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    Two giant moose statues an ocean apart are pitting a small Canadian town against people near Oslo, Norway, who now contend their giant moose has the edge over Mac the Moose in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. >> Read more trending news  Moose Jaw has held bragging rights over the tallest moose statue in the world since 1984, when Mac the Moose was built at a staggering 32 feet high. Then people between Oslo and Trondheim in Norway erected their own giant moose, called Storelgen or Big Moose, in 2015. Big Moose was about 11 inches taller than Mac, according to BBC News. That’s not sitting well with folks in Moose Jaw. “We’re considered to be very mannerly and respectful, but there are things you just don’t do to Canadians,” Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie told the BBC. “You don’t mess with Mac the Moose,” Tolmie said. Norway’s Big Moose was created by an artist and was erected to prevent traffic accidents. People in Moose Jaw have been suggesting ways the town can make Mac taller still, including adding a large antler rack to his head. >> Trending: Emotional support alligator visits senior home, is just like a dog, owner says Moose Jaw claims Mac the Moose, made of 10 tons concrete, steel and metal mesh, is one of the most photographed roadside attractions in Canada, according to the city’s tourism department.
  • A 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 sold for $1.1 million at an auction over the weekend.  Ford auctioned the vehicle with vehicle identification number 001, with all proceeds to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona.  >> Read more trending news  The winning bidder was auction chairman Craig Jackson, an avid Mustang collector, Fox News reported.  It is the second-highest price a Mustang has sold for at auction, behind a $2.2 million experimental Shelby GT500 Super Snake, Fox News reported. 
  • The first celestial event of the new year is a triple threat you won’t want to miss. >> Read more trending news  On Jan. 20-21, we’ll get the chance to catch a total lunar eclipse, a blood moon and a supermoon. The first full moon of the year is also called a wolf moon. The next visible total lunar eclipse won’t occur until May 26, 2021.  For those living in parts of Europe, Africa, North or South America, the total lunar eclipse will be visible overnight from Sunday, Jan. 20 into Monday, Jan. 21. The phenomenon will be visible in its entirety in North and South America. >> Related: Photos: Amazing NASA photos through the years “At 6:36 p.m. PST (9:36 p.m. EST) on January 20, the edge of the Moon will begin entering the penumbra,” according to the agency. “The Moon will dim very slightly for the next 57 minutes as it moves deeper into the penumbra. Because this part of Earth’s shadow is not fully dark, you may notice only some dim shading (if anything at all) on the Moon near the end of this part of the eclipse.” NASA predicts the total eclipse duration will last about one hour and two minutes and will peak at 12:12 a.m. on Jan. 21 after the moon has made it inside the umbra, or the inner part of the Earth’s shadow. The penumbra is the outer part of Earth’s cone-shaped shadow. Folks will also see the moon turn a deep red as it passes through the Earth’s shadow, giving it the nickname, “blood moon.” >> Related: Photos: Supermoon brightens night sky Those in the Middle East, Asia, Indonesia, Australia or New Zealand can catch it in the evening hours after sunset. What is a total lunar eclipse? A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth’s shadow completely covers the moon, according to Space.com.  What is a blood moon? This phenomenon occurs when “some light from the sun passes through Earth’s atmosphere and is bent toward the moon” during the totality portion of a lunar eclipse, turning the moon red- or copper-colored.  >> Related: The next total solar eclipse is only 6 years away — 14 states where you’ll experience totality in 2024 “The exact color that the moon appears depends on the amount of dust and clouds in the atmosphere,” NASA scientists told Space.com. “If there are extra particles in the atmosphere, from say a recent volcanic eruption, the moon will appear a darker shade of red.” Brian Murphy, director of the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium, told IndyStar that the reddish moon will be most visible between 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 20 to 12:43 a.m. Jan. 21.  >> Related: Sun-eating demons? 7 bizarre (but brilliant) myths and superstitions about solar eclipses What is a supermoon? According to NASA, the moniker was coined by an astrologer in 1979 and is often used to describe a full moon happening near or at the time when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth. Supermoons may appear as much as 14 percent closer and 30 percent brighter than the moon on an average night. The moon’s average distance from Earth is approximately 238,000 miles. Where are the best places to see the supermoon? Wherever the sky is clear and the moon is visible is an ideal place from which to experience the spectacle.  But if you’re really up to making an adventure out of it, consider heading to a state park or the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville. >> Related: Your comprehensive guide to Georgia's state parks Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp is notorious for being one of the best spots in the world for star gazing and was named a gold-tier “International Dark Sky Park.” You can also make your way to one of the nine best places to see stars around Atlanta. Any of those spots would make great viewpoints for a supermoon, too.  Note that “a variety of factors affect the appearance of the Moon during a total lunar eclipse,” according to NASA. “Clouds, dust, ash, photochemical droplets and organic material in the atmosphere can change how much light is refracted into the umbra.” Because this is a supermoon, the moon may appear darker as it’s deeper inside the umbra shadow. Best ways to photograph the supermoon? According to National Geographic, seeing the supermoon near the horizon with buildings, trees or mountains for scale will make the moon appear slightly larger in your photos, even though it isn’t. “Don’t make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself, with no reference to anything,” Bill Ingalls, a senior photographer for NASA, told National Geographic last year. “Instead, think of how to make the image creative—that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place.” Other photo tips from National Geographic staff photographers: Shoot with the same exposure you would in daylight on Earth. Don’t leave your camera shutter open too long. This will make the moon appear too bright and you won’t be able to photograph lunar detail. If you’re using your smartphone, use your optical lens only.  If you’re using your smartphone, do not use your digital zoom. This will decrease the quality of your photo. Instead, take the photo and zoom or crop later. Use a tripod or a solid surface to keep your phone stabilized. Use your fingers to adjust the light balance and capture the lunar detail.
  • A librarian was fatally stabbed Sunday morning while opening the library for a weekend book sale.  >> Read more trending news  Leroy Hommerding, the director of the Fort Myers Beach Public Library, was stabbed by Adam M. Soules around 9 a.m., the Fort Myers News-Press reported.  'It's devastating,' Sallie Seabury, president of the Fort Myers Beach Public Library board, told the News-Press. 'We were having a book sale, and he went to open the doors.' Seabury told the News-Press that Hommerding, 69, was a staunch advocate and was instrumental in getting the library built. Soules left the scene, but witnesses followed him and deputies soon arrived to take him into custody, the News-Press reported.  Soules, 36, was arrested and charged with second-degree homicide. “This outrageous act will not go unpunished,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said as a sign behind him for the book sale flapped in the wind.
  • Cardi B had some sharp words for conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren when she was ridiculed for criticizing President Donald Trump’s reason for the government shutdown. XXL Mag reported the rapper initially slammed Trump for shutting down the government over the Mexico border wall. >> Read more trending news  “Trump is now ordering federal government workers to go back to work without getting paid,” she said in a Wednesday Instagram post. “Now, I don't wanna hear y’all (expletive) talking about, ‘Oh, Obama shut down the government for 17 days,’ yeah (expletive), for federal healthcare. ... Now, I know a lot of y'all don't care 'cause y'all don't work for the government or y'all don't have a job. But this (expletive) is really (expletive) serious bro. This (expletive) is crazy. Our country is in a hell hole right now. We really need to take this (expletive) serious.” Lahren, 26, responded and tagged Cardi B, also 26, in a tweet the same day, tweeting, “Looks like @iamcardib is the latest genius political mind to endorse the Democrats. HA! Keep it up, guys!” People reported that Cardi B responded Sunday, saying, “Leave me alone I will dog walk you.” Seemingly unfazed, Lahren replied again, insulting Cardi B’s intelligence: “I’m sure you would. Still doesn’t make your political rambling any less moronic.” The mother of one gave a pointed response: “You’re so blinded with racism that you don’t even realize the decisions the president you root for is destroying the country you claim to love so much,” she wrote. “You are a perfect example on no matter how educated or smart you think you are you still a SHEEP!” U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took Cardi B’s side, tweeting: “Why do people think they can mess with Bronx women without getting roasted? They act as though our borough hasn’t been perfecting the clapback game since the Sugarhill Gang y’all just found it on Twitter.” Lahren, not backing down, insulted Ocasio-Cortez’s intelligence and criticized both her and Cardi B for what she said was encouraging threats. Ocasio-Cortez and Cardi B haven’t responded at the time of this story.
  • A rural Oregon man killed four members of his family at the home they shared and was shot by sheriff's deputies as he tried to kill a girl, authorities said. Mark Leo Gregory Gago, 42, killed his parents, his girlfriend and their infant daughter Saturday night before deputies shot him, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said. The victims were not shot, The Oregonian reported . Sheriff's Office Sgt. Brian Jensen said the causes of death will be investigated. 'We're not sure what was used at this time,' Jensen told reporters near the scene Sunday. 'I've been told that there were numerous weapons, swords, things of that nature in the residence. The investigators are trying to determine what exactly was used to kill each person.' The sheriff's office identified the victims as Olivia Gago, 9 months, Shaina Sweitzer, 31, Jerry Bremer, 66, and Pamela Bremer, 64. The home is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Portland and northeast of the city of Woodburn. The sheriff's office took an emergency call from a resident of a home at about 10:15 p.m. Saturday. The caller described a violent and hectic scene, Jensen said. Arriving deputies found a 'horrific' situation, Jensen said. 'I've talked to investigators, 20-year veterans, and they're saying this is a shocking scene,' Jensen said. They found a woman dead outside the home and Gago attacking the child. The 8-year-old child was Sweitzer's daughter from a previous relationship. A roommate also survived. She suffered what deputies described as injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. She was being treated at a hospital. Gago had been arrested in August on a weapons charge. Jensen said by email that Gago was booked on a charge of unlawful possession of a weapon. He did not have details on the circumstances of the arrest or disposition of the case.
  • Snow 1, Snow plow 0.  A snow plow overturned Sunday as parts of the Boston area received more than a half-foot of snow.  >> Read more trending news  The snow plow tipped over in Leominster as it was approaching a road with one of the city’s steepest inclines.  The director of public works told Boston25News he had never seen anything like it before.  “I’ve never seen a truck flip over,” director Ray Racine said. “I’ve been here 38 years.” The driver was not injured.
  • A former CIA technical operations officer who helped rescue six U.S. diplomats from Iran in 1980 and was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the film 'Argo,' has died. He was 78. A family statement and his literary agent confirmed that Antonio 'Tony' Mendez died Saturday at an assisted-living center in Frederick, Maryland. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease, according to the statement. Specializing in covert operations, Mendez helped devise the plan under which six diplomats who were in hiding were disguised as a Canadian film crew so they could board a flight and escape the country amid the Iran hostage crisis. The daring plot — for years a side note to the 52 people held hostage for 444 days — captured the public's attention in 'Argo,' which won the 2013 Oscar for best picture. Mendez, who joined the CIA after getting recruited in 1965, spent his 25-year career working undercover in Cold War battlegrounds, including the Soviet Union. Working as a 'chief of disguise,' Mendez and his workers helped secret agents remain secret through creating false documents and disguises, according to a biography for his first book, 'The Master of Disguise; My Secret Life in the CIA.' 'Tony Mendez was a true American hero. He was a man of extraordinary grace, decency, humility and kindness,' Affleck tweeted Saturday. 'He never sought the spotlight for his actions, he merely sought to serve his country. I'm so proud to have worked for him and to have told one of his stories.' The 'Argo' screenplay, based on another Mendez memoir and also an Oscar winner, was liberally embellished for the big screen. The six Americans' passage through the Tehran airport and onto a plane was uneventful, Mendez wrote. But the movie portrayed a white-knuckle takeoff at the Tehran airport, with Iranian assault teams racing behind the jet down the runway. Born in Nevada, Mendez moved to Colorado at age 14, attended the University of Colorado and worked for Martin Marietta on the Titan intercontinental missile, according to the online biography . He was recruited for the CIA in Denver through a blind ad. In less than two years, the biography says, he and his family had moved overseas while Mendez worked in South and Southeast Asia. His wife, Jonna, is also a former chief of disguise in the CIA's Office of Technical Service. The two wrote a book about their agency work in Moscow in the final days of the Cold War and their romance, which led to their marriage after he retired in 1990. Mendez was also an accomplished painter. His family says he will be buried in a private ceremony at the family graveyard in Nevada.
  • University of Central Florida President Emeritus John Hitt has resigned, and four high-ranking university administrators have been fired over a scandal involving millions of dollars in building projects. >> Read more trending news  In 2018, the university was building new buildings with more than $80 million that was meant for other work. During a meeting Friday, board members got their first look at an outside investigation into the misspending. The report said Hitt likely did not know these building projects were being improperly paid for. The same goes for the board of trustees, but the report said plenty of other people did. University board members spent hours Friday afternoon going over a 63-page report that is critical of how UCF handles money. One of the lawyers involved in investigating the university made it clear the financial issues span a series of projects and a number of years. However, they're centered around the $38 million project to build Trevor Colbourn Hall on campus. Records show the project was funded with state money that was never earmarked for construction and should have gone to things like curriculum for the students. Leaders here are looking for changes because it took the state attorney general's office poking around in the university's finances to uncover the misspending. The scandal already forced the resignation of former Chief Financial Officer Bill Merck. When it comes to Hitt, investigators said he 'was advised of the possibility that the funding for TCH might lead to an adverse audit finding, and that he directed Merck to go forward with the project anyway.' The four employees being let go are: Associate Vice President of Finance Tracy Clark, Associate Vice President of Facilities Lee Kernek, Associate Vice President of Debt and Revenue John Pittman and university Controller Christy Tant. The board will be back next week, deciding what else to do to try to stop this from happening again.
  • You and your loved ones aren't federal employees or contractors, and you don't live in a setting or have a job closely tied to government programs. So what does the government shutdown have to do with you? More than you might think. Washington's doings, or not-doings, can be woven into everyday American life from a bowl of breakfast cereal to a bottle of beer after work. The budget standoff between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats is rippling into some unexpected places. Like Carmen Bush's cellphone. It's being deluged with telemarketing calls, but she can't get added to the National Do Not Call Registry. It is unavailable during the stalemate. 'It's turning into an every-15-minute reminder that the government is shut down,' the Oakland, California, high school English teacher says. 'I feel bad because I know so many other people are being affected by the shutdown in so many more devastating ways, but this is just one way that didn't even cross my mind.' Here's a look at some more ways: ___ ON YOUR PLATE Caitlin Hilbert was enjoying some poke, the Hawaiian marinated raw fish dish, last week when the shutdown made her stop chewing. It occurred to her that the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees seafood safety, had suspended routine inspections. The agency said last Monday it was bringing workers back to resume checks of seafood and other 'high-risk' items. Still, the moment made Hilbert reflect on the links between Washington and her life in San Mateo, California. 'I want to be able to consume food without worry,' the college student and illustrator says. The FDA oversees about three-quarters of the food supply, from fresh vegetables to dry cereal. The agency conducts about 8,400 domestic-food inspections a year, about a third involving 'high-risk' food. The agency said some checks — on imported food, for instance — have continued through the shutdown; so have U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections of meat and poultry. To be sure, inspectors don't normally examine every morsel Americans eat, and plenty of food is safe. 'The odds that you, as a consumer, will go in and pick up a box of food that was affected by the shutdown are low,' says Sarah Sorscher, deputy director of regulatory affairs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food safety advocacy group. 'But particularly as the shutdown goes on, the chances increase that someone in America is going to get sick who wouldn't have gotten sick, because of the shutdown.' __ THE COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT After enduring past shutdowns as a federal worker, Atlanta retiree David Swan hoped he wouldn't feel the effects of this one. Then he tried to look at an identity theft complaint he filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2017, after his personal information was compromised in a data breach and he learned that someone checked into a hotel under his name. Swan recently got an email saying his FTC account would be deactivated if he didn't log in, but the system is offline because of the shutdown. (The commission does say accounts aren't being deactivated in the meantime.) 'The process of keeping the government open and keeping the government running should not be compromised for partisan politics,' he says. ___ IN THE LUNCHROOM The shutdown is showing up in school cafeterias in North Carolina's rural Vance County, which plans to start paring student lunches this week. Fresh produce will be nixed in middle and high schools and reduced in elementary schools, and lunchrooms will stop offering bottled water and juice, among other changes announced in a Facebook post this week. Ice cream will be gone, too. The USDA assures that school lunch programs have funding through the end of March. But the Vance County school system said it's trying 'to conserve food and funding' in a district where most students come from families with incomes low enough to qualify them for free or reduced-price lunch. Federal money pays for 95 percent of its school nutrition program. 'All indications are that as far as food supply and funding, we are OK through March. But beyond that, we really don't know,' so administrators want to stretch what they have, spokeswoman Terri Hedrick said. The USDA said in a statement Thursday that officials 'understand that the current lapse in appropriations creates uncertainty for the future,' but they're hopeful the budget stalemate will end soon. ___ IN TAX TANGLES Tax Day isn't until April, but some of Mindy Schwartz' accounting clients are anxious to contact the IRS now. They've gotten notices citing issues with past returns and saying the clients owe money. Normally, Schwartz calls up a special Internal Revenue Service number for tax professionals to get to the bottom of notices like this. But the line is now answered only by a message saying help 'is not available at this time.' Help may be on the way: The IRS said was recalling about 46,000 of its employees, over half its workforce, as the official start of tax season approaches Jan. 28. The agency said workers would start staffing some phone lines 'in the coming days.' For the moment, Schwartz's concerned clients can only ponder whether to wait to get through, and perhaps risk penalties and interest, or pay what the IRS says they owe, even if they believe there's an error. 'Getting communications from the IRS tends to freak people out, so when you can't get them an answer, it gets a little scary,' says Schwartz, of Carlsbad, California. ___ AT THE AIRPORT Jennifer Lyon-Weisman isn't a worrier by nature. But she headed for the airport in Columbus, Ohio, over three hours before her Friday afternoon flight. She lives only 15 minutes away, but she didn't want to take chances on her annual trip to a fundraising music festival in New Jersey. She'd heard reports of long lines and closed checkpoints at some airports, starting last weekend, after absenteeism spiked among now-unpaid federal security screeners. The sick-out rate has eased a bit, and the Transportation Security Agency said less than 6 percent of flyers nationwide waited more than 14 minutes in checkpoint lines as of Thursday. But with a holiday weekend likely to boost crowds, Lyon-Weisman was concerned. 'And then I feel guilty because people aren't being paid, and it's a really small problem,' said Lyon-Weisman, a barber. In the end, the airport crowds were light and screening went swiftly, she said. While security screeners and air traffic controllers have been told to keep working, Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors weren't, until the agency began recalling some Jan. 12. About 2,200 of the more than 3,000 inspectors are now on the job, overseeing work done by airlines, aircraft manufacturers and repair shops. The government says they're doing critical work but forgoing such tasks as issuing new pilot certificates. Meanwhile, passengers will probably have to wait a bit longer to check out Delta's newest jet model, a 109-seater the airline says has 'among the widest seats' among single-aisle planes. CEO Ed Bastian said the Jan. 31 launch date will likely be pushed back because of certification delays amid the shutdown. ___ ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES Some college students and their families are also contending with shutdown woes as they try to get tax information for financial aid applications. With IRS phone lines and offices closed, some have struggled to get verification and documents they need to apply. The shutdown doesn't affect the aid itself, but the Department of Education acknowledges that some 'systems and processes depend on information from_and actions taken by_other federal agencies, several of which are currently closed.' Reynold Verret, the president of Xavier University of Louisiana, says some students at his Catholic, historically black New Orleans school have been caught up in the quandary. 'We're not exceptional. Every university in the United States right now is probably facing that, as well,' he said. ___ FROM THE TAP Money isn't the only thing that's not flowing during the shutdown. Some craft breweries are postponing new beer releases or expansions because they need permission from a federal agency that isn't open. Such breweries tend to offer new seasonal and special brews frequently, and new beer labels need the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's approval to be sold across state lines. Milwaukee-based Lakefront Brewery, for one, has upcoming cherry lager and apple ale releases that could be delayed while it waits for the label-approval process to resume. Some other breweries have new locations idling while waiting for permits from the bureau. 'To me, it kind of drives home to everybody what's all happening and how many people are affected,' says Russ Klisch, Lakefront's founder and president. 'The government does touch everyone's life, one way or another.' ___ Associated Press writers Alina Hartounian in Phoenix; Ivan Moreno in Milwaukee; Skip Foreman in Charlotte, North Carolina; Rebecca Santana in New Orleans; and Kiley Armstrong in New York contributed to this report.