Review Category : National News

Report: Lance Armstrong Had Girlfriend Take the Blame for Auto Accident

Alex Wong/Getty Images(ASPEN, Colo.) — Lance Armstrong’s ruined legacy has apparently got a little more tarnished after it was revealed that he allegedly let his girlfriend take the rap for a car accident in Aspen, Colorado, last December in which police now say the disgraced cyclist was actually driving.

The Aspen Daily News reports that Anna Hansen first told cops that she was behind the wheel of Armstrong’s GMC Yukon when it struck two parked cars, doing damage to both.

The couple had been returning from a pre-New Year’s Eve party at the time of the accident.

However, upon further investigation, police got Hansen to admit that it was Armstrong, who had “a little bit to drink,” in the driver’s seat although she insisted it was the couple’s decision for her to take the heat and that Armstrong was not intoxicated.

Armstrong, stripped of his seven Tour de France championships after lying about steroid use, has retained an attorney.

Last week, he told the BBC he deserves to be forgiven for taking illegal drugs and wants his lifetime suspension lifted so he can cycle professionally again.

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Metro-North Tragedy: Deadly Train-SUV Collision a ‘Reminder of How Precious Life Is’

Courtesy Justin Kaback

(VALHALLA, N.Y.) — At least seven people were killed when a crowded Metro-North commuter train hit a vehicle on the tracks north of White Plains, New York, Tuesday, sparking a fire that gutted the lead car of the train, officials said.

Among the dead were at least six passengers on the rush-hour train and the driver of a black Jeep Cherokee that was struck and pushed about 400 feet, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials said in a late-night news conference. Cuomo said the electrified third rail of the track buckled and pierced the front train car.

“You have seven people who started out today going about their business who won’t be making it home tonight. It’s a reminder of how precious life is,” Cuomo said.

The National Transportation Safety Board launched a go-team to investigate the accident, which is the deadliest tragedy in the history of the railroad.

Angelo Ortiz, one of the first paramedics on the scene, had trouble putting the accident into context hours later.

“What I first saw was the glow of the fire down the road. And as I approached I was in disbelief when I saw the fire was coming from the car that was completely engulfed. When I knew it was the train that was on fire as well, that’s when I realized that this is probably the worst tragedy I’ve ever responded to,” Ortiz said.

“It was incredibly, just very tragic, that’s all I can say. I’m still in disbelief,” he said.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said he’ll never forget what he saw in that front train car.

“It must have been an absolutely horrific scene when that first happened. I am amazed that anyone got off that train,” Astorino said at Tuesday’s press conference.

Based on eyewitness accounts, the MTA said the gates at the railway crossing came down on top of the SUV, which was stopped on the tracks. The driver apparently got out to look at the rear of the car, then got back in and drove forward when the SUV was struck.

A driver who said he saw the train hit the SUV, Rick Hope, described the incident in the same way.

“She looked very calm and she was taking what I thought was an awful long time because I’m thinking, ‘The clock is ticking here.’ The lights are flashing. The gate’s down. You don’t have much time,” Hope told ABC News.

More than 750 passengers were estimated to be on board the train. Following the accident, they were evacuated to the back of the Harlem Line train and then taken to a local rock-climbing gym, The Cliffs, for shelter while buses were sent to bring them to Pleasantville, a stop further up north.

One of the train passengers, Justin Kaback, was commuting home to Danbury, Connecticut Tuesday evening.

“I was trapped. You know there was people in front of me and behind me and I was trapped in the middle of a car and it was getting very hot,” he told ABC News. “All the air was turned off so there was no circulation so it was definitely scary especially when people are walking by on the outside and they said, the train’s on fire, there’s a fire.”

The train left New York’s Grand Central Station at 5:44 p.m. and the collision occurred at 7:08 p.m. ET.

Aerial video of the scene showed the head car of the train in flames and at least one vehicle crushed beneath it. The vehicle was struck at the Commerce Street grade crossing in Hawthorne, New York.

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At Least Seven Dead in Metro-North Train Collision, Fire

Courtesy Justin Kaback(VALHALLA, N.Y.) — At least seven people were killed when a crowded Metro-North commuter train hit a vehicle on the tracks north of White Plains, New York, Tuesday night, sparking a fire that gutted the lead car of the train, officials said.

Among the dead were at least six passengers on the train and the driver of the black Jeep Cherokee that was struck and dragged at about ten car lengths, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials said late Tuesday evening.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the gates came down on top of the SUV at the crossing, which was stopped on the tracks. The driver got out to look at the rear of the car, then she got back in and drove forward and was struck.

A driver who said he saw the train hit the car described the incident in the same way.

“The gate came down and hit the back of the car in front of me, it was an SUV and it caught the roof, it bounced off the roof, and then slid a little bit behind the back window,” Rick Hope said.

Passengers were evacuated to the back of the Harlem Line train, then were taken to a local rock-climbing gym for shelter, the Cliffs. Buses were en route there to get them to Pleasantville, a spokesperson for the railroad said.

At least 12 other passengers were injured and taken to area hospitals. The train left New York’s Grand Central Station at 5:44 p.m., and the collision occurred at 7:08 p.m. ET.

Aerial video of the scene showed the head car of the train in flames and at least one vehicle crushed beneath it. The vehicle was struck at the Commerce St. grade crossing in Hawthorne.

Harlem Line Service was temporarily suspended between North White Plains and Pleasantville, the railroad tweeted.

More than 750 passengers were estimated to be on board, including Justin Kaback, commuting home to Danbury, Connecticut.

“I was trapped. You know, there was people in front of me and behind me and I was trapped in the middle of a car and it was getting very hot,” he told ABC News. “All the air was turned off so there was no circulation so it was definitely scary, especially when people are walking by on the outside and they said, the train’s on fire, there’s a fire.”

My deepest appreciation goes out to the first responders for their efforts on the scene at the @MetroNorth crash. pic.twitter.com/V5CQ84WryA

— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) February 4, 2015

The National Transportation Safety Board in November issued a special investigation report on five Metro-North Railroad accidents between May 2013 and March 2014 that killed a total of six people and injured 126. They found “safety management problems” in all the accidents.

“Metro-North and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have much work yet to do,” NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart said in a statement at the time. “The FRA has much work to do as well. Railroad safety across the country depends on the FRA turning decisively to the task.”

Metro-North safety programs that were in place were not effectively used to manage the safety of its operations and employees, the NTSB said. And, Metro-North did not effectively investigate accidents and incidents to identify and fix safety deficiencies while known deficiencies were not corrected.

A December 2013 derailment in the Bronx killed four people on the railroad, which is the second-busiest commuter line in the country behind the Long Island Railroad.

The NTSB tweeted on Tuesday night that it was launching a team to investigate the deadly crash.

NTSB launching go team to investigate Metro North crash this evening in Westchester County NY

— NTSB (@NTSB) February 4, 2015

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Six Dead in Metro-North Train-Car Collision, Fire

Courtesy Justin Kaback(VALHALLA, N.Y.) — At least six people are dead after a crowded Metro-North commuter train hit at least one vehicle on the tracks north of White Plains, New York, Tuesday night, sparking a fire that gutted at least one car of the train, according to the MTA.

Passengers were evacuated to the back of the Harlem Line train, a spokesperson for the railroad said. It wasn’t immediately clear what led to the crash.

There were at least 12 injuries reported, according to officials.

Aerial video of the scene showed the head car of the train in flames and at least one vehicle crushed beneath it. The vehicle was struck at the Commerce St. grade crossing in Hawthorne shortly after 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

More than 750 passengers were estimated to be on board, including Justin Kaback, commuting home to Danbury, Connecticut.

“I was trapped. You know, there was people in front of me and behind me and I was trapped in the middle of a car and it was getting very hot,” he told ABC News. “All the air was turned off so there was no circulation so it was definitely scary, especially when people are walking by on the outside and they said, the train’s on fire, there’s a fire.”

Harlem Line Service was temporarily suspended between North White Plains and Pleasantville, the railroad tweeted.

Harlem Line Service is temporarily suspended btwn N White Plains & Pleasantville due to a train striking a motor vehicle near Valhalla.

— Metro-North Railroad (@MetroNorth) February 4, 2015

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Six Dead in Metro-North Train-Car Collision, Fire

Courtesy Justin Kaback(VALHALLA, N.Y.) — At least six people are dead after a crowded Metro-North commuter train hit at least one vehicle on the tracks north of White Plains, New York, Tuesday night, sparking a fire that gutted at least one car of the train, according to the MTA.

Passengers were evacuated to the back of the Harlem Line train, a spokesperson for the railroad said. It wasn’t immediately clear what led to the crash.

There were at least 12 injuries reported, according to officials.

Aerial video of the scene showed the head car of the train in flames and at least one vehicle crushed beneath it. The vehicle was struck at the Commerce St. grade crossing in Hawthorne shortly after 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

More than 750 passengers were estimated to be on board, including Justin Kaback, commuting home to Danbury, Connecticut.

“I was trapped. You know, there was people in front of me and behind me and I was trapped in the middle of a car and it was getting very hot,” he told ABC News. “All the air was turned off so there was no circulation so it was definitely scary, especially when people are walking by on the outside and they said, the train’s on fire, there’s a fire.”

Harlem Line Service was temporarily suspended between North White Plains and Pleasantville, the railroad tweeted.

Harlem Line Service is temporarily suspended btwn N White Plains & Pleasantville due to a train striking a motor vehicle near Valhalla.

— Metro-North Railroad (@MetroNorth) February 4, 2015

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Revenge-Porn Website Operator Convicted

psphotograph/iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — A California man has become the first person to be convicted for running a revenge-porn website that impacted the lives of many women.

Kevin Bollaert could receive up to 20 years in prison for running the website UGotPosted.com after he was found guilty by a jury on Monday.

The site allowed users to post nude pictures of their ex-lovers, and then prosecutors say he would charge victims to take down the photos.

“The postings included the victims’ names, their full names, the cities in which they lived, their Facebook profile links, and other personal information,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said on Tuesday.

Bollaert is expected to be sentenced in April.

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How a College Art Project Shut Down an Atlanta Highway

alexandragl1/iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — A college art project was the cause of a “suspicious package” report that closed a major highway in Atlanta on Monday.

The package was actually a camera mounted on a bridge, Georgia State University said on Tuesday.

“We sincerely apologize for the traffic problems resulting yesterday from the mounting of a student camera at the 14th St. Bridge. The camera was one of 18 used by students in an art project and deployed at various locations in the city,” the school said in a statement. “Georgia State Police are closely cooperating with the Atlanta Police Department in the removal of all of the cameras.”

Confirmed:suspicious device that shut down downtown connector one of 18 for @GeorigaStateU photography project #wsbtv pic.twitter.com/qA8Vcju2f9

— Aaron Diamant (@AaronDiamantWSB) February 3, 2015

2nd device @GeorgiaStateU now says were part of photo project. One shut down Connector yesterday. 18 in all #wsbtv pic.twitter.com/pOtBoOYuXD

— Aaron Diamant (@AaronDiamantWSB) February 3, 2015

The Georgia Department of Transportation reported on Monday that 14th Street closed between Techwood Dr. and West Peachtree St. and I-75/85 closed north and southbound at 14th Street after the suspicious package was reported. The ramps to 14th from I-75/85 in both directions were also closed.

All lanes of travel were reopened several hours later Monday afternoon and the scene was “rendered all clear,” Atlanta police told ABC News, but the closure still caused extreme traffic ahead of the evening rush hour.

They’re turning folks around and sending them off the highway. @Atlanta_Traffic pic.twitter.com/ld7F8wPjWv

— Erika (@ErikaBirg) February 2, 2015

People are turning around, backing up, doing whatever they can to get off the highway #atltraffic pic.twitter.com/EISo2PVYmX

— Erika (@ErikaBirg) February 2, 2015

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Wisconsin Firefighters Return to Shovel Snow at Home of Hospitalized Man

Greenfield Fire Department(GREENFIELD, Wisc.) — A crew of Wisconsin firefighters is receiving praise from around the country after a photo of them shoveling a snowy driveway has gone viral.

The four firefighters, all members of the Greenfield, Wisconsin, Fire Department, were photographed on Sunday removing snow off the driveway of a man they had just taken to the hospital.

The man, who was not identified, had been shoveling the snow outside his home himself after a nearly 24-hour snowstorm when he began to not feel well, Greenfield Fire Chief Jon Cohn told ABC News.

When firefighters arrived at the man’s house, they found him in a cardiac emergency and rushed him to the hospital.

“At some point at the hospital, somebody said, ‘We should go back and finish shoveling that driveway so the family has one less thing to worry about,’” Cohn said.

Cohn received a photograph of two of the crew members shoveling snow from one of his Battalion chiefs.

Department officials then posted the photo on their Facebook page, where it has been liked over 20,000 times and shared nearly 2,000 times.

“People expect us to show up at fires and emergency scenes but this is the unexpected,” Cohn said. “I think that’s why it’s sort of taken on the way it has.”

“It goes back to sort of a vision we’ve created which is, ‘Do the right thing,’” Cohn said of his 50 firefighter-strong department. “It’s a culture we have here now of just doing the right thing.”

The man’s daughter, who was also not identified, spoke by phone to local ABC News affiliate WISN-TV to offer her thanks.

“They just saw that somebody needed help and they took time out of their day, their busy schedule, to do something like that,” she said. “It’s amazing. It’s awesome.”

Cohn says his fire department has chosen to use their “dwindling 15 minutes of fame” from the photo to create more positive action. Using the hashtag, #shovelitforward, the department is encouraging people to help others, whether it be shoveling snow or just offering a helping hand.

“If you’re in good physical shape and you see someone in need of help, go out and help them,” said Cohn.

The department is also drawing attention to its participation in a local Hunger Task Force by telling the people who ask what they can do for the firefighters to “pay it forward” and donate a jar of peanut butter to their food drive to help hungry families.

“I met with the crew today and they said, ‘Chief, we didn’t’ do anything differently than another shift did or would do,’” Cohn said. “We feel honored and humbled that we got the attention and can share a positive news story.”

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Tennessee Students Crown Boy with Down Syndrome ‘Coming Home King’

WKRN(THOMPSON’S STATION, Tenn.) — Tennessee high school senior with Down syndrome had the surprise of his life on Friday when he was chosen by his fellow classmates as “Coming Home King.”

Daniel Wood, a senior at Independence High School in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, was one of four senior boys nominated for the title.

After a vote by the entire 1,450-strong student body, Wood was crowned “Coming Home King” Friday night during a school basketball game. After being crowned, Wood’s fellow classmates rushed onto the court and even the opposing team and their fans began chanting his name, according to the school’s assistant principal.

“I actually teared up, which is pretty hard to get me to do,” Kurt Jones told ABC News. “I usually crown the king but I got word just before they announced it that the boys wanted to crown the king so that kind of tipped me off.”

“I think everybody knew Daniel was going to win, except for Daniel,” he said.

One of those who wanted to give Wood his crown was his good friend Jake Current, also a senior.

It was Current, 17, who led the campaign to get Wood nominated for the honor.

“I know he’s been waiting for a moment like this so I made it my mission to get him to win it,” Current told ABC News. “I rallied all my friends together to nominate him and then we voted for him and he came out on top.”

Current says he and Wood, who was not available for comment today, first met in a marketing class their sophomore year at Independence High.

“We started doing projects together and hanging out,” he said. “In our junior year we just had lunch together and I saw him sitting by himself so my friends and I sat with him.”

“Now, in our senior year, we hang out every weekend and I pick him up and take him to all the sport games and my baseball games,” Current added.

Current says Wood’s parents told him that when Wood got home after the game Friday, he watched the video of his being crowned over and over.

“The next day he was wearing the crown the whole day,” Current said.

Current plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville next year and says Wood will stay a major part of his life.

“He calls or we Face Time every day and I plan on doing the same at college,” Current said. “We’ll talk on the regular. He’s become part of my life, for sure.”

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Aaron Hernandez Trial Judge Dismisses Juror

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(FALL RIVER, Mass.) — After a lengthy delay behind closed doors, Judge Susan Garsh discharged a juror on Tuesday in the trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez after the juror discussed evidence that hadn’t been admitted into trial and made statements to the effect that “in the absence of a weapon it would be hard to convict.”

The juror also expressed significant interest in serving on the jury and attended more Patriots games than disclosed on the questionnaire, the judge said.

The juror’s continued service would have posed a “substantial risk” to disrupt the orderly trial of this case, Garsh said.

Hernandez is accused of orchestrating Odin Llyod’s murder in 2013. The gun used to kill Lloyd has never been found.

Tuesday was the first day back in court following the Patriots’ Super Bowl win, as Monday’s proceedings were postponed due to inclement weather.

On June 17, 2013, Hernandez “told Odin Lloyd he was going to come out to his house that night,” Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg told the court.

Hernandez was driving when he and two other men picked up Lloyd from his home and brought him to the industrial park, near the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, according to prosecutors.

“Odin Lloyd was shot six times,” Bomberg told the jury.

Hernandez’s defense attorney, Michael Fee, in his opening statement, declared Hernandez “an innocent man.” He said the prosecution’s account was “just a story and it’s not true.”

“Aaron Hernandez did not murder his friend Odin Lloyd,” Fee told the jury, claiming investigators prematurely zeroed in on Hernandez to the exclusion of other suspects.

“You come with an open mind,” Fee said. “Give us a chance to show you the truth.”

On Friday, Garsh told the jurors to be “especially vigilant” if they planned on watching the Super Bowl.

“But I am going to ask you to be especially vigilant. If you’re watching the game with friends or family or any third party, just have your antenna — just be really, really vigilant. You have to avoid anything that has anything to do with this case or Mr. Hernandez,” she said. “If you hear that word, you got to walk out of the room, distance yourself, immediately stop people, and if his name or this case is mentioned on the television screen or computer, just walk away.”

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