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CREDIT: Instagram/@kerrywashington

The Viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Actually Led To Discovery Towards A Cure

A year has passed since a friend tagged you in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. While scrolling through social media made the initiative seem like just a fad, soaking wet donors caused a 36 percent increase in donations and a new discovery in the disease.

A year has passed since a friend tagged you in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. While scrolling through social media made the initiative seem like just a fad, soaking wet donors caused a 36 percent increase in donations—how researchers funded a new discovery in the disease.

READ: Tag, You’re It: 20 Best Celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge Videos

Scientists in the past noticed a correlation between ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and a protein found in the brain. Until now, the function of that protein remained unclear. Jonathan Ling and his team at a John Hopkins University studied the TDP-43 protein, found mutated and dysfunctional in the brain cells of most ALS patients. Ling took to Reddit’s Science AMA Series to discuss the findings. According to research, the protein acts similarly to causes of other brain diseases, making cells sticky like gum in your hair. This comparison makes it easier to find possible therapies for the disease. So far, Ling and his team found one therapy that produces healthy cells by replacing TDP-43 with another protein. Ling says that with this method “there’s a good chance that we could slow down progression of the disease! And that’s what we’re putting all our efforts into right now.”

He credits the turnout of the Ice Bucket Challenge with helping resource his team and his optimism in finding a cure. He wrote, “I remember reading a lot of stories about people complaining that the ice bucket challenge was a waste and that scientists weren’t using the money to do research, etc. I assure you that this is absolutely false.”

READ: Orlando Jones Creates the ‘Bullet Bucket Challenge’

Ling hopes donations will continue to the ALS Association, and Johns Hopkins’ Division of Neuropathology and Robert Packard Center for ALS Research.

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South Carolina Baby Dies In Burning Car After Father Abandons Car In Police Chase

A South Carolina man has been charged with homicide by child abuse after police say he fled his vehicle that burst into flames killing his year old daughter.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Imhotep Osiris Norman reportedly broke down in tears during his bond hearing Saturday. (April 13)

According to law enforcement at about 10:20 PM Friday, a state trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol attempted to pull Norman over on Highway 14 near the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

Norman was doing 67 mph in a 45-mph zone.

When the car didn't stop. Seventh Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette said Norman's vehicle began to spark and smoke during the pursuit.

As the car approached the 58-mile marker on Interstate 85, troopers say they saw a large bag be thrown from the window. A few minutes later, the car was totally engulfed in flames. The car reportedly slowed down and troopers attempted to block the road before Norman escaped.

After the fire extinguished investigators found Norman's 1-year-old daughter, Xena Rah’Lah Norman dead in the backseat.

In court, Norman alleges he didn't know the car was on fire.  “I would never leave my daughter,” Norman said. “I would have gotten my daughter out of that car.”

Norman's mother Sharon Mathesis said she doesn't believe the cops version of events. “My son loved his daughter and would have never let this happen,” Mathis said. “He loved her so much. He loved her so much.”

If convicted, Norman faces 20 years in prison.

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FLINT, MI - FEBRUARY 7: The Flint River with downtown behind is shown on February 7, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. Months ago the city told citizens they could use tap water if they boiled it first, but now say it must be filtered to remove lead. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)
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Flint Receives Remaining $77.7 Million Of Federal Funds To Improve Water Infrastructure

As the city of Flint, Mich. marks the five-year anniversary of the Flint Water Crisis, the city is set to receive $77.7 million in federal funding.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced the funding Monday (April 15),  as part of a $140 million loan to be allocated to Flint, East Lansing and Monroe County.  The funds for Flint are the remaining portion of a $120 million loan granted to the city in 2017, Mlive reports.

“While we are grateful for this funding it’s important to understand it's not new funding,” said Flint’s Director of Public Works Rob Bincsik. “The federal government awarded this funding and is utilizing the MDEQ’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund as the mechanism to disperse it to the City of Flint.”

Flint won’t have to pay back the funding as the loan is being offered at a “zero percent interest rate with 100-percent principal loan forgiveness.” The funds, which are aimed at improving infrastructure needs and ensuring long-term water quality,” will cover “the completion of a secondary water source pipeline,” in addition to improvements of reservoir and pump stations, construction of a chemical feed building, and replacement of water mains and meters.

East Lansing will receive a $51.7 million loan that includes $2.1 million in “principal forgiveness funds” for collection system improvements, a new pump station, and upgrades to the Water Resource Recovery Facility. Monroe County will get $10.2 million to upgrade and repair the Bedford Township Wastewater Treatment Plant. The funds will also support rehabbing lineal sewer pipes.

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Spartanburg County Detention Center via AP

Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Hiring Someone To Lynch His Black Neighbor

A white South Carolina man has been sentenced to 10 years inside a federal prison for hiring someone to lynch his black neighbor and place a burning cross on the lawn.

According to the New York Times, Brandon Cory Lecroy, 26 (pictured above) was arrested last year after the FBI received a tip about his plans. Lecroy reportedly contacted an unidentified white supremacist organization to assist with the murder-for-hire but instead was approached by an undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman.

The agent reportedly told Lecroy over the phone "$500 and he's a ghost." According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Lecroy made a down payment of $100 and was then taken into custody.

The South Carolina United States attorney's office said Lecroy received the maximum sentence on Friday (April 12) after pleading guilty, as well as three years supervision.

In March 2018, Lecroy went as far as texting an image of the intended targets to the FBI agent and offering the best possible times for the murder. His motive for the murder was to control his neighbor's property. Lecroy also suggested the agent use an  “a ghost gun,”  or an untraceable 9mm.

The names of the intended victim or the FBI agent have not been released.

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