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Alleged 9/11 Conspirator ‘Holds No Grudge’ Against CIA

Alleged 9/11 Conspirator ‘Holds No Grudge’ Against CIAJoe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the men accused of planning and carrying out the Sept. 11 terror attacks watched his torturers suffer as they did their jobs -- and as a result "does not hold any grudges" toward those who inflicted pain on h...

The Problem with Digital Drivers Licenses: Iowa Tests High Tech IDs

The Problem with Digital Drivers Licenses: Iowa Tests High Tech IDs

Iowa Department of Transportation(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Iowa is testing digital driver's licenses but the high-tech approach to carrying identification could come with its own set of issues.The Iowa Department of Transportation said it will experiment with an app next year that will allow users to trade in their plastic cards. State employees will be the first test group.No timeline was released as to when the digital licenses could be implemented with the general public, however Mark Lowe, a director at the Department of Transportation, said there are still a number of issues that will need to be resolved.Among them: How a user can put their license on multiple devices, as well as security issues, including how to keep someone else from using your digital license.Another big issue: What if you're stopped and need to hand the officer your digital license?"That is one of the things people had concerns about," Lowe told ABC News. "Once the officer has that, can he rifle through my phone?"Before the digital license goes public, Lowe said the Department of Motor Vehicles hopes to create a feature that will lock the screen when the owner needs to hand over their smartphone, sealing off the contents of their phone from any potential snooping.It may not even be necessary to show your digital license in the future, Lowe said.

"These devices allow us to communicate with other devices. The long-term concept is we may simply be able let one mobile device talk to another," he said.How It WorksOne reason for going digital is safety.The digital license will show the driver's face in 3-D, allowing officers to better match the person in the photo to the one they're speaking with.Accessing the license will require a unique PIN code, allowing users to make sure their private information doesn't fall into someone else's hands."Not just anybody can download [the app]," Lowe said. "We need to know that after we have vetted you, you're the person accessing the app."Once it's on a user's phone, the PIN code will act as one security measure, however Lowe said he envisions even more precise controls in the future."A thumb print or finger print or facial recognition or voice or iris image," he said. "We have to change this static thing in your pocket to something that is live."

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Feds Add $10K to Reward in Murder Case of Burned Mississippi Teen

Feds Add $10K to Reward in Murder Case of Burned Mississippi Teen

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Marshals Service has added $10,000 to the reward being offered for information relating to the burning death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chapman as her family prepares for her funeral on Saturday."They’re very, very devastated by the loss," Panola County District Attorney John Champion told ABC News of Chapman's parents.Local police and agents from federal agencies are continuing to search for the attacker, who is believed to have set Chapman on fire. She died of her injuries shortly after arriving at the hospital.Champion told ABC News that they have not identified a suspect but are actively interviewing."We have spoken to many, many people and everyone has cooperated with us at this point," Champion said."What we’re pursing at this point is something that somebody might say to somebody else that gets back to us. Something that somebody already knows, something that somebody saw that just didn't register 'til they go back to start thinking about it ... and, we’re looking for that," Champion said. "We're still going through records and looking at different things. It’s just a pounding the pavement investigation."Champion confirmed earlier reports that the 19-year-old was able to briefly communicate with first responders before being airlifted to a nearby hospital. He would not reveal what she said but confirmed that they are "looking into what she said."

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Florida Couple Arrested for Squatting in Million-Dollar Home

Florida Couple Arrested for Squatting in Million-Dollar Home

File photo. Hemera/Thinkstock(KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla.) -- A Florida couple who allegedly moved into a 7,500-square foot mansion and even wrote about it on Facebook faces charges of grand theft, forgery and unlawful filing after authorities said they had been illegally squatting in the home for months.Justin and Jenna Dean allegedly set up residence in the Keystone Heights, Florida, home -- the centerpiece of a 240-acre estate -- in September, claiming they purchased a deed for the foreclosed home at a discount.“This is the house we just bought. We have a lot of work to do, it’ll take some time but Rome wasn’t built overnight,” Jenna Dean posted on her Facebook page.Clay County, Florida, authorities said the couple did actually do some work on the home.“Some locks have been changed and some ‘no trespassing’ signs have been put up,” Clay County Police Detective Steve Dugger said at a news conference this week.The Deans’ alleged house of cards began to collapse when a couple from Ohio actually bought the house for $1.1 million.“They put a down payment on it [and] that’s when the false deed was found,” Dugger said.“The Quit Claim Deed that was found was fraudulent. It was made up from pieces of other deeds,” he said. “The signatures on the correct deed were used on the fraudulent deed.”The Deans were arrested Monday and released on bail.The couple had no comment when reached by ABC News.

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United Airlines Passengers Endure Nightmare Layover on Trip to Australia

United Airlines Passengers Endure Nightmare Layover on Trip to Australia

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Hundreds of passengers aboard a United Airlines flight to Australia experienced a 30-hour travel nightmare, with the plane diverted -- and passengers forced to endure a lengthy layover.The plane departed San Francisco at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, en route to Sydney, with 251 passengers on board. The plane was diverted to Canberra, with the pilot blaming the diversion on debris on the runway.After the plane landed in Canberra, the crew was unable to take off because the pilot exceeded his flying hour limit.To make matters worse, the passengers weren’t allowed to enter the Canberra Airport due to customs and immigration issues.Instead, the passengers were forced to stay on the tarmac, reportedly spending nearly four hours in their seats before crew allowed them to get off and get some fresh air. United Airlines gave the passengers snacks and drinks.Some of the passengers wrote about their travel woes online.More than eight hours after the plane landed in Canberra, a back-up crew arrived, allowing the plane to take off.Flight UA 863 finally landed in Sydney at about 6 p.m. local time Friday, nine hours behind schedule -- finally bringing an end to the travelers’ ordeal.

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Cruise Ship Fire Claims Three Lives

Cruise Ship Fire Claims Three LivesiStock Editorial/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — An engine room fire aboard a luxury cruise ship Thursday morning claimed three lives.The Insignia cruise ship was docked in St. Lucia when the fire broke out, according to its operator, Miami-based Oceania Cru...

Heavy Rain, Strong Winds, Power Outages Plague West Coast States

Heavy Rain, Strong Winds, Power Outages Plague West Coast States

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In what has been called the worst storm in five years along the West Coast, torrential rain and strong winds continued to pound several states Thursday, knocking down power lines and leaving tens of thousands of utility customers in the dark.At last count, 117,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers in the Bay Area were without power.Some areas of Northern California have received more than nine inches of rain. The heavy rain has swollen creeks and rivers and caused numerous traffic accidents.Many schools in the region were closed Thursday.In the Northern California town of Healdsburg, a man was seen kayaking through the parking lot of a Safeway grocery store.Waves reached seven feet in height on Lake Tahoe and the surfers took advantage. It’s not often folks get a chance to surf on a lake!In Washington state, the pounding rain has left streets flooded and eroded the land underneath several homes along the coast. Two have already been lost to the storm.  More than 100,000 customers were without power in Washington state.Two people were killed in Oregon Thursday when trees fell on them, ABC television affiliate KATU in Portland reported.  A teenager was killed in Southwest Portland when the car he riding in was hit by a tree, police said. The other death was reported in southern Oregon.  A man died when high winds felled a tree that crashed through a tent where he was sleeping, the Jackson County Sheriff Office said.Forecasters expected the nasty weather to continue throughout the night as it heads down into Southern California, where there is a real fear of mudslides in areas that have been laid bare by wildfires.

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New Questions Raised About Rolling Stone’s UVA Rape Story

New Questions Raised About Rolling Stone’s UVA Rape Story

Alessandro Drago/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The college students described as friends of the alleged rape victim Jackie in an explosive Rolling Stone article revealed their identities to ABC News Thursday, and said that some of the magazine's story is false."The text was so divergent from what we said that evening," said Alex Stock, who said he's identified as "Andy" in the article.The magazine article describes a violent, three-hour gang rape that left a University of Virginia student identified as Jackie bruised and bloody when she escaped a house on fraternity row, right near the university president's office.When her friends, identified by Rolling Stone as "Randall," "Andy" and "Cindy," arrived that night, the article says they urged Jackie to keep quiet to keep their social lives intact.That is not the scene described by Jackie's friends to ABC News. They said at the time they believed a "traumatic" sex assault had occurred. But the two male friends said they were told that night -- Sept. 28, 2012 -- that Jackie was forced to perform oral sex on five men while a sixth stood by.The friends pointed out another inconsistency in the Rolling Stone article, saying that the three of them were not standing right next to each other when Jackie revealed what she said happened on the night of the attack, as author Sabrina Erdely writes in the magazine.Ryan, who asked ABC News to withhold his last name and is identified as "Randall" in the Rolling Stone article, said he got the call from Jackie first and rushed to meet her outside a dorm building. She was "crying and shaking" when she told him what happened, and he then called Alex, but relayed Jackie's wishes that "Cindy" not come.Kathryn Hendley, who said she is the "Cindy" described in the magazine, said she accompanied Alex when he went to see Jackie. But she said that she hung back while Jackie spoke to the two men. Hendley told ABC News that later that night, Stone told her what Jackie said, and then Jackie later described the incident herself.Hendley also denied one cruel comment the Rolling Stone article alleges she made: "She's gonna be the girl who cried 'rape' and we'll never be allowed into any frat party again." Hendley told ABC News she definitely did not say that.The three friends spoke to ABC News Thursday afternoon at the U.Va. campus in Charlottesville, for the first time revealing their identities in relation to this story. In the wake of the report, U.Va. has announced dramatic new measures to keep students safe and suspended most fraternity and sorority events until the start of the next semester. Local police and an independent counsel named by the Virginia attorney general are also conducting investigations.Since the story was first released, the friends said they have been able to find key inaccuracies in the story."I didn't know any Greek letters outside of what I'd learned in physics class," Ryan said.The article describes Jackie sinking into depression after the alleged rape, and holing up in her dorm room. Not so, say her friends, who told ABC News she seemed fine after the alleged assault.Thursday, the trio said they're still not sure what parts of Jackie's story are true. But they said they want to tell their story in case it is, and to prevent any future sexual assaults on campus."The bigger issue should be on preventing sexual assault and being able to help survivors of sexual assault," Ryan said.Jackie's lawyer and the University of Virginia declined comment when reached by ABC News. Neither Rolling Stone nor the author of the article responded to the comments from Jackie’s three friends.

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Virginia Sues Guardrail Maker for Fraud amid Urgent Safety Tests

Virginia Sues Guardrail Maker for Fraud amid Urgent Safety Tests

zebra3/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In a scathing complaint containing accusations of fraud and deceit surrounding what he calls a "defective" product, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the maker of a widely-used guardrail system that has been blamed for severe injuries and deaths across the country.Herring said Texas-based Trinity Industries, "sold the Commonwealth thousands of unapproved products that had not been properly tested to ensure they would keep motorists safe.""It is shocking that a company would think they could secretly modify a safety device in a way that may actually pose a threat to Virginia motorists," Herring said in a statement.Herring was referring to several modifications made to the end of Trinity’s guardrail system, at a piece called the end terminal, in 2005 -- changes that were not disclosed to federal or state transportation officials until years later. The modified version of the guardrail end terminal, called the ET-Plus, was the subject of an ABC News investigation in September that looked into gruesome injuries and deaths that critics blamed on the modified guardrail.The critics, including accident survivors, allege that the modifications can cause the guardrails to "lock up" when hit from the front with a vehicle. Rather than ribboning out as designed, the guardrail instead spears straight through the vehicle, severing limbs or even killing the vehicle's occupants. ABC News obtained an internal Trinity email in which a Trinity official estimated that making one of the 2005 modifications -- reducing a piece of metal in the end terminal from five inches to four -- would save the company $2 per end terminal, or $50,000 a year."The undisclosed modifications to the old ET-PLUS were not harmless improvements or enhancements," the 18-page Virginia complaint reads. "Many accidents involving the modified ET-PLUS units have resulted in serious injuries and fatalities, when the ET-PLUS units malfunctioned. This loss of life and limb did not occur before Trinity made the undisclosed modifications."Earlier this year a federal case against Trinity was brought by a competitor of the guardrail company. In that case, Trinity was found by a jury to have defrauded the government on similar grounds as Herring’s, and was ordered to pay $175 million, a figure expected to triple by statutory mandate. Both sides have been ordered into mediation before the end of the year.The Virginia complaint also slams the company for not disclosing five crash tests in 2005-2006 in which the ET-Plus fails each time, including spearing the vehicle or flipping it over. Video of the tests, played in the federal trial, were first shown on ABC News.Trinity has said that those tests were performed on an "experimental" guardrail system, and therefore the results didn't require disclosure to the government. The company also has maintained that the modified guardrails on the roads are safe and said that ongoing safety tests, ordered by the federal government the Texas decision, will prove it.The state is seeking damages to cover the cost of removing and replacing every modified ET-Plus currently installed on Virginia roads as well as penalties."Trinity ... made millions in revenue from this defective, unapproved and improperly tested product at the expense of Virginia and her taxpayers," the complaint reads. "[Virginia Department of Transportation] is preparing a contingency plan to identify and replace these products if necessary and appropriate testing and analysis shows them to be unsafe. If any replacements must occur, we're going to make sure that Trinity, not Virginia taxpayers, pay the bill."Trinity flatly denied it had committed fraud against the state.“We are surprised and deeply disappointed the Commonwealth of Virginia chose the lawsuit path,” a statement from Trinity said. “We are in the process of conducting the eight tests requested by the FHWA, which includes the two tests specifically requested by Virginia. We have given them all the data they have requested. We will continue to work with them. We will defend ourselves fully against these allegations.”Virginia was the first state to announce it would be removing the ET-Plus from its roadways and a spokesperson for VDOT Thursday told ABC News it has called for contracting bids to replace the devices. The bid process is expected to take through the end of January, with the intent of replacing end terminals found on the state's high-speed highways first.The Virginia action was announced the day after long-awaited crash tests got underway in San Antonio.Eight crash tests of the modified, 4-inch ET-Plus, were requested by the Federal Highway Administration after the verdict in the federal whistleblower case and a growing number of states announcing they would no longer install the end terminal on highways. Currently, more than 40 states have halted use of the 4-inch ET-Plus, many waiting until results of the crash tests are released.An ABC News reporter was one of two journalists allowed to observe the first test conducted on Wednesday. The test, in which a pickup truck hits the end of the guardrail at a fifteen degree angle at 62 miles per hour, was conducted with a group of observers from federal and state transportation departments. Observers were kept at a distance of about 150 yards from the test guardrail. Upon impact, the end of the guardrail folded to the side, allowing the truck to continue on, parallel to the guardrail, before coming to a stop at a tree nearby.An FHWA observer briefing the media afterward said the ET-Plus appeared to have performed as expected, saying "nothing remarkable" occurred and that it, "looked like it passed and moved exactly as you expect it to.""We will still have to wait for all of the results to come back in," said Tony Furst, Associate Administrator for Safety at the FHWA. "We're not going to make any conclusions or base any determinations just on the visual data itself."Furst was also pressed about why the dimensions of the ET-Plus units being tested have not been disclosed to the public. An ABC News reporter was denied access to the end terminals in order to measure them and requests to see the units closely before testing were also turned down.Although the crash tests have been shrouded in secrecy -- amid high security and a requirement that the limited number of observers shed all cell phones or any recording devices -- a local news helicopter still managed to capture the fifteen-second test from above, giving the public a long-awaited view of the infamous ET-Plus in action.The second test, scheduled for Thursday, was postponed until Friday due to rain.

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Oldest Time Capsule in US Unearthed at Massachusetts State House

Oldest Time Capsule in US Unearthed at Massachusetts State House

Jason Kay/iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Conservators from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts labored in the chill and snow for hours Thursday to unearth what is believed to be the oldest unopened time capsule in the country, buried under the Golden Dome of the Massachusetts State House in 1795 by then-Governor Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, according to state records.The 219-year-old capsule is made of cowhide and was initially discovered during State House renovations in 1855. When the repairs were complete, the state’s 23rd governor, Henry Gardner, re-buried it in the granite cornerstone of the historic building, adding new items, including coins.Four coins clinked on the cold ground Thursday as conservator Pam Hitchfield laid on her back and chiseled at the cornerstone. The silver pieces were picked up and displayed to reporters who stood in the mud around the fenced-in dig site.Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin oversaw the painstaking efforts to preserve the capsule’s contents for much of the day. He told ABC News that after the capsule was found by workers overhauling a water irrigation system in the building, state records were uncovered about the capsule that indicate it contained coins that date between 1652 and 1855, an engraved silver Paul Revere plate, newspapers, a Commonwealth seal and a title page from the Massachusetts Colony Records."We know that some of the items were washed with acid in 1855 because of the humidity. We don’t know if that caused deterioration. We are still hopeful that the contents are in good condition," Galvin said. “It’s hard work. Back then they probably had a horse and buggy transport that cornerstone and it is still solid today.”By 2:30 p.m. the capsule remained entombed in the granite. This is the second significant historical discovery associated with the State House on Boston’s Beacon Hill, which played a key role in the launching of the American Revolution.Earlier this year, workers found a time capsule from 1901 hidden beneath statues of a lion and a unicorn. Inside were photographs, letters, and newspaper articles that were in legible condition.When the capsule is removed from the cornerstone, it will be X-rayed at the Museum of Fine Arts and then opened. The public will have an opportunity to view a display of the artifacts found."It’s a great piece of Boston history," Galvin said.

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Four Children Rescued After Dramatic Standoff on San Diego Freeway

Four Children Rescued After Dramatic Standoff on San Diego Freeway

mathieukor/iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- Four children are safe and their father is in custody following a dramatic standoff Thursday on a freeway ramp in San Diego.According to the Montebello Police Department, police responded to a locator device in a vehicle belonging to Daniel Diego Perez, who was considered a person of interest after he, his wife and his four children were reported missing on December 9.An unidentified woman was found deceased in the trunk of the family’s vehicle on Wednesday.Video shows Perez parking a second vehicle on the transition ramp on Route 52 in San Diego. Shortly afterward, two children were able to escape from the car.Perez then exited with the other two children and moved toward the edge of the ramp. When he lifted a leg over the edge of the ramp, officers quickly rushed him and successfully detained him.Captain Luis Lopez, of the Montebello Police Department, said while the investigation is ongoing, there is a history of domestic violence in the family. He says extended family were in touch with the department and voiced concern over the safety of the children.“Now that the children are out of harm’s way, I’m sure they’re going to be very excited,” he said.Lopez said officers will now try to identify the body found in the other vehicle. He said as of right now, Perez is not considered a suspect in that homicide.

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American Nurse Exposed to Ebola Virus in Sierra Leone Admitted at NIH Facility

American Nurse Exposed to Ebola Virus in Sierra Leone Admitted at NIH Facility

Photo by Andrew Councill/MCT/MCT via Getty Images(BETHESDA, Md.) -- An American nurse who was exposed to the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone was taken to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center on Thursday for observation.According to a release from the medical center, the patient was flown in from an overseas location by private medevac. The patient, who was not identified, was transported in isolation and admitted to the NIH Clinical Center at about 2:45 p.m. EST Thursday.The patient was admitted to the center's clinical studies unit, which has high-level isolation capabilities and is staffed by infectious disease and critical care specialists, "out of an abundance of caution."Dallas nurse Nina Pham was treated for Ebola at the NIH facility after being exposed to the disease while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in America.

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Mafia Sweep Nets Reputed Gambino Underboss

Mafia Sweep Nets Reputed Gambino Underboss

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York(NEW YORK) -- The reputed underboss of New York's Gambino crime family was arrested Thursday in Brooklyn.Francesco Palmieri is wanted in Italy for extortion. About 30 FBI agents and Italian authorities raided his apartment and arrested him as part of a larger crackdown on the mafia in Milan, Matera and New York, Italian police said.Palmieri was among eight people arrested, including five in Italy and three in the United States, and charged in a blackmail conspiracy. Italian police said the group tried to extort the owner of a climate control systems company in Basilicata in southern Italy out of more than $1 million.Another man, John Grillo, described by authorities as a "key figure" in the case, was arrested at the airport in Milan just before he boarded a flight to New York on a one-way ticket.Italian police linked Thursday’s arrests to an investigation that began over a year ago as a follow up to an operation known as "New Bridge." That case closed last February with the arrest of 26 purported mobsters who operated a drug trafficking route between Calabria, Italy, and the United States.

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Police Calling for Witnesses in Attack on Miss. Woman Burned to Death

Police Calling for Witnesses in Attack on Miss. Woman Burned to Death

iStock/Thinkstock(COURTLAND, Miss.) -- Officials say that they are struggling to find the person responsible for attacking 19-year-old Jessica Chambers in rural Mississippi because there is not a lot of “street talk” about the case."We're at the point where we are talking to people right now and there are a lot of people we are talking to," District Attorney John Champion said at a news conference Thursday afternoon."There’s just not a lot of street talk out there about who may or may not have done this," he said.Chambers was found barely alive with 98 percent of her body covered in burns Saturday night around 9 p.m. and police say they are are trying to piece together her final hours. Shortly after being airlifted to a nearby hospital, she died.Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said Thursday that many of the details are still being worked out by the crime lab, including the question of whether an accelerant was used to start the fire.“We're definitely treating this as an arson. We're trying to determine through lab results what kind of arson,” Champion said.They added that they have been able to determine that the attacker likely got in the car with her, although they still do not have an official suspect or person of interest.“My heart goes out to the family,” Darby said at Thursday’s news conference. “It’s personal because I know them personally and I have two daughters of my own.”

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Why This Village of 500 People Sends More than 10,000 Christmas Cards

Why This Village of 500 People Sends More than 10,000 Christmas Cards

iStock/Thinkstock(RUDOLPH, Wis.) — One post office in central Wisconsin becomes particularly busy during the holiday season, because of a special postmark for people in the Christmas spirit.People rush to Rudolph, Wisconsin, each year to send their holiday cards and packages through the local post office. The special red-ink Rudolph stamp has been a tradition that goes back more than 60 years.

It reads, "Rudolph, Wisconsin, Home of Rudolph, The Red Nose Reindeer," with an image of the Christmas character. The post office also has a special postmark with not only the date, but Rudolph in a scarf and Santa hat.Judy Schiferl of Hewitt, Wisconsin, about 20 miles northwest of Rudolph, said she has been getting her holiday cards stamped at the post office for 10 years."Getting our cards stamped with our Rudolph -- it's just tradition," she told ABC television affiliate for North Central Wisconsin WAOW with a laugh.The village has a population of about 500 people, but the post office sends as many as 10,000 cards every holiday season.

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Military Families Besieged by Door-to-Door Alarm Salespeople

Military Families Besieged by Door-to-Door Alarm Salespeople

Jason Plummer(PROVO, Utah) -- A Utah-based home alarm company, once praised by Mitt Romney, is aggressively marketing to military families, and its door-to-door sales force is accused by some of using sales tactics that have earned the company an “F” grade from the Better Business Bureau.Some salespeople from Vivint Security of Provo, Utah have been accused of misleading the families of U.S. troops and exploiting the concerns of deployed U.S. soldiers for the safety of their families back home.“Vivint has an F rating with us and the consumers are telling us the sales people are saying one thing, the contract says another,” said Jane Driggs, the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Utah.Over the last year, five military families directly contacted The ABC News Fixer, Stephanie Zimmermann, to complain they were stuck with cancellation fees of up to $2,000 when they tried to get out of long-term security system contracts after being transferred to a new base or retired due to service-related injuries.“The sales person on the phone said that it would not be a problem,” said Jason Plummer, a Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was injured in a roadside bomb attack.But Plummer said when he got medical retirement orders and prepared to move off base, Vivint refused to let him out of the contract, citing its policy for military customers.Plummer said he did not realize the language in the contract was at odds with what he was told by the Vivint salespeople.“It definitely gives you a feeling like you’ve been betrayed,” Plummer said in an interview broadcast Thursday on ABC's Good Morning America. “It feels like you’re getting stabbed in the back.”After ABC News contacted Vivint, the company agreed to cancel the Plummers’ contract.In addition to the Plummers, four other military families also contacted ABC News, claiming Vivint sales people had misled them in the same way over the ability to cancel if they had to move.Vivint agreed to cancel their contracts too, saying either the families or their company’s own representatives had “misunderstood” the language of the contract.The Better Business Bureau says Vivint is prepared to deal with individual complaints in order to avoid bad publicity, but has not done enough to correct the “broader” problem of false promises by door-to-door salespeople.“They need to take care of the underlying issues,” said Driggs of the Better Business Bureau, who says her office has received more than 3,000 consumer complaints about Vivint in the past three years.In a written statement, Vivint said it had taken care of the individual complaints brought to its attention by ABC News and that the overall number of complaints to the BBB represents less than 1 percent of their large customer base.The company said it has updated policies for military personnel discharged for medical reasons and “improved our internal communication to our frontline teams.”Vivint and its sales tactics have been the subject of legal action by the attorneys general of seven states. The company says it has cooperated with all investigations.

“We work closely with the agencies to resolve any concerns,” the company said in a statement to ABC News.When the company opened its new headquarters in 2011, former presidential candidate Romney helped cut the ceremonial ribbon and commended the company for creating jobs.A spokesperson for Romney did not return calls seeking comment by the former presidential candidate about the company.Plummer says he’s glad to be out from under the crushing payments for an alarm system at a home he had already vacated.“I mean, when you find out you’re gonna end up paying almost two grand for something you're not gonna use for the next couple years, it's extremely frustrating,” he said.

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Video Shows Skiing Daredevil Cody Townsend’s ‘Terrifying’ Plunge

Video Shows Skiing Daredevil Cody Townsend’s ‘Terrifying’ Plunge

Red Bull Media House and MSP Films(NEW YORK) — Daredevil Cody Townsend is being heralded for his skiing prowess, after newly released video shows Townsend plunging nearly 2,000 feet through a vertical chute, sandwiched between two ridges in Alaska’s Tordrillo mountain range.The height of the drop is taller than the Empire State Building, or five football fields stacked together.“It wasn’t actually until I dropped in and then started going and realizing how fast I was going, how narrow it was and how steep it was truly,” Townsend said. “It kind of all came together like, ‘Oh man, this is terrifying.’”The rock walls were a few feet apart at the narrowest point.

“Oh, my God, that was the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” Townsend said as he reached the bottom of the run, which he recorded on the camera he was wearing.Video of Townsend’s run -- featured in Days of My Youth, a film developed by Red Bull Media House and MSP Films -- has racked up millions of views in its first few days online.The mind-blowing feat also earned Townsend three Powder awards, the ski industry’s most prestigious honor.

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Convicted Sex Offender Wins $3 Million Lottery Jackpot in Florida

Convicted Sex Offender Wins $3 Million Lottery Jackpot in Florida

iStock/Thinkstock(MOUNT DORA, Fla.) — A convicted sex offender won a $3 million lottery jackpot in Florida and will be able to keep his winnings.Timothy Poole, 43, won the prize after buying a $20 ticket from a 7-Eleven store in Mount Dora, Florida.Poole pleaded guilty in 2002 to attempted sexual battery involving two victims under the age of 12, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.He was released from custody in 2006.There are no laws preventing anyone convicted of committing a crime from winning the lottery.

The odds of winning a $3 million jackpot in the Super Millions scratch-off game are 1-in-1,680,000, according to Florida Lottery.

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Powerful Storm Bears Down on Northern California

Powerful Storm Bears Down on Northern California

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) — Rain started to fall overnight in Northern California, with hurricane-force winds expected to follow as a major storm is poised to soak the region.Ahead of the storm, dozens of schools in the San Francisco Bay Area were closed, affecting about 100,000 students.Residents gathered sandbags and rushed to buy emergency supplies Wednesday, hoping to protect themselves and their homes.This week’s high surf ate away at the shoreline in Washington State, pulling some homes into the Pacific Ocean.With road flooding expected, drivers are warned to be cautious and stay home, if possible.In southern California, 10-foot waves are expected by the end of the week, drawing interest from surfers and skimboarders.“I’m stoked,” pro skimboarder Austin Keen told KABC. “It gets really close to shore, really big waves … Some of the biggest waves in SoCal are this close to the shore.”A rare blizzard warning is in effect for the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with three feet of snow possible.Snow and heavy winds were reported along the East Coast Thursday, including 20 inches of snow near Syracuse, New York, and miles of Interstate 81 shut down for over seven hours. Winds along the coastline peaked at more than 60 miles per hour.Sidewalks in Massachusetts were covered in black ice, with frozen streets causing chain-reaction crashes.

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Car Slams into Pedestrians, Forever 21 Store in New York City

Car Slams into Pedestrians, Forever 21 Store in New York City

ABC News/Michele Mayer(NEW YORK) — A car jumped a curb and slammed into a group of people in New York City Wednesday, smashing into a Forever 21 store and leaving six pedestrians injured.The accident happened after 10 p.m. along West 34th Street near 6th Avenue, according to WABC-TV.The injured pedestrians -- along with the driver -- were hospitalized, WABC-TV reports.The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

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