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Amazon working on home robot, report says

Amazon.com Inc. may be gearing up for its next big project: a home robot.

>> On AJC.com: Amazon in 2018: 6 things you should know about the e-commerce giant

The rumor comes from a Bloomberg report published Monday in which sources familiar with the plan revealed that the company has started work on the domestic robot under the code name Vesta.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the sources, Vesta has apparently been in the works for years, but new job listings for Lab126, Amazon’s hardware research and development division, have sprung up this year.

Lab126 engineers previously built Amazon’s Kindle, Fire Phone and Echo.

“People briefed on the plan say the company hopes to begin seeding the robots in employees’ homes by the end of this year, and potentially with consumers as early as 2019,” Bloomberg reported, noting that the timeline may change.

>> On AJC.com: 6 most impressive benefits offered to Amazon employees

The Vesta robot prototypes reportedly have computer vision software and advanced cameras for navigation. Think of a “mobile Alexa, accompanying customers in parts of their home where they don’t have Echo devices,” Bloomberg analysts wrote.

An Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg the company doesn’t comment on “rumors and speculation.” The AJC has reached out to Amazon for comment, as well. 

>> On AJC.com: Amazon tours Atlanta in its second headquarters search

Other companies have dabbled in domestic robots before, including iRobot and its Roomba vacuum and MobileRobots Inc.’s Jeeves home security robot.

Read the full report from Bloomberg.com.

Waffle House shooting: How police captured Travis Reinking

Travis Reinking, the man suspected of killing four people during a shooting at a Waffle House outside Nashville, Tennessee, has been arrested.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On Fox13Memphis.com: Waffle House shooting victims identified

Reinking had been at the center of a statewide manhunt for 32 hours until he was caught Monday in the woods near his apartment. 

Nashville police confirmed the 29-year-old was taken into custody Monday afternoon. They tweeted these photos of him in the back of a cop car.

>> See the photos here

In a news conference, police said they received a call about a man matching Reinking's description going into a wooded area. When officers arrived, nearby workers pointed them in the direction where the man was seen walking.

>> Waffle House shooting: Man accused of killing 4 in Tennessee arrested

Officers entered the wooded area and walked along pathways.

One of the detectives came across a man. When that man turned around, the detective realized it was Reinking.

Police said the detective drew his gun and ordered Reinking to get on the ground. Other officers quickly surrounded the suspect and he was taken into custody.

>> Waffle House 'hero' disarmed shooter, tossed rifle over counter

The 29-year-old Reinking looked tired but had clothes, a backpack and identification when Nashville police caught him, authorities said. He surrendered without confrontation, police said.

“When they looked into the backpack they say a semi-automatic weapon with 45 caliber ammunition,” said Lt. Carlos Lara of the Nashville Police Department.

Reinking reportedly slipped through a law enforcement drag net of nearly 200 police, deputies and federal agents. He was able to walk back to his apartment to get clothes and other items, police said.

>> Who is James Shaw Jr., the man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter?

The reason why he allegedly opened fire at this Nashville area Waffle House is still under investigation

Reinking was wearing a backpack, which was cut off once he was handcuffed, authorities said. Inside, police said they found a Kimber semi-automatic handgun with .45 caliber ammunition.

A wallet was also inside the backpack, and police used the ID to confirm the man was Reinking, officers said.

“He immediately asked for a lawyer and refused to make a statement,” said Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron.

>> Read more trending news 

For people who work and live near the mass shooting, the capture brought relief. 

Now begins the healing for a community caught in terror, the victims and their families. 

Acting Nashville Mayor David Briley said: “We need to move on as community and do what we can to curb this violence in the future.”

Reinking was taken to a hospital to be examined. From there, he will be taken to the Nashville jail to be booked on four murder charges, according to police.

George H.W. Bush: 9 things to know about the 41st president of the United States

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush was hospitalized Sunday in Houston after an infection spread to his blood, just days after the death of his wife, Barbara.

>> George H.W. Bush hospitalized with blood infection days after death of Barbara Bush

"He is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering," his spokesman, Jim McGrath, tweeted Monday.

Here are nine things you should know about Bush, who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993:

1. He has a form of Parkinson's disease. The former president uses a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around.

2. He is "the longest-living president in U.S. history," Time reported last November. The 93-year-old Bush, born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, is 111 days older than the second longest-living U.S. president, Jimmy Carter. 

>> George H.W. Bush now longest-living president in U.S. history

3. He and Barbara had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in U.S. history. The pair wed Jan. 6, 1945.

>> Barbara Bush: What you should know about the former first lady

4. He graduated from Yale in 1948. According to CNN, he earned his bachelor's degree in economics in just 2 1/2 years.

5. He has five living children: George W., John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. George W. Bush served two terms as president from 2001 to 2009. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ran for the Republican nomination in the run-up to November's election, but lost his bid to President Donald Trump.

Another child, Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush, died as a child in 1953 after being diagnosed with leukemia, The Washington Post reported.

>> PHOTOS: George H. W. Bush through the years

6. He served in the Navy during World War II. Bush, who reportedly enlisted on his 18th birthday in 1942, flew 58 combat missions during the war, including one that required he be rescued by a submarine after his plane was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. For his bravery, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

7. He launched his political career in 1963. He served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan's vice president.

8. In 1989, he became the first sitting vice president to win the presidency since 1837. According to CNN, he "offered his predecessors  Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan  secure telephones so he could reach them day or night."

>> Read more trending news 

9. He "has parachuted eight times," CNN reported. His most recent skydive was a tandem jump in celebration of his 90th birthday.

>> Click here to watch

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Disney offering hiring bonuses while unions prepare to return to the bargaining table

Walt Disney World is looking to hire more than 3,500 new workers, even offering “hiring bonuses” of up to $3,000 for some positions. 

>> Read more trending news

It all comes as the unions that represent 38,000 Disney workers get set to go back to the bargaining table next week. 

Unionized workers have been locked in contract talks since last summer -- and since then, they’ve staged demonstrations and gone back to the bargaining table several times, but still have no deal. 

"How can Disney justify giving $3,000 bonuses, when you have 19,000 plus workers making under $11 an hour?” asked Angie McKinnon, a representative of UNITE HERE LOCAL 737.

Union leaders were meeting Monday afternoon as they prepare to head back to the bargaining table one week from Tuesday. 

Union workers voted down Disney’s most recent offer of a 3 percent raise for most workers, with a minimum 50-cents-an-hour raise. 

And union bosses are upset that Disney won’t pay a $1,000 tax-cut bonus to union members -- unless they accept that deal. 

"A lot of them are still waiting on the tax, the money that Disney promised to give them from the tax cut,” said McKinnon. 

“As is the case with all aspects of an employee's compensation package, federal law requires that we negotiate the payment of that bonus with the unions, which we are in the process of doing,” a Disney spokeswoman said. 

As Disney now tries to hire thousands more full- and part-time cast members, the company is able to pay the hiring bonuses because the new cast members won’t be covered by the union contract until after they’re hired. 

Cam Newton surprises Special Olympics athletes with shopping spree

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton surprised 20 children from Special Olympics North Carolina at a surprise shopping event at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Barclay Downs, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon.

>> Read more trending news

Each child got a $200 gift card and spent time shopping with Newton, who served as a personal shopping consultant to the children and helped them buy fun sporting goods. Dick's Sporting Goods and the Cam Newton Foundation sponsored the event as part of their efforts to inspire and enable youth sports.

The Special Olympics athletes are participating in the Mecklenburg County Spring Games this week. More than 1,300 Special Olympics athletes are competing in this year’s Spring Games, which include track and field, motor sports, softball and swimming events.

“You see a lot of smiles on these children’s faces and that's contagious,” Newton said.

Company recalls certain ice pops sold in 15 states

A frozen novelty manufacturer is voluntarily recalling certain ice pops that are sold in 15 states for possible listeria contamination.

>> Read more trending news

According to US Recall News, Ziegenfelder Co., of Wheeling, West Virginia, is recalling about 3,000 cases of Budget $aver Cherry Pineapple Monster Pops and Sugar Free Twin Pops because of the possible health risk. 

The ice pops were distributed to retail grocers in 15 states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

The ice pop products were delivered between April 5 and April 19, US Recall News reported.

The Cherry Pineapple Monster Pops carry the UPC code 0-74534-84200-9, and have lot codes D09418A through D10018B.

The Sugar Free Pops carry the UPC code 0-74534-75642-9, and have lot codes D09318A through D10018B. 

So far, there are no reported illnesses or incidents involving the products.

Macaulay Culkin Fast Facts

Macaulay Culkin Fast Facts

George H.W. Bush hospitalized with blood infection after death of Barbara Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized in Houston with an infection, after attending the funeral of his wife Barbara.

>> Read more trending news

Please check back on this developing story.

Teen girls abducted: Arrest made in 19-year-old cold case

Investigators made a break in the 1999 disappearance of two Welch, Oklahoma, girls.

Officials charged Ronnie Busick in connection with their disappearance, according to KOKI

>> Read more trending news

Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible were 16 years old in 1999, when they planned a sleepover to celebrate Freeman's birthday. 

The day after the sleepover, firefighters found Freeman's parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman, shot to death in their burned-out home. The girls, however, had disappeared. 

For years, investigators searched for answers, interviewed several potential suspects and pleaded for information surrounding the girls' disappearance. 

KOKI reported in 2017 that "extremely valuable" information was turned over by Craig County Sheriff Heath Winfrey. 

Officials said they charged Busick Sunday in connection with the case. He faces four charges of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and a final count of arson.

Busick is currently in custody in Newston, Kansas, according to investigators.

At least two other people were involved in the case, they said. Those two, identified as Warren Phillip Welch and David Pennington, have since died. 

Members of the victim’s families learned Lauria and Ashley were likely kept alive some time after their disappearance, but they have since died. Their bodies have not been recovered.

An affidavit claimed Welch kept photographs in a leather briefcase that showed the girls bound and gagged at his Picher home during their last days. According to the affidavit, multiple people said they had seen the pictures, but the suspects reportedly threatened them.

The affidavit claimed the girls were tied up, drugged and raped before they were killed. It said the girls were strangled and their bodies were dumped into a pit, which may have been a mine shaft near Picher.

Multiple people told investigators that both Welch and Pennington dealt methamphetamine, according to the affidavit. One person reportedly told investigators that Pennington had said the girls had entered a room where Freeman’s parents were buying drugs on the night of the crime.

Another witness reportedly said that a conversation between Welch, Pennington and Busick had implied that the Freeman parents had been murdered over a debt. That witness said the suspects had also hinted that they had taken the two girls and eventually killed them, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said an insurance card found near the scene connected to a car that investigators believed to be connected to a vehicle in Welch's possession helped them in the case.

It said that the suspects had threatened the lives of people who may have had information about the crimes.

Investigators said they still need people to come forward about where the girls' bodies may be. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-522-8017 or via email at tips@osbi.ok.gov.

Officials said a private reward of $50,000 still stands for information related to the location of the girls.

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