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iStock/Thinkstock(ROANOKE, Va.) — The cameraman who was killed in the on-air shooting in Virginia Wednesday filmed his attacker being fired from their news station two years prior, according to court records.

Details about the February 2013 firing of Vester Lee Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams professionally, have emerged as part of the public court filings in relation to a lawsuit he filed against his former employer, WDBJ. The suit was dismissed in July 2014.

The 167-page file from Roanoke City General District Court documents a series of alleged issues with his former employer — for whom the victims, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, also worked — according to memos written to and about Flanagan by station management.

The note about the firing being filmed came amid a description of how Williams became volatile and verbally aggressive after being told about his firing and severance.

When he was escorted back to his desk, two local police officers were on hand, alternating between trying to calm him down and physically moving him from his desk.

“This was being recorded by Adam Ward; Bryce turned his attention to him and said something about paparazzi, told Adam he needed to “lose your big gut,” and again flipped the camera off,” the memo notes.

That memo, which appears to be written by the station’s then-news director Dan Dennison, was one in a series of his notes and emails that were included in the file.

Dennison had previously written a note to Williams, detailing six criticisms of his recent work and journalistic failings.

“These issues combined with other well documented and discussed issues in recent months have led us to a serious juncture,” Dennison wrote in an email dated Dec. 24, 2012.

The details about Flanagan’s firing come as investigators probe his mental state and actions leading up to the deadly shooting on Wednesday in Moneta, Virginia.

Flanagan died later that day as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound he sustained during a highway chase with state police.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ROANOKE, Va.) — The cameraman who was killed in the on-air shooting in Virginia Wednesday filmed his attacker being fired from their news station two years prior, according to court records.

Details about the February 2013 firing of Vester Lee Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams professionally, have emerged as part of the public court filings in relation to a lawsuit he filed against his former employer, WDBJ. The suit was dismissed in July 2014.

The 167-page file from Roanoke City General District Court documents a series of alleged issues with his former employer — for whom the victims, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, also worked — according to memos written to and about Flanagan by station management.

The note about the firing being filmed came amid a description of how Williams became volatile and verbally aggressive after being told about his firing and severance.

When he was escorted back to his desk, two local police officers were on hand, alternating between trying to calm him down and physically moving him from his desk.

“This was being recorded by Adam Ward; Bryce turned his attention to him and said something about paparazzi, told Adam he needed to “lose your big gut,” and again flipped the camera off,” the memo notes.

That memo, which appears to be written by the station’s then-news director Dan Dennison, was one in a series of his notes and emails that were included in the file.

Dennison had previously written a note to Williams, detailing six criticisms of his recent work and journalistic failings.

“These issues combined with other well documented and discussed issues in recent months have led us to a serious juncture,” Dennison wrote in an email dated Dec. 24, 2012.

The details about Flanagan’s firing come as investigators probe his mental state and actions leading up to the deadly shooting on Wednesday in Moneta, Virginia.

Flanagan died later that day as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound he sustained during a highway chase with state police.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MOREHEAD, Ky.) — A same-sex couple from Morehead, Kentucky, were denied a marriage license for a third time at the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on Thursday, and the emotional exchange was caught on video.

The denial comes just one day after the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Rowan County Clerk Kimberly Davis’ appeal to U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s ruling from two weeks ago, ordering her to issue marriage licenses after she had been refusing to do so, citing her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious liberty, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

William Smith, Jr. told ABC News that he and his partner, James Yates, walked together to the Davis’ office on Thursday, hopeful that because Davis’ appeal was denied, he and Yates would finally be able to get an official marriage license that first requested in July and again just a few weeks ago.

“We’re here to see if you’re giving out marriage licenses,” Yates, 41, can be heard saying in the video Smith filmed on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, at the time, we are not giving out marriage licenses,” an employee at Davis’ office replies. When Yates asks the employee if this is a direct order from Davis, he nods yes and adds, “Sorry, guys.”

Yates and Smith told ABC News they know who the employee is, though they declined to identify him, explaining that they did not want to embarrass him “for his boss’ decision.” The employee also reportedly declined to identify himself to media at the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on Thursday.

“Breaking the law is all it is,” Smith, 33, can later be heard saying in the video. “They’re discriminating and using religion to hide behind it is all it is.”

Yates and Smith can then be seen in the video, visibly upset, walking out of the office, disappointed for the third time.

“We’ve been together for almost 10 years,” Smith told ABC News on Thursday. “He proposed a day after the initial ruling on marriage equality by the Supreme Court on June 26. On the 27th, James got down on one knee, and I said yes.”

The couple first headed down to the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on July 6, shortly after the proposal, but Smith said the same office employee they talked to on Thursday told them at the time that Davis “wasn’t handing out licenses because her objection to gay marriage.”

The denial put a damper on their plans to have a summer wedding this year, Smith added.

Smith and Yates later came down again on Aug. 13 after a U.S. district court upheld the U.S. Supreme court’s ruling. The court had ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued her and Rowan County on behalf of four couples — two same-gender couples and two opposite-gender couples — who were also denied marriage licenses by Davis, according to a court complaint. Davis had apparently stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.

But on Aug. 13, Smith said an employee told them Davis still wasn’t handing out any licenses because she wanted to appeal the ruling.

“And then [on Thursday], trying again for a third time, that was very hard,” Smith said. “It was nerve-wracking and harder than the previous two times because we’ve been rejected so much and humiliated.”

Though they’ve thought about getting married in another county or state in the past, Smith said he and Yates wanted their marriage to be first officially recognized in their hometown and county “where we live and pay taxes.”

“We love each other very much, and we already consider ourselves married and live like we’re married,” he said. “We just think this is wrong, and we don’t want this to happen to future couples.”

He added they plan on going back to the Rowan County Clerk’s Office at the end of the month or the beginning of September to try to get a marriage license for a fourth time.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Some of the world’s biggest automakers should have recalled millions of vehicles with keyless ignitions because the cars, which don’t shut off automatically if the driver fails to press the start/stop button, could be a deadly carbon monoxide risk, according to a new lawsuit.

According to the suit, filed in Los Angeles Federal Court on behalf of keyless car drivers Wednesday, there have been at least 13 deaths — and a number of close calls — from carbon monoxide poisoning after consumers failed to manually shut off their engines. The suit claims, “Reasonable drivers mistakenly believe that removing the Keyless Fob from the vehicle turns off the engine.”

Keyless cars allow drivers to start their engines without inserting a key into the ignition switch, but instead pressing a start/stop button. To shut off the car, they must manually press the button again.

The lawsuit claims the defendants — Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, GM, BMW, Volkswagen, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Kia — knew or should have known of these risks. Yet according to the suit, they allegedly sold keyless fobs “without instituting adequate safeguards, warnings, or other safety features,” including a relatively inexpensive auto-off feature that automatically switches the engine off if the car is left unattended.

Some of the cars were equipped with audible alerts, which sounded when drivers exited the vehicle with the engine still on.

The lawsuit claims that, “for years the Automakers have known about the deadly consequences that can result when a driver exits a vehicle with our without the keyless fob and without having depressed the Start/Stop button. Nevertheless, even though an Auto-Off feature can be implemented without significant effort or cost, the Automakers have refused to act.”

Several consumers complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the lack of the auto-off feature, and in 2007, Ford and General Motors even filed patents to address the issue — supposedly demonstrating, according to the lawsuit, that automakers (who read one another’s patents) allegedly “recognized the dangerous consequences associated with keyless fobs.”

Though some of the car companies installed auto-off in later models, they allegedly failed to recall the earlier model cars, or provide reasonable auto-off software updates.

While there have been lawsuits brought by victims of carbon monoxide poisoning (or their families), some of which have settled, the lawyers bringing this lawsuit are seeking class action status to represent all owners of the models of cars with keyless entry named in the lawsuit.

The car makers also allegedly failed to include warnings in car manuals or sales brochures and allegedly “continue to conceal” the safety risk from the public at large. Meanwhile, they profited from sales of keyless fobs, which are often part of a costly upgrade package.

Most car companies declined comment to ABC News, but Ford said, “Ford takes the safety of our customers very seriously; the keyless ignition system has proven to be a safe and reliable innovative feature that has been well-received by customers. Ford vehicles equipped with keyless ignition alert drivers when the driver’s door is open and the vehicle’s engine is running.”

Volkswagen said, “Volkswagen Group of America and its brands consider the safety and satisfaction of its consumers and passengers as a top priority. All brands within the Volkswagen Group are engineered to meet or exceed all government regulations.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Some of the world’s biggest automakers should have recalled millions of vehicles with keyless ignitions because the cars, which don’t shut off automatically if the driver fails to press the start/stop button, could be a deadly carbon monoxide risk, according to a new lawsuit.

According to the suit, filed in Los Angeles Federal Court on behalf of keyless car drivers Wednesday, there have been at least 13 deaths — and a number of close calls — from carbon monoxide poisoning after consumers failed to manually shut off their engines. The suit claims, “Reasonable drivers mistakenly believe that removing the Keyless Fob from the vehicle turns off the engine.”

Keyless cars allow drivers to start their engines without inserting a key into the ignition switch, but instead pressing a start/stop button. To shut off the car, they must manually press the button again.

The lawsuit claims the defendants — Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, GM, BMW, Volkswagen, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Kia — knew or should have known of these risks. Yet according to the suit, they allegedly sold keyless fobs “without instituting adequate safeguards, warnings, or other safety features,” including a relatively inexpensive auto-off feature that automatically switches the engine off if the car is left unattended.

Some of the cars were equipped with audible alerts, which sounded when drivers exited the vehicle with the engine still on.

The lawsuit claims that, “for years the Automakers have known about the deadly consequences that can result when a driver exits a vehicle with our without the keyless fob and without having depressed the Start/Stop button. Nevertheless, even though an Auto-Off feature can be implemented without significant effort or cost, the Automakers have refused to act.”

Several consumers complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the lack of the auto-off feature, and in 2007, Ford and General Motors even filed patents to address the issue — supposedly demonstrating, according to the lawsuit, that automakers (who read one another’s patents) allegedly “recognized the dangerous consequences associated with keyless fobs.”

Though some of the car companies installed auto-off in later models, they allegedly failed to recall the earlier model cars, or provide reasonable auto-off software updates.

While there have been lawsuits brought by victims of carbon monoxide poisoning (or their families), some of which have settled, the lawyers bringing this lawsuit are seeking class action status to represent all owners of the models of cars with keyless entry named in the lawsuit.

The car makers also allegedly failed to include warnings in car manuals or sales brochures and allegedly “continue to conceal” the safety risk from the public at large. Meanwhile, they profited from sales of keyless fobs, which are often part of a costly upgrade package.

Most car companies declined comment to ABC News, but Ford said, “Ford takes the safety of our customers very seriously; the keyless ignition system has proven to be a safe and reliable innovative feature that has been well-received by customers. Ford vehicles equipped with keyless ignition alert drivers when the driver’s door is open and the vehicle’s engine is running.”

Volkswagen said, “Volkswagen Group of America and its brands consider the safety and satisfaction of its consumers and passengers as a top priority. All brands within the Volkswagen Group are engineered to meet or exceed all government regulations.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ROANOKE, Va.) — The shooting on live television in Virginia Wednesday could have a psychological effect on the thousands of viewers who were exposed to the traumatic event, according to some experts.

Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were shot to death as they did a live interview for Roanoke station WDBJ-TV. Viewers to the daily morning show saw shots ring out as Parker and the woman she was interviewing attempted to flee before the camera falls.

Carolyn Ievers-Landis, a clinical psychologist at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, said people who saw it may experience their own trauma in the face of such sudden and unexpected violence, and then be powerless to do anything about it.

“They weren’t expecting and weren’t choosing” to watch, Ievers-Landis told ABC News. “It really can have effects on people, especially people who are prone to anxiety.”

She said children, who might have been getting ready for school, are also at greater risk and may feel unsafe in their environment. She speculated that both adults and children who watched it “were vicariously traumatized by this.”

“They might experience flashbacks…it might be difficult to get it out of their minds. They might experience nightmares relating to it,” Ievers-Landis said of possible symptoms related to trauma.

She said it’s key that people do not take symptoms lightly just because they were not directly involved in the shooting and that they seek help for any symptoms of anxiety or depression they or their children experience.

“Baby yourself for a while because you’re going through almost like a grief [or] traumatic process,” she said.

A 2013 published study examined the effects of media exposure to events such as 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombings and Superstorm Sandy and found an association between post-traumatic stress disorder and viewers of the media coverage, especially those who watched a lot of it.

As for his most recent event, Ievers-Landis recommended that parents talk to children about avoiding videos of the shooting online.

“Once something is in your mind, you cannot erase it,” Ievers-Landis said, explained she’s had many children tell her after witnessing a violent event, “I wish I could take this out of my brain.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MOREHEAD, Ky.) — A same-sex couple from Morehead, Kentucky, were denied a marriage license for a third time at the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on Thursday, and the emotional exchange was caught on video.

The denial comes just one day after the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Rowan County Clerk Kimberly Davis’ appeal to U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s ruling from two weeks ago, ordering her to issue marriage licenses after she had been refusing to do so, citing her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious liberty, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

William Smith, Jr. told ABC News that he and his partner, James Yates, walked together to the Davis’ office on Thursday, hopeful that because Davis’ appeal was denied, he and Yates would finally be able to get an official marriage license that first requested in July and again just a few weeks ago.

“We’re here to see if you’re giving out marriage licenses,” Yates, 41, can be heard saying in the video Smith filmed on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, at the time, we are not giving out marriage licenses,” an employee at Davis’ office replies. When Yates asks the employee if this is a direct order from Davis, he nods yes and adds, “Sorry, guys.”

Yates and Smith told ABC News they know who the employee is, though they declined to identify him, explaining that they did not want to embarrass him “for his boss’ decision.” The employee also reportedly declined to identify himself to media at the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on Thursday.

“Breaking the law is all it is,” Smith, 33, can later be heard saying in the video. “They’re discriminating and using religion to hide behind it is all it is.”

Yates and Smith can then be seen in the video, visibly upset, walking out of the office, disappointed for the third time.

“We’ve been together for almost 10 years,” Smith told ABC News on Thursday. “He proposed a day after the initial ruling on marriage equality by the Supreme Court on June 26. On the 27th, James got down on one knee, and I said yes.”

The couple first headed down to the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on July 6, shortly after the proposal, but Smith said the same office employee they talked to on Thursday told them at the time that Davis “wasn’t handing out licenses because her objection to gay marriage.”

The denial put a damper on their plans to have a summer wedding this year, Smith added.

Smith and Yates later came down again on Aug. 13 after a U.S. district court upheld the U.S. Supreme court’s ruling. The court had ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued her and Rowan County on behalf of four couples — two same-gender couples and two opposite-gender couples — who were also denied marriage licenses by Davis, according to a court complaint. Davis had apparently stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.

But on Aug. 13, Smith said an employee told them Davis still wasn’t handing out any licenses because she wanted to appeal the ruling.

“And then [on Thursday], trying again for a third time, that was very hard,” Smith said. “It was nerve-wracking and harder than the previous two times because we’ve been rejected so much and humiliated.”

Though they’ve thought about getting married in another county or state in the past, Smith said he and Yates wanted their marriage to be first officially recognized in their hometown and county “where we live and pay taxes.”

“We love each other very much, and we already consider ourselves married and live like we’re married,” he said. “We just think this is wrong, and we don’t want this to happen to future couples.”

He added they plan on going back to the Rowan County Clerk’s Office at the end of the month or the beginning of September to try to get a marriage license for a fourth time.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Buena Vista(NEW YORK) — There has been an awakening, this time on Instagram.

A new teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released on Instagram using the platform’s new landscape orientation, which allows users to post widescreen videos.

The short teaser concludes with the shot of villain Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, and his red, cross-guarded lightsaber, and then cuts to Finn, played by John Boyega, holding a blue lightsaber.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also starring Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisherand Mark Hamill, hits theaters December 18.

Lucasfilm, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Buena Vista(NEW YORK) — There has been an awakening, this time on Instagram.

A new teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released on Instagram using the platform’s new landscape orientation, which allows users to post widescreen videos.

The short teaser concludes with the shot of villain Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, and his red, cross-guarded lightsaber, and then cuts to Finn, played by John Boyega, holding a blue lightsaber.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also starring Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisherand Mark Hamill, hits theaters December 18.

Lucasfilm, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Buena Vista(NEW YORK) — There has been an awakening, this time on Instagram.

A new teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released on Instagram using the platform’s new landscape orientation, which allows users to post widescreen videos.

The short teaser concludes with the shot of villain Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, and his red, cross-guarded lightsaber, and then cuts to Finn, played by John Boyega, holding a blue lightsaber.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also starring Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisherand Mark Hamill, hits theaters December 18.

Lucasfilm, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →