Review Category : National News

Evacuations Underway as LA County Fire Explodes to 33,000 Acres

iStock/Thinkstock(SANTA CLARITA, Calif.) — A Los Angeles County Wildfire has scorched more than 33,000 acres and set off a new wave of mass evacuations in the area, according to fire officials.

The blaze has so far destroyed 18 homes in Southern California and has threaten 2,000 more structures as unpredictable winds pushed the Sand Fire out of forest land and closer to homes.

Only 10 percent of the fire has been contained.

A man was reported dead Saturday in Santa Clarita, after being found in a scorched car in a neighborhood swept by the Sand Fire, just north of Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

More than 1,673 firefighters, 122 engines, 39 hand crews and 15 helicopters are being utilized to battle the fire, reports ABC Los Angeles station, KABC-TV.

Firefighters have been trying to battle the massive fire since Friday near Santa Clarita and the Angeles National Forest.

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Deadly Heat Wave Claims at Least 11 Lives

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A heat wave stretching from coast to coast has claimed at least 11 lives.

Over 100 million Americans have been affected by heat alerts issued in more than two dozen states with heat indexes in the triple digits across the U.S.

A 12-year-old died in Phoenix, Arizona, after hiking in the triple-degree heat on Friday.

In Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a 4-year-old girl died Friday after being left for hours in a hot car as temperatures hit 97 degrees, police told ABC affiliate in Scranton WNEP-TV.

There were also five heat-related deaths this week in Roseville, Michigan, where temperatures soared into the high 80s and low 90s.

On Sunday, officials in Philadelphia said there were at least four heat-related deaths so far as the city prepared for the start of the Democratic National Convention. Protesters took to the streets, despite the heat, with extra water and medics on hand.

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Small Plane Crashes into Connecticut Home, Misses Man Watching TV

VStock/Thinkstock(HADDAM, Conn.) — A pilot was seriously injured when his small plane crashed into a cottage in Haddam, Connecticut, Saturday afternoon.

The man inside the home, Norman Hannenbaum, escaped being crushed by only a few feet. He was at home watching television when the ceiling caved in.

“I ran outside and my neighbor hollered to me…he said, ‘There’s a plane on your roof!'” Hannenbaum said.

The pilot, 46-year-old Benjamin Temple of East Rockaway, New York, was airlifted from the wreckage, but is in critical condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the crash.

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Los Angeles County Fire Stretches Across 22,000 Acres, According to Officials

iStock/Thinkstock(SANTA CLARITA, Calif.) — A raging wildfire that has charred 22,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area of California, resulting in the evacuation of 1,500 residences, and the destruction of at least 18 homes, is still only 10 percent contained, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A man was reported dead Saturday in Santa Clarita, but it is unknown at this time whether his death was related to the fire, which is being called the Sand Fire.

Images captured of the fire are startling, and depict flames tinting the sky above the city, turning orange, with thick plumes of smoke blackening the air around where the firefighters are working.

Families evacuating the city can be seen clutching their possessions as a sheet of orange fire rises above the horizon behind them.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has announced a smoke advisory until midnight Monday, based upon unhealthy air quality conditions.

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Progressives Plot Possible Protests Against Clinton’s VP Pick

iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — A well-known activist and organizer in progressive circles, Norman Solomon with RootsAction.org, said Sunday he is plotting ways to protest the nomination of Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s running mate this week at the Democratic Party’s convention.

Solomon said the party should take note of polling that suggests high numbers of Sanders’ supporters are still leery about backing Clinton.

“This fall-off in support is plausibly related to her demonstrable contempt for the progressive wing of this party with the selection of Tim Kaine,” he said, citing Kaine’s past votes on trade and banking. In recent days, Clinton’s vice presidential pick has said he would oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), despite having backed the trade deal in the Senate, but Solomon and many other progressives remain skeptical.

Solomon has helped launch a new organization called the Bernie Delegates Network, which claims to have more than 1,250 delegate members and, despite its name, pledges to be working independently from the campaign.

The group has been conducting straw polls of Sanders’ delegates, and plans to survey the bunch again in the next 24 hours about possible protests or even floor action to object to Kaine on the ticket. Solomon suggested actions such as staying seated or turning backs when Kaine takes the stage, but said his team was looking into procedural options to protest the Virginia senator in a more formal way as well.

“The onus for party unity was on Hillary Clinton, and it is a bit much to be told, ‘You Bernie delegates better snap to it for party unity,'” Solomon added. He suggested a vote on the TPP on the convention floor as another possible olive branch to progressives.

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Wildfire Near Los Angeles Spreads to 20,000 Acres

iStock/Thinkstock(SANTA CLARITA, Calif.) — A raging wildfire in Santa Clarita, California, just north of Los Angeles, spread to 20,000 acres Saturday and 1,500 homes were ordered evacuated, officials said.

The so-called Sand Fire broke was first reported Friday afternoon along the northbound side of the 14 Freeway near Sand Canyon Road. The fast-moving brush fire grew to thousands of acres overnight and this morning was spreading toward the Angeles National Forest and away from the more heavily populated areas of Santa Clarita, which is home to around 180,000 residents.

Nighttime images and videos of the Santa Clarita hillsides showed long glowing lines along the ridges, topped by soaring flames and swaths of smoke. Pictures from this morning showed plumes of smoke still billowing into the air. Containment remained at 0 percent Saturday morning but changed to 10 percent by the afternoon, and remained at 10 percent as it spread later in the day, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Two @LACoFireAirOps Firehawk helicopters made drops overnight to protect homes on the #SandFire (📷CoreyFredrickson) pic.twitter.com/wM3AYnNP1R

— LACoFireAirOps (@LACoFireAirOps) July 23, 2016

The Los Angeles County Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service are in “unified command,” utilizing helicopters and bulldozers to fight the blaze. One firefighter has suffered a minor injury and no structures have been destroyed so far, officials said.

The blaze prompted mandatory evacuations in the area, including one that is still in effect for about 300 people and 100 homes in the Little Tujunga Canyon area. Some evacuation orders for other areas were lifted by Saturday morning, according to ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

A thousand homes and about 100 commercial buildings remain threatened, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Officials said an evacuation center has been set up at Golden Valley High School, while Wayside Jack Bones Equestrian Center is receiving large animals along with Hansen Dam Equestrian Center.

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Family of Autistic Man Involved in Miami Police Shooting Say He’s ‘Utterly Traumatized’

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — The family of an autistic man, whose caregiver was shot while trying to help him, said he’s “utterly traumatized.”

Arnoldo Rios Soto, 26, had run away from a group home in Miami on Monday when Charles Kinsey, 47, a behavioral therapist went to go help him out of the street. Kinsey was shot in the leg while lying on the ground with his hands up next to Soto.

“It’s just so sad that he couldn’t walk down the street with his caregiver,” Soto’s sister, Miriam Rios, told ABC News.

John Rivera, the president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, said this week that the officers on the scene “saw the white male almost on top of Mr. Kinsey, who had his hands up and who had his knees up, and to the officers, it looked like the white male was about to shoot Mr. Kinsey,” Rivera said. “The officers all thought the individual had a firearm.”

The object in Soto’s hand was not a weapon, but a toy truck. Kinsey can be heard on video trying to explain to police who he was, that Soto was holding a toy truck, and that he was a behavioral therapist. Soto was handcuffed by police and kept in a police car for three to four hours, according to a statement from his family.

Officer Jonathan Alleda, who shot Kinsey, was put on paid administrative leave and a second officer is now suspended without pay as officials investigate whether he fabricated part of the police report.

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Beloved California K-9 Officer Dies in Hot Car Tragedy

iStock/Thinkstock(FRESNO, Calif.) — A beloved California K-9 officer named “Idol” passed away in a hot police car last month after an unknown malfunction caused the vehicle and its air conditioning to shut off while the dog was in the back, according to the Porterville Police Department.

On June 20 Idol’s handler decided to put the dog in his air conditioned police car to cool down the Belgian Malinois. Temperatures last month in Porterville reached over 90 degrees. Less than two hours later, the officer returned to find the vehicle was no longer running and Idol was dead in the back, the police department said in a statement.

The vehicle’s warning system, meant to alert the handler when temperatures reached unsafe levels, did not activate, according to police.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department investigated the incident and determined there was no criminal act committed by the officer. The police department described Idol’s death as a “tragic loss” in a statement.

The police department announced it is in the process of refitting all K-9 units with new, state-of-the-art warning systems as well as other safety procedures to prevent this type of loss from happening again.

“In his terms it’s like losing a kid. They’ve been together for two years. This officer is one of our top officers, he’s SWAT, he was our officer of the year last year for the department. He’s a stellar officer, he pays attention to all the details. It’s just a tragedy,” Porterville’s police chief Eric Kroutil told local ABC News affiliate KSFN-TV in Fresno, California.

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Dangerously High Temperatures Blanket US, Expected to Last Into Next Week

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A prolonged heat wave is blanketing much of the United States, with dangerously high temperatures believed to be responsible for at least seven deaths, including that of a 4-year-old girl.

The girl died in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, after being left for hours in a hot car as temperatures hit 97 degrees, police told ABC affiliate in Scranton WNEP-TV.

There have also been five heat-related deaths since Wednesday in Roseville, Michigan, where temperatures soared into the high 80s and low 90s. Roseville Fire Chief Mike Holland told the Macomb Daily that five people have died from heart attacks or breathing difficulties, all linked to weather over the past three days.

The high temperatures are also creating deadly conditions in Memphis, Tennessee, where a man was found dead inside his home on Friday. The investigation is ongoing, but police believe the man’s death was heat-related, according to ABC local affiliates.

Heat indices over 100 degrees Fahrenheit were felt across the eastern half of the nation today and are expected to go as high as 100 in New York City and to stay above 80 degrees in urban areas tonight, meteorologists said.

Boston on Friday hit 98 degrees — the city’s hottest temperature since July 2013.

Sunday is forecast to be slightly cooler in the north and southeast regions of the U.S., with less humidity and temperatures in the low to high 90s. But the worst is yet to come as scorching temperatures are expected to return next week. The feel-like temperature on Monday afternoon is expected to surpass 100 outside of New York City and push to 110 degrees from Philadelphia to Richmond, meteorologists said.

An excessive heat warning is in effect through Monday for northern Delaware, central and southern New Jersey and southeast Pennsylvania.

With the Democratic National Convention set to start in Philadelphia on Monday, officials in that city have put in place a heat plan to help ensure visitors and protesters stay safe and hydrated, according to ABC local affiliate WPVI-TV.

High humidity is exacerbating the extreme heat in the middle of the country.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, the temperature reached 105 degrees Friday — tying the record for the hottest July 22 on file in the Arkansas capital city and the hottest day overall in the state since 2012. Local hospitals have seen a rising number of people checking in for heat exhaustion symptoms since the beginning of summer, according to ABC local affiliate KATV.

In Illinois, an excessive heat warning for Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, La Salle, Lee, Livingston, Ogle counties is expected to expire at 7 p.m. today. For the Chicago area, maximum heat indices were near 111 degrees this week.

And in Indiana, a heat advisory for Benton, Jasper and Newton counties is expected to expire at 7 p.m. today, according to ABC affiliate in Chicago WLS-TV.

This map says it all. Stay safe as it heats up: Drink water, stay out of the sun, and check on your neighbors. pic.twitter.com/c1qFTmq2IV

— President Obama (@POTUS) July 20, 2016

The heat wave is lingering in the southwest today, with temperatures remaining in the triple digits in parts of southern California. Palm Springs could hit 118 degrees, while the Antelope Valley could get up to 109. Los Angeles and Orange counties will see temperatures around 94 degrees. The area will cool slightly on Sunday, remaining in the mid-80s.

Southern California’s valleys and Inland Empire will also be brutally hot today, with high temperatures potentially reaching 107 degrees before lowering slightly to the high 90s over the next week, according to ABC affiliate in Los Angeles KABC-TV.

Amid the extreme heat, a fast-moving brush fire broke out Friday afternoon in the hillsides of Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles. It had charred 5,500 acres with no containment early Saturday morning, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials told KABC-TV. Mandatory evacuations for some 300 homes in the area were in effect. No injuries or damage to property have been reported so far, KABC-TV reported.

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Wildfire Near Los Angeles Chars 11,000 Acres, Threatens Homes

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Some 300 firefighters are battling a raging wildfire that has charred 11,000 acres in Santa Clarita, California, just north of Los Angeles, officials said.

The so-called Sand Fire broke was first reported Friday afternoon along the northbound side of the 14 Freeway near Sand Canyon Road. The fast-moving brush fire grew to thousands of acres overnight and this morning was spreading toward the Angeles National Forest and away from the more heavily populated areas of Santa Clarita, which is home to around 180,000 residents.

Nighttime images and videos of the Santa Clarita hillsides showed long glowing lines along the ridges, topped by soaring flames and swaths of smoke. Pictures from this morning showed plumes of smoke still billowing into the air. Containment remained at 0 percent Saturday morning but changed to 10 percent by the afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service are in “unified command,” utilizing helicopters and bulldozers to fight the blaze. One firefighter has suffered a minor injury and no structures have been destroyed so far, officials said.

The blaze prompted mandatory evacuations in the area, including one that is still in effect for about 300 people and 100 homes in the Little Tujunga Canyon area. Some evacuation orders for other areas were lifted by Saturday morning, according to ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

A thousand homes and about 100 commercial buildings remain threatened, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Officials said an evacuation center has been set up at Golden Valley High School, while Wayside Jack Bones Equestrian Center is receiving large animals along with Hansen Dam Equestrian Center.

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