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Four Reported Dead in Ohio Plane Crash

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- A plane crashed on takeoff in northern Ohio Monday, killing four people, police told ABC News affiliate WEWS.

The plane was taking off at about 10 p.m. from Cuyahoga County Airport when the accident happened. Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Brant Zemelka told WEWS that it appears the plane lost power.

After that, it “just nose-dived into the ground and caught fire,” Zemelka said.

Neighbors also reported the plane sounding like it was having trouble before the crash.

Mark Gerald yelled for his son to call 911 then ran toward the wreckage -- but then the fuel tank exploded.

“I got up really as close as I can, but it was just too hot, too involved,” Gerald said. “There was nothing I could do.


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Earthquake Clean-Up Continues in Northern California

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

ABC News(NAPA, Calif.) -- Many Northern Californians spent Monday cleaning up, 24 hours after the Napa Valley region suffered it strongest earthquake in 25 years.

Damage from the 6.0 earthquake could reach $4 billion, according to Kinetic Analysis Corp., a company that studies catastrophe risk, while insurance payouts will probably total $1 billion.

A state of emergency remains in effect following the temblor, which struck about 3:20 a.m. local time Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them.

The jolt injured more than 200 people, buckled roads and damaged historic buildings in the heart of the state’s wine country. A 13-year-old was critically injured by a crumbling fireplace.

Approximately 49 buildings in Napa were red-tagged, meaning they're not safe to be inhabited, while 100 others were yellow-tagged so they might be eventually approved to reenter.

The earthquake was the largest one to shake the Bay Area since the 1989 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta Earthquake that killed 63 people and caused $20 billion worth of damage.

Since Sunday's earthquake, dozens of aftershocks followed but should lessen in intensity as the week progresses.


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Late Summer Brings Extreme and Dangerous Heat Across the Country

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It may be late August, but parts of the country are just now experiencing their hottest stretch of weather this year.

Indianapolis hit 90 degrees on Monday afternoon, their first of the year. Typically, Indianapolis would record fourteen 90-degree days throughout the year. This is also the latest date that Indianapolis has recorded their first 90 degree day.

Tuesday also marks the seventh consecutive day that St. Louis has been under an excessive heat warning -- with heat indices values forecasted to reach to 110 degrees. On Monday, St. Louis topped out at 100 degrees, which was one degree from tying a 71-year record and the first time the city hit the triple digits this year. Interesting to note for St. Louis is that on average they experience their last 100-degree reading of the year on August 17, this year it was a week later.

While not many record high temperatures have been recorded, the humidity has been oppressive making this heat dangerous. The heat index is the temperature it feels like once relative humidity is factored in. Over the weekend, reports of heat indices exceeded 120 degrees in parts of the Florida panhandle. Monday’s heat index values also soared past 110 degrees in parts of the Midwest.

The Northeast is getting a taste of the heat that has been spread across much of the south and Midwest over the last week. Afternoon temperatures Tuesday will reach the upper 80s for New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

By Wednesday, temperatures will peak for the east topping out around 90 degrees. The forecasted high of 91 degrees in New York City for Wednesday will only be the 5th such day this year. An average year would see temperatures at or above 90 degrees on nearly 15 days.


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Flight Diverted After Passengers Feud over Reclining Seat

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A $22 product designed to protect the most sacred of things when flying –- personal space -– led to an unscheduled landing in Chicago during a flight from Newark to Denver.

Two passengers aboard the diverted United Airlines flight got into a heated argument Sunday after a male passenger used the product, the Knee Defender, to prevent the woman in the row in front from reclining her seat.

The man, who was not identified, placed the Knee Defender's brackets on his tray table attached to the back of the seat in front of him, 11B.

The woman seated in 11B became angry when she couldn't recline her seat and reportedly threw a cup of water in the man's face.

Both passengers were seated in United's Economy Plus section, which gives you extra legroom for an extra fee.

A United Airlines spokesperson confirmed to ABC News the flight was diverted due to the argument and that both passengers were removed from the plane and not allowed to reboard when the plane continued to Denver.

Neither of the passengers was arrested, airport and law enforcement officials with knowledge of the incident confirmed to ABC News.

The man who invented the Knee Defender, Ira Goldman, says that he created the device for exactly the opposite reason of what happened on the United flight.

"Knee Defenders aren't about getting more space," Goldman told ABC News. "They're about stopping something from moving and hitting you."

"It starts the conversation before there's a problem," he said. "This has been on a market for 11 years next month. [It’s] never happened before."


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Poem Carried By Fallen Marine Stolen from Family

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- The family of a U.S. Marine, who was killed in Afghanistan last year, is heartbroken after a thief stole the only remaining memento he had with him when he was killed: a poem.

Lance Cpl. Matthew Rodriguez, of Fairhaven, Mass., was deployed to Afghanistan last fall and was killed by an IED in December, just two and a half months after he got there, his mother Lisa Rodriguez told ABC News on Tuesday.

On his person when he was killed was a laminated poem his fiance, Julia Tapper, had written to him.

The poem vanished when Tapper's purse was stolen Sunday in New Bedford.

"The first thing you think of is your checkbook and that type of thing, but then the things you can't replace which, two of the most important things were a poem she had written to him that he had laminated and carried with him and it was on him when he was killed in Afghanistan, and his iPhone. Unfortunately we had not backed up all his photos and music, his messages to her, all those things that aren’t useful to anyone else, but are very meaningful to her and us," Rodriguez said Tuesday.

Tapper told ABC News affiliate WCVB in Boston that the poem was the single thing that still connects her most to Rodriguez.

"That's what he had when he was leaving. It connects me the most to him and makes me smile for him and me," Tapper told WCVB."He would say that poem was encouraging and positive, and that's what he was."

"He kept it with him and read it, it gave him confidence and comfort," Rodriguez said. "I can't believe somebody would do that in the middle of the day."

The family is hoping that someone will find the poem and return it to them.

"When they're deployed out on omissions, and he was a combat engineer, you can't carry stuff with you, it all stays back at base and there are only a few things you have on your person. He had four or five items on his person and those things are precious," Rodriguez said.


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911 Dispatcher Disciplined for Not Helping Baby Locked in Hot Car

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) --  A Florida police dispatcher will be disciplined for not offering help to a frantic mother whose toddler son had locked himself inside her broiling car, officials said on Tuesday.

Shana Dees had just left a Tampa drug store on Saturday when she strapped her 10-month-old son in the backseat of the car and shut the door, she told WFTS, ABC's Tampa Bay affiliate. She quickly realized baby Jack, who often plays with her keys, had them in his hands – but it was too late. He hit a button that locked the doors, trapping himself inside the car on a day the temperature reached 95 degrees.

Dees, whose purse was also locked inside the car, used a stranger's cell phone to call 911, she said.

"Can somebody come out and open the door? I don't even know if that is something you guys do," she says in the 911 recording, obtained by ABC News.

The dispatcher wasn't very helpful.

"They won't be able to try to gain access [to the] car unless the child is in some kind of distress, and, well, by that point they may just smash your windows."

Dees watched as her son turned red and began to sweat, she told WFTS.

The Tampa Police Department says the dispatcher handled the situation poorly.

"He is going to be disciplined," Andrea Davis, a police spokesperson, told ABC News. "He should have been more aggressive and asked location."

Davis pointed out that the dispatcher did not refuse to send an officer to the scene. Dees ended the call, she said.

Eight minutes later, an off-duty police officer noticed Dees panicking and called 911 again, according to the local report.

He explained that Dees was told police wouldn't help, and a dispatcher told him that information was wrong and that police would help, according to a recording of that phone call.

Another bystander eventually helped Dees break the window and free Jack.

The police department says the investigation is ongoing. Meanwhile, the dispatcher is on administrative duty instead of answering 911 calls, Davis said.

An average of 38 children die in hot cars every year, according to KidsAndCars.org.


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Alleged Serial Stowaway Marilyn Hartman Arrested for Third Time this Month

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Alleged repeat stowaway Marilyn Hartman was arrested Tuesday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on a criminal trespass charge, according to police.

It was the third time the 62-year-old, who has a history of trying to board planes without a ticket, has been arrested this month.

Airport employees recognized Hartman loitering around 11:30 a.m. in terminal 4 near the baggage claim area, according to Phoenix police, who said she was not in possession of a ticket.

The arrest came after Hartman was caught on Aug. 14 trying to enter a Sky Harbor security checkpoint without a ticket. Hartman was let go with a warning at the time and was removed from airport property, police said.

Phoenix police said they were requesting Hartman undergo a mental health evaluation.

Hartman was arrested earlier this month on a misdemeanor trespassing charge after she flew on a Southwest Airlines flight from San Jose to Los Angeles without a ticket, authorities said.

Several days after she was released from police custody, Hartman was seen scouting terminals for about an hour at Los Angeles International Airport, according to airport police. She was arrested and charged with violating the terms of her probation, which included staying out of airports unless she had a ticket to fly.

Hartman was released from a Los Angeles jail earlier this month because of overcrowding, according to ABC News' Los Angeles station, KABC.

While she has an extensive history of trying to board planes, Hartman's arrest earlier this month was the first time she successfully was able to fly without a ticket, authorities said.


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Gun Range Instructor Accidentally Shot and Killed While Showing Weapon to Child

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz.) -- Police in Mohave County, Arizona, say a gun range shooting instructor was accidentally shot and killed Monday while showing a 9-year-old girl how to use an automatic Uzi.

According to Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe, Charles Vacca, an instructor at the Last Stop gun range, "let the girl fire it as fully automatic at which time the recoil made her lose control. The weapon raised up towards her left shoulder and shot the instructor in the head."

Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The girl and her parents, who were with her, were not injured.

McCabe says the business was licensed to rent automatic weapons, but the girl was taken by surprise with the gun's recoil.


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Kindergartener Goes to School with Loaded Gun in Backpack

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(ALIQUIPPA, Pa.) -- A five-year-old reportedly brought a loaded handgun to school in a backpack.

A teacher at the school in Aliquippa -- a town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- found the small revolver in a kindergartner's bag.

The school called police and no injuries were reported.

The school sent letters home to parents saying the gun was never visible to any student. Police said no one handled the gun and it is not believed he intended to hurt anyone.

Police are investigating how the gun ended up in the bag, and whether to file charges.


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Feds Say Two Men Robbed, Killed Violinist at Her Home in the Middle of the Day

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A New York City violinist who was at her summer home was brutally murdered when two men knocked on her door and attempted to rob her, federal authorities said.

Mary Whitaker, 61, was a musician who played on Broadway, toured with Barbara Streisand, was a member of the Westchester Philharmonic, and spent her summers playing for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, according to the Philharmonic.

She was at her summer home in Westfield, N.Y., when the incident occurred, according to federal documents.

Two homeless men, Jonathan Conklin and Charles Sanford, approached her home in the early morning hours of Aug. 20 with the intent to rob her, according to the criminal complaint. Sanford told police that Conklin wanted to rob a homeowner so he could buy drugs and "live like a rock star," the criminal complaint says.

In a chilling series of events, Sanford allegedly knocked on Whitaker's door and asked to the use phone because he had run out of gas. When she said yes, Conklin emerged from hiding and allegedly pointed a rifle at her, authorities said.

"This is a robbery. Don't make this any worse than it is," Conklin said, according to the complaint.

Whitaker screamed, prompting Conklin to allegedly fire a round from the rifle that hit Whitaker in the torso, authorities said.

Whitaker then grabbed the rifle and struggled with Conklin for it, another shot was fired and hit Whitaker in the leg. Whitaker fell backward, hitting her head against the garage door, and Sanford dragged her inside the garage, authorities said.

The pair then robbed Whitaker's home, taking her keys, credit cards, cell phone and checkbook, while Conklin ordered Sanford to finish killing Whitaker with a knife, according to authorities.

They then took off in her Chrysler P.T. Cruiser and drove back to Pennsylvania, where they used the credit cards and cell phone, which allowed police to track them.

Friends of Whitaker's found her body in the garage and called police, who quickly tracked the pair. Sanford provided much of the information in the account to detectives.

Both Conklin and Sanford are now charged with stealing the car, unlawfully using the firearms, and illegally transporting commerce over state lines, which are the crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction. A local grand jury in Westfield will consider the murder charges.

Conklin and Sanford both entered pleas of not guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, N.Y., and are being represented by public defenders. Their detention hearings are set for Thursday morning.


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Freed Hostage Peter Theo Curtis Arrives Back in United States

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

Nancy Curtis Speaks with ABC's Amy Robach. Photo Credit: ABC News(BOSTON) -- American writer and journalist Peter Theo Curtis, who was held captive for nearly two years by Syrian militants believed to be allied with Jabhat al-Nusra, returned to the United States Tuesday, two days after his captors released him, his family said.

Curtis, 45, flew from Tel Aviv, arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport late Tuesday afternoon, and then flew on to Logan International Airport in Boston, where he met his mother, Nancy Curtis, according to a statement from his family.

"I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today -- strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants and, most of all, my family to say welcome home," Theo Curtis said, according to the statement.

He also thanked the "U.S. officials who have worked on my case" and the government of Qatar.

His mother said she was "overwhelmed" to have her son home.

"I am overwhelmed with relief that this day has come and my son is standing beside me," Nancy Curtis said. "But this is a sober occasion because of the events of the past week. My heart goes out to the other families who are suffering."

He had been held for 22 months by Syrian terrorist group Jabhat Al-Nusrah, a different terror group than the ISIS extremists who beheaded U.S. photojournalist James Foley.

Curtis was handed over to United Nations peacekeepers in the Al Rafid village, located in the Golan Heights region between Syria and Israel, Sunday evening, 6:40 p.m. local time, according to the United Nations. He received a medical checkup before he was given to U.S. officials. After he was freed, Nancy Curtis said she got the chance to briefly speak with him on the phone.

Curtis' return home comes as U.S. officials say they are closing in on the ISIS executioner who killed Foley. Prior to his death, Foley had been held hostage by ISIS for two years.


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Hurricanes on Both Coasts Bring Dangerous Surf

August 26th, 2014 - Seattle Times

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hurricanes in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are primed to make their closest approaches to the continental United States this week, and while they aren't expected to make landfall, they could still bring choppy surf and dangerous waters.

Hurricane Marie is currently a category 2 hurricane with max sustained winds at 100 mph, and will be no direct threat to land as it moves out to sea in the Eastern Pacific. However, the storm will likely bring large waves and rip currents to the Southern California coast from 800 miles offshore.

Breakers could reach 10 to over 15 feet for south/southeast-facing beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, with high surf also possible for the Santa Barbara south coast. Swells are expected to peak Tuesday and Wednesday, with some subsiding Thursday into Friday. Minor coastal flooding, beach erosion, and structural damage are all possible as well.

On the other side of the country, Hurricane Cristobal is making its way across the open Atlantic Ocean. It will directly impact the United States, but will bring another type of danger this week – strong and frequent rip currents.

Cristobal is projected to travel north and then make a northeasterly turn, gaining some strength. Bermuda is under a Tropical Storm Watch, and although it will not get a direct hit, it could see Tropical Storm conditions this week, with winds over 40 mph and rainfall up to 6 inches.

Swells generated by Cristobal will reach the East Coast in the form of breakers and cause rough surf and dangerous rip currents from Florida to Maine. From Florida to the Carolinas surfers and beach-goers need to be aware of life-threatening conditions in the water through Wednesday. Then, from Virginia to NJ and up into the New England coast, people should take caution through Friday.

Luckily, waters on both coasts should calm down just in time for Labor Day weekend.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Giant Sinkhole Consumes Indiana Couple's Backyard

August 25th, 2014 - Seattle Times

ABC News(DYER, Ind.) -- An Indiana couple’s backyard turned into a huge sinkhole -- prompting issues over who was responsible to fix it.

The sinkhole in Frank and Letitia Casto’s yard used to be about four feet wide and six feet deep. It now measures about 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep.

“It just keeps dropping and swallowing trees, and this is where we are at,” Letitia Casto told ABC News station WLS.

“We’ve been complaining to different people for all this time, and everybody just keeps kind of ignoring us,” Frank Casto told WLS. “It could have been a little problem, but it’s turned into a monster, at this point.”

The sinkhole was initially filled with rocks and covered with grass, but it kept growing and swallowing up trees.

The location of the sinkhole has made the situation more problematic. The Castos’ land borders on three different Indiana towns -- with part of their property in Dyer and another part  in Schererville. Munster is located across the street.

Electrical and gas lines, and sewer pipes underneath the sinkhole are shared by all three municipalities, according to WLS. The towns will be sending engineers to the sinkhole Monday.

“They were throwing it back and forth and no one would take responsibility for it, and that’s why it got to this point," Letitia Casto said.


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Damages from Northern California Earthquake Could Reach $1 Billion

August 25th, 2014 - Seattle Times

Wayne Freedman/KGO(NAPA, Calif.) -- Northern California is cleaning up Monday, one day after suffering its strongest earthquake in 25 years.

A state of emergency remains in effect following the South Napa Earthquake, which struck about 3:20 a.m. local time Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey -- catching many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them.

The jolt injured more than 100 people, buckled roads and damaged historic buildings in the heart of the state’s wine country. A 13-year-old was critically injured by a crumbling fireplace.

Damage from the earthquake could reach $1 billion, according to EQECAT, a company that studies catastrophe risk.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located about six miles south-southwest of Napa, California, and 51 miles west-southwest of the state capital, Sacramento. Officials have variously referred to the earthquake's magnitude as 6.0 and 6.1.

The earthquake was the largest one to shake the Bay Area since the 1989 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta Earthquake. Dozens of aftershocks followed.

Residents remain worried about the potential for further aftershocks. Many people stayed outside Sunday night, not wanting to go into their homes for fear of a follow-up tremor.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company initially showed more than 15,000 customers without power, primarily in Napa, Sonoma and Santa Rosa Counties.

Several buildings in Napa were damaged or on fire in the wake of the earthquake, ABC News station KGO in San Francisco reported. Fires also flared in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two others were damaged, officials said.

Napa City Manager Mike Parness said at least 15 buildings will need to be inspected or repaired before they can be occupied again.

John Callanan of the Napa Valley Fire Department said firefighters received more than 100 calls from people who smelled natural gas.

"Our resources are exhausted as far as quantity of on-duty personnel," he said.

Dozens of water main leaks were also reported, although city officials said the water was safe to drink.

At least 120 people were treated at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, hospital officials told ABC News. Only a handful of patients needed to be hospitalized.

Six of those people suffered critical injuries, including the teen hurt by the fireplace, who was flown to UC Davis Medical Center for further treatment, said hospital president Walt Mickens. The teen was in serious condition as of Sunday night.

All schools in the Napa Valley Unified School District will be closed Monday. Justin Siena High School will also be closed.

Historic buildings damaged by the earthquake included Sam Kee Laundry, Goodman Library and the Napa County Courthouse, the city said, adding that two commercial buildings also suffered severe damage.

Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd said he believed the county courthouse had been retrofitted for earthquakes.

"I've been through a few of these and I've never seen anything like this, particularly in downtown Napa," Dodd told ABC News. "The county building is just in total disrepair, and they've moved it down to the sheriff's office -- so that's where the coordinating all the emergency services for the county."

President Obama was briefed on the earthquake, a White House spokesman said.

The earthquake’s impact was especially powerful on the region’s wine industry, with vineyards reporting busted barrels and smashed bottles. Andrew Brooks at Bouchaine Vineyards says the damage is costly.

“Fifty barrels worth of wine, 3,000 gallons,” Brooks said of the damage. “It’s expensive, in the tens of thousands of dollars for sure.”

Dozens living in the region reported falling dishes and violent shaking inside their homes.

"I was alone in the house so I didn't know what to do -- and the first thing when it stopped I ran under the table and tried to get cover because it's the first thing they say to do for an earthquake is get under the table," Diana Martini, who lives in Vallejo, California, told ABC News.

Martini said her television crashed to the ground, along with some of her dishes.

"I'm on the first floor, so that was the scariest thing. I thought the building was going to come down," she said.

Anne Whitlock, who lives in Napa, says her family’s home may have collapsed on them if not for earthquake retrofitting.

“We spent thousands of dollars putting in a 25-foot steel beam, and $50,000 worth of piers under the house to make it earthquake-safe, and I do think that's what saved us,” Whitlock told ABC News.

 



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Bomb Threat Tweets Divert American Airlines Flight

August 25th, 2014 - Seattle Times

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- An American Airlines flight on its way to San Diego was diverted to Phoenix on Sunday after tweets of a bomb onboard the plane.

Flight 362 departed from Dallas and landed in Phoenix just before noon due to "a security issue," according to an airline spokesperson. Fighter jets assisted and performed a "shadow" escort from behind the plane to not alarm passengers.

"American Airlines will work to accommodate all of the passengers once they have been cleared by authorities," the representative continued.

The 179 travelers were scheduled to be interviewed by the FBI.

Officials believe that hackers, who have an ongoing feud with Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley, targeted the flight on which the executive was a passenger.

The individuals, who have been trying to take down Sony's servers for "several days," may have gained access to Smedley's travel itinerary. The airline's computer system was not compromised, officials said.

Bomb threats are nothing new, but some experts say the use of Twitter in Sunday's incident is a sign of the times.

"Bomb threats have been around in our industry since aviation first started, since aviation terrorism really first started ramping up in the late 50s, early 60s," said Jeff Price, professor of aviation at Metropolitan Sate University of Denver. "So what's interesting is now the use of social media to transmit the bomb threat message."



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James Foley's Family Posts Letter Sent During His Captivity

August 25th, 2014 - Seattle Times

John Cantlie/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  The family of James Foley, the American journalist who was executed by ISIS, posted the text of a letter that Foley was able to sneak past his captors and send to them in a most unusual way.

In the letter, which his family shared to their Facebook page Sunday, Foley says he used memories of "great family times" to take him far from his prison.

"Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart," he says.

According to the post, Foley had a fellow hostage who was about to be released memorize the letter. That person called Foley's mother shortly after his released and dictated it to her.

 


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Sharpton Calls for Change in Honor of Michael Brown

August 25th, 2014 - Seattle Times

Pool/ABC News(ST. LOUIS) -- The Rev. Al Sharpton gave an impassioned plea Monday that slain Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown not be remembered as someone who sparked violent clashes but as someone who caused America to change the way police treat citizens.

"Michael Brown wants to be remembered for making America deal with how we are going to police in the United States," Sharpton said to rousing applause at Brown's funeral Monday. "We are required in his name to change the country."

Brown, 18, was killed when a police officer in his hometown of Ferguson shot him six times after a scuffle in the street on Aug. 9, setting off two weeks of protests and clashes with police.

The funeral Monday at the Friendly Temple Baptist Church in St. Louis was attended by hundreds of supporters, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, a delegation from the White House, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill,D-Mo., members of Congress and many civil rights activists and clergy.

The ceremony was filled with music, song, dance and clapping, along with tearful moments among Brown's parents and family members. Brown's stepmother told the congregation that the teen had been having visions of death in the weeks before his death.

Cal Brown, who is married to Michael's father, referred to her stepson as "Mike Mike." She said that they had been having conversations about God this summer and when she was in the hospital a month ago, he told Cal Brown that he was afraid she would "not make it."

"Mike Mike told me, 'I didn’t think you were going to make it.' And I said why and he said, 'Because I've been dreaming of death, seeing pictures of death, seeing pictures of bloody sheets hanging on clotheslines,'" Cal Brown told the church filled with mourners. "That touched me. That’s what it was like when he was laying there on the street (after being shot). He prophesized his own death."

Cal Brown also said that on the day of his high school graduation earlier this summer, Michael Brown had told his father and stepmother that he wanted the world to know who he was.

"We took him out to lunch after graduation and he was talking about God," she said. "And he said, 'someday the world is going to know my name.'"

Many of the speakers at Michael Brown's funeral called for justice for Brown's death, including Sharpton, who criticized police for leaving Brown's body lying in the street for hours after his death.

"Once you put on that state badge and gun, you cannot react like another citizen because you are supposed to be trained above that. You should expect that in our community like in any other community. No community in America would tolerate an 18-year-old boy lying in the street for four and a half hours and we won’t either," Sharpton said.

"This is about justice," he said. "This is about fairness. And America is going to have to come to terms with (the fact) there’s something wrong."

A grand jury is hearing evidence to determine whether Officer Darren Wilson should be charged in the shooting.


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Mass of Remembrance Held for James Foley

August 25th, 2014 - Seattle Times

Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images(ROCHESTER, N.H.) -- Less than a week after grisly video circulated of James Foley's murder at the hands of ISIS, the American journalist was fondly recalled Sunday at a remembrance mass in Rochester, New Hampshire.

Residents of Foley's hometown attended the event, during which Bishop Peter A. Libasci asked everyone to pray for peace.

Foley's parents, John and Diane Foley, were among the audience, along with New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte.

The Foleys spoke to the congregation before the end of the service to thank them for their support.

Along with an online memorial, dubbed Remembering Jim, Foley’s family is collecting donations for a scholarship and fund in his honor.

Earlier, Gov. Hassan directed flags across New Hampshire to be lowered to half-staff to honor the journalist.


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'All Clear' Given at Fort Lee Army Base After 'Active Shooter' Report

August 25th, 2014 - Seattle Times

Alex Wong/Getty Images(FORT LEE, Va.) -- The "active shooter" alert at Fort Lee Army Base in Virginia was prompted when a female soldier entered a building Monday morning with a gun and fired once, injuring herself, authorities said.

The female soldier walked into the four-story Combined Arms Support Command Headquarters building at 9 a.m., according to a statement from Fort Lee's media office.

Early reports from officials said the woman turned the weapon on herself and fired one shot.

Officials said the woman, whose identity was not released, was taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. Her condition is not known at this time.

Special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating the incident, which prompted Fort Lee to issue an alert of an "active shooter" situation.

The base was temporarily placed on lockdown before it was lifted a short time later.

A statement posted on Fort Lee's Facebook page said "the law enforcement event is over."

The building where the incident was reported to have taken place is the headquarters of CASCOM, which lists its mission as to "design, develop, and integrate sustainment capabilities into warfighting requirements, foster innovation, and lead change for the future force," according to its website.

The Department of Homeland Security typically uses the term "active shooter" to describe someone actively trying to kill people, usually in a very populated area such as a building or campus.


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California Quake Fires Quenched with Water from Swimming Pools

August 25th, 2014 - Seattle Times

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(NAPA, Calif.) -- The quake that struck Napa, California, snapped gas lines and sparked at least a half-dozen major fires, but it also ruptured water mains, which crippled firefighters' efforts until they found nearby swimming pools.

The eruption of flames threatened to trap people in their homes, particularly in mobile home parks that were hard hit by the fires.

“The fire just exploded,” said Bill Linder, a resident at the Napa Valley Mobile Home Park. “It was terrifying.”

Four of the homes burned to the ground, with other homes damaged. That damage was compounded by the fact that the earthquake also ruptured water lines -- leaving firefighters struggling to find a way to put the fires out.

Resident Frank Jones said the firefighters got creative in battling the flames.

“We do have two swimming pools here in the community. They were able to siphon water of the pool and into their truck, and come back several times to fight the fire behind my house,” Jones said.

Homeowners remain shaken, losing everything but the clothes on their backs.

“We didn’t really know what happened. The house was already on fire and it was hard to get out…it was really scary,” said Theresa, one of the residents.

The earthquake is the strongest northern California has faced in 25 years, and damage from the earthquake could reach $1 billion.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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