Day: April 16, 2017


Connect with God on vacation

For some travelers, the real trinity of a great vacation is delicious food, the opportunity to relax and then go shopping. But for faithful Christians, who may be looking for something deeper during their getaway, vacation means exploring the roots of their religion by checking out some incredible faith-based activity destinations all over over the U.S.

Apparently,  if you build it they will come holds true as evidenced by the many of Christian museums, libraries and theme parks across the country.

As you celebrate Easter this weekend, consider hitting the road soon and visiting one these top destinations marrying faith with vacation, which, simply put is what a “Faith-Cation” is all about.

The Holy Land Experience

Located in the theme park capital of the world (Orlando, Fla.) sits this Biblical attraction that takes visitors back 2000 years to ancient Jerusalem.  Stories of the bible come to life in the park’s live shows and 14 exhibits such as the recreated tomb of Jesus.

Tickets are $50 for Adults and $35 for kids. 


The Ark Encounter 

In Williamstown, Ky.  sits a full-size Noah’s Ark modeled after the exact dimensions described in the Book of Genesis of the Bible. Yes, you read that right– the ark spans 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. The Ark Encounter is an interactive educational exhibit designed to answer all questions about one of the most well-known Biblical stories. Visitors can also take a zip-line tour which reaches up to 50 mph.

Tickets are $40 for adults; Kids’ admission is $28. 

Creation Museum 

Sister site to the Ark Encounter is Ken Ham’s Creation Museum located in Petersburg, Ky.  The Creation Museum spans 75,000 square-feet, and includes state-of-the-art exhibits that depict biblical history. Since 2007, over three million people have visited the museum which includes a planetarium, botanical garden and a special effects theater plus overnight adventures.

Tickets are $30 for adults; $16 for kids ages 5 to 12, and children under 5 can enter the attraction for free.

Christ In The Smokies Museum & Gardens

Relive the Bible with lifelike creations of popular stories depicted at this museum located in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Full-scale biblical figures, realistic sound effects, and dramatic lighting all add to the experience of the one-hour tour. Currently, the park is hosting a special exhibit, “Temple Treasures & The Ark of the Covenant,” which also includes a virtual tour with the high priest into the Holy of Holies.

Tickets are only $12.99 per Adult and $5.99 per child and free parking is included.


The Billy Graham Library

The Billy Graham library is a free museum celebrating the life of Christian evangelist Billy Graham located in Graham’s hometown Charlotte, N.C. Graham, known as “America’s Preacher” preached the bible for over 50 years reaching more than 215 million people worldwide. The dairy barn-styled library offers multimedia presentations retracing Graham’s evangelical journey with the focus on Christ’s teachings. Over a million visitors have frequented the library since its opening including Presidents Carter, Clinton and both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Admission is free. 

Temple Square

Taking over 40 years to construct, the Salt Lake Temple was one of the first Mormon sites to undergo construction in 1853 and became a cornerstone to the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although the temple is not open for tours, the grounds are open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and there is a scale model located inside of the South Visitors’ Center available to public view. There are many attractions surrounding the temple, such as the Family History Library, Beehive House, Assembly Hall and more– most of which are free!

Carey Reilly is a lifestyle blogger, TV host, comedian and lover of cocktails. She is the editor of Follow her on Twitter @careycomic and Instagram @careyreilly.

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Seven hurt when 14-year-old crashes SUV on interstate

Police in Florida are investigating a one-car crash on an interstate highway that that injured two adults, three young children, and two teens, including the 14-year-old driver, according to a report Sunday.

The crash Saturday evening closed a portion of the westbound lanes of I-4 in Tampa for several hours, Fox 13 Tampa reports.

Florida Highway Patrol blamed the crash on the teen driver, Armani Santi De Jesus, of Tampa. He was charged with careless driving and driving without a license.

The boy was trying to switch lanes in a 2000 Ford Explorer and lost control.


The SUV veered off the highway and crashed into a barrier wall, the station reported.

The injured were taken to Tampa General Hospital.

The station reported that six people were seriously hurt. They included De Jesus, his mother, a 34-year-old man and the man’s three young children, a three-year-old and two six-year-olds.

The station reported that 32-year-old Amanda Teresa Rossiter was sitting next to her son and let him drive.

The other teen, a 16-year-old boy, suffered only minor injuries.

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POWER GRAB? Turkey leader claims new authority after narrow vote

Turkish voters appeared Sunday to have approved constitutional changes that would greatly expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, though the country’s main opposition party said it would call for a recount in up to 60 percent of the votes.

State-run Anadolu news agency said votes in favor of allowing 18 constitutional changes stood at 51.3 percent with 98 percent of ballots counted.

The changes would replace Turkey’s parliamentary system of government with a presidential one and could see Erdogan remain in office until at least 2029.

Erdogan told reporters late Sunday that the “yes” side was ahead by approximately 1.3 million votes. The president struck a conciliatory tone, thanking all voters regardless of how they cast their ballots and calling the referendum a “historic decision” 

Opinion polls had shown a narrow lead for a “yes” vote before Sunday’s ballot, but the country’s three largest cities – Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir – and the mainly Kurdish southeast looked set to vote “no”.

The referendum has bitterly divided Turkey, and will affect the country’s strained relations with the European Union.

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Erdogan has insisted the changes are needed to amend the current constitution, which was written by generals following a military coup in 1980, to confront security and political challenges in Turkey and avoid fragile coalition governments of the past.

But critics say the move grants sweeping powers to Erdogan following a failed coup last July.

A statement on the High Electoral Board’s website hours before polls closed said it would count ballots that had not been stamped by officials as valid unless they could be proved fraudulent.

That triggered strong criticism from the main opposition People’s Republican Party, which said the decision caused a serious legitimacy problem in the referendum.

Erdal Aksunger, deputy chairman of the party, claimed “illegal acts” had been carried out in favour of the government in the referendum.

He said: “Since this morning, we have determined some 2.5 million problematic votes.”

Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Action Party, declared victory for the “yes” campaign, and said Turkish voters had chosen of their own free will.

He added the result was “a very important success; a win that makes neglect and denial impossible”.

After casting his vote in a school near his home in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “God willing I believe our people will decide to open the path to much more rapid development.

“I believe in my people’s democratic common sense.”

Around 55 million people were eligible to vote in the referendum.

Under the proposals, the office of prime minister would be abolished, allowing the president to draft the budget, declare a state of emergency and issue decrees overseeing ministries without parliamentary approval.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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CARNIVAL CHAOS 4 shot, including infant, at Alabama church event

Four people, including an infant, were shot Saturday night at an Alabama church’s Spring carnival, officials said.

The shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. at Cathedral of the Cross in Center Point, Ala., located northeast of Birmingham.

Authorities told FOX 6 News none of the shooting victims suffered serious injuries.

Around 900 people were at the carnival at the time of the shooting, which began Wednesday and was set to run through Easter Sunday, reported.

A pregnant woman was also hospitalized for minor injuries. Deputies told FOX 6 she was knocked to the ground by people running away from gunfire.

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“This could happen anywhere, this is not just focused in on Center Point. There was security on the site, it’s just when you have someone that comes into these types of events, there’s the potential, unfortunately, of these things happening,” Center Point Fire Chief Donnie West said.

Officials believe a fight broke out inside the carnival, and gunfire followed, reported.

Authorities have so far taken five people into custody for questioning.

Felicia Stubb, who was at the carnival with her four children when the shooting began, told a man knocked down a portion of a fence which allowed people to escape the scene.

“We were all running,” she said. “I could have lost my kids and my life.”

Stubb told the news outlet she’s attended the festival before, and there have never been any major problems.

“I’m trying to see how they got a gun in there. Who shoots on church grounds?” she told “It’s so sad. And it’s ridiculous.”

Read more from FOX 6 News.

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Woman in pajama bottoms goes on bank robbery spree in Utah

Utah police are searching for a woman in pajama bottoms who tried to rob five banks in a 90-minute period Saturday.

The woman struck the banks in Salt Lake County between 9:21 a.m. and 11:55 a.m., Fox 13 Utah reports. Her bank robbery spree also includes a robbery Friday afternoon at a sixth Salt Lake County bank.

Police say the woman netted cash in five of the heists, according to the station. She ran out of a bank Saturday empty handed apparently after becoming spooked.

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“It’s very brazen; she feels like she can get away with it,” Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke told the station.

The woman handed a teller at each bank a note demanding money, but never displayed a weapon.

“Maybe she is from out of town because she is not covering her face and hopefully somebody would have recognized her by now,” Lohrke told the station.

Salk Lake City Police posted images of the woman obtained from surveillance cameras.

She is described as a white 5-foot-5 female in her 30s with dark hair in a ponytail. She was wearing prescription glasses and a had a noticeable mole under her right eye.

The suspect also had a blue bandana wrapped around her head.

Click for more from Fox 13 Utah.


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Florida sheriff produces results after viral video tough talk

Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell is keeping his promise to drug dealers: He’s coming for them.

The sheriff’s office announced two big drug busts this week, proof, deputies told FOX35, that Grinnell’s vow is more than just tough talk.

Undercover deputies spurred the pair of busts. On Tuesday, officers seized heroin and methamphetamine, arresting five people in the process, and, on Thursday, deputies arrested a man a block away from an elementary school on drug, money and gun charges.

The arrests came only days after Grinnell issued a steely warning — backed by undercover officers with their faces hidden by masks — to drug dealers. The video quickly went viral, being viewed more than a million times.

In the video, Grinnell said his undercover team had already bought heroin from several dealers and officials were only waiting for arrest warrants to be finalized.

He told dealers: “Enjoy trying to sleep tonight.”

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Texas toddler dies after being left inside hot car

Texas police say a toddler has died after being left in a hot car for up to five hours.

Fox 4 Dallas reported Saturday that by the time help arrived Kingston Jackson, who was about to turn 2, was unresponsive. Police believe the boy’s death Friday in Burleson may have been just a terrible accident.

“One family member thought the other family member was taking the child out of the vehicle,” Burleson Police Sgt. Jae Berg told the station. “When they got back in the vehicle and went home, they discovered the child was still in the vehicle.”


The station reports that temperatures reached 82 degrees in Burleson Friday.

“Even if it’s 60, 70, 80 degrees outside, doesn’t mean the interior of the vehicle can’t get into well over 100 degrees,” Berg said.

He told the station the parents were “quite hysterical as you can imagine.”

Residents who live at the Crestmoor Park South Apartments watched emergency crews try to revive the boy.

“He was just a normal little boy,” resident Britany Ernst told the station. “He was so tiny and cute, and adorable.”

Click for more from Fox 4 Dallas.


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Will Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch recuse himself on his first day on the job?

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first day on the high court’s bench is likely to be a T.S. Eliot special: All whimper, no bang.

Gorsuch’s first time sitting with the Supreme Court as the newly-installed Associate Justice on Monday morning is set to include hearing a trio of cases, none of which are likely to grab any major headlines. However, that’s not to say there won’t be anything worth watching for (or, rather, listening for – as the Supreme Court famously does not allow cameras in the courtroom).

Perhaps the case featuring the most intrigue is “Town of Chester, New York v. Laroe Estates” – but not due to the facts of the case; instead all eyes will be on Gorsuch to see if he recuses himself due to the presence of Neal Katyal. Katyal, a former Obama administration acting solicitor general who is set to argue for Chester, wrote the New York Times op-ed “Why Liberals Should Back Neil Gorsuch” after President Trump nominated Gorsuch, and helped introduce Gorsuch during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. At one point, Gorsuch referred to Katyal as “my friend.”

There are no rules on when or if a justice must recuse himself, however, The National Law Journal writes the standard procedure for doing so is simple: the judge will get up and leave. Gorsuch recused himself in more than 1,000 cases as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court, so there would certainly be a precedent if he holds himself to a high standard.

The crux of “Chester v. Laroe” itself revolves around a dispute involving the interpretation of Article III of the Constitution as it relates to participating in a lawsuit.

Gorsuch and his eight fellow justices are also scheduled to hear two other cases Monday.

“Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board” asks whether a Protection Board decision decided on jurisdictional grounds in a case involving both local and federal claims must be reviewed in the U.S. Court of Appeals or can be heard in district court on appeal.

“California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, Inc.” asks a question about the timeliness of filing an individual lawsuit if the suit had been previously litigated as a class action.

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Indiana police report another vehicle crash involving a wild turkey

A motorist suffered minor injuries last week when a large wild turkey crashed into the windshield of an SUV on an Indiana highway.

It was the fourth time a turkey had flown into the windshield of a moving vehicle on an Indiana road in recent weeks, according to local media reports. The fowl encounters have frayed nerves, but resulted in no serious injuries.

The SUV was going about 55 mph when it was struck by the turkey in Danville Friday.

The turkey was killed on impact, and it ended up dead in the rear hatch of the vehicle, Fox 59 Indianapolis reports. The driver was injured after being hit by flying glass and debris.

The station reported that it is currently turkey mating season in Indiana. Turkeys are more active, especially during the daytime. They roost in trees at night.

Danville police released photos of the damaged SUV. 

“We’d like to give you some tips on how to avoid something like this, but we’ve got nothing,” Danville police said on Facebook.


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Mass evacuation in Syria to proceed after deadly blast that killed over 100

More than 3,000 Syrians will be evacuated Sunday from four areas as part of a population transfer that was briefly stalled by a deadly blast that killed over 100 people earlier this weekend.

The United Nations is not overseeing the transfer deal, which involves residents of the pro-government villages of Foua and Kfarya and the opposition-held towns of Madaya and Zabadani. All four of the Syrian towns have been under siege for years, with their fate linked through a series of reciprocal agreements that the U.N. says have hindered aid deliveries.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV reported 3,000 people will be evacuated from the towns of Foua and Kfarya, while 200, the vast majority of them fighters, will be evacuated from Zabadani and Madaya.

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Abdurrahman told the Associated Press that Saturday’s blast —which hit an area where thousands of government loyalists evacuated the day before had been waiting for hours — killed 112. The total number dead included 98 people from Foua and Kfarya, according to Abdurrahman.

In the wake of the blast, some 60 buses carrying 2,200 people, including 400 opposition fighters, entered areas held by rebels in the northern province of Aleppo, Abdurrahman said. More than 50 buses and 20 ambulances carrying some 5,000 Foua and Kfarya residents entered the government-held city of Aleppo, Syrian state TV said, with some of them later reaching a shelter in the village of Jibreen to the south.

U.N. relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien said he was “horrified” by the deadly bombing, and that while the U.N. was not involved in the transfer it was ready to “scale up our support to evacuees.”

He called on all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and to “facilitate safe and unimpeded access for the U.N. and its partners to bring life-saving help to those in need.”

Residents of Madaya and Zabadani, formerly summer resorts, joined the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad. Both came under government siege in the ensuing civil war. Residents of Foua and Kfraya, besieged by the rebels, have lived under a steady hail of rockets and mortars for years, but were supplied with food and medicine through military airdrops.

Critics say the string of evacuations, which could see some 30,000 people moved across battle lines over the next 60 days, amounts to forced displacement along political and sectarian lines.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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