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Scammers landed retired Florida dad in South Korea jail, son says

A 79-year-old retired Federal Reserve vice president who winters in Jupiter Farms, Florida, has been in a South Korea jail since Nov. 10, charged with fraud, his son said Thursday.

>> Read more trending stories

Julius Malinowski is the real victim, set up by people posing as executives of BB&T Bank, said his son, Kent Malinowski, also of Jupiter Farms.

Kent said an American lawyer in Seoul has told the family that neither a bail amount nor a trial date has been set and that their father faces possibly years in prison — but he did get good news Thursday from his father's lawyers.

The alleged fraud involved a South Korean business contact's laying out for Julius the equivalent of $11,663 for first-class air fare from Virginia and the cost of a Seoul hotel room. The lawyers said Thursday the contact had said he'd gotten some credits on the air fare and hotel and that he had signed a release saying he wouldn't pursue criminal and civil charges in exchange for the lawyers paying him the equivalent of $6,308.

The deal doesn't automatically get Julius off the hook, Kent said. He said the lawyers advised that in Korea prosecutors still can press forward on a criminal case and that only a judge can drop all charges.

But, he said, "it goes a long way. So we're hopeful."

Kent said his father has been sleeping on a concrete floor and has inadequate food, which aggravates his chronic kidney problems. He said Julius Malinowski was admitted Monday to a hospital for tests but was out by Thursday.

"His last note passed to family read, 'I'm good, but not healthy,' " Kent wrote this week. He told The Palm Beach Post by phone Thursday that "our attorneys report that Dad looks much better."

"Mal" Malinowski retired from the government in the late 1990s but still does volunteer work. Recently, his son said, he was approached to do part-time work in international transactions from people who presented themselves as officers of North Carolina-based BB&T.

"They paid his round-trip travel expenses and a fee for contract delivery-courier services," Kent Malinowski said. He said the "executives" met his father in advance in Williamsburg, Va., and even bought him a round of golf.

Kent Malinowski said the family didn't know anything about either "Mal's" assignment or his international travel until they learned that he had called a Virginia neighbor from jail. He said the family called the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, which confirmed that their father was under arrest.

Kent said the family was told their father had delivered a contract in Australia without incident in October but was arrested Nov. 10 after he flew from Virginia to South Korea.

The family can't figure out how the bad guys might have benefited. "We don't know what the end game was," Kent said. He speculated his father was an unwitting "front man" who would get the government and business contacts in Australia and South Korea comfortable and pave the way for the scam.

It was only after his arrest that family members got into his computer and found the official-looking exchanges purporting to be from BB&T executives, his son said.

Kent said his father is a victim of an "elaborate" internet scam.

"He was swept up in a criminal enterprise about which he had no knowledge," his son wrote. "They targeted an elderly retiree who was healthy enough to travel, but not tech-savvy enough to spot the bogus email addresses."

Kent Malinowski said police in his father's hometown of Culpeper, Virginia, about 70 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., also have concluded he's a victim.

Culpeper Police Lt. Andrew Terrill would say Thursday only that "there is an active and ongoing investigation."

Kent Malinowski said he's also contacted criminal investigators for both the FBI and the Department of State.

A State Department official confirmed the department was aware of press reports that an American citizen was detained in South Korea, but was unable to comment further because of privacy issues. The official confirmed the department was ready to provide consular assistance.

The FBI would not confirm it is looking into the case. BB&T spokesman Brian Davis referred a reporter to law enforcement.

Calls by The Palm Beach Post to the law firm representing Julius Malinowski in Korea, as well as the South Korean embassy in Washington, D.C, were not returned.

UPS driver helps free woman held captive after she writes 'contact 911' on box

A UPS driver called police Tuesday after picking up a package with the words "contact 911" scrawled on the box, saving a woman who had been held captive and sexually assaulted for hours at a home in Missouri, deputies said.

>> Read more trending stories

The driver, who was not identified, was making a scheduled pick-up at a home in Robertsville around 11 a.m. when a woman handed him the package.

Franklin County Sheriff's Office deputies learned that a 3-year-old child lived in the house, along with a man with a criminal history that includes assault charges. The man had access to rifles, deputies said, and was believed to be armed with a .45-caliber handgun.

The man, identified as 33-year-old James Jordan, refused to cooperate with authorities, but surrendered peacefully shortly afterward, deputies said.

The victim told investigators that Jordan held her captive for hours, starting on Monday night, KMOV reported. Authorities said in court records that Jordan refused to let the woman leave the home or use the telephone. He beat her, sexually assaulted her, put a gun to her head and threatened to killer her, according to court records. At one point the victim attempted to escape, but she told investigators that Jordan pulled her back to the home by her hair.

The 3-year-old child was locked in a bedroom without food or water, deputies said.

Sgt. T.J. Wild of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office told KMOV that the actions of the UPS driver "made a huge difference."

In a statement released to CNN, the delivery company praised its driver.

"We are grateful this UPS driver, with more than a decade of service, followed protocol when he saw a customer in distress," a UPS spokesperson said. "Our drivers are very familiar with their routes, and are trained to be aware of their surroundings and respond to requests for assistance."

Jordan is charged with domestic assault, sodomy, felonious restraint, unlawful use of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. He was ordered held on a $100,000 cash bond.

Dog visits dying owner in hospital

Ryan Jensen went to the hospital with what he thought was a migraine headache. However, it was much more serious. Jensen, 33, was diagnosed with an incurable ventricular brain hemorrhage. His family and friends gathered to be with him in his final days. Mollie, his beloved dog, also got to say farewell. >> Read more trending stories “The hospital did the sweetest thing for us and allowed us to bring my brother's dog in to 'say goodbye' so she'd know why her human never came home,” Renteria’s sister, Michelle Jessen, posted Dec. 1 on Facebook. The video shows Mollie on the hospital bed sniffing around a sedated Renteria.   Renteria died Nov. 30. <iframe src=";show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe> “We are sincerely touched and humbled by others' stories, their sharing in our sadness and the kindness of so many people," Jessen wrote. "Don't worry about the dog! We're keeping her!!! She's part of the family.” <iframe src=";width=500" width="500" height="608" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>

Doctors successfully separate 2-year-old twin girls conjoined at the chest

Formerly conjoined 2-year-old twin girls are recovering after doctors successfully separated them in a 17-hour surgery.

Erika and Eva Sandoval of Antelope, California were born conjoined at the chest. After months of preparation, doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital successfully separated the girls Wednesday.

Doctors began the surgery on December 6 and finished in the early hours of December 7, according to the hospital.

>> Read more trending stories 

“They did very well,” said lead surgeon Gary Hartman. “I’m very pleased with the outcome.”

Hartman has successfully separated seven sets of twins in his career, so Erika and Eva were in very skilled hands.

The girls’ parents are still getting used to seeing them in separate beds.

“Seeing them now in the ICU, you look at them and think ‘You’re missing your other half’ but we know that this is the right path for them: to be independent, have the chance to succeed and explore on their own everything the world has to offer,” said mom Adia Sandoval.

The girls are expected to recover in the hospital for several weeks before finally going home.

<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> We just had an extraordinary medical accomplishment at our hospital   -   two-year-old conjoined twin sisters Erika and Eva Sandoval were successfully separated in an operation that took 17 hours! Deep respect and appreciation to our 50 staff members who were part of the separation team. Learn more about this historical event: by Stanford Children's Health - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford on Thursday, December 8, 2016

Inspirational stories from 2016 offer hope for year ahead

Many people are ready to say, “good riddance” to 2016, as it has been a year dominated by devastating notable deaths and a divisive election season. Take time to remember these inspirational stories from 2016 to help carry the giving spirit forward into the new year.

Customer tries to return coat, store's response shocks her

A woman in Boston who ordered a winter coat from Zulily called the company’s customer service department to ask if she could return the coat for a refund. The representative confirmed that she could receive a refund, but as for the coat, the representative said, "Please don't send it back. If you know someone who needs a winter coat or if you would like to donate it to a charity, that would make us very happy."

College football player visits elementary school, has lunch with boy with autism

Florida State University football players visited a middle school over the summer, and at lunchtime, wide receiver Travis Rudolph noticed a boy sitting all alone. Rudolph joined him for lunch and someone took a photo of the touching moment. The photo made it back to the boy’s mother, who was grateful for Rudolph’s act of kindness, writing on Facebook that her son eats lunch alone most days.

'He looked ashamed, hungry and broken.' How a teen desperate for food ended up with a house

A teenager in Memphis took a chance on a stranger, asking him if he could carry his groceries to his car in exchange for a box of donuts. The man, Matt White, did better than just donuts, taking the boy, Chauncey Black, on a shopping spree, then setting up a GoFundMe account hoping to raise enough funds for a lawnmower so Black could earn money to help pay the family’s rent and buy food. White ended up raising over $340,000 for the family, and helped them move into a safer neighborhood. White is now helping other families in need.

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

Man walks 16 miles daily for 2 jobs, gets free car

A woman in New Hampshire discovered that the man working at a Dunkin’ Donuts who always knew her coffee order, also had a second job at a convenience store that he walked to because he didn’t have a car. She posted the man’s story on her Facebook page, writing, “This man walks 16 miles every day between both his jobs, making minimum wage at both. Minimum wage in New Hampshire is $7.25/hr. This man shows that if you are motivated, ambitious, and WILLING to work, it IS possible.” After hearing about his story, a local dealership gave the man, Kyle Bigler, a used car.

Beachgoers rescue toddler buried alive in sand

A day at the beach in California turned into a nightmare as a child playing in a three-foot-deep hole was buried alive after the hole collapsed. Three men attending a family reunion heard the commotion and rushed over to help. Their quick actions freed the boy just in time. The boy was expected to make a full recovery.

Girl sparks friendship with lonely man at grocery store, helps him heal after losing wife

A girl in Georgia was celebrating her 4th birthday when she said made a connection with a stranger in need. The chance encounter between Norah Wood and 82-year-old Dan Petersen sparked a magical friendship. The girl’s mother learned the widower was still grieving the loss of his wife and that the girl’s actions had been inspiring for him. The girl and her mother now visit Petersen regularly.

Repo man tows older couple's car, raises money to pay it off

An Illinois man who repossesses cars for a living showed mercy on an elderly couple who had fallen on hard times. When Jim Ford went to claim the 1998 Buick because the couple had fallen behind on payments, he learned about the couple’s financial struggles. Ford drove the couple’s car about a block before he pulled over and called the bank to find out how much the couple owed. He set up a GoFundMe account and quickly earned the money to pay off the car, and get the car some needed repairs. The couple also received a free turkey for Thanksgiving.

Man writes letter to hospital staff that treated his wife

A Massachusetts man whose 34-year-old wife died from a severe asthma attack in September wrote a letter of gratitude to the hospital where she was treated. Peter DeMarco thanked the ICU staff for their kind and compassionate care, and for bending the rules to allow DeMarco to sneak the couple’s cat in for one last visit.

What this girl did for a crying homeless man will make your heart ache

This summer in Virginia, a 6-year-old girl was leaving a store with her mother when she noticed a man sitting on the ground, crying. The girl asked the man what he was doing there and he said he had no home, but that he would be OK. The girl gave the man a few dollars and her drink, and a few bystanders followed her lead. The man was grateful for the help, and said his trailer had burnt down and he had lost everything, including his wife. The girl’s mother posted the story on Facebook, and she was proud of her daughter leading by example.

Special ed teacher invites students to wedding

A special education teacher in Kentucky invited some special guests to her June wedding: her students who have Down syndrome. Bride Kinsey French and the students posed for an adorable photo to mark the special occasion. French said, “They were like family to me. They were my first class and they've been my only class and so I knew I couldn't have a special day without them.”

John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, shares heartbreaking message, photo on anniversary of assassination

On the anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination, people around the world are remembering the icon.

One of the most heartbreaking tributes comes from his widow, Yoko Ono.

As she has done in years past, Ono used the anniversary of his death to speak out against gun violence in America.

>> Read more trending stories 

“Over 1,200,000 people have been killed by guns in the U.S.A. since John Lennon was shot and killed on Dec. 8, 1980,” reads a message on a photo she tweeted.

In the tweet, Oko wrote, “Together let’s bring back America the green land of Peace. The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 36yrs we still miss him.”

'Person of the Year': Trump criticizes Time's 'politically correct' feature

Addressing a crowd gathered in Iowa Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump described himself as "lucky" for earning the title of Time's 2016 Person of the Year before criticizing the magazine for being "politically correct."

>> Read more trending stories

"I was lucky enough to receive the Time Person of the Year (title)," Trump said in Des Moines, during the third stop in his presidential victory tour. "They used to call it Man of the Year, but they can't do that anymore, so they call it 'person.' They want to be politically correct. That's OK."

Time launched its annual feature on a person of high influence – for better or worse – in 1928, declaring Charles Lindbergh the "Man of the Year."

>> Related: Time names Donald Trump 'Person of the Year'

Although the magazine sometimes spotlighted women, starting with Wallis Simpson in 1937, it remained the "Man of the Year" feature until 1999. According to Time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year became the fourth woman to hold the Person of the Year title on her own.

"To be on the cover of Time magazine as the Person of the Year is a tremendous honor," Trump said Wednesday on the "Today Show," before questioning the subtitle on the magazine's front page, which declared him president of the "divided states of America." He echoed his criticism at the Iowa rally.

"I said, 'I haven't been president. What are you saying that for?'" Trump said. "But you know what? We're going to bring the nation together."

Trump consistently slammed politically correct behavior and speech in the race to the White House.

"I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct," he said during a debate last year. "I've been challenged by so many people and I don't, frankly, have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn't have time, either."

Men named Robin Williams, Tupac arrested with 115 pounds of marijuana

Police in Arizona stumbled upon an oddly named trio of suspected marijuana dealers last weekend during a traffic stop.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported that Robin Williams, 21, Tupac Crum, 19, and Erick Harris Jr., 22, all of Albuquerque, New Mexico, were arrested Sunday in Payson.

The agency said in a news release that the trio was traveling in a white Chevy pickup truck when the driver committed traffic violations. There were “indicators of criminal activity” during the stop, so a K-9 officer was called to the scene.

During a search of the truck, troopers found five large bundles containing just under 115 pounds of marijuana inside tool and equipment boxes, the news release said. The street value of the drugs was estimated to be about $69,000.

>> Read more trending stories

All three suspects were booked into the Gila County Jail on a variety of drug charges, troopers said. 

Support grows for Santa accused of fat-shaming 9-year-old NC boy

Support for a North Carolina Santa who fat-shamed a 9-year-old boy is growing across the country.

A Forest City mother said the man, Earl Crowder, told her son to "lay off the hamburgers and fries" after the boy gave Santa his wish list.

>> Read more trending stories 

Crowder resigned after the incident but since then, his supporters created a Facebook page, claiming that in real life, Crowder buys toys for those less fortunate and helps people in nursing homes.

Crowder's family said he's heartbroken over the situation.

"He woke up having trouble breathing and ended up having to go to the hospital and he's still there," said his niece, Kelly Butler.

Doctors said Crowder has a blood clot in his lung.

He replaced the previous Santa in Forest City 12 years ago after that man was arrested for inappropriately touching a girl.

Dylann Roof’s mother had heart attack during testimony in trial, lawyer says

The mother of accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof suffered a heart attack after hearing heart-wrenching testimony in his federal murder trial, a defense lawyer said.

Roof's mother collapsed and said "I'm sorry" several times on Wednesday as family members and court officers rushed to help her, attorney David Bruck related in court records. NBC News reported that the mother’s current condition was not included in the documents, through which Bruck asked for a mistrial in the case.

>>Read More: From June 2015-Who is Dylann Storm Roof? 

Bruck cited emotional testimony by survivor Felicia Sanders, in which she called Roof “evil” and said that “there’s no place on Earth for him other than the pit of hell.” Bruck’s request, which argued that Sanders’ comments could be considered an opinion on Roof’s potential punishment, was denied.

Sanders and her 11-year-old granddaughter were two of just three survivors of the June 17, 2015, shooting inside the historic Emanuel AME Church. She testified Wednesday about watching her son and aunt gunned down, along with seven others attending Bible study the night of the slayings.

>> Read more trending stories

Jurors on Thursday saw graphic images of the bloody scene inside the church, including 360-degree image scans that showed bodies lying on a tile floor smeared with blood, the Post and Courier reported. The floor was littered with shell casings and empty magazines from Roof’s gun, which he allegedly brought into the Bible study session in a fanny pack.

The crime scene photos showed that Tywanza Sanders died as he crawled toward his great-aunt, 87-year-old Susie Jackson, in an effort to save her, the Post and Courier reported. He died with his outstretched hand touching Jackson’s hair.

>>Related: Shock, grief after 9 killed in South Carolina church (photos)

Jurors also learned how many times each victim was shot. The newspaper reported that Jackson was struck the most, with 11 shots to her body.

Several of the congregants died huddled under or near the tables where, moments before, they had studied the Bible alongside Roof, who the Rev. Clementa Pinckney had welcomed and asked to sit next to him during the session.

Crime scene technicians recovered 74 shell casings from the scene, and pathologists pulled 54 bullets from the bodies on autopsy, the Post and Courier said.

The newspaper reported that jurors on Friday would hear Roof’s taped confession to authorities after his capture. The self-described white supremacist was caught the day after the shooting in North Carolina. 

‘Everything is gone': Fire leaves 6, including 4 children, homeless

Six people, including a mother and her four daughters, are now homeless after a fire ripped through their homes Thursday evening in McKeesport. 

Authorities said the flames erupted shortly after 5 p.m. at a home on Hartman Street. Officials said the fire appears to have started in the mother of four’s home and then spread to her neighbor’s home.

>> Read more trending stories 

"First thing I think is if we would've been there 15 minutes earlier, we'd all be dead,” LaTheresa Festa said.

Officials said no one was injured, but said both homes were a total loss.

Festa said while she’s thankful she and her children, ages 3 to 16, are alive, she couldn’t help but think that the timing couldn’t be any worse, with Christmas just around the corner.

"Everything is gone! I asked them if they could go in and try and retrieve stuff. They told me it would be too hazardous,” she said.

Festa said $1,200 worth of gifts for her four children were among the items destroyed in the blaze.

"We had just went Christmas shopping and had all stuff hidden in closet,” Marcy Festa, the children’s grandmother said.

“They lost everything.” LaTheresa Festa’s neighbor, who was in the midst of moving in with his girlfriend, lost a majority of his possessions as well, including his clothes, television and furniture.

City of McKeesport Fire Chief Jeff Tomovosik said the weather conditions made his firefighters’ job even more challenging.

"Once the fire broke through the roof, it was fueled by the wind, which made it a little difficult,” he said. “(It) took a little bit of extra time to get it under control.”

Fire officials said the damage to both homes is extensive and they will need to be torn down.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Gopher tortoise covered in blue paint saved

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers said they have been able to clean and release a gopher tortoise that was covered in blue paint.

The endangered animal was found in Martin County.

>> Read more trending stories

The tortoise was taken to an animal rehabilitation facility, where it recovered, and then was placed back in the wild, albeit with a slight blue hue.  

FWC said putting paint anywhere on a turtle can be harmful to the animal and is illegal.

The harmful chemicals in the paint can get into the animal’s bloodstream and leave it unable to absorb vitamins from the sun.

Paint can also damage a tortoise’s respiratory system. 

Pizza shop targeted by conspiracy theory gunman tries to crowdfund security costs

Comet Ping Pong has started a GoFundMe campaign to crowdsource some of the cost of security.

The pizza shop was targeted after a fake news story went viral before last month's presidential election, Time reported

The story claimed that the restaurant was the center of a child sex ring, alleging that children were being held against their will in a back room of the establishment.

Sunday, a North Carolina man traveled to Washington, D.C. to "investigate" the claims, WRC reported.

>> Read more trending stories 

Edgar Welch fired a rifle inside the business. No one was wounded. He surrendered to law enforcement when he found nothing to substantiate the fake news report.

Comet Ping Pong started the GoFundMe page to offset the cost of security, pay for lost pay of the store's employees and repairs to the building.

Owners are looking to raise $28,000.

Welch is scheduled to appear in front of a judge next week.

He said he regrets how he handled his "investigation" but did not deny the false news story.

Welch told The New York Times, "I just wanted to do some good and went about it the wrong way."

He said he planned to give the restaurant a "closer look," but said he felt his "heart breaking over the thought of innocent people suffering."

Welch discovered no children inside the building, and couldn't explain why he brought an AR-15 into Comet Ping Pong, WRC reported.

'Secret Santa' pays $46k to pay off holiday layaway accounts

A woman just made Christmas brighter for nearly 200 families in Pennsylvania.

The woman, identified only as Santa B, went to the town's Walmart Wednesday and gave the service desk a cashier's check for $46,265.59, The Bedford County Free Press reported.

>> Read more trending stories 

That was enough to pay off all 194 layaway accounts. 

<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> WE HAVE CONFIRMED WITH CORPORATE WALMART THAT AT 4:15 PM DECEMBER 7,2016 A WOMAN WALKED INTO WALMART IN EVERETT AND...Posted by Bedford County Free Press on Thursday, December 8, 2016

Walmart's corporate offices said that "Santa B" has done this before and that this is the third year that the woman and the man who signs the checks have shared the Christmas spirit in the Keystone State, WTAJ reported.

One woman who claimed she was a benefactor of the goodwill said she had complications from surgery and wasn't sure how she was going to get the items out of layaway.

Oregon boy falsely tests positive for meth

An Oregon boy’s trip to the emergency room turned into a frightening experience for his mother after a routine test showed the 2-year-old had tested positive for methamphetamine.

>> Read more trending stories

Chierey Hupp of Gresham, Oregon, told KPTV she took her son Marlon to Legacy Mount Hood Hospital on Aug. 12 to be treated for a burn to his hand and a rash covering his torso.

Hupp said her son's condition prompted hospital staff to call the Department of Human Services. Doctors ordered Marlon to be transferred to Randall Children's Hospital in Portland for further treatment. He was diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease and an accidental burn.

During Marlon’s treatment, Hupp said, a nurse told her she would be testing his urine to determine hydration levels.

“Thirty minutes before they were to release me, they said that I couldn't take my kids, that DHS was on their way because he tested positive for methamphetamines,” Hupp told KPTV.

Hupp said her two children were taken into protective custody, and she was asked to undergo a urine analysis herself.

Two days later, Hupp said, she got a call from the hospital saying an error had been made.

Her children were returned to her, but Hupp was angry.

"It was pretty humiliating. In front of my whole family, saying that I gave my kid meth," Hupp told KPTV.

On a GoFundMe page she created on Sept. 15 to help raise money to pay Marlon’s medical bills. Hupp said that Aug. 12-16 “were the worst days I have lived in my life.

“Due to this mess I lost my job."

A spokesman for Randall Children's Hospital told KPTV the hospital could not answer specific questions about Marlon’s treatment, even though Hupp had given the hospital permission.

In a statement, the hospital said that occasionally, tests like urine analysis “reveal preliminary information that requires additional testing for confirmation, due to the possibility the test may represent a false positive result. During that time, decisions may need to be made on the preliminary result that are focused on the health and safety of the child.”

Woman in medical scrubs steals from Texas widow

A woman wearing medical scrubs entered the home of a 76-year-old Texas widow, stealing hundreds of dollars, Dallas police said.

 >> Read more trending stories

Ola Donalson lives off her husband’s partial pension payment and from Social Security. She told KDFW that she fell victim to a scam when a woman showed up at her home Saturday afternoon in medical scrubs. The woman, who even knew her doctor’s name and other personal information, said she was sent to Donalson’s home to talk about a new walker.

“Right then, I should have gotten some kind of a clue this wasn't right,” Donalson said. “But when she asked to see the walker, I took her in to show her the walker, and she said that walker wasn't up to date.”

Donalson told KDFW that the woman asked to see her current walker that was stored under a bed and then distracted her by asking for a flashlight. It was enough time for the woman to find her wallet and take $45 in cash and several hundred more dollars in money orders.

Donalson called police after she discovered that her money was missing.

“It's the first of the month, and most elderly people have their checks the first of the month,” Donalson said. “She knew what she was doing.

“It was all I had. But I felt dumb that I even let her in my house,” Donalson said. “I still can't get myself together that I let her in.”

Friends from Donalson's church are trying to raise money to help cover her bills and have set up a GoFundMe account for her. Her daughter confirmed her doctor never sent anyone to her house.

Singing Contractors go viral with Christmas tune

The Singing Contractors are back, and they keep building an audience of more fans with their sweet harmonies.

>> Read more trending stories

Aaron Gray and Josh Arnett had a viral hit last year with “How Great Thou Art.” For the Christmas holiday, the two general contractors sang “Mary, Did You Know?”

The two workers from Indiana decided a while back to start singing while doing jobs, recording the songs on their phone. They mostly do requests, but their latest hit presented their biggest challenge.

They were not familiar with the song.

“Through the winter months last Christmas we got requests for it, but we did not do it because we didn’t know it,” Gray told WISH.

Gray and Arnett liked the song’s message.

“It’s a popular song, it’s got a good meaning and melody to it,” Arnett told WISH.

They decided to record it in a garage job site last week, but had to look at their phones to sing the lyrics.

“We do hear each other and we’ve sang enough with each other now that we’re comfortable with one another and sometimes we don’t get every part right, but we just have fun with it,” Gray told WISH.

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Texas officer buys 2 car seats for struggling mom

A Texas mother who had broken car seats got an unexpected gift from a police officer last month.

>> Read more trending stories

The officer bought her new ones.

Alexis Jones of Arlington told KDFW she knew her old car seats were broken, and was waiting for Black Friday to go shopping for new ones.

As Jones went shopping on Nov. 25 with her 3-year-old daughter and 9-month-old son, Arlington police officer Brandon Gilbert pulled her over.

"I was already nervous about the kids being unstrapped because Amia — she comes out of her car seat, and he was too big for his,” Jones said.

"The car seat was broken. It was a very old car seat,” Gilbert told KDFW. “And there really wasn't any way of restraining the child that was inside the car seat because it was broken.”

Jones already had outstanding traffic citations and was trying to manage a new job and a new apartment. Gilbert’s dash cam shows the officer putting the car seat on the hood of the patrol car and helping Jones with it.

"I thought about taking enforcement action,” Gilbert said. “But then I thought that's not gonna help her.”

When Gilbert got home he decided to help Jones out.

"I’m a father, and I was talking to my wife about it. And I just felt like I needed to do something,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert used his money and bought a pair of car seats.

“They came over with two big boxes of car seats and stuffed animals,” Jones said. “And I was just in total shock. It was just it was amazing, actually."

Stolen necklace containing daughter’s ashes returned to Va. couple

A Virginia couple, whose necklace containing their daughter’s ashes, was returned nearly three weeks after it was stolen, WTKR reported.

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The truck of Robert and Yvonne Avila was robbed three weeks ago, and among the items taken was an hourglass pendant containing the ashes of their 17-year-old daughter, Katherine, who died suddenly in August, WTKR reported.

According to the Avila family, Chesapeake Police arrested a person they say is responsible for stealing the pendant. Police said the suspect confessed to the crime.

Robert Avila said that recovering the pendant was “indescribable.”

“It’s something that’s very sentimental you know, it’s our daughter, you can’t replace things like that,” Avila told WTKR.  “It’s indescribable, she meant everything to us.

“We carry her everywhere we go.”

Avila told WTKR he left the pendant in the cup holder of his truck so he could bring it to the jewelry store to get a piece fixed. But when a neighbor texted him and told him part of his uniform was in the street, he knew something was wrong.

His neighbor texted him to say that a part of his Navy uniform was in the street, and he immediately knew something was wrong. Credit cards and gift cards were taken, and so was the pendant.

But the jewelry is now back in the hands of the Avilas, who are relieved.

“It’s just so personal you can’t replace it,” Yvonne Avila said.

Alabama executes man for 1994 murder of store clerk

An Alabama man convicted of killing a convenience store clerk in 1994 was executed late Thursday, prison officials said.

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Ronald Bert Smith Jr., 45, was put to death by lethal injection, The Associated Press reported. Smith was convicted for the Nov. 8, 1994, shooting death of Huntsville store clerk Casey Wilson. Jurors convicted Smith of capital murder in 1995 and recommended life imprisonment by a 7-5 vote. However, the judge in the case sentenced Smith to death.

After two court-ordered delays, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Thursday that Alabama could proceed with the execution. That capped a whirlwind of legal filings by Smith’s attorneys. Smith needed five justices to agree to a halt to the execution, but only four were in favor.

Smith was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. CST Thursday after a lethal injection at the southwest Alabama prison.

Smith heaved and coughed for 13 minutes during the 30-minute-long execution, the AP reported. He clenched his fists and raised his head during the early part of the procedure.

Wilson was pistol-whipped and then shot in the head during the robbery, court documents obtained by the AP show. Surveillance video showed Smith entering the store and recovering fired shell casings from the bathroom where Wilson was shot, according to the record.

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