Good morning, and happy Monday. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Could the Ferguson decision come today?
The grand jury deciding whether to indict Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown will reconvene Monday, officials told NBC News. While police and schools are expected to get advance notice before the decision, business owners and residents are left wondering when an announcement might come. The secretive nature of the procedure leaves some wondering if the appointment of a grand jury was the best process to choose in such a sensitive situation. Read more in NEWS.
2. Seven feet of snow begins to melt in Western New York
The rain storm expected to speed the melting of 7 feet of snow in Buffalo moved over the region more quickly than expected, but rising temperatures still threatened significant melting and a chance of floods. "The melting has started and should go on for 16 to 18 hours," said Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned residents Sunday that they should be prepared to evacuate if they live anywhere near an area that is prone to flooding. Read more in WEATHER.
3. Investigation launched into cop's shooting death of 12-year-old boy
A 12-year-old boy who was shot by police on Saturday died Sunday morning after undergoing surgery. Cleveland police said officers responded to a report of a person waving a gun around at a playground and shot the young boy, Tamir Rice, when he reached into his waistband and refused to put his hands in the air. The gun turned out to be an "airsoft" replica toy gun. Two officers have been put on administrative leave, and an investigation is underway. Read more in NEWS.
4. UVA suspends all frats after horrifying rape report
The University of Virginia over the weekend suspended all fraternities after a horrifying Rolling Stone article about an alleged 2012 rape at a fraternity house party and other sexual assaults. The assaults are described in the article as common in the fraternity culture, and overlooked by school officials. The university's Board of Visitors will meet to discuss the school's policies regarding sexual assault as well as the allegations in the report. Read more in NEWS.
5. Thanksgiving travel begins, but it’s slow-going
People getting ready to go home or away for Thanksgiving can hit snarls if they're leaving Monday. Strong winds were expected to cause "significant delays at major airports anywhere from Denver to Boston and points in between," Weather.com warned. Travel hubs like Philadelphia, Boston and New York will also get hit with rain, adding to the air travel woes. Read more in WEATHER.
6. Katy Perry will headline Super Bowl halftime show
The NFL announced Sunday night that "Roar" singer Katy Perry will headline the halftime show at the Super Bowl, which last year had the attention of 115 million viewers. The Super Bowl will be played on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona, and broadcast on NBC.
And now this ...
Officials in the Polish town of Tuszyn were deciding on a mascot for their playground when Winnie the Pooh was suggested. They decided to rule Winnie out, because he's an "inappropriately dressed" bear of "dubious sexuality." Presumably, Donald Duck, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Barney the dinosaur are also out.