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Father of CDC employee missing 10 days says disappearance 'not normal'

Timothy Jerrell Cunningham called out of work sick at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 10 days ago and hasn’t been heard from since, police say.

>> Read more trending news

His father, Terrell Cunningham, said something must be wrong. 

When the 35-year-old’s parents arrived in Atlanta from Maryland, they used a spare key to enter the house and found Timothy’s car, keys, wallet and phone, WSB-TV reported

"It's not the type of news you want to hear,” Terrell Cunningham said. “Your child is missing. Thirty-five years old, but always your child."

The father said his son is an accomplished man who graduated from Morehouse and earned a master’s degree and doctorate from Harvard University. As an epidemic intelligence officer, Timothy Cunningham has been deployed for public health emergencies, including superstorm Sandy, Ebola and Zika. 

It’s unusual for him not to contact family, his father said.

"This is not normal,” Terrell Cunningham said. “This is definitely out of the ordinary."

Family and friends hope the missing man will be found safe. 

Timothy Cunningham is 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911.

Woman prevents girl’s kidnapping by pretending to be potential victim’s mother

A woman dropping her child off at a Santa Ana, California, middle school is credited with preventing the kidnapping of a young girl walking to school, according to news outlets.

>> Read more trending news 

Amy Martinez was on her way to school Wednesday morning when a strange woman approached her and forced her to begin walking away with her, according to KTLA-TV.

"She just came up to me and went like this," the girl explained to KTLA as she described the woman grabbing her in a hug. “And then she started walking with me away.”

The girl screamed out for help and that’s when a good Samaritan, who wanted to remain anonymous, saw what was happening and quickly jumped into action.

She pretended to be the girl’s mother and demanded the woman release her.

"I was basically yelling, 'Let her go,' so as soon as my voice changed, she let her go and Amy walked into my car," the woman said, according to KTRK-TV.

She took the frightened girl to school and called police.

The suspect, identified as Claudia Hernandez Diaz, was arrested and later described as homeless by authorities.

>> Related: Father intentionally killed 5-year-old son, police say

Amy Martinez said the woman who saved her is a “hero.”

MO Gov. Eric Greitens indicted, arrested after threat to release nude photo after affair

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was arrested Thursday and taken into custody after a St. Louis grand jury handed down an indictment against Greitens on a felony charge of invasion of privacy, the Kansas City Star reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The indictment follows Greitens admission in January that he had an affair in 2015 with a hairdresser, according to news reports, and that he threatened to release a nude photo of the woman if she ever publicly admitted to the affair. 

The grand jury determined that the Republican governor took the picture, which showed the woman blindfolded and bound, and that it was taken “in a place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

>> Related: Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting 

Authorities launched an investigation last month after the allegations surfaced.

The woman who accused Greitens reportedly told her ex-husband about the affair and the blackmail threats. He went to the media with a recording and accusations against Greitens, the Star reported.

Lawmakers have called on Greitens to resign in the wake of the scandal, but so far he’s refused.

>> Related: Child psychologist molests pre-teen girl, posts assault online, police say

Now the indictment could prompt impeachment proceedings against him. 

The governor has filed a motion to dismiss the charges.

Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

>> Read more trending news

But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

>> Related: Argument over dog’s weight turns deadly at Missouri sports bar

With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

>> Related: Shepherd, lab mix found tied to tree with note attached to collar gets adopted

He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

>> Read more trending news 

Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

Thief creates spectacle, robbing bank in dress, purple scarf and hat

Pittsburgh police are searching for a thief who held up a bank wearing a woman’s dress, a purple scarf and hat and sunglasses.

>> Read more trending news 

Police say the thief robbed a local bank Thursday morning around 10:30 and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

>> Related: Sheriff on little girl’s murder: ‘This case has weighed on us’

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding the suspected thief.

They’re asking anyone with information to call the FBI.

Watch Wayne LaPierre’s speech to CPAC

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

Click here to listen to his full speech.

NRA opposes raising minimum age to buy rifles

Officials with the National Rifle Association on Wednesday voiced opposition to any legislation aimed at raising the minimum age needed to buy certain rifles amid a renewed gun debate following last week’s deadly school shooting in Florida.

>> Read more trending news

In a statement obtained by The Hill, NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the focus should be on keeping guns out of the hands of “violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”

“Passing a law that makes it illegal for a 20-year-old to purchase a shotgun for hunting or adult single mother from purchasing the most effective self-defense rifle on the market punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals,” she said.

The group argued that raising the minimum age would deprive people between the ages of 18 and 20 of “their constitutional right to self-protection.”

Authorities said Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old identified by police as the gunman in last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, legally bought the AR-15 rifle he used to gun down 14 students and three teachers. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

>> Related: Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

The current federal minimum age for buying or possessing handguns is 21, but the limit is 18 for rifles, including assault-type weapons such as the AR-15.

Officials with the NRA did not address the possibility of raising the minimum age Thursday while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference. However, President Donald Trump endorsed the idea during a school safety discussion Thursday with state and local leaders from across the nation, The Associated Press reported.

>> Related: Who is NRA head Wayne LaPierre and what did he say at the CPAC meeting?

"We're going to work on getting the age up to 21 instead of 18," Trump said. "The NRA will back it and so will Congress.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, said in a tweet Wednesday that he was working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, on a bipartisan bill to raise the minimum gun purchase age for most Americans to 21 years old.

“A kid too young (to) buy a handgun should be too young to buy an #AR15,” he wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Rec’ cast ask NRA to take down Leslie Knope tweet

The National Rifle Association has gone under the scope of national scrutiny again after last week’s deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school. The organization’s latest offense came after it decided to tweet a GIF from the NBC show “Parks and Recreation” on Wednesday night.

>> Read more trending news 

The group sought to thank spokesperson Dana Loesch for her presence at a CNN town hall with the GIF. The GIF features the show’s main character, Leslie Knope, who was portrayed by comedian and actress Amy Poehler for seven seasons.

Show creator Michael Shur addressed the GIF on Twitter Thursday morning.

“Hi, please take this down. I would prefer you not use a GIF from a show I worked on to promote your pro-slaughter agenda,” he tweeted.

Shur also shared a message from Poehler.

“Also, Amy isn’t on twitter, but she texted me a message: ‘Can you tweet the NRA for me and tell them I said (expletive) off?'”

Other actors on the show joined in, including Nick Offerman, who played Ron Swanson on the show.

“Our good-hearted show and especially our Leslie Knope represent the opposite of your pro-slaughter agenda - take it down,” Offerman tweeted along with an explicit remark.

Adam Scott, who played Ben Wyatt, and Aubrey Plaza, who played April Ludgate, also responded on Twitter.“Hey NRA please stay the (expletive) away form Lesilie Knope,” Scott tweeted.

Plaza responded to Offerman’s tweet with a GIF of her character from the series.

While Poehler’s Leslie Knope largely remained accepting of several different political ideologies, it was no secret that Pohler leaned toward the Democratic Party at the time of the 2016 presidential election.

As of the writing of this article, the tweet shows no signs of being removed anytime soon.

Company warns of Instant Pot overheating, melting

Instant Pot is warning customers of a potential hazard in one of its cooker models.

WTSP reported Thursday that the company made a post on Facebook Sunday saying it has received “a small number of reports” that its Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker overheats, causing melting.

>> Read more trending news 

“We believe the problem only affects batchcodes 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734, and 1746. To verify the 4-digit batchcode, locate the silver label on the underside of the product,” the company said in the post. “The batchcode is the 4-digit number located at the bottom right of the label. We want you to know that we take any problem with our products extremely seriously as safety and quality are our primary concern, and we are working cooperatively with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).”

The company asked customers with the Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker from batchcodes 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734, and 1746 to stop using the product immediately.

Customers with this model who have questions can call the Instant Pot customer care team at 1-800-828-7280.

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