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Study: Emory scientists may be able to trigger weight loss by freezing ‘hunger nerve’

From eating healthy foods to exercising regularly, dropping extra pounds can be tough. However, health experts may have discovered a way to target the nerve responsible for our hunger pangs, according to a new report

>> Read more trending news 

On Wednesday, it was announced that Emory University recently conducted a pilot study to determine if focusing on the posterior vagal trunk, the nerve that triggers hunger signals to the brain, can influence weight loss. 

“Medical literature shows the vast majority of weight-loss programs fail, especially when people attempt to reduce their food intake,” co-author David Prologo said in a statement in a news release. “When our stomachs are empty, the body senses this and switches to food-seeking survival mode. We're not trying to eliminate this biological response, only reduce the strength of this signal to the brain to provide a new, sustainable solution to the difficult problem of treating mild obesity.”

To do so, they developed a procedure that freezes the nerve, reducing the “attrition that is common with weight-loss efforts,” Prologo wrote. 

Related: Here’s why weight gain could cause loss of taste buds, study says

During the treatment, which is intended for mildly to moderately obese people, an interventional radiologist inserts a needle through a patient’s back. With live images from a CT scan, they are able to guide the instrument to the nerve, located at the base of the esophagus, to emit argon gas to numb it. 

They tested their methods on 10 subjects with a body mass index between 30 and 37, and examined them for 90 days. During the follow-up period, they found that all the subjects had a decreased appetite. Furthermore, they had an overall average body weight loss of 3.6 percent and an average body mass index decline of 14 percent.

Now they are recruiting more individuals to undergo the process for a larger clinical trial. 

“We are trying to help people succeed with their own attempts to lose weight,” Prologo said.

Read more about the findings, published in the Society of Interventional Radiology, at

College student seriously injured while on spring break in Cancun

A college student from Revere is in a Boston hospital after being seriously hurt on spring break.

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Boston 25 News learned Lauren Hayes, a UMass Amherst senior, is being treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center after being seriously injured in Mexico.

According to UMass Amherst, Hayes suffered a skull fracture during a boating incident in Cancun.

Information from her GoFundMe page says Hayes was seriously injured due to negligence of the boat crew.

She was flown from a hospital in Cancun to Boston for medical treatment Monday.

Hayes is two months short of finishing her college career -- graduating with degrees in marketing and communications.

Hayes' injury in Cancun comes after the death of Amherst College senior Andrew Dorogi, who died in Mexico City last week.

It's still unclear what happened to the Ohio native.

Dorogi was a member of the college's football team. He is being remembered for his love and humor.

The school's coach said Dorogi was "smart, motivated and he was going to do great things."

The GoFundMe page set up for Hayes three days ago has already raised more than $50,000.

Teacher finds meowing cat in student’s backpack

One fourth grade student’s backpack was quite literally the cat’s meow.

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Fourth grade teacher Carey Geipel started looking around her classroom after she heard meowing during a planning period March 16 only to discover a student brought a cat to school hidden in a backpack, according to a Facebook post

“We listen to a purse, lunchbox... it must be a cell phone ringing,” she wrote. “Nope. It’s coming from the backpacks. I lift a jacket and a backpack MOVES. I unzip the backpack and a cat’s head POPS out!”

Geipel made a phone call home to the student’s mother, who came and picked up the cat.

“Hello, Student is safe but we have kind of a weird situation,” Geipel wrote, recounting the conversation. “Your student brought a cat to school, on the bus, in her backpack.”

It turns out it is not even their cat, it belongs to their neighbor.

Police tell man ‘Congratulations, that’s a felony’ after arrest on impersonating US Marshal charge

When you’re going to impersonate a law enforcement officer, the last person you want to tell that you’re a cop, is a cop.

But that’s what police in Boynton Beach said happened at a Florida Best Buy.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the police report, officers were called to the store when a man that employees suspected of stealing an iPhone X a few days earlier entered the business.

The employee called to have John O’Grady, 61, removed from the store for trespassing

When officers approached the Boynton Beach man, he said he was a U.S. marshal. The pin on his gray suit, the badge and the gun seemed to confirm that.

But O’Grady didn’t have identification nor could he name his supervisor. 

He eventually conceded that no, he was not a U.S. marshal, and the “firearm” on his hip was a BB gun. 

>>Read more Floridoh! stories

Police can be heard on the body camera video telling O’Grady, “Congratulations, that’s a felony,” once they found a badge on his belt saying that he was a U.S. marshal.

Authorities arrested O’Grady on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and retail theft. They reportedly found the stolen iPhone in O’Grady’s vehicle. 

O’Grady was released later that afternoon from the Palm Beach County Jail on a $6,000 surety bond, records show. 

Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

George Clooney writes open letter to Parkland students: ‘Amal and I stand behind you’

Student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have taken over The Guardian’s website ahead of the March for Our Lives.

The school’s Eagle Eye newspaper is covering event, in which students will march in Washington, D.C., to advocate for action against gun violence.

>> Read more trending news 

The newspaper reached out to politicians and celebrities, including George and Amal Clooney, who donated $500,000 to the march, for an interview. 

“They turned us down on the interview, but we loved the letter George sent us back,” the Eagle Eye staff said.

Related: George, Amal Clooney donate $500K to Parkland survivors; Oprah matches amount

In his letter to the students, Clooney said he and his wife, Amal Clooney, are “100 percent” behind the movement and will be at the March on Saturday. Clooney also emphasized that the march is for the students, and offered options for coverage.

“Amal and I are 100% behind you and will be marching in DC on the 24th, but we both feel very strongly that this is your march. Your moment,” Clooney wrote. “Young people are taking it to the adults and that has been your most effective tool. The fact that no adults will speak on the stage in DC is a powerful message to the world that if we can’t do something about gun violence then you will. The issue is going to be this, anyone you ask would feel proud to be interviewed by you but it’s so much more effective if it’s young people.

“You could talk to a dozen kids like the young kids from Chicago and LA that Emma met with. You could take over the Guardian and make it tell the stories of children by children. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to point to this moment and say it belongs to you. You certainly should do what you want but that would be my hope for you.

“Amal and I stand behind you, in support of you, in gratitude to you. 

“You make me proud of my country again.”

The full letter can be read at

Emergency responders leave dead man on side of road, officials say

Emergency personnel left the lifeless body of a man they were unable to revive on the side of a road, according to reports. 

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Ty Ross took his dogs Jake and Holly for a walk around the Palma Sola Marina Feb. 26 when he suffered a heart attack, according to WWSB

His wife Julie Ross had her phone off while she was working out and when she was able to get to the scene, there was only a Manatee County sheriff’s deputy there, according to WWSB

Emergency personnel, who had been there for about an hour, had already left, leaving Ty Ross’ body half in the street and the other half in the grass. 

His body was in the sun for about three hours before a friend who runs a funeral home arrived to pick up Ross’s body, according to WWSB.

The Manatee County Emergency Medical Services’ policy is that an ambulance will not transport a person who has died, according to WWSB.

County officials told WWSB they are looking to change that policy in light of this incident.

Girl shot in Maryland school shooting taken off life support, dies

One of two victims of a school shooting in Maryland has died. 

Jaelynn Rose Willey, 16, was taken off of life support Thursday. She died a few hours later at 11:34 p.m. Thursday night, WRC reported.

Willey was injured earlier this week when a student with whom she had a previous relationship shot her in the head in the hallway of Great Mills High School, WRC reported.

Officials with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office announced Willey’s death Friday morning, WBAL reported.

She was one of nine children in the Willey family. Family members said she helped take care of the other children every day, WRC reported.

The gunman died after he and a school resource officer exchanged gunfire; however, officials have not released if it was the officer’s shot that killed the teen gunman, or if he killed himself, WBAL reported.

Another student, Desmond Barnes, 14, was shot in the leg, WRC reported. He was released from a hospital Wednesday, WBAL reported.

Mom who killed kids after husband asked for divorce gets 120 years in prison

An Indiana woman who stabbed her two young children to death after her husband asked for a divorce in 2016 has been sentenced to 120 years in prison.

Brandi Worley, 31, of Darlington, was sentenced Monday in a Montgomery County courtroom. The Journal Review in Crawfordsville reported that Worley was quiet as she learned her fate, and she did not make a statement.

The Indy Channel reported that Worley pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in January. 

Worley stabbed her children, Tyler, 7, and Charlee, 3, to death in a bedroom of her family’s home while her husband, Jason Worley, slept downstairs. Jason Worley told his wife he wanted to end the couple’s seven-year marriage two days before the Nov. 17, 2016, slayings, according to authorities. 

Jason Worley took the stand during his now-ex-wife’s sentencing hearing, the Journal Review reported

“For me, those children were my life,” Jason Worley said. 

He described Tyler as a loving, energetic first-grader who loved sports.

“He was one of those (people) who could walk into a room of strangers and walk out with 20 new friends,” Jason Worley said

Charlee loved dressing up and having her hair braided, her father said. 

The murders came to light when Brandi Worley called Montgomery County 911 early in the morning on the day of the attack. When the dispatcher answered her call, she calmly told him what she did. 

“I just stabbed myself and I killed my two children,” Worley says in the audio of the call, which was made public shortly after the murders. 

“You stabbed yourself and killed your two children?” the male dispatcher repeats incredulously. 

“Mmm-hmm,” Worley responds. 

“Okay, and what’s your name?”

“Brandi Worley.”

The dispatcher asks where the children are, and Worley, whose speech is somewhat slurred, responds that they are on the floor in her daughter’s room. The dispatcher continues asking questions between moments of silence, at one point asking Worley why she killed her children.

“My husband wanted a divorce and wanted to take my kids,” she responds. “I don’t want him to have my kids.”

Worley, who is calling from her living room, tells the dispatcher she stabbed herself in the neck.

“Are you bleeding?” he asks. 

“Yeah, there’s blood everywhere,” Worley says. 

Asked about her husband, she says he is downstairs in the basement. The dispatcher asks about Jason Worley’s condition. 

“I don’t know, I haven’t talked to him,” she responds. 

The dispatcher asks Brandi Worley what she feels, and she says she’s tired.

“I took a lot of Benadryl,” she says. 

She tells the dispatcher that, prior to calling him, she called her mother, who told her to call 911.  

Montgomery County prosecutors said that it was Jason Worley’s mother-in-law’s screams of horror that woke him that morning. He ran upstairs and found her in the kitchen, and his wife in the living room.

“That’s when I heard (Brandi) say, ‘Now you can’t take my children from me,” Jason Worley said, according to the Journal Review

Montgomery County Prosecutor Joe Buser laid out a timeline of what happened, saying that Jason Worley told his wife he wanted a divorce on Nov. 15. The following morning, Brandi Worley took the children and spent the day with her mother.

That afternoon, Jason Worley, a software engineer, returned from work and the family went to Charlee’s dance practice, Buser said. After dinner at home, Brandi Worley went to Walmart, telling her husband that she needed pipe cleaners for a school project Tyler was working on.

Instead of pipe cleaners, she bought a knife, the Journal Review reported

>> Read more trending news

When she returned home, she hid the knife in Tyler’s bedroom before going into the living room, where she and her husband played with their children together before Jason Worley put them to bed for the last time, the newspaper said. 

Buser said that early the following morning, Brandi Worley woke Tyler up for a “sleepover” in his little sister’s room, the Journal Review reported. In Charlee’s bedroom, she straddled her son and stabbed him repeatedly.

Charlee awoke at one point and asked what her mother was doing, the prosecutor said. When Brandi Worley told her “nothing,” Charlee went back to sleep. 

Once Tyler was dead, Brandi Worley stabbed Charlee to death. Their autopsies showed both children were stabbed multiple times, the Journal Review said

Worley then stabbed herself more than once in the neck, but survived.

“She was more adept killing her small, sleeping children than killing herself,” Buser said. 

Defense attorney Mark Inman said there was no clear-cut reason that the murders took place. He told the Journal Review that his client showed emotion during their first few meetings, but became more stoic after that.

“That’s the only way she can deal with it at this point,” Inman said. “She doesn’t know why she did it.”

In court on Monday, Jason Worley was asked what sentence he would like to see his ex-wife receive. 

“All I care is to never see her again,” he said, according to the newspaper. “Out of sight and out of mind.”

Brandi Worley’s individual sentences were 55 years for her son’s murder and 65 years for killing her young daughter. The sentences are to run consecutively, or one after another. 

She is now housed in the Rockville Correctional Facility, according to state prison records

Newborn twins found dead in suitcase, woman charged

An arrest has been made in the disturbing case in Arkansas where newborn twins were found dead in a suitcase.

Keysheonna Reed, 24 of Wynne, has been charged with two counts of abuse of a corpse.

The babies were found inside a purple suitcase in a ditch near Crossroad 602 in Cross County on February 16. The newborns, one boy and one girl, were between 32 and 34 weeks along.

>> Read more trending news 

Ten days ago, the Cross County Sheriff's Office released photos of items found at or near the scene. They were a purple Hi-Pak suitcase, in which the babies were found, red Polo pants with an elastic waistband, and an orange duffel bag with "Tigers #3" embroidered in it.

Investigators were able to determine who owned the bags, and that led them to Reed.

A report from the Arkansas State Crime Lab determined the babies “were born deceased in the womb,” and there were no illegal substances in the babies’ systems.

No bond has been set for Reed.

WANTED: Sheriff's office accuses Punxsutawney Phil of deception

This week’s spring snowstorm has Punxsutawney Phil on the run. 

Pennsylvania’s prognosticator is wanted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department

>> Read more trending news 

They even have his mugshot up on the “Warrant Wall.” 

He’s been charged with deception and lying to the public

You may recall, Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter – the six weeks was up last week

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