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Who is NRA head Wayne LaPierre and what did he say at the CPAC meeting?

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre took the opportunity to slam Democrats Thursday during a speech at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference meeting, saying they only “want more restrictions on the law-abiding.” 

"They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security,” LaPierre said, a week after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. LaPierre told the audience that the NRA stood ready to provide guidance to schools free of charge on how to protect students. He took another dig at the Democrats and one at the news media saying what the NRA offered was “more” than anyone else has. 

"We share a goal of safe schools, safe neighborhoods and a safe country," LaPierre said. 

Later he told the crowd gathered at the annual meeting for conservatives that, "Evil walks among us” when speaking about school shootings. Just minutes before LaPierre spoke, President Donald Trump tweeted that he supports the NRA and the work LaPierre is doing. 

"What many people don't understand, or don't want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

Who is Wayne LaPierre? Here are a few things you may not know about him.  

  • Wayne Robert LaPierre Jr. was born on Nov. 8, 1949, in Schenectady, New York. His family moved to Roanoke, Virginia, when he was 5 years old. 
  • He was raised a Roman Catholic. 
  • He spent a good portion of his career as a lobbyist. 
  • He volunteered for the 1972 presidential campaign of Democrat George McGovern. 
  • He earned a master’s degree in government and politics from Boston College. 
  • He was on the boards of the American Association of Political Consultants, the American Conservative Union, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
  • LaPierre became executive vice president and chief executive officer of the NRA in 1991. The NRA has 5 million members. 
  • He once told a friend his dream job was to retire from the NRA and open an ice cream stand in Maine. 
  • He is married. His wife, Susan, is also involved in the NRA. 
  • He makes nearly $1 million a year in salary. 
  • He hosts a weekly syndicated television program called “Crime Strike.” In addition, he has a weekly podcast and offers a short broadcast on gun rights every weekday. LaPierre says he opposes universal background checks, an assault weapons ban (as it was proposed in 2013) and any limits to access to semi-automatic weapons by law-abiding Americans. 
  • He says he supports armed security guards in schools, creating a computerized universal mental health registry of those judged to be incompetent and Project Exile, which mandates severe sentences for all gun crimes, especially illegal possession. He is an author and has written several books on gun safety and gun rights.

Meatball pizza bowl comes to Olive Garden’s lunch menu

Olive Garden has added a pizza to its menu -- sort of.

Delish reported the Meatball Pizza Bowl is part of a new Lunch Duos menu, which offers an entree and unlimited soup or salad. The bowl, which is made of pizza dough, has similar toppings to the restaurant’s famous breadsticks. It has three cheeses -- Parmesan, mozzarella and Asiago, according to USA Today.

>> Read more trending news 

The price of the entree, which Thrillist reported is topped with 10 meatballs, starts at $6.99, although prices vary depending on the location.

The Meatball Pizza Bowl is available for lunch Monday through Friday before 3 p.m.

Father intentionally killed 5-year-old son, police say

father is in custody after police say he intentionally killed his 5-year-old son at a DeKalb County, Georgia, home Wednesday night.

>> Read more trending news

It was not immediately clear what led to the homicide or how the boy was killed.

According to police, the child lived at a home on Rocky Pine Drive in Lithonia with his grandmother. His parents drove from California for an unannounced visit Wednesday, authorities said.

The boy’s mother and grandmother left the home, returned and “learned that the child had been murdered,” police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell told WSBTV.

Three other children were inside the home at the time of the killing, but were not injured, the news station reported. 

Police have not released the names of the father and child.

"Right now, the father is in custody,” Campbell said. “He is a 25-year-old male.” 

Authorities continued to investigate the incident Thursday.

Stoneman Douglas town hall: 'We’re not a generation to stay silent'

Nicholas Hernandez was recounting the frightening moment he heard knocking on the door of his classroom at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.

“When we found out, this is not a drill,” Hernandez said late Wednesday night, “it’s almost like the world came crashing down and souls died in a way. It was a near-death experience. I’d like to think that keeping calm saved lives. But it was him. It was him at the door.”

>> Read more trending news

Hernandez and his friends saw things no student should that day. Hernandez is a 15-year-old freshman and a mass murderer took the lives of 17 of his friends and teachers.

And so Hernandez showed up at the BB&T Center for CNN’s televised town hall, hoping not only to show solidarity with classmates, but also to hear out two senators, a representative, a sheriff and a spokesperson for the NRA about what might change.

Like many of Hernandez’s Douglas classmates, he declared mixed feelings after the event, in which students, parents and teachers were among those who came face-to-face with policy-makers.

>> See coverage of the Broward County shooting from the Palm Beach Post

“I think that so many good points were aired, but the reactions from the government officials weren’t up to par,” Hernandez, 15, said. “I feel like they need to know what we need and how to give us what we need in an appropriate way. I think that the NRA official really needs to open her eyes and realize that if we continue with these policies and the way they are now, we are never going to receive change. And we’ll just continue to have these mass shootings.” 

Several students said they did not believe spokesperson Dana Loesch of the National Rifle Association or Senator Marco Rubio answered some direct questions in a direct manner.

“I am angry,” said Douglas freshman Haleigh Gross. “There weren’t a lot of questions answered completely. And a lot of questions were avoided. And that just makes me angry. I still want to know what can be done to keep the kids more safe in schools.”

>> Related: WATCH: Florida school shooting survivors perform emotional song at CNN town hall

“When they didn’t answer the questions directly and they kind of went off topic, that’s very frustrating,” Douglas junior Emily Bernstein said. “Especially since these people were brave enough to ask these questions, they should be willing to answer them.”

“More frustration than anything else, I would say,” Douglas freshman Olivia Blaker said. “Because many questions were not answered very clearly, simple yes or no questions.”

Several students said the most memorable moment of the night was when student Cameron Kasky asked Rubio if he would turn down future donations from the NRA. Rubio did not say he would.

“That really got me into my emotions,” Hernandez said. “Because I felt like as a government official, in this situation, especially in the state of Florida, it’s almost your obligation to say, ‘No, I will not accept donations.’ It would have made me feel better if he had said, ‘No, sorry, I am going to accept it.’ I would have been like, ‘OK, he needs their support.’ But instead of being direct with us, he simply dragged on and on and didn’t answer the question. And that infuriated me.”

>> Related: Marco Rubio faces a tough crowd during CNN's town hall for gun reform

Several students did say that they were a bit encouraged that Rubio at least appeared to show a bit of flexibility in potentially altering his stance on some gun control laws.

“I think some of the questions really opened up Rubio’s mind,” Douglas senior Jenna Korsten said. “I think you saw he was saying he’d compromise. The other lady (Loesch), I don’t think so. I don’t think she was open-minded at all. I think people kept booing her because she wasn’t open-minded. And wasn’t listening. There were people asking her questions and she just wasn’t giving an answer.”

Douglas freshman Kayla Sibble added, “I wish that the person from the NRA had answered the questions about if she thought guns were the problem. She totally deflected the question, in my opinion, and never answered it.”

Some students seem to realize how difficult a challenge it might be to see a ban on most or all semi-automatic weapons in the near future.

“They can do just as much harm as any other weapon,” Hernandez said. “And it just angers me that there are these lethal death weapons. These are not hunting weapons, they’re weapons to kill, and they are getting in the hands of a 19-year-old? If it was my choice, they wouldn’t be in the hands of anybody, except for law enforcement.”

>> Related: Hundreds of students walk out in mass protest, march to Parkland high school

Despite some frustrations, many students said they continue to believe they will be the group that finally ends the spate of mass school shootings. And they appreciated that CNN gave them an opportunity to continue to take their demands for change to the world.

“I feel powerful,” Bernstein said. “I feel like with all these people around me, we could really make a change. And I think that everyone had really good, quality questions. I think they definitely messed with the wrong city and the wrong school. Parkland and Marjory Stoneman Douglas are going to do something about this. We’re going to be the last people that this is going to happen to.”

“I am very positive about this,” Sibble said. “Because we’re not a generation to stay silent. We want action and we’re not going to stop until we get it.”

“I would say I’m really glad that this town hall happened, especially in such a big arena, where so many people could attend,” Hernandez said. “Because I think it gives the government, and the whole nation, since it was televised, a piece of what we need as a community. More shootings can happen. We really do need to see a change in this country.”

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is back with an app

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is back at some locations this week. 

USA Today reported on Wednesday that the fast-food restaurant has brought back the popular minty treat

>> Read more trending news 

This year, there is no other flavor. In 2017, the restaurant had four Shamrock Shake flavors outside of the mint one: frappe, chocolate, hot chocolate and mocha. Instead, McDonald’s is offering a Shamrock Shake Finder app on iOS and Android so customers can locate the popular dessert.

“Fans simply need to download the app and from there, locate participating restaurants locations, swap Shamrock Shake-themed stickers and raise a shake with friends to toast St. Patrick’s Day,” McDonald’s said of the app in a Feb. 12 news release. “In addition to helping fans find the nearest Shamrock Shake, the app also features a brand new camera mode, featuring an augmented reality (AR) experience for iPhone X.”

The Shamrock Shake was introduced in 1970 and is typically only available for a limited amount of time, disappearing around St. Patrick's Day.

Daylight saving time 2018: Seven things to know about ‘springing forward’

You may want to store up some extra sleep in the next few weeks because you are about to lose an hour of it.

Come March 11 at 2 a.m. most of America will be “springing forward” as daylight saving time kicks in, giving us another hour of sunlight.

Here’s a look at seven things you may not have known about daylight saving time.

  1. “Spring forward and fall back” is an easy way to remember how to set the clock when daylight saving times begins and ends. You set your clock forward one hour at 2 a.m. on March 11. You’ll set it back one hour at 2 a.m. on Nov. 4.
  2. In the United States, daylight saving time began on March 21, 1918. U.S. government officials reasoned that fuel could be saved by reducing the need for lighting in the home.
  3. Ancient agrarian civilizations used a form of daylight saving time, adjusting their timekeeping depending on the sun’s activity.
  4. Many people call it daylight savings time. The official name is daylight saving time. No ‘s’ on ‘saving.’
  5. Benjamin Franklin came up with an idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy.
  6. A standardized system of beginning and ending daylight saving time came in 1966 when the Uniform Time Act became law. While it was a federal act, states were granted the power to decide if they wanted to remain on standard time year-round.
  7. Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands do not observe daylight saving time.

Billy Graham funeral arrangements announced, public viewing scheduled

Funeral arrangements have been announced following the death of famed evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham. The well-known religious figure, who counseled several presidents and preached to millions of people worldwide, died Wednesday, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He was 99.

READ MORE: Photos: Billy Graham through the yearsPhotos: Notable deaths 2018Billy Graham quotes: He made Christian principles accessible to millionsBilly Graham named among 10 most admired men for 59th timeMORE 

McDonald’s brings back Szechuan sauce to ‘fully make amends’

McDonald’s acknowledged Wednesday morning that it botched last fall’s release of a cult favorite menu item and vowed to get it right this time, starting Feb. 26.

>> Read more trending news 

“Last October, we truly meant well when we brought back a super-limited batch of Szechuan Sauce, but it quickly became apparent we did not make enough to meet the expectations of our fans,” McDonald’s said in a Thursday news release. “We did not anticipate the overnight crowds, the cross-state travel and the amazing curiosity, passion and energy fans showed.”

“Our super-limited batch, though well-intentioned, clearly wasn’t near enough to meet that demand. We disappointed fans and we are sorry. To fully make amends, we felt it was important to not only bring back much more sauce this time, but to also admit our mistakes, answer questions and give fans access to the story behind the story.”

Related: Fan-demanded Szechuan sauce returning to McDonald’s for one day

Last year, McDonald’s announced a “one-time only, limited-edition” run of the sauce, which was first released in 1998 as a promotional tie-in with the release of Disney’s animated movie “Mulan.” Twenty years later, the sauce has a fan following, which was referenced in an episode of “Rick and Morty.” The limited batch was at a few McDonald’s locations Oct. 7.

When the day came, however, fans were left rejected. In some restaurants, customers only got one packet of sauce and in others, no sauce was available despite posters promising otherwise. Some customers were so upset that police had to be called to locations.

Related: McDonald’s customers get saucy over failed ‘Rick and Morty’ promotion

McDonald’s officials say this time will be different.

“We have hundreds of packets (of the sauce) per restaurant to satisfy that sauce craving, so we encourage customers to get ‘em while we’ve got ‘em, whether they come into the restaurant, use Mobile Order & Pay, or order through McDelivery on Uber Eats where it’s available,” Debbie Wright, a franchise owner for Dayton, Ohio, McDonald’s, said in a release.

“We’ve worked every day since October to bring back much, much, more of the sauce our fans have been craving,” the company said. “And we’re excited to announce that starting Monday, Feb. 26, 20 million packets of Szechuan Sauce will be available across all U.S. McDonald’s restaurants with a qualifying purchase, while supplies last (which this time around, we hope is a while).”

The sauce will be available starting at lunchtime on Monday. To obtain it, a customer must buy an item on the menu.

More information on the return of the sauce can be found at McDonald’s We Want The Sauce website.

#NationalChiliDay: These are the top 10 chili cities in the U.S.

Where should you celebrate National Chili Day? Officials with fast-food chain Wienerschnitzel, one of the world’s largest chili purveyors, have a few ideas.

A study by the company shows that residents of cities across the country love this classic comfort food as much or more than their Lone Star State counterparts.

>> Read more trending news

An internal analysis conducted by Wienerschnitzel in honor of National Chili Day on Feb. 22 named the top 10 chili cities in the United States. Residents in the top cities eat more chili per person than residents of other cities, have access to more restaurants known for their chili and are more likely to enter or attend a chili cook-off.

Among the top cities was San Antonio, Texas, the city credited with first popularizing chili in the 1890s.

According to Wienerschnitzel, the top 10 chili cities are:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Dallas
  3. Phoenix
  4. Houston
  5. San Francisco/Oakland
  6. Chicago
  7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  8. Springfield, Missouri
  9. Cincinnati
  10. San Antonio

“Despite being the official dish of Texas, chili has grown to become America’s dish,” said Doug Koegeboehn, chief marketing officer for Wienerschnitzel. “At Wienerschnitzel, we’ve known that for years. In fact, we’d like to think that there are really only two types of people in the world: chili lovers and those who still haven’t tasted really great chili yet.”

Steve Wilkos admits to lying about car crash, arrested on DUI charge

Steve Wilkos, a former security guard on “The Jerry Springer Show,” admitted that he lied about what really happened in a January car crash in Connecticut.

At the time of the Jan. 21 crash, Wilkos told TMZ he crashed after becoming distracted while reaching for his glasses. Just one month later, he confessed to the tabloid that he made the story up and admitted that the crash happened as a result of him driving under the influence of alcohol.

>> Read more trending news 

In January, Wilkos struck several poles and a tree before his vehicle rolled over. He was hospitalized and treated for minor injuries before being released. No other injuries were reported at the time.

People reported that Wilkos turned himself in on Wednesday after learning the Darien Police Department had a warrant out for his arrest. A news release from the Darien Police Department said a judge set bail for the TV talk show host at $1,500, which Wilkos posted that day and was released. The publication reports that his blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was .29 percent, which is over the legal limit.

Following the arrest, Wilkos issued a statement to TMZ.

“Over the course of my life, I have been struggling with bouts of depression and on the day of my accident, I had a complete lapse in judgment which resulted in me drinking and getting behind the wheel of my car,” the statement said. “This experience reinforces my commitment to get the professional help that I need and I have recently completed an intensive medically supervised program.”

Wilkos is set to appear in court March 5.

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