one misdemeanor count of possessing material depicting sexual conduct by a person under 18, according to his criminal case file. He was sentenced to six years in prison, court records said. Russell Green told U-T Watchdog on Monday that he had not informed the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department of the Greens’ plan to invite the public to their home this month because Green is not on parole. Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Cliff Rinder, who oversees the county’s multi-agency task force to monitor registered sex offenders and investigate related crimes, told the U-T on Tuesday that the department was aware of the Greens’ railroad construction project, but it did not know about the holiday event until a reporter asked about it Monday. “We’ve opened up an investigation into this and we’re going to be taking measures to keep the community in Ramona safe for this event,” Rinder said Tuesday. Restrictions on the activities of registered sex offenders in California vary from registrant to registrant depending on factors including the nature of their crimes and age of victims. According to information available Tuesday on the state’s Megan’s Law website, “Registrants whose sex offense conviction was for a crime where the victim was a minor under age 16 cannot be an employer, employee, independent contractor, or volunteer with any person, group or organization where the registrant would be working directly and in an unaccompanied setting with minor children on more than an incidental and occasional basis or have supervision or disciplinary power over minor children.” Violating the prohibition against working with children is a misdemeanor crime, according to the website. For a photograph of Christopher Green, search his name using the Megan’s Law website.
  2. Bay District Schools Homeless Liaison Kay Daniel says this is the highest number of students in a homeless situation the district has ever seen. "Never have we ever been at 3,800," said Daniel. That number was significantly lower last year this time. "On December the 5th of 2017 we were, we actually had 858 students identified as living in a homeless situation," said Daniel. That means about 3,200 students are left without permanent roofs over their heads, because of the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael. "A 3,000 student increase... I mean that's just dramatic," said Daniel. But Kara Mulkusky with Bay District Schools says they're working to match the needs of impacted families. "Were basically pairing our homeless students and families with any type of resources, getting them contact information to apply for housing, sending out money through our district communication with numbers," said Mulkusky. Although the district can't directly work to place families in housing right now... "Where we would normally work with a family for housing, trying to get housing, that was, you know we were replaced of course by FEMA and the Red Cross," said Daniel. Mulkusky says there's one thing she's happy about coming out of this natural disaster. "The greatest gift right now is that all of the families pretty much see the importance of having the kids enrolled and in the classrooms right now," said Mulkusky. "It's providing that routine, that normalcy for our students." And they're not letting Michael change the level of education for students. "We want them to be in school getting the authentic, engaging lessons that they got even before the storm," said Mulkusky. Other local groups like Hearts with Hands will make sure that through the holiday season students classified as homeless get a Blessings in a Box Christmas package.
  3. A 23-year-old YouTube star shed 50 pounds, transforming her body from a size 14 to a svelte size 6. However, her new frame has prompted backlash from her followers who she claims have started “slut-shaming” her for doing the same things she used to do when she weighed more. Remi Cruz took to YouTube to record a video commenting on her new figure – and the attacks she’s been getting online for it. MODEL DEFENDS TAKING HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL SELFIE AFTER RECEIVING BACKLASH “Overnight, at some point, it switched from being funny, stupid or whatever, to ‘I'm a slut, close your legs, you're a whore, you look like a porn star,'” she said in the video. Cruz said she was at one-time praised for her silly antics on her channel, but after losing the weight, some of her 2.5 million subscribers have called her out for how she acts. “My sense of humor has always been very idiotic. I've always just acted really stupid, and I don't really care. I always just do whatever,” she said in the video. “I've been throwing my legs up in the air since 2013 or however long.” Cruz said the only thing that has changed in the last year is her body type. “At one point, there was that initial comment for me that went from ‘Oh my god, that's so funny,’ to ‘you're a slut,’” she said. “'And when it happened, the only thing I can say that I felt is just pure confusion because I hadn't changed,” she added. FASHION COMPANY'S 'FAT-SHAMING' SWEATSHIRT SPARKS INSTANT BACKLASH “I'm still doing the same thing, I still have my leg up in the air, I've been doing this for years, people,” she added. “I've been dropping it low on the dance floor, twerking out in public not caring. It was funny.” However, now when Cruz poses in a bikini, she said people call her a “porn star.” After posting a photo of herself in a swimsuit next a pool, one person commented, “Literally just do porn. You'll get the male attention you are apparently so desperate for.” “Lol knew what? That you're a porn star?” another wrote. Not all of her followers turned on her, though. “Wow, it just makes me sick that some people can comment such mean and hurtful things! Remi, thank you for being you and for being so awesome! You are beautiful and inspiring!” one person wrote. “I’ve always loved your personality and admired your confidence since I started watching you a couple years ago. I’m so glad people have such a great person to look up to who is making a positive impact,” another wrote. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS Though Cruz said the comments used to get her down, she now states that she’s going to keep making the same content she always made. “I’m going to keep being my obnoxious, stupid, idiotic, stupid sense of humor self because I like it, and it makes me happy and I have fun.”
  4. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity application deadline for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is this Friday, Dec.7. DUA is available to Florida residents in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties. DUA is available for unemployment beginning Oct. 14, 2018, until April 13, 2019, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Find more information about application criteria at www.floridajobs.org or click the link we've attached to this article.
  5. You hear the same Christmas songs every year . . . OVER and OVER again. But you might not know some of the stories behind them. Here are 10 facts about your favorite Christmas songs . . . 1. "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was written in 15 minutes, and Mariah Carey recorded it in August. Also, Faith Hill's"Where Are You Christmas" was written by Mariah, who was going to record it. But her ex-husband Tommy Mottola gave it to Faith instead. 2. When Brenda Lee recorded "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" in 1958, she was only 13 years old. 3. "Jingle Bells" is over 150 years old. It was published in 1857 . . . and was intended to be a THANKSGIVING song, not a Christmas song. 4. Thurl Ravenscroft sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" . . . and was also the voice of Tony the Tiger for over 50 years. 5. Irving Berlin wrote the song, "White Christmas" . . . and hated Elvis Presley's version so much, he tried to get it BANNED from the radio. 6. "Silver Bells" was originally called "Tinkle Bell". The writer changed it after his wife mentioned the double-meaning of the word "tinkle." 7. "The Chipmunk Song" is still the only Christmas song to ever hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 8. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" was written as a call for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. 9. Eartha Kitt did a follow-up to "Santa Baby" the following year called "This Year's Santa Baby". It was the same song with different lyrics, and it flopped big time. 10. The Roman Catholic Church condemned the 1952 song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", because they thought it promoted ADULTERY. They backed off after 13-year-old singer Jimmy Boyd explained that "Santa" is really just the kid's dad.
  6. Since Hurricane Michael, many good Samaritans have found ways of giving back. Ken White's unique idea was not just a way to give back, but a way to bring back pets to their loves ones. Despite living in British Columbia, animal lover White, wanted to find a way to help. With the help of his assistant, Robin Stone, they created the "Hurricane Michael Lost, Found And Reunited Pets" Facebook group. To date, the group has reunited 50 families with their pets. Having previously made a Facebook group for Hurricane Sandy victims, White knew it was time to do something. "I said to myself, 'Ken, there could be some people staying behind to try to ride out this hurricane.' And so on day one as the hurricane was hitting the Panama City area I had my Facebook site up just in case there was missing pets." If you are looking to find your furry friend or reunite one with its owner, you can check out White's Facebook page here.
  7. "People" magazine has put out its annual list of the 25 "most intriguing" people of the year. And you KNOW it has to be good, because if anyone is the authority on people . . . it's "People", right? (???) Here's the list, along with quick takes on why each one is intriguing. 1. Michelle Obama . . . because within days of publication, her memoir, "Becoming", became the best-selling book of the year. 2. Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie . . . because they've done so well in the ratings in the wake of the firing of Matt Lauer. 3. Chip and Joanna Gaines . . . because they retired "Fixer Upper" last year to recharge, but are already planning to return to TV on their own network. 4. Melissa McCarthy . . . because she's getting Oscar-buzz for a serious role in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?", where she plays a mean-spirited literary forger. 5. Idris Elba . . . He was probably chosen to hype their own choice to make him their 'Sexiest Man Alive,' but they also note that he can do so many acting genres, including comedy and musicals. 6. Aly Raisman . . . because she came forward to testify against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually abused her. 7. Meghan Markle . . . because she went from being on the show "Suits" to marrying Prince Harry and becoming a member of the Royal Family. 8. The Parkland Teens . . . because they went from everyday students to nationwide activists for school safety after surviving a deadly mass shooting. 9. Ariana Grande . . . because she broke up with Mac Miller . . . had a wildly off-the-rails relationship with Pete Davidson . . . then, after Mac's death, she broke up with Pete, and released the hit "Thank U, Next". 10. Julia Louis-Dreyfus . . . because she's back after a breast-cancer treatment that required three rounds of chemo, which she documented on social media. 11. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga . . . because, well, "A Star Is Born". 12. Cardi B . . . because she released a double-platinum debut album . . . gave birth to her first child . . . and threw a shoe at her nemesis Nicki Minaj. 13. Chadwick Boseman . . . because his Black Panther was arguably the superhero of the year. 14. Carrie Underwood . . . because she struggled through three miscarriages since 2017 . . . had a scary tumble that required stitches to her face . . . and put out the heavy album, "Cry Pretty". 15. Julia Roberts . . . because she embraced the streaming phenomenon, and starred in the Amazon's thriller "Homecoming". 16. Ruth Bader Ginsberg . . . because she was celebrated in two movies, the documentary "RBG" and the upcoming "On the Basis of Sex". 17. Constance Wu . . . because she was the "perfect modern Cinderella" in "Crazy Rich Asians". 18. Jamie Lee Curtis . . . because she returned to "Halloween" again, 40 years after doing the original, and opened up about her 10-year opioid addiction. 19. Jada Pinkett Smith . . . because she's dropping all kinds of bombs about her personal life on her Facebook show, "Red Table Talk". 20. Serena Williams . . . because she almost died while suffering serious blood clots while giving birth, and then spent the year fighting sexism in tennis. 21. Busy Philipps . . . because she wrote a bestselling memoir and launched her E! talk show "Busy Tonight". 22. John Krasinski . . . because he directed a horror hit, "A Quiet Place", and landed a big action role on "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan". 23. Meghan McCain . . . because at the funeral for her father John McCain she delivered a eulogy that didn't shy away from criticizing President Trump, who'd mocked his heroism. 24. Shawn Mendes . . . because he now has three #1 albums, and just seven months ago, he had a fling with Justin Bieber'snow-wife Hailey Baldwin. 25. Jennifer Garner . . . because she's become a fun social media star, and has a Facebook series where she simplifies other people's recipes for kids.
  8. The XFL, a new professional football league backed by WWE CEO Vince McMahon, on Wednesday unveiled the inaugural eight cities and stadiums that will host its teams when play begins in 2020. XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said the league will focus on maintaining a fast-paced, safer on-field product with fewer game stoppages and penalties. Ticket prices will be “significantly lower” than other U.S. professional sports leagues, he added. The league will begin play on Feb. 8, 2020, the weekend after that year’s Super Bowl. The eight XFL teams will be based in New York, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Washington, D.C. Games will take place at the following venues: MetLife Stadium in New Jersey; Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas; TDECU Stadium in Houston; StubHub Center in Carson, California; The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis; CenturyLink Field in Seattle; Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay; and Audi Field in Washington. “We believe launching in February 2020 gives us the time to get the game, the fan experience and the partnerships right, and we believe we are well on our way,” Luck said. Luck said the games will feature a shorter play clock compared to the NFL and conclude in less than three hours. Rules will be simplified and broadcasts will air fewer commercials. The XFL is currently testing out elements of its format with junior college football teams to solidify a final on-field product. All eight XFL teams will have the same roster budget. Player salaries will be “very competitive,” and rosters will be drawn from all available players, including those who have been cut from NFL teams, Luck said. The XFL will play its games during the NFL’s offseason and will “complement,” not directly compete with the NFL, he added. The league will fully implement gambling in all states where it is legal. Players will be tested for performance-enhancing drugs. Luck said the XFL will air on multiple platforms, with details on media partners to come in the near future. McMahon sold WWE shares worth $100 million to bankroll the XFL’s relaunch. The original XFL, which formed as a joint partnership between WWE and NBC, folded in 2001 after just one season.
  9. PETA's request to replace "anti-animal" language" in everyday conversation was met with ridicule and criticism after the animal rights group compared popular meat-related expressions to racism and homophobia. “Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language, phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for who they are and start ‘bringing home the bagels’ instead of the bacon,” PETA said Tuesday in a tweet. “Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it,” it added. 7,529 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy In a graphic, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offered several alternatives to "speciesist" phrases. Instead of “kill two birds with one stone," say “feed two birds with one scone.” "Take the bull by the horns” should be replaced with “take the flower by the thorns" and instead of "bring home the bacon," say "bring home the bagels" Some on Twitter weren’t sold on the idea, with some arguing that PETA was equating animal abuse with race and gender issues. 18 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy See Trevor Ehlenbach's other Tweets Twitter Ads info and privacy 44 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy See Jorden Adams's other Tweets Twitter Ads info and privacy Others came up with their own phrases. 25 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy See alex davila's other Tweets
  10. The Panama City Mall will close, according to the mall management. "While certain spaces in the Mall were damaged less than other portions, most of the Mall including the Common Areas, sustained significant storm and wind damage," officials wrote in a news release. "Above all, water damage throughout was catastrophic. Immediately after the storm, third-party experts, engineers, and consultants were retained to assist with stabilizing the Mall, assessing the integrity of structural and mechanical systems, and testing moisture infiltration." In the weeks since, the vast majority of tenants have removed inventory and fixtures from their leased premises providing an opportunity for Mall Management to assess the full extent of damage. “It is with a heavy heart we announce our decision to keep Panama City Mall closed for the foreseeable future. This decision is an extremely difficult one for us because we know it impacts the community and our dedicated on-site employees. Unfortunately, the order of magnitude to rebuild comes at too great a cost. It is economically unfeasible to rebuild as the cost far exceeds the repaired value of the mall” said Charlie Hendon, President of Hendon Properties. “We’ve been fortunate to serve customers here for the last 42 years and are humbled by the meaningful relationships fostered in that time.” The closure of Panama City Mall does not include the adjacent Shoppes at Panama City or the Starbucks/Vitamin Shoppe Outparcel. New York’s Famous Pizza reopened on Black Friday and Moe’s Southwest Grill reopened this past Saturday, officials added. Construction is underway in Best Buy, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Palm Beach Tan, Wayback Burger, and Lisa’s Nails. Re-opening dates will be announced shortly. Mall Ownership has entered into preliminary discussions with Planet Fitness and Bed Bath & Beyond to identify options to operate as outside tenants through the transition and to engage their support for a future redevelopment of the site. “Our customers have expressed time and again the need for a relevant, experiential shopping destination in Panama City, east of the Hathaway Bridge.” said Charlie Hendon. “This community deserves all options be explored.” Any redevelopment plan will also require Mall Ownership to reach agreements with Dillard’s, JCPenney, and Sears (Sertiage) who own their respective buildings and parcels. Dillard’s has expressed intentions to remain open and JCPenney plans to rebuild and reopen next year. A timeline for building demolition is not yet determined.
  11. PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Eight people have been killed and a number of others injured after a shooting situation at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill on Saturday. KDKA’s Meghan Schiller reports that a suspect, a white male, has surrendered. The SWAT team had been talking with the suspect, and he was crawling and injured. It is unclear the extent of his injuries. Three police officers were also shot. their conditions are currently unknown. Police sources tell KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the gunman walked into the building and yelled, “All Jews Must die.” Sheehan confirmed that eight people were confirmed dead. Others had been shot but the extent of their injuries in unknown at this time. Photo Credit: Tim Lawson/KDKA President Donald Trump Tweeted his thoughts to the Pittsburgh area amid the tragedy. Twitter Ads info and privacy When officers arrived, the gunman reportedly shot at them, forcing officers to use their vehicles as a shield. The shooting happened during weekly Shabbat services at the conservative Jewish Synagogue, the building was full was full of people for a Saturday service and police say they’ve received several calls from people barricaded inside the Synagogue. Photo Credit: KDKA Two of Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams, the Steelers and Penguins, Tweeted their thoughts and prayers to the victims. Twitter Ads info and privacy Twitter Ads info and privacy Stay with KDKA.com for this developing story.
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