Review Category : National News

Rescue Crews Locate Items That May Belong to Missing Florida Family

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(SNAIL ISLAND, Fla.) — Rescue crews located two kayaks believed to belong to a father and his three teenage children, who have been missing for days off the western coast of Florida after the boat they live on disappeared.

The family has not been seen since Sunday and the search remains ongoing.

The Coast Guard began searching Tuesday for Ace Kimberly and his children, Rebecca, Donald and Roger, after a concerned relative contacted authorities. Kimberly’s brother told the Coast Guard that the four family members had at least seven life jackets on their 29-foot sailboat, which they live on, and were towing two kayaks.

Earlier, rescue crews recovered other items 33 nautical miles off the coast of Sanibel Island, Florida, near Fort Meyers, which are believed to belong to the family, including four water bottles, six life jackets, tennis shoes, a basketball and a propane tank, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard Capt. Greg Case called these items, which were found in a debris field, a “dire finding,” but added that the discovery reaffirmed that air and boat crews are searching in the right area. “There is hope,” he said.

The kayaks were found near the debris field.

#UPDATE #BreakingNews @USCGSoutheast C130 aircrew conducting first light search for missing family.

— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 22, 2016

The family left Sarasota at 7 a.m. Sunday en route to Fort Myers for boat repairs. At about 3 p.m. Sunday, the missing man called his brother to say the boat was in 6-foot seas near Englewood, 30 miles from Sarasota.

The father has full custody of the children and is separated from their mother, the children’s aunt, Sadie Dilts, told ABC News. Dilts said her sister — the children’s mother — who lives in Indiana, is on her way to Florida today.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Louisiana Police Officer Dies After Being Shot During Pedestrian Stop

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A Louisiana police officer has died after he was shot while conducting a pedestrian stop, according to police.

The officer stopped on Manhattan Boulevard in Harvey to conduct the pedestrian stop, said Col. John Fortunato, Commander and Public Information Officer for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses reported to police that a struggle ensued and the man pulled out a weapon, firing multiple shots and striking the officer, Fortunato told ABC News.

The man then fled on foot. The officer, who has not been identified, was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead shortly after arriving, Fortunato said.

Several suspects have been brought in for questioning, but police have not positively identified a subject, Fortunato said.

Further details about the pedestrian stop and the struggle between the man and officer were not immediately available.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Holland Tunnel Man Was on ‘Mission to Help Other Families’

Port Authority Police(NEW YORK) — A Pennsylvania man stopped by police near the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey with an arsenal of guns in his truck was “on a mission to help other families” in the wake of his daughter’s death, a friend.

John Cramsey, 50, allegedly told police he was going to New York City to rescue a teenage girl he believed was in danger from drugs, sources said.

“I think when he lost his daughter it just kind of broke something inside of him,” his friend Shannon Hardner said. “It sent him on a mission to help other families.”

Cramsey, who calls himself a “rebel” on Facebook and owns a gun range, was stopped during Tuesday morning rush hour at the tunnel’s New Jersey toll plaza with two others, 53-year-old Dean Smith and 29-year-old Kimberly Arendt. Police recovered five handguns, an assault rifle and a shotgun, as well as four knives, 10 clips of ammunition, body armor, marijuana and a military-grade helmet from the bright-colored truck.

The number of weapons in the car raised suspicions and the Joint Terrorism Task Force was called. Law enforcement officials told ABC News there did not appear to be a link to terrorism.

“They weren’t going out to harm anybody,” Michelle Arendt, Kimberly’s mother, told ABC News. “They were going out to save.”

According to officers, the trio said they wanted to rescue a 16-year-old girl they believed was in danger from drugs.

Cramsey wrote online before his arrest: “This young lady from Wilkes Barre is scared and wants to come home. Last night she woke to find her friends body next to her in the same bed were [sic] her friend died of another heroin overdose.”

A police source said the teenager Cramsey claimed he was headed to save told authorities: “I don’t need to be rescued.”

Cramsey’s own daughter died of an accidental heroin overdose four months ago, according to the medical examiner.

All three suspects were taken to the Hudson County, New Jersey, jail on weapons possession charges. They are expected to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

San Gabriel Complex Fire Continues to Scorch Southern California

Monkey Business/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Twin wildfires in Southern California have charred nearly 5,000 acres as an extreme heat wave continues to wreak havoc in the state.

The two fires, dubbed the reservoir and fish, are raging in the Angeles National Forest above Azusa and Duarte, forcing evacuations in the San Gabriel Valley near Los Angeles. The evacuations remained in place Tuesday night and fire officials will reevaluate the situation on Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, officials estimated that the wildfires had burned a total of about 5,400 acres but the size was reduced to 4,900 after the area was remapped later in the day. Officials said that number remained the same Wednesday morning as they work to secure the line around the perimeter. Firefighters had contained about 10 percent of the fires as of 6:40 a.m. local time, according to the Angeles National Forest.

Although the two fires have not merged, officials are now referring to them collectively as the San Gabriel Complex fire.

Homeowner Gordon Witby said Tuesday the flames were close to his house in Duarte a day earlier, but the scene was calm now.

“The flames were so high. And so fierce,” Witby told ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC-TV.

With the region suffering from triple-digit temperatures, fires have threatened areas north and south of Los Angeles, too. In the San Diego County town of Potrero, a blaze called the border fire burned through about 1,500 acres this weekend, prompting evacuations. In the Santa Barbara area, the sherpa fire, which began last week, has singed more than 7,000 acres.

California is not the only state fighting against Mother Nature; more than 20 fires are raging across eight western states.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Rescue Crews Locate Belongings That May Belong to Missing Florida Family

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

(SNAIL ISLAND, Fla.) — Rescue crews located water bottles, life jackets and a propane tank that may have belonged to the family reported missing off the western coast of Florida on Father’s Day, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday.

Coast Guard Capt. Greg Case called it a “dire finding,” but added that the discovery reaffirmed that air and boat crews are searching in the right place. “There is hope,” he said.

The debris was found 33 nautical miles off the coast of Sanibel Island, Florida. There was no sign of the family.

#UPDATE #BreakingNews @USCGSoutheast C130 aircrew conducting first light search for missing family.

— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 22, 2016

The Coast Guard began searching on Tuesday for the man and his three teenage children after a concerned family member contacted authorities.

A Coast Guard air crew discovered the four water bottles, six life jackets, tennis shoes, a basketball and a propane tank Wednesday morning.

The missing dad’s brother told the Coast Guard the family had at least seven life jackets and reportedly two kayaks on board the sailboat.

The family, who lived on the 29-foot boat, left Sarasota at 7 a.m. Sunday en route to Fort Myers for boat repairs. At about 3 p.m. Sunday, the missing man called his brother to say the boat was in 6-foot seas near Englewood, Florida, 30 miles away from Sarasota.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

PA Attorney General Who Exposed 1000s of Illicit Government Emails Now Faces Her Own Scandal

Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane is used to going up against criminals, not her own colleagues, but after she helped expose an email scandal within the state’s government, her career has been in jeopardy.

In 2014, Kane’s office released close to 400 pages of emails between state government employees, including some high-ranking state officials, exchanged on the state’s email server that were full of racism, sexism and pornography. The scandal was dubbed “Porngate,” and Kane said it involved a number of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials.

“I couldn’t believe there was violence involved and I couldn’t believe this wasn’t just some Playboy photos … 398 pages, much of it hardcore porn,” Kane told Nightline.

“The hardcore pornography shared on state computers, on state time, between state actors … That is not boys being boys,” she continued. “It’s assault upon our criminal justice system and quite honestly it’s unacceptable.”

For veteran public defender Mark Bookman, these emails represented something more troubling about Pennsylvania’s justice system.

“The pornography is what grabbed the public, but … the real issue here is the misogyny and the racism of those emails,” Bookman said. “If I’m an accused and if I’m looking up and I know a judge has sent these kind of misogynistic and racist emails … and then I look at the prosecutor who not only is close friends with the judge but exchanging these emails and thinks the same way, I don’t think I’m getting a fair shake in that courtroom.”

One of the state’s Supreme Court justices, Michael Eakin, resigned. His lawyer told Nightline Eakin never sent or received pornography.

Another justice, Seamus McCarthy, retired in 2014 amid the scandal. He could not be reached for comment.

To measure the scope of the scandal, Kane appointed former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler to lead an independent investigation.

“Our mission … is to look for inappropriate emails, pornographic, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, racist emails that exist … and then identify who committed violations and who did not,” Gansler said.

His researchers have spent months rifling through five million emails, searching for keywords that might flag inappropriate content. One was President Obama’s name to detect racist emails.

“You look at this and say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Gansler said. “Who made the decision to think this is an appropriate thing to send?”

This wasn’t the battle Kane expected to be fighting. Growing up in a blue collar household in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Kane went to law school and became a rising star in Pennsylvania’s Democratic Party, earning former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement while running to be the state’s attorney general. She won in the 2012 election, becoming the state’s first woman and first Democrat elected to the position.

When she exposed the state email scandal, Kane claims that, what she refers to as Pennsylvania’s political “good old boys club,” was furious and came after her.

Amid calls for her resignation from Gov. Tom Wolf, the Montgomery County prosecutor charged Kane in August 2015 with perjury, obstruction of justice and criminal conspiracy, accusing her of leaking grand jury information unrelated to this scandal to embarrass a political rival and then lying about it under oath — all of which Kane denies.

The state Supreme Court has suspended her law license over these charges, and she could face jail time when her criminal trial begins this August.

But her critics, including Marc Bookman, say Kane brought this on herself, and say she’s not a victim of the “good old boys club,” but of blind ambition and a vindictive streak.

“I don’t defend our attorney general for her behavior, I think it’s atrocious in every way,” Bookman said.

When a former prosecutor from her office named Frank Fina allegedly leaked a potentially damaging fact about Kane to the press, she retaliated, according to a court complaint, saying in an email to her media strategist, “This is war.”

In a defamation lawsuit against Kane, plaintiffs claim she got revenge by leaking grand jury information about Fina to a newspaper. Kane later admitted to sharing information, but said it was not illegal.

She said the accusations are “unfair,” claiming she met Fina once in a staff meeting “for about five minutes” but otherwise, she said, “I wouldn’t know Frank Fina if I fell over him.”

Fina declined “Nightline’s” request for comment. He is part of a group that has sued Kane for selectively releasing the emails. According to the complaint, Kane used “intimidation, attempted blackmail and vindictive retaliation,” for the purposes of “silencing her critics.”

Kane said it’s revenge from those “good old boys” in the email scandal.

“I took on this job knowing that I would be taking on the ‘good old boys,’ but I had no idea the positions of power that they were in,” Kane said. “I underestimated that and I was unprepared for it.

“They’ve done everything possible to me,” she continued. “There is three or four impeachment resolutions … a couple grand juries … two arrests … the only thing that hasn’t been done to me and not being glib when I say that, is out and out assassination.”

Again, her critics disagree and argue many of her wounds were self-inflicted.

“Whether there’s a ‘good old boys’ network or not … her own kind of vindictiveness appears to have brought her down,” Bookman said. “The attorney general has made a million missteps.”

Among Kane’s missteps, according to Bookman, was releasing the emails of her supposed rivals in the 2014 exposure while initially minimizing the dozens sent and received by her own twin sister, state prosecutor Ellen Granahan. Kane eventually released those emails, including one she received herself.

This past February, Kane announced she would not seek re-election, saying she’s going to focus on her two teenage sons, Christopher and Zack.

“I explain to them that there comes a certain cost sometimes with doing the right thing, and it is not always easy,” Kane said.

Despite the troubles she has faced, Kane still puts in full days at the office and recently made headlines for uncovering a church sexual abuse scandal.

But the thing that still drives her, she said, is the email scandal. The interim report on that investigation is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

“We do have recommendations in there,” Gansler said. “Hopefully, just the very nature of this investigation, the fact that this investigation takes place, will create a massive chilling effect for those who might send inappropriate emails to other people.”

And Kane has a few more months left in office to define her legacy.

“You can’t give a closing argument now because the story isn’t over yet,” she said. “There is a long way to go here.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Alaska Airlines Flight Diverted After Man Allegedly Tried to Kiss Sleeping 16-Year-Old-Girl

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — An Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to Anchorage was diverted Tuesday after a man allegedly attempted to kiss a sleeping teenage girl, according to officials.

After the man, 23, who was sitting next to the girl, 16, attempted to kiss her, the pilot was notified and Alaska Flight 137 was diverted to Seattle-Tacoma Airport at approximately 2 p.m. local time, Sea-Tac spokesman Perry Cooper said.

In Seattle, the man was arrested for fourth-degree assault. The case will be turned over to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for filing of charges, Cooper added.

The female passenger remained on board the flight, which continued to Anchorage at about 3 p.m. local time.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Texas Father Arrested in Death of His 6-Month-Old Daughter Left in Hot Car

iStock/Thinkstock(MELISSA, Texas) — Authorities have arrested a Texas man after his 6-month-old daughter was found unresponsive Tuesday afternoon outside their home.

Deputies were alerted at about 1:30 p.m. that an infant was left alone in a vehicle in Melissa — roughly 40 miles north of Dallas — according to the Collin County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities released few details but confirmed the child died and that her father, Michael Thedford, 33, was arrested.

The cause of the child’s death is under investigation. Deputies were told the child was left in the car, but it’s not known for how long.

Thedford was charged with manslaughter and is being held on a $20,000 bond.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Severe Weather Turns Washington DC Metro Station Into a Waterfall

mace.grills/Instagram(WASHINGTON) — A powerful storm struck the nation’s capital Tuesday afternoon pummeling the region with rain, hail and even flooding an underground metro station.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority was forced to shut down Cleveland Park Metro station around 7 p.m. due to severe flooding.

Dramatic photos show water rushing down the escalators as passengers made their way up to exit.

Josh Stanton decided to poke fun at the situation posting a photo of a wet floor sign surrounded by floodwater.

Bonus points for @wmata for ironic ‘wet floor’ sign at Cleveland Park metro. @unsuckdcmetro @fox5dc

— Josh Stanton (@JStantonDC) June 21, 2016

By 8:30 p.m. trains were no longer skipping the Cleveland Park metro stop after bypassing the station for more than an hour.

Red Line: Trains are now servicing Cleveland Park following earlier weather related escalator outage/flooding.

— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) June 22, 2016

Residents also posted pictures of downed trees as tens of thousands were left without power in Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Coast Guard Searching for Dad, Three Teens Missing off Florida Coast

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(ENGLEWOOD, Fla.) — The Coast Guard is searching off the coast of Florida overnight after a sailboat containing a father and his three teenage children went missing.

Officials say the man, along with his 13 and 15-year-old teenage sons, and 17-year-old daughter were last heard from Sunday morning.

#BreakingNews: CORRECTION: USCG searching for sailboat w/ missing father, 2 sons (13,15), and daughter (17) last seen Sunday AM.

— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 22, 2016

A family member called the Coast Guard Tuesday to report the man and his children left Sarasota en route to Fort Myers at 7 a.m. Sunday and hadn’t returned.

The 29-foot boat disappeared off the coast of Englewood, according to the coast guard.

The father aboard the vessel called his brother at 3 p.m. Sunday and “stated the sailboat was in 6-foot seas and he was attempting to survive with his children offshore of Englewood,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Rescue crews were searching for the family by air and sea Tuesday night, the Coast Guard added.

Station Fort Myers Beach activated the Maritime Emergency Response Team which includes numerous state and local maritime emergency responders.

#BreakingNews @USCGSoutheast has launched air & boat crews in search for missing family. Asks public to keep a sharp lookout. More to follow

— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 22, 2016

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →