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Filmmakers visiting Atlanta robbed of $50K in equipment while at dinner

Three filmmakers visiting Georgia lost more than $50,000 in equipment when their rental car was burglarized and robbed Thursday night, Atlanta police said. 

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According to an incident report obtained Friday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the men were eating dinner at the time of the theft. A few hours after loading the equipment into the car, the men returned to find one of the back car windows smashed, police said.

The thieves stole the professional equipment as well as personal items belonging to each of the men, according to police.

Officers collected blood from the broken window and are still searching for a suspect. 

The victims were in town to shoot photos of Atlanta for Tantra, a production company headquartered in Colorado.

 

Oregon man wins lottery jackpot with 'mistake ticket'

A convenience store clerk last week offered an Oregon man a chance to buy two lottery tickets that were printed by mistake. The man bought one and left, then thought better of it and returned to buy the other one.

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It was a decision for which he would be richly rewarded.

That second ticket Charles Svitak bought June 16 at a 7-Eleven store earned him a $7.3 million payday in Oregon’s Megabucks game, KDRV reported.

"When I checked the ticket on my computer I couldn't believe it," Svitak told The Oregonian. "The first thing I thought is that I had worked my last graveyard shift."

Svitak, who works in Medford, took the lump sum option, which was for $3.65 million, KDRV reported.

Patrick Johnson, public affairs officer at the Oregon Lottery, told the Oregonian that the tickets were not Quick Picks, where numbers are randomly generated by the computer.

Svitak did not tell his wife about the winnings. He went to Salem to get the check and then bought a truck.

"On the way home I got a new truck and put the oversized check they gave me on the windshield," Svitak told the Oregonian

Svitak showed his wife the check and truck when he returned home.

"She hasn't stopped giggling since," Svitak told KDRV.

French priest who slapped child during baptism ceremony retires

The French Catholic priest who slapped a 2-year-old boy during a baptism ceremony said he regretted his decision and announced his retirement, The Daily Mail reported.

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A video of Father Jacques Lacroix, 89, went viral after Sunday’s baptism ceremony in the southeastern suburbs of Paris.

Reddit user posted video that showed a clearly irritated Lacroix using his left hand to slap the child. The video also was posted on YouTube.

The furor caused the priest to resign.

>> Watch: Priest slaps crying baby during baptism ceremony

“I apologized for my clumsiness to the family. I am finishing my ministry now, it was my last baptism,” Lacroix said. “There is an end to everything.”

During the video, Lacroix tells the child to “Calm down, calm down, you must calm down.” He tells the boy to be quiet before squeezing the boy’s face in his hands, the Daily Mail reported.

The priest then stared at the boy before using his left hand to slap him.

The boy’s parents and family reacted immediately, with the child’s father wrestling him away from the priest, the Daily Mail reported.

Lacroix Jacques denied the slap was too hard, telling France Info radio on Friday that “It was somewhere between a caress and a slap, I hoped to calm him down, I didn't know what to do.”

“The child was screaming a lot and I had to turn his head to pour water over it.

I told him to ‘calm down, calm down,’ but he was not calming down,” Lacroix said. “I tried to hold him close. I just wanted him to calm down.”

The bishop of Meaux, Jean-Yves, told the Daily Mail that he had “taken measures so that the priest is suspended from all baptism and marriage celebrations.”

Woman accused of embezzling more than $150,000 from a doctor's office

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting a woman for eight counts of embezzlement.

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Officials said Ciera Garvin, 31, embezzled $153,000 from the doctor’s office where she worked over a period of seven years.

Garvin turned herself in to the Tulsa County Jail.

Investigators said the doctor noticed on her tax forms that Garvin made too much money and said she discovered Garvin had altered her hours to overpay herself by $8,000 to $10,000.

Investigators said based on a forensic audit, they believe Garvin skimmed all the cash co-payments from patients and kept them rather than depositing them, along with co-payments made via credit and debit cards.

Police said Garvin had been doing it since at least 2011.

Fraud detectives said they believe it’s a growing problem and have arrested at least five office managers from doctors’ offices for embezzlement over the past few years.

A few months ago, the Tulsa Police Department fraud unit teamed up with the Tulsa Attorney General’s Office to have them prosecute some of the repeat offenders and larger cases. TPD said this case involved such a large amount of money that it was the first case in the partnership that the AG’s Office will prosecute.

Garvin has bonded out of jail. Her attorney, Chad Greer, said they have no comment.

Giant spoon erected in front of pharmaceutical company to protest opioid addiction

A giant spoon was left in front of a pharmaceutical company in protest by a Connecticut artist.

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The 800-pound, 11-foot-long steel spoon symbolizes a much heavier burden for two artists.

"A symbol of the negative emotion I felt of the opioid addiction of my brother, Danny," Westwood native Domenic Esposito said. "For the last 14 years, we have been dealing with it.”

Esposito traveled to Connecticut to work with art gallery owner Fernando Alvarez to make the sculpture, and then move it to the front of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut.

“I’ve gotten a lot of tweets and messages about this," Esposito said. "Everyone knows what the missing spoon is who has family members that were affected by this.”

Earlier in June, Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against Purdue on behalf of the state.

The lawsuit accuses the maker of oxycontin of illegally promoting the use of opioids and misrepresenting the risks of addiction and death connected to the drug.

It was the first lawsuit that also names the drug maker's executives and directors.

Purdue has denied the allegations and released a statement on the protest.

“We share the protestors’ concern about the opioid crisis, and respect their right to peacefully express themselves," the protest said.

Gallery owner Fernando Alvarez said the crimes are never punished, and changes need to occur.

"No one ever goes to jail for these things and that’s why the epidemic continues to happen," Alvarez said. "We are talking about real lives.”

Alvarez ended up in handcuffs on Friday for a minor charge of obstructing free passage. 

City workers using heavy equipment hauled away the giant spoon, but the two men hope the weight of the message stays.

The spoon will become a part of the exhibit at the Alvarez Gallery in Stamford.

12-year-old's invention for detecting plastics in oceans getting national recognition

A 12-year-old girl from Andover, Massachusetts, is getting a big prize and national recognition for her invention to clean up the world's oceans.

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Anna Du is one of 10 finalists for the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her work on an invention that detects microplastics in bodies of water without disturbing plants or animals.

"One day when I was at Boston Harbor, I noticed there was a lot of plastics on the sand," Du said. "I tried picking some up, but there seemed to be so many more, and it just seemed impossible to clean it all up."

Du, a lover of marine animals, decided to take action.

She began work on an underwater device that uses infrared light to detect harmful microplastics in the ocean.

Her invention is now gaining national attention as a finalist in the challenge.

As a finalist, Du will get a chance to work with one of 3M's scientists to take her invention from detecting plastic in her backyard, to detecting it in the world's oceans.

"Science has always been a big part of my life," Du said. "I'm super excited to make something that can actually help the world."

Du wants to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study marine-related science.

She and the other nine finalists will take part in the final competition in October at the 3M Innovation Center in Saint Paul.

Men use blanket to attack woman inside department store, police say

Police in Georgia are searching for two men who beat and shoved a woman to the floor inside a popular department store in Gwinnett County. 

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The victim told police that the men threw a blanket over her head and then attacked her inside a Ross department store on Stone Mountain Highway.

Dina Bingham said she was shopping on May 12 when she felt a blanket over her head. She said two men started shaking her and shoving her around.

Gwinnett police released a surveillance photo of the two suspects, with one carrying a blanket they used in the alleged attack. 

Bingham said she fought back and forced the men to run out of the store.

"I can't get into the mind of a criminal, I don't know but what I do know is the store could have handled it differently,” Bingham said.

After this experience, Bingham said there needs to be protections in place for shoppers. 

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call police.

This is how much coffee can keep your heart healthy, study says

Scientists believe coffee has several benefits, including protection against liver disease and diabetes. It also may be able to protect your heart, according to a new report.

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Researchers from health institutions in Germany recently conducted a study, published in the PLOS Biology journal, to explore the link between coffee and heart health.

To do so, they used data from a previous study that examined 400,000 people. They also observed caffeinated mice as well as human tissues doused in caffeine. 

They found that caffeine helps a special regulatory protein called p27 travel to the mitochondria, an organelle in cells that produce energy.

The protein was found in the mitochondria of several of the major cells in the heart and helped enhance the function of the mitochondria. It also aided in the protection of the cardiovascular cells.

“In these cells, mitochondrial p27 promoted migration of endothelial cells, protected heart muscle cells from cell death, and triggered the conversion of fibroblasts into cells containing contractile fibers - all crucial for repair of heart muscle after myocardial infarction,” the authors explained.

Upon further investigation, they determined that four cups of coffee can trigger those chain of events that keep your heart from damage. 

“Our results indicate a new mode of action for caffeine," the team said, "one that promotes protection and repair of heart muscle. These results should lead to better strategies for protecting heart muscle from damage, including consideration of coffee consumption or caffeine as an additional dietary factor in the elderly population.” 

This isn’t the first study that has uncovered a positive link between caffeine and heart health. 

Earlier this year, researchers in Austria published a study that assessed the data of more than 360,000 people with heart issues. They discovered that caffeine may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia that causes an irregular heartbeat.

Sally Yates to lead Minneapolis ketamine investigation

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is headed to Minneapolis.

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Yates has been hired by the city of Minneapolis to lead the investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department encouraged Hennepin County medical responders to sedate people with the powerful drug ketamine.

A city report obtained by KARE 11 found that in several cases, patients had to be revived after receiving the drug. The Office of Police Conduct Review found 62 recorded ketamine injections in response to Minneapolis police calls in 2017. In 2012, the recorded number of ketamine injections was three, KARE 11 reported.

Yates will conduct an independent review, focusing on the communication between the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County medical responders, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced in a news release.

9,000 barrels of bourbon crash to ground during Kentucky distillery collapse

A building collapse at the Barton 1792 distillery in Kentucky Friday morning caused thousands of barrels of bourbon to crash to the ground.

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Emergency officials told WLKY that approximately 9,000 barrels of bourbon were affected. The building houses about 20,000 barrels.

There were no injuries, The Courier-Journal in Louisville reported.

Officials were assessing the damage and attempting to determine whether any of the bourbon leaked into the ground or nearby water sources, WLKY reported. Officials have not determined a cause for the collapse. Crews worked to secure the building to prevent further damage.

A barrel can hold 53 gallons of bourbon and weigh about 550 pounds, WLKY noted. 

The Barton 1792 distillery is owned by the Sazerac company, which is based in New Orleans, The Courier-Journal reported.

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