CHICAGO (AP) – Parents worried that their college-bound children might succumb to the temptations of campus life may want to take note of a new analysis that found that students tend to experiment with specific types of drugs for the first time during certain times of year.
College students tend to try stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin for the first time in November, December or April, according to the examination of 12 years of government survey data. They may believe the attention deficit disorder medications will help them ace their exams, even though there is no medical evidence that such drugs enhance performance and such drugs can be addictive.
Students are most likely to try marijuana, inhalants and alcohol for the first time during the summer, not the school year, according to the report released Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which examined data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
First use of cigarettes peaks in June, September and October. Underage college students who have never tried alcohol before are most likely to have it for the first time in June. First-time use of cigars, marijuana and inhalants is highest in June and July, and the first nonmedical use of prescription painkillers happens most often in December.
While many American teenagers start drinking in high school, the report suggests many do not. About 1,200 underage students each day, on average, try alcohol for the first time while in college, according to the analysis.
Other reports using the same survey have found the average age of first alcohol use is about 17 in the U.S., with other drug initiation tending to be later. First marijuana use happens at about age 18 and first nonmedical use of prescription stimulants or painkillers typically happens at about age 21 to 22, according to the 2013 survey.
The new findings suggest that prevention messages could be targeted at the months when college students are most vulnerable, said Brendan Saloner, an addiction researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who wasn’t involved in the study.
“For most of the substances, what you’re seeing is a summer peak. Young people may have more time on their hands and less supervision,” Saloner said. “For stimulants, first use seems to peak around finals. There’s a lot of anxiety and stress around final exams and a push for students to do as well as they can.”
The report sought to determine the average number of full-time college students using substances for the first time for each month of the year. It combined information from 68,600 full-time college students answering the 2002 through 2013 surveys.
Pinpointing the months of first-time use is a new way to look at the data, said Rear Adm. Peter Delany, the director of SAMHSA’s Center for Behavioral Health Statistics, which produced the report.
“These are times when parents may want to think about checking in,” said Delany, whose son is a college freshman. “The No. 1 thing to do is talk to your kids in a non-emotional way and tell them what expectations you have.”
Other research has found that college students listen to their parents. The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems offers tools and scripts for parents at the website collegeparentsmatter.org.
Parents of new college students “breathe a big sigh of relief that they got them through high school,” said Amelia Arria of University of Maryland, a co-director of the collaborative. “Parents should be more aware that college presents a risky environment (for drug and alcohol use) that can impair academic achievement and derail a student’s chances of success.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Justin Bieber cried, Taylor Swift won most of the awards and Kanye West ranted onstage, but Miley Cyrus still owned the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.
The 22-year-old wild child flashed one of her breasts, wore outfits that showed most of her skin and traded words with Nicki Minaj. She closed the Sunday show with a performance of a new song about marijuana.
She posed for photos clutching a moon man trophy and passed out avocadoes to photographers and reporters.
“I didn’t actually win one of these. They just give it to you for free because you host, so that I just wanted to clarify,” she said.
Sunday’s show comes after Cyrus stole the night at the 2013 VMAs after twerking on Robin Thicke, causing a frenzy. At last year’s show, she won video of the year for “Wrecking Ball.”
But at the 2015 VMAs, Cyrus hit a more controversial stride when she revealed one of her breasts.
“MTV isn’t under the authority of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), so MTV would not be subject to any broadcast decency fines for that, but if I were a sponsor for the VMAs, I’d probably be pretty outraged,” Melissa Henson, director of grassroots education and advocacy for the Parents Television Council, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press after the VMAs.
“Especially since they labeled it as TV-14, so they’re telling parents, ‘OK, this is OK for your 14-year-old to watch.‘”
Henson added that she wasn’t sure if Cyrus’ breast reveal was “an accident or not, but it’s pretty clear … she was certainly walking that boundary of getting very close to showing most if not all of her breasts, most if not all of her crotch area” with her range of outfits.
MTV said the clip will be removed from all future broadcasts.
West admitted he “rolled up a little something” before rambling onstage after accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from Swift.
He covered a range of topics in nearly 13 minutes: He bashed MTV, apologized to Swift for taking her microphone in 2009 and claimed he would run for president in 2020. He also admitted, “I don’t understand awards shows,” and said he was upset that Justin Timberlake and Gnarls Barkley lost album of the year to the Dixie Chicks at the 2007 Grammy Awards.
Swift, who won video of the year for “Bad Blood,” left the awards show drama-free. She was gracious as she handed West his award and stood close to Kim Kardashian as the rapper grew wordy onstage. She also joined Minaj during the rapper’s opening set to sing “The Night Is Still Young” and “Bad Blood.” They wore similar red outfits and finished with a hug.
But Minaj had another bone to pick at the show — with Cyrus.
Minaj called out the singer after winning best hip-hop video for “Anaconda”: “And now back to this (expletive) that had a lot to say about me a lot in the press. Miley, what’s good?”
The cameras cut to Cyrus, who fired back with “we all know how they manipulate” words during interviews, referencing a pre-VMAs interview in The New York Times. Then Cyrus told the audience about voting for the artist to watch category, which later was awarded to Fetty Wap.
“I lost this award in 2008 and I was fine with it. Whatever! Because it’s no big deal. It’s just an award and I persevered,” she yelled, appearing to look over at Minaj.
In the recent interview, Cyrus criticized Minaj for her “pop star war” with Swift that began in July.
“Congratulations Nicki,” Cyrus ended.
The VMAs, though heavily focused on antics and wild moments, had some memorable musical moments, too.
Tori Kelly was a vocal powerhouse during her performance of “Should’ve Been Us,” ending in a cappella to a rousing applause. The Weeknd’s smoky performance of “Can’t Feel My Face” was energetic and smooth, and even West, Swift and Selena Gomez got out of the chairs to dance to the upbeat track. And Demi Lovato brought a sexy vibe when she sang her anthemic “Cool for the Summer” outdoors with background dancers wearing bright colors that added to the song’s summer-feel.
Even Bieber’s return to the big stage was favorable, and by the end of it he was emotional onstage and cried.
And, surprisingly, Cyrus ended the night with music news: She announced the free release of her new album, “Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz.”
NEW YORK (AP) – The four largest broadcast networks will simultaneously air a fundraising special for education next month featuring Stephen Colbert, Scarlett Johansson and other celebrity entertainers.
The Entertainment Industry Foundation said Tuesday that ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will air the one-hour telecast at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT on Sept. 11. Kristen Bell, Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Seacrest, Jessica Williams, Jeremy Renner and Gwyneth Paltrow will also participate in the show, which will have sketches and musical performances.
It’s the same organization that ran “Stand Up to Cancer” benefits that were also aired by all four networks.
The foundation’s Think It Up initiative is hoping the benefit helps build excitement for learning in classrooms around the country. The broadcast will showcase stories of students and teachers.
HAVANA (AP) – U.S. Marines raised the Stars and Stripes over the newly reopened American Embassy in Cuba on Friday as Secretary of State John Kerry made an unprecedented nationally broadcast call for democratic change on the island ruled by a single party for more than five decades.
“We remain convinced the people of Cuba would be best served by a genuine democracy, where people are free to choose their leaders, express their ideas, practice their faith,” Kerry said before an audience of Cuban and U.S. diplomats on the embassy grounds and millions of islanders watching and listening live.
Political change remains a taboo topic in Cuba despite a series of economic reforms and the reestablishment of diplomatic ties with the U.S. under President Raul Castro, who took over when his brother Fidel formally stepped down in 2008 after decades in power.
Hundreds of Cubans gathered outside the former U.S. Interests Section, newly emblazoned with the letters “Embassy of the United States of America.” They cheered as Kerry spoke, the United States Army Brass Quintet played “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the flag rose alongside the building overlooking the Malecon seaside promenade.
President Barack Obama made a milder call for change in Cuba when he announced the new U.S. policy of engagement on Dec. 17. In 2002, former President Jimmy Carter addressed Cubans in an unprecedented hour of live, uncensored television— telling them their country did not meet international standards of democracy and repeatedly promoting a grass-roots campaign for greater civil liberties.
But a live call for change from a serving U.S. official speaking in Havana — Kerry is the first secretary of state to visit since 1945 — was remarkable for its bluntness and the national spotlight in which it came.
It seemed that virtually all of Cuba was glued to a television or listening to a live radio broadcast on a cellphone. Many islanders lauded Kerry’s call for reform, including greater access to technology on an island with one of the world’s lowest rates of internet penetration. They paired their praise with calls for the United States to lift the 53-year-old trade embargo on Cuba and allow easier travel between the two countries.
“We agree with what Kerry said,” said Julio Garcia, a 51-year-old mechanic. “More democracy, elections, we hope for that to come with this diplomatic opening.”
Giant Cuban flags hung from the balconies of nearby apartment buildings and people gathered at windows with a view of the embassy. Self-employed graphic designers Danay Lopez, 28, and her husband Yosvel Martinez, 32, watched the ceremony with their 3-year-old son, sang both countries’ national anthems and shouted “Long live Cuba!” and “Long live the United States!” as the event drew to a close.
“Kerry spoke about democracy, freedom, WiFi, and he’s right,” Lopez said. “We want all that to be freed up, but (also) for the U.S. to free up travel, and I don’t want my son to live under the embargo.”
Kerry said a longtime U.S. strategy of trying to isolate Cuba and provoke regime change by choking off trade and finance through the embargo and fomenting grass-roots agitation had failed.
“The policies of the past have not led to a democratic transition here in Cuba. It would be equally unrealistic to expect normalizing relations to have a transformative impact in the short term,” he said. “After all, Cuba’s future is for Cubans to shape.”
The U.S. has been working to balance its goal of promoting change in Cuba with its desire to work directly and amicably with the Cuban government in a new, formal diplomatic relationship.
Dissidents were not invited to the embassy ceremony, avoiding tensions with Cuban officials who typically boycott events attended by the country’s small political opposition. The State Department said it had limited space at what it called a government-to-government event, and dissidents were invited to an afternoon flag-raising at the home of the embassy’s chief of mission.
Kerry then met with Cuba’s foreign minister in talks to be followed by conversations with the country’s Roman Catholic archbishop and, separately, a hand-picked group of dissidents.
Soon after Kerry heads home Friday evening, diplomats who negotiated the embassy reopening will launch full-time into the next phase of detente: expanding economic ties between the two nations with measures like re-establishing direct flights and mail service.
The Americans also want to resolve billions of dollars in half-century-old American claims over property confiscated after the Cuban revolution. Cuba has its own claims, as noted in a newspaper column by Fidel Castro on Thursday saying the U.S. owes the island “numerous millions of dollars” for damages caused by the embargo.
When the countries announced Dec. 17 that they would re-establish diplomatic ties 54 years after the flag was taken down from the embassy, Obama also said he would move to empower the Cuban people by loosening the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba through a series of executive actions that make it easier for American citizens to travel to the island and trade with its growing class of private business owners.
Eight months later, Havana has repeatedly demanded a complete lifting of the embargo. It has not responded to Obama’s actions with measures that would allow ordinary Cubans to benefit from them, such as allowing low-cost imports and exports by Cuban entrepreneurs looking to do business with the U.S.
While Cuba has expanded its highly limited Internet access somewhat in a measure U.S. officials partially attribute to the diplomatic thaw, ordinary Cubans are growing increasingly impatient for concrete results from the new relationship.
“Great, let’s now have democracy and human rights and freedom,” said Diego Carrion, a 74-year-old retired state worker. “But to have that, the U.S. should lift the embargo and show us an example of respecting human rights and respecting us as Cubans.”
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Another massive construction project will shut down a major North Texas highway this weekend, and create traffic headaches. Drivers can expect Interstate-35W and Loop 820 in Fort Worth to be closed at times points from Friday through Sunday.
Starting at 9:00 p.m. on Friday night, all northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate-35W will be shut down at Northeast 28th Street. Traffic will be moved to the frontage roads. Eastbound and westbound Northeast 28th Street will also be closed at the highway.
Crews are going to be demolishing the bridge at Northeast 28th Street.
Then, at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday night, the closures will include eastbound Loop 820 at the Interstate-35W interchange, as well as the northbound and southbound connectors from the interstate to eastbound Loop 820. Traffic will be moved to Meacham Boulevard.
The road closures will last until 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Travelers are urged to just avoid the area.
Anyone who has driven through this part of Fort Worth recently knows that it can be a traffic nightmare — ranked eighth on a list of state’s most congested roads. But the construction aims to make things better by improving the main lanes and adding a series of toll lanes. It is part of a $1.4 billion project, set to be complete by 2018.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jake Arrieta had been building toward this moment. He’d come achingly close to holding opponents hitless three times last year in a breakout season with the Chicago Cubs.
Finally, it happened. And near Hollywood, no less.
Arrieta threw the second no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 days, leading the Cubs to a 2-0 victory Sunday night.
He struck out a season-high 12 and walked one, becoming just the third opposing pitcher to achieve a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium.
“He’s starting to create more buzz around him,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “To do it under these circumstances, in this ballpark, against this team, with a pretty good audience, that should pretty much put him on everybody’s radar.”
With 46,679 in attendance — including his wife and two kids — and a national television audience looking in, Arrieta became the first 17-game winner in the majors this season by throwing the 14th no-hitter in Cubs history.
“It’s something that everybody wants,” he said. “It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time. I’ve been close on a couple of occasions, and tonight I was just fortunate that everything aligned right.”
Last year, Arrieta (17-6) became the first Cubs pitcher since 1950 to take a no-hitter into the seventh inning three times in one season. He tossed a one-hit shutout against Cincinnati last Sept. 16 at Wrigley Feld, allowing his first hit to Brandon Phillips with one out in the eighth.
Arrieta had a then career-high 10 wins last season after going 4-2 in nine starts for the Cubs in 2013, when he was acquired from Baltimore that July.
At 29, he’s blossoming a little later than some big league pitchers.
“Right now, he’s pitching at a different level, and he deserves it,” Maddon said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody work any harder. He has come a long way from Baltimore, where he really had command issues with the fastball but always had good stuff.”
Arrieta sensed his time was ending with the Orioles, who had drafted him in 2007 out of Texas Christian and called him up to the majors in 2010. He quickly found a home with the Cubs, who embraced the low-key Texan.
“The comfort level was there from the get-go, so it was a seamless transition,” he said. “I came over here and started doing some things I knew I was capable of doing to help me be more consistent. The momentum just continued to roll.”
Kris Bryant’s two-run homer in the first gave Arrieta a quick boost, and all the offense he would need.
The right-hander was sharp early against the Dodgers, retiring the first seven batters he faced before he got some help toward his no-hitter from the official scorer.
Jerry White charged Starlin Castro with an error when Kike Hernandez reached on a one-hopper hit right at the second baseman in the third, although several players on both sides believed it should have been ruled a hit.
Arrieta thought so, too.
“He hit it pretty well. I think (the call) could have gone either way,” he said. “I wasn’t aware that it was an error until I think an inning or two later. It was kind of out of sight, out of mind. But even if it was a hit, I would have kept the same mindset.”
White gave the error after Castro tried to make the play on an in-between hop. The ball bounced off him and rolled away, allowing Hernandez to reach first.
“The ball was hit right at him and he didn’t have to move to make the play,” White said. “I had no thought even at the time to change it.”
Arrieta was undeterred, despite a two-out walk in the sixth to Jimmy Rollins. Arrieta finished strongly, striking out the side in the ninth, when Maddon thought it was a little too quiet in the dugout.
“There was a respectful buzz. Nobody was too loud,” the manager said. “Our guys are really a closely knit group.”
In the Dodgers’ dugout, starter Alex Wood, a 24-year-old with two years in the majors, studied Arrieta.
“He’s ahead of almost every hitter,” Wood said. “When you get a guy like that who’s pumping strikes and has all three of his pitches working well, it’s a tough situation.”
Making history proved a fitting ending to August for Arrieta, who was 6-0 with a 0.43 ERA in the month, allowing just two earned runs in 42 1-3 innings. He’s 11-1 on the road with a 1.76 ERA in 15 starts away from Wrigley Field.
“For those of us who are around Jake all the time, it’s not surprising at all,” Maddon said. “It’s a combination of Jake’s skill, his drive and who he is.”
EDISON, N.J. (AP) – Jason Day powered and putted his way to another blowout against a world-class field Sunday at The Barclays.
Fresh off his first major at the PGA Championship, Day pulled away early and poured it on with three long birdie putts on the back nine at Plainfield. A birdie on the closing hole gave him an 8-under 62 for a six-shot victory over Henrik Stenson.
Day closed with a 63-62 weekend and finished at 19-under 261. He won two weeks ago by three shots over Jordan Spieth with a record to par at 20-under 268.
The victory moves the 27-year-old Australian to the top of the FedEx Cup after the opening playoff event, assuring that Day will be among the top five who have a clear shot at the $10 million bonus at the Tour Championship.
More compelling is another race for No. 1.
With his second straight victory, and fourth of the year, Day remains at No. 3 in the world but now enters the picture with Spieth and Rory McIlroy for golf supremacy. All three will have a mathematical chance to get to No. 1 at the Deutsche Bank Championship next week at the TPC Boston.
“It’s been a special summer for me, and it’s not over,” Day said. “To be able to play the way I did over the weekend is fantastic. Today was just phenomenal golf.”
Stenson gave it a good shot.
He made birdies on the 13th and 14th holes to get within two shots, and Day hit a tee shot well to the right in the trees in the group behind on No. 13. There was just enough of an opening for Day to pound a gap wedge over the trees and onto the green, and then he effectively ended the tournament.
He holed a 30-foot birdie across the green on the par-3 14th, and rolled in a birdie from 35 feet on the 15th to stretch his lead to five shots.
Day is tied for Spieth with four wins on the PGA Tour this year, though two of those for Spieth were the Masters and U.S. Open.
Bae Sang-moon, tied with Day going into the final round, fell behind with a bogey on No. 3 and was in reverse for much of the day. He closed with a 72 and tied for sixth. Ryan Palmer, playing a week after his 71-year-old father died in a traffic accident in west Texas, closed with a 70 and tied for sixth. Palmer choked back tears when he finished.
Bubba Watson made two late birdies for a 69 to finish alone in third, though this was a two-man race over the final back nine.
It wasn’t the only contest, though.
The top 100 in the FedEx Cup advance to the next playoff event at the TPC Boston. PGA Tour rookie Zac Blair was among eight players who played their way into the top 100, and he did it in a big way. He closed with a 66 and tied for fourth, moving him from No. 106 to No. 35.
Camilo Villegas at No. 123 appeared to be playing his way out of another week when he made three straight bogeys early on the back nine. Facing elimination if he failed to make par on the 18th, he got up-and-down by making a par putt from just inside 10 feet.
“As bad as I putted today, I think I made the hardest putt today,” Villegas said.
The Barclays did not end well for Stewart Cink and Nick Taylor. Cink needed a par on the final hole to advance, pulled his tee shot left into high grass and missed a 15-foot par putt for a 72. He finished at No. 102 in the FedEx Cup. Taylor, the Canadian rookie who won early in the season last November, took a double bogey on the 14th hole and then missed a 7-foot birdie putt on the final hole to move on to Boston.
Jason Kokrak, who missed the cut, finished one point ahead of Taylor as the last man to advance.
Day has no such worries. He is in free flight, even though his week began with some doubt. He was moving a box from under his motor home when he felt a twinge in his back, and Day pulled out of the pro-am to rest his back and have tests to check on the structural being of his back.
He still felt some pain on Thursday, but the heat helped over the weekend. And nothing was hotter than his putter. He began the back nine with a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 10 to keep his margin, and it never looked as though anyone else was going to win.
Day went six years with only one PGA Tour, and now they are starting to pile up. He was thrilled when he won the Canadian Open because it was his first multiple-win season on tour. Now he has four victories, and has never looked tougher to beat.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Christian drama “War Room” made a surprise bid for the box-office lead, Zac Efron’s music drama “We Are Your Friends” fell completely flat and the N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” keeps chugging along.
Universal’s “Straight Outta Compton” topped the box office for the third-straight week with $13.2 million at North American theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The film, which has now made $134.1 million in total, has continued to dominate August moviegoing. It joins “Jurassic World” as the only movies to lead the box office three consecutive weeks this summer.
The late August weekend held scant competition for “Straight Outta Compton,” but “War Room” nearly matched it. The Sony TriStar release took in $11 million by appealing to faith-based audiences, an often powerful but underserved demographic at the multiplex. “War Room” is about an African-American family who perseveres through prayer.
“We knew that we were going to get a lot of love, we just didn’t expect quite this much love,” said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. “This is a genre that we’re very much committed to.”
The film, directed by Alex Kendrick, is the highest opening yet for Affirm Films, a production company that has had previous success with low-budget films that pull in Christian audiences through grassroots marketing.
So the success of “War Room” wasn’t overly surprising. Faith-based films have regularly performed well at the box office, and “War Room” capitalized on an especially quiet movie weekend.
But thoroughness of the flop of “We Are Your Friends” was unusual. The Warner Bros. release, an electronic dance music drama, wasn’t expected to do especially well and wasn’t much promoted.
But the Efron-led film opened with just $1.8 million on 2,333 screens (more than twice the number of “War Room”). That makes it one of the lowest weekend openings ever for a film that played so widely.
“August can be a land of opportunity or it can be your worst nightmare,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office firm Rentrak.
Whereas “We Are Your Friends” got lost in the shuffle of a traditionally quiet period for the movie business, Dergarabedian said, “War Room” used its late-summer, little-competition release date to its advantage. “War Room,” Dergarabedian said, further proves the box-office strength of faith-based moviegoers: “They are looking for content. If you build it, they will come.”
“No Escape,” the Thailand thriller starring Owen Wilson and Lake Bell, opened with $8.3 million for the Weinstein Co.
In its fifth weekend, Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” also earned $8.3 million to bring its North American total to $170.4 million.
With another low-key weekend looming over Labor Day, Hollywood’s summer is slowing to a crawl. Overall business on the weekend was down 21.4 percent from last year, according to Rentrak.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Final domestic figures will be released Monday:
IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – Students at Nimitz High School in Irving will meet with crisis counselors on Monday morning after a shooting that involved two of their classmates. Both the victim and one of the suspects attended the school, and fellow students are now trying to make sense of it all.
The incident happened early Saturday, as 15-year-old Demorius Ducking was shot in the face outside of his mother’s home, all while mom Mary Ducking stood by, pleading with the gunman not to pull the trigger. Police said that the suspect had shot and killed Mary’s fiance, Maurice Crawford, just a few minutes earlier.
Demorius was rushed to the hospital. Doctors told his mother that the bullet just missed her son’s brain. The teen survived the shooting and was able to tell investigators the names of the suspects. SWAT officers surrounded a home in Irving on Saturday morning and located the suspected shooters. They surrendered following a standoff.
One of the two suspects is a Nimitz High School student. The other suspect attended an alternative school. They have not been identified by police. Both of the teenage suspects are now behind bars as the victim continues to recover at the hospital.
Demorius, a sophomore football player for Nimitz High School, is expected to make a full recovery. But nobody knows why he and his family were targeted.
In a statement, Irving Independent School District superintendent Jose L. Parra said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the student and the friends and families who have been affected by this weekend’s tragedy.”
WILLIS (CBSDFW.COM) – Blue Bell Ice Cream returned to parts of Texas on Monday. While people in the DFW area have to wait at least a couple more weeks to start serving up scoops of the tasty treat, residents around Houston got out of bed early to welcome back a Lone Star State favorite.
It has been more than four months since Blue Bell Ice Cream was pulled from store shelves, as operations at three production plants were shut down. After an outbreak of Listeria — which killed three people and sickened 10 more — the company’s plant in Alabama was cleaned out and upgraded.
The ice cream that arrived back in stores on Monday morning came from that Alabama plant. The company’s headquarters in Brenham and their Oklahoma plant are still not making ice cream. Officials explained that those plants are still in the process of getting their much-needed upgrades.
With just one working plant, Blue Bell Ice Cream is rolling back out in five phases. Houston is a part of Phase One, along with Austin. North Texas is part of Phase Two, which is expected to begin in the next two to four weeks.
Four flavors are being made available at first: Homemade Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, Cookies ‘n Cream and The Great Divide.
Loyal customers of the Texas brand are ready to give Blue Bell another chance. “I think they’re real careful, and they’re careful before,” said shopper Sharon Hibbard. “It’s one of those things that happens. You just correct it and just go on.”
“I went and got some Baskin-Robbins and I just did not like it. And I said, Blue Bell never comes back, I’ll never eat ice cream again,” added loyal fan Alice Ross. “I’m not joking.”
Ice cream fans are not the only ones who are excited about Blue Bell’s return. Officials with Kroger explained that Blue Bell is the top-selling brand of ice cream in their stores. They have been preparing to re-stock their shelves with the creamy treats for several weeks. They are limiting Blue Bell items to two per customer at the Kroger store in Willis, just north of Houston.
Meanwhile, at the H-E-B store in Brenham, it took only 90 minutes for the shelves to start emptying at limits of four items per customer. A manager said that 600 units were sold in the first hour. Some fans shed tears of joy, while others said that buying Blue Bell Ice Cream was an act of supporting the community, not just eating sweet treats.
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – On Saturday, August 29, CBS 11 will air the Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys game. Coverage starts at 6:00 p.m. with Countdown To Kickoff at 5:00 p.m. and Deep Blue at 4:00 p.m.
Because of the early start of Dallas Cowboys programming, we are simulcasting CBS Sports’ PGA coverage of The Barclays. CBS 11 will leave at 4:00 p.m. to start Deep Blue, but will continue with The Barclays on TXA 21 until conclusion.
Below is our schedule of programming on CBS 11 and TXA 21 for Saturday, August 29:
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: College Football Preview
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: PGA Golf: The Barclays (Will leave the golf in progress and coverage will continue on TXA 21)
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Deep Blue #3 (Quincy Carter and Tony Romo, Part 1)
BURLESON (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Burleson is cleaning up after a wastewater spill on Friday. It happened earlier this week in the 700 block of North Burleson Boulevard, where a contractor was working on an underground wastewater line.
The company Mountain Cascade was hired by the city to replace and enlarge the underground line. In order to do the job, the contractor installed a bypass pumping station around the part of the line that was being replaced. However, something caused a wastewater spill around the work site.
City officials estimate that the spill happened late Wednesday afternoon and again early Thursday morning. It started around 300 feet east North Burleson Boulevard and extended an additional 700 feet to the east. A natural earthen dam prevented the wastewater from spreading any further.
The city estimated that more than 50,000 gallons of domestic wastewater were spilled. Government officials have been made aware of the incident, and the spill is now in the process of being cleaned up. That includes the removal of all wastewater and debris, the disinfecting of the area, and a flush with clean water.
Officials do not believe that the public’s water supply has been tainted.
The city blamed the spill on either vandalism or a possible mechanical failure at the bypass pumping station. That temporary wastewater line will be inspected and reparied, and site security will be enhanced, for future work at this location.
RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) – A woman was at work last Thursday when she watched her home get burglarized while it was happening.
Diana Bardwell loves her dog so much that she purchased a Pet-Peeps video camera, just to sneak peeks at her pup during her long shifts as a nurse. But, while she was working last Thursday, Bardwell checked in on her Chihuahua Pug, named Loni, and found that the pup was not alone.
A burglar was filling bags in Bardwell’s apartment, while she could only watch what was happening helplessly from work. “I could see the gentleman walk from the bathroom and come in and start taking things from around the kitchen,” said Bardwell.
“I was panicked, wondering about my dog, on the phone with 911,” Bardwell added.
Police officers arrived at the scene shortly after the burglar left. The thief made it out with more than $15,000 worth of jewelry and electronics, but Bardwell is just happy that her dog is safe.
“Everything they took is replaceable, and it’s sad you have to go through all that,” Bardwell said, “but they didn’t touch her.”
Bardwell turned over the pet camera’s video to Richardson police detectives, who are now searching for the suspect. The man wore gloves during the burglary, and did not leave behind any fingerprints.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Justin Wren re-evaluated his life less than two years ago from a Ugandan hospital bed, where he clung to life with severe cases of malaria and blackwater fever.
With his body temperature fluctuating wildly, he had lost 33 pounds in five days, draining the strength from a burly, blond-bearded mixed martial artist who left his sport in search of something bigger. Wren realizes most people with any self-preservation instinct would have left Africa to recover.
But he says he first traveled to the Congo after it appeared to him in a vision, providing a destination and a focus to a life consumed by drug abuse and self-loathing. The heavyweight wrestler couldn’t abandon the pygmy tribes that became his adopted family.
After a month of recovery, he bought a truck and drove it back.
“You’re going to have to take me out, because that’s the fighter I am,” Wren said. “That’s what this mission is about. That’s why I went to the Congo. When I say that’s my family, I literally mean it. It’s not a shallow thing to me. It’s not to tug on anyone’s heart. That’s my heart. That’s my family.”
Wren returns to MMA after a five-year absence Friday night, taking on Josh Burns in Temecula, California.
The Bellator 141 cage at the Pechanga Resort and Casino is a long way from eastern Congo, which has been Wren’s home for long stretches of the past half-decade. A humanitarian mission to the Mbuti pygmy groups turned into an urgent cause for Wren, who will donate his MMA win bonuses and other income streams to the charitable organization with which he is digging water wells, starting farms and buying land.
He wants to resurrect his fighting career, but a championship belt is no longer his ultimate goal.
“I’m in it for a lot more than me now,” Wren said. “I put a world of pressure on myself even when it was just for me, and now it’s for them.”
After getting into MMA as a teenage wrestler in his native Texas, Wren fought on “The Ultimate Fighter,” competing alongside current UFC regulars Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione on the long-running reality show. He was 10-2 in a solid MMA career, but injuries and depression led him to dependence on oxycodone, marijuana, cocaine and partying.
“I would say that I’ve always loved the sport, like passionately loved the sport,” Wren said. “But I would say that I hated who I had become in the sport.”
After getting sober, Wren accepted an offer to travel with a religious group. He was stunned when he immediately felt at home in eastern Congo — even though he contracted several illnesses in addition to that malaria bout in November 2013, when he needed an emergency flight to medical care in Uganda on Thanksgiving Day.
Wren was ready to quit MMA while he spent a full year in the Congo. He made initial plans to move permanently with his then-girlfriend, Emily, who had never been on a camping trip before Wren plunked her down in Africa.
But as his return to the U.S. grew closer last year, the fighting itch returned. He also acknowledged the enormous opportunity he held in his powerful hands: MMA is a platform to reach untold millions with the pygmies’ story.
“I couldn’t promise them clean water or a farm or a farming project,” Wren said. “But I knew that the fighting community would listen to me, or at least I could talk. This story is worth being told, and these people are worth fighting for.”
After getting married last November, Wren returned to MMA training and finished writing a book, “Fight for the Forgotten,” due out next month. But he couldn’t stay away from the Congo: He returned from his most recent trip less than three months ago.
During the three-week stop, he celebrated the drilling of his team’s 20th water well, observed a nascent farming project in three villages and checked in with his group’s 17 employees. He has merged his nonprofit organization into a larger organization, water4.org.
“I have to learn to balance the two cultures, because I immerse myself completely in theirs, and then I come back here and it’s like complete culture shock,” Wren said while sitting on an outdoor terrace at a posh Century City hotel.
Wren’s eyes dart to the potted palms in the corner, and a laugh emerges from his still-thick beard: “I could build a pretty sweet hut out of these leaves. I could sleep out here.”
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – Oklahoma’s defensive coaches have an enviable situation at middle linebacker.
Last season, while Frank Shannon was serving a suspension, Jordan Evans stepped in and finished second on the team with 93 tackles. Shannon, a dynamic player who started every game in 2013 and led the team with 92 tackles, is back.
Both are good enough to make Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops hesitant to name a starter heading into next Saturday’s opener against Akron.
“Frank, he and Jordan are battling,” Stoops said. “Both guys will play and play a significant amount of football. It’s like all positions. The better depth you have, the more competition, the better the players play. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
Evans welcomes the competition Shannon brings.
“Frank helps me and I help Frank,” Evans said. “At the end of the day, we want the best player out there. If I’m making him the best and he’s making me the best, that’s just best for the team. That’s how we see it.”
Evans understands the game better now. He was Shannon’s backup in 2013, then started every game last season and enters his junior season with a different attitude.
“It’s the best camp he’s ever had since he’s been here,” inside linebackers coach Tim Kish said. “This is the right time. It’s his third year in. I expect him to step up and raise the bar every day. He’s just becoming more familiar with his surroundings and has a better feel for the speed of the game. Fundamentals and technique have been his biggest improvements so far this camp.”
Evans suffered from mononucleosis last year during camp and weighed about 220 pounds, but now, he’s a stout 240. He’s a different guy than Shannon remembers.
“When I come back I looked at him and I said, ‘Dang, Jordan, how big are you?’ He was like, ‘250.’ What? We were about the same size when I came back,” Shannon said. “I was like, ‘God, dawg, you done caught up to me big time.’ His growth surprised me the most when I came back.”
Stoops said Evans has adjusted well to the added bulk.
“I think he feels comfortable, and he can move in it and play at the same speed he did when he was a little bit lighter,” Stoops said. “It’s not just having weight and size; you’ve got to be able to handle it and control it, and I think he finally feels comfortable controlling his body.”
Shannon worked out at the University of North Texas in Dallas during his suspension. He also has bulked up, and weighs 238 pounds. Some of his weight wasn’t the good kind, but he’s rounding his way back into shape.
Evans said Shannon has looked ready in practice.
“Obviously, he’s been out for a year and there is going to be some rust,” he said. “But Frank is a player. He is a good player, and we all know that. It just took him a couple of days and he’s back into it, full go.”
Shannon didn’t come back expecting a starting job to be handed to him.
“I figured it was going to take some work,” he said. “I couldn’t come back and just jump right in. I missed a lot of playing time and stuff. I knew I was going to have to come back and work hard and still show the coaches I could play and stuff.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The fabled Goodyear Blimp is retiring.
But don’t fret, blimp fans. That big, cigar-shaped thing you’ve seen floating over sports events all your life will still be there. It will also remain instantly recognizable with its blue-and-gold Goodyear logo emblazoned across the side.
It just won’t be, well, technically, a blimp.
But that’s OK, too, because from the ground it won’t look much different from Goodyear’s Spirit of America, which was deflated and disassembled earlier this month after a farewell flight across California.
“It’s a brand new design. It is a much larger airship. It’s a semi-rigid dirigible,” Goodyear’s Priscilla Tasker said of the new fleet of non-blimps replacing the company’s three aging U.S. airships.
In air-speak that means the new model has a fixed structure holding its big, gassy balloon in place. That’s unlike a blimp, which goes flat when the helium is removed.
“But the most impressive features are the glass cockpit that is all fly-by-wire, the most state-of-the-art avionics in airships today,” Tasker said.
The first of the new models, Ohio-based Wingfoot One, took to the sky last year, replacing the 14-year-old Spirit of Goodyear. The last of the old ones, Florida-based Spirit of Innovation, will fly to California next month to replace Spirit of America while its replacement is being built. After that, Spirit of Innovation will be retired.
The new ships, with three engines instead of two, will be able to hit freeway speeds of 73 mph and make less racket getting from place to place. They’ll also be more maneuverable. And they’ll still be carried aloft by helium.
The overhaul comes on the 90th anniversary of Goodyear’s entry into the dirigible business, but there’s more than a birthday bash involved.
Most people who see the iconic blimp hovering overhead are at a sporting event or major entertainment show like the Academy Awards.
But the ship isn’t there just to show off. The people inside its gondola are filming the bird’s-eye-view scenes you see on television, and they say they’ll be able to do that better with a faster, more maneuverable craft.
With quieter engines you might not hear the new one coming. But it will be harder to miss once it gets there: The replacement models are 246 feet long, nearly the length of a football field and 50 feet longer than the old ones.
DALLAS (AP) – A Texas judge has told lawyers for an Australian woman and her publishing company to set aside $10 million for a former business partner who says she was defrauded out of her rightful share from the sale of the erotic best-seller “Fifty Shades of Grey” and two companion novels.
State District Judge Susan McCoy said Wednesday that she wants the money deposited in a court registry by Sept. 25 as attorneys seek to negotiate a judgment amount for Jennifer Pedroza, who lives in the Dallas suburb of Arlington.
A jury earlier this year determined that Amanda Hayward, one of Pedroza’s former business partners in e-book publisher The Writers Coffee Shop, cut Pedroza out of her share of royalties from the $40 million sale of the EL James trilogy to Random House. Hayward reached a settlement with another woman involved in the venture. The terms of that deal were sealed.
The trilogy’s first volume flew off of the shelves when it was released in 2011, and the three books have sold more than 125 million copies worldwide and spawned a movie starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, with two sequels also planned.
According to court records, Pedroza says Hayward used “chicanery” to cheat her out of her rightful share. Accountants have determined that Pedroza’s 25 percent stake in the online publishing venture was worth approximately $10.7 million.
Pedroza’s attorney, Michael Farris, said Hayward restructured the venture to effectively make Pedroza an independent contractor and then fired her. He said Pedroza has had to return to teaching, and now works at a Fort Worth elementary school.
One of Hayward’s attorneys, Dallas lawyer Robert Kantner, said Thursday that Hayward plans to appeal but he declined to comment further about the case. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Hayward’s attorneys have said she doesn’t have $10 million in cash, and that the judge noted Wednesday that Hayward’s most valuable asset is her home in a Sydney suburb.
Even though Hayward plans to appeal, her lawyers must negotiate a judgment amount with Pedroza’s side. The two sides are expected to return to court in late September, when McCoy may determine whether to approve of the terms, Farris said.
Farris speculated that any appeal may contend that The Writers Coffee Shop wasn’t a partnership and so Pedroza wasn’t a partner eligible for royalties.
“Typically disputes over royalties have to do with the accounting of the royalties, as opposed to who’s a member of the company that’s entitled to get paid,” Farris said.