In Chicago, about 70 freezing homeless people are getting a warm refuge for the rest of the week thanks to a very kind and generous stranger. The inhabitants of a tent camp at a vacant downtown lot were left without a heating source Wednesday after a propane tank exploded. Nobody was injured, but with the temperatures at -22 degrees, the Salvation Army planned to move people to its warming center. Now, they won't have to as "some wonderful citizen is going to put all of them up at a hotel for the rest of the week," according to a Salvation Army rep. The unknown individual isn't the only one helping out. Khloe Thompson, an 11-year-old girl living in Los Angeles, also helped raise almost $40,000 for Salvation Army Chicago in a single day after learning of the cold spell. Daytime temps in the windy city return to the low 40s this weekend. (Chicago Tribune)
Mother of the Year (Worst That Is)
Here's somebody who doesn't need to be a mother. In South Carolina, Caitlin Alyse Hardy is facing a charge of cruelty to children after allegedly pouring water on her sleeping infant's face as "payback for waking me up." The 33-year-old mother of four uploaded a 36-second video to Facebook on Saturday showing her tipping a water bottle over the nose and mouth of her 9-month-old daughter, who woke up coughing and sputtering! She then wrote under the picture, "Payback for waking me up all kinda times of da night," and added three laughing emojis. A woman is heard laughing throughout the video-and laughing harder as the child coughs. The Sumter County Department of Social Services jumped right in and has launched an investigation "for the benefit and safety of all children in this home." Hardy, cited in 2014 for failing to properly restrain a child in a vehicle, deleted her Facebook profile, though screenshots of the video remain. (Newsweek)
Death By Toothpick? Almost!
He suffered from nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever for almost three weeks before doctors finally figured out what was wrong. Now it almost seems comical but it darn well nearly killed him. He was an 18-year-old professional athlete and the mystery came down to a 3-inch toothpick from a sandwich he ate and accidentally swallowed. His case was recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and our boy visited doctors and hospitals multiple times over the course of his illness, but everyone was stumped; blood tests, a CT scan, and an MRI offered no clues. Finally, as his symptoms became even more severe and his temperature jumped to 105 degrees, doctors performed a colonoscopy and found the toothpick. It had poked through the man's intestinal wall and pierced an artery, letting bacteria into his bloodstream and causing severe bleeding. Blood started spurting from the artery once the toothpick was removed, and the patient was rushed into surgery to repair his intestine and artery; ultimately, a 1.2-inch segment of the artery had to be removed due to damage and replaced with a vein from the patient's thigh. Wow! (New England Journal of Medicine)
Guess Who's Coming to the SOTU
There will be an interesting guest at the upcoming State of the Union address. Victorina Morales is an undocumented worker that used to work for one of Trump's golf resorts. She figured she'd be fired after speaking to the New York Times last month but now says she's not sure she ever was let go; she simply stopped going to work right before the first story was published and hasn't heard anything since. Morales-a Guatemala native who's been in the US since 1999, and who says she was hired by the Trump Organization in 2013 using paperwork she says her supervisors knew was fake-was invited to be the guest of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, her Democratic New Jersey congresswoman. Morales says, "I'm not scared to show my face. I am not speaking for me, I'm speaking on behalf of millions of undocumented immigrants who live in the United States." Watson Coleman says in a statement: "I've invited Victorina so that [Trump] may look her in her eyes to tell his lies to a familiar face." The Trump Organization reportedly fired about a dozen undocumented workers earlier this month after the Times story ran, and Eric Trump says that all of the family's properties will now implement the E-Verify system to confirm job applicants can work in the US. However, during the 2016 campaign Trump said E-Verify was already used at all his properties, and that there should be a "huge financial penalty" for organizations that hire undocumented workers. (Washington Post)
That'll Teach Ya to Steal My Pills
In Pinellas Park, Florida, Jayme Ream takes pain pills - the result of a 2011 football incident. When he realized the pills were disappearing, he set up a surveillance camera-and added a twist. He replaced the opioid hydrocodone acetaminophen with the laxative Ex-Lax. The video don't lie and confirmed his suspicions - that roommate Peter Emery Jr., 56, had gotten the code to his lockbox and was taking the pills. An arrest warrant says Emery is seen on film taking two pills last Thursday. Police say Emery told them he threw the pills out once he realized they were "something else." Meanwhile, police say they have no problem with Ream's switcheroo. "[The laxatives weren't] a dangerous substance that was going to harm that person." (Miami Herald)
Kim Davis: You're Great But May Owe $225K
Remember Kim Davis? The Kentucky county clerk who became famous for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples? Well, some considered her the devil while others a hero - including current Gov. Matt Bevin who called Davis an "inspiration" for what she did. Well, inspiration or not, Bevin's own attorneys say that Davis herself-or at least the county clerk office where she used to work-should have to pay nearly $225,000 in legal fees that resulted from the controversy. The attorneys don't think the state itself should have to pay the bills, and the matter is now being ironed out in court. The hefty bill is the result of a 2017 decision by a federal judge, who ruled that Kentucky taxpayers should cover the legal fees of the couples who sued the state. The thinking of the governors' attorneys goes like this: We don't think Davis did anything wrong, but because a federal judge ruled that she violated the civil rights of gay couples, either Rowan County or Davis herself should pay the $222,000 in legal fees. Something tells me this ends up at GoFundMe and gets taken care of that way. (Kentucky.com)
Eat Breakfast! Or Don't! Oh, Who Knows?
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but now yet another study says it won't help you lose weight. The study found no good evidence that regularly eating breakfast helps us cut down on calories or avoid weight gain. More damning, it even found some evidence that skipping breakfast entirely would be better for our waistlines-although you should probably find better ways to stay fit. The authors did add their findings shouldn't be taken as definitive and that it will require further research, preferably from large, high-quality trials, to be completely sure of anything. In other words - we think so, but maybe not. We're not sure. Oh who knows? Thanks for reading and publishing our worthless report. (Gizmodo)
What the What?
There's a cookie monster in New Jersey - a Girl Scout cookie monster! Troop 80062 leader Jessica Medina had told cops that on Jan. 18, she placed more than $1,100 in cash and checks from their sale of Do-Si-Dos and Thin Mints at the Woodbridge Center Mall into an envelope - and it was then swiped from their table, robbing the youngsters of funds for a trip to Savannah, Ga. The story made national headlines and prompted kind-hearted New Yorkers to offer thousands in donations to the troop to make up for the stolen loot. However, after further investigation, you guessed it - police don't believe her. Medina kept changing her story, ultimately settling on the theory that the money was accidentally discarded with the trash as the scouts cleaned up the area. The Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey said Medina has now been removed from her volunteer position as troop leader. (New York Post)