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Survey: Black millennials are more religious than other millennials

Black millennials are more religious than other members of their generation, according to a new analysis from Pew Research Center.

>> Read more trending news

The analysis, based on data from the Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study, revealed that 64 percent of black millennials are highly religious compared to 39 percent of nonblack millennials. Religious commitment was measured by a four-item scale which includes belief in God, self-described importance of religion, prayer and worship attendance.

More than half of black millennials (61 percent) said they pray daily compared to 39 percent of nonblack millennials, while 38 percent of black millennials said they attend religious services at least weekly compared to 25 percent of nonblack millennials. 

>> On MyAJC.com: Every Day Is Sunday: As atheism rises, nonbelievers find one another

Black millennials are also more likely to read scripture outside of religious services than nonblack millennials and 61 percent of black millennials said they feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least weekly compared to 50 percent of nonblack millennials. 

Millennials as a whole (the generation born between 1981 and 1996) are generally less religious than other generations, according to a number of recent surveys from Pew Research Center. This pattern is also seen among black millennials when comparing them to older black Americans.

>> Are families taking religion out of Christmas?

Black millennials are less likely than older blacks to say they pray daily, attend religious service weekly or that religion is very important to them. They are also less likely than older blacks to read scripture outside of religious services or report a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least weekly.

A previous analysis from Pew Center showed that older African Americans are also more likely than younger black adults to be associated with historically black Protestant churches -- 63 percent of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) compared to 41 percent of black millennials.

Only one aspect of religion seems to transcend demographics. Respondents in all of these groups are about equally likely to report feeling a deep sense of wonder about the universe.

Man dies after eating raw oysters at Florida restaurant, report says

A man died from a Vibrio vulnificus bacterial infection after eating raw oysters at a Florida restaurant, health officials say.

>> Texas woman dies after contracting flesh-eating disease from raw oysters

The 71-year-old man reportedly died two days after eating the raw oysters in a Sarasota restaurant. Health officials have not said which restaurant.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Restaurants are swapping out seafood — and it could make you sick 

"We have an individual that consumed some raw oysters and to the best of our knowledge had no exposure to salt water, became severely ill and passed away," said Michael Drennon, disease intervention services program manager at the Sarasota County Health Department.

Vibrio vulnificus bacteria is found in salt water and raw or undercooked shell fish. Health officials warn against eating raw or undercooked shell fish or getting into salt water with open wounds. 

The Florida Department of Health's website says symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or fever.

>> Read more trending news 

The health department's website also reports 16 confirmed cases of Vibro vulnificus this year, three of them fatal. 

According to WTVT, the health department is working with the restaurant to gather information during their investigation into this death. 

Read more here.

Teacher in awe as strangers on plane donate $530 to her low-income students

A Chicago charter school teacher's heartwarming story of how strangers on a plane donated hundreds of dollars to her low-income students is going viral.

>> Nonprofit helping pay off mortgage on slain police officer's family home

According to WMAQ, Kimber Bermudez, who teaches at Carlos Fuentes Elementary School, was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida last week when the passenger next to her sparked up a conversation about her job. After learning that Bermudez is a teacher, he asked her about the greatest challenge she faces at her school.

"I told him that working at a low-income school can be heartbreaking," Bermudez wrote in a Facebook post. "We talked about the world and how no child should ever do without. In 2018, kids should never be hungry or in need of anything."

He then asked for Bermudez's contact information, saying his company often donates to schools like hers.

But the acts of kindness didn't stop there.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

"The man behind me tapped my shoulder," Bermudez wrote. "I turned around and he apologized for listening in to my conversation, and he handed me a wad of cash. He told me to 'do something amazing' and sat back down. I was in complete awe that I had touched a stranger. I realized that there was $100 on top, and started to cry. I thanked him and told him how I would buy my students books and give back to the community. I didn’t count the money from that man, but I would later find out that he gave me $500."

After the plane landed, another man who overheard the conversation gave her $20, while another handed her $10, Bermudez said.

>> Read more trending news 

"I started crying on the plane," she wrote. "I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids. I was not telling my story to solicit money, and never intended to walk out of that flight with anything other than my carry on. I do however hope that posting this continues the chain reaction of people helping those in need, and especially the children in need."

Bermudez said her "heart is in complete shock and awe."

"This experience made me want to do more for the kids, and use my gift of speaking to help others in need," she wrote. "I want to pass this story around, and thank those strangers and their amazing hearts!"

Read more here or here.

>> See Bermudez's Facebook post here

Prince Louis' christening portraits revealed: Kate Middleton, royal family stun in new photos

Update 8:08 a.m. EDT July 17: The British royal family has released an additional photo from the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hope that everyone enjoys this lovely photograph of Prince Louis as much as they do,” Kensington Palace tweeted Monday.

>> See the photo here

Matt Porteous, who took the photo, also shared the image on Instagram.

“It was an honour and a privilege to photograph the christening of Prince Louis,” he wrote.

>> See the post here

Original report: The British royal family released four official portraits Sunday from the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

>> PHOTOS: Prince Louis christened

According to Kensington Palace, Matt Holyoak took the new photos last Monday at Clarence House after the 2-month-old prince was christened at Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace.

>> Prince Louis christened: Prince George, Princess Charlotte join royal family at ceremony

In the portraits, Catherine, formerly known as Kate Middleton, beams as she holds the newest royal. Prince William and children Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 3, also smile for the camera in three of the shots.

>> Read more trending news 

Other photos include Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton; her brother, James Middleton; her sister, Pippa Middleton, who is pregnant; and Pippa's husband, James Matthews.

>> See the photos here

Texas fisherman reels in 14-foot hammerhead shark

A man who went fishing Saturday off Texas' Padre Island made a catch he said he's "only dreamed about" – a 14-foot hammerhead shark.

According to KSAT, Robstown fisherman Poco Cedillo, who caught the shark at the Padre Island National Seashore, shared the story of his "catch of multiple lifetimes" in a now-viral post on the South Texas Fishing Association's Facebook page.

>> See the Facebook post here

Cedillo wrote that he spent an hour and 15 minutes reeling in the hammerhead, "which is beast mode for a shark that big."

>> Why shark attacks could be on the rise around the world

"While leadering it we noticed she was very tired, so we quickly took pics, got a length measurement, took the hook out and did all we could to get her released," the post read. "All that only took around 3-5 min while it still in plenty deep water. At the time we didn’t bother getting a girth, fork length or even tried tagging her. Our main focus was to get her released quickly. Well after 30-40 min of us holding her up into the current in 3-4’ of water we were faced with accepting the fact that she was done. We were so tired, shark rashed and disappointed that it sucked the excitement right out of us for a while."

>> Read more trending news 

Because the hammerhead appeared to be dying, Cedillo said he and the other fishermen did "everything we could to save the meat," which they donated.

Cedillo said the shark had a fork length of 135 inches and a 78-inch girth.

Read more here or here.

Avozillas, giant 4-pound fruits, are an avocado toast lover's dream come true

Love avocado toast? You might want to head down under.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and 9News, a giant avocado variety dubbed "avozilla" has hit specialty stores in Australia after Queensland's Groves family started growing the fruit, which originally was discovered in South Africa. The massive, tasty treats can weigh up to 4 pounds – five times larger than a regular avocado – and cost about $9 (AU$12) each. 

>> Hand injuries involving avocados prompt medical group's call for safety labels

"Everybody is pretty amazed to see these giant avocados, and they are quite a statement," said grower David Groves, who lauded the avozilla's buttery flavor.

>> Read more trending news 

One seller claimed that he made nine slices of avocado toast using half of a fruit, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Unfortunately, avozillas are still rare because the trees "cannot yield as much fruit as other species," 9News reported. So far, only the Groves family has grown avozillas commercially in Australia.

Read more here or here.

McDonald’s pulls salads from some restaurants after more than 100 people infected by parasite

Departments of public health in Illinois and Iowa are investigating some McDonald’s locations after people became ill after eating their salads.

CNN reported that Illinois has reported 90 cases of a parasite outbreak since mid-May. Iowa reported 15 cases since late June.

>> Read more trending news 

The Iowa Department of Public Health said there has been an increase in Cyclospora infections that were connected to salads at the fast-food chain. 

“This summer there have been several clusters of Cyclospora illness associated with various foods that are commercially available. This week IDPH has identified 15 Iowans who ate McDonald’s salads in late June to early July prior to getting ill,” Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said in a statement. “Anyone who ate these salads since the middle of June and who developed diarrhea, especially watery diarrhea and fatigue, should see their health care provider and get tested for Cyclospora to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.”

According to an initial investigation from the Illinois Department of Public Health, about one-fourth of cases in the state reported eating salads from McDonald’s before getting ill.

“Although a link has been made to salads sold in McDonald’s restaurants in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, said in a statement. “If you ate a salad from McDonald’s since mid-May and developed diarrhea and fatigue, contact a health care provider about testing and treatment.”

Symptoms of Cyclospora infection include loss of weight and appetite, frequent watery diarrhea, cramping, bloating and increased gas, a low-grade fever, fatigue and nausea. Vomiting is less common, but could still be a symptom of infection.

Cyclospora is not spread directly from person to person, but people get infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces that contain the parasite, according to the IDPH. It is the same parasite that has been linked to Del Monte vegetables, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier,” McDonald’s told People in a statement. “We are in the process of removing existing salad blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers – which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants primarily located in the Midwest.

“McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality control,” the burger chain added. “We are closely monitoring this situation and cooperating with state and federal public health authorities as they further investigate.”

Build-A-Bear pay your age promotion:  Lines closed, limited due to popularity

Update 11:25 a.m. EDT July 12: Build-A-Bear Workshop stores are closing the lines to shoppers who are looking to cash in on the pay your age promotion.

According to the company, local authorities across the country have told the stores to close the lines and not accept any more guests in the stores in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, click here.

Original story: Build-A-Bear Workshop has a new age-based promotion -- where you pay an amount equal to your age for one of the company’s stuffed animals.

For today, July 12, only, your age or your child’s age will net you a new furry friend for the amount that matches the age. 

>> Read more trending news 

But don’t worry. If you’re 60, you won’t be plunking down $60 for a stuffed animal. Officials with the company say no one will be over the age of 29 on Thursday. But if you do take a 1-year-old to the store, the bear will only cost you $1. 

There’s a catch, though. The deal is only available for members of Build-A-Bear’s Bonus Club. The deal is only while supplies last and is limited to one per customer. It is only available in stores, not online. 

For more information, click here.

Every Kid in a Park program gives 4th graders free entry to any U.S. national park

Trekking through some of the country’s most beautiful terrain just got cheaper. 

Thanks to the Department of the Interior’s Every Kid in a Park program, fourth-grade students can enter any of more than 2,000 of the nation’s national parks and other federally managed lands and waters for free for one year. 

Fourth-grade students can sign up for the free pass at everykidinapark.gov.  

>> Read more trending news 

The first three members in a group with a visiting fourth-grader will be granted free entry as well at sites that charge per person. For those that grant payment and entry by car, any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle with a fourth-grader will be allowed to enter at no charge. Educators can also obtain free passes. 

The Every Kid in a Park program encourages children to be active and explore nature at a time when more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas and young people are more tethered to electronic devices than ever.

According to the program, the goal of the promotion is to “inspire fourth graders nationwide to visit our federal lands and waters, whether it is a backyard city park or a national forest, seashore, or marine sanctuary. By targeting fourth graders year after year, the program works to ensure every child in the U.S. has the opportunity to visit and enjoy their federal lands and waters by the time he or she is 11 years old.”

In June, the inter-agency program announced that Every Kid in a Park has been renewed for the 2018-2019 school year. Passes will be available Sept. 1.

Learn more and get a pass at everykidinapark.gov

Copperhead snake bites Oklahoma toddler

An Oklahoma toddler is recovering after being bitten by a copperhead snake.

>> Watch the news report here

According to KOKI-TV, Jillian Roth said the snake bit her 2-year-old daughter, Finley, last week in Green County.

>> Man bites off rattlesnake's tail, slips serpent into neighbor's RV, deputies say

Roth said her family owns a large property in Kellyville, and snakes have always been a part of their life.

>> Copperhead snake bites Alabama girl swimming in pool

Finley was walking in the grass to her dad when the snake bit her, Roth said. They thought she stepped on something until they noticed her swollen foot. After a visit to St. Francis Hospital, they were told it was a snake bite.

>> Read more trending news 

After doses of anti-venom and days in the hospital, Finley is recovering.

The family has found and killed 17 snakes in the area since Finley's incident, Roth said.

>> Swimmers find rattlesnakes living in pool noodles

Wildlife experts say the large amount of copperheads are out in the evenings because they’re feeding on the cicadas. So you’ll find them at the base of trees looking for the bugs.

Read more here.

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