Tuesday, March 19, 2013

WEATHER SERVICE CONFIRMS TORNADOES HIT RUTHERFORD, DICKSON COUNTIES
The National Weather Service confirmed we did have at least two tornadoes in those storms that blew through yesterday morning. An EF-0 tornado with winds 80-85 miles per hour in the Christiana area in Rutherford County near Interstate 24, and another tornado, likely an EF-1 with winds at least 86 miles an hour, hit  near Vanleer in Dickson County. 

OTHER STORM DAMAGE IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE
People are also cleaning up at Fairview Middle School after lightning struck the school, and Witthorne Middle School in Columbia was let out because they’d been in the middle of replacing gutters when the storms hit, and water poured in, damaging computers and books.

THE AVERAGE LAST FROST DATE IS JUST AHEAD
Don't let this cold weather and the talk of a snow flurry coming up get you down. I checked this weekend, and the average last frost date is a month from today. That's the LAST frost... not a hard freeze. We're almost there.

TITANS RELEASE QB MATT HASSELBECK
The Tennessee Titans say they're letting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck go. He'd been on the team two years, first as a starter, then as Jake Locker's backup.  

TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF U-S-LED INVASION OF IRAQ TODAY
The U-S-led invasion of Iraq, under the administration of President George W. Bush, started ten years ago today, with the bombing of Baghdad.
It was shock and awe. For them, and for us, hearing and seeing it.
Hopes ran high that the massive deployment of troops and money wouldn’t just result in the toppling of Saddam Hussein: but that the United States would help create a country that stood as an example to others.

FLORIDA STUDENT PLANNED ATTACK ON SCHOOL
There was a potentially HORRIFFIC incident averted at a Florida college. A college student with two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a backpack filled with explosives pulled a dorm fire alarm Monday .. apparently trying to force other students out into the open so he could slaughter them. Instead, police, were already headed to remove him from campus...because he'd pulled a gun on a roommate. They closed in, and the student killed himself. They also found notes and diagrams of how he planned the massacre.

HEALTH: ONE IN THREE WILL DIE WITH DEMENTIA
Count three people you know. Now, know that health experts say one in three of those people is expected to die with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Now that we're surviving other illnesses and living to older ages, that's what's taking us out.
Only 30 percent of 70-year-olds who don't have Alzheimer's are expected to die before their 80th birthday. But if they do have dementia, 61 percent are expected to die, the report found.

PIGEON FORGE FIRE UPDATE
That massive wildfire in Pigeon Forge is pretty much out now... there are still a few hotspots that firefighters are monitoring. People may be allowed back onto their property today to see what's left of their cabins. More than 60 were burned. The fire did not affect Dollywood, which opens this weekend.

WILL CARNIVAL KEEP ITS CUSTOMERS?
Will you go on a cruise this year? Or do all the recent troubles you've heard abou on cruise ships have you holding off? Well Carnival Cruise Lines says it's doing a "comprehensive review" this week of all its ships, after trouble on FOUR of them, including the engine fire that stranded 4,000 people on the Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico last month. (Carnival Corporation, the biggest cruise company in the world, is now trying to prove it's tackling the recent spate of mechanical issues that have hit its ships.)

HEALTH: Study Links Early Dating To High Risk Behavior
There's new research that suggests a link between dating for middle school students and high risk behavior later. (University of Georgia study). The study found students who formed romantic relationships in their earlier middle school years are four times more likely to drop out of school, and twice as likely to use alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.

POPE'S FIRST MASS
Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass in St. Peter's Square today, with tens of thousands in the audience, including six heads of state, Vice President Joe Biden, and leaders of more than 30 other faiths.

BELMONT, MTSU IN NCAA TOURNAMENT THIS WEEK
Two Middle Tennessee schools are heading to the NCAA tournament.  Belmont University is the 11th seed in the West Region and will play Arizona on Thursday in Salt Lake City.  MTSU will play St. Mary's tonight in Dayton, Ohio, and the winner of that game will battle Memphis on Thursday.

CLINTON ANNOUNCEMENT FUELS RUMORS SHE'LL RUN FOR PRESIDENT
Hillary Clinton released a six-minute video on Monday in which she announced her support for gay marriage. The move increases speculation that the former secretary of state is considering a presidential run in 2016. ("LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones," Clinton says in the video.  "And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage.)

DISNEY BANS UNATTENDED KIDS UNDER 14 
If a Disney vacation is in your plans this year, keep in mind that starting this weekend Disney theme parks is banning unattended kids under 14. Until they're 14 and have id to prove it, you can't just drop off the kids at Disneyworld and go shopping.

WANT A "KWIKIE?" CONTROVERSY
Some convenience store owners in Maine are teetering between HORRIFIED and scratching their heads and laughing over the Maine Lottery Commission's decision to change the name of its scratch-off tickets to, "Kwikies." Store owners point out that's a slang name for a short sexual encounter and say they don't want grown men walking in and asking the store's cashiers for Kwikies. Maine Lottery Officials, however, say the name has nothing to do with sex: the instant tickets are just quick, easy and fun.

BELMONT MANSION RENOVATION
The largest house museum in Tennessee is about to undergo a restoration project. The master bedroom of the Belmont Mansion will be restored to its original form. Already, the furniture that was auctioned off in 1887 is back in the bedroom, carpet has been hand-sewn and installed, door knobs have been plated with silver and the French wallpaper has been reproduced.

LOHAN GETS REHAB
Actress Lindsay Lohan will be locked up. The actress faced misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, providing false information to a police officer and willfully resisting a cop.... she was already on probation for shoplifting.... and instead of showing up in court yesterday on time to deal with it... the troubled 26 year-old was nearly an hour late. Lohan ended up being sentenced to a MANDATORY 90-day stay in a rehab facility, mandatory 18 months of psychological counseling, and a month of community service. And, the judge told her, "A suggestion: don't drive. This is it. You violate your probation and we're not going to be having discussions about putting you back on probation."

MAN ALMOST SHOT OFF FINGER TRYING TO REMOVE WEDDING RING
A Pennsylvania man is facing weapons charges after supposedly trying to remove his wedding ring in an unconventional method. The guy told police he wanted that ring off, so he got his gun, and tried to shoot it off! He lost most of a finger but not his ring. It was still on. Oh, and police say alcohol was involved.