Friday, June 7, 2013

TWO WEBSITES YOU NEED THIS WEEKEND
This is a big weekend for Nashville: lots of visitors enjoying the music and friendly people we get to experience year-round, as the CMA Festival continues.
If you're headed downtown this weekend, there are two websites you need to remember.
To get all the street closing information, showtimes and show locations, it's www.cmaworld.com.
To find parking spaces ahead of time, so you have options, remember www.Parkitdowntown.com

FLASH FLOODING FROM STORM ANDREA
Flash flood watches are posted today in more than a dozen states from Georgia to Maine as Tropical Storm Andrea hits the East Coast.

2 MILLION DOLLAR POWERBALL TICKET SOLD IN MT. JULIET
Tennessee lottery officials say someone in Mt. Juliet has just won 2 million dollars in the lottery. As of yesterday, they hadn't announced exactly where the ticket was purchased or who won it. 

WOMAN WHO LET POWERBALL WINNER CUT IN LINE FOR TICKET IS FINE WITH IT
When 84 year-old Gloria Mackenzie claimed her 590-million-dollar Powerball jackpot, she mentioned that some nice lady had let her cut in line when she bought the winning ticket. That woman, 34 year old Mindy Crandell, was teased about it non-stop by her friends, but Mindy just said, "things happen for a reason." She said she believes it's better to teach her children to be kind than to be right, and she has no regrets. The winner, Gloria Mackenzie, has chosen to take the 370.8 million dollar cash payout. Just think, she's 84. She should be set for life.

IMPROVEMENTS TO CENTENNIAL PARK
Centennial Park is getting improvements.  Mayor Karl Dean announced yesterday that the six-million dollar plan will be done in six phases and should be finished by 2015.  The work will establish a stream to Lake Watauga, clean and deepen the lake, improve the parking lot and build a permanent stage with seating for the Musicians' Corner shows.

MONUMENTAL PHONE RECORD MONITORING BY GOVT IS LAID BARE
A leaked document has laid bare the monumental scope of the government's surveillance of Americans' phone records - hundreds of millions of calls - in the first hard evidence of a massive data collection program aimed at combating terrorism under powers granted by Congress after the 9/11 attacks.
At issue is a court order, first disclosed Wednesday by The Guardian newspaper in Britain, that requires the communications company Verizon to turn over on an "ongoing, daily basis" the records of all landline and mobile telephone calls of its customers, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries. Intelligence experts said the government, though not listening in on calls, would be looking for patterns that could lead to terrorists - and that there was every reason to believe similar orders were in place for other phone companies.
 
SPYING REPORTS NOT TRUE
America's intelligence chief says new reports about government spying on Americans aren't accurate. National intelligence director James Clapper says reports in the "Washington Post" and Britain's "Guardian" contain "numerous inaccuracies."  The newspapers are reporting that the National Security Agency and the FBI have been collecting personal information from top internet companies as well as phone records of Verizon customers. "Numerous inaccuracies..."

NASH SYMPHONY FORECLOSURE, SCHERMERHORN CENTER TO BE AUCTIONED OFF
The Nashville Symphony faces foreclosure, and the beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center is set to be auctioned off at the end of this month. The Symphony Orchestra reportedly lost 11.7 million dollars last year. (They could delay a sale by filing for bankruptcy protection… though if they can't come up with a plan to turn things around, it's just delaying the inevitable.)

MEANWHILE, SYMPHONY SHOWS CONTINUE
www.nashvillesymphony.org

Until then, however, the Symphony is still doing its shows, including the Under the Stars concert series with free concerts tonight at Bicentennial Mall and Sunday at Crockett Park.

CRAWDADS, CARAMEL AND Y'ALL: MAPS SHOW DIFFERENT DIALECTS OF AMERICANS
It's always been a huge debate: Things like, "What do you call a sweetened carbonated beverage? Soda, pop or Coke?" In our area, more people just call it a coke. A North Carolina State University student has published a group of maps that show differences in dialect across the U.S. You can click the maps HERE.
It's pretty interesting to see.

SCARED OF SHOTS? GOOD!
Do you have getting shots? Good! Being scared when it comes to getting a shot can help your body beat diseases. A study finds the stress over getting stuck before you get vaccinated actually spurs the immune system to produce more germ fighting antibodies, which will increase your body's ability to fight the disease in future. The greater the stress when you get your shot, the better your immune system reacts.

18 DOGS RESCUED FROM HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS IN SMITH COUNTY
A non-profit animal organization has rescued 18 dogs from hazardous conditions at a Smith County home. The owner had gone into the hospital, and couldn't take care of them.

MURFREESBORO RESIDENT CHARGED WITH BILKING INVESTORS
A Rutherford County man is facing charges after the former accountant posed as an investment advisor and broker, took hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who thought he was investing it for them, but instead, he just apparently spent it. One couple claims they gave 72 year old  Ralph Turley III of Murfreesboro close to a million dollars to invest, and he finally told them, later on, that the money was just gone.  Turley goes to court June 17th.

MICROSOFT XBOX ONE PROBLEMS
Uh-oh. Microsoft's Xbox One is having troubles. Microsoft confirmed last night that to keep it functioning, you'll have to connect the console to the Internet once every 24 hours. Other things gamers are not happy about include that they can give games to friends only once and they have to get Microsoft's permission to sell their used games.

MEDICAL HELICOPTER CRASHES IN KY.
Three people were killed late last night when an Air Evac medical helicopter crashed just short of the landing pad in Kentucky.

ACCUSED COACH MOVED TO MENTAL FACILITY
A local soccer coach charged with raping one of his players is now in the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute, after George Rico Laise made a suicide attempt in his jail cell Wednesday. Since his arrest three other teenaged girls have come forward saying they were also victimized by the 46 year old. 

6-YEAR-OLD IN HOSPITAL AFTER ACCIDENT WITH FAMILY PET
Nashville girl Madison Mason is 6 years old and lying in a hospital bed after what the family is calling an accident with the family pet, a German Shepherd.  The little girls' mom says she was playing with the dog outside, when the six year old came running out and startled the dog, which then whipped around, bit hard, and wouldn't let go. Madison is now missing both sides of her scalp and has scratches on her face. The 6 year-old faces more surgeries, after being flown to a Cincinnati hospital that specializes in reconstruction surgery. (Her parents say if anyone wants to help, they can make a donation to the Shriner Children's Hospital in Madison Mason's name.)

An Arizona mom has sparked a storm of outrage, and managed to raise about 2000 dollars, by going to the online site gofundme to get her daughter's household and personal bills paid ... after the 18 year old pulled a stupid stunt and hurt herself. The young woman tried to jump into a swimming pool from a nearby rooftop ... because her friends were doing it... broke both her feet and can't work while she's recovering. 
(Here's the page that had some people calling the mom selfish and the daughter stupid... but where others chose to contribute and wrote messages of encouragement.)

ARMED ROBBER APOLOGIZES WHILE ROBBING MAPCO
An armed robber hit the Mapco in Goodletsville Wednesday morning. Police say 24 year-old Frankie Swindell, Jr. robbed the convenience store, apologizing the whole time. When he was caught later, he said he was behind in his rent. Swindell Jr is the son of one-time Nashville boxer Frankie Swindell Sr. (Junior is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.)

BBB WARNING MAURY COUNTY BUSINESSES ABOUT SCAM COMPANY
The Better Business Bureau says some Maury County businesses have been ripped off by a fake company called TNT Productions and Marketing. Tim Turner has been approaching Maury County Businesses... and selling sponsorships for what he claimed would be the first annual "Unity in the Community' Blues and Old School Festival. Some companies paid 1500 bucks to take part, then found out there is no event, and Tim Turner is nowhere to be found. The BBB says when someone approaches you for something like this, check with the Better Business Bureau first to see if they're trustworthy, and check the VENUE to make sure the event is actually scheduled to happen.

HOLLYWOOD STAR AND SWIMMER ESTER WILLIAMS DEAD AT 91
Former Hollywood star and accomplished swimmer Esther Williams is dead at the age of 91. Williams was one of the biggest box-office stars of the 1940s and 1950s. Unable to compete in the 1940 Summer Olympics due to the outbreak of World War Two, Williams signed a contract with MGM. Williams went on to star in more than 20 movies between 1942 and 1958. She also appeared on television's "What's My LIne?," "The Donna Reed Show," and "The Ed Sullivan Show." Williams' publicist says she'd been in declining health due to old age and died peacefully in her sleep.

TIDBITS
BIEBER, PITT/JOLIE, HANKS SIGN UP FOR SPACE RIDE
Virgin Galactic says that Justin Bieber has signed up to pay over $200,000 to go for a near space flight. Ashton Kutcher, Sarah Brightman, Victoria Principal, and reportedly Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have already signed up for the flights that could begin as soon as next year.