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Teachers save choking girl's life with Heimlich maneuver

Teachers at a Pennsylvania school are being credited with saving a girl’s life. A 7-year old girl named Aubrey was eating breakfast Wednesday morning at Lockley Early Learning Center when she started to choke. As she ran to the bathroom, a teacher saw that she was in trouble. “She was flushed. She was red, and couldn’t get any breath,” said teacher Beth Stanley. “I rushed her to the nurse’s office.” Stanley called 911, and then she and other teachers and staff members took turns giving the girl the Heimlich maneuver, trying to dislodge the food from her throat.

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 “It was exhausting,” said Brian Popovich, the assistant principal.  After several minutes of trying, the little girl went limp, but the staff didn't give up.  Popovich said he told the other teachers to pick her up so he could get more leverage. He tried a few more times, and on the eighth thrust, the food flew out.  Aubrey was taken to a hospital to be checked out. She's going to be fine, doctors said. Aubrey’s mother, Valarie Speers, said the teachers are lifesavers, heroes walking the hallways. She said she can’t thank them enough. “These folks are awesome. They are special,” Speers said. “They saved my baby’s life.” Aubrey is now giving lots of hugs and kisses to the teachers and staff who saved her life. The superintendent is using the incident as a teachable moment. Next week, the district will hold a CPR session for its staff.

Samsung to disable Galaxy Note 7 devices on Dec. 19

In an effort to get U.S. customers to turn off their devices, Samsung will be issuing a software update next week that will make the Galaxy Note 7 inoperable.

On Friday, Samsung confirmed that it plans to release the final update for the device on December 19, rendering the Note 7 devices useless. The update will prevent the phones from charging and will “eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices.” 

According to the company, 93 percent of the Note 7 devices have been turned in after they were recalled three months ago following reports of phones bursting into flames. The phone’s battery was determined to be the issue, and some malfunctioning devices were responsible for fires in homes, cars and, in a few cases, their owner’s pockets or purses.

According to the company, there are roughly 133,000 Galaxy Note7 devices unaccounted for in the United States.

Samsung said in the statement Friday, “Together with our carrier partners, we will be notifying consumers through multiple touchpoints to encourage any remaining Galaxy Note7 owners to participate in the program and to take advantage of the financial incentives available.”

Samsung issued a recall for the Note 7 in September. Customers were asked to return the device for a refund or a replacement phone. In October, it expanded the recall in the United States to include all replacement devices the company offered.

The Note 7 is banned on airlines and on other U.S. public transit systems over the fire concerns.

While other carriers have announced when the software update will be passed along to customers, Verizon says it will not release the update that will make phones unusable because of concerns that customers may need the device in the event of an emergency. 

“Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to,” according to a statement from the company. “We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.”

According to a story from CNET, T-Mobile's update will come Dec. 27, AT&T’s on Jan. 5, and Sprint’s on Jan. 8.

Former MLB pitcher graduates from police academy

Former major-league relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro is switching jerseys. He won’t be pitching to batters, though. The right-hander will be catching criminals, the New York Daily News reported.

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Varvaro, 32, who pitched for three teams between 2010 and 2015, graduated from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police academy on Friday.

Varvaro pitched for the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners. He went 7-9 in 166 relief appearances before an arm injury sidelined him for most of 2015.

The Staten Island native graduated in a ceremony in Elizabeth along with 79 others.

In an interview with The Torch, St. John’s student newspaper, Varvaro said he was set to pitch again for a Red Sox Triple-A team, but decided to switch careers and become a cop.

“I kind of felt like my body was breaking down a bit, I felt like my career may have been coming to an end,” he told the newspaper in a Dec. 2 interview. “I probably could have played little longer, but that’s when an opportunity with the Port Authority Police Department arrived.”

The Port Authority Police Department patrols the New York region's airports, tunnels, bridges and a transit system.

Now there will be 24 Fields of Dreams at iconic Iowa site

They got the OK to build it. Now they will come to play — in droves.

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The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for a 24-field baseball complex at the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville, upholding a lower court's decision that the City Council properly rezoned the property from agricultural to commercial.

Some residents tried to block development of the All-Star Ballpark Heaven youth baseball and softball complex. They were concerned the complex would increase traffic and disrupt surrounding farm operations, The Associated Press reported.

The complex is to be built on the site where the 1989 film, “Field of Dreams,” starring Kevin Costner, was shot.

The Iowa Supreme Court relied on its rulings in previous cases to side with the City Council, saying the council's rezoning decision did not weigh the legal rights of one party versus the other, the AP reported.

"The council weighed all of the information, reports, and comments available to it in order to determine whether rezoning was in the best interest of the city as a whole," Justice Bruce Zager wrote.

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Pit bull pup honored after preventing rape in NYC

Apollo is a 5-month-old pit bull puppy who took a bite out of crime, preventing a New York City woman from being raped. Thursday, the dog was honored with chew toys and spa treatment, the New York Daily News reported.

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Apollo saved 18-year-old Maya Fairweather from a man who forced her to the ground in a Brooklyn park on Nov. 28, the News reported.

Apollo, whom Fairweather had been walking, bit the attacker’s leg. The man quickly ran away.

“Thanks, Apollo, for saving my life,” Fairweather said during the ceremony. Apollo had been taken to a ceremony in a limousine and to the penthouse suite of the Hotel Pennsylvania in Manhattan, where a specially made cake was waiting.

New York socialite Jean Shafiroff cooked up the idea of the award, presented by the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“This is such a great story,” she told the Daily News. “I knew I had to do something for this dog.”

“He's a great dog. I actually am proud because I wasn't there, that was actually my job to be there and help her out on that occasion, but at least Apollo was with her," Carlos Guzman, Apollo's owner, told KABC.

The Nassau County Sheriff has offered to help train Apollo and he's also being awarded a $500 gift card to a local pet store, KABC reported.

Broncos’ Brandon Marshall receives racist, threatening letter

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, explaining that he wanted to expose the racism that exists in society, posted on social media a racist, profanity laced letter that denounced him for taking a knee during the national anthem earlier this season.

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Marshall told The Associated Press and other media outlets that he received the letter a couple of weeks ago and turned it over to the team's security department. The team also has been in contact with the NFL and local law enforcement. Marshall posted copies of the letter on his Instagram account.

Marshall posted the letter written along with his caption: “The hatred by some against people of color is one of the reasons we are where we're at in the world today, and they wonder why we feel the way we do and take the stances that we take.”

"I just wanted to expose that racism still exists," Marshall told reporters in the locker room Friday. "I wanted to expose that people still hate each other. We still hate each other, whether it's because of your belief system or the color of your skin, whatever the case may be."

Marshall said he quickly received hundreds of messages of support, although one detractor suggested he shouldn't have posted it because it gave voice to the author.

"No, I did the right thing because it needs to be seen," Marshall said.

Nora the polar bear cub enjoys first snow in Oregon

Call her Nora the explorer.

The young polar bear that arrived at the Oregon Zoo a few months ago, enjoyed a day frolicking in the snow during a winter storm in Portland. A YouTube video shows the 13-month old bear playing and checking out the snow and the sights in her new home. Nora was born in Ohio last November at the Columbus Zoo and was moved to Portland in October.

Nora peeks at a hammock, tries climbing into it and generally has a good time while playing in the Oregon snow for the first time.

“She's been very playful,” Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey, the senior marine animal keeper, told KATU. "It's like having a new puppy on exhibit, she's been a lot of fun to have.”

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Flash mob surprises woman with $13K to treat her cancer

Amanda and Clint Kofoed were filming a GoFundMe video in a coffee shop, expressing thanks to people who had donated to help the Idaho couple defray medical expenses.  In October, Amanda, a 30-year-old mother of four, had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and funds had been coming in steadily for the Nampa resident.

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The couple got an even bigger boost as they made their video at the Flying M Coffee Garage, the Idaho Statesman reported. A flash mob of friends passed by the Kofoeds’ table, leaving $100 bills until more than $13,000 had been dropped in front of the tearful couple.

“I saw people I hadn't seen in years,” Amanda told the Statesman. “They were crying and we were crying.”

The flash mob was the work of the Praynksters, a Boise-based group with a goal of creating “acts of kindness that surprise people,” according to co-founder Jesse Fadel. Along with fellow co-founder Jeffrey Paul — a friend of the Kofoeds who is also a cancer survivor — the group gave a huge donation to Amanda, who does not have health insurance.

“It's a picture of what a great person Amanda is that so many people showed up, and it's a testament to our community,” Fadel, whose family was the first through the door with a donation, told the Statesman.

Until her cancer diagnosis, Amanda was a student in her final semester at Northwest Nazarene University, studying to become a teacher. Clint works for the Girl Scouts of Silver Sage. He has health insurance through his job, but it cost too much to insure Amanda, the Statesman reported. Their four children are on Medicaid and Amanda said she was planning to get on Clint’s health plan in January. And then came the diagnosis.

However, the survival rate of Hodgkin's is good, and the Kofoeds said they were optimistic.

"It's kind of like winning the cancer lottery, from what I understand," said Amanda, who has been able to start treatment already thanks to the funds raised by the Praynksters and the GoFundMe campaign. By early Saturday, the Kofoeds’ GoFundMe account had received more than $41,000 in donations; the original goal was $25,000.

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<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Our biggest Giving Mob to date! It was mind blowing! Posted by Praynksters on Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fla. hospital staff leaves veteran’s body unattended for 9 hours, report says

Staff members at a Florida hospital left the body of a veteran unattended in a shower room for more than nine hours, then tried to cover up the mistake, according to a hospital investigation.

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The Tampa Bay Times reported Friday that the incident took place in the hospice unit of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Seminole. The 24-page hospital report, which was issued in April and heavily redacted, was obtained by the Times through a Freedom of Information Act request. More than 30 witnesses were interviewed by investigators.

No information was provided about the veteran, who died in February.

Hospital spokesman Jason Dangel told the Times that “appropriate personnel action was taken,” although he did not elaborate on whether workers were disciplined or fired. Dangel said that the hospital ordered retraining and a change in procedures.

According to a report filed by the hospital’s Administrative Investigation Board, some hospice staff violated policies by “failing to provide appropriate postmortem care.”

After the veteran died, hospice staff members made “direct verbal requests” to move the body to the morgue. A person described as a transporter, who fielded the request, told hospice staff to contact dispatchers. According to the report, that request was never made, the Times reported.

The body was originally moved to a hallway in the hospice, then taken to a shower room, where it remained unattended for more than nine hours, according to the report.

Reports that “falsely documented” the incident hampered efforts by hospital officials to properly investigate, the Times reported.

The hospital report concluded that some hospice staff “demonstrated a lack of concern, attention and respect for the veteran,” the Times reported.

Photos: Florida driver nearly impaled by boat oar

A driver in Broward County, Florida, was nearly impaled by a boat oar that fell off the back of a motor home, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said.

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Troopers said Christina Theisen, 33, was driving west on Interstate 75 when an aluminum boat oar fell from a motor home in front of her Chevy Suburban.

Theisen ran over the oar, which then flipped up and went through the driver’s side windshield.

She was able to duck and avoid the oar.

Pictures showed the oar in her windshield.

FHP said it wants to remind drivers to secure their loads while traveling.   


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