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Texas firefighters rescue over 100 snakes from burning house, including pythons, boas

Firefighters in suburban Houston got quite a surprise when they responded to a house fire Saturday: snakes.

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"A dog or a cat, that's one thing," Lt. Bobby Matthews with the Caney Creek Fire Department told KTRK-TV. “But a snake, that's a whole other animal."

Firefighters discovered more than 100 snakes and lizards inside the home, including pythons and boa constrictors, Fire Chief Raymond Flannelly told CNN.

"Not sure how many lizards we found, but the snakes were large enough to give anyone crawling through a smoke-filled house a heart attack," Flannelly said, adding that luckily, none were venomous.

It was all in a day’s work for fire crews, according to a Facebook post by Caney Creek Fire and Rescue: "Things firefighters have to deal with, even if you don't want to!!" 

Although most of the reptiles were in glass cases, firefighters still had to carry the animals out of the burning home.

It’s unclear why the residents have so many reptiles.

"The homeowner wasn't willing to give a lot of information on why they had so many snakes. In fact, they told us the snakes don't like people in uniform," Flannelly told CNN. "But as firefighters, we will do anything to help.”

Not all the snakes made it out alive, according to KTRK, but the ones that firefighters were able to rescue are expected to be fine.

>> Trending: Watch: Snake slithers out from pickup’s hood onto windshield as driver and passenger freak out

The fire, which was caused by a Christmas tree, caused extensive damage to the home, but the family is grateful that most of their pets, including two dogs, made it out alive.

Emotional reunion: Woman finds cat alive near ruins of home destroyed in California wildfires

A woman in Northern California, whose parents’ home was destroyed by a wildfire last month, discovered a little joy in the devastation and charred ruins that remain in the wake of some of the worst wildfires the state has ever seen.

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Courtney Werblow found her cat, Timber, near the burned-out home a month after the Camp Fire.

Werblow posted a video on Facebook showing the emotional reunion with Timber. She begins crying as she calls her cat over for a bowl of food.

Timber was in no hurry, but eventually wandered over to greet Werblow. “You made it. You made it,” she exclaimed.

She also urged social media users to “never lose hope.”

“One month today since the fire, we received an escort to my parent’s property and my cat Timber was discovered,” Werblow posted.

>> Trending: Loyal dog found after waiting weeks next to home burned down by Camp Fire in California

She told KTLA-TV that the discovery of Timber was a much-needed moment of hope for her family and parents, who lost everything in the fires.

Why women having heart attacks wait longer to seek help than men

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. However, women tend to wait longer than men to seek help for heart attacks, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from Triemli Hospital in Switzerland recently conducted a study, published in the European Heart Journal, to explore changes in patient delay, which the authors defined as “the time from symptom onset to contact with a hospital, emergency medical service, or general practitioner.”

To do so, they examined 4,360 adults who had a heart attack between 2000 and 2016. They determined how long men and women waited to get help for heart attack symptoms. They also observed system delays, which was defined as the amount of time it took doctors to treat patients. 

>> Related: Study: Women receive worse care than men for heart attacks

After analyzing the results, they found women and men had equal reductions in system delays over the 16-year period. 

“We found no gender difference in the timely delivery of care by health professionals, with both men and women receiving a stent more quickly after contacting the medical services than they did in the past,” co-author Matthias Meyer said in a statement

On the other hand, patient delay decreased among men but not among women. They discovered women wait approximately 37 minutes longer than men before contacting medical services. 

“Women having a heart attack seem to be less likely than men to attribute their symptoms to a condition that requires urgent treatment,” Meyer said.

>> Related: Women more likely to survive heart attacks with female doctors, massive review finds

In fact, the team noted women can experience different heart attack symptoms than men. 

“Women and men have a similar amount of pain during a heart attack, but the location may be different,” Meyer explained. “People with pain in the chest and left arm are more likely to think it's a heart attack, and these are usual symptoms for men. Women often have back, shoulder, or stomach pain.”

Unfortunately, they believe the patient delays among women contributed to a higher in-hospital mortality rate. For women, it was 5.9 percent and 4.5 percent for men.

>> Related: This body type can increase heart attack risk among women, study says

Every minute counts when you have a heart attack,” Meyer concluded. “Look out for moderate to severe discomfort including pain in the chest, throat, neck, back, stomach or shoulders that lasts for more than 15 minutes. It is often accompanied by nausea, cold sweat, weakness, shortness of breath, or fear.”

Police search yard after family dog finds human skull

Authorities in Texas are investigating after a dog brought his owners a human skull.

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The Liberty, Texas, family found the skull Friday in their front yard and contacted police, according to a statement from the Liberty County Sheriff's Office. The family thinks their dog found the skull in a wooded area near their home and brought it to their yard, reported the Houston Chronicle.

The sheriff's office began searching the yard and nearby woods Friday for more human remains. Heavy rain caused the search to be delayed to Monday.

No additional remains have been found.

The skull appeared to have been exposed to weather conditions for several years, Liberty County Sheriff's Office Investigator Travis Pierce said in a statement. The sex, age, identity and cause of death of the individual are not known yet because the teeth and lower jaw bone were not attached to the skull, according to the statement.

Officials also aren't sure if the decedent had been buried.

Authorities are continuing to examine the remains to try to identify the person, Pierce said.

Vintage ceramic Christmas trees could be worth lots of money

Those ceramic Christmas trees popular in the late '60s and early '70s are making a comeback -- and could be worth hundreds of dollars.

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Media outlets report that the ceramic trees are a hot selling item on eBay, with customers shelling out anywhere from $79 to $649 for them.

Those who have a ceramic Christmas tree lying around and want to make some quick cash should list it online soon, vintage lifestyle expert Bob Richter told "TODAY.”

“The time to sell them is right now. Like, right now,” Richter said. “The truth of the matter is, they’re not incredibly valuable at other times of the year.”

To best sell a ceramic tree, Richter recommends creating a three-day listing on eBay and including "Get in time for Christmas" in the title.

Bigger ceramic trees or trees that play music are especially valuable.

Want a ceramic tree, but don't want to pay top dollar for one? Try buying one in the summer, Richter said. The trees usually go for $10-$20 at flea markets outside of the winter holiday season.

Richter also recommends forgoing possible extra cash and holding onto a ceramic tree, if you have one.

“The truth of the matter is, I think it’s great to turn them into cash, and it’s also great to bring them down and plug them in and use them, and tell a story of your grandmother or your aunt or your mother or whoever it was who had them in the first place, because I think that’s the true value,” he said. “It has emotional value- and that has gossamer wings.”

Mueller investigation: Paul Manafort's lawyers to address lying allegations in January

A judge on Tuesday set a January deadline for Paul Manafort’s attorneys to address allegations that the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump lied to investigators after agreeing to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian election meddling.

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Update 3:45 p.m. EST Dec. 11: U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Manafort’s attorneys to file paperwork with the court by Jan. 7 detailing what they plan to debate from the government's filing last week, in which prosecutors accused Manafort of lying to investigators, BuzzFeed News reported.

A tentative hearing date was set for Jan. 25, according to the news site.

Original report: The legal team for President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, will appear in court Tuesday after prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team accused him of lying to authorities.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set a scheduling conference for 3 p.m. Tuesday in Manafort’s case. He is not expected to attend.

Manafort agreed to cooperate with authorities in September, while pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice through witness tampering.

>> Paul Manafort pleads guilty as part of deal with special counsel Robert Mueller

However, Mueller’s team said in a court filing Friday that Manafort told “multiple discernible lies” about his contact with Trump administration officials and with a Russian associate. Manafort’s attorneys have denied any wrongdoing.

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen to be sentenced in New York

A federal judge in New York is scheduled to sentence President Donald Trump’s former long-time attorney Michael Cohen on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to several charges earlier this year.

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Cohen, 51, pleaded guilty in August to charges including multiple counts of tax evasion and a campaign finance charge stemming from so-called “hush money” payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal. 

>> Cohen pleads guilty to 8 charges, says Trump told him to pay off Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal

As part of his plea, he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. However, officials with SDNY said in a pre-sentencing memo last week that “Cohen’s efforts fell short of cooperation, as that term is properly used in this District,” according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.

Prosecutors asked that Cohen serve a "substantial prison term" of around four years.

Cohen’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Bartender stabbed in stomach by customer he was trying to help, police say

A bartender from a Minnesota restaurant trying to stop a fight was stabbed in the stomach Friday by a customer he was trying to help, WCCO reported.

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New Hope police responded to a call about a fight at Outtakes Bar & Grill around 1 a.m. KSTP reported.

Zach Pack, who has worked at the bar for the past six years, said two people were fighting, WCCO reported. Four people were stabbed during the altercation.

Pack said he saw someone being punched and went to help.

“So I grabbed him and tried to remove him from the situation. And I imagine what was going through his head he thought maybe I was attacking him, and he turned around and tried to stab me right in the belly,” Pack told WCCO. “I never saw the knife or anything. I felt like a weird, a strong, almost felt like I got kicked in the stomach cause of the pressure, and then I felt it tingling and then I heard someone say “He’s got a knife.'”

The other three people involved in the fight suffered minor cuts, KSTP reported. Pack required 38 staples to close his wound during seven hours of surgery, WCCO reported.

“I’ve worked in the bar industry a long time now and that’s just what I do, try to help people out as best I can,” Pack told the television station. “(It) just sucks this happened, but I don’t want anyone to get beat up so (I) just jumped in and helped out.”

Pack’s friends started a GoFundMe page to help with his expenses.

Vandals throw e-scooters into California lake

While e-scooters from companies like Bird and Lime can provide customers with cheap transportation, some scooters are ending up in places they don't belong -- including a lake in California.

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In October alone, 60 e-scooters were pulled from Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, Lake Merritt Institute Executive Director James Robinson told KTVU-TV.

The e-scooters pose several problems for the lake, Robinson said. The batteries could be harmful to the environment. Some scooters are in water shallow enough to retrieve with nets, he said. But if a scooter is in deeper water, maintenance workers have to launch a boat to reach it.

“It's sad because you come to work every day and you want to do the best you can for the lake, and when you have these scooters being thrown into the lake with seemingly no end in sight, it's very concerning," Robinson said.

Lake staff have found both Lime and Bird scooters in the water. Both companies have been contacted about the issue, Robinson said, but so far only Lime has sent employees to help fish the scooters from the lake.

Lime told KTVU-TV they would implement a "no-park zone" around the lake and would donate an undisclosed amount to the Lake Merritt Institute. Bird did not respond to a request for comment.

The e-scooter problem isn't unique to Lake Merritt. Scooter dumping has also been a problem for the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, and the Spokane River in Spokane, Washington, among others, reported Slate.

Reba McEntire, Dustin Lynch talk Christmas gifts ahead of holidays

Some country singers are sharing their Christmas gift-giving habits ahead of the holidays.

Ahead of Monday night’s “CMA Country Christmas,” Dustin Lynch revealed to Taste of Country that he got a gift from Luke Bryan that he hasn’t opened yet.

>> Read more trending news 

“It was a really nice shotgun. It’s too nice to open,” he said. “I don’t know. I need a special day to open it up and take it out. It was a really nice gun.”

Reba McEntire, who hosted the Christmas show, said her busy schedule keeps her from spoiling her grandkids each year. 

McEntire was married to Narvel Blackstock from 1989 to 2015. Through marriage, she became stepmother to his children, Brandon Blackstock, Shelby Blackstock, Chassidy Celeste Blackstock, and Shawna Rene Blackstock, who all have children of their own. Brandon Blackstock is famously married to singer Kelly Clarkson. 

“I’m an invisible grandparent,” McEntire told “Everybody is just going so fast. Chassidy and her family live in Houston. Kelly and Brandon, they're in LA half the time longer there than they are in Nashville. Shawna and her daughter, Chelsea, are out in Gallatin, (Tennessee), but I never see any of them.”

“I’m not a spoiling grandma,” she said. “Nope. I probably would if I saw them more often, but since I’m not, no I don’t.”

That doesn’t keep the singer from getting her family gifts, however -- she shops online. 

“I’m an internet girl,” she said. “So when I see something, I usually buy four, because I want one, and then I get somebody, you know, all my buddies or my nieces and nephews and kids and grandkids, I’ll find something for them, and I’ll buy it immediately.”

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