Today's Update


Hurricane Florence's death toll has climbed has to at least 37. Two of the most recently reported fatalities include mental health patients who drowned as a sheriff's van was washed away in the floodwaters. Meanwhile, the city of Wilmington is still mostly cut off from the rest of the state and surrounded by floodwaters and thousands of people around NC are still living in shelters. President Trump toured the ravaged region today and North Carolina's governor says it's still not safe for evacuees to try to return home to survey the damage. Also today, climate scientists say Florence appears to support their idea that global warming should make big storms wetter, slower and more intense.


The accomplice who helped kidnap and torture a teenage Elizabeth Smart -- who is now 30 -- is a free woman today. Wanda Barzee, 72, was released this morning from a Utah state prison after spending 15 years there. She pleaded guilty back in 2002 to helping her husband, Brian David Mitchell, abduct Smart from her bedroom at knifepoint. Smart says Barzee stood by as she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her male captor. Officials announcement last week that a mistake was made when calculating Barzee's release date which was previously slated in 2024. Reports say Barzee is now on the Utah sex offender register and Federal agents will monitor her supervised release for the next 5 years. Smart says she wants no contact with Barzee and that she fears for her own safety.


Yup -- that's right Apple's new tools that let you manage your kids' screen time became available yesterday. Here's how to use them. Sorry kids! The jig is up.



And still, so many of us have a hefty cable bill on top of the streaming services we can't live without (looking at you, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video). If you've ever considered cutting the cord, we have the primer for you. Here's a breakdown of what you'll need, from HD antennas to broadband connections, and beyond.



Jennifer Garner released the latest episode of her Pretend Cooking Show -- one our favs on IGTV! Her fast and fabulous fish sticks look delish -- check out the super-fun video here.



We're so excited to bring in Amy Clark of as our resident book guru. Every week, Amy will share some of her favorite reads. One for you and one for your teen. You can count on Amy to hook you up with the best beach reads and she's also an expert in many other mom areas. Check out her website link above. Here's what she has for you this week.

FOR YOU - The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine Tessa Fontaine shares two death-defying stories...her own and the incredible story of her mother who defied all predictions of death for many years after suffering a series of strokes. Many of us dream of escaping it all, but Tessa actually does this and applies for a job working with the World of Wonders, America's last traveling sideshow. Bravely, she tries all sorts of incredible acts within this company like sword swallowing, snake charming, and even performing as an electric woman. Layered between these captivating moments, she weaves in the parallel life of her mother and her own death-defying act of traveling the world in the midst of health struggles that should have killed her.


FOR THEM - Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

A small town is filled with gaps where the world looks different and even the corn has a voice. When a kidnapping happens and the only witness can't give descriptions of what the kidnapper looked like, the town's whispers taint his reputation. He is determined to redeem himself (and the taken girl) and sets out on an adventure to get her back. He must fall into these mystical gaps to find her and the truth is revealed on why he could never fully see her captor. (Advised for ages 14 and up).


And don't forget...we keep a running list of Amy's Picks on our blog so you can check back any time!


THANK YOU!!!! We love our TPL readers! Thanks to your generosity, we've sent almost $1,300 in school supplies to our partner school. There are still many more items on the list. If you haven't already, please check out our Amazon Wishlist where you can easily purchase the school supplies that we all may take for granted. Your purchase will be shipped directly to the school via Amazon Prime if you're a Prime customer. Please help us start the school year off on the right foot by helping out those who are less fortunate.


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