Review Category : National News

Bodies, Vehicle Found in Georgia Case of Missing Craigslist Car Couple

The Runion Family | Telfair County Sheriff’s Office(ATLANTA) — Investigators have found the unidentified bodies of a male and a female, as well as an SUV owned by a Georgia couple who vanished last week while going to meet someone to buy a vintage car they found on Craigslist.

“It’s not the outcome we had hoped for, but obviously it’s one we have to deal with,” Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson told reporters.

Bud Runion, 69, and his wife, June, 66, disappeared Thursday, authorities said. The pair had posted an ad seeking to buy a vintage 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. Relatives said the Mustang was the couple’s dream car, one they’d wanted to buy since they were married decades ago.

The couple’s 2003 GMC Envoy was found submerged in a lake, the Telfair County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page. The unidentified bodies were found at another location, near property affiliated with the family of a suspect in the case who turned himself in to law enforcement earlier Monday, officials said.

That suspect, Ronnie “Jay” Towns, 28, was the alleged owner of the phone that last communicated with the Runions’ phone, according to the sheriff’s office.

The couple, after finding what they believed was a seller, reportedly set out on a 180-mile road trip from Marietta, Georgia, to McRae, Georgia.

The Runions haven’t been heard from since, and never showed up to babysit their grandchildren Friday. Their three daughters had grown increasingly worried by their parents’ disappearance.

“Whoever has them, we hope that they will let them come home to us,” daughter Stephanie Bishop said. “We miss them.”

The Runion family has set up a Facebook page — “Find Bud and June Runion” — and it has about 100,000 supporters, a growing group desperately searching for the couple.

“We are unbelievably grateful for all of the media support and to each of you for sharing the page. We ask that you please keep sharing the page and spreading the word so we can find Bud and June Runion,” the couple’s relatives wrote.

Officials with Craigslist referred to the safety page on the company’s website, which notes, “Be especially careful when buying/selling high value items.”

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Flights Canceled, Travel Bans Enacted Ahead of Major Winter Storm

ABC News(NEW YORK) — As a massive blizzard prepares to engulf the Northeast, some 2,983 flights have been canceled as the storm is expected to bring two feet or more of snow from New Jersey to Maine.

An additional 3,670 flights have been cancelled for Tuesday and that number is expected to rise, according to FlightAware.com.

The greatest impacts from the storm, which began as a clipper system that brought snow and slick roads to the Midwest on Sunday, are expected Monday evening through Tuesday.

President Obama was briefed on the storm, and White House officials have been in touch with state and local officials on the eastern seaboard, according to White House Spokesman Josh Earnest.

FEMA also has assets in the region ready to assist, Earnest said.

Governors in six states — Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have all declared states of emergency.

Local leaders in the New York area were warning residents to stay off the roads and planned to shut down or curtail mass transit systems as the storm intensifies.

In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a travel ban for the entire state effective at 9 p.m. this evening.

“We encourage citizens to stay in place during the duration of the storm,” Malloy said.

Cuomo and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie announced at separate briefings that the New York subway, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro North and New Jersey Transit would all be reducing service dramatically leading up to total closures for the subway, LIRR and Metro North at 11 p.m. and for NJ Transit at 10 p.m. Subway and PATH train service were to be curtailed. The MTA said that Monday night was the first time snow has shut down the entire subway system.

Cuomo also said that all non-emergency vehicles would be banned from local, county and state roads on Long Island beginning at 11 p.m.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio told residents not to underestimate the storm.

“Prepare for something worse than we have seen before. Prepare to be safe. Take every precaution,” he said. “Now is the time to get ready for this extreme weather.”

All vehicles will be barred from New York City roads starting at 11 p.m., as part of an order that will stand until further notice, de Blasio said.

Ahead of the winter storm, New York City residents raced to stock up on food essentials.

De Blasio said crews were readying to keep streets clear, as officials prepare for what could be “one of the top two or three largest storms in the history of this city.” He also warned that the storm “will hit very hard and very fast and people cannot be caught off guard.”

New York City Public Schools will also be closed Tuesday to more than one million students.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency was also preparing for the storm.

“All of the things that come into play during these events, we want to make sure there are no surprises and everybody is on the same page,” said MEMA spokesman Peter Judge.

Boston Public Schools are slated to be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday due to the storm.

The highest snowfall amounts are currently expected between just east of New York City and Boston, where up to two feet of snow is expected.

New York City can expect 12-18 inches of snow, with cities southwest on I-95, like Philadelphia seeing 6-12 inches.

Winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories are in effect from the mid-Atlantic through New England, with blizzard watches posted for cities closer to the coast, including New York City and Boston, where blizzard conditions are expected during the height of the storm.

In anticipation of the dangerous winter weather, several major U.S. airlines have issued travel advisories, including Jet Blue, US Airways, American, Southwest and Delta.

Many airlines are also waiving their flight change and cancellation fees for any flights that are scheduled to arrive in cities expected to be affected by the storm this evening and Tuesday.

Travelers can check with their specific airline for how to change or cancel their flight and get the latest updates on any travel advisories.

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Feds: Russian Spy Posing as Banker Nabbed in NYC

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — An alleged Russian spy posing as a banker in Manhattan has been arrested, federal officials said Monday.

The banker, identified in a criminal complaint as Evgeny Buryakov, is accused of working with agents of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, as a “non-official cover” agent.

“Specifically, Buryakov is posing as an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank,” the complaint, unsealed Monday, says.

Buraykov was arrested as part of an alleged spy ring that involved two other individuals, the Department of Justice said. The other two, identified as Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy, had worked in the U.S. before on behalf of Russia and were protected by diplomatic immunity. Sporyshev worked as a Trade Representative for Russia in New York until late last year and Podobnyy was an attaché to Russia’s Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, the complaint says.

“These charges demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “We will use every tool at our disposal to identify and hold accountable foreign agents operating inside this country — no matter how deep their cover.”

Buryakov is listed as the Deputy Representative in the U.S. for Russia’s Vnesheconombank, based in Manhattan. A spokesperson at the state-run bank declined to comment to ABC News.

Federal officials say the spy ring was tasked by Moscow with gathering information on, among other things, potential U.S. sanctions against Russia and U.S. efforts to develop alternative energy resources. The three allegedly worked for a particular division of Russian intelligence called “Directorate ER,” which “focuses on economic issues,” according to the complaint.

The FBI began tracking the trio after the 2010 arrests of Anna Chapman and nine other spies known as the “Illegals.” The trio is accused of trying to recruit female spies for Russia.

The three newly uncovered alleged spies regularly met and communicated using clandestine methods and coded messages, in order to exchange intelligence-related information while shielding their associations with one another as SVR agents. To pass information court records say they held clandestine meetings outdoors where they passed bags, magazines or slips of paper.

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Feds: Russian Spy Posing as Banker Nabbed in NYC

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — An alleged Russian spy posing as a banker in Manhattan has been arrested, federal officials said Monday.

The banker, identified in a criminal complaint as Evgeny Buryakov, is accused of working with agents of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, as a “non-official cover” agent.

“Specifically, Buryakov is posing as an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank,” the complaint, unsealed Monday, says.

Buraykov was arrested as part of an alleged spy ring that involved two other individuals, the Department of Justice said. The other two, identified as Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy, had worked in the U.S. before on behalf of Russia and were protected by diplomatic immunity. Sporyshev worked as a Trade Representative for Russia in New York until late last year and Podobnyy was an attaché to Russia’s Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, the complaint says.

“These charges demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “We will use every tool at our disposal to identify and hold accountable foreign agents operating inside this country — no matter how deep their cover.”

Buryakov is listed as the Deputy Representative in the U.S. for Russia’s Vnesheconombank, based in Manhattan. A spokesperson at the state-run bank declined to comment to ABC News.

Federal officials say the spy ring was tasked by Moscow with gathering information on, among other things, potential U.S. sanctions against Russia and U.S. efforts to develop alternative energy resources. The three allegedly worked for a particular division of Russian intelligence called “Directorate ER,” which “focuses on economic issues,” according to the complaint.

The FBI began tracking the trio after the 2010 arrests of Anna Chapman and nine other spies known as the “Illegals.” The trio is accused of trying to recruit female spies for Russia.

The three newly uncovered alleged spies regularly met and communicated using clandestine methods and coded messages, in order to exchange intelligence-related information while shielding their associations with one another as SVR agents. To pass information court records say they held clandestine meetings outdoors where they passed bags, magazines or slips of paper.

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Lance Armstrong on Doping: ‘I Would Probably Do It Again’

George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network via Getty Images(LONDON) — Lance Armstrong said his life has been “brutal” since he admitted to doping during his pro cycling career, but he said he would still use banned performance-enhancing drugs and methods if transported back to his heyday.

“If I was racing in 2015, no I wouldn’t do it again because I don’t think you have to do it again. If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive, I would probably do it again. People don’t like to hear that,” Armstrong told BBC Sports in his first TV interview since he confessed to doping.

In the two years since he came clean on the Oprah Winfrey Show, “The fallout has been heavy, maybe heavier than I thought,” Armstrong said. “It was, you know, pretty brutal afterwards. It’s been tough.”

Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012 in the wake of the scandal and banned from professional cycling for life, said his biggest fear was the possibility of facing questions from his kids as they got older.

“You’d have that day when a 13-year-old or a 15-year-old would come home and just be in pieces. ‘Dad, I heard this in the hallway’ or ‘I read this on social media, is this true?'” Armstrong said. “Yeah, that would rock me.”

Asked whether he deserved forgiveness, especially in light of his bullying and intimidation of his accusers and former teammates, Armstrong said, “some of that’s true, some of that’s not true. There was certainly a dishonesty there that I think is totally regrettable and inexcusable — the ring leading, the bullying, not totally true.”

Armstrong added that he thinks he should be forgiven and his lifetime ban lifted.

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Lance Armstrong on Doping: ‘I Would Probably Do It Again’

George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network via Getty Images(LONDON) — Lance Armstrong said his life has been “brutal” since he admitted to doping during his pro cycling career, but he said he would still use banned performance-enhancing drugs and methods if transported back to his heyday.

“If I was racing in 2015, no I wouldn’t do it again because I don’t think you have to do it again. If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive, I would probably do it again. People don’t like to hear that,” Armstrong told BBC Sports in his first TV interview since he confessed to doping.

In the two years since he came clean on the Oprah Winfrey Show, “The fallout has been heavy, maybe heavier than I thought,” Armstrong said. “It was, you know, pretty brutal afterwards. It’s been tough.”

Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012 in the wake of the scandal and banned from professional cycling for life, said his biggest fear was the possibility of facing questions from his kids as they got older.

“You’d have that day when a 13-year-old or a 15-year-old would come home and just be in pieces. ‘Dad, I heard this in the hallway’ or ‘I read this on social media, is this true?'” Armstrong said. “Yeah, that would rock me.”

Asked whether he deserved forgiveness, especially in light of his bullying and intimidation of his accusers and former teammates, Armstrong said, “some of that’s true, some of that’s not true. There was certainly a dishonesty there that I think is totally regrettable and inexcusable — the ring leading, the bullying, not totally true.”

Armstrong added that he thinks he should be forgiven and his lifetime ban lifted.

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Suspect Surrenders in Case of Missing Craigslist Car Couple

aijohn784/iStock/Thinkstock(MARIETTA, Ga.) — A suspect has turned himself in to authorities investigating the disappearance of a Georgia couple, who vanished last week while going to meet someone to buy a vintage car they found on Craigslist.

Bud Runion, 69, and his wife, June, 66, disappeared Thursday, authorities said. The pair had posted an ad seeking to buy a vintage 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. Relatives said the Mustang was the couple’s dream car, one they’d wanted to buy since they were married decades ago.

Ronnie “Jay” Towns, 28, a suspect in the couple’s disappearance, has surrendered to authorities, Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson said. He had not been accused of harming the Runions.

The couple’s last call was to Towns, police have said.

The Runions, after finding what they believed was a seller, reportedly set out on a 180-mile road trip from Marietta, Georgia, to McRae, Georgia.

The couple hasn’t been heard from since, and never showed up to babysit their grandchildren on Friday. The Runions’ three daughters have grown increasingly worried by their parents’ disappearance.

“Whoever has them, we hope that they will let them come home to us,” daughter Stephanie Bishop said. “We miss them.”

The Runion family has set up a Facebook page — “Find Bud and June Runion” — and it has about 100,000 supporters, a growing group desperately searching for the couple.

“We are unbelievably grateful for all of the media support and to each of you for sharing the page. We ask that you please keep sharing the page and spreading the word so we can find Bud and June Runion,” the couple’s relatives wrote.

Officials with Craigslist referred to the safety page on the company’s website, which notes, “Be especially careful when buying/selling high value items.”

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Remembering the Storm that Shut Down New York City

Man standing by snow hut, after the Great Blizzard of 1888, with U.S. Capitol in background, Washington, D.C. (Buyenlarge/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) — More than 125 years later, the Great Blizzard of 1888’s legacy still resonates. The storm is drawing new attention as the East Coast prepares Monday for a devastating winter onslaught, with 12 to 18 inches of snow possible in New York City in the coming days.

The city has been hit hard before — including March 11 to 14, 1888. The blizzard remains one of the worst storms in U.S. history, dumping 50 inches of snow in some areas, according to the National Weather Service, with drifts up to 50 feet high reported and residents from Maryland to Maine impacted.

Hundreds of people died. Public transportation was frozen, telegraph and telephone wires were down, and electricity was lost.

“It has been thus far the greatest storm that this section of the country has ever known,” wrote The New York World on March 13, 1888. “From midnight of Sunday to midnight of Monday this blizzard completely paralyzed the life-blood of this city and turned its avocations into a by-word and a force. Business stood still and millions of money were the damages.”

Elevated trains were stuck between stations and ladders were used to get passengers down to the street below. Newly-arrived immigrants were paid to shovel, and horse carts were used to clear the snow from the streets.

The 1888 storm maintains the third-highest snow accumulation recorded in New York City at 21 inches. The Great Blizzard started as rain, turning to sleet and snow as the temperature dropped into the single digits. What set the storm apart was the wind, with some gusts reaching 75 miles per hour.

“The vast machinery of the great city was stopped short by the storm, and the consequent financial loss was enormous,” wrote the Hornellsville Weekly Tribune.

Everett Hayden, a scientist, wrote about the blizzard in the first issue of National Geographic magazine in 1889.

“The great storm…has furnished a most striking and instructive example of a somewhat unusual class of storms, and this on such a grand scale, and in a part of the world where the data for its study are so complete, that it must long remain a memorable instance,” he wrote.

A group of survivors — the Blizzard Men of ’88 — helped to maintain the storm’s visibility, continuing to meet into the mid-1900s. One of the group members, Theodore Van Wyck, wrote a poem to commemorate the historic storm.

“Our blizzard sure must take the prize/ In spite of all the yarns and lies/ Our snow was nearly two feet deep/ Piled up and down in one big heap,” he wrote in the mid-1930s.

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WATCH: Pilot Pulls Parachute in Dramatic Plane Escape over Ocean

US Coast Guard(MAUI, Hawaii) — The U.S. Coast Guard captured the suspenseful moment when a pilot ran out of fuel and his plane quickly plummeted to the ocean.

The pilot had to ditch his aircraft about 253 miles northeast of Maui, Hawaii, on Sunday, when his single engine Cirrus SR-22 aircraft ran out of fuel.

Fortunately, the pilot was safe after the ordeal.

“At approximately 4:44 p.m. the pilot was able to deploy the aircraft’s airframe parachute system and safely exit the aircraft into a life raft,” according to the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System.

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WATCH: Pilot Pulls Parachute in Dramatic Plane Escape over Ocean

US Coast Guard(MAUI, Hawaii) — The U.S. Coast Guard captured the suspenseful moment when a pilot ran out of fuel and his plane quickly plummeted to the ocean.

The pilot had to ditch his aircraft about 253 miles northeast of Maui, Hawaii, on Sunday, when his single engine Cirrus SR-22 aircraft ran out of fuel.

Fortunately, the pilot was safe after the ordeal.

“At approximately 4:44 p.m. the pilot was able to deploy the aircraft’s airframe parachute system and safely exit the aircraft into a life raft,” according to the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System.

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