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Mysterious, unknown humming noise driving residents crazy for years

Residents of a Canadian town have been plagued with a bizarre humming noise for years and say it’s completely wreaking havoc on the city.

>> Read more trending news 

The persisting humming has been going on for years and has been described as a similar sound as a truck idling or distant thunder. Some residents even say that the noise has damaged their quality of life and people’s health. Residents have also called the Canadian House of Commons and complained of headaches, irritability, depression and sleeplessness from the noise.

Some residents even claim that the odd sound has been bothering their pets and has rattled windows in their homes.

But it’s not just limited to the city of Windsor, Ontario, either. The New York Times reports that it can be heard on the Detroit River and there have even been reports from McGregor, Ontario, 20 miles to the south.

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But, tracing the origin of the noise has been difficult because, apparently, not everyone can hear it. It could also be difficult to get the government to do anything about the hum as regulations typically only cover decibel levels that could lead to hearing damage or loss. Though, Dr. Darius Kohan, a neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital said that it is unlikely a low-frequency hum could cause damage to one’s hearing.

Sleuths have been looking for answers as to where the hum is actually coming from and have reportedly narrowed it down to furnace operations on Zug Island near the Detroit River. United States Steel, which operates the furnaces, have allegedly been “uncooperative and secretive” when it comes to inquiries about the hum.

Though Mike Provost, a resident of the city refuses to give up and has devoted six years to running a Facebook page that focuses on finding the source of the hum and debunking theories about it.

>> Related: All aboard: Disney Cruise Line looks for workers to man its ship kid clubs

I’ve got to keep going,” he told the NYT. “I’m not going to quit this.”

Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say

The alleged gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week in Parkland, Fla., has an inheritance from his adoptive parents worth $800,000, according to news outlets.

>> Read more trending news 

But Nikolas Cruz, 19, who now has a public defender at taxpayer expense as his attorney in his murder case, cannot access the money until he turns 22, the Miami Herald reported.

Cruz was charged with 17 counts of murder last Thursday, a day after allegedly opening fire inside the high school with an assault-style rifle.

>> Related:Hundreds of students walk out in mass protest, march to Parkland high school

The large amount of money could prompt a judge to review the estate and possibly make the money accessible for Cruz’s defense.

The Public Defender’s Office asked a judge Tuesday to review the inheritance, the Herald reported,  to help determine if any of the money can be used in his defense.

The court filing specifically asked the judge to “determine whether the defendant is indigent.”

>> Related: Parkland students march at Capitol calling for tighter gun control laws

Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder in the deaths of 14 students and three adults, including teachers, in the deadly rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. More than a dozen others were injured in the massacre.

Cruz was caught shortly after the shooting in nearby Coral Springs, Fla., and taken into custody without incident.

He’s jailed without bond.

>> Related: Dallas Mayor pro tem tells NRA it can hold annual convention someplace else

DirecTV to raise NFL Sunday Ticket prices, angering fans

DirecTV will increase the price of its NFL Sunday Ticket package by about 4 percent for the 2018 season.

The Tuesday announcement comes after DirecTV increased the price of the NFL Sunday Ticket basic package last year by 9.3 percent and the larger package by 5 percent.

>> Read more trending news 

The basic package for 2018 will be priced at $293.94, increasing from $281.94 last year, according to the DirecTV website. The larger package that includes the Red Zone Channel costs $395.94, up 4.5 percent from 2017, according to USA TODAY.

Here’s what NFL fans had to say about the increase:

Alabama police officer shot, killed; suspect dead

An Alabama police officer who was shot Tuesday night has died, authorities say.

>> Read more trending news 

Georgia’s law allows mentally ill to buy guns after 5 years

After the shooting deaths of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, the public’s attention has once again shifted to the role mental illness plays in mass shootings and the role the government can play in restricting gun sales to those with mental illness.

>> Read more trending news 

Each year, Georgia provides the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the records of thousands of Georgians who have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. Their names are added to the National Instant Background Check System that gun sellers check before a sale. 

Unlike all other states, Georgia has a law that requires the removal of names from that list after five years. 

What was the purpose of that law and how many Georgians are now eligible to buy a gun who otherwise could not?

Read the full story at myAJC.com.

Don’t lose your tax refund falling for this IRS scam, here’s how to avoid it

sneaky new scam involving tax refunds is spreading, and it means you need to keep a close eye on your bank account.

>> Read more trending news 

There are several variations of the scam: unexpected refund deposits to your bank account using compromised bank routing information, suspicious paper checks coming in the mail and, in one case reported in Maryland, it appeared a fraudulent refund check had been deposited using a smartphone. 

According to the IRS, the victim will then receive a call or recorded message saying they need to return the funds to a collection agency-which is actually the scam account. 

If you pay the scammers, you will get a double whammy hit to your bank account when the IRS or your bank realize that the deposit was bogus and withdraws the funds.

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The number of victims jumped from a few hundred to a few thousand in just days, after more tax practitioner data breaches, according to the IRS.

The IRS has these recommendations to avoid getting scammed:

If you notice a suspicious deposit, contact your bank to have the money returned to the IRS and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. 

If you receive a paper check, write “void” in the endorsement field on the back and return it to the location printed on the check. 

>> Related: Chipotle testing new ‘trendy’ menu option 

If you mistakenly cashed the erroneous refund check, submit a check for the full amount to the IRS location near you. 

  • ANDOVER – Internal Revenue Service, 310 Lowell Street, Andover MA 01810
  • ATLANTA – Internal Revenue Service, 4800 Buford Highway, Chamblee GA 30341
  • AUSTIN – Internal Revenue Service, 3651 South Interregional Highway 35, Austin TX 78741
  • BRKHAVN – Internal Revenue Service, 5000 Corporate Ct., Holtsville NY 11742
  • CNCNATI – Internal Revenue Service, 201 West Rivercenter Blvd., Covington KY 41011
  • FRESNO – Internal Revenue Service, 5045 East Butler Avenue, Fresno CA 93727
  • KANS CY – Internal Revenue Service, 333 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City MO 64108-4302
  • MEMPHIS – Internal Revenue Service, 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis TN 38118
  • OGDEN – Internal Revenue Service, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., Ogden UT 84201
  • PHILA – Internal Revenue Service, 2970 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19104

Cinemark theaters banning large bags

As of Feb. 22, moviegoers at Cinemark theaters won’t be able to bring in big bags when they go catch a flick.

The movie theater chain announced a change to its bag and package policy, stating that no bags larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches will be allowed in theaters. will be allowed in cinemas.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Cinemark website, the decision was made “in an effort to enhance the safety and security of our guests and employees.”

Incidents of shootings and other threats have been present at movie theaters in recent years, which may have impacted the policy change.

Still, the limit on bag sizes also means customers can’t sneak in as many outside food or snacks, something some moviegoers do to avoid paying high theater prices.

Based out of Plano, Texas, Cinemark has locations across the country and in Latin America. Theaters are in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington, among other states.

Counting calories isn't key to weight loss, study finds

It’s often considered common knowledge that in order to lose weight, you should start by reducing your calorie intake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even advises individuals trying to lose weight to keep a calorie tracking journal.

But new research finds losing weight is more about diet quality than calorie quantity.

>> Read more trending news

The findings, published this week in the academic journal JAMA, showed that dieting individuals who reduced their consumption of added sugars, highly processed foods and refined grains while focusing on increasing their vegetables and whole foods, lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year without counting calories or limiting the size of portions.

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"The unique thing is that we didn't ever set a number for them to follow," Dr. Christopher D. Gardner, director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and lead researcher, told The New York Times. Instead of putting limits on calorie intake, Gardner said researchers instructed participants to focus on eating as much whole or "real" foods as they needed to avoid feeling hungry.

Moe than 600 individuals participated in the study, which was backed with $8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and other groups.

>> Related: How to lose weight: Take a break from your diet for 2 weeks, study suggests

While the study focused primary on diet, the participants were also given 22 health education classes and were encouraged to meet standard guidelines for physical activity.

Gardner designed the study with fellow researchers to examine how overweight and obese people would compare when consuming low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. The recruited individuals -- who hailed from northern California -- were split into two groups: "healthy" low-carb and "healthy" low-fat. Both groups attended courses led by dietitians who instructed them to consume minimally processed and nutrient-rich whole foods. They also encouraged participants to cook at home on a regular basis.

>> Related: Eating too fast could be making you fat, study says

Individuals in the low-fat group were told to eat foods such as brown quinoa, fresh fruit, legumes, rice, barley, steel-cut oats, lentils, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Although soft drinks, fruit juice, white rice and white bread may technically be low in fat, participants were told to avoid these, as they are highly processed or contain added sugars. The low-carb group was advised to eat foods such as avocados, hard cheeses, vegetables, olive oil, salmon, nut butter, and grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.

"We told everybody they should buy whole foods. Nobody should have foods with refined sugar. They suck," Gardner told NBC News.

>> Related: 4 drinks that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts

"Also, we advised them to diet in a way that didn't make them feel hungry or deprived -- otherwise it's hard to maintain the diet in the long run,” he said.

After one year, both groups demonstrated significant weight loss even though they didn't worry about their calorie intake. Those in the low-fat group lost about 11.7 pounds on average, while the members of the low-carb group lost a little more than 13 pounds. Individuals in both groups also showed improvements in other important health markers such as reduced body fat, lower blood sugar, improved blood pressure levels and decreased waist size.

"This is the road map to reducing the obesity epidemic in the United States," Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who was not involved in the new study, told The New York Times. "It's time for the U.S. and other national policies to stop focusing on calories and calorie counting."

>> Related: New anti-obesity drug could help you get rid of fat without dieting

Beyond calorie counting, the study contradicted the increasingly popular theory that diets should be catered to an individual's genetics. According to U.S. News and World Report, previous research has suggested that certain genes or an individual's insulin levels could interact with different diets to affect weight loss.

This new study showed no significant difference when filtering for such factors. Weight loss among the participants was found to be the same, regardless of genetics, insulin levels or diet type.

>> On AJC.com: 12 weight-loss secrets from Atlantans who shed 100-plus pounds 

"The bottom line: Diet quality is important for both weight control and long-term well-being," Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, told The New York Times.

Read the new research at jamanetwork.com

Google’s new AI can look into your eyes and predict heart attack risk

Researchers from Google and sibling company Verily Life Sciences have developed a new algorithm using artificial intelligence to predict the risk of heart attack, stroke and other major cardiovascular events.

How does it work? Through the eyes.

» RELATED: Google launches 10,000-person study to predict how and when people get sick

Scientists studied data from 284,335 patients and found the “deep-learning” AI algorithm could identify risk factors based on age, blood pressure, gender, smoking status and others just by scanning the individuals’ retinas.

“The rear interior wall of the eye (the fundus) is chock-full of blood vessels that reflect the body’s overall health,” the Verge reported. “By studying their appearance with camera and microscope, doctors can infer things like an individual’s blood pressure, age, and whether or not they smoke, which are all important predictors of cardiovascular health.”

» RELATED: Google's AI push comes with plenty of people problems

Google’s AI was able to differentiate patients who suffered a major cardiac event in the following five years and those who didn’t with a 70 percent accuracy

>> Read more trending news 

"While doctors can typically distinguish between the retinal images of patients with severe high blood pressure and normal patients, our algorithm could go further to predict the systolic blood pressure within 11 mmHg on average for patients overall, including those with and without high blood pressure," lead author Lily Peng wrote in a Google blog.

» RELATED: Bullied, abused children and teens at higher risk of heart disease, study says

Medical algorithms are traditionally created to redesign experiments to test hypotheses made from observations. But this algorithm found new ways to analyze existing medical data.

“With enough data, it’s hoped that artificial intelligence can then create entirely new medical insight without human direction,” the Verge reported.

» RELATED: Just one cigarette can up your chance for heart disease and stroke, study says

This technology would make it more efficient for doctors to analyze cardiac risk without a blood test, which typically predicts events with 72 percent accuracy. But more tests are necessary before the AI can be used in a clinical setting.

“We look forward to developing and testing our algorithm on larger and more comprehensive datasets. To make this useful for patients, we will be seeking to understand the effects of interventions such as lifestyle changes or medications on our risk predictions and we will be generating new hypotheses and theories to test,” Peng wrote.

The research was published Monday in the journal “Biomedical Engineering.”

Gibson pushes back against bankruptcy talk, hires new CFO

Gibson is pushing back against reports of an impending bankruptcy and has hired a new chief financial officer, who starts with the company Monday.

Officials with Gibson Brands, Inc., maker of the famed Les Paul and ES-335 electric guitars, released a statement saying the company has met all “current obligations to the bondholders, is in the process of arranging a new credit facility to replace the bonds, and fully expects the bonds to be refinanced in the ordinary course of business.”

>> Read more trending news

In the statement, Gibson Chairman and Chief Executive Henry Juszkiewicz said: “These bonds expire as all fixed income instruments do at the end of their term.”

He said also that the company has been working with Jefferies investment bank to manage the refinancing process.

“While the musical instrument and pro audio segments have been profitable and growing, they are still below the level of success we saw several years ago,” Juszkiewicz said.

Also, officials with the Nashville-based company said that Benson Woo will return to Gibson as the company’s chief financial officer today.

>> Related: Gibson guitar company, maker of the Les Paul, facing bankruptcy after 116 years in business

Said Juszkiewicz: “We are excited and pleased that Benson with be coming back to the Gibson Brands family. He has a great knowledge of the industry, our current businesses and is liked and respected by everyone at Gibson and with whom he dealt. We are confident he will contribute to moving the company forward.”

Woo had previously served with Gibson in 2016. He replaces Bill Lawrence. 

The CEO said the company is “streamlining” and will focus its Philips brand consumer audio business on those products that have “greater growth potential,” as well as eliminating product segments that fall below expectations.

While Gibson has been struggling to re-pay debt, an officer with Moody’s Investors Service has told the Nashville Post that the company’s core guitar business remains sound.

“The core business is a very stable business, and a sustainable one,” Kevin Cassidy, of Moody’s, told the newspaper. “But you have a balance sheet problem and an operational problem.”

Gibson was founded in 1894 and makes musical instruments, as well as consumer and professional audio. Juszkiewicz acquired Gibson in 1986 with fellow investors. The company has a portfolio of over 100 well-recognized brand names.

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