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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Noah Parker van Rhyn Strunk was born exactly on his due date, Feb. 22, but he came into the world in a most unconventional way — in the parking lot of the hospital where he was supposed to be born.

His parents, Noah and Lauren Strunk, left their Jacksonville Beach, Florida, home around midnight on Wednesday for the short drive to a nearby hospital for the birth of their second child.

The couple was joined in a caravan to the hospital by Lauren’s mom and their birth photographer, Stephanie Knowles.

As Noah exited from the highway, Lauren’s contractions began to increase.

“He started going faster and I knew something was going wrong,” said Knowles, the owner of Jaiden Photography, who was driving behind the Strunks.

When Noah took a wrong turn that left him near the hospital’s emergency room instead of the maternity unit, Lauren told him to park the car immediately because the baby was on its way.

“She said to come over to her side to catch the baby, in her words, so I did,” Noah, 35, told ABC News. “Maybe a contraction or two later, our son was on Lauren’s chest.”

On hand to capture the minutes-long delivery was Knowles, who was photographing her first client birth photo shoot.

“It went through my head if I should put my camera down and help and then I said, ‘I’m just going to stand back,'” Knowles said. “That was my goal even before, just to stand back and capture the moments, so I just started shooting.”

The photos taken by Knowles show Parker resting on Lauren’s stomach with Noah by their side. The newborn came into the world at 12:21 a.m., weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces.

“A very anxious moment of love,” Noah said of his son’s birth, adding that his emotions included “shock, awe, anxiety, love, all of it.”

Lauren, who had prepared for a natural childbirth, was taken by hospital medical personnel into the hospital for care with her son. Both mom and baby and older brother, Harrison, 3 are doing well.

The family is expecting to be discharged from the hospital tonight. The baby’s middle name, Parker, is a nod to his unconventional delivery location, his parents said.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Democratic party officials will vote Saturday for a new chair of the Democratic National Committee, but heading into the weekend, the race is still neck-and-neck and hotly contested.

Democrats may be united against President Donald Trump, but they remain deeply divided about who is best to lead and represent them.

The crowded field of candidates vying for the job narrowed this week, but those who dropped out only solidified the fault lines in the race.

It remains to be seen whether the drawn-out campaign for this role will help the party as it looks to rebuild itself. Insiders, party staff and many voting members fear it may have hurt it. They feel they have been handicapped at the start of the new Trump administration. In conversations, they say they are anxious to have a leader in place and the organization fully operational again.

“The biggest issue I hear right now is they want to get this part over with and they want to start fighting, we are how many days into his administration already and we are still trying to decide who are leadership is,” the party’s current finance chair, Henry R. Muñoz, told ABC News. “Four years from now we should get this over at the end of the year.”

Last weekend, New Hampshire Party chair Raymond Buckley bowed out and threw his support behind Minnesota congressman and Progressive Caucus chair Keith Ellison. Buckley praised Ellison’s commitment to investing in local parties, a promise all the candidates have made, as well as his impressive backing from large progressive organizations, including Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

“Now, many candidates have spoken about these issues, but Keith’s commitment to the states and a transparent and accountable DNC has stood out. He knows elections are not won and lost in the beltway, but on the ground across the country,” Buckley wrote in his statement. In a fundraising email a few days later for a progressive group, he wrote, that with Ellison as chair the “grassroots will be the top priority.”

Plenty of Democrats inside Washington and elsewhere fear Ellison lacks the management experience needed for the job and that picking him could send the wrong message to voters about the lessons the party needs to learn after the election in November.

Ellison is a firebrand, African-American Muslim who was one of the first to back Senator Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary. Sanders and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, in turn, immediately backed Ellison’s bid for chair. He is often asked if the party is moving too far to the left and he never hesitates to emphatically say it’s not. He is quick to reject the idea that he only appeals to certain fractions of the party.

“My district is 63 percent white, mostly working class people,” he told ABC News. “They elect me year after year and they know what my religion is and they can look at me and see what color I am. It’s not a problem. People are only a demographic until you know them, then they become people. Whether you talk to white working class voters or you talk to people of color, women, they don’t feel that either one of them was talked to well enough.”

The other front-runner for the job is President Obama’s former Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez. Thursday, in a statement closely resembling Buckley’s, the state party chair from South Carolina, Jamie Harrison, exited the race and backed Perez, adding to the long list of party officials and members of Obama’s former cabinet who have lined up behind him.

Perez argues that his experience running a large federal agency like the Department of Labor makes him uniquely qualified to oversee the national party. “Who has a track record of turning around organizations of that scale? That’s what we need to do,” he told ABC News in a recent interview. “The Department of Labor is a big organization 16,000 strong and a 45 billion dollar budget and I had a good track record of making sure it was firing on all cylinders.”

Like Buckley did for Ellison, Harrison praised Perez for promising to put grassroots activism front and center and strengthening state party chapters, but also emphasized Perez’s experience in Washington.

“Tom Perez has brought integrity, passion, and tenacity to every job he’s ever had,” Harrison wrote. “These qualities are why Barack Obama and Joe Biden trusted him to spearhead an economic agenda that brought us out of the recession. They are why Eric Holder trusted him to enforce our civil rights and voting rights laws so that everyone is treated equally under the law and has access to the ballot box. And they are why I trust Tom to lead the Democratic turnaround as Chair of the DNC.”

Neither Perez nor Ellison will confirm whether or not they have the majority of votes needed to win right now. Only 447 people will vote Saturday and most likely, the election will continue to be an iterative process with multiple rounds of ballots and debate, which could leave room for leader to emerge.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has received endorsements from five former DNC Chairs, including Howard Dean this week. Dean said Buttigieg, who turned 35 last month, brings a young perspective the party needs.

But Buttigieg — an openly gay former Naval officer who served in Afghanistan — entered the race relatively recently and lacks the national profile or name recognition like Ellison or Perez. Still, with his impressive resume, members have given him a look and he is quickly developing a following.

“Most important thing he is the ‘outside of the beltway’ candidate,” Dean said this week of Buttigieg. “This party is in trouble. Our strongest age group that votes for us is under 35. And they don’t consider themselves Democrats. They elected Barack Obama twice. They didn’t elect Hillary Clinton but voted 58 percent for her and don’t come out for the midterms or down ballot candidates.”

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump on Thursday renewed his call to expand the country’s nuclear weapons cache so that the U.S. is the “top of the pack,” according to an interview with Reuters.

Trump’s comments echoed statements he offered in December when he tweeted about “expand[ing]” the nation’s “nuclear capability” and told MSNBC that he was willing to engage in an “arms race.”

Trump told Reuters today he wants the country’s cache of weapons to be “top of the pack,” a notion expanded upon by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at his daily press briefing.

“The U.S. will not yield its supremacy in this area to anybody,” said Spicer. “That’s what he made very clear [during the interview], and that if other countries have nuclear capabilities, it’ll always be the United States that [has] the supremacy and commitment to this.”

On Dec. 22, Trump — who indicated during the campaign that some nuclear proliferation might be good — advocated in a tweet for bolstering American capabilities.

The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016

The next day, speaking by phone to Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Trump said he’d be open to competing with other countries to accumulate weapons.

“Let it be an arms race,” said Trump. “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

In Thursday’s Reuters interview, Trump brought up both Russian cruise missile usage and North Korean missile tests and told the news outlet that the U.S. “has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.”

The U.S. has a total of 4,571 warheads in its functional stockpile, a State Department official said. Of those, 1,367 are deployed, while Russia has 1,796 deployed. Both countries have until 2018 under the 2011 New START agreement to limit deployed nuclear weapons to 1,550.

The Pentagon has begun a modernization of the American nuclear program which former Defense Secretary Ash Carter said earlier this year will cost $350 – $450 billion to update beginning in 2021.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Ivanka Trump hosted Republican members of Congress at the White House last week to discuss some of her personal legislative priorities — a childcare tax proposal and paid maternity leave, according to a White House official and a Senate GOP aide.

News of the White House meeting was first reported by Bloomberg News.

It is unusual for the child of a president — with no formal role in her father’s administration — to host a policy meeting with lawmakers inside the West Wing.

The White House official noted that Ivanka has been long been passionate about the issue and that it remains a priority.

A spokesperson for Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska, said the senator attended the Wednesday evening meeting in the Roosevelt Room, where the group of GOP lawmakers discussed Trump’s proposed childcare tax benefit and paid leave. Fischer introduced a paid leave bill earlier this month.

Ivanka has back-channeled with members of Congress on the issues she trumpeted during her father’s campaign. This fall, she met with female Republican lawmakers at the RNC for a discussion on the same topic.

Members of the Trump transition team discussed the childcare tax proposal with staff on the tax-writing House Ways and Mean Committee in a phone call last month.

Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said his committee staff has had “productive” discussions with the Trump team about the proposal.

“We’ve had some preliminary and very productive discussions with the Trump transition team and their desire to make child care more affordable for families,” he said to reporters recently. “So we’re exploring a number of options. They’ve brought some ideas forward, and it’s early in those discussions, but we’re having them.”

Asked by ABC News’ Cecilia Vega about Ivanka Trump’s role in the administration following her participation in several White House meetings, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the first daughter’s role is “to provide input” on issues about which she has deep personal concern — particularly as it relates to women.

“I think her role is to provide input on a variety of areas that she has deep compassion and concerns about especially women in the work force and empowering women,” Spicer said. “She has as a lot of expertise and wants to offer that especially in the area of trying to help women, she understands that firsthand an I think because of the success she’s had her goal is to try to figure out any understanding she has as a business woman, to help and empower women with the opportunity and success she’s had.”

On Thursday, Ivanka participated in several meetings at the White House with President Trump and top White House officials, as they met with business leaders. A day earlier, she met with minority business owners in the Baltimore area.

The president’s eldest daughter also participated in a roundtable with female business leaders when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the White House earlier this month.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News last month, Ivanka Trump dismissed speculation that she would take on some of the first lady’s responsibilities in the White House.

“There is one first lady, and she’ll do remarkable things,” she told ABC News’ 20/20.

Trump has also walked away from her personal businesses, while in Washington.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Lawyers for two teen siblings involved in an altercation with an off-duty LAPD officer filed civil lawsuits against the Anaheim and Los Angeles police departments today, alleging battery, negligence and state civil rights violations, among other claims.

The lawsuits come the day after as many as 300 people demonstrated and at least 23 were arrested after protests broke out over the altercation. Some vandalism was reported in the demonstrations, according to police.

Police say the off-duty officer fired his weapon into the ground during the scuffle on Tuesday, which was caught on video and spread through social media.

A video of part of the incident appears to show the off-duty officer struggling with a 13-year-old boy, clinging to the boy’s hooded sweatshirt as he tries to get away.

The officer appears to argue with the boy and several other people who began gathering around. At one point, the officer is shoved over a bush and a person appears to take a swing at his face.

The officer then draws what appears to be a pistol from his waistband and later reportedly fired a shot into the ground.

“The confrontation began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property,” Anaheim Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said in a statement. “During the confrontation, a 13-year-old male is alleged to have threatened to shoot the off-duty officer, at which time the officer attempted to detain the male until [Anaheim police] arrived.”

The boy’s mother, however, maintained that her son had said he was going to sue, not shoot, the officer.

Police arrested the 13-year-old on charges of criminal threats and battery and a 15-year-old for assault and battery. Both have since been released.

Police said today they knew of a 2015 report in which the officer had reported youth walking across his lawn. That report did not involve a physical confrontation or the same youth, authorities said.

The officer and the two juveniles arrested have not been named.

The teen siblings who filed suit today are identified in court papers as John Doe and M.S.

“I personally wish the off-duty officer would have awaited our arrival,” Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said at a press conference today.

“As a father and a police chief, I too am disturbed by what I saw on the videos that were posted on the internet … Having said that, as a police chief, I am charged with enforcing the laws absent my personal feelings,” Police Chief Raul Quezada said today. “I thank God that no one was hurt.”

Police said they interviewed 18 juveniles after the incident along with the officer’s father and others and that they have insufficient evidence at this time to prove any criminal wrongdoing by the officer.

Quezada said his department was close to completing its investigation and would presents its findings to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office within the next two weeks. Charges could still be brought against all parties involved, he said.

The step-father of 13-year-old boy is a civilian employee of the Anaheim Police Department, officials said.

“Like many I am deeply disturbed and angered by the video,” Anaheim mayor Tom Tait said at the press conference, adding that the city was “committed to full and impartial investigation.”

The officer has been placed on administrative leave, according to assistant Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore. The LAPD is conducting a separate investigation into the officer’s actions.

Moore said the LAPD is looking into the off-duty officer’s decision to initiation action, his reasoning and tactics along with his decision making.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Georgia police have arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with the 2005 disappearance of a high school teacher.

Ryan Alexander Duke, a former student of the Georgia high school where the woman taught, was arrested Wednesday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said today in a press conference. He was charged with burglary, aggravated assault, murder and concealing a death during his first court appearance Thursday.

On Oct. 22, 2005, Tara Grinstead vanished from her home in Ocilla, Georgia, a small town with a population of less than 3,500 about 160 miles south of Atlanta. She was 30 years old at the time. Police immediately suspected foul play in Grinstead’s case, the GBI said in a press release.

A massive manhunt was launched after Grinstead’s disappearance, but the case proved difficult due to the lack of evidence found in Grinstead’s home, according to the GBI. Though they have received many tips over the years, none led to credible information.

However, the case remained open and the GBI recently received a tip that led authorities to interview subjects they had never interviewed before, which led them to gather enough probably cause to charge Duke with Grinstead’s murder. The tip was given to police earlier this week in person when someone with the information walked into a local sheriff’s office, ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta reported.

“I can say that this gentleman never came up on our radar through the investigation,” Richardson said.

In today’s court appearance, Duke requested a court-appointed attorney and said he did not want a preliminary hearing. He will appear in court again on April 12.

Grinstead’s stepmother, Connie Grinstead, said in Thursday’s press conference that Duke’s arrest is “another chapter in a long and painful journey,” WSB reported.

Although the case is more than 11 years old, a GBI policy requires all investigative case files to be reviewed several times per year, and the case remained active for more than a decade.

Grinstead’s remains were never found. The investigation is ongoing.

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Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The White House indicated Thursday that the enforcement of federal laws on recreational marijuana will increase during President Donald Trump’s tenure in office.

Press secretary Sean Spicer, responding to a question at Thursday’s press briefing about the Department of Justice’s role when federal marijuana laws conflict with state statutes, said he believes there is a wide difference between recreational and medicinal marijuana use.

“I do believe you will see greater enforcement of [federal restrictions on recreational use],” said Spicer.

As for the drug’s medicinal benefits, Spicer explained that Trump “understands … the comfort” that medical marijuana brings to some sufferers of terminal diseases but Spicer showed concern for “encouraging” drug use “when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming around the states in the country.”

Marijuana continues to be listed as a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration under the Controlled Substances Act, defined by the government as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

In 2012, President Barack Obama told ABC News that there were “bigger fish to fry” than recreational users of the drug in states like Colorado and Washington.

“It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal,” said Obama.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Two days before the Trump administration approved an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross a reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation, the U.S. Department of the Interior withdrew a legal opinion that concluded there was “ample legal justification” to deny it.

The withdrawal of the opinion was revealed in court documents filed this week by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the same agency that requested the review late last year.

“A pattern is emerging with [the Trump] administration,” said Jan Hasselman, an attorney representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “They take good, thoughtful work and then just throw it in the trash and do whatever they want to do.”

The 35-page legal analysis of the pipeline’s potential environmental risks and its impact on treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous tribes was authored in December by then-Interior Department Solicitor Hilary C. Tompkins, an Obama appointee who was — at the time — the top lawyer in the department.

“The government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Tribes calls for enhanced engagement and sensitivity to the Tribes’ concerns,” Tompkins wrote. “The Corps is accordingly justified should it choose to deny the proposed easement.”

Tompkins’ opinion was dated Dec. 4, the same day the Obama administration announced that it was denying an easement for the controversial crossing and initiating an environmental impact statement that would explore alternative routes for the pipeline. Tompkins did not respond to a request by ABC News to discuss her analysis or the decision made to withdraw it.

On his second weekday in office, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that directed the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve” the pipeline in an expedited manner, to “the extent permitted by law, and as warranted, and with such conditions as are necessary or appropriate.” “I believe that construction and operation of lawfully permitted pipeline infrastructure serve the national interest,” Trump wrote in the memo.

Two weeks later, the Corps issued the easement to Dakota Access and the environmental review was canceled.

The company behind the pipeline project now estimates that oil could be flowing in the pipeline as early as March 6.

The analysis by Tompkins includes a detailed review of the tribes’ hunting, fishing and water rights to Lake Oahe, the federally controlled reservoir where the final stretch of the pipeline is currently being installed, and concludes that the Corps “must consider the possible impacts” of the pipeline on those reserved rights.

“The Tompkins memo is potentially dispositive in the legal case,” Hasselman said. “It shows that the Army Corps [under the Obama administration] made the right decision by putting the brakes on this project until the Tribe’s treaty rights, and the risk of oil spills, was fully evaluated.”

Tompkins’ opinion was particularly critical of the Corps’ decision to reject another potential route for the pipeline that would have placed it just north of Bismarck, North Dakota, in part because of the pipeline’s proximity to municipal water supply wells.

“The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservations are the permanent and irreplaceable homelands for the Tribes,” Tompkins wrote. “Their core identity and livelihood depend upon their relationship to the land and environment — unlike a resident of Bismarck, who could simply relocate if the [Dakota Access] pipeline fouled the municipal water supply, Tribal members do not have the luxury of moving away from an environmental disaster without also leaving their ancestral territory.”

Kelcy Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project, has said that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on local water supply are unfounded” and “multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route.”

The decision to temporarily suspend Tompkins’ legal opinion two days before the easement was approved was outlined in a Feb. 6 internal memorandum issued by K. Jack Haugrud, the acting secretary of the Department of the Interior. A spokeswoman for the department told ABC News today that the opinion was suspended so that it could be reviewed by the department.

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes are continuing their legal challenges to the pipeline. A motion for a preliminary injunction will be heard on Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C.

The Corps has maintained, throughout the litigation, that it made a good faith effort to meaningfully consult with the tribes.

The tribes contend, however, that the Trump administration’s cancellation of the environmental review and its reversal of prior agency decisions are “baldly illegal.”

“Agencies can’t simply disregard their own findings, and ‘withdrawing’ the Tompkins memo doesn’t change that,” Hasselman said. “We have challenged the legality of the Trump administration reversal and we think we have a strong case.”

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Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images(TAMPA BAY, Fla.) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston says he made a “poor word choice” while talking to third and fourth grade students in St.Petersburg Florida.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Winston asked the male students to stand and the females to sit. The NFL quarterback said, “But all my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong! We strong, right? All my boys, tell me one time: I can do anything I put my mind to. Now, a lot of boys aren’t supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I’m saying? One day y’all are going to have a very deep voice like this [in deep voice]. One day, you’ll have a very, very deep voice.”

“But the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men [are] supposed to be strong. I want y’all to tell me what the third rule of life is: I can do anything I put my mind to”

Later, Winston said he was trying to motivate a particular student without calling him out.

The former Florida State student-athlete has worked to rebuild his public image after being accused of sexually assaulting a female student at the school in 2012.

Winston was never charged or disciplined by the university. In December, he settled a federal lawsuit filed by the woman.

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Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(CHICAGO) — The Chicago White Sox will honor former pitcher Mark Buehrle by retiring his jersey number this summer.

The left-handed hurler won 161 games on Chicago’s South Side, throwing a no-hitter and a perfect game in the progress. He also helped lead the White Sox to the 2005 World Series, their first in 88 years.

“You know he’s one of the best that has ever put on a White Sox uniform,” General Manager Kenny Williams said Thursday. “He represented the organization in a first-class, fun way. The next person you meet that says that Mark Buehrle wasn’t a good teammate or wasn’t a top notch pitcher and person will be the first you meet that says those things.”

Buehrle will join 11 other White Sox who have had their numbers retired, including former teammates Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko.

The lefty spent 12 of his 16 seasons in Chicago, ranking among the franchise’s all-time leaders in strikeouts, starts, wins, innings pitched and games pitched.

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