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Man accused of slapping, threatening 12-year-old boy who bullied his stepdaughter

A Texas man is facing charges after police said he slapped a 12-year-old boy who he accused of bullying his stepdaughter, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Deer Park police on Monday arrested James Peace, 37, on one count of injuring a child under the age of 15, according to the Star-Telegram

Authorities arrested Peace four days after the incident allegedly took place on a trail in Deer Park, the newspaper reported.

Peace’s wife, who was not identified by name, told KTRK-TV his emotions got the better of him after her daughter called to ask for a ride home on Valentine’s Day. The girl said that while walking home she had been bullied by a classmate who was “saying that her body was ugly, said that she was a transvestite, started throwing ice cream at her,” Peace’s wife told KTRK-TV.

Deer Park police Lt. Chris Brown told the news station Peace and his stepdaughter saw the alleged bully as they were driving home.

"That's when the stepdad decided to stop and confront the kid," Brown said.

According to police records obtained by the Star-Telegram, the alleged bully stood stunned and silent with another boy after Peace got out of the car and started to yell at him.

“(Peace) struck (the boy) on the left side of his face with an open right palm,” police said in a complaint obtained by the Star-Telegram. “And then the man stated that if (the boy) tells anyone else what happened, he will beat them up too.”

The incident wasn’t reported to police until the next day, after the boy told a teacher he feared seeing Peace’s stepdaughter at lunch, KHOU reported. He told his teacher what had happened with Peace, prompting a call to authorities, according to KHOU.

“I do not agree with what he did,” Peace’s wife told KTRK-TV. “He took it too far, he did.”

Police told KHOU that Peace initially denied any involvement in the situation, but that he confessed after police told him they had obtained video footage of the incident from a local surveillance camera, KHOU reported.

After his arrest, Peace was released on a $15,000 bond.

Oops: New Houston-area street sign has typo

A new street sign in a Texas city has caused some red faces among Harris County officials.

>> Read more trending news 

The sign, near the Houston-area city of Cypress, is supposed to read “Hempstead,” KHOU reported. However, the letters “s” and “t” are transposed, so the sign reads as “Hemptsead,” the television station reported.

>> Sacramento street sign baffles residents 

Harris County officials said they are aware of the typographical glitch and are working to fix the problem, KHOU reported.

Texas girl is first child in U.S. to receive heart implant

A 4-year-old Texas girl became the first child in the United States -- and second in the world -- to receive an implant that will keep her heart pumping, KHOU reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Kateyln Hickman received the Jarvik 2015 Ventricular Assistant Device, tailored specifically for children 4 and younger suffering from heart failure, the television station reported.

“The only real therapy we have for a patient like her is to do a transplant, but we have to be able to get her there safely,” Jeff Dreyer, medical director of heart failure, cardiomyopathy and cardiac transplantation at Texas Children's Hospital, told KHOU.

The implant, which uses an AA battery, pumps oxygenated blood out of the heart. Iki Adachi, who also works at the Texas Children’s Hospital, has called results of the implant “so dramatic.”

“These patients are really, really sick before operation,” Adachi told KHOU. “I was particularly happy, because the family was super happy, seeing their kids doing really well.”

Virginia suspends 2 dentists for allegedly trading drugs for dental work

The licenses of two Virginia dentists were suspended by the Virginia Board of Dentistry for alleged drug infractions in exchange for dental work, WTKR reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Gary Hartman and Arnold Joseph Berger, of Virginia Beach, were ordered to stop practicing dentistry, the television station reported. Hartman’s license was suspended Dec. 20, 2018, while Berger’s license was suspended Feb. 1. 

According to the summary of suspension, Hartman is accused of prescribing more than 46,000 hydrocodone pills, more than 20,000 Soma pills and nearly 8,000 oxycodone pills to patients he had not seen or who did not need the large dosages they were prescribed. Hartman is also accused of prescribing doses of Vicodin, tramadol, sleeping pills and anxiety medications to patients, according to the Board of Dentistry.

One patient reported to the Drug Enforcement Agency that Hartman traded dental work for pain pills, fixing teeth or giving treatment without insurance in exchange for filling a prescription the dentist wrote and turning the pills over to him.

Investigators said Berger not only filled prescriptions for Hartman, but also illegally prescribed opioids to his patients and his wife, according to Board of Dentistry documents.

The Board of Dentistry said Hartman’s hearing for the suspension of his license is set for May, WTKR reported. Berger’s was scheduled for March but will be continued, the television station reported.

What is the USGS and what does it do?

Unless there is a major earthquake, you may not pay much attention to the United States Geological Survey.

>> Read more trending news 

But when the earth shakes, it’s the USGS that provides important initial information on where the damage occurred and how big the quake was. 

However, while that is a very important function of the agency, it's only part of the mission of the USGS, or the Survey, as it is commonly called.

The agency, a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, also provides “reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life,” according to the agency’s website.

To study and catalog the country’s resources, the USGS employs a broad array of sciences, including biology, geography, geology and hydrology. 

Created on March 3, 1879, the USGS’s original mission was "classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.” The Survey was immediately tasked with the exploration and inventory of new lands the U.S. government had acquired through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the Mexican–American War in 1848. 

The agency also produces various publications in which its research is reported and runs the United States Geological Survey Library. The USGS employs more than 8,600 people across the United States.

Related stories:

15 things you may not know about earthquakes

What is the strongest earthquake to hit the US?

What should you do if you are caught in an earthquake?

What are the 10 deadliest earthquakes in recorded history?

How likely will the ‘big one’ occur in our lifetime? 

New earthquake simulations show how the 'big one' could shake the Pacific Northwest

Building an emergency disaster kit can be easy and cheap, here's how

Florida statue commemorating iconic WWII victory vandalized with '#MeToo' graffiti

An iconic statue depicting the moment a sailor kissed a nurse at the end of World War II was vandalized less than two days after the sailor in the famous photo died at age 95.

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department got a call of someone spraying "#MeToo" on the Unconditional Surrender Statue. The statue shows the moment George Mendonsa kissed Greta Zimmer Friedman in Times Square on V-J Day.

Officers found "#MeToo" in red on the left leg of the nurse.

>> Read more trending news 

Officers were unable to find any cans of spray paint or any surveillance images of the incident.

>>Read: ‘Kissing Sailor' from iconic Life magazine photo dies

The vandalism caused $1,000 in damages due to the large area the graffiti covers.

The city tweeted hours later that the graffiti had been removed.

The incident comes only two days after Mendonsa died two days shy of his 96th birthday. Friedman died in 2016.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg returns to Supreme Court bench for first time since cancer surgery

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned to her bench eight weeks after undergoing lung cancer surgery.

>> Read more trending news 

NPR reported that the 85-year-old underwent a pulmonary lobectomy Dec. 21 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The surgery removed two malignant growths on her left lung, according to court officials.

No further evidence of cancer was found on her lungs.

Related: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital after cancer surgery

The Associated Press reported Ginsberg returned to the Supreme Court building Friday for the justices’ private conference. She came back to the bench for the first time Tuesday, wearing her black robe and ornamental collar.

CNBC reported that Ginsberg participated in the court’s cases while she was away, unprecedented for a justice. NPR reported she was also walking more than a mile a day and working with her trainer twice a week, according to friends.

Offroaders use their driving skills to get first responders to work during storms

They’re used to driving in almost any conditions, and their vehicles are equipped to do the job, now an offroad Jeep club is switching gears and is coming to the aid of those who are normally there to help.

Midwest Krawlers, based in Kansas City, Missouri, are helping medical professionals and other first responders get to work as snow moves into the city, KMBC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

They’re offering the rides to police officers, firefighters, nurses and doctors for free when there is ice and snow coating roads, according to KMBC.

One driver, Katie Abraham, said two of her copilots on one trip -- both NICU nurses -- were a little scared about the condition of the roads.

“The one girl grabbed onto the net inside the car and I was like, ‘It’s fine. We’ll get traction again in just a second,’” Abraham told KMBC.

Abraham said her four-wheel drive Toyota 4Runner has tires that are made for the weather, with a 5 out of 5 rating for snow. It is also equipped with the gear needed to get out of any terrain, the television station reported

Dallas man admits to pushing victim into train, says ‘I don’t regret a thing’

A Dallas man has admitted to pushing another man underneath a train, injuring him. He told one media outlet he doesn’t regret his actions, but appeared to express regret in other interviews.

>> Read more trending news 

Anthony Davis, 27, is charged with aggravated assault from the incident on Monday, Feb. 11, at a Dallas Area Rapid Transit station.

“I don't regret a thing," Davis told WFAA-TV in a recent interview.

However, Davis told KTVT-TV that he’s sorry for his actions and hopes the victim can forgive him.

Juan Carlos Suarez Diaz said he was hit from behind and knocked to the trackswhile waiting for a train, KTVT-TV reported. Diaz became trapped under a railcar. He survived but broke both his legs and suffered internal injuries.

Davis said he hit Diaz because he was arguing with a DART employee. However, other witnesses said it was Davis who was arguing with the employee, media outlets reported.

“I saw a guy who was arguing with a female DART attendant and then basically I hit the guy and he fell under the train and I ran,” Davis told KTVT-TV. “I just seen him arguing with a woman and that’s how the whole occasion started.”

Davis admitted to being under the influence of marijuana and alcohol when the incident happened.

"It caused me to have that rage," Davis told WFAA-TV of the drugs and alcohol.

The victim is still hospitalized and is recovering from his injuries, WFAA-TV reported.

Petitioners favor sale of Montana to Canada to reduce national debt

With the U.S. national debt soaring above $22 trillion for the first time, one group has come up with a solution to ease the burden.

>> Read more trending news 

Sell Montana to Canada. Price tag? A cool $1 trillion, NBC Montana reported.

A group called “Christian moms against public education”  started a petition on Change.org for the United States to sell Montana to Canada.

According to the listing on Change.org, “We have too much debt and Montana is useless. Just tell them it has beavers or something."

More than 7,600 people have signed the petition, which originally had a goal of 7,500 signatures but has since been revised to 10,000.

The note about the petition was originally posted to Reddit, and the person who started it was “just surprised that so many people have ‘backed’ my cause,” according to an update.

Montana, nicknamed the Treasure State, was admitted to the Union as the 41st state on Nov. 8, 1889. 

There are two national parks located in the state: Yellowstone National Park, which it shares with Wyoming and Idaho; and Glacier National Park.

It also contains the site of Custer’s Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

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