Coyote snatches Florida woman’s dog right in front of her in yard

Published: Friday, July 14, 2017 @ 8:17 PM

Neighbors in a Florida community are taking extra precautions after a woman's dog (pictured) was snatched by a coyote right in front of her.
Neighbors in a Florida community are taking extra precautions after a woman's dog (pictured) was snatched by a coyote right in front of her.

A family in The Villages community just outside Ocala, Florida, is distraught after their dog was attacked and taken from them by a coyote in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

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Witnesses said the dog, Bailey, was in the yard with her owner when a coyote came out of the bushes across the street, grabbed the dog and ran off.

“That shouldn’t happen to anybody’s animal,” neighbor Cindy Evans said. “That little dog was so precious. It was kind of like, the neighborhood mascot, and everyone loved it.”

The owner’s other dog, Pita, was a few feet away but wasn’t harmed.

“I ran outside immediately, thinking that the dog was just injured. When I got outside, unfortunately, I learned it had been carried away,” Evans said.

Bailey’s owners were too distraught to talk about what happened, but wanted to get their story out to warn other pet owners about the threat of coyotes so they can take precautions.

Neighbors said Bailey was 3 years old and weighed around 14 pounds. 

“She was part Boston terrier and Chihuahua, and she was a decent-size animal. I can't imagine an animal being large enough to carry off a pet that size that quickly. So it had to be something strong and sizeable,” Evans said.

Neighbors said there have been other coyote encounters on the same street.

Now, the community is taking extra precautions

“We’re going out with sticks and flashlights, sirens or whistles or anything to try and scare them off,” neighbor Audrey White said.

Texas judge interrupts jury, says God told him defendant is not guilty

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:44 PM

Texas Judge Says God Told Him Defendant is Not Guilty

Comal County judge said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.

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Judge Jack Robison apologized to jurors for the interruption but defended his actions by telling them, “When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,” according to the Herald-Zeitung, in New Braunfels.

The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison. They found her not guilty of a separate charge of sale or purchase of a child.

Robison, who also presides in Hays County, did not respond to a message left with his court coordinator, Steve Thomas, who said the case is pending.

The Herald-Zeitung reported that Robison recused himself before the trial’s sentencing phase and was replaced by Judge Gary Steele. The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial but was denied.

Robison’s actions could trigger an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which has disciplined Robison in the past.

In 2011, the commission slapped Robison with a private reprimand for improperly jailing a Caldwell County grandfather who had called him a fool for a ruling Robison made in a child custody case involving the man’s granddaughter.

The reprimand, the commission’s harshest form of rebuke, said Robison “exceeded the scope of his authority and failed to comply with the law” by jailing the man for contempt of court without a hearing or advance notice of the charge.

Texas boy battles brain infection doctors say was caused by flu

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:11 PM

Flu Causes Brain Infection in Texas Boy

Witten Ramirez is fighting for his life after doctors said he contracted a brain infection caused by the flu.

Witten’s mother, Desiree, said that the whole family had the flu last week, but the 8-year-old had it worse than the others, KXAS reported.

She said he was sleeping too much and stumbled when he walked.

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To be safe, Desiree took him to the emergency room, thinking that he might be having a reaction to medication. 

Instead, testing found that somehow the flu had caused an infection in his brain, which was attacking the part of the brain that controls movement.

Witten now cannot walk, sit, stand or talk, Desiree told KXAS.

Neurologists said the infection is called cerebellitis, an inflammatory process that can be a complication from the flu in rare cases with no risk factors.

“You can have otherwise seemingly healthy individuals whose bodies handle flu in such a way to lead to a neurologic complication, which is why we spend so much time focusing on prevention,” Dr. Benjamin Greenberg told KXAS.

Prevention, Greenberg said, is the flu vaccine.

Witten’s mother said her son didn’t get a flu shot this year as he had in previous years.

Children can recover from cerebellitis, but doing so will involve rehabilitation, which is already planned for Witten, KXAS reported

How an Ohio woman lost 125 pounds

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:39 PM

When Christina Littleton weighed 284 pounds she decided enough was enough. A little over two years later she was lean and toned. (Photo: daytondailynews.com)
When Christina Littleton weighed 284 pounds she decided enough was enough. A little over two years later she was lean and toned. (Photo: daytondailynews.com)

New Year’s resolutions can begin in any month of the year. August 2015 is when a success story started for Springboro resident Christina Littleton.

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Although athletic and thin during her younger years, her father’s passing from pancreatic cancer in 1999 left her reeling emotionally. She gained a lot of weight, met her husband, Jason, got married, got pregnant, and gained more weight.

“The summer of 2015 I was having too much fun, and eating too much. In August I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, ‘Who is this person?’” said Littleton, who weighed 284 pounds at that point. “I was determined that I was going to do this, so I took a picture of myself.”

The wedding photographer had been going to Weight Watchers on and off before, but this time she stuck with her weekly meetings at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springboro. One and a half years later, she was down 115 pounds. It took her almost eight months to lose that last 10 pounds. The 5-foot-6-inch woman is now a fit and toned 159.

“Your main goal is to go in and lose weight. But there are things that you gain,” said Littleton, whose daughter, Ava, will be 11 next month. “Going through the journey I’ve learned to change my mindset. Before, I would secretly pick myself apart in the mirror. I didn’t want Ava to see that.”

She’d been very active when she was younger, with tennis, softball and running.

“So now I’m back to that side of me; being competitive. Developing more confidence in myself and taking more risks in my personal and professional life,” said Littleton, 40. “I completed a half-marathon in Nashville last year.”

She is teaching one weekly spin class, which will soon become two at the Coffman YMCA. In honor of her father, she participates in the 5K PanCan Run (fighting to end pancreatic cancer) in Kettering every year. She also runs on the treadmill.

The weight loss has an added bonus of giving her more energy to last through those long days with her camera equipment.

“I would be on my feet for hours; 12 hours from start to finish to photograph a wedding. I remember taking 800 milligrams of Motrin, and then again in the middle of the day just to get through it,” Littleton said. “And now I work out before a wedding.”

One of the reasons she has succeeded this time is her husband, who has always been supportive.

“There are so many programs out there, and just find one that works for you. Just create new habits,” Littleton said. “Instead of reaching for a bag of chips, you reach for an apple instead. You need to re-train your brain in the way you eat.”

In addition to her running and spin classes, she varies her workout sessions. She lifts weights, powers through a TRX core-based workout and does PiYo, a fast-paced yoga.

Lauren MacDonald, the instructor of the Weight Watcher’s group that Littleton has been attending, has a story of her own. She lost 110 pounds on the program, reaching her goal in 2012. She had some good words to say about her star pupil.

“She has done a amazing job. She’s stuck with it. A lot of people come and go, but she’s very motivational and inspirational to others,” said MacDonald, a Miamisburg resident who also works as a teacher.

MacDonald’s classes run twice a week at the Covenant Presbyterian Church at 415 N. Main St., Springboro. There’s an 8 a.m. meeting on Saturdays and a 6 p.m. meeting on Mondays.

L’Oreal features first hijab-wearing model in major hair campaign, sparking controversy online

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:07 PM

Amena Khan, center, is the face of a new, history-making campaign for L'Oreal Paris.
Handout/Prince's Trust/L'Oreal via Getty
Amena Khan, center, is the face of a new, history-making campaign for L'Oreal Paris.(Handout/Prince's Trust/L'Oreal via Getty)

L’Oreal Paris made history when it featured model Amena Khan in its new hair product campaign.

Khan, a British beauty blogger, model and co-founder of Ardere Cosmetics, is the first hijab-wearing model to star in a hair campaign for a major international brand.

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She revealed the video campaign to her more than 570,000 Instagram followers last week, calling it a “game changing” project. 

On Twitter, L’Oreal and Khan received their share of praise and backlash. 

In an interview with Vogue UK published Sunday, Khan lauded the European brand for its commitment to inclusion. “They're literally putting a girl in a headscarf — whose hair you can't see — in a hair campaign ... because what they're really valuing through the campaign is the voices that we have,” Khan said.

Related: Muslim women support Nike as backlash over sports hijab sparks #BoycottNike

"You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women that don't show their hair don't look after it?" she said. "The opposite of that would be that everyone that does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence. Hair is a big part of self-care.”

On Twitter, L’Oreal and Khan received their share of praise and backlash

The campaign reignited a controversial discussion about the hijab, with many arguing that the garment promotes oppression of women.

Last March, when Nike announced its new sports hijab, many Muslim women defended their choice to wear the hijab.

Muslim feminist Hanna Yusuf has also addressed critics of the hijab in the past and said that wearing hers is a feminist statement. 

“In a world where a woman’s value is often reduced to her sexual allure, what could be more empowering than rejecting that notion?” she said in a video for The Guardian.

But, Yusuf said, her concern with the hijab being unfairly portrayed as oppression is not a denial of the fact that some women are forced to wear it in some parts of the world.

Related: Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad’s new Barbie doll is the first to wear a hijab

Still, some users felt that including a hijab-wearing model to promote hair products was “#pointless” or was just the company's attempt to make a statement.

Khan was also criticized for some of her previous tweets, in which she referred to Israel as a “sinister state.” Those tweets have since been deleted.

For reference, President Donald Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an action that the United Nations voted to condemn.

For decades, the U.S. has remained silent on the issue, amid warnings from world leaders concerned that such a declaration “could inflame tensions in the volatile Mideast,” The New York Times reported. The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967, for their capital.