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Day care owner charged after children found bound by necks, strapped into car seats

A Texas day care owner was arrested Saturday after police searched her home Friday and found several of her charges bound by the neck and strapped into car seats.

Investigators also said in an arrest affidavit that Rebecca Anderson, 60, of Mesquite, drugged the children to keep them quiet, NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth reported

Anderson, who owns Becky’s Home Child Care, is charged with nine counts of endangering a child through criminal neglect -- one count for each child in her home Friday -- and one count of injury to a child, Dallas County Jail records show. She is being held in lieu of $45,000 bail. 

The affidavit obtained by NBC 5 said that Anderson came under suspicion Thursday after the father of a 6-month-old boy she cared for reviewed footage from a small video camera mounted on the baby’s car seat. The footage showed Anderson yanking the infant from the car seat by his ankle and picking him up off the ground by the bib tied around his neck, investigators said.

The recording also showed Anderson feeding the boy an “unknown substance using a plastic liquid syringe,” the affidavit said

The man brought the video to Mesquite police officials, who obtained a search warrant for Anderson’s home, the news station reported. When the search warrant was executed Friday, Anderson claimed that she had just five children in her care at the time.

Officers searching the home found another four children, three of them strapped into plastic car seats in a dark closet in the master bedroom and the fourth child restrained in the master bathroom, NBC 5 reported

“Shoelace-like ligatures” were found tied around the children’s necks, the arrest affidavit said. Some of the ligatures had to be cut to free the children. 

Anderson admitted to officers that she used the ligatures to limit the children’s movements and sometimes kept them strapped into car seats for as long as seven hours at a time, the document said, according to the news station. She also admitted she “had likely given Tylenol to all of the children,” investigators said.

>> Read more trending news

Neighbors told ABC 13 in Houston that they sometimes heard children screaming from Anderson’s home. 

“It just kind of concerned me, the way the kids sounded when the parents dropped them off, where it alarmed me,” one neighbor told the news station

Becky’s Home Child Care could not be found among the database of licensed day care centers approved by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. 

Google search for her facility shows it as permanently closed. 

Sleep-deprived drivers more likely to cause car crashes, study finds

Not getting enough shut-eye each night can be detrimental to your health. It can also affect your ability to drive, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a study, published in the Sleep journal, to determine the relationship between sleep deprivation and motor vehicle crashes. 

“While the dangers of driving drowsy were already well known, this is the first peer-reviewed study to quantify the relationship between how much a driver has slept and his or her risk of being responsible for a crash,” the authors wrote in a statement.

For their assessment, they examined data from a previous trial administered by the United States Department of Transportation, which included information on 5,470 crashes, including interviews with the drivers involved.

After analyzing the results, they found an estimated 7 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in America and 16 percent of fatal crashes involve driver drowsiness.

>> Related: Study: Sleep deprivation can make you feel lonely, socially distant

Upon further investigation, they discovered drivers who got fewer than four hours of sleep were 15 times more likely to cause a car collision, compared to those who received seven to nine hours. In fact, they compared the risk to that of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration roughly 1.5 times the legal limit.

Being awake isn't the same as being alert. Falling asleep isn't the only risk,” co-author Brian Tefft said in a statement. “Even if they manage to stay awake, sleep-deprived drivers are still at increased risk of making mistakes—like failing to notice something important, or misjudging a gap in traffic—which can have tragic consequences.”

The scientists also revealed drivers who slept less than four hours had an elevated risk of single-vehicle crashes, which are more likely to result in injury or death. Furthermore, those who had changed their sleep or work schedule in the past week and those who had been on the road for three hours or longer without taking a break also had an increased risk.

>> Related: Fatal wrecks involving pedestrians up 16% in Georgia this year

Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look at the full report here.

Trump: FBI shouldn't investigate Kavanaugh allegation

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he does not believe the FBI should investigate a decades-old sexual assault allegation levied against his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

>> Read more trending news

“I don’t think the FBI really should be involved because they don’t want to be involved,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda. “If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that, but as you know they say this is not really their thing.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday pushed back a planned vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which was scheduled to take place Thursday, after Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at California’s Palo Alto University, told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when they were teenagers in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied the incident took place.

>> Brett Kavanaugh for SCOTUS: Senate to hold new hearing Monday on Kavanaugh sexual assault allegation

Democrats had called for Thursday’s vote to be postponed to give the FBI time to investigate the allegation, though Justice Department officials said in a statement Monday night that the alleged incident “does not involve any potential federal crime.”

>> Who is Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser?

The department said the FBI's role during background investigations is to evaluate whether the nominee could pose a national security risk and then provide that information "for the use of the decision makers."

>> Donald Trump Jr. mocks Brett Kavanaugh accuser in Instagram post

Trump has previously voiced support for Kavanaugh, who he’s called “one of the finest people that I’ve ever known.” The president said Tuesday that he remained “totally supportive” of Kavanaugh.

“He’s got an unblemished record,” Trump said.

>> Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court?

The president said Kavanaugh is “anxious” to testify about the allegation and that Republicans support the process.

“We feel that we want to go through this process and we want to give everybody a chance to say what they have to say,” Trump said Tuesday. “We have time available. We will delay the process until it’s finished out. … A delay is certainly acceptable. We want to get to the bottom of everything.”

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Trump stands by Kavanaugh, chides Democrats over last minute allegations

Kavanaugh and Ford are expected to appear Monday for a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rising golf star Celia Barquin Arozamena found dead on Iowa golf course

Update 11:29 a.m. EDT Sept. 18: Police have released additional details on the discovery of the body of Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Police said her body was found in a pond with several stab wounds to the head, neck and upper torso, The Des Moines Register reported.

Collin Daniel Richards, who is accused of killing Barquin Arozamena, appeared in court Tuesday morning. 

Police said during their investigation, they spoke to a man, identified as D.B., who was leaving the golf course area. Police said D.B. asked police, “What did he do to her?” KCCI reported. Police continued their questioning of D.B., who identified Richards as an acquaintance of his who was staying at a temporary camp near the golf course at the same time D.B. was staying there, KCCI reported.

D.B. told police Richards had told him that he “had an urge to rape and kill a woman” as they walked near the golf course, the Register reported

As police were at the camp, Richards approached them. Police said Richards had several fresh scratches on his face and he tried to cover a deep cut on his left hand, multiple media outlets reported.

He was there after two other people told police they were planning on driving him to Jefferson, Iowa, and that he was at the campsite to pick up his tent, the Register reported

At the site, police said they found two pairs of shorts with what they believe are blood stains and a knife, KCCI reported.

During an interview with Richards, police said he told them he had been staying at the home of a man identified as C.J. Police interviewed that man, who said Richards came to his home earlier in the day, covered in blood, sand and water, and appeared disheveled. C. J. said Richards asked if he could bathe, KCCI reported.  

C.J. offered to wash Richards’ clothes, KCCI reported. The Register reported Richards left the home with them in a backpack.

A judge set a $5 million cash-only bond after Richards was deemed a flight risk and a threat to the community, KCCI reported. He was told by the judge that he faces life in prison. 

Original report: An up-and-coming golfer has been found dead, her body discovered on a golf course in Iowa. 

Police found Celia Barquin Arozamena’s body was found Monday night at Coldwater Links golf course in Ames, Iowa, ABC News reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The discovery of Barquin Arozamena’s body came after golfers found a golf bag on the course earlier that morning, but no one was around it, ABC News reported.

Police said Barquin Arozamena was found “some distance away” and had been assaulted, KCCI reported.

But police did not say exactly how she died, KCCI reported.

Police arrested Collin Richards Monday night and charged him with first-degree murder in connection to her death, ABC News reported.

Barquin Arozamena was the 2018 Big 12 champion and was named Iowa State Female Athlete of the Yearthe Des Moines Register reported.

She was a senior at Iowa State and was from Puente San Miguel, Spain, according to her Iowa State biography.

>> Read more trending news 

She will be honored at Saturday’s Iowa State football game. Her funeral arrangements have not been released yet.

Barquin Arozamena had qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open this summer. The Alabama event was a LPGA Tour major. She didn’t advance past the first two rounds, ABC News reported.

Hurricane Florence: Coast Guard rescues beagles by boatful in floodwater

Members of the United States Coast Guard rescued 10 furry friends from floodwaters that came during Hurricane Florence.

USA Today reported that beagles were in cages as a trailer was underwater in Riegelwood, North Carolina.

>> Read more trending news 

The dogs’ owners, Josephine Horne and her husband, Jackie Horne, were rescued first, brought on board a 16-foot Coast Guard punt boat. Another boat came by and Coast Guard member Mitchell Moretti rushed to rescue a beagle.

Related: Hurricane Florence: Trucker driving school bus rescues 64 dogs, cats from South Carolina

“If we would have gotten here just a few minutes later, I don’t know if these guys would have made it,” Moretti said.

Soon the boat was filled with the dogs.

“We got a boat full of beagles!” crew member Tyler Elliott said. “This is the best day of my life!”

Horne told USA Today she and her husband initially evacuated to a relative's home, but went back to their trailer once it looked like the storm died down.

“It looked like everything was fine. It was fine,” she said. “It’s like this came out of nowhere all at once.”

A neighbor’s four pit bulls were also rescued.  

Blockbuster is back ... sort of

The ‘80s and ‘90s are alive and well in London, at least temporarily. 

A Blockbuster video store has opened in London. 

But as always, there is a catch. 

It is only open on Monday and Tuesday, and there’s only one movie available, NME reported.

The pop-up location opened to promote the DVD and Blu-ray release of “Deadpool 2.”

Those pack rats who still have their membership card will get front-of-the-line access and will receive a limited-edition VHS case with a digital download code for the movie, NME reported.

The shop had 1,989 copies of the movie to be given away. Blockbuster opened its first shop in London in 1989, Gizmodo reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Texas 4-year-old finds, fires AK-47 after parents argue, dad stabs family cat to death

A Texas man is accused of killing his family’s pet cat and threatening to kill his girlfriend during a domestic disturbance in which the couple’s 4-year-old son found an AK-47 rifle and fired it, police said. 

Mario Eduardo Salinas, 27, of Galveston, is charged with animal cruelty, making a terroristic threat to a family member and tampering with physical evidence, according to Galveston County Jail records

The Galveston Daily News reported that police officers were called around 8 a.m. Sept. 10 by Salinas’ girlfriend, who told investigators Salinas had threatened to kill her and the family’s pets, which also included a dog, and take the couple’s two children. A criminal complaint obtained by the newspaper said Salinas found out the victim wanted to leave him. 

He threatened to chop her up and kill the animals, the complaint said. 

The woman, afraid to go home, called the report in from work, the Daily News reported. Salinas was at the couple’s home with the children and the animals at that time, police investigators said. 

Around 9:45 a.m., police received a call about a gunshot that came from inside the home where the couple and their children live. No one was home when officers responded to the home.

Salinas showed up a short time later, with blood on his clothes and boots, the Daily News reported

He told the officers his son had found the AK-47 and fired it, killing Snowflake, the family’s cat, the police complaint said. A family friend who was at the house when the cat died, however, told investigators that Salinas had stabbed the cat and threw the animal’s body away in an alley.

When the cat’s body was found by animal control officers two days later, a veterinarian who examined the feline found 12 stab wounds, police officials said. 

>> Read more trending news

Investigators said in the criminal complaint that Salinas got several guns out of a safe and placed them on a bed during the argument with his girlfriend. The guns were left out after she left for work.

The couple’s son later climbed onto the bed and fired the loaded rifle, sending a bullet through a dresser and out the back wall of the home, the Daily News reported. No one was injured by the gunshot.

Police and Texas Child Protective Services workers were still investigating the incident Friday, the newspaper reported.

Salinas remained in custody Tuesday. His bail had been set at $47,500, but jail records showed he was also being held on an emergency protective order. 

Black women exposed to toxic chemicals in hair products, study shows

Black women are potentially exposed to dozens of hazardous chemicals through the products they use on their hair, according to a recent study from Silent Spring Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to identifying and breaking the links between environmental chemicals and women’s health.

>> Read more trending news

The study, which measured a range of hormone-disrupting chemicals in hair products marketed to black women, is one of several studies in recent years that have brought increased attention to an overlooked concern.

“We know from previous research that black women suffer disproportionately from hormone-related health problems,” said the study’s lead author, Jessica Helm. “The study tested hair products used by black women to see if they could be a source of some of the chemicals of concern.”

In 18 different hair products including hot oil treatments, leave-in conditioners and hair relaxers, a total of 45 endocrine disrupters were found, with each product containing from four to 30 of the target chemicals. Eleven of the products contained seven chemicals prohibited in the European Union or regulated under California’s Proposition 65, the 1986 act enacted to help Californians protect themselves from exposure to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other harm.

While more research is needed to determine the extent to which women are exposed to these chemicals, the study is an important step in helping researchers understand why black women may experience early puberty and have higher rates of hormone-related issues such as uterine fibroids, infertility and pre-term births, Helm said.

Black women looking to find safer options for hair products do have some resources and guidelines. 

“Look for opportunities to use fewer products,” Helm said. “When choosing a product, know which products are made with plants or that are fragrance-, phthalate- and paraben-free.” The institute has developed Detox Me, a free mobile app that offers tips for reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in personal care products.

In 2017, African-Americans spent $54 million of a total $63 million on ethnic hair and beauty aids, according to data from Nielsen. Black shoppers also spent more in the general beauty marketplace. Last year, their spending accounted for $473 million of the $4.2 billion hair care industry. Despite their disproportionate spending in the category, there has been little research on the impact these products could have on black women’s health. Some black women have said they suspected the dangers of black hair products long before they had scientific data to back it up.

>> On MyAJC.com: The bald and the beautiful: Black women need to get real about hair weaves

As early as the 1980s, Erica Blevins recalls her mother, Rosario Schuler, questioning the damaging effects of chemical hair relaxers. Schuler couldn’t understand why stylists wore gloves to apply the straighteners, but did not protect the scalps of clients. In 1987, Schuler opened Oh My Nappy Hair, a hair salon based in Oakland, California, that focused on using natural products to style black women’s hair.

“When we first started the business 30 years ago, one of the reasons we went into natural hair care and tried to use as many natural products as possible is because we suspected that the relaxers that were popular back then were one of the things that added to fibroids,” said Blevins, who operates the Atlanta location, which opened in 2004.

Their options for natural hair products were limited at the time, Blevins said. But while the natural hair boom of the past 10 years has led to a host of new and more natural hair products for black women, the market hasn’t caught up to their desire for safer products.

In 2016, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which helps consumers lead healthier lives through research and education, tested more than 1,100 products marketed to black women and tracked the toxicity of ingredients in its Skin Deep Database. The results revealed that black women who wanted to shop within the products marketed to them had fewer safe choices, said Nneka Leiba, director of Healthy Living Science for the EWG. Only 25 percent of the tested products for black women rated at the lowest level of toxicity compared to more than 40 percent of tested products in the general market.

Both the EWG and Silent Spring found hair relaxers to be among the biggest offenders. Up to 30 endocrine-disrupting chemicals were found in one relaxer sample, Helm said. Hair dyes also got low ratings from the EWG. But even chemicals considered less egregious such as parabens, which prevent bacterial growth, and diethyl salate, a solvent in fragrances, are associated with endocrine disruption and can be increasingly toxic the more products you use.

>> On AJC.com: Lawsuit claims L’Oreal hair relaxer causes baldness in black women

It can be hard to make a lifestyle change, said Leiba, but for almost every category of hair care, there are safer choices for black women. 

“Look at all the products you are using and see how you can reduce your overall chemical load,” she said. As a consumer, she said, it is important to vote with your wallet and push companies to develop safer options.

Over the years, some hair care companies have launched new product lines in response to the demand. Many of the products are prominently marketed as being free of potentially harmful chemicals.

Alissa Haskins has been voting with her wallet for years. As the founder of an Atlanta-based group that supported black women transitioning to natural hair, she has seen more women become aware of the dangerous ingredients in products.

“There are a lot of people who don’t care and just want something that is going to help them do what they want to do with their hair,” Haskins said. “You get to a point where you start memorizing some of these ingredients and you don’t even buy the products.”

Gas pipeline pressure before explosions was 12 times higher than normal

The investigation continues into the deadly natural gas line explosion near Boston and the U.S. senators who represent Massachusetts have sent a letter to the executives of the utility company in charge of that area saying the pressure in the lines was 12 times higher than it should have been, The Associated Press reported.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey sent a letter to Columbia Gas and its parent company NiSource.

The letter says: 

“The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has reported that the pressure in the Columbia Gas system should have been around 0.5 pounds per square inch (PSI), but readings in the area reached at least 6 PSI — twelve times higher than the system was intended to hold.”

Click here to read the correspondence which requests a response from Stephen Bryant, president and chief operating officer of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, and Joseph Hamrock, president and chief executive officer of NiSource, by close of business Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news 

The letter states that a spike registered in a control room in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 13, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. 

The letter then asks both Hamrock and Bryant, what time was the pressure spike registered, when did employees notice the spike and should it have triggered any alarms, among other questions. 

>>Read: Timeline of events during Merrimack Valley gas explosions

It also requests that Columbia Gas provide its emergency response plan for the area that was affected and how it was followed during the Sept. 13 incident.

One person was killed and more than two dozen were hurt in the explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, the AP reported.

Approximately 8,600 customers were affected and have been forced from their homes. Some many have to go without gas service for weeks, the AP reported.

>>Read: Thousands file damage claims with Columbia Gas as recovery efforts continue

The NTSB is investigating pressure sensors connected to a gas line that was in the process of being taken out of service just before the explosions, the AP reported.

Julie Chen leaves 'The Talk' after husband Les Moonves leaves CBS

Television host and producer Julie Chen is leaving “The Talk,” CBS’s daytime talk show, following her husband Les Moonves’s resignation as CEO of the television network, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending new

Update 3:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 18: Chen confirmed her departure in a pre-recorded video aired Tuesday on “The Talk.”

“I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son, so I’ve decided to leave ‘The Talk,’” Chen said in the video. “I love you all and I know this show and the sisterhood it stands for will live on for many, many, many more years to come.”

She did not directly address allegations against her husband, who has been accused by several women of sexual misconduct over a 30-year span.

Chen has co-hosted “The Talk” alongside actress Sara Gilbert and media personality Sharon Osbourne since the show premiered in October 2010. Comedian Sheryl Underwood and musician Eve also co-host the program.

Original report: It was not immediately clear when Chen planned to officially announce her departure. Citing an unidentified source, Page Six reported Monday that Chen would step down in the coming weeks. However, CNN reported that Chen was expected to announce her departure in a videotaped message to viewers Tuesday. The news network reported she will continue to act as host on the reality show “Big Brother.”

>> CBS CEO Les Moonves resigns after new accusations surface

“She has decided that her main focus needs to be clearing her husband’s name from accusations made 25-30 years ago and tending to her son,” an unidentified person told CNN.

After 20 years with CBS, Moonves stepped down as the network’s CEO earlier this month amid a slew of sexual misconduct allegations. At least a dozen women told The New Yorker they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Moonves.

>> CBS investigating after chairman Les Moonves accused of sexual misconduct by 6 women

Chen supported her husband after allegations first surfaced over the summer.

“Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader,” Chen said in a statement released in July. “He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him.”

Chen was absent for the season premiere of “The Talk,” which aired on Sept. 10, one day after her husband left CBS. In a statement, she said she would be off for a few days, but she did not address the allegations against her husband.

Chen has co-hosted “The Talk” alongside actress Sara Gilbert and media personality Sharon Osbourne since the show premiered in October 2010. Comedian Sheryl Underwood and musician Eve also co-host the program.

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