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Marines jump in to help woman confronted by robbers

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Three U.S. Marine Corps recruiters said they heard repeated honking from inside their office on Tuesday around 5:00 p.m. -- when they ran out to see what was going on.

"We thought there was road rage involved or a fight broke loose," said Sgt. Riccardo Schebesta.

Schebesta and two other recruiters rushed outside and saw a woman yelling for help.

"She said, ‘Help me I’m being robbed.’ I stopped paying attention to her. She's not the problem," said Staff Sgt. Ben Shoemaker.

He immediately saw one of the suspects, and ran to try and catch them.

"No -- that kid was never going to outrun me," Shoemaker added. "Marines run towards the sound of chaos."

Moments earlier, Lynnwood Police said that the woman was confronted by two robbery suspects.

Officers said the woman in her 60's was getting into her pick-up truck in the parking lot of the Alderwood Mall.

Two teenagers then attempted robbing her, and one of them said he had a gun.

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Court documents show that the woman told them that she was a retired police officer.

She reached for her purse and then dropped it on the ground. She pushed one of the suspects and started to chase them in her pick-up truck.

She couldn't get to them, but Shoemaker detained 18-year-old Diego Tavares with a technique called the arm bar.

"An arm bar keeps in on his feet, but keeps him compliant," said Shoemaker.

"As Staff Sgt. Shoemaker detained the first guy, I got on the phone with 911. At the time there were no police officers on the scene," said Staff Sgt. Bryson Twigg.

The other suspect escaped, but Tavares was arrested when police arrived shortly afterwards.

"It’s what we do. From the beginning what we’re taught in boot camp -- it's a part of us," said Schebesta.

Officers found a baseball bat in his pants but did not recover a gun on him or at the scene.

On Wednesday, a Snohomish County judge set his bail at $25,000.

"It's really what I’m trained to do, be it recruiting, be it that -- my job is to protect the United States public," said Shoemaker.

Lynnwood police are still searching for the second suspect.

Dad accused of throwing girl off bridge 'wasn't wired right'

WFTV and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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In her short life, 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck attended kindergarten, bounced from home to home and often witnessed her parents fighting and arguing.

Still, friends and family said, she loved her daddy and told him that often. And by all accounts, John Jonchuck doted on Phoebe.

Their once-strong bond left police wondering why he dropped her — perhaps while she was still alive — over a bridge and into Tampa Bay. The fall was 62 feet, police said.

>> Photos of Phoebe Jonchuck

Phoebe lived with her father, and in the last day of her life, he made comments that frightened his lawyer so much she called authorities and frantically wondered aloud if she should have kept the girl at her office. He called his attorney "God" and asked her to translate a Bible in Swedish.

A short time later, a deputy questioned Jonchuck and found nothing wrong. Phoebe was smiling and happy.

Fast-forward 12 hours, during an unusually cold and windy night along the Gulf Coast, a police officer spotted Jonchuck speeding by in his car early Thursday, then the officer said he witnessed Jonchuck drop Phoebe.

Jonchuck is in custody at the Pinellas County Jail without bond. Phoebe's body was recovered about a mile from the bridge about two hours later. An autopsy and cause of death was pending.

Phoebe's mother, Michelle Kerr, was with Jonchuck for six tumultuous years, and police were called numerous times. Since 2008, Jonchuck has been charged with domestic battery six times, but in every case, the charges were dropped or never pursued.

Kerr had an arrest record consisting of child neglect, petty theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, among other charges.

Jonchuck had custody of Phoebe and they lived with Jonchuck's parents in Tampa.

"I always saw him as a good dad," Kerr said. "She would always say, 'I love you daddy.' She loved her dad."

Kerr said she last saw her daughter and Jonchuck on Christmas Eve. They had a nice evening together and then he called child protective services on her and made false abuse allegations, she said.

"He does the Jekyll and Hyde. It's just something that goes on in his head, he just wasn't wired right," she said.

Before her death, Jonchuck and Phoebe had an odd encounter with his attorney. Genevieve Torres told the 911 dispatcher she had asked Jonchuck if he wanted her to file paperwork in his custody case during a meeting Wednesday in Tampa.

"It's not going to matter anymore," she recalled him saying.

"That really scared me," Torres told the dispatcher, her voice trembling. He was "out of his mind."

A sheriff's deputy investigated and Jonchuck told the officer he was happy, didn't want to hurt himself or his little girl and had "new clarity in his life."

The Florida Department of Children and Families said Thursday evening that the agency received a call to the abuse hotline at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday "regarding the mental health of Phoebe's father."

The caller said Jonchuck was "depressed and delusional."

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said a team is reviewing the agency's involvement with the family, which included at least three prior investigations into the family.

Insects found in rice served at Pa. elementary schools

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A Pennsylvania school district confirmed Monday that students at three elementary schools were served contaminated rice.

Officials at West Allegheny School District said rice weevils, which are tiny, beetle-like insects found in older boxes of rice, were discovered in bags of rice that were cooked and served to students at Donaldson, McKee and Wilson elementary schools Monday.

Around 130 students were served the rice, school officials said.

The bags of rice were delivered to the district in sealed bags, and it’s believed that the rice was already contaminated before being given to the schools.

Officials looked over the Donaldson Elementary School cafeteria Monday evening, where the meals for all the elementary schools are prepared.

The district said it believes this instance was an isolated incident.

Burglars steal about $40,000 in marijuana from shop

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Authorities are looking for burglars who broke into a Seattle medical marijuana shop.

Police said burglars broke into the Natural Green Medicine shop Friday.

Seattle TV station KIRO reported the owner of the store  that the thieves got into the shop by smashing a window 10 feet above and and then smashed through a wall, bypassing the alarm system.

Police said the thieves got away with $40,000 in medical marijuana.

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Naked woman rescued from chimney of estranged boyfriend

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Tony Hernandez told cops he was sleeping when the unnamed woman tried to get in the front door of his California house.

When that didn’t work, the woman climbed to the roof, stripped off her clothes, and tried to slide down the chimney.

It may work for Santa, but not for her.

Hernandez told Los Angeles TV station KABC when he awoke to get ready for work, he heard the 35-year-old woman calling his name. He checked the front and back yards but could not find her.

“She said, ‘I’m trapped in the chimney,’ he told Los Angeles TV station CBSLA. “So I tried to get her out, but it was too hard.”

Hernandez called emergency workers who removed part of the chimney to reach the woman.

Hernandez admits having three kids with the woman but added, "I don’t like the way she’s acting or what she’s doing."

He told the station. "that's not good for my kids."

The woman was taken to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries but is expected to be OK.

More here.   

Why the CDC declared a flu epidemic

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The CDC says the flu virus crossed into being an epidemic this past week.

Combined with a flu shot that's already been declared not as effective as most years, the agency has warned this flu season could be a severe one.

In its weekly FluView report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 22 states — mostly in the Midwest and Southeast — reported a high level of influenza activity.

Some other numbers to know; the CDC says the flu is widespread in 36 states, 15 children have died from the flu so far this season and the total number of deaths attributed to the flu hit 6.8 percent this past week. That's the exact percentage where the CDC declares an epidemic.

This year's predominant strain is the H3N2 virus, which caused harsh flu seasons as recently as two years ago. So why aren't we as protected by the flu shot as most years?

"What they're finding is in the predominant virus — at least, early on — it has drifted or become different from what they had predicted," The Washington Post's health blogger Lenny Bernstein said.

"By the time they knew that it had mutated to this extent, it was really too late to change the vaccine," Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa of the NYU Langone Medical Center told Fox News. "They figured this out around March. That's too late for a vaccine that really comes out in October."

You'll be hard-pressed to find a medical professional, however, who says to take this year off when it comes to getting a shot because they say some coverage is better than no coverage.

The summary of the CDC's weekly report says more states will likely fall into that high activity category soon and rather bluntly advises, "If you have not been vaccinated yet this season, get vaccinated now."

The head of Johns Hopkins' Office of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention pointed out children and the elderly are more susceptible and, if nothing else, she told The Washington Post average adults getting a shot "are in essence protecting those that are vulnerable."

Nationwide recall issued for dog chews

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A nationwide recall has been issued for a brand of dog chews that officials say may be contaminated with salmonella.

Barkworthies announced Tuesday the recall of:


Lot Code: 1254T1

Size: 16 oz. Plastic Pouch

Best Used by Date: May 2016

UPC: 816807011510

The Virginia-based company said that, after routine testing, the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of salmonella. No additional products are affected by the recall and company officials said they haven’t received any reports of illnesses in either people or animals.

Officials said that if you believe your pet has been infected with salmonella, look out for symptoms including diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will have a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

For a full refund, pet owners are asked to return all unused products to the store they bought it from, along with a completed product recall claim form available on the Barkworthies website.

Jockey shot after alleged indecent act, break-ins

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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A suburban Philadelphia burglary suspect shot by a neighbor after allegedly masturbating, breaking into two apartments and tussling with a dog is a successful horse-racing jockey.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports 21-year-old Angel Suarez won a horse race at Bensalem's Parx Racing just hours before Sunday's rampage.

The Associated Press reports Bensalem police say Suarez stole a dachshund from a woman who confronted him as he touched himself on her balcony. However the owner of the dog told the Daily News that she believes her two dogs were attacking Suarez and that one of them fell out of the second-story window during the struggle.

The dog, Ollie, remains missing but was spotted Tuesday, according to the Daily News.

According to police reports, a neighbor shot Suarez as he tried breaking into another apartment. Suarez's agent tells the newspaper he's in an induced coma with liver and pancreas injuries.

Friends suggested the usually good-natured Suarez was on drugs. He faces burglary, assault and other charges.

The Puerto Rico native has won 297 of 2,232 races and earning millions of dollars for owners since turning professional in 2012.

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