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Strip club closed after food stamps used to buy lap dances, drugs, investigators say

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission revoked the liquor permit of Sharkey’s bar, an adult entertainment establishment, effective at the close of business Thursday, after investigators used food stamps to buy lap dances.

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Agent-in-Charge Michelle Thourot said agents began investigating the Twenty Two Fifty Inc., also known as Sharkey’s, in May 2017. During the investigation, agents were able to purchase drugs and lap dances using food stamp benefits.

Throughout the five-month investigation, agents reportedly exchanged $2,404.87 in food stamps to purchase heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, cocaine, methamphetamines and lap dances.

Criminal charges were filed against employees and patrons for drug trafficking, food stamp trafficking, aggravated shipment and distribution of heroin, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and illegal sexual activity.

Agents also filed 44 charges that were heard by the Liquor Control Commission that included drug possession, drug sales, engaging in sexual activity, food stamp trafficking and solicitation.This is the second adult entertainment establishment liquor permit that has been revoked by the Liquor Control Commission as a result of an Ohio Investigative Unit investigation into food stamp and drug trafficking this year in the Dayton area. The other location, The Harem, lost its liquor license in May 2018.

National Guard delivers 7,000 hot plates to residents affected by gas pipeline explosion

Merrimack Valley residents affected by last week's gas explosions and fires still don't have gas service as crews work to restore 48 miles of pipeline.

Without gas service, most residents won't be able to heat their homes or cook their food.

With that in mind, officials have implemented temporary solutions into their recovery plan, which includes delivering hot plates and space heaters to residents while a new gas pipeline is constructed.

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On Saturday, the National Guard delivered 7,000 hot plates from Columbia Gas to Merrimack Valley residents affected by the explosions, making sure homes have a safe way to cook their food.

In Lawrence, National Guard crews were out delivering hot plates from door to door. 

In Andover, hot plates were available in the driveway in front of Town Offices from noon to 4 p.m.

In North Andover, hot plates were available at the Community Claims and Resource Center until 5 p.m.

However, as of 12:30 p.m., the town of Andover experienced a shortage of hot plates "due to a limited supply in the initial delivery." Residents were still encouraged to visit the Town Office and sign up for a space heater.

Residents who live in the affected areas in North Andover told Boston 25 News they waited for about an hour to make a claim to receive a hot plate.

By Monday, officials are expected to provide 24,000 space heaters to help residents stay warm as temperatures begin to drop.

Electricians and fire officials will also be going door to door to make sure hot plates and space heaters can safely run in each home. Gov. Baker said taxpayers are not footing the bill for this.

Residents say they are concerned about the cold weather arriving before gas service is restored.

“The bottom line is Columbia is going to pay for this," said Gov. Baker.

Later this week, in-house assessments will be conducted and go through Nov. 19 as crews continue restoration efforts. 

Utility officials pledged Friday to complete the replacement of 48 miles of natural gas pipeline and re-energize 8,600 gas meters individually by Nov. 19.

“The plan looked achievable, thoughtful and safe," said Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera. "Do I want it to be faster, as a person who has taken seven cold showers in this long time? Yeah, I want it to be faster."

Also on Saturday, Columbia Gas hosted a job fair at the Greater Lawrence Technical School from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. The company is looking for skilled plumbers, electricians and IT professionals to help with gas restoration efforts and aid those affected by the explosions and fires.

Officials are hoping to recruit as much help as they can with the restoration efforts while simultaneously offering opportunities for those affected by the explosions and fires.

Currently, 20 crews are working on the gas restoration, but Columbia Gas hopes that number will triple by Monday with the help of the job fair.

Man mows down nearly a dozen emus in Australian outback, video shows

The driver has a thick mustache, black glasses and wears a hat as he delights in mowing down nearly a dozen emus at breakneck speed in the Australian outback, a video shows. 

Other than that, much about the video is unknown.

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The Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals New South Wales shared the video Thursday in an attempt to change that.

“Such sickening cruelty clearly has no place in our society,” the RSPCA NSW said in a post with the video. “The RSPCA unequivocally condemns this type of violence, as it clearly shows a disregard for the lives of these vulnerable native animals, and raises grave concerns over this individual's capacity for such behavior.”

Investigators are following a number of leads, but no charges have yet been filed, the animal group said. The possible penalty is a $22,000 fine and up to five years in prison, officials said.

Seattle moves to replace totem poles with authentic indigenous art

Totem poles have become a symbol of Seattle, but it turns out they have nothing to do with the Coast Salish people of the Northwest. Now there is a growing movement to right the cultural wrongs done by well-meaning white settlers.

>> Read more trending news 

Totem poles from Alaska's tribes, Chief Seattle dressed in the headdress of a Great Plains tribe - these are just some of the things Native Americans say Seattle hasn't gotten right.

Now they want to change that.

Colleen Echohawk stood beside a totem pole inside the Chief Seattle Club, where she is executive director. Totem poles, like the one that rises high above the ground in Pioneer Square, represent native tribes from Alaska, not the Pacific Northwest.

"Well, they stole them, yeah," said Echohawk.

She was asked how that happened.

"There were people who went to Alaska in the gold rush," Echohawk said. "And they got excited. And they saw these beautiful totem poles, which are appropriate to Alaska native culture, and they thought they were cool. And they were brought back to Seattle. Sadly, sometimes they brought them back and they hadn't asked permission."

A case in point is the Pioneer Square totem pole.

"This was two years after the Yukon gold rush," said author Robert Spalding via Skype

Spalding has written a new book, "Monumental Seattle: The Story Behind the City's Statues, Memorials, and Markers." Spalding says some prominent businessmen decided they needed a totem pole to connect Seattle to the Last Frontier, so they stole one from the Tlingit tribe, which is native to Alaska.

"They went ashore and they cut down this totem pole," Spalding said, "Floated it back out to the ship and brought it to Seattle."

Seattle City Council member Debora Juarez says it is more than the theft.

"Imagine a whole group of people where this is indigenous land that is not represented," said Juarez.

She spoke out recently on the Seattle Channel program, “City Inside/Out: Council Edition.” 

"It comes down to a value system in who we are as Seattle, Chief Seattle," she said. "And you know we have the emblem of the chief, which by the way is a 'Plains Indian,' not a 'coastal Indian.' We have the poles down at Steinbrueck Park, which are not traditional Coastal Salish poles."

Indeed, she and others say this park, initially known as Native Park, was largely the creation of one man, Victor Steinbrueck. The totem poles were designed by Marvin Oliver, a well-known native artist, but "He's pretty clear that those are Victor's poles," says Colleen Echohawk. "He says that over and over again."

At some point, Echohawk called their actions "compassionate racism." 

"Yeah, that is a phrase I kind of have coined a little bit on this," said Echohawk. "I feel like there was so much good intention, like so (many) compassionate people who were creating this park."

Still, she says those good intentions have not made life better for native peoples here. 

"These kinds of of appropriation of our arts and culture and misrepresentative of who we are, as native people, it has a reaction," Echohawk said. "And the reaction is in human suffering."

She and others are pushing for changes at Victor Steinbrueck Park that better reflect the native people it was designed to honor. Any changes would come before the Seattle City Council committee Debora Juarez chairs. Juarez is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation.

A new chapter is being written.

Woman, Great Dane attacked by dogs from homeless woman's RV

Leslie Shelton went to take a walk with her Great Dane, Lily, but they didn't get far before they were attacked by three dogs, which came from one of the RVs parked along the street near her home.

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Shelton says the woman who lives inside the RV opened the door and three dogs bounded out.

“Her three dogs were right there and just came running, teeth bared," Shelton said.

They were going after Lily, a dog her owners say is gentle, so Shelton moved to protect her.

“That's when the dogs started biting me, pulled me down to the ground, and then Lily was able to get away,” Shelton said.

A traumatized Lily is now recovering from bite wounds.

“I am scared to death, I am scared to death to take her out again. Not only for her life but for mine,” Shelton said tearfully.

Earlier, she was also afraid for her husband, who ran outside when he heard the screams and pointed, but did not fire, his gun at the dogs.

Neighbors said the area near Sixth Avenue South and South Snoqualmie Street has been a favorite spot for RV parking. They counted 21 RVs Friday.

They told KIRO that they showed the problems to City Council member Lorena Gonzalez earlier this week.

In a statement, Gonzalez told KIRO, "I have reached out to our Human Services Department and the Seattle Police Department to identify potential resources available to address the public safety needs of this area."

"My heart goes out to Ms. Shelton and her family as she recovers from these injuries," Gonzalez said.

“The Seattle City Council needs to get off their butt and start protecting the citizens that make a difference in this community,” said Shelton.

The three dogs that attacked her are in the custody of animal control.

According to the Sheltons, police said they will not recommend charges against Shelton's husband for pulling his gun.

15-month-old dies after choking on toy at day care, parents say

The parents of a 15-month old baby who died after choking on a toy at day care said they're devastated.

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The facility where the incident allegedly happened was closed Friday and the Department of Children and Families is investigating the incident.

Little Malik was left fighting for his life.

His father, Earl Baker, said the boy choked on a toy while at day care and was rushed to the hospital.

“When I got there, he was already unresponsive and they said he had been 3 to 5 minutes without oxygen,” Baker said.

With heavy hearts, they said goodbye to their 1-year-old Friday morning.

“I sung him his favorite lullaby whether he could hear me or not, and we held my baby’s hand until his heart stopped beating,” his mother, Amber Lee said.

Action News Jax learned DCF has launched an investigation Thursday into Tip Top 24 Hour Learning Center.

“My son is gone. My son is dead because I left him in the care of a licensed day care facility,” Lee said.

Action News Jax dug into the history of the day care and found it has been licensed since 2016.

Since then, DCF has found several violations, including the owner not having director credentials in 2017. According to DCF, it was fixed at the time of inspection.

The last inspection by DCF just 10 days ago revealed several violations, including no documentation showing child care personnel had begun training for the child care industry within 90 days of employment and three staff members didn’t have the annual form signed for child abuse and neglect reporting requirements.

The manager of the day care facility is listed as Tiffany Davis.

Action News Jax tried calling her and went to her home, but couldn’t get in touch for a comment.

Malik’s father said Davis apologized to his family at the hospital.

“She said she was sorry, but sorry can’t bring back my kid,” Baker said.

Action News Jax reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office twice Friday to confirm if there is a death investigation at the day care.

Baker said they have other kids at the day care that they plan to pull out.

Car lands on roof of Pittsburgh supermarket, driver arrested for DWI

A car ended up on the roof of a Pittsburgh supermarket early Saturday morning.

Police said they responded to a call around 4 a.m. at the Greenfield Giant Eagle, WPXI reported.

>> Read more trending news 

When they arrived, they found a car on the roof with the driver standing next to it.

Giant Eagle employees were evacuated. 

Police said the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and could not negotiate a bend in the road. The driver then struck a curb, went airborne and landed on the roof, police said.

The driver was arrested for driving while intoxicated, WPXI reported.

No one was injured.

Police are still investigating.

WATCH: Customers duck for cover during gas station shootout

Customers dived for cover during a shootout at a gas station in Illinois this month in an incident that was captured on surveillance video.

>> Read more trending news 

The shootout took place Sept. 12 at a Gas Mart in East St. Louis, KSDK reported. Police said two parties had a dispute outside of the gas station and began shooting at one another. Surveillance video taken from multiple angles shows bystanders diving for cover inside and outside the store as bullets shattered the windows of the business.

Watch the surveillance video:

No one was injured in the shootout, KSDK reported, but police said there was extensive property damage. 

The two men who began the shootout are known to police, authorities said. One came into the police station regarding the incident but didn't give an official statement on the advice of his attorney, police said. The other suspect has not been found, police said.

Guardsman's home ransacked while assisting hurricane victims

Luis Ocampo did not get the homecoming he imagined after serving for days along the North Carolina coast as an Army National Guardsman.

>> Read more trending news 

While he was away helping those impacted by Hurricane Florence, he said his home back in Charlotte was robbed.

Spc. Ocampo, 24, shares the home with his girlfriend, Kailey Finch, and their 1-year-old son.

Finch told WSOC that she was shocked when she learned about the break-in.

“I don’t know how people can be so terrible," she said.

She and her son were away when the burglars broke in Thursday night.

The family believes the suspects snuck in through a back window and ransacked the place.

“If I was (to) do that to someone, I feel like I would feel really bad afterwards. I would be like, ‘I see this family struggling and I just messed up their life even worse," said Finch.’”

According to officials, the thieves took a gun, a large TV, a gaming system, a laptop Ocampo uses for schoolwork and some specialty coins and jewelry.

“It's irreplaceable. It's not something you can get back," said Finch.

Beyond the valuables, Finch said her heart also breaks for her hardworking guardsman.

"He does a lot for everybody. He always wants to make sure that everybody gets help," she said.

The family told WSOC that they are considering an alarm system for their home and have started a GoFundMe to recover from the robbery.

Police do not have any suspects at this point.

91-year-old man breaks Devils Tower climbing record to celebrate birthday

A man wanted to celebrate his 91st birthday in high style. Very high.

>> Read more trending news 

Dr. Bill Weber, of Florida, is now the oldest known person to have climbed the summit of Devils Tower in Wyoming, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. Rob Kelman, 87, held the previous title, CBS4 reported.

The journey to the summit of Devils Tower took Weber 16 hours, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. Weber's two sons joined him on the epic adventure.

Weber was a veterinarian for 30 years before retiring and taking up a successful hobby in wildlife photography, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. 

Weber said the climb was tougher than he expected. At points, he wondered if he would make it and thought, "If I croak while I’m doing this, at least I’ll die doing something I wanted to do, and I’ve had a good and long run,” Weber told the Casper Star-Tribune

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