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

Survivors of last week's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, performed an emotional song Wednesday night to close a CNN town hall on gun control.

>> Watch the clip here

According to CNN, members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Drama Club wrote and performed the song, "Shine," at the event at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

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

"You're not gonna knock us down / We'll get back up again / You may have hurt us but I promise we are stronger and / We're not gonna let you win / We're putting up a fight / You may have brought the dark / But together we will shine a light," the chorus says.

Minutes earlier, Max Schachter read a poem titled "Life Is Like a Rollercoaster" by his son, Alex, who was killed in the shooting. 

>> Watch the reading here

>> Read more trending news 

The tributes followed a heated town hall moderated by CNN's Jake Tapper and featuring lawmakers from Florida, including Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch also participated in the event.

Don't try this at home: Top home repairs that aren't DIY

Everyone wants to feel self-sufficient, and even those with deep pockets find it's a good idea to stick to some kind of home maintenance budget. If you chuckled at the thought of having "deep pockets," you're probably even more concerned with controlling costs on the home front.

>> Read more trending news

But frugal isn't always better, even if you have monster DIY skills. "When it comes to doing your own home repairs, there's a thin line between being fearless and foolish," noted Joseph Truini of Popular Mechanics.

Sometimes you have to go all in with the home repair budget, whether it's to avoid bigger, more costly disasters, to assure home safety or to protect your investment. These are six times you should never skimp on home repairs, even if you must hire a pro to get the desired results:

Involved electrical work.

Feel free to install dimmer switches or replace an old ceiling light with a new ceiling fan, Truini advised. "Upgrading existing devices and fixtures is relatively easy and safe, as long as you remember to first turn off the electricity." But anything more complicated than that and it's time to call the pros (and heave a sigh as you get out your wallet). "When it comes to extending existing electrical circuits or adding new ones, call in an experienced, licensed electrician," he said. "When homeowners start messing around with electrical circuits and running new cables, there are two likely outcomes and both are potentially lethal: electrical shock and fire."A leaky roof.

Those drip-drips on the floor, even if it's only the attic floor, can indicate big problems for a homeowner who ignores them. They include possible structural damage, mold or loss of personal property, according to The Balance. "It's nothing to mess with. Address roof leaks as soon as you discover them, and you'll save yourself a ton of cash," it added.

Roof problems can be caused by weather, which can decay roof materials, or a simple lack of maintenance, which most commonly makes a flat or low-sloped roof uneven, so it accumulates water that can destroy roofing material. While a few adjustments can be made by an amateur, the most important roof area to inspect is the flashing, which is supposed to provide a watertight seal between your roof's sections and other parts of the building, according to The Balance. If you try to install, adjust or replace the flashing yourself, you're risking a disaster. "Incorrect installation procedure or attachment, and improper sealing of the flashing will allow the water to enter between the roofing systems and the roof structure."

If the problem is the roof's design, including the slope, drainage or incompatible materials, you should also get an expert roofer involved before the leaks start leaving impressive levels of destruction. While design adjustments are expensive to correct and have to happen while another roofing material is happening, ignoring them will cost many more do-overs and potential roof failures.

Defective water-based plumbing appliances.

Being a homeowner requires a little bit of DIY plumbing for the occasional leaky faucet, clogged drain or stopped-up toilet, according to the Louisville, Kentucky-based Tom Sondergeld Plumbing. "These basic projects can be finished in a couple of hours and don't require any specialized skill," the owner admitted.

But there are larger plumbing issues that can't be ignored, or tackled by a homeowner who's handy with the wrench. One time not to skimp is when a water heater, sump pump or other water-based appliance stops functioning properly. "When these appliances need maintenance or replacement, it can be an extensive process," TSP advised. "A licensed plumber can either repair or replace the appliance properly."

Standing water.

All jokes about hourly rates and attire malfunctions aside, sometimes a plumber's efforts can prevent out and out disasters. One of these instances is when you spot standing water in the house, according to TSP. (Mysterious standing water, that is, not the result of a recent large dog being bathed or a spill you recognize.) The standing water can be close to a water heater, toilet or sink, but the damage may be far more extensive. "A plumber can see if there is more than meets the eye," TSP said. "Typically, standing water is a sign of a much larger problem. Before you start digging into the issue, call a professional and let them use their expertise to diagnose and treat the issue before your home becomes a splash park."

A dirty chimney.

Due to the potential for fires and dangerous fumes, sweeping the chimney annually is not optional, according to the Balance. "Hire a professional chimney sweep once a year to make sure your chimney is free of creosote, bird nests and other flammables," the site recommended.

Clogged gutters.

It may not seem like something worth paying someone to climb up on the roof for, but clogged gutters, downspouts that don't direct away from the house and improper grading can all lead to drainage problems. "All of them put your home's foundation at risk and invite water indoors," noted The Balance. "Now, not later, is the time to tackle those rainwater woes."

Mysterious, unknown humming noise driving residents crazy for years

Residents of a Canadian town have been plagued with a bizarre humming noise for years and say it’s completely wreaking havoc on the city.

>> Read more trending news 

The persisting humming has been going on for years and has been described as a similar sound as a truck idling or distant thunder. Some residents even say that the noise has damaged their quality of life and people’s health. Residents have also called the Canadian House of Commons and complained of headaches, irritability, depression and sleeplessness from the noise.

Some residents even claim that the odd sound has been bothering their pets and has rattled windows in their homes.

But it’s not just limited to the city of Windsor, Ontario, either. The New York Times reports that it can be heard on the Detroit River and there have even been reports from McGregor, Ontario, 20 miles to the south.

>> Related: Guy’s ‘Why you should swipe righ’  PowerPoint presentation on Tinder works surprisingly well

But, tracing the origin of the noise has been difficult because, apparently, not everyone can hear it. It could also be difficult to get the government to do anything about the hum as regulations typically only cover decibel levels that could lead to hearing damage or loss. Though, Dr. Darius Kohan, a neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital said that it is unlikely a low-frequency hum could cause damage to one’s hearing.

Sleuths have been looking for answers as to where the hum is actually coming from and have reportedly narrowed it down to furnace operations on Zug Island near the Detroit River. United States Steel, which operates the furnaces, have allegedly been “uncooperative and secretive” when it comes to inquiries about the hum.

Though Mike Provost, a resident of the city refuses to give up and has devoted six years to running a Facebook page that focuses on finding the source of the hum and debunking theories about it.

>> Related: All aboard: Disney Cruise Line looks for workers to man its ship kid clubs

I’ve got to keep going,” he told the NYT. “I’m not going to quit this.”

Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say

The alleged gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week in Parkland, Fla., has an inheritance from his adoptive parents worth $800,000, according to news outlets.

>> Read more trending news 

But Nikolas Cruz, 19, who now has a public defender at taxpayer expense as his attorney in his murder case, cannot access the money until he turns 22, the Miami Herald reported.

Cruz was charged with 17 counts of murder last Thursday, a day after allegedly opening fire inside the high school with an assault-style rifle.

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

The large amount of money could prompt a judge to review the estate and possibly make the money accessible for Cruz’s defense.

The Public Defender’s Office asked a judge Tuesday to review the inheritance, the Herald reported,  to help determine if any of the money can be used in his defense.

The court filing specifically asked the judge to “determine whether the defendant is indigent.”

>> Related: Parkland students march at Capitol calling for tighter gun control laws

Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder in the deaths of 14 students and three adults, including teachers, in the deadly rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. More than a dozen others were injured in the massacre.

Cruz was caught shortly after the shooting in nearby Coral Springs, Fla., and taken into custody without incident.

He’s jailed without bond.

>> Related: Dallas Mayor pro tem tells NRA it can hold annual convention someplace else

DirecTV to raise NFL Sunday Ticket prices, angering fans 

DirecTV will increase the price of its NFL Sunday Ticket package by about 4 percent for the 2018 season.

The Tuesday announcement comes after DirecTV increased the price of the NFL Sunday Ticket basic package last year by 9.3 percent and the larger package by 5 percent.

>> Read more trending news 

The basic package for 2018 will be priced at $293.94, increasing from $281.94 last year, according to the DirecTV website. The larger package that includes the Red Zone Channel costs $395.94, up 4.5 percent from 2017, according to USA TODAY.

Here’s what NFL fans had to say about the increase:

Alabama police officer shot, killed; suspect dead

An Alabama police officer who was shot Tuesday night has died, authorities say.

>> Read more trending news 

Georgia’s law allows mentally ill to buy guns after 5 years

After the shooting deaths of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, the public’s attention has once again shifted to the role mental illness plays in mass shootings and the role the government can play in restricting gun sales to those with mental illness.

>> Read more trending news 

Each year, Georgia provides the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the records of thousands of Georgians who have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. Their names are added to the National Instant Background Check System that gun sellers check before a sale. 

Unlike all other states, Georgia has a law that requires the removal of names from that list after five years. 

What was the purpose of that law and how many Georgians are now eligible to buy a gun who otherwise could not?

Read the full story at myAJC.com.

Don’t lose your tax refund falling for this IRS scam, here’s how to avoid it

sneaky new scam involving tax refunds is spreading, and it means you need to keep a close eye on your bank account.

>> Read more trending news 

There are several variations of the scam: unexpected refund deposits to your bank account using compromised bank routing information, suspicious paper checks coming in the mail and, in one case reported in Maryland, it appeared a fraudulent refund check had been deposited using a smartphone. 

According to the IRS, the victim will then receive a call or recorded message saying they need to return the funds to a collection agency-which is actually the scam account. 

If you pay the scammers, you will get a double whammy hit to your bank account when the IRS or your bank realize that the deposit was bogus and withdraws the funds.

>> Related: Bon-Ton going-out-of-business sales start at stores this week

The number of victims jumped from a few hundred to a few thousand in just days, after more tax practitioner data breaches, according to the IRS.

The IRS has these recommendations to avoid getting scammed:

If you notice a suspicious deposit, contact your bank to have the money returned to the IRS and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. 

If you receive a paper check, write “void” in the endorsement field on the back and return it to the location printed on the check. 

>> Related: Chipotle testing new ‘trendy’ menu option 

If you mistakenly cashed the erroneous refund check, submit a check for the full amount to the IRS location near you. 

  • ANDOVER – Internal Revenue Service, 310 Lowell Street, Andover MA 01810
  • ATLANTA – Internal Revenue Service, 4800 Buford Highway, Chamblee GA 30341
  • AUSTIN – Internal Revenue Service, 3651 South Interregional Highway 35, Austin TX 78741
  • BRKHAVN – Internal Revenue Service, 5000 Corporate Ct., Holtsville NY 11742
  • CNCNATI – Internal Revenue Service, 201 West Rivercenter Blvd., Covington KY 41011
  • FRESNO – Internal Revenue Service, 5045 East Butler Avenue, Fresno CA 93727
  • KANS CY – Internal Revenue Service, 333 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City MO 64108-4302
  • MEMPHIS – Internal Revenue Service, 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis TN 38118
  • OGDEN – Internal Revenue Service, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., Ogden UT 84201
  • PHILA – Internal Revenue Service, 2970 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19104

Cinemark theaters banning large bags

As of Feb. 22, moviegoers at Cinemark theaters won’t be able to bring in big bags when they go catch a flick.

The movie theater chain announced a change to its bag and package policy, stating that no bags larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches will be allowed in theaters. will be allowed in cinemas.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Cinemark website, the decision was made “in an effort to enhance the safety and security of our guests and employees.”

Incidents of shootings and other threats have been present at movie theaters in recent years, which may have impacted the policy change.

Still, the limit on bag sizes also means customers can’t sneak in as many outside food or snacks, something some moviegoers do to avoid paying high theater prices.

Based out of Plano, Texas, Cinemark has locations across the country and in Latin America. Theaters are in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington, among other states.

Counting calories isn't key to weight loss, study finds

It’s often considered common knowledge that in order to lose weight, you should start by reducing your calorie intake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even advises individuals trying to lose weight to keep a calorie tracking journal.

But new research finds losing weight is more about diet quality than calorie quantity.

>> Read more trending news

The findings, published this week in the academic journal JAMA, showed that dieting individuals who reduced their consumption of added sugars, highly processed foods and refined grains while focusing on increasing their vegetables and whole foods, lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year without counting calories or limiting the size of portions.

>> Related: Best way to lose weight with the most minimal effort

"The unique thing is that we didn't ever set a number for them to follow," Dr. Christopher D. Gardner, director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and lead researcher, told The New York Times. Instead of putting limits on calorie intake, Gardner said researchers instructed participants to focus on eating as much whole or "real" foods as they needed to avoid feeling hungry.

Moe than 600 individuals participated in the study, which was backed with $8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and other groups.

>> Related: How to lose weight: Take a break from your diet for 2 weeks, study suggests

While the study focused primary on diet, the participants were also given 22 health education classes and were encouraged to meet standard guidelines for physical activity.

Gardner designed the study with fellow researchers to examine how overweight and obese people would compare when consuming low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. The recruited individuals -- who hailed from northern California -- were split into two groups: "healthy" low-carb and "healthy" low-fat. Both groups attended courses led by dietitians who instructed them to consume minimally processed and nutrient-rich whole foods. They also encouraged participants to cook at home on a regular basis.

>> Related: Eating too fast could be making you fat, study says

Individuals in the low-fat group were told to eat foods such as brown quinoa, fresh fruit, legumes, rice, barley, steel-cut oats, lentils, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Although soft drinks, fruit juice, white rice and white bread may technically be low in fat, participants were told to avoid these, as they are highly processed or contain added sugars. The low-carb group was advised to eat foods such as avocados, hard cheeses, vegetables, olive oil, salmon, nut butter, and grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.

"We told everybody they should buy whole foods. Nobody should have foods with refined sugar. They suck," Gardner told NBC News.

>> Related: 4 drinks that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts

"Also, we advised them to diet in a way that didn't make them feel hungry or deprived -- otherwise it's hard to maintain the diet in the long run,” he said.

After one year, both groups demonstrated significant weight loss even though they didn't worry about their calorie intake. Those in the low-fat group lost about 11.7 pounds on average, while the members of the low-carb group lost a little more than 13 pounds. Individuals in both groups also showed improvements in other important health markers such as reduced body fat, lower blood sugar, improved blood pressure levels and decreased waist size.

"This is the road map to reducing the obesity epidemic in the United States," Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who was not involved in the new study, told The New York Times. "It's time for the U.S. and other national policies to stop focusing on calories and calorie counting."

>> Related: New anti-obesity drug could help you get rid of fat without dieting

Beyond calorie counting, the study contradicted the increasingly popular theory that diets should be catered to an individual's genetics. According to U.S. News and World Report, previous research has suggested that certain genes or an individual's insulin levels could interact with different diets to affect weight loss.

This new study showed no significant difference when filtering for such factors. Weight loss among the participants was found to be the same, regardless of genetics, insulin levels or diet type.

>> On AJC.com: 12 weight-loss secrets from Atlantans who shed 100-plus pounds 

"The bottom line: Diet quality is important for both weight control and long-term well-being," Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, told The New York Times.

Read the new research at jamanetwork.com

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