Review Category : National News

Washington State Hospital CEO Fired One Week After Patients’ Escape

iStock/Thinkstock(LAKEWOOD, Wash.)- – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has fired the CEO of a state-owned psychiatric hospital one week after two patients — including an alleged murderer — escaped the facility.

Inslee said at a news conference Tuesday that he had relieved Western State Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Ron Adler of his duties.

“The ongoing issues at Western have justifiably eroded public confidence — and my confidence — regarding the management of this troubled hospital,” Inslee said in a statement provided to ABC News. “Though legislators and I have been working to address the severe staffing shortage at the hospital and restore funding that was cut deeply during the recession, it is clear that a transformative cultural change is needed.”

A representative for the Western State Hospital did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

One of the escapees was Anthony Garver, 28, who was arrested in 2013 for first-degree murder and accused of torturing a woman to death, but found too mentally ill to stand trial. He was captured in the woods near the Washington-Idaho border Friday, two days after he escaped the Lakewood, Washington, facility.

Garver had escaped along with fellow patient Mark Alexander Adams, 58, who was apprehended one day after the escape in Des Moines, Washington, about 30 miles north of Western State Hospital. Adams had been sent to the hospital to receive treatment on a domestic violence arrest.

Inslee said Tuesday that the hospital CEO would be replaced by Cheryl Strange.

“There is a lot of skill, ability and compassion at the hospital to build from and they need a leader to help bring people together to move this hospital forward,” he said in a statement. “Cheryl Strange has worked in mental health for more than 30 years and understands the changes needed to effectively manage the day-to-day operations of the hospital, but just as importantly, she understands the intense need for a change agent who can restore trust and cooperation between hospital staff and hospital leadership.”

The Western State Hospital is one of the West’s largest psychiatric hospitals, with over 800 beds and over 1,800 employees. The facility “provides evaluation and inpatient treatment for individuals with serious or long-term mental illness,” according to its website.

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North Carolina Governor Signs Order in Response to ‘Anti-LGBT’ House Bill 2

Office of Governor Pat McCrory(RALEIGH, N.C.) — North Carolina Gov. Patrick McCrory announced an executive order Tuesday addressing concerns over the recently passed House Bill 2, which has been criticized as “the most anti-LGBT bill in the country.”

“After listening to people’s feedback for the past several weeks on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion and frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina,” McCrory said in a video statement. “Based upon this feedback, I am taking action to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.”

House Bill 2, or HB2, which McCrory signed in late March, mandated that people use public bathrooms or changing facilities based on the “biological sex” stated on their birth certificates. Thus, transgender people in the state have been barred from using the bathroom corresponding to the gender with which they identify, unless they have had the sex listed on their birth certificates legally changed.

The bill also barred local municipalities from creating their own rules prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

McCrory signed Executive Order 93 Tuesday, which he says “clarifies” the bill and also “provides new protections for North Carolina residents,” according to a news release from the his office.

McCrory highlighted specific areas Executive Order 93 will address.

“Gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities” in government buildings and schools will remain in place, according to the order.

But the private sector can “establish its own restroom and locker room policies” and “non-discrimination employment policies for its own employees.”

The order also extends the state’s “equal employment opportunity policy to clarify that sexual orientation and gender identity are included.”

McCrory said he will also seek “legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination.”

LGBT advocates and community members have denounced the move as a deflective measure, which doesn’t address some of their concerns with HB2.

“Gov. McCrory’s actions today are a poor effort to save face after his sweeping attacks on the LGBT community,” ACLU of North Carolina Acting Executive Director Sarah Preston said in a statement Tuesday. The group continues to call for the full repeal of HB2.

They said the measures, “fall far short of correcting the damage done when [McCrory] signed the harmful House Bill 2 into law which stigmatizes and mandates discrimination against gay and transgender people.”

“With this executive order, LGBT individuals still lack legal protections from discrimination, and transgender people are still explicitly targeted by being forced to use the wrong restroom,” Preston said.

“Efforts to divide the LGBT community by extending limited protections, but leaving in place the rules mandating discrimination against the transgender community will only strengthen our resolve to fight back against this discriminatory and misguided legislative action,” Preston continued. “We call on Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina legislature to repeal House Bill 2 and replace it with full non-discrimination protections for all LGBT people.”

McCrory acknowledged opposition to his executive order in the video statement, saying, “Now I know these actions will not totally satisfy everyone, but the vast majority of our citizens want common sense solutions to complex issues. This is the North Carolina way.”

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Human Remains Found in Recycling Bin Believed to Be Missing Seattle Mom

(SEATTLE) — The human remains found in plastic bags in a Seattle recycling bin are believed to be from a missing mother of three.

Authorities said the remains, which were found Saturday afternoon, likely belonged to 40-year-old Ingrid Lyne, who was reported missing Saturday morning. The medical examiner has yet to officially identify the victim.

Authorities are working to complete a timeline from when the victim was reported missing to when the remains were found, said Bob Merner, assistant chief with the Seattle Police.

Seattle Police identified John Charlton, 37, as a suspect after an investigation into the evidence. Charlton was arrested for the investigation of murder. He was denied bail.

According to Merner, Charlton has a criminal history. It was not immediately clear if Charlton had an attorney.

Police said the investigation is on-going but do not believe there are any outstanding suspects.

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National Weather Service WILL STOP YELLING AT YOU

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The National Weather Service has screamed its weather forecasts in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY but beginning next month, the agency said it plans to lower its voice unless there’s an emergency.

Weather updates have traditionally been sent in all capital letters since the National Weather Service used teleprinters, which are typewriters hooked up to telephone lines that only allowed for the use of capital letters. Of course, technology has evolved but some customers have still used the outdated equipment, according to a news release from the National Weather Service.

Effective May 11, the agency plans to transition to mixed-case letters for most forecasts, although forecasters will still have the option to use all upper-case letters when they want to emphasize extremely dangerous conditions, according to the update, making sure you don’t take that SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING lightly.


— NWS (@NWS) April 11, 2016

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Texas Woman Wanted for Allegedly Taking Ring Off Corpse

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(ODESSA, Texas) — Funeral home surveillance video shows a woman allegedly stealing a wedding ring from a corpse in a coffin.

The suspect, who’s being sought, came to the Sunset Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home in Odessa, Texas, Saturday afternoon, police say.

The footage shows the suspect approaching the casket that contained the body of an 88-year-old woman.

In the video, the woman leans over and appears to hold the woman’s hand but, police said, she was actually taking the ring.

The suspect fled the scene in a red or maroon four-door Saturn car, officials said, adding that the ring was made of plastic and was only worth about $10.

No arrests have been made and police are treating the incident as an alleged felony.

Police released the surveillance video on their official Facebook page in hopes the public could help identify the woman.

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The Top 10 Most Threatened Rivers in the United States

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Rivers across the United States are being threatened by pollution, poorly designed dams and the inability of local and state governments to come up with plans for important waterways, according to a new report.

American Rivers, a conservation group, is warning that the failure to protect key rivers will deprive some regions of clean drinking water, exacerbate drought conditions and deny the public the ability to enjoy the recreational opportunities thriving rivers provide.

To highlight the issue, the group is releasing its top 10 most threatened rivers, a list that spans the country. Leading the rundown is the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin that affects Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Also making the cut is California’s San Joaquin River, important to the state’s farmers, and the Susquehanna River, which runs through Pennsylvania and Maryland.

“We can’t live without clean water, and we don’t have an unlimited supply,” American Rivers President Bob Irvin said in a press release. “As more people compete for a limited resource, everyone is losing: farmers don’t have reliable water for their crops; commercial fisheries are collapsing; urban supplies are strained; fish and wildlife are declining; and recreation businesses are closing their doors. Instead of continuing conflict, we need a new era of water cooperation that strikes a balance among all users.”

Millions of people depend on clean drinking water from these endangered rivers, and water shortages could also lead to the loss of billions of dollars in agricultural production and fisheries, according to American Rivers. The group says it is noticing increased efforts by conservation organizations and state agencies to find sustainable water management solutions.

The annual report focuses on three factors: the magnitude of the threat; whether or not improvement projects are imminent; and the significance of the river to its environment and the people that rely on it.

America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2016

1. Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin

Located: Alabama, Florida, Georgia

Threat: Outdated water management

2. San Joaquin River

Located: California

Threat: Outdated water management

3. Susquehanna River

Locate: Pennsylvania, Maryland

Threat: Harmful dam operations

4. Smith River

Located: Montana

Threat: Mining

5. Green-Duwamish River

Located: Washington

Threat: Outdated dam and floodplain management, pollution

6. Pee Dee River

Located: North Carolina

Threat: Harmful dam operations

7. Russell Fork River

Located: North Carolina: Kentucky

Threat: Mountaintop removal mining

8. Merrimack River

Located: Massachusetts, New Hampshire

Threat: Polluted runoff

9. St. Lawrence River

Located: New York

Threat: Harmful dam operations

10. Pascagoula River

Located: Mississippi, Alabama

Threat: New dams

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Northern Texas Gets Slammed by Massive Hail Storm

Dave Mulford/@mw007x (WYLIE, Texas) — Northern Texas got pummeled with massive hail Monday evening.

The small town of Wylie, Texas — near Dallas — was devastated by hail that caused significant damage to homes and cars.

Social media lit up with comparison shots of how big the hail stones were — some clocking in as large as a baseball.

Buildings and cars fell prey to the massive stones that knocked out windows and windshields — and all people could do was document the bizarre weather phenomenon.

The Wylie School District said it will close all campuses Tuesday citing safety concerns following the storms.

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Video Captures Giant Sinkhole Collapse in California Neighborhood

City of Madera Police Department(MADERA, Calif.) — Police in Central California captured the moment a massive sinkhole opened up in a residential neighborhood Monday evening.

City of Madera Police Department, located just outside of Fresno, posted the 47 second long video to their official Facebook page showing a large portion of the roadway collapsing.

Police said the road fell into a sewage line and so far the collapse created a hole approximately 15 to 20 feet deep.

It’s unknown what exactly caused the damage but could be due to recent rain storms that hit the area recently, according to police.

The roadway is expected to be closed for an extended amount of time for repair.

The video has garnered over 200,000 views on Facebook.

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FBI Offers Reward for Recovery of Stolen Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup Prints

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) — The FBI announced a $25,000 reward on Monday for the recovery of screenprints of Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s soup can that were stolen from the Springfield Art Museum in Missouri.

According to Springfield police, the break-in happened sometime last week between Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning. The art was stolen from the museum’s exhibit titled, “The Electric Garden of our Minds: British/American Pop,” which has remained closed since the theft.

According to the FBI, seven of the 10 prints were stolen. The collection, owned by the museum since 1985 and created by Warhol in 1968, is worth about $500,000.

Springfield Art Museum Director Nick Nelson said in a statement that the museum was working with the authorities to ensure the proper security was in place while the museum remained open to the public.

Local artist Pam RuBert, who has some of her work displayed at the museum, said it was scary someone would steal the art but, called it a “validation of the value of art.”

“I can’t believe that would happen,” she said. “I mean, you think of Springfield as the kind of place that this doesn’t happen in. I guess it shows the value of art and that this can happen anywhere.”

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School District Fires Officer Who Allegedly Body-Slammed Student

ABC News(SAN ANTONIO) — A Texas school police officer who was caught on video appearing to body slam a female student has been fired, with school officials calling his alleged actions “absolutely unwarranted.”

Officer Joshua Kehm, of the San Antonio School District, was placed on paid administrative leave when the video of the incident, at Rhodes Middle School on March 29, was circulated online. The district spokesperson confirmed today that he had been terminated.

“We understand that situations can sometimes escalate to the point of requiring a physical response; however, in this situation we believe that the extent of the response was absolutely unwarranted,” superintendent Pedro Martinez said in a statement.

“Additionally, the officer’s report was inconsistent with the video and it was also delayed, which is not in accordance with the general operating procedures of the police department. We want to be clear that we will not tolerate this behavior,” Martinez said.

Kehm had been employed by the school district since February 2015, according to school district spokeswoman Leslie Price.

The administrative investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The Combined The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas reiterated that they will continue representing Kehm.

“It’s important to point out that Officer Kehm has promised to cooperate with the department’s investigation. However, CLEAT is concerned that the department acted before it has had time to fully evaluate all of the facts in the matter,” said CLEAT Executive Director Charley Wilkison.

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