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Georgia woman campaigns for sheriff who shot her

A Georgia sheriff has received an unusual endorsement in his bid for re-election.

Victor Hill, who is running for sheriff against four other competitors, accidentally shot Gwenevere McCord last year, yet she threw her support behind him in a 12-second robocall to county voters late last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported

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“Hi! This is Gwenevere McCord and on May 24 I will be voting for Sheriff Victor Hill because he’s the most effective sheriff this county has ever had. Please join my family and I and vote Sheriff Victor Hill,” the Jonesboro resident said in the recording.

It is believed to be the first time McCord, who was critically injured in the shooting, has publicly made any statement about Hill, who is seeking a third term as sheriff.

McCord was shot May 3 while Hill was demonstrating police maneuvers to her at a Gwinnett County model home where McCord worked as a real estate broker at the time.

McCord and Hill were the only two people inside the home at the time of the shooting. McCord was shot in the abdomen and had numerous surgeries and other procedures. She lost a kidney, spleen and part of her large intestine as a result of the shooting, her father Ernest McCord said previously.

Hill was charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor.

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The head of the county Democratic party said McCord’s endorsement seems to show there’s no bad feelings between the two.

“She said it was an accident and now she’s proving that by endorsing him,” said Pat Pullar, chairwoman of the Clayton County Democratic Party and a political consultant.

Nonetheless, another political observer called the endorsement “unusual” in a political career marked by setbacks and comebacks.

“It’s unusual that a sheriff would have shot someone other than carrying out his responsibility as sheriff,” said Charles Bullock, professor of political science at The University of Georgia. “And it is unusual that the victim would turn around and say ‘although he shot me, he’s a great person to return to office’.

With four other challengers in the race, the crowded field may “suggest that a number of people view Sheriff Hill as vulnerable,” Bullock said.

Donald Trump in Dayton

Whole Foods recalls cheese because of listeria risk

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Whole Foods is doing a voluntary recall of Maytag Raw Milk Blue Cheese due to a possible listeria contamination, FDA officials said Monday.No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recall, officials said, although the potential contamination was discovered after testing in Iowa. Customers who have bought the cheese are encouraged to throw it away and bring their receipt into a Whole Foods store for a full refund, officials said.

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The listeria monocytogenes organism can cause serious infections in young children, elderly people and others with low immune systems.

Super Tuesday highlights

A look at who won and who lost on Super Tuesday. Staff video by Anthony Shoemaker.

Steelers’ Harrison on board cruise that rescues stranded rafters in Gulf of Mexico

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Steelers linebacker James Harrison has spent the past few days on social media sharing images from the Legends of Pittsburgh cruise. 

However, the images he took Saturday went viral when the cruise ship he and other Pittsburgh athletes are aboard stopped to help rescue 16 people stranded on a raft in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We just stopped for this boat with 16 people in the middle of the ocean. Waiting for coast guard now,” Harrison wrote in one post.

We just stopped for this boat with 16 people in the middle of the ocean. Waiting for coast guard now.Posted by James Harrison on Saturday, February 27, 2016

Carnival Cruise Line spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz said the Carnival Sensation found the migrants, 15 men and one woman, about 50 miles north of Cuba and brought them aboard.

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Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said they would be turned over to Mexican immigration officials at the ship's next stop, Cozumel.

16ppl, wild!!!Posted by James Harrison on Saturday, February 27, 2016

According to the cruise’s website, the ship set sail Thursday and is to have guests including current and former Steelers Harrison, Antonio Brown and Rocky Bleier, as well as former Pirates player Manny Sanguillen and several former Penguins.

Charity presents surprise gift to student with cerebral palsy seen in video being kicked

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A Penn Hills teen with cerebral palsy, who was seen in a video posted to social media being kicked to the ground at school by a student, has had a lot of people show him support.

On Friday, another person stepped forward, wanting to help Isaiah Wooding.

Sherry Croney, the owner of True Image Tattoos in New Kensington, asked the teen to stop by her shop Friday for a surprise.

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“I spoke to his mother and found out what his favorite thing to do was. I thought he maybe had a favorite sports team or something like that, and she told us he really loves to watch wrestling,” Croney said.

She went and bought Isaiah, 16, a package of tickets to see the WWE wrestlers when they come to Pittsburgh in March. She obtained the tickets through a charity she runs in the name of her husband, Kevin Croney, who was killed in March 2015.

It was a welcomes gift for Isaiah, who was recently the target of bullying. 

A student recorded video of another student kicking Isaiah, knocking the 16-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, to the ground earlier this month in the hallways of Penn Hills high School. The footage was posted to Facebook and went viral.

None of that though was on his mind Friday as he accepted the generous gift.

“It's pretty amazing. I'm speechless. Truthfully told, I'm speechless,” Isaiah said.

Penn Hills police charged the 17-year-old seen in the video kicking Isaiah with simple assault. 

Air Force unveils image of top secret stealth bomber

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The Air Force has revealed an image of the B-21, a highly secretive, next-generation stealth bomber designed to replace an aging fleet of older planes flying missions around the world.

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James unveiled the illustration Friday for the first time at an Air Force Association convention in Orlando, Florida.

“We have an image. We have a designation, but here’s what we don’t have,” she told the audience. “We don’t yet have a name.”

James called on airmen and others to suggest names for the stealthy aircraft under development it had previously been known simply as the Long Range Strike-Bomber, or LRS-B.

“The main reason for releasing this picture is to make the program real for legislators, who, up to now, have seen it as kind of an abstraction or concept rather than a concrete item,” said Loren B. Thompson, a senior defense analyst with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute and a defense industry consultant.

The Air Force could buy between 80 to 100 of the Northrop Grumman bombers, which resemble the bat-winged B-2 Spirit.

Costs are not finalized, but the program could reach up to $80 billion by one estimate when research and development and procurement are factored in.

Designated as the first “21st century bomber,” the B-21 eventually would replace the workhorse B-52 Stratofortress, first flown in the 1950s, and the swing-wing B-1 Lancer, launched in the 1980s. The new bomber jet would join the fleet in the mid-2020s.

Congressional legislators will scrutinize the secretive bomber, because the Air Force cannot afford all the new weapons programs targeted in future years, Thompson said.

“The Air Force is trying to bolster the case for its new bomber in a Washington political culture that is suspicious of anything secret,” he said. “Sen. John McCain’s statement this week that he would oppose open-ended funding of the bomber’s development underscores the political challenge the Air Force faces.”

McCain, R-Ariz., is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The new design corrects issues with the B-2 that rendered it more detectable in some situations, Thompson added.

“The only thing an adversary can learn from looking at this picture (of the B-21) is that most of their existing radars are going to be useless in being able to detect it,” he said.

The B-21 design was chosen over a rival Boeing and Lockheed Martin team to build the next generation jet. Boeing filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office last year over losing the contract, but the GAO this month upheld the Air Force selection of Northrop Grumman.

The Air Force also bypassed the Fighters and Bombers Directorate, headquartered at Wright-Patterson, and gave oversight of the secretive plane’s research and development to the Rapid Capabilities Office in Washington, D.C.

The new stealth bomber would be built to fly from the continental United States and penetrate increasingly sophisticated air defenses of potential adversaries, Air Force officials have said.

“What you see in the artist’s rendering released by the Air Force is all the electronic items that will help make the plane lethal and survivable — items like an agile radar, passive sensors and a jamming system,” Thompson said.

Why students don't have to stand for Pledge of Allegiance in Florida

Compiled from Associated Press and Florida News Service reports.

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Students excused from having to daily recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Florida public schools would no longer have to stand and hold their hands over their heart either, under a bill that is headed to the House floor.

The House Education Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill (HB 1403) that would change how students are notified of their right to skip the daily pledge and what the excused student must do during the pledge.

Current law requires schools to conspicuously post a notice, telling students they don’t have to recite the pledge if a parent asks in writing for a student to be excused. The law also requires excused students to still stand and hold their hands over their hearts while the pledge is recited.

The bill would allow the notice to instead be placed in a student handbook, and excused students would no longer be required to stand or hold their hands over their hearts.

The bill was filed after a parent of a child at a Panhandle school told the school district it was not following notice requirements. A Senate companion bill has not yet been heard in the first of its three required committees.

Are your contacts putting you at risk for infection by parasite?

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A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicates that more than one million people who wear contact lenses are likely putting themselves at greater risk for infection by a parasite that feeds on eyeballs.

"I'm 57 years old, you know, and I never thought I'd end up at a point where I would have to lose an eye," Oze McCallum told WSB.

McCallum’s right eye was frosted and deformed, even after three previous surgeries.

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His infected eye will be surgically removed in a matter of days.

He’s a victim of a tiny organism seen only with a powerful microscope. It's called an acanthameoba.

"Is it feeding?" asked Strickland.

"Oh yeah. It's alive. It's a parasite that's actually feeding on my eye," he replied. "I've cried over it and I've been angry over it. I've shaken my fist and said, 'Why is this happening to me?'"

McCallum is suffering from an infection called acanthamoeba keratitis. Doctors are convinced his contact lens was the parasite's welcome mat.

"Do a lot of contact lens wearers know this risk is out there?" Strickland asked eye surgeon Barry Lee.

"Absolutely not," said Lee.

Lee reports an alarming increase is the number of acanthamoeba infections. He suspects too many patients are spending too much time wearing their lenses.

"Eyes were not made to have foreign bodies in them all the time,” Lee said.

CDC researcher Dr. Jennifer Cope published a stunning report in August which documents contact lens wearers' risky behavior.

Fifty percent of those surveyed said they'd slept overnight in their contacts. In addition, 85 percent have showered in them and 35 percent actually rinsed their lenses in common tap water.

"Even household tap water, although treated to be safe for drinking, is not sterile and contains microorganisms that can contaminate lens cases and contact lenses and cause eye infections," reads the report.

"Maybe my story can help somebody else not have to go through what I'm going through," said McCallum.

The CDC recommends proper contact lens handling practices, including "keeping all water away from contact lenses, discarding used disinfecting solution from the case and cleaning with fresh solution each day, and replacing their contact lens case every three months."

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