Police probing accusations that missing GA man scammed people on Super Bowl tickets

Sports News Police probing accusations that missing GA man scammed people on Super Bowl tickets https://linewsradio.com/police-probing-accusations-that-missing-ga-man-scammed-people-on-super-bowl-tickets/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — A Georgia man is accused of collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for promised tickets to the Super Bowl appears to have gone missing, according to local police.

More than a dozen people who spoke with Gwinnett County Police — including the man’s mother — said they gave money to Ketam Shah for tickets to the Super Bowl, which will be held Sunday in Atlanta.

In total, alleged victims have told police that Shah has nearly three-quarters of a million dollars of their money, Cpl. Wilbert Rundles of the Gwinnett County Police Department told ABC affiliate WSB.

According to police reports reviewed by ABC News, Shah’s mother told police she gave him $36,000 last year to buy Super Bowl tickets, with the promise that he would sell the tickets and give her the profits. Shah is not currently facing any charge. Police officials said they are investigating the complaints.

Another alleged victim, John Michael Brunetti, told police he purchased 10 tickets valued at $50,000 total after his brother told him that Shah would sell tickets to the first 250 people who sought to purchase them.

Brunetti said he called Shah’s business, Digital Xpress Printing in Norcross, Georgia, where Shah’s wife informed him that Shah had not been heard from since Jan. 3.

“I had a signed contract,” Brunetti told WSB. “I thought that I’d covered everything, except for ‘hey, will this guy possibly abandon all this to flee to another state or country?’”

Shah’s daughter and wife both told police that they did not know of a plan by Shah to sell the tickets until they were contacted by two of the alleged victims. They told police that Shah had previously disappeared, gone to Las Vegas, Nevada, and returned, and that his wife and daughter told police they suspected that he had taken the Superbowl ticket money and gone back to Las Vegas “as part of a midlife crisis,” according to police reports.

Other reports claim that alleged victims from across Georgia sent Shah amounts including $20,000, $30,000 and $54,000.

The reports also said Shah took out a $500,000 loan against his business, which he co-owns with his wife and daughter, from a Columbus, Georgia business. The loan, according to the police reports, was purportedly taken for an event at an arena during the Super Bowl.

Another resident who told police his brother-in-law had wired $10,000 to Shah for two tickets described him as “a well-known citizen in the community” and “very convincing.”

“It’s not that he posted some ad and random people are contacting this guy for tickets and being scammed,” Rundles told WSB. “He’s known these people for many years. One of them, he’s known his whole life because it’s his own mother.”

Rundles told ABC News that possible charges in the case may include theft by deception and more depending on the investigation, but that Shah “still has a few days to make good on the deals.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 01 Feb 2019

The hidden danger of the humble toothpick

Guido Cautreels/EyeEm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Before you bite into that sandwich, take a closer look. Toothpicks have been known to injure thousands more people every year than plane crashes or shark attacks.

The danger a single toothpick can represent was highlighted in a recent case study published by the New England Journal of Medicine about a man who nearly died from swallowing a toothpick. It was hidden in a sandwich, and he had no idea he’d swallowed it — and neither did his doctors. As he continued to get sicker, scan after scan showed nothing; these small wooden objects don’t show up on medical imaging.

These sharp, pointy sticks used to clean teeth have been around for thousands of years; researchers found toothpick grooves in the teeth of a Neanderthal from 130,000 years ago. Toothpicks used to be whittled from sticks until the 1880s, when a Massachusetts businessman began mass-producing them with machines, making millions of toothpicks a day.

Death by toothpick is unusual — most injuries aren’t fatal. If someone swallows a toothpick they could, of course, choke on it.

It might also go unnoticed, however, down into the stomach. The stomach’s acid doesn’t break down wooden or plastic objects like it breaks down food. The toothpick can end up in the intestines, and poke a hole through the bowels or an artery, causing infection, bleeding, sepsis, and even death.

The young man in the medical study had recurring fevers and abdominal pain after gut bacteria leaked into his blood through a toothpick puncture in his bowel. A course of antibiotics could slow the infection down, but it always came back. Even when doctors looked into his intestine with a colonoscopy, the hole was so small that it couldn’t be seen. It wasn’t until surgery that doctors found the toothpick lodged in an intestinal artery.

The man survived and his case is rare, but far from unheard of. Children are at the highest risk, so toothpicks need to be kept out of reach, or not used at all.

This article was written by Dr. Azka Afzal, MD, a resident physician at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

As the deep chill thaws, stay vigilant to avoid catching a cold

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The weather outside has been dangerously frightful for much of the nation.

The extreme cold is also very dangerous for our health. There’s frost bite, hypothermia and increased risk for respiratory tract infections.

“The extreme cold temperature effects white blood cells, so cold temperatures are a liability in fighting infection,” Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist and internist at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, told ABC News.

The good news is that the deep freeze is going to start to thaw with warmer temperatures on the way, according to ABC News meteorologists.

But the warmer weather has some people asking: Are the rapid swings in temperatures bad for my health?

Horovitz said a person is no more likely to get a cold or the flu when the mercury dramatically heats up in a short time.

“You catch cold and flu from other people, not from the weather,” he noted.

He added, “The warming up will not put people at greater risk of catching a bug but people should not let down their guard. It’s still cold and flu season so stay vigilant. Dress for the weather, wash your hands frequently, don’t put your hands near your face.”

Horovitz said people tend to be more social as the weather warms and go out more frequently. That means being exposed to more people — and more germs.

Unlike extreme low temperatures, a rapid increase doesn’t have the same impact on white blood cells so it’s unlikely to compromise your immune system, he explained.

“High temperatures do not have that effect,” he said.

His final word of advice: don’t let down your guard.

“Keep washing your hands thoroughly, both sides with warm soapy water and don’t touch your face,” he said.

Remember, flu season usually doesn’t end until March.

This article was written by Eric M. Strauss, managing editor of the ABC News Medical Unit. He welcomes your feedback on Twitter: @ericMstrauss.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pope making historic visit to United Arab Emirates on mission to forge interfaith dialogue

WORLD NEWS Pope making historic visit to United Arab Emirates on mission to forge interfaith dialogue  https://linewsradio.com/pope-making-historic-visit-to-united-arab-emirates-on-mission-to-forge-interfaith-dialogue/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — Less than a week after returning from his last foreign trip, Pope Francis sets off Sunday on a trip to the United Arab Emirates where he will celebrate the largest public open-air mass ever to be held in the region.

On his first full day in the city, the Pope will meet the crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, as well as members of the International Muslim Council of Elders in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and attend and speak at an important interreligious meeting together with about 700 people from different faiths in the region.

On Feb. 5, the second and final day of his visit, he will celebrate mass at the Zayed Sports City, which is built to contain 50,000 people. Over 130,000 people, mostly Catholic immigrants from Asia working in the region, have received tickets. Those who cannot find a place in the stadium will watch the mass on giant screens in the surrounding area. The Pope will tour the crowds inside and outside the stadium while inside his popemobile.

The Pope will be greeted upon arrival and will be accompanied throughout his visit by the Grand Imam Al-Azhar from Cairo. This will be the fifth time these two religious leaders have met.

The first pope to visit the Arabian peninsula, his visit is seen as momentous for the Muslim region and especially important for the UAE, which is currently celebrating its ‘Year of Tolerance’ and wants to be seen as a peace-building nation, especially between people of Christian and Muslim faiths.

Critics of the UAE’s record on human rights and the country’s involvement in the war in the neighboring state of Yemen hope the pope will use the visit to speak out against these and other issues in the region.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 01 Feb 2019

Chicago Bulls waive Carmelo Anthony

Sports News Chicago Bulls waive Carmelo Anthony https://linewsradio.com/chicago-bulls-waive-carmelo-anthony/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The Chicago Bulls have waived forward Carmelo Anthony, allowing him to enter free agency, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Bulls originally acquired Anthony, along with cash considerations, in a trade with the Houston Rockets. Anthony never played a game in a Bulls uniform as the team planned to waive him barring any trade offers.

It’s the fourth team Anthony has landed on in two seasons. After an unsuccessful stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he was traded to the Hawks in exchange for point guard Dennis Schroeder. The Hawks then waived the 10-time All Star, allowing him to sign with the Rockets.

Anthony only played in ten games for the Rockets before head coach Mike D’Antoni decided he did not fit with the roster.

“It wasn’t fair for him as a Hall of Fame player to play in a role that wasn’t good for him,” D’Antoni told reporters at the time. “It wasn’t a fit.”

Anthony is now free to sign with any team of his choosing, with the Lakers considered the frontrunner as he is good friends with current Laker LeBron James. The Lakers would need to open up a roster spot to sign Anthony, something that could happen if the team manages to pull off a trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 01 Feb 2019

Meghan Markle writes empowering messages on bananas for women living on the streets

WORLD NEWS Meghan Markle writes empowering messages on bananas for women living on the streets  https://linewsradio.com/meghan-markle-writes-empowering-messages-on-bananas-for-women-living-on-the-streets/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images(BRISTOL, England) — Meghan Markle is spreading messages of support to women in sex work during her trip to Bristol.

In a video shared on Kensington Palace’s Twitter page, the Duchess of Sussex can be seen writing positive messages on banana skins while packing lunches for One25Charity’s outreach service.

“I’m in charge of the banana messaging,” Markle, 37, can be heard saying in the footage.

Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, were recently welcomed to the English city, which is about 120 miles west of their London home.

One25 is a Bristol-based non-profit organization that helps women who are “trapped in or vulnerable to street sex work,” according to the charity’s website.

During her visit, Markle asked for a Sharpie and began writing messages of affirmations on food, an ABC News royal contributor tweeted.

“You are special, You are strong, You are loved, You are amazing,” Markle wrote on the bananas.

The food will be handed out to women by One25’s mobile van service on Friday night, an ABC royals contributor tweeted. They added that Markle said she was inspired to write the messages after seeing a cafeteria manager at a school in Virginia in the U.S. doing the same for her students.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 01 Feb 2019

Lindsey Vonn to retire after world championship: ‘My body is screaming at me to STOP’

Sports News Lindsey Vonn to retire after world championship: 'My body is screaming at me to STOP' https://linewsradio.com/lindsey-vonn-to-retire-after-world-championship-my-body-is-screaming-at-me-to-stop/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are set to take place in Are, Sweden next week, and star Lindsey Vonn says those races will be her last in professional skiing.  

Citing years of injuries and surgeries as the catalyst for her decision, the three-time Olympic medalist announced her retirement plans Friday in a Facebook post that included photos of her achievements over the years.

“I am struggling with the reality of what my body is telling me versus what my mind and heart believe I’m capable of. The unfortunate reality is my mind and body are not on the same page,” Vonn wrote. “After many sleepless nights, I have finally accepted that I cannot continue ski racing. I will compete at the World Championships in Downhill and Super-G next week in Åre, Sweden and they will be the final races of my career.”

Vonn continued that for several years she has struggled with “more injuries and surgeries than I care to admit,” and that her desire to push limits in her sport has come with it share of “dramatic crashes” in addition to success.

She rehabbed her way back from a painful crash last year, but crashed again last November, tearing her LCL and sustaining three fractures, she explained in her post. Now, she admits, her body is “broken beyond repair.”

“My body is screaming at me to STOP and it’s time for me to listen,” she said.

Vonn will hold a press conference on Monday in Sweden, where she’ll discuss her plans beyond retirement.

In the meantime, the pro skier said she is “not giving up,” but she is “just starting a new chapter,” while encouraging her young fans not to lose faith in their dreams and to fight for what they love.

Vonn thanked her fans for their support before expressing her excitement for her last races.

“Can’t wait to see some of you in the finish in Are where I will give it my all one last time,” she wrote.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 01 Feb 2019

‘Westworld’ star Evan Rachel Wood opens up about suicide attempt, mental illness

Steve Granitz/WireImage(NEW YORK) — In a very raw and personal essay, Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood opened up about her struggles with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, calling mental illness one of the “biggest lies in society today.”

“Because we can’t see depression, it’s easier to write off. It’s easier for people to put a negative stereotype on you,” she wrote in a column for Nylon magazine.

Instead, Wood stressed that a broken arm and a bout of depression are both very real, very traumatizing events in a person’s life, though one can be seen and the other cannot. Then the acclaimed actress got candid like never before.

“When I was 22, I willingly checked myself into a psychiatric hospital, and I have absolutely no shame about it,” she wrote. “Looking back, it was the worst, best thing that ever happened to me.”

Wood explained that after not sleeping or eating in three days and hitting an absolute low point, she called her mother and said, “Mom?… It’s me… I just tried to kill myself… I need to go to a hospital.”

This was the first time she had asked for help.

“The beautiful thing about being at the bottom is there is nowhere to go but up,” she said. “I had to be vulnerable and give up some control. I had to put my shame and my pride aside.”

Wood said she was struggling from mental illness and PTSD after “multiple rapes and a severely abusive relationship that went on for years.”

“I was afraid to be alone, but I also couldn’t be around people. I could barely leave my own house. I was too afraid to go outside. I couldn’t sleep because every little noise was deafening. I was defensive, I was impulsive, and I had no healthy coping mechanisms yet. I lost friends. I lost job opportunities,” she shared.

The now 31-year-old actress explained that some of the choices she made almost a decade ago were really a cry for help.

“I wasn’t crazy, and I didn’t need to be kicked while I was down — I needed help. I needed understanding. I needed to feel unconditional love. I needed to not be judged,” she said.

After she started getting help, Wood said she “was so relieved to feel safe. To feel taken care of, and to feel like no one could find me and hurt me.”

She eloquently described the experience of letting go, meeting new people while in the hospital and finally accepting help and love.

“We were incredibly loving and empathetic to each other,” she wrote, adding that sharing her story made her feel validated and that “it was a great burden lifted.”

The actress slowly started to grow stronger both physically and mentally, and eventually started “to feel like me again.”

Now, years later, Wood continues with therapy but still struggles with PTSD.

“But I know that I will get through it. I have better tools now to get through what seem like the impossible times, and most importantly, I know my worth,” she said. “Depression isn’t weakness, it’s a sickness. Sometimes a deadly one. And sometimes all people need is to know that they are loved and that others are there for them. They may not take your hand right away, but knowing it’s there could save their life one day. Or who knows, you might help save your own.”

Anyone in crisis, or who knows someone in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.