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Mom who paid $25K for son’s prom send-off faces fraud charges

Saudia Shuler made headlines for her son’s lavish prom send-off that included camels and enough sand to blanket their Philadelphia neighborhood last year. The pre-prom party cost Shuler $25,000.

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Shuler is in the news again, this time charged with six counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government funds and two counts of social security fraud, WPHT reported

She was indicted after the government said she collected nearly $37,000 in benefits, WCAU reported.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said the alleged fraud started in 2014.

Officials said that Shuler applied for Social Security Administration benefits, saying she was disabled and not able to work. Her benefits were approved, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office said she continued to work and owned and operated the Country Cookin’ restaurant in Philadelphia. 

The prosecution said her income and the work she allegedly did were not reported to Social Security.

“She said that she was disabled and in terms of assets said that she only had $30 in her bank account,” Beth Leahy, deputy chief of Health Care and Government Fraud for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania told WPHT. “As far as quality of life, she said she rarely made food for herself and had a cousin that cooked for her.”

>>Related: Mom spends $25k on cars, camels for son’s exotic-themed prom send-off

Shuler told WCAU that she celebrates the good things that have happened to her because her family has faced many obstacles. 

Her son’s father was murdered and she has had several health scares.

“I had a stroke. I had seizures. I had cancer all within the last three years,” Shuler told WCAU.

In addition to the prom party, she threw a Christmas party for her neighborhood that included hundreds of gifts and even two reindeer. She was called “Saudia Claus” after giving out 140 bikes, 50 scooters and Batman cars to children in her community. Shuler said she received donations from all over the country to help provide the gifts, WCAU reported.

Shuler’s attorney said that he read the indictment, but is waiting to see what evidence the U.S. Attorney’s Office will present.

“She is obviously upset because there are allegations contained in the indictment that are absolutely untrue,” Tariq El-Shabazz told WCAU

If found guilty, Shuler faces 140 years in prison, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Student stabbed in Oklahoma on first day of school

A 14-year-old Oklahoma girl was stabbed multiple times during an orientation session at her high school Thursday.

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Police said the incident happened at Luther High School. A 14-year-old boy was taken into custody and booked at the Oklahoma County Jail.

Luther police later said the girl was stabbed nine to 11 times.

According to a witnesses, the boy stood up about two minutes into the orientation session and stabbed the girl. The assault was broken up by a teacher.

The victim was taken by helicopter to OU Medical Center. Police said they took the boy to a juvenile detention facility.The school's superintendent, Barry Gunn, said a teacher subdued the boy and took the knife. Other teachers gave the girl CPR while they waited for first responders.Police said the boy used a folding knife with a serrated edge that was about four inches long.

Gunn said the school does not have a school resource officer, but they are in still in the process of getting one in place.

Counselors will be available on site at the school for at least a week.

Students' backpacks were searched on their way back into the high school. Parents arrived to pick many their kids up, but school is expected to continue like normal

Authorities said they did not know the relationship, if any, between the teenagers.

Man gets 25 years added to sentence for stabbing ex-wife 47 times in front of daughter

A Tennessee judge added a 25-year prison term to the life sentence given last year to a man who fatally stabbed his ex-wife 47 times in front of his 2-year-old daughter, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported.

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Tyler Enix, 39, is serving a life sentence for the October 2015 stabbing death of his ex-wife, Kimberly McFarland Enix. The extra 25 years came in a sentencing hearing for Tyler Enix robbing his ex-wife of her money and bank card after the murder, the newspaper reported.

The man left Knox County with the child and fled before authorities captured him in Ohio, the News-Sentinel reported.

Knox County Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword ruled that Enix’s crimes after the slaying merited additional punishment.

“This was a situation where you have a brutal murder with a child there … stolen away (by Enix) from the family that loves her,” Sword said. “What is significant to me … is (he) takes this child and jeopardizes her life.”

Knox County Assistant Public Defender John Halstead said Enix would be 87 before he would be eligible for a parole hearing on the first-degree murder conviction in his ex-wife’s death.

“He’s already being punished,” Halstead said.

Sword said he was “mindful of that” but added he believes Enix is too dangerous to go free, the News-Sentinel reported.

Phoenix police officer, gunman critical after shootout

A Phoenix police officer and the driver of a car he was attempting to stop were in critical condition early Friday after exchanging gunfire, KNXV reported.

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Authorities said the officer was attempting a traffic stop but the driver initially refused to stop, the television station reported.

The driver finally did stop and reportedly shot the officer, who returned fire and wounded the person, KNXV reported.

According to Sgt. Mercedes Fortune with Phoenix Police, the incident happened at around 8 p.m., KSAZ reported.

"It's one of those things that we say a lot: We don't know what's gonna happen when you put on the uniform," Fortune said during a news conference. "You come to work, and you hope for the best, you know, understanding that not everybody, obviously, wants to cause us harm, but you just never know."

Man asks Manhattan clerk, 'Are you Arabic?' before punching him

A man asked a bodega clerk in Manhattan “Are you Arabic?” before punching the surprised man in the face, The New York Daily News reported. 

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The man asked the question on Aug. 9 at the Green Olive Deli around 10 a.m., police said.

Surveillance videos do not show the punch being thrown, but police said the man hit the clerk before fleeing the store, the Daily News reported.

The video showed a bald man with a beard and wearing a backpack walking past the bodega. He stopped and then entered the store, then left the building and assumed a fighting stance, the newspaper reported.

Police are still looking for the man, the Daily News reported.

FDA cautions some people using pets to obtain opioids

Pet owners could be stealing opioids that were meant for their pets, according to a statement Wednesday from Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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“We recognize that opioids and other pain medications have a legitimate and important role in treating pain in animals -- just as they do for people,” Gottlieb said. “But just like the opioid medications used in humans, these drugs have potentially serious risks, not just for the animal patients, but also because of their potential to lead to addiction, abuse and overdose in humans who may divert them for their own use.”

Gottlieb’s statement comes a week after a paper released by the American Journal of Public Health urged the veterinary, public health, pharmaceutical and regulatory communities to address prescription opioid diversion in veterinary medicine, CNN reported.

"I was thrilled to see the FDA commissioner make a statement that not only validated our findings but also demonstrates why research is so important for good policy," Liliana Tenney, a senior instructor with the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus who co-authored the paper, CNN reported.

Serena Williams learned sister's killer was paroled before worst loss of career

Serena Williams said she learned 10 minutes before the worst defeat of her professional tennis career that the man who killed her older sister had been paroled, Time reported.

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Williams, who owns an Open-era 23 Grand Slam singles titles, lost 6-1, 6-0 in 52 minutes to Johanna Konta on July 31 at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic. 

Time published an interview Thursday that detailed Williams’ comeback after her pregnancy and the challenges of balancing motherhood and her professional career.

Williams told the magazine that she learned that Robert E. Maxfield, who was convicted in 2003 of killing 31-year-old Yetunde Price, was paroled three years short of his full sentence, ESPN reported.

"I couldn't shake it out of my mind," Williams told Time.

"I have so many things on my mind; I don't have time to be shocked about a loss that clearly wasn't at my best right now," Williams said after her loss to Konta. "When I was out there, was fighting. That's the only thing I can say."

Williams said she found out about Maxfield’s parole while checking her Instagram account, ESPN reported.

"It was hard because all I think about is her kids and what they meant to me,” Williams told Time. “And how much I love them."

"No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behavior. It's unfair that she'll never have an opportunity to hug me."

Williams was asked if she could forgive Maxfield but told Time she was “not there yet.”

“I would like to practice what I preach, and teach (daughter) Olympia that as well.” Williams told the magazine. “I want to forgive. I have to get there. I'll be there."

Multiple students arrested after brawl at Indianapolis high school

Thirteen students were arrested after a brawl Thursday at an Indianapolis high school, the Indianapolis Star reported.

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The fight, witnessed by more than 100 students, occurred at Arsenal Tech High School, WXIN reported.

Authorities said no weapons were involved during the fight, which began inside the school’s cafeteria and spilled out into the courtyard, the Star reported.

At least seven people were injured and three were taken to the hospital, the newspaper reported. The students arrested were charged with disorderly conduct, the Star reported.

At least one officer used pepper spray to control the crowds, the newspaper reported.

"This is what happens when you put 600 more students on a campus this big. You mix multiple gangs," Merry Juerling, a parent of one of the students, told WXIN. "It is clear they are setting this place up to fail. When you mix 600 new students and multiple gangs this is going to happen and I’m not OK that my child is not safe."

People receiving food assistance in Michigan now required to work

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said it has sent letters this week to people on food assistance, telling them they need to find a job to maintain their benefits, The Detroit Free Press reported. 

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In a statement, the health department said it mailed more than 67,000 letters, explaining that once able-bodied people between the ages of 18 and 49 attend their first annual case eligibility meeting after Oct. 1, they will have three months to find work or lose their benefits, the newspaper reported.

All new applicants will be subjected to work requirements immediately, the Free Press reported.

The requirements had been lifted in 2002 because of high unemployment in Michigan, the newspaper reported. Improvement in employment figures led the federal government to demand that Michigan reinstate its requirements, the Free Press reported.

“MDHHS is prepared to assist affected individuals in meeting these work requirements so that they can achieve self-sufficiency,” MDHHS Chief Deputy Director Nancy Vreibel said in a statement. “The good news is that Michigan’s economy is much-improved, and the job market is far better than it was when the state received the federal waiver.”

New York boy who drowned gives life to 3 people via transplants

A 23-month-old New York boy who drowned last month has provided life to three people since his death, WSTM reported.

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Jaxson Finizio died July 27, several weeks after he wandered out of a home and into a pool. His family decided to donate the child’s organs, the television station reported.

According to the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, the donated organs “have given life to others.”

Jaxon's kidneys were transplanted into the body of a man in his early 50s who has been waiting for a donation since August 2016, WSTM reported. His liver was donated to a 16-month-old boy, while his heart was transplanted into the body of a 3-year-old girl, the television station reported.

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