Mom accidentally bakes family’s Elf on a Shelf, hilarity, heartbreak ensue

Published: Thursday, December 21, 2017 @ 2:23 PM

Children Devastated After Mom "Accidentally" Tortures "Elf on the Shelf"

A Texas woman found herself going viral this week after she forgot her children’s Elf on a Shelf in the oven and subjected him to a gruesome, melty death.

Brittany Mease told her colorful tale Monday on Facebook, where about 72,000 people commented on the mishap. As of Thursday morning, more than 141,000 people had shared her post.   

Mease wrote that when she brought the elf, named Elfis, out of storage on Dec. 1, she dreaded the task of finding different adventures on which to send him each day.

“Y’all know I can’t stand doing Elf on the Shelf, but I suck it up every year and do it to see those precious smiles on my beautiful children’s faces,” Mease wrote

She had a brilliant idea to get out of moving him each day. She put a cast on the elf’s leg and left a note for her kids to find that said Elfis broke his leg when he tripped on toys they left lying around the house.

She wrote that Doc McStuffins, a favorite children’s television show character, patched Elfis up, but that the elf needed bedrest for 14 days.

“Mom win, right?” Mease wrote. “I just got a free pass to not worry about moving that creepy guy for TWO WEEKS!”

Read Mease’s entire tale in the Facebook post below. Warning: The post includes colorful language that may be offensive to some readers.

The trouble began when her children, Graysen and Ily, noticed that Elfis had been on bedrest for longer than two weeks, Mease wrote. When the kids weren’t looking, she grabbed Elfis off the kitchen counter and tossed him in the oven, planning to deal with him later.

Then life happened, and Gray ended up hospitalized for several days. Mease told Mom.me that doctors believe he developed rheumatic fever following a strep infection in his throat. 

In the chaos, Mease forgot about Elfis. 

Until lunchtime on Monday, when her kids wanted leftover pasta -- baked in the oven.

“I preheated the oven and started cleaning the kitchen,” Mease wrote. “About four minutes later, I started to smell something REALLY funky, and that’s when all hell broke loose and I broke my son’s heart.”

Mease wrote that she and a visiting friend were talking and, mid-conversation, she realized what the smell was.

“I yelled, ‘(Expletive). The (expletive) elf is in the oven!’” she wrote. 

She and her friend began frantically trying to rescue Elfis, and that’s when Gray walked in. 

“Gray came in the kitchen with excitement (literally the happiest I think I’ve seen him since he got out of the hospital), thinking our elf was back, but his world fell apart as we were using kitchen utensils to get our burnt and melting elf out of the (expletive) oven,” Mease wrote

>> Read more trending news

Photos Mease posted show the horrific aftermath, during which Elfis was hung up on the metal oven rack, scorched and misshapen. 

Gray was heartbroken, Mease wrote. Ily, on the other hand, laughed and said she was glad that Santa’s favorite snitch could no longer tattle on her if she misbehaved. 

Mease was left scrambling to find the spare elf she bought last year.

“Then I have to call Santa (in front of the kids) and ask him if he will please pick Elfis up tonight,” Mease wrote. “Ya know, since he is unable to make it to the North Pole to get fixed because his head literally popped off…and his feet are completely melted off.

“(Expletive) this Elf on a Shelf (expletive). Wish me luck. Let’s see how I get myself outta this one.”

Mease on Tuesday updated her friends, saying she found the extra elf -- which she bought last year when she misplaced Elfis. She wrote that she was torn about what to do.

“Do I let our Elfis tradition go out in flames or have Santa’s magic bring him back?” she asked. 

Ultimately, Mease decided that Santa should repair Elfis’ wounds and return him to their home. He even delivered Elfis to their home himself.

“As much as I despise this freaking elf, Santa has returned Elfis and I have committed to more days of moving the creepy thing,” she wrote. “Christmas magic is real! Merry Christmas, everyone!”

The response to Mease’s predicament was strong, and sometimes it was as hilarious as Elfis’ oven mishap. One person organized a candlelight vigil for Elfis.

Others shared tales of their own Elf on a Shelf struggles. 

Mease, an Army veteran, is using her newfound notoriety to raise awareness of Chiari malformation, a congenital defect in which a portion of a person’s brain protrudes out of the skull and into the spinal column.

Mease’s daughter was born with the condition and has survived three brain surgeries to alleviate symptoms. The single mother writes about Ily’s fight against the illness, as well as epilepsy, a sensory processing disorder and other health issues, on a Facebook page called Ily to Infinity

She wrote that she has been strengthened by the messages and care from other parents all over the world who have children fighting the same illnesses that affect her daughter. 

Mease also wrote that her children have come up with a plan to keep Elfis safe in the future. Gray decided that the elf should return to the exact same spot each night so he doesn’t get killed again.

“Gray is glad to have his Elfis back and Ily’s a little salty, but she’ll be alright,” Mease wrote. “I plan on keeping both elves and using them as Christmas ornaments in the future, when (the kids) are older.

“I cannot let a funny mishap be forgotten.”

Amazon debuts cashier-less Amazon Go store in downtown Seattle

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:57 PM

Amazon's New Grocery Store Skips the Lines

More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon opened its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store in Seattle Monday.

The store on the bottom floor of Amazon’s headquarters billed itself as grocery shopping for the future. It has no registers and no cashiers.

>> Read more trending news 

Shoppers have to download the Amazon Go app to scan to get in the door. Once they are inside, the store tracks what they buy through cameras and shelf sensors.

Anything a shopper takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything put back is taken out of the cart.

Once shopping in finished, you just walk out the door. You will get a receipt in your app about five minutes later.

The system works by combining computer vision and machine-learning algorithms and sensors.

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 22: Shoppers enter and check out with purchases at the Amazon Go, on January 22, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. After more than a year in beta Amazon opened the cashier-less store to the public. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The Associated Press reported there are people there making food, stocking shelves and helping customers. The store offers ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, as well as some grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese and chocolates. It'll also have Amazon Meal Kits.

KIRO spoke to some of the shoppers who were among the first to experience the store and they seemed to like what they saw.
“It will make it a lot quicker. The biggest reason you don’t want to go to the store is waiting in line so it’s pretty great," Betty Paschke, who lives in Seattle, said.

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 22: Shopper Ela Ustel walks through the Amazon Go store, on January 22, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. After more than a year in beta Amazon opened the cashier-less store to the public. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Tech expert Todd Bishop with Geekwire said the success of the store is yet to be seen and depends on how much the public is willing to let the business track their spending and accounts virtually.

“It basically treats people walking around a physical space exactly like people are tracked online currently,” Bishop saud.

Amazon Go had been open only to Amazon employees since December 2016 to test out the technology.

Acording to Amazon, there are no plans to open up more stores like the Seattle location.

Cigarette butt leads to arrest after robbery during Hurricane Irma

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:58 PM

Cassandra Taylor, 32, left, and Oscar Bravo, 25, right, were arrested and charged in several burglary cases in Florida, including one during the Hurricane Irma evacuation last fall. They were caught after DNA testing on a cigarette butt found at a crime scene.
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
Cassandra Taylor, 32, left, and Oscar Bravo, 25, right, were arrested and charged in several burglary cases in Florida, including one during the Hurricane Irma evacuation last fall. They were caught after DNA testing on a cigarette butt found at a crime scene.(Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)

A cigarette butt left at a home that was burglarized during Hurricane Irma led to the arrest of a Florida woman and her alleged accomplice, sheriff officials said.

>> Read more trending news

Cassandra Taylor, 32, was arrested after deputies said she burglarized and ransacked a DeLeon Springs home on Billings Avenue in Volusia County last Sept. during the emergency evacuation caused by Hurricane Irma.

The victim told deputies they’d evacuated their home ahead of Irma on Sept. 9 and when he returned home he found couches in the living room overturned and sliced open, his bedroom drawers opened and several items missing from the house. 

Among the stolen items were six purses, 31 pairs of jeans, six pairs of sneakers, 50 chair covers, a DVD player and a piggy bank full of money. 

Deputies couldn't figure out who committed the burglary until investigators received information during a different burglary investigation that Taylor and another possible suspect may have burglarized the home. 

Investigators recently received DNA results from a cigarette butt found on the bedroom floor, which matched Taylor. 

Sheriff officials said Taylor confessed to the burglary. 

Because the incident occurred during a state of emergency, Taylor faces an enhanced charge of burglary to a dwelling during a state of emergency, as well as a charge of grand theft.

>> Related: Police: 4 children shot at park near Florida high school

Deputies said Oscar Bravo, 25, was arrested Sunday evening and was also charged with burglary.

Man dumped body of wife who never returned from Graceland trip, investigators say

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:33 AM

Investigators Say Man Dumped Body Of Wife Who Never Returned From Graceland Trip

The story of an Ohio woman who allegedly died during a trip to Graceland has taken another surprising twist.

>> Read more trending news

Phillip Snider, the husband at the center of the investigation, told investigators in Benton County, Tennessee that he dumped his wife’s body in the Tennessee River, according to WBBJ.

Phillip and his wife, Roberta, left their Ohio home to visit Graceland, but she never came home. He told police his wife was in poor health and this was supposed to be their last trip.

Phillip Snider originally told police his wife died of natural causes in a hotel parking lot across from Graceland. He said they found an ambulance nearby and emergency workers told him they were taking her to a hospital.

However, there is no record of her body in Tennessee, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Phillip didn’t know the name of the ambulance company or the hospital. As he returned home to Ohio, his story was brought into question.

Investigators in both Tennessee and Ohio have been trying to piece together the mystery.
In an interview with WBBJ, Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher revealed a conversation between Phillip Snider and investigators.

“He says he put her body in plastic and disposed of her body over this bridge,” Christopher told the Jackson-based TV station.

The sheriff said Phillip claims his wife had cancer and died “somewhere in Kentucky.” He allegedly continued to Memphis, stayed the night and dumped her body in the Tennessee River on the way home.

Roberta Snider’s body has not been recovered.

Investigators said Phillip could face charges.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

5 missing after natural gas well catches fire in Oklahoma

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 2:26 PM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:24 PM

Smoke billows from the site of a gas well fire near Quinton, Okla., early Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Several people are missing after a fiery explosion ripped through the eastern Oklahoma drilling rig, sending plumes of black smoke into the air and leaving a derrick crumpled onto the ground, an emergency official said. (Kevin Harvison/The McAlester News-Capital via AP)
Kevin Harvison/AP
Smoke billows from the site of a gas well fire near Quinton, Okla., early Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Several people are missing after a fiery explosion ripped through the eastern Oklahoma drilling rig, sending plumes of black smoke into the air and leaving a derrick crumpled onto the ground, an emergency official said. (Kevin Harvison/The McAlester News-Capital via AP)(Kevin Harvison/AP)

Five workers were missing Monday after a natural gas well exploded and caught fire in Oklahoma, sending out a smoke plume that could be seen for miles.

>> Read more trending news

Pittsburg County emergency managers and the county sheriff confirmed around 9 a.m. local time that an explosion and fire took place at a well in Quinton.

Air Care McAlester officials confirmed that at least one person was injured in the fire. The person, whose condition was not immediately known, was taken by helicopter to a Tulsa hospital.

Officials said 17 other employees were able to safely leave the area. The well is a natural gas and oil well. 

Emergency officials said Monday they were letting the fire burn itself out and were fighting any flames that went beyond a perimeter they established. 

Officials said the public was safe from contaminates and that there was no need for evacuations. 

The well is owned by oil drilling company Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., employees confirmed. In a statement, company officials said they were unaware of what caused the fire.

“We have received reports that some of our employees and others are unaccounted for at this time,” the statement said. “Our top priority is the safety of our employees and any others who may be affected. We've activated our emergency response systems and are fully cooperating with first responders and authorities on the scene. We will provide more details as they are known.”

FOX23 storm chasers in the area spotted the smoke plume from the fire miles away.

Workers on the rig were evacuated and sent to the Quinton Community Center for a head count. 

Grief counselors and religious leaders were offering support to families and workers on Monday. The American Red Cross was also working to help first responders as they worked to contain the fire.

Fire crews were also searching woods for anyone that may have run from the scene.