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Former Washington State high school employee accused of rape

A former employee at a Washington State high school was charged Thursday afternoon with allegedly raping a 15-year-old student.

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Kristal M. Gamble, 33, was employed as an office assistant at Kent Meridian High School when she allegedly initiated an illegal sexual relationship with a boy last spring.

According to Detective Melanie Robinson, the boy’s parents allegedly found sexual photos and messages on their son’s cellphone, so they contacted the Kent Police Department in September.

By that time, Gamble was no longer working for the Kent School District, according to a spokesman.

Gamble was arrested Wednesday. She is being held at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center with bail set at $10,000.

Drug-filled drone crashes at Arizona prison

A drone crashed at an Arizona prison in September, and officials found drugs and cellphones aboard the vehicle, The Arizona Republic reported. 

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The drone crashed in a yard accessible only to corrections officers. The Arizona Department of Corrections said Thursday it is still trying to determine who was behind the delivery Sept. 24 delivery.

It was the first known incident involving a drone at an Arizona state prison, corrections spokesman Andrew Wilder told the Republic.

The drone flew over Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye, Wilder said. The contraband had been tied up in an orange sweatshirt. Inside were two cellphones and several freezer bags filled with marijuana, images show.

The items were sent to the state crime lab for fingerprint and DNA analysis, but investigators have not been able to locate the origin of the drone, Wilder said. 

All airspace around prisons is federally restricted, so flying any item, including drones, near the facilities is prohibited, Wilder said. Attempting to smuggle drugs and cellphones into prisons is a felony.

Cleveland zoo shows off new otter pups

Three male otter pups made their public debut at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Friday, WKYC reported.

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Zoo officials said the pups were born on Sept. 24 to Bitzy and Kibble.

Baby otters are born with their eyes closed and need a few weeks to learn how to swim, meaning they'll be ready to join their parents, Bitzy and Kibble, on exhibit in The RainForest in the coming weeks. The zoo now has seven otters, WKYC reported..

The pups are Asian small-clawed otters, which are indigenous to Asia. They're one of the smaller species of otters and have hand-like paws, WKYC reported. They're listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“We were aware Bitzy was pregnant based on body weight and body shape,” the zoo's animal curator Tad Schoffner told Newsweek in an email. “The otters are given their privacy and typically staff does not even know for a few days that there was a birth because the parents tend to be very protective when the pups are in their most vulnerable state.”

The three pups have yet to be named, and they still weigh less than a pound, Newsweek reported. A zookeeper saw the pups playing with one another just Thursday, indicating they're developing well so far. 

Alaskan woman sets world powerlifting record

A woman from Alaska set a squat world record by lifting 603 pounds during the World Open Powerlifting Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic on Friday, KTUU reported.

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Natalie Hanson of Bethel, competing in the 185-pound class, shattered the mark of 591 pounds set by Kozlova Olena of the Ukraine in 2014.

A video clip posted by the International Powerlifting Federation shows Hanson, watched by five spotters, break the world record.

“It has only been about 12 hours so it is still sinking in,” Hanson told KTUU. “I’m really amazed by how many Alaskans were awake in the middle of the night to watch me compete. The support I receive from fellow Alaskans is unparalleled.”

Pennsylvania man accused of urinating on toys on store shelf

A Pennsylvania man is accused of urinating on toys and other items in a store. 

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Police said David Pacoe, 74, was captured on surveillance video urinating on a shelf inside Playthings, Etc. in Butler on Nov. 2. 

“It's not very nice at all and it's a toy store. You shouldn't have to worry about having security and guards or anything of that nature,” shopper Donna Bush said.

Surveillance video shows Pacoe unzip his pants and intentionally urinate on a shelf, damaging $800 worth of toys. Customers were standing nearby.

Investigators interviewed Pacoe the following day and said he allegedly admitted to the act, but gave no explanation as to why he did it.

Pacoe was charged with one count of criminal mischief. 

He is due in court for a preliminary hearing Dec. 26. 

Ohio woman burned by coffee in break room spat

An Ohio woman suffered “significant burns” when another woman threw a cup of hot coffee on her in a break room at the YWCA, according to a Dayton Police report. 

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Officers and a medic were dispatched to the YWCA in Dayton at 5:25 p.m. Thursday on a report of an aggravated assault. 

The two women involved in the altercation are residents at the YWCA, police said. The injured woman, 55, told police she was in the break room speaking with another person about a woman who was also in the break room heating up a cup of coffee in the microwave. 

The victim told police the woman didn't appreciate what was being said about her, and when the coffee was done in the microwave, the woman removed it and threw the cup of hot coffee on her, then returned to her room. 

According to the Dayton Police report, the victim had visible severe blistering on her skin from the shoulder down to her left arm and elbow. The skin was peeling off, according to the officer, and he noticed significant burn injuries. 

The injured woman refused to go to the hospital.

Louisiana veteran entertains motorists with saxophone

A Vietnam War veteran has become a fixture for music lovers in his Louisiana town.

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Donald Givens plays saxophone for several hours daily in his gazebo at his Monroe residence. His yard is located near the corner of two overpasses and commuters can listen to his daily jam sessions, the News-Star reported.

Strangers pull up to his home and ask Givens to play, sometimes handing the 67-year-old money for music requests. Some residents in Monroe simply refer to him as the saxophone man.

"I don't feel famous,” he told the News-Star.

He may not be as famous as another Monroe native -- jazz tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson -- but Givens loves to create music.

In addition to the saxophone, he can also play the piano and guitar. Givens became entranced with the saxophone after hearing it during a church service, the News-Star reported.

At the same time, he started learning guitar.

"Once you know how to read music, I think you've got well over half of the battle won because you can recognize the notes to any instrument,” Givens told the News-Star. “I just needed to know where B or C was on the saxophone. I could recognize it on the sheet music.”

He started trying to copy Kenny G and other well-known saxophonists.

“When I first started, I would play inside the house. When I got pretty decent I went out to the driveway, and when I thought I was pretty good, I went out to the gazebo,” he said.

His favorite pieces to play include "Jesus, You're the Center of My Joy," " You Are So Beautiful," "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone," and "Memory."

Givens said he can play four to five hours without getting winded now, and he loves to keep practicing because there is no end goal with music.

“You can never master it,” he said. “It's unending.”

Stolen Van Halen guitar returned to Hard Rock Cafe in Texas

A guitar owned by rock ’n’ roll legend Eddie Van Halen worth more than $100,000 was recovered Friday, hours after it was stolen from a Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio, Texas, KSAT reported.

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The guitar, nicknamed “Frankenstrat,” had been reported stolen around 1 a.m. Friday. It was returned later in the day, but it is unclear how the restaurant was able to retrieve the instrument.

According to San Antonio police, someone walked in a side door of the Hard Rock Cafe and took the red, white and black guitar off the wall, and then exited the building. An employee noticed the guitar was missing after the Hard Rock Cafe closed, police said.

The Frankenstrat guitar was one of several that Van Halen had custom built for him during his career, the San Antonio Express reported. 

Van Halen is considered one of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Van Halen eighth on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

Florida church posts warning: 'This is not a gun-free zone'

Members of a Florida church congregation will not turn the other cheek to those who might wish them harm.

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They are armed and ready to retaliate.

That is according to a sign outside the River of Tampa Bay Church in Tampa, which warns in all capital letters that the sanctuary “is not a gun-free zone.”

The sign continues with a deadly warning: “We are heavily armed -- any attempt will be dealt with deadly force. Yes we are a church and we will protect our people.”

It is signed by “The Pastors.”

The sign at the 21-year-old church was erected about a year ago, Associated Pastor Allen Hawes told The Tampa Bay Times.

However, the warning drew more attention when Senior Pastor Rodney Howard Browne posted a photo of it on his Instagram account. The minister was responding to the deadly church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in which 26 people were killed and 20 more were injured.

“It is a deterrent," Hawes told the Times. “Look at what is going on. In the past two months, look at what happened in Texas. Look at what happened in Las Vegas. Because we are a church that is on television, we are very involved in the community. We want people to know that this is a safe zone.”

Hawes has a concealed weapons permit and said his congregation of nearly 1,200 people has “many armed members” ready to use force if necessary.

“If you walk through the door with the intention to harm, that sign serves as a deterrent to you," Hawes told the Times. "We are not a soft target. People here will defend their families.”

Hawes said his congregation is also paying close attention to the string of four unsolved murders recently in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa.

"I think just collectively, we pay very close attention," he said. "Look at Seminole Heights. Someone is murdering people. This stuff is happening all the time. Do you wait for another shooting to take precautions?"

Musicians pay tribute to young rapper Lil Peep after his tragic death

New York SoundCloud rapper Lil Peep — whose real name was Gustav Åhr — passed away on Wednesday at the age of 21. He was reportedly found in an unresponsive state by his manager on his tour bus, according to The Guardian.

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In a video posted on Instagram just a few hours before his death, he said he had consumed some prescription drugs as well as some other substances, saying: “I’m good, I’m not sick.”

In the wake of the young artist’s untimely death, tributes poured in from fans and peers alike.

“I am shocked and heartbroken,” said Sarah Sennett — the CEO of First Access Entertainment, a management company that represented Lil Peep last — in a statement released on Twitter. “I do not believe Peep wanted to die, this is so tragic. He had big goals and dreams for the future which he had shared with me, his team, his family and his friends. He was highly intelligent, hugely creative, massively charismatic, gentle and charming. He had huge ambition and his career was flourishing.”

Fellow rapper Post Malone said Åhr was “a great friend to me and a great person. your music changed the world and it’ll never be the same.”

EDM composer Diplo wrote on Twitter that Åhr “had so much more to do man he was constantly inspiring me,” and fellow producer Marshmello said, “We were just talking last week about working on a song together and now you’re gone. You will be missed, R.I.P.”

British pop stars Charlie XCX and Sam Smith also shared their sympathies:

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