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Mega Millions jackpot reaches $422M ahead of Friday’s drawing

The Mega Millions jackpot reached $422 million ahead of Friday night’s drawing.

It is the sixth-largest prize in the game’s history, lottery officials said in a news release.

It is also the seventh time the jackpot has exceeded $400 million.

>> Read more trending news 

While the top prize is still up for grabs, there were some big winners in Tuesday night’s drawing.

Three $1 million tickets were sold in Florida, New Jersey and Oklahoma, according to lotto officials

2018 seems to be a lucky year for lotto players. Since the last jackpot was won in May, there have been more than 12.4 million winning tickets at all prize levels, according to lotto officials.

A 20-year-old in Florida won a $451 million prize in January, and a food production manager from New Jersey won $533 million in April.

The record for the highest Mega Millions jackpot was set in 2012 when three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland split a $656 million prize.

Friday night’s drawing will take place at 11 p.m. ET.

Photo: Florida Burger King customer appears to prepare food

Two Jacksonville, Florida, Burger King employees were terminated after customers said a woman got out of line and began preparing food behind the counter.

>> Read more trending news

Jeffrey and Marcelita Jones told WJAX-TV that they were at the Burger King at 937 Dunn Ave. when a woman stepped out of the slow-moving line.

They said the woman -- who was in plain clothing -- walked behind the counter and put on a pair of gloves. 

A photo appears to show her preparing or handling food. 

"She definitely, she had it her way," Jeffrey Jones said. "She didn’t even wash her hands."

The siblings said that employees and a woman who appeared to be the manager didn't seem to try to stop the woman.

"I said, 'No, you’re not about to fix my food. You’re not in uniform,'" Marcelita Jones said. 

WJAX-TV went to the Burger King on Wednesday and asked a manager why the woman was allowed behind the counter, and if any of the food she reportedly prepared was served to customers. 

The unnamed manager told the reporter: "I appreciate you bringing that to my attention but please take it up with my company."

The witnesses said they believed the woman in plain clothes might have been an employee. WJAX-TV asked the manager if that was the case. 

“It’s apparent that we don’t know anything about it, but we will look into it, and deal with it, and investigate it,” he said. 

WJAX-TV called and emailed Burger King's corporate office for more information.

A spokesperson sent a statement that said in part:

“…The person in the photo was an off-duty employee who went behind the counter to prepare food. This should not have happened and as soon as the owner of this location was made aware of this incident, the franchise owner terminated the team member and manager for violating their company policies."

The witnesses said they believe more training for the employees would have been a more appropriate measure as opposed to termination.

Recent high school grad found dead in submerged car in murky pond after week-long search

For six days, authorities combed Elbert and Madison counties in northeastern Georgia looking for any sign of Julie Ann Mosier

>> Read more trending news 

Mosier, 18, had been missing since July 12 when she went to visit a friend in the Bowman area, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

A massive search included a tricky stretch of road where an Elbert County sheriff’s deputy eventually spotted tire tracks that led to Mosier’s car, which had crashed into a pond, the Banner-Herald reported.

“We’ve all ridden that road I’d say collectively two dozen times and didn’t see anything,” Danielsville police Chief Brenan Baird told the newspaper. “There is one spot you can stand to see what (the deputy) saw and we’re very fortunate he saw it.”

Police think the teen, a recent high school graduate and new driver, missed a stop sign, lost control of the car and careened down an embankment into the pond. 

Once the deputy spotted the submerged car, authorities had to bring in a dive team to confirm it was Mosier’s car because the water was so murky. They then found the teenager inside, according to the Banner-Herald.

The search for the girl included several Athens-area law enforcement agencies. After several days coming up short, Baird told the newspaper officers were retracing their steps. 

>> Related: Missing teen linked to site of Rainbow Family gathering found in S.C.

“We went over everything that had been done and mapped out every area we had looked,” he said.

And they finally found her.

“It’s a rough time for the family, but they do have some resolution,” Baird said.

The Georgia State Patrol is still investigating the crash.

Chelsea Prince contributed to this story.

Child endangerment charges against YouTube stars dropped, officials say

Child endangerment charges against a West View, Pennsylvania, couple have been dropped, officials said.

>> Read more trending news

Isaac and Nicole Guest were charged in June after police said their two young sons were found by a good Samaritan on the side of a busy road.

According to police, their mother was a block away at a park while their father was at home.

The Guests are YouTube stars with their own channel and have been criticized before.

At the time of the incident, both parents proclaimed their innocence and said they expected the charges to be dropped.

The charges against Isaac Guest were dismissed and those against Nicole Guest were withdrawn.

5 signs your relationship is toxic and hurting your mental health

Everyone in a relationship knows how easy it is to accuse a partner of something they didn't do. It's their fault, you tell them, whether the spat is about towels on the bathroom floor, an angry mother-in-law or a missed restaurant reservation.

>> Read more trending news 

Sometimes you know you're wrong the second these words leave your mouth; other times you recognize your mistake in the days to come.

But the same people often miss a much more critical aspect of their relationship, despite repeated examples and gut feelings that something is wrong. It's far more difficult to realize that your partner may actually be at fault when you suffer from mental health issues.

"Some have the power to uplift our spirits, to lend comfort during life's strains and stresses, to weave fun and playfulness into our day, and to imbue life with a profound sense of purpose," psychologist and Harvard lecturer Holly Parker, author of “If We're Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?,” told Bustle. "Sadly, others can pull us downward, drain our energy and emotional reserves, fill us with heartache and erode our happiness."

Some of these woeful partners contribute to a condition, like depression, that may have already been present. Others push a person with relatively strong mental health into a rapid decline.

In both situations, it's all too easy to miss the signals. Bustle writer Suzannah Weiss, for example, started obsessive hair picking (trichotillomania), had trouble concentrating on work and wasted lots of time watching television for a good while before she realized an emotionally abusive partner was the root cause of her mental anguish. 

>> Related: Which ‘down-and-dirty’ men should you spring-clean from your life?

You owe it to yourself to figure out if you're having a toxic reaction to a relationship, psychologist Andrea Bonior told Health.

"Keeping a finger on your own emotions can help you develop insight about the people in your life, so you can choose healthier situations," she said.

And while each person has to weigh a relationship's worth for themselves, there are common signs that indicate a partner's actions are hurting your mental health:

Your self-esteem is slipping. If you can honestly say you were more confident and felt better about yourself before this relationship got going, your partner could be the one lowering your self-esteem, Parker said. The routine might be subtle, like a partner who talks about themselves constantly while asking you very few questions, which can lead you to feel less interesting. (This could also be a symptom that you are in a relationship with one type of narcissist.) Or it could be more obvious, a constant barrage of overt insults that reaches emotional abuse proportions.

"When one of the people you're closest to is making you feel inferior, you may start to believe you are," Weiss noted.

You're always walking on eggshells. A controlling relationship partner can do plenty of damage even without physical threats or violence. "It can simply be that you feel frightened to share your opinions—you're constantly walking on eggshells because you're afraid of your partner's emotional reactions," Bonior noted.

Your physical health has tanked since the relationship started. 

Sure, it could be a coincidence. But Parker warned that an unhealthy relationship can cause headaches, insomnia or muscle pain. The link to mental health? If one of those physical problems has erupted due to your relationship, it may indicate an underlying mental issue as well.

You're relieved when your partner checks out. 

Of course you could just be losing interest, but a physical sense of relief when your partner leaves after you've spent substantial time together could indicate your partner's causing you stress. Give this observation even more credit if your relief when your partner departs is accompanied by "a sense of weight and physical tension in the parter's presence," Parker noted.

You go to great lengths to distract yourself from the relationship. 

This is a psychological arc: when you are in a relationship with someone, you will make every attempt to avoid negative thoughts about them. When the negativity threatens, it can cause you so much cognitive dissonance you will do anything to push it to the back of your mind. Some of the distraction techniques can wear away mental health, like oversleeping or playing video games for long hours. 

>> Related: 6 signs it's time to break up with your workplace friend

Of course, eliminating the relationship is not going to magically erase your mental health problems, but it could have a positive impact. "Although many stressors in life can undermine emotional health, the possible role of relationships should not be dismissed," Parker said. "If a romantic relationship is having a negative impact on your psychological well-being, it's vital to turn attention to that."

Snake massage great way to relax, if you can stand the creepy crawlers slithering all over you

The latest trend in massages doesn’t involve cactus or snail facials or even cleavers. It seems the hottest practice heating up the massage table lately in some spas involves snakes.

>> Read more trending news 

A spa in Poughkeepsie, New York, places boa constrictors on the body and allows them to slither all over, wrapping themselves around a client’s neck, feet and torso.

“Just enjoy them and feel them,” a masseuse specializing in snake massages named Serpentessa said to a client  undergoing the snake massage, according to CBS 2 NY.

“They tone and stimulate the vagus nerve in our body, and that releases endorphins and oxytocin. Those are the feel-good nerves,” Serpentessa, who works at the Dreaming Goddess spa, told CBS 2.

The vagus nerve is one of the cranial nerves that connects the brain to the body.

But how safe is this kind of massage with a snake like a boa constrictor? Serpentessa said it depends.

“There are no guarantees with a wild animal,” she said. “You’re the one who’s going to choose whether it’s safe for you or not. So no one has ever been hurt by one of my boa constrictors.”

>> Related: 6-foot boa constrictor falls from ceiling, landing on sleeping man

She has four of them and charges $300 for an hour and 15 minute massage.

Serpentessa also told CBS 2 that people usually come to her for a couple different reasons: healing, empowerment or to conquer a fear of snakes.

How protesters managed to game Google's algorithm against Trump | Your Daily Pitch

How protesters managed to game Google's algorithm against Trump | Your Daily Pitch

Clinic's errant form letter reveals health care's faulty human touch

When Dr. Seth Walker, an Emory Healthcare pulmonologist, decided to take a position in Cleveland, Emory sent out a letter letting his patients know.

“My leaving in no way diminishes my concern for you and your well-being,” Walker wrote.

>> Read more trending news

It didn’t have the desired effect. The letter was riddled with bizarre typos that the family of one patient, Kaitlin Fowler, found off-putting. Worse, Kaitlin received the letter — or rather, her parents did — four years after her death.

Emory should have known: Kaitlin died of cystic fibrosis, the disease Walker was treating her for, at Emory’s flagship hospital on Clifton Road.

“We’re just amazed,” said Jeff Fowler, Kaitlin’s father. “It’s like … how can you send this out to us?” Another family they know also got such a letter sent to their dead child.

Emory is one of the most prestigious medical institutions in the South, and it’s expanding. It puts big muscle into academic expertise and gets high marks for clinical outcomes. But one area where it comes out average, according to federal data, is patient experience.

The letter incident exemplifies a tension in a human-centered trend in health care, said Jason Wolf, the president of the Beryl Institute and founding editor of the Patient Experience Journal.

“You want to give them a little bit of credit,” Wolf said. “It’s good you’re being active in your outreach. But you’ve got to be mindful in the way you do it.”

His organization this week will publish a study on what patients expect from health care workers and institutions. First, of course, comes health. “Second, and not far behind,” he said, “is that they were treated as a person.”

The implications can be significant, he said, not only for a health system’s popularity and financial health. If patients don’t feel engaged, they may slack off or change their participation in their care, and that can have an impact on their clinical outcomes.

“So it has significant implications, I think,” Wolf said.

Health care institutions are driving to improve “patient experience” these days; they’re rated on it and in some instances are paid based on it. But not all of them agree on what “patient experience” even is.

The Beryl Institute defines patient experience “as the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.”

One article in the journal Health Leaders led off with the example of another messed-up patient form letter to illustrate lack of connection and poor patient experience.

Another expert in patient experience, though, cautioned not to read too much into such incidents.

“I’d be more concerned if something like that happened during the episode of care,” said Dr. William Maples, an oncologist and president of the Institute of Healthcare Excellence. “If a physician did not create an environment where the patient felt respected, cared for, heard, listened to. Those are the critical things, where we truly are understanding the patient’s needs, we truly are showing that we have empathy and compassion as we provide our scientific care for that particular patient.”

That’s where it’s crucial that doctors are creating an environment where patients and team members can speak up, Maples said, so health care providers have the information they need to make the right decisions. “All of those things are incredibly important to how patients do,” Maples said.

A technological glitch should be fixed, Maples said, but “this is not about patient experience.”

In modern health care generally, “the clinical team is trying very hard to really create the best experience with the situation and the environment that we have,” he said. And “if we begin to make (‘patient experience’) something that it’s not, it only disillusions the team.”

Emory did not say how the mistakes happened, but it released a statement saying it was working to prevent such a situation from ever happening again.

“Emory Healthcare is deeply sorry for sending a physician’s departure letter to the family of a deceased patient and for the pain and disruption this error caused,” the statement said. “The letter and its distribution were not up to Emory’s quality standards.”

As for the Fowlers, the letter is nothing compared with the way cystic fibrosis ground them down. They received attentive, personal care under the Emory umbrella while Kaitlin was a minor, at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Egleston Hospital on Emory’s campus, Fowler said. At Emory University Hospital, things changed. Sometimes care was heroic. Sometimes it was a revolving door of residents.

“My daughter was in the hospital over 380 days of her life,” Fowler said. “It’s one of these diseases that really wears on you. … You spend a lot of time in hospitals. You spend a lot of time with doctors. You just kind of get used to the dealings.”

Mom gets 40 years for murder of 2-year-old son who wet bed, gave her ‘sideways look’

A South Dakota woman was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in federal prison for the brutal 2016 beating death of her 2-year-old son, which occurred less than two months after she regained custody of the boy. 

Katrina Pauline Shangreaux, 30, who is also known as Katrina White Whirlwind, pleaded guilty March 20 to second-degree murder in the death of Kylen Shangreaux. The boy died of blunt force trauma July 28, 2016, at Shangreaux’s home in Porcupine, a small community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 

>> Read more trending news

Angie Shangreaux, Kylen’s paternal aunt, had custody of the boy for about 14 months, a majority of his life, before Katrina Shangreaux regained custody June 1, 2016, through Oglala Sioux Tribal Court. Angie Shangreaux, 38, described for Native Sun News Today what Kylen’s life was like in her home. 

“A lot of people think ‘Oh he’s just another abused and neglected Native American kid,’” Shangreaux said. “There’s so much more to his life. That wasn’t his life. That was the last fifty-eight days of life.”

She told the newspaper that Kylen’s life was filled with laughter and love before he was returned to his mother. She described him as a “good boy” who loved Chicken Little, Home, Lego Batman 2 and Cars.

His favorite meal was breakfast. 

“He loved to eat waffles," Shangreaux said. “He would sit and drink coffee with me. He called it ‘foffee.’”

Angie Shangreaux’s Facebook page, along with one titled Justice for Kylen, is filled with photos and videos of a smiling, happy Kylen. In one video on the Justice for Kylen page, the toddler and his aunt tell the camera good morning and giggle. 

“I love you, Ky,” Shangreaux says. 

“I love you more,” Kylen responds. 

As Shangreaux starts to say, “I love you the most,” Kylen says, “Most!” The boy laughs. 

A statement of fact filed in federal court in March, when Katrina Shangreaux entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors, details the crime, which U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken on Tuesday described as “horrific, depraved, torturous (and) humiliating,” according to the Rapid City Journal

[Warning: The following details are graphic.]

Shangreaux, who said she had consumed a large amount of alcohol and taken the pain medication Tramadol before her son’s killing, admitted in the court records that she returned home the night of July 27, 2016, and became angry when she found that her son had wet the bed. Shangreaux and Kylen lived with her other children and her mother, Sonya Dubray. 

“She took him to the bathroom and tried to force him to use the toilet,” the statement of fact said. “Shangreaux perceived (Kylen) was being defiant and that made her even angrier.”

Shangreaux admitted she hit her son multiple times, including with a studded belt, and put him in the corner as punishment. Her anger grew, she said, when the boy gave her a “sideways look.”

When the toddler accidentally called her “Angie,” she became infuriated. 

“Shangreaux despised (Kylen’s father’s) sister Angie,” the statement said. 

Katrina Shangreaux admitted in the statement of fact that, after her son called her by his aunt’s name, she threw the boy to the floor and repeatedly kicked him in the abdomen and head.

“She stopped only when she saw that he appeared different and she realized how badly she had injured him,” the statement said. 

Shangreaux also bit the boy multiple times and caused damage to his genitals. 

“The most shocking was the damage that she did to his scrotum,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins said during the sentencing, according to the Journal

The newspaper reported that the toddler’s genitals were “practically obliterated” by the beating. According to court records, his scrotum was torn and a long hair had been wrapped around it and his penis. 

Shangreaux told Dubray what she had done, the statement of fact said. At some point early the following morning, the mother and daughter sat Kylen at the kitchen table with Shangreaux’s other children and tried to get him to drink some apple juice.

He became more unresponsive and fell on the floor, where he soiled himself. His mother and grandmother cleaned the boy up -- and cleaned the crime scene with bleach -- before calling an ambulance, court records showed. 

Shangreaux told police when she called 911 that Kylen had choked on his juice and stopped breathing, the Journal reported

When the ambulance arrived, Kylen was in clean clothes and there was no visible blood on his body, according to the statement of fact. 

“Shangreaux did not accompany (Kylen) to the hospital,” the document said. “Instead, she had three cigarettes, then found a ride to Pine Ridge, where the hospital staff told her (Kylen) had died. She fled, to White City, Nebraska, and later to Rapid City.”

Rigor mortis had already set in and Kylen’s body temperature was 90.7 degrees when he was pronounced dead around 8:30 a.m., according to the record. The treating physician estimated that he had been dead for about four hours. 

Emergency room doctors saw belt and bite marks on the boy’s body and found that he had a skull fracture and possible abdominal injuries. 

The pathologist who conducted the boy’s autopsy reported that he had bruises over most of his body.

“He noted (Kylen) suffered extensive and severe bruising over 70 percent of his body and this also likely contributed to his death, as the blood pooling at the bruises may have deprived his organs of sufficient blood,” the statement of fact said. 

The Journal reported that the pathologist found 111 distinct external injuries, including what appeared to be cigarette burns on his head. He also suffered broken ribs and bleeding in his abdomen and brain. 

Shangreaux was initially charged with multiple crimes, including first-degree murder, assault resulting in serious bodily injury of a minor, felony child abuse and neglect. Those charges were reduced to a single second-degree murder charge in the plea deal. 

Read the facts Katrina Shangreaux admitted to as part of her plea agreement below. WARNING: The document contains graphic details of Kylen Shangreaux’s death and may not be suitable for some readers. 

The toddler’s paternal relatives hoped for a life sentence in the case, the Journal said.

“You’re the last person who can give Kylen the justice he deserves,” Angie Shangreaux told the judge prior to Katrina Shangreaux’s sentencing. “I’m begging for what would be a lifelong sentence for her.”

Angie Shangreaux and her mother, Patti Shangreaux, told the court how much Kylen was loved and wanted by their family, the Journal reported. They described how he loved to run around in his diapers.

Kylen also loved music and playing on the computer with Angie Shangreaux’s sons. Before taking her seat following her victim impact statement, Angie Shangreaux told the boy’s mother she hated her. 

“I will never forgive you,” Angie Shangreaux said, according to the newspaper. “You deserve hell.”

The grieving aunt told Native Sun News Today that she has been haunted by the knowledge of what her nephew, who she considered one of her own children, went through before he died. 

“It took a toll on me emotionally. I literally just checked out,” Angie Shangreaux said. “The thoughts of what he suffered that morning. The thoughts of what it was like the last fifty-eight days invaded my mind constantly. The fact that he cried for me when she was killing him.”

Dubray was charged in September 2016 with being an accessory to first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, making a false statement and concealment of a felony. Prosecutors allege that she helped Shangreaux evade authorities, concealed the abuse of her grandson and misled investigators about the extent of the abuse. 

Aside from helping her daughter clean up the crime scene, Dubray is also accused of washing the clothes Kylen was wearing when he was abused to hide evidence, court records show. 

Her indictment states that Dubray also lied to investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs when she told them that Kylen was potty-trained. The boy was still in diapers, they learned during the investigation. 

Dubray is scheduled to stand trial in November. 

Restaurant tries shaming teen who used quarters to pay, inspires campaign to buy other’s meals

A restaurant that faced backlash after trying to shame a teenager who paid a bill mostly in quarters, inspired the customer to start fundraising to pay for more people’s meals with change. 

>> Read more trending news

Cohen Naulty took a couple of his friends out for lunch Monday to Beer 88, where he picked up the $45 tab. He used a $20 bill and mostly quarters to cover the check as well as a $10 tip, he said. 

"It's just U.S. currency. I'm allowed to use it. It's not illegal. I'm not doing anything wrong," Naulty told WSET

Later that day, the restaurant shared a picture of the change and included hashtags “#nohometraining” in a post that has since been removed. 

The restaurant said in a later post that its original post was not intended to be hurtful. That post has also been removed. 

“In response to our earlier post, it was posted as a joke, intended as a joke and should be taken as a joke. It was posted as a light-hearted way of saying that something like this can be annoying to people that work in the restaurant/retail industry. In no way did we publicly shame ANYONE for paying OR tipping. We try to keep our page funny and relatable. And had no idea that this would be offensive to anyone.”

"On that part, yes, I do apologize," Yao Liu, the owner of Beer 88, told WSET, referring to the hashtag. "Because, you know, I didn't see it."

Naulty, 17, who works as a server at Kountry Kitchen, turned the worldwide interest into a way to keep buying lunch for people. He started The Quarter Boy, a fundraiser to pay for stranger’s meals in change at least once a week. It has raised $4,900.

“If you are a restaurant that wouldn’t mind a register filled with quarters at the end of the night and a special treat for one of your patrons now and then please post so I know who I won’t offend by coming by,” he wrote on Facebook.

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