Review Category : National News

Bride Discovers Wedding Dress Stolen on Wedding Day

iStock/Thinkstock(LOGAN, Utah) — A Utah bride was able to walk down the aisle in a white wedding gown, as planned, thanks to friends and strangers alike, after her original wedding dress was stolen from her car the morning of her wedding.

The bride, Erin Dimond, told local ABC News affiliate KTVX, “We feel so loved and taken care of.”

Dimond, of Logan, Utah, was not feeling so serene Thursday morning after her now-husband, Joshua Dimond, went down to their car parked in their hotel’s parking lot and discovered that the window was smashed and his soon-to-be-bride’s wedding gown was gone.

“I was like, ‘Ha-ha that’s funny,'” Erin Dimond recalled saying when Joshua told her the bad news. “He said, ‘No really it’s gone. What do you want to do?”

The Dimonds, who could not be reached Friday by ABC News, quickly went into action, calling in friends to help and even calling KTVX for help finding a dress.

The call to KTVX led to Dimond being given every dress a local bridal store had in her size to try on as a replacement.

“I actually got a call around 9 a.m. when I was in the shower,” Nikki’s Bridal co-owner Ali Iraheta told ABC News. “I dropped everything and met the reporter at the store.”

“When you hear a story like this, as a woman and after working with so many brides, I didn’t hesitate to help,” Iraheta said.

Even though Dimond had not purchased her original wedding dress at Nikki’s Bridal, Iraheta still scoured the 2,000-square-foot store for a dress Dimond could borrow.

“Everything went so fast because I knew she had to be married at 11 a.m.,” Iraheta said. “We just did the best that we could.”

One of the dresses Iraheta pulled from among the store’s over 100 bridal gowns was one that Dimond did, in fact, choose to wear at the couple’s outdoor ring ceremony.

For the couple’s first ceremony, inside the Salt Lake Temple, Dimond chose to wear a different white gown that a group of friends rushed to borrow from another local bridal store, Candlelight Dresses.

“Thankfully, we had all of our friends,” the groom, Joshua Dimond, told KTVX after the couple said “I do.” “Everyone was so willing to help us. We’re extremely grateful for all the help they’ve given us.”

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Bride Discovers Wedding Dress Stolen on Wedding Day

iStock/Thinkstock(LOGAN, Utah) — A Utah bride was able to walk down the aisle in a white wedding gown, as planned, thanks to friends and strangers alike, after her original wedding dress was stolen from her car the morning of her wedding.

The bride, Erin Dimond, told local ABC News affiliate KTVX, “We feel so loved and taken care of.”

Dimond, of Logan, Utah, was not feeling so serene Thursday morning after her now-husband, Joshua Dimond, went down to their car parked in their hotel’s parking lot and discovered that the window was smashed and his soon-to-be-bride’s wedding gown was gone.

“I was like, ‘Ha-ha that’s funny,'” Erin Dimond recalled saying when Joshua told her the bad news. “He said, ‘No really it’s gone. What do you want to do?”

The Dimonds, who could not be reached Friday by ABC News, quickly went into action, calling in friends to help and even calling KTVX for help finding a dress.

The call to KTVX led to Dimond being given every dress a local bridal store had in her size to try on as a replacement.

“I actually got a call around 9 a.m. when I was in the shower,” Nikki’s Bridal co-owner Ali Iraheta told ABC News. “I dropped everything and met the reporter at the store.”

“When you hear a story like this, as a woman and after working with so many brides, I didn’t hesitate to help,” Iraheta said.

Even though Dimond had not purchased her original wedding dress at Nikki’s Bridal, Iraheta still scoured the 2,000-square-foot store for a dress Dimond could borrow.

“Everything went so fast because I knew she had to be married at 11 a.m.,” Iraheta said. “We just did the best that we could.”

One of the dresses Iraheta pulled from among the store’s over 100 bridal gowns was one that Dimond did, in fact, choose to wear at the couple’s outdoor ring ceremony.

For the couple’s first ceremony, inside the Salt Lake Temple, Dimond chose to wear a different white gown that a group of friends rushed to borrow from another local bridal store, Candlelight Dresses.

“Thankfully, we had all of our friends,” the groom, Joshua Dimond, told KTVX after the couple said “I do.” “Everyone was so willing to help us. We’re extremely grateful for all the help they’ve given us.”

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Men Find Prehistoric Elephant Skull at New Mexico Bachelor Party

iStock/Thinkstock(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) — Plenty of crazy things can happen at bachelor parties, but celebrants in New Mexico had the sobering discovery of a prehistoric stegomastodon skull that is estimated to be 3 million years old.

Antonia Gradillas and his buddies celebrating a pal’s upcoming wedding were hiking around Elephant Butte Lake State Park about 150 miles outside of Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday.

“As we were walking we saw a bone sticking out about one or two inches from the ground,” Gradillas told ABC News.

Gradillas, 31, and his friends started digging and the skull began to surface. Gradillas realized this could be a major discovery, and he called a friend who works at a museum who directed him to Gary Morgan, a paleontologist with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

After getting Gradillas’ pictures of the skull, Morgan rushed the scene with his crew the very next day and told Gradillas that this could be a stegomastodon, a prehistoric animal that has been buried for about 3 million years.

Morgan explained that this prehistoric animal resembled modern elephants, but had a more squat build. He estimated that the creature uncovered by Gradillas likely stood about 9 feet tall, weighed more than six tons and was about 50 years old when it died.

“This mastodon was living, drinking, feeding alongside the ancient Rio Grande 3 million years ago,” Morgan told ABC affiliate KRQE.

There is no way to tell how the creature died or its gender, Morgan said.

So far, museum crews have only found a skull.

“As we’ve dug around we haven’t seen any other bones, so all the limb bones seem to be missing,” Morgan said.

He said the skeleton could be one of the best preserved stegomastodon skulls in the U.S.

The skull was found sitting upside down. Crews spent Thursday covering it in protective newsprint, burlap, and plaster and preparing to load it on a truck. The skull will be hauled away to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The extraction process still gives Morgan “butterflies” after more than 20 years of experience. Fossils are fragile, despite their robust appearance.

Gradillas also got a thrill from his discovery.

“This is the coolest thing ever,” Gradillas said. “Some people with Ph.D.s in this field might not even have this kind of opportunity. We were so lucky.”

Gradillas said he was very impressed that the museum responded to his email so quickly.

“After Gary explained to me the details of the skull, I was just so impressed,” Gradillas said. “It was so cool to see someone so passionate about what they do.”

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Texas Home Teetering on Cliff Gets Burned Down

iStock/Thinkstock(FORT WORTH, Texas) — The 4,000-square-foot luxury home that has spent days teetering on the verge of collapsing into a Texas lake was demolished Friday after an attempt to pull the house back to solid ground failed.

Homeowner Rob Webb has been in Florida dealing with a personal issue, according to ABC’s Dallas affiliate WFAA, and he watched from afar as pictures of his vacation home on Lake Whitney near Fort Worth went viral.

The home, which Webb purchased in 2012 and is appraised at $700,000, has been dangling about 75 feet above the lake’s shoreline since Tuesday, when neighbors said they first heard sounds that reminded them of an earthquake.

“I immediately thought it was an earthquake or blasting; it was loud, really loud,” neighbor Connie Ash told WFAA. “And then I saw smoke, dust, water…it was a huge cloud of stuff.”

Sheriff officials told WFAA the home was condemned one year ago after officials observed a crack in a nearby cliff. Webb and his family were told to evacuate two weeks ago.

A sign reading “EXTREME DANGER, STAY OFF PREMISES” has stood in the home’s front yard since Tuesday.

Webb says he will be responsible for the cost of the demolition. Though the home, which Webb purchased with his retirement savings is insured, Webb says his policy does not cover earth movement.

Officials decided to demolish the home after first trying to pull the home back to stable ground with cables. The hope for the fire, which will start in the attic, is that the home burns inward, Tom Hemrick, the emergency management coordinator for Hill County, told WFAA.

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Car Crashes into CNN Center’s Lobby

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — A convertible crashed into the CNN Center lobby in Atlanta Friday morning, injuring two people.

Video showed the car located just inside the building’s front entrance. Shattered glass surrounded the car.

Police officers and emergency crews responded to the scene, but no one was seriously injured.

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Calif. Naval Base Quickly Filling Up with Kids Who Cross Border

Department of Health and Human Services(LOS ANGELES) — As the government deals with a huge flow of children crossing the border into the U.S. illegally without their parents, it is now opening shelters to house them in dorms longer term.

One of those shelters is located at Naval Base Ventura County in Southern California. Run by the Department of Health and Human Services, it opened last Friday and is already housing nearly 200 children.

The shelter expects to be at capacity — 575 children — by Tuesday.

ABC News’ Alex Stone got rare access to the shelter, located deep within the naval base, on Thursday.

“It looks a lot like a school. There is a soccer field that just opened up. With the World Cup on, the children are playing a lot of soccer here,” Stone said.

“Inside there are classrooms where English and art are taught. There are medical offices and dorms. The children get linens, clothes and a stuffed animal when they get here to make them feel more comfortable,” he continued.

Stone said many of the children at the shelter speak very little, if any, English.

“As they passed by us, many smiled and said hello. But it’s hard to tell if they’re scared or happy to be in the U.S.,” he recalled.

In art class, many of the children were seen painting flags of their home countries. “I saw flags from Honduras and Guatemala, so clearly there is some connection to their home countries,” Stone noted.

While the goal is to house the children temporarily, it is not clear how long many of them will be at the shelter.

“It’s supposed to be a temporary stay until their families or what they call a vetted sponsor can be found to take the children with the promise of getting them to an immigration hearing, but there are so many children here it’s unclear how long some may stay,” Stone said.

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Former POW Bowe Bergdahl Is Back in the US

U.S. Army via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrived in the United States Friday morning, Pentagon officials confirmed, marking another step in his reintegration process following nearly five years spent in captivity.

The former POW’s plane landed in San Antonio, where he’ll continue his reintegration process at Brooke Army Medical Center, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

“Our focus remains on his health and well-being,” Kirby said.

Bergdahl, 28, was released from captivity on May 31 after nearly five years as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S. Army soldier was freed in exchange for five Guantanamo terrorism detainees. He has been at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany since shortly after his release from captivity.

The Idaho man’s post-captivity reintegration process entails three phases, starting with recovery. The program was developed from lessons learned after the release of prisoners of war following the Vietnam War.

The second phase of reintegration has taken place at Landstuhl, where Bergdahl has been receiving medical care and briefings with psychologists. Pentagon officials have said in recent days that his health has continued to improve and that he has been “engaging with hospital staff more and more each day.”

Officials had said that there was no specific timetable for how long Bergdahl would remain at Landstuhl.

“Nobody is going to push it any further or any faster than Sergeant Bergdahl and his caregivers are willing to take it,” Kirby said at a Tuesday briefing. “This soldier was held captive for nearly five years in what we must assume were harsh conditions. He’s going to need time to reassimilate, time to heal mentally and physically.”

It was also up to Bergdahl to decide when he might make contact with his parents, and, as of Thursday, Defense officials said he had still not spoken with his family. The third phase of reintegration in San Antonio includes a reunion with family members.

The Obama administration has come under fire for not giving U.S. lawmakers a heads up about the release, but Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told a House committee Wednesday that the exchange was too delicate, too uncertain and too fast-moving for him to have alerted Congress beforehand, as some have said the law requires.

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Screws Found Attached to Slides at Illinois Park

iStock/Thinkstock(OAK LAWN, Ill.) — Ten jagged screws were drilled into the ends of two children’s slides at an Illinois park, endangering those who zoomed down the plastic ride.

The sabotage at Memorial Park in Oak Lawn was discovered before any children used the slides. Police are investigating.

The screws were exposed and the heads were intentionally snapped off, officials said.

After a park patron reported the incident, officials removed the screws from the slides using a hole punch before anyone was injured, said Oak Lawn Park Superintendent Joel Craig.

The park district stated they would be examining the equipment daily. The Oak Lawn Police Department has increased patrols in the area and is encouraging parents to take precautions.

“Parents should look for any loose equipment, or for actual damage, and if they see anything, to call 911,” said Michael Kaufmann, division chief at the Oak Lawn Police Department.

A similar incident occurred earlier this year when a 2-year-old boy was cut on his hand by one of nearly a dozen razor blades that were glued to playground equipment at a park in Moline, Illinois. Craig explained there was no indication the two cases are connected.

“It doesn’t seem to be the same kind of incident. That one took a little more effort to do,” he said.

Kaufmann also stated that the person responsible would face charges of both criminal damage and felony battery if anyone had been injured by the screws.

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Russian Bombers Buzz California

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Two long-range Russian bombers flew within 50 miles of the northern California coast Monday, but stayed out of U.S. airspace, a defense official said Thursday.

The incident began much further north when four Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber planes and a refueling tanker entered the outer Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) near Alaska. The ADIZ extends for 200 miles and is considered international airspace, but if military aircraft enter the ADIZ, the U.S. NORAD sends fighter jets to get a visual identification, NORAD spokesperson Capt. Jennifer Stadnyk said.

That’s what happened Monday afternoon when two American F-22 Raptor fighter jets went up to keep an eye on the Russian aircraft.

At some point the bombers left the ADIZ — two headed west back towards Russia and the other two headed south. Those heading south once again entered the ADIZ off the northern California coast. This time they were picked up visually by a pair of American F-15 fighters.

Officials said that at no time did any of the aircraft enter U.S. airspace. There were no communications with the Russian aircraft.

The incident was first reported by The Washington Free Beacon.

Stadnyk said that the last five years there have been 50 intercepts of Russian military aircraft entering North American ADIZs. One of the new stealth F-22 Raptors’ first missions reportedly was such an interception back in 2007.

The last time the Russian bombers came close to the California coast was July 4, 2012.

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Two Activists in Mormon Church Facing Excommunication

George Frey/Getty Images(SALT LAKE CITY) — Two members of the Mormon Church are being threatened with excommunication after rallying their church to ordain women to the priesthood and accept openly gay members to the church.

Kate Kelly, a human rights lawyer, founded the group Ordain Women, which advocates gender equality within the Mormon Church. According to its website, the group’s goal is to “call for the ordination of women and their full integration into the governance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Kelly was informed of the disciplinary hearing shortly after she had moved to another city, and will be unable to attend her hearing on June 22.

“Convening a council in my absence, after I have moved, is both cowardly and unchristlike,” Kelly said in a letter online.

Activist John P. Dehlin was also facing excommunication from the church after creating an online forum addressing issues for Mormons questioning their faith, including dealing with homosexuality. Dehlin received a letter from the president of his church region whom he had not met calling on him to either resign from the church or face a disciplinary council.

“It feels awful to be told that your church wants to reject you,” Dehlin told ABC News. “It makes me feel sick to my stomach.”

Both members were being charged with “apostasy,” meaning a total desertion or departure from the religion.

Mormon Church leaders hold trials in confidence and, therefore, had no comment outside of an issued press release. Although Kelly and Dehlin were contacted by the local leaders of their church region, one in Virginia and the other in Utah, each received their letter within days of the other.

“I don’t believe it’s a coincidence,” said Dehlin. “I believe it’s an orchestrated effort coming from the leadership of the church.”

The church states online, “Local leaders have the responsibility to clarify false teachings and prevent other members from being misled. Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by church headquarters.”

Although Kelly has moved from Virginia, the church placed a restriction on her records, meaning she was unable to handle her excommunication from her current location in Utah and was only able to submit a written response.

“For me, it’s just devastating,” said Kelly. “I’ve compared it to being invited to your own funeral.”

This is the first time since 1993 that the church has taken such drastic measures to silence members of the congregation.

“The church is experiencing a wave of members leaving, and I don’t think they know how to deal with it,” said Dehlin. “It’s a desperate act of shooting the messenger.”

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