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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Early risers may say facetiously that they can't see straight in the morning without that first cuppa joe, but U.K. researchers are lending some credence to that.

That is to say, scientists say caffeine in strong coffee could have a protective effect on your eyes.

According to the study, a component of the so-called Mediterranean Diet -- that is a diet full of healthy fats, as well as fruit and fish, as is common in certain places in Europe -- is strong coffee.

Scientists claim that coffee consumption can stave off age-related macular degeneration, a vision-robbing condition that affects the elderly. The study, according to The Express, looked at a Portuguese population as their test subjects.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed, Fla.) -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump jumped on news that average premiums under Obamacare will jump sharply -- by 25 percent in popular plans before taxpayer subsidies kick in.

"It's over for Obamacare," Trump said at a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, Monday night.

Americans are going to experience "double-digit increases" in premium costs under the plan, he said.

"Hillary Clinton wants to double down and make it more expensive and it's not going to work," Trump said. "Our country can't afford it, you can't afford it."

The GOP nominee said that his plan includes "repealing and replacing Obamacare" and would deliver "great health care at a fraction of the cost."

"Headline rates are generally rising faster than in previous years," said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Kevin Griffis. But for most consumers, "headline rates are not what they pay."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers have found evidence that even a single season of football may affect certain aspects of a young athlete's brain, according to a small study published Monday in the medical journal Radiology.

The study suggests that the cumulative effects of sub-concussive head impacts -- those that are not sufficiently forceful to cause a concussion -- might lead to detrimental brain changes in young players.

Researchers from multiple institutions, including Wake Forest School of Medicine, examined the brains of 25 participants in a youth football league to see if they could find any disruption in the brain after a single football season.

The long-term effects of head trauma are increasingly being studied by researchers as more and more former professional athletes have been found after their deaths to exhibit signs of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE is a degenerative disease that involves a buildup of the abnormal protein called tao, which is also found in dementia patients and is associated with a breakdown of brain tissue.

It's believed to be caused by repetitive trauma to the brain, especially concussions, according to the CTE Center at Boston University, and symptoms include memory loss, confusion, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety and progressive dementia.

In this study, researchers did not focus on CTE risk and instead looked for differences in the brain before and after a football season. All of the participants were male, between the ages of 8 to 13, and none had a concussion diagnosis during the study period.

The athletes used a special helmet with sensors that helped researchers determine the kind of force the players were exposed to during the season. Both practices and games were videotaped so that researchers could verify the force documented by the helmet sensors.

The players also underwent a neurological examination both before and after their football season using special MRI screening.

Using the advanced MRI screening called diffusion tensor imaging, the researchers looked for changes in the brain's white matter that would indicate a disruption in the brain. The imaging works by looking at how water molecules move in the brain along axons -- the nerve fibers that extend out of neurons -- and producing a measurement called fractional ansiotropy (FA). Healthy white matter will generally have more regular water movement, resulting in a higher FA score. If the water movement in the brain appears more random, the FA is lower, indicating disruptions in the brain, according to researchers.

The study found that the more a player was exposed to force during the football season, the more likely that person had a lower FA score, which has been associated with brain abnormalities in some studies.

"These changes had a strong relationship with the amount of exposure," said Dr. Christopher Whitlow, co-author of the study and chief of neuroradiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "And players with biggest change [in FA score] had the most exposure."

The study authors noted that the study is small and that more research needs to be done to verify the results. Additionally, a diminished FA score doesn't necessarily mean that a player will have any noticeable symptoms.

"There is more we don’t know about these changes than we do know," Whitlow told ABC News.

Whitlow said he and other researchers plan to follow players for a longer duration to see if these disruptions persist in the months to years after a person stops playing football.

Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist in the Neurologic Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, said that even though this study is small, it will be key to helping researchers understand the effects of football on the brain in coming years.

"Why do the study? Because you've got to start somewhere," Wiznitzer, who was not involved in this study, told ABC News. "You have to follow [players] over time and see where the data leads you."

Wiznitzer pointed out that it will be imperative to follow these athletes in the future to see if the imaging continues to show the diminished FA score.

"When you play football, there's going to be some trauma to the brain whether it's sub-clinical or clinical," Wiznitzer said, meaning whether it's able to be diagnosed or not. "We don't know if [these changes] go away the following year."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Make-A-Wish(WINDSOR, Conn.) -- Thomas Hastings, who has Duchenne Muscular dystrophy and congenital scoliosis, knew exactly what he wanted when the wish granters from Make-A-Wish said he could have his biggest dream granted.

Thomas, 10, of Windsor, Conn., wanted a baseball field built in his backyard so he could play ball with his friends. When Make-A-Wish found out Thomas is an avid Boston Red Sox fan, they worked with more than 40 vendors in his hometown to build a "Fantasy Fenway Park" in Thomas's backyard in just 34 days.

“Everything happened almost like magic,” Thomas’s father, Brad Hastings, told ABC News. “It’s really insane.”

The boy wanted his own baseball field because he does not have the energy or physical ability any longer to play on a Little League team. He spends nearly 50 percent of his time in a motorized wheelchair.

“That’s one of the things that was so great about his wish, it’s giving him back the ability to compete,” Hastings said. “His love for baseball is deep.”

Thomas, who falls asleep listening to baseball games, attended his first Red Sox game at Fenway at age three and threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game in 2014. He is an honorary member of the nearby University of Hartford’s baseball team. The team donated the bleachers that sit out in the outfield of Thomas's Fenway Park.

The head groundskeeper at Fenway Park, Dave Mellor, visited Thomas, with his World Series rings, and helped arrange details like having the sod used in Thomas’s field be donated from the same New Jersey farm that makes sod for the Red Sox.

'Nothing Here That Thomas Cannot Do'

Thomas drew up the plans himself, specifying that he wanted a completely flat field, with no raised bases or a pitcher’s mound.

The field contains regulation bases in addition to a 15-foot baseline that the boy is able to run on his own so he can play along with his friends and University of Hartford teammates.

Volunteers from the Windsor community also built a Green Monster with a 52-foot long deck and ramp for Thomas. There is also a bullpen in right field, scoreboard, stadium lights, press box, foul poles and even the Citgo sign that Red Sox fans well know.

“This is the coolest, most impractical thing I’ve ever seen," Hastings said of the finished project. "There is nothing here that other people can do that Thomas cannot do."

Opening Day

The Hastings held the opening game at their "Fantasy Fenway Park" on Saturday with hundreds of friends, family, neighbors, the University of Hartford baseball team and the contractors who built the field in attendance.

Thomas threw out the opening pitch and when he went up to bat, performed the same pre-bat routine as his favorite player, "Big Papi" David Ortiz.

“He was 100 percent in his element,” said Hastings of Thomas, who spent the entire weekend on the field. “Here’s a kid who gets so tired out and so worn down so easily and he was just running on pure adrenaline, so full of energy.”

Police from the town of Windsor volunteered their time on Saturday to do traffic control and drive shuttles that brought fans to the Hastings' home. Hastings said his home is in a "typical suburban neighborhood" that now stands out.

Hastings, a Windsor native, and Make-A-Wish Connecticut President & CEO Pamela Keough both said it was the generosity of Windsor that got the field built.

"I’ve never been through anything like this before with Make-A-Wish," Keough told ABC News. "We decided to reach out to the local community and that’s when it really started to snowball."

Thomas, a fifth grader, even found it hard to go to school Monday, still brimming with excitement from his new backyard.

“This morning he said, ‘Dad, I just can’t go to school knowing that there’s a Fenway Park in my backyard,’” Hastings recalled.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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AID/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When a doctor told GMA co-anchor Lara Spencer that she needed a hip replacement, Spencer — an active woman in her 40s — was shocked.

"It was so upsetting. I was like 'what?'" she said, recalling her reaction to the news last year.

Spencer was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, also known as developmental dysplasia of the hip, or DDH, which led to painful arthritis. Her doctors told her that she had probably had DDH since birth.

About 10 percent of all hip replacements are due to DDH, according to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Advances in medicine though are making hip replacements due to the condition rarer.

Today, every baby is screened for DDH. If it's detected, early intervention helps avoid surgery later in life.

"Hip dysplasia is one of the more common congenital things that children are born with ... so, it is an important part of the newborn exam. And there's a lot more awareness and discussion of it for pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons, because it is treatable," said Dr. Ernie Sink, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

Some newborns are at higher risk for the condition, including those with a family history of DDH, babies who are born breech – that is, buttocks or feet first -- or those born with a dislocated or loose hip. An ultrasound can reveal the problem.

About one to two babies per 1,000 are born with DDH in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Emily Mench was born breech and diagnosed at birth with DDH.

"The doctor at the hospital was checking (her) legs and felt like he was able to pop it out," Sara Kim, the mother of the 1-year-old girl, told ABC News, adding: "He described it as a shallow hip socket."

Emily was fitted with a Pavlik harness when she was just two days old. She wore it around the clock for two months to reposition her hips correctly. Doctors say she's now on track.

"She's got a clean bill of health," Kim said, adding that the child's doctor doesn't expect Emily to have any future problems related to the DDH. "She's not going to have any hindrances, which is a great outcome."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Fall means ragweed season, and this year it’s predicted to be brutal. A single plant can produce one billion pollen grains per season. It grows abundantly throughout the South, North and the Midwest, and its lightweight pollen grains can travel up to 400 miles in the wind.

So what’s the best way for a person to manage allergens?

Here’s my prescription:

  • Ask your doctor about prescription allergy medication. One called Singulair, which also comes in generic form, can prevent allergy symptoms before they start.
  • Keep those windows up and the air-conditioning on.
  • And shower before bed as pollen can settle on your hair and then get carried to your pillow making symptoms worse.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(WINDSOR, Ontario) -- Police officers in Canada have come together to help a boy with autism who is devastated over the loss of his dog, Sasha.

Jackie Brown told CTV News that her 13-year-old son Alex has been heartbroken ever since his Golden Retriever companion dog went missing while the family was visiting relatives in Harrow, Ontario, two weeks ago.

Police and volunteers soon discovered Sasha had died alongside a road near the area.

"I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. There’s been a lot of ups and downs and for the children, it’s definitely been a heartbreak,” Brown told CTV News. “She meant everything to our family. It was devastating.”

Brown said although Sasha was not trained to be a companion dog, she spent all her time with Alex and slept in his bedroom.

"He took care of her from the very beginning," she said to CTV News.

Cst. Sean Patterson of the Windsor Police Service said police in Windsor, about 25 miles from Harrow, were touched by the story.

“It really bothered a lot of us and it struck a chord in our hearts and we wanted to do something," he said to CTV News.

Windsor Police contacted a local breeder and raised enough money for a 7-week-old yellow Labrador pup named Jake.

"I was completely shocked that somebody would feel that much and want to help that much," Brown said. "It's very much an overwhelming feeling."

The Brown family will welcome Jake into their home sometime next week, she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Nikki Cee/NCeePhotography(WASHINGTON) -- Kristin Sampson had to tell her mother that she and her husband of three years were expecting their third child while her mom was in the hospital.

"We thought she had pneumonia; it ended up being cancer," Sampson said of her late mother, Geraldine Joyner Morgan. "When we told her, it wasn’t a big deal because we knew she would be home but she ended up getting a surgery right after her 69th birthday and she passed away on July 16."

Sampson's mother would never get to meet her daughter, Kara Joy Sampson, who was born two months later.

Still, her newborn daughter's life was heavily influenced by Morgan from the very start, Sampson said.

In fact, Morgan, who was an educator for 20 years in the Prince George's County school system in Maryland, helped plan Kara's baby shower. Morgan came up with the shower theme -- cherry blossoms -- while being treated with chemotherapy at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

"We were just tring to do something to lift her spirits ... and get her mind off of chemo," Sampson, 33, recalled. "She came up with the cherry blossom theme and she came up with Kara's name."

Sampson said she only realized after her mother passed away that cherry blossoms "symbolize fragility of life and that life is beautiful but it's short."

Kara Joy -- her middle name is short for Morgan's maiden name -- was born on Sept. 15. It just so happened to be the same day Ernest Morgan, Sampson's dad, celebrated his own birthday. It was a welcome birthday present for him, Sampson said.

"My parents were married for 45 years and it was his first birthday without my mom," the Bowie, Maryland, woman explained. "So it was a real blessing to have Kara born on his birthday."

To honor her late mother, Sampson said she tapped professional photographer Nikki Cee to do a newborn photo shoot. One photo, which went viral on Facebook, shows baby Kara touching a framed picture of Morgan. In the photo, baby Kara is also holding "the pearls that belonged to [Sampson's] mother," Cee, 31, added.

The photographer, who's been staging newborn photo shoots in her Greenbelt, Maryland, studio for three years, said she also had baby Kara don an angel wings costume to make the photo complete.

"It was so hard to take that picture and not cry," Cee admitted.

Sampson said that she loved the way Cee captured the relationship between her newborn daughter and her late mother.

"When people are working within their gift they're making a difference -- like Nikki did with her photography and like my mom did with her [school] kids," Sampson said. "My mother had extraordinary faith and that's kind of what helped her fight cancer and how she approached life."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Lauren and David Vinje (NEW YORK) -- A toddler named Freya is giving hope to preemie parents through a photo that was captured when she was just 5 days old.

Lauren Vinje, Freya’s mother, shared the smiling picture with a childbirth blog. Within days, the photo received thousands of shares on social media.

“It made me feel really good,” mom of two Vinje, of Minnesota, told ABC News. “Under the comments, I read through a lot of the stories and it’s [for] moms to know, especially mom who are going through it now ... they don’t have to go through it alone.”

Freya was born to David and Lauren Vinje on Thanksgiving Day in 2014.

Lauren Vinje's pregnancy was no easy road, and at 28 weeks, she began showing signs of preeclampsia -- a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

"In my head, I knew what it was but my doctor was not confirming it," Lauren Vinje recalled. "[With] preeclampsia, your body sees the placenta as being a foreign object and it’s almost like your body becomes allergic to it -- [that’s] what they told me. If you're not monitored closely, you'll lose the baby."

During a Nov. 25, 2014, visit, Lauren Vinje's doctor informed her that the baby's heart rate was dropping and she'd have to prepare to have the baby.

Two days later, Freya was born at 12:16 p.m. via emergency C-section. She weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces.

She remained in the NICU until Dec. 21.

"I didn't get to hold her until she was about 5 hours old," Lauren Vinje said. "David, my husband, got to hold her pretty much right away. They made sure she was able to breathe on her own because with preemies, [doctors] are always worries about lung development."

Five days after Freya was born, Vinje snapped a photo of her daughter as she grinned from ear to ear.

"I was talking to her and I had said, 'Should we send a picture to Daddy?' and right when I was about to take the picture, she had this huge smile. It was a picture that I had always wanted to get out for people to see because of how it touched me [in] the way that it did. We gave a copy to the nurses, and when we went to have our second little girl, they still had it hanging up in their break room."

Lauren Vinje shared Freya's picture with the blog "Birth Without Fear" in hopes that it would comfort other parents of premature infants.

The site shared Lauren Vinje's birth story on Oct. 8 and since then, Freya's smiling face has received thousands of shares on social media. The photo also inspired parents to share their own stories about having a baby born premature, she said.

"I showed my husband David, [I said], 'Look, there's 2,000 likes!'" she said. "And now, I've been seeing it on all of these different sites. I had a feeling it would put some smiles on a few people's faces."

Lauren Vinje added of parents of preemies: "Hopefully everything is going to be alright, every case is different. Especially when you are in the NICU, it feels like you're never going to get out of there. It was really hard for me. I didn't feel like I could enjoy this new baby of mine."

Freya's father David Vinje agreed. "Like Lauren had said, when you're going through it, you don't know what to expect when it's your first time having kids," he told ABC News. "I think [it's] for people going through this to have that idea of, 'Oh, there's other people going through this too.'"

Today, Freya is thriving and will celebrate her second birthday next month.

“Honestly, she is the best thing that has happened to us,” Lauren Vinje said. "We go to the store and she's the friendliest little girl and she says hi to everybody. She's so fun. She's so happy. That picture at 5 days old, you can see her little personality and you look at her now, and she hasn't changed. She's still the happy little girl in that photo."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  As tablets, smartphones, laptops and other devices become more ubiquitous, pediatricians are telling parents to help their children have a "healthy media diet."

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines today that focus on how much screen time is appropriate for infants, toddlers and children of pre-school age.

“Families should proactively think about their children’s media use and talk with children about it because too much media use can mean that children don’t have enough time during the day to play, study, talk, or sleep,” Dr. Jenny Radesky, lead author of the AAP policy recommendations, said in a statement.

Among the recommendations: strictly limiting screen time for children under the age of 18 months and allowing toddlers to watch some highly educational programs like "Sesame Street." When children are between the ages of two to five, the AAP recommends no more than one hour of TV per day.

Families with children over the age of five are encouraged to develop a "family media use plan" to help facilitate media-free time, active lifestyles and healthy sleeping patterns. The AAP has released a new online tool focused on helping families come up with their own media plan, available here.

“Parents play an important role in helping children and teens navigate media, which can have both positive and negative effects,” Dr. Megan Moreno, lead author of the policy statement on media use in school-aged children and teens, said in statement released by the AAP. “Parents can set expectations and boundaries to make sure their children’s media experience is a positive one. The key is mindful use of media within a family.”

Carolyn Landis, child psychologist at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, said that the guidelines are a good first step, but the medical community also needs to help parents implement these recommendations.

"When I think about the's very difficult for parents to follow them," said Landis. "What we have to come up with is not just the guidelines but how can we support parents?"

 Landis said parents often know they should limit screen time for children, especially infants and toddlers. However, it can be difficult to keep a "healthy" media plan in mind when a parent is dealing with a hectic household and trying keep a child occupied, she noted.

The AAP warns that excessive time spent in front of the computer, television and other devices can put children at increased risk for obesity, disruptive sleep and "problematic internet use," where a child might withdraw from "real-life" relationships. The AAP also warned that cyberbullying remains a concern as teens and adolescents increasingly rely on social media to communicate.

Some children also get in the habit of going to sleep with the television on, which can contribute to restless sleep or insomnia.

"That sets up the habit [where] they are exposed to the light and they might stay up later," Landis said.

Landis has some some basic advice for parents: get involved and engage with your children. Additionally, she recommends setting up active playdates at a bowling alley, rock climbing wall or another location where a child will be inclined to put down the phone.

"Sometimes the kids get together and all they do is sit and look at their phones," she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Ana-Alecia Ayala(DALLAS) -- One woman in Texas is dancing through her battle with cancer.

In a video posted to Facebook and Instagram that has since gone viral, Ana-Alecia Ayala dances while undergoing chemotherapy with her friend, Danielle Andrus, to "Juju on That Beat" by Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall.

Ayala, a 32-year-old mother, was diagnosed with a rare tumor in her uterus last December that spread to her ovaries and into the lining of her stomach. She had surgery to remove it, but in July a new tumor appeared in her spleen and she had to undergo in-patient chemotherapy for four days.

She told ABC News affiliate KVUE-TV that she wants to inspire others to "not look at cancer as a death sentence and try to make the most of bad situations."

"I also want to encourage cancer patients loved ones to step out of their comfort zones (as Danielle did for me) and be silly, have a dance party, be present in the moment and have a great time," she said to KVUE-TV. "Laughter is the best medicine and I hope to make people smile, even at the expense of my bad dance moves."

As of Friday evening the video was seen by more than 7 million people on Facebook. The pair have recorded a number of other dancing videos to lift their spirits.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Averie Cooks(NEW YORK) -- Candy corn is one of the sweetest things about Halloween, but true sweet tooths take the traditional treats to the next level. Make the most of candy corn with these homemade recipes for cookies, party mix, ooeey-gooey bars and more that incorporate the iconic candy. Then get ready for a sugar rush!

White Chocolate Monster Munch Mix

The sisters behind have an easy family recipe for Halloween party mix. Mix pretzels, Corn Chex, candy corn and more for a Halloween gathering or they suggest packaging it into single-serving bags for on-the-go goodies. Click here for the recipe.

Averie Cooks' Candy Corn and White Chocolate Softbatch Cookies

Averie Cooks adds candy corn and white chocolate chips to one of her softbatch-style cookie recipes to add extra sweetness. Click here for the recipe.

Kara's Party Ideas' Candy Corn Milkshakes

Kara's Party Ideas' recipe for Candy Corn Milkshakes with vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet are the Pinterest-perfect addition to any party. Click here for the recipe.

The Domestic Rebel's Candy Corn Magic Bars

Loaded with tons of candy corn, these gooey bars from the Domestic Rebel are a Halloween sugar rush. Click here for the recipe.

Taste of Home's Candy Corn Quesadillas

These quesadillas are decorated with shredded Mexican cheese to look like the Halloween candy. Click here for the recipe.

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

Try Saving with Shellie's recipe for a fun salty and sweet treat. Click here for the recipe.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Ryan Scott Miller(NEW YORK) --  An 8-year-old boy from California transformed his wheelchair into a show-stopping, “Ghostbusters”-themed Halloween costume.

Jeremy Miller, of Murrieta, California, has been in a wheelchair since age 3 due to spina bifida. This year, he turned his wheelchair into a replica of the Ecto-1 car from the original “Ghostbusters” movie.

“We’ve watched all three movies, and he’s now watched a bunch of the 'Ghostbuster' cartoons on Netflix,” Jeremy’s dad, Ryan Scott Miller, told ABC News. “Whatever we’re doing, he really dives into it.”

 Miller, who works in IT, oversees the annual construction of Jeremy’s Halloween costume, a process that begins in early September.

Miller, his wife, Beth Miller, and their two other children join Jeremy in making the costume's creation a family affair. It was Beth Miller who this year found the Ecto-1 toy car that served as the inspiration and model for Jeremy’s costume.

Miller said they used foam board, floral foam, PVC, wood glue, screws, wood pieces, six-volt batteries and wiring among other materials to construct the replica car in which Jeremy moves around as in a real car.

The Ecto-1 replica also features working lights, a siren and speaker that plays the "Ghostbusters" theme music. The roof rack features a ladder, warning light, cannisters and satellite dish.

“I see how much Jeremy lights up in it,” Miller said. “He loves being the character and the center of attention. He hams it up.”

Jeremy showed off his costume earlier this month at a Halloween party at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where he goes for care.

“A girl who was being wheeled on a hospital bed heard the 'Ghostbusters' music and lifted her head up and smiled and then kept going,” Miller recalled. “That’s ultimately what this is about, bringing smiles to people.”

Jeremy will wear the costume again on Halloween night to trick-or-treat in his hometown.

“We’re going to blare that siren and music as loud as possible,” Miller said. “We’re also going to have a blown-up marshmallow man following him. It’ll be great.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Prairie Animal Health Centre(ESTEVAN, Saskatchewan) -- This 7-year-old dog is being hailed a "living miracle" after surviving nearly a month at the bottom of an abandoned well in Canada, according to a veterinarian.

The chocolate lab named Bruno was rescued last Friday, Oct. 14 from the muddy well some 27 days after going missing, said Dr. Catherine Colodey with Prairie Animal Health Centre.

The vet estimated that the pup had been in the well the entire time based on its physical condition and injuries.

The dog had been taken to the animal health center's offices in Weyburn and Estevan in the province of Saskatchewan after being found and rescued by his owner, Colodey said. Initially, doctors weren't sure if Bruno was going to make it, she added.

"I'll never forget what he looked like," she told ABC News Friday. "He looked like a skeleton with skin. He was caked in mud and his skin had deep rashes from standing in that murky, wet environment for so long."

Bruno "couldn't even pick up his head, let alone open his eyes," Colodey said. She added that had he lost "almost half of his body weight" and was "extremely emaciated."

And though Bruno was "severely dehydrated," Colodey believes he had some access to water thanks to recent snowfall in the area.

"It's already snowed here quite a bit, I mean, it's Canada," Colodey said. "And a lot of us don't like the snow all that much, but to be honest, the snow was what probably kept Bruno alive."

Colodey and her staff "spent all weekend" starting Bruno's rigorous plan of treatment including IV fluids, pain medications, antibiotics and physiotherapy, she said. He made slow improvements every few hours, proving "everyone who doubted him wrong" and showing that "he was a fighter."

"He's been such an inspiration and caring for him has just reminded of why I got into this work in the first place," Colodey said. "It's going to be a long road of recovery for him before he can reach that steak his family has promised him at the end, but I'm so sure he'll get there."

The chocolate lab is now under the care of veterinary specialists with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

"He's begun walking, and we're just so happy he's doing better," owner Cindy Billesberger told ABC News Friday.

Bruno had originally went missing on Sept. 17, when he likely fell into the well, according to Cindy Billesberger's husband, John Billesberger.

"He just never came back home for supper one day,” John Billesberger told ABC News Friday. "We had almost completely lost all hope. We thought maybe someone had taken him."

But in a stroke of luck a few weeks later, one of John Billesberger's two other labradors found Bruno while they were out on a walk on Oct. 14.

"I couldn't believe it," John Billesberger said. "I couldn't believe it. It's just so great to have my friend back."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Katie May, a Playboy model and so-called "queen of Snapchat," died in February after visiting a chiropractor’s office for a neck adjustment, officials said.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV that May’s death was due to "vertebral artery dissection," or a manipulation of the neck.

Before her death, May, 34, tweeted: “Pinched a nerve in my neck on a photoshoot and got adjusted this morning. It really hurts!”

Days later, she tweeted again: “It still hurts. Going back to chiropractor tomorrow.”

According to officials, when May returned for that subsequent visit, the chiropractor tore one of her arteries during a neck manipulation, cutting off blood flow to her brain and causing a stroke. She died a few days later at the hospital, leaving behind her 7-year-old daughter Mia.

Her two sisters, Jenny McKerrow and Megan Mitchell, spoke to Pittsburgh ABC affiliate, WTAE, about the tragic loss. "We got a call and by the time my parents got out to L.A., the next day, she was on life support," McKerrow said while fighting back tears.

ABC News' requests for comment to the chiropractor were not answered.

In a statement, the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners said it is "aware of the incident and is conducting an investigation," adding that the doctor "has an active license and has no disciplinary actions against him."

"Your heart sinks because you feel like it was preventable," said Mitchell. "We don't want Katie's death to be in vain."

Doctors say these types of accidents are rare but can be very serious when they do happen.

"It should make us all step back and ask our doctors, 'Well, what are the risks to all the procedures?’” Dr. Manuel Momjian, a family medicine specialist, told ABC News.

The late model’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for May's daughter.

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