Review Category : National News

15 Hospitalized Due to Fumes on Cheerleaders’ Charter Bus

iStock/Thinkstock(THORNBURG, Va.) — Fifteen people were hospitalized after heavy fumes were reported on a charter bus carrying a group of cheerleaders in Virginia Sunday, authorities said.

The situation was reported before 7 p.m. Sunday, Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed to ABC News.

Passengers on the bus reported smelling the fumes while the bus was headed south on Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Virginia, authorities said. The bus pulled off the highway about 20 miles later in Thornburg, and five ambulances were called to bring victims to area hospitals.

The bus was headed back to North Carolina after the cheerleaders competed in an event in Washington, D.C., officials said.

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Colorado Police Officer Shot During Traffic Stop

aijohn784/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AURORA, Colo.) — A Colorado police officer was shot during a traffic stop on Friday night by the driver of the vehicle he had just pulled over.

According to Aurora police spokesperson Frank Fania, the officers weren’t able to provide a description of the driver, saying that the incident “happened so quick.” It wasn’t clear what the driver had been pulled over for, or what led to the shooting.

Such dangers aren’t uncommon though. Fania noted that “you hear it all the time. It’s one of the most dangerous parts of the job, is a traffic stop…you never know what you’re getting into.”

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Chemical Leak Spreads Odor East of Houston, Officials Say Residents Not in Danger

HPCPHOTO/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A leak in a chemical storage tank at a DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas caused an odor to permeate the air across the area.

The leak, ABC’s Houston affiliate KTRK said, sprung Saturday morning. One person was reportedly unaccounted for.

Officials say there is no danger from the chemical, methyl mercaptan, which is used to give natural gas an odor and in crop protection products. While the chemical itself can be hazardous, the odor is not.

Four people were treated at the scene and one was sent to a nearby hospital. Their conditions were unknown.

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Chemical Leak Spreads Odor East of Houston, Officials Say Residents Not in Danger

HPCPHOTO/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A leak in a chemical storage tank at a DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas caused an odor to permeate the air across the area.

The leak, ABC’s Houston affiliate KTRK said, sprung Saturday morning. One person was reportedly unaccounted for.

Officials say there is no danger from the chemical, methyl mercaptan, which is used to give natural gas an odor and in crop protection products. While the chemical itself can be hazardous, the odor is not.

Four people were treated at the scene and one was sent to a nearby hospital. Their conditions were unknown.

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Colorado Police Officer Shot During Traffic Stop

aijohn784/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AURORA, Colo.) — A Colorado police officer was shot during a traffic stop on Friday night by the driver of the vehicle he had just pulled over.

According to Aurora police spokesperson Frank Fania, the officers weren’t able to provide a description of the driver, saying that the incident “happened so quick.” It wasn’t clear what the driver had been pulled over for, or what led to the shooting.

Such dangers aren’t uncommon though. Fania noted that “you hear it all the time. It’s one of the most dangerous parts of the job, is a traffic stop…you never know what you’re getting into.”

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U.S. to Contribute $3 Billion to Green Climate Fund in Fight Against Climate Change

panemoj/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The United States will contribute $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, President Obama announced on Saturday, joining with a number of other nations in helping to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen resilience in developing countries.

Mexico, Korea, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland have already pledged their financial support, and the White House says that other nations are expected to do so soon.

The U.S. previously pledged $2 billion to the Climate Investment Funds in 2008 under then-President George W. Bush. The U.S. did limit its contributions, ensuring that they will not contribute more than 30 percent of total confirmed pledges — a total the White House says is “consistent with the U.S. contribution to other funds in which we have exercised U.S. leadership to catalyze other contributions.”

The funding will go towards creating early-warning systems for vulnerable communities, improve defenses against storm surges and create climate-resilient infrastructure while helping to limit greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

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Eric Frein Manhunt Cost More Than $11,000,000

PA Dept of Transporation(CANADENSIS, Pa.) — The manhunt for alleged cop killer Eric Frein cost more than $11 million according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

Overtime costs for the state police accounted for the majority of this total, with $6.9 million being paid out to officers who worked extra hours throughout the 48-day manhunt.

The $11,046,653 total only accounted for the costs for the Pennsylvania State Police and not the supporting agencies like the FBI or the U.S. Marshalls, who were the officers who ended up finding Frein Oct. 30 in an abandoned airport hangar in the Poconos.

In addition to overtime wages, nearly $3 million was spent on benefits and more than $657,000 in standard salaries. Travel costs amounted to more than $66,000 and nearly $200,000 for inventory and operational expenses.

The manhunt for Frein began after he allegedly ambushed two state troopers on Sept. 12, killing one and wounding the other.

Frein, a war reenactor, excellent shot and self-taught survivalist, eluded the massive police dragnet for nearly seven weeks. He has been charged with murder and possession of weapons of mass destruction (two bombs). Police this week added a terrorism charge. He has not entered a plea and is being held without bail.

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Miami TV Anchor and Meteorologist Get Engaged in Newsroom

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — A love match made at a news station turned into a marriage proposal inside the newsroom with cameras rolling Thursday.

Jacey Birch, the morning anchor for local ABC station WPLG in Miami, was at the news desk preparing to do a taped interview on holiday gifts for pets when the man who appeared on the screen next to her was instead her boyfriend, WPLG meteorologist Trent Aric.

As a shocked Birch tried to figure out what was going on, Aric threw to a pre-taped package documenting the couple’s road to love.

The duo met 10 years ago when they both worked in the weather department at WPLG but only began dating 10 months ago when they were both assigned to weekend newscasts.

“It was a schedule change that started it all,” Aric told ABC News on Friday.

Once the Aric-written, produced and narrated news package ended, Aric appeared in person, got down on one knee and asked Birch to marry him.

Birch, of course, said yes.

“I had no clue. Not even an idea,” Birch said Friday. “I’m still in shock.”

Aric planned the proposal far in advance — including taking a trip to Birch’s parents’ home in Vero Beach, Fla., to ask for their permission — but only told a handful of the couple’s colleagues at the station just hours before.

The proposal was done off-air but cameras were rolling so the couple would have a record of it just for themselves and their family and friends, or so they thought.

After news of the proposal was a hit on WPLG’s social media, the station posted the entire proposal on their website.

“We thought it was just going to be private and maybe it would go on Facebook for our family and friends and that was it,” Birch said.

“I was quite surprised when I woke up this morning,” Aric said of all the happy attention his romantic proposal has received, including a mention on ABC’s Good Morning America.

The public attention has led to some confusion since certain moments of the video — like a time when Birch’s mom mentions her daughter’s two babies and when Aric’s father is crying in a hospital bed — were just inside jokes like any family has.

“Simba and Jagger, those are my two dogs,” Birch said, laughingly clearing up any confusion that she might have kids.

As for Aric’s dad, he was in the hospital earlier this month when his spot in the video was filmed, but he is fine and his tears were for purely dramatic effect.

“My dad is fully healthy and getting a good laugh out of this,” Aric said.

The couple says they plan to elope in Bora Bora next summer.

Click here to watch the full proposal video on WPLG’s website.

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Formerly Homeless Woman Donates Baked Goods to Los Angeles’ Homeless

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — For Los Angeles resident Latrina Wilcher, being in the kitchen and making something special is a warm and comforting memory of her early childhood. It reminds her of her grandmother making her signature pie — Katie May’s sweet potato pie — at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Throughout most of her childhood, Wilcher, now 26, lived in orphanages and foster care, and was even homeless, but, she said: “Even through the hardships and the hard times, finding home and shelter, I still managed to keep connection with my grandmother.”

Now, Wilcher, a baker by trade, wants to share those warm memories with others who are in need. Twice per month, she and a friend feed the homeless on Skid Row, the downtown Los Angeles area with one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the country.

She called it the Sweet Tri Pastries Project, and, on a recent visit to Skid Row, Wilcher distributed potato pies, protein bars, chocolate chip cookies and water.

Wilcher explained her motivation.

“I needed a purpose,” she said. “I needed to give back, and I wanted to help other people have hope.”

The people on Skid Row are grateful, as is Eric Garcetti, the city’s mayor, who dropped by to express his thanks to Wilcher.

“You know, Latrina’s an angel in the City of Angels,” he said. “If we had four million Latrinas, we would be done with this issue tomorrow. And I’m hoping it inspires more people to do the same. The government needs to step up and do its part, but we as individuals have to, also.”

Wilcher’s friends, Zachary Greenblott and LaToya Alvare, help her with her outreach to the homeless.

“It’s beautiful to see how she interacts with people down there,” Greenblott said. “She understands what it’s like to miss out on love.”

Wilcher acknowledges that there’s a lot that she cannot do for the homeless, but hopes that her small part helps.

“I know that I can’t give them a home, but I can give them a pastry. I can give them some water. I can give them hope that people care out there…and that’s why I love to do this — because I care,” she said. “And I love. We’re spreading love, one slice at a time.”

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Formerly Homeless Woman Donates Baked Goods to Los Angeles’ Homeless

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — For Los Angeles resident Latrina Wilcher, being in the kitchen and making something special is a warm and comforting memory of her early childhood. It reminds her of her grandmother making her signature pie — Katie May’s sweet potato pie — at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Throughout most of her childhood, Wilcher, now 26, lived in orphanages and foster care, and was even homeless, but, she said: “Even through the hardships and the hard times, finding home and shelter, I still managed to keep connection with my grandmother.”

Now, Wilcher, a baker by trade, wants to share those warm memories with others who are in need. Twice per month, she and a friend feed the homeless on Skid Row, the downtown Los Angeles area with one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the country.

She called it the Sweet Tri Pastries Project, and, on a recent visit to Skid Row, Wilcher distributed potato pies, protein bars, chocolate chip cookies and water.

Wilcher explained her motivation.

“I needed a purpose,” she said. “I needed to give back, and I wanted to help other people have hope.”

The people on Skid Row are grateful, as is Eric Garcetti, the city’s mayor, who dropped by to express his thanks to Wilcher.

“You know, Latrina’s an angel in the City of Angels,” he said. “If we had four million Latrinas, we would be done with this issue tomorrow. And I’m hoping it inspires more people to do the same. The government needs to step up and do its part, but we as individuals have to, also.”

Wilcher’s friends, Zachary Greenblott and LaToya Alvare, help her with her outreach to the homeless.

“It’s beautiful to see how she interacts with people down there,” Greenblott said. “She understands what it’s like to miss out on love.”

Wilcher acknowledges that there’s a lot that she cannot do for the homeless, but hopes that her small part helps.

“I know that I can’t give them a home, but I can give them a pastry. I can give them some water. I can give them hope that people care out there…and that’s why I love to do this — because I care,” she said. “And I love. We’re spreading love, one slice at a time.”

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