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Tennessee day care at which child was kidnapped closes for good

Days after a child was kidnapped from Elite Academy Inc., the Memphis, Tennessee, day care has closed its doors for good.

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A Department of Human Services spokesperson said an investigation into the day care is ongoing, but the owner voluntarily shut down the business. The closure is permanent.

Related: Mother speaks out after 7-month-old is kidnapped from day care

On Thursday, 7-month-old A’Laleh Fentress was checked out from her day care by 18-year-old Mya Lakes. Lakes is charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and child abuse/neglect. Her bail is $100,000.

A’Laleh’s mother said Lakes saw her name on a document at the day care and used it to check out the child.

The 7-month-old’s mother called police from the day care when she came to pick her baby up that evening. A’Laleh was later found safe at Annie’s Place in Frayser.

Related: Memphis day care at center of kidnapping had no previous violations

Elite Academy Inc. has been inspected by the DHS at least eight times since it opened in August 2016. According to the government database, the day care was never cited for violations.

Police: Bus driver set to take kids on field trip was high on marijuana

Authorities arrested a school bus driver Tuesday after he allegedly drove a bus while high on marijuana.

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Officers were called Tuesday morning to Chelmsford High School in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, after students reported smelling a strange odor on the school bus they had boarded for a field trip. The students notified a teacher, who contacted the Chelmsford Police Department. The students were taken off the bus.

Officers determined that the bus driver, 63-year-old Ali Mahfuz, was high on marijuana. Mahfuz was charged with operating under the influence of drugs, operating negligently as to endanger and reckless endangerment.

Before arriving at Chelmsford High School, Mahfuz drove a route for Greater Lowell Technical High School in Tyngsborough.

Mahfuz is employed by North Reading Transportation Inc. The company is cooperating with the investigation.

Chelmsford police Chief James Spinney praised the students for speaking up.

"I cannot overstate the role played by the students today in ensuring their safety on the roads," Spinney said. "They knew something was not right, and they spoke up right away, alerting school administrators. I commend these students for their role in stopping a dangerous situation from unfolding."

Mahfuz is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in Lowell District Court.

Facebook has never looked more like Snapchat

While imitation probably isn’t the sincerest form of flattery among competing tech companies, Facebook’s new Snapchat-like app updates are an obvious hat tip to Snapchat’s years-old features.

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Facebook announced the new updates Tuesday morning: a camera filled with effects and filters, short visual “Stories” and disappearing messages.

“The way people create content is changing to be from text to photos and videos,” Connor Hayes, product manager for Facebook stories, told The Verge. “This is in turn changing the way they’re sharing with one another and interacting online ... something that Snapchat has really pioneered.”

In 2013, Facebook tried and failed to strike a deal to buy Snapchat for $3 billion.

>> Related: What is WhatsApp? 5 things to know about the popular messaging app

And since then, it has cloned some of Snapchat's most popular features in an all-out effort to maintain dominance in the arena of photo and video communication.

While Snapchat has half the number of daily active users of Facebook-owned Instagram's 300 million audience, Facebook has noticed its “surging popularity” among younger users, CNN reported.

Here’s more on the new Snapchat-like features rolling out Tuesday on iOS and Android:

Camera effects

Similar to Snapchat’s camera filters feature, Facebook’s will pack dozens of effects (think glitter beards and sloth hats) and interactive features, including “reactive effects” such as falling snow.

Stories

Facebook replicated Snapchat's Stories format for Instagram in August and on Tuesday announced a similar release in its main mobile app. 

Users have options to share multiple media as a “visual collection” (or Story) to appear on top of Facebook’s news feed or on their timelines.

Similar to Snapchat and Instagram, the Stories will disappear in 24 hours.

Direct

Users will also be able to share their visual compilations directly to an individual or group of Facebook users if they choose to — part of the app’s new “Direct” feature.

Like Snapchat, when you send a photo or video via Direct, your friends will be able to view it once, replay it or reply. After the conversation ends, the content is no longer visible.

Boy bitten by rattlesnake after mistaking it for toy

A 5-year-old boy is recovering at a hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake in DeBary, Florida. 

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Volusia County investigators said Tampa resident Elijah Vaughn, 5, and his family were at a relative's house on Fort Florida Point Road on Saturday after leaving a funeral. 

Vaughn and his mother went outside so the boy could play on the jungle gym in the yard, deputies said. 

When Vaughn approached the jungle gym, he walked underneath the platform and saw what he thought was a toy snake. 

As the boy reached for the snake, it bit him on the right index finger, according to a police report. His mother rushed Vaughn to meet with deputies and he was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital, where he received anti-venom treatment, investigators said.

Vaughn was then taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. 

Officials said the boy's swelling had not spread down his arm and was primarily on his hand and wrist. 

The snake, believed to be a pygmy rattlesnake, was caught and killed.

Florida woman tried to impregnate woman smuggled from Mexico, fed her only beans

A Florida woman pleaded guilty on Monday to smuggling a Mexican woman into the country for forced labor.

>> Read more trending news 

The victim said Esthela Clark told her she would pay her to be a pregnancy surrogate.

Clark was arrested in 2015.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Clark paid so-called coyotes $3,000 to smuggle the woman over.

The criminal complaint said Clark kept the woman captive at an apartment for about two years.

Investigators said Clark tried to artificially inseminate the woman with semen from her boyfriend’s used condoms with a syringe on the dining room floor.

When it didn’t work, Clark began beating her, the victim said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the victim lost 65 pounds after Clark limited her diet exclusively to beans.

The criminal complaint said Clark isolated the victim from her family and child in Mexico and tried to collect from her family the thousands she paid the “coyotes” to smuggle the victim, with interest.

Investigators said Clark also forced the Mexican woman to clean her home and work at various local businesses, then hand over the cash.

A member of Celebration Church rescued the victim, taking her in and calling police.

Clark was also indicted for a human trafficking charge after the victim said Clark forced her to have sex with multiple men, but that charge was dropped as part of the plea deal.

“We stand by those allegations,” said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman William Daniels.

Clark could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Bogus doctor gets 10 years for injecting toxic substances into patients

A Florida woman accused of injecting Fix-a-Flat, cement, silicone, mineral oil and Super Glue into the buttocks of women in to try to enhance their figures was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison over a death resulting from the toxic mix, according to local media reports.  

The 2012 death of Shatarka Nuby, 31, was dubbed the “toxic tush” case. O’Neal Morris, 31, served nearly a year in prison on charges of practicing medicine without a license after it was discovered she illegally injected toxic substances to enhance women's buttocks, leaving many scarred for life.

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Morris, who police say was born a man, but identifies as a woman, pleaded for mercy before a Broward County judge. 

"I have never, ever, or would dare ever to inject, or have injected any human with any type of unknown substance, such as Super Glue, cement, Fix-a-Flat, concrete, nothing that comes from Home Depot, nothing that comes out of any hardware store," Morris said.

Related: ‘Toxic tush doctor’ facing steep prison time if convicted in death

Nuby’s family members appeared in court asking for justice. 

"What you took from me, that was a precious jewel," said Nuby’s mother, Sherri Pitts.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

A plea deal called for a sentence of up to 15 years. The judge decided to sentence Morris to 10 years in state prison, followed by five years of probation along with restitution, local media reported. 

Over her attorney’s arguments, the judge ordered Morris to serve time in a men’s prison because Florida law doesn't make exemptions for transgender inmates.

Deadly Spirit Airlines pilot overdose raises questions about pilot drug use

 

The suspected fentanyl-related overdoses of a Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife in their Dayton, Ohio-area home raise a frightening prospect: Has the opioid crisis that is destroying whole families entered the ranks of pilots entrusted with hundreds of lives each day?

Investigators have offered no indication that Brian Halye used drugs while piloting aircraft during his nine years with Spirit Airlines, but a Dayton Daily News examination has uncovered a system in which commercial pilots can go years without being tested for drugs.

>> Read more trending news

Federal Aviation Administration’s guidance to airlines acknowledges the random drug test system established by U.S. code makes it “not uncommon for some employees to be selected several times, while other employees may never be chosen.” Moreover, pilots are not required to be drug tested during annual physical exams.

Of the pilots tested from 2010-2015, 165 were found to be using one or more drugs, according to the FAA.

Drug use among pilots is an enduring concern at the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency created by Congress to investigate transportation accidents and issue recommendations to improve safety.

Related: More airline pilots testing positive for drug use

In a 2014 study of fatally injured pilots from all forms of civil aviation, the NTSB said patterns of increasing drug use among pilots “are consistent with observed trends of increasing drug use by the U.S. population in general.”

At the time, the most common illicit drug detected in pilots involved in fatal plane crashes was marijuana, which was found in less than 4 percent of all pilots tested between 2008 and 2012, and was not found in any of the airline pilots tested.

But if Halye died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, as the Montgomery County Coroner’s office suspects, another concern may have unfolded. With heroin and fentanyl invading the ranks of so much of the general population, is it too much to conclude that it is also present among those flying aircraft?

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

Halye and wife Courtney Halye were found by their four children in the bedroom of their Centerville home March 16. The coroner’s office is waiting on toxicology reports but has said the deaths appear to be fentanyl-related. Centerville police also say the drug use appears to be voluntary and consistent with an accidental overdose. 

Spirit Airlines, a Florida-based “ultra-low fare” carrier, told the Dayton Daily News that it is “cooperating with any and all agencies investigating this case.”

Related: Children find Spirit Airlines pilot, wife dead in apparent overdose

A spokesman for the carrier would not say when, if ever, the airline tested Halye during his time as a pilot.

The FAA declined to acknowledge whether it is investigating Spirit Airlines following Halye’s death. The agency confirmed it has inspected Spirit Airlines’ drug and alcohol testing program before, but would not say how recently.

 

Read the entire story here.

Florida woman accused of attacking man with birdhouse

A Florida woman was arrested after she attacked a man with a birdhouse, according to police.

The arrest occurred Friday at The Willough, a Naples rehabilitation center, when a man said Monica Mehanny, 24, of Palmetto, threatened to hit him, according to the Bradenton Herald.

>> Read more trending news

The staff told the man to write down his complaint, but before he finished Mehanny followed through with her threat, the Herald reported.

Mehanny came into the room with a small wooden birdhouse and slapped the man across the face with it. The birdhouse shattered, according to deputies.

Mehanny denied hitting the man and said he grabbed her arm before it struck him, according to the Herald.

Mehanny was charged with battery and probation violation.

Read more at the Bradenton Herald.

Newborn found dead in dumpster after mom ends up in ICU

Detroit police on Sunday found the body of a baby girl in a dumpster after the newborn’s mother went to the emergency room bleeding and complaining of stomach pain. 

WDIV reported that medical staff at the hospital transferred the 39-year-old woman to the intensive care unit, where they discovered that she’d recently given birth. She did not have a newborn with her, and neither did her husband, who drove her to the hospital. 

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Officers who went to the couple’s home on Detroit’s east side found the baby’s body in a trash bin behind the house, the news station reported

The woman’s husband told police he did not know she’d given birth. 

MLive.com reported Tuesday morning that the woman remained on a breathing tube in the hospital’s ICU, so investigators had not yet been able to interview her. An autopsy was done Monday on the infant’s body, but the cause of death has not been made public. 

The case remains under investigation. 

'Cash Me Outside' teen signs reality TV deal

Danielle Bregoli is Hollywood-bound and it’s time to get your TV remotes ready. 

The “Cash Me Outside” teen just signed a deal with a major production company, according to TMZ.

>> Read more trending news

Danielle, the Boynton Beach, Florida, native who just turned 14, will star in loosely formatted reality TV show. While nothing has been filmed yet, producers are confident that they can sell networks on the series, TMZ reported. 

That’s because no one is worried about Danielle producing content.

From her start on Dr. Phil to the past couple of months, Danielle has made headline after headline, yet fans can’t seem to get enough of her.

Now the only question is when can we expect “cash” her on our TVs? 

Read more at TMZ.

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