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Tyra Banks drops age limit from "America's Top Model"

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By Stephen Iervolino

ABC/Ron Tom(LOS ANGELES) In a blow for equality, Tyra Banks took to Instagram to announce that age will truly be just a number when it comes to America’s Top Model.

“I’ve stood for diverse beauty, and erasing cookie cutters when it comes to what is deemed beautiful,” the entrepreneur and model explained in her feed, noting that all 23 installments of her hit show have limited models to 27 years of age and younger.

Until now.

“You know what I hear all the time? ‘Tyra, come on! Why have an age limit!’ So you know what? I’m taking that age limit off. You want to audition for America’s Next Top Model? I don’t care how old you are, honey! You just need to know how to smize and be open to learning how to work the runway like a supermodel.”

Hopefuls of any age or size are encouraged to send three photos, along with your name, age, height, and weight, and contact info to VH1TopModel@gmail.com.

There is one hard and fast rule, however: you must be a U.S. Citizen, Tyra explained.

The new season of America’s Next Top Model is slated to begin production this summer.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

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Police dog shows fastest way to capture a suspect

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By Kelly Terez

Marc Richardson(YORK, England) — Dutch, a 7-year-old police dog based in the United Kingdom, has figured out the fastest way to get inside a suspicious vehicle.

Dutch was on a training course on March 29 when he jumped through what was supposed to be a suspicious vehicle’s window.

In the video, Dutch searches the vehicle for suspects and then “detains” them by barking at them.

Dutch finished running his course on March 31 and was ready for some relaxation.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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Two survive after plane crashes at Olympic National Park

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By Kelly Terez

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Two people on board a plane that crashed into the side of a mountain at Olympic National Park in Washington state on Sunday evening have survived, federal officials told ABC News.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Peter Knudson told ABC News the student and instructor on the single engine Cirrus SR-22 aircraft crashed around 3:48 p.m. local time. The NTSB is investigating the incident.

The Washington State Department of Transportation confirmed to ABC News that the pair on board the crashed plane made contact with a nearby commercial flight over an emergency frequency, but could not confirm the airline. The FAA and the Navy could not confirm this report. The FAA said the incident is under investigation.

The Navy rescued the instructor and student from Jupiter Mountain at approximately 6 p.m. local time with an MH-60S helicopter. The crew members administered emergency medical care before flying them to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The nursing supervisor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle says the pair are in serious condition in the intensive care unit.

Photos from the Navy show rescue workers tending to the crash on the side of a snowy mountain.

An FAA spokesperson told ABC News the crash occurred under unknown circumstances after departing from Everett’s Paine Field and the plane suffered substantial damage in the incident.

The parachute on board the Cirrus SR-22 aircraft was not deployed during the crash, according to the FAA. Cirrus aircraft are equipped with a parachute that can be deployed in the event of an emergency.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Texas Senate News for April 5

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By jcht2010

PANEL CONSIDERS RETIRED TEACHER HEALTHCARE REFORM
A bill to make sweeping changes to TRS-Care, the healthcare provider for most retired teachers, was considered in the Senate State Affairs Committee Monday. Rising healthcare costs have made current funding streams for the program unsustainable and the state is faced with a difficult choice, said bill author and committee Chair Joan Huffman of Houston. TRS-Care shortfalls have become an annual expenditure to the state. This year, the Senate budget includes $760 million to cover the fund’s insolvency for the upcoming biennium, and that number is projected to rise to $2.2 billion by 2021. “As there appears, at this point, to be no end to the rising cost and financial woes of TRS-Care, long-term solutions must be pursued immediately,” she said. “Providing supplemental funding each biennium to keep TRS-Care solvent is no longer feasible or fiscally responsible.”
According to agency testimony, TRS-Care serves more than 200,000 retired teachers in the state, but it’s those who are under the age of 65 that cost the system the most. That’s because once a person reaches 65 and qualifies for federal Medicare benefits, the state system ends up paying only about 10 to 20 percent of that person’s total health care bill. For the younger members, the state pays the entire bill. TRS Executive Director Brian Guthrie testified that under-65 retirees make up about a third of the total TRS-Care clientele, but account for two-thirds of the cost. Merely increasing premiums on plans would lead to more and more retirees selecting a zero-premium, high-deductible plan offered through the program, driving premium revenue down even lower and putting the program into a “death spiral”, said Guthrie.
Huffman’s bill, SB 788, seeks to deal with this problem on multiple fronts. First, it removes the requirement that TRS offer a zero-premium plan to its members. Rather than the current three-tier system, TRS Care would be organized into pre- and post-65 plans. Before the age of 65, retirees would pay a high deductible, and would see premiums increase over a four-year phase-in. Medicare-eligible retirees would move to the Medicare Advantage program, which 60 percent of over-65 retirees already use. Guthrie told committee members that most over-65 retirees wouldn’t see a dramatic change in the coverage they receive today. Finally, the state would increase its share of payments into the program, from one percent of active teacher payroll to 1.25 percent. “This is a permanent funding increase from the state, which will help long term solvency and contribute an additional $167 million this biennium,” said Huffman. The state will also cover the remaining shortfall for this biennium.
Huffman recognized that this proposal isn’t perfect and there are no easy answers to the problem, especially with the tight budget facing the state this year. She says, however, that the other option is the possible total failure of TRS-Care. Without changes, Huffman says the entire burden of the annual TRS-Care shortfall will be borne by retirees in the form of increased premiums, co-pays and deductibles. More and more retirees will move to the zero-premium, high-deductible plan, further decreasing revenue and TRS could have to cancel the plan. “Thus, it remains clear that [this bill] must pass to ensure our TRS retirees continue to receive health care benefits,” she said. “Because retirees are on fixed incomes and greatly depend on their health care benefits, interested parties must embrace changes that make TRS-Care sustainable.” The bill was approved by the committee and will now go to the Senate for consideration.
The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, April 4 at 11 a.m.
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Source:: jacksonconews.com

      

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Man killed after mobile home flips as storms batter the South

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By Kelly Terez

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WHITMORE, S.C.) — A sixth person has died after storms battered the South from Sunday into Monday.

A man in his mid-60s was killed in his mobile home in Whitmire, South Carolina, Monday after the home was struck by a possible tornado and the home flipped several times, Union County Sheriff David Taylor confirmed to ABC News. The man has not been identified.

The man was identified by the Union County Coroner’s Office as J.C. Matthews, Jr., 65. He was found after Matthews’ brother discovered the home overturned and called emergency personnel for help.

Over 10 million are in the severe weather threat zone through Monday evening. Tornado watches are in effect from the Florida Panhandle to southern North Carolina.

There have been at least 16 reported tornadoes from Texas to Georgia since Sunday morning.

The weather has led to the postponement of a welcome home party for South Carolina’s national championship women’s basketball team, according to The Associated Press. The event will be rescheduled for a later date.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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