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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tiger Woods’ Press Conference Just Got Extremely Awkward

(By Glenn Davis, SportsGrid) - So, remember that excerpt from the book written by Tiger Woods’ former swing coach Hank Haney, in which Haney said Woods thought about dropping everything and becoming a Navy SEAL during the prime of his golf career? Well, one reporter certainly did, and asked Woods about it at a press conference a while ago. Tiger… was not thrilled about being asked this:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Tangles With Gretchen Carlson On 'Fox & Friends'

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - In an at-times heated interview, 'Fox and Friends' co-host Gretchen Carlson grilled Democratic Nation Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz over high gas prices, and played video of her criticizing President Bush over the same problem.

“So I think you felt the President could have done something about lowering the gas prices,” Carlson pressed. “What do you say now that gas prices are going to reach $5 a gallon under President Obama?”

Sacha Baron Cohen Arrives At The Oscars As ‘The Dictator,’ Dumps ‘Ashes’ On A Very Unhappy Ryan Seacrest

(By Alex Alvarez, Mediaite) - There’d been some concern earlier that actor Sacha Baron Cohen, whose film 'Hugo' is up for several Academy Awards tonight, would show up in character as the “The Dictator” (from his upcoming movie of the same name) and perform some sort of “stunt,” particularly in light of his actions at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. And, well. Turns out the Powers That Be were right to be nervous.

Baron Cohen showed up on the red carpet wearing the tyrannical ruler’s signature, medal-studded uniform, flanked by two ladies in military outfits.

The actor also arrived carrying what will most likely be the most memorable accessory of the evening — a golden urn carrying the “remains” of deceased North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. It had been, you see, his dream to come to the Oscars and be sprinkled onto the red carpet and all over actress Halle Berry.

As it turns out, most of Kim Jong Il ended up on red carpet interviewer Ryan Seacrest. (“I think it’s Bisquik,” Seacrest later told Antonio Banderas.)

Charles Krauthammer Blames Santorum’s ‘Self-Inflicted’ Defeat On ‘Kennedy, College And Contraception’

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - In the immediate aftermath of Rick Santorum‘s election night defeat in both Arizona and Michigan, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said the candidate, for the most part, had no one to blame but himself, calling Santorum’s failure “self-inflicted.”

“I think Santorum really had his shot here, he got the slingshot coming out of that three-win…and he came really close, which would have been a tremendous upset and victory, but he fell short. And like the others, I think it was mostly self-inflicted.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire in blow to GOP

(By Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake, The Washington Post) - Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe will not seek reelection in 2012, she announced Tuesday.

In announcing her plans, Snowe, 65, emphasized that she is in good health and was prepared for the campaign ahead. But she said she was swayed by the increasing polarization in Washington.

“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” Snowe said in a statement. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”

Rush Limbaugh Has ‘No Problem’ With Rick Santorum Copying His Operation Chaos Approach

(By Jon Bershad, The Blaze) - They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Apparently, that’s a rule that Rush Limbaugh lives by. At least he doesn’t have any problem with Rick Santorum employing a strategy similar to his own infamous “Operation Chaos” maneuver in the race against Mitt Romney.

“I know a lot of people are upset with Santorum doing this Operation Chaos business. I get the email. People are upset Santorum is crossing the aisle and trying to get Democrats to vote in the primary today. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but, as the original architect of Operation Chaos, I don’t have any problem with it if it’s done for the right reason.”

NC man drinks gasoline from jar, lights up, dies

HAVELOCK, N.C. (AP) — Police say a North Carolina man is dead after he accidentally drank from a jar of gasoline and then smoked a cigarette.

Havelock police received a 911 call about 9:55 p.m. Monday after 43-year-old Gary Allen Banning set himself on fire. Banning was transported to UNC Burn Center in Chapel Hill, where he died early Tuesday morning.

City spokeswoman Diane Miller said investigators believe Banning was at a friend's apartment when he apparently mistook a jar of gasoline sitting by the kitchen sink for a beverage. After taking a gulp, he spit the gas out and got some on his clothes.

Sometime later, investigators say Banning went outside to smoke a cigarette and burst into flame.

Havelock police and the city fire marshal are continuing their investigation.

The Shocking Moment a NASCAR Driver Careened Into a Jet Dryer — and the Resulting Fireball

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (The Blaze/AP) — The Daytona 500 was halted by a fiery explosion on Monday, caused when Juan Pablo Montoya slammed into a jet dryer under caution.

Montoya was driving well behind the rest of the field when something on his car broke, and he started sliding out of control toward the truck, which holds a track dryer and 200 gallons of jet kerosene.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Charles Krauthammer Mocks Obama’s Algae Energy Plan

"I was impressed by the President's analysis of this situation, where we have no control over the global price of oil," Charles Krauthammer said. "We're dependent on oil from unfriendlies. And he says, as we heard, drilling for oil to relieve our dependency is not a solution, it's not a plan. He said we have to go to clean energy. He talks about something really revolutionary today. Algae. A $14 million grant for the development of algae... I think this shows the vision, the hope and change he promised in 2008."

Friday, February 24, 2012

John Edwards sex tape suit settled

(By MACKENZIE WEINGER, Politico) - John Edwards’s former mistress, Rielle Hunter, has been declared the owner of the sex tape featuring herself and the ex-presidential candidate, and the video will be destroyed, according to a report on Thursday.

The civil case between Hunter, who has a child with Edwards, and former campaign aide Andrew Young was settled on Thursday, ABC-11 WTVD reported. Hunter was deemed the owner of the tape, and the court ordered Young to return the video.

Hunter spokesperson RoseMarie Terenzio declared the settlement a victory, saying, “Ms. Hunter is very pleased. She won.”

The settlement states that Young and his wife admit no liability and also notes that the tape will be destroyed.

Stunning Video: Helicopter Disintegrates During Landing

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - Four people were injured in Brazil when a helicopter disintegrated upon landing.

Chelsea Clinton planning to stay on at NBC; insiders, critics wonder why

(By Jo Piazza, FoxNews.com) - Being the daughter of a former President and the current Secretary of State certainly has its perks.

Despite poor marks for her reportorial performance it looks like Chelsea Clinton is preparing to renew her contract with NBC News.

According to insiders familiar with negotiations, the Stanford and Columbia graduate is poised to extend her contract with the network to work on special segments for the shows “Rock Center” and “Nightly News,” a move that has media watchers confused.

Wake Forest basketball coach apologizes for swearing at fan

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (By Scott Gustin, WGHP) — Wake Forest Athletics Director Ron Wellman addressed an incident that took place Saturday when when basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik responded to a Miami fan’s taunts with profanity.

Bzdelik acknowledged Wednesday that he did direct one obscenity at the fan during the Deacons’ 74-56 loss to the Hurricanes at Miami’s BankUnited Center.

“I was wrong,” Bzdelik said. “It’s something that I have never done before, and certainly something I would never do again.”

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Al Sharpton Responds to Franklin Graham With Odd Description of ‘Real Christians’

(By Billy Hallowell, The Blaze) - If you missed the contentious dialogue between the Rev. Franklin Graham and the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday morning, you had better go back and watch it first. The interview, during which Graham declined to say whether he believes Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are Christians, has captured headlines and has been extensively debated in the 24 hours since it aired.

Last night, Al Sharpton took to his MSNBC show “PoliticsNation,” where he offered a confusing rebuttal to Graham and a somewhat convoluted commentary on Christianity.

Perdue wasn't pushed out, Obama campaign manager says

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue did not consult with the White House or with President Barack Obama's campaign before abandoning her re-election bid, Obama national campaign manager Jim Messina told the The Charlotte Observer during a visit to North Carolina this week.

Some political analysts have said that not having to run with Democrat Perdue, who's been lagging in the polls, would help Obama in his bid to win North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes.

But Messina shot down any notion that Perdue acted on Obama's suggestion.

Watch Gas Prices Go Up Ten Cents In The Background Of A 'World News With Diane Sawyer' Report

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - On Wednesday evening, ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega was speaking with 'World News' anchor Diane Sawyer when, astoundingly, gas prices began to soar — live on the air! ”

And, Diane, take a look at this!” Vega exclaimed. “It’s almost too unbelievable to believe — Just while we were on the air during those two minutes of that story, the gas prices here at this station went up by 10 cents!”

Rush Limbaugh: The GOP Establishment Is Saying ‘Screw You’ To Every Candidate But Mitt Romney

(By Jon Bershad, Mediaite) - Things are getting intense in the race for the Republican nomination. As Rush Limbaugh warned his listeners, “people who are losing close friends over this primary race.” And things don’t appear to be any closer to being settled. To make matters worse, CNN is reporting that there is an awful lot of “whispering” amongst Republicans about another candidate appearing. Limbaugh read that article and agreed that there was a whisper campaign from the GOP establishment, but he saw the message as being much more blunt; if you’re not Mitt Romney, screw you.

“What do you think Santorum and Newt are gonna do? You think they’re just gonna lie down and let the establishment run an open convention and pretend these guys don’t even exist? For those of you who are intrigued by the concept of an open convention, I understand that, but who do you think is gonna run it? The Tea Party isn’t gonna run it. It would be fun. They’re gonna try, no doubt. They would try, but the same Republican establishment that’s gotten the party in this mess is the same bunch of people who would run the open convention.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rev. Franklin Graham Refuses to Say Obama & Romney Are Christians During Contentious MSNBC Interview

(By Billy Hallowell, The Blaze) - Awkward and uncomfortable interviews aren’t rarities in the wonderful world of media. But Rev. Franklin Graham’s (son of famed evangelist Billy Graham) appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today certainly distinguishes itself, particularly due to the nature of the discussion: The faiths of President Barack Obama and the GOP presidential contenders. During the contentious interview, Graham declined to say whether he believes Obama is a Christian — a refusal that led to both confusion and angst among the show’s hosts.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett: Unemployment Checks Actually ‘Good For’ & ‘Stimulate’ Economy

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - Try to wrap your head around this one (which is actually an old argument) from White House adviser Valerie Jarrett: according to her, unemployment checks — in some round about way — are actually “good for” and “stimulate” the economy:

Chris Christie Unloads on Warren Buffett: ‘Just Write a Check and Shut Up’

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - We already brought you an earlier highlight from Chris Christie’s interview with Piers Morgan Tuesday night (where he wouldn‘t acknowledge Santorum’s momentum), but we couldn’t let this go unnoticed: while talking about taxing the rich, the NJ governor let Warren Buffett — who’s begging to be taxed more — have it.

“He should just write a check and shut up,” Christie told Morgan. “Really, and just contribute okay? The fact of the matter is that I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check. Go ahead and write it.”

Here’s the clip that will certainly add to the Christie lore:

‘Isn’t That Amazing’: Rare Home Video of Challenger Shuttle Disaster Surfaces

(By Liz Klimas, The Blaze) - More than 25 years later, what is thought to be one of the only home videos capturing the tragedy that befell the Challenger Shuttle on Jan. 28, 1986, has been released.

New Scientist reports that the father of one of its current employees had been filming the launch from Kennedy Space Center while on a return trip from a family vacation to Disney World. The footage taken by Bob Karman at the Orlando airport was converted from its VHS format last month.

Watch the clip:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Man has heart attack while eating ‘Triple Bypass Burger’

LAS VEGAS (By Joe Borlik, WGHP) — Laughing tourists were either cynical or confused about whether a man was really suffering a medical episode amid the “doctor,” “nurses” and health warnings at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, a restaurant owner said Wednesday.

“It was no joke,” said Jon Basso, who promotes himself “Doctor Jon,” his scantily-clad waitresses as nurses and customers as patients.

Basso said he could tell right away the man in his 40s eating a Triple Bypass burger was having trouble. He was sweating, shaking and could barely talk.

Historic church building could be moved 80 miles away

GERMANTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A 19th-century Germanton church building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places may be moved 80 miles away.

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church has straddled the Stokes and Forsyth County lines since 1894. The church still doesn’t have electricity or running water, just like when it was built.

The Episcopal diocese, which owns the property, wants to move the building to the Church of the Advocate in Carrboro, Orange County. The diocese believes it could be better used by a growing congregation than continuing to sit unused like it has for many years.

The proposal got rolling last year, when the diocese contacted Germanton Baptist Church, which sits literally next door to St. Philip’s.

Walnut Cove police chief resigns, effective immediately

(The Stokes News) - James Hill resigned from his position as Walnut Cove chief of police Tuesday morning, which became effective immediately.

Town Manager Byron Ellis said Hill resigned Tuesday morning, and he was relieved of his duties immediately.

“That’s just the route we decided to go,” remarked Ellis.

Hill said he enjoyed his years working with the town. “I think it’s time in my life that I move forward and seek other options,” he explained of his decision to resign.

Hill said he will now weigh his options and see how to move forward with his law enforcement career.

“I feel like it’s time to move on,” he continued.

USDA: Preschooler’s meal was not ‘replaced,’ mom was never charged fee

GREENSBORO, N.C. (By Ryan Sullivan, WGHP) — National attention has been drawn to a reported incident in which a North Carolina preschooler was given a cafeteria lunch because a state worker deemed her homemade lunch unhealthy.

The Carolina Journal first reported the incident on Tuesday in an article titled “Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria ‘Nuggets’.” The reported incident revolves around state regulation that requires all lunches in pre-Kindergarten programs to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. It doesn’t matter if the lunches are packed from home or purchased in the cafeteria.

The Journal initially reported that a state agent was inspecting lunchboxes in a West Hoke Elementary School ‘More at Four’ classroom. The report has since been edited and no longer reads that it was a state agent but a “person who was inspecting lunches.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

N.C. Food ‘Inspector’ Sends Girl‘s Lunch Home After Determining It’s Not Healthy Enough

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - A North Carolina mom is irate after her four-year-old daughter returned home late last month with an uneaten lunch the mother had packed for the girl earlier that day. But she wasn’t mad because the daughter decided to go on a hunger strike. Instead, the reason the daughter didn‘t eat her lunch is because someone at the school determined the lunch wasn’t healthy enough and sent it back home.

Yes, you read that right.

The incident happened in Raeford, N.C. at West Hoke Elementary School. What was wrong with the lunch? That’s still a head-scratcher because it didn’t contain anything egregious: a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice. But for the inspector on hand that day, it didn’t meet the healthy requirements.

Emily Byrd doing well, thanks everyone for well-wishes

(By Scott Gustin, WGHP) - This morning, Emily Byrd took to Facebook to update everyone on how she’s doing and to thank everyone for their prayers and well-wishes.

Last Monday, Emily was seriously injured when she fell while shopping, hitting her head and breaking several bones. On Friday, she was released from the hospital and is now recovering at home.

Emily posted this update on her Facebook page early Tuesday morning...

Online ad “red flag” to alleged puppy mill in Stokes Co.

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The woman whose phone call led to a raid on an alleged puppy mill in Stokes County last week said a red flag went up when she saw an online ad offering three Yorkies for $600.

Robin Manley said the ad was posted by Lucille Mabe, owner of Dan River Bullies in Danbury.

Manley said Yorkies can sell for much more than that, so she went to Dan River Bullies herself.

“I just really felt like something was really bad there. I could smell–I could see how the property was in disrepair. To me it looked dogbroken, like with a lot of animals coming through,” Manley said.

Packed house discusses King PD replacement idea

KING, N.C. (WGHP) — The King Public Library was packed Monday night as residents discussed the idea of replacing police officers with Stokes County deputies.

The community meeting was called a week after council asked the city manager to work with Stokes County officials to determine how much such a replacement would cost.

County commissioners had their regular board meeting on Monday, but they didn’t talk about King’s request for information as it wasn’t on the agenda.

Still, some residents of the town of nearly 7,000 let their strong feelings be known Monday night.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Jay Carney: ‘No Opinion’ Whether Democrat-Controlled Senate Should Pass A Budget

(Breitbart.tv) - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked to respond to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comment that the lack of a budget creates "uncertainty" which is "negative for growth."

Carney responded: "I have no opinion; the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business."

Elementary School Kids Indoctrinated About Obama’s Incredible Awesomeness

(Breitbart.tv) - A tipster sends in this video from Cass Elementary School in Livonia, MI. The video purportedly shows a dramatic and inspirational movie montage tribute to President Barack Obama displayed to the assembled children as part of the school's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. Most of the school children appear to be less than inspired.

Rescued dog bites news anchor during broadcast

(By Scott Gustin, WGHP) - A Denver morning news anchor was bitten by a dog during a live broadcast on Wednesday.

Kyle Dyer, an anchor for the morning and noon broadcasts of Denver’s NBC affiliate, 9NEWS, was covering the story of a dog rescued from a frozen reservoir. She was interviewing the dog’s owner and rescuer when she bent down to kiss the dog’s nose. When she did, the dog turned his head and bit Dyer’s face.

Dyer was taken to a local hospital where she is now recovering. According to 9NEWS, the hospital says she has gone through reconstructive surgery for injuries she sustained from the bite.

FEC: John Edwards owes more than $2.1 million

RALEIGH (The Associated Press) - Federal election officials say John Edwards owes taxpayers more than $2.1 million in public matching funds improperly received after he dropped his 2008 run for the White House, yet disclosure reports show his campaign is still spending freely.

Edwards' hopes for the Democratic presidential nomination imploded in a sex scandal four years ago that left him facing criminal charges. But reports filed last week show his 2008 primary campaign spent $836,712 in 2011 on airfare, hotel rooms, cellphones and other expenses.

The campaign reported $2.1 million in cash remaining as of Dec. 31, a figure close to what the Federal Election Commission says the former North Carolina senator still owes the U.S. Treasury. Patricia A. Fiori, one of four attorneys working for Edwards in the FEC case, said she could not comment, referring questions to the campaign.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Reynolds American confirms job cuts at Tobaccoville plant

(By RICHARD CRAVER, Winston-Salem Journal) - Reynolds American Inc. confirmed today it has cut an unidentified number of production jobs at its Tobaccoville plant as part of a business analysis announced Jan. 26.

Spokeswoman Maura Payne said the company would not comment on how many manufacturing jobs were cut Tuesday or what types of jobs were eliminated.

"The affected employees were released from work Tuesday and will receive the standard severance package," Payne said.

More than 150 dogs seized from Danbury puppy mill

(By Meghann Evans, The Stokes News) - More than 150 dogs were seized from a dog breeding operation in Danbury on Tuesday after animal control officers investigated a complaint.

According to Phillip Handy, chief of Stokes County Animal Control, more than 150 dogs and puppies were found living in poor conditions at a “puppy mill” located at 1560 Bob Mabe Road, Danbury, owned by Lucille and Willis Mabe.

Handy said animal control officers visited the house around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after receiving recent complaints about the breeding operation there. The business was known as Dan River Bullies, according to Handy.

FOX8 Meteorologist Emily Byrd badly hurt in fall

(By Scott Gustin, WGHP) - FOX8 Meteorologist Emily Byrd is recovering at a local hospital after she was badly hurt in a fall on Monday.

Emily was out shopping on Monday when she fell, hitting her head and breaking several bones. She said Tuesday she is doing “much better” and wants to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers.

Emily will likely be out of work for several weeks while she recovers from her injuries.

She will return to FOX8 when she makes a full recovery.

FOX8 will post updates on Emily’s progress over the next several days.

If you would like to wish Emily the best, visit her Facebook page.

King council considering closing police department

KING, N.C. (By Deven Swartz, WGHP) — King City Council is considering getting rid of its police department in order to save money.

Councilmembers at Monday night’s meeting said they wanted to study how much it would cost for deputies from the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office to patrol the city.

King Police chief Paula May said she doesn’t believe deputies could provide the same level of patrols. As a result, she believes closing the department is not the right way to save money.

“If we need to take a cut out of the city’s budget, is public safety really where we want to start? Are we really entertaining the elimination of a life-saving entity before we discuss cutting a really nice fireworks display? Again, it’s a matter of priorities,” May said.

There is no word on when the study would be completed.

Friday, February 03, 2012

‘53’ States? This Video of Teens Failing Miserably at a Civics Quiz Is So Depressing It’s Funny

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - Did you know that “bin Laden” is the vice president of the United States, or that the Civil War led to America’s independence? How about that Canada’s a state?

Well, that’s what some local students at (what appears to be) a Washington state high school think. In a video that’s probably a few hours from going viral, a young man decided to question classmates for a video called “Lunch Scholars.” It is anything 'but' scholarly.

Etheridge in, Bowles out in NC governor's race

RALEIGH (Winston-Salem Journal) - Former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge announced Thursday he'll enter the Democratic primary for North Carolina governor, hours after Erskine Bowles decided against it.

Etheridge's bid further shakes up the party's gubernatorial future just a week after incumbent Bev Perdue said she wouldn't seek re-election.

Etheridge, who served seven terms in Congress from Harnett County, previously was state schools superintendent, winning two statewide elections. He released a statement that improving the state's public education system has been his life's work. The schools are expected to be a big issue in the campaign as Republicans passed a state budget that Democrats have panned for reducing education spending by several hundred million dollars.

East Forsyth Student's Recording Brings Threats

KERNERSVILLE, NC (By Laura Graff, Winston-Salem Journal) - The case of an East Forsyth student whose family made public a conversation he recorded that contains cursing and threats from a teacher and the school's police officer has prompted a huge outpouring of comments and a vigorous debate over how the situation was handled.

Mike Muse, a teacher and coach at East, and James Deeney, the school's resource officer, confronted the boy because Dillon Tschrnko, 15, had raised questions over the number of text messages both men were sending to a 16-year-old female student.

Tyler Summitt battling alongside his legendary mom

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (By Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports) – Sitting in a conference room in the Tennessee basketball offices, I looked across the table at Tyler Summitt and saw myself.

He’s a more mature college sophomore than I was. Smarter, more polished, seemingly more secure. The son of Pat Summitt was raised in a celebrity coach’s world, where lessons are learned early about how to carry and present yourself. He does those things well.

But beneath the impressive persona is a regular guy with regular-guy problems. The biggest problem: His mom has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s Type.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

'Soul Train' creator Don Cornelius dead of apparent suicide, report says

(TMZ) - Don Cornelius, the television personality who famously created "Soul Train" was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, CA home this morning, and law enforcement sources tell TMZ it appears he committed suicide.

TMZ reports cops discovered the body at around 4 a.m PST. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Cornelius died from a gunshot wound to the head and officials believe the wound was self-inflicted.

TMZ reports Cornelius was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

"Soul Train" changed the landscape of television when it debuted in 1971 and ran until 2006.

Officials have notified his family. He was 75.

Stokes County School board torn between early, late school start

(By Leslie Bray, The Stokes News) - Beating the heat or racing to finish exams before holiday break? These are the two options keeping school board members up at night.

At their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 23, the Stokes County Board of Education voted to table the approval of the 2012-13 and 2013-14 student calendars. Board member Becky Boles made the motion to table because she said that some new information had been brought to light that she had not thought of previously. Board member David Smith seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous.

The debate swirls around the hot topic of when to start school in August. After a few years of earlier starts, Stokes County Schools implemented starting school later in August in the middle part of the last decade. This was a result of a 2004 NC law that mandated Aug. 25 starts and June 10 ends for the school year.

Forsyth Co. Weighs Fate of Confederate Statue

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) — Forsyth County is selling its old courthouse building, but hasn't decided what to do with the statue of a Confederate soldier standing sentinel on the square for more than a century.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that plans to sell the closed courthouse building for $700,000 don't include the monument.

Why Romney won -- Why Gingrich lost

TAMPA, FL (By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - Coming off a decisive loss to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, Mitt Romney needed to do three things to win the Florida primary: 1) attack Gingrich with a level of ferocity not yet seen in the already-contentious Republican presidential campaign; 2) raise the level of his performance in debate; and 3) improve his on-the-stump message to give voters more substance and fewer platitudes.

For his part, Gingrich had two must-dos: 1) deal with Romney's attacks in a calmer, more seasoned way than Gingrich handled the last Romney barrage, during the campaign in Iowa; and 2) keep up the solid message he rode to victory in South Carolina.

Over the past week in Florida, Romney did nearly everything right; his ads hit hard and his debate performance was dominating, even if he improved only marginally on the stump. And Gingrich did nearly everything wrong. The result was a decisive 14-point victory for Romney, who now has two primary victories to Gingrich's one.