Boy thrives one year after double hand transplant

Published: Thursday, August 25, 2016 @ 1:48 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2016 @ 1:48 AM


            Zion Harvey, center, who received a double hand transplant in July 2015, shakes hands with a health care worker as his mother Pattie Ray, left, smiles during a news conference Aug. 23, 2016 at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia.
            Dake Kang
Zion Harvey, center, who received a double hand transplant in July 2015, shakes hands with a health care worker as his mother Pattie Ray, left, smiles during a news conference Aug. 23, 2016 at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia.(Dake Kang)

A 9-year-old boy is thriving one year after becoming the world’s first double hand transplant recipient.

>> Click here to watch the news report

When Zion Harvey was just 2 years old, he lost both his hands and legs to a deadly infection.

In July 2015, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia successfully transplanted two new hands to Zion.

>> Child who had double hand transplant throws out MLB first pitch

After a year of grueling physical therapy, he’s now throwing baseballs, writing and playing Jenga.

“I’m very excited because now I can do more than I imagined, like throw a football, play baseball or, I don’t know, do a handstand,” Zion told NBC News. “So when I got my hands, it’s like, here’s the piece of my life that was missing. Now it’s here. Now my life is complete.”

>> Read more trending stories

The recovery process is long, but Zion has regained sensation in his hands, and his brain is re-learning how to use them. He says he couldn’t be more happy with the results.

“Before you quit and say, ‘I give up,’ try everything first,” Zion said.

Man accused of ‘marrying’ 11-year-old stepdaughter, holding her captive for 19 years

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 5:18 PM

Man Accused Of ‘Marrying’ 11-Year-Old Stepdaughter, Holding Her Captive For 19 Years

An Oklahoma man was arrested in Mexico earlier this month amid allegations that he “married” his 11-year-old stepdaughter in a van, abducted her and kept her captive as his “wife” for nearly 20 years. 

Henri Michele Piette, 62, is charged with first-degree rape, two counts of lewd molestation and child abuse by injury, according to Oklahoma court records. He was taken into custody Oct. 5 in Mexico, where he lived with the victim and their children for years after her alleged abduction. 

The Oklahoman reported that the now 33-year-old victim, Rosalynn Michelle McGinnis, is speaking out about her ordeal since returning to the United States. Court records show that McGinnis escaped captivity last year with eight of her nine children and found her way to a U.S. Embassy in Mexico, where she received help. 

Her oldest child, a boy, had already run away from the remote village in which they lived. McGinnis told People magazine in August that she has since been reunited with her son. 

Piette was still at large and under investigation by federal investigators when McGinnis first detailed her ordeal and subsequent escape. 

“I knew that if I didn’t get out of there, I’d either go insane or I would end up dying and leaving my kids with that man,” McGinnis told the magazine.

She alleged in her interview that she was raped, beaten, stabbed, choked and shot during her captivity.  

Piette, who has since been returned to Wagoner County for prosecution, told Fox23 News in Tulsa last week that he’s innocent. 

“Most of it are lies,” he told the news station as he shuffled into a courtroom for a hearing, surrounded by deputies. “Ninety-nine percent are lies. I’m telling the truth.”

He also denied raping McGinnis.

“I never raped any children. I made love to my wife,” Piette said. “We were married.”

McGinnis told investigators that Piette first raped her at the age of 11 at their home in Wagoner, the Oklahoman reported. He later “married” her in the back of a van, giving her a ring.

Piette’s son told FBI investigators in January that he performed the “ceremony” for his father. The son was 15 at the time.

McGinnis told People that her “marriage” to Piette took place the day before he legally married her mother. 

McGinnis’ mother later left Piette because of abuse in the home, the Oklahoman said. She and her daughter were living at a woman’s shelter in Poteau, about 100 miles southeast of Wagoner, when Piette abducted the girl in January 1997 from her new school. 

Piette introduced McGinnis to his children as their new mother, court records obtained by the newspaper showed. In the subsequent years, they moved frequently, living in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana and Idaho before moving on to Mexico.

“McGinnis stated that she was sexually assaulted multiple times a day almost every day while she was with Piette,” the court documents read.

>> Read more trending news

Piette would return to Oklahoma occasionally and make McGinnis mail letters from there so authorities would believe she was still living somewhere in the state, she told investigators. He also changed everyone’s names often to stay hidden.

McGinnis told People that, at the age of 18, she was forced by Piette to get her name and photo taken off national missing persons’ lists. 

“He parked three blocks down the road from the Phoenix Police Department, and he had three of my children,” she told the magazine. “He told me what to tell them. He said that if I didn’t come back within two hours, I would never see my children again.”

McGinnis said she walked into the police station and told officers that she had run away from home at 12 because her parents were drug addicts and that “nice people” had taken her in and raised her. Police, with no evidence to the contrary, were forced to believe her. 

She returned to Piette and her captivity, where she remained for another 13 years. In that time frame, she had another six children by her alleged abductor. 

Hostage shot by police nine times during bank robbery files lawsuit

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 11:57 PM

(FOX23.com)
(FOX23.com)

A woman taken hostage during a deadly bank robbery filed a lawsuit against a law enforcement agency for more than $75,000 after being injured. 

>> Read more trending news

Officers shot Julie Huff nine times while trying to take down Cedric Norris. Norris was supposed to be in prison in Texas when he robbed the Bank of Eufaula. 

Norris walked into the bank and shot and killed Randy Peterson. He shot another employee and then took Huff, who had been in the bank as a customer, as his hostage. 

Her attorneys say the gunfire from police left her disabled, unable to work and feeling that her quality of life had decreased. 

KOKI-TV tried to contact the defendants listed in the two lawsuits. Some have not returned calls, while others were advised not to comment on the pending litigation. 

Her attorneys sent the following statement:

Julie Huff was an innocent customer at the Bank of Eufaula when she was taken hostage. The Bank failed have proper security measures in place which caused her to be taken hostage and then severely injured. The Bank had multiple, unmonitored entrances and exits which encouraged this armed robbery. The Bank also failed to have an armed security guard which is in violation of proper banking standards. Further, the Law Enforcement officers knew Ms. Huff was an innocent hostage yet they deliberately shot her nine (9) times. Not one of the nine (9) bullets which hit Ms. Huff came from the kidnapper. All the bullets came from the law enforcement officers—one of whom shot her with an AR15. She was severely injured and has undergone many surgeries. Ms. Huff feels very lucky to be alive, but she has been permanently scarred and injured as a result of the failures of the Bank of Eufaula and the reckless and careless actions of law enforcement.

Some students getting paid to walk around Washington campus as digital billboards

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 11:14 PM

(KIRO7.com)
(KIRO7.com)

A start-up in Bellevue, Washington, has taken the concept of billboards, made it digital, and a lot smaller. Nomad has launched the product on college campuses around the country -- starting with the University of Washington.

>> Read more trending news

On the way to class on Monday, Derek Ishii made $15 on the University of Washington campus.
You’ve probably seen a human sandwich board before — those people who wear advertisements like a poncho. Think of Ishii as the millennial version of that.

“On my way to class, I just open up the app, click the start advertising button,” Derek told us, showing us the iPad he straps to his backpack or his chest.
He’s a "nomad" — working for the Bellevue start-up with the same name.
Jonah Friedl, 23 — barely out of college himself — founded the company when a restaurant he worked for while attending Washington State University tasked him with developing a unique strategy to attract student customers.
“If we want to put people on campus, put these representatives on campus — it’s really hard to do that — hard to track, hard to manage," Friedl said. "So we thought we could build some technology to help us out with that."
Here’s how it works: A brand like KIRO 7 will advertise on the screen. The nomad then wears the screen around campus. Due to sensors in the screen, the company can tell which areas they go to and how many interactions they have.
Then, Friedl tracks it.
“This shows density of exposure -- where they’re getting the most impressions,” he told us, showing us a map of the University of Washington campus on his computer, with areas highlighted like weather radar.
Sometimes impressions mean handing out a coupon card with a code, seeing how many are redeemed -- “and then correlate sales or app downloads and attribute that to Nomad,” Friedl said.

The nomads themselves — mostly college students — can lease an iPad from Nomad (the company) or use their own. Like rideshare drivers, they “walk” when they want to, with some limitations.
“Obviously 1 a.m. on a Monday isn’t very valuable, so we can kind of control when they’re out there and when it’s available to them,” Friedl said.

Ishii does it every day — he says — because getting paid to walk to class is what’s paying for class.

“Most of the financial responsibility is on me for paying for college,” Ishii concluded.

Georgia has Airbnb's most desired rental property in the world

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 9:56 PM

Buckhead Tree House in Atlanta was recently named
Buckhead Tree House in Atlanta was recently named "AirBnB's #1 most wished-for listing worldwide."(Courtesy of Buckhead Tree House)

Treehouses. People want to stay in treehouses.

>> Read more trending news

Airbnb, the online home rental site, recently released its top wish-listed destinations and properties for October, and treehouses were at the top. 

As Airbnb put it, "A penchant for fantasy is evident when examining the most Wish Listed properties by type. The adventure of an outdoor treehouse is by far the most popular type of property on Wish Lists."

The most desired of those desired treehouses, based on the frequency with which active listings appear on people's wish lists, is one in Atlanta.

Hidden away in Buckhead, there are three connected treehouse rooms that rent for $375 a night, with a two-night minimum.

The living room, bedroom and deck are connected by rope bridges. The bathroom is in the main house, a 30-second walk away.

The first vacancy, according to the Airbnb listing, is in March.

Other desired treehouse locations include this one in Italy and this one, which has a pool, in Bali.

Maybe treehouses aren't your thing. In that case, check out the Seashell House in Mexico or this "Pirates of the Caribbean" getaway in California.