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Baltimore woman pays $19,000 for cat's kidney transplant 

One tabby ran up quite a hospital tab, but the feline’s owner said she had no regrets.

>> Read more trending news

In late November, Betsy Boyd spent $19,000 -- 41 percent of her annual salary -- on a kidney transplant for her 17-year-old cat, Stanley, the Baltimore Sun reported. 

As a condition for the surgery, Boyd also adopted the kidney donor, a 2-year-old tabby named Jay, the Sun reported. Now Boyd has six cats in her household, but saving Stanley was her biggest goal.

“Anything could happen. If Stan did pass away sooner rather than later, I’d know I had done what I could for him,” Boyd told the Sun. “We’ve already had a few really good weeks. He’s really happy, and that alone is worth the price.”

Boyd, 44, is a part-time member of the University of Baltimore’s creative writing faculty and earns $46,000 annually, the Sun reported. Her husband, Michael Yockel, is a freelance journalist and stay-at-home dad who cares for the couple’s 3-year-old twin sons.

“I’m smart with money,” Boyd told the Sun. “I’m very frugal. I drive a used car and wear clothing from consignment stores, and I have no debt at all. The message I’d like to get across is that if you save your money carefully, you can spend $19,000 on something that moves you.”

And there is no question that Stanley is important to Boyd.

“Stanley is the only human cat,” she said. “I love all my cats, but Stanley is the only one who acts like a human being trapped in a cat’s body. He’s so vocal and communicative. He maintains eye contact better than any cat I’ve ever known. When I’m at work, he waits at the window or front door for me to come home, just like a dog.”

Boyd realizes the cat’s life can be fragile, but the odds of long-term survival improved dramatically after six months. So Boyd is eagerly awaiting that milestone, which occurs on May 28.

“Knowing Stanley as I do,” she told the Sun, “I think he’s one of those cats who could make it to age 25.”

Philly mom upset when 6-year-old daughter allegedly put on wrong bus

The mother of a 6-year-old Philadelphia student is furious after the child was put on the wrong school bus and allegedly stranded Tuesday afternoon, WPVI reported. 

>> Read more trending news

Laianna Correa, who attends the West Oak Lane Charter School, said she was told to exit the bus when it completed its route.

“I said, ‘This is not my stop,’ and she said she ‘didn't care,’" Laianna said.

Danielle Correa said she was “livid.” 

“I'm outraged because you pick a school thinking that your child is going to be taken care of during the day,” she told WPVI.

Laianna was dropped off more than two miles from her regular bus stop, Correa said. She was able to find her way home because she knew a classmate on the bus, and that child’s parents contacted Correa.

A spokesman for Durham School Services, the company that operates the buses, originally apologized and said it was launching an investigation, WPVI reported. Later, Durham Services said its investigation showed that Laianna was not forced off the bus. The company said the child told the driver she was going to a sleepover with a friend, WPVI reported.

Correa said she never gave permission for her child to go on another bus.

“She could've wound up anywhere,” Correa told WPVI said. “Unacceptable. It will not happen again.”

The principal of West Oak Lane Charter School said the school is now making changes to its afternoon dismissal policies, WPVI reported.

Costco hosting 'Military Hour' on March 24

Members of the military and veterans will be able to get a head start Saturday, March 24, at more than 100 Costco stores nationwide. The membership-only warehouse club will be hosting a “Military Hour” that includes a private early opening, food samples and freebies, the company said in a news release.

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Stores at 117 locations will open at 8 a.m. local time for military members and their families. The first 100 visitors at each location will receive a goodies bag, the company said in the release.

Persons attending do not have to be Costco members, but only members will be allowed to make purchases. Costco is offering an exclusive membership for military members who join for the first time, the company said.

'Willie Wonka' actor appears on 'Jeopardy!'

Mike Teevee won another Golden Ticket, but you had to be a big chocolate fan to recognize him.

>> Read more trending news

Paris Themmen, who played the TV-obsessed kid in the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” finally made it to television on Tuesday when he appeared in an episode of “Jeopardy!” ET Online reported.

However, Themmen did not mention that he had been in the classic that starred Gene Wilder. When host Alex Trebek asked Themmen about an interesting fact, the former child star said he was an “avid backpacker” who had hiked on six continents, ET Online reported.

Themmen’s fans recognized him, however, and mentioned that fact on Twitter. He wound up finishing second during Tuesday’s episode, ET Online reported. The last acting role Themmen had was a small part in the 2000 television series, “Star Trek: Voyager.”

Jurors watch graphic footage recorded at Pulse nightclub in Florida

Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of Noor Salman, the widow of a man who fatally shot 49 people and injured dozens more in a June 2016 attack at a Florida nightclub.

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The case hinges on whether Salman, 31, knowingly helped her husband, Omar Mateen, plan the attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She has pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding the support of a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death and obstruction of justice. She faces life in prison if convicted.

Jurors on Thursday watched a video timeline of the massacre, which included graphic footage recorded by the nightclub's surveillance cameras.

Jurors were also shown graphic footage captured by police body-worn cameras.

The videos shows Mateen shooting people in the nightclub's main area. Some ran, some fell. He was seen walking from room to room and shooting more people before heading back to the main area and firing more shots.

Salman turned her head away and wept while the videos were played.

"I feel like he is the devil in a human being's body," Susan Adeih, Salman's cousin, said outside the courthouse. "I feel so bad for the families. For Omar, I don't really give a damn. I wish Omar would burn in hell. That's how I feel."

Prosecutors showed jurors photographs of the nightclub's restroom, which flooded after police damaged water pipes while breaching a wall. Evidence was submerged in several inches of bloody water.

Although the photos and video are hard to forget, WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said that showing them to jurors so early in the case could give defense attorneys a slight advantage.

"You have days and weeks for the shock effect to wear off," he said. "And then the jury concentrates on the facts, not on the emotionalism of the video."

Prosecutors on Thursday called to the stand Fort Pierce police Lt. William Hall, who was sent to Mateen's apartment to check for bombs and booby traps.

When Hall arrived, Salman exited the apartment with her 3-year-old son.

Salman at first refused to allow investigators to search her apartment and her car, but she changed her mind while they were trying to obtain a search warrant.

Hall said he made a tactical mistake by allowing Salman to go to her bedroom alone to change clothes. When he brought up Orlando, before mentioning the attack, Salman asked if they were going to take her to Walt Disney World -- something that wasn't included in his report.

Hall didn't ask Salman if she knew where her husband was or if he was alone, which was information that could have saved lives, he said.

FBI Special Agent Chris Mayo, who interviewed Salman in a police car, testified that he took her to an FBI field office and sat her in a large conference room so she and her son would be more comfortable.

Mayo said it was a fluid situation, but defense attorneys will argue that agents didn't initially perceive her as a threat.

Salman never asked what happened to her husband, he said.

Mayo said he didn't record the interview because it wasn't an interrogation, but in hindsight, he probably should have.

Testimony is scheduled to resume Monday.

'Gonzaga Grandma' celebration goes viral

March Madness has only just begun, and already there is an internet sensation: the Gonzaga Grandma.

>> Read more trending news

Fourth-seeded Gonzaga squeaked past UNC-Greensboro 68-64 Thursday afternoon and did not clinch the victory until freshman guard Zach Norvell Jr. hit a 3-point shot with 20.8 seconds remaining to snap a 64-64 tie.

After the basket, the TNT cameras caught an elderly woman in the Gonzaga cheering section celebrating by pointing her arms to the sky, mouthing the words “Thank you, Father.”

It was a heavenly way for the Bulldogs to avoid an upset. The Gonzaga Grandma’s reaction quickly went viral:

Family that found 7 rare Ty Cobb baseball cards find another one

The T206 baseball card set, issued from 1909 to 1911, has been called “the Monster” by collectors. Two years ago, a family in a rural Southern town discovered seven rare Ty Cobb cards from that set while cleaning their great-grandfather’s house and sold them for nearly $3 million.

>> Read more trending news

Now, that family has made another monster discovery.

An eighth card of the Detroit Tigers’ Hall of Famer was found in another part of the great-grandfather’s house, and the family has decided to keep this one, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

“The family’s intent is to keep this latest addition as a memento,” according to Rick Snyder, owner of MINT State in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Snyder initially reviewed all eight cards before sending them to be graded, according to a news release from Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). “It’s a family heirloom that reminds them of an event that changed their lives forever.”

The rarity of the card, which was originally included with packs of cigarettes during the first decade of the 20th century, is determined by the advertisement on the back. It reads “Ty Cobb King of the Smoking Tobacco World,” and before the “Lucky 7 Find” find two years ago, only 15 of these cards were known to have existed.

Another Cobb card, called “The Matchbox Cobb,” was discovered last year by a Georgia family. The family was cleaning out their father’s sock drawer when they found the Cobb card in a matchbox. The card was graded PSA 1 and sold in an SCP Auctions sale on Nov. 4, for $100,000.

The latest Cobb card discovery brings the overall total to 24. Like the others, this card was sent to PSA, the Newport Beach, California-based grading company said in a statement. A grade of PSA 2, or good, was assigned to the card. The Lucky 7 cards ranged in grade from PSA 1.5 to PSA 4.5, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

The family, which still wants to remain anonymous, found the original seven cards as they were cleaning their great-grandfather’s home. They were at the bottom of a rumpled, torn paper bag that was on the floor. When the family inspected the bag, they found old postcards and the seven Cobb cards, lying face down, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

PSA said the eighth card was discovered between two books inside an old, dusty box. The card was among clothing, eyeglasses, makeup and several tobacco tins.

“The initial discovery, it was a real shock to them,” PSA President Joe Orlando told The Associated Press. “They put the cleaning on hold for a while.

“Later, they knew what they were looking for, and in a dusty box between two books, there was another one,” said Orlando, whose company verified the new card and put a $250,000 value on it. “It falls under the category of ‘you can’t make this stuff up.’”

The T206 set contains 525 different cards with 16 tobacco-brand advertisement backs. This also contains a Honus Wagner card that is recognized as the “Holy Grail” of baseball cards.

Family members released a statement through MINT State, calling the find “unbelievable.”

“We are incredibly blessed and grateful to have found another card,” the statement read. “This is unbelievable. We would have never thought this would happen once, much less twice. It is an incredible feeling.”

“This just goes to prove that buried treasure still exists in the collectibles world, even well above sea level,” Orlando said in a statement through PSA.

Woman says she felt fat-shamed on Universal’s Islands of Adventure ride

A woman said she felt fat-shamed when she was unable to ride Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.

>> Read more trending news

Angel Morales said she asked workers if she could ride the ride bench with one fewer person so that she wouldn't make anyone sitting beside her feel uncomfortable.

Morales said she felt humiliated when employees declined her request.

The theme park doesn't have weight restrictions, so Morales said she didn't know she couldn't go on the ride until she was about to board it.

Morales said she bought annual passes to the park last year and couldn't wait to check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

"(I) couldn't fit on any of the Harry Potter rides because of my weight," she said. "(I) did a lot of bag-holding in Diagon Alley and that kind of thing."

She had hoped to ride the King Kong attraction, because its seat is a bench without a safety bar, but when she got to the front of the line, she told her daughters that she didn't think they'd fit without making others uncomfortable, Morales said.

A man waiting in line overheard their conversation and offered to wait for the next available ride so Morales could ride with her daughters.

During another trip to the park, Morales said she tried to spare herself from further embarrassment by asking workers if one fewer person could ride in her row.

She said they wouldn't allow it, because they said they have to "push for capacity."

"It's somewhat humiliating to have to ask for an accommodation because of one's weight -- that you have to put yourself out there and kind of beg to be able to ride and embarrass yourself because of weight," Morales said.

She filed a discrimination complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. She said overweight people should be a protected class.

"Their interest is getting bodies and getting money and not accommodating paying customers," she said. "That's how I felt."

Morales said she was offered a $100 gift card, dinner and movie tickets, but she doesn't plan to return to the park.

WFTV asked Universal if it trains its workers to handle such incidents and if it considers Morales' request unreasonable.

"While we don’t comment on specific guest situations, we always strive to treat our guests with respect and we work to accommodate special requests when we can," a company spokesman said.

WATCH: Baby elephant takes tourist on roll through mud. It’s hysterical!

A tourist won’t forget her trip to Thailand anytime soon.

Her roll in the mud, which was caught on camera, has entertained millions of people.  

>> Read more trending news 

Hannah Frenchick posted video of her encounter with a baby elephant while on a trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The video shows the baby elephant knocking over the woman. It then playfully lays on top of her and finally rolls around in the mud with her.

>> Related: Idaho science teacher fed sick puppy to snapping turtle as students looked on

She was surprised at first, then she realized just how playful the little elephant was and had some fun. 

The video has gone viral with millions of views.

Tripp Halstead, toddler seriously injured when tree limb fell on him 5 years ago, has died

Tripp Halstead, who was seriously injured more than five years ago when a tree branch fell on him, causing brain damage, died on Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

Halstead’s father confirmed his passing to WSB-TV in Atlanta.

On Oct. 29, 2012, Stacy Halstead got a call no mother should ever have to receive: A tree limb had fallen on her 2-year-old son Tripp's head during a freak accident at his daycare.

For the Halstead family, life changed in an instant

As the blue-eyed toddler fought for months to survive, people all over the country started to follow along and root for his recovery. 

Just a few months ago, WSB-TV talked with the Halstead family on the five-year anniversary of Tripp's accident.

For more than five yearsWSB-TV followed Tripp as he inspired us all with his progress.

Here's a look back at some of Tripp's journey, as told through the family's Facebook page, Tripp Halstead Updates

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