Review Category : National News

NFL Star Adrian Peterson Indicted on Child Injury Charge

Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images(HOUSTON) — After a week full of discussion about the National Football League’s suspension and handling of the Ray Rice situation, another of its players is facing legal issues.

Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on Friday on charges that he caused injury to a one of his children. A statement released by Peterson’s lawyer’s office acknowledged the charges, saying that the incident in question involved Peterson “using a switch to spank his son.”

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department in Texas said that Peterson has been cooperative in the case.

Peterson, who was in Minnesota with his team on Friday, has already testified about the matter in front of a grand jury, his lawyer Rusty Hardin said in a statement. Hardin said that “it is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”

The Vikings released a statement on Friday afternoon saying that they had opted to deactivate Peterson for Sunday’s game.

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Escaped School Shooter TJ Lane Had ‘Highest Level of Security’

Lima Police Department(CLEVELAND) — Notorious school shooter T.J. Lane escaped an Ohio prison with two other inmates by scaling a barbed wire fence and crossing over the roof of the prison entry building despite being assigned “the highest level security grade,” prison officials said Friday.

Lane, who was serving three life sentences for the massacre he carried out in February 2012 in Chardon, Ohio, was recaptured several hours later by a team of officers with dogs. He was only about 100 yards from the prison.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction released a timeline of how Lane, 19, and the other two prisoners were able to break out of the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution Thursday night.

The short-lived escape began at 7:38 p.m. when the group scaled the fence, which prompted the fence alarm to sound. Just seven minutes later, Ohio State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement were notified of the breach.

The three escapees were spotted by a prison staff member at 7:47 p.m. who ran after the inmates and apprehended one of them, 33-year-old convicted child killer Lindsey Bruce.

Lane was sniffed out by a police dog in a wooded area about 100 yards from the prison five hours later.

Corrections officials reported that the third escapee, Clifford Opperud, 45, was found hiding under a boat that was parked on a nearby residence. Police used a helicopter-mounted infrared camera with thermal imagery to determine where he was before sending a police dog to apprehend him.

The correction officers’ guards union reported that administrators feared a break earlier this week after hearing on Wednesday that a different prisoner had an escape plan. The prisoner was put in special segregation and had previously been housed in the same unit as Lane, Opperud, and Bruce, the union said.

Lane gained notoriety for his shooting spree at Chardon High School in which three students were shot dead and three others wounded. At his sentencing, Lane shocked the victims’ families and his own lawyer by unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a T-shirt with the word “killer” scrawled on it. He also spewed obscenities at the families and made an obscene gesture towards the families. When the judge sentenced him to three life sentences, Lane laughed.

His brief escape so alarmed the city of Chardon that the school district canceled classes and left the schools closed Friday except for those who may have wanted counseling.

The three convicts have now been sent to the Ohio State Penitentiary and will face new charges in connection to their escape though no further details have been released about the ensuing court dates.

Prison administrators appear to have had concerns about Lane.

“The severity of his crimes and threats that had been made against his life by other inmates led inmate Lane to be assigned the highest level security grade typically given to a first-time inmate, as well as a protective custody classification — the same ratings assigned to Cleveland kidnapper/rapist Ariel Castro, also a first time inmate,” read the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections statement.

Castro had pleaded guilty to kidnapping and enslaving three women for more than a decade. He committed suicide in prison.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Lane had been disciplined seven times during his 18 months in prison. The incidents ranged from trying to give himself a tattoo twice to being reprimanded for urinating on a prison wall. He had recreation privileges taken away for a week or 10 days following each incident.

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Obama, Clinton Celebrate AmeriCorps’ 20 Years of Service

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama and former President Bill Clinton joined forces at the White House Friday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps and highlight the important role of service.

“Thank all of you for living a life of active and energetic and engaged citizenship, because it has made America stronger. You have made America stronger because of what you’ve done,” the president said at a White House ceremony where hundreds of eager young volunteers were sworn in for a year of service.

Clinton, who spoke first, called the program “one of the most important things I ever had a role in in public service.”

Since Clinton swore in the first AmeriCorps class 20 years ago on Friday, 900,000 people have volunteered more than 1.2 billion hours on working on projects across the country.

Making something of a political plug for his wife, the former president noted that a dedication to service is something he shares with the potential 2016 presidential candidate.

“[Hillary] campaigned across America with me in 1992 promising that we would create a national service program. She had participated in all kinds of community service. Her first job was with the Children’s Defense Fund. She started a legal aid program in Arkansas at our university. We have lived this for a long time,” he said.

Obama, who started his career as a community organizer, said AmeriCorps’ mission is also personal.

“I would not be standing here if it were not for service to others and the purpose that service gave my own life,” he said. “The idea of making a difference in other people’s lives made a difference in mine. It made me whole. Gave me center. Gave me a compass.”

Similar swearing-in ceremonies are taking place across the country Friday, with the help of two other former presidents. Former President George H.W. Bush is swearing in new volunteers in Maine and former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush recorded a video message for the events, which are kicking off a year of service for 75,000 volunteers.

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Two Navy Fighter Jets Crash in Western Pacific, One Pilot Missing

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Oscar Albert Moreno Jr./Released(SAN DIEGO) — Two Navy F/A-18 fighters from the carrier USS Carl Vinson have crashed in the Western Pacific. One of the pilots has been rescued, but Navy ships and helicopters continue the search for the second.

The two carriers from the carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) crashed at 5:40 p.m. local time, according to the Navy’s Seventh Fleet. The carrier is operating in an area off Guam.

“The pilot of one of two F/A-18 Hornets that crashed…while operating from USS Carl Vinson is in fair condition and receiving medical treatment aboard the ship,” it said in a statement. “Search efforts continue for the second pilot.”

The F/A-18 fighter has a single-seater version, as well as a double-seater variant. The aircraft involved in this incident were single-seater F/A-18Cs.

Initial indications are that the two aircraft are assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 (VFA-94) and Strike Fighter Squadron 113 (VFA-113).

The search for the second pilot includes guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) and helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 (HSC 15) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 (HSM 73).

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

The carrier left its home port of San Diego on Aug. 22 to operate initially in the Pacific before moving on to a long-term deployment to the Persian Gulf where it would replace the carrier USS George HW Bush.

The F/A-18s aboard the Bush have been flying missions over Iraq for the past two months and were among the first U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes against ISIS targets in early August.

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Plane Passenger Detained over Ominous Hot Spot Names

Scott Olson/Getty Images(SEATTLE) — A passenger was detained on a Southwest plane at Seattle-Tacoma Airport Thursday after using ominous names for his Wi-Fi hot spot, sources said.

Passenger Alayna Keagle said people became concerned after noticing strange and disturbing hot spot names emerge, such as “Southwest – Bomb on Board.”

Passenger Ken Saldi also noticed the odd hot spot names.

“He changed it to ‘the bomb is on this seat,’ and then he changed it to something about the stewardess being hot,” Saldi said. “And so that’s why once we found all that stuff out we realized he was probably just goofing off.”

Authorities didn’t take the threat lightly. The plane’s pilot pulled the 737 off to a side tarmac. Police cars surrounded the plane, and officers boarded the jetliner, detaining the man.

“With it being 9/11, we were all concerned there could be a real bomb on the plane,” Saldi said.

Passengers were pulled off the aircraft and all the bags were re-screened, with some being checked by dogs. Passengers were finally able to re-board the jet for the flight to Denver.

“They zeroed in on the guy really quickly,” said passenger Joshua Mutart.

“I just hope he gets prosecuted to the fullest extent. That’s kind of what I was thinking, just disrupting all the people on the flight,” Mutart said.

Southwest said the captain made the call about the potential security threat, and that Southwest’s “highest priority is the safety and security” of passengers and employees.

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Drones Gets Waiver to Search for Missing Texas Woman Christina Morris

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A Texas search group has been given special permission to use drones to help find a woman who disappeared almost two weeks ago.

The first drone was launched Thursday over north Texas and was used to scour open fields for any sign of Christina Morris. Morris, 23, was spotted on surveillance footage Aug. 30 while walking with a friend in a mall parking lot.

Police haven’t released any leads in her disappearance.

The Federal Aviation Administration granted an emergency waiver allowing the searchers to fly drones for the next three days. The drones –- called “Super Bats” –- are equipped with high-resolution cameras that can snap up to 200 images every 10 minutes. The drone flights also cost about one-tenth of a helicopter covering similar ground.

Gene Robinson with the volunteer group Texas Equusearch said residents shouldn’t worry about privacy matters.

“We are not out to invade anyone’s privacy. Once these images are used, they are erased,” Robinson said. “We are looking for Ms. Morris.”

Searchers are examining the images of a 20-mile grid, looking for anything out of place.

Morris’ mother, Jonni McElroy, is thankful for the new eyes in the sky. She believes someone has her daughter and she’s hoping the high-tech drones can help bring her daughter home.

“I have that feeling in my heart, that she was taken and she is somewhere, and they still have her and it’s time to give her back,” McElroy said.

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Ravens Fans Alter Girl’s Ray Rice Jersey to ‘Be Nice to Girls’

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(ELLICOT CITY, Md.) — Bryan Bartlett and his wife, Angie, were horrified when they watched a video that showed Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer.

After the NFL suspended him in the wake of video’s release, the Bartletts of Ellicott City, Maryland, struggled with what do with their 6-year-old daughter Brynn’s Ray Rice jersey.

“My wife had shown me posts on Facebook of people burning their jerseys and it just didn’t seem like a good idea,” Bartlett said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America. “It almost seemed like a violent way to deal with a violent act.”

So the Bartletts decided to do something positive. They took Brynn’s jersey and altered it, changing the name “Rice” to “Nice” and adding a few more words to form a complete message: “Be Nice to Girls.”

A photo of Brynn wearing her one-of-a-kind jersey went viral, but the Bartletts said this simply wasn’t an art project. They are making sure that Brynn and her brother understand the meaning behind the message.

“Before we made the shirts, we had talked to both of our kids…we told them that they know that no matter how mad they get or how frustrated they get, never to hit anybody, not hit a boy, not hit a girl, never hit anybody,” Bartlett said.

Parenting expert Stacy Kaiser said the Bartletts have the right idea.

“What we’re seeing here is something that’s ideal for all parents to do, which is taking a bad situation and turning it into a good, teachable moment,” she said.

Bartlett said he was “really just thinking about my daughter and what would almost make me feel good about the message that she had on her shirt. It’s very important to me that she has pride in herself and feels empowered.”

Brynn is a fan of the jersey. “I like it,” she said. “I think it looks really cool.”

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Two Navy Fighter Jets Crash in Western Pacific, Pilot Missing

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Oscar Albert Moreno Jr./Released(SAN DIEGO) — Two Navy F/A-18 fighters from the carrier USS Carl Vinson have crashed in the Western Pacific. One of the pilots has been rescued, but Navy ships and helicopters continue the search for the second.

The two carriers from the carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) crashed at 5:40 p.m. local time, according to the Navy’s Seventh Fleet. The carrier is operating in an area off Guam.

“One pilot was rapidly located and returned to Carl Vinson, and is currently receiving medical attention,” it said in a statement. “Search efforts continue for the second pilot.”

The F/A-18 fighter has a single-seater version, as well as a double-seater variant. The aircraft involved in this incident were single-seater F/A-18Cs.

Initial indications are that the two aircraft are assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 (VFA-94) and Strike Fighter Squadron 113 (VFA-113).

The search for the second pilot includes guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) and helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 (HSC 15) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 (HSM 73).

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

The carrier left its home port of San Diego on Aug. 22 to operate initially in the Pacific before moving on to a long-term deployment to the Persian Gulf where it would replace the carrier USS George HW Bush.

The F/A-18s aboard the Bush have been flying missions over Iraq for the past two months and were among the first U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes against ISIS targets in early August.

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Two Navy Fighter Jets Crash in Western Pacific, Pilot Missing

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Oscar Albert Moreno Jr./Released(SAN DIEGO) — Two Navy F/A-18 fighters from the carrier USS Carl Vinson have crashed in the Western Pacific. One of the pilots has been rescued, but Navy ships and helicopters continue the search for the second.

The two carriers from the carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) crashed at 5:40 p.m. local time, according to the Navy’s Seventh Fleet. The carrier is operating in an area off Guam.

“One pilot was rapidly located and returned to Carl Vinson, and is currently receiving medical attention,” it said in a statement. “Search efforts continue for the second pilot.”

The F/A-18 fighter has a single-seater version, as well as a double-seater variant. The aircraft involved in this incident were single-seater F/A-18Cs.

Initial indications are that the two aircraft are assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 (VFA-94) and Strike Fighter Squadron 113 (VFA-113).

The search for the second pilot includes guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) and helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 (HSC 15) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 (HSM 73).

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

The carrier left its home port of San Diego on Aug. 22 to operate initially in the Pacific before moving on to a long-term deployment to the Persian Gulf where it would replace the carrier USS George HW Bush.

The F/A-18s aboard the Bush have been flying missions over Iraq for the past two months and were among the first U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes against ISIS targets in early August.

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Children of Uzi Shooting Victim Charles Vacca Pen Letter to 9-Year-Old Girl

ABC News(PHOENIX) — The children of the Arizona weapons instructor who was killed last month when his 9-year-old student lost control of an Uzi submachine gun and accidentally shot him have penned a letter to the young girl.

“You’re only 9 years old,” wrote the four children of the slain instructor, 39-year-old Charles Vacca. “We think about you. We are worried about you. We pray for you, and we wish you peace.”

“Our dad would want the same thing,” they wrote.

Vacca left behind sons Christopher Vacca, 11, and Tylor Vacca, 14, and daughters Elizabeth Vacca, 5, and Ashley Moser, 19, when he was shot Aug. 25 at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas.

Vacca was standing next to the 9-year-old girl when she squeezed the Uzi’s trigger. The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and Vacca was fatally shot once in the head.

“Our dad would want you to know that you should move forward with your life,” Vacca’s children wrote to the girl, who has not been identified.

“You should not let this define you,” they wrote. “Someday we hope we can meet you, hug you, and tell you that it’s OK.”

The 9-year-old girl and her family were vacationing in Las Vegas when the shooting occurred.

James Goodnow, a member of Lamber Goodnow at Fennemore Craig, the Phoenix law firm hired by Vacca’s family after the shooting, said it was the children’s idea to write the letter. He provided a video of the children reading the letter to ABC News.

“I was touched when they told me they wanted to do this,” Goodnow said. “It’s rare to see something so human in a legal situation like this.”

He added: “This is about extending out, reaching out to someone who was hurt by this, and saying it’s OK.”

Marc Lamber, also an attorney for the family, said the family wanted “the public to know who Charlie was, and the kind of person he was.”

No charges have been filed in the case and responding officers noted that they believed it was an accidental shooting. The range allows anyone above the age of 8 to shoot automatic weapons if the instructor believes they are suitable.

The incident was filmed on an iPhone by the girl’s parents as they stood behind her and Vacca. The girl’s mother shared that video with police as soon as police spoke with her at the gun range’s restaurant.

The family of the 9-year-old girl issued a statement through their lawyer shortly after the police report of the incident was released earlier this month.

“They are devastated by this accident that turned what was supposed to be a unique and brief excursion from their summer vacation into a life changing tragedy,” the statement read. “Words cannot express the family’s sadness about the accidental shooting of Charles Vacca. They prayed day and night that he would survive his injury, and they continue to pray for his family during this terribly difficult time.”

In their letter to the 9-year-old girl, Vacca’s children also took an opportunity to describe their dad, who was a range master at the Last Stop range.

“Our dad wasn’t just an instructor,” they wrote. “He was funny, strong, a protector, a hero, and our friend. He was a good man.”

“Like you, we are living through this tragic event that we cannot shut off,” the letter concluded. “It’s with us all the time.”

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