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For the first time, Latino elected officials and voters are getting a real full-court press from Democratic contenders during the early stages of the primary process. The reason for the shift is simple: this time around, they could play a much more prominent role in picking the nominee, NBC News reports

Depending on how the race unfolds, Latinos might even end up being the key to the contest. 

That's a function mostly of heavily Hispanic states, including California and Texas, moving up on the primary calendar at the same time that the chances for a protracted, delegate-by-delegate fight among several candidates appear to be more likely than ever. The possibility of African American voters splitting among several candidates for the first time in several presidential primary cycles also raises the stakes for candidates in trying to get an edge with Latino voters.

Together, California and Texas, where Hispanics account for nearly 40 percent of the overall population, account for more than 15 percent of the elected delegates to next summer's Democratic convention. Both states wrap up voting next year on March 3 — Super Tuesday — which is the same day that several southern states with heavily African American Democratic electorates and a smattering of other states vote.


Photo Credit: Robert Alexander/Getty Images
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A manhunt is underway in Canada after a 24-year-old American woman and her Australian boyfriend were found dead earlier this week along a remote highway in British Columbia, NBC News reports.

The bodies of Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, and Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, were found just before 7:20 a.m. Monday on Alaska Highway 97 near Liard Hot Springs, a tourist attraction, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

A blue Chevrolet van the couple was believed to have been traveling in was found at the scene.

The couple had just begun a road trip in Canada when they were murdered, Deese's brother told the Charlotte Observer. He said the couple's van may have broken down or overheated before they were killed. “Something happened on that road, some sort of conflict," he said.

Police do not have any suspects and said they do not know if Deese and Fowler were targeted or if it "was a crime of opportunity," the department said in a press release.


Photo Credit: yo_co - stock.adobe.com
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An Excessive Heat Warning has been canceled for the Chicago area, but residents will have to dodge one more bit of rough weather before they can fully relax and bask in the cooler air.

After a round of severe thunderstorms rolled through northern portions of Illinois on Saturday afternoon, occasional showers remain possible in the early evening hours before fully moving out of the area, according to the NBC 5 Storm Team.

After that threat of rain dissipates, the area should remain quiet through the overnight hours, but early Sunday morning, the threat of rain and thunderstorms returns with a vengeance, as a front moves through the region.

Some of the thunderstorms in that wave, expected to arrive between 6 and 9 a.m., could potentially be severe, with heavy downpours and some localized flooding. Gusty winds are also possible with the storms.

Once the weather begins to clear out in the afternoon, Chicago area residents will be greeted with a wonderful sensation: cooler air. High temperatures, which were up into the high 90s in some locations on Saturday, will be much more seasonal in coming days, with highs in the high 70s or low 80s for most of the area.

Temperatures are expected to warm back up later in the week, with the mercury creeping back into the mid-to-high 80s by Thursday.


Photo Credit: Joel Stopka
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One person is dead and another is in an area hospital after they were rescued from the waters of Lake Michigan on Saturday afternoon. 

According to Chicago fire officials, the two men were discovered in the water approximately two miles east of Diversey Harbor at approximately 3:30 p.m. 

One of the victims, who is unidentified at this time, was later pronounced dead at St. Joseph Hospital, while the other victim, a 28-year-old man, is at Illinois Masonic Hospital, where he's listed in stable condition. 

Fire officials did not provide further details on how the two men ended up in the water. 

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At some point, we're going to run out of superlatives for Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Báez

In the ninth inning of Saturday's game against the San Diego Padres, Wil Myers attempted to steal second base with one out on the board. 

Despite a slightly high throw from catcher Victor Caratini, Báez (or El Mago, as he is rightfully called) made one of the most remarkable tags of his career: 

[[512993281, C]]

The play wiped the tying run off the basepaths, and the Cubs eventually won a 6-5 decision at the Friendly Confines for their seventh victory in eight games



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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On another sizzling day at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs continued to wield hot bats as they beat the San Diego Padres on Saturday afternoon.

The win is the Cubs’ seventh in their last eight games out of the All-Star break, all of which have been played at Wrigley Field. Javier Báez blasted his 24th home run of the season, driving in three runs, and Anthony Rizzo drove in a pair of runs to help the Cubs to the victory.

Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Hunter Renfroe all launched home runs of their own for the Padres, but it wasn’t enough as the Friars fell for the second straight day.

José Quintana gave up five runs and struck out seven batters in five innings of work, and the Cubs’ bullpen was able to work four scoreless innings of relief in securing the victory.

The Cubs got on the board early in the game with a pair of first inning runs. Rizzo notched an RBI groundout to open the scoring, and Robel García tripled off the wall in right field to score Kris Bryant and give the Cubs a 2-0 edge.

The Padres took the lead back in the third inning as Tatis unloaded on a 468-foot home run to center field, and Machado homered to right field as the Padres seized a 3-2 edge.

The Cubs tied the game in the bottom of the third as Rizzo picked up an RBI infield single, but the Padres answered back in the fourth as Tatis lofted a sacrifice fly to center field, putting San Diego ahead by a run.

Báez teed off on a deep home run of his own in the bottom of the fourth to put the Cubs ahead by a 6-4 margin.

The Cubs will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon at the Friendly Confines, sending Kyle Hendricks to the mound. First pitch is slated for 1:20 p.m.


Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Prospective pet owners can now choose the furry friend they want to rescue without having to leave their home.  

Five years after it first launched, the adoption app WeRescue has expanded its reach across the U.S. and in Canada, and has hundreds of thousands of pets available for adoption at over 3,000 rescue organizations.

“We pull in data from all these different shelters and from the management system we are able to provide it to people before they actually go out to adopt a pet," said Mark Wade, a software developer from Illinois, was inspired to develop the WeRescue app after an experience buying a puppy at a pet store. 

Wade said he was told the adorable Shiba Inu pooch came from a "small family farm in Iowa" and later learned that his four-legged family member was actually from a puppy mill.

Then, in 2014, he participated in a start-up "hackathon" competition, where groups of strangers pitch ideas and develop apps over the course of a weekend. Using a popular dating app as a template, Wade and his team wanted to create something that would help connect people with eligible rescue animals at local shelters. Their "Woof" app, the first rendition of WeRescue, won best in show.

That win was the incentive Wade needed to invest more time into his passion project.

The app is now one of several available on app stores that are aimed at connecting would-be pet owners with animals to adopt.

Wade's app originally was limited to cats and dogs before he added birds, horses, rabbits, reptiles and small animals in 2017. And with the additional species, the name "Woof Rescue" would no longer do. Wade rebranded the app as "WeRescue."

The app includes dozens of filters so that users can narrow their search results based on more than just breed, size and age, but also personality traits and whether the animal is hypoallergenic. The distinct filters make finding the perfect pet a walk in the park. Once you've selected a pet the app helps you contact the shelter to keep the process moving along. 

"It’s really important for people to adopt a pet. They are going to want to keep it forever. So, if they’re in an apartment, they need an animal that is appropriate for that situation. So what you are able to do it go into these filters and if you are in an apartment you may want to look for a smaller dog," Wade said.

What's more, this year, Wade has added a Clear the Shelters filter for users looking to adopt a furry friend during NBC and Telemundo stations' fifth annual animal adoption drive. The filter will allow users to narrow their search results to include participating shelters.

"We were happy to connect with shelters nationwide," he said. "Shelters that participate in this are even in Puerto Rico and Hawaii."

More than 1,000 shelters and rescues have already registered to participate in this year's event. So if you’re thinking about taking home a pet, consider heading to a local animal shelter to adopt during Clear the Shelters on Aug. 17 when hundreds of shelters will waive or discount fees as part of the one-day adoption drive. And with the Clear the Shelters filter on WeRescue, it's easier than ever to find the purr-fect pet at a participating shelter.  

WeRescue is available to download on the Apple App store.


Photo Credit: WeRescue
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 An apartment building with nearly 100 occupants has lost air conditioning on one of the summer’s hottest days, the Chicago Fire Department confirmed Saturday.

According to authorities, the building, located in the 1200 block of North Clybourn, reported that its air conditioning went out this afternoon.

The building is a five-story structure with 96 occupants, according to its website, and as part of the response the fire department brought two cooling buses onto the scene. The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications is also on scene and assisting with the response.

Fire officials say that no injuries were reported as a result of the outage, and residents are being relocated to other buildings. There is no word on when the building will get air conditioning back.


Photo Credit: Chicago Fire Department
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The Chicago area could see some showers and thunderstroms on Saturday afternoon, and some of the storms could potentially be severe as hot weather and high humidity remain in the forecast.

According to the National Weather Service, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for Kenosha County in Wisconsin until 9 p.m. Saturday night.

The watch also includes 13 other Wisconsin counties, including Milwaukee.

Scattered thunderstorms are possible in the early afternoon hours across the area, and some could potentially reach severe status, with gusty winds, heavy downpours, and some hail possible if that development occurs.

Heat indices will remain high, ranging from 100 to 110 degrees, but temperatures are expected to fall Sunday after several days of scorching heat.


Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Two people are dead and at least 19 others have been wounded in shootings across the city of Chicago in a violent start to the weekend.

The city’s first fatal shooting of the weekend occurred in the 200 block of West 105th Place at approximately 7:20 p.m. Friday night, according to police.

Authorities say a 21-year-old man was sitting inside a car when a person in a silver colored vehicle fired shots at him, striking him multiple times.

The victim was taken to Roseland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. No suspect is in custody, and Area South Detectives are investigating.

Just before midnight, a 23-year-old man was sitting in a car when he got into a verbal altercation with a group of people standing across the street in the 6200 block of South Laflin, police said.

One of the men opened fire, striking the victim in the chest. The man ran to the corner of 62nd and Lafflin, where he collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center a short time later.

Area South Detectives are investigating.

Here are the rest of the weekend’s shootings:

Friday -

  • In the 700 block of North Lorel at approximately 5:07 p.m., a 51-year-old man was involved in a verbal altercation with another man. When the victim got into a car to drive away, the other man pulled out a gun and shot him in the left foot, according to police. The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he’s listed in stable condition.
  • A 21-year-old man was walking in the 5200 block of South Maplewood at approximately 6 p.m. when a dark colored vehicle drove past, and a person inside opened fire. The man was taken to Mount Sinai with a gunshot wound to his lower left leg, and he’s listed in good condition, police said.
  • At approximately 6:18 p.m. in the 7200 block of South East End, a 27-year-old man was in a yard when he got into a verbal altercation with an unidentified woman, police said. The woman then pulled out a gun and shot the man in the left hip and right torso, and he was taken to the University of Chicago in stable condition.
  • In the 5000 block of West Wrightwood at approximately 8:34 p.m., a man was standing on a corner when another man fired shots at him, striking him in the chest. The man was listed in stable condition, but provided no other information to police when they interviewed him at a local hospital.
  • A 14-year-old girl was standing on a sidewalk in the 3700 block of West Douglas when a person inside a dark-colored vehicle opened fire, striking her in the foot and arm. She was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she’s listed in stable condition.

Saturday –

  • At approximately 12:21 a.m. in the 6100 block of South Vernon, a 39-year-old man was walking when he heard shots and felt pain in his left leg, police said. The man walked into the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he’s listed in good condition.
  • In the 300 block of North Hamlin at approximately 12:28 a.m., a 39-year-old woman was driving when she heard shots and was shot in the leg, police said. The woman was taken to Mount Sinai, where she’s listed in good condition.
  • A 24-year-old man was outside with a group of people when an unknown person opened fire, striking him in the chest, witnesses told police. The man was taken to the University of Chicago, where he’s listed in critical condition.
  • At approximately 1:34 a.m. in the 1100 block of North Lorel, two people were shot early Saturday morning, police said. Two men were walking when shots were fired. A 20-year-old man was shot in the right knee, left thigh, left hip, and lower leg, and was listed in stable condition. A 21-year-old man was shot in the back, and was listed in stable condition at West Suburban Hospital.
  • In the 3100 block of South Erickson Drive at approximately 3:14 a.m., a 29-year-old woman was walking when she saw two men engaged in a verbal altercation. One of the men pulled out a gun and opened fire, striking her in the abdomen. Both men fled the scene on foot, and the woman was taken to the University of Chicago ins table condition, police said.
  • A total of seven people were shot in the 0-100 block of West Fullerton at approximately 3:20 a.m., police said. Authorities say that two groups of people became involved in a verbal altercation, and individuals in both groups pulled out guns and started shooting, leaving seven people hurt. Two of the victims, a 24-year-old woman and a 46-year-old woman, are both in serious condition, while the other five victims are in good condition.
  • Just before 6 a.m. in the 2700 block of West Division, a 36-year-old man walked into Saint Mary’s Hospital after he suffered a gunshot wound to his thigh, police said. The man was treated and released from the hospital.

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