Review Category : National News

Kansas City Highway Shooting Suspect Charged with 18 Felonies

Kansas City Police Department(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — The man suspected of shooting at cars as they traveled on Kansas City, Mo., highways in recent weeks has been identified and charged with 18 felonies, authorities announced Friday.

Mohammad Whitaker, 27, is accused of shooting into at least nine cars, injuring two of the drivers, in incidents dating to the beginning of March.

Kansas City prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said at a press conference that police first realized there might be a serial shooter on the loose on April 7 when an analyst with the police department pointed it out. The department quickly mobilized an investigation involving other area police departments, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Witness reports helped point police toward Whitaker, whom they surveilled during the last week, authorities said.

Police arrested Whitaker Thursday night in Grandview, Mo., using SWAT teams to surround his house before taking him into custody.

Whitaker is charged with two class A felonies for shooting and injuring someone in a car, seven class B felonies for shooting into cars, and nine charges of armed criminal action. He is being held on $1 million cash bond.

Baker said she is confident that Whitaker is the only person responsible for the shootings that set Kansas City drivers’ nerves on edge.

“Residents are safe…we have a person in custody,” Police Chief Darryl Forté said after the arrest.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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NJ Mumps Victims Were Vaccinated, Officials Say

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — An outbreak of mumps among New Jersey college students has highlighted the “weak sister” in the MMR vaccine.

At least eight students at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken have contracted the contagious virus despite having received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, according to the college.

“All Stevens’ students are required to have full vaccinations before attending the University,” the college said in a statement, adding that “outbreaks of mumps have occurred in vaccinated populations before.”

More than 95 percent of the people who receive a single dose of MMR develop some immunity to all three viruses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the mumps portion of the shot is only 88 percent effective in preventing the disease.

“Of the three vaccines that are given together, mumps is what we might call ‘the weak sister,’” said Dr. William Schaffner, and infectious disease expert and chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. “We really do expect vaccines to be perfect and, of course, they aren’t perfect. Medical science provides us with vaccines that have different degrees of effectiveness, approaching but never reaching perfection.”

“When you are vaccinated [against mumps], the illness you get is much milder,” Schaffner added.

The MMR vaccine is 99 percent effective against the measles and 90 percent effective against rubella, according to the CDC.

Stevens’ students suspected of having mumps were “isolated” and then sent home, according to the college.

“There have been no reports of newly symptomatic cases since the initial cases last week,” the college said.

Symptoms of mumps such as fever, aches and swollen glands can take more than two weeks to appear. And while most mumps sufferers recover after a week or two, the disease can cause serious complications like inflammation of the testicles, ovaries and brain as well as deafness, according to the CDC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Seattle Restaurant Ad Shows Jesus Smoking a Joint

A Seattle sandwich shop has created a controversial poster showing Jesus smoking a joint and eating a sandwich. Credit: KOMO(SEATTLE) — A burger chain in Seattle is creating a stir with a new promotional poster for Easter, featuring Jesus smoking a joint and holding a sandwich.

The restaurant, Lunchbox Laboratory, riffed off Easter Sunday’s falling on April 20, or 4/20, which is also a pop-culture reference to cannabis consumption. The business has been using a 2-for-1 promotion for the past two years to advertise its “Burger of the Gods” signature dish.

“I’m not your moral guide in life, I’m selling burgers,” Lunchbox Laboratory owner John Schmidt told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle. “It’s not an anti-Christian message, it’s a very peaceful message; Jesus enjoying a sandwich and a blunt.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Seattle Restaurant Ad Shows Jesus Smoking a Joint

A Seattle sandwich shop has created a controversial poster showing Jesus smoking a joint and eating a sandwich. Credit: KOMO(SEATTLE) — A burger chain in Seattle is creating a stir with a new promotional poster for Easter, featuring Jesus smoking a joint and holding a sandwich.

The restaurant, Lunchbox Laboratory, riffed off Easter Sunday’s falling on April 20, or 4/20, which is also a pop-culture reference to cannabis consumption. The business has been using a 2-for-1 promotion for the past two years to advertise its “Burger of the Gods” signature dish.

“I’m not your moral guide in life, I’m selling burgers,” Lunchbox Laboratory owner John Schmidt told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle. “It’s not an anti-Christian message, it’s a very peaceful message; Jesus enjoying a sandwich and a blunt.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Pot-Smoking Jesus Takes Edge Off in Controversial Burger Ad

A Seattle sandwich shop has created a controversial poster showing Jesus smoking a joint and eating a sandwich. Credit: KOMO(SEATTLE) — A burger chain in Seattle is creating a stir with a new promotional poster for Easter, featuring Jesus smoking a joint and holding a sandwich.

The restaurant, Lunchbox Laboratory, riffed off Easter Sunday’s falling on April 20, or 4/20, which is also a pop-culture reference to cannabis consumption. The business has been using a 2-for-1 promotion for the past two years to advertise its “Burger of the Gods” signature dish.

“I’m not your moral guide in life, I’m selling burgers,” Lunchbox Laboratory owner John Schmidt told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle. “It’s not an anti-Christian message, it’s a very peaceful message; Jesus enjoying a sandwich and a blunt.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Fox Is Giving the White House Trouble

File photo. (Richard McManus/Getty Images)(WASHINGTON) — There is an unwelcome guest at the White House — and the Secret Service can’t catch him.

A red fox has sneaked onto the White House grounds and taken up residence, tripping alarms and feeding on the first lady’s vegetable garden, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This fox is pretty sly; it’s only been spotted a couple of times. But there are reports President Obama saw the fox once from the Oval Office.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Fox Is Giving the White House Trouble

File photo. (Richard McManus/Getty Images)(WASHINGTON) — There is an unwelcome guest at the White House — and the Secret Service can’t catch him.

A red fox has sneaked onto the White House grounds and taken up residence, tripping alarms and feeding on the first lady’s vegetable garden, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This fox is pretty sly; it’s only been spotted a couple of times. But there are reports President Obama saw the fox once from the Oval Office.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Good Samaritan Prevents Possible Murder-Suicide in NJ

Andrew F Kazmierski/Thinkstock(FLORENCE, N.J.) — An apparent murder-suicide attempt was foiled in New Jersey this week by a Good Samaritan, who local authorities say saved a mother and her teenage kids from drowning.

Police are crediting Darnell Taylor with diving into the Delaware River near the town of Florence and rescuing Joann Smith and her three children, ages 13, 14 and 15.

According to prosecutors, Smith deliberately drove a van into the river as the youngsters called their father to tell them what was happening. Taylor told the daughter to kick open the window, pulling the girl out first. He then went back and retrieved the others before the van sank.

One child received cuts to the leg but otherwise, everyone was okay.

Smith, whose first court appearance is next week, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of endangering the welfare of children. Bail has been set at $600,000.

Smith’s husband, Jeffrey Smith, says that his wife has been dealing with a mental health issue for more than a decade.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Fast Food Workers Rewarded for Fast Action That Saved Customer’s Life

Scott Olson/Getty Images(FLINT, Mich.) — When a couple of fast food restaurant workers got no response over the microphone at their drive-thru station they rushed outside to find a driver in cardiac arrest. They pulled him out of his vehicle and gave him life-saving CPR.

The customer returned to the Burger King in Flint, Mich., Wednesday to thank his rescuers and applaud them.

Assistant Manager Lidia Rodriguez, 26, was working the drive-thru when Howard Turner Jr., 46, pulled up to the speaker on March 29. Rodriguez heard nothing from the other end and knew something was wrong.

“I go toward my back room where I can see out to my speaker and I’m like, ‘If you’re okay, raise your hand’ and I didn’t get no response,” Rodriguez told ABC’s Michigan affiliate, WJRT.

Rodriguez and a co-worker, Kelseigh Valdez, a member of a volunteer paramedic program, rushed outside to Turner.

They pulled Turner out of his car, and Rodriguez called 911 while Valdez performed CPR.

The two saved Turner’s life.

“I feel like I’m going to be connected with them forever. They were just like my angels, right at the time,” Turner said.

Mobile Medical Response, a non-profit organization that provides emergency medical services to counties across Michigan, presented both women with lifesaving awards on Wednesday, but they also had a surprise for Valdez.

Valdez, 18, originally from Oregon, moved to Flint to participate in a volunteer paramedic program. MMR gave her a scholarship to become a professional paramedic. Valdez was shocked to see her dreams come to fruition.

“I knew it was going to happen at some point in my life, just not at Burger King,” she said.

The scholarship award came as a surprise to everybody. “I got all teary eyed when it happened,” said Donna Bennett, the Burger King manager.

“Oh my God, I am so proud of both of them. I don’t know if I could have ever done anything like that. I would have probably just panicked,” Bennett told ABC News.

“I thought what they did was great,” Bennett added.

Turner does not recall the women pulling him out of his car, but he is forever grateful. “Without them, I definitely wouldn’t be here and I know that for a fact,” Turner said.

Bennett said incorporating CPR training for employees is something she and her owner will likely discuss for the future.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Kansas City Police Have Highway Shooting Suspect in Custody

ABC News(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — A man allegedly involved in a series of highway shootings in the Kansas City, Missouri, area since March was arrested Thursday, according to Chief of Police Darryl Forte.

At a press conference, Forte announced, “We wanted to make sure the residents and those that travel through Kansas City know that they’re safe. They’ve been safe the whole time if you’ve paid attention.”

Twelve of 20 shooting incidents were positively linked to the same person. Although three motorists were actually hit by gunfire, none of their wounds were life-threatening.

Meanwhile, there hasn’t been a shooting linked to the suspect on a Kansas City-area highway since April 6.

Forte said no charges have been filed yet but more information would be available at a Friday press conference.

There was a highway shooting in Kansas City, Kansas, last Monday that left one man dead and another critically injured. However, local authorities don’t believe it had to do with the shootings connected to Thursday’s arrest.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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