Farm says 'puppy scam' using its address


CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Hickory Ridge Farm on Battlefield Blvd. is known for strawberries and pumpkins, but puppies? Not so much.

That didn’t stop someone from showing up to the farm in November looking to pick up a Havanese puppy.

“Came out one day to feed the animals and there was a lady sitting at the gate,” recalls Robin Pierce, who owns Hickory Ridge Farm with her husband, John. “We figured out this website was using our address for the potential sale of Havanese puppies.”

The farm had just closed for the season, but this would only be the beginning of a headache for Pierce.

“I started getting Facebook messages, phone calls, people letting me know that this website was sending them to our address to pick up a puppy. One customer had let me know that she had already paid them,” she said.

Pierce says she called Chesapeake police to let them know and then shared a screenshot of the website to her Facebook page, telling the farm’s followers not to give them money. She also called News 3, hoping to get the word out even further.

The woman who Pierce says did send money spoke with News 3 on the condition her name not be used in our story. She says she was looking for a dog for her family and was having a lot of trouble finding one.

When she found the website offering a Havanese puppy, she says she jumped at the opportunity. The alleged victim sent copies of the conversation she had with the people offering the puppy. In the conversation, it was noted the puppy would be shipped to her home in Saskatchewan, but she had to send a full payment of $850 so they could “start paperwork for shipment.”

The money was sent, the puppy never came. The woman, now suspecting a scam, says she asked her mother to contact the people and inquire about a puppy and they directed her to the Hickory Ridge Farm address.

“One of the things you should be asking is, ‘Am I able to drive to the location to put my eyes on the person that I’m communicating with? Also, putting eyes on the puppy I’m supposed to be getting?'” said Det. Doug Hatcher with the Chesapeake Police Department.

Hatcher has been investigating fraud crimes with the department’s Economic Crimes Unit for five years. He says puppy scams are common and scams, overall, are on the rise in the pandemic.

When it comes to the Internet, he says, you can’t be too cautious, “You gotta ask yourself these questions: What am I doing prior to putting a deposit down? Is this person sending me pictures just on the internet or is it on their website? Are they willing to meet with me before they get the deposit? Because if they want you to send a deposit before they meet with you, more than likely it’s going to be a scam.”

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Det. Doug Hatcher has been with the Chesapeake Police Department’s Economic Crimes Unit for five years.

And as we enter tax season, police are expecting an increase in another type of fraud.

“You’re going to have a lot of people reporting tax fraud because people are filing taxes in their name,” said. Det. Hatcher.

Regardless of how a scammer gets your money, Det. Hatcher says it’s always difficult to get it back; even unlikely. The longer you wait to call police, he says, the harder it is to track down the people who stole from you.

A phone number provided to News 3 didn’t get answered. Chesapeake police say their system shows it’s computer-generated, doesn’t belong to a wireless account and is likely a scam.

Pierce says she just hopes no one else falls for it.

“It bothers me more for the person that’s being scammed than it does that we’re being [dragged] into anything,” she said.



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Man accused of killing puppy, tossing in garbage


A Northern New York man has been arrested for allegedly killing a 7-month-old puppy.New York State Police said Raymond Mangieri, 27, of Peru, killed the German Shepherd puppy and then put the animal in a garbage can.Troopers said Mangieri is facing an aggravated cruelty to animal charge, a felony.Police said he was virtually arraigned by the Town of Saranac Court and was released on his own recognizance Wednesday.However, they said Mangieri had violated his parole and was taken to Clinton County Jail where he remained Thursday morning.He’s scheduled to return to the Peru Town Court at a later date.

A Northern New York man has been arrested for allegedly killing a 7-month-old puppy.

New York State Police said Raymond Mangieri, 27, of Peru, killed the German Shepherd puppy and then put the animal in a garbage can.

Troopers said Mangieri is facing an aggravated cruelty to animal charge, a felony.

Police said he was virtually arraigned by the Town of Saranac Court and was released on his own recognizance Wednesday.

However, they said Mangieri had violated his parole and was taken to Clinton County Jail where he remained Thursday morning.

He’s scheduled to return to the Peru Town Court at a later date.



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World War II veteran receives Covid-19 vaccine


A 97-year-old Massachusetts man and World War II veteran received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.William Begley was able to get the shot in the comfort of his Weymouth home and had it administered by his grandson, David Begley, a rapid-response nurse at South Shore Hospital’s critical care unit. “It was something that he was grateful that I was able to do for him, and it’s something that brings hope to all of us that this is going to be coming to an end,” David Begley said.”My vaccine was excellent. It was good,” said William Begley, who has been in quarantine since March 2020.David Begley was able to give his grandfather the vaccine through the mobile integrated health program at South Shore Hospital.”It’s essentially just an SUV with all the equipment that an ambulance would have,” said Eugene Duffy, a paramedic and member of South Shore’s mobile integrated health team.”(David) was really hoping to get him vaccinated, but they have a lot of trouble moving him to a vaccine site. So we offered to come out with him and vaccinate him here,” said Dr. Kelly Lannutti, another member of the mobile integrated health team.South Shore’s mobile integrated health program does not work with individuals, but with local boards of health and primary care providers. The program’s team is also doing pop-up clinics throughout the South Shore and has administered about 900 vaccines thus far.William Begley will be given his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine next month. His grandson will 0nce again administer the shot.

A 97-year-old Massachusetts man and World War II veteran received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.

William Begley was able to get the shot in the comfort of his Weymouth home and had it administered by his grandson, David Begley, a rapid-response nurse at South Shore Hospital’s critical care unit.

“It was something that he was grateful that I was able to do for him, and it’s something that brings hope to all of us that this is going to be coming to an end,” David Begley said.

“My vaccine was excellent. It was good,” said William Begley, who has been in quarantine since March 2020.

David Begley was able to give his grandfather the vaccine through the mobile integrated health program at South Shore Hospital.

“It’s essentially just an SUV with all the equipment that an ambulance would have,” said Eugene Duffy, a paramedic and member of South Shore’s mobile integrated health team.

“(David) was really hoping to get him vaccinated, but they have a lot of trouble moving him to a vaccine site. So we offered to come out with him and vaccinate him here,” said Dr. Kelly Lannutti, another member of the mobile integrated health team.

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South Shore’s mobile integrated health program does not work with individuals, but with local boards of health and primary care providers. The program’s team is also doing pop-up clinics throughout the South Shore and has administered about 900 vaccines thus far.

William Begley will be given his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine next month. His grandson will 0nce again administer the shot.



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Artist creates blackout brownie ice cream


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A new local ice cream flavor called Blackout Brownie is debuting at select Giant Eagle Market District stores this month.

“I wanted to do something to help out with things going on in the world, but I didn’t know quite what to do,” said Cue Perry, a Pittsburgh artist.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

So how do you make a difference without hitting the streets? That’s where co-owner of Millie’s Ice Cream, Lauren Townsend, comes into the picture.

“We decided to make a flavor with Cue. It’s his flavor, he came up with the concept,” Townsend said.

Perry and Townsend met years ago, but Townsend and her husband purchased art from Perry. Rather than doing an art show during a pandemic, they created Blackout Brownie for Black History Month.

“We’ve been a Pittsburgh brand. We’ve always looked to collaborate with local makers and artists, and this was an exciting opportunity to do that for a bigger cause,” Townsend said.

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The packaging was designed by Perry himself, and the brownies inside are from Wild Rise Bakery, a black-owned business in Wilkinsburg. The message behind it all is to spread awareness.

“All the colors in the art world, when you mix them together, they create black and that’s symbolic of us working in harmony. Without unity and harmony, there is no art,” Perry said.

With 10,000 pints of ice cream, Perry hopes the flavor will last beyond the month of February as a portion of the proceeds from each pint will go to help social justice efforts in the city.

“I think it’s really neat that people who may or may not be aware of what’s going on in the world or it’s their first time being exposed to the issues through ice cream,” Perry said.

The painting that is featured on the packaging is hung at Millie’s manufacturing factory in Homestead.

MORE: Homeland Security Investigating Counterfeit N95 Mask Operation

Giant Eagle is also supporting the limited-edition ice cream at Market District locations. The chain is highlighting a variety of local Black-owned brands, including Powerbites! And Uncle Jammy’s Sauces throughout Black History Month.



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23-yr-old UPS employee shot to death


— A 23-year-old UPS employee was shot and killed in the 600 block of South East Street Wednesday afternoon.

Dylan Scott Wall was shot and taken to a hospital for treatment, police said, but died as a result of his injuries.

Police have arrested Stephen Joseph Bynem, 30, and charged him with murder in connection with Wall’s death. Bynem has been transported to the Wake County Detention Center.

A witness told WRAL News that they saw packages and a UPS employee on the ground.

Just before 3 p.m., SWAT officers assembled near a UPS truck and then entered a white home.

Another witness told WRAL News that he heard at least seven shots.

UPS released a statement regarding Wall’s death, saying, “We are heartbroken by the loss of our colleague, and offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Anyone with information that might assist the investigation is asked to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-HELP (4357) or visit raleighcrimestoppers.org for text and email reporting options. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.

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TSA agent helps family get to Maine after mistake


A Transportation Security Administration officer is earning praise after helping a family that arrived in the wrong Portland.The family was trying to get to Portland, Maine, but a travel agent accidentally booked them a flight to the Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon, instead of Maine’s Portland International Jetport (PWM).TSA officer Martin Rios was called to a checkpoint at the airport in Oregon to interpret for Spanish-speaking passengers. He learned the family had arrived the night before and spent the night in the terminal, confused. Rios walked them to the ticket counter and helped them get tickets across the country.”I guess I understood their situation, being in a foreign county and with the language not being able to communicate with anyone else and being thousands of miles away from where you’re supposed to be,” Rios told WMTW. “Martin is always quick to help out his team members,” said Supervisory TSA Officer Kaitlyn Arnold. “He has a very positive attitude and is always smiling. I know I can always count on Martin to be dedicated to the mission.”Rios also learned the family was low on finances, so he donated money to help pay for their tickets to Maine.“ is a go-getter and the fact that he chose to support these passengers in their time of need was no surprise to both his team and our leadership,” said Senior TSA Manager Jeremy Alanis. “Martin is, and has been since day one, a shining example of what it means to be a team player. the kind of officer and person any airport in the country would be proud to have as a member of their team.” “It might not have seemed like a lot to me but it was a difference for them,” Rios said. PDX awarded Rios the airport’s Make the Connection Quarterly Award in recognition of his customer service.

A Transportation Security Administration officer is earning praise after helping a family that arrived in the wrong Portland.

The family was trying to get to Portland, Maine, but a travel agent accidentally booked them a flight to the Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon, instead of Maine’s Portland International Jetport (PWM).

TSA officer Martin Rios was called to a checkpoint at the airport in Oregon to interpret for Spanish-speaking passengers. He learned the family had arrived the night before and spent the night in the terminal, confused. Rios walked them to the ticket counter and helped them get tickets across the country.

“I guess I understood their situation, being in a foreign county and with the language not being able to communicate with anyone else and being thousands of miles away from where you’re supposed to be,” Rios told WMTW.

“Martin is always quick to help out his team members,” said Supervisory TSA Officer Kaitlyn Arnold. “He has a very positive attitude and is always smiling. I know I can always count on Martin to be dedicated to the mission.”

Rios also learned the family was low on finances, so he donated money to help pay for their tickets to Maine.

“[Rios] is a go-getter and the fact that he chose to support these passengers in their time of need was no surprise to both his team and our leadership,” said Senior TSA Manager Jeremy Alanis. “Martin is, and has been since day one, a shining example of what it means to be a team player. [He’s] the kind of officer and person any airport in the country would be proud to have as a member of their team.”

“It might not have seemed like a lot to me but it was a difference for them,” Rios said.

PDX awarded Rios the airport’s Make the Connection Quarterly Award in recognition of his customer service.



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2 arrested in missing pregnant woman's death


RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — A couple was arrested Wednesday evening and charged in the murder of a missing 28-year-old pregnant woman.

Wake County Sheriff’s Office identified Thomas Clayton Johnson, 37, and Emmalei Trevathan, 24, as the two people responsible for the death of Brittany Samone Smith.

Smith’s family said they last saw her alive on February 4 in Wendell. According to warrants, she was six months pregnant and expecting a baby boy.

Then on February 8, investigators informed the family that a body had been found stuffed in a suitcase near Neuse River Trail. The State Medical Examiner later determined that body did belong to Smith.

WATCH | Wake County sheriff provides update on missing pregnant woman case

Investigators then arrested Johnson and Trevathan during a traffic stop in Raleigh. They’re both charged with murder, murder of an unborn child and concealment of a body.

The couple is currently being held at the Wake County Detention Center as they await the first court appearances, which have not been scheduled at this time.

Investigators are still working to determine the motive behind the homicide, anyone with information is asked to contact the Wake County Sheriff’s Department at (919) 856-6911.

See breaking news? Tell us about it here.

Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.



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Boxing gym, organizer launch plant-based community fridge


LOWER EAST SIDE, New York (WABC) — A New York City boxing club is helping its community knocked down by the coronavirus pandemic by providing a kind gesture that’s good for the body.

“We got knocked down on the canvas but we getting right back up and we fighting,” said Power Malu of Overthrow Boxing Club.

In a city pummeled by a pandemic, a boxing club north of Houston has a plan to get its neighborhood back in the ring.

At Overthrow Boxing Club on Bleecker Street, they’ve stocked a community fridge full of plant based, organic, healthy food — all for the taking.

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“You see students, you see the unhoused community — all different kinda people coming together … that’s New York,” Malu said. “The melting pot. This is the mecca.”

All day and all night, people pick up what they need and stock it with what they don’t, much like similar fridges which have popped up across the city.

The last place you’d expect to find one is on a block of high-priced apartments and trendy boutiques, but that’s the point.

“People look at this and the first thing they say ‘why you putting a fridge there? those people got money?’ well guess what — not everybody in this community has money,” Malu said. “It’s an illusion. You see all these nice buildings come up, but the majority of the people have left throughout the pandemic and the ones that stood here were forced to stay here and now they cannot even afford to eat.”

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“More than ever now people are fighting to be seen, people are fighting to be heard and they’re fighting. They’re fighting,” said Joey Goodwin of Overthrow Boxing Club.

New Yorkers can take a punch, but they can also fight back.

It’s a fight for equity and progress that will long outlast COVID.

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