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Couple Who Has Fostered 92 Children Fights to Adopt Child in Africa

Couple Who Has Fostered 92 Children Fights to Adopt Child in Africa

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Jessica and Jason Neal are like any loving parents figuring out how to care for their large family, but what sets them apart is they believe they always have room for one more.

“We have two biological children, we have adopted six, we’ve done foster care for 92 kids and we are waiting to adopt one from Africa,” Jason Neal told ABC’s Robin Roberts.

The Neals describe their life as “unperfectly perfect organized chaos,” but they wouldn’t have it any other way, Jessica Neal said.Jessica and Jason, both 41, met in 1993. After getting married, they moved to a small town in Ohio. Jessica desperately wanted a large family, so she was devastated when her doctor told her she could not conceive.Despite the doctor’s prognosis, the Neals had two biological children, Kira, 17, and Dayton, 16. Jessica was told to stop trying after her doctors found a large tumor in her hand that grew during each pregnancy. She was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation in her right hand and arm, and eventually had to have half her palm amputated.Not letting this sidetrack their ambitions for a large family, Jessica and Jason decided to become involved in foster care. At the same time, Jason had gone into ministry as a youth pastor, and the couple quickly realized they could have a big impact in kids’ lives through foster care.In 2001, Jessica and Jason relocated to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where Jason had been hired as a pastor at a local church in the community. Jessica later got a job with the city’s reserve police force.The couple continued fostering for the next decade. Whenever the Neals would get a call that a foster child was in need of placement, they wouldn’t hesitate to bring the child home.“Somebody’s got to step in to the gap,” Jason said. “Somebody’s got to be willing to put their heart on the line for these kids.”The Neals said they treated all of their foster children as their own, providing new pillows and new clothes to each to help them feel at home.“You get to take the tag off something, that’s really special,” Jessica said.Jessica and Jason said they also held family meetings to check-in with their biological children, Kira and Dayton, who both were vital parts of their fostering.“It’s all contributed to who I am as a person and who I want to be,” Kira said.“It’s constant chaos, and constant fun,” Dayton echoed. “Because no matter what happens, you have someone to be with.”In 2006, the Neals decided to adopt twins Miriam and Malachi, as well as their older brother, Titus, and little sister, Ruthie, all from Minnesota.“We went from two kids to six kids overnight,” Jason said.The twins, now 10, have medical challenges. Miriam suffers from an autoimmune disorder and needs infusions twice a month. Malachi suffers from a vascular disorder that often leaves him in chronic pain.Despite the medical hardships and the family’s mounting financial difficulties, the Neals adopted again. In 2010, Josie, then 4, came into their lives through private adoption in Minnesota.“I think we make a mistake in America where we try to shelter our kids from all the pain in the world,” Jason said. “I want to teach my children how to make a difference.”Now, the couple faces a new challenge. On a recent mission to Liberia, West Africa, with Teamwork Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing churches in Liberia, Jessica met an 8-year-old boy named Emmanuel. The boy has cerebral palsy and does not talk, but the Neals decided they would try to adopt him.

“I met his eyes and I just knew at that moment that’s my guy,” Jessica explained. “I just fell in love.”However, dealing with an international adoption includes many unexpected difficulties, most notably the $15,000 in adoption fees they still need to bring him home.In the meantime, the Neals have stayed involved with Teamwork Africa and remain in touch with Emmanuel through a local pastor and his community.

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Michael Brown’s Parents ‘Taken Aback’ by Darren Wilson’s ‘Clean Conscience’

Michael Brown’s Parents ‘Taken Aback’ by Darren Wilson’s ‘Clean Conscience’

Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, standing outside the Ferguson Police Department Monday night. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The family of slain Ferguson teenager Michael Brown is hurt and "taken aback" by Officer Darren Wilson's statement that he has a "clean conscience" and couldn't have done it any differently.Brown's parents appeared in New York with the Rev. Al Sharpton and the families of other African Americans who were killed by police. Sharpton said it would be the first Thanksgiving for these families "with an empty seat at the table."They spoke a day after Wilson emerged publicly for the first time in months and told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos his version of what happened on Aug. 9 when he shot and killed Brown following a confrontation.

Earlier this week Wilson was cleared by a St. Louis County grand jury of any criminal activity in Brown's death.At one point during the interview with Stephanopoulos, Wilson said he doesn’t believe he could have done anything differently that day and that he had a clean conscience. "The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right,” he said.Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, said on Wednesday the parents have been doing media interviews in New York and he said it is hard "listening to them break down over and over again" as they discuss Wilson's comments about their son."It was very hurtful to the parents when he said he had a clear conscience... They were taken back... They thought he had no regard for their child," Crump said.The lawyer said that Wilson "tried to villify" Brown, who was 18, by saying the teenager had a fierce look and that Brown had stared at the officer "like he was trying to intimidate me.""I expected him to say my heart is heavy, my conscience is troubled. He didn’t say that," Crump said.Sharpton said that in Wilson's grand jury testimony, which has been released, the officer said the area where the shooting occurred was a high crime area. "That shows prejudgment... It goes to his state of mind," Sharpton said.In the interview with ABC News, Wilson said, "I’m sorry that their son lost his life. It wasn’t the intention of that day. It’s what occurred that day. And there’s no … nothing you could say that’s going to make a parent feel better.”

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Why This NFL Player’s Post on Ferguson Has Gone Viral

Why This NFL Player’s Post on Ferguson Has Gone Viral

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- NFL player Benjamin Watson is one of countless Americans still struggling to understand Michael Brown's shooting death at the hands of a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.Watson, a tight end for the New Orleans Saints, poured his heart out in a viral Facebook post late Tuesday. He described himself as confused, embarrassed, offended, angry and sad for a variety of reasons."I'm angry because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes," he wrote.

The post has been shared more than 150,000 times on Facebook, and it appears Watson's honesty is what made the update go viral. Fans commented that they are "proud" of the athlete and "in awe." "Tears running down my face," one woman wrote.

 

Post by Benjamin Watson.

 

Watson also addressed the racial tension that's sparked demonstrations across the country, saying the problem is "sin," not "skin."

"Sin is the reason we rebel against authority," he wrote. "Sin is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. Sin is the reason we riot, loot and burn."

Watson said he will never really know what happened between Brown and Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot the unarmed teenager this summer.

"I'm sympathetic, because I wasn't there so I don't know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance ... Or maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led him to eventually murdering the young man to prove a point."

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Video of Police Shooting Cleveland Boy with Toy Gun Is Released

Video of Police Shooting Cleveland Boy with Toy Gun Is Released

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(CLEVELAND) -- The video of a Cleveland police officer shooting a 12-year-old boy who had a toy gun was released on Wednesday after the department consulted with the boy's family.Police initially withheld the video from the public while discussing handling of the disturbing footage with the family of Tamir Rice, the boy who was shot in a playground on Saturday.

"The family did not initially want the video to be released, but after reviewing it... expressed their wish to us" to make it public, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said on Wednesday.Williams urged the public and the media to be cautious in the handling of the video. "I want people to bear in mind this is a 12-year-old boy... The family will have to view it over and over," he said.Rice was killed after a 911 caller reported a boy waving a gun around. The orange dot that is put in the barrel of toy guns had been removed and police said it was indistinguishable from a real weapon.“We are honoring the wishes of the family in releasing this and also in the spirit of being open and fair with our community,” Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said.The grainy video shows Rice walking around the playground and the sidewalk, occasionally pointing the toy at passersby or at objects. Police played a recording of a 911 call a man made after spotting the boy brandishing the toy gun and narrated the video because at times it is hard to see details of the video."He's sitting on the swing right now, but he keeps pulling it in and out of his pants and pointing it at people," the caller said."I don't know if it's real or not," the caller added.The video shows the caller sitting in a gazebo near the boy and walking away before police arrive.A police car pulled up and two officers, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, exited the car, drawing their weapons.An officer gave the boy an order three times to "show your hands" before shooting him. ABC News affiliate WEWS TV identified the officer who fired as Loehmann, 26, a rookie who joined the force in March. Garmback, 46, had been an officer since 2008.Police also played the 911 dispatcher's message to police, relaying the 911 caller's report."He keeps pulling the gun out of his pants and pointing it at people," the dispatcher says.It's not clear if police knew the caller had mentioned the gun could be fake."Shots fired. Male down. Black male. Maybe 20," an officer said in the 911 recording reporting Rice had been shot.

Rice's family issued a statement after the video was released, saying that the "situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us.""The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly," read the family's statement in part. "We understand that some of you are hurt, angry and sad about our loss. But let’s use those emotions in a way that will contribute to positive efforts and solutions that bring change to Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and cities across the nation as it relates to how law enforcement officials interact with citizens of color."

Both officers are on administrative leave during the investigation, Tomba said.Police tried to revive the boy after the shooting, Tomba said."Tamir was given first aid in under four minutes and approximately three minutes after that, our emergency service showed up and they provided medical service to the young man," he said.

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Exclusive: Police Officer Darren Wilson Discusses Firing Deadly Shot

Exclusive: Police Officer Darren Wilson Discusses Firing Deadly Shot

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson discussed his account of the moment he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown in an exclusive interview with ABC News.Wilson said Brown was charging at him, disregarding the officer’s instructions.“I started backpedaling, ‘cause he’s just getting too close and he’s not stopping,” Wilson told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.“After I fired the second round of shots, he gets about eight to 10 feet [away]. And as he does that, he kinda starts to lean forward like he’s gonna tackle me. And eight to 10 feet is close and what I saw was his head. If he’s gonna tackle me, he’s gonna tackle me at that point. And I looked down my barrel of my gun and I fired,” he continued.The Aug. 9 shooting sparked months of protests, drawing national attention to the St. Louis suburb.Wilson said he was driving to get lunch by himself -- just a normal day, he says -- when he encountered Brown and a friend walking in the middle of the street, “single-file on the double-yellow line.”Wilson, 28, says he instructed the pair to walk on the sidewalk.The first person, Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, ignored Wilson, the officer said.“And then Michael Brown came next and he had to exchange some explicit words with me,” Wilson said. “He had said, “F*** what you have to say.”“First words to you?” Stephanopoulos asked.“Yeah,” Wilson responded.At that point, Wilson says he noticed cigarillos in Brown’s hand, noting that Brown and Johnson matched the description, he says, of suspects in the theft of cigars from a nearby convenience store earlier that day. Wilson said he wasn’t sure whether Brown was armed.“I got on the radio and I asked for assistance,” Wilson said.Wilson said he parked and tried to get out of his vehicle, when Brown again cursed at the officer and slammed the officer’s car door.“I…again taken aback because I’ve never been trapped in my car,” Wilson said. “I use my door to try and push him back and yell at him to get back. And again he just pushed the door shut and just stared at me.”“So you’re staring each other down?” Stephanopoulos asked.“Yeah, he stared at me, like almost over top of me…looked like he was trying to intimidate me," Wilson said. "And as I looked back at him, all of a sudden punches started flying…He threw the first one and hit me in the left side of my face."Wilson said he doesn’t believe he could have done anything differently that day, and says he has a clean conscience.“The reason I have a clean conscience is ’cause I know I did my job right,” he said.Following Monday’s announcement that a grand jury declined to bring charges against Wilson, Brown’s relatives released a statement, saying, “We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequences of his actions.”Wilson said he feels remorse about the outcome of the altercation.“I think those are grieving parents who are mourning the loss of their son,” Wilson said.“Nothing you could say, but, again, you know, I’m sorry that their son lost his life. It wasn’t the intention of that day. It’s what occurred that day. And there’s no…nothing you could say that’s gonna make a parent feel better,” he added.

Watch George Stephanopoulos' full interview with Darren Wilson below:

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Snow, Rain Threatening Millions of Thanksgiving Travelers

Snow, Rain Threatening Millions of Thanksgiving Travelers

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Wintry weather is bringing travel delays for many Americans on Wednesday, causing problems on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

As of Wednesday night, 4,624 flights were delayed and 735 were cancelled, according to the flight-tracking company FlightAware.

More than 46 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles away from home in the coming days, the country’s highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2007, according to AAA.Residents along the East Coast should expect heavy rain from a nor’easter, with the rain then changing to snow. Snow is expected across parts of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and interior New England.Some areas off the Atlantic coastline could see 4 to 8 inches of snow.Snow is also expected in the plains and Midwest, affecting parts of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the northern Rockies. Heavy, occasionally pounding rain is expected in the Pacific Northwest.The East Coast storm is expected to pass through by Thursday, leaving travelers hopeful that their return trips will be uneventful.

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The Most Popular, Non-Turkey Thanksgiving Dishes, by State

The Most Popular, Non-Turkey Thanksgiving Dishes, by State

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For just about everyone, Thanksgiving means a turkey on the table. But if you live in Colorado, Idaho or Nevada, you're probably also looking forward to a big-'ol helping of frog eye salad on the side. Or maybe some persimmon pudding if you're a Hoosier, or pineapple casserole if you live in the Palmetto State.Those are some of the most popular, non-turkey Thanksgiving dishes, by state, according to a survey by The New York Times.

The newspaper enlisted Google's help to do it, asking the Internet search authority to scour Thanksgiving week data going back 10 years, by state, to find the most searched-for, most distinct non-turkey dishes. The New York Times then compiled the data, listing not only the most popular, but also the top 10 contenders.Not all of the results are bizarre-sounding to out-of-staters: there are lots of hits for familiar Thanksgiving dishes like pumpkin pie, candied yams, meat loaves and stuffings. There are also signs of the times, with frequent searches for meatless or gluten-free versions of holiday favorites.

Folks in Tennessee love their spinach maria -- essentially, a cheesy spinach casserole -- but regional desserts like Coca-Cola cake and Butterfinger cake also make their list. 

If you dine in Utah on Thursday, expect some equally cheesy funeral potatoes on the side.

Washington state, not surprisingly, loves their smoked salmon dip, and while pumpkin whoopie pie is popular in lots of New England states, it's nowhere more popular than in Maine and Vermont.The New York Times has the entire survey broken down as an interactive list with links to recipes and other info, as well as a handy map of the U.S. that shows the most popular results, by state, at a glance.

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Exclusive: Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Tells George Stephanopoulos He’s Having a Baby

Exclusive: Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Tells George Stephanopoulos He’s Having a BabyABC News(NEW YORK) --  Police Officer Darren Wilson, who has been in seclusion since the fatal shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown, revealed to Good Morning America Wednesday that he and his new wife are expecting a baby.Wilson, 28, had ea...

Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in Ferguson; At Least 44 Arrested

Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in Ferguson; At Least 44 Arrested

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Police fired tear gas at protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, overnight after a police car was set on fire, as violence erupted in the city for the second consecutive night.Police arrested at least 44 people overnight, including at least four on felony charges, St. Louis County Police chief Jon Belmar said at an early-morning news conference.

"The majority of those arrests were misdemeanors," Belmar said. "Most of those were either failure to obey a lawful order or failure to disperse. We did make four felony arrests...one was an unlawful use of a weapon, and the [others] were assaults against police officers."

Rioting occurred at Ferguson’s city hall building, with windows broken and the police car vandalized, leading officers to fire the tear gas -- the only place where tear gas was used, Belmar said.Other incidents were reported near a memorial for slain teen Michael Brown, as well as an attempted looting at a Walgreen’s store, Belmar said.More than 2,000 National Guardsmen were deployed to Ferguson Tuesday, helping to restore some level of peace in the city. Questions lingering over whether the National Guard troops should have been in place Monday, with Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III calling the delay “deeply disturbing.”“It’s hard to speculate if the National guard came out Monday night, that things would have turned out differently,” Belmar said. Belmar said the violence from Monday night and Tuesday morning reached a scale that "fortunately we've seldom seen here in this country."Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said authorities were caught off guard by the level of violence following a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown, who was unarmed.“None of us could have imagined what had happened Monday night,” Johnson said. “If we had a crystal ball, maybe we would have done things differently.”One factor that hindered firefighting efforts Tuesday morning was gunfire, authorities said. Few gunshots were reported Wednesday morning, Johnson said.The situation in Ferguson has drawn national attention, with rallies and protests held across the country following Monday’s grand jury decision. In Oakland, California, 39 people were arrested for crimes ranging from failure to disperse and public intoxication to burglary and assaulting a police officer.

The Christmas in St. Louis Foundation postponed the Ameren, Missouri, Thanksgiving Day Parade, citing unrest in the community.

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Two FBI Special Agents Shot Near Ferguson

Two FBI Special Agents Shot Near Ferguson

aijohn784/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo.) -- Two FBI special agents were shot during an investigation near Ferguson, Missouri, Wednesday morning, FBI Public Affairs Specialist Rebecca Wu confirmed.The agents’ injuries are not life-threatening, Wu said. One of the agents was shot in the shoulder, and the other was shot in the leg.The shooting happened at 2:53 a.m. in a home in University City, located six miles south of Ferguson. The agents were helping the University City Police Department execute an arrest warrant unrelated to nearby protests, Wu said.The protests continue in response to the August police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. New unrest followed Monday’s grand jury decision not to bring charges against officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s shooting death.

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UVA Promises New ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy on Sexual Assaults

UVA Promises New ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy on Sexual Assaults

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- The University of Virginia said Tuesday that it has adopted a zero-tolerance policy in dealing with sexual assaults on campus, after an explosive report about rapes that took place on campus prompted a meeting of the school's governing board.

But school officials did not reveal details of the zero-tolerance policy, noting in a statement that the new rules will be "refined in the near term."

Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Visitors came after Rolling Stone published a story about a student identified as Jackie who was allegedly gang-raped during a frat party when she was a freshman. School officials have since come under fire for the way they handle sexual assault cases.

According to Rolling Stone, 183 people have been expelled from UVA for honor code violations like lying or cheating on an exam, but not one person has been expelled for sexual assault.

"To Jackie and her parents, I say I am sorry...to the survivors of sexual assault and their families, I am also sorry," Rector George Keith Martin said at Tuesday's board meeting, according to the press release.

"This type of conduct will not be tolerated at the University of Virginia. The status quo is no longer acceptable," Martin said.

In the wake of the article's publication, fraternities and sororities at the school were suspended until January, and there have been protests on campus calling for action by the administration.

"I write you in great sorrow, great rage, but most importantly, great determination," university President Teresa Sullivan wrote earlier in a statement sent to the University of Virginia community. "Meaningful change is necessary, and we can lead that change for all universities."

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Exclusive: Police Officer Darren Wilson Explains How He Feared for His Life

Exclusive: Police Officer Darren Wilson Explains How He Feared for His Life

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has spoken out to ABC News for the first time publicly since fatally shooting a black teenager, Michael Brown, and he said that he would not do anything differently.Speaking exclusively to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Wilson said that Brown reached into his police car and grabbed for his gun, causing Wilson to fear for his life."All I wanted to do was live," said Wilson, whom the grand jury declined to indict in connection with the fatal shooting in August.He told ABC News about the struggle he faced with Brown as the teen allegedly punched Wilson in the face."I didn't know if I'd be able to withstand another hit like that," Wilson said."I had reached out my window with my right hand to grab onto his forearm 'cause I was gonna try and move him back and get out of the car to where I'm no longer trapped," Wilson said."I just felt the immense power that he had. And then the way I've described it is it was like a 5-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan. That's just how big this man was," Wilson said.

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Homeless Man’s Posting Nets Thanksgiving Dinner with Family

Homeless Man’s Posting Nets Thanksgiving Dinner with Family

iStock/Thinkstock(NORFOLK, Va.) -- Neal Shytles spends the holidays alone.

The 54-year-old is homeless and has been living in a shelter in Norfolk, Virginia, for two years. With no family nearby and Thanksgiving approaching, Shytles has longed for something that money can’t buy.

“One night, I was talking with two of my friends at the shelter about how lonely it is during the holidays,” he said. “It hurts every day of the year but on Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s 10 times worse being by yourself.”

Shytles went back to his room and created a personal ad titled “Wanted: A family to share Thanksgiving with,” asking someone to invite him into their home to spend the holiday with their family.

“I didn’t have a whole lot of Facebook friends and I was trying to think of places where people would see it,” Shytles said. “So I posted the ad on a few Facebook pages of news sites in the area.”

Shytles was soon approached by a local television station to be interviewed about his heartwarming request.

Just 40 minutes away Ashley McLemore of Newport News, Virginia, was watching the teaser.

"In the teaser was the quote that said, ‘I’m lonely 365 days a year,’ which absolutely broke my heart,” said McLemore, a 7th-grade English teacher. “I called my husband and asked if he would mind having him with us for Thanksgiving.”

Without a second thought, McLemore called Shytles and offered him an invitation.

"She said, we really want you to come over," Shytles said. "I started crying because I was so excited and then she started crying too."

Since posting his ad, Shytles has received more media attention than anticipated.

“I thought it would just be a local thing,” he said. “I didn’t realize it would go viral, but since my story aired, the donations at my shelter have gone up. I think it’s made people open up their hearts.”

In addition to Thanksgiving at the McLemores, Shytles has since received more holiday invites than he can count.

“People have been calling from all over the country,” he said. “When I tell them I’ve already accepted an offer, some are inviting me to their homes for Christmas. They’re even willing to fly me out of state to come see them.”

Ashley McLemore isn't surprised at the overwhelming response to Shytles' request.

"I think he is absolutely wonderful," she said. "The things I’ve seen him post on Facebook are always about the people in the shelter. He seems to really have a heart for helping other people."

For now, Shytles is looking forward to having Thanksgiving with the McLemores, where he’ll enjoy both lunch and dinner, and quality time with the couple and some of their friends.

“I just can’t wait to be in that family atmosphere,” he said. “That’s all I ever wanted in life. I didn’t ask for money. For me, it was never about the riches. I want something to take away the loneliness, where I can love people and they love me back.”

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Ferguson Area to Get More than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tuesday Night

Ferguson Area to Get More than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tuesday Night

ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deploy more than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tuesday night to prevent a recurrence of the rioting that rocked the city of Ferguson after a grand jury cleared Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown.

"The violence we saw last night cannot be repeated," Nixon said sternly.

"The National Guard presence is to be ramped up significantly," he said. He will deploy 2,200 Monday night, Nixon said.

He called the aftermath a "heartbreaking sight," and said "seniors are afraid to leave the house and children are afraid to go out and play....We must do better and we will."

The governor's plan came shortly after Ferguson Mayor James Knowles criticized the governor's decision to wait to send the National Guard into the protests after the grand jury decision was announced.

The mayor also asked that there be stepped-up protections Tuesday night.

"We must be prepared ahead of time. We must be prepared for the absolute worst," he said.

Knowles said the National Guard was not deployed ahead of time Monday night, a move he said cost the city.

“Unfortunately as unrest grew and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses,” said Knowles, adding it’s “deeply concerning.”

He said that by waiting to send in the National Guard to provide assistance for the law enforcement officers already on the ground, protesters were able to do more damage to private property and local businesses.

"Some of these businesses have been hit twice," Knowles said.

At least a dozen businesses were burned along with a couple of police cars during Monday night's protests, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said earlier Tuesday.

"We reached out both through unified control and through political channels to make it known we needed more assets," Knowles said of his office's efforts to get the National Guard sent in as soon as property began being attacked.

Tuesday night, protesters and law enforcement in Ferguson are still clashing. One person has been arrested and officers in riot gear are pushing crowds back.

Protests are also continuing in other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta. In New York, the protesters stopped near the Lincoln Tunnel, stalling rush hour traffic. Several arrests were also reported in New York.

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Nor’Easter to Hit Ahead of Thanksgiving

Nor’Easter to Hit Ahead of Thanksgiving

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, many will see unsettled weather on Wednesday that could interrupt their travel plans.Snow is expected to fall on I-35 from Minneapolis to Des Moines, Iowa and on I-94 through Wisconsin. Also, I-5 from Seattle to Portland, Oregon will be wet with occasional pounding due to heavy rain forecast there. I-90 will be snow covered through the northern Rockies as well.On the East Coast, a significant Nor’easter is set to hit.From Orlando, Florida to Raleigh, North Carolina on I-95 it will be heavy rain with local flooding possible. I-95 from Washington, D.C. to New York will begin to see rain as early as Wednesday morning, with showers arriving in Boston in the late morning.As the cold air moves into the Northeast, rain will change to snow in the early afternoon for most major cities. There are possible accumulations in parts of the Northeast: Washington, D.C. could see 1 to 2 inches, Philadelphia 1 to 3, New York City 3-6 and Boston 3-6 inches as well. Thanksgiving Day will be mostly dry for the I-95 corridor, but snow will be flying on I-94 on Thursday from the Dakotas to Minnesota and Wisconsin with a few inches possible there.For the West coast, it will be a wet ride on I-5 from Seattle to San Francisco with heavy rain, especially in Washington and Oregon. Minor flooding is possible.If you are traveling over the northern Rockies on I-90 from Seattle to Billings, Montana, watch out for some snow covered roads as you go over Stevens and Snoqualmie Passes. Most of the South will be dry on Thanksgiving from Orlando to Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.For your return trip on Sunday, most of the country will be in a good shape. I-95 corridor will be dry from Florida to Maine. The only trouble spot will be the West Coast, where heavy rain is possible on I-5 from Seattle to San Francisco and even some rain possible in Southern California late Sunday night.For the Great Lakes and Northern Plains, snow showers are possible with 1-2 inches of snow accumulation. With milder air further east, rain showers are possible in Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.

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Exclusive: ABC News Interviews Police Officer Darren Wilson

Exclusive: ABC News Interviews Police Officer Darren Wilson

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- In an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, police officer Darren Wilson breaks his silence about the shooting of Michael Brown.Wilson told ABC News that he did not execute Brown but was in fear for his life and was just “doing his job.”This is the first time Wilson has made public remarks about the Aug. 9 shooting.The interview comes a day after the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson in an incident that sparked national outcry.Tune into ABC News' World News Tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST to see the interview.

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Ferguson Grand Jury Decision: Michael Brown’s Mom Outraged

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision: Michael Brown’s Mom Outraged

Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The heartbroken mother of Michael Brown broke down during protests that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury cleared the police officer who fatally shot her teenage son.Lesley McSpadden was captured on video screaming and crying in the hours after she learned Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown in August, would not be indicted in the teen's death."They wrong," she repeated."Everyone want me to be calm -- do you know how them bullets hit my son, what they did to his body as they entered his body?" she asked. "Nobody had to live through what I lived through.""They never gonna care," she said. "I've been here my whole life. I ain't never had to go through nothing like this."Supporters surrounded McSpadden as she broke town in tears, covering her face with her hands. Many screamed profanities and urged the crowd to "burn this b---h down."McSpadden's partner, wearing a green and white shirt, is also seen shouting during the clip and hugging her.

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Two Minneapolis Men Charged with Trying to Help ISIS

Two Minneapolis Men Charged with Trying to Help ISIS

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The FBI has arrested a Minneapolis college student and charged another man -- who is still overseas -- for allegedly being part of a conspiracy to help ISIS, authorities said.Abdullah Yusuf, 18, of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, was arrested Tuesday as part of a broader FBI investigation in Minnesota targeting “numerous individuals” there who have tried to join ISIS or had successfully made their way to war-torn Syria and Iraq, where the terrorist group is wreaking havoc and radicalizing others around the world through online propaganda.According to federal authorities, Yusuf knew another Minnesota man who went to Syria in March -- and two months later Yusuf tried to go there himself.This past spring, Yusuf obtained a passport and bought an airline ticket to Turkey, where he would find his way into Syria, according to federal prosecutors.On May 28, after his father dropped him off at school, Yusuf made his way to the airport, but the FBI caught up to him there and told him he couldn’t leave for Turkey, authorities said.Charges against 20-year-old Abdi Nur were also announced on Tuesday. According to charging documents, he left for Turkey in May. He was supposed to return to the United States in June, but he never came back.“More than 16,000 recruits from over 90 countries traveled to Syria to become foreign terrorist fighters with alarming consequences,” said the head of the Justice Department National Security Division, John Carlin. "This is a global crisis and we will continue our efforts to prevent Americans from joining the fight and to hold accountable those who provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”

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Lawyers for Michael Brown’s Family ‘Strenuously’ Object to Prosecutor

Lawyers for Michael Brown’s Family ‘Strenuously’ Object to Prosecutor

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Lawyers for Michael Brown's parents said on Tuesday that they "strenuously object" to the prosecutor and the grand jury process that cleared a police officer in the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.Benjamin Crump, the family's lawyer, said that he had objected to allowing St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch handle the case from the beginning and asked for a special prosecutor who did not have ties to the local police."Now after we watched him last night in his comments, we strenuously object to this prosecutor and this process," Crump said."We have the local prosecutor who has a symbiotic relationship with the local police and the local police officers...We could foresee what the outcome was going to be and that's exactly what occurred last night," Crump said.Michael Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., was standing beside Crump and Rev. Al Sharpton. Brown Sr. wore a red St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap like the one his son was wearing when he shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. The dad also wore a T-shirt with the slogan "No Justice No Peace.""You have broken our hearts but you have not broken our backs," Sharpton said. "We are going to continue to pursue justice."

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Gunshots During Ferguson Protests Prompt Temporary Flight Restriction at St. Louis Airport

Gunshots During Ferguson Protests Prompt Temporary Flight Restriction at St. Louis Airport

dave_valler/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- Lambert - St. Louis International Airport was subject to a temporary flight restriction Monday night into Tuesday morning due to gunshots fired into the sky in Ferguson.According to the Federal Aviation Administration, reports of gunshots created a sufficient hazard that only law enforcement aircraft were permitted to fly through the area beginning at 10:15 p.m. local time.

The restriction prevented approach at multiple runways at the St. Louis airport. The FAA said 10 inbound flights were diverted to other airports. Five additional arriving flights were cancelled, the airport said.The flight restriction was lifted at about 5 a.m. local time, with a limited number of early morning flights cancelled.

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