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Tripp Halstead memorial: Mourners pay tribute to boy seriously injured by tree limb in 2012

Hundreds turned out Sunday afternoon and evening in Jefferson, Georgia, to remember 7-year-old Tripp Halstead, the North Georgia boy whose fight to recover from a traumatic brain injury more than five years ago was followed by millions around the globe. 

>> Watch the news report here

Tripp died Thursday after a being rushed to the hospital. In 2012, a tree branch struck then-2-year-old Tripp in the head at his Winder day care, and he spent weeks in a coma and 10 months in the hospital. 

>> Tripp Halstead, toddler seriously injured when tree limb fell on him 5 years ago, has died

In a late Saturday post on Facebook, Tripp’s mother Stacy Halstead wrote that she remained in shock about her son’s death

“Thank you for all your prayers and support and I think the world of all of you,” she wrote. “I know [you’re] hurting too. Tripp knew how much he was loved and how many people followed his story. Love you all.”

>> See the post here

Delisa Hill of Jefferson was among those who followed Tripp’s journey on Facebook. She only met Tripp once, but she said Tripp inspired people far beyond Jefferson.

>> On In-depth coverage of Tripp Halstead

“The whole city just bonded to them really quick,” said Hill, whose grandchildren attended school with Tripp. “It’s a small community and it’s hit this community really hard.”

A visitation for family and friends began at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Jefferson Civic Center, and a half-hour memorial service started at 7 p.m. The family has asked that donations be made in Tripp’s name to the charity of the donor’s choice. 

>> Read more trending news 

To share your condolences on the online guestbook and to read more of our coverage on Tripp Halstead, visit 

Austin explosions: 2 men hurt in fourth blast this month

An explosion tore through a quiet Southwest Austin, Texas, neighborhood Sunday night, sending two men to the hospital with serious injuries and heightening worries that a serial package bomber is targeting the city’s residents.

Shortly before 9 p.m., an explosion rocked a cul-de-sac of well-heeled homes near the Greenbelt just north of the Y in Oak Hill, sparking the closure of several streets and bringing a massive law enforcement contingent of Austin police and FBI agents to the neighborhood. Officers planned to carefully inspect the neighborhood throughout the night for clues and other suspicious objects. Around 11 p.m., police closed an area near Dawn Song Drive to check out a suspicious backpack left near the scene of the explosion.

>> Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

Austin interim Police Chief Brian Manley urged anyone within a half-mile radius of Dawn Song Drive to stay inside or avoid the area until daylight. At a news conference near the scene, he told reporters that he was not going to take question “because we simply just don’t know anything at this time.”

At 12:30 a.m. Monday, about 15 federal agents were walking side-by-side stretched across Travis County Circle near the entrance to the Travis Country subdivision shining flashlights on the road searching for clues.

At 1:30 a.m., Manley said it was possible that a trip-wire triggered the explosion, a departure from the three prior bombs that were all inside packages. Manley said investigators believe Sunday’s explosion was caused by a bomb and are operating under the assumption that it was connected to the three prior blasts.

>> Read more trending news 

Some neighbors reported they had been told the explosion was the result of a trip wire, but police would not confirm any details of the blast Sunday night.

Two men in their 20s were hospitalized with serious injuries, but officials said later that they were in good condition.

If Sunday’s blast is connected to the three bombs that have killed two Austin residents and injured two others since March 2, it would mark a geographic widening of the bomber’s targets. The first three bombs were east of Interstate 35 and hit black or Hispanic residents. The first two victims, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House and 17-year-old Draylen Mason, are connected to two prominent African-American families with ties to an East Austin church and long histories fighting for racial justice and empowerment of the city’s African-American community. The third bomb hit a Latina resident and her mother in Montopolis.

For many worried Austinites, the bombings raised the specter that someone was targeting minority residents and police have said they are probing the family connections between the victims. The race of the victims Sunday night were not released.

‘Quiet community’

Angie Wagner, a Travis Country homeowners association board member who lives in the area of Sunday night’s explosion, said the neighborhood is a quiet, close-knit community.

“This will cause everyone to keep a closer eye on things,” she said. “We just started a community watch program, and they’re about to start their training.”

Russell Reno has lived in the area for about six months. He said a big reason why he chose to move into the neighborhood from Buda was because it was a relaxed and family-oriented.

He said he had heard about explosions in other parts of the city and was perplexed why someone would target his neighborhood.

“There are some sick people in the world,” he said.

It’s not clear if the fourth device was left at someone’s door as in the first three instances.

Police have said that whoever constructed the first three bombs used common household items that can be easily purchased at hardware stores, potentially making efforts to identify the perpetrator more difficult, law enforcement officials said last week.

>> Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say

Federal agents this week have been visiting local stores trying to determine if a customer purchased items that appear suspicious, but have not gained information to lead them to a possible suspect, sources have said.

Even before Sunday night, the bombings had put Austin on edge as it hosted the massive South by Southwest festival. Austin police have responded to about 700 suspicious package calls, and Manley said earlier Sunday that more than 500 federal agents are assisting the Police Department in the investigation, including officials from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Authorities have followed up on 435 leads that led to 236 interviews.

A bomb scare led to the cancellation of a highly anticipated SXSW showcase by the Roots on Saturday night. Later that night, a 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with emailing the threat that led to the concert. Trevor Weldon Ingram faces up to 10 years in prison on charges of making a terroristic threat, but police said they do not think he is connected to the earlier bombings.

>> Man held in SXSW threat ruled out as bomb suspect, police say

On Sunday, police announced a $50,000 increase to the reward offered in exchange for any information leading to the arrest of the bomber behind three recent deadly explosions.

The increase, on top of $15,000 being offered by Gov. Greg Abbott and the $50,000 reward offered by police last week, brings the total reward amount to $115,000.

Police also said that they believe the incidents were intended to send a message and continued to plead for any information from the community.

“We don’t know what the ideology is behind this or what the motive is behind this,” Manley said.

– This article includes reports from Brandon Mulder, Mark D. Wilson, Tony Plohetski, John Bridges and Tom Labinski.

Lion Gate Estate: Bizarre $550K home with carpeted ceilings, vintage cars takes internet by storm

In the market for a whimsical $550,000 home with carpeted ceilings, vintage cars and statues lurking around every corner?


You'll still want to check out the now-viral listing for Detroit's Lion Gate Estate. Trust us.

>> See the listing here

"Unique barely begins to describe this one of a kind Grixdale Farms estate," reads the listing by Real Estate One's Alex Lauer. "Every aspect of 'Lion Gate Estate' has been articulated with painstaking attention to detail and mind blowing decorative flair. Too many custom features to list!"

And he's not kidding. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, owned by a former automotive designer, is the definition of "extra," with a "Liberace-inspired living room" and "museum-like" interior, Curbed reports

>> Read more trending news 

The listing continues: "Highlights include heated swimming pool with outdoor shower and cabana. Custom two car garage with hand painted automotive murals. Finished basement with billiard room and entertainment area. Fenced in yard with fountains and statuary. Sale includes full contents of the house, including Kohler Campbell baby grand player piano, mint condition Frigidaire kitchen appliances c. 1950. One of a kind custom built 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Sedan, One of a kind custom built 1974 Lincoln Mark IV Coupe, Custom pool table, countless automotive relics and artifacts. Once in a lifetime offering."

But if you want to take a tour, you'd better check the weather forecast first. "Only shown on sunny days," the listing warns.

>> Click here or scroll down to check out some photos of the home

Driver gets pulled over, presents fake Homer Simpson license to police 

Police could only say “D’oh!” after a driver was pulled over and presented a fake license with an image of iconic cartoon father Homer Simpson. 

>> Read more trending news

Thames Valley Police stopped the driver March 12 and were given the fake. 

The car was seized and the driver was cited for driving without insurance and driving without a license, according to police

Twitter users questioned the authenticity of the fake license, which did not even have the Simpson’s correct address -- 742 Evergreen Terrace.

Carcass of strange sea creature washes up on Georgia beach

A boater discovered a strange sea creature that washed ashore on a southeast Georgia beach. 

>> Read more trending news

Jeff Warren said he spotted the deceased animal Friday afternoon with his son at Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge in Golden Isles, Georgia. 

At first, Warren thought the creature was a dead seal, but upon further investigation, he described it as looking more like a "Loch Ness-type thing."

With its elongated neck and small head, the sea animal, in a way, appeared to look like an animal from prehistoric times. 

Action News Jax reached out to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more information on what kind of animal it could be.

Director Dan Ashe said some sea animals have a way of decomposing where they can resemble a Plesiosaur. 

Typically, he said, a 30-foot basking shark can decompose in a way where it looks like it has a long neck and tiny head, resembling a prehistoric creature.

3-year-old allegedly assaulted by her babysitter dies

A 3-year-old girl died Sunday, just days after her babysitter was indicted on charges of felonious assault and felony child endangering.

>> Read more trending news

Hannah Wesche was essentially “brain dead” at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, her father, Jason Wesche, previously said. She was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. Sunday he said in an update made later in the morning on a GoFundMe page.

As of 3:40 p.m. Sunday, the page had raised $8,332 of its $15,000 goal.

Lindsay Partin, who is accused of assaulting the 3-year-old child while in her care March 8, was free on bond Thursday after being arraigned on a felony indictment Thursday afternoon.

Partin, 35, of Hanover Township, was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on charges of felonious assault and felony child endangering. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens set her bond at $75,000 at the arraignment.

Partin was free on bond at 7:15 p.m. Thursday. She is scheduled to be back in court for a pretrial hearing on April 9.

Officials increase reward to $115,000 for information on Austin bombings

UPDATE 2:30 p.m. CDT Sunday: Austin police on Sunday announced a $50,000 increase in the reward offered in exchange for any information leading to the arrest of the bomber behind three recent deadly explosions.

>> Read more trending news

The increase, on top of $15,000 being offered by Gov. Greg Abbott and the $50,000 reward offered by police last week, brings the total reward amount to $115,000.

Police  continued pleading for information on the bombings from the community.

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said that the three bombing incidents within two weeks “were meant to send a message,” although they do not yet know what the bomber’s ideology and motives are.

“We’re hoping to encourage you to come forward with the addition of this tip money that’s now available,” Manley said. “The person or persons understand what that message is, and is responsible for constructing or delivering these devices, and we hope this person or persons is watching and will reach out to us before anyone else is injured or killed out of this even.”

Manley said the cooperation and support from federal partners has been “unprecedented.”

More than 500 agents between the police,  the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and FBI are involved in the investigation, he said. Agents have followed up on 435 leads that have resulted in 236 interviews.

Manley also described the process of the investigation, which includes 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. briefings every day. A command center, comprised of local and federal agents, has been set up to handle the deluge of tips. 

“The process is complex, but it is working for us as we go through all these tips,” he said.

Manley said officers have received 735 calls for suspicious packages as of Sunday.

On March 2, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House died after a package at his home in Northeast Austin detonated. Then, on March 12, police responded to two more package bombings in East Austin -- one that killed Draylen Mason, 17, and injured his mother, and a second attack at another home that sent a woman in her 70s to the hospital with serious injuries.

Manley said that woman is “still fighting for her life,” but would not give any further details on her condition.

Original story: Austin police and the FBI will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Sunday to announce an increase in the reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the three package bombs that have killed two people and injured a third in East Austin.

The news conference comes a day after a bomb threat at an East Austin music venue forced the cancelation of a South By Southwest show by The Roots.

Man held in SXSW threat ruled out as bomb suspect, police say

Austin police have ruled out a man charged with making an SXSW bomb threat as a suspect in a string of recent deadly bombings in East Austin that began March 2.

>> Read more trending news

“We do not believe he is involved in the string of package bombs,” Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said Sunday. “We looked into him and we are not thinking he is involved in this.”

Police on Saturday night arrested Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, and charged him with making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

>>The Roots' SXSW show canceled after bomb threat; man arrested

Manley said investigators have looked into Ingram’s threat and his background, but he declined to say other steps they have taken to rule him out.

“We have run him through the investigative process,” Manley said.

Police say the Fair Market in East Austin received a bomb threat at 4:23 p.m. Saturday, forcing the cancellation of an SXSW show by the Roots. Officers then checked the area but found nothing suspicious, officials said.

“In the interest of safety, (promoter) Bud Light made the decision to cancel the event,” according to a news release from the city of Austin early Sunday morning.

>> Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

Ingram’s sister, Brittany Ingram, declined to comment Sunday morning on her brother’s arrest, but told the American-Statesman that he is not responsible for three recent bombing attacks in Austin that killed two people and left a third with serious injuries.

>> Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say

The emailed threat comes as authorities investigate three package bombings at homes in the last few weeks.

On March 2, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House was seriously injured after a package at his home in Northeast Austin detonated. He later died in the hospital. Police at the time said it was an isolated incident and there was no danger to the public.

But that changed on March 12, when police responded to two more package bombings in East Austin. In the first bombing that day, Draylen Mason, 17, was killed, and his mother suffered injuries. A second attack at another home sent a woman in her 70s to the hospital with serious injuries.

Bobcat captured aboard ferry boat

A vessel in the Gateway Clipper fleet hosted an unexpected furry passenger on Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

Workers on The Empress found a bobcat aboard the boat Sunday morning, just before passengers were scheduled to board, according to the Post-Gazette.

Pittsburgh animal control officers safely captured the wild cat and plan to release it in a wildlife center in Verona.

Read the full story at the Post-Gazette.

Mississippi boy, 9, accused of shooting sister over argument about video game 

A 9-year-old Mississippi boy is accused of shooting his 13-year-old sister in the head after they had an argument over a video game, WTVA reported Sunday. 

>> Read more trending news

Moore County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell said deputies responded to the scene around 1 p.m. Saturday. 

Deputies said the boy allegedly had grabbed a gun when his sister would not give up the video game controller. Cantrell said the bullet penetrated the girl’s brain.

The teen was taken to Le Bonheur’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, where she is fighting for her life, deputies said.

This case is under investigation, WTVA reported/

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