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Starbucks releases another holiday cup

Weeks after releasing a color-it-yourself cup, Starbucks is releasing another holiday cup.

>> Related: Starbucks releases color-it-yourself holiday cups

The new cup is red with an illustration of hands around a heart.

“The red cup is a clean design, with the heart as a space where people can highlight someone in their life who makes the season special,” said Jordan Kay, the designer of the cup. “The design symbolizes the love and warmth felt during the holiday season, when we connect with friends and family.”

The cup released earlier this month, also designed by Kay, is mostly white, giving customers the option to color in between the lines.

The new red cup, which Starbucks says celebrates “the good in each other,” will be given to customers for a limited time, according to The Associated Press.

“By introducing this cup, Starbucks encourages customers to recognize those who fill their heart and embody goodness this holiday season by writing that person’s name in the heart of the cup,” a Starbucks representative wrote in a news release.

Customers are encouraged to share photos with their red cups on social media with the hashtag #GiveGood.

“The holidays are about remembering what it means to give love and put goodness out into the world,” said Leanne Fremar, executive creative director for Starbucks. “We loved the idea of celebrating the good in each other this holiday season.”

This year marks the 20th year that the coffee chain has released holiday cups. 

In recent years, critics have condemned the cups, claiming they have become anti-Christian or anti-Christmas. President Donald Trump even suggested boycotting the coffee giant in the midst of what he has referred to as the “war on Christmas.”

Last year’s holiday cups were green, and Starbucks officials said the cup represented “a symbol of unity.”

>> Related: Protesters build 8,000-cup wall, monster in front of Starbucks' headquarters

Driver with giant Christmas tree on roof stopped by police

Police in Massachusetts caught what looks like a scene from “Christmas Vacation” on the road Monday, prompting them to remind drivers to be careful when transporting trees this holiday season.

>> Read more trending news

Officers said Friday that they stopped a driver who had a massive Christmas tree unsafely perched atop a vehicle on Route 20 in Sudbury.

Police shared a photo of the tree draped over the vehicle to remind drivers what a dangerous load looks like.

“Sudbury PD would like to remind you to transport your Holiday trees responsibly,” police said in the Facebook post.

Pet dies after dog walker's error

A pet is dead after a dog walker made an error

The owners of Bandit, a 4-year-old Lab-border collie mix, said he vanished after a dog walker they found through the app Wag! didn’t follow their instructions and didn’t use a harness when taking the dog out for a walk. 

>> Read more trending news 

Bandit's owners, Michelle Morrissey and Kelsey Burke, were in Illinois for Thanksgiving.

“There’s instructions you give your wag walker and it’s there: 'He always needs his harness for his walk,'” Morrissey said. 

They said they got a call on Saturday evening. The dog walker hadn't used the harness, and Bandit was gone. 

“Essentially, as soon as they got outside, he pulled back to the apartment and slipped out of his leash,” Morrissey said. 

She and Burke immediately cut their trip short and flew back to Seattle

>> Related: Dog mauled, killed by pit bull at PetSmart during grooming appointment

KIRO-TV tagged along with the owners Monday morning as they posted and handed out flyers in Olympic Sculpture Park. 

“Take it somewhere. Hang it. If you see him, we’d love to hear from you,” Morrissey said as she handed a flyer to someone walking a dog. 

Just a few hours later, she and Burke found out someone had discovered Bandit’s body. The owners say they believe Bandit was hit by a car, sometime between Saturday night and Monday.

“It’s not the way we wanted this story to end, and we really wanted to bring him home and just (are) sad that we can’t,” Burke said. 

They say the people who found Bandit were geocaching and found him under a wooden walkway, about 100 feet away from where they were standing during an interview with KIRO-TV.

“To know we were so close and we couldn’t find him is hard,” Burke said.

 

Now Burke and Morrissey are remembering Bandit.

“He had this spot on the couch that was his spot, and I just loved turning the corner and seeing him and his smile. He just had the biggest smile,” Burke said through tears. 

>> Pit bull owner apologizes after dogs kill 12 neighborhood cats

Wag! said a dog getting loose on a walk is “extremely rare” and sent KIRO-TV the following statement:

"We are terribly sorry to inform you that Bandit has unfortunately passed away. Bandit was found in (Olympic Sculpture Park) this afternoon, and we are in close contact with the owners. Wag! had gone to extraordinary lengths to bring Bandit home. We are heartbroken by this outcome. The walker has been removed from our platform pending an investigation. Our thoughts are with Bandit's owners at this difficult time."

Bandit’s owners say they’ve used the app before and this is the first time they’ve had a problem.

“Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time it’s fine. This 1 percent it’s not. (Bandit’s) not coming home tonight and we just want to make sure people weigh that flexibility with the risk,” Burke said. 

Burke and Morrissey said they’ve both walked for Wag! as dog walkers and urge all dog walkers to pay attention to the instructions left by dog owners, saying it could help prevent another accident.As for what Wag! did to help find Bandit after he ran away, the company said: “Wag! activated a search party of numerous people to look for Bandit from the moment he escaped; printed and distributed hundreds of flyers, printed and hung two large banners and activated a Pet Amber Alert as well as PawBoost. It deployed a special dedicated tip line for sightings and stayed in constant contact with the dog’s owners, as sightings came in.”

Georgia cop drank 10 beers, threw shoes at kids before Thanksgiving arrest, report says

A Cherokee County, Georgia, sheriff’s deputy drew his gun on a Roswell police officer on Thanksgiving when he responded to a domestic dispute at the officer’s Woodstock home, authorities said.

Chad Harris, a sergeant with the Roswell Police Department, was arrested early Thanksgiving morning and charged with simple battery, battery and two counts of cruelty to children. He was released from a Cherokee County jail on $4,500 bond and placed on administrative leave from the Roswell Police Department.

An incident report from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reveals new details about the arrest. According to the report, Harris drank 10 beers, threw shoes at his children and left scratch marks on his wife’s neck.

>> On AJC.com: Thanksgiving thief steals tires, rims off car

Deputies arrived at Harris’ home in Woodstock at 1:41 a.m. on Nov. 23 after his son called 911, according to the report. When deputies arrived, they could hear two people arguing, “screams,” “bangs” and “thumps” coming from inside the home.

When the deputies approached to enter the home, the front door was flung open by a woman later identified as Harris’ wife, and “it looked as if (Harris) was pushing her through the front door,” according to the deputies’ report. A deputy wrote in the report that the “surprise” from the door being flung open coupled with the bangs and screams influenced the deputy to draw his weapon and aim at Harris.

>> Read more trending news 

The deputies told Harris to get on the ground, and they put him in handcuffs when he did, according to the report. This is when Harris told the deputies he was a sergeant within the Roswell Police Department.

The report notes that two victims, a 42-year-old and a 17-year-old, had visible injuries and were given medical attention. Harris told deputies he never touched his wife, but admitted to throwing the shoes.

According to the report, Harris told deputies he was a 15-year law enforcement veteran and that the arrest would “ruin his career.”

Anonymous donor gives more than $12,000 to Walmart employees for Black Friday work

All across the country last week, families joined together to celebrate Thanksgiving and ring in the beginning of the holiday season. And much of that celebration was possible because of retail workers who routinely work on Thanksgiving and Black Friday every year. 

>> Reporter gets upset over lack of Black Friday shoppers

Now, 125 lucky Texas Walmart employees who worked through Thanksgiving and Black Friday received anonymous donations for working over the long holiday weekend. 

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

According to a news release, the employees received an anonymous $100 donation through the Earnin app, which allows people to access a day’s pay immediately after a shift is over. The more than $12,000 in donations were made through an anonymous donor with no ties to the Wal-Mart Corp., according to the news release.

>> On Statesman.com: If you’re in a giving mood, you don’t have to wait until Giving Tuesday. Here are this year’s Season For Caring families.

One of the workers who received a donation is in Austin. 

“This is the best news I could have gotten today,” Stephani Kohl said. “I definitely needed this break. I'll be able to get my babies a couple extra presents.”

Erick Rock of Dallas said the donation made his Black Friday shift worth all the hassle. 

>> Read more trending news

“I wasn’t thrilled about working on Black Friday because I knew what to expect. For this to come up after a day’s work literally lit my day and brought me to near tears.”

Wedding interrupted after bride discovers she's allergic to cake

There’s good news for the pair of New Jersey newlyweds whose dream wedding ended in tears after the bride had an allergic reaction to the wedding cake, leaving her temporarily hospitalized -- they’re about to get a free do-over.

>> Read more trending news

Bride Victoria Tumolo was dancing the night away at her reception back in September when she she noticed a change in her breathing patterns. Luckily, Tumolo’s career as a nurse meant that she was prepared for such a situation, and she quickly realized what was happening.

“You need to get my parents,” she told the guests. “I think I have to go to the hospital.”

The next thing she knew, her father was administering an EpiPen through her wedding dress, according to the Courier-Post.

“I had to take my dress off outside so they wouldn’t cut it off me when we got to the hospital,” Victoria Tumolo said, adding that her new husband, Dominic Tumolo, and her mother removed her dress together.

“I didn’t really panic,” groom Dominic told WTXF. “I just wanted to make sure the ambulance got there and got everyone settled and then go to the hospital.”

“I wanted everyone to stay and have a good time,” Victoria said. “There was a lot of confusion, and some people knew what was going on.”

Victoria later discovered that she was allergic to milk and almonds, but the symptoms of her allergy only appear after strenuous physical activity -- like dancing.

Luckily, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the not-so-happy couple. Their caterer, Jim Auletto, teamed up with the owner of the company that provided the entertainment for the reception to offer them a complimentary do-over -- a free second reception.

RELATED: A woman attempted to crash a wedding, but the bridal party wasn’t having it, police say

“This is driving me crazy; she didn’t get to cut her cake” Auletto told WTXF. “It never happened before, so we have to do something.”

So Auletto emailed the couple and asked them if they’d be interested in a second reception, at no charge.

“(Victoria) just started crying because she was so happy,” Dominic said. “We called her parents to let them know the good news.”

Hair and make-up professionals have also volunteered to help the bride out at no cost, and the wedding photographer has also offered their services free of charge.

The couple is excited to finally cut their wedding cake together, but Dominic admitted that, at this point, they have a few unorthodox ideas regarding the tradition.

“I’m thinking of cutting that cake and smashing it in her face,” he joked. “We’ve been trash talking like that for a while.”

Read more at WTXF and the Courier Post.

Cyber Monday: 5 things to know before you start shopping

Don’t expect much work to get done at the office Monday.

Your co-workers -- and, let’s be honest here, probably you, too -- will no doubt be surfing the web in search of Cyber Monday shopping deals. 

>> Read more trending news

Cyber Monday is when a variety of retailers trot out some of the season’s best online bargains. 

While there was more of a tech focus in its early days, that’s no longer the case. Hop online this Cyber Monday and you’ll see just about anything you can imagine – clothes, computers, toys and even vacations – marked down to must-have prices. 

Here are five things you need to know about Cyber Monday: 

1. Shop early: Many deals involve products that are only available in limited quantities. That means no rain checks. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Experienced online shoppers tend to stake out the store’s website days in advance, adding the items they want to their carts. That way, they’re ready to pounce early on Monday, before stock is depleted. 

>> Related: Cyber Monday 2017: Your guide to deals from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and more

2. What’s popular: Of the consumers surveyed by BlackFriday.com and Offers.com, 22 percent said clothing topped their shopping lists this Cyber Monday. Tablets, laptops, PCs and TVs were next, coming in at 21 percent, followed by smart-home devices (17 percent), gift cards (15 percent), toys (14 percent) and travel (11 percent). 

3. Best deals: WalletHub.com says Kohl’s has the steepest discounts, with prices marked down by 66.32 percent, on average. JCPenney is in hot pursuit, according to the site, with discounts averaging 66.3 percent. Other retailers on the list with a Central Texas presence include Sears (52.78 percent) and Macy’s (45.58 percent). 

4. Stack coupons: More coupons, more savings. Many chains allow shoppers to use multiple coupons or promo codes on the same transaction, a practice known as “stacking.” Kohl’s, for instance, lets shoppers use up to four promo codes in a single online transaction. 

>> Related: The best Cyber Monday 2017 deals on tech, clothing, home and more

5. In-store pickup: If your purchase isn’t big enough to qualify for free shipping, consider same-day in-store pickup. It’s free, and Best Buy and other merchants often have online orders ready for in-store pickup in as little as an hour or two (although it might take a little longer during the busy holiday season). If your item isn’t available for same-day in-store pickup, see if there’s a ship-to-store option. Walmart and others don’t typically charge for this service. They’ll send an email or text when your purchase arrives from the central warehouse.

New Christmas edition of 'Make America Great Again' hats on sale

As the holiday season approaches and people prepare for Christmas lists and gift-giving, a new hat has become available for Trump supporters.

>> Read more trending news

The president’s website recently debuted a “Make America Great Again” hat that shows the iconic words draped in a string of Christmas lights.

The hat debuted in mid-November, when the official GOP Twitter account showed a brief video of it.

On the GOP website, President Donald Trump’s original “Make America Great Again” hats are being sold for $25. The new Christmas-themed hat, which says “Merry Christmas” on the back, is being sold for $45.

>> Related: President Trump says you'll be hearing 'Merry Christmas' a lot more this year

On Black Friday, the president posted a link to his products on his Facebook page with the caption “We’ve got a great deal for our supporters this Black Friday!”

In regard to how the slogan came to be, Trump told The Washington Post that the phrase came to him the day that Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in the general election on Nov. 7, 2012. Trump said he was sitting in his Manhattan tower when the idea came to his mind, and five days later, a trademark was pending.

Democrats initially slammed his slogan, but pundits saw the ring to it. Some pointed out that “Make America Great Again” had been used before; Reagan used it in 1980 on his campaign trail. But Trump owned the four words, and when other candidates began using the phrase in their speeches, Trump’s lawyers sent off cease-and-desist letters.

Trump’s iconic red hat has changed over time; after he won the election, he released a hat with the letters “USA” embroidered on the front in white.

While he might own the rights to those words, that hasn’t stopped other brands from selling fake versions of Trump’s famous caps. A search on Google Shopping for “Make America Great Again hat” yields hundreds of products, most of them boasting price tags much lower than Trump’s official hat on the GOP website.

North Korean defector fears being sent back, has medical problems that stun doctors

The North Korean solider identified only as “Oh” who was shot multiple times as he fled Kim Jong Un’s regime for a life of freedom has not only been found to have medical issues doctors haven’t seen, but he’s also afraid that he’ll be sent back.

The 24-year-old soldier escaped two weeks ago after abandoning his post and making a run for it in an incident that was partially recorded.

>> North Korea replaces border soldiers after defection

Although Oh suffered multiple gunshot wounds during his escape, he is recovering. The thing he fears the most is being sent back to North Korea, the New York Post reported.

He has been assured that will not happen.

While surgeons were disturbed to discover that Oh also had tuberculosis and hepatitis B, the 10-inch parasitic worms they removed from his intestines took these doctors to uncharted territory, CNN reported.

>> Watch: North Korean guard makes dramatic defection

“In my 20 years as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a medical textbook,” surgeon Lee Cook-Jong said. “He’s quite a strong man.”

The lead surgeon in South Korea said Oh is “not going to die” from his wounds, ABC News reported.

Doctors were also vexed by the raw corn kernels in Oh’s stomach, according to the Washington Post.

Officials in South Korea said that Oh’s escape took place two Mondays ago after the North Korean guard abandoned his post and tried to escape. CNN reported that this was the third defection of a North Korean soldier this year and that there had only been four such defections in the past five years.

>> Read more trending news 

“The defector was urgently transferred to hospital in a helicopter of the United Nations Command, and there was no exchange of fire with our side,” a South Korean ministry official told Reuters. “Since it was an area exposed to the North, we had to crawl toward there to get him out.”

ABC News also noted that it appeared North Korea violated the 1953 Armistice Agreement signed by the U.N., North Korea and China by firing guns across the military demarcation line (MDL) and by physically crossing the line.

Earlier Saturday, it was reported that Kim Jong Un has already “replaced” the border guards who fired on Oh but allowed him to escape.

Website seeks Pilgrim descendants to post their stories

A genealogical organization in New England has announced the launch of the world's first online gallery of Mayflower passenger descendants.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society told The Associated Press that the goal is to document the approximately 30 million living descendants of Mayflower passengers and crew.

>> Read more trending news

MORE: New bill takes on Native American mascots in Mass. schools

The website identifies 108 passengers and crew members known to have left descendants, allowing participants to locate their Pilgrim relative. Those who are a known descendant of a Pilgrim can post their story on the website.

The new project will help mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's passage, which takes place in 2020, The Associated Press reported.

MORE: Native Americans mark Thanksgiving with day of mourning

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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