Review Category : National News

Convicted Murderer Escapes from Illinois Prison

DanHenson1/iStock/Thinkstock(KANKAKEE, Ill.) — A convicted murderer escaped from a detention center in Illinois on Wednesday morning.

According to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department, Kamron Taylor, 23, overpowered a correctional officer and took the officer’s keys and uniform at about 3 a.m. Wednesday at the Jerome Combs Detention Center. Taylor is believed to have fled the jail and stolen the officer’s vehicle.

A statement from the sheriff’s department said that the vehicle Taylor is believed to have stolen was located at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Taylor, described as a black man about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 170 pounds, is considered armed and dangerous.

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Second Victim of NYC Building Collapse Identified

FDNY(NEW YORK) — The second victim of the East Village building explosion last week in New York City has been positively identified, New York City officials said Wednesday.

Using DNA analysis, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that Moises Ismael Locon Yac is the second victim of the tragedy. Yac was a restaurant employee who witnesses had said was in the kitchen area at the time of the explosion.

An investigation into the building collapse remains ongoing.

A New York Police Department official had previously identified the other victim as Nicholas Figueroa.

Twenty-two people were injured in the explosion and building collapse.

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Washington, DC Police Arrest Suspect in Lawyer’s Murder

Obtained by ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Police in Washington, D.C., Wednesday arrested a woman in connection with the killing of a lawyer who was found stabbed to death inside a district hotel room.

Police charged Jamyra Gallmon, 21, with first-degree felony murder while armed in connection with the death of David Messerschmitt. His body was found inside a room at the Donovan Hotel on Feb. 10.

Messerschmitt, 30, had sent a text message to his wife the day before his body was discovered, saying he’d be home in an hour, said police. But when the newlywed didn’t return to his home in Capitol Hill, his wife, Kim Vuong, filed a missing persons report.

Police didn’t say what evidence led investigators to charge Gallmon.

Last week, Vuong asked for help finding her husband’s alleged killer, saying she had lost her “husband and best friend.”

“In one day, I lost the most important person in my life and the man I loved so much,” she said.

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Getty Heir Had ‘Several Health Issues’ at Time of Death, Police Say

Andrew Getty/Facebook(LOS ANGELES) — Andrew Getty, the grandson of oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, was suffering from several undisclosed health issues at the time of his death, a police spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“At this time, it appears as though he died of natural causes but the coroner will obviously make that determination in their final report,” Det. Meghan Aguilar told ABC News.

Craig Harvey, the chief of investigations for the coroner’s office, told ABC News that Getty has not yet been examined by the medical examiner — that will happen either Thursday or Friday.

Harvey went on to say that preliminary observations do not indicate trauma or foul play.

“I also suspect that the final cause of death will be deferred and additional toxicology or tissue studies will be ordered that could result in any final ruling being delayed for six to eight weeks or more,” Harvey said.

Police responded to Getty’s home at around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a call for an ambulance from an unidentified woman. Police are not investigating the case in a criminal capacity because the cause of death has not yet been officially determined, authorities said.

Getty’s father, Gordon Getty, is one of industrialist J. Paul Getty’s five sons. J. Paul Getty was once considered the richest man in the world.

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Suspect in Custody After Fort Hood Officials Receive Verbal Threat

Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images(FORT HOOD, Texas) — Officials at Fort Hood in Texas say they responded to a verbal threat from a soldier on Wednesday afternoon.

A statement from the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office on Wednesday said that officials received a call at about 1:30 p.m. local time about a verbal threat issued by a soldier. “Directorate of Emergency Services officials took appropriate measures to secure the post and currently have a suspect in custody,” the statement noted.

Fort Hood is not under lockdown, though the situation is under further investigation. There were no details immediately made public about the suspect.

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UVA Student Newspaper Apologizes for April Fools Day Article Satirizing Martese Johnson Incident

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The managing board of the Cavalier Daily, the campus newspaper at the University of Virginia, apologized on Wednesday for an ill-advised April Fool’s Day joke that poked fun at a recent incident in which Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents allegedly injured a student, Martese Johnson, while arresting him.

The front page of Wednesday’s issue featured an article, apparently an attempt at satire, headlined “ABC agents tackle Native American student outside Bodo’s Bagels.” The subheader read “University students decry ‘Trail of Schmears.'”

The paper’s managing board issued a swift apology, saying that that article, as well as a second entitled “Zeta Psi hosts ‘Rosa Parks’ party,” were removed from the newspaper’s website.

“The April Fools editions [are] meant to start a converastion and provide satirical commentary on important issues,” the managing board wrote in a statement. “The April Fools edition is not meant to come at the expense of our peers. We neglected to foresee that these pieces would come across as the latter, and for that, we regret their publication.”

Their statement reiterated the Cavalier Daily‘s mission of providing “the University community with new, relevant and insightful information that inspires critical conversation and even action on Grounds. Today’s April Fools edition was meant to further this mission in a humorous and satirical manner,” they wrote. “Unfortunately, we fell short of this goal today.”

The university has dealt with multiple controversies in recent months. Besides the incident involving Virginia ABC agents and Martese Johnson in March, the school was also the subject of a scathing Rolling Stone magazine report detailing an alleged on-campus sexual assault. The magazine has since backtracked on the story, and Charlottesville Police recently announced that they had found no evidence of the alleged rape.

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NC Teen Writes Rejection Letter to Duke University’s Rejection Letter

ABC News(DURHAM, N.C.) — Spring is here along with the angst of the college admissions process for high school seniors everywhere.

One North Carolina teenager decided to fight back with a rejection letter to the rejection letter she said she received from Duke University.

“Dear Duke University Admissions,” the letter written by 17-year-old Siobhan O’Dell begins. “Thank you for the rejection letter of March 26, 2015. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me admission into the Fall 2015 freshman class at Duke.”

“This year I have been fortunate enough to receive rejection letters from the best and brightest universities in the country. With a pool of letters so diverse and accomplished I was unable to accept reject letters I would have been able to only several years ago,” she continues.

The teenager ends the letter with: “Therefore I will be attending Duke University’s 2015 freshmen class. I look forward to seeing you then.”

O’Dell posted the letter on Tumblr, where it quickly drew the Internet’s attention and drew calls for Duke University to reconsider her application.

Unfortunately for O’Dell, going viral did not equal a spot in Duke’s freshman class. O’Dell also posted to Tumblr on Tuesday the response she says Duke officials sent to her rejection to the rejection email.

“I understand how disappointed you are that we were unable to offer you a space in our incoming class,” the note reads. “I want to be honest with you and let you know that it’s very rare that we learn something that leads us to change our decision. In the last 10 years we’ve received about 500 requests for a review…and changed the decision four times.”

Duke’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Cristoph Guttentag, had no comment on O’Dell’s application when reached by ABC News.

The Durham, North Carolina-based school’s loss may be another college’s gain. O’Dell, who did not reply to ABC News, posted on her Instagram account that she has already been accepted to the University of South Carolina.
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NYPD Cop Who Berated Uber Driver Is Under Internal Review

Sanjay Seth/YouTube(NEW YORK) — A video showing a police detective berating an Uber driver in New York City has gone viral, and the New York Police Department said the video is under review by the Internal Affairs Bureau and that it will also be investigated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

The officer in the video has been identified as a uniformed member of the NYPD and is a detective, the NYPD told ABC News Wednesday.

In the video, the detective stands at the driver’s door, shouting, “Do you understand me? I don’t know what [expletive] planet you think you’re on right now.”

Sanjay Seth confirmed to ABC News that he was a passenger in the car when the incident occurred on the West Side Highway, and that he took the video with his cellphone.

The driver remains calm in the video and does not raise his voice to the detective.

At one point, the detective slams the driver’s door closed.

The incident began when the Uber driver honked at the detective’s car after the detective was apparently trying to park without using his blinker, Seth said, and the Uber driver wanted to make it through the green light.

When the detective walks away for a moment after berating the driver, the passenger who is videotaping says, “That’s crazy. That’s really inappropriate.”

Another passenger says, “Abuse of power, obviously.”

The detective comes back and continues, “Now let me tell you something the next time you do it again.”

The driver interrupts and says, “Okay.”

The detective yells, “Okay what? You don’t let me [expletive] finish? Stop interrupting me!”

The driver apologizes to the detective.

The detective then says, “Who do you think you’re talking to here? …Every time I open my mouth you have something to say.”

The detective ends with saying, “The only reason you’re not in handcuffs going to jail…is because I have things to do, that’s the only reason that’s not happening.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on the controversy Wednesday, saying: “There’s just no place for any public servant to use discriminatory or negative language.”

Uber responded to the incident with a statement.

“The behavior in the video is wrong and unacceptable and we appreciate the NYPD investigating the incident. We are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs,” Uber told ABC’s New York station WABC.

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Total Lunar Eclipse Will Be Shortest in a Century

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Don’t press the snooze button for this one.

The total lunar eclipse set to take over the skies on Saturday will be the shortest in a century, lasting five minutes and turning the moon red, according to NASA.

The sky spectacle will be visible from all parts of the United States, with people in the eastern part of the country seeing the beginning stages of the partial umbral eclipse before sunrise at 6:16 ET.

The total eclipse will be visible to people in the Western United States at 7:58 PT. At this time, the moon will turn a shade of blood red as it skims the outskirts of Earth’s shadow.

The eclipse is the third in a tetrad, a series of four eclipses. The fourth is set for Sept. 28, 2015.

The best part of all for Saturday’s phenomenon: No telescope is needed. If you’re in an area with visibility, all you’ll need to do is step outside to enjoy the view — that is, if you can catch it in time.

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Gary Dahl, Inventor of the Pet Rock, Dead at 78

File photo. iStock/Thinkstock(JACKSONVILLE, Ore.) — Gary Dahl, the inventor of the Pet Rock, has died, The New York Times reports. He was 78.

Dahl’s wife, Marguerite Dahl, confirmed that her husband had passed away from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Jacksonville, Oregon, on March 23.

While working as a freelance copywriter in Northern California, Dahl came up with the idea for the Pet Rock, first as a joke. It turned out to be one of the great fads of the 1970s that also happened to make him rich.

Backed by two investors, Dahl bought smooth Mexican beach stones for a penny apiece and then worked up packaging that looked like a carrying case along with instructions on the proper care and feeding of the Pet Rock.

The Pet Rock hit stores around the 1975 Christmas season and within months, Dahl sold 1.5 million of them, eventually earning a whopping $15 million from his venture.

Other inventions he came up with, like the Original Sand Breeding Kit, weren’t as lucrative. While Dahl trademarked the Pet Rock name, it didn’t stop copycats from getting in on the action with their own versions of his idea.

Years later, Dahl returned to copywriting and admitted that things hadn’t exactly turned out the way he planned even though the Pet Rock made him very wealthy.

Dahl is survived by his third wife, Marguerite, several children and seven grandchildren.

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