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There has been a dramatic rise in anti-Semitic attacks on the French-German border with more than 40 different incidents of vandalism at schools and on village walls in the region this week. CNN's Melissa reports from Alsace.

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'Likeminded Ladies' is officially a part of the Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. Tonight, the members of the organization gathered at the Railroad Museum in Gulfport to make things official with a ribbon cutting. There was food, a guest speaker, and an appearance from Santa. Organization…

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The Railroad Museum in Gulfport is rolling out the red carpet for all to come and enjoy a train winter wonderland. The museum is decked with hundreds of lights to highlight its 85 running trains. The display is a part of 33 days of Christmas. The museum partners with local businesses and org…

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If you’ve yet to pick up your runner packet for this Sunday’s Gulf Coast Marathon be sure to check out the Humana Health Tour. Located inside the runner village at MGM Park, representatives from Humana made themselves available to educate participants on wellness and healthier lifestyle choi…

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The effects of the BP Oil Spill continue to be felt almost a decade after 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. Now, the federal government approved more than $200 million to continue with the restoration efforts of marine habitats. The money is dis…

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A Gulfport man is home free tonight after a jury unanimously found him not guilty on both counts of an armed robbery from 2016. The robbery was at the Exxon Station off 30th Avenue downtown. Police pulled Tevin Ball over shortly after the robbery and not far from the scene. He was arrested w…

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In just a few days, a new Miss America will be crowned. After working hard all year on community service projects, promoting platforms and prepping for the big week, the ladies enjoyed a little down time at Universal Studios Hollywood. They got to meet Transformers, spend time at the Chocola…

The Huntsville City Council is expected to put the finishing touches on a handful of food truck regulations that will put restrictions on hours and locations of mobile eateries within the city. 

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For the past seven years, Greg Osterland has decorated his Ohio home with 25,000 lights. His goal? A real life version of the Griswolds' creation in the classic movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

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For the first time since 2005, the West Jackson County Planning Department will get a new facility. Today, ground was broken for the more than 1,600 square foot building. The $680,000 project will feature office space, a breakroom, and a conference room. Jackson County District Four Supervis…

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It’s an event that only comes around once in a century. We will be ringing in the ‘Roaring 20s’ this New Year’s Eve. You can bring in the New Year Jay Gatsby style at the White House Hotel in Biloxi. The party will feature live entertainment, drink specials, a complimentary champagne toast, …

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The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is having their International Christmas Festival tomorrow. This festival is a unique way to celebrate Christmas within the culture of 12 European countries including Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Greece, Georgia, and more. There will be tons of traditional …

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It’s almost been 205 years since the Battle of Bay St. Louis. That’s when officials in New Orleans received warnings from Pensacola that British warships were closing in on the area. The commander dispatched a fleet to the passes Mariana and Christiana to watch British action in the Mississi…

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The Gulf Coast Bicycle Club is spreading holiday cheer with a bike drive and ride taking place over the weekend in Long Beach. More than 120 bikes will be donated tomorrow to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department to distribute. Before the giveaway takes place, there will be a bike ride st…

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Something to look forward to each holiday season on the Coast is the annual Christmas display at the Railroad Museum in Gulfport. News 25’s Victoria Bailey is there with more.

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We are in the peak of holiday season so plenty of parties and gatherings are on everyone’s calendar and for a lot of people that includes drinking. Gulfport Police and the Transportation Department are working together to remind everyone of the importance of planning a sober ride home before…

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A Biloxi man has been arrested and charged with credit card fraud and possession of a controlled substance. Today, Biloxi police arrested 52-year-old Michael Gillich III of Biloxi. His arrest stems from warrants issued as the result of an investigation into an incident reported back on Octob…

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The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is having their International Christmas Festival tomorrow. It will be a way to learn about celebrating Christmas in different cultures while having fun with the whole family. News 25’s Gabby Easterwood has more.

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After much anticipation, and a few delays, Claremore’s Bark Park is ready to open.

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TGIF! It’s finally Friday. News 25 Today’s Porsha Williams joins us with this week’s edition of “It’s Finally Friday.”

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He says you can put it on anything from burgers to cupcakes and ice cream. You have to taste it to believe it, but that’s just part of why J. Lee’s Gourmet BBQ Sauce is going national. Today’s Hometown Hero says it’s the mission behind the label that’s making the taste and his success that m…

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Do you think your school has the best choir? If so, let your voice be heard and even possibly share the stage with Foreigner through our 25 Voices Choir Contest. WXXV is looking for the best two high school or middle school choirs here on the Gulf Coast to sing with the chart-topping band Fo…

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A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of Barnard College student Tessa Rane Majors, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.

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OLIVE HILL, Ky. -- It had the trappings of a scene from The Natural. A hand-crafted bat made from scratch for Tim Johnson’s son J.T.’s summer season in the North Carolina North State League, showcase for college baseball players with big league dreams.

It wasn’t “Wonderboy” made for Roy Hobbs from a tree split by lightning. But it lickety-split earned the reputation of whim-wham lumber from J.T.’s Piedmont Whitetails’ teammates, including the winner of the league’s 2019 home run derby.

From there, word of mouth spread so fast that Tim Johnson’s woodworking hobby moved to the early stage of a budding bat production company, making customized and model bats for baseball and softball players of all ages.

Located in the northeast Kentucky hamlet of Olive Hill, the informally named Big Johnson Bat Company includes marketing maven Madison, Johnson’s niece and a softball player at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. She sells Johnson bats like they were hotcakes cooked in pork fat.

“I had to tell her to quit,” said the 54-year-old Johnson. “I couldn’t make them as fast as she sold them.”

With the assistance of his brother Shawn, Johnson fastidiously lathes blank cylindrical billets of ash or maple into sanded, customized bats, each taking three to four hours. Duplicates of non-customized bats take 20 minutes on a duplicator, a machine designed to ensure the legs on a chair are identical.

Customized bats are made to a hitter’s preferred length, weight and sweet spot. A wood-burning pen brands the barrel, then Johnson hand rubs each bat with seven or eight coasts of lacquer, a task performed in the bathroom of the family home because there’s too much humidity and dust in his workshop.

Johnson’s “plant” is his 576-square-foot garage, jammed with various machines, prototypes, raw wood, tool chests and a refrigerator for drinks in one corner. To cross the sawdust blanketed workspace, you carefully set your foot with each step.

Making bats is Johnson’s night job. During the day he’s an administrator for three area vocational schools, meaning he starts his bat-making around 4 p.m. He normally turns out two customized bats before calling it a night, though he’s made as many as five hand-turned bats in one very long night, an experience he doesn’t plan to repeat.

Johnson works on and off during the week, unless “Madison goes back to a selling rampage, then it’ll be every night.”

The Johnson customized bat sells for $125. Madison-designed bats for training, with an enlarged sweet spot, go for $75. One-handed bats cost $50. Johnson also makes long, lightweight fungo bats for hitting practice balls to fielders.

The Johnson brothers learned wood working at a young age, assisting their father, who owned a used furniture store that included refinished antiques. They also played baseball in high school and college before taking up successful high school coaching careers. That background has been helpful in bat production, said Tim Johnson.

“I know what a bat needs to feel like,” he said, “if it needs to be balanced or end-loaded, how thick or thin a handle needs to be, if you need a cupped end, a smaller taper on the barrel or a longer barrel, and what type of wood has the qualities that would be most productive with each particular swing.”

Johnson never thought his bat hobby would go this far. Yet he plans to retire from his school administrator’s position sometime next year, then decide whether to make bats for a living -- with the help of his brother Shawn, son J.T. and niece Madison.

They already have a tee-shirt slogan, “Swinging hard wood.” Now all they need is a natural like Roy Hobbs to popularize the power of the Johnson bat.

Zach Klemme, sports writer for the Ashland, Ky., Daily Independent provided details for this story.  

 

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President Donald Trump says he's agreed to a "Phase One" deal with China that includes "many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more" -- effectively calling a truce in a war that has roiled financial markets and the US …

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At least one person has been shot at a food-service container plant near Atlanta, Georgia, and the shooter is believed to be inside the plant, a federal source with knowledge of the situation said.

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18-year-old Tessa Rane Majors was stabbed to death just blocks from Barnard College in an armed robbery, Barnard College President Sian Leah Beilock said. There have been no arrests, but "a couple" of people are being questioned by police, NYPD Chief of Patrol Services Rodney Harrison said.