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Cute photo: Young boy awarded Junior Deputy badge

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A young boy was awarded a St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Junior Deputy badge by a SJSO deputy.

Kristine Gill captured the interaction between Deputy Rafael Fuentes and her grandson Emerson in a heartwarming the photo.

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Gill said Emerson was playing in the driveway with his parents and Fuentes stopped to award the boy a Junior Deputy badge.

Fuentes even turned on his siren and lights for him, Gill said.

Gill wrote that it is nice to see "great officers out there."

Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan told WJAXTV that Fuentes "is very involved with children to include Special Olympics and our Police Athletic League. He is currently our Guy White Recipient, which is our Deputy of the Year."

Florida lawmakers will live on minimum wage for a week

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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At least 18 Florida lawmakers plan to live on a minimum wage this week to draw attention to efforts to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Senators Geraldine Thompson and Victor Torres from Orlando and John Cortes from Kissimmee are participating in the minimum wage challenge.              Starting Monday, the lawmakers will live for five days on $17 per day.

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That figure represents what a minimum wage worker has after taxes, childcare and housing are deducted from an $8.05-an-hour paycheck. The lawmakers -- mostly Democrats -- will also go grocery shopping with a minimum wage worker at the start of the week.  State Sen. Dwight Bullard and Torres are pushing legislation to increase Florida's current minimum wage from $8.05 to $15 an hour.

An increasing number of cities around the country are moving toward a $15 minimum wage.

State senator resigns immediately

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Quick Facts:

  • Senator Rick Brinkley pleads guilty to federal charges 
  • Thursday morning agencies announced six charges against former senator Rick Brinkley
  • All charges involve an embezzlement case against the senator
  • He resigned effective immediately Thursday morning. 

State Senator Rick Brinkley pleaded guilty to federal charges on Thursday morning.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and tax evasion.

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Several agencies charged an Oklahoma senator in an embezzelment investigation on Thursday. The US Attorney of the Northern District, Danny Williams Sr., held a news conference with the FBI, the Criminal Investigation unit of the FBI and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to announce charges against Rick Brinkley.

FOX23's Lynn Casey attended the conference:

<iframe src="//storify.com/FOX23News/rick-brinkley-faces-federal-charges/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/FOX23News/rick-brinkley-faces-federal-charges.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Rick Brinkley faces federal charges " on Storify]

Officials announced five federal wire fraud chages involving money from the Better Business Bureau. Brinkley also faces a count of tax evasion for hiding part of that money from the IRS.

Investigators linked the embezzlement to a significant gambling probelm.  Brinkley could face 20 years in prison for the wire fraud and three years on tax evasion. No one else is being investigated.

Brinkley resigned in early August amid allegations of embezzlement at the nonprofit agency he where he once worked. He settled with the agency in an agreement with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.   His resignation would have gone into effect Dec. 31.

The senator resigned effective immediately on Thursday morning. 

The immediate resignation was encouraged by Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones, who said "It's one thing to ive him the benefit of the doubt."

"It's another when he admits guilt," Jones said. "He's not serving his constituents and needs to come off the state payroll now."

Brinkley could still face state charges. 

Deep fryers in Texas schools: 'It's not about French fries, it's about freedom'

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The top official in the Texas Department of Agriculture says yes, deep fat fryers should return to Texas school districts. (Source: TexasTribune.com

Commissioner Sid Miller says “it isn't about french fries, it's about freedom.”

Miller wants to see a state policy banning deep fat fryers and soda machines from schools repealed.

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Miller also wants schools to be allowed more days (six instead of one per week) to sell cupcakes and other high-fat, high-sugar foods during the school day.

To make his point about local control, Millers’s first official act as commissioner was to grant “full amnesty to  cupcakes.” 

“This is not about force-feeding cupcakes to our children,”Miller said. “It is about local control.” 

Miller’s critics say the restrictions on fatty, sugar-laden foods came in response to an increase in child obesity in Texas, and repealing them is a step backward.

Mother calls in to live news program to scold sons

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In a live broadcast, the mother of two brothers arguing on C-SPAN's Washington Journal surprised everyone by calling into the show.

“Oh God, it’s Mom,” Dallas Woodhouse said, as soon as the woman identified as “Joy” began speaking.

In the two minute call, the mother surprised her sons, Dallas and Brad Woodhouse, and pleaded with them to end the political arguing before they visit her at Christmas.  Dallas is a Republican and Brad is a Democrat.

“I’m hoping you’ll have some of this out of your system when you come here for Christmas. I would really like a peaceful Christmas,” Joy said.

Read more about the exchange here

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Amazing images of SF Bay Area wildfire

Man bites police dog during standoff with deputies

A man was hospitalized after stabbing himself in the chest multiple times and fighting with a police dog during a confrontation with Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies Monday evening.

The incident began around 7:45 p.m., when a deputy responded to a report of a family disturbance at a house on Raymond Avenue, near San Jose City College, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputy arrived to find a man in his 30s standing outside, holding a kitchen knife, which he began waving at the deputy before charging him while he was still in his patrol car.

The attacker proceeded to go berserk on the patrol vehicle, smashing multiple windows and slashing a tire, a sheriff’s spokesperson said.

The deputy called for backup and several officers arrived, including a K-9 unit.

The man continued to be confrontational with authorities, and during this standoff, he stabbed himself three times, causing non-life threatening injuries.

Deputies deployed the police dog named Ski at the suspect, who began attacking the dog when it reached him by punching and choking it, and at one point the man reportedly bit the dog.

During the scuffle, deputies managed to grab the attacker’s weapon and detain him.

After being taken into custody, the suspect was hospitalized for his injuries, where he remained Tuesday evening. When released, he was expected to be charged with brandishing a weapon at an officer, injuring a police dog and vandalism.

Investigators said they believe the suspect, who has not been identified as of Wednesday morning, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

As for the dog Ski, he “had some minor bumps and bruises but is expected to return to work soon,” according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Facebook page.

Both the man and the police dog were expected to recover.

Deputies reported later that a crowd had gathered during the incident, prompting authorities to ask that anyone who had information or video footage of the incident to call sheriff's investigators at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.

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