Review Category : National News

Northeast Gets Hit by Snowstorm, More Snow Possible

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The cold front that brought severe weather and tornadoes in the South earlier this week stalled off the East Coast. A low pressure system formed on Thursday, bringing a quick hit of snow and wind from Philadelphia to Boston by Friday morning. The heaviest snow and lowest visibility happened during rush hour, which caused hundreds of accidents, spin-outs and an extremely dangerous commute.

Showing how limited visibility is now & how much headlights make a difference in making you car visible. #MAsnow pic.twitter.com/pjmmq7Z0PJ

— Hingham Police (@HinghamPolice) February 5, 2016

Heavy snow and strong winds gusting up to 30 mph brought down numerous trees, branches, and power lines across New England on Friday morning. Thousands were reported without power.

Residents of Brook St. #Methuen moving large tree branch from road. Pic via Lt. Pappalardo pic.twitter.com/8ILj9QAYtm

— Derek Licata (@OffLicata) February 5, 2016

The heaviest snow totals were found in Long Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, where a foot of snow was recorded in some areas. New York City picked up 2.5 inches in Central Park and 4.6 inches at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

ABC News

A clipper system from Canada will drop into the Midwest on Sunday and move across the Great Lakes through Monday. The clipper storm’s energy, combined with an active jet stream, will form a low off the Mid-Atlantic coast. That low is expected to move Northeast up the coast on Monday night through Tuesday, but currently there is a lot of uncertainty with its track. The closer it is to the coast, the better chance for significant snow for Philadelphia, New York City and Boston Monday night through Tuesday night. This could also affect the primary election in New Hampshire on Feb. 9.

ABC News

Behind the clipper system mentioned above is a major arctic blast that moves into the upper Midwest by Tuesday with wind chills well below zero. The frigid air reaches the East Coast by Thursday. Wind chills are expected to be below zero across the Great Lakes, and in the single digits and teens for the Northeast, even as far south at Atlanta on Thursday morning.

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‘Affluenza’ Teen Ethan Couch Moved to Adult Jail in Texas, Records Show

Jalisco State Prosecutor’s Office(DALLAS) — The Texan teenager who has been returned to the United States after allegedly fleeing to Mexico with his mother has been moved to an adult jail, records show.

Ethan Couch, 18, who allegedly violated the conditions of his probation following a deadly drunk driving accident, was initially slated to be held in a juvenile facility until his next hearing on Feb. 19, in accordance with Texas laws.

The housing change was confirmed Friday via corrections department records which now list Couch as being held in custody at the Tarrant County Correction Center.

Couch and his mother Tonya Couch were apprehended in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Dec. 28, 2015 following an international manhunt after he allegedly failed to appear at a court-mandated meeting with a probation officer.

Ethan Couch was moved back to Mexico by the U.S. Marshals a month later, arriving back in Dallas on Jan. 28. In Texas, youth can remain in juvenile custody until they are 19.

The teen was put on probation in 2013 after killing four people while driving drunk at the age of 16.

During Ethan’s sentencing in the drunken-driving trial, a psychologist hired by the defense testified that the teen was a product of “affluenza” — a term he used to describe Ethan’s irresponsible lifestyle associated with his affluent upbringing.

His lawyers have said they expect Couch will comply with court orders and “successfully complete his term of probation.”

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Timeline of How Alleged ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ Crime Spree Unfolded

iStock/Thinkstock(PENSACOLA, Fla.) — A two-week, multistate manhunt for an allegedly armed couple likened to a modern-day “Bonnie and Clyde” has ended with one suspect dead and the other in a hospital awaiting her arrest.

Law enforcement in at least four states had been trying to track Blake Fitzgerald and girlfriend Brittany Harper in connection to a string of what they say were armed robberies and hostage-taking incidents. The search ended early this morning when Fitzgerald died in a shootout with police in Pensacola, Florida.

Harper was taken to a hospital for her non-life threatening injuries and is expected to be criminally charged Friday, authorities said.

Police are still looking at the couple’s possible connections to other robbery investigations, but here is a list of crimes in which investigators believe they were involved.

Sunday, Jan. 31

The U.S. Marshals released information saying that Fitzgerald and Harper’s “string of crimes” started in force Sunday when they allegedly kidnapped a clerk at the Microtel Inn in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They allegedly kidnapped the man and drove to Birmingham with him in his car.

The clerk, Kyle Dease, told Al.com that the couple told him they were headed to Florida where they wanted to get married and start a new life together.

Authorities say the couple eventually ditched both Dease and his car, and the U.S. Marshals believe that Fitzgerald then broke into a family’s home in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, allegedly threatened the unidentified wife with a gun, and then forced her to come with him as he stole their car. She was later released unharmed, the U.S. Marshals said in a statement.

Monday, Feb. 1

It’s believed the couple moved on to Georgia where they allegedly continued the same tactic, with the U.S. Marshals saying the couple robbed a convenience store, kidnapping and eventually releasing the clerk.

Wednesday, Feb. 3

By mid-week, they are believed to have made it to Florida where investigators say they are connected to two robberies in Walnut Hills and Destin.

Thursday, Feb. 4

Police in Pensacola, Florida, received a call at 7:56 p.m. about a Famous Footwear store being robbed at gunpoint.

Witnesses told deputies that a white male and a white female walked into the store and started shopping before the man robbed a cashier at gunpoint, Escambia County, Sheriff David Morgan said at a news conference Friday.

At the time, the female who was with him “continued to shop for shoes and socks.”

The suspects fled in a car but police “lost sight of the suspect vehicle,” Morgan said.

“The traffic was still fairly heavy. That’s why we lost the suspects several times through the city,” he said.

10:16 p.m.

“They fell off the grid for a couple of hours,” Morgan said, but the suspects’ vehicle was spotted again by police at 10:16 p.m., which led to a chase.

The suspects “exited the vehicle and fled the scene on foot,” Morgan said, prompting a search of residences.

Friday, Feb. 5

12:25 a.m.

Police received a call from residents saying “they had been held hostage by the suspects,” who allegedly fled in the residents’ red truck.

About 12:35 a.m.

Police located the truck about 10 minutes later and the shootout started.

Fitzgerald was pronounced dead at the scene and Harper was transported to a hospital after being injured during the altercation.

Around 10:45 a.m.

Harper is at a Florida hospital and will face charges of home invasion and grand theft auto, among others, authorities said.

The extent of her injuries was unclear, but State Attorney Bill Eddins said Friday he believed they involved her ankle and leg.

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NHTSA: Traffic Deaths Jumped in 2015 After Years of Decline

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Friday that the amount of traffic deaths increased about 9.3 percent in the first nine months of 2015.

The number of highway casualties rose from 23,796 in the first nine months of 2014 to 26,000 in the first nine months of 2015, the NHTSA noted in a statement.

NHTSA said the rise in highway deaths comes after “years of steady, gradual declines” – deaths declined 22 percent from 2000 to 2014.

“We’re seeing red flags across the U.S. and we’re not waiting for the situation to develop further,” NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind said in Friday’s statement. “It’s time to drive behavioral changes in traffic safety and that means taking on new initiatives and addressing persistent issues like drunk driving and failure to wear seat belts.”

According to the NHTSA, 94 percent of all crashes are caused by humans.

The agency is holding a summit in Sacramento Friday to look at the dangerous behaviors that could lead to crashes and determine how to address them.

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Armed ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ Suspect Dies in Florida Shootout

iStock/Thinkstock(PENSACOLA, Fla.) — The Missouri couple dubbed a real-life “Bonnie and Clyde” were tracked down to Florida Thursday before a car chase and shootout that left Blake Fitzgerald dead and Brittany Harper wounded, law enforcement officials said.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan detailed at a news conference Friday how the couple was first spotted by police Thursday night after authorities tied them to an armed robbery at a Famous Footwear store in Pensacola. They were allegedly able to get away from the scene.

Police spotted the couple three hours later in the same car they allegedly used at the Famous Footwear, but they evaded authorities by fleeing the car on foot, Morgan said.

Two hours later, Morgan said, police received a call from a couple saying they had been held hostage by Fitzgerald and Harper for “a couple of hours” before the pair allegedly fled with the residents’ red truck.

Police spotted the truck and a shootout ensued, leaving Fitzgerald dead at the scene and Harper injured, police say.

Harper is at a Florida hospital and will face charges of home invasion and grand theft auto, among others, Morgan said.

The extent of her injuries was unclear, but State Attorney Bill Eddins said Friday he believed they involved her ankle and leg.

Before Thursday’s shootout, Fitzgerald and Harper, both in their 30s, had faced charges after allegedly carrying out a bevy of armed robberies across the southeast over the past week. They allegedly robbed the Microtel Inn in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Sunday, briefly taking the hotel clerk hostage, police said.

From there, police say, they allegedly attempted to carjack the manager of a McDonald’s restaurant in Hoover, Alabama.

Investigators say the couple fled to a nearby residence, allegedly taking the homeowner hostage, stealing her SUV and dropping her off at a hospital.

The SUV was discovered in Perry, Georgia, Monday night, police said.

Also, security footage appears to show the armed couple holding up a Murphy Express station in Perry and forcing the cashier into the same SUV, before dropping her off at a nearby exit.

The couple had taken to Facebook to seemingly mock police in recent days, despite pleas from their friends to turn themselves in. Harper apparently posted on Facebook, “I wasn’t planning on going for a run today but those cops came out of nowhere.”

One of Harper’s friends apparently wrote on Facebook, “I don’t want u to die … But I am afraid u are headed in that direction.”

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Crane Collapses in New York City, Killing One

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — At least one fatality has been confirmed after a construction crane fell in downtown Manhattan Friday morning.

Images of the crane, which fell around 8:40 a.m., show the crane lying on top of parked cars in the street.

It is still unclear if people were in the cars or if there were any additional injuries.

The New York Fire Department confirmed the fatality but did not release any further details.

Former FDNY commissioner Thomas Von Essen told WABC that it is “too soon” to tell what caused the crash.

“It could have been a mistake. It could have been a malfunction in the equipment,” Von Essen told WABC.

Crane falls in TriBeCa: Authorities say at least 1 trapped in car. https://t.co/TQ7iEciMN2 (Photo: Sean Campbell) pic.twitter.com/9AgQnKKrpy

— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) February 5, 2016

The images of the scene “make you think it’s twisted. It’s a whole block long. It was a very big crane so it’s easy for things to go wrong,” he said.

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Drone Crashes Into Empire State Building, Man Arrested

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A New Jersey man was arrested Thursday night after a drone he was flying crashed into the Empire State Building, police said.

According to the NYPD, the small drone crashed into the 40th floor and then dropped onto a landing on the 35th floor.

Police said the suspect, 27, was charged with reckless endangerment. Cops said he was trying to take pictures and lost control of the aircraft.

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One Dead, Another Injured After Real Life Bonnie and Clyde Car Chase

iStock/Thinkstock(PENSACOLA, Fla.) — A Missouri couple dubbed a real life Bonnie and Clyde were tracked down to Florida on Thursday, in a car chase that killed Blake Fitzgerald and left Brittany Harper wounded, according to ABC News affiliate WEAR-TV.

They were reportedly found in Penscola, Florida and are believed to have lead law enforcement on a car chase from Escambia County to Santa Rose county, where a reported shootout occurred and ended, according to WEAR.

Harper has been taken to hospital.

Fitzgerald and Harper — both in the their 30’s — faced charges after allegedly carrying out a bevy of armed robberies across the southeast over the past week. They allegedly robbed the Microtel Inn in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Sunday, briefly taking the hotel clerk hostage, police said.

From there, police say, they allegedly attempted to carjack the manager of a McDonald’s restaurant in Hoover, Alabama.

Investigators say the couple, fled to a nearby residence, allegedly taking the homeowner hostage, stealing her SUV and dropping her off at a hospital.

The SUV was discovered in Perry, Georgia, Monday night, police said.

Also, security footage appears to show the armed couple holding up an Express Mart and forcing the cashier into the same SUV, before dropping her off at a nearby exit.

The couple has taken to Facebook to seemingly mock police in recent days, despite pleas from their friends to turn themselves in. Harper apparently posted on Facebook, “I wasn’t planning on going for a run today but those cops came out of nowhere.”

One of Harper’s friends apparently wrote on Facebook, “I don’t want u to die … But I am afraid u are headed in that direction.”

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Two Cops Shot in New York City, Officials Say

oneinchpunch/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Two NYPD cops were shot in New York City Thursday night, including one who was hit in the head, officials said.

The shooting happened in the Melrose Houses in The Bronx just after 8 p.m.

One officer was shot in the head and the other was hit in the leg, the officials said.

Both were rushed to the hospital.

According to the NYPD, their conditions were not considered life-threatening.

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Six People Found Dead Inside Chicago Home

Chalabala/iStock/ThinkStock(CHICAGO) — Six people were found dead inside a Chicago home, reports ABC affiliate WLS-TV.

The discovery was made by police after they were sent to make a welfare check on the home.

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante said the victims were five adults and one child but would not give any further details.

Escalante added that there appeared to be no known threat to the neighborhood, but nevertheless, police have stepped up patrols in the area, reports WLS-TV.

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