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A Texas Lowe’s hired a veteran and his service dog and now they’re internet famous

A Lowe’s in Abilene, Texas, is attracting attention for one of its employees. She’s not a normal employee; in fact, she has four legs and doesn’t speak.

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Charlotte is a 10-year-old golden retriever and started her work at the Lowe’s a few months ago. Her owner, Clay Luthy, got hired at the home improvement store after he realized Lowe’s welcomes service dogs, according to the Abilene Reporter-News.

Luthy, an Air Force veteran originally from California, can’t bend his left knee. Charlotte is trained to help Luthy back up should he ever fall. But Charlotte proved adept at something else: she entertains customers while wearing a dog-fitted Lowe’s “vest” when Luthy is on the job.

I love Abilene Lowes, way to go! This is a disabled vet who struggled to get a job because he needs his service dog! Lowes hired them BOTH!!Posted by Judy Dechert Rose on Sunday, December 4, 2016

“Everybody loves Charlotte. This definitely was not part of the job description,” Luthy told the Reporter-News.

Luthy, who has a wife and three kids, was a C-130 loadmaster, and told the Reporter-News he feels right at home at his job.

“I can do pretty much everything. We grew up with nothing, so we fixed things and did it ourselves.”

Since news of Luthy’s hiring, photos of Charlotte and him have earned them quite a following. Lowe’s spokeswoman Karen Cobb told the San Antonio Express-News the store was “flooded” with calls and customers after a Facebook photo of the two was posted.

See photos of Charlotte and Luthy here.

College student dies in wreck driving home for best friend's funeral

The parents of a college student killed in a crash are urging young drivers to be careful.

Malik Cooper, 20, was on the way home to Atlanta to be a pallbearer for his best friend who was murdered last week, according to police.

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Cooper never made it. His family and friends said he will be missed and they hope other young drivers can learn from his death.

"It just hurt me to my heart. (It's) like someone came and ripped my heart away," Cooper's mother, Bridget Grimes, told WSB-TV.

The victim's father, Charles Grimes, said the death is a "major blow to the family."

Cooper died in a one-car crash on Highway 85 in Alabama on Sunday. The Tuskegee University business student was on the way to Atlanta, where he was going to be a pallbearer at the funeral of 15-year-old Marquez Montgomery. Atlanta police say Marquez was shot in the head by his cousin Dontavious Montgomery in late November.

Police charged Dontavious Montgomery with murder. His family said it was an accident.

Charles Grimes said even though the roads were wet, his son was not going to let his friend down and not be here for his funeral.

"He was determined to get here to be a pallbearer, but unfortunately, accidents happen," Charles Grimes said.

Police say Cooper was not wearing a seat belt when his car left the road and flipped several times.

His parents are now urging young drivers to be very careful on the roads.

"Slow down," Charles Grimes said.

Bridget Grimes asks drivers to "put your seat belt on, get off that FaceTime and trying to chat with your friends and pay attention to the roads."

The family has set a up GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs. More than $1,000 has been raised of its $5,000 goal.

Owner of Pulse nightclub backs out of deal to sell to city

The owner of the Pulse nightclub, where 49 people died and more than 50 others were injured in a mass shooting on June 12, has decided not to sell the nightclub to the city of Orlando, Florida.

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Owner Barbara Poma and the city negotiated a deal last month to sell the club for $2.25 million so it could be turned into a memorial. The deal needed approval from city commissioners, but they tabled the issue until early December. Some commissioners brought up concerns that the offer was much more than the land appraisal of $1.7 million and some commissioners were worried Poma was capitalizing on the tragedy.

Related: Orlando to buy Pulse nightclub for $2.25M, turn it into memorial

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he has not spoken to Poma, but stands behind her decision, saying, "It’s their property. So I don’t have any qualms with them taking whatever necessary steps it is to do something on a more permanent basis there."

Poma told the city her decision over the weekend and released a statement Monday:

"I have decided not to sell the Pulse property. Pulse means so very much to my family and to our community, and I can't just walk away. I feel a personal obligation to ensure that a permanent space at Pulse be created so that all generations to come will remember those affected by, and taken on, June 12. "I intend to create a space for everyone, a sanctuary of hope and a welcoming area to remember all those affected by the tragedy. I plan to do that directly with the involvement of the communities impacted by this tragedy, the families of the victims and any private or public sector individuals or organizations who wish to assist. We must do this together as a community. "I hope the love and support we have seen through this time from around the world and here at home will continue as we join together to build a place to memorialize our angels."

Poma held a news conference Monday to explain her decision.

"This decision truly came from my heart and my passion for Pulse," Poma said. "I think the struggle was, you know, letting it go and it was something I just couldn't come to grips with," Poma said.

Commissioner Patty Sheehan said she talked to Poma and is deeply disappointed in the decision, but believes the city "messed the deal up" when commissioners tabled the issue last month.

"I think as long as it’s a memorial, I think it’s what the community wants. I think it’s what the community needs," said Poma’s friend, Eric Rollings. "I know that she’ll probably do the right thing keeping it as a memorial. I can’t imagine she would do anything else with it. I know how special this club has been to her."

The city may still plan to have a memorial in a different location, Dyer said. He said for now, the city will take a step back and wait until Poma’s plans are more finalized.

"I think it’s hard for us to say what the future will be," Poma said.

A website is threatening to sue the Washington Post over being labeled 'fake news'

NakedCapitalism.com, which is essentially a financial blog, is looking to sue the Washington Post for defamation after the paper ran an article entitled “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during the election, experts say.” The site has enlisted the help of D.C. attorney James A. Moody. Moody is one of the better First Amendment lawyers in the capital and has taken multiple cases before the Supreme Court, most notably as a member of counsel for General Westmoreland in Westmoreland v. CBS.

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In a letter to the Washington Post, which was published on NakedCapitalism, the attorney wrote, “You did not provide even a single example of ‘fake news’ allegedly distributed or promoted by Naked Capitalism or indeed any of the 200 sites on the PropOrNot blacklist.” He also made it clear that since the Post did not provide the source, there is evidence of “actual malice,” a requirement for libel and defamation in American law, which was the damning evidence in finding Rolling Stone guilty in their trial against the University of Virginia.

Though the Post interviewed several experts who spoke on the possibility of Russia weighing in on election, their article did source the PropOrNot study, claiming that it “used Internet analytics tools to trace the origins of particular tweets and mapped the connections among social-media accounts that consistently delivered synchronized messages.”

The Washington Post article has been criticized as shoddy journalism by several different news outlets. The Intercept followed the Post’s report with an article entitled, “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group,” which claimed that “the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics.”

'Walking Dead' star Steven Yeun marries longtime girlfriend Joana Pak

Actor Steven Yeun, best known as fan-favorite Glen Rhee on "The Walking Dead," tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend Saturday in an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles, according to multiple reports.

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Yeun married photographer Joana Pak on Saturday at the Paramour Estate in LA's Silver Lake area, E! News reported.

"Getting to celebrate the love between these two, last night, along with all their friends and family was so beautiful and special," a family member wrote Sunday on Instagram.

Getting to celebrate the love between these two, last night, along with all their friends and family was so beautiful and special!! This whole week has been an awesome, family-filled, fun time and it's been so great! (We've also gained a brother in-law from it!) #loveyouguys #pakpack A photo posted by Kayce Pak (@thepakpack) on Dec 4, 2016 at 9:34am PST

Several of Yeun's former cast mates were on the guest list, including Sarah Wayne Callies, who played Lori Grimes, Emma Bell (Amy Harrison), Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh), Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Normal Reedus (Daryl Dixon), Melissa McBride (Carol Peletier), Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes) and Alanna Masterson (Tara Chambler).

wedding ready.... A photo posted by Sarah Wayne Callies (@sarahwaynecallies) on Dec 3, 2016 at 9:50pm PST

this guy A photo posted by Sarah Wayne Callies (@sarahwaynecallies) on Dec 4, 2016 at 11:01pm PST

A most magical night with @ivanakatarina A photo posted by Emma Bell (@emmabell) on Dec 3, 2016 at 11:46pm PST

Video of cars crashing in snow is winter driving in a nutshell

Video posted on Facebook of snowy and icy conditions on the streets of Montreal sums updriving in winter conditions and Monday feelings in a nutshell.

Buses, passenger cars, police cars and snowplows were no match for the conditions, causing a chain reaction of helplessness from which viewers couldn't look away.

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Video shot from an office building captured the display of winter bumper cars.

Crazy morning outside the officeFor video with audio:The accident happened at 10am on Beaver Hall and Viger in Montreal. No one was seriously injured! Drive safe.Credit to Ara Pehlivanian for the edit.To use this video in a commercial player or in broadcasts, please email licensing@storyful.comPosted by Willem Shepherd on Monday, December 5, 2016

Mall Santa uses sign language to include hearing-impaired children

One mall Santa Claus not only knows if you’ve been naughty or nice, he also knows American Sign Language.

Hearing-impaired children visiting the Regency Square Mall in Racine, Wisconsin, were surprised to be able to share their gift wants with the red-draped wish maker.

“The children appreciate the idea that they can come and talk to me, talk to Santa without having to go through their parents or their siblings to interpret for them,” Santa told WITI.

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He is able to ask them by signing, “What do you want for Christmas?”

But it’s not just the children who appreciate the effort of inclusion.

"I had one mother who was deaf herself back there and she cried because it is her first time as an adult she had ever seen Santa sign for her child," Santa said.

Ross Harris trial: Georgia father sentenced in son's hot car death

A judge sentenced a Georgia father to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Monday after a jury found him guilty last month of leaving his young son to die in a hot car.

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Prosecutors argued that the nature of the case left no sentence fair for Justin Ross Harris, 36, save for life without parole. Harris' defense attorneys did not offer any testimony during Monday's sentencing hearing.

"The state's recommendation is the very least that anyone could deem just under the circumstances of this case," Superior Court Judge Mary Staley said before handing down the sentence of life without parole plus 34 years. He will get credit for the two years he has already served.

Last month, a jury convicted Harris in the June 2014 death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper.

Harris was found guilty on eight counts: malice murder, two counts of felony murder, firsts-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children, criminal attempt to commit a felony, to wit; sexual exploitation of children and two counts of dissemination of harmful material to minors.

Harris left Cooper inside his car for nearly seven hours outside his Cobb County office building in June 2014. The toddler died of hyperthermia.

Police were suspicious from the start and took Harris into custody in a strip mall parking lot after he stopped and removed his son's lifeless body from the SUV. Harris' defense attorneys argued that he was a loving father and that, while he was responsible for the boy's death, it was a tragic accident.

Harris' defense team vowed to appeal the verdict and to seek a new trial.

Here are some things to know:

THE DEATH

Cooper died after sitting for about seven hours in the back seat of his father's vehicle outside the office where Harris worked in suburban Atlanta. On that day, temperatures reached into the high 80s.

Harris said he forgot to drop his son off at daycare that morning and drove straight to his job as a web developer for Home Depot without realizing that his son was still in his car seat.

Investigators found evidence that Harris engaged in online flirting and in-person affairs with numerous women other than his wife, including a prostitute and an underage teenager. They concluded that Harris intentionally killed his son to escape the responsibilities of family life.

Harris had moved from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Georgia for work in 2012.

THE TRIAL

Harris' case received an enormous amount of media attention from the very beginning. 

After determining during nearly three weeks of jury selection in April that pretrial publicity had made it too difficult to find a fair jury in Cobb County, where the boy died, Staley granted a defense request to relocate the trial.

Jury selection began in Glynn County, located on the Georgia coast about 60 miles south of Savannah, in September and a jury was seated in less than two weeks. The trial began on Oct. 3.

After 22 days of testimony and 70 witnesses, 52 for the state and 18 for the defense, the jury began its deliberations.

After four days, jurors found Harris guilty of all eight counts against him.

In addition to malice murder and felony murder charges, Harris also was found guilty of sending sexual text messages to a teenage girl and sending her nude photos.

LIFE WITH OR WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE

Jurors found Harris guilty of malice murder, which means they believed not only that he should be held criminally responsible for his son's death, but that he left the young boy to die on purpose. Malice murder carries a sentence of life in prison, which meant the main question at sentencing was whether he would have the opportunity to seek parole.

In 2014, the state announced it would not seek the death penalty against Harris.

"After reviewing Georgia's death penalty statute and considering other factors, the State will not seek the death penalty in this case at this time. I cannot and will not elaborate at this juncture of the case," Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds said in a statement.

Muslim-owned restaurant offers free meals to homeless, elderly Christmas Day

A Muslim-owned restaurant is offering a three-course meal to the homeless and elderly to make sure that “no one eats alone” on Christmas Day.

Shish restaurant, which features Turkish cuisine in Bexley, London, asked followers on social media to help spread the word about their free meal offer.

“We’re just helping people,” Hasan Masud, an employee at the restaurant, told Buzzfeed. “Lots of people stay home alone for Christmas. They don’t need to. They can come here and have some fun.”

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Diners will start with soup and cacik, followed by chicken or vegetarian casserole or chicken shish for the main course and rice pudding for dessert.

“We are here to sit with you,” owners wrote in a note about the offer posted to the restaurant window.

Masud said the restaurant already plans to make the offer available next year as well.

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