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Shark attacks American tourist spearfishing in Bahamas

A 32-year-old woman is recovering in a Florida hospital after she was bitten by a shark while spearfishing Sunday in the Bahamas, authorities said.

The Massachusetts native was bitten as she was swimming to her boat with a speared fish in the Treasure Cay area of Abaco Island in the Bahamas, officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

She was flown by air ambulance to a hospital in Fort Lauderdale.

The woman reportedly told authorities that she “isn't mad at the shark because getting attacked is a common risk with spearfishing."

The woman, whose name was not given, suffered severe trauma to her left hand.

Holy Guacamole! 200-pound turtle to be released after treatment at Florida zoo

Florida's Brevard Zoo will release a 200-pound sea turtle named “Guacamole” into the ocean Monday.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The green sea turtle was found in February at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach. Guacamole had several cuts and was missing most of one of her flippers.

She was treated at the Brevard Zoo for seven months.

>> Read more trending news 

The zoo’s website said Guacamole is the first adult green sea turtle zoo employees have released.

Visitors can attend the release at 3 p.m. at Lori Wilson Park. Zoo officials said attendees are encouraged to wear green to show their support.

FBI joins search for missing North Carolina boy with special needs

The search for a 6-year-old North Carolina boy who vanished from a Gastonia park will continue for a third day on Monday.

>> Watch the news report here

Maddox Ritch was last seen at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday with his father and a friend.

>> On Search for boy with special needs at Gastonia park

Overnight, dozens of people continued to look for the child, and more than two dozen agencies are helping with the search and investigation.

Police said Maddox was with his father and another adult, who officials have yet to identify, before he disappeared.

Maddox is autistic and nonverbal but officials said there is a special team with the FBI that is highly trained and experienced in mysterious missing children's cases that are working to find him.

"We're going to explore all possibilities, including abduction, but we're also going to make sure we search every inch of land around here to make sure that he's not simply lost," said FBI Special Agent Jason Kaplan.

Police said the boy’s family has been interviewed and they are cooperating with law enforcement.

>> Read more trending news 

On Sunday, search dogs roamed the area near Rankin Lake, where Maddox was last seen. Search boats also checked the lake with divers and sonar devices.

Police are asking anyone who may have been at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday and saw Maddox, especially if they have pictures or videos, to call them.

"If you were at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday and saw Maddox or took video or photos of their outing at the park, call us," Helton said. "We know a lot of people were in the park and we have spoken to many of them, but we have not spoken to everyone. No piece of information is too small. Something you may think is insignificant could be helpful to our case.”

Crews have been searching more than 1,400 acres and will continue Monday morning. Search and rescue crews have been patrolling areas of the park on foot and on ATVs.

Maddox was last seen at the park at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

He was last seen wearing an orange T-shirt with “I’m the man” on the front. Maddox is 4 feet tall and weighs 45 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes.

"They were walking around the lake,” Gastonia spokeswoman Rachel Bagley said. “They got around to the back side of the lake. He started running, according to the parents, and when they started running after him, they lost sight of him, and no one has seen him ever since."

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's helicopter was used Sunday night once the sun set, and used its infrared technology. 

The city confirmed crews are reviewing surveillance video at the park, and crews worked through the night searching on foot and with dogs.

Officials said hundreds of volunteer agencies have assisted in the search, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is also helping.

Gastonia police said additional search units from around the region have joined the search. They said hundreds of law enforcement, search and rescue teams, and state and federal authorities are now involved. 

Officials said they are receiving assistance from the Gastonia Police, Gaston County Sheriff's Department, Gaston County Emergency Management, Gaston County Police, Gastonia and Gaston County Fire Departments, Lincoln County Sheriff's Department, Lincolnton Fire, Charlotte Fire, Stanley Rescue, Lincoln County Land Search team, Spartanburg County Search and Rescue and Search and Rescue Dog Assistance, and Central Carolina K-9 Search Team. 

A spokesperson with the city said the park will be closed until further notice as crews continue their search.

Police advise the public to stay away from the area surrounding the park as they continue their search in the nearby neighborhoods. Officials are also asking people who live near the park to search areas around their homes where a child might hide.

“If you have a shed, barn, wooded area, go take a look and call us immediately if you find anything out of the ordinary,” Helton said.

If you have any information regarding Maddox's whereabouts, police encourage you to call the new 24-hour tip line at 704-869-1075.

“Every second counts when a child is missing,” Kaplan said. “Our focus is to find Maddox as quickly as possible and to bring him home.”

High school cross country runner dies after collapsing at meet

A high school cross country runner from North Carolina died Sunday morning, hours after she collapsed at a meet in Charlotte, Moore County School officials said.

>> Watch the news report here

Officials said Samantha Davis died around 12:30 a.m. at Novant Presbyterian Medical Center.

Davis, a senior from Union Pines High School, was competing in the Hare & Hounds Invitational on Saturday morning at McAlpine Park in Charlotte.

Officials said she suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest.

Davis also was a popular member of the high school band from Cameron, about two hours east of Charlotte.

>> Read more trending news 

“She never put herself before anyone. She always had a smile on her face,” friend Victoria Campbell told WSOC-TV. “If something was bothering you and she knew about it, she was right there to give you a hug and give you all of her support and cheer you up. She was smart and beautiful, inside and out.”

Campbell said a softball injury led to an epilepsy diagnosis for Davis and that her parents said she became a tissue donor after she was removed from life support Sunday morning.

Teen injured in crash that kills father months after losing mother

Doctors are treating a Georgia teenager after a deadly car crash that killed his father. Kevin Buice, 19, of Walton County, is in the hospital with broken bones.

>> Watch the news report here

Last Saturday night, his father, Richard, picked him up from his manager shift at a local Domino's Pizza. 

As they were driving home, a car reportedly crossed into their lane. It slammed head-on into their car, pinning both of them under the crushed dashboard, authorities said.

"They couldn't get out of the car. They were screaming for cars to stop," Buice's sister, Larissa Bassett, said.

"Him and his dad were sitting and talking to each other – about whether they were going to be OK, before his dad passed," Buice's brother-in-law, Barry German, told WSB-TV.

Emergency rescue workers had to tear open the car to get the father and son out. Buice was rushed to the hospital, but his father died at the scene.

Family members have kept watch over their loved one at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.

"He's in a lot of pain, trying to recover and handle what happened," Bassett said.

"He's got badly mangled legs, has rods and pins," German said.

The driver of the other car, Alexis Wynn, is also hospitalized. He's suspected of driving while drunk on the night of the crash, police said. An empty beer bottle was found in his car, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news 

"I would ask everyone to not drink and drive. We lost our dad. My brother is going to have lifelong complications with walking," Bassett said.

Just three months ago, the mother of Bassett and Buice died from a respiratory illness. Now, the family has a mountain of medical bills and is facing costly long-term rehab for Buice.

"He doesn't have health insurance, unfortunately. So the rehab, physical therapy, everything has to be paid out of pocket," Bassett said. "He's hanging in there, but he remembers everything."

Wynn will be formally charged when he's released from the hospital, authorities said.

If you'd like to help the teen injured in the crash, click here.

New Yorker: Another woman alleges sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh during college years

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is under fire as accusations about sexual misconduct cloud what was expected to be a simple process.  

>> Read more trending news 

The controversy continues to grow as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to hold a 10 a.m. Thursday hearing in which a female accuser from his high school years will testify regarding alleged sexual misconduct. 

More recently, another woman came forward with a story regarding sexual misconduct during a drunken party in a dorm room at Yale when they were both freshmen.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 2:24 a.m. EDT Sept. 24: The White House on Sunday again defended President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Kavanaugh after new allegations surfaced.

Earlier Sunday, The New Yorker reported reported that Deborah Ramirez, 53, said Kavanuagh made unwanted advances during a drunken party at a dorm during the 1983-84 school year while they both attended Yale.

“This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec.

>> Jamie Dupree: White House denounces ‘smear campaign’ against Kavanaugh

Meanwhile, attorney Michael Avenatti, who recently made headlines as porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, “claimed to represent a woman with information about high school-era parties attended by Kavanaugh,” The Associated Press reported. He told the AP that he would reveal more details, including the client’s identity, in the next few days and later clarified that his client is not Ramirez.

Update 8:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 23: An unredacted letter of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh has been released.

Update 8:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 23: Officials are looking into another sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Deborah Ramirez, 53, said that Kavanuagh made unwanted advances during a drunken party at a dorm during the 1983-84 school year while they both attended Yale, The New Yorker reported

>> Jamie Dupree: White House denounces ‘smear campaign’ against Kavanaugh

“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so,” Kavanuagh wrote in a statement, The New Yorker reported. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name--and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building--against these last-minute allegations.”

Update 1:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 23:  The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed that a public hearing will be held Thursday on a sexual assault claim made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to a tweet by The Associated Press.

Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford said in a statement on Sunday that she will testify in the open hearing Thursday morning, CNN reported. The statement -- from attorneys Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich -- came after a call with staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday, CNN reported. 

Original report: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify next week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford’s lawyers said in a statement released Saturday afternoon.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley, had previously said the committee would hold a hearing Monday on allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, unless a last-ditch effort to negotiate with Ford and her lawyers to obtain her testimony was reached by 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The deadline had been extended multiple times by Grassley as both sides negotiated the details of Ford’s possible appearance before the committee.

In a new development reported by NBC Saturday morning, Garrett Ventry, a GOP communications aide and adviser who has helped coordinate the party’s messaging amid Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh has resigned. Ventry allegedly was fired from a previous job due to a sexual harassment allegation, NBC reported. Ventry denied any misconduct.

“Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay,” Grassley said in a statement earlier this week.

>> Jamie DuPree: Republicans press for Kavanaugh vote if accuser won't testify 

California college professor Christine Blasey Ford said she was assaulted by a drunk Brett Kavanaugh at a party in the early 1980s when the two were still in high school. Another person, Mark Judge, was present at the time, but Judge has refused to testify about what happened in a bedroom when the three were present.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, saying the incident never happened.

“It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, this committee and the American people to delay this hearing any further,” Grassley said, according to media reports.

>> Related: Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford wants FBI investigation before testifying in Senate

Ford’s attorney, Lisa Banks, said the professor is willing to testify, but believes a “full, non-partisan investigation” is needed first.

“The committee’s stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good-faith investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceedings,” Banks said.

>> Related: Trump casts doubt on Kavanaugh accuser: 'Very hard for me to imagine anything happened'

Late Friday, Grassley set a Saturday afternoon deadline for Ford to decide whether she’ll testify next week.

Fire department surprises 3-year-old with birthday party after guests cancel at last minute

The Harrisburg Fire Department in North Carolina surprised a 3-year-old with a birthday party after several of his classmates canceled Sunday. 

>> Watch the news report here

Melissa Reid said she received several text messages the morning of her son's birthday party from parents, letting her know her son's classmates couldn't make it. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

"Around 7 in the morning, I started getting text messages that children are sick, that they weren't going to be able to go,” she said. “Out of the eight families we invited, we had seven that canceled.” 

Reid said she didn’t know what to do. She wanted her son to have a special birthday bash.

So she called the Harrisburg Fire Department, which is about a mile away from her house, and asked for a quick tour to entertain her son, Jackson, who loves fire trucks.

"I said, ‘Would you mind just a couple minutes, just pop in,'” Reid said. “I told them what happened with his birthday party."

Harrisburg Fire Capt. Joe Yowler said he called all three crews to surprise the family.

He said he quickly grabbed birthday balloons and cupcakes and waited, along with other firefighters, for Jackson's arrival.

>> Read more trending news 

"As a parent, I was thinking about how devastating it was on both sides,” Yowler said. “Like, a 3-year-old is thinking all week about it being their birthday and having this big party and then not having it. So how could we make this better for the parent and the kid, and I think it worked out pretty well."

Reid said she's thankful the firefighters went out of their way to show Jackson love.

"There's just no words for how much I appreciate them making my son’s day as special as they did. This is definitely the best party he's ever had."

Yowler said his team is thankful they got the opportunity to make Jackson's third birthday a memorable one.

"It was definitely emotional for her and uplifting for all of us just to see the appreciation,” Yowler said. “That they appreciated it and he had a heck of a time going through the ladder trucks and the engines and just climbing all over."

Man is brutally beaten on street corner after woman spits on him, video shows

A man is recovering after being beaten Saturday on a busy street corner. 

Ismail Godinj, 25, is seen in surveillance video from a nearby deli crossing a street when he is spit upon by a woman on the corner, WCBS reported

>> Read more trending news 

Godinj looks to the ground, then says something to the woman before two men push him to the ground and start punching him repeatedly in the face. 

“It is terrible for us,” his brother Markeljan Godinj told WCBS.

Godinj was taken to a hospital where he is recovering from a broken jaw and is unable to speak, WCBS reported

He is not likely to be able to keep working at the carpet cleaning company where he has worked the last three years. 

His parents, who live in Albania, are trying to come to America as Godinj recovers. 

Police are searching for the suspects.

Boston officer taken to hospital after being shot

Boston police responded after an officer was shot in the South End on Sunday, police say.

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said the officer was shot in the calf.

Police confirmed the officer was taken to the hospital, but his injuries weren't believed to be life-threatening.

>> Read more trending news 

A suspect was taken into custody after shooting the officer and barricading himself in an apartment.

“Those individuals, when they made eye contact (with the officer), they immediately got up, clutched at their waists," Gross said. "These officers (are) trained (in the) characteristics of armed gunman. Eventually, officers gained entry into a common hallway, where they were immediately met with gunfire."

Three people in total are in custody, and no further shots were fired at police after the initial shots at the officer.

Neighbors found themselves locked either in or out of the active perimeter during the chaotic situation, all coming in the midst of what seemed like a routine Sunday afternoon.

"Just to see this happening in our neighborhood is crazy," Yash Vazirani said.

The shooting was followed by an incoming presence of SWAT officers and hostage negotiators, creating a concerning situation for residents.

"We were walking by as the rush of cop cars and SWAT teams were putting up the police tape," Alaina Geary said.

When one of the suspects made his way into an apartment, police and neighbors feared that things could get worse.

"I'm thinking, 'I don't know what's going on,'" Jim Linehan said. "Just not respecting any sense or order. I'm quite concerned."

After the incident, Gross made sure everyone knew how dangerous of a job the officers responding in these situations have.

"From ambushes to the death of three officers, it’s now a very dangerous job," Gross said. "It is our job to patrol and protect the people of Boston, and unfortunately, some people take that out against us." 

Student lies under flag to make sure it doesn’t touch the ground

Amanda Reallan was waiting in the parking lot to pick up her children from school when she saw an act of patriotism she had to capture a photo of.

>> Read more trending news 

Three fifth-grade boys were struggling as they removed and worked to fold the American flag when one of them lay under it to make sure it did not touch the ground.

“We’ve had a bunch of close calls,” Jack LeBreck, the boy on the sidewalk, told KREM. “But I thought it would happen because it was kind of a windy day. So I just thought of lying down and seeing what would happen.”

The boys, who have all been involved in Cub Scouts, credited school custodian “Mr. Mac” for their reverence of the flag.

“What they did yesterday was obviously all them,” Mac McCarty told KREM. “And I’m very proud.”

McCarty, a veteran, helps select the children who raise and lower the flag.

“It’s really a great privilege,” Casey Dolan, one of the other selected, told KREM. “I feel really lucky I was chosen for it.”

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