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Today's Update

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Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach, Florida this afternoon around 1:30 EDT and is pounding the Panhandle. Right now reports say the storm is hovering just below category 5 status. Worse than Harvey, Katrina, and Irma -- that's how some weather experts are describing Michael's potential impact. Monster waves, vicious winds and a growing storm surge began battering the region earlier today. The storm may go down as the strongest in history to hit the Florida Panhandle. Residents who didn't evacuate have been told to shelter in place and to stay away from windows -- as officials are warning of  dangerous flying debris. Reports say this is the first time a hurricane this size has hit the Panhandle since records started being kept back in 1851.


There's new information today about the horrific, Upstate New York limo crash that left 20 people dead on Saturday. Reports this afternoon say the son of the owner of Prestige Limousine was taken into custody today by New York State Police. Authorities confirm that a state trooper stopped limo driver, Scott Lisinicchia, back in late August as he drove the Ford Excursion that was involved in the deadly crash. Lisinicchia was reportedly cited for operating the limo without a proper license -- and both he and the company were told he couldn't drive the vehicle again without additional licensure. The driver's widow says her late husband had voiced concerns about the safety of the stretched Ford Excursion he was paid to drive -- but trusted the owners when they reassured him. Lisinicchia died in the crash along with two pedestrians and 17 passengers who were celebrating a 30th birthday.


Sex, politics and religion: the trifecta of topics we know not to bring up in polite company. But our kids are getting snippets of all three these days if they're within earshot of any news program. And it's not just TV; fiery political ads and social media posts are also ever-present. What to do? Here's a breakdown of how to address today's political climate by age group, and the larger lesson that will help all of us weather the upheaval with a little more understanding.


CIAO Joe Giudice -- husband of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" Teresa Giudice -- will be deported to Italy following the end of his prison sentence next year. Giudice is currently serving time for mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud. A judge in Pennsylvania made this ruling in Pennsylvania's immigration court earlier today, reportedly saying, "Based upon the law, I find you deportable and ineligible for any kind of relief," adding, "Mr. Giudice, no matter how this turns out, I wish you the best. I decided this case as a matter of law." Read on for more. 



The royal family is back in the spotlight (as if they ever left!) -- this time in preparation for royal cousin Princess Eugenie's nuptials this Friday at St. George's Chapel. Earlier today, Buckingham Palace announced the crew that's been chosen to be a part of the royal bridal party. Little Prince George, 5, and Princess Charlotte, 3, are on board -- find out who else made the cut 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 reads out there 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 - Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

Rachel is living a typical life of a little Hawaiian girl- she has spats with her sister, she dreams of getting out of Hawaii, and she is loved by her family. When a rose-colored mark appears on her leg, her mother pricks her leg and finds that Rachel does not react. Rachel's mother knows immediately that Rachel has leprosy. To protect her daughter, she covers the mark and hides other marks that appear on Rachel's body. It is the family's dark secret since all people afflicted by leprosy are quarantined and taken from their families. When authorities suspect she has been afflicted, Rachel is taken from her family and moved to the island of Kalaupapa, a quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i.


FOR THEM -  Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Ghosts inhabit a home and observe a family in mourning as they prepare for a funeral for their father and husband. As each character tries to deal with the death, ghosts of their own are uncovered and secrets are revealed. This is a well-built story and as it builds you will discover just why these ghosts cannot leave this home behind. (Advised for ages 14 and up). CHECK IT OUT

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

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