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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A major storm is now moving out of the Northwest, but not before spinning up a tornado west of Seattle, delivering damaging winds of nearly 90 mph in Oregon and feet of snow in the Cascades.

The major storm is weakening Wednesday morning as it moves into the Rockies with lots of wind and some snow.

Our attention moves east as this western storm combines with a southern storm to bring heavy rain and severe weather from Florida to Maine.

Flood watches have already been issued for eight states from Florida to New Jersey.

The southern storm will move north from the Gulf Coast into the Tennessee River Valley and bring heavy rain from the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas.

By Friday, the southern storm will finally join the western storm and strengthen enough to bring severe storms from Florida to the Carolinas.

These severe storms will produce damaging winds, hail and a few tornadoes. River flooding and flash flooding are possible along the entire East Coast. Heavy rain will spread into the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston and into Maine.

Some areas along the East Coast could see more than 3 inches of rain.

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wingedwolf/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- With the number of migrant children in U.S. custody nearing 15,000, the Trump administration said Tuesday it will rollback its requirement that everyone in a sponsor's household undergo fingerprinting and an extensive criminal background check.

The move is expected to provide much-needed relief at holding facilities like Tornillo in Texas, which has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of "unaccompanied minors." These are mostly older children and teens who cross the border alone without proper documentation and are waiting for an immigration judge to review their case.

Tornillo, one of more than 130 shelters in the U.S. being used to house migrant children, had become a lightning rod for criticism from congressional Democrats after the population at the tented holding facility doubled in recent weeks to its current population of 2,800.

Company officials told ABC News that BCFS Health and Human Services has refused to accept a government contract past Jan. 1 -- effectively beginning the shutdown of the facility.

Company officials have blamed the government for the ballooning camp population, saying onerous FBI background checks and bureaucracy have caused some children to languish at the facility for more than 50 days.

The Health and Human Services Department, which has custody of minors apprehended at the border, said in an email to reporters on Tuesday that it decided to relax its own rules for sponsorship, put in place just six months earlier, after it was determined that more stringent background checks for all household members generally didn't help to identify child welfare risks.

The agency said it would still require fingerprints and extensive background checks of sponsors and that it would continue to review public records checks on all adult members in a house. Some exceptions will be made, such as checks involving children deemed especially vulnerable or if there is some kind of documented risk to the child.

"Our focus is always on the safety and best interest of each child," according to a statement released by HHS. "These are vulnerable children in difficult circumstances, and HHS treats its responsibility for each child with the utmost care."

The administration has come under significant pressure to reduce the population of children being held at the temporary site, including by people who run the holding facilities aimed at minors.

In an internal email, obtained by ABC News, company officials said personnel at the Tornillo facility were “physically and emotionally exhausted and simply cannot continue on this mission.”

Rep. Rosa DeLuro, D-Connecticut, who has called for the shelter to be shuttered, called the move a positive step, but said the "heart" of the administration’s policy remains focused on immigration enforcement rather than child welfare.

"As the lead Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee that has oversight over HHS’s care for these children, I will not sit back and enable this administration’s harmful child abuse policies,” she said.

The 14,700 minors in U.S. custody are not related to the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy, which resulted in more than 2,600 children being separated from their families at the border in a matter of weeks. Those children have mostly been reunited with their families, upon a judge's orders. The remaining children in HHS custody are teens who were smuggled through Mexico with other groups of families and single adults.

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recep-bg/iStock(CLARKSBURG, W.Va.) -- A West Virginia high school suspended its assistant principal on Tuesday after a transgender student accused him of harassment.

Liberty High School assistant principal Lee Livengood was suspended with pay following a complaint by sophomore Michael Critchfield, who said Livengood harassed him in a school bathroom last month, according to West Virginia's American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the child.

Critchfield, who was assigned female at birth but identifies as male, told ACLU that Livengood approached him in the boys bathroom on Nov. 27, and said: "Why are you in this bathroom?" and "You freak me out."

"He kept asking me why I was in there. [He said], I shouldn't be in there because I am not a guy, and I told him I am a boy, I identify with this bathroom, and it is my legal right to use this restroom," Critchfield, 15, told local media outlet Metro News.

"I was barricaded in the bathroom for three or four minutes," Critchfield said. "And then a band mom was coming down complaining that they could hear Mr. Livengood yelling at me in the bathroom from the cafeteria, from the hallways, and some could hear it from the band room so she came down to see what was wrong.”

Harrison County Schools superintendent Mark Manchin agreed to meet with ACLU officials after receiving a letter on behalf of the teen and said the district has reached out "for help with additional sensitivity training around transgender students," ACLU said in a statement.

Manchin told the ACLU that Livengood was placed on paid suspension until the end of semester while the school investigates the alleged incident, the constitutional advocacy group said. The school's semester ends on Friday.

"While we are heartened to hear the administration admit to wrongdoing, a four-day paid suspension of an employee is not sufficient," ACLU said. "The Harrison County School District needs to make significant changes to its culture. We look forward to meeting with Mr. Manchin and developing a real plan to ensure that every student is safe."

Manchin acknowledged that the school "didn't handle it well," initially, but he said it does not "reflect on our employees at Harrison County Schools."

"I was able to confirm the interaction with Mr. Livengood and that indeed he acted inappropriately. We need to address it and we will address it," Manchin told Metro News on Tuesday. "Mr. Livengood was contrite. He understood the severity, that it’s a hot button issue, how we need to handle this, he was aware, and unfortunately we didn’t handle it well. He was contrite in understanding that what he did was incorrect so we addressed it."

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Orange County Sheriffs Department(LOS ANGELES) -- Police have arrested a Southern California woman who allegedly posed as the wife of a firefighter to swindle donors out of thousands of dollars in cash and goods.

Ashley Bemis, 28, was arrested Tuesday on felony burglary charges in the wake of a months-long investigation into her collections from unwitting donors.

She's accused of telling people on Facebook that her husband was battling a massive wildfire and requested donations in his honor, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

"My Shane works for Cal Fire and is out on the Holy Fire right now," she allegedly wrote on Facebook, according to court documents. "I also have two other family members and many friends out on this fire and other fires burning here in California. I received a text today from Shane saying it's pretty much a living hell out there battling the unpredictable 'Holy Hell Fire.'"

"I wanted to put it out there to everyone and say I will happily meet you and pick up any donation to the firefighters and first responders that are on the front lines right now," the post allegedly continued.

Investigators said Bemis is not married to a firefighter.

"San Clemente Police Services investigators suspect that Bemis created the fictitious husband with the intention of soliciting donations to defraud victims," the Orange County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Tuesday. "They also became aware, through additional social media posts from members of the community, of past fraudulent activity by Bemis, including multiple prior faked pregnancies in an attempt to illegally obtain money from unsuspecting victims."

"Bemis is suspected of collecting more than $2,000 in donations, both cash and items like socks, sports drinks, water, and camping equipment, from individuals, stores and companies," it added.

Sheriffs said they'd previously discovered more than $11,000 in donated cash and goods at her home.

Police began investigating her in September when suspicious social media users told officers that she had misrepresented herself to "obtain free items from caring people by making them feel sorry for her," according to a search warrant obtained by the Orange County sheriff.

Bemis was booked on charges of felony grand theft, second-degree burglary, witness intimidation and making false financial statements, according to police.

She's being held on $50,000 bail. It's unclear whether she's obtained an attorney.

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Chambers County Sheriffs Office(ANAHUAC, Texas) -- Authorities in Texas shared body camera footage on Tuesday that showed officers pulling an unconscious man from a burning vehicle after a crash.

The Chambers County Sheriff's Office shared the footage on its Facebook page, documenting two officers as they tossed the man into a puddle of water in an effort to extinguish the flames on his body.

His vehicle, "fully engulfed in flames," melted parts of the officers' uniforms, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

"The two deputies approached the vehicle without regard for their own safety and began reaching inside the vehicle to rescue the sole occupant," the sheriff's office said. "Both deputies were able to place the injured man into a nearby water puddle and extinguish all flames on his body."

"Both deputies were uninjured during their rescue of this man, however, the intensity of this fire melted parts of their equipment while on their uniforms," it added.

Video of the heroic moment received more than 45,000 views and reactions on Facebook as users praised the officers, identified as Braedon Boznango and Carlton Carrington, for their bravery.

The sheriff's office said the man would have otherwise died in his vehicle if the deputies hadn't "acted quickly, decisively and without total disregard for their own safety."

The victim, who wasn't identified, was airlifted to a Houston hospital and last listed in critical condition.

Chambers County is about 50 miles east of Houston.

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WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- A single mother in New York didn't let a would-be carjacker ruin the busy day ahead of her when he tried to drive away with her SUV on Tuesday morning.

After 49-year-old Tihisha Jones of the Bronx auto-started her 2005 Honda Pilot to warm it before she took her son to school around 7:30 a.m., she noticed a man sitting in the front seat, ABC's New York station WABC-TV reported.

Jones saw the suspect, identified by police as 19-year-old Bernado Santiago, toying with the ignition, attempting to start the SUV, as she walked towards it with her son, she told WABC.

When she opened the passenger door to confront him, Santiago closed it on her, WABC reported. Jones then went around to the driver's side and pulled him out, according to the station.

Video taken from an upstairs apartment showed Jones standing over Santiago as he sits on the ground, holding on to his shirt as they awaited police.

As Santiago attempted to slip through his shirt, Jones tackled him before pinning him to the ground. Several New York Police Department officers arrived shortly after.

Jones' 5-year-old son was present throughout the encounter, the video showed. The neighbor began filming on her cellphone after hearing the commotion on the street, according to WABC.

At one point, the woman behind the camera laughs and says, "Welcome to the f------ Bronx."

Jones said she had to act to protect the vehicle she worked so hard to obtain.

"I had to take matters into my own hands because I work, I saved to get that car myself," she said.

Last week, someone broke one of the car's windows, and the week before that, someone stole the rear spoiler, WABC reported.

Santiago told police he got into the car because he thought it was his Uber. He was charged with attempted grand larceny, petit larceny and criminal stolen possession of stolen property, according to WABC.

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KOMO-TV(SEATTLE) --  A massive tornado that ripped through Washington state left a path of destruction in its wake, videos and images posted to social media show.

The tornado pummeled through Port Orchard as torrential storms clouded over the Pacific Northwest Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado based on the radar and video evidence, it said, adding that the tornado touched down just before 2 p.m. local time.

Based on radar imagery & video evidence, a tornado touched down south of Port Orchard this afternoon shortly before 2 PM. We continue to work with EM partners on the extent of damage. We will not be able to survey the area before dark tonight - will send a team tomorrow morning.

— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 18, 2018


A number of businesses and homes were damaged, Mark Dorsey, director of public works in Port Orchard, told ABC News.

A 911 call in Katsap County made after 2 p.m. detailed a tornado "taking over a building and taking down some trees" in Port Orchard.

 In one video taken in the doorway of a Safeway grocery store, witnesses are heard expressing shock as they watch a huge funnel cloud wreak havoc in the distance.

"There's like debris everywhere," the person behind the camera said, adding that she was scared.

“There’s like debris everywhere.”

Officials in Port Orchard, Washington, confirm a tornado touched down this afternoon as severe storms pound the Pacific Northwest. There were no immediate reports of any injuries. https://t.co/FmfgEnqmrx pic.twitter.com/eSd5Vl9zzC

— ABC News (@ABC) December 18, 2018


Several posts to social media showed down trees in the wake of the tornado.

pic.twitter.com/GmBBxH88rK

— zargoman (@zargoman) December 18, 2018


Resident Richard Raymond told ABC Seattle affiliate KOMO-tv that he escaped his home right before a tree fell on top of it.

 

 

Richard Raymond says he just got out of his house before three trees fell onto it. #KOMOnews pic.twitter.com/5ZA8fWKhcU

— Jordan Treece (@JTreece406) December 18, 2018


There have been no reports of injuries, Dorsey said. The city is now working on getting downed power lines and roads filled with debris cleared, he said

Dorsey said that while the city's emergency operations prepare for tornadoes often, he has not experienced one for the past 50 years he's lived there.

"This doesn't happen here," he said.

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Scott Eisen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Migrants are showing up in groups of 100 or more at remote parts of the U.S.-Mexico border that aren’t equipped to handle the influx, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday.

It's a new phenomenon to challenge the agency’s resources shortly after a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died in U.S. custody.

One of the remote locations where agents are under-resourced is at the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station in New Mexico, where 7-year-old Jacklin Caal Maquin was held hours before she died.

 McAleenan visited the station Tuesday with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. They went with the intent to find out more about the circumstances of Maquin’s death, which is now the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General.

“The crossings in this area are up tenfold since 2014," McAleenan said on a call with reporters after the visit. "This is an area that saw very few crossings per day, on average, in any prior year of reference. So this is a very different phenomenon.”

In a phone interview from outside the facility, Rep. Lou Correa, D-California, said the tour confirmed what McAleenan described and that it was clear Border Patrol agents are “not prepared to address this refugee crisis.”

“The mission has changed completely," Correa said. "They are going from stopping drugs to addressing a humanitarian issue of refugees coming to our southern region.”

Beginning in mid-October and reaching a peak in December, the agency started to see “extremely large groups” arriving several times a week and consisting mostly of families and unaccompanied children, McAleenan said.

In the last three days, they've seen two groups of more than 200 people, he said, while the Lordsburg station is staffed with about four agents at a time, usually on eight-day rotations.

He said groups are largely traveling from Guatemala to the New Mexico border by bus, often for four or five days at a time and for 16-hour stretches. According to McAleenan, the “new smuggling cycle” involves more families and unaccompanied children.

“A group as large as 250, you're going to have medical issues,” McAleenan said.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus members who toured the facilities described it as unconscionable and emotional, urging for a reorganization of resources that would address what they called a “humanitarian crisis.”

Correa, who said he spoke with Border Patrol agents about where they needed resources, said they told him they “weren’t ready” for what they were facing. When asked about a border wall, they said they didn’t see it as “brick and mortar” but as more resources.

“They said we want better equipment, more personnel, we want to do our job. They said that's what a border wall should be,” Correa said.

 Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-New Mexico, described “inhumane” cells inside Lordsburg, with a mix of adults and children who shared a single toilet.

Chairman-elect of the caucus, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said a range of systemic failures in Maquin’s case and at facilities near the border should lead to McAleenan’s resignation.

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-California, who worked as an emergency room doctor, spoke to the specifics of Maquin’s death, the handling of her care and the equipment he saw at the port of entry where she was apprehended and at Lordsburg, where she was eventually taken.

“What I’ve found here is there are some really serious systemic obstacles, and problems, and failures in the system, to provide the care that a child so lovingly deserves when they're in our custody,” Ruiz said at the press conference outside the facility.

He called for complete physical examinations of any “vulnerable populations,” including young children,” that come through the ports of entry. Had this been done, he said, Maquin could have been airlifted to a hospital sooner.

Ruiz and other members of Congress called for an independent investigation into the healthcare resources at the border.

“It’s sad that Jaklin’s death had to happen to bring all of us here again to refocus on the issue of the border and the border wall, and I say that with anger because of what's happening in Washington right now,” Correa said.

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St. Charles County Department of Corrections via Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  The day before he allegedly took a rented truck for a deadly drive down New York City's West Side Highway bike path, Sayfullo Saipov was secretly recorded on an FBI wiretap, according to newly filed court documents.

The contents of the recorded conversations were not revealed so it is impossible to know whether Saipov was overheard discussing the Halloween 2017 attack, but defense attorneys said that “one of the recordings was from October 30, 2017.”

Other conversations were recorded over a three-year period, according to the court filings, suggesting Saipov may have been talking to other people of interest to the FBI.

Defense attorneys disclosed the existence of the intercepted communications as part of a motion to suppress statements Saipov made to the FBI during his interrogation.

That Saipov was under surveillance on the eve of the attack and was still able to carry it out showed the challenge of stopping a so-called lone wolf like him.

“What it says is that the criteria the FBI has been forced to use to assess risk has been flawed for years,” said John Cohen, former acting undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security who is now an ABC News contributor. “To be considered a high-risk threat from a terrorism perspective there has to be coordination or collaboration with a known terrorist group. Absent that the FBI is somewhat hamstrung in what they can do.”

Saipov, whose alleged attack killed eight people, is scheduled to stand trial next year. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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Greenwood Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- A 6-month-old girl who was allegedly left to drown in an icy pond by her father is "greatly improving," police announced Tuesday.

On Monday morning just after 10 a.m., a man entered the Greenwood Police Department, telling authorities that he had just drowned his child, police said in a press release.

The investigators who spoke to the man hurried to the location where he said he left his daughter and pulled the baby out of the frigid pond off Doc Henry Road, police said. They performed CPR and were able to get her to breathe normally, then removed her wet clothes and wrapped her in one of the officer's uniform shirts to warm her, police said.

The baby was then taken to the hospital, where she is recovering but in good health, police said.

Greenwood Police Lt. Aaron Fordham said Tuesday that the child is "greatly improving" and "continuing to make progress," ABC Kansas City station KMBC-TV reported.

She had a body temperature 87.9 degrees when she was taken to the hospital, indicating hypothermia, according to KMBC-TV.

The father was taken into custody and transported to jail, police said. He is identified in charging documents as 28-year-old Jonathon Zicarelli of Greenwood, KMBC-TV reported.

Zicarelli appeared "emotionally removed" when he informed police of what he had done, according to the local station.

Once the responding deputies arrived to the scene, they found the girl floating face up, appearing lifeless, KMBC-TV reported. When they pulled her out of the pond, she had mud in her eyes and grass and water in her mouth, according to the station.

Police believe she was in the water for up to 10 minutes, KMBC reported.

Zicarelli allegedly told police he had planned to kill the child for more than 24 hours to make things easier on his wife, who was stressed out about the holidays and trying to provide for the family, KMBC-TV reported.

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Martin County Sheriffs Office(MIAMI) -- A mother and daughter were arrested for trying to deliver contraband to the roof of a Florida state prison, according to authorities.

Casandra Kerr, 40, and her daughter, Cencetta Didiano, 22, were "hoping to spread some holiday cheer" to a relative who has been housed at the Martin Correctional Institute in Indiantown, Florida, the Martin County Sheriff's Office said in a press release Tuesday.

The pair from Tampa was arrested Sunday before 2 a.m. after a prison guard noticed "their special delivery," which included cell phones and tobacco, flying over the rooftop, the sheriff's office said. The package was intended for Kerr's husband, authorities said.

Prison staff alerted the sheriff's office, and responding deputies located Kerr and Didiano "driving around outside of the facility," according to the sheriff's office. They admitted to the deputies that they bought the drone on eBay and wanted to deliver the items to a relative, authorities said.

"I did it," Kerr told responding deputies, according to an arrest report. "The remote and the iPad is in the backseat."

Kerr was charged with introducing contraband into a correctional facility, and Didiano was charged with aiding in the effort, according to the sheriff's office. The package was confiscated.

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WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- It was the best of the Christmas spirit, and it was the worst of the Christmas spirit.

New Jersey officials said that more than $114,000 of about $510,000 in cash that spilled out of the two plastic bags in the back of a Brinks armored truck earlier this month has been returned by drivers -- and that another roughly $200,000 was gathered on scene and returned to the Brinks drivers.

But about $188,000 in cash remains missing, according to police officials in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Video capturing the incident shows stunned motorists pulling their cars over and rushing onto a busy highway, grabbing at bills fluttering through the air -- and causing multiple car accidents.

Still, more than $188,000 remains missing, and presumably is still in the hands of some of those motorists -- who could be arrested if police track them down before they come forward voluntarily.

Captain Phillip Taormina with the East Rutherford Police Department told ABC News that police were looking at license plate cameras, Department of Transportation cameras, and cameras from MetLife Stadium and the New Jersey Turnpike to identify motorists involved in the incident.

Taormina also said other motorists had turned in dash cameras and cell phone footage.

He said everyone who has returned the money came forward themselves, and that charges would be pursued against anyone who police identified through video.

Police said the truck’s rear passenger door opened due to a mechanical issue as it was driving along Route 3 that morning when the two plastic bags fell out of the open back door and flew open, scattering across the highway and being blown around by “vehicle traffic along with the windy weather conditions.”

Videos taken by other motorists showed the money on the road and other drivers abandoning their vehicles to chase the cash, which police said caused accidents.

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ABC News(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) -- A Florida community that was devastated by Hurricane Michael was surprised Tuesday with $50,000 worth of donated toys to distribute to local kids for Christmas.

"You just all made our Christmas special," said Mike Jones, known as "Salvage Santa" in his Panama City community. "It’s going to benefit our community so much, in other ways you don't know about. It's going to bring things here that we need."

"Merry Christmas," Jones added, choking back tears.

The toy donation, made by "Good Morning America" sponsor SAP, came just as Panama City is trying to rebuild from Michael, the most powerful storm to hit the Florida Panhandle, that tore through Panama City in October, destroying nearly everything in its way.

One local mom's Facebook post, lamenting how ill-prepared the community was for Christmas, went viral this month, capturing the mood of the community ahead of the holidays.

"There's nothing left intact. Nothing," she wrote. "We lost 20,000-plus homes. We have people in tents ... My kids need to see that Santa still came even though their chimneys are gone.”

Jones is known in Panama City as "Salvage Santa" because for the past 39 years he has saved Christmas for local children by restoring old and broken toys and gifting them to kids in need. This year, he stepped up his efforts in the wake of Hurricane Michael with an event named "Salvage Christmas."

Even before Tuesday's $50,000 surprise donation, Jones had already collected around 900 bicycles and more than 10,000 toys for local children, storing them in a local church.

"Even though we’re in a building right now that doesn’t have a ceiling in it right above me, and the carpets all wet and torn out ... look at the toys in here on the shelves," Jones said. "The parents they come here, they get the spirit when they get to shop, there’s no cash register here, everything that you see in this room behind me is free."

He continued, "They get to pick out what they want for their kids and go out the door and that raises their spirits, their morale. There are so many kids that wouldn’t get Christmas if we didn’t do this."

Everyone in the community is involved, including 9-year-old Lyra Floore, who sold $700 worth of handmade ornaments and donated all of it to "Salvage Christmas."

"The Christmas wish that I hope for this year is that everyone gets the presents that they need," Lyra told "GMA."

Ilea Faircloth, the principal of Springfield Elementary School, one of the local schools destroyed in the storm, told "GMA" that the community still looks like a "war zone."

"When you walk around our neighborhoods and when you drive down our streets, it looks like a war zone," Faircloth said. "And it just sucks the happy out of everything."

Faircloth added that her dream is for the community to be able to come together on Christmas and to be able to forget about the storm.

"I hope that the kids wake up ... on Christmas morning and just are happy," Faircloth said. "And just forget that there was ever a hurricane even if it’s just for a few minutes."

SAP, the "GMA" sponsor that made the $50,000 donation, said Jones and the entire community of Panama City deserve the help.

"He deserves it and the community deserves it," said Alicia Tillman, chief marketing officer for SAP. "This is a community that was devastated by Hurricane Michael and without communities we have no prosperity and we have no innovation, which is core to SAP."

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Lunja/iStock(HOUSTON) -- A Houston dog lover and animal advocate created a paws-itively perfect Christmas card to spread holiday cheer as well as awareness to help stray dogs in the area.

Amanda Hulebak took her warm and fuzzy photo with a group of 18 rescue dogs — six of which she adopted and others that she fosters — for the third straight year.

Hulebak told ABC News that this year's photo, shot by photographer Kaley Elaine, "took hours to get."

"It was a lot of fun because our photographer was so great and patient — the dogs loved her," she said.

Elaine told ABC News that working with Hulebak on this project was "a privelege."

"Amanda is such an inspiration to our community and it was a privilege to be a part of such a unique project," the photographer said.

Hulebak said she first "got this crazy idea to take a picture with all the dogs" three years ago when she only had four at that time. "We got the picture back and I was like this is perfect."

Part of the purpose of the pictures is to "capture" the demeanor of the animals.

"One of my missions in my rescue work is to bring a positive light to the pit bull breed. I know that my dogs are extremely well-behaved and I wanted to capture that," she explained.

Hulebak shared this year's pup-filled photo on Facebook with the caption, "Oh, I'm sorry you can't foster, why?" Since the initial post on Dec. 5, the picture has garnered nearly 1,500 likes and been shared over 1,000 times.

Hulebak has been helping rescue dogs for 13 years. Most recently, she began expanding her efforts to social media using the hashtag #thisishouston to post dogs in her network as well as an array of local fostering and rescue organizations that she works with closely. (To name a few: The Purple Pittie & Friends, Pup Squad Animal Rescue, Cypress Lucky Mutts.)

"If theres a goal in posting that picture, it wasn’t for the likes or praise or thank yous, but for my efforts to show I have 18 dogs that are all rescued from the streets," Hulebak said. "This is our city and this is our problem."

Although none of the dogs in the photo have been adopted yet, Hulebek said she's hopeful that the continued awareness will help in their search for a forever home.

"It's gotten a lot of attention so it's great for our efforts to bring exposure to what we do and why we do it."

She continued, "I don’t expect people to be as crazy as I am. I’ve dedicated my life for this for years because that’s what makes me happy."

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WLS-TV(CHICAGO) -- The Chicago Police Department is mourning two of its officers who were hit and killed by a train while chasing a suspected gunman Monday night, officials said.

Eduardo Marmolejo, 37, and Conrad Gary, 31, were chasing the suspect around 6 p.m. when they were hit by a train that may have been traveling 70 mph, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters.

The officers, both fathers of young children, died at the scene, Johnson said.

The two officers were killed "doing the most dangerous thing any police officer can do, and that is to chase an individual with a gun," Johnson said.

Bodycam video showed the officers get out of their car, head up to the tracks and talk about where the suspect may have gone, police said, according to ABC Chicago station WLS-TV.

One loud train approached, which may have masked the sound of a second train, police said, according to WLS. Then the camera went to black, WLS-TV said.

A suspect was apprehended and a weapon was recovered, police said.

"These brave young men were consumed by identifying a potential threat to their community and put the safety of others above their own," Johnson said.

Gary had been on the force for 18 months and Marmolejo for two years, Chicago Police Department officials said.

Gary was a married father of an infant while Marmolejo was a married father of three children, WLS-TV reported.

"We are all mourning the loss of our extended family," Chicago Police officials told ABC News via email. "However, our officers continue to protect and serve their communities, even in the most difficult of circumstances."

"This knocks you back on your heels," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters.

"There are no words to express our grief, our sense of loss," Emanuel said. "We as a city have to measure up and remind them, they're part of our family."

Gary and Marmolejo's deaths are the third and fourth for the Chicago Police Department this year.

In November, Chicago police officer Samuel Jimenez was fatally shot in the neck while trying to protect employees and patients during a shooting at Chicago's Mercy Hospital.

In February, Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer was shot and killed. Bauer, survived by his wife and daughter, had been sitting in his squad car when heard a call over the radio and pursued a gunman on foot.

The mayor on Tuesday urged Chicago residents to show the police department that it has "your support."

"When you think about Commander Bauer, officer Jimenez, you think now about Eduardo [and] Conrad," he said. "The Chicago Police Department needs the family of Chicago. ... We have a responsibility today to show up for them."

Other police departments have been offering their condolences for the latest slain Chicago officers, who were members of the department's fifth district.

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