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National

    U.S. Customs and Border protection agents had their hands full Thursday morning. The officers helped two women deliver babies and guided a third in labor to a hospital, KXAN reported. About 1:25 a.m. Thursday, a Mexican ambulance arrived at a checkpoint in New Mexico, the television station reported. Officers called for an ambulance but realized first responders would not arrive on time. CBP officers provided an obstetrical kit and Mexican medical technicians delivered a baby girl, KXAN reported. Thirty minutes later, another woman in labor arrived at the checkpoint, the television station reported. Emergency technicians were called, and they took the woman to an area hospital, where she delivered a baby boy. At 4:40 a.m., a woman who crossed the border from Mexico also was in labor, WXAN reported. When she dropped to the sidewalk, CBP officers helped deliver a baby girl, the television station reported. The Columbus port director praised the officers for their quick response, according to KXAN.
  • Owners of a Michigan mortgage company sure know how to throw a Christmas party. United Shore Financial Services, celebrating its best year in the mortgage lending business, hired Grammy Award-winning group The Chainsmokers to perform at the company’s Christmas bash, WXYZ reported. That’s not all. Thirteen employees received new Cadillacs, while another 30 employees were given cruises to the Bahamas, the television station reported. One employee described the party in a Facebook post as “one of the best nights of my life. The appreciation that is shown to us employees is just mind-blowing and I can’t thank you enough!” United Shore, ranked No. 1 nationwide since 2015 in the wholesale lending sector, rented a large space in downtown Pontiac’s TCF Center, the Detroit Free Press reported. “People, (the) secret is people,” United Shore CEO Matt Ishbia told WXYZ. “How do we make sure we appreciate them because this company is only as good as our people. “Take care of people. Do right by your people. Focus on the culture and the team and you’re going to end up winning.” United Shore anticipates doing $106 billion in mortgage broker volume production this year, more than double of last year’s total $41 billion, Ishbia told the Free Press.
  • A New Jersey town council approved a resolution last week that proclaimed it a “sanctuary township” for law-abiding gun owners. Lawmakers in West Milford passed a non-binding resolution that “opposes further interference with, or abridging of, the rights of lawful gun owners,” NJ.com reported. Pete McGuinness, council president in the rural town of 26,000 people, said the resolution was approved by a 5-0 vote Dec. 4, the website reported. “We’re just letting the community know we are a gun-friendly, Second Amendment-positive township,” McGuinness told NJ.com. The resolution declares West Milford a “Second Amendment/lawful gun owner sanctuary township' and criticizes “red flag laws” that have been adopted by at least 17 states, including New Jersey, rthe website reported. Adoption of the resolution came six days before a shooting in Jersey City that killed four people, including a police officer, NJ.com reported.
  • Two restaurant servers at a South Florida restaurant were surprised Wednesday when the party of 17 people they served left an $850 tip -- more than four times the amount of the actual lunch bill. Susan Morrison and Erin Gross were serving lunch to a party celebrating an early Christmas at the Metro Diner in Stuart, TCPalm reported. The bill was $208, but the two servers were stunned when each patron contributed a $50 tip, giving them $850 to split between themselves. “I was thinking ‘This isn’t happening,’ ' Morrison, 59, of Jensen Beach, told the website. 'I’ve been a server for 40 years, and I’ve never had anything like this happen. It was amazing.” The two servers hugged Nina Ferraro, who organized the Christmas lunch -- and the generous tip. Ferraro said she got the idea after seeing a similar story on Facebook last year, TCPalm reported. “It’s not winning the lottery or anything, but for people who don’t make a lot around the holidays, it’s a big deal,” Ferraro, of Palm City, told the website “We easily spend $50 on any meal we go out to. It’s such a simple thing that made such a difference.
  • Dozens of Christmas trees worth more than $6,000 were cut down and stolen from a tree farm in Washington state, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said Friday. Police said 78 Fraser fir Christmas trees were stolen from the Snowshoe Evergreen Tree Farm along near Puyallup, KIRO7 reported. The crime is believed to have happened sometime overnight last weekend, the television station reported. On Friday afternoon, Federal Way police said they arrested a man. The man allegedly stole a truck, a cargo trailer and fifth wheel trailer, police said. According to investigators, he admitted to stealing Christmas trees from the tree farm.
  • An Iowa woman is accused of throwing her 2-day-old son at a crib in a hospital room to stop the infant from crying, authorities said. Megan James, 32, of Sioux City, was charged with child endangerment, KTIV reported. She is being held in the Woodbury County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond, the television station reported. According to court documents, James gave birth to the boy on Nov. 15. Two days later, hospital officials reported the child had suffered bilateral skull fractures while in his mother’s care, KMEG reported. According to investigators, James admitted to police she became frustrated while trying to breastfeed her son, KTIV reported. James admitted she had a migraine and wanted the infant to stop crying, according to the television station. According to a criminal complaint, when the baby continued to cry, James told police she threw her son at the crib, where he hit his head on the crib and on the floor of the hospital room, KMEG reported. The infant was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, the television station reported. James will appear in court Dec. 23.
  • This was a real chocolate mess. A tractor-trailer hauling 35,000 pounds of M&M’s candy overturned on a Tennessee interstate highway Friday morning, authorities said. According to Knoxville police, the driver was heading east on Interstate 40 around 5:30 a.m. and swerved to avoid hitting something in the road, WBIR reported. The vehicle veered into a ditch, struck a concrete retaining wall near an exit ramp and fell onto its side, Knoxville Police Department spokesman Scott Erland told the Knoxville News Sentinel. The truck then hit a second truck, which was parked along the shoulder of the exit ramp, the newspaper reported. The driver of the overturned truck was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, WZTV reported. No charges or citations are expected, Erland told the News Sentinel.
  • Josh Donaldson completed a deal this week -- but not with a major league baseball team. The free-agent third baseman made good on a promise to his mother, Lisa French, buying her a Maserati. French promised to quit smoking, and after two years off cigarettes, she received an early Christmas present, MLB.com reported. Donaldson, who played for the Atlanta Braves in 2019 and was named the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year after hitting 37 home runs and driving in 94 runs, posted a video on Instagram, capturing his mother’s reaction. It’s priceless. “So my mom made a deal with me if she quit smoking that I would buy her a Maserati,' Donaldson wrote on Instagram. 'Two years of not smoking and here is her early Christmas present from (his wife) Briana and I. Trust me, you are going to want to watch this.”
  • Friends of an Arkansas woman are asking the community to send her Christmas cards in the wake of her boyfriend’s death, KOKI reported. Arkansas police officer Stephen Carr was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Fayetteville Police Department on Dec. 7, according to officials. Friends of Carr’s girlfriend, Madi Rader, set up a post office box and asked people to send her Christmas cards to lift her spirits, KFSM reported. “Madi loves Christmas (like more so than anyone I’ve ever known) and I really think this would be an amazing way for you all to bring her some joy this holiday season,” Shelby Finch wrote in a post on Facebook. Anyone interested in sending a card can address it to: Madi Rader, P.O. Box 568, Fayetteville, AR 72701.
  • Search crews in Arizona found a body Friday that was identified as a 6-year-old girl who was swept away in floodwaters two weeks ago, authorities said. The Gila County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Friday they had recovered the body of Willa Rawlings. The girl was recovered from an area on the north side of Roosevelt Lake near Tonto Creek, KSAZ reported. The girl’s family members were notified, the Sheriff’s Office said. Rawlings was one of nine family members traveling in an oversized, military-style truck Nov. 29 when they got stuck in the raging waters of Tonto Creek, authorities said. Willa’s parents, Daniel and Lacey Rawlings, escaped from the truck. However, the bodies of their son, Colby Rawlings, and niece, Austin Rawlings, were found the next day, about 1,000 yards from the failed crossing. Willa’s grandmother, Trudy Rawlings, released a statement Friday to KTVK, expressing relief and gratitude that the family could have closure. “We express love and gratitude for volunteers who gave up their time to find her,” Trudy Rawlings said. We believe in the power of prayer. We prayed that we would be at peace.”