Review Category : National News

Iowa Teen Swept Away by Rushing Currents

iStock/Thinkstock(CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) — Rescue crews will resume the search Tuesday morning for one of two teenagers who were swept into a storm drain in Iowa Monday, the victims of a powerful storm system pummeling the Midwest.

Logan Blake, 17, of Cedar Rapids, was sucked away by the rushing currents. He was playing Frisbee with friends.

One of Blake’s friends tried to rescue him but got swept away, too, getting carried deep into sewage drains underneath the city. That friend came out injured but alive at a lake a mile and a half away.

Blake remains missing, but his relatives and friends are holding onto hope.

“He’s a strong kid, a very athletic kid,” father Mark Blake said. “He’s got a strong will. We have every faith in the world that he’s hooked on and waiting for the current to slow down.”

The storm system brought heavy rain and winds across the region.

At a Cedar Rapids Kernels minor league baseball game, the tarp was whipped across the stadium, leaving three with concussions.

In Bevington, Iowa, the storm ripped down power lines and flipped a semi-truck.

And Chicago was lit up with lightning striking several skyscrapers.

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Boy Scout Commits Suicide at San Diego Youth Camp

Photodisc/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — San Diego police say that a 12-year-old boy scout took his own life Monday at the Fiesta Island Youth Camp in the city’s Mission Bay.

According to authorities, the boy shot himself in the head. No other scouts were wounded in the incident.

Immediately afterwards, the camp was put on lockdown with investigators questioning both scouts and their parents.

The identity of the dead boy was withheld although police said he was part of a scout troop from Las Vegas.

What investigators are trying to learn is how the youngster managed to sneak a gun into the camp.

In a statement, the Boy Scouts of America said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and all those who experienced this tragedy. Our top priority is providing support to our community and for those in the grieving process.”

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Arizona Town Remembers Hotshots Killed in Yarnell Hill Fire One Year Ago

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images(PRESCOTT, Ariz.) — A memorial service was held on Monday to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The 19 hotshots were trapped in a canyon and overtaken by flames while attempting to battle the fire. On Monday, the town of Prescott remembered those lost, ringing 19 bells in their memory and reading out their names.

The fire began on June 28, 2013. When the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed on June 30, 2013, it marked the largest loss of firefighter lives in the U.S. since the attacks of 9/11.

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Supreme Court Says ‘Partial Public Employees’ Can’t Be Required to Pay Union Fees

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that certain government workers should not be required to pay any fees to the unions that represent them, while declining to overturn the precedent that requires many public sector workers to do the same thing.

The case in question posed whether personal care providers in Illinois can be compelled to pay union fees. The 5-4 decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito for the majority, determined that specific workers — deemed “partial public workers,” or those Medicaid-funded home care workers and others who aren’t “full-fledged public employees” — cannot be forced to pay fees to a union.

In a statement, the White House expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court ruled against the collective bargaining model that the administration says “resulted in fairer pay and benefits for hardworking caregivers as well as improved training, safety and health protections, and tools to help those who need care to find it.”

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$12 Million Lottery Ticket in Texas Goes Unclaimed

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) — A Texas lottery ticket worth $12 million went unclaimed on Monday, the last day on which its owner could have claimed the prize, meaning the winnings go towards Texas public schools.

According to the Texas Lottery Commission, the ticket was purchased for the Jan. 1 drawing, and matched all six numbers. The winner purchased the winning ticket from the South Shore Shell in League City, Texas.

The winner had until 5 p.m. on Monday to claim the ticket, and when no one did so, the state lottery commission posted to its Twitter account that the funds would be directed to the Foundation School Fund, which supports public schools in Texas.

It’s official! The $12 million Lotto TX jackpot was NOT claimed. $$$ will go to Foundation School Fund which supports public schools in TX.

— Texas Lottery (@TexasLottery) June 30, 2014

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Fired Nanny Sets Conditions for Moving Out

Courtesy Bracamonte Family(UPLAND, Calif.) — The fired California nanny who wouldn’t leave is blaming the weather, the media and physical disabilities as the reasons she hasn’t moved out of her former employers’ home, but said she will be out by July 4 — under certain conditions, according to an email she sent to her employers’ lawyer.

But Marcella Bracamonte, who fired Diane Stretton earlier this month, thinks Stretton’s demands are a ploy.

“I don’t believe her. She is going to show up when I am not here with a bunch of food and water and she will barricade herself in her room,” Bracamonte said.

“I want her to leave by tomorrow, Tuesday 4 p.m. I am not going to play games with this lady,” she said.

Stretton, 64, was hired by Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte in early March to help care for their three children in exchange for room and board. After several weeks, Stretton stopped working and said she was unable to perform her job because of health problems and only came out of her room to eat, the Bracamontes claim. The family asked Stretton to sign a letter on June 6 giving her 30 days to leave, but Stretton threatened to sue the family for elder abuse and improper firing, Marcella Bracamonte said.

In an email sent this weekend to Marc Cohen, the Bracamontes’ lawyer, Stretton said she tried to move out of the house but there was “always a bunch of news vehicles right in front of the house. The media needs to be completely gone before I continue moving.”

She said her departure will now be delayed by a coming heat wave.

“The temperature over the next 5 days is expected to be near 100 degrees. I can’t work in that kind of heat,” she wrote in her email.

Stretton said in her email that she wants to be able to sleep in the Bracamonte home for three more nights and to be able to shower in their bathroom.

“If the media stays away, I will be out by the 4th of July. But that depends on the circus not continuing,” she wrote.

The Bracamontes have plans to be away for July 4, but Marcella Bracamonte does not intend to leave her house unattended.

“I have my sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws and their children, so at least seven people will be here,” she told ABC News.

Stretton disappeared from the Bracamontes’ house Thursday morning and was later discovered in her car outside of a police station on Friday. She has refused to speak to the media, hiding under her window screen.

During Stretton’s standoff with the Bracamontes, her litigious past has emerged. She has a long history with litigation and is listed on California’s Vexatious Litigant List, which includes people who have been found to bring legal action that is frivolous or repetitive.

The majority of the lawsuits were directed at her own family members, particularly her two sisters. According to documents, Stretton tried to block her sisters from selling family property.

Last year, Stretton even sued her son, Michael, according to court records, and a car rental agency for property damage and personal injury in connection with a motor vehicle accident.

Court documents show that when Stretton’s father, John Richardson, died in 2000, his will included Stretton’s two sisters, Donna Tobey and Sharon Freeburn. Richardson “specifically and expressly omitted Stretton,” according to court documents.

Stretton has not returned calls from ABC News.

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Fired Nanny Sets Conditions for Moving Out

Courtesy Bracamonte Family(UPLAND, Calif.) — The fired California nanny who wouldn’t leave is blaming the weather, the media and physical disabilities as the reasons she hasn’t moved out of her former employers’ home, but said she will be out by July 4 — under certain conditions, according to an email she sent to her employers’ lawyer.

But Marcella Bracamonte, who fired Diane Stretton earlier this month, thinks Stretton’s demands are a ploy.

“I don’t believe her. She is going to show up when I am not here with a bunch of food and water and she will barricade herself in her room,” Bracamonte said.

“I want her to leave by tomorrow, Tuesday 4 p.m. I am not going to play games with this lady,” she said.

Stretton, 64, was hired by Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte in early March to help care for their three children in exchange for room and board. After several weeks, Stretton stopped working and said she was unable to perform her job because of health problems and only came out of her room to eat, the Bracamontes claim. The family asked Stretton to sign a letter on June 6 giving her 30 days to leave, but Stretton threatened to sue the family for elder abuse and improper firing, Marcella Bracamonte said.

In an email sent this weekend to Marc Cohen, the Bracamontes’ lawyer, Stretton said she tried to move out of the house but there was “always a bunch of news vehicles right in front of the house. The media needs to be completely gone before I continue moving.”

She said her departure will now be delayed by a coming heat wave.

“The temperature over the next 5 days is expected to be near 100 degrees. I can’t work in that kind of heat,” she wrote in her email.

Stretton said in her email that she wants to be able to sleep in the Bracamonte home for three more nights and to be able to shower in their bathroom.

“If the media stays away, I will be out by the 4th of July. But that depends on the circus not continuing,” she wrote.

The Bracamontes have plans to be away for July 4, but Marcella Bracamonte does not intend to leave her house unattended.

“I have my sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws and their children, so at least seven people will be here,” she told ABC News.

Stretton disappeared from the Bracamontes’ house Thursday morning and was later discovered in her car outside of a police station on Friday. She has refused to speak to the media, hiding under her window screen.

During Stretton’s standoff with the Bracamontes, her litigious past has emerged. She has a long history with litigation and is listed on California’s Vexatious Litigant List, which includes people who have been found to bring legal action that is frivolous or repetitive.

The majority of the lawsuits were directed at her own family members, particularly her two sisters. According to documents, Stretton tried to block her sisters from selling family property.

Last year, Stretton even sued her son, Michael, according to court records, and a car rental agency for property damage and personal injury in connection with a motor vehicle accident.

Court documents show that when Stretton’s father, John Richardson, died in 2000, his will included Stretton’s two sisters, Donna Tobey and Sharon Freeburn. Richardson “specifically and expressly omitted Stretton,” according to court documents.

Stretton has not returned calls from ABC News.

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Fired Nanny Sets Conditions for Moving Out

Courtesy Bracamonte Family(UPLAND, Calif.) — The fired California nanny who wouldn’t leave is blaming the weather, the media and physical disabilities as the reasons she hasn’t moved out of her former employers’ home, but said she will be out by July 4 — under certain conditions, according to an email she sent to her employers’ lawyer.

But Marcella Bracamonte, who fired Diane Stretton earlier this month, thinks Stretton’s demands are a ploy.

“I don’t believe her. She is going to show up when I am not here with a bunch of food and water and she will barricade herself in her room,” Bracamonte said.

“I want her to leave by tomorrow, Tuesday 4 p.m. I am not going to play games with this lady,” she said.

Stretton, 64, was hired by Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte in early March to help care for their three children in exchange for room and board. After several weeks, Stretton stopped working and said she was unable to perform her job because of health problems and only came out of her room to eat, the Bracamontes claim. The family asked Stretton to sign a letter on June 6 giving her 30 days to leave, but Stretton threatened to sue the family for elder abuse and improper firing, Marcella Bracamonte said.

In an email sent this weekend to Marc Cohen, the Bracamontes’ lawyer, Stretton said she tried to move out of the house but there was “always a bunch of news vehicles right in front of the house. The media needs to be completely gone before I continue moving.”

She said her departure will now be delayed by a coming heat wave.

“The temperature over the next 5 days is expected to be near 100 degrees. I can’t work in that kind of heat,” she wrote in her email.

Stretton said in her email that she wants to be able to sleep in the Bracamonte home for three more nights and to be able to shower in their bathroom.

“If the media stays away, I will be out by the 4th of July. But that depends on the circus not continuing,” she wrote.

The Bracamontes have plans to be away for July 4, but Marcella Bracamonte does not intend to leave her house unattended.

“I have my sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws and their children, so at least seven people will be here,” she told ABC News.

Stretton disappeared from the Bracamontes’ house Thursday morning and was later discovered in her car outside of a police station on Friday. She has refused to speak to the media, hiding under her window screen.

During Stretton’s standoff with the Bracamontes, her litigious past has emerged. She has a long history with litigation and is listed on California’s Vexatious Litigant List, which includes people who have been found to bring legal action that is frivolous or repetitive.

The majority of the lawsuits were directed at her own family members, particularly her two sisters. According to documents, Stretton tried to block her sisters from selling family property.

Last year, Stretton even sued her son, Michael, according to court records, and a car rental agency for property damage and personal injury in connection with a motor vehicle accident.

Court documents show that when Stretton’s father, John Richardson, died in 2000, his will included Stretton’s two sisters, Donna Tobey and Sharon Freeburn. Richardson “specifically and expressly omitted Stretton,” according to court documents.

Stretton has not returned calls from ABC News.

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ASPCA App Seeks to Prevent Lost Pets

ASPCA(NEW YORK) — Nearly one in five lost pets goes missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms or other loud noises, according to a recent survey by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, making the Fourth of July a high-risk holiday for animal owners.

In an effort to lower the number of lost pets this year, the ASPCA has just released its first app designed to help pet parents locate Fido as quickly as possible.

“What’s so unique about the app — and how it will help pet owners — is that instead of simply adding photos of their lost pets to a database where it might easily get lost in a sea of other lost pet photos, the ASPCA app gives pet owners an individual search plan with customized action steps based on their pet’s unique personality and the circumstances of how they were lost,” an ASPCA spokeswoman told ABC News. “In an emergency where every second counts, the ability to search more quickly and efficiently is crucial.”

The app offers users a personalized recovery kit with step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal under various scenarios, as well as offering preventative safety tips for before and during natural disasters.

Other features of note: Medical records and photos can be uploaded onto the app to create a digital “lost pet” flyer that can be shared across social media networks in the event of an emergency.

“We don’t have any individual case studies yet, but our survey found that most lost pets (58 percent) were recovered through some action taken by owners or others, including using ID tags and microchips, searching the neighborhood, checking with local shelters or animal control, and distributing flyers or posters,” said the ASPCA spokeswoman. “We hope to collect data — and happy tales of reunions — through the app.”

To decrease the likelihood of a pet bolting during a fireworks display, the ASPCA encourages owners to keep their animals in a quiet, secured area indoors for the duration of the event.

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ASPCA App Seeks to Prevent Lost Pets

ASPCA(NEW YORK) — Nearly one in five lost pets goes missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms or other loud noises, according to a recent survey by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, making the Fourth of July a high-risk holiday for animal owners.

In an effort to lower the number of lost pets this year, the ASPCA has just released its first app designed to help pet parents locate Fido as quickly as possible.

“What’s so unique about the app — and how it will help pet owners — is that instead of simply adding photos of their lost pets to a database where it might easily get lost in a sea of other lost pet photos, the ASPCA app gives pet owners an individual search plan with customized action steps based on their pet’s unique personality and the circumstances of how they were lost,” an ASPCA spokeswoman told ABC News. “In an emergency where every second counts, the ability to search more quickly and efficiently is crucial.”

The app offers users a personalized recovery kit with step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal under various scenarios, as well as offering preventative safety tips for before and during natural disasters.

Other features of note: Medical records and photos can be uploaded onto the app to create a digital “lost pet” flyer that can be shared across social media networks in the event of an emergency.

“We don’t have any individual case studies yet, but our survey found that most lost pets (58 percent) were recovered through some action taken by owners or others, including using ID tags and microchips, searching the neighborhood, checking with local shelters or animal control, and distributing flyers or posters,” said the ASPCA spokeswoman. “We hope to collect data — and happy tales of reunions — through the app.”

To decrease the likelihood of a pet bolting during a fireworks display, the ASPCA encourages owners to keep their animals in a quiet, secured area indoors for the duration of the event.

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