Female captain makes military history as she takes command of Changing the Guard ceremony

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 7:23 AM

Canadian Captain Megan Couto, right, makes history by becoming the first female Captain of the Queen's Guard as she takes part in the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, Monday, June 26, 2017. Couto and her unit, The Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI), known as
Canadian Captain Megan Couto, right, makes history by becoming the first female Captain of the Queen's Guard as she takes part in the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, Monday, June 26, 2017. Couto and her unit, The Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI), known as "The Patricia's", took part in the ceremony Monday to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Canada and the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)(Matt Dunham/AP)

A 24-year-old woman from Canada made history when she took command of the ceremonial Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, CTV News reported.

Capt. Megan Couto is the first woman to be put in charge of the iconic ceremony.

Couto is a member of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. It’s also known as “The Patricia’s.”

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Normally the British Army forms the Queen’s Guard, but Queen Elizabeth II has invited Canadians to take part in honor of the country’s 150th birthday, CTV News reported.

Until July 3, Canadian soldiers are being permitted to take their place as sentries at the royal residences.

This isn’t the first time a woman has led the Queen’s Guard, but Couto is the first female infantry officer to do so. Women were not permitted to serve in frontline combat roles until July 2016, CTV News reported. Women have been allowed to serve in the infantry since the 1980s, The Associated Press reported.

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Man who says he lost vision after staring at eclipse issues warning to sky watchers

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 6:13 AM

How To Safely Watch A Solar Eclipse

An Oregon man doesn’t want what happened to him to happen to who will watch next week’s solar eclipse.

Lou Tomososki was watching a partial eclipse in 1962, KGW reported. He told his friend who was watching the show in the sky with him, “If you stare at it long enough the brightness goes away.”

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Later that evening, Tomososki and his friend were having vision problems and both are still having issues 55 years later.

A doctor told Tomososki that he burned his retina during the eclipse in 1962, KGW reported.

Now the blurry vision in his right eye won’t go away.

Will what happened 55 years ago keep Tomososki from watching Monday’s eclipse? He said no, but he’ll won’t be looking at the sky as it happens. Instead he’ll just watch it get dark outside, KGW reported.


Woman denied refund after dog bought at pet store died 11 days later

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 12:14 AM


A puppy purchased by a woman at a Petland store in Robinson, Pennsylvania, died just 11 days later.

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Megan Ritchae said she bought Luna at Petland and she died 11 days later of parvo, a contagious virus that mainly affects dogs.

Ritchae claims the owner and staff sent her a sympathy card, offering to refund the money she paid for the dog and the veterinarian bills.

They also gave Ritchae a certificate for a new dog – all in writing.

The owner said he mailed out a check in late July.

Ritchae said she was supposed to receive the check before the end of the month, but did not get it until Aug. 15 – nearly three weeks later.

When she went to cash the check, she said it did not work because Petland put a stop payment on it.

When WPXI visited that Petland store, the owner was not there. However, he did call to say Ritchae did not follow the warranty policy the store had.

The owner did not give any specifics on how she failed to follow the policy.

“I don’t want someone else to have to go through this,” Ritchae said.

The store owner also said he cancelled the check after he claimed Ritchae’s boyfriend threatened him.

Ritchae said that did not happen.

A spokesperson from the Petland corporate offices said that the Robinson location is independently owned and operated, but the company is trying to make things right.

“We are reaching out to the customer directly to try to provide a satisfactory resolution,” the spokesperson said.

That spokesperson said Ritchae will get the refund she was originally promised.

Although, Ritchae said it’s not about the money.

“I'm probably going to have to file civil action to receive my refunds,” she said. “The money is only part of it, it doesn’t come close to healing my broken heart.”

Upset father says his son was left on school bus for hours

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 8:37 PM

Father Says Son With Special Needs Left on Bus for Hours

A Cleveland father is upset after he says his son was left on the school bus for hours on his first day of classes.

WJW reported that Trevelle Hargrove’s 6-year-old son, Trevelle Jr.,  has special needs. Hargrove said his son fell asleep on the bus.

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Trevelle Jr.  said he was found after he honked the horn of the bus and jumped up and down.

A spokesperson for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District said Trevelle Jr. fell asleep on the bus Monday and was there for less than an hour. His father says otherwise.

“After an hour and they couldn't tell me what was going on I started to get extremely worried,” Hargrove told WJW. "I couldn't understand why no one could tell me where my son was.”

Hargrove said his son was back four hours later, at 6:30 p.m.

“You can’t just forget to do things,” he said. “This isn’t like a normal job where you forget to put the straw in the bag or you forget to clock in or whatever it is you do at a normal job. You can’t do that when it comes to kids.”

Hargrove said his son won’t be riding the bus again any time soon.

The district is is investigating. Cleveland Metropolitan Schools Chief Communications Officer Roseann Canfora issued the following statement to WJW:

“Drivers are trained to follow strict protocols for inspecting every seat at the beginning and end of their routes, and CMSD has a zero tolerance for any violation of these safety guidelines.”

The bus driver has resigned. WJW reported they may be terminated pending the outcome of the district’s investigation.

Florida police use 3 Tasers, baton, to arrest bar customer who says he was ‘just protecting’ himself

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 10:55 PM

Christopher Alan White says he
Christopher Alan White says he "didn't want to get hurt" and was protecting himself when police used a stun gun on him multiple times. Police attempted to arrest him after he allegedly punched a bouncer and skipped on his tab at a Florida bar.(ActionNewsJax.com)

Police in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, used a stun gun, a baton and four sets of handcuffs to arrest a man accused of punching a bouncer and walking out on his $235 bar tab on Sunday.

Facebook video of the incident outside Surfer The Bar is leading some to question why the use of force was necessary in the first place. Some viewers say Christopher Alan White did not appear combative when a Jacksonville Beach Police Department officer deployed the first stun gun.

White pulled the prongs off the first stun gun, seemingly unaffected.

“Stop doing that,” White can be heard saying in the video.

That comment led to a second stun gun deployment from a second officer as well as an attempted headlock, from which White wriggled free.

“I’m not fighting,” White said as an officer hit his thigh with a baton.

White swatted at the officer as he was hit.

A third officer deployed a third stun gun, which brought White to the ground.

The officer wrote in his report that he deployed that stun gun because White refused to give him his hand to be cuffed.

Crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said he does not believe that’s enough of a reason to use a stun gun on someone.

“Not when you have backup there and additional backup on the way. There’s not enough reason for you to Taser someone just because they won’t give you their hand, despite his size,” he said.

“I was just protecting myself. I didn't want to get hurt,” White told WJAX Wednesday.

According to White, he did not walk out on his tab, he did not punch anyone and he did not resist arrest.

He said a bartender got mad when fraud protection locked up his credit card.

“So she started yelling, ‘You need to pay your bill. You need to pay your bill.’ I said, ‘Ma’am, I have another card,’” White said.

According to a transaction on the second card, White appears to have paid his $235 tab, plus a $50 tip he said he didn’t authorize.

Related: Man stunned with Taser by Jacksonville Beach Police: ‘I was just protecting myself'

White said when he gave the bartender his second card, someone hit him in the head with a bottle, which is why he said he was disoriented when dealing with police.

“After that, I was stumbling and went outside. And I was trying to explain to the cop that, ‘Hey, I paid my tab and I was hit in the head with a bottle.’ And I couldn’t get a word in edgewise,” White said.

Witness Jon McGowan’s interpretation of the incident seems to contradict White’s response. 

“They had to actually drag him out. It took about four or five people to get him out of the bar. And during the time, he was very red-faced, screaming, yelling, swinging,” McGowan said, adding that White “threw a few punches in there.”

McGowan said police responded appropriately because White was “very violent in the bar” and “he had been violent outside as well.”

Deborah Deen, 62, a friend of White, said police threatened to stun her too.

“I was like, ‘Why did you do that?’ to one of the female officers. And she says, ‘Well, do you want to be next?’” Deen said.

Jacksonville Beach police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Crumley issued the following statement after declining an interview:

“In regards to the claims and allegations you said are coming from Mr. White’s Attorney, we have not received any communication from Mr. White, nor his attorney with these claims. Regardless, the incident is currently under an active review as a use of force by our officers. Anytime an officer from this agency uses any force, this process is followed, with or without internal or external complaints. Due to the ongoing investigation and review of this incident, we will not be making any statements until we ensure a complete and thorough investigation has been conducted. It is best that we not rush to judgment with any statements condemning or commending the officers and their actions. We will continue to gather all of the facts and review all of the evidence available in this case. Once a complete and thorough review of this incident is complete, the administration will then determine if the officers used force appropriately or if there is need for further investigation into the matter. Thank you for understanding the seriousness of the allegations you have laid out and the need for a complete and thorough investigation into this matter.”

Court records in Putnam County, where White lives, show he has no prior criminal cases there, just traffic and civil cases.