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17 states granted extension for REAL ID compliance; Driver's license OK for domestic travel 

Less than a week ago, residents in 22 states were panicking over the possibility that their state-issued ID cards would be insufficient to access domestic flights. Many thought they would need passports to travel between states.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has now approved requests for an extension, granting 17 states more time to provide appropriate, REAL ID-compliant identification for residents.

>> Read more trending news 

A report earlier this week named 22 states that would face conflict next year for not providing standard ID cards to residents that are compliant with the REAL ID Act. Officials with the Transportation Security Administration were instructed to allow only travelers with REAL ID-compliant identification through airport security and onto domestic flights in the U.S. starting Jan. 22, 2018. 

Previous report: Here’s why travelers from 22 states could face conflict with domestic flights in 2018

Twenty-seven states currently provide residents with standard, compliant IDs. Residents in the remaining states were to obtain passports, enhanced driver’s licenses and other forms of acceptable identification if they wished to travel within the country and abroad. 

But 16 states were granted extensions Wednesday, meaning states have more time to craft, fund and offer compliant IDs to their residents. 

>> Related: What is Real ID; is your state compliant; what if it isn’t?

The following states were granted an extension until Oct. 10, 2018: 

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Washington

Virginia was granted the same extension last week. 

The remaining states are still under review for a renewed extension to REAL ID enforcement: 

  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Rhode Island

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in an effort to strengthen identification rules at airports. The 9/11 Commission recommended it to the federal government to set standards for how IDs –- such as driver’s licenses -– are issued. 

The act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses. Under the law, state driver's licenses and ID cards have to be issued only to people who can prove they are legally living in the United States. If state licenses don’t meet the standards, then federal agencies -– such as the TSA -- will not accept them.

Despite all extensions, there is a hard deadline for states to require compliant REAL IDs: Oct. 1, 2020.

“There are no anticipated changes to the enforcement schedule, and we are tracking that by 2020, 15 years after this act has been passed, that DHS will require that all states are compliant with Real ID as per federal law,” DHS spokeswoman Justine Whelan said, according to The Washington Post

Ashli Blow contributed to this report.

New mom contracts flesh-eating bacteria, loses arms and legs

A Canadian woman lost both her arms and legs to flesh-eating bacteria four days after giving birth earlier this year, and now she’s suing the hospital, contending the medical staff was negligent.

>> Read more trending news

Lindsey Hubley, 33, a quadruple amputee, underwent a total hysterectomy and spent the first seven months of her son’s life in a hospital, according to CTV.

Hubley is suing five doctors in Nova Scotia, Canada, along with IWK Health Centre, in Halifax after she claims that their negligence caused or contributed to the rash of health issues that she experienced during and after giving birth.

Hubley gave birth on March 2, was discharged and then taken back to the hospital and diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating virus.

>> Related: Human remains found on Florida beach

Hubley’s lawyer, Ray Wagner, told CTV that the new mother sustained a tear during labor and that part of the placenta was not removed after birth, which he believes helped contribute to Hubley’s medical issues. Wagner also said Hubley returned to the hospital several days after birth with abdominal pain, but the hospital failed to perform an examination on her.

"Our allegations are that had she been properly assessed when she presented at the hospital ... a substantial part of the damage, if not all of it, could have been prevented," Wagner told CTV.

>> Related: Palm Beach County clear of flesh-eating bacteria so far

Hubley’s arms were amputated below the elbow and her legs below the knees. She’s also expected to need a kidney transplant.

Roomy interior: Pony evacuated from wildfire in backseat of Honda Accord

When there’s a wildfire inching closer to your property and you have no time to waste, you do what you can to save lives, whether they’re human or animal.

Lauren Mesaros had to move three horses from her Northern California property. The problem was that the trailer could hold only two and the fire was a mile away, SFGATE.com reported.

>> Read more trending news

So instead of leaving one behind, she sacrificed the backseat of her vehicle.

Mesaros’ two mares were loaded into a friend’s trailer, and her pony, Stardust, climbed into the back of her 2001 Honda Accord.

She said Stardust, with a little help of a carrot as a treat, crawled into the Accord just like a dog.

Someone grabbed a picture and posted it to Facebook, where it has been shared more than 17,000 times.

After the unusual rescue, the winds shifted and the wildfire spared Mesaros’ property.

The same can’t be said about the car.

“My car will never smell the same again. It’s a little funky in the backseat, but (Stardust)survived,” Mesaros told the SFGATE.com.

Who is Richard Spencer? 5 things to know about prominent white nationalist

As co-editor of AltRight.com and president of The National Policy Institute, white supremacist Richard Spencer has risen to become one of the highest profile white nationalists in America.

>> Read more trending news

Spencer, who was born in 1978 in Boston, made headlines shortly after the 2016 election when a meeting of the National Policy Institute went viral. In a video clip of the gathering, attendees could be seen giving Nazi salutes as Spencer cheered, “Hail Trump! Hail our people!”

>> Related: Restaurant apologizes for hosting alt-right conference

Here are some things to know about the alt-right leader:

1. Spencer is a white separatist who believes in creating an Aryan homeland. He told Salon.com in 2013 that white people “need to start thinking about a new ethno-state that we would want to be a part of.”

He told The Atlantic in June 2017 that the goal of creating a white “ethno-state” is a long-term project and will come about “through a slow process of awakening ethnic pride and instituting government policies that reflect a new white race consciousness.”

His National Policy Institute describes itself as “dedicated to the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent in the United States and around the world.”

2. Spencer is known as one of the most successful young white nationalist leaders in Americaaccording to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights advocacy group.

The organization described Spencer as a leading “academic racist” who “takes a quasi-intellectual approach to white separatism. “

3. Spencer doesn’t see himself as a white supremacist but instead calls himself an “identitarian.” In a 2015 interview with Vice magazine, Spencer said that, “He prefers the terms ‘alternative right’ and ‘identitarianist’ over ‘racist’ or ‘white supremacist.’”

"Identity is the most important question to answer,” Spencer told Vice. “Who are we racially? Who are we historically? Who are we in terms of our experience? Who are we in terms of our community?"

4. Spencer is credited with coining the term “alternative right” or “alt right.” The term appeared in a 2008 article for the far-right Taki’s magazine, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

“At the time, Spencer was using ‘alternative right’ to refer to people on the right who distinguished themselves from traditional conservatives by opposing, among other things, egalitarianism, multiculturalism and open immigration,” according to the group. 

5. Spencer was banned from 27 European countries. He was jailed in Hungary and subsequently deported in 2014 after he attempted to organize the National Police Institute Conference for white nationalists, according reports from The Daily Beast and The Telegraph.

In a statement issued at the time by Hungary’s Ministry of Interior, officials said the National Police Institute was made up of “proponents of racist ideologies, and the expression of their opinions is contrary to the fundamental law.”

Police: Man stabbed baby in heart, held her for hours before suffocating her

A New Orleans man who told police he killed his 18-month-old daughter because “God told him to do it” stabbed the girl multiple times in the heart then held her as she cried for hours before suffocating her, authorities said. 

Mark Hambrick, 45, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, Orleans Parish jail records show. He is being held without bond. 

NOLA.com reported that Hambrick, who called 911 early Tuesday morning to report that he’d killed his daughter, told investigators that he stabbed the girl four times in the heart with a serrated kitchen knife.

He waited for her to “bleed out,” holding the crying baby in his arms for nearly five hours, court documents said. Finally, he suffocated her. 

New Orleans police Superintendent Michael Harrison said during a Tuesday news conference that Hambrick told 911 dispatchers he suffocated the girl to “put the child out of its misery.”

A warrant for Hambrick stated that he told police “God told him to” kill his daughter so “the State of Louisiana can kill him so he can be resurrected,” NOLA.com reported

The Advocate in Baton Rouge reported that Hambrick’s daughter, who police have not named publicly, was identified on social media as Amina. 

Hambrick’s wife, Amina’s mother, was working in Baton Rouge at the time of the slaying. Monika Gerhart-Hambrick is on the staff of Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

Broome said in a statement Tuesday that she stood behind Gerhart-Hambrick during this “unimaginable” situation. 

“This is a horrible tragedy,” Broome said, according to NOLA.com. “No parent should ever have to lose a child, especially in such a violent way. We are here for Monika and her family for whatever they need.”

Neighbors in Hambrick’s Bywater neighborhood were stunned by Tuesday’s slaying, and by the allegations against Hambrick, who worked as an internal audit analyst at the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board. One neighbor described the family to NOLA.com as “sweet people.”

Other neighbors said that the baby had recently learned to walk and was talkative, often heard babbling as her parents took her for walks in her stroller. Hambrick’s own Facebook page has a number of photos that appear to show a happy family. 

Hambrick seemed like a normal dad, neighbors told New Orleans’ WVUE television station

“They interacted with each other well,” one neighbor said. “There was no body language that would indicate that something like this would happen.”

Harrison said Tuesday that investigators were looking into Hambrick’s background to determine if mental illness or drugs or alcohol played a part in the homicide. Despite his explanation of why he killed his daughter, Hambrick told detectives that he knew what he did was wrong, according to NOLA.com

>> Read more trending news

Hambrick called 911 around 7 a.m. Tuesday and told dispatchers what he had done. Harrison said in a news conference, recorded and shared by NOLA.com, that Hambrirck gave dispatchers a description of himself and of his daughter, and told them where he and the child would be when officers arrived. 

Officers who responded to the scene found Hambrick sitting on his porch, as he said he’d be. They handcuffed Hambrick and went into the house, where they found the child lying dead on a bed. She had multiple stab wounds.

Harrison said an autopsy will determine if the baby was also suffocated. The knife used in the slaying was found near the girl’s body. 

Dispatchers who questioned Hambrick asked why he killed the baby, Harrison said.

“He gave us some details, but simply put, he told us over the phone that God made him do it,” the police superintendent said Tuesday. 

Enraged parents attack teacher with a brick after cellphone taken from student

Pittsburgh police arrested a woman Thursday accused of assaulting her daughter’s teacher after a parent teacher conference.

>> Read more trending news

Suspect Daishonta Marie Williams, 29, allegedly waited for Pittsburgh King elementary school teacher Janice Davis Watkins after school Wednesday. Williams is accused of following Watkins in her car, throwing a brick at her car at a red light, dragging her out of the vehicle and assaulting her

Williams is facing several charges, including aggravated assault and stalking. 

Police are trying to identify a man who was with Williams at the time of the alleged attack

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

A teacher was attacked after class Wednesday: hit by a brick, dragged out of her car and assaulted. 

That teacher is recovering after her kids said she was brutally attacked by the parents of a child who weren't happy with the way she handled a punishment.

"It's just ridiculous and it's horrible," said Gerald Watkins, the victim's son. "That's the way they teach their children to solve differences."

Pittsburgh King pre K-8 teacher Janice Davis Watkins was attacked Wednesday afternoon after her children said she took away one of her elementary school student's cellphone. 

"There's 102 ways that you can deal with this situation and violence is not one of them," Gerald Watkins said.

Watkins' children said their mother held a conference with the student's parents Wednesday at school after the child allegedly bit their mother when she took away her cellphone Tuesday.

They allege the parents of the child threatened her during the conference, then waited for her, following her from the school.

>> Related: Teacher accused of sex with students in cemetery sentenced

"As soon as she hit the red lights, they got out," Gerald Watkins said. "They threw a brick through her car. They pulled her out and assaulted her."

Read more here.

Disneyland runDisney events canceled for foreseeable future

It’s the finish line for Disneyland’s runDisney events. At least it is for now.

The division of the Walt Disney Company that puts on the runDisney events has announced that the races held at the Disneyland Resorts in California have been canceled for 2018, The Orange County Register reported.

There is no word on when the events will return.

>> Read more trending news

Disneyland is in the midst of expansion with a 14-acre Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge. There’s also another hotel being developed, The Register reported. The construction areas would normally be in the path of runners as they race around the park’s property.

Races and events in Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris will go on as scheduled.

About 25,000 people register for each race with fees around $195 for a half marathon. Not only does Disney benefit financially when there are races, but the Register reported that Orange County, California, sees an additional $20 million to $30 million generated for the area. It also impacts infrastructure for the City of Anaheim, which has to close streets and ramps and have additional police stationed during the races.

RunDisney had postponed registration for the Light Side Star Wars event that had been scheduled for January 2018.

Refunds will be given to those who had pre-registered for the events, the newspaper reported.

The last runDisney event in Disneyland, for the time being, is the Nov. 9 through 12th Super Heroes Half Marathon weekend.

It’s been a month and Puerto Rico still needs your help — where to donate your money, how to volunteer and more

Puerto Ricans are still in need of aid nearly one month after Hurricane Maria’s devastation.

» RELATED: What it’s like in Puerto Rico, a month after Hurricane Maria hit

The official death toll on the U.S. island territory has increased to 48, but more than 100 people are still missing, officials said.

According to CNN, as of Wednesday, about 1 million people are still without running water and 3 million people are without power.

Only 45 of 70 hospitals are currently operating with electricity, and according to FEMA officials, there is a severe food shortage.

President Donald Trump met local and federal officials in Puerto Rico on Oct. 3 and praised his administration’s response to the storm.

» RELATED: Twitter users, politicians blast Trump's comments, behavior in Puerto Rico as ‘inappropriate’

"I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack," Trump said. "But that's fine.”

His remarks came amid harsh criticism that the administration’s response to the disaster was slow or insufficient.

Trump is set to meet with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Thursday to discuss rebuilding efforts, White House officials said.

» RELATED: Trying to reach your loved ones in Puerto Rico? Who to call, email

The once-Category 5 storm hit the U.S. Virgin Islands in mid-September and eventually downgraded to a Category 4, but not before it plowed through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, flooded the streets, collapsed homes and left the entire territory without power.

According to the New York Times, the 155-mph winds also left 80 percent of the United States commonwealth’s crop value completely destroyed.

» RELATED: Hurricane Maria: Live updates

Families desperately trying to connect with their loved ones have also had trouble reaching them, as few of the island’s 1,600 cellphone towers were operational.

“What's out there is total devastation. Total annihilation. People literally gasping for air. I personally have taken people out and put them in ambulances because their generator has run out,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told ABC News.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the dangerous hurricane downgraded to a tropical storm and slowly moved away from the U.S. east coast after causing some storm surge flooding.

» RELATED: Trump promises visit, aid to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

How you can help the victims of Hurricane Maria

Make monetary donations to charities or crowdfunding campaigns

According to the United States Agency for International Development, giving money to reputable relief agencies and nonprofits is the most effective way to help and to avoid using resources to transport or deliver donated goods.

Listed below are several charity organizations or crowdfunding campaigns to choose from. You can also use Charity Navigator to learn more about the organizations before donating.

Note that sending money via text message may seem convenient, but according to the Associated Press, that’s not the case. Charities often have to wait on phone companies to release the money.

Here are some organizations to consider giving money to:

United for Puerto Rico (direct aid and support for Puerto Rico spearheaded by the First Lady of Puerto Rico)

Hispanic Federation (text Unidos and an amount to 4-144 or visit the website)

Americares (emergency and medical supplies)

UNICEF (emergency relief and help for children affected)

Save the Children (emergency relief and help for children affected)

ConPRmetidos (Puerto Rico-based nonprofit to benefit “immediate needs of food, shelter, water” and more)

GlobalGiving Caribbean Hurricane Maria & Irma Relief Fund (from US-based nonprofit Global Giving)

SPCA International (help for animal rescue and care)

Habitat for Humanity (housing and shelter needs)

All Hands (specific for U.S. Virgin Islands)

Salvation Army (supplies and shelter needs)

» RELATED: How you can help Mexico and people affected by the Mexico earthquake

Other crowdfunding campaigns:

- GoFundMe’s Hurricane Maria relief homepage (a landing page with several crowdfunding efforts)

21 US Virgin Island Relief Fund (NBA star Tim Duncan hoping to raise $5 million for his home country)

Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Fund (bringing relief to Dominica)

Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Hurricane Relief Fund (to help families and countries rebuild after hurricanes)

» RELATED: Hurricane Maria set Puerto Rico back decades, official says

Make monetary donations via Google search

If you do a Google search for “Hurricane Maria,” you’ll be able to donate money directly in the search results. Scroll down to donate $5, $25 or $50 to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Check if your employer will match your donation

Doublethedonation.com has a nifty tool that lets you enter your company name to find out whether or not your employer offers a matching gift program for donations.

Donate blood

The American Red Cross urges generous volunteer blood donors to give blood year-round, not only at the time of disaster. Currently, a need for platelet and type O blood donations are especially needed, according to the organization website.

Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to begin the donation process.

» RELATED: Disaster declared in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastates island

Donate useful goods

Monetary donations are preferred, but this nationwide Google spreadsheet also has donation drop-off locations for essential items.

» RELATED: Puerto Rico mayor Cruz begs for solar-powered supplies on CNN; slams acting Homeland Security head

According to the spreadsheet, there’s not a great need for clothing, and transporting water and food may waste resources.

Instead, think about long-term supplies someone may need without electricity or food, such as asthma pumps, bug repellent, eye drops water purification products.

Other high-ticket items include solar powered USB chargers, lanterns, radios, batteries, baby items and duct tape.

Some locations on the Google spreadsheet only collected items through the end of September, but others are collecting them on an ongoing basis. 

Please check the spreadsheet for updated times and locations and give the site manager a call before dropping off supplies.

Volunteer

The American Red Cross is looking is dispatching volunteers to aid areas affected by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

Local residents should use this form.

All non-local residents interested in volunteering should use this separate form.

More information about volunteer expectations and requirements at redcross.org.

You can also volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

» RELATED: Trump: “Big decisions” must be made about rebuilding Puerto Rico

The organization is assessing housing and shelter needs in impacted areas and is evaluating the support it receives from donors, volunteers and other partners before making any long-term decisions.

“We ask that your enthusiasm and interest stay long after the first few weeks as volunteers will be critically needed throughout the recovery and rebuilding phase, which may last months or even years,” the organization posted on its website.

Sign up for the Habitat for Humanity volunteer registry here.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) is allowing volunteers to register to help, but notes that Puerto Rico is asking for volunteers not to deploy to the communities affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Several VOAD volunteer opportunities from casework, cleanup and more are posted here.

Spread awareness on social media

Sometimes, word of mouth (or text) is all it takes. Take part in the relief campaign by retweeting news and alerts about shelters, donations and more from official accounts such as @PRFAA@FEMARegion2@ricardorossello@Univision PR@USNationalGuard and several news organizations.

Be sure to share your donation links, let people know how to donate and continue to spread awareness with hashtags (#PuertoRico, #MariaPR, #PrayForPuertoRico, #UnidosPorPR, #UnitedForPR are some examples).

Woman says she could face jail time because she can't afford husband's cremation

A Georgia woman says she could face arrest because she can't afford the funeral expense for her late husband.

>> Read more trending news

A funeral home storing the man's remains said it may press charges for abandonment of a body.

Betty Starnes told WSB-TV she made it clear when her husband’s body was brought to Southern Cremations and Funerals at Cheatham Hill, Georgia, that she couldn’t pay for it up front. 

But the funeral home tells a different story that could land her in jail.

“It’s just unconscionable when you’ve lost somebody you love,” Starnes said.

Starnes said it has been nearly two weeks since she lost her husband. Now, she’s worried she could lose her freedom.

“I went to pieces. I said I’m not going to jail and I’m not a crook,” Starnes said. 

When her husband died on Oct. 6, she asked the funeral home to pick up his body. It’s been stored at the funeral home ever since, awaiting cremation.

Starnes said she can’t afford to pay the nearly $1,000 bill and unless she pays it by Friday or pays to move the body somewhere else, she said the owner of the funeral home is threatening to press charges for abandonment of a body.

“He said this is a felony offense. I said I’m not a felon. I want my husband’s body, but you won’t let me have it. You won’t work with me,” Starnes said. 

WSB-TV reporter Justin Wilfon went to the funeral home Wednesday night looking for the owner.

The owner later sent WSB-TV a statement, saying:

“Southern Cremations & Funerals at Cheatham Hill is a local, family-owned business that serves hundreds of families every year in their time of need. Cheatham Hill Memorial Park has been assisting families in our community for over 38 years. We take excellent care of our families and provide the highest level of service to them, and their loved ones.

“Southern Cremations & Funerals at Cheatham Hill received a call on October 6 at 2:13pm from Mrs. Betty Starnes requesting that we take her deceased husband, Mr. Kenneth Starnes into our care. We brought him into our care later that day. Mrs. Starnes visited our funeral home on October 7 and was apprised of all the costs associated with the services she requested, and signed a contract for those services at that time. As is reasonable and customary in our industry, Mrs. Starnes understood that payment would be required prior to cremation. She indicated that payment would be rendered by October 9.

“We have not received payment for any of our services and have been actively working with the family for several days to address this unfortunate situation. Mrs. Starnes has been notified of all her options, including alternative resources that she could contact if she needed assistance in paying for the services selected. We are working diligently to resolve this situation. It is unfortunate that Mrs. Starnes has chosen to go directly to the media versus contacting the resources she was given, including our firm transferring her husband to another provider.”

Starnes told WSB-TV she was confused when she signed a contract and would be willing to set up a payment plan, but the funeral home’s owner said he wants the payment in full before cremation, which he said is customary in the industry.

“I said we don’t have cash up front. You people knew that coming in,” Starnes said. 

Her husband was a military veteran, wounded in Vietnam. After serving his country, she hopes someone will now help him and keep her out of jail.

“Maybe someone will find it in their heart to help,” Starnes said. 

The funeral home’s statement said Starnes has been notified of all her options, including alternative resources that she could contact if she needed assistance in paying for the services selected.

But Starnes said she has exhausted all of her options and no one can help.

Stray dog crashes wedding, gets new home

A man and his fiancée planned on becoming a family of two, but after their wedding last month they became a family of three after a four-legged wedding crasher broke in on their ceremony.

Marília and Matheus had planned on an outdoor wedding last month, but a storm came in so they moved their ceremony to a tent. At the same time, a stray dog was looking for a dry place to wait out the storm, the Dodo reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Wedding guests tried to shoo the muddy dog away, but he came back. Right when the bride was supposed to walk in, the dog came down the aisle.

Guests removed the dog again, and everything went as planned.

Until it came time for the vows.

The dog returned and decided he was going nowhere, taking a nap on Marílla’s veil.

The dog stayed through the ceremony, and the reception until the rain stopped. The dog left of his own accord, the Dodo reported.

You’d think the story would end that day, but it didn’t.

The couple realized the dog was now part of their lives and if they could find him, they would adopt him. But a week went by without a reunion.

Eventually they found their extra wedding guest and brought the now-former street dog home, gave him a bath, some food and a name: Snoop.

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