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Woman mauled to death by her own pit bulls during neighborhood walk 

A Virginia woman was mauled to death by her own pit bulls Thursday while out for a walk with them in her Goochland County neighborhood, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news 

Victim Bethany Lynn Stephens, 22, was found in a wooded area by her father after he went looking for her when she didn’t return home from the walk, according to WTVR-TV.

He told told sheriff’s officials that her two dogs appeared to be “guarding” her body when he found his daughter.

"It appeared the attack was a violent attack initiated by the victims' dogs while the victim was out for a walk with the dogs," Sheriff James Agnew said, citing the Medical Examiner's initial report indicated, WTVR reported

"The victim had defensive wounds on her hands and arms trying to keep the dogs away from her, which would be consistent with being attacked while she was still alive,” Agnew told the TV station.

He said Stephens apparently sustained injuries to her face and throat.

"It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness, and the dogs then mauled her to death," he said.

Goochland County Animal control has custody of the pit bulls, which will be euthanized.

The sheriff told WTVR it was a grisley mauling.

>> Related: Dog attacked by 3 bears while being walked in Florida

"In my 40 years of law enforcement I've never seen anything quite like it. I hope I never see anything like it again," he said.

Billie Lourd shares photo of mom Carrie Fisher, honoring ‘Star Wars, her last movie

Billie Lourd is remembering her late mother, Carrie Fisher, in a touching Instagram post.

>> Read more trending news 

The touching photo Lourd shared Friday shows the pair clinging to each other on the red carpet of a recent movie premiere.

The mother and daughter starred in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” back in 2015, and now Fisher’s last movie, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” premiered in theaters on Friday. Lourd said she will forever cherish those memories.

“I’m a big believer of things happening for a reason and I think I ended up on that movie for a reason,” Lourd said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres after losing her mother. “It was really incredible for us to get to have that experience together.”

Lourd lost both her mother and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, within one day of each other last year.

Fisher died after going into cardiac arrest aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles. She died four days later.

>> Related: Mark Hamill admits he and Carrie Fisher once ‘made out like teenagers’

Lourd has posted several tributes to her mother over the past year.

On Fisher’s birthday, she posted a photo of the two of them wearing matching night gowns when Lourde was a child.

In May, also shared another photo of her and her mother riding what appeared to be a train.

>> Related: Carrie Fisher once sent producer a cow tongue after friend was allegedly assaulted

John McCain Living Gallery

John McCain Living Gallery

10 Things You Never Knew about the Film “Titanic”

10 Things You Never Knew about the Film “Titanic”

The History Of The Rose Parade

The History Of The Rose Parade

Study: Fracking linked to underweight babies

Pregnant women have to take a ton of precautions to help keep their babies healthy healthy. A new report suggests avoiding fracking sites should be one of them. 

>> Read more trending news

While fracking, the process of injecting liquid into the ground to free up petroleum resources, can benefit local economies, there are potential health risks.

That’s why researchers from Princeton University, the University of Chicago and other institutions across the country recently conducted a study, which was published in Science Advances, to determine the human health hazards associated with fracking.

To do so, they analyzed 1.1 million births in Pennsylvania between 2004 and 2013, examining expectant mothers who lived between 1 and 3 kilometers from fracking areas, before and after the wells were active, and those who lived 10 miles or more away. Analysts then compared the birth weights of siblings born at different distances to wells. 

They found that pregnant women living within two-thirds of a mile to a fracturing well were more likely to give birth to a smaller infant than women who lived at least 10 miles away during pregnancy.

In fact, babies born to mothers who lived closest to or, about 1 kiometer within, a well were 25 percent more likely to weigh less than 5.5 pounds, which is classified as a low birth weight. Low birth weights are linked to infant mortality, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, lower test scores, lower schooling attainment and lower lifetime earnings.

“Given the growing evidence that pollution affects babies in utero, it should not be surprising that fracking, which is a heavy industrial activity, has negative effects on infants,” Janet M. Currie, co-author of the study, said in a statement.

While scientists are unsure whether the pollution is coming from air, water, on-site chemicals or increased traffic, they said the results prove “hydraulic fracturing does have an impact on our health.”

They are now looking forward to investigating the source of the pollution and challenging lawmakers to consider the dangers to health.

“As local and state policymakers decide whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in their communities,” co-author of the study Michael Greenstone said, “it is crucial that they carefully examine the costs and benefits, including the potential impacts from pollution.”

Which stores are open on Christmas Day 2017?

Whether you need to hop to the shop to snag some essentials (or a last-minute Christmas gift) or you’re missing an important ingredient for Christmas dinner, you may be able to find a store open on the big holiday.

» RELATED: What time do stores open and close on Christmas Eve 2017?

Here’s a breakdown of stores open for Christmas Day on Dec. 25, 2017:

Though the vast majority of retailers are closed on Christmas Day, some pharmacies and convenience stores will be open.

Note: The rule of thumb for holiday hours is to always call ahead and confirm. Some stores may close depending on their managers’ and franchise owners’ choices.

Pharmacies open on Christmas Day 2017

CVS: Most stores are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Locations inside Target stores will be closed. Call ahead to confirm.

Duane Reade: Either open 24/7 or open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call to confirm.

Rite Aid: Most locations open 24/7. Call to confirm.

Walgreens: Either open 24/7 or open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call to confirm.

Convenience stores open on Christmas Day 2017

7-Eleven: Most locations open 24/7. Call to confirm.

Circle K: Most locations open 24/7. Call to confirm.

Retailers open on Christmas Day 2017

Family Dollar: Most open 24 hours. Some have limited hours. Call to confirm.

Starbucks: Most locations close at 5 p.m. Call ahead.

This list will be updated as needed.

Baby sloth born at Texas zoo needs name

A baby sloth born a couple of weeks ago at a Texas zoo needs a name.

>> Read more trending news

The Linnaeus two-toed sloth was born to Sid and Sylvia on Nov. 17 at the Animal World and Snake Farm. 

“The birth was an unexpected surprise for animal care staff members,” the zoo said in a release. “Due to the sedentary lifestyle of the sloth, along with their thick, wiry fur, it is exceedingly difficult to see outward signs of pregnancy.”

The unnamed baby will wean on its mother until it eventually becomes part of exhibits for the zoo.

The name contest ends Dec. 22.

Strangers come together to help mother get her life back on track

A South Carolina mother who gave up her children so she could get clean has received an early Christmas present, thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Jessica McCutcheon surrendered her children to the Department of Social Services. Officials said she had battled drug abuse and was a victim of domestic violence, WYFF reported.

>> Read more trending news 

But recently, McCutcheon turned her life around so much she was able to regain custody of her children. 

Meredith Shannon, the foster mother of McCutcheon’s daughter, wanted to do something for the mother of the girl she took care of.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“We just felt she was part of our family and we just felt that we needed her kids to have a good Christmas and we wanted to be a part of that,” Shannon told WYFF.

So she and her neighbor and some athletes at North Greenville University lent a hand. 

They collected $600 in gifts, including gift cards from local stores, while a stranger donated a car to McCutcheon and her family. 

The video of the life-changing gift has been posted online and has been viewed millions of times.

“She was borrowing people’s cars to get to work and to get her kids to school and I just felt that God laid it on our hearts and that we really needed to be able to provide a good car for her so that she could continue to parent her kids like she needed to,” Shannon told WYFF.

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