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9-Year-Old Boy Donates Birthday Money to Buy Bulletproof K9 Vests

805promo/iStock/ThinkStock(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — A nine-year old boy in St. Paul, Minn., is being recognized for making a thoughtful decision beyond his years.

Fourth grader Ethan Flint asked his friends and family to forgo buying him birthday gifts and instead use the money to help provide bulletproof vests for the St. Paul Police K9 Foundation, according to ABC affiliate KSTP-TV .

Ethan’s mother, Jennifer Flint, told KSTP-TV they wanted “to do something that he was interested in and give to a cause that he believed in.”

Ethan presented the K9 Foundation with a homemade check for $1,290, KSTP-TV reported.

“This kid has a heart of gold,” St. Paul Police Department Spokesman Steve Linders told ABC News.

Ethan’s gift will be combined with a donation from a restaurant to purchase two vests, said Linders.
ABC News could not immediately reach the Flint family for comment.

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House Explosion in Texas Injures Three People

iStock/Thinkstock(WAXAHACHIE, Texas) — At least three people were injured following a house explosion south of Dallas Monday morning.

The blast reduced a home in the town of Waxahachie to a pile of brick and lumber. Nine other homes were also damaged, according to ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV.

Among those injured, two were flown by helicopter to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, while another was treated at the scene, WFAA reports.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

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‘Slender Man’ Stabbing Trial Delayed for Court of Appeals Ruling

iStock/Thinkstock(WAUKESHA, Wis.) — A judge has delayed the start of the trial for two girls charged with stabbing their friend 19 times, allegedly to please a fictional character named Slender Man, pending a decision from the Court of Appeals on whether to try them as adults instead of juveniles.

Judge Michael Bohren announced he would take the cases against teenagers Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier off the October calendar.

Prosecutors did not object to a stay in the district court proceedings while awaiting the court of appeals decision.

Bohren scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for Sept. 30.

Judge Bohren ruled in August that the girls would go to trial in adult court.

If the girls are convicted in the adult court system, they could each face up to 65 years in prison.

Morgan and Anissa were both 12 years old when they were arrested on May, 31, 2014, after allegedly stabbing their then-12-year-old friend Payton Leutner 19 times and leaving her in the woods in their hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Payton was rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries and survived.

Prosecutors have said that both Morgan and Anissa were obsessed with the fictional character Slender Man, who is often depicted in fan fiction stories online as a horror figure who stalks children.

In August, a Wisconsin court entered not guilty pleas on behalf of the two teens after their lawyers declined to do so.

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‘Baby Doe’ Case: Mother, Boyfriend Expected to Appear in Court

Suffolk County District Attorney(BOSTON) — The mother of the young girl found dead inside a trash bag in Massachusetts earlier this summer and her boyfriend are expected to appear at an arraignment Monday in connection with the child’s death.

The girl found dead on Deer Island in June and nicknamed “Baby Doe” by authorities was a girl named Bella Bond, authorities said. Her case captivated the country, and computer composites used in an attempt to identify her were viewed by millions.

A man named Michael McCarthy, 35, was arrested and charged with Bella’s murder, authorities said Friday. The girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, was charged as an accessory after the fact, authorities said.

McCarthy allegedly caused Bella’s death intentionally and he and Bond are also accused of keeping her death a secret to avoid prosecution, authorities said.

McCarthy is Bond’s boyfriend, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston. McCarthy’s relationship to Bella is not clear, authorities said. The identity of Bella’s father was not released and he was not accused of wrongdoing.

Bella Bond was about 2 1/2 years old when she died, authorities said. She lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a Boston neighborhood about 14 miles from Deer Island where her body was found.

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Man Accused of Opening Fire During Alabama Church Service

Selma Police Department(SELMA, Ala.) — A man is in custody after allegedly opening fire during a church service.

A gunman in Selma, Alabama opened fire at Oasis Church on Sunday leaving three people injured, including a woman, a baby, and a pastor.

Selma police have charged 26-year-old James Minter with three counts of attempted murder.

Selma Police Lieutenant Curtis Muhannad said Minter’s motive for the shooting was his involvement in a domestic dispute for visitation rights. The shooter intended to attack his son’s mother, but the church pastor tried to stop Minter, and got shot in the leg.

Minter is now in police custody at Dallas County jail, said Selma police.

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At Least 1,400 Homes Destroyed in 2 California Wildfires

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The number of homes destroyed by two active Northern California wildfires surpassed 1,400 Sunday, officials said.

In Lake County, the Valley Fire has burned 888 homes, Cal Fire reported. The fire, which covers more than 75,000 acres, is 53 percent contained, Cal Fire reported.

In Amador and Calaveras counties, the Butte fire has burned 535 homes, Cal Fire said. The Butte fire, which spans more than 70,000 acres, is 70 percent contained, Cal Fire said.

The Valley fire and Butte fire are the sixth and seventh most destructive blazes in California’s history, Cal Fire reported Sunday.

According to Cal Fire, a total of five deaths were reported from the two fires.

Nearly 10,500 firefighters are helping fight the blazes, Cal Fire said.

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Four Rescued From Burning Boat off Texas

United States Coast Guard(NEW YORK) — The Coast Guard and some Good Samaritans rescued four people when their boat caught fire Saturday off the South Galveston Jetty in Texas.

The Coast Guard said it received a distress call around 6:30 p.m. about a boat on fire. The boat was carrying a man, woman, a 6-year-old boy, and a fourth person.

The passengers were rescued by Good Samaritans from a nearby boat and further aided by the Coast Guard.

No injuries were reported. It’s unclear what caused the fire.

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Pope Francis: ‘See You in Philadelphia’

neneos/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(PHILADELPHIA) — Pope Francis said he looked forward to attending the World Meeting of Families Congress in Philadelphia in a video released by the organization.

The video was released ahead of the pope’s arrival in Philadelphia next week. During his trip to the United States, he will become the first pope to address Congress and the third to visit the White House.

“I look forward to greeting the pilgrims and the people of Philadelphia when I come for the World Meeting of Families,” he said in English. “I will be there because you will be there! See you in Philadelphia!”

Francis arrived in Havana on Saturday as he began his 10-day trip to Cuba and the United States.

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Valley Fire Evacuation Orders Lifted for Some Northern CA Areas

iStock/Thinkstock(MIDDLETOWN, Calif.) — Thousands are headed back home in northern California.

In Lake County’s Middletown, some of the 19,000 people who were forced from their homes because of the Valley Fire are returning after evacuation orders were finally lifted.

The Valley Fire has so far destroyed nearly 600 homes.

The Butte Fire, also in northern California, has burned another 500 homes.

Five people have died from the wildfires, most because they didn’t follow evacuation orders.

As fire officials continue to try to contain the fires, Lynette Round of Cal Fire told ABC News they have an eye on the changing weather patterns.

“As the temperatures heat up and the humidity drops, it makes it a little more vulnerable to more erratic fire behavior, so what we want to do is make sure that we have our firefighters aggressively fighting that fire and making sure those containment lines are really tight in place, so that fire doesn’t jump those lines,” said Round.

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