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President Donald Trump calls in to ‘Fox and Friends’

President Donald Trump took to the airwaves, speaking to Fox and Friends via phone Thursday morning. 

The unusual call started with the President mentioning that today was his wife, first lady Melania Trump’s birthday and being asked what he got her. 

He also praised her for her hosting the first couple’s first state dinner and the visit by French president Emmanuel Macron.

Trump telling the Fox News hosts that the meetings accomplished a lot and that Macron is viewing Iran differently than before he walked into the Oval Office. 

>> Read more trending news 

When asked about the withdrawal of Ronny Jackson and his pursuit for nomination to the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Trump, in a rambling statement, blamed democrats for dragging out the approval for all appointments, targeting Sen. Chuck Schumer specifically that it takes years for the Senate to approve appointees, citing unfilled judicial positions.

Fox hosts hammered back, asking why majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, isn’t keeping Senators in session to  approve appointees, Trump said that McConnell should.

They also asked Trump if obstructionists win when nominees don’t fight back against the allegations against them, and he said yes and no, signaling out Sen. Jon Tester, (D - MT) saying that it was his fault that Jackson dropped out of the nomination process. Trump said that Tester’s allegations against Jackson were false and that Jackson has an unblemished record. Trump said Tester had a “big price to pay” in Montana and that was the reason that Tester targeted Jackson.

Trump then said that he has someone slated to nominate, but refused to say who it was, only saying that it is someone with “political capabilities.”

Check back for more on this developing story.

Trump VA nominee Ronny Jackson withdraws name from consideration

Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his name from consideration, multiple news outlets are reporting.

>> MORE COVERAGE: Embattled VA nominee Ronny Jackson accused of drunken driving, drug use | Jamie Dupree: Trump pick to head VA in trouble as Senators postpone hearingSenate postpones hearing for Trump VA pick Ronny Jackson amid 'serious allegations'More trending news 

Watch: Good Samaritans lift car off trapped victims after crash

An amazing feat of strength was caught on camera.

Four people were hurt when they were hit by a car that crashed on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Police said a pickup hit a sedan when it took a turn too wide, WJLA reported. The sedan jumped the curb and ran into pedestrians. 

>> Read more trending news 

But it was the actions of bystanders that is what people are focusing on. They rushed to the car to try to pull the pedestrians from under the wreckage. The group of people actually lifted and moved the car off two people and the entire thing was caught on video, WJLA reported.

WRC reported more than a dozen people rushed to help.

In all four people were hit by the car and were injured in the crash, but police said they were all conscious and breathing, taken to area hospitals, WJLA reported.

Police: Mom turns son in to police for robbing, shooting at couple

A Memphis mother took action when she said she saw her son robbing a couple on the news

On Sunday, April 22, a man came up to the home on the 5000 block of Berta Road asking for a ride, and then pointed a handgun at the victim. The man's wife then came out of the house and saw what was happening. 

She went into the home and retrieved a handgun. She fired one shot in the air, and the suspect ran. 

>> Read more trending news 

While he was running, he shot at the woman who then returned fire at the suspect. 

Related: Woman sees husband in trouble, pulls out gun on would-be robber

Surveillance footage of the exchange went viral when thousands of people shared the story and video across social media. 

A Memphis mother was watching the news and recognized the robber as her 20-year-old son, Derriontay N. Perry. 

Related: Father reports son after teen admits to 250 car break-ins

She did not hesitate to call the police. Officers arrested her son without incident on April 25. 

Perry is charged with aggravated assault and aggravated robbery. 

'Avengers' stars raised $500,000 in charity while filming in Atlanta

“Avengers: Infinity War,” in wide release Friday, was filmed largely in Atlanta. While the Marvel stars were in town, they put their talents to use in a very special performance to raise $500,000 for a very worthy cause: hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

Proceeds from the November event at the Fox Theatre benefited the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund at the Center for Popular Democracy.

MORE: What Puerto Rico was like more than a month after Hurricane Maria struck

How much did “Avengers: Infinity War” spend in Georgia?

Scarlett Johansson came up with the idea to pull together a benefit event. Her colleagues Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. eagerly joined the effort. Atlanta’s Tony-winning director Kenny Leon served as director.

“Thank you for letting me call Atlanta home,” Leon said at the event, before turning the microphone over to Johansson.

“I knew I could count on you, Atlanta,” she said. “We love to shoot here. It’s a very inspiring city, an incredibly inspiring community.”

Leon joked early on that the audience should expect a live reading – not a full theatrical performance – saying “We had one rehearsal!”

Johansson was determined to take action after seeing the harrowing reports out of Puerto Rico, where electricity has yet to be restored on much of the island and where access to clean drinking water remains a challenge for many. When she called Leon, they kicked around some ideas before deciding a live reading of Thornton Wilder’s classic 1930s play “Our Town” was the perfect fit.

“‘Our Town’ is this kind of warrior cry to remind us of the fragility of life,” she said. “It reminds us to be present and live moment by moment. It’s really about people and connectivity.”

She was thrilled to report how successful the evening had been.

“Thank you for reaching into your wallets, into your hearts,” Johansson said.

Leon noted that none of the A-listers taking the stage took a paycheck.

“As artists we’re always looking in the mirror. It’s incumbent upon us to make our world the way we want to make it,” he said. “Most artists I work with are in it for a deeper reason. They want to make a difference in the world.”

Related video:

Video shows rescue of boy trapped underwater for 9 minutes at North Myrtle Beach resort

Police have released new surveillance video that shows how a 12-year-old boy became stuck underwater for more than nine minutes at a resort in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, last month.

>> Click here to watch the footage (WARNING: Graphic)

In the video, two boys can be seen playing near a 6-inch-wide suction pipe on the floor of the Avista Resort Hotel’s lazy river.

The boys were able to remove the safety grate from the pipe, and the 12-year-old repeatedly dove down to explore the pipe.

On one dive, the boy got his leg stuck and grasped the top of the grate to pull himself out. His friend tried to help him but couldn't, so he called for help.

>> Read more trending news 

That’s when several adults jumped into the water and tried to pull the boy out, but he remained stuck. Police said one of the men knew how to perform underwater mouth-to-mouth aid, and that helped keep the boy alive until emergency personnel arrived.

Officers quickly lifted the boy out of the river and began to perform CPR before rushing him to the hospital.

Police said the boy is alive but would not provide an update on his condition.

Teen was driving 106 mph in senior skip day crash that killed best friend, prosecutors say

Only WSB-TV was in court Wednesday when a Georgia teenager learned she faces a felony vehicular homicide charge in the death of her best friend.

>> Watch the news report here

>> Teen killed, classmate injured in wreck on senior skip day

Cristina Pavon-Baker, 17, crashed on Interstate 75 in Morrow during senior skip day. The wreck killed Mikayla Penn, 18.

Pavon-Baker's attorney asked the judge Wednesday not to take her passport since she had a cruise scheduled next month.

>> On WSBTV.com: Passengers say 100 mph crash encouraged by Snapchat 'speed filter'

That upset the victim's family and the district attorney.

“She doesn't need to be on a cruise enjoying herself,” Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson told the court.

WSB-TV’s Tom Jones said Lawson was clearly irritated when Pavon-Baker’s attorney asked the judge to not take the teen’s passport as a condition of bond.

“We would ask the court to allow her to leave the state and not put that restriction on her,” said Pavon-Baker’s attorney, Jackie Patterson.

Lawson responded: “I have an 18-year-old that can't go on a cruise. I have an 18-year-old who can't be with her parents who are in the back of this courtroom."

>> On WSBTV.com: Teen faces felony charge after alleged Snapchat 'speed filter' crash

Jones said the cruise request upset Mikayla Penn's parents.

It was March 26 when Pavon-Baker and Penn reportedly were headed to Southlake Mall on senior skip day. Prosecutors said Pavon-Baker drove 106 mph in a 65 mph zone on the Jonesboro Road exit along I-75.

Pavon-Baker’s Mini Cooper reportedly flipped and crashed, killing Penn.

“We have some information that Snapchat may have been used” during the drive, Lawson said.

Pavon-Baker is facing first-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving and speeding charges.

Patterson said he meant no harm asking for Pavon-Baker to go on the cruise.

>> On WSBTV.com: Judge dismisses case against Snapchat in suit over serious wreck

“We were not trying to be insensitive. We were just trying to say, ‘Judge, she has already had these tickets for this cruise,’” Patterson told Jones.

Lawson said Pavon-Baker has received enough special treatment.

“If you look at her history, these parents have covered for her over and over and over again. I believe in my heart of hearts Ms. Penn would be alive if this child had some consequences,” Lawson said.

>> Read more trending news 

Lawson was referring to some other traffic troubles Pavon-Baker has had.

The judge gave Pavon-Baker a $31,000 bond and ordered her to surrender her passport. The judge also ordered her not to drive and to stay off Snapchat.

WATCH: 'Cowboy' hero takes down armed robber in dramatic viral video

A dramatic tackle of an armed robber was caught on surveillance video in Monterrey, northern Mexico, on Monday, The Washington Post reports.

>> Watch the clip here

>> RELATED STORY: Watch: Woman pulls gun on would-be robber, saves husband, family says

In the viral footage, a man wearing a cowboy hat can be seen removing his glasses and tackling a young man who enters a store, pointing a gun at employees. 

The armed robber turned toward another employee a few seconds after entering the store, which is when the "cowboy" seized the opportunity to attack the robber, whose weapon drops to the floor.

>> Read more trending news 

Daniel Cárdenas, one of the shop's owners, identified the quick-thinking hero as his father, store co-owner Reynaldo Cárdenas, the Post reported.

"He really believed that the man was going to shoot them," the younger Cárdenas said of his father, according to the Post. "When he had the chance, he acted instinctively to disarm him."

Read more here.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Texas town to host 0.5K run, welcomes 'underachievers'

Not all of us will run a marathon in our lifetime. Or a half-marathon, even. Or a 10K. Nope, not a 5K. 

But now there’s a running event for those who never thought they could say, “I can’t. I have my race that day.”

San Antonio neighbor Boerne has announced it will host a .5K, or a .31-mile race, May 5. The Facebook page for the event reads, “Underachievers welcome!” and boasts a “doughnut and coffee hydration station.”

>> Read more trending news 

The page estimates the event will last “like 10 minutes” and promises finishers a sticker for their car, beer and a medal. 

The race also offered participants a VIP option for an additional $25 that would not require them to run at all. VIP “runners” get a larger medal. 

The event’s website was updated on April 18 to announce that the race is full and no longer accepting sign-ups. 

Don’t let that keep you from your dreams! You can go out and walk .31 miles right now. Or spring for VIP and stay right where you are.

GQ magazine calls Bible 'foolish,' lists it among books 'you don't have to read'

The Bible’s been around for centuries, but GQ magazine is like, eh? What’s so great about it? 

>> Rev. Billy Graham chose John 14:6 to be placed on his grave marker

The Good Book makes the mag’s list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” While allowing “there are some good parts,” the post calls the Bible “repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish and even at times ill-intentioned.”

Instead, GQ suggests, how about “The Notebook" by Agota Kristof? It’s billed as “a marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough.”

>> Read more trending news 

The Bible finds itself in the company of works by J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway on the list of books that GQ is just not that into. “Catcher in the Rye” is dinged as being “without any literary merit whatsoever.” “Huckleberry Finn” is tedious, meandering and hamfisted, GQ says. Hemingway’s sentences? Too short. Even Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” makes the roster of books to skip.

Here’s the entire list, which includes contributions by various writers.

Bear kills dog, seriously injures another in Florida subdivision

Residents of a Seminole County, Florida, neighborhood were on high alert Wednesday because of an aggressive bear that killed one dog and seriously injured another one in recent days.

>> Read more trending news

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set traps in The Estates at Springs Landing subdivision along Markham Woods Road near Longwood to try to catch the bear, which killed a dog late Tuesday, days after injuring another.

The bear tore through a pool screen Tuesday and grabbed Maggie, Russell Nusynowitz's 15-year-old poodle.

His wife ran into the home as the bear killed the family dog and took her into the yard.

The attack came two days after Rick Mann encountered a bear and two yearlings in his garage. FWC believes the same bear was involved in both attacks.

When his 5-year-old Maltese-Yorkie mix, Reese, barked, the bear attacked, clamping down on the dog twice.

"When she came back the second time, I grabbed whatever I could," Mann said. "There was a vacuum cleaner there. I started swinging at her."

Reese underwent five hours of surgery.

"He's got seven puncture wounds, a bruised liver, a bruised kidney, numerous lacerations," said Roxane Mann, Rick Mann's wife. "Just a lot of issues. But he's hanging tough."

Roxanne Mann said the bear opened the refrigerator in the garage and helped herself to the food it contained, showing no fear of humans.

"The fact that she was starting to leave the garage and then came back to attack for the second time was very uncommon for a bear," Rick Mann said.

Word is spreading about the brave dog that stood up to the bear to protect his owner. The veterinarian who has been treating Reese has collected more than $1,000 in donations to help pay the vet bills.

FWC said area residents should keep their garage doors closed, not leave food outside and keep dogs on a leash.

Meghan Markle’s ‘Suits’ character ties the knot with co-star in her final episode

Before American actress Meghan Markle marries British royal Prince Harry next month in real life she married her co-star as lawyer Rachel Zane in her final episode of the television drama “Suits.”

>> Read more trending news 

The last episode featuring Markle aired Wednesday night on USA Network and it also marked the last appearance on the show for her co-star and love interest on the series Patrick J. Adams, who played Mike.

The pair tied the knot in a subdued and last-minute ceremony in the finale and have moved to Seattle to run a law firm. The eighth season of “Suits” is now in production.

>> Related: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle release more wedding details

Markle, who met her prince while working on “Suits” and living in Toronto where the series is produced, is scheduled to wed Prince Harry on May 19 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

 

First U.S. memorial to 4,400 victims of lynchings across the South opens in Alabama  

The first memorial in the United States dedicated to the victims of white supremacy opens in Montgomery, Alabama, Thursday.

>> Read more trending news 

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice by the non-profit Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI, overlooks the Alabama State Capitol and seeks to shine a light on a terrifying chapter of American history that is rarely talked about: the lynchings of some 4,400 black Americans across the South during a rampage of horror and violence that went on for decades.

“We need to find ways to live in this country and talk about things we haven’t talked about,” EJI founder Bryan Stevenson told The Root. Stevenson said discussing this shadowy part of American history may be uncomfortable for some, but he said it’s necessary in order to move beyond it. “It isn’t about retribution,” he said.

>> Related: ‘There’s blood everywhere’: Teen accused of premeditated murder of 11-year-old brother

Almost 25 percent of the victims of lynching were accused of sexual assault and nearly 30 percent were accused of murder, The Root reported.

The memorial was created from 800 hanging steel columns with the county and names of people lynched there etched into the column, including “unknown” victims. 

The memorial site also includes the Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration

>> Related: Suspected 'Golden State Killer' arrested decades after serial rapes, murders: reports

A two-day summit, which is part of the opening events this week, is already sold out.

Kim Kardashian defends Kanye West, accuses Twitter users of ‘demonizing’ him

Musician Kanye West made his return to Twitter earlier this month to chat about a number of topics from new music to politics. However, some of his tweet have fallen flat and have not been well received, so his wife Kim Kardashian West is now coming to his defense. 

>> Read more trending news 

Many on social media have expressed concern over West’s mental health, but Kardashian West said he’s only expressing himself. 

“To the media trying to demonize my husband let me just say this... your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary,” she wrote. “So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair.”

>> Related: Kanye West is dropping a new album and the internet is ‘freaking out’

She also accused the media of interpreting his separation from his management as a mental health issue rather than a business decision. In fact, the reality star called her hubby a “free thinker” and celebrated him for sharing his opinions even if she didn’t agree with them, including those about President Donald Trump. 

 >> Related: Kanye West announces he will be president some day

She ended her rant by declaring “Kanye is years ahead of his time” and urged the media stop using the term “mental health” so loosely.

>> Related: Kanye West’s embrace of a black Trump supporter not well-received 

For the last several weeks, West has been busy on Twitter after taking a nearly year-long hiatus from the platform. He’s revealed information about his clothing line, new albums and has even alluded to running for president in 2024.

He’s also used the site to share his thoughts about creativity, fake news and a few images of his daughter North. Take a look at more of his posts here

'Tick explosion' coming this summer, expert warns

Now that summer is just around the corner, experts are warning that ticks will be coming back in full force.

>> Watch the news report here

One tick expert in New England told Boston's WFXT that the warmer weather will cause what he called a "tick explosion."

The tiny, pesky and possibly harmful arachnids are about to spring into action, and everyone should be extra vigilant.

>> Tick spreading in the US gives people meat allergies

"They're up and looking for a host hoping something will walk by that they can latch on," said Dr. Thomas Mather, aka "The Tick Guy."

Mather said this season is prime for ticks, and his website, tickencounter.org, shows the type to watch out for in New England this season is the deer tick because it spreads Lyme disease.

"It's very important because around here it's the worst for Lyme disease more than anywhere else in the nation," Mather said.

The website also lists high tick activity in most of the eastern United States, as well as the Midwest, Plains states and West Coast. Deer ticks are the most prevalent species in the Northeast and Midwest, while Lone Star ticks dominate in the Southeast and much of the Central U.S. Wood ticks are more common in the Mountain region, and Pacific Coast ticks are prevalent on the West Coast, the site said. Learn more here.

>> Rare tick-borne illness worries some medical professionals

Stephen Novick of Boston-based FlyFoe said his business is extremely busy since the ticks never really went away.

"We had a mild winter, didn’t freeze too much, and because of that, the animal populations were active longer, and that enabled the tick populations to be active," he said.

Deer, chipmunks and rodents all carry ticks. Spraying is one way to keep ticks out of your yard.

You may even opt for a garlic-based, organic repellent or a store-bought pesticide.

"The pesticide is the lowest rated by the EPA, so it’s also super safe," Novick said.

The pesticide is used for flea and tick collars for pets. 

>> Read more trending news 

Spraying has to be done once a month to keep ticks at bay, but for many it's the best alternative as it provides peace of mind.

Ticks usually hide in tall grass, so if you go hiking or walking in the woods, make sure to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants or get tick repellent clothing, use bug spray and always check yourself for ticks after being outdoors.

Checking for ticks is always important because if you happen to have been bitten, the quicker you remove the tick, the less likely it is that it will transmit any diseases.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Florida woman says HOA member told her to remove rainbow flag

A rainbow flag has created controversy in a Brevard County, Florida, neighborhood -- so much so that one HOA member compared it to the Confederate flag.

>> Read more trending news

A renter in Rockledge's Ashwood Lakes subdivision said she was told to lower a gay pride flag after having flown it for two years.

"It's a symbol of acceptance, tolerance and equality," said Jenifer Raymond, a mother of three. "They're saying it's offensive. To me, that's like saying I'm offensive because I exist."

Raymond said her landlord received an email from a member of the neighborhood's architectural review committee, saying only American, state or military flags may be flown.

When it was pointed out that the community bylaws don't mention flags, the member cited part of the "ground maintenance section," saying it was deemed offensive and detrimental to the subdivision.

"Allowing the flag to be flown is setting a precedence for other homeowners to fly other offensive flags -- for example, the Confederate flag," the email said.

Raymond said she was astonished by the email.

"The Confederacy supported slavery," she said. "(The rainbow flag is) a symbol of equality and acceptance of all."

Other flags were spotted in the subdivision, including one depicting a flower, a Florida Gators flag and a Thin Blue Line flag, which is flown in support of law enforcement officers.

Those homeowners said they've never been asked to remove their flags.

An HOA attorney said if bylaws don't specifically limit flags and other flags are allowed, that could be considered discrimination.

"I'm not asking you to agree with me," Raymond said. "I'm asking you to respect my rights the same as yours."

Another member of the committee, who's also an HOA board member, said he was unaware of the email. He said the member who wrote it doesn't speak on behalf of the HOA, and he said he'll look into the matter.

Embattled VA nominee Ronny Jackson accused of drunken driving, drug use

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is under fire for a series of alleged incidents that have left Congressional Republicans and Democrats wondering whether the Trump administration properly vetted White House physician Ronny Jackson. 

>> Read more trending news 

Jackson, a rear admiral in the Navy and physician to the president since 2013 under Barack Obama, is facing numerous allegations involving wrongdoing and questionable behavior. 

He’s been called “the Candy Man,” according to news reports, for reportedly handing out prescriptions for sleep aids to White House staff members and even reporters. A White House staffer told the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee Jackson gave “a large supply” of the prescription opioid Percocet to a White House military office worker and that Jackson’s staff was “panicked” when it couldn’t account for the missing drugs, according to The New York Times.

>> Related: Senate postpones hearing for Trump VA pick Ronny Jackson amid 'serious allegations'

The Times also reported Jackson wrote himself prescriptions, then asked a physician assistant to give him the meds when he got caught.

He’s accused of drunken driving and reportedly crashed a government vehicle while intoxicated after attending a Secret Service party, which he denies, CNN reported. Jackson is also accused of getting drunk on an overseas trip and banging on the hotel room door of a female colleague.

>> Related: Who is White House physician Ronny L. Jackson?

Some of these allegations are part of a two-page document on Jackson compiled by Democrats on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. 

The Trump administration has called the allegations against Jackson “unfair,” and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday the president stands behind his nominee.

After the Senate postponed Jackson’s confirmation hearing on Monday amid these allegations of improper behavior, the White House closed ranks, supporting Jackson’s nomination, even though Trump, in a meeting Monday afternoon, told Jackson he’d understand if Jackson pulled out of the process. 

The doctor told reporters on Monday he plans on rescheduling the canceled hearing.

>> Related: Trump replacing VA Sec. David Shulkin with his personal physician Admiral Ronny L. Jackson

Jackson’s nomination for Veterans Affairs secretary follows Trump’s termination of David Shulkin last month after reports of tension at the agency and allegations of misuse of funds.

 

Illicit affair prompted ‘calculated, planned’ murder-suicide that left 2 women dead, police say

Two women are dead, including a 2016 candidate for a Delaware State Senate seat, in a Pennsylvania murder-suicide that investigators said was sparked by one woman’s affair with the other’s husband. 

Radnor Township police officials reported Tuesday that Jennair Gerardot, 47, of Wilmington, Delaware, broke into the rental home of 33-year-old Meredith Sullivan Chapman on Monday and waited for Chapman to return home from work at Villanova University, where she was recently named an assistant vice president. 

According to the Villanovan, the university’s newspaper, Chapman started her new job a week before she was killed. She lived in the house where she died about the same length of time. 

“Couldn’t be more excited...,” she wrote online Monday, about two hours before she was killed. “Just a week on the job and I’m already feeling the love from #NovaNation.”

When Chapman arrived home Monday evening, Gerardot shot her once in the head before turning the gun on herself. Gerardot also died of a single gunshot wound to the head, Radnor Township Deputy Chief Christopher Flanagan said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. 

>> Read more trending news

A Taurus Tracker .357 Magnum revolver was found at the crime scene, with two of its seven rounds missing. 

Investigators believe Gerardot took a train from Delaware to Chapman’s home – while wearing a wig and clothing later found discarded in a bag at the scene -- and broke in through the front door, cleaning up the glass so her target would not notice anything wrong when she came home. 

“It’s not a love triangle. You had a man who was married that was having an affair with this other woman,” Radnor Township Police Superintendent William Colarulo said during the news conference. 

“The wife knew about it. And this was a calculated, planned attack,” Colarulo said. “She broke into the house. She was lying in wait, and she shot her as soon as she walked in, and then she shot herself. 

“There were emails and text messages indicating what she planned to do. Detectives are still sorting that out.”

Flanagan said Tuesday that officers were called to Chapman’s home just after 7 p.m. Monday after receiving a 911 call reporting two people down and blood inside the residence. They were met in the driveway by Gerardot’s husband, Mark Gerardot, who said he believed his wife might be inside the house. 

The officers went inside the home and found both women dead in the kitchen.

Flanagan said that Mark Gerardot, 49, told police officers that he and his wife were having domestic problems that also involved Chapman. Investigators said he had been led to believe that Chapman would be meeting him nearby for dinner. 

The Courier-Express in DuBois, Pennsylvania, reported that Mark Gerardot was waiting for Chapman to show up when he began receiving disturbing text messages from his wife. He went to Chapman’s home because of those messages and found the bodies. 

See the entire Radnor Township police news conference, streamed live Tuesday by the News Journal in Wilmington, below. 

Chapman’s neighbor, Melissa DeJoseph, told the Inquirer she saw the victim drive up between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and, with a bag over her shoulder, walk toward the door. A few seconds later, she heard sharp noises from inside the house.

“In my head, I was, like, ‘Is that a gunshot? No, it can’t be a gunshot,’” DeJoseph told the Inquirer

Other neighbors also reported hearing the gunshots. 

Chapman was married to Luke Chapman, a former Newark city councilman, but they were no longer living together, the Inquirer reported. Luke Chapman announced earlier this year that he would not run for a fourth term in office. 

Prior to her position at Villanova, Meredith Chapman served as senior director of marketing for the University of Delaware, where she also got her college degree. She also taught at the university as an adjunct professor. 

She worked on several political campaigns, as well as on Capitol Hill, where she collaborated with former Vice President Joe Biden when he was a Delaware state senator, according to her Facebook page. She served as communications manager for then-U.S. Rep. Mike Castle in 2007 and 2008, the News Journal reported

Chapman ran unsuccessfully for a Delaware State Senate seat in 2016, losing the election to opponent Dave Sokola.

Sokola expressed shock at the news of Chapman’s slaying.

“Kathy and I are stunned by the news about Meredith and I’m deeply, deeply saddened to learn that such a promising young woman’s life has been cut so short,” Sokola wrote on Facebook. “I’ve always respected my opponents and Meredith was certainly no exception. She was sharp, hard-working and motivated by a sincere desire to serve her community. She was bound for great things and it’s tragic for that light to go out so soon.

“I’ve also had the privilege to work with her husband, Luke, over the years, and he especially is in our hearts today. We wish him strength, peace, and privacy in what we know is an incredibly difficult and painful time."

Like Sokola, Chapman’s friends expressed shock on social media. 

“I’m absolutely floored,” Richard Wisk wrote. “Meredith, RIP, you will be missed tremendously.”

Colleen Auer-Smith described Chapman as a bright light and a “ray of sunshine.”

“Why of all people? I don’t understand,” Auer-Smith wrote. 

A family spokesperson described Chapman as a “beacon of light” to all who knew her in a statement obtained by the News Journal.

“She loved her family fiercely, was a compassionate friend and among the most talented and innovative professionals in her field,” the statement read. “Her death was sudden and tragic, but will not define who she was to the thousands of people who loved her. Her family is devastated, heartbroken and requests privacy and respect as they grieve.”

Mark Gerardot worked as a creative director at the University of Delaware until earlier this month, when he left that position. Before her move to Villanova University, Chapman was his supervisor, the News Journal reported

He and his wife also previously ran their own marketing and design company, the Inquirer reported. 

Jennair Gerardot also spent five years as marketing manager for a South Carolina-based marketing company, Circor Instrumentation, before leaving that job in December. 

According to a post she wrote on the NextDoor neighborhood app in February, she left her position at Circor because of her husband’s new job at the University of Delaware. 

The Inquirer, which tracked down Gerardot’s post, reported that she went on NextDoor pleading for help with her marriage.

“I just transferred to Delaware in December for my husband’s new job, and he’s telling me he wants a divorce,” she wrote, according to the newspaper. “I don’t know anyone and am completely clueless to the area.”

She asked for a recommendation for a reputable, successful and driven divorce lawyer. 

Gerardot returned to NextDoor in March. 

“Please recommend an EXCELLENT marriage counselor for couple on the brink of divorce,” she wrote. 

The Inquirer reported that the posts did not make clear whether the couple ever sought counseling. 

Hypnobirthing delivery technique reportedly used by Kate Middleton but what is it?

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday.

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This is the third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who welcomed their new son into the world in the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London.

According to reports, Middleton endured a five-hour labor without pain relief as a part of a delivery method called hypnobirthing. This isn’t the first time she’s tried it. Middleton has used the practice for all three of her babies. 

What is hypnobirthing?

It’s a type of therapy that helps parents seek a natural birthing experience with more patient control and less pain, according to Hypnobirthing.com. It involves special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice and attention to nutrition and body. The method can be practiced at home, in a hospital or birth center.

>> Related: Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, gives birth to baby boy

How exactly does it work?

Hypnobirthing is an effort at removing the anxiety associated with the birthing experience. Experts believe fear activates stress hormones that cause slow digestion and an increased heart rate. Blood is also forced to the arms and legs, which depletes blood to the uterus. This is what contributes to uterine pain. 

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Parents can take hypnobirthing classes to learn specific breathing and visualization techniques, according to WebMD. For example, many courses teach mothers to self-hypnotize with their open eyes. Instructors may also encourage expectant moms to envision an easy birth and recite affirmations, such as “I relax and my baby relaxes.” Phrases that reference the difficulty of childbirth are rejected. Instead of using the words “pain” or “contraction,” patients are encouraged to say “sensation” or “surge” instead. 

Do you still feel pain?

A 2006 review of five previous studies found that women who chose hypnobirthing were almost half as likely to use painkillers and about one-third less likely to use an epidural during labor.

Who else has used this practice?

Celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba, have also reportedly tried hypnobirthing. During an appearance on Ellen, Alba said “it’s not a weird thing.” 

>> Related: 4 fast facts about Kate Middleton

“It's not like the clock in front of your face and you go out and you wake up and you got a baby,” she joked. “My husband takes me through sort of a meditation. He'll say, 'you're relaxed, and you're floating on clouds while you're going through labor and your contractions. I'm just concentrating on breathing and staying relaxed...when you get tense that makes the whole labor worse and more painful.”

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