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Family’s dog thought to be euthanized turns up at former vet employee’s house

The Levys grieved twice for Caesar.

The family’s beloved miniature pinscher suffered from chronic health conditions and was taken to the Briarwood Veterinary Hospital to be euthanized, according to The Star-Ledger.

>> Read more trending news

However, five months later the family got an anonymous tip that the dog was still alive and living with the vet technician.

"You charge me to put him down and then sneak him out the back door? It's horrifying," Lonnie Levy told WPVI. “I'm dumbfounded. I don't even know how to say, I don't know how to feel.”

Police got involved and told the vet tech to return the dog. During the time he was with the tech, Caesar had no treatments for his Cushing's disease, a condition which continued to worsen, according to The Star-Ledger. Caesar lost 10 pounds and was so ill he had to be euthanized.

The veterinarian and the technician no longer work at the clinic. A veterinarian bought the practice last week and helped the Levys recover Caesar and spend some time with him before he was euthanized. 

"It's hard enough when you have to decide a pet should pass, but you have to deal with that twice with the same pet? It's just unthinkable," Dr. Maureen Kibisz, who bought the clinic, told WPVI.

The Levys were refunded the $192 for the procedure that was not performed. 

Police and the Monmouth County SPCA said the investigation is ongoing and could lead to theft and animal cruelty charges.

Woman claims airline misled her after leg surgery

A 20-year-old Massachusetts woman who has been fighting a rare disease said an airline failed to fulfill its promise to accommodate her after a recent leg surgery.

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The surgery was the 14th for Jacynda Pena, who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Her symptoms include loose joints, stretchy skin and abnormal scar formation, which causes her to be in chronic pain at times.

Her family bought her Frontier Airlines plane tickets for a trip from Providence, Rhode Island, to Orlando, Florida, where relatives live.

“It’s a big surgery,” she told Boston25News. “I’m not willing to ruin it on a flight.”

Pena said she called the carrier repeatedly in the days before the flight to make sure she was accommodated with an extra free seat.

“They told me I would have a full row,” she said. “That I could stretch my leg out.”

But when she arrived, she said, that wasn’t the case.

“They made me feel so small -- what I was going through didn’t matter,” she said.

Doctors had told Pena that she would need to keep her leg straight, but she claimed Frontier Airlines forced her into a cramped spot. Eventually she was moved to the first row, but she claimed she still had her foot touching the bulkhead.

Pena said the flight attendant wasn’t helpful.

“Her response was, ‘If you don’t like your seat, you can help yourself off the plane,’” Pena said.

A spokesperson for Frontier Airlines denied that the airline offered Pena a free seat, but said the crew did work to make her comfortable.

“Ms. Pena was seated in an extra legroom seat (3F) and was dissatisfied with it, our crew then actively worked to reseat Ms. Pena in a seat where she would be more comfortable,” the spokesperson said. “She was then seated in the bulkhead seat, (1C), where she would have no seat in front of her.”

Pena said that issues continued even after the flight landed. She said she had to wait almost an hour for a wheelchair.

“I was in tears (and) in so much pain. I’m not supposed to bend my leg,” she said. “I was a check, that’s not how it should be. I’m a person with feelings and was in pain the whole time.”

A spokesperson for the airline told Boston25News that Pena has an upcoming flight scheduled and they will continue to work with her.

Full statement from Frontier Airlines:

“Our crew and reservations acted in accordance with our internal policies and procedures. Ms. Pena was seated in an extra legroom seat (3F) and was dissatisfied with it, our crew then actively worked to reseat Ms. Pena in a seat where she would be more comfortable. She was then seated in the bulkhead seat, (1C), where she would have no seat in front of her. This passenger’s initial request to our reservations team was for a seat with extra legroom and this was provided free of charge. Ms. Pena has an upcoming flight scheduled with us and we continue to work with her to find an acceptable solution including allowing her to purchase the adjacent seat for the original cost - $19.20. She declined this offer.”

4 soldiers killed in ambush: Where is Niger and what are U.S. troops doing there?

Questions remain in the aftermath of an ambush attack on a group including U.S. Army soldiers in Niger that left four American service members dead on Oct. 4.

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Defense Department officials said Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29 and Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, were killed in an attack during an advise-and-assist mission in southwestern Niger.

The circumstances that led to the attack remain under investigation.

The American military operation in Niger is one of about 20 in Africa and part of the U.S. Africa Command, according to NPR. The command is aimed at building military relations with African nations and other key players in the region. It began operations in 2007.

Here is what we know about Niger and U.S. military presence in the country:

Where is Niger?

Niger is a landlocked country in western Africa, bordered by Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria and Libya.

The country became independent from France in 1960. Political instability and a series of military coups followed.

Is Niger generally safe for Americans?

The U.S. State Department in April issued a warning for Americans traveling in Niger to stay away from “locations frequented by Westerners” and to keep to hotels with armed Nigerien security officers because of the risk of terror attacks and kidnapping threats against Westerners.

“Niger’s southeastern border with Nigeria and east of Maradi are poorly controlled,” State Department officials said. “Boko Haram and several factions affiliated with ISIS have conducted cross-border attacks into Niger. The government of Niger has increased its security forces in the border areas, but the situation remains unstable and travel is not advised.”

What about for soldiers – is it generally safe?

Despite the threat of violence, officials said the Oct. 4 deaths were the first American service members to be killed in combat in Niger.

“I think clearly there's risk for our forces in Niger,” said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, the director of the Joint Staff. “Any time we deploy full forces globally, we will look very hard at the enablers that need to be in place in order to provide security for them. And that ranges from the ability to pull them out if they are injured, to the ability to reinforce them at the point of a fight if they … need reinforcement. We look at all those things and evaluate on a continual basis.”

How big is the American military presence there?

Officials with the Defense Department said this month that about 1,000 troops in the region work with about 4,000 French service members. The U.S. military has had some presence in the country since 2012, according to CNN.

What are U.S. soldiers doing there?

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said U.S. armed forces have been working for years with West African nations to combat the threat of terrorism.

The Army soldiers killed in the Oct. 4 attack were assisting with Nigerien security force counterterrorism operations about 125 miles north of Niamey, the country’s capitol city, according to thee Defense Department.

“We’re providing refueling support, intelligence support, surveillance support,” Defense Secretary James Mattis said. “But also we have troops on the ground. Their job is to help the people in the region learn how to defend themselves. We call it foreign internal defense training, and we actually do these kinds of missions by, with and through our allies.”

Maryland Man Arrested For Child Porn

Maryland Man Arrested For Child Porn

Northern Michigan University offers marijuana studies degree

A new program at Northern Michigan University gives students a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the business and science of marijuana.

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The four-year degree program, formally called Medical Plant Chemistry, is in its inception this semester. About a dozen students are currently enrolled in the program, and more and more students are showing interest. 

“We’re gaining students every week,” Mark Paulsen, director of Northern Michigan’s chemistry department, said, according to USA Today. “With a full 12 months of recruitment, we expect that to grow.”

But the program isn’t as chilled out as one might think. 

“Obviously, the program is new and different and it might speak to a certain crowd. But for a student to succeed, they’re going to have to be very dedicated and motivated,” Brandon Canfield, the associate chemistry professor who developed the Medical Plant Chemistry curriculum, told the Detroit Free Press. “This is not an easy program. It’s a really intense, biology chemistry program.”

The program, which has basic requirements in general chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry and plant physiology, branches into two tracks: a bio-analytical track and an entrepreneurial track. Those who choose the bio-analytical track are to further their studies with courses in atomic spectrometry, genetics and biostatistics, while those who choose the entrepreneurial track are required to take courses in accounting, entrepreneurship and finance. 

“When (people) hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, ‘Wow, cool, dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana,’” said sophomore student Alex Roth. “But it’s not an easy degree at all.”

Other universities across the country offer marijuana-related courses and certificate programs. But according to CNN, Northern Michigan’s program may be the first in the country to offer up a fully focused marijuana-based undergraduate degree.

Roth and other students enrolled in the program understand that their major doesn’t mean they’ll be growing the plant. They want to help bust stereotypes about marijuana and focus on medicinal properties to combat such conditions as chronic pain, nausea, seizures and glaucoma.

Twenty-nine states have legalized marijuana, WITI reported. Eight of those states, including Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington, have legalized recreational marijuana.

According to the San Francisco Gate, the marijuana industry is expected to grow more than 100 percent to $44 billion per year by 2020.

“Many of the states are legalizing different substances and they’re really looking for quality people to do the chemistry and the science,” university trustee James Haveman told the Detroit Free Press. “And it’s the university’s responsibility to produce those kinds of students for those kinds of jobs.”

“We’ve had an overwhelming response from growing operations, dispensaries and other businesses who want to take on our students as interns,” Canfield said. “I expect in the next couple years we’ll see quite a few of these programs popping up.”

Read more at USA TodayDetroit Free Press, and Northern Michigan University.

WATCH: Scenes from Richard Spencer Event at Univ. of Florida

WATCH: Scenes from Richard Spencer Event at Univ. of Florida

Teacher In Florida Accused Of Molesting Teen Girl

Teacher In Florida Accused Of Molesting Teen Girl

Woman Gets Bill from DirecTV Totaling More Than $184,000

Woman Gets Bill from DirecTV Totaling More Than $184,000

Mother, 1-year-old lose limbs trying to crawl under train

A mother lost her leg and her 1-year-old son’s arm was sliced off when they tried to crawl under a train in Clayton County, Georgia.

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Kate Brown, 28, had two other children with her when they approached the stopped train on their walk home Thursday, Clayton County police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury said.

The other children weren’t injured, police said.

Brown told officers she was trying to continue along her path of travel when she decided to crawl underneath the train.

“Two of her children were able to successfully crawl underneath the train,” Marbury said. “And soon after, she began to crawl underneath the train holding her 1-year-old son.” 

When the train started moving, Brown’s leg and her son’s arm were pinned and subsequently severed by a rail wheel, Marbury said. 

They were taken to local hospitals with serious injuries and remained in surgery Thursday night. 

“Medical staff at both facilities advised that neither of the limbs of the mother and child could be salvaged,” Marbury said. 

Their conditions are unknown at this time. 

Orionid meteor shower to peak Friday night; what to know, how to watch

The Orionid meteor shower is expected to peak in the next few days and you don’t want to miss out.

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The annual shower has been called “one of the most beautiful showers of the year” by Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, and is a popular celestial event for stargazers everywhere.

Here are 11 things you need to know about the 2017 Orionid meteor shower:

Why are these meteor showers called Orionids?

The meteors radiate (or originate) from a region close to the constellation Orion the Hunter.

What causes the meteor shower?

According to Space.com, the meteor’s particles come from Comet 1P (or Halley’s Comet), which zips by the planet every 75 to 76 years.

As the comet passes Earth, it leaves behind “a trail of comet crumbs” and every now and then, the Earth’s orbit around the sun crosses paths with the comet’s debris.

What’s the difference between a meteoroid, meteor and, meteorite anyway?

Cooke told Space.com that a meteoroid is essentially space debris. For example, the crumbs from Halley’s Comet are meteoroids.

Once the meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere, they become meteors (or shooting stars).

Though most meteors disintegrate before hitting the ground, meteors that do strike the surface of the planet are called meteorites, Cooke said.

How fast will the Orionids be?

According to Cooke, some will zoom at speeds up to 148,000 miles per hour in relative speed — less than four miles per hour slower than the speediest sky show of the year, the Leonids.

When will it peak?

The Orionid shower will peak between Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 this year, but you may be able to catch a meteor or two before then.

Peak visibility is around 2 a.m.

Orionid meteors usually fly between Oct. 2 to Nov. 7 each year.

How many meteors will I see?

According to EarthSky.org, you can expect to see up to 10-20 meteors per hour during peak time.

Where do I have to go to watch the meteor showers?

The meteor shower will be visible from anywhere on the planet, but be sure to go somewhere far from city lights.

How to find the shape of Orion the Hunter

The meteor shower will radiate from Orion’s sword, which is slightly north of the star Betelgeuse.

According to Space.com, it could be helpful or just educational to find the shape of Orion the Hunter as you get settled for the show.

But staring straight at the point of origin won’t do much for you, Cooke said. That’s because “meteors close to the radiant have short trails and are harder to see — so you want to look away from Orion.”

Your best bet is to simply look up at the vast, dark sky.

GLOBE at Night has a nifty Orion Finder Chart that will show you Orion based on your location, for anyone interested.

From globeatnight.org:

The easiest way to find Orion is to go outside in the evening and look in the southwest sky if you are in the northern hemisphere or the northwestern sky if you are in the southern hemisphere. If you live on or near the equator, he will be visible in the western sky. You are looking for three bright stars close together in an almost-straight line. These three stars represent Orion's belt. The two bright stars to the north are his shoulders and the two to the south are his feet. 

Do I need binoculars?

According to Space.com, binoculars and telescopes won’t actually help. That’s because those tools are designed to magnify and focus on stationary objects in the sky.

The naked eye will do just fine.

How to safely watch the shower

Space.com recommends heading outdoors around 1:30 a.m. and letting your eyes adjust to the darkness for about 20 minutes.

How to watch the Orionid meteor shower livestream 

Catch a live stream event at Slooh.com on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22. Slooh will be pulling images from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands in Tenerife's Teide National Park, one of the world's darkest places, according to Travel and Leisure.

Read more about the Orionid meteor shower at Space.com.

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