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Was Ohio Plane Crash a College Frat Accident?

Was Ohio Plane Crash a College Frat Accident?

iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) — Relatives of a student who died in an Ohio plane crash are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit over suspicion that the crash may have been a fraternity event gone wrong.

Four students from Case Western Reserve University — Abraham Pishevar, 18, Lucas Marcelli, 20, John Hill, 18, and Michael Felten, 19 — died in the Aug. 25 crash.

Felten, a licensed pilot, was flying the Cessna 172R. According to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board, Felten told air-traffic controllers he was going to “fly east to sightsee.” A loss of control shortly after takeoff likely caused the accident, according to the NTSB report.

Prior to the crash, Marcelli shared a video from the cockpit.

“Cleared for takeoff,” he wrote.

Marcelli and Felten were members of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. According to documents filed in court Tuesday, Pishevar’s parents believe the students may have been on the plane as part of a ZBT fraternity rush or recruitment event.

Pishevar shared photos on Snapchat before the crash, writing, “About to go on a night flight” and “rush” in the posts.

“The Snapchat photo that you’ve seen which has a heading ‘Rush’ on it goes to what Abraham’s state of mind was,” family attorney Jamie Lebovitz said.

Pishevar’s family is seeking safety, insurance and other records from the fraternity and the flying club that rented the students the plane.

In a statement, Zeta Beta Tau says the flight was not connected to the fraternity, saying, “We have been assured…that the flight was not a recruitment event.”

Bita Pishevar Haynes, Abraham’s aunt, said his family was overwhelmed by the suddenness of his death and is still trying to figure out what happened the night of the crash.

“Abraham was starting out his first day at Case Western when this tragedy happened,” she said.

Haynes said Abraham’s relatives weren’t aware of his interest in joining a fraternity.

“No one from our family knew he was even rushing,” she said.

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Man Sleepwalks over Cliff While Camping

Man Sleepwalks over Cliff While Camping

iStock/Thinkstock(SLADE, Ky.) — The Ohio man who fell 60 feet off a cliff when we went sleepwalking while on a camping trip says as soon as he landed he thought he was going to die.

A rhododendron bush saved his life.

“I was sure I was dead, or at least severely messed up,” Ryan Campbell told ABC News. “You don’t think you’re going to fall that far and walk away from it.”

Campbell, 27, was camping with friends in Grays Arch Trail in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge last week when he fell asleep in a hammock.

One hour later, early last Thursday morning, Campbell got out of the hammock and began sleepwalking. While his friends watched, Campbell walked right over a nearby cliff, plunging 60 feet below.

When rescuers rappelled down the mountain to Campbell, they found him miraculously alive and with no life-threatening injuries.

“I was pretty shocked that I couldn’t really find any discernable injuries,” Wolfe County Search and Rescue officer David Fifer told ABC News.

Rescuers placed Campbell in a basket to hoist him back up the mountain, giving Campbell a chance to see how far he had fallen.

“It was surreal coming up the way I came down, because I got to see every foot of this cliff that I’d just flown over,” Campbell said.

Rescuers attribute Campbell’s soft landing to the fact that, in an area full of rocks and boulders, Campbell landed on a rhododendron bush.

“Otherwise, more likely than not, it would have been a fatal fall,” Wolfe County Search and Rescue officer John May told ABC News.

Campbell was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he was treated for a head injury, a dislocated shoulder and a fractured leg and released.

Though he is expected to make a full recovery, Campbell says rescuers will not have to worry about coming out to save him ever again.

“I’m not going to put myself in a position to have that happen again,” Campbell said.

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Satanists to Hold Controversial Black Mass in Oklahoma

Satanists to Hold Controversial Black Mass in Oklahoma

iStock/Thinkstock(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) — A devil-worshiping group hell-bent on hosting a satanic black mass is planning to go ahead with its controversial ceremony this month, despite fervent protests by residents of Oklahoma City and a lawsuit from the Catholic Church.

The co-founder of Dakhma of Angra Mainyu told ABC News that the religious and educational organization decided to hold the black mass in public, but it will be a “tamer” version than some traditional satanic ceremonies.  For instance, they’ll substitute vinegar for acts involving urine, in order to comply with state health laws.

The upcoming event has generated controversy because black masses mock Christianity and the rituals that make up their services, but organizers see it as an integral part of their religion.

“One of the dictates of the church is not only to educate the members but to educate the public,” Dakhma of Angra Mainyu’s Adam Daniels said, “and to debunk the Hollywood-projected image of our beliefs.”

Daniels said all 88 tickets to the Sept. 21 event — held at the theater in the city’s civic center — have been sold. The parks and recreation department, which rented the space to the group for $420, cited First Amendment protections in allowing the group to meet in a public facility.

“Mr. Daniels must abide by our local ordinances, our fire codes and all of our state laws,” Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock told ABC News. “No bloodletting of any kind will be allowed.”

A $17.50 ticket buys participants a front-row seat to the festivities, which include a performance from the band “God in a Machine” and readings that call for the renunciation of God. Male participants and audience members are encouraged to wear black, hooded, full-length robes, but evening wear is also appropriate for spectators.

Anthony Briggman, an assistant professor of theology at Emory University in Atlanta, explained that the general motivating principles behind satanic groups – including Dakhma of Angra Mainyu – is to “parody” Roman Catholic liturgy by “demonstrating their opposition to orthodox Christian beliefs and practices.”

“The line between parody and mockery is a fuzzy one and it is unclear to me on which side of the line they usually fall,” he said of satanic groups in general.

“The goal seems to be to acquire some of the spiritual power [and] magic that they associate with the Roman Catholic ritual of transubstantiation, the transformation of the Eucharistic bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ,” Briggman said.

Co-founder Daniels said the Sept. 21 ceremony will take place before an altar-like table where a woman lies clad in lingerie — another concession to reflect the state’s nudity laws.

The culmination of the event comes when the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu deacons and priest stomp on the unconsecrated host and spit on it. Daniels said organizers will wear profane costumes, use explicit language and desecrate the fake host, which Catholics believe symbolizes the resurrected Christ.

Professor Briggman said that in other instances, he has “heard the reports of ritualistic practices of sex, bloodletting, and sacrifice … but it is unclear to me how much these reports are hyperbole designed to capture the attention of the press and public.”

Daniels said the Oklahoma City ceremony will wrap up with a Satanic exorcism intended to draw the Holy Spirit from the follower’s body, which contrasts with traditional exorcisms that are designed to expel the devil from the individual.

“Our practices have gotten it to about 22 to 25 minutes,” Daniels said of the ritual.

Additional controversy has surrounded this particular event because the Oklahoma City Archdiocese filed a lawsuit against Daniels’ group after media reports that he was in possession of a consecrated host, a wafer that some Catholics believe is literally the body of Christ.

The host in question has since been handed over to the archdiocese and the legal action has been stopped, but that has not put all of the Archbishop’s concerns to rest.

“I remain concerned about the dark powers that this satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly,” Archbishop Paul Coakley said in a statement.

The group is separate from The Satanic Temple, a national group with similar beliefs that has long fought with Oklahoma City officials about the right to have a statue of the devil placed prominently in the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Lucien Greaves, the leader of The Satanic Temple, told ABC News that Dakhma of Angra Mainyu may be timing its black mass in order to coincide with the publicity drummed up by The Satanic Temple’s legal battle for the devil statue.

“I have a feeling that they’re rather inspired by the attention that our activity has gotten,” Greaves told ABC News, “but I don’t think there’s a particularly higher concentration in Oklahoma than anywhere else.”

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Greed Motivated Man to Poison Wife with Nicotine, Prosecutor Says

Greed Motivated Man to Poison Wife with Nicotine, Prosecutor Says

iStock/Thinsktock(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — Greed drove Paul Curry to poison his wife in 1994, prosecutors alleged in court Tuesday, the first day of a cold case-turned murder trial in California.

Curry could spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted in the death of Linda Curry, who was 50 when she died.

Curry, 57, poisoned his wife with nicotine in order to collect more than $500,000 in insurance money and other benefits, prosecutors say.

“This man took Linda Curry for a paycheck,” prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh said in court Tuesday. “The man sitting at the end of counsel table was greedy, wanted money. And for that, he killed his wife.”

They were married for 21 months when Linda died mysteriously in their Orange County home. She was a non-smoker, but tests revealed fatal levels of nicotine in her system.

It’s unclear how prosecutors believe he administered the nicotine.

But prosecutors say it took years of tests before they could connect Paul Curry to his former wife’s death. By then he’d moved on, living in Kansas, remarried and working at a government job.

He was arrested in 2010.

Curry has pleaded not guilty to his former wife’s slaying. His defense attorney, Lisa Kopelman, told jurors Tuesday that Linda Curry had battled gastrointestinal problems for years before the couple married, and she might have used nicotine as an experimental medicine to treat her mystery illness.

“She was very, very desperate to find a cure,” Kopelman said. “You’re going to have to find my client ‘not guilty.’”

But Curry himself wasn’t so confident, at least not in a recording prosecutors played for jurors Tuesday, featuring his call to his new wife from jail after his arrest.

“If I go there and go to trial, they laid out a bunch of stuff. I gotta tell you, it looks bad,” he said in the recording.

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Calls Renewed for Arrest of Ferguson Police Officer

Calls Renewed for Arrest of Ferguson Police Officer

Scott Olson/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The St. Louis County Police Department has been called upon to arrest Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown following an altercation.

Since the incident a month ago, more witnesses have come forward to claim that Brown had his hands raised when Wilson fired his weapon, striking the teen six times, including a bullet to the head that killed him.

The racially-charged case resulted in nights of protests and civil unrest that was only calmed after a visit by Attorney General Eric Holder.

Members of the Ferguson chapter of the National Action Network were joined by Brown’s parents Tuesday in demanding that Wilson, who is now on administrative leave, be arrested, charged, photographed and indicted.

Because the Ferguson Police Department is no longer handling the case, and in fact, is being investigated itself by the Justice Department, community activists are urging the St. Louis County Police Department to put Wilson behind bars while a grand jury decides whether to indict him for the shooting.

Rev. Carlton Lee, National Action Network chapter president, told reporters, “We believe there is enough evidence to arrest Officer Darren Wilson. If probable cause is enough to arrest civilians, then it is enough to arrest police officers.”

In other developments, a group of protesters calling themselves the “Justice for Michael Brown Coalition” announced that they planned to shut down a stretch of highway in St. Louis as an act of civil disobedience Wednesday.

The group claims that it has a series of acts of civil disobedience planned, and that the first one will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday near Interstate 70 and Hanley Road in St. Louis.

The organizers are planning a rally in a public parking lot, followed by a plan to block traffic at 4:30 p.m. That time is intended to symbolize the four and a half hours that Brown’s body was left on the street after he was shot and killed Wilson.

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Ravens Owner Acknowledges ‘Mistake’ in Handling of Ray Rice Situation

Ravens Owner Acknowledges ‘Mistake’ in Handling of Ray Rice Situation

Harry How/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — Baltimore Ravens owner Stephen Bisciotti wrote a letter to the team’s fans and sponsors Tuesday, addressing the team’s handling of the Ray Rice situation and stating that the Ravens could have handled things differently.

“First, let us say that we did not do all we should have done and no amount of explanation can remedy that,” Bisciotti wrote in the letter, which was posted on the team’s website.

Rice and his then-fiancee, Janay Rice, were involved in a Feb. 15 altercation in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. The Ravens initially supported Rice following the incident, but terminated the running back’s contract Monday after a second video from the February assault emerged.

The newly-emerged video shows Janay Palmer, now Rice’s wife, being hit in the face in the elevator. Palmer then lunges at the running back before he delivers a blow that knocks her out. When the elevator doors open, Rice drags Palmer’s body outside, leaving her face down on the floor, her legs still inside the elevator.

A previous video only showed the scene outside the elevator.

The letter posted on the team’s website, addressed to Ravens stakeholders, begins, “You deserve an explanation.”

Bisciotti wrote that following the incident, team officials spoke to Rice, Palmer, the casino management, police and prosecutors.

“In March, the prosecutor dropped the case against Janay, but elevated the charge against Ray from simple assault to aggravated assault,” the letter says. “At this point, we decided to defer action until completion of the court proceedings. We stopped seeking to view or obtain a copy of the video. We halted our fact-finding. That was a mistake on our part.”

But the letter indicates that the team, like the NFL, was taking its lead from how law enforcement was handling the case, and police and prosecutors had seen the full video.

“In May, the prosecutor recommended, and the judge agreed, that Ray should be accepted into a pre-trial intervention program that will eventually have the assault charge dismissed from his record, pending a year of good behavior,” Bisciotti wrote in the letter.

“The police had seen video from inside the elevator,” it continues. “The prosecutor and the judge, who had also seen such video, allowed Ray into the program that would eventually clear him of the assault charge.”

Rice and Palmer met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on June 16. Weeks later, Goodell announced that Rice would be suspended for the first two games of the season.

Seeing the video, however, “changed everything,” Bisciotti said.

“It is violent and horrifying,” he said. “I immediately came to the office and called a meeting with [team president] Dick Cass, [general manager] Ozzie Newsome, [coach] John Harbaugh and [senior vice president of public relations] Kevin Byrne. The meeting was relatively short. The decision to let Ray Rice go was unanimous. Seeing that video changed everything. We should have seen it earlier. We should have pursued our own investigation more vigorously. We didn’t and we were wrong.”

He said that Rice had “earned every benefit of the doubt” from the team because of his contributions on and off the field for six years.

“We took everything we knew and decided to support Ray Rice until we could not,” he said.

Spokesmen for the New Jersey state Attorney General and the Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment.

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Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Sued for Alleged Sex Attack

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Sued for Alleged Sex Attack

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(DALLAS) — In yet another piece of bad publicity for the NFL, a 27-year-old Oklahoma woman has sued the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones, claiming the owner sexually attacked her in 2009 and the team tried to cover it up.

Jana Weckerly alleges in her suit that Jones touched her inappropriately and forced her to watch him engage in other sexual acts. She says the Dallas Cowboys, rather than reporting the incident to police, coerced her to sign documents that nothing untoward occurred.

According to Thomas D. Bowers, Weckerly’s attorney, the amount of time between the alleged attack and when the lawsuit was filed is a “normal thing.”

In response, Levi McCathern, a lawyer for Jones, said in an email, “This is nothing more than an attempt to embarrass and extort Jerry Jones. This is a shakedown by a lawyer who is a solo practitioner just trying to make a name for himself.”

Weckerly wants $1 million in punitive damages. The NFL had no comment on the suit.

Jones, 71, has been the Cowboys’ owner and general manager since 1989. He is married with three grown children, who all work in the team’s front office.

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‘Dirty Bomber’ Jose Padilla Re-Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison

‘Dirty Bomber’ Jose Padilla Re-Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison

DanHenson1/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jose Padilla, known as the al-Qaeda “Dirty Bomber” was re-sentenced on Tuesday, receiving 21 years in prison for conspiracy to murder and providing material support to terrorists, after his original 17-year prison sentence was deemed too lenient.

Padilla was convicted in 2007 for conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim individuals in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. His initial sentence was 17-and-a-half years in prison, significantly less than the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines of 30 years to life.

Padilla’s sentencing was remanded by the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Justice Department said Tuesday, after his conviction was upheld, but the sentence was deemed too light.

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Zion National Park Temporarily Closed After Heavy Rain Causes Flooding

Zion National Park Temporarily Closed After Heavy Rain Causes Flooding

National Park Service(SPRINGDALE, Utah) — Zion National Park was closed on Tuesday after heavy rains caused flooding, which overtook multiple park roads.

Aly Baltrus, spokeswoman for the National Park Service, told ABC News that shuttle services were stopped and most people in the canyon were evacuated. The entire park was then closed and some people were even turned away at the park’s gates.

The park was later reopened after the water receded. Shuttle service was still limited, however.

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Father of Five Missing Children Detained in Mississippi

Father of Five Missing Children Detained in Mississippi

John Roman/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C.) — The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in South Carolina announced an investigation on Tuesday into the disappearance of five children from one family.

The children range in age from 1 to 8, and were reported missing on Sept. 3 after last being seen with their father. The father reportedly has joint custody of the children, and was detained on Sept. 6 in Mississippi.

The LCSD says the children’s mother reported them missing after being unable to contact her ex-husband.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama confirmed that five bodies were found late Tuesday afternoon. The father is suspected of bringing the children to Alabama and dumping their bodies.

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Ray Rice in ‘Good Spirits’ and ‘Staying Strong for My Wife’

Ray Rice in ‘Good Spirits’ and ‘Staying Strong for My Wife’

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — Disgraced running back Ray Rice said on Tuesday that he was in “good spirits” and trying to be “strong for my wife” despite being cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the National Football League over a video showing him punching his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator.

Rice spoke with ESPN’s Josina Anderson hours after his wife, Janay Rice, put out a statement on Instagram defending her husband as “the man I love.”

Rice and his lawyers had made no public statements since TMZ posted a video Monday from inside the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey showing the couple in the elevator, a scene that ended with Janay Rice slumping to the floor after he punched her in the head.

“I have to be strong for my wife. She is so strong…We are in good spirits,” Ray Rice told ESPN. “We have a lot of people praying for us and we’ll continue to support each other.”

“I have to be there for [Janay] and my family right now and work through this,” he said.

Rice handed the phone to his wife who added, “I love my husband. I support him. I want people to respect our privacy in this family matter.”

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White House Disputes Claim Steven Sotloff Was ‘Sold’ by US Allies

White House Disputes Claim Steven Sotloff Was ‘Sold’ by US Allies

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The White House on Tuesday disputed claims made by a spokesman for the family of slain American journalist Steven Sotloff that he was sold as a hostage to ISIS by the so-called moderate Syrian opposition, the same forces President Obama is now seeking to fund and arm.

“As it relates to the specifics of this matter, based on the information that has been provided to me, I don’t believe that is accurate,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in response to a question from ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.

Earnest said the incident remains under investigation by the FBI.

“This is something that they’re looking into all aspects of this, including how Mr. Sotloff may have come into the hands of ISIL,” or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, he said.

Earnest suggested that the possibility that Syria’s moderate opposition may have been complicit in Sotloff’s disappearance does not give Obama pause about his decision to expand American support for the group.

Sotloff was kidnapped in Syria in August 2013. He was beheaded last week by a masked ISIS militant in a video posted online.

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Minnesota Lottery Winner Going Back to Waiting Tables

Minnesota Lottery Winner Going Back to Waiting Tables

Photodisc/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — A Minnesota couple who just won an $11.7 million lottery jackpot say their big plans to use the money include nothing “out of the ordinary,” with the wife even keeping her waitressing job.

“I actually really enjoy my job,” newly minted multimillionaire Rhonda Meath said of her job waiting tables at the Lake Elmo Inn in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

“I have great friends here and a great boss, and it’s just really a fantastic place to work, so I have no plans of leaving,” she said.

Meath, 51, and her husband, Joe Meath of Bethel, Minnesota, came forward Monday as the winners of Saturday’s $11.7 million Hot Lotto jackpot.

The couple, who arrived at lottery headquarters Monday with three of their four children, will take home all of the $11.7 million because Hot Lotto pays the state and federal taxes, according to ABC affiliate KSTP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

“It was just a little shocking at first,” Rhonda Meath said.

The Meaths said they will splurge on a new car but, other than that, they plan to make some charitable contributions and keep their lives the same.

“Have to still mow the grass and get mail and put grandkids on the school bus,” Rhonda Meath told ABC News.

“We’re not going to do anything out of the ordinary,” said Joe, who is retired.

In terms of charity, Joe has promised to contribute to a college fund for the teenage clerk who sold him the winning ticket at a local gas station.

Rhonda, who spends much of her free time training therapy dogs, says she will donate some of the money to a local police K-9 foundation.

While their home life remains largely the same, Rhonda predicts she will see one difference on the job.

“Oh, I think the kitchen staff is going to be a little nicer to me,” she said.

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Former Mayor’s Wife Faces Trial in Florida Love Triangle Slaying

Former Mayor’s Wife Faces Trial in Florida Love Triangle Slaying

iStock/Thinkstock(INDIALANTIC, Fla.) — Testimony continues Tuesday in the trial of a Florida woman accused of killing a friend who was having an affair with her estranged husband.

Prosecutors say Sheila Graham-Trott and her husband, former Indialantic, Florida, Mayor Dan Trott, were in the midst of a divorce when she killed her friend Kelly Brennan in February 2010.

Graham-Trott has pleaded not guilty.

Dan Trott has testified that he started dating Brennan as his marriage with Graham-Trott eroded. Brennan and Trott had planned to meet at the gym in February 2010.

But Brennan never showed.

Graham-Trott’s mother called 911 to report Brennan’s death, a detail that stands out to legal analyst Mark Eiglarsh.

“What makes this case so unusual is how the defendant was acting immediately after the murder,” Eiglarsh said. “Her family felt compelled to call 911.”

Prosecutors say Graham-Trott led her own family to Brennan’s body. She was 46.

But the defense argues that other people had a motive to kill Brennan, including Brennan’s husband, Gino Rallo. Rallo testified Monday that he had nothing to do with his wife’s slaying, and prosecutors say he has an alibi, given that he was seen in surveillance footage at a local Walgreens at the time of Brennan’s death.

Rallo told jurors he never gave up on the idea of reconciling with his wife.

“Mr. Rallo, you loved your wife?” a defense attorney asked Rallo.

“Very much,” he responded.

“Even after you found out she’d been cheating on you behind your back for several months?” the attorney asked.

“Yes,” Rallo said.

“You still wanted to be with her?” the attorney asked.

“Yes,” Rallo said.

Graham-Trott’s attorneys declined to comment to ABC News.

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Ray Rice’s Wife Comes to Defense of ‘the Man I Love’

Ray Rice’s Wife Comes to Defense of ‘the Man I Love’

Rob Carr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice defended “the man I love” in an online post Tuesday and said Rice’s football ban left her “feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend.”

Janay Rice, who was shown in a video released Monday getting knocked out in an Atlantic City elevator by Rice, posted the statement on Instagram the day after the Ravens terminated his contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” she wrote.

She called the attention to their Feb. 15 fight in the Revel Casino Hotel “unwanted.”

“To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a** off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE!” she wrote.

The new video surfaced as the NFL defended itself Tuesday against allegations that it did not try to obtain the video of the punch from the Revel Casino Hotel.

Janay Rice said the stories about their fight and the ban on Rice playing NFL football left them hurt, embarrassed, alone and took “all happiness away.”

“Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!” she wrote.

“Security for Atlantic City casinos is handled by the New Jersey State Police,” the NFL said in a statement. “Any videos related to an ongoing criminal investigation are held in the custody of the state police. As we said yesterday: We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us.”

The league was criticized for initially banning Rice for two games, a punishment many considered to be too light. After the video emerged on Monday, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

The New Jersey State Police said Tuesday the investigation was handled by the Atlantic City police. “We never had the video,” the state police said.

The Atlantic City police have not responded to requests for comment. The prosecutor in the case declined to discuss the case on Monday.

Outraged response to Rice’s initial two-game suspension prompted the league to establish a mandatory six-game suspension for players who violate the league’s domestic violence policy.

Rice and Palmer married following the incident.

Rice entered a pre-trial intervention program after being charged with aggravated assault and he publicly apologized for striking Palmer.

Revel Hotel Casino, where the incident occurred, closed Sept. 2.

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Severe Rain, Flooding Hits Southwest

Severe Rain, Flooding Hits Southwest

ABC News(PHOENIX) — Arizona has declared a state of emergency after severe rain and flooding plagued parts of the state Monday.

Phoenix saw its wettest day on record, with at least 3.29 inches of rain.

In Tucson, firefighters say a woman died when the car she was driving was swept away by water.  When rescuers arrived, her car was submerged; her body was pulled out.

Heavy rains are pounding much of the Southwest. Five states, including California, were under flash flood watches Monday night – most through Tuesday evening.

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Baltimore Ravens Cut Ray Rice After Video of Elevator Punch

Baltimore Ravens Cut Ray Rice After Video of Elevator Punch

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Baltimore Ravens terminated Ray Rice’s contract Monday after a video emerged of the running back punching his then fiancee in an Atlantic City, New Jersey hotel elevator.

The NFL followed up by suspending Rice indefinitely, which would prevent another team from picking him up. Earlier in the day, the NFL said it had never seen the violent video before it suspended him for two games earlier this summer for domestic abuse.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” the NFL said in a statement Monday. “The video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

Within hours of the video’s appearance on TMZ.com, Rice’s team, the Baltimore Ravens, tweeted, “The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon.”

The video shows Janay Palmer, now Rice’s wife, being hit in the face in the elevator. Palmer then lunges at the running back before he delivers a blow that knocks her out. When the elevator doors open, Rice drags Palmer’s body outside, leaving her face down on the floor, her legs still inside the elevator.

Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, where the fight happened, said it released the video to police.

Atlantic City police did not respond to requests for comment by ABC News. A prosecutor told ABC News he refused to discuss what might have been submitted, viewed or cited by the grand jury.

An earlier clip showed the scene from outside the elevator, but not the violent blow that originally earned Rice a two-game suspension. The NFL had been criticized for what some considered to be a light punishment.

Some time after hotel security arrive, Palmer gets up and she and Rice walk away.

Both Rice and Palmer were arrested after the incident. Charges against Palmer were quickly dropped. Rice, who was indicted by a grand jury, entered a pretrial diversionary program, avoiding jail time. He has apologized for the Feb. 15 incident.

Kyle Flood, the football coach at Rice’s alma mater, Rutgers University, called Monday a “sad day” for the school.

“The video I saw this morning was difficult to watch as a husband and as a father,” Flood said. “There is nothing that can justify what I saw on that video. This is a sad day for Ray and a sad day for Rutgers.”

After outrage from Rice’s suspension, the NFL announced last month that players accused of domestic violence would face tougher punishments. Players get six weeks of suspension for a first offense, and at least a year for a second offense, according to the new policy.

The hotel has since shut down for unrelated reasons. TMZ said it cleaned up the video to remove reverse frames and make the time frame clearer.

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Thousands of Penn State Students Rally After Football Playoff Ban Removed

Thousands of Penn State Students Rally After Football Playoff Ban Removed

Rick Stewart/Getty Images(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) — Thousands of Pennsylvania State University students rallied overnight, celebrating the end of the school’s football bowl ban instituted in the wake of a sex abuse scandal involving former coach Jerry Sandusky.

The students sang and chanted, shouting the school’s iconic cheer: “We Are Penn State.”

Police in riot gear held watch, making sure the demonstration didn’t get out of hand. Minor vandalism was reported, including a stop sign that was ripped down. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller urged students to stay calm.

“Vandalism in the canyon will get you arrested, maybe kicked out of school and is no way to celebrate this victory,” Miller wrote on Twitter.

The rallying followed the decision by the NCAA’s Executive Committee to eliminate the school’s football postseason ban and scholarship reductions, recommendations proposed by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.

The sanctions were implemented in 2012, after an NCAA report alleged the university was negligent in not dealing with Sandusky, who was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys for more than a decade. Other victims have since emerged.

The scandal ensnared now-deceased football coach Joe Paterno, president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley, exposing flaws in the school’s culture and insufficient sexual offense reporting practices.

As a result, Mitchell was instituted as the university’s athletics integrity monitor and sanctions were levied against the school and football program.

In a report released Monday, Mitchell lauded the university’s reform efforts, while also noting that the sanctions affected student-athletes “who bear no personal responsibility for the underlying reasons for the sanctions.”

“In light of Penn State’s responsiveness to its obligations and the many improvements it has instituted, I believe these student-athletes should have the opportunity to play in the post-season should they earn it on the field this year,” Mitchell wrote. “The maximum number of student-athletes ought to be given the chance both to receive a quality education and be active in sports.”

If Penn State continues its current course, Mitchell will recommend that his oversight role, scheduled to continue to 2017, should end earlier, he wrote in the report.

Penn State’s football team is 2-0 so far this season.

The school must still pay a $60 million fine, and 112 wins under Paterno – at one time recognized as college football’s winningest coach -– remain vacated.

Sandusky, 70, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years behind bars, effectively a life sentence.

The school has so far paid nearly $60 million in settlements to Sandusky’s victims.

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Organizers Plan to Block Traffic in St. Louis in Protest of Michael Brown Shooting

Organizers Plan to Block Traffic in St. Louis in Protest of Michael Brown Shooting

Fuse/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — A group of protesters calling themselves the “Justice for Michael Brown Coalition” announced on Monday that they planned to shut down a stretch of highway in St. Louis as an act of civil disobedience.

The group claims that it has a series of acts of civil disobedience planned, and that the first one will take place at 3 p.m. on Wednesday near Interstate 70 and Hanley Road in St. Louis. The St. Louis American reports that the group hopes to get Bob McCullouch, the special prosecutor in the Michael Brown shooting case, relieved from that duty.

The organizers are planning a rally in the Metro public parking lot, followed by a plan to block traffic at 4:30 p.m. That time is intended to symbolize the four and a half hours that Brown’s body was left on the street after he was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.

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One Killed in Plane Crash at National Championship of Air Races in Nevada

One Killed in Plane Crash at National Championship of Air Races in Nevada

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(RENO, Nev.) — The National Championship of Air Races in Reno was halted early on Monday after a fatal plane crash.

A statement from National Championship Air Races identified the pilot of the plane as Lee Behel, 64. Behel was flying a GP-5 at the time of the crash, which Mike Draper, a spokesperson for National Championship Air Races called a result of “a mechanical error.”

The crash was a single-plane accident and no other pilots or spectators were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the crash. National Championship Air Races said all planes would continue to be inspected prior to a return to the race course — a standard procedure.

Mike Major, chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association called Behel “a very talented pilot” and “an enthusiastic and compassionate friend.”

“This is a difficult day for all of us and our thoughts and prayers are with Lee’s family and friends,” Major said. “The entire Air Race family will miss him deeply.”

Qualification for the event will resume at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and the event officially kicks off on Wednesday.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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