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Woman used knife, tongs to perform dog's surgery at home, police say

A woman in Iowa was arrested last week on animal neglect charges after she allegedly performed surgery on her dog at home.

Sarah Diane McMenamin, 26, attempted to remove an obstruction from her dog by using a paring knife and tongs, police told KCCI.

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The dog did not survive the procedure.

McMenamin told police that she performed the procedure because she couldn't afford to pay for the surgery to be done by a veterinarian, KCCI reported. She also claimed to have been raised on a farm and to have experience in castrating pigs, police said.

Teens selling water on National Mall handcuffed by police

U.S. Park Police are facing criticism for handcuffing three teenagers who were selling water Thursday on the National Mall.

Officials said police were just doing their job, as the teenagers were vending in a prohibited area, WUSA9 reported.

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Bystander Tim Krepp took a photo of the incident, and told WUSA9 that he thought the officers went too far in handcuffing the teenagers. The image quickly went viral on social media.

The teens were given a verbal warning and released to their guardians, WUSA9 reported. 

Watch: Small plane crashes into unoccupied day care in Florida

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a small plane crash that occurred Saturday morning near Fort Meyers, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies said the plane crashed into an unoccupied day care building.

>> Read more trending news

One person died in the crash while another was taken to the hospital.

The survivor’s condition has not been released.

See the things people in Arizona claim are melting due to extreme heat

People in Arizona are used to triple-digit temperatures in the summer, but an extreme heat wave gripping the Southwest this week had temperatures rising to 120 degrees.

At that extreme temperature, strange things begin to happen.

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Arizona residents have been posting photos on social media of objects that they say have melted due to the extreme heat. It's important to note that none of these photos have been independently verified. The melted mailbox photo prompted KSAZ to ask an expert if it was possible for extreme heat to do that kind of damage. The engineering expert said that while it was unlikely that the plastic post completely melted, the heat could have weakened it, causing it to fall over, KSAZ reported.

As for the photos of melting street signs, KPNX verified via a transportation official that the damage to the sign was age-related, not specifically heat-related. And the photo of the melted trash bin? That was posted on Reddit in 2016, and many doubted its veracity then.

One thing is for certain: The heat in Arizona is no joke. Flights were grounded temporarily this week at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix due to the extreme temperatures. Phoenix emergency rooms have seen an increase in burn cases, most contact burns from bare skin touching pavement or a hot car's interior, azcentral reported. Pet owners are urged to take precautions as an increase in heat-related emergencies has been reported at Arizona animal hospitals.

Police: Woman arrested in prostitution sting left toddler alone at home

An Arizona woman arrested on suspicion of prostitution Wednesday admitted to leaving her 18-month-old toddler at home alone, police said.

Alexis Buchanan, 25, was arrested in an undercover sting operation Wednesday afternoon, investigators said. Upon her arrest, she told officers that her daughter was home alone.

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Police performed a welfare check and found the toddler in a bedroom on the second floor of the town home, which contained dog waste and small objects that could be choking hazards, KPHO reported. The girl was wearing a heavily soiled diaper and had dried food on her face, officers said. 

The child was taken into protective custody, KPHO reported.

In addition to the prostitution charge, Buchanan faces a child abuse charge, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Mastiff named Martha crowned world's ugliest dog

In a lighthearted contest often won by small dogs, this year's winner is a big surprise.

Martha, a 125-pound Neapolitan mastiff, was crowned World's Ugliest Dog for 2017.

The dog, described as gassy but gentle, spent much of its time on stage plopped on its side. 

The annual event took place Friday night at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

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Handler Shirley Zindler told The Associated Press that she rescued Martha when the dog was almost blind, but her sight has been restored after several surgeries.

Martha beat out 13 other contestants vying for the ugliest dog crown, including Moe, a 16-year-old Brussels Griffon-pug mix, who came in second, and Chase, a 14-year-old Chinese Crested-Harke mix, who came in third.

A blind Chihuahua-Chinese Crested mix named Sweepee Rambo won the 2016 competition.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Police: Florida father flashing gun in front of child on Facebook Live arrested

The man seen on Facebook Live posing with a gun and what appears to be drugs in front of his child is now in jail, police said.

Jakeeco Milton, 25, was arrested Thursday for violation of probation.

ActionNewsJax first showed the Facebook Live video of Milton posing with a gun in front of his child on Wednesday.

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Milton is behind bars after police say he violated his probation. It comes after he posted a Facebook Live video, in which he is seen with a gun and possibly drugs in front of his child.

Family members told ActionNewsJax they are happy Milton is locked up. Court records show he has felony convictions for resisting an officer and battery in a detention facility. He and the child’s mother have four children together and one on the way. Family members said the couple and the kids bounce around from motel to motel.

Both the State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families are investigating the incident. 

Woman shaken after flying piece of wood on highway smashes windshield

Images shared on social media show how a Massachusetts woman narrowly escaped injury on the highway.

Victoria Gaucher told Boston 25 that she was driving down a highway in Taunton this week when a piece of wood flew off the truck in front of her and smashed into her car windshield.

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Luckily, she wasn’t hit and no one was injured. The long piece of wood wedged itself into the top of her windshield.

Gaucher said she’s glad her son wasn’t with her. She said the white truck didn’t stop after the wood flew off it.

Gaucher said she needed help getting the wood board removed from her car. 

Infant needing transplant aided by Arkansas T-shirt company

An 8-month old baby from Arkansas in need of a liver transplant is being helped by a T-shirt manufacturer who is raising money to help cover expenses.

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Amelia Fowler was diagnosed with biliary atresia four days after her birth, KTHV reported.

Doctors told Amelia’s parents, Jack and Mary Lu Fowler, that a liver transplant  was the child’s best shot at living a normal life, KTHV reported.

Paul Ritchie, who owns Rock City Outfitters, heard about Amelia and wanted to help.

“I actually had a niece named Amelia who went through something very similar,” RItchie told KTHV. “We just wanted to help out any way we can.”

Ritchie designed a T-shirt to raise money for Amelia. He only expected to print about 100 shirts, but has received more than 600 requests for them, KTHV reported.

“It’s amazing to know that the support we have already received that someone wanted to reach out and make this shirt for us,” Mary Lu Fowler told KTHV. “It’s something we would have never really asked for, or tried to do ourselves, but the fact they want to do this for us and for Amelia, and well, the response has been overwhelming.”

Wisconsin boy burned after park slide 'explodes'

A Wisconsin boy suffered second-degree burns on a slide in a park, WISN reported.

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The family of Giuseppe Storniolo, 9, of West Allis, said the slide “exploded” after spontaneously bubbling.

“I was about to get off and it just started to happen and it came up shaking,” Storniolo said. “I never saw any cracks on it or no holes. But I don’t know what happened.”

West Allis Mayor Dan Devine said city officials contacted the slide’s manufacturer, Landscape Structures, and removed the slide from the park, WISN reported.

“I have never seen -- and I don’t know of anybody who has seen -- anything like that before,” Devine said.

A Landscape Structures spokesman told WISN that company officials were aware of the incident and were investigating.

London tower blocks evacuated over fire concerns

Thousands of residents in a north London housing complex were evacuated from their apartments Friday night after fire checks revealed the buildings were unsafe, Reuters reported.

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The checks were done in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14.

Residents, along with their children and pets were removed from five tower blocks and headed to a local sports center to sleep on air beds, Reuters reported.

“I know it’s difficult but Grenfell changes everything,” Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, said in the statement. “I don’t believe we can take any risks with our residents’ safety.”

The London Fire Brigade said it had found a number of fire safety issues at the Chalcots Estate in Camden and advised residents to leave the building until they were resolved, Reuters reported.

Hugh Grant offering reward for WWII vet's lost medals

Actor Hugh Grant is offering a $1,100 reward for the return of a blind British World War II veterans medals after the 95-year-old man lost them at a service station.

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D-Day veteran Alfred Barlow landed on Sword Beach on June 6, 1944. Barlow, who was a corporal when Allied forces attacked the French coast, attended this year’s Memorial in Normandy, the Manchester Evening News reported.

However, Barlow lost his medals at the service station near Walsall during his return to his home in Stockport on June 8.

Barlow released images of the lost medals -- the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the 1939-1945 War Medal and the Palestine Medal -- through the Blind Veterans UK charity.

Grant tweeted his support, including a contact number and said that anonymity would be guaranteed, the Evening News reported.

Barlow said the incident was “very distressing.”

“These medals are worth very little to sell but to me they are priceless,” he told the Evening News. “I had intended to pass all of my medals on to my grandson, which makes it even more upsetting.”

Barlow turns 96 on Sunday and said the medals’ return would be a great birthday gift, Fox News reported.

'Flower man' steals the show at Wisconsin wedding

Traditional weddings usually include a flower girl and a ring bearer. But nuptials last week in Wisconsin included a flower man -- and he did his job so well, he nearly stole the attention from the bride.

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Andria Farthing got married in Madison on June 17. For her flower girl, she chose her 28-year-old cousin, Patrick Casey. The two relatives were close as children and once served as flower girl and ring bearer at a  1994 wedding, the Huffington Post reported.

When Farthing chose members of the wedding party, she chose Casey to toss the flower petals. And Casey did not disappoint, using the same flower basket his cousin used at that wedding 23 years ago. Casey then walked down the aisle at the outdoor ceremony and then stopped to pull petals out of his pocket, which he scattered gracefully amid laughter.

“A good marriage includes a lot of laughing,” Casey told the Huffington Post. “So what’s wrong with a bit of fun at your wedding with someone you both love and who loves you both?

“I think there was some skepticism, but after, many people complimented me on being funny while not crossing the line.”

2 arrested in 30-person brawl after N.Y. high school graduation

A high school graduation ceremony in upstate New York ended with a brawl that injured one police officer and led to the arrest of two teenagers, the Albany Times Union reported.

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The brawl outside Watervliet High School in suburban Albany on Thursday night required four police agencies to respond before it was under control, police said.

Police arrested 18-year-old Damion M. Walker and an unidentified teen boy, the Times Union reported. Both are charged with misdemeanor obstructing governmental administration.

Watervliet Police Chief Mark Spain told the Times Union that authorities "have no idea" what sparked the fight,  which involved more than 30 people brawling in the parking lot.

Nebraska mom begs thieves to return Porsche tires used for memorial

A Nebraska woman is making an appeal to thieves who stole the Porsche tires she had built as a memorial to her late son.

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Angel Pike and her son Ben built the memorial in April to honor Mike Pike, who died in his sleep four years ago, KETV reported. 

The stone in Pike’s front yard in Omaha reads “Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same; but as God calls us one by one the chain will link again.”

The chain reference is ironic since all that is left of the memorial are the chains that connected the tires, Pike told KETV.

The memorial is even more poignant now since Ben drowned earlier this month in nearby Lake Cunningham.

“I miss my boys so much and I just feel like our little chain is broken,” Angel Pike told KETV.  “We built this memorial and we had (Mike’s) Porsche rims and tires around two that didn’t have any (rims), and so I planted plants in here.”

The memorial became a sanctuary, but that was shattered one week after Ben’s death after thieves struck.

“I was just numb,” Angel Pike said. “I just yelled and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ you know. You take one son, then you took my other son and now you took my memorial.”

Pike filed a report with Omaha police, but she said she would simply like the tires returned, no questions asked.

“I just want my memorial back so I can build on it for Ben, too,” she told KETV. “Just bring my memorial back.”

Human toe stolen from Yukon bar returned, with apology

There’s good news afoot -- the toe stolen from the Downtown Hotel Sourdough Saloon in the Yukon has been returned to its rightful owner, along with a letter of apology.

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“We’re happy as clams about it,” Sue Taylor told the Alaska Dispatch News.Taylor is a “toe captain” at the bar in Dawson City.

The mummified human toe that disappeared early Sunday is used as a bizarre garnish for the saloon’s signature drink, the Sourtoe Cocktail.

In a news release, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said it quickly zeroed in a suspect and tried to contact him. But on Tuesday, the alleged subject telephoned the RCMP office in Dawson City and told authorities he had mailed the toe to the hotel. It was received Thursday.

“Located inside the package was an apology letter, as well as the stolen toe,” the RCMP statement said. “At the time that the package was opened, the toe was believed to be in good condition.”

The RCMP said charges were not expected to be filed.

That’s certainly toe-riffic news for the alleged thief.

TV crew's SUV stolen while they filmed story about crime

A television news crew in New Mexico, gathering footage for a story about crime, became part of the story Friday when a thief stole the station’s SUV, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

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KOB news director Michelle Donaldson said her crew was filming in downtown Albuquerque and watched as the vehicle was stolen. The story the crew was shooting footage for was about recent concerns about crime and safety.

“I have a rule, that you can never be the lead of your own newscast, Donaldson said. “So this violates that rule.”

The news crew recovered the SUV within a half hour without help from police by following the vehicle’s GPS tracking device, Donaldson told the Journal.

“We went to that location and recovered our own stolen vehicle,” she said.

Colorado fire department honors 5-year-old who saved mom’s life

A 5-year-old Colorado boy was made an honorary member of his local fire department Wednesday after he dialed 911 when his mother needed medical attention, the Journal-Advocate reported.

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Xander Carpenter was given a special tour of the Sterling Fire Department, was given his own special uniform for the inspection,  took a ride in Tower 18 and also helped put out a simulated fire with a hose, the newspaper reported. He also was named the department’s honorary firefighter for the month of July.

In May, Carpenter’s mother, Kari Nelson, returned home after working out at the gym, the Journal-Advocate reported. She then decided to mow the lawn, but the 38-year-old woman passed out from dehydration and low blood sugar.

Carpenter then grabbed his mother’s cell phone and dialed 911.

“It was impressive that Xander, being 5 years old, remembered to call 911 when he recognized that someone in his family needed help,” fire department Lt. Brett Dowis said.

Nelson was treated at the scene, and Dowis finished mowing the lawn, the Journal-Advocate reported.

California woman finds frog in her salad

A California woman found an unpleasant addition to her salad earlier this month, as she uncovered a dead frog nestled inside the lettuce.

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Shawna Cepeda was dining at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in West Covina and noticed her salad had a bitter taste, according to a Yelp review she posted on June 13. She began stirring the salad and found the frog.

“I see something kind of rolled up. I was like, ‘this doesn’t look right,’ so I passed it to my husband,” Cepeda told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “I asked, ‘Is that a piece of lettuce?’ Then he looked and daughter looked and he was like, ‘it’s a frickin’ frog.’”

Cepeda said she told the restaurant manager, who offered to pay for her meal but made the family pay for their drinks, KTLA reported.

“I just found a frog in my food from a place that doesn’t even carry frog and I still gotta pay for my drinks?” Cepeda wrote in her Yelp review.

Cepeda said she later received a $50 gift card from the restaurant’s corporate office.

An inspector from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health visited the restaurant on June 19 and found no health code violations, the Valley Tribune reported.

In an email  to the Valley Tribune on Thursday, Greg Levin, the chief financial officer for BJ’s said the company had launched an internal investigation to “ensure that nothing like this happens in the future.”

Cepeda updated her Yelp post on Thursday, writing that she still feels “really sick.”

“BJ’s has responded to my review and thank you,” she wrote. “But I’m disappointed that it took over a week to respond even after they had been responding to other reviews that were posted after mine.”

Second couple comes forward saying they were duped by wedding planner

More victims of a wedding planner accused of duping a bride out of thousands of dollars are coming forward with similar allegations.

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Melissa and Nick’s wedding plans started with a bad feeling.

The couple did not want to give their last name.

"It was honestly a blessing from God that, like, I saw the red flags immediately at the tasting. I was like, ‘This is not going to work out,’” Melissa said.

>> Read: Wedding planner takes $17K from Orlando couple but plans nothing, deputies say

The engaged couple hired Angel Jones with Angel's Dream Events to plan the most important day of their lives.

But the first time they met with Jones, Melissa said the wedding planner acted unprofessional by insulting the vendors and her choice of decorations.

"I left there crying,” Melissa said.

She fired Jones the day after hiring her, expecting to get back $1,000 they paid up front.

She said the contract they signed offered a refund up until 21 days before the wedding, but Melissa and Nick never saw that money again.

"I'm glad somebody finally spoke out," Melissa said.

She contacted Channel 9 after hearing the story about the Wilsons, who said Jones took $17,000 from them and left them with nothing three days before the event.

"I think we all probably would agree that we want her to go to jail,” said Melissa.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

The website and Facebook page for Angel's Dream Events were recently taken down, and her phone number was disconnected.

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