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$10K reward offered for information in case of missing CDC employee

The family of a missing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worker has partnered with Crime Stoppers to offer a reward for information in the case.

>> Watch the news report here

Timothy Cunningham, 35, was reported missing Feb. 16 after he called in sick to work Feb. 12 and has not been seen or heard from since, according to Atlanta police.

>> Father of CDC employee missing 10 days says disappearance 'not normal'

Police said Cunningham's parents went to his home and found his wallet along with several other belongings.

Police said Saturday that they have not been able to locate Cunningham, and they are asking for the public's help.

"This is an appeal to the public. Anyone who has seen Tim, or may know anything about his whereabouts, we're seeking your help in bringing Tim back safe to us," Cunningham's father, Terrel Cunningham, said.

>> Read more trending news 

Cunningham's family and Crime Stoppers are offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and indictment in the case. Police said that at this time they do not have any evidence of foul play, but it is their practice to explore any and every possibility in a case such as this one.

Anyone with information on the case should contact Atlanta police or Crime Stoppers.

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat pay tribute to Florida school shooting victims, survivors

The Miami Heat held a touching pregame tribute Saturday for the those affected by the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

>> Florida school shooting survivor's mother says her family has received death threats

Members of the Heat and Memphis Grizzlies gathered at midcourt to hold a large Stoneman Douglas banner while Dwyane Wade addressed the crowd.

“Tonight, we honor the 17 lives that were tragically lost in Parkland,” Wade said. “We applaud the fearless students that are fighting for their lives. We also make sure that their voices are heard around gun safety. You are our nation’s inspiration. We salute you and we support you.”

>> Florida sheriff rejects calls from state lawmaker for his ouster after Parkland school shooting

The Heat, who on Friday debuted a uniform patch to honor the victims, then honored each of the 17 victims on the video screen before Alex Wind, a Stoneman Douglas student and member of the school’s drama club, sang the national anthem.

>> Watch his national anthem performance here

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s an absolute honor for us to wear these patches,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before Friday’s game in New Orleans. “I know I speak for everybody in that locker room and everybody in the organization, we are so very inspired by the leadership and courage and absolute fearlessness of the kids and young men and women at Stoneman Douglas. It’s such a tragic event, but we hear their voices, loud and clear. And we are behind them and this is only the start.”

Florida school shooting survivor's mother says her family has received death threats

The mother of Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg is speaking out after her family received death threats because her son and another survivor were accused of being crisis actors.

>> Florida sheriff rejects calls from state lawmaker for his ouster after Parkland school shooting

Hogg and fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have made frequent media appearances to call for action on gun control after police say Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others in a Valentine’s Day massacre.

>> Delta latest company ending discounts, benefits for NRA members

The students have since become the center of a false conspiracy theory claiming that they are actually actors who are coached before television appearances.

>> Teachers to Trump: #ArmMeWith funding, supplies and resources, not guns

Rebecca Boldrick, Hogg’s mother, told The Washington Post that her family has received death threats since the conspiracy theories started surfacing, saying, “I’m under so much stress.”

“I’m angry and exhausted,” she added. “Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”

>> Read more trending news 

The student has said he's not a “crisis actor” but rather someone who witnessed a tragedy.

“It’s annoying. I hate it. But it’s part of American democracy,” Hogg said in an interview with the Post. “Am I an actor? No. Am I a witness? Yes.”

Florida sheriff rejects calls from state lawmaker for his ouster after Parkland school shooting

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel attacked Rep. Bill Hager’s call for his ouster as “riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip and falsehoods,” in a response issued late Saturday night.

>> Read more trending news 

State. Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday calling on him to remove Israel for “neglect and incompetence” over the handling of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.

Israel said Hager falsely claimed the school resource officer and three other Broward Sheriff deputies were on campus during the shooting and took cover. Deputy Scot Peterson, of suburban Boynton Beach, was the only one on the campus at the time of the attack, Israel wrote in his own letter to Scott.

>> Related: State Rep. urges FL Gov. Rick Scott to oust Broward sheriff over Parkland shooting

Peterson resigned Thursday after he was suspended without pay and faced likely termination. An initial investigation showed he was outside the building where the shooting took place but didn’t enter for at least four minutes. Peterson received active shooter training but did not follow protocols, Israel said.

CNN reported Friday that when Coral Springs police arrived at the school, three other Broward deputies were outside the building but did not go in. Coral Springs received the 911 call and was dispatched to the active shooter incident before the call was transferred to BSO dispatch, according to Israel. Those Coral Spring officers entered the building, followed by more Coral Springs officers and Broward deputies.

>> Related: Parkland victim’s dad: My daughter will be last kid murdered in school

Israel also accused Hager of falsely claiming Broward Sheriff deputies visited Nikolas Cruz’s home 39 times. There were 23 calls for service involving Cruz, who confessed to the shooting, or his family. Eighteen involved Cruz directly, and the rest involved his brother, according to the sheriff.

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch repeatedly said there were 39 calls to Cruz’s home during a CNN town hall Wednesday.

None of them were offenses that warranted arrest, according to the sheriff. Most were “routine parenting issues,” such as the brothers fighting or one of them banging pool equipment against the house, according to Israel.

>> Related: Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Two encounters are still under review. In a subsequent incident at school, the school resource officer referred Cruz to the Department of Children and Families, and he received mental health counseling, DCF supervision and medication for 2 1/2 months before DCF closed the case, according to the sheriff.

The BSO deputy who handled the call that’s still under internal investigation referred the person who reported the issue to Palm Beach County law enforcement, because Cruz had moved.

Lastly, Israel said Hager was wrong to criticize the sheriff’s office for being under review in the past, specifically after the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting. All police agencies perform self-assessments after any major incident so they know how they can do better, Israel said. The problems to which Hager referred were identified by BSO itself, he said.

>> Related: Florida school shooting timeline: Seven minutes, three floors and 17 dead

The sheriff’s office caught the killer in the Fort Lauderdale Airport attack within 80 seconds of the first shot being fired, Israel said.

Israel was elected in 2012 and 2016.

Student boxer dies in amateur charity event, after collapsing during fight

Tennessee college student died in the middle of an amateur boxing match Friday night in Knoxville, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news 

University of Tennessee junior Tanner Wray, 20, collapsed on the mat as he was walking to his corner in the second round of his fight in the 38th annual Ace Miller Memorial Boxing Tournament.

Wray, an aerospace engineering and science student from Lawrenceburg, Tenn., was boxing in the ninth bout of the night and appeared to be winning the fight according to a boxing official that was ringside.

The rest of the event, which is organized by Knoxville Golden Gloves, was canceled.

Wray, a former high school quarterback, was fighting for the Chi Phi fraternity, of which he was the Vice President.

Wray was given immediate medical attention, but attempts to revive him appeared to be unsuccessful according to eyewitnesses, and he was transported to UT Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

It did not appear any major punches were landed, witnesses say.

The following statement from Knoxville Golden Gloves was published by Boxingweekend.com:

With great sadness, we remember Joseph Tanner Wray and his family and the tragic loss that occurred on Friday, February 23, 2018. The entire Golden Gloves family is heartbroken by his passing and extend our most heartfelt condolences to all that knew and loved Tanner. 

Over the last 50 years, Knoxville Golden Gloves has worked to keep boxers safe and to avoid any serious injuries in over 6,000 amateur boxing bouts. 

On February 23rd, after the end of the second round, Tanner collapsed. Within seconds, a team of 11 medical professionals attended to him and provided care and transferred him to UT Medical Center. The doctors and nurses did everything possible to resuscitate Tanner, but were unsuccessful. 

After this tragic event, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled out of respect to Tanner. Golden Gloves is fully cooperating with all ongoing investigations and is hopeful the results will assist in preventing similar tragedies in the future. 

Daredevil squirrel makes Olympic dash onto ski slope, snowboarder misses it by inches

A squirrel became an unwitting Olympic participant on Saturday when the furry rodent dashed onto the parallel giant slalom snowboarding course and barely missed being run over or sliced in half by Austrian snowboarder Daniela Ulbing.

>> Read more trending news 

Unfortunately for Ulbing, she wasn’t quite as lucky as the squirrel. Though she won the heat that was almost thwarted by the squirrel, she fell in the next round to Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic.

>> Related: Olympian Gus Kenworthy rescues puppy from Korean dog meat farm

But, Ulbing can’t be too disappointed with her loss to Ledecka. The Czech snowboarder is a regular winter games sensation. At only 22 years old, she made history at the 2018 games by becoming the first female athlete to win gold medals in different sports — she won the gold in alpine skiing last week.

After a fun and freezing few weeks, the winter games are finally preparing to wrap up. At the moment, the Norwegians are at the top of the pack with 13 gold medals and 38 total. They’re followed by Canada and Germany. The Americans are in fourth place with nine gold medals and 23 total.

>> Related: Photos: 2018 Winter Olympics: U.S. women's hockey team wins gold

And, while the sports and squirrels were fun, this year’s games also had a lot of diplomacy going on in the stands and around the venue. Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the games with his visit to South Korea where he sat only feet away from the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during the opening ceremony. President Trump’s daughter and special adviser, Ivanka Trump, is in South Korea now for the closing ceremony.  

Rare yellow cardinal a ‘one in a million’ gem for birdwatchers in Alabama

 

Birdwatchers and biologists have been on the lookout for a rare, yellow cardinal that’s been spotted around central Alabama in Shelby County in recent weeks, AL.com reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The bird has been getting a lot of attention recently after  resident Charlie Stephenson first noticed it at her backyard feeder and posted a picture on social media.

The cardinal’s bright yellow feathers are a result of a genetic mutation, according to scientists, who say it’s the same species as the familiar vivid red cardinal, but carries a mutation that changes its coloring.

>> Related: Emotional support peacock banned from United flight, even though it had a seat

The rare cardinal is a different species from the endangered South American yellow cardinal species.

The bird in Shelby County is an adult male and Auburn University biology professor and bird expert Geoffrey Hill told AL.com the mutation is so rare that even he’s never seen one in person.

"I've been birdwatching in the range of cardinals for 40 years and I've never seen a yellow bird in the wild," Hill said. He estimated that there are just a few of these yellow cardinals in the U.S. and Canada in any given year.

>> Related: Parrots make each other laugh, at least kea birds in New Zealand do

"There are probably a million bird feeding stations in that area, so very very roughly, yellow cardinals are a one in a million mutation,” Hill said.

World’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, restricts late-night access 

Hartsfield-Jackson International announced it will soon begin restricting access to the airport between the hours of 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

>> Read more trending news 

Starting March 2, the world’s busiest airport said access to the terminals, parking decks, SkyTrain and rental car center during that overnight period will be restricted to ticketed airline passengers; people meeting, accompanying or assisting passengers; and “authorized personnel.”

While airport officials have taken steps before to ask overnight visitors to show their boarding passes, the new policy comes amid a growing issue of homeless people sleeping in the Atlanta airport’s domestic terminal overnight.

>> Related: Delta latest company ending discounts, benefits for NRA members 

Airport officials said the change is “a result of an increasing volume” of passengers and visitors, along with construction projects, and will allow overnight crews to thoroughly clean public areas.

House releases Democrats’ rebuttal to GOP memo on alleged government surveillance abuses

The House Intelligence Committee Saturday released the Democrats’ rebuttal to the Republican memo alleging the FBI and Department of Justice engaged in questionable tactics in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia. 

>> Read more trending news 

>> Related: House Intelligence Committee votes to release Democrat’s rebuttal to Nunes memo

The 10-page memo, released two weeks after President Donald Trump blocked it and after wrangling between Democrats and DOJ officials, was authored by ranking Intelligence Committee Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in response to one by House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and disputes allegations that illegal tactics were used to get warrants to surveil a former Trump campaign aide.

“The Democratic response memo released today should put to rest any concerns that the American people might have as to the conduct of the FBI, the Justice Department and the FISC. Our extensive review of the initial FISA application and three subsequent renewals failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical, or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement and instead revealed that both the FBI and DOJ made extensive showings to justify all four requests,” Schiff said in a statement Saturday after the release of the memo.

Trump tweeted a response to Schiff’s document release Saturday, calling the Democrats’ memo “a total political and legal bust.” He also repeated his claims that special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign is a “witch hunt.”

The president released the Nunes memo last month, which contained information purporting to show that the FBI and DOJ did not provide complete information when requesting a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to watch one-time Trump campaign member and foreign policy advisor Carter Page.

>> Related: Trump sends Democrats’ Nunes rebuttal memo back to House committee

The release of both memos came over the objections of investigators in the intelligence communities.

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