Review Category : National News

Survival Skills Credited in Kayakers’ Rescue in Arizona

iStock/Thinkstock(WINKELMAN, Ariz.) — Three kayakers stranded in Arizona after river debris pierced their rubber rafts were rescued thanks to their survival skills, which included making a giant S.O.S. sign out of tree branches.

The kayakers — friends Ray Richardson, Heidi Nebeker and Kimberly Baker — were stranded after a few hours into their two-day trip along the 649-mile Gila River. Logs punctured their inflatable kayaks, leaving them in the woods.

“When the river got worse than we expected, we were really praying and we were concerned about being able to get out,” Nebeker said.

The group rationed what little food they had, ate desert food and filtered water, and after trying for nine hours, were able to send a text message to a friend saying they needed help. Then they got creative, building an S.O.S. sign.

Arizona state troopers in a helicopter spotted the sign and came in for the rescue.

Rescue crews said the kayakers did everything correctly.

“They didn’t get too excited, they didn’t enter into that panic state of mind. They actually had the presence of mind to create a ground signal,” said Ken Twigg, a rescue pilot with the state Department of Public Safety.

Despite the misadventure, the friends expect to return to the waters again.

“You know what, it was a great adventure,” Kim Baker said. “I loved it. I’m eager to go again sometime soon.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Survival Skills Credited in Kayakers’ Rescue in Arizona

iStock/Thinkstock(WINKELMAN, Ariz.) — Three kayakers stranded in Arizona after river debris pierced their rubber rafts were rescued thanks to their survival skills, which included making a giant S.O.S. sign out of tree branches.

The kayakers — friends Ray Richardson, Heidi Nebeker and Kimberly Baker — were stranded after a few hours into their two-day trip along the 649-mile Gila River. Logs punctured their inflatable kayaks, leaving them in the woods.

“When the river got worse than we expected, we were really praying and we were concerned about being able to get out,” Nebeker said.

The group rationed what little food they had, ate desert food and filtered water, and after trying for nine hours, were able to send a text message to a friend saying they needed help. Then they got creative, building an S.O.S. sign.

Arizona state troopers in a helicopter spotted the sign and came in for the rescue.

Rescue crews said the kayakers did everything correctly.

“They didn’t get too excited, they didn’t enter into that panic state of mind. They actually had the presence of mind to create a ground signal,” said Ken Twigg, a rescue pilot with the state Department of Public Safety.

Despite the misadventure, the friends expect to return to the waters again.

“You know what, it was a great adventure,” Kim Baker said. “I loved it. I’m eager to go again sometime soon.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Arlington Police Fire Officer Who Killed Unarmed Football Player Christian Taylor

aijohn784/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Police in Arlington, Texas, have fired the officer who shot and killed an unarmed football player in Texas and the cop now faces a criminal investigation, according to the department’s chief.

Officer Brad Miller exercised “inappropriate judgment” and was also cited for “failing to communicate with his fellow officers” and “creating an environment of cascading circumstances,” in the death of Christian Taylor, 19, according to Police Chief Will Johnson.

Miller now faces a criminal investigation by the Tarrant County District Attorney, police said.

Taylor, who played for Angelo State University, was accused of driving his SUV through the windows of a car dealership last Saturday.

Police say he did not comply with orders to surrender and was shot.

Johnson earlier said that Miller fired his weapon four times after an altercation.

The death has been ruled a homicide.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Arlington Police Fire Officer Who Killed Unarmed Football Player Christian Taylor

aijohn784/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Police in Arlington, Texas, have fired the officer who shot and killed an unarmed football player in Texas and the cop now faces a criminal investigation, according to the department’s chief.

Officer Brad Miller exercised “inappropriate judgment” and was also cited for “failing to communicate with his fellow officers” and “creating an environment of cascading circumstances,” in the death of Christian Taylor, 19, according to Police Chief Will Johnson.

Miller now faces a criminal investigation by the Tarrant County District Attorney, police said.

Taylor, who played for Angelo State University, was accused of driving his SUV through the windows of a car dealership last Saturday.

Police say he did not comply with orders to surrender and was shot.

Johnson earlier said that Miller fired his weapon four times after an altercation.

The death has been ruled a homicide.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

New Surveillance Footage Shows Tyrone Harris Pulling Gun from Waistband, Police Say

John Roman/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Police have released new surveillance footage that they say shows a teen pulling a gun from his waistband moments before he was shot by officers after allegedly opening fire on them.

According to St. Louis County Police, Tyrone Harris, 18, began firing at an unmarked car carrying detectives after shots were fired Sunday night near protests marking the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown.

According to police in a statement released Tuesday, the brief footage, from an insurance company, shows Harris “grab a handgun out of his waistband once shots are fired during the protest in the W. Florissant corridor seconds prior to the officer involved shooting,” referring to the street on which the protests were located.

Earlier, police said Harris “immediately turned and began firing” at the police car, which they say had its lights on, hitting the vehicle several times.

The suspect also allegedly fired at the officers when they got out of their car and they returned fire, hitting him several times. He was charged with assault on law enforcement among other counts.
Harris was critically wounded in the gun battle.

The police-involved shooting came amid several other violent incidents that night during protests marking the death of Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson Police on Aug. 9, 2014.

He was unarmed.

ABC US News | World News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Black Delivery Driver Replaced After Customer Wanted Whites Only

GaryPhoto/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — A manager at a Virginia Lowe’s replaced an African-American delivery truck driver with a white employee after a customer requested that only white people deliver packages to her home, which the home improvement and appliance retailer says should have never happened.

After getting a call last week on the truck from a manager telling him to bring the package back so someone else could deliver it, Marcus Bradley said, “I asked him why I couldn’t do it and he said, ‘Because you’re black,’” according to ABC affiliate WSET-TV in Lynchburg-Roanoke.

Bradley, delivering for a Danville store, says the manager told him the customer asked Lowe’s not to send a black delivery person, the station reported.

ABC News has been unable to reach Bradley, and the woman who requested a white delivery driver declined to comment to ABC News.

But Alex Brooks, who said he has worked with Bradley for 11 years, told ABC News Tuesday he was in the truck when the Aug. 3 call came in from the manager.

“I was embarrassed because I got the phone call,” Brooks said. “I think that’s kind of how he [Bradley] felt, too. Marcus was more shocked at Lowe’s doing this. He couldn’t believe that the place he worked at would go along with this woman’s wishes.”

Brooks, who is white, added, “The weekend before this delivery, everybody told us that this woman in the store wouldn’t deal with any of the black customer service representatives or salesmen. She said she didn’t want any black delivery drivers, so they knew beforehand.”

When they returned to the store, Brooks says he was asked to go back out on the delivery with another white driver, but refused.

“I told him I wasn’t going to do it without him [Bradley],” Brooks said. “I just don’t think it’s right.”

In a statement to ABC News, Lowe’s said, “There had been a customer who had requested only white delivery drivers to deliver an item to her home. After we learned of a situation that a manager had pulled the driver from the delivery, we did a quick investigation. The three managers who had been part of that decision are no longer part of the company. We have zero tolerance for behavior of that kind.

“We have apologized and our senior vice president actually went to the [Danville, Virginia] store last week and spoke to the delivery drivers personally and apologized on behalf of the company. We wanted to make sure they knew they had our full support.”

Although saddened and hurt by the incident, Bradley told WSET he plans to continue working for Lowe’s.
“I mean, I gotta work. I’m going to keep going to work like I’ve always done,” he said. “But I would think Lowe’s would take it into consideration to think about what they’re doing the next time.”

ABC US News | World News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Read More →

Navajo Nation on Toxic Spill in Rivers: ‘Our Soul Is Hurting’

Brent Lewis/The Denver Post via Getty Images(SILVERTON, Colo.) — The Navajo Nation is mourning and pleading for help as clean storage water is depleting, after toxic spill from a mine has contaminated water flowing down the Animas River in Colorado into the San Juan River through Utah and New Mexico.

The spill happened Friday when a team of Environmental Protection Agency workers accidentally released 3 million gallons of wastewater containing heavy metals, including lead and arsenic, from the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado, the agency said.

Though EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said at a news conference Tuesday that the agency’s slow response was out of caution, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said the slow response is frustrating the Navajo people, who are “weeping every day” and in “dire need of clean water,” not only for drinking, but also to sustain their organic farms and ranches.

“Our soul is hurting,” Begaye told ABC News on Tuesday. “I meet people daily that weep when they see me, asking me, ‘How do I know the water will be safe?’ The Animas River and the San Juan rivers are our lifelines. Water is sacred to us. The spirit of our people is being impacted.”

He explained that “basic drinking water” is becoming scarce as clean storage water is depleting more rapidly than expected.

“Bottled water is becoming scarce, and my people want to know what we can drink after the clean supply runs out,” Begaye said. “We’re hauling water from wells outside the disaster area and using our own Navajo Nation funds to run these trunks back and forth. We desperately need help from outside to get good quality, safe drinking water.”

Additionally, farmers and ranchers will be losing thousands of dollars in revenue if they can’t find a way to irrigate their crops and provide drinking water to their cattle and livestock, Begaye said.

“We are in the middle of farming season, which is only four to five months of the whole year, and farmers are baking me to help them save their crops, many of which are not fully ripe yet,” he said. “The revenue from these crops is what our farmers need to live off for the rest of the year, so without irrigation water, they are doomed.

“Our ranchers, which have cattle, sheep, horses, goats and different livestock also graze and drink along the river,” Begaye added. “But right now, all the cattle are penned up, and these ranchers have to haul their water in, which they’re not prepared to do.”

Begaye explained that the Navajo are well known for their organic crops and meat, but now with the river contamination, farmers and ranchers are scared they can’t guarantee their consumers that their produce and products are going to be 100 percent organic.

Navajo tourism is also being affected because business owners of resorts and boating companies by the rivers now cannot fully operate until the water is cleared, the Navajo president added.

Begaye said the EPA sent two personnel — one who could help with any health issues and another who could help with water testing — but he said the Navajo Nation has yet to receive help from the EPA to get drinking water and more specific answers about what’s exactly in the orange-yellow waters now flowing in their sacred rivers.

McCarthy said Tuesday she understands the “frustration” but that the EPA has “researchers and scientists working around the clock” and is hustling to provide “alternative water supplies.”

She added there have not been any reported cases of “anyone’s health being compromised” and that the “EPA is taking full responsibility to ensure that the spill is cleaned up.”

McCarthy also mentioned that she expected there to be lawsuits against the EPA, and Begaye said in a news release Sunday that he planned to take legal action against the agency.

“To recover from this from this will take a while,” Begaye told ABC News. “For our river to recover, it may take decades. But our people have faced disaster before, and as a nation, we’ll work together and do the best we can. As a nation of prayer, we are asking for prayers for our people right now, and I’d also just like to thank anyone who has reached out to us to volunteer help.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

What Police Say Audio Recordings Reveal About Christian Taylor Shooting

Christian Taylor, right, poses alongside his younger brother Joshua Taylor. (Courtesy Joshua Taylor)(ARLINGTON, Texas) — Texas authorities say new audio sheds light on the moments before police shot and killed college football player Christian Taylor.

The Arlington Police Department released radio communication Monday, posting it to YouTube, in an effort to curb rumors that police shot Taylor, 19, one second after they first made contact with him.

In the YouTube post, police released audio that they say show two minutes elapsed from the time police first saw Taylor inside the Classic Buick GMC dealership building in Arlington and when he was shot. The unarmed Taylor was shot four times.

The Angelo State University football player allegedly drove his SUV through the dealership’s front windows. Police said he did not comply once officers arrived and told him to surrender.

“I just saw a guy in the building that has a hat on, a straw hat,” an officer can be heard saying in the audio at 1:17:22 a.m.

About two minutes later on the tape, which is roughly 15 minutes in its entirety, an officer can be heard saying “Whoa, we got shots fired,” with a graphic on the tape stating that “Officer advises shots fired at 1:19:33 am.”

Sgt. Paul Rodriguez of the Arlington Police Department told ABC News on Tuesday that the police audio shows a period of two minutes and 11 seconds during which officers observed the suspect and the suspect was shot.

The two officers are on paid administrative leave, Rodriguez told ABC News.

Taylor’s death was ruled a homicide.

Police said on Friday that independent criminal and administrative investigations have begun, with the FBI called in to help.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

FBI: Teen Girl ISIS Wannabe Praised Chattanooga Shooting

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Before a 20-year-old girl from a small city in Mississippi was charged with attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS, the young woman allegedly praised the Chattanooga shooting, which claimed the lives of five American servicemen.

“What makes me feel bette[r] after just watching the news is that an akhi [brother] carried out an attack against US marines in TN! Alhamdulillah [Thanks be to God], the numbers of supporters are growing,” Starkville resident Jaelyn Delshaun Young told an undercover FBI agent in a conversation online on July 17, a day after the deadly shooting, according to the FBI. Four Marines and a Navy sailor were killed in the attack.

Overnight, authorities unsealed a criminal complaint against Young and 22-year-old Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla, another Mississippi resident. The FBI says the couple planned for months to travel to Turkey in order to slip into Syria and join ISIS.

“The only thing keeping me away is $$$ but working all of this overtime will be worth [it] when I am finally there,” Young reportedly said online.

The Vicksburg Post described Young as a high school honors student and a member of the homecoming court just two years ago. She attended Mississippi State and originally planned to become a doctor, the paper said. The FBI said she expressed interest in “giving medical aid to the injury [sic]” once she got to Syria.

According to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent, Young and Dakhlalla said they had an Islamic marriage for the purposes of traveling together to Syria. Initially, Dakhlalla allegedly said he wanted to use his computer science and media skills to help ISIS counter anti-ISIS messaging in the West, and then he would fight on ISIS’s behalf.

“I wish to be a mujahid akhi [holy warrior]. I am willing to fight. I want to be taught what it really means to have that heart in battle!” Dakhlalla allegedly told an undercover agent.

The couple appeared uninformed about many aspects of living under ISIS rule – they said they did not know much about Sharia [Islamic] law, and feared a test that was said to show if they were Sunni or not. ISIS follows an extreme version of Sunni Islam. Young also doubted Western media reports that ISIS uses sex slaves.

The FBI said authorities waited until the couple had their passports and plane tickets to Turkey before picking them up in a small Mississippi airport, where they allegedly confessed their plans. The couple has been formally charged with attempting to support a terrorist organization and were scheduled to appear Tuesday at a detention hearing.

Young’s parents did not immediately return requests for comment for this report. Public defenders assigned to each suspect were not made available for comment.

Dennis Harmon, a local attorney representing Dakhlallah’s family and who has known them since Muhammad Dakhlalla was a child, told ABC News Dakhlallah’s parents are “pretty shook up” over their son’s arrest.

“You know if you’ve been hit right between the eyes, you’re still shaking your head, trying to clear things up? That’s where they are right now,” Harmon said. The last the family knew, Dakhlalla was supposed to begin graduate school in psychology at Mississippi State on Monday, Harmon said.

Oda Dakhlalla, Muhammad’s father, is a part-time imam at the local mosque in Starkville, but Harmon said he never preached anything close to extremist ideology and that Harmon used to eat dinner with the family from time to time.

“His father is somebody who teaches Islam as a religion of peace and that you treat Christians, like me and my wife, as the Koran teaches them that they’re people of the book, deserving of respect,” Harmon said. “I’m not too far from the family in being stunned by this.”

Harmon said the family is cooperating with investigators and that they trust the FBI to ferret out the facts of the case.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Seattle City Council Passes Gun Safety Legislation

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a pair of gun safety measures on Monday, which would implement a tax on all firearms and ammunition purchased in the city as well as mandating reporting of lost or stolen weapons.

The gun violence tax approved by the city council would charge firearms dealers $25 per firearm sold and five cents per round of ammunition sold. The City Budget office expects that the tax would raise between $300,000 and $500,000 each year.

Council President Tim Burgess called gun violence “a public health epidemic,” but insisted that it could be alleviated “with focused research and prevention funded by this new revenue source.”

“Every day, the general public pays the enormous cost of gun violence,” Burgess said after the measure passed.

Mayor Ed Murray, who supports the legislation, said its passage “demonstrates the commitment of this City and this community to lead on the ongoing national epidemic of gun violence.”

“While action at the federal level and in many other jurisdictions remains gridlocked, we are moving ahead to address an issue so damaging to the young people of Seattle, especially young people of color,” Murray added.

The legislation approved on Monday also would require individuals whose firearms were lost or stolen to report it within 24 hours of discovery. Violators could face a fine of up to $500. Federal law requires firearms businesses with a federal license to report lost or stolen guns, but does not apply to individual gun owners.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →