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Police, school officials praise high school seniors’ prank as ‘one of best’ ever

Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

Police Department Praises 2018 Senior Prank

The seniors at a Wisconsin high school showed their smarts, and their senses of humor, this week with a prank that even had the local police force praising their cunning. 

At first glance, it appeared that a car had crashed into the side of Cumberland High School, leaving a gaping hole in the brick façade near the principal’s office. Bricks were strewn everywhere as the back half of the car jutted out of the building.

It was all a sham.

“Nice work, seniors,” Cumberland School District officials said Monday on the district’s Facebook page. “You had everyone a little nervous this morning!”

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The students placed the back half of a junk car up against the building and used tape and a black tarp to create the illusion of a hole in the building, district officials explained. 

“The best part? This prank included absolutely no damage at all to school property, which is why police singled it out,” the district’s Facebook post read. 

Police officials called the prank “one of the best senior pranks that Cumberland High School has seen.”

The department’s Facebook followers agreed, sharing the post thousands of times. Several people commended the teens on their “good, clean fun,” while others lamented that their own senior class hadn’t thought of the prank themselves. 

One man puzzled over how the students pulled it off unnoticed.

“I’m curious as to how they got the car into position without someone stopping them?” the man wrote

A police official responded that the prank was done around midnight, but that it did get noticed afterward. 

“It was called in as a crash by a subject that works across from the school,” the response stated. “When (the) officer arrived, he realized it was the prank and laughed at the kids.”

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Veteran heartbroken after her therapy dog is mauled to death

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 6:28 PM

Cherice Jackson. (Photo: WSBTV.com)
Cherice Jackson. (Photo: WSBTV.com)

Years after fighting for our country in Iraq, Cherice Jackson found herself in another fight – this time for her best friend, her therapy dog Ms. Pooh. 

Jackson said two pit bulls mauled Ms. Pooh to death and she couldn’t stop it. 

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“I spent probably 20, 30 minutes trying to wrestle her from him,” Jackson told Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon. “It’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. I feel like I failed her."

She said shortly after taking her dog out for a walk early Friday morning in her Decatur neighborhood, the pit bulls attacked.

Jackson suffered cuts and bruises, but her dog was gone.

“When I was finally able to get ahold of her and get her in the house and see the damage they did to her, it hurt … because she was my baby,” Jackson said. 

DeKalb County Animal Control set a trap with the hope of catching the pit bulls that animal control believes are strays.

Jackson suffers from PTSD and her dog comforted her after she came home from war.

Blake Rashad, the founder of the Top Dog Canine Foundation, told Wilfon he was about to evaluate Ms. Pooh to see if the therapy dog could become Jackson’s service dog.

“That’s what these dogs do. They bring her anxiety down. They help with depression,” Rashad said.

For now, Jackson’s heartbroken that she couldn’t save the life of the dog that made her life so much better.

“She’s like … been everything to me,” Jackson said. 

The Top Dog organization is now raising money to pay for a new service dog for Jackson.

DeKalb Animal Control continues to look for the dogs responsible, but so far, no luck.

Jackson wants them put down when or if they are caught.

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Deaf, pregnant woman with service animal says she was punched on flight

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 6:02 PM

VIDEO: Deaf, Pregnant Woman With Service Animal Claims She Was Punched on Flight

Video shows a confrontation that erupted after a deaf pregnant woman said a man punched her and her service dog as their Frontier flight was taxiing to a gate at Orlando International Airport.

The family of the man said it was all a misunderstanding.

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Hazel Ramirez admits that her fiancé, Matthew Silva, tackled Timothy Manley in the terminal early Thursday.

But she said that was after Manley punched her service dog.

She told police the attack happened after the flight from Colorado Springs, Colorado, landed in Orlando when "the larger service animal took up more space than Timothy felt it deserved."

Ramirez, who is deaf, spoke to WFTV Friday evening through a sign language interpreter.

"My fiancé started yelling at the man and said, 'Don't you ever touch our dog. Don't touch a service animal ever,'" she said. "'That's not OK.'"

Video shows Ramirez and her fiancé respond by angrily signing at Manley.

Petrini Manley, Timothy Manley's wife, told WFTV her husband accidentally swatted the great Dane when it startled him, but he couldn't convey that to Ramirez's fiancé.

She said her husband is an animal lover who would never intentionally harm a dog.

Petrini Manley said her son recorded video that shows Silva kicking her husband in anger -- proof that Silva was the aggressor.

But Ramirez, who is 20 weeks pregnant, said it didn't escalate into a tackle until Manley punched her in the stomach after her fiancé shouted at him.

"That's when my fiancé just became furious, because he put his hands on me and the kid and the dog," she said.

She said her fiancé was trying to keep everyone there until police arrived, but Manley's family said it never understood that and instead felt they were being held hostage.

Petrini Manley said Silva is the one who got violent first, even causing her glasses to break.

The Orlando Police Department has handed over the case to the FBI since the incident happened on a plane.

An FBI spokesman said the agency is working with OPD to determine whether anyone will be charged in the case.

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Mario Batali faces criminal investigation, NYPD officials say 

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 7:44 AM

What You Need To Know About Mario Batali

The New York Police Department is investigating celebrity chef Mario Batali, but police haven’t said exactly what they are investigating

CBS News reported on “60 Minutes” that multiple former female employees of  The Spotted Pig, a restaurant that caters to the rich and famous in New York, claim that Batali and the co-owner of the eatery, Ken Freidman, sexually harassed or assaulted them.

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Trish Nelson called Batali a monster, saying “Behind the scenes, he’s hurtful and he does not respect women.”

Nelson told Anderson Cooper for the “60 Minutes” interview that Batali was called “The Red Menace” and a warning would go out when he was expected to show up at the restaurant.

Other employees told “60 Minutes” of times they claim Batali would grab them and come on to female servers, making inappropriate comments.

A woman who did not want to be named said that Batali drugged her in 2005. She woke up by herself in a room on the third floor of The Spotted Pig. The woman was an employee at Babbo, one of Batali’s restaurants. He had invited her to The Spotted Pig for a party. They drank white wine together when she said she lost time.

“I remember a moment where I was on his lap, kissing him. Like he was kissing me. And then I remember throwing up -- in a toilet. And that is all,” the woman told 60 Minutes.

The woman said she woke up, alone, in an empty room. She said she saw empty bottles and had deep scratches on her leg. 

“The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been -- I’ve been assaulted.’” the woman told 60 Minutes.

The woman returned to work hours after waking up, when she said that Batali called into the restaurant. She claims he wouldn’t talk to her when she asked what happened the night before.

She spoke with a detective from the NYPD, but declined to file a report, 60 Minutes reported

Batali responded to the accusations, telling 60 Minutes via a statement, “I vehemently deny the allegation that I sexually assaulted this woman.”

B&B Hospitality Group, the restaurant group founded by Batali and Joe Bastianich, told Fox News that the company is breaking ties with Batali, saying, “The accounts tonight were chilling and deeply disturbing. This was the first we learned of them. Our partnership with Mr. Batali is ending.”

In December, Batali was fired from “The Chew” on ABC and has left day-to-day operations from his businesses, NBC News reported.

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Anthony Bourdain, Tom Colicchio slam Mario Batali amid allegations

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

What You Need To Know About Mario Batali

It doesn’t seem that the sexual misconduct allegations brought against celebrity chef Mario Batali were that shocking to some of his colleagues.

In an article published in Eater New York Monday, four women detailed their alleged experiences with sexual misconduct against the “The Chew” star. One chef said that 10 years ago, Batali groped her with his bare hands after spilling wine on her shirt, while another woman said that he inappropriately grabbed her from behind and held her against his own body.

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Following the allegations, fellow celebrity chefs including Anthony Bourdain and Tom Colicchio slammed Batali and seemed to insinuate that they knew about the allegations ahead of time.

Related: Chef Mario Batali leaves ‘The Chew’ amid sexual harassment allegations

“No. Trust me. Monday is really gonna suck,” Bourdain wrote on Twitter Sunday. He later followed up, writing, “It’s where you stand when the people you care about and admire do awful things that matters. Keeping head down and hoping it goes away? No.”

When the story broke early Monday, Bourdain took to Twitter again, tweeting, “It’s Batali. And it’s bad.”

“Top Chef” star Colicchio retweeted Bourdain’s tweet about Batali adding, “And no one should be surprised.”

Following the allegations, Batali released a statement to Eater, saying in part, “I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.”

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