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Sara Hall

Likes: Good (read: bad) puns, puppies, embarrassing pop music, burritos, idolizing Beyoncé and Tina Fey
Dislikes: Squirrels, typos, socks with sandals (and other unforgivable fashion mistakes)

Sara hasn’t always been a journalist — unless you count that time she put out a newspaper in the third grade about her dog. Still, she’s been making up for lost time ever since she began attending Eastern Illinois University and started writing for The Daily Eastern News. When people ask her why she wants to be a writer, she tells them it’s because she genuinely enjoys journalism and everything that goes with it (which is true, but let’s be real, she not-so-secretly wouldn’t mind just being Carrie Bradshaw for the rest of her life). In the fall, you’ll find her where she really belongs: as online editor, blogging and tweeting like it’s her job — because hey, it actually is (thank God).

Facebook ads actually effective

Facebook reports companies see a $3 return for every $1 invested

Facebook ads always seem to be the bane of its users, but the company’s executives say they are still effective as ever.

Facebook recently said in a joint report with researcher ComScore Inc. that their marketing and advertising efforts do in fact encourage users to buy products, despite many users’ dislike of Facebook ads.

The report says Facebook users who saw an ad for Starbucks on the site bought an item at the coffee giant within four weeks, 38 percent more often than those who didn’t see an ad. These type of Facebook ads appeared from those who “liked” Starbucks.

ComScore also examined Target Corp. results, saying they show positive results from Facebook ads as well. The report said those users who “like” Target on Facebook bought 21 percent more at the retail store.

However, this report from ComScore Inc. comes on the tails of a contradictory report from Reuters/Ipsos that said just one in five Facebook users bought products because they were influenced by Facebook ads.

Still, Facebook is still reporting companies see a $3 return on every $1 they spend on Facebook ads and marketing, Brad Smallwood, head of measurement and insights at Facebook, said.

For half of the campaigns, there was a $5 return for every $1 invested on Facebook ads.

These reports come from more than 60 advertising campaigns over the past few years, Smallwood said.

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Amber Portwood reveals suicide attempt

Portwood said she was going through tough time, drug addiction

Amber Portwood has recently been in the news for her five-year prison sentence for drug charges, and now she’s letting fans in on a more personal side by speaking of her suicide attempt.

Amber Portwood, 22, has recently discussed her bought with depression. She revealed in an interview with ABC News that over a three-day period, she took more than 30 Suboxone pills, which she said she is addicted to.

Amber Portwood said her growing anxiety and depression stemmed from the pressure of being in the public eye and the criticism that comes with it.

She added having access to money and drugs only enabled her addiction.

“The depression took over. I’d just take four to five at a time underneath my tongue, and nod out. I had more than addiction problems. I had, you know, mental problems, too,” Amber Portwood said during the interview.

This week, Amber Portwood opted out of her drug rehabilitation program and instead chose to serve a five-year prison sentence. She said this decision came out of her wish to become a better mother for her child and to better herself overall.

“You know, I was very depressed, all alone, all bitter at everybody,” Amber Portwood said in the interview. “I felt like that wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I felt like I’d rather do my time, and get it over with and make the best out of the situation that’s been handed to me.”

Amber Portwood previously was charged with domestic violence against the father of her child, Gary Shirley, in 2010. Shirley now has custody of their 3-year-old daughter.

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Lindsay Lohan rumored to co-star with porn star

Lohan possibly acting alongside James Deen in “The Canyons”

Lindsay Lohan is rumored to have a new role in the movie The Canyons, and her co –star could be a porn star.

If Lindsay Lohan stars in the upcoming movie, she will play alongside James Deen, best known for his career in the porn industry.

Deen is a 26-year-old porn actor and the youngest person ever to win the porn industry’s “Male Performer of the Year” award.

Bret Easton Elis, famous for his novels Less Than Zero and American Psycho, is set to be the screenwriter for the film. Elis tweeted about Lindsay Lohan’s possible involvement in the film.

“James Deen and Lindsay Lohan will star in THE CANYONS,” he wrote. Later he tweeted again, saying, “And I am beyond thrilled that James Deen and Lindsay Lohan will be playing the parts of Christian and Tara in THE CANYONS by BEE.”

Lindsay Lohan’s spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com on June 12 that her involvement in the film could not yet be officially confirmed.

The Canyons will be directed by Paul Schrader, whom is also a screenwriter. Schrader’s screenplays include classic Hollywood movies like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

The Canyons utilized a Kickstarter campaign, a website, in which people can pledge money to help raise money for projects, and it met their goal three days ago. Currently, $159, 015 has been raised for The Canyons.

The film’s Kickstarter page says the movie will document five 20-somethings who are on a quest for power, love, sex and success in today’s Hollywood environment.

Lindsay Lohan is currently taking on the role of Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime movie Liz & Dick.

Filming for The Canyons is set to kick off in July after Lindsay Lohan wraps up filming Liz & Dick.

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New Obama ad takes hit at Romney’s time as governor of Massachusetts

Ad says Romney’s state had highest per person debt during his time as governor

A new Obama ad is taking a hit at Mitt Romney’s time as governor of Massachusetts.

In the ad, the Obama campaign claims Massachusetts took the top spot for per person debt during Romney’s time as governor.

The new Obama ad says the state debt reached $18 billion during this time.

The new Obama ad also mentions how Massachusetts was the 47th state in job creation during Romney’s time as governor. This fact has been heavily highlighted by the Obama campaign and was used eight days earlier in Obama’s first ad against Romney.

The famous line, “It didn’t work then. It won’t work now,” ends the new Obama ad, leaving viewers with a memorable impression.

Romney’s team instantly went on the defense following the new Obama ad, calling the ad a “distraction” and “distortion.”

“President Obama has overseen trillion-dollar deficits, soaring national debt and the first credit downgrade in history,” Romney Spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement. “Mitt Romney, on the other hand, closed a $3 billion budget shortfall, balanced four budgets, left a $2 billion rainy day fund and received a credit rating upgrade…Mitt Romney knows our country can do better and, under his leadership, it will do better.”

Obama’s campaign countered Romney’s team’s rebuttal, saying the ad was necessary to bring Romney’s lack of positive change to light.

“I’m not projecting exactly what ads we’re going to have on the air, but we’re not going to shrink from ensuring that Mitt Romney’s record is accurate, accurately told out there, and he’s held to the positions that he’s taken.,” Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, said on the MSNBC show Daily Rundown.

The new Obama ad will run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Dylan Ratigan to leave MSNBC

Ratigan’s last show scheduled for June 22

Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC host of three years, has announced he is leaving the network to pursue other opportunities away from the television business.

Although many are questioning his decision to leave, Dylan Ratigan wrote his official rational as to why he’s leaving MSNBC  in a note first reported by The New York Times.

 “While it may seem unconventional to leave a rapidly growing political cable show on the eve of a Presidential election, to me, the timing couldn’t be better,” Ratigan said. “In fact, the thrill of an opportunity to expand new systems that cost less and give us more in every part of life is impossible to pass up.”

Dylan Ratigan became an anchor on MSNBC in 2009 after a six-year stint at CNBC.

Many TV analysts are suggesting that Dylan Ratigan’s departure from MSNBC solidifies its position as a liberal point-of-view station.

Dylan Ratigan will anchor his final show on June 22.

Martin Bashir will replace Dylan Ratigan’s 4 p.m. ET time slot beginning June 25.

Colorado wildfire spreads rapidly

More than 37,000 acres already destroyed

A Colorado wildfire has spread rapidly, and there currently seems to be no end in sight.

While wildfires seem to pop up every year, the High Park Fire in Larimer County has already burned almost 37,000 acres and destroyed more than 100 structures, positioning it to be a wildfire disaster.

Approximately 400 firefighters are currently working to put out the seemingly never-ending blaze.

No containment currently exists for the Colorado wildfire, and officials say any possible containment is dependant on the weather.

Firefighters are hoping for cooler weather, higher humidity and calmer winds to help calm the Colorado wildfire.

The Colorado wildfire is currently burning in the mountains about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, moving at one mile-per-hour, which is a fast rate for any fire, according to officials.

“It is a very aggressive fire, fuel driven, wind driven, and the winds have not been favorable,” Nick Christensen, a Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said in a statement. “The brush, timber and grasses are very, very, dry.”

The Rist Canyon area is reportedly experiencing especially bad damage from the Colorado wildfire.

The state’s website provided a bright-orange air warning today, extending all the way to El Paso County.

Combined with allergies, doctors are warning citizens to take extra caution towards stepping outside to prevent any flare-ups induced from the air quality as a result of the Colorado wildfire.

Maria Menounos reveals past sexual abuse

Abuse occurred during visits to the doctor, Menounos stated

Maria Menounos has revealed in an interview on the Howard Stern Show that she was sexually abused by a doctor in the past.

Maria Menounos said, during her guest spot on the show that several years ago, she went to an appointment with a doctor for a throat issue when he had her change into a hospital gown. During that time, he began to touch her inappropriately.

“I was really young, so I was uncomfortable,” Maria Menounos told Stern. “[My boyfriend] Kevin was in the waiting room, and I literally started screaming… I was just so uncomfortable, I didn’t know what to do.”

Maria Menounos said her boyfriend encouraged her to press charges against the doctor, but she did not follow through.

Maria Menounos said she now brings her boyfriend in with her for all doctors appointments, regardless of what type.

Apple announcement reveals next-generation MacBooks

New Macbooks to run “Mountain Lion” software, be thinner with better displays

Another Apple announcement is currently in progress and is keeping consumers on their toes as they learn what’s next for the technology giant.

Apple has revealed at the Worldwide Developers Conference that they are revamping their line of personal MacBook computers to be more streamlined and to have different software.

So far during the Apple announcement, they revealed they are producing a new operating system for Mac computers, one similar to those of the iPhone and iPad software packages.

The Apple announcement also reveals new software is being featured in Macbooks- the OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” software that debuted to developers in February and will go on sale this summer.

“Mountain Lion” will feature a slew of new upgrades, including a new Messages app to replace iChat, iCloud integration and voice dictating software that allows users to type as they talk.

The next-generation MacBook Pro will be roughly as thin as a current MacBook Air, have a sharper display like the iPhone and a promised battery life of up to seven hours, the Apple announcement stated.

During the Worldwide Developers Conference, in which the Apple announcement was made, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller called the new MacBooks “the most amazing computer we have ever made.”

The Apple announcement said the 13-inch model prices will range from $1,199 to $1,499.

The next-generation 15-inch model price is said to start at $1,799 and go up to $2,199, depending on the amount of storage space.

The new models will begin shipping on June 18.

Amber Portwood sentenced to five year prison sentence for drug charges

Portwood failed urine test, lied about it

Amber Portwood, best known for her rebellious lifestyle as portrayed on the MTV show Teen Mom, has been sentenced to a five-year prison sentence for drug charges.

Portwood, 22, was arrested on May 24 for violating her probation requirements when she failed a urine test and lied about it, Prosecuting Attorney Rodney Cummings said in a statement.

Indiana Circuit Judge David Happe ruled Tuesday that Amber Portwood is required to serve the prison sentence imposed earlier this year when she pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge.

Amber Portwood will more than likely only serve two years of her prison sentence, remaining on parole for the remaining duration of her five-year sentence. Inmates are rewarded with a day deducted from their total prison time for each day of successful completion of their sentence, Cummings said.

Amber Portwood could be rewarded an additional 30-day deduction for completing a drug rehab program while in prison.

Amber Portwood could have avoided the prison time if she had followed through with a previous plea deal that included drug rehab, but she dropped out of the program last month.

Portwood was previously arrested based on incidents portrayed on Teen Mom, including those in which she was seen punching, shoving, slapping and choking boyfriend Gary Shirley.

Portwood previously told Good Morning America she had become depressed, so much so that she attempted suicide and being sentenced to prison would be the best thing for her.

Amber Portwood does not have custody of her 3-year-old daughter.

Creflo Dollar denies abusing daughter

Dollar charged with misdemeanor counts of simple battery, cruelty to children

Creflo Dollar, the megachurch pastor known as one of the most prominent African American pastors in the Atlanta area, is adamantly denying he punched and choked his 15-year-old daughter.

Creflo Dollar was charged on Friday with misdemeanor counts of simple battery and cruelty to children.

Creflo Dollar continues to claim he should not have been arrested.

The Associated Press reports Creflo Dollar told his congregation on Sunday that the allegations in the police report are “[an] exaggeration and sensationalism.”

“I want you all to hear personally from me that all is well in the Dollar household,” Creflo Dollar told his congregation, the report says.

The congregation met his rebuttal of the charges with an ovation that suggested they accepted his claims.

Creflo Dollar was arrested after his daughter called 911 at 1 a.m. on Friday with the daughter telling the Fayette County sheriff that an argument between the two over a party escalated after Dollar began to choke her, then punched her and hit her with his shoe.

The report goes on to say the deputy interviewed Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter, whom claimed her father grabbed the 15-year-old’s shoulders, then slapped and choked her for five seconds.

Taffi Dollar, Creflo’s wife, denies ever witnessing the fight.

The report says a deputy noticed a scratch on the girl’s neck.