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‘Cake Boss’ star Buddy Valastro's mother dies from ALS complications

The mother of “Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro has died after a yearslong battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, which is also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. She was 69 years old. 

>> Read more trending news

Valestro’s representative confirmed the news in a statement to People.

“Mary took a turn yesterday, and Buddy rushed back to New Jersey last night to be by her side. She passed early this morning, June 22nd, surrounded by all of her children. Mary’s condition had been steadily worsening these past months, so it was not sudden but still extremely heartbreaking for the family. After eight years of fighting her battle with ALS, the family is relieved she is no longer suffering. Buddy and his sisters are absolutely crushed right now.”

Valastro also shared his grief with fans in a post on Instagram.

“It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I must share the news of my mother’s passing,” he wrote alongside the photo of his mother. “She left for heaven this morning, surrounded by the family. This is a difficult time for all of us and I do ask for your patience and respect while we let this sink in. Her battle with ALS has ended, she is no longer suffering and I hope she’s dancing to ‘I Will Survive’ with my dad right now.”

After her diagnosis, the Carlo’s Bakery owner started the Mama Mary Foundation to raise funds and awareness for ALS.

Florida sheriff urges residents to get guns, be prepared for mass shootings

A sheriff in Winter Haven, Florida, is asking people in his county to get a gun and be ready to fight back in case of a mass shooting.

“Become proficient. Get a concealed firearms license and carry it. And if you need to shoot somebody, shoot them a lot,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told WFTS.

>> Read more trending news

The sheriff went on to say that people are responsible for their safety until authorities arrived at the scene.

Judd also said that people who carry out mass shootings are ready to die the moment they decide to attack.

Earlier this month, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey gained national attention when he posted a video on Facebook urging residents with valid concealed carry permits to be ready at all times.

He cited terrorist attacks around the world as the reason to be prepared.

Watch: Sheriff Wayne Ivey discusses gun preparedness

“The solution is if you're going to carry a gun, then go practice to save your life with it. If you're not someone who's comfortable carrying a gun, or don't believe you would be comfortable defending your life, then look for an alternative solution,” Ivey said, adding that the alternative could be pepper spray, a stun gun, or other type of weapon.

The controversial video was shared on Facebook more than 9,000 times.

Some law enforcement officials disagree with the advice given by Ivey and Judd. 

“That's ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” resident Mary Dailey told WFTS. “I'm all for your right to own a gun if you are a responsible person, but you should have to prove it.”

Judd said that running and hiding is not a bad option, but told WFTS “You’re responsible for protecting yourself until we arrive.”

“You can either stand there, as we’ve seen many times before, and be a victim, or you can fight back,” he said

Canadian special forces claim record 2-mile sniper kill shot

An anonymous Canadian military source said one of their special forces snipers has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot at a distance of over 2 miles.

>> Read more trending news

The source told Toronto’s Globe and Mail that a member of the Canadian “Joint Task Force 2,” an elite special operation unit, made the shot last month during an operation in Iraq. 

The Canadian Armed Forces released a statement confirming the record-breaking shot:

“The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target at 3,540 meters. For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place.”

The sniper used a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle and fired from an elevated position. It took the bullet just under 10 seconds to hit the ISIS insurgent.

The kill was also verified by a video camera. according to the Globe and Mail.

“Hard data on this. It isn’t an opinion. It isn’t an approximation. There is a second location with eyes on with all the right equipment to capture exactly what the shot was,” a different source told the Globe and Mail.

The previous record, set in 2009, was held by Craig Harrison of the British Army. Harrison made kill shots using an L115A3 with his targets 2,707 yards away.

Three spots of the top five longest confirmed kills are held by British snipers, including an unnamed British military sniper.

Florida church spray-painted with swastikas, racist words

A Florida church was spray-painted with swastikas and the phrase “Satan was here.”

Members of Christ The King Lutheran Church in Riverview, Florida, saw the vandalism Wednesday morning, according to a report from WFTS

>> Read more trending news

Along with the swastikas, the vandalism included pentagrams, upside-down crosses and racist words painted on the exterior church walls, according to WFTS. 

Related: Woman smears feces on Florida church, claims leader is ‘attacking her mind’ 

“I don’t want them to make any more mistakes that would ruin their lives,” Pastor Kevin Yoakum told WFTS, referring to the vandals.

WFLA reported Thursday that the Hillsborough County Rapid Response Team has worked to remove the graffiti with power washes, scrubbing and painting. 

The vandals could face thousands of dollars in fines or jail time.

The incident is currently being investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Kelcie Willis with the Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed  to this story.

‘Baby Driver’ cast talks heart-pounding, toe-tapping summer action flick

Actor Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx star in the summer’s most anticipated action movie, and it’s equal parts heart-pounding thrills and toe-tapping musical.

Car crashes, romance and a musical backdrop make “Baby Driver” a genre-bending adrenaline kick from writer/director Edgar Wright.

>> Read more trending news

“We had a very good blueprint to work with from Edgar,” Jon Hamm told Hot Topics digital producer Jessica Sooknanan. “Not only his script and his shot-list essentially. He had the whole movie story boarded out.”

The film stars Ansel Elgort, who plays a skilled getaway driver in Atlanta serving kingpin Kevin Spacey and cronies Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

Wright wrote nearly every scene to the beat of a killer song.

“Everything really, even to the syncopation of what he hears when we do ADR, he really wanted it to bound the right way. It was magical in that way,” said Foxx.

It turns out, shooting guns on-beat is harder than it looks.

“It was really hard,” said Eiza Gonzales, who plays Hamm’s love interest, Darling. “When Jamie shot, then I knew someone else was going to shoot and then I was there, but you had to have the beat.”

>> Related: Ron Howard tapped to direct Han Solo stand-alone film

You’re not going to want to blink in the caffeinated heist thriller, or you might miss a musical cameo.

“There’s a brief appearance by Big Boi and Killer Mike, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sky Ferrerira, Paul Williams, Jon Spencer. To be honest, I would have done even more,” Wright said.

“Baby Driver” opens in the U.S. on June 28.

Severed toe stolen from hotel bar, employees ‘furious’ over the theft

 

A hotel bar in Canada is putting its foot down after its severed human toe was stolen. 

The Downtown Hotel in Yukon serves the infamous “Sourtoe Cocktail,” which is a shot of whiskey with a human toe floating inside.

Those who drink the shot are supposed to let the toe touch their lips, but aren’t allowed to take it as a souvenir, according to the CBC

 >> Read more trending news

But on Saturday, a Quebec man boasting about wanting to steal the toe apparently did just that, according to the hotel. 

“We are furious,” Terry Lee, the bar’s “Toe Captain,” said in a news release. “Toes are very hard to come by.”

Lee said, while the bar does have backup toes, “we really need this one back.”

The hotel filed a police report and even believe they know who the thief is and so do the police. Now it’s just a matter of getting the toe returned. 

The news release said that "unless the toe is returned safe," the hotel plans to pursue charges and a $2,500 fine against the thief.

Read more here.

Police arrest man accused of assaulting child at day care

A Connecticut man was arrested Friday after an altercation with a 5-year-old child at a day care.

The incident took place during a Father's Day celebration, according to the Shelton Police Department report. Lance Churchill, 33, is accused of chasing a child that took his Father's Day card and placing the child over his head before pinning him to the ground and screaming at him. Staff members called police and separated Churchill and the child. 

>> Read more trending news

Churchill wanted the 5-year-old boy arrested, police said.

Instead, Churchill was arrested and charged with risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct. Churchill was released on a $1,500 bond. His court date is set for June 30.

Woman faces charges for allegedly smothering baby to death while on meth

A grand jury Thursday indicted a 34-year-old Georgia woman on charges of manslaughter in connection with the smothering death of a 2-month-old. 

>> Read more trending news

Keanna Keys of Stockbridge had methamphetamine and Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication, in her system when she fell asleep on a couch with her friend’s baby, Henry County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Megan Matteucci said. 

On March 30, police responded to a call about an unresponsive baby at Keys’ home in Stockbridge, Georgia, Matteucci said.

The spokeswoman said 2-year-old Madelyn Roberts was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Keys is charged with involuntary manslaughter, possession of methamphetamine and possession of alprazolam.

According to the sheriff’s office, Keys had previously been arrested in Henry County in 2011 and 2012.

Homeless man killed saving teens from random attack, police say

A homeless man was beaten to death on a Denver street last week when he came to the defense of two teenagers who were being attacked by another man, authorities said. 

KDVR in Denver reported that the teens were attacked around 4 a.m. Friday. When officers arrived, they found the victims, one of whom had serious facial injuries. 

The alleged attacker, Dejuan Stamps, was found about a block away, where officers said he was beating a man who was lying in the middle of the street.

The news station reported that officers were able to subdue Stamps, but the beaten man, identified as 62-year-old James Farmer Jr., died at the scene from blunt force injuries. 

>> Read more trending news

Farmer’s family told KDVR that he moved to Denver from Seattle for a job. He was staying in at the St. Francis Center homeless shelter to save money in order to move back home and be with his fiancée. 

Officials at the shelter described Farmer as a good man. 

“People who know what’s right, do what’s right,” one official told the news station. “And he was one of those people who did it. He stepped up to help. And unfortunately, it cost him his life.”

Stamps is being held on charges of assault and first-degree murder. 

Police say mother attacked daughter at beach in attempted exorcism

An 11-year-old girl was seriously injured Friday after her mother allegedly attacked her at a beach in an attempt to perform an exorcism on her, authorities said.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office said Kimberly Felder, 45, stripped her daughter, struck her, bit her and shoved sand into her mouth and eyes.

>> Read more trending news

A good Samaritan witnessed the attack at a secluded beach and intervened on the girl's behalf until police arrived, The Associated Press reported. John Marciel said the woman claimed she was trying to remove demons from her daughter as she struck her with a piece of driftwood. Marciel tried to restrain the woman while he called police, and stayed on the scene until authorities arrived.

Felder was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse and aggravated mayhem. An investigation of attempted homicide is ongoing, authorities said.

The girl was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries, including a severely damaged right ear. Once she is released from the hospital, she will be placed in protective custody, authorities said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Texas student recreates family photos with her Chihuahua

The internet has fallen in love with a mischievous Texas teen and her 7-year-old Chihuahua.

Marissa Hooper, a 21-year-old Sam Houston State University student told the Houston Chronicle, that she did what one does when it is summer -- she and her sister methodically recreated family photos in her parents’ home with similar photos of her Chihuahua, Dixie.

>> Read more trending news

"My family loves to joke around," Hooper said told the Chronicle. "I started recreating the pictures with Dixie using little objects around the house and replacing pictures when my mom would be in the shower or left to go somewhere."

Yeah. Remember being young and bored?

She slowly replaced the photos and told the Chronicle that it took a few weeks for her mom to notice the switch.

"Embarrassingly, she found those while company was over and knew immediately it had to be one of us playing a joke on her," Hooper said. "She put my sister, my dad and me in a group text but no one fessed up."

The prankster was revealed later, when Hopper’s mom noticed a photo of Dixie in a graduation cap, she told the Chronicle.

Dixie even has her own Instagram page, though Hooper said she hasn’t recreated any family photos since the graduation photo.

"So as far as what is next for me and Dixie, we will probably be up to our usual pranks around the house, keeping mom on her toes," she told the Chronicle.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Sheriff reduces jail time for Georgia inmates who saved deputy

Sheriff Johnny Moats, in Polk County, Georgia, isn’t naming names, but the six inmates who rescued an officer during a work detail last Friday will serve reduced sentences.

>> Read more trending news 

Many of the six men who rushed to help the officer who’d passed out in the afternoon heat haven’t even been sentenced yet, Moats told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“If I’m in court when they go, I would stand up, and let them know what they did,” Moats said.

After the officer collapsed, one of the inmates grabbed the man’s work phone and called 911, according to the sheriff's office. The inmates also took off the man’s outer carrier vest in an attempt to help cool him off. 

Moats said prisoners in Polk County jail already earn two days time served for every day they spend in the county jail. Those who volunteer for work detail earn three days for every one.

Moats said he would give these men credit for four days for every one served. 

“I can’t do that if they are sentenced to prison,” Moats said.

It’s what is traditionally called “time off for good behavior” and applied to any future sentence.

Florida woman forced to marry rapist at 11 years old

A Florida woman shared her story of how she was raped as a child, got pregnant at 10 years old and then legally married her rapist at age 11. 

>> Read more trending news

Sherry Johnson, now 57, told WTSP that she “was raped repeatedly” while living in an apartment building attached to her church in Tampa. 

>>Florida woman accused of raping 6-year-old ‘five or six times’ with father

“The deacon had keys, and so he would come in when he got ready, and guess where he would come? My room,” she told WTSP. 

When Johnson got pregnant, she told WTSP she didn’t even know what it meant. She was sent by her mother to Miami in 1970 to have the baby and then got legally married to her rapist, who was 20, in 1971, WTSP reported. Johnson’s mother, who was very involved with the church, took her daughter to Pinellas County to have a judge sign off on the marriage after court officials in Hillsborough County refused to issue a marriage license.

Johnson’s mother made her a wedding dress, a veil and a wedding cake.

Johnson described her marriage as “a living hell,” and had five more children with her husband, according to WTSP. She filed for divorce at age 18.

>>VIDEO: ‘Failed’ marriage proposal at baseball stadium goes viral

“We didn't really talk that much, I was there for sex only. We didn't have conversations,” Johnson said to WTSP.

Current Florida law does not prevent child marriage and allows girls under 18 to get married “when a child or pregnancy is involved,” WTSP reported. 

“That's why I won't stop,” Johnson, who wrote a book about her experience, said. “That’s why I'm going to do everything I possibly can that no one has to go through this. It’s not fair. It’s not right, and we shouldn’t allow it to happen.”

Read the full story at WTSP.com

Woman accused of running over estranged boyfriend with car, killing him

A woman in Detroit has been charged with first-degree murder after police said she chased down and intentionally struck her estranged boyfriend with her car, killing him.

Danisha Mathis, 20, has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder for the death of Terrence Ricks, Jr., 25, who was struck and killed by the car Mathis was driving, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Surveillance video that captured the June 13 incident appeared to show Mathis turning her car around in a parking lot and striking Ricks as he ran down the street, trying to escape, WXYZ reported.

Ricks' parents told WXYZ that their son had only been dating Mathis for about a month and was trying to break off the relationship at the time of his death.

Ricks has not been buried yet because his family said they can't afford the funeral expenses. A GoFundMe account has been set up by Ricks' mother to cover them.

TSA apologizes for tossing out woman’s breast milk during airport screening

The Transportation Security Administration is apologizing to a Colorado woman after throwing out her bottled breast milk during a security screening at Denver International Airport last month.

“I just started crying,” Britney Shawstad told KMGH-TV, “because I really didn’t know what to do … that was my son’s food.”

>> Read more trending news

Shawstad, 28, of Englewood, said a TSA officer asked her to put the breast milk container in a separate bin for screening, but when she did, it set off an alarm for explosives. 

She then asked if she could put the milk in a different container for another test, but the officer said “no” and “told her the only option was to dump it,” Shawstad told KMGH

The TSA has since apologized for the incident and said in an email: "We’ve reached out to the passenger to apologize for any inconvenience caused during the screening process and scheduled a briefing for all DEN(ver) TSA officers on screening over-sized liquids, including breast milk.”

>>Related: Florida mom lets snake bite baby to ‘teach a lesson’

Shawstad wants other women to know what the rules are when it comes to breast milk and security screenings.

“If you’re traveling with breast milk, follow the rules,” she said.

“And the rules are that you are allowed to bring breast milk for your child. You are also allowed to bring juice.”

She suggested that if an agent says otherwise, ask for a manager.

Registered sex offender moves in next door to victim – legally 

A young Oklahoma woman found out details of her state’s sex offender laws the hard way, when the man who sexually abused her as a child legally moved in next door.

Danyelle Dyer, 21, is now working with her family and state legislators to change those laws.

Dyer, of Bristow, was just 7 years old when she was molested by Harold Dwayne English, her stepuncle. Oklahoma Department of Corrections records showed that English was convicted in 2005.

Having served his sentence, English, 64, recently moved in with his mother, Dyer’s grandmother, about 100 yards away from the Dyer home. 

“He’s, like, right there, practically in my backyard, and that kind of makes me nervous and not want to go home ever,” the college student told KFOR in Oklahoma City

>> Read more trending news

Horrified by their new neighbor, Dyer and her parents looked into Oklahoma law. The law requires that registered sex offenders live a certain distance away from schools and playgrounds.

The law does not require that sex offenders stay away from their victims. 

Larina Dyer told KFOR that it is “heartbreaking” that her daughter is once again faced with the man who hurt her. 

“When you have to see it, I can only imagine what it does to my daughter when she’s there and she has to witness it,” Larina Dyer said. “She shouldn’t have to.”

Greg Dyer said it is difficult for him and his wife as parents, as well. 

“Not only is my daughter feeling her past come back to haunt her, but a lot of years of rage and anger that I’ve kept under my collar is sitting right outside my door,” Greg Dyer told the news station

Danyelle Dyer chose to go public with her dilemma earlier this month, posting her story on Facebook

“Meet my abuser and my new neighbor,” she wrote alongside a photo of English on the state sex offender registry website. “He has been asked to leave, but in Oklahoma, he can legally reside there. Surely, Oklahoma can do better than this. My parents and I are out to change Oklahoma law, because surely, he can find somewhere else to live.”

Danyelle Dyer urged people to use the Oklahoma sex offender registry to see who is living in their neighborhoods. She said that her hope is to bring awareness to the registry, which is public record, and to make the public aware of the flaws in Oklahoma sex offender laws. 

“I wish to save other women and children from the pain that this man has put me through and is continuing to put my family through by living next door to my parents,” she wrote

Danyelle Dyer also wrote on Facebook that she is “baffled” that her grandmother has taken English’s side in the situation.

“He will never change, and she is foolish to think otherwise,” she wrote. 

She wrote that her protest is not powered by hate but by the hope that she can make positive change happen. 

“I’m a force to be reckoned with,” Danyelle Dyer wrote. 

Man charged with rape of 7-year-old six weeks after serving sexual battery sentence

Authorities in Kansas arrested a man last week on suspicion of strangling and sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl just six weeks after he left jail following a prior sexual battery conviction, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Corbin Breitenbach, 23, was charged June 15 with attempted capital murder, aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated burglary in the June 11 attack, KSNW reported.

Court records obtained by the news station showed Breitenbach was accused of taking the girl from a room and strangling her to unconsciousness before taking her to an outdoor balcony and sexually assaulting her.

“With the allegation … that he strangled her unconscious (and) removed her to another room, there’s the kidnapping … there’s the rape, and it’s all taking place within the context of the intent to kill,” Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett told KSNW.

The report is similar to one made in 2012, when Breitenbach strangled a 22-year-old woman until she was unconscious and then sexually assaulted her, The Wichita Eagle reported. He was convicted of that crime in March 2013 and received 68 months, the maximum sentence.

The Eagle reported Breitenbach was released on parole on April 28. He listed a home address in Derby, but the home where the June 11 attack took place was across the street from his girlfriend’s home.

His girlfriend told The Eagle that Breitenbach was in bed with her at her apartment when the attack reportedly took place.

A judge ordered him held on a $1 million bail on Tuesday. He is scheduled to appear in court again July 5, according to The Eagle.

Girl receives priceless graduation gift from grandmother: Memories

At a time when graduation is over for high school seniors and they’re getting ready to take the next steps of their life, a recent graduate is reminiscing over a gift that was 18 years in the making.

Maddie said she received a priceless gift from her grandmother Sandy, Yahoo reported

According to her Tweet, Maddie’s grandmother gave her two books.

>> Read more trending news 

They were two journals, but they weren’t for Maddie to fill with her thoughts.

The surprise was that Sandy had been writing in them, journaling since the day Maddie was born, February 20, 1999. 

The books also held the inscription: “To Maddie, 18 years of your life through my eyes and heart. Love Gramma.”

Maddie said no one had known that Sandy was writing down her hopes, dreams and thoughts for her granddaughter.

But the two have a special bond. 

Related: Grandpa gives granddaughter 2,000 letters for graduation

Maddie told Yahoo that she was the first member of her family to accept her when she came out. They talk on the phone and has stayed in Sandy’s home when Maddie’s having issues with her family. 

The last entry was made on June 2, Maddie’s graduation day. 

Sandy told her granddaughter hoping to inspire Maddie, “This is my last entry. I do hope you enjoy this journal. I will miss writing about you, but I hope you continue to write about your life so maybe your kids can enjoy it one day. Love, Gramma.”

Man charged with rape of 88-year-old woman at senior housing complex

A homeless man in Texas has been charged with the rape of an 88-year-old woman, police said Thursday.

Justin Glenn Ellis, 21, was arrested on Wednesday for the June 11 attack, KHOU reported. 

The rape took place at a senior housing complex, where the woman was a resident. She was in bed, watching television, when she was attacked, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news

Ellis is believed to have gained access to the woman's apartment via an open bathroom window, police said. The woman fought Ellis, and he tried to smother her with a pillow, according to court documents reviewed by The Houston Chronicle.

Ellis is well-known to authorities in the area and has a long misdemeanor arrest record, Houston police officials said during a news conference. Most of those arrests were for criminal trespass, according to authorities.

Ellis faces up to life in prison if convicted of sexual assault of the elderly, KHOU reported.

Trump doesn't have Comey tapes

After President Donald Trump first hinted that he might have recordings of his private conversations with fired FBI director James Comey, he admitted Thursday on Twitter that he had no such tapes.

>> Read more trending news

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea ... whether there are 'tapes' or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” he wrote.

The news was first reported by Bloomberg News.

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