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Ferguson Grand Jury Has Completed Deliberations


The Brown Family / Facebook(ST. LOUIS) -- The St. Louis grand jury considering the shooting of unarmed Ferguson teenager Michael Brown has completed its deliberations, sources told ABC News.

The lawyer for Brown's family has been informed that a decision has been reached and law enforcement personnel are also being notified, sources told ABC News.

The panel must decide whether to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Brown on Aug. 9.

The grand jury has been working on the case since Aug. 20 -- less than two weeks after the shooting -- meeting at least once every week.

The question that the jurors had to answer was whether or not there was probable cause to believe that Wilson committed a crime when he shot Brown.

If they decided that he was guilty of a crime, they could consider charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter up to first degree murder, the state prosecutor's office previously reported. The jury was also informed of the state statutes towards self-defense and the use of force by law enforcement officers.

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List of Potential Host Cities for 2016 DNC Shortened


Keith Spaulding/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The list of potential host cities for the 2016 Democratic National Convention has been narrowed down to three.

Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., announced on Monday that Columbus, Ohio, New York and Philadelphia are the remaining contenders.

“We are fortunate to have such a diverse and vibrant group of cities interested in hosting this special event and we thank Phoenix and Birmingham for showcasing their special communities," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Columbus, New York, and Philadelphia as we go forward.”

We're getting closer to a final decision on where we'll host @TheDemocrats' 2016 convention! Narrowed it down to Columbus, NYC, and Philly.

— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) November 24, 2014

The announcement came after a round of site visits by the DNC’s Technical Advisory Group to five cities.

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Save Cash on Thanksgiving Dinner Despite Higher Food Costs


John E. Kelly/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The price of Thanksgiving dinner might be going up, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank to get turkey and all the fixings on the table.

This year, various foodstuffs popular around the holiday are more expensive -- including sweet potatoes, cream, milk and pumpkin pie mix.

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people will cost $49.41, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, up 37 cents from last year.

Chef Candice Kumai told ABC News that when it comes to deal-hunting around the holidays, she turns to her mom, Miho Kumai Gwiazdowski, to find out how to cut corners without sacrificing taste. If you're pinching pennies but also hosting, here's how to get the most bang for your buck:

Skip the Sweet Potatoes

The price of sweet potatoes is up this year, but most guests will be plenty happy with an alternative starchy side: garlic mashed potatoes or potatoes au gratin, for example.

"Look in the ads and see which place has the best prices. Usually, you can get a 10-pound bag of russet potatoes during the holidays for a couple dollars!" Kumai said, noting that it's one of her mom's favorite money-saving tricks.

If you're really craving the sweet potato side dish, consider mixing them with regular potatoes.

"You could take the sweet potatoes and combine them with a little bit of russet as well, and make a sweet potato mash," Kumai said. "If you're really on a budget you can combine things like that to bulk them up. And that way, you can still incorporate a little cinnamon and sugar, and do a sweet mash."

Get Creative with Dairy

Dairy is also more expensive this year, but there's a clever shortcut if you don't already have cream on hand.

"So everybody today usually has Greek yogurt or regular yogurt in their fridge," Kumai said. "And I typically put a little Greek yogurt in my mashed potatoes to keep them creamy, without adding extra milk or cream. So it saves on calories and you won't actually have to go out and buy milk."

"That can take the place of everything from sour cream to milk and heavy cream," she added.

Stock Up on Turkey

Turkeys are actually cheaper this year, so no need to skimp on the main part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, Kumai recommends stocking up on the birds.

"Most shopping centers have this deal where if you spend $25 or $50 at the store, they give you a discounted turkey," she said. "They basically want you to buy your whole meal there."

"My mom got a 20-pound turkey for $12 this year by doing that! She loves the deal so much that she buys two turkeys during Thanksgiving, because it's always cheaper, and then she freezes one for Christmas," she said.

Delegate Desserts

The price of pumpkin pie mix is up this year, but another popular sweet -- cranberries -- is cheaper. So keep that in mind when making desert.

You might swap pumpkin pie for ice cream or sorbet topped with leftover cranberries, or cranberry cheesecake, Kumai said.

Or, you can always ask someone else to bring the pie.

Dilute Booze, But Don't Skimp on Coffee

If the American Farm Bureau Federation's price estimate sounds cheap to you, it's probably because the group doesn't take alcohol into consideration.

Drinks could end up being the priciest part of hosting dinner, Kumai said. She suggests offering wine spritzers instead of wine to save cash and stretch your supply. Plus, you'll reduce your risk of drunk guests.

"Especially because you don't want to drink and drive during the holidays," she added.

The AFBF notes coffee prices are up this year, too, but that doesn't mean you can get away with only serving post-dinner tea.

"It's a personal preference thing," she said. "It's best to have both on hand. You can offer tea, but don't push."

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"Dancing with the Stars" Finale Kicks Off Tonight


ABC/Adam Taylor(LOS ANGELES) -- New Dancing with the Stars champions will be crowned this week.

Only four couples remain in the ABC competition heading into part one of the 19th-season finale on Monday night. They will perform both a freestyle routine as well as a judges' choice.

The show will award its Mirror Ball Trophy to the winners the following night.

The final four couples are Bethany Mota and Derek Hough; Janel Parrish and Valentin Chmerkovskiy; Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson; and Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas.

Las Vegas oddsmaker Johnny Avello has tabbed Ribeiro as the front-runner among the celebrities. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor knows he's a popular choice, but he also understands that he needs to take care of business in the ballroom if he wants to take home the Mirrorball Trophy.

He tells ABC News Radio, "I think this year the competition is as tight as it's ever been on the show. I think that literally I look at it and I say any one of the four couples could win."

Parrish and her partner, Chmerkovskiy, believe a triumph in the finals would validate the effort they put in throughout the season. Parrish says, "We've built this amazing team for the last four months and we've worked really hard, and I think it would mean the world to us to win together."

If Mota and Hough are named the champions this week, Mota will owe much of her success to her partner, whom she relied on to create their routine for their freestyle dance. The YouTube star laments, "I wish I was able to give more input, but I'm not because I don't do this. I really have no idea how to help."

Monday's performance show airs on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern time. The winner will be announced Tuesday night during a two-hour results show that begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

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Two ISAF Troops Killed in Enemy Attack in Afghanistan


U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Derec Pierson/Released(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Two service members of the International Security Assistance Force were killed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday.

ISAF said in a statement that the troops "died as a result of an enemy attack."

Per ISAF policy, the identification of both service members has been deferred to national authorities.

No other details were provided.

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Five Thanksgiving Health Hazards to Avoid


Tetra Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Along with turkey and stuffing, Thanksgiving serves up plenty of health hazards.

While the deadliest day of the year is Christmas, according to one University of California San Diego study, Thanksgiving has more than its share of pitfalls.

Read on for five big ones:

Car Accidents

This year, the National Safety Council predicted, there will be 418 traffic fatalities and another 44,700 injuries from car crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That’s down from a high of nearly 500 crash-related deaths in 2008.

More than 40 percent of holiday car accidents involve alcohol, according to the National Highway Safety Association. But more than 150 lives will be saved by seatbelts, the NSC said.

Holiday Heart Syndrome

Over-indulging on turkey day wine, especially if you’re older and obese, can disrupt regular heart rhythms leading to “Holiday Heart Syndrome” an American Heart Journal study showed way back in 1978.

Further strain on the ticker comes from digesting a massive meal. As a recent University of California study found, cheering for a losing football team resulted in a 15 percent spike in heart attacks among men and a 27 percent spike among women.

Fires

More than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day, U.S. Fire Administration statistics revealed.

One culprit: Deep-fried turkeys. Each year, they cause approximately five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage, the National Fire Protection Association reported.

Food Safety

Americans will consume 51 million turkeys on Thursday, Food Safety News reported. And if the bird isn’t fresh or properly cooked, many of them also risk serving up a side of salmonella.

Cooking to an internal temperature of 165 degrees is the best way to avoid poisoning, FSN advised. As for leftovers, store them within two hours or toss them.

Pets

Because turkey bones splinter, they can may choke dogs or cats, the Veterinary Medical Association warned.

Dogs should also be kept away from any dish that contains onions, leeks or garlic because they are known to damage canine red blood cells. Likewise, raisins and grapes can induce kidney failure. And chocolate, especially vast amounts of the dark variety, can lead to serious gastrointestinal symptoms and even death in dogs.

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Red Sox Finalizing Deals with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez


BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Red Sox have made quite the splash early on in free agency. Multiple outlets report that the Boston Red Sox are close to finalizing deals with free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.

ESPN reports that Sandoval is nearing a five-year deal with the Red Sox worth nearly $100 million.

Sandoval is one of the best offensive third basemen in baseball and he's also been remarkably clutch during the Giants recent playoff runs. In 39 playoff games, the 28-year-old Sandoval has hit .344 with six home runs and 20 RBIs.

ESPN also reports that a deal is nearly complete to bring shortstop Hanley Ramirez back to the Red Sox on a five-year deal worth around $90 million. Ramirez came up with the Red Sox, appearing in two games with the team back in 2005 before he was traded to the Florida Marlins.

Ramirez is a supremely talented player, but has had trouble staying on the field in recent years. In 2013 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ramirez hit .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs in 128 games.

It is unclear just where Ramirez will play as the Red Sox suddenly have a glutton of position players.

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