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'Bikini baristas' in court battle over dress code law

The city of Everett, Washington, is looking to crack down on the dress code of “bikini baristas,” but the baristas are not backing down.

The baristas are arguing that their skimpy costumes fall under freedom of expression.

In recent court filings, the city claimed the coffee stands have a history of prostitution, sexual assault and exploitation.

One of Everett's new laws requires the workers to wear a minimum of tank tops and shorts. It specifically applies to employees at "quick service" restaurants, which also include fast food and food trucks.

>> Read more trending news

The other redefined the city's lewd conduct ordinance and created a new crime of facilitating lewd conduct. Both ordinances took effect in early September.

But seven bikini baristas and the owner of a chain of the coffee stands called "Hillbilly Hotties" sued the city to block the dress code in September, saying it's vague, unlawfully targets women, and denies them the ability to communicate through their attire. 

KIRO-TV asked a constitutional law attorney about that argument. 

“That is not a frivolous argument. One can see that this is conduct which may not be pure speech, but nevertheless is a conduct that does enjoy constitutional protections. The question is how much constitutional protection,” said constitutional law attorney Jeffrey Needle.

The Everett City Council unanimously passed the ordinances in August but halted the ban while the case is in court. 

A senior U.S. district court judge heard the arguments Tuesday in a federal Seattle court.

Fallen soldier's pictures used in fake social media and dating profiles

The family of a fallen Massachusetts soldier is once again fighting to defend his identity from complete strangers using his pictures on fake social media accounts and dating sites.

Lisa Haglof, who helps manage the Facebook memorial page for her brother, Army Staff Sergeant Matthew Pucino, told Boston 25 News she recently began receiving messages from people informing her Pucino's pictures and name were being used in online profiles to deceive and scam women.

>> Read more trending news

This Thanksgiving will mark eight years since the 34-year-old local hero died. The Green Beret was killed by an improvised explosive device on his third tour in Afghanistan.

>>PREVIOUSPhotos of Staff Sergeant killed an Afghanistan again used in Catfish scheme

Haglof said she reached out to Facebook, requesting they remove the accounts of "Damon Puccino," "Dusstin Alex Puccino." and "Emmanuel Pucino," all containing her brother's photos, stolen from the memorial page and other sites. 

When the profiles weren't immediately taken down, Boston 25 News reached out to Facebook by email. Although Facebook did not reply by late Monday night, the three accounts soon disappeared.

A dating profile on Match.com under the name, "Captain Smiley," with a picture of Pucino, was finally taken down after Pucino's family's repeated attempts to have it removed, Haglof said.

Match.com did not reply to Boston 25 News' email requesting information.

"It’s really sickening for our family to have to go through this constantly, and it’s a battle," Haglof said. "Despicable. It’s disgusting, and these people can’t have any soul. I mean, who does that to a fallen soldier?"

Haglof has been dealing with the issue for years. In 2014, a New York man, Brandon Ashraf, was arrested and accused of stealing Pucino's identity in a catfish dating scheme targeting women.

But Ashraf wasn't charged with Stolen Valor, as Haglof had hoped, because he did not receive anything monetary in exchange, she said. Haglof hopes to change that law.

"Honestly, it’s like a whack a mole game," Haglof said. "That’s what I feel like. Every time I turn around we're getting rid of one and two more pop up."

Overturned tractor-trailer spills bags of salad along Florida Turnpike

A tractor-trailer overturned early Wednesday, spilling bags of salad along Florida's Turnpike in Orange County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The crash was reported shortly before 3 a.m. on the road's southbound lanes, north of State Road 417, troopers said.

Investigators said at least one person was injured, but it's unknown how severe the injuries.

>> Read more trending news

The road blockage is causing congestion in the area.

The crash remains under investigation.

17 retail horror stories that show working Black Friday is the worst

Retail workers put up with long hours, pushy customers and crowded stores during the holiday season.

For many people, working in retail is a rite of passage — often the first job teens work during high school or college. In Ohio, the retail industry supports one in four jobs. We asked our readers to share your good and bad memories and experiences during your time working in malls, shopping centers and stores.

>> Read more trending news 

Check out 17 stories our readers told us about working retail during the holidays:

1. “Dealing with Black Friday shoppers feel like a walk through Jurassic Park”

“Over the course of one black Friday, I was: nearly run over in the parking lot; threatened with bodily harm by people who saw me walking into work and thought I was trying to skip the line; nearly mowed down by a small woman carrying a large leaf blower, trying to be the first across the store to get in line at the newly opened checkout; witnessed someone spit on my manager and attempt to punch him in the face; was called very hurtful things because a certain electronic device had sold out.” - Emily

2. IRATE CUSTOMERS

“Shoppers get irate and do not hesitate to get in your face and yell and scream because they stand in line so long not realizing what the employees’ day has been like! People need to realize they chose to shop during this crazy time just as some of us chose to work and enjoy being helpful … until you are put into tears by tired, restless, impatient shoppers!” -Jenni

» RELATED: Champagne gummy bears? Dorothy Lane selling new candy brand

3. KINDNESS FROM CUSTOMERS

“It was pleasant to be busy except one particular year I remember having a very difficult time because I was going through some personal problems and all the merriment of Christmas jingles and bright colors and joy just made me very sad in contrast to what I was feeling. I remember one customer took note of my mood and left me a little gift wrapped [gift] by my register for me to find. It was a candle and candle holder. I recall that he, too, was having a difficult time from our small talk. His thoughtfulness and the one was enough to get me through that most difficult of Seasons in 1983 and I still think about that simple act of kindness after all these years.” -Beau

4. RETURN POLICIES

“I worked for a very upscale store and a customer came in to buy a beautiful new boy’s suit. A lot of time and attention went into just the right tailoring for the young man. The next day the suit came back smeared with wedding cake from head to toes. Our no questions ask policy allowed the return. I lost the commission and the suit was thrown in the trash.” - Joyce

» RELATED: Safety measures heightened at local shopping centers for Black Friday weekend

5. ADULTS BEHAVING BADLY

“The issues were not with the children but with the adults! Fighting over the last toys on the shelf, the color that they absolutely had to have, etc. I wanted to send them all home to bed without supper!” - Barb

6. BLACK FRIDAY RULES

“If you don’t know how to play the Black Friday Shopping game, STAY HOME. And please don’t do returns until after the peak sales time.” - Robin

7. “MADNESS”

“People getting there early, even before employees, would block our way into store because they thought we were cutting in line.” - Linda

8. RUDE CUSTOMERS

“(A customer) kept yelling at me about how horrible and disgusting it was at my store, and how much cheaper everything was at Meijer. I finally said, “Ma’am, if you want to go to Meijer so badly, why don’t you go there? Take a left out of here and it’s 2 miles up the road.” Now doing that could have gotten me in a lot of trouble, but every customer within earshot were regular customers who knew me and knew that I’m not that kind of a person. After I said that and she started to leave, they all started applauding and told me that they would defend me if my manager got mad.” -Michelle

9. STEALING CUSTOMERS

“Working retail on Black Friday is like working at a daycare alone with 50+ children and no toys. You will be pushed, spit on, screamed at and they WILL throw things at you. Oh and you’ve been working for 10 hours, haven’t seen your family for the holiday and you don’t get to sleep for another 5 hours. You finally get the opportunity to sit down and eat a granola bar but OH NO! SOMEONE IS STEALING YOU NEED TO GET BACK OUT THERE!” - Kara

10. PUSHY CUSTOMERS

“When I was pregnant and working, we gave out $10 gift cards to the first 200 customers. I was assigned a door and when I opened it people shoved me and I got pushed into the door. I locked it and walked away in disgust. I was visibly pregnant but that $10 meant more to them.” - Jennifer

11. CHAOS

“The best way to describe it is chaos. Preparation started 2 months in advance.” - Scott

12. MORE STEALING

“(Black Friday is like) running in a track meet for 15 hours — people popping off security tags in the fitting rooms and trying to leave store with 10 layers of clothes on.” - Paul

13. TRAMPLING CUSTOMERS

“I worked in a large department store in the Upper Valley Mall. I actually watched an older woman get trampled when our store opened for Black Friday. No one stopped to help her, they just ran right over her. We weren’t allowed to leave our position and another clerk had to phone a manager for help. She wasn’t injured, but I’m sure she wouldn’t take part in another Black Friday sale after that.” - Tosha

14. HUNGRY CUSTOMERS

“It’s non-stop. You’re constantly busy. I worked alone in a Subway inside of Walmart on Black Friday. I constantly had customers even before I was open! As I was setting up, I had people demanding to come in and leave upset because I wasn’t ready.” - Nina

15. CASHIERS ARE HUMAN

“Just remember that we cashiers are human. We have feelings. And we just work there….we don’t make the rules, we don’t set the prices, we don’t control inventory. We ring up your products and process your payment. Please don’t yell at us.” - Amy

16. TOO MANY HORROR STORIES

“Too many horror stories to really pick out just one — Primarily customers wanting something that was completely against store policy and blaming me for the policy. One said she wanted my name and was going to report me to the store manager. That’s when I threw my name tag at her and told her to have a happy holiday.” - Dave

17. CALL CENTERS

“From a call center perspective, I think the worst is a customer putting their child on the phone so I can tell the child the bad news, that they won’t get that item. Because you know, parents today can’t disappoint their children. Then repeatedly say how I (or we as a company) ruined their Christmas.” - Nikki

Donor found for toddler born without kidneys; Tyler Perry buys mother car

A Georgia mother whose toddler has been waiting for a kidney transplant his whole life was given a car on Tuesday — hours before a kidney donor was found.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Toddler’s kidney transplant stalled due to dad’s latest arrest

Carmellia Burgess of Gwinnett County brought her son home from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Nov. 8, where he’d been since Oct. 29. 

The family expected to wait for the news that his father, Anthony Dickerson, would be permitted to donate a kidney after a battle with the transplant team over his criminal history.

>> On AJC.com: Toddler heads home from hospital to wait for kidney transplant

AJ battled a potentially deadly infection, contracted pneumonia, had surgery to implant a new port for his dialysis treatments and received blood transfusions before he was released from the hospital, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

But his mother didn’t have a car to get AJ to his hemodialysis appointments three times a week, she posted on Facebook.

That trouble ended Tuesday, when actor Tyler Perry gave Burgess a new car.

>> See her Facebook post here

The family later learned a deceased donor kidney will be given to AJ on Wednesday, attorney Mawuli Davis said.

>> Read more trending news 

“Father and mother are there excited and are being supported by Mr. Dickerson’s mentor, David Manuel, and Pastor Derrick Rice from Sankofa Church.

Who won 'Dancing With the Stars' season 25?

Congratulations are in order for Jordan Fisher and pro Lindsay Arnold.

On Tuesday night, “Dancing With the Stars” season 25 wrapped up in a two-part finale that left the audience and viewers at home on the edge of their seats.

Fisher and Arnold were big fan favorites and front-runners for most of the season after receiving five perfect scores from the judges through the semi-finals. Both Fisher and Arnold nursed injuries this season but performed through the pain on more than one occasion to bring home the Mirror Ball. Fisher suffered a scratched cornea going into the semi-finals while Arnold performed through a knee injury sustained early on in the season.

>> Read more trending news 

Their injuries didn’t keep them down and, on Tuesday night, they were crowned the season 25 champs. This is Arnold’s first Mirror Ball win as a pro even though she made it to the final three during three other seasons. This is a huge win for her! The “Hamilton” star is no stranger to getting onstage but winning the competition was a huge achievement for him!

Fans on social media reacted to the big news after following along for two nights. While it seemed they were split on which of the final three couples they wanted to win, many were ecstatic for champions Fisher and Arnold:

60+ people fall ill after company Thanksgiving party

Some 1,800 people may have been exposed to a foodborne illness at a Thanksgiving dinner.

>> Watch the news report here

The catered sit-down event was at the Toyo Tire plant in Bartow County, Georgia.

WSB-TV's Berndt Petersen spoke with one of the employees who got sick. The employee, who asked not to be identified, said he dug into the meal and everything tasted fine.

>> Top Thanksgiving food safety tips

But he says later that day, he and a bunch of co-workers felt awful.

“I started getting really bad stomach cramps, and the only food I ate I threw up," the employee said.

“We know that a large number of people, about 60 that we've had reports of so far, possibly more, have gone to local emergency departments with symptoms of foodborne illness," said Logan Boss with the Georgia Department of Public Health.

>> Thanksgiving 2017: The best and worst times to drive and fly this Thanksgiving

Boss told Petersen that two patients had to be admitted to Cartersville Medical Center.

The caterer for the event was Angelo's Pizza and Bistro, located about 20 minutes from the plant.

>> 56 stores confirm they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day 2017

The owner would not go on camera on the advice of his lawyer, but while Petersen was at the restaurant, he saw employees scrubbing the place from top to bottom.

In the meantime, the Toyo Tire worker said it was a Thanksgiving meal he'll never forget.

“Everything I ate for three days, I threw up. So, finally last night, my wife made me go to the hospital. When I did, they diagnosed me with salmonella," the employee told Petersen.

>> Read more trending news

The attorney for Angelo's Pizza said the owner and his family are heartbroken over this and offer deepest sympathies to those affected.

They have voluntarily closed the restaurant pending a health department inspection.

Calls to a Toyo Tire representative were not returned.

Police search for thieves carjacking UPS trucks, stealing packages

Police are searching for at least two people they say are robbing delivery trucks and getting away with packages in Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news

Police said the thieves watch for UPS trucks to leave distribution centers, then carjack them and steal the packages.

“It’s like they took the script right off of a movie and that’s why it’s important that we get these guys off the street,” Atlanta police Detective Benjamin King said.

A surveillance photo shows a possible suspect who police say may have been part of a carjacking and armed robbery of a UPS driver earlier this month.

The driver had just pulled off from a distribution center on Fulton Industrial Boulevard on Oct. 30 around 10 a.m.

As the UPS driver pulled up to the intersection of Fulton Industrial and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, someone opened his passenger door.

“He said he saw his passenger door slide open and he saw a black male brandish a weapon, then jump inside of his UPS vehicle,” King said.

Police said the robber forced the driver to take him to an abandoned apartment complex near Hyacinth Avenue.

Investigators said there was an empty U-Haul truck there waiting.

“At that point in time they had the UPS driver lay to the ground where they pointed a weapon to the back of his head, then they started to unload the stuff from the UPS truck to the U-Haul truck,” King said.

As police were investigating that case, a group of people did the same thing in the same area to a different UPS driver Tuesday morning.

“It’s very similar and we are actually looking into it right now,” King said.

No drivers were injured in the robberies. 

If you recognize the man in the photo, call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

AR-15 raffled off by youth football league in North Carolina

A raffle to give away an AR-15 was streamed live on Facebook with the Optimist pee wee football team from Stanley, North Carolina.

>> Read more trending news

The money was to help the team go on a trip and players were encouraged to thank those who bought a ticket to possibly win the AR-15.

"It just blew my mind, right," a father, Brandon Jenkins, said.

Willard Whitted is a gun owner, but he said this was a bad idea.

"Thought it was terrible that they would even think of doing something like that," Whitted said.

He said scores of people are killed when a gun of that type gets into the wrong hands.

"Find something else to raffle off," he said.

"I just donated the money," Mark Kee, who gave cash to help raise money.

He did not buy a ticket in the raffle.

"Where are the adults in charge of this?” Kee said. “Have they been watching the news? Do they know what's going on?"

The football coach, Ron Nolan, said a pawn shop owner donated the gun.

"Nothing is done illegally,” Nolan said. “It will change hands to a law-abiding citizen that passes a serious background check."

Damien Lockridge's son played on the team last year and believes raffling off the gun is the right thing to do.

He said the team uses the money from the raffle to help families pay for a trip to a playoff.

"They have to raise money somehow,” Lockridge said. “This is the only way to do it. I think it’s a great idea."

Photos: Notable deaths 2017

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