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Boy Scouts to let girls join, earn Eagle Scout rank

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 @ 3:13 PM

FILE - In this Monday, May 29, 2017 file photo, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts salute during a Memorial Day ceremony in Linden, Mich. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
Jake May/The Flint Journal - MLive.com via AP
FILE - In this Monday, May 29, 2017 file photo, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts salute during a Memorial Day ceremony in Linden, Mich. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.(Jake May/The Flint Journal - MLive.com via AP)

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that it will allow girls to be part of its Cub Scouts programs beginning next year.

The new rule will set up separate Cub Scout dens, made up of either all boys or all girls. A den is made up of six to eight children. Cub Scout dens make up the larger group, a Cub Scout pack.

Packs will have the option to either remain single-gender or have girls and boys in the larger group together, according to Boy Scouts of America leaders.

The plan was unanimously approved by the Boy Scouts board of directors.

"The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls," Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. "The organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who've never been involved in Scouting -- to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children."

Boy Scouts of America also announced a plan for older girls that will use the same curriculum used by the Boy Scouts and will allow for girls to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouts must earn at least 21 merit badges to be eligible for the honor.
In explaining the decision, the board said it took the realities of a busy family life into consideration.

"Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing," the Boy Scouts of America statement said.

"We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children," said Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts.

The decision comes after the group was slammed by the president of the Girl Scouts, who claimed Boy Scouts of America had instituted a “covert campaign to recruit girls.”

According to the Boy Scouts of America website, three groups make up the organization: Cub Scouts, which is for children in first through fifth grades; Boy Scouts, which is for youth 11-17 years old and Venturing, which is a coed program for young adults ages 13 through 20.

Boy Scouts of America has about 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and about 960,000 volunteers in the United States and its territories. Earlier this year, Girl Scouts USA reported 1.5 million youth members.

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7-year-old cat who walked 12 miles to owners who gave him away finds forever family

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:10 PM

Toby, a 7-year-old FIV-positive cat, has found his forever family after his owners gave him to a county shelter to be euthanized. (Photo by SPCA of Wake County)
SPCA of Wake County
Toby, a 7-year-old FIV-positive cat, has found his forever family after his owners gave him to a county shelter to be euthanized. (Photo by SPCA of Wake County)(SPCA of Wake County)

A 7-year-old cat given away by his family walked 12 miles back home -- only to be given away again.

WRAL.com reported that, according to an April 4 Facebook post from the SPCA of Wake County, Toby, a fluffy orange and white cat, was given to another family but found his way back to his home.

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“When he arrived, he was met with heartbreak,” the post said. “The family he thought had loved him took him to a shelter and asked staff to euthanize him. The shelter called us at the SPCA to ask if we could take him in and help him find a new family. Of course we said YES!”

The animal shelter said it took Toby in from a county shelter at the end of February.

Toby was adopted by his new mom, Michele, on Friday the 13, SPCA of Wake County communications manager Tara Lynn said in a blog post.

“It’s funny. He’s very sweet, but he didn’t get along with his (feline) roommate,” Lynn told People Pets. “We thought he’d need to be adopted out as the only cat in a home, but his new family has two other cats and he’s fine with them. He’s just been through a lot and wasn’t settled yet.”

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

Lynn told People that she wasn’t sure if Toby, who is FIV-positive, was given up by his family because of his disease, but it didn’t seem to impact interest from potential adopters.

“It’s cool, people were interested in him despite his FIV,” Lynn said.

Toby’s life with his forever family is captured on his own Instagram page, a.cat.named.toby. The page has more than 15,000 followers and includes a post supporting the SPCA of Wake County’s annual Dog Walk, which benefits all animals in the shelter.

#newtoinstagram

A post shared by a.cat.named.toby (@a.cat.named.toby) on

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Cops save suicidal teen, tell her 'nothing’s that bad'

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 12:30 PM

WATCH: Body Cam Shows Officers Stop Girl From Jumping Off Bridge

Police officers in Columbus could be considered heroes after they rushed to save a teen from jumping off a bridge. 

The rescue happened on March 20, but the video of the rescue was released this week.

The body camera video shows Kenneth Kropp and Anthony Sebastiano grabbing the girl by the arms before two other officers help pull her over the railing to the safe side of the bridge, WSYX reported.

Once she is on the ground, they try talking to her and comfort her. 

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You can hear them tell the unidentified teen to calm down and that she's going to be alright, before reminding her that "nothing's that bad.

Kropp told WSYX that he takes calls personally. 

“When I’m heading to a run, regardless what it is, I always think ‘that’s my brother, my sister, my family’ -- it’s somebody and absolutely I imagined, ‘What if it was my child?’”

Police posted the video to the department’s Facebook page, saying that her family arrived before medics did and she was taken to a local hospital. 

They also posted a phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255 for free, confidential support for people in distress.

(Screengrab: Columbus Division of Police)

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Rape victim outraged after Uber driver posts bail, flees country

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 3:53 PM

Massachusetts authorities released an accused rapist on bond, leaving the victim enraged. The alleged attacker, who was in the U.S. illegally, promptly fled the country.
Pixabay
Massachusetts authorities released an accused rapist on bond, leaving the victim enraged. The alleged attacker, who was in the U.S. illegally, promptly fled the country.(Pixabay)

Massachusetts  woman is outraged after she says an Uber driver raped her and then left the country. 

The suspect was arraigned on Friday, posted bail and is believed to have fled the country. 

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Boston 25 News would not normally identify victims of sexual assault, but Emily Murray insisted that she wanted to be seen and heard. She said she wants everyone to know what happened to her, and how the system failed her.

"It happened. I'm not ashamed, I'm not embarrassed. I understand what happened. I know I did nothing wrong," said Murray. "A loss for words. I was angry I'm still angry. I'm confused."

>> Related: Woman accuses employee of poisoning her coffee cream after disciplinary action

On April 8, Emily said she was trying to get home when her Uber driver, identified as Frederic Amfo, allegedly locked the doors and raped her in the backseat of his car, just after dropping off another customer.

"Within minutes I was in a situation I couldn't control and I was assaulted," Murray said.

DNA evidence collected from both a rape kit and Amfo's car led to his arrest.

At a court appearance Friday, Amfo was given a $10,000 bail and ordered to stay away from Murray.

Records also show Amfo was also given 24 hours to surrender his passport, if he made bail.

>> Related: 911 operator sentenced to jail, probation for hanging up on emergency calls

On Friday afternoon, Amfo, who was in the United States illegally, made bail, but he did not surrender his passport, instead he fled the country back to his native Ghana.

"If I went to Ghana and I committed a crime, I wouldn't expect to be able to hop on a plane and say sorry about that, here's some money. I would expect to answer for it. Accountability. And there has been just zero,"Murray said.

"That detainer should have followed the alien as he transferred from the Quincy Court House. The court chose not to forward the detainer to Norfolk County, allowing for his subsequent release on bail from custody,” according to a U.S. Customs and Enforcement official.

>> Related: Cops save suicidal teen, tell her 'nothing is that bad'

Tuesday evening, the Massachusetts Trial Court issued a  statement that said in part:

“Today, April 17, 2018, the court issued an arrest warrant for the defendant after learning from the prosecution that the defendant has left the country. At the time the defendant posted bail and was released from the House of Correction, the defendant had not surrendered his passport to the court.

A review of the circumstances indicates that the court allowed the defendant to be released without first surrendering his passport, providing him 24 hours to do so. As a result of this review, the court has now implemented procedures to ensure that defendants who are ordered by the court to surrender their passports surrender them when they post bail and prior to their release."

>> Related: Investigators: Man intentionally set fire that killed 24 horses

It’s unclear what happens next in the case or whether authorities will try to locate Amfo in Ghana.



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Alaska Airlines introduces new rules for emotional support animals

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 3:17 PM

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

Alaska Airlines announced Thursday it is making policy changes for passengers who fly with emotional support and psychiatric service animals.

Starting May 1, the airline will require passengers traveling with those type of animals to provide animal health and behavioral documents. The airline said a signed document from a medical doctor or mental health professional will also be needed.

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All of the documents must be submitted at least 48 hours before flight departure, Alaska Airlines said.

Ray Prentice, Alaska Airlines’ director of customer advocacy said, "We are making these changes now based on a number of recent incidents where the inappropriate behavior of emotional support animals has impacted and even injured our employees, other guests and service animals."

The airline reported at least 150 emotional support and psychiatric service animals travel on its planes daily.

The airline said passengers can obtain the necessary documents on alaskaair.com beginning April 30.

The policy changes do not apply to traditional service animals, Alaska Airlines said.

Learn more here.

FILE PHOTO (Andie/Morguefile.com license: https://morguefile.com/license)(Andie/Morguefile.com)

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