This past Monday, Ray and Wilma Yoder went to a new Cracker Barrel restaurant in Tualatin, Oregon - but it was a visit like none other. The fact that it was Ray's 81st birthday was only part of the reason. The bigger reason is because the visit meant the couple had completed something no one had knowingly ever done before per - they've now eaten at every Cracker Barrel restaurant in the United States. That's 645 Cracker Barrels that took them 40 years and over 5 million miles to complete. The couple from Goshen, Ind., was met by applause from the staff and say their mission is now complete and Ray adds, "Everybody does something ... and we thought we'd do this and it would be fun." The visits began accidentally in Nashville decades ago, and Ray, who made a living delivering RVs across the country said, "I wasn't too impressed quite at first but it didn't take long before I knew it was my home away from home." The couple eventually decided to visit every Cracker Barrel across 44 states and had been to 600 by 2015. Their mission was then halted when Wilma suffered a brain aneurysm on the road. But after she recovered, they resumed travelling, with Cracker Barrel footing the bill to get the couple to their final unvisited location in Tualatin. (USA Today)
A Very Lucky Girl
To hear Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Riddle tell it, "At approximately 4:30am ... a woman from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts was awoken by knocks at her door and found the 7-year-old victim standing at her door in pajamas soaking wet." Police say the sleeping child was taken from a chair in her grandparents' home in Worcester around 2:30am Sunday, driven around for an hour, choked, and thrown from a bridge into a lake, only to miraculously survive and manage to swim to shore. Joshua Hubert, 35, has been charged with kidnapping and is being held without bail. He denies all involvement but Riddle alleges Hubert attended a cookout at the home and passed through the room where the girl was sleeping as he exited. Reportedly, the girl identified Hubert as her assailant. Worcester police are seeking surveillance footage from homes and businesses in the area that have exterior cameras in place and might have captured a Saturn Ion near the vicinity of Lincoln Street between 2am and 4:30am Sunday. (WCBV)
Look At Me! I Need Attention!
Earlier this month, 26-year-old Joshua Witt got his 15 minutes of fame after claiming he was stabbed by an African-American man for looking "like a neo-nazi." The story spread quickly on social media and on conservative outlets, including Fox News, which ran a story with the headline "Anti-Fascist Stabs Innocent Man Over 'Neo-Nazi' Haircut." Too bad none of it was true. Colorado police say Witt actually stabbed himself by accident, then made the false claims to get attention. Witt claimed he had been attacked outside a restaurant in Sheridan by a black man in his twenties because his haircut made him look like a neo-Nazi. He told police he managed to block the attack and received a defensive wound on his hand. He also said his assailant ran off immediately after the attack. But now it's Witt who's under arrest for making a false report after police determined he had actually stabbed himself while opening up a knife he had just purchased at a nearby store. Police became suspicious when they couldn't find any witnesses who could corroborate the story and saw surveillance footage of Witt purchasing the knife. He ultimately admitted to police he cut himself accidentally and is now facing a fine of $2,650 and up to a year in jail. Police say they have no evidence tying Witt to any white supremacist groups. (FOX News)
If Only People Couldn't Remember My Past
Even as Texas suffers perhaps the worst natural disaster in its history, congressmen from the northeast are using Hurricane Harvey as an opportunity to lash out at their Texas colleagues for voting against aid following Hurricane Sandy back in 2013. After Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey and New York in 2012, nearly the entire Texas Republican caucus, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, refused to vote for a multi-billion-dollar aid package. Since the rains started falling in Houston on Friday, several northeastern Republicans have attacked their colleagues for that vote. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the Texas congressional delegation "hypocrites," and Reps. Peter King and Frank LoBiondo have tweeted their displeasure. Cruz, however, says he stands by his vote, even in light of the huge storm in Texas, saying that the 2013 bill was full of unnecessary pork-barrel spending. "Two-thirds of that bill was unrelated spending that had nothing to do with Sandy," Cruz said Monday. Despite their frustration, the lawmakers who have taken a shot at the Texas delegation in the last few days have also promised to vote for a Harvey aid package. (Politico)
Not Everyone is Tearing Down Confederate Monuments
While many cities and states have been removing and tearing down Confederate memorials, the state of Alabama just got a new one! Around 200 people attended the unveiling of a stone dedicated to "Unknown [Alabama] Soldiers" with the Confederacy at Confederate Veterans Memorial Park in Crenshaw County. David Coggins, a Sons of Confederate Veterans member, told the crowd: "That's why we're here is to honor our Confederate dead, to honor our ancestors." Five cannons fired as a red cloth was lifted to reveal the monument. It is worth noting that Coggins owns the land on which the park was built two years ago. He also says that the ceremony was planned months ago and was unrelated to the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Va. Many of those in attendance wore Confederate dress and waved Confederate flags. Organizers barred reporters from using video and other cameras apart from cellphones. Of course when you consider that the state of Alabama has a total population of 4,863,000, and only about 200 people were in attendance, that works out to only 0.00004% of the state that even seems to care. (AL.com)
That Horrible, Racist Movie: Gone With the Wind
A Memphis theater is being criticized and applauded for its decision to pull its annual summer showing of the 1939 Academy Award winning-film Gone With the Wind. The Orpheum Theatre has been increasingly called out on social media for showing the movie as critics don't like the film's depictions of slavery and its overall perspective of the South during the Civil War. After the most recent viewing on August 11, the historic theater agreed to end its 34-year run of the film, saying in a statement: "As an organization whose stated mission is to 'entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves,' the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population." Gone With the Wind lovers are calling the move "stupid" on social media, with one Facebooker posting, "The Orpheum will be following the propaganda & discontinuing this historical film." President of the Orpheum Theatre Group Brett Batterson says the decision has been brewing for a long time, but "the social media storm this year really brought it home." (Commercial Appeal)
What the What?
Pro-tip: The washing machine is not a good hiding spot! In the Ukraine, a seven-year-old boy got stuck in a washing machine while playing hide and seek with his sister. None of his family was able to pull the youngster out so they called emergency services. Four firefighters arrived and came up with the idea of covering the boy in sunflower oil. It paid off as the boy suddenly slid out of the machine, almost unassisted. The firefighters later paid tribute to the boy's courage in shedding barely a single tear during the entire ordeal. One of the rescuers recorded the unusual rescue operation - which took about 20 minutes-on his smartphone and the clip is now going viral. (Metro)