• Wed 87°F / 51°F
Home » Archives by category » National News (Page 8)

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas Released After Being Detained in Texas

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas Released After Being Detained in Texas

Photodisc/Thinkstock(McALLEN, Texas) — America’s most famous undocumented immigrant, former Washington Post reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, has been released after being taken into custody Tuesday by the Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas.Vargas, who made a movie about his limbo status in the United States and came out publicly as an undocumented immigrant, has previously said he knew he was subject to deportation. But Tuesday, his fears almost came true.Vargas came to the U.S. from the Philippines as a boy, sent to live with his grandmother. He said he did not know he was here illegally until he applied for a driver’s license and had no documents to prove citizenship.After his release he issued a statement, in which he says he came to McAllen, Texas, to “shed a light on children who parts of America and many in the news media are actively turning their backs on. But what I saw was the generosity of the American people, documented and undocumented, in the Rio Grande Valley.“I’ve been released by Border Patrol. I want to thank everyone who stands by me and the undocumented immigrants of south Texas and across the country. Our daily lives are filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to go home to our family,” he said. “With Congress failing to act on immigration reform, and President Obama weighing his options on executive action, the critical question remains: how do we define American?”According to a statement provided to ABC by the Department of Homeland Security Vargas was apprehended after “he stated that he was in the country illegally.”He was then taken to the McAllen Border Patrol Station “where he was processed and provided with a Notice to Appear before an immigration judge. He was released on his own recognizance after consultation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).”DHS informs ABC News that a foreign passport, like that presented by Vargas, is an acceptable form of ID for TSA to verify against a boarding document.Vargas lived under the radar, working as a respected journalist since 2004.He did not qualify for the Dream Act, or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), which allows children brought to the U.S. by undocumented parents to remain here, because he was more than 30 years old, the cutoff age, at the time President Obama signed it into law in 2012.Vargas said he traveled the country, knowing he was a low priority for the Border Patrol because he is not a criminal or a danger to the United States. But he also knew he could be arrested at any time.The journalism went to the Mexican border recently to advocate for the masses of undocumented immigrant children crossing over — a situation that officials have called a humanitarian crisis. He said he was going through a TSA checkpoint to leave McAllen when he was detained.Vargas tweeted the following just before he went through security:

The only IDs I have for security: Philippine passport and my pocketbook US Constitution @DefineAmerican & @MAC_UTPA pic.twitter.com/IFH0Vb4oX7
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) July 15, 2014

About to go thru security at McAllen Airport. I don’t know what’s going to happen. For updates follow @DefineAmerican & @MAC_UTPA
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) July 15, 2014

Pope Francis sent a message to the “Mexico/Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development,” calling on the “the international community to pay attention to this challenge,” referring to the humanitarian crisis at the border.“The tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence,” the pontiff said. “This is a category of migrants … who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain”.He added that the numbers which “are increasing day by day” demand humanitarian assistance and “demands the attention of the entire international community so that new forms of legal and secure migration may be adopted.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Shoppers Rescue Toddlers Left in Hot Car

Shoppers Rescue Toddlers Left in Hot Car

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Shoppers who noticed two young children trapped inside a hot car in Houston smashed open the vehicle’s windows to rescue them, witnesses said.Gabriel Del Valle, who was working in a store at the strip mall where the incident occurred, said someone came rushing into his store Monday, saying there were children stuck in a parked car.When Del Valle emerged from the store, he saw a group of people banging on the windows and doors of a Jeep, trying to smash them or pry the door open, he told ABC News Tuesday.”Pretty much I’m just working like a normal day and a guy comes in rushing and he’s like ‘somebody left their kids in their car,’” Del Valle said.”The guys had to break the window, they had to bring a big sledge hammer and break the window and then a lady had to climb in to open the door,” he added.Inside the car were two children, ages 3 and 5, he said.”Texas is famous for being hot so just imagine after rain, it’s real humid over here. I don’t know if it was 100 (degrees) but it was close to that. It’s good to see that people wanted to help,” he said.The mother of the children had accidentally locked the kids inside the vehicle and had been seeking help to get them out.No one called police, though Del Valle said they did discuss it.”After she left people wanted to call the cops, but we said, no, she made a mistake, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes. You don’t know the situation she’s under, you know, she could be a single mom or something,” he said.Del Valle said he filmed the scene because it seemed so relevant to other current news stories about children being left in hot cars, including the Georgia father who was arrested earlier this month after his son was found dead in the car.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Illinois Man Trapped in Jail for 31 Hours Sues for Trauma

Illinois Man Trapped in Jail for 31 Hours Sues for Trauma

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — An Illinois man who was accidentally imprisoned behind a jail’s steel door for 31 hours is suing for negligence and trauma.Farad Polk visited Cook County Jail, where his son is an inmate, on July 5. The guards told Polk to have a seat in a waiting area down the hall, Polk says.When he entered the room — an area of the jail that was under renovation — the heavy, steel doors slammed behind him, turning the visitor into a prisoner.For nearly a day and a half he says he tried anything to get someone’s attention. He screamed and pounded on the room’s 2-foot-thick walls, but nobody heard him.“A concrete box,” Polk called it at a Monday press conference.When the screaming and pounding failed, Polk broke the head off one of the sprinklers, flooding the room.The fire department arrived and finally, Polk was free. Polk says he’s traumatized by the incident.“It just tears my heart out,” he said.Cook County Jail released a statement to ABC News, describing the situation as an “extraordinarily unique set of circumstances that unfortunately resulted in him being in that room for that period of time.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Toddler Saves Elderly Man Locked Inside Hot Car

Toddler Saves Elderly Man Locked Inside Hot Car

iStock/Thinkstock(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) — A fast-acting 3-year-old came to an elderly man’s rescue in Tennessee after he spotted the man trapped inside a hot car as temperatures inside the vehicle reached over 120 degrees.While waiting for his wife to come back from an event at the Vestal Baptist Church in Knoxville last Saturday, Bob King, 68, found himself trapped in his car after the doors automatically locked.“We’ve been having trouble with the door on this car since we bought it,” King told ABC News.After numerous cancer treatments and having suffered from two strokes in the past six months, Bob King was described as “in very bad shape” and “could barely see anything” by his wife, Jenny King.He frantically grabbed the car door, but was too weak to push it open. Bob King panicked.Without a car key, he couldn’t turn the air conditioning on. It was 91 degrees outside that day — and the temperature inside the car had reached over 120 degrees.That’s when King spotted 3-year-old Keith Williams walking past the car. King knocked on the car window repeatedly and Keith stopped.“I hollered at him and he just looked at me kind of funny and I said ‘Get help, get help,’” King said.Coincidentally, Keith’s mother, Jessie Williams, had educated him about hot car safety just days before this happened. The toddler, who was barely 3 feet tall, was not strong enough to open the car door by himself. So he ran over to Pastor Jack Greene, who was volunteering at the benefit event, to get help.“I was talking to someone and little Keith came behind me and kept saying, ‘Locked, locked, locked,” Greene told ABC News.Greene didn’t sense something was wrong, but then Keith started patting and pulling his hand, and kept saying “hot, hot.”“I told the gentleman: ‘Excuse me for a minute’ and I followed him [Keith] out,” Greene said.“When I saw Bob in the car, I said to myself: ‘Oh my Lord,’” Greene said.After a few tries, Greene finally opened the door. As soon as the door opened, King fell out of the car seat and almost hit his head on the pavement.“His whole body was raining sweat. His face was red like a pickled beet,” Greene said.“I asked him three times: ‘Are you OK Bob?’” Greene said.Scared that King would get a stroke, Greene asked if he needed an ambulance.“Just give me a minute,” King told Greene.Greene brought King inside the church where there was air conditioning, fed him water and fanned him until King looked better.King said he would have had waited for another 20 minutes before his wife came back, and he is thankful that Keith, or “little preacher” as Greene lovingly called him, came to his rescue.“I am very impressed and I’m proud that he would know what to do,” Jessie Williams told ABC News.“He [Keith] said: ‘I saved life’ after I brought Bob inside,” Greene said. “He is such a good kid. He is an inspiration and blessing to us.”
 

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Boston Marathon Bombing Hero Becomes a New Dad

Boston Marathon Bombing Hero Becomes a New Dad

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — The man who became one of the symbols of survival after losing both his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings is now a dad for the first time.Jeff Bauman, 28, shared the news on his Facebook page that his fiancé, Erin Hurley, gave birth Sunday to the couple’s first child, a girl named Nora Gail Bauman.“Everyone is happy and healthy!,” the Facebook post reads.Bauman unwittingly became the face of the April 2013 bombings that killed three people and injured over 260 when a photo captured the then-27-year-old being whisked away from the bombing scene.Bauman appeared ashen and bloodied in the photo as he was pushed in a wheelchair by a stranger in a cowboy hat, a man later identified as Carlos Arredondo, who also became a symbol of the heroism that April day.Bauman, who has also been credited with helping police identify one of the accused bombers, personified the “Boston Strong” mentality the city took on in its recovery from the bombings.The survivor threw out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game, sat just inches away from first lady Michelle Obama at this year’s State of the Union address and authored a best-selling book, Stronger, that is now slated to be turned into a movie.“You know, we are all running a marathon in one way or another,” Bauman told graduates at Boston’s Fisher College commencement ceremony in May.“Today you’re at the finish line of your race but you just have to keep running forward,” he said. “Don’t let anything slow you down.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Special Agent Accused in Hawaii Restaurant Murder Faces a New Trial

Special Agent Accused in Hawaii Restaurant Murder Faces a New Trial

iStock/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) — The retrial for a special agent accused of murder in a 2011 fast food restaurant shooting in Hawaii is underway — an emotionally charged case that’s gripping the island state.Christopher Deedy, a special agent for the State Department, is accused of second degree murder in the Nov. 5, 2011 death of Kollin Elderts, 23. Deedy has pleaded not guilty.A previous trial ended with a deadlocked jury.In opening statements made Thursday, the prosecution painted a portrait of Deedy as a bar-hopping drunk the night he shot Elderts.“The defendant was fueled by alcohol, primed by warnings given by his friends about hostile locals and ignited by the power of his Glock,” prosecutor Janice Futa told the court, referring to his Glock pistol.But the defense alleges it was the victim and his friend who were the aggressors, harassing other customers before scuffling with Deedy. Deedy fired his gun in self-defense, attorney Thomas Otake said.“It’s a potentially violent situation developing. Well, what are law enforcement officers trying to do? Stop it before it becomes violent,” Otake said.Deedy maintains he went to the McDonald’s with some friends after a night out — testifying in November 2011 that he intervened when he saw Elderts harassing other customers.Deedy identified himself as a cop, he said, but the warnings didn’t work.“I didn’t see him when he actually came at me,” Deedy previously testified. “But he hit me hard and fast and the best way I can describe it was like a spear tackle. I stood up. I put both arms in front of me, palms forward and I said ‘stop, I’ll shoot.’”Deedy says Elderts tackled him to the ground.“He was delivering blows, back and down, back and down,” Deedy said. “I had two concerns, I think, at the time — not let those blows direct my skull into the ground. And two, trying to take the shot that would stop the threat.”Deedy fired.Elderts slumped and began bleeding.Deedy says he tried to help keep Elderts alive, but it was too late.ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said prosecutors have two distinct advantages in this trial.“At the first trial, the defense was allowed to show video of Special Agent Deedy performing CPR on the victim after the shooting, showing his humanity. The jury won’t see that video this time. And the judge is excluding toxicology analysis that the victim had taken cocaine as not reliable enough,” Abrams said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Accused Master Art Forger Tracked Down in Shanghai

Accused Master Art Forger Tracked Down in Shanghai

ABC News(SHANGHAI) — In his first television interview, the elderly artist whose look-alike paintings in the styles of Abstract Expressionists, including Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, fooled experts and sent shock waves through the art world claims he was ”shocked” to learn that his works were sold as newly discovered masterpieces to wealthy collectors for tens of millions of dollars.“When I made these paintings, I had no idea they would represent them as the real thing to sell,” said Pei Shen Qian in an interview to be broadcast Tuesday on World News With Diane Sawyer and Nightline as part of an ABC News investigation of the fake art industry and the Long Island, New York fraud ring that flooded the market with over $80 million in forged work.Now under federal indictment in New York on charges of fraud, Qian has moved from his studio in the New York borough of Queens to a small apartment on the outskirts of Shanghai where ABC News found him.“My intent wasn’t for my fake paintings to be sold as the real thing,” Qian said. “They were just copies to put up in your home if you like it.”But according to the federal grand jury indictment, Qian created some 63 look-alike versions of the abstract work of Rothko and Pollock and others and lied to FBI agents about his role in the fraud.The indictment charges that Qian claimed he was unfamiliar with the names of certain artists “whose names Qian had repeatedly and fraudulently signed on paintings Qian created.”Federal authorities say Qian was recruited to create the paintings by a Long Island, New York couple who began the fraud scheme in the early 1990s. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, of the Southern District of New York, called the defendants “modern masters of forgery and deceit” and said they “tricked victims into paying more than $33 million for worthless paintings, which they fabricated in the names of world-famous artists.”One of those charged, Glafira Rosales, pleaded guilty to fraud, tax and money laundering charges last year and is reported to be cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation.Her boyfriend and alleged partner, Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz, was arrested in Spain earlier this year on federal charges and the U.S. has asked for his extradition.Authorities say Diaz discovered Qian’s talent as he painted on a Manhattan street corner in the early 1990s and began commissioning his works.But Qian remains beyond the reach of American law because the U.S. has no extradition treaty with China.When ABC News found him in Shanghai late last year, prior to the federal indictment, he said he was paid much less than the Long Island art dealers who hired him. They made millions off the paintings by telling galleries they represented a mystery man who had inherited a treasure trove of masterpieces and wished to remain anonymous. The indictment says Qian was often paid between $5,000 to $8,000 for a look-alike work.“If you look at my bank account, you’ll see there is no income,” Qian said.Painting a work in the style of a particular artist and signing a signature is not in itself a crime, however, passing it off as an authentic work is illegal.Qian says he no longer creates look-alike works and spends his time in a small, one bedroom apartment surrounded by hundreds of paintings signed in his own name. He was a well-known artist in China years before the Long Island ring was revealed, with frequent exhibitions and even a hardcover book published devoted to his life and work. Now, that work continues.“Painting. Painting. Painting,” Qian said of how he spends his days. “Everything is done for painting.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two Florida Cops with Alleged KKK Ties Off the Force

Two Florida Cops with Alleged KKK Ties Off the Force

iStock/Thinstock(FRUITLAND PARK, Fla.) — Two men sworn to protect and defend a Florida community are no longer with the Fruitland Park Police Department.An FBI probe reveals that Deputy Police Chief David Borst and Officer George Hunnewell have alleged ties to the Ku Klux Klan.Although Borst denied any involvement with the racist group, he resigned from the force. Fruitland Park Police Chief Terry Isaacs also fired Hunnewell, who had previously been demoted and received five “counseling” letters in the past year.Isaacs said that he had a particularly hard time losing Borst, his second-in-command, but admitted the FBI report was “convincing.”Talking about the police force in general, Isaacs said, “They’re a good group of people. The last thing I was expecting to hear in the year 2014 was for a professional law enforcement officer to be a member of a subversive organization.”In 2009, Fruitland Park Police Officer James Elkins resigned when a photo of him wearing a KKK robe over his uniform became public.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Obama ‘Encouraged’ By Egypt’s Ceasefire Proposal

Obama ‘Encouraged’ By Egypt’s Ceasefire Proposal

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama on Monday night welcomed Egypt’s ceasefire proposal to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas militants, saying he hopes it can, “restore the calm that we’ve been seeking.”“I believe further escalation benefits no one, least of all the Israeli and the Palestinian people,” the president said at a White House Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan. “We’re going to continue to do everything we can to facilitate a return to the 2012 ceasefire. We are encouraged that Egypt has made a proposal to accomplish this goal, which we hope can restore the calm that we’ve been seeking.” The president described the pictures coming out of Gaza as “heart wrenching” but reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself. “I will say very clearly, no country can accept rockets fired indiscriminately at citizens,”Obama said. “And so we’ve been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself against what I consider to be inexcusable attacks from Hamas.”“At the same time, on top of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that we’ve worked long and hard to alleviate, the death and injury of Palestinian civilians is a tragedy, which is why we’ve emphasized the need to protect civilians, regardless of who they are or where they live,” he said.The president concluded his brief remarks on the crisis by saying the recent violence is a reminder that the “status quo is unsustainable” and that the only path to true security is a, “just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, where differences are resolved peacefully and in ways that respect the dignity of all people.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Midwest Could Feel Like Fall with Tuesday’s Cold Temperatures

Midwest Could Feel Like Fall with Tuesday’s Cold Temperatures

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Get out that light jacket or warm sweater, Midwest residents: a cool front is coming.Temperatures across the Midwest are expected to dip 20 to 25 degrees below normal this week as a cool air mass descends from the Arctic regions to Canada and the United States, according to ABC News senior meteorologist Max Golembo.Residents could wake up to chilly 40 degree and 50 degree temperatures Tuesday morning.In Minneapolis, temperatures could be the coolest on record since July 14, 1871, hovering in the low-50s Tuesday.Bismark, North Dakota, could see 47 degrees while Grand Marais, Michigan, could see 43 degrees.The weather will be more typical for late September and early October than mid-July, and could move east toward New England by the middle of the week.The cold spell is expected to move out by the end of next week with temperatures returning to normal.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Returns to Active Duty

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Returns to Active Duty

U.S. Army via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will work a “desk job” now that he has completed his reintegration process and returned to regular duties as an Army soldier, the Army said Monday.The former Taliban prisoner will be assigned to the headquarters of U.S. Army North at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.Bergdahl has been assigned to the command to do administrative duties commensurate with his rank as a sergeant, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.  “To use a slang term, he’ll be working a desk job,” Warren added.Bergdahl, 28, will be living in the noncommissioned barracks at Fort Sam Houston. “Sgt. Bergdahl is not restricted in any way,” Warren said. “He is a normal soldier now.”Col. Scott Blechwell, a spokesman for U.S. Army North, told ABC News that Bergdahl has been assigned a sponsor to help him adjust to working at the command. Bleichwell said new soldiers to the command are typically assigned sponsors when they arrive at the command.“They help the soldier to transition into the unit, and are there to assist as he needs both in the work environment and anything else,” he added.The completion of the counseling and treatment he received during his reintegration process means that Bergdahl can now be interviewed for the ongoing investigation into his disappearance from his outpost in eastern Afghanistan in 2009.Held captive by the Taliban for almost five years, Bergdahl was released on May 31 in exchange for the transfer of five detainees held at Guantanamo. Those detainees are to remain in Qatar for a year.“Sgt. Bergdahl has completed the final phase of the reintegration process under the control of U.S. Army South and is currently being assigned to U.S. Army North, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston (JBSA),” said an Army statement.“He will now return to regular duty within the command where he can contribute to the mission.  The Army investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance and capture of Bergdahl is still ongoing,” the statement continued.Bergdahl began the three step reintegration process in Afghanistan shortly after his release. That process helps detainees held for long periods of time slowly adjust to being back in the United States. It also includes debriefings to help reconstruct the conditions the individual may have suffered during captivity.Bergdahl was flown to the Landsthul Regional Medical Center in Germany where he remained for almost two weeks. Though there is no timeline for how long each step of the reintegration process is supposed to take, his stay at Landstuhl was longer than the 72 hours that had initially been projected by some officials.Bergdahl continued his treatment at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he remained for almost a month. Warren said he did not believe that Bergdahl spoke with his parents while he was going through the reintegration process.Halfway through his stay in San Antonio, the Army said that Bergdahl would be continuing his treatment as an outpatient.Maj. General Lenneth Dahl is overseeing the Army’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance from his unit in June 2009.Defense officials say an initial investigation completed in 2009 determined that Bergdahl had voluntarily left his outpost though it could not determine his intent.Army investigators have held off interviewing Bergdahl about his disappearance until after he completed his reintegration process.Dahl’s investigation is set to wrap up in mid-August. The investigation’s conclusions will help determine whether Bergdahl will face any punishments  for his actions.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Fisherman Describes Reeling In 482-Pound Halibut

Fisherman Describes Reeling In 482-Pound Halibut

Alaskan Angler’s Inn(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — The California man who reeled in a 482-pound halibut off the coast of Alaska says his bait had an extra something at the end that, he joked, could have made the difference in snagging a fish nearly five times the weight of his usual catch.“We were all using sardines and some octopus and I asked the captain what the round stuff was on the end of my line and the captain said, ‘That’s octopus brain,’” Jack McGuire told ABC News Monday. “So I caught him on octopus brain.”McGuire, 76, of Santa Ana, California, caught the 95-inch fish while on his annual fishing excursion to Alaska with friends over the July 4 holiday.McGuire and three of his friends were nearing the end of their nearly seven-hour day fishing with the Alaskan Anglers Inn fishing charter in Glacier Bay, Alaska, on July 3, when McGuire felt the bite.“It took about 40 minutes in all,” McGuire said. “I put a lot of pressure on him to get him up as fast as I could.”“One guy was videotaping, one was holding the fishing rod, and a captain and two friends of mine pulled him into the boat,” he said. “Once we got the head over the railing, the captain said, ‘Get out of the way.”McGuire, who describes himself as being a fisherman since he could walk, says he is happy to have had the experience.“A record never came to mind,” McGuire said. “I wanted to catch the fish and also make sure nobody got hurt bringing it into the boat.”“It was a wonderful fight and I enjoyed the battle of the fish,” he said.Now that McGuire is back home in Santa Ana, he, his fellow fishermen, his family and likely a lot of friends are now going to enjoy the benefits of his hard work.“I have a 6-foot freezer and right now I have a freezer full of halibut so we’re going to have a fish fry,” McGuire said, noting that he and each of his fishing companions brought home 100 pounds of halibut.Even more remarkable for McGuire, the 482-pound catch that has put him in the headlines now is not even his biggest catch ever.“My biggest fish was a sturgeon out of the Columbia River about six years ago. That was 832 pounds,” McGuire told ABC News. “But those you have to release and put back in the water.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Man Endures Sweltering Heat in Viral ‘Hot Car Challenge’ Video

Man Endures Sweltering Heat in Viral ‘Hot Car Challenge’ Video

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The sweat drips down Terry Bartley’s forehead, cheeks and neck. The North Carolina man sits in his car with the windows rolled up. The temperature outside reaches the upper 80s.The video, uploaded to YouTube on June 20, serves as Bartley’s message: a “Hot Car Challenge” to parents around the world, motivated by the death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris days earlier.“I want to know how it feels to be left in the car, sitting in the back seat, strapped into a car seat with the windows up and doors probably locked,” Bartley says in the video clip.Cooper was left in a SUV for nine hours on a 90-degree day. His father, Justin Ross Harris, is now charged with felony murder and cruelty to a child in the second degree. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he left Cooper in the car accidentally.That tragedy motivated Bartley to sit inside his car and start recording, even though, by his own admission, he could “barely breathe.”“Every year, there will always be some fool that wants to leave their kid in the back seat of the car and forget all about them,” he says. “Do you really love you kids? That’s what you should ask yourself.”At least 17 children have died of heat stroke in hot cars this year alone, according to the website kidsandcars.org. Bartley is hoping his challenge will raise awareness to help prevent any more deaths.Bartley’s video has been viewed more than 1.1 million times, inspiring others to take the challenge and create their own videos, some of which feature children and dogs.“I couldn’t believe that there was a lot of people out there that felt similar to the way I felt,” Bartley said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Texas Shooting Survivor to Collect More Than $265K From Fundraiser

Texas Shooting Survivor to Collect More Than $265K From Fundraiser

KTRK (HOUSTON) — Family, friends and strangers have donated more than $265,000 online to benefit the lone survivor of last week’s family shooting in Texas, which left two adults and four children dead.More than 5,000 people have donated to a GoFundMe site titled “Stay Family Tragedy – Cassidy Stay Fund,” with the total nearing the fund’s goal of $300,000.The fundraising comes as Cassidy Stay, 15, made an emotional appearance at a memorial service this weekend, thanking well-wishers and discussing her recovery after authorities say she was shot in the head.“I’m really thankful for all the people that have been praying for me,” she said.Cassidy wore a bandage on her hand. She lost part of a finger shielding her head from a bullet that police say was fired by her former uncle, Ron Haskell.Haskell, 33, is charged with shooting Cassidy’s parents and four siblings at their home north of Houston on July 9. Investigators say Cassidy played dead and called 911 to warn police that Haskell was headed to kill her parents.Her grandfather Roger Lyon is humbled by Cassidy’s courage. “We continue to be in awe of how she was able to save us,” he said.Prosecutors say Haskell, who collapsed twice in court Friday, killed the family because they wouldn’t tell him where to find his ex-wife.Doug Durham, Haskell’s defense attorney, is hinting at an insanity defense.“Our legal system recognizes that a person who is suffering from a mental illness and can’t distinguish right from wrong at the time they commit a violent act is not criminally responsible,” Durham said.While Cassidy has shown considerable strength and poise following the shooting, a moment of childhood innocence shined through when she quoted a character from the ***Harry Potter series at Saturday’s ceremony.“Dumbledore says, ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light,’” she said.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pennsylvania Homes Evacuated After Mysterious Odor Reported

Pennsylvania Homes Evacuated After Mysterious Odor Reported

Fuse/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — Dozens of residents outside Philadelphia spent Sunday night sleeping at a local elementary school after a mysterious odor reported in the area prompted evacuations. Emergency officials detected traces of a potentially deadly chemical agent, though they say it’s doubtful any lives were in danger. Approximately 150 people in Montgomery County were affected. A “strong odor” was reported in a Skippack Township home Sunday afternoon with high readings of a “Volatile Organic Compound” found in area basements, according to a notice issued to residents. While instruments detected hydrogen cyanide, officials believe it may be another compound. “We had readings, high readings of hydrogen cyanide and as we started checking the houses next to it we had readings in about a hundred of so houses here in the development,” said Skippack Township Fire Chief Haydn Marriott. Residents were asked to open their windows and leave their homes until further notice. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies are working to determine the chemical involved as well as  its source.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Air India Flight Makes Emergency Landing at Newark After Engine Fire

Air India Flight Makes Emergency Landing at Newark After Engine Fire

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWARK, N.J.) — A flight bound for India returned to New Jersey on Sunday after an engine fire forced an emergency landing. Air India Flight 144 was on its way to Mumbai from Newark Liberty International Airport with 313 passengers on board when the fire occurred. Air Traffic Control responded to the incident, saying smoke was coming out of the plane. Port Authority officials confirmed it was an mechanical engine fire that caused the issue. Some New Jersey residents said they heard trouble overhead while the plane was passing over the area. “I was out walking my dog and I heard what sounded like a loud helicopter coming my way,” said resident Sheryle Robert. “Instead of seeing a helicopter, I saw a jumbo jet flying like right over my head, like very low. It was huge and I was like, ‘Oh my god,’ I’m like, ‘Something must be wrong.’”The aircraft returned safely to Newark around 5:05 p.m. No injuries were reported, though the plane had multiple blown tires.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

First Woman Charged Under Controversial Law Prohibiting Drug Use During Pregnancy

First Woman Charged Under Controversial Law Prohibiting Drug Use During Pregnancy

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) — A Tennessee woman is the first to be charged under a new state law that specifically makes it a crime to take drugs while pregnant, calling it “assault.”Mallory Loyola, 26, was arrested this week after both she and her newborn infant tested positive for methamphetamine, according to ABC News affiliate WATE-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee. Loyola is the first person in the state to be prosecuted for the offense.The law, which just went into effect earlier this month, allows a woman to be “prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant” if her infant is harmed or addicted to the drug.Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens told WATE-TV that the 26-year-old admitted to smoking meth days before giving birth.”Anytime someone is addicted and they can’t get off for their own child, their own flesh and blood, it’s sad,” he said.Bivens said he hoped the arrest would deter other pregnant women from drug use.”Hopefully it will send a signal to other women who are pregnant and have a drug problem to seek help. That’s what we want them to do,” he said.The law has come under tremendous opposition from both state and national critics, who say that the law will hinder drug-addicted pregnant women from getting help and treatment.The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is actively seeking to challenge the law, which they describe as raising “serious constitutional concerns regarding equal treatment under the law.””This dangerous law unconstitutionally singles out new mothers struggling with addiction for criminal assault charges,” Thomas Castelli, legal director of the ACLU Tennessee, said in a statement. “By focusing on punishing women rather than promoting healthy pregnancies, the state is only deterring women struggling with alcohol or drug dependency from seeking the pre-natal care they need.”Just before Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill in April, Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy at the time, said the federal government didn’t want to “criminalize” addiction.”What’s important is that we create environments where we’re really diminishing the stigma and the barriers, particularly for pregnant women, who often have a lot of shame and guilt about their substance abuse disorders,” Botticelli said, according to the Nashville Tennessean. “We know that it’s usually a much more effective treatment and less costly to our taxpayers if we make sure that we’re treating folks.”Haslam released a statement after signing the bill saying the intent of the law is to “give law enforcement and district attorneys a tool to address illicit drug use among pregnant women through treatment programs.”Loyola was released on $2,000 bail and was charged with a misdemeanor according to WATE-TV. The law allows anyone charged to use entering a treatment program before birth and successfully completing it afterwards as a defense.Calls to Loyola’s family were not immediately returned.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Police Investigating Motive Behind Pasadena Shooting

Police Investigating Motive Behind Pasadena Shooting

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Three people were killed and two injured on Saturday after a shooting in a Los Angeles suburb that was followed by a standoff between police and the suspect.Police say that there is “some evidence to suggest” that the incident involved a landlord-tenant relationship. The suspect, a 35-year-old man, allegedly barricaded himself in a Pasadena, California home before being convinced to surrender by a police dispatcher.Pasadena Police Lt. Ed Calatayud said that the suspect shot and killed a woman inside of her home before firing upon pedestrians in the immediate area. The two victims who were wounded suffered “non-life-threatening” injuries.The Los Angeles Times reports that neighbors heard the first gunshots shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. An investigation into the suspects motive remains ongoing.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lightning Strikes Twice in Colorado National Park

Lightning Strikes Twice in Colorado National Park

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DENVER) — A lightning strike left one dead and three others injured Saturday at Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, just one day after another strike left a woman dead and seven other people injured, a park spokeswoman said.The incident happened at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Rainbow Curve area along the park’s heavily traveled Trail Ridge Road, according to Rocky Mountain National Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson.When park rangers arrived, they found four injured people. They were taken to Estes Park Medical Center by ambulance, but one man died of his injuries, Patterson said.On Friday afternoon, a woman was killed by lightning in the same general area of the park.An air ambulance was able to land between cycles of severe weather but the woman died on scene. She has been identified as Rebecca R. Teilhet, 42, from Yellow Springs, Ohio. She was hiking with her husband and a friend.Seven other people suffered a variety of injuries and went to a hospital for treatment, Patterson said.The lightning-strike death Friday was the first in Colorado this year, and after the second fatality there Saturday there have been a total of 11 nationwide in 2014, according to the National Weather Service.Last week near Denver, a man was recording a lightning storm from what he thought was the safety of his garage when a bolt struck nearby.
On average, 51 people in the U.S. are killed by lightning annually, the National Weather Service says. The agency publishes tips for keeping safe during a lightning storm.
 

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Teen Survivor of Texas Massacre Says Family’s ‘in a Better Place’

Teen Survivor of Texas Massacre Says Family’s ‘in a Better Place’

KTRK (HOUSTON) — Just days after surviving a shooting that left her entire family dead, a 15-year-old Texas girl said Saturday at a community memorial that her parents and four siblings are “in a much better place.”Cassidy Stay, who was released from the hospital Friday, spoke to hundreds of supportive neighbors and friends in her hometown of Spring. Hundreds of balloons were released into the sky during the ceremony for her six family members. “I know that my mom, Dad, Bryant, Emily, Beckett and Zach are in a much better place and I’ll be able to see them again one day,” Stay said. Stay suffered a fractured skull after Ron Haskell allegedly kicked down her family’s door and shot her and her entire family. Haskell is reported to be the ex-husband of Cassidy’s aunt, Melanie Kaye Haskell.At the service, the teen read a prepared statement about her ordeal and even quoted a favorite book from the Harry Potter series.”Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the lights,” Stay said, quoting the book The Prisoner of Azkaban.Stay thanked supporters for their prayers and said she was grateful for the doctors, nurses and other first responders who cared for her.”I’m feeling a lot better and am on a very straight-forward path to a full recovery,” she said.According to a statement from the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, the teen is expected to make a full recovery.”As a hospital team, we were honored to be able to help care for this brave young woman at her critical time of need,” read the statement. “The entire staff at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has been profoundly touched by Cassidy’s resilient spirit, inner strength, and hopeful heart during this time of indescribable shock and grief.”After Stay left the hospital, she greeted the local community by waving from a car sun roof.She is being hailed a hero after she was able to call police, despite having been shot, and warn them that Haskell was on his way to shoot her grandparents, who are also Haskell’s former in-laws.”We are in awe of her bravery and courage in calling 911, an act that is likely to have saved all of our lives. She is our hero,” Cassidy’s maternal grandfather Roger Lyon said in a statement. Police said they believe that Lyon and his wife were Haskell’s next targets.Haskell has been charged with capital murder in the case. He was arrested after three hour standoff with police.
 

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Advertise With Us

Would you like to advertise on East Idaho News? Fill out this form to contact a representative.
  • Full and Last
  • The name of your company, business or brand.