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'Bikini baristas' in court battle over dress code law

The city of Everett, Washington, is looking to crack down on the dress code of “bikini baristas,” but the baristas are not backing down.

The baristas are arguing that their skimpy costumes fall under freedom of expression.

In recent court filings, the city claimed the coffee stands have a history of prostitution, sexual assault and exploitation.

One of Everett's new laws requires the workers to wear a minimum of tank tops and shorts. It specifically applies to employees at "quick service" restaurants, which also include fast food and food trucks.

>> Read more trending news

The other redefined the city's lewd conduct ordinance and created a new crime of facilitating lewd conduct. Both ordinances took effect in early September.

But seven bikini baristas and the owner of a chain of the coffee stands called "Hillbilly Hotties" sued the city to block the dress code in September, saying it's vague, unlawfully targets women, and denies them the ability to communicate through their attire. 

KIRO-TV asked a constitutional law attorney about that argument. 

“That is not a frivolous argument. One can see that this is conduct which may not be pure speech, but nevertheless is a conduct that does enjoy constitutional protections. The question is how much constitutional protection,” said constitutional law attorney Jeffrey Needle.

The Everett City Council unanimously passed the ordinances in August but halted the ban while the case is in court. 

A senior U.S. district court judge heard the arguments Tuesday in a federal Seattle court.

60+ people fall ill after company Thanksgiving party

Some 1,800 people may have been exposed to a foodborne illness at a Thanksgiving dinner.

>> Watch the news report here

The catered sit-down event was at the Toyo Tire plant in Bartow County, Georgia.

WSB-TV's Berndt Petersen spoke with one of the employees who got sick. The employee, who asked not to be identified, said he dug into the meal and everything tasted fine.

>> Top Thanksgiving food safety tips

But he says later that day, he and a bunch of co-workers felt awful.

“I started getting really bad stomach cramps, and the only food I ate I threw up," the employee said.

“We know that a large number of people, about 60 that we've had reports of so far, possibly more, have gone to local emergency departments with symptoms of foodborne illness," said Logan Boss with the Georgia Department of Public Health.

>> Thanksgiving 2017: The best and worst times to drive and fly this Thanksgiving

Boss told Petersen that two patients had to be admitted to Cartersville Medical Center.

The caterer for the event was Angelo's Pizza and Bistro, located about 20 minutes from the plant.

>> 56 stores confirm they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day 2017

The owner would not go on camera on the advice of his lawyer, but while Petersen was at the restaurant, he saw employees scrubbing the place from top to bottom.

In the meantime, the Toyo Tire worker said it was a Thanksgiving meal he'll never forget.

“Everything I ate for three days, I threw up. So, finally last night, my wife made me go to the hospital. When I did, they diagnosed me with salmonella," the employee told Petersen.

>> Read more trending news

The attorney for Angelo's Pizza said the owner and his family are heartbroken over this and offer deepest sympathies to those affected.

They have voluntarily closed the restaurant pending a health department inspection.

Calls to a Toyo Tire representative were not returned.

5-year-old seriously injured in restaurant bounce house

An Oklahoma boy is recovering after suffering a serious injury in a restaurant bounce house. 

>> Click here to watch the news report (WARNING: Linked video includes graphic images.)

A trip to an Incredible Pizza location in Warr Acres on Nov. 5 ended with the Lambert family’s 5-year-old son Bentley, who had been playing in a bounce house, asking if he was going to die.

>> Bounce house takes flight with children inside it

Incredible Pizza, known fully as America’s Incredible Pizza Co., shows on its website that it offers both food and entertainment at its restaurants, listing a bounce house among the number of attractions.

Shali Lambert spoke to KFOR about her son’s condition and said that, while he is on a long road to recovery, it was immediately clear to her and doctors how serious it was when a hook inside the bounce house came loose and tore into the child’s arm.

>> Read more trending news 

A hook inside of a padded wrecking ball came loose and seriously injured Bentley.

“He was screaming, ‘I’m stuck!' I just remember picking him up, and I had to unhook the clip and slide it out of his arm,” Lambert said. “He was asking if he was going to die. He saw all the blood in his arm, and so he was asking if he was going to die.”

>> 5 children hurt after bounce house goes airborne at church carnival

The child had to be rushed from the pizza place to the hospital, where doctors performed an emergency surgery. The boy’s arm has since been sewed up, but he may have to undergo physical therapy and additional surgeries in the future.

“No kid should have to go through that,” Bentley’s mother said.

It’s not clear at this time if the cost of the child’s surgery will be covered by the company, but its insurance company is involved.

On its website, Incredible Pizza says its mission is “to bring families and friends together through great food and fun,” adding that it operate its business “by Christian principles, delivering a positive family experience and a fair return to our company.”

Ikea reissues dresser recall after 8th child fatality

Those who own an Ikea Malm dresser should immediately stop using it if it isn't anchored to the wall, Ikea officials said Tuesday.

The recalled chests and dressers pose a serious tip-over and entrapment danger that has killed eight children so far, according to a news release. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission posted about the re-announced recall Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

Consumers can contact Ikea for a refund or a free wall-anchoring kit. Ikea will pick up the recalled dresser for free, or will provide a free in-come wall-anchoring service. 

Due to another child dying because of the dresser, Ikea is re-issuing the recall

So far, Ikea has received 186 reports of “tip-over” incidents involving the chests and dressers, 91 of which injured children. About 17.3 million units have been made.

Related: IKEA recalls millions of drawers after third child is killed

There have been eight reports of children dying due to the chest and dressers tipping over, the most recent one being a 2-year-old boy in California who was trapped under an unanchored MALM three-drawer dressed that tipped over.

A list of recalled chest and dresser models can be found at Ikea.com. For more information, customers can contact Ikea at Ikea-USA.com/secureitkits or by calling 888-966-4532.

J. Crew apologizes after photo of black model with messy hair sparks controversy

J. Crew is facing criticism after a photo of one of its models and her seemingly unkempt hair surfaced online.

>> On MyAJC.com: Bad makeover of black woman's hair on Today Show points to bigger issues in haircare industry

The black woman, dressed in a Madewell dress, was photographed with her natural hair messily pulled back in a ponytail. But everyone wasn’t impressed with the look.

>> Read more trending news 

One Twitter user took to the platform to express her disapproval. She uploaded the picture of the model with the caption, “J. Crew..... girl.... y’all wrong.”

Many seemed to agree with her sentiment, because the post soon went viral, racking up more than 11,000 retweets and 20,000 likes. 

>> See the tweet here

Several chimed in, accusing the fashion brand of prepping the model for the shoot without using the proper practices needed to style African-American hair. 

>> Shea Moisture commercial: Ad receives backlash from black women

Others, including the model, Marihenny Pasible, thought the look was in line with J. Crew’s relaxed and natural campaign.

Some challenged the critics, asking them to embrace the care-free look for all cultures.

>> On AJC.com: #BlackHairChallenge: A celebration of black hair on Twitter

After the barrage of comments, J. Crew released a statement on Twitter.

“J.Crew strives to represent every race, gender, and background. We sincerely apologize for the styling of this model and the offense that was caused,” the company wrote. 

>> Read the full response here

Papa John's CEO apologizes for comments on NFL anthem protest controversy

The Papa John’s pizza CEO Twitter account issued an apology on Tuesday night for comments made about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

>> Read more trending news

The chain’s CEO, John Schnatter, had blamed slow pizza sales on the national anthem protests, saying in a Nov. 1 earnings call that “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders” and that the protests “should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

>> Related: Papa John’s says 'the NFL has hurt us,' cites declining sales

In a tweet, Papa John’s issued a statement Tuesday saying, “The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive. That definitely was not our intention.”

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the anthem last year to protest police violence against minorities. The protest got mixed reactions, but other NFL players -- and players in other sports -- have since followed Kaepernick’s lead to protest inequality.

President Donald Trump in September suggested that NFL team owners should fire players who refuse to stand during the anthem, telling a crowd in Alabama that “that’s a total disrespect for our heritage.”

Walmart responds after video shows carts of food thrown out after tornado

Walmart responded Monday after a man accused the chain of wasting cartloads of food in a video that went viral on Facebook.

>> Read more trending news

Gary Joe Ahrns posted a video on Facebook last week showing dozens of shopping carts filled with deli meat, milk, butter, cakes and other foods sitting outside a Walmart in Celina, Ohio.

“They don’t let employees have it,” Ahrns says in the video. “They won’t sell it to anybody else. They’re throwing it away.”

(Warning: The below video contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. Discretion is advised.)

“People starving to death in the world… and they’re going to throw it all away,” Ahrns says in the video. “Good old U.S. of A, we’ve got so much stuff we can throw it away. … This is wrong, and you all know that this is wrong. This is terrible.”

The video was taken on Nov. 6, one day after a tornado knocked out power to the area for hours.

Walmart officials said in a post on the store’s Facebook page that the food wasn’t safe to eat, despite the fact that none of the foods had reached their expiration dates.

“The food being disposed of was unsafe for consumption after the store lost power for 14 hours,” officials said. “Per internal and health department policies, we followed proper procedures by disposing of the food.”

Eight people were injured when a pair of EF-2 tornadoes swept through Celina on Nov. 5, prompting the city’s mayor to declare a state of emergency, according to WHIO.

The storm caused heavy damage to buildings in the area.

“I’ve seen a lot of hard hit areas with storms, even as far as having relatives down in the hurricanes,” Mayor Jeffrey Hazel told WHIO. “I can say this is pretty tremendous damage in this area.”

Celina is about 120 miles north of Cincinnati.

Target debuts first 'next-gen' store

It’s a first for Target: The red-themed retailer recently unveiled its first “next-gen” store in Richmond, Texas, near Houston.

>> Read more trending news 

The 124,000-square-foot store opened last week. It’s the first of hundreds of stores the retailer plans to open in the next two years.

“With our next generation of store design, we’re investing to take the Target shopping experience to the next level by offering more elevated product presentations and a number of time-saving features,” Target’s chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said earlier this year. “The new design for this Houston store will provide the vision for the 500 reimagined stores planned for 2018 and 2019, with the goal of taking a customized approach to creating an enhanced shopping experience.”

One of the differences shoppers may notice between the new Target design and other locations is how the “next-gen” store is two concepts within one.

According to Target spokespersons, for the convenience of the on-the-go-shopper, one side of the store comes with grocery items and pick-up for those who prefer to order online.

The other side of the Target store is similar to a virtual department store, according to Target representatives. Shoppers can find items from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new “Hearth & Hand” collection in that section of the store.

RELATED: 'Fixer Upper' couple criticized over new home decor line at Target

“We wanted to tailor the experience to what shoppers are looking for,” store manager Shannon Wolford said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

RELATED: Fans rush in early to make sure they don’t miss Chip and Joanna’s Target line

The in-store Starbucks is even next-gen, complete with patio seating.

Read more at Houston Chronicle and Target

RELATED: Target is making some big changes that will lead to better, faster shopping

World’s biggest shopping day tops $20 billion 

The biggest shopping day of the season has been a record-setter, CNN reported Saturday.

>> Read more trending news

But it’s not Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said Saturday that sales topped $20 billion of sales on Singles Day, topping the $17.8 billion collected during last year’s sale.

Singles Day has for years racked up more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, CNN reported. 

By comparison, American shoppers last year spent more than $5 billion shopping online on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, according to Adobe, which tracks such data. Shoppers also spent $3.39 billion on Cyber Monday last year, the largest single online shopping day in the U.S., Adobe said.

Earlier Saturday, Alibaba said shoppers spent $1 billion in just 2 minutes and $18 billion in 13 hours. 

Singles Day started out as an informal holiday in China celebrating single people on a day that epitomizes not being paired off: 11/11. Alibaba turned it into a festival of discount deals in 2009.

Jury awards man $7.5M after being injured by Walmart watermelon display

An Alabama man has been awarded $7.5 million by a jury after he said he tripped and broke his hip while shopping for a watermelon at Walmart.The verdict was rendered Wednesday in a Phenix City courtroom, The Associated Press reported. The jury awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. 

>> Read more trending news

Henry Walker, 61, sued Walmart for the 2015 incident in which he claimed the store was negligent for failing to cover a pallet beneath the watermelon display. His foot became tangled in the pallet, causing him to trip and break his hip, according to court documents.Walmart officials insist that the watermelon displays are safe, and its stores continue to use the pre-packaged displays from producers.Walmart plans on appealing the decision, The Associated Press reported.

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