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Jill Treacy

Woman goes sleep swimming

Woman with history of sleepwalking survives sleep swimming incident.


A south-central Idaho woman was found sleeping on the banks of the Snake River after an early morning sleep swimming excursion. Deputies found the woman, who has a history of sleepwalking, wet and disoriented a quarter mile downstream from her house on the river bank. She was treated for hypothermia.

The 31-year-old wife and mother left her house barefoot and wearing only pajamas as she went sleep swimming in the river. Her husband called the sheriff around 2:30 a.m. to report his wife missing after he noticed she wasn’t in the house. This is the third time in the past five weeks that the woman has entered into the night while asleep, and at least one of those excursions involved her sleep swimming in the Snake River.

There is cause for concern as temperatures will be dropping soon, and if the woman continues to sleep swim, she will run the risk of severe hypothermia. The county judge has asked the woman have a mental health evaluation in order to prevent future sleep swimming situations.

Avril Lavigne gettin' hitched

Avril Lavigne is engaged to Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger.


Avril Lavigne has found the one, again. The Canadian rocker is set to marry her boyfriend of six months, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger. The two met last February during a collaboration for Lavigne’s fifth studio album and have kept their relationship rather quiet. Hardly anyone knew they were dating until they announced their engagement.

Chad Kroeger’s proposal to Avril Lavigne took place Aug. 8, involving the two musicians and a 14-carat diamond ring. No date has been set yet for the wedding.

While this is Kroeger’s first trip down the aisle, Lavigne was previously married to Sum 41 guitarist Deryck Whibley. The two divorced in 2009. The lady rocker was also linked with Brody Jenner but the pair split up in January, just a month before Kroger came along.

Avril Lavigne has reportedly finished her fifth album, featuring a song co-written with Chad Kroeger, though no release date has been confirmed.

Tony Farmer collapses after sentencing

Tony Farmer reacts to three-year prison sentence in kidnapping and assault case.


Tony Farmer is a big-shot no more. The 18-year-old basketball star collapsed at his lawyer’s feet after being sentenced to three years in prison for the kidnapping and felonious assault of his ex-girlfriend, Andrea Lane.

“I’ve got three years?” Farmer asked before the collapse.

Among the top 100 prospects in the upcoming class of 2013, Tony Farmer was being recruited by none other than Michigan State, Iowa, Dayton, Ohio State, West Virginia, Illinois and Xavier, among others. Most have ceased interest, although some are waiting to see how the case plays out. This delays, if not cancels, all college plans for Farmer, especially since the sentence interferes with his high school graduation from Garfield High School in Ohio.

The six-foot-six forward assaulted Lane in the lobby and parking lot of her apartment complex, where the scene was caught on the complex’s video camera.

Despite the charges, Tony Farmer was expecting to receive probation from Judge Pamela Barker. Friends and family of the player spoke on his behalf to help sway the judge, but to no avail. Even ex-girlfriend Lane spoke in favor of Farmer to the judge, saying “I know he was a good person.”

Needless to say, Tony Farmer is devastated. His case will be reviewed after 180 days.

West Nile virus numbers growing

Thirty-eight states have reported West Nile virus cases across the U.S.


The West Nile virus outbreak is the largest in U.S. history since it was first reported in the country in 1999. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that as of Aug. 21 there have been a total of 1,118 cases, with 41 deaths. Thirty-eight states have been affected with 75 percent of cases reported in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota and Oklahoma, according to CNN. Even more cases are expected as the month goes on. 

“The peak of the West Nile virus epidemics usually occurs in mid-August, but it takes a couple of weeks for people to get sick, go to the doctor and get reported,” Dr. Lyle Peterson, the director of the CDC’s Vector-Bourne Infectious Disease Division, told CNN. “Thus we expect many more cases to occur.” 

What’s more is officials say about 80 percent of people with West Nile virus are not aware they have it because a majority of infected people never develop symptoms. This makes it particularly difficult to get accurate numbers of West Nile virus cases. According to the CDC, 20 percent of infected people exhibit West Nile virus symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, fatigue and possibly rashes. The more dangerous West Nile cases, West Nile encephalitis, meningitis or poliomyelitis, have stronger symptoms, including disorientation, coma, tremors and paralysis. But only about 1 in 150 people who contract the West Nile virus will have the more severe case. Symptoms usually come about between 3 and 14 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito. 

The reason for this season’s unusually ramped West Nile virus is unknown, though it is speculated that the spreading disease is a result of this summer’s warm weather. 

The CDC has issued a few tips in preventing the spread of West Nile virus, mainly draining pools of dirty, stagnant water, staying indoors during dawn and dusk, securing windows and doors so mosquitoes don’t get indoors and protecting yourself outdoors with long sleeves, long pants and bug repellent. 

Hurricane Isaac 2012 threatening Florida

Tropical Storm Isaac is set to hit Florida as Hurricane Isaac 2012 early next week.

Hurricane Isaac 2012 is threatening chaos to Florida’s coast as it leaves the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico a tropical storm and aims for either Tampa or Miami as a category 1 or 2 hurricane. It is still too early to know the tropical storm’s path, but is expected to turn into a hurricane tonight or Friday and make a direct hit to Florida after the weekend. Whether Hurricane Isaac hits Florida or brushes along the coastline, it is sure to cause some trouble.

What might be the first hurricane to strike U.S. land in 2012, Hurricane Isaac 2012 could possibly hit the Tampa area in a similar manner that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. After possibly menacing Florida, the hurricane is predicted to head over to Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

The tropical storm headed for the Dominican Republic and Haiti early this morning. Expecting to gain strength in the warm Caribbean waters, it will glide by to Cuba and Puerto Rico and on to the States, according to the National Hurricane Center. The tropical storm’s winds hit 45 mph this past Wednesday.

The Republican National Convention is set to take place in Tampa the same day Hurricane Isaac 2012 is predicted to hit, and while meteorologists say to take caution, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn did not seem too worried. The RNC is still set to take place and contingency plans are being made in the case that Hurricane Isaac 2012 does hit. Wind and rain is most likely going to begin over Tampa early next week as the convention kicks off. 

Keeping everyone’s safety in mind, RNC spokesman Jeff Davis is looking forward to the Republican National Convention despite the looming Hurricane Isaac.

“We are confident we will be able to get the business done of our convention which is to nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan,” Davis told ABC News. 

Augusta National invites first women members

Darla Moore and Condoleezza Rice are the first women to wear Augusta National’s green jackets


Augusta National Golf Club, known for being host of the Masters Golf Tournament every year and its (former) exclusively male society, has ventured into unknown gender territory by extending invitations to its first two female members—Darla Moore and Condoleezza Rice. After an 80-year history of letting only men wear the green jackets at the club, Augusta National lets the South Carolina financier and former Secretary of State join the prestigious club.

August National’s invitations to Darla Moore and Condoleezza Rice were warmly accepted and chairman Billy Payne described this as a “joyous occasion.” The club’s acceptance of female members has been long anticipated as the sexism issue was heightened back in 2002 with Martha Bark and the women’s advocacy group she takes part in. Bark and the group challenged the club ten years ago and have finally won. Augusta National took its time inviting its first women members, but is seemingly thrilled with the two, successful and deserving, new members. 

Rice said she is “delighted and honored” in a statement released by the club. Moore, not a stranger to paving her way through a male-dominated society, is “extremely grateful for this privilege.” Deemed “the toughest babe in business” by Fortune magazine in 1997, Moore is known for her Wall Street accomplishments, her time as the only woman on the board at the University of South Carolina, success in the banking industry and her various philanthropies, amongst other ventures.

Congratulations Augusta National, now you can commence construction on women’s locker rooms.

BP recalling unleaded gas

Drivers reporting problems after using BP gas in northwest Indiana


BP is reaching out to northwestern Indiana fuel distributors, announcing that the company is recalling their unleaded regular gasoline in the area. The company is specifically recalling gasoline shipped from the Whiting fuel storage terminal between Aug. 13 and 17. Fuel stored in a tank at this depot is thought to cause multiple drivability issues, including hard starting and stalling.

The problem fuel could have been purchased by motorists at BP as well as surrounding fuel retatilers in the past seven days. In the meantime, BP has reportedly been going through shipping records and contacting customers that had possibly loaded tanker trucks during the affected period of time.

The problem arose in the past couple of days as motorists streamed into dealerships and mechanic shops after their vehicles were experiencing aforementioned problems, namely difficulty starting. 

Amelia Earhart plane finally found?

Research team uncovers potential Earhart debris.


A recent expedition investigating the Amelia Earhart plane crash and her ultimate disappearance in 1937 has found potential evidence of her plane off of Nikumaroro Island in the western Pacific Ocean. Researchers took a high definition video of the seabed near the island and have since been analyzing footage of debris that they believe resembles parts of Earhart’s plane. The location of the debris is consistent with other researchers’ speculation about where her plane crashed.

In terms of the Amelia Earhart discovery, Richard Gillespie, director at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), has said, “We see elements in the underwater photos at that are consistent with pieces of landing gear.” When analyzed, the debris appears to be a plane’s wheel and a possible strut, similar pieces that are depicted in a 1937 photograph taken off the Nikumaroro shore.

“This is a promising development,” says Gillespie.

Earhart, accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan, disappeared on the last leg of their around-the-world trip on July 2, 1937 as they headed to Howland Island from Papua New Guinea. They planned to refuel on Howland Island and then proceed on to California. In her last radio message, Earhart claimed that they could not locate the island and were running low on fuel.

This is the 10th expedition in the past 23 years, and the evidence, although nowhere near a conclusion to the mystery, makes researchers hopeful. 

Gillespie seems confident in the Amelia Earhart findings, stating, “If it’s airplane debris, it’s almost certainly related to Amelia. There is no other aircraft missing out there.” 

Princeton Review ranks top party schools and "stone-cold sober" schools

West Virginia University is 2013’s top party school, while Brigham Young University is the nation’s top “stone-cold sober” school according to the Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review hits the shelves today with its 2013 edition of The Best 377 Colleges, and the famous top 20 party schools and “stone-cold sober” schools list is back. The company gave around 122,000 students an 80-question survey on academics, administration, campus life, student body and themselves. From there, they named not only the top 20 party schools in the nation, but also the top 20 dry campus schools in the nation.

Drum roll everybody…the Princeton Review’s top party school of 2013 is West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. WVU’s year is off to a raging start, reported the campus police website, as campus police have already issued dozens of citations for underage drinking and have made multiple arrests outside of campus buildings.  The school also won in the Lots of Beer category and came in third for Students Study the Least category.  Being the champion of the top 20 party list is no easy feat.

In a very dissimilar manner, Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah has been placed at the top of the Princeton Review’s other list, the “stone-cold sober” schools. This is the 15th year in a row for BYU as the reigning champion of the list, while also claiming the gold in the Got Milk? and Scotch and Soda, Hold the Scotch categories. 

“If you look at the schools on this list, they are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs,” WVU spokeswoman Becky Lofstead told the Associated Press in response to the Princeton Review rankings. “But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility.”

Among the top five party schools, after WVU, are the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Ohio University in Athens, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Georgia in Athens.  Top five “stone-cold sober” schools after BYU? Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD., the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. and Grove City College in Grove City, Penn.a.  

Rich Kids of Instagram causing controversy

The Tumblr site, Rich Kids of Instagram, features the nation’s wealthiest’s daily activities through Instagram photographs


Rich Kids of Instagram became popular because let’s be honest, it’s interesting to see how those who live outside of the nation’s average means spend their time and money. The site, with a hint of mockery, frames the selected Instagram photos in a gaudy gold frame and rocks the subtitle “They have more money than you and this is what they do.” The photos range from wealthy young adults and their new toys (read: planes and Bentleys) to champagne pong. Apparently Dom Perignon is the champagne of choice.  

The site is comical, sometimes at the wealthy kids’ expense, and is starting to garner negative attention as the daily activities of those in the pictures are seen as overly lavish and extravagant. What was originally just for entertainment has turned into a bit of a critique-fest as followers are more or less disturbed by what they see on the website. One photo is simply a picture of a receipt from a vacation dinner…but for almost 100,000 euro. In one case, Alexa Dell, daughter to multi-billionaire Michael Dell, posted a picture to Instagram of her brother sitting down to a feast on their private-jet en route to Fiji. The photo was picked up by the Rich Kids of Instagram Tumblr page but soon taken down for being too over-the-top and posing a potential security risk. Alexa’s father reportedly spends a vast amount of money on private security and assumedly didn’t want such family happenings spread on the web. 

While many of the Instagram users featured on the site are proud of their photos, some are also “embarrassed” and “don’t want to be associated with this,” according to “the Inquisitr.” What is frivolous and unnecessary to the average American is normal and well within the budget for the privileged American. A lot of the photos are, in fact, rather normal, such as one of a couple of fashionable bracelets on one girl’s arm. It’s just that the bracelets happen to be Hermes and Cartier and are worth nothing short of a small fortune. 

The Rich Kids of Instagram site is said to be along the likeness of MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen” and Bravo’s “Housewives,” where an interest in the nation’s wealthy elite is driven by a personal desire for unlimited indulgence. It’s interesting to see what others do with their never-ending funds, though maybe not so fun when those watching the shows and reading the blogs are reminded of their own modest reality. But is it fair to feed the culture’s fascination with wealth and status yet simultaneously claim resentment for those indulging in a more privileged lifestyle?