As a Texas church reeled from a deadly shooting, another congregation stepped in to help

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 8:32 AM

Who is Devin Patrick Kelley, the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church Shooter

As First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, faced a tragedy, members of a nearby church quickly jumped in to help.

Pastor Paul Buford from neighboring River Oaks Church described to ABC News what happened when his congregation initially heard of the shooting.

>> Mass shooting at Texas church: Live updates

“We were in the middle of our church service down the road when we got phone calls from friends about this,” he said.

“We had some first responders in our church who immediately left and went down there. And then my church went to do what we do: We started praying for everybody and everything that was going on.”

>> Watch the interview here

According to Buford, it was important that the “professional people [could] deal with what they needed to deal with there.”

Buford’s congregation demonstrated the spirit of people jumping into action during a crisis.

“We’re all friends and family here, because this is a very small, close-knit community.”

>> Read more trending news

Twenty-six people were killed in the shooting. The suspected gunman was later identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley of New Braunfels, according to multiple news reports. Kelley died of a gunshot wound after fleeing the scene in a vehicle, according to the Washington Post.

Girl Scouts say not to force your kids to hug relatives this holiday season

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 6:24 PM

A Girl Scouts story says parents should not force their daughters to hug relatives and others if they do not want to do so.
Jonathan Kirn/Getty Images
A Girl Scouts story says parents should not force their daughters to hug relatives and others if they do not want to do so.(Jonathan Kirn/Getty Images)

A parenting story on the Girl Scouts of the United States of America website is discouraging parents from forcing their daughters to hug relatives at holiday gatherings -- and any time during the year.

Titled, “Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays,” the Nov. 2 article says encouraging young girls to go give a relative a hug or kiss as a greeting can lead to compromised views of consent.

“Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she ‘owes’ another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life,” the article said.

>> Read more trending news

Girl Scouts parenting expert and developmental psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald explained the impact of telling young girls, “Go give your relative a big hug!” or “Give them a big kiss!”

“The notion of consent may seem very grown-up and like something that doesn’t pertain to children, but the lessons girls learn when they’re young about setting physical boundaries and expecting them to be respected last a lifetime, and can influence how she feels about herself and her body as she gets older,” Archibald said.

Archibald said that unfortunately, people who prey on children exist and young girls need to be taught at an early age what consent means and how to get help if their rights are violated.

Comments on the organization’s Facebook post of the article were mixed.

“No girl is going to seriously think she has to get physical with a guy to be polite, just because she had to give Aunt Betty a hug at Christmas when she was little,” one woman wrote.

“Our kids deserve to decide what they do with their own bodies,” one mother commented. “Forcing them to give hugs takes that away from them. Sure, teach kids to be respectful. But give them choices for how they show affection.”

“Please,You have gone overboard. One, no one MAKES a child gives a hug. Two, Don't assume physical affection leads to negative behavior,” a self-identified senior scout wrote.

“Of course we all want our kids to be loving and kind,” another mother wrote. “But doing something that doesn’t feel right to them just because an adult wants you to is wrong.”

“Boys don't owe hugs either. I only ‘made’ my kids hug and kiss my dad 1x...it was the day before he died...other than that, never have made them hug or kiss anyone if they weren’t wanting to,” another Facebook user commented.

The Girl Scouts story says that the placement of boundaries isn’t meant for children to be rude, but that a high-five, a wave, or a “hello” or “thank you” can be alternatives to hugs and kisses. The organization also says that if a child decides to show affection in a hug or kiss on their own accord, that’s fine -- as long as it’s her decision. 

Black Friday 2017: What to buy, what to avoid

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 11:35 AM

Black Friday 2017 Deals

On Black Friday, you’ll want to know which items to stand in line for, and which items to buy after the holiday season has passed. You can end up saving a lot of money (and time) by shopping smart as you weave your way through the crowds or shop online.

What to buy on Black Friday:

Home appliances  They may not be the sexiest of gifts, but small and large home appliances often are priced to sell on Black Friday. From electric mixers and coffeemakers to refrigerators and dishwashers, Bankrate.com says it’s worth checking out the deals on these items on Black Friday.

Televisions (basic models): While some analysts say January, leading up to the Super Bowl, is the best time to find a television at a good price, there are still plenty of TV deals on Black Friday. Keep in mind that lower-end models tend to be priced the most competitively, making Black Friday the perfect time to pick up a television for a second bedroom or the kids’ room. If you are looking for a high-end television, it’s better to wait until after Black Friday.

Mainstream laptops and tablets: Shoppers will find many basic laptop models at bargain-basement prices on Black Friday. Power users looking for good deals on high-end laptops should wait until after Black Friday.
The same logic applies to tablets. There will be plenty of Black Friday doorbusters featuring basic tablet models; just don’t expect steep discounts on iPads.

Gaming system bundles: Nerdwallet says gaming system bundles should receive good discounts on Black Friday. In years past, gaming system bundles have been priced up to $50 off the regular price on Black Friday.
 
What not to buy on Black Friday:

Furniture: The furniture sales cycle resets in the summer, so if you wait until Black Friday, you won’t be getting the best deals, according to The Street. And while buying outdoor furniture in winter might seem like a wise plan, retail experts say most of that merchandise has been removed from the floor to make room for holiday items by Black Friday, so you won’t find great deals on the remaining products. 

Toys: Unless your child is hoping for one of this year’s hottest toys, it’s actually better to wait until Cyber Monday or early December to shop for toys, according to Bankrate.com. The toy that is priced up to half-off on Black Friday may end up being priced up to 75 percent off if you wait.

Winter clothes: Avoid spending your shopping money on winter clothing during Black Friday, because it generally sells at a much deeper discount soon after the holiday season ends. 

Workout equipment: You might think that the best time to purchase workout equipment is during Black Friday, but the biggest deals on fitness equipment actually take place right after the turn of the new year.

Tools: You can still get your husband that tool set he’s been wanting for Christmas, just wait to purchase it until December, when tools and equipment sell for the largest discounts.

Gift cards: There are rarely good deals on gift card purchases on Black Friday. The Street says this is because gift cards are the gift choice of procrastinators, so wait until just before Christmas to score better deals.
 
Holiday decor: Although you might want to buy a few special ornaments or decorations for your house on Black Friday, plan ahead by purchasing next year’s décor right after Christmas, when seasonal items are sold at clearance prices.

Servicemen help pregnant widow of fallen comrade with Veterans Day gender reveal

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 6:42 AM

VIDEO: Widow Honors Late Military Husband In Veterans Day Gender Reveal

A military widow got some help from her late husband’s comrades in revealing the gender of the couple’s baby.

>> Watch the video here

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ryan Lohrey was killed in a military plane crash in Mississippi. The plane was heading from North Carolina to Arizona for a military training, WECT reports.

Ryan had tied the knot with his wife, Cassie, just one month before his death on July 10.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Soldiers help with gender reveal for widow of fallen comrade 

“Our wedding was June 3,” said Cassie. “Just to think your life had completely turned upside down in 24 hours, just nothing you would ever expect.”

Cassie found out she was pregnant just days after Ryan’s July 31 memorial service.

Though she was heartbroken over the loss of her husband, Cassie was excited to welcome a baby.

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

“I knew Ryan wouldn’t leave me alone,” Cassie told CNN. “He wanted me to have a piece of him forever.”

She asked his team members to visit on Veterans Day to help with a gender reveal.

“I wanted to honor her daddy on this special day,” Cassie said. “Veterans Day is a big deal for us every year, but this year it’s extra special.”

Photos and video shared by SaralynJ Photography on Facebook show at least 17 of Ryan’s comrades surrounding Cassie.

>> See the photos here

I was asked to do my first gender reveal photoshoot and what an honor it was to be included in such an important and...

Posted by SaralynJ Photography on Sunday, November 12, 2017
 

The Marine and Navy corpsmen released tubes of pink confetti, revealing the exciting news that Cassie was expecting a baby girl.

“There was a lot of crying, a lot of yelling and a lot of hugging,” said photographer Saralyn Johnson told CNN.

>> Read more trending news 

CNN reports the baby girl will be named Ryan Jo Lohrey. She will arrive in March 2018.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the soon-to-be single mom. If you’d like to donate, click here.

>> Watch the news report here

KPTV - FOX 12

Denver passes bill banning cat declawing

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 7:03 PM

Denver City Council has passed a bill that bans surgery that declaws cats.
Putu Sayoga/Getty Images/Getty Images
Denver City Council has passed a bill that bans surgery that declaws cats.(Putu Sayoga/Getty Images/Getty Images)

A proposed bill that would ban declawing cats was unanimously passed at a Denver City Council meeting in Colorado on Monday.

WUSA reported that the ordinance is effective immediately.

>> Read more trending news

Declawing occurs in a procedure known as onychectomy. In the operation, an animal’s claws are removed and most or all of the last bone of each of the front toes of an animal is removed. Nerves, tendons and ligaments are severed. 

“Onychectomy is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery,” according to the American Veterinary Medical AssociationThe Humane Society of the United States says the effects of the surgery can include death of tissue, paw pain, infection, back pain, lameness and death. 

According to The Denver Post, practicing veterinarian Casara Andre said declawing can be performed in a way that prevents pain for the pet, although she opposes the surgery as a routine operation.

“A decision to declaw a cat is affected by many human and animal factors,” Andre said at a public hearing Nov. 6. “The well-being of the animal and their human family is best defended by providing owners with education about alternatives to declawing, appropriate training for family cats, and well-informed discussions between that pet owner and their veterinary medicine provider.”

Kirsten Butler, a veterinary technician, said she no longer participates in the procedures.

“Having run anesthesia on declaw procedures, I can tell you it is an awkward and disheartening feeling to keep something alive while it is mutilated in front of you,” she said at the hour-long hearing.

Eight cities in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have passed bans on declawing. Australia, Japan, Brazil, Israel and multiple countries in Europe also have similar bans.

Alternatives to declawing include regular trimming of cat’s claws, stable scratching posts around the home, soft plastic caps for the cat’s nails and a special tape that can deter cats from scratching furniture.