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Class assignment leads 8-year-old to become bestselling author

What started off as a school assignment led one 8-year-old girl to land on Amazon’s Best Seller list.

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Nia Mya Reese is a student in Hoover, Alabama. She has an “annoying” little brother who constantly keeps her on her toes.

“He won’t always listen,” Nia told CBS News.

Nia Mya wrote a book about her experiences as a big sister titled, “How to Deal With and Care For Your Annoying Little Brother.” The book has since landed at the top of Amazon’s Best Seller list for parenting under the sibling relationships subsection.

The book began as a first-grade class assignment last year.

“Nia Mya shared that she was a great big sister to an annoying little brother,” teacher Beth Hankins told CBS News.

Nia Mya’s mom, Cherinita, turned the book into a summer assignment, encouraging Nia Mya to work on getting the words and sentences just right.

Now, Nia Mya has a fan base and attends book signing for her book. She said she learned something very valuable from the whole experience.

“I learned to follow my own dreams,” she said. 

Man plans ‘celebration of life’ party, dies the next day

The day after gathering with his friends and family one last time to celebrate his life, a Michigan man died.

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Earlier this month, Robert J. Eleveld wrote an article that appeared in the obituary section of the Grand Rapids Press.

“As I write this notice, I am still with you, although my doctors have informed me that this status will change in the near future,” wrote Eleveld.

In his “obituary” he asked his friends and family to join him for a “celebration of life.”

“I have decided ... to eschew the normal process of others celebrating my life after I die, and instead, would like to celebrate your lives with me,” he wrote. “We’d be honored if you would drop in, say hi, share a glass of red and a laugh ... Please know that the end of my life is the ultimate ‘peanut item’ in comparison to how much I have enjoyed my life with all of you”

Eleveld, a successful attorney and local political figure in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, gathered with his friends on March 18.

“It was just sort of an outpouring of love for my father in that room,” his daughter, Kerry Eleveld, told MLive. “And celebratory in most ways. Of course there were some sentimental moments. But the party, for the most part, was celebratory through and through.”

The next day, Eleveld died peacefully in his bed, according to MLive. He was surrounded by family, who were reading loving notes to him left by the attendees of the previous day’s celebration.

“They were quite beautiful, actually,” Kerry Eleveld said.

Kerry Eleveld said his last celebration was the perfect last day.

“For him, I don’t think it was so much about him as it was about bringing people together,” she said.

2 North Carolina children found stabbed to death

North Carolina police said they have found the bodies of two missing children Saturday morning in Hoke County.

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Fayetteville police had been searching for 2-year-old Serenity and 4-day-old Genesis Freeman overnight Friday.

Their father refused to tell police where the children were, officials said.

The children's mother was in the hospital at the time the children went missing for an unrelated reason.

Florida man steals meat from supermarket

This could be called a high-steaks robbery.

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According to a release from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, authorities are looking for a man caught on camera stealing steaks from a South Florida Publix.

Deputies say that the man, donning “a short salt-and-pepper haircut,” a black shirt, black pants and black Nike shoes, stole from the meat department of a Weston Publix on Feb. 5. The man grabbed several skirt steaks and tenderloins, placing them in his cart and bagging them himself, without paying, before walking out with meat worth $151.

The store’s manager said the man has been known to steal meat from Publix markets in the area, but police have not been able to identify the suspect.

Shots fired at Las Vegas casino

Gunshots were fired during a burglary Saturday at a high-end retail store inside a Las Vegas, The Associated Press reported.

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Casino police said they are investigating the incident, which took place inside the Bellagio Hotel and Casino.

In a statement Saturday, police said that a preliminary investigation suggests that at least three people entered the store and one of them fired gunshots. No one was injured and a suspect was taken into custody.

Authorities said initial reports indicated there was an active shooter but that proved to be false. Parts of the casino property were closed as police investigated.

 

Parents question man who legally brought gun into trampoline park

A Georgia man who legally took his handgun into a popular trampoline fun building was not breaking the law, but some parents are questioning the man’s decision.

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Police were called to a Skyzone indoor trampoline park in Roswell on Sunday afternoon.

The general manager reported that a man brought a gun inside and proceeded to jump on the trampolines with the gun in his holster.

The manager said police were called because the man refused to store his weapon in his car.

The man, who is not being identified, said he keeps his gun on him at all times to protect his children.

“I guess the guy felt that since there wasn’t a sign up, that he could carry his gun in there,” resident Vincent Freeman said.

The father said he has a concealed carry permit and the business did not have a “no weapons” sign posted.

Roswell police said it’s up to individual businesses to post if they don’t want guns inside.

They said the man was not breaking any laws.

“The way the laws are now, I don’t suppose he was. I don’t think it was a wise decision on his part,” resident Georgia Kraff said.

Some customers said just because you can bring a gun doesn’t mean you should.

“I think there is no reason to have a gun in a place where there’s kids, and definitely no reason to have a gun while you’re jumping,” parent Judith Forgoston said.

The manager said this is a rare occasion and he does not plan on posting signs prohibiting guns.

Florida man buys pancakes, eats them in city crosswalk

A Florida man who went to an IHOP restaurant on Tuesday and ordered pancakes decided to enjoy his meal in the crosswalk of a busy street, the Lakeland Ledger reported. While the action drew plenty of laughter from witnesses, police in the Florida city located between Tampa and Orlando were not amused.

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Kiaron Thomas, 21, of Lakeland, was charged with placing an obstruction in the roadway and disrupting free flow of traffic, according to a Lakeland Police Department news release. He is due in court on April 25 to answer his charges.

Lakeland police originally responded to a call at 10:50 a.m. on March 21. The caller said Thomas was sitting in a chair in the crosswalk with a small TV table in front of him, eating what appeared to be pancakes, police said. Responding officers were unable to locate Thomas and determined that he had left the area prior to their arrival, according to the statement.

The chase might have ended there, but Thomas’ roadway seating arrangements led to a video that was posted on Facebook. “This man is a fool,” can be overheard at the beginning of the video as the person was laughing. As a tractor-trailer and a Jeep approach the crosswalk, Thomas begins to eat.

Vehicles on the highway drove around Thomas; the video is just under a minute long.

The Lakeland Police Department saw Thomas tagged in the video as the pancake eater. After his arrest, Thomas told investigators it was a prank and said he lives near the intersection.

TV ads prematurely thank congressmen for repealing Obamacare

Television advertisements thanking Republican representatives for repealing the Affordable Care Act on Friday has the conservative American Action Network PAC slightly red-faced.

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President Donald Trump and the Republican leadership suffered a major setback in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act when Speaker Paul Ryan pulled his bill to repeal Obamacare from the House floor after support began to crumble. 

"We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future," Ryan said, according to The Associated Press.

The American Action Network PAC bought a series of ads, broadcasting them during several basketball games, including the NCAA Tournament. According to Deadspin, which posted the videos on its website, the ads invited viewers to call their representatives to thank them for repealing Obamacare.

The ads asked viewers to thank representatives Barbara Comstock of Virginia, David Valadao of California, David Young of Iowa and Will Hurd of Texas, for “replacing the Affordable Care Act.”

Comstock’s ad aired during the Wizards-Nets NBA game. The ads for Valadao and Young aired on local CBS affiliates in Fresno and Des Moines before the network’s March Madness coverage.

All four ads have been taken off Deadspin’s website, but there is a YouTube video that shows the Comstock version. 

Florida sinkhole caused by unexpected culprits

The culprits behind a 7-foot-deep Florida sinkhole might not be what you’d expect.

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It seems beavers appear to be behind the Walton County hole that has closed a road by Alligator Lake, according to Northwest Florida Daily News

"We've always had problems with beavers where we don't have a bridge," Chance Powell, an engineer for Walton County, told the Daily News. 

Powell said he thinks beavers might have upset the water flow at the site of the collapse, the Daily News reported. 

On Thursday morning, crews were trying to fill in the hole when the asphalt began to cave.

"The water that flows under the road became too heavy on one side and caused it to fall in," Wilmer Stafford, Walton County public works manager, told the Daily News. 

A vehicle was driving near the hole when it collapsed. The car managed to make it across and the driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to the Daily News. 

Woman who tried to jump White House fence dangles by shoelaces

A woman from Washington state was arrested Tuesday night when she was found by Secret Service agents dangling by her shoelaces from the White House fence, NBC News reported.

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Marci Anderson Wahl, of Everett, Washington, pleaded not guilty and was released on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful entry Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court, according to court records.

A Secret Service official told NBC News that a woman tried to jump over the southwest corner of the White House fence at about 10:45 p.m. ET Tuesday. 

"The individual became entangled in security features affixed to the top of the fence, suspending them in the air on the inside of the fence," the official said.

Wahl is facing an April 27 status hearing, according to court records.

Florida couple overdoses, passes out with toddlers in car

Tiffany Tapper and Matthew Anderson were on their way to the home of Tapper’s parent Thursday night in South Florida with their two toddlers in the backseat when the couple passed out from drugs, police said. 

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A passerby spotted Tapper, who was at the wheel, and Anderson unconscious in the car in Boynton Beach.

Anderson, 27, told police he passed out from taking suboxone, a drug he’s using to help wean himself off heroin and that Tapper, 25, also took the drug.

But police said when they searched the car — finding cockroaches and the children’s diapers soiled — they found a bag of white powder they identified as heroin and fentanyl, a much more potent and deadly drug, in Anderson’s wallet.

The two survived, and authorities placed the children with a grandparent, according to a police report.

Both face charges of child neglect. Tapper also faces a DUI charge, and Anderson drug possession charges.

The state Department of Children and Families is investigating the incident, a spokeswoman said.

The overdose problem is becoming a nationwide problem, and hearing about them has become a daily occurrence. And while not as common, authorities in the state and nation are reporting more adults found overdosed in cars with their children inside.

In January, a couple in Florida’s Sarasota County were found unconscious in their car at a gas station with their two children in the backseat. And in September, police in Ohio released a photo that went viral of a similar call. The photo showed two adults in the driver and passenger seats with a young boy in the back seat with his face blurred out.

Also in Ohio, a girl had to call 911 from the backseat of an SUV last Saturday in Cincinnati after her parents overdosed on heroin.

Study: Cancer partly caused by bad luck

Authors of a provocative study published Thursday say that their research shows most of the mutations that lead to cancer crop up naturally.

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People can get cancer from tobacco smoke or can inherit the trait, but Bert Vogelstein and CristianTomasetti at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center suggest that many cancers are unavoidable, NPR reported.

"We all agree that 40 percent of cancers are preventable," Vogelstein said at a news conference. "The question is, what about the other cancers that aren't known to be preventable?"

Vogelstein, who is also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, explained how he and Tomasetti have refined that question. He said that every time a perfectly normal cell divides, it makes several mistakes when it copies its DNA. These are naturally occurring mutations, NPR reported.

 

Most of the time, those mutations are in unimportant bits of DNA. That's good luck. "But occasionally they occur in a cancer driver gene. That's bad luck," Vogelstein told NPR.

After two or three of these driver genes get mutated in the same cell, they can transform that healthy cell into a cancer cell.

In their new paper in Science, the researchers attempted to show how often those random errors are an inevitable part of cell division, how often they are caused by variables like tobacco smoke and how often they are inherited.

 

The researchers found that 66 percent of the total mutations are random, while 29 percent are due to the environment. The remaining 5 percent are due to heredity.

So, what can people do about preventing cancer? "Nothing. Right now, nothing," Vogelstein told NPR.

Suns’ Devin Booker scores 70 in loss to Celtics

The Phoenix Suns made history two nights in a row.

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The Suns started the youngest lineup ever Thursday, with an average of 21 years and 14 days. Worse, the Suns were down to eight players and lost by 26 to the Brooklyn Nets. The lineup was younger than several of the Sweet 16 teams still in the NCAA tournament. 

Friday also netted a loss, but Devin Booker kept them in it. He scored 70 points for the Suns, and helped Phoenix claw back from a 20-point first quarter deficit. Booker’s scoring eventually won over the Boston crowd, who began cheering for him as the Suns tried to keep the game going late, calling timeouts to give Booker a chance to score more points. He finished with the highest single-game total in franchise history, but lost to the Celtics 130-120.

Booker joined Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant as players to reach 70 in one game.

Booker was 21 of 40 from the field, four of 11 from the 3-point range and was 24 of 26 shooting free throws. The former Kentucky star also had eight rebounds and six assists. He averaged 20.9 points per game before Friday. 

Angels’ defense sparkles to preserve combined no-hitter

Eight members of the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching staff combined for a no-hitter Friday night — thanks to three diving stops in the ninth inning — in a 4-0 victory against the Seattle Mariners.

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Angels defenders made three great defensive plays as 24-year-old Abel De Los Santos closed out the game, The Associated Press reported. First baseman C.J. Cron dived to his right for a grounder for the first out, right fielder Shane Robinson left his feet for a fly ball for the second out and then third baseman Sherman Johnson ended the game by sprawling to his left for a grounder and throwing to first.

"That defense was unbelievable," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "C.J. and Robbie in right field and Sherm at third base, that's a good way to cap off a good night, with some plays like that."

Starter Bud Norris struck out two in two perfect innings, and Jose Alvarez followed with a perfect inning. Jean Segura reached on catcher interference against Cam Bedrosian in the fourth, and then Andrew Bailey threw a perfect fifth. Austin Adams walked Zach Shank during the sixth inning, and then Drew Gagnon, Justin Anderson and De Los Santos ended the game with a perfect inning each.

"It's fun for the kids," Scioscia said. "De Los Santos, all those kids. They've all been in camp for a long time now. I think the way it happened. You see C.J. making a great pay and Robbie and then Sherm at third, that'll be a fun night for those guys."

Indian politician banned after hitting flight attendant with slipper

An Indian politician was banned from flying on most of the country’s major airlines after admitting he used a slipper to hit an Air India steward, The Guardian reported.

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Ravindra Gaikwad, a member of India’s lower house for the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, said the attendant had insulted him on the Pune to New Delhi flight.

“What did he say, that I hit him with my hand? I hit him 25 times with a slipper,” Gaikwad told ANI news agency in video footage it posted on Twitter.

He added that he “dare[d] the Delhi police to arrest me” over the attack and asked the Indian state airline for an apology.

“I am booked on a 4 p.m. flight to Pune,” he said Friday morning. “I will take that flight. How can they not let me travel when I have a booking and I am their passenger.”

But the airline said later in the day that it had canceled Gaikwad’s return flight, the Guardian reported. He had also been banned from flying on any member airlines of the Federation of Indian Airlines, the Press Trust of India reported.

The dispute appears to have been started after Gaikwad bought a business class ticket but was given an economy seat for the Thursday morning.

After first complaining to an air steward, Gaikwad got into a heated argument with the senior flight attendant, Shivkumar.

“[The steward] said ‘I will complain to [Indian prime minister Narendra] Modi’, so I hit him,” Gaikwad said. “Should I have to listen to this abuse?”

Shivkumar, 60, later said the MP had humiliated him in front of the crew. “He misbehaved with me, he even broke my glasses. I never expected this could happen ... God save our country if this is the culture and behavior of our MPs.”

Politicians from other parties condemned Gaikwad’s actions and the video was shared widely on social media.

Gaikwad took a train to Mumbai after being banned from the Indian airlines.

Missing Washington, D.C., teens: What to know

On March 24, a surge of photos posted by everyday people and celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson and LL Cool J on social media show images with text claiming that 14 girls have disappeared in the last 24 hours in Washington, D.C., and the images have continued to pick up steam.  

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WRC reported however, that the information in those images is not entirely true.

Here are things to know about the missing teens in Washington:

Police say that 14 teen girls have not disappeared from Washington in one day.

The girls pictured in the viral image went missing at different times. Relisha Tenau Rudd, pictured on the far left of the image, was last seen in Washington on March 1, 2014. Pheonix Coldon was last seen December 18, 2011 in St. Louis. Shaniah Boyd was last seen in Washington. Makayla Randall, pictured on the far right, has been missing since October 1, 2012 and was last seen in Oak Park, Missouri.

WRC reported that police have changed their method of communicating information about missing persons. There has been no increase in the number of missing people. 

The Metropolitan Police Department has changed how it shares information on missing persons.

“We've just been posting them on social media more often,” Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Rachel Reid said.

Chanel Dickerson, commander of the Washington police’s Youth and Family Services Division, told The Washington Post that the 211 people reported missing in January reflected  better reporting by families, not an increase in missing teens.

Many of the missing teens are black or Latino.

Outrage over the missing persons comes from a perception that people of color who are missing are not covered in the media as often as white missing persons.

Derrica Wilson, the co-founder and chief executive of the Black and Missing Foundation, which works to raise awareness of missing people of color, told The Huffington Post 40 percent of missing persons in the U.S. are people of color.

Police say there is not a known link between the missing persons and human trafficking.

Police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal told WRC the teens reported missing so far in 2017 left voluntarily. WUSA reported that since many teens left on their own, Amber Alerts have not been issued for them.

“Because of the number of releases, there have been concerns that young girls in the District of Columbia are victims of human trafficking or have been kidnapped,” Bilal said.

“We look at every case closely to make sure that doesn't happen, but to my knowledge, that hasn't been a factor in any of our missing person cases,” Bilal said. 

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and Washington police told WUSA they confirmed that there is no link between the missing persons and human trafficking.

Lawmakers are calling on the FBI to investigate many of the missing persons cases.

The Associated Press reported that Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress, sent a letter Tuesday that called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to devote time to investigating the number of missing children in Washington and “determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.”

"Ten children of color went missing in our nation's capital in a period of two weeks and at first garnered very little media attention. That's deeply disturbing," the letter sent to the Justice Department said.

The number of missing persons in Washington changes daily.

The Metropolitan Police Department reports the number of open and closed missing person cases and has them broken down by year, critical and non-critical, and juvenile and adult. Recent data from the department shows a decrease in reported missing person cases from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016.

The regularly updated list of missing persons, including flyers of missing persons, are on the Metropolitan Police Department website

1 dead after plane crashes into home in Georgia

One person has died after a plane crashed into a home in a Marietta, Georgia, neighborhood Friday evening.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cessna Citation I aircraft en route to the Fulton County Airport went down around 7:20 p.m.

The pilot was the only person on the plane and died in the crash.

Cobb County fire officials said the plane left from Wilmington, Delaware.

Fire officials said the plane landed in the home's front yard and sent the house up in flames. 

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"From what it looks like at this point, it came over from the top of the house and landed in the front yard," Danell Boyd with the Cobb County fire department said. 

The family was at church at the time of the crash and not at home. 

Witnesses said the plan spun out and nose-dived to the ground.

"I heard a swoosh and then a clap and an explosion and I pretty much knew before I looked outside that it was a plane crash," neighbor Joe Thomas said.

A few homes were evacuated while firefighters investigated. The neighborhood will be blocked off for a time as National Transportation Safety Board investigators look into the crash. 

"Seeing a plane on fire and a house starting to burn and wondering if your neighbors are OK -- it's not just something you hear on the news," neighbor Samantha Strickland said.

The FAA will investigate and the NTSB will determine the cause of the crash.

 

Mother with cancer dies a day after delivering twins

A Fresno, California, mother died a day after welcoming newborn twins.

KGO-TV reported that Jamie Snider, 30, had been diagnosed with cervical cancer for the second time. She discovered the cancer returned when she learned she was pregnant.

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Throughout her pregnancy, Snider underwent intensive treatment that included chemotherapy.

“They couldn't give her too much chemo because it would affect the development of the babies,” Snider’s brother, Chris Snider, told KGO-TV.

Snider gave birth to twins Nico and Camilla on March 16 via cesarean section. Right after, she underwent surgery for a hysterectomy.

She died of heart failure a day after her surgery, on March 17.

“She made sure those babies would live,” her brother said. “She traded her life."

“What gives me peace in my heart is she got to see those babies and hold them, and be with them a little bit,” Snider's friend, Larina Campanile, told KGO-TV.

In addition to Camilla and Nico, Snider is survived by two older children, Aubrey and Maddie.

KGO-TV reported that three GoFundMe pages have been created to help Snider’s children and help with memorial costs.

Campanile set up a GoFundMe page for her friend to help the family with “any costs necessary in helping through this difficult time,” according to the page. It has surpassed its $6,000 goal.

Another GoFundMe page was created by Vanillape Crude. According to that page, the funds raised will help Jamie Snider’s partner and the twins’ father, Heath Coigny, with costs to care for the children. Coigny’s sister, Willow Coigny, and her husband, Kevin Smith, will be taking the family into their Pelham, New Hampshire, home. More than $36,000 of the page’s $80,000 goal has been raised. 

A third GoFundMe page was created to help with memorial costs. It has surpassed its $4,000 goal.

Snider’s memorial service will be held March 30 in Palo Alto, California. 

8-week-old boy found strapped to car seat in parking lot; parents arrested

A Texas couple was charged with child endangerment Thursday after a woman told Harris County sheriff’s deputies that she found their 8-week-old child in the middle of a parking lot, according to multiple reports.

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A woman called police Tuesday night after finding the baby boy strapped to a car seat in a parking space in a Katy strip mall, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The child was cold and fussy by the time the woman who called police, Dee Griffin-Stevens, found him, according to KHOU.

“I just pictured my own children when they were that little,” she told the news station. “I call him ‘baby love,’ because I don’t know his name and probably won’t ever know his name, but I loved him and took care of him.”

Authorities estimated that the child was left for at least 45 minutes before he was found.

An employee at a nearby pizzeria recognized the infant and called his parents, according to KHOU. 

Deputies arrested Sarah Shibley, 33, and Gary Collins, 39, on charges of child endangerment.

“Shibley, who works at the pizzeria, said she left the child in the parking lot where she works and thought his father placed him in a car,” KHOU reported.

Shilbey was released on $2,000 bond, according to the Chronicle. Collins remained jailed Friday.

Company will pay you $10K a month to travel, stay in luxury homes

A vacation rental company is hiring for a job that sounds like a dream for many.

Glamour magazine reported that ThirdHome, which provides luxury vacation rentals, has listed what it’s calling the “best job on the planet” on its Facebook page.

>> Read more trending news

The three month contract position is for a “storyteller” who can blog, write and take photos of “up to twelve of the most luxurious homes,” according to the listing.

The position pays $10,000 per month for three months and includes travel expenses. Pets can’t stay with the person chosen, but one person is allowed to come with the finalist while they travel, although they have to pay for their own expenses.

Those interested are asked to send in a one-minute video to apply by March 30. 

The full requirements on the job are on the ThirdHome Facebook page.

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