Review Category : National News

Bikes Stolen From Neighborhood Bicycle Program, Community Donates Three Times as Many

When Conkey Cruisers, a neighborhood bike program, had bikes stolen, the community donated three times as many bikes back to them.(Theresa Bowick)(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — When a neighborhood bicycle program in upstate New York had more than a hundred of its bikes stolen, the community revved up and replaced them with three times as many.

Conkey Cruisers in Rochester, New York, is a program that encourages people to ride bicycles during the summer. If they complete the program, participants, who are from ages 2 to 88 this year, earn a brand new bicycle, helmet and bike lock.

However, a major theft last month left Conkey Cruisers without enough bikes. The bikes were stolen from mobile storage unites on a trail where the program operates on.

“We wanted to make sure that [on] July 13 we were ready to roll, but we were robbed of a great deal of our bicycles,” Conkey Cruisers captain Theresa Bowick told ABC News on Friday. “We lost about 150.”

In an effort to replace the stolen bikes, Bowick organized a bike drive last Thursday. And she said she was shocked by how the community responded.

“When we reached out to our community for a bike drive, we ended up with a sea of bicycles,” Bowick said. “Every two to three minutes, my phone is ringing with someone wanting to donate bicycles.”

By Friday afternoon, Bowick said they had collected 427 bikes, about three times the number stolen from Conkey Cruisers.

“The community’s response was just phenomenal,” Bowick said.

The Rochester Police Department did not respond to several requests for comment about the investigation into the stolen bikes. Bowick said police were still investigating the theft.

Nevertheless, Bowick said she forgives whover stole the Conkey Cruisers bikes.

“I just want to ensure that the people that did this know I love them and that our program is open to them,” she said. “We’re just extremely sorry that life’s circumstances led them to a place in which they had to make a decision like this to rob a free neighborhood program of bicycles.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Chicago Mayor Decries Gang Violence After Violent Holiday Weekend

Antonprado/iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Monday he is both “saddened and sickened” by the gun violence in the city over the July 4th weekend.

The shootings, which were concentrated in the city’s struggling south and west sides, left 9 people dead and at least 53 injured.

A 7-year-old-boy, and a 17-year-old-boy, were among the fatal victims. Police say the bullet that struck the 7-year-old victim in the chest was meant for his father, a known gang member with 45 previous arrests.

With a determined and pointed tone, Emanuel reiterated his calls for gun law reform and scolded the criminals responsible for the weekend crime for their lack of conscience.

“You have gangbangers, without any sense of moral remorse or responsibility , shooting into a playground or shooting into a front yard, as if it’s a personal shooting gallery,” Emanuel said.

The mayor repeatedly called on legislators and adults to fight for change. “You have too many guns on the streets, too many people using those guns, and too little values,” he said.

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Chicago Mayor Decries Gang Violence After Violent Holiday Weekend

Antonprado/iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Monday he is both “saddened and sickened” by the gun violence in the city over the July 4th weekend.

The shootings, which were concentrated in the city’s struggling south and west sides, left 9 people dead and at least 53 injured.

A 7-year-old-boy, and a 17-year-old-boy, were among the fatal victims. Police say the bullet that struck the 7-year-old victim in the chest was meant for his father, a known gang member with 45 previous arrests.

With a determined and pointed tone, Emanuel reiterated his calls for gun law reform and scolded the criminals responsible for the weekend crime for their lack of conscience.

“You have gangbangers, without any sense of moral remorse or responsibility , shooting into a playground or shooting into a front yard, as if it’s a personal shooting gallery,” Emanuel said.

The mayor repeatedly called on legislators and adults to fight for change. “You have too many guns on the streets, too many people using those guns, and too little values,” he said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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South Carolina Takes Step Towards Removing Confederate Flag With Senate Vote

Denis Jr. Tangney/iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — A step has been taken toward removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol grounds with the Senate voting in favor of its removal.

The flag isn’t coming down quite yet, however, as the bill now has to go to the state’s House of Representatives for more debate and approval, before it then is sent back to the Senate.

Many state representatives made their opinions about the flag known, with repeated references to the shooting in a Charleston church that left nine dead, which renewed calls for the flag’s removal.

State Sen. Larry Martin said that race relations in South Carolina have improved since he was in fourth grade and schools were integrated.

“[The] flag is part of our history, not our future,” he said, noting that it “does not represent all of the people of South Carolina.”

Removing the flag would require a two-thirds majority in both chambers under the terms of the 2000 deal that moved a version of the flag from the top of the Statehouse dome to an area on the grounds that has a monument to Confederate soldiers.

The local paper, The Post and Courier, the South Carolina Press Association and the Associated Press surveyed lawmakers and found that the necessary two-thirds needed to vote to remove the flag have spoken out in favor of its removal.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has already publicly stated that she wants the flag removed, and while she has no legislative power to do so, her support for the removal has helped push the issue forward.

Supporters of both sides of the cause have been demonstrating at the capitol in Columbia in recent weeks, ever since the man who allegedly shot and killed nine people in a historic black church in Charleston was found to have pictures of himself with the Confederate flag.

On June 27, one woman took the matter into her own hands and scaled the flag pole and removed the flag, only to be arrested and have the flag put back up.

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Turnabout: ISIS Fighter Makes July 4 Threat, Reportedly Killed That Day

zabelin/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A day after a purported high-profile Western member of ISIS posted an ominous message on Twitter saying this Fourth of July would be a “day to remember,” U.S.-led coalition missiles may have kept the promise for him – just probably not the way he meant.

On Monday, other Twitter accounts associated with suspected ISIS members mourned the death of Abu Rahin Aziz, also known as Abu Abduallah Britani, who the other accounts said was killed in an American drone strike on the fourth – the same day the U.S. military announced more than a dozen airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria.

U.S. officials declined to confirm or deny Aziz’s death, and extremists have faked death online before. A representative for the British Home Office said that in general, the office does not comment on individual cases.

Anjem Choudary, a controversial London-based Islamic figure and former associate of Aziz, told ABC News he understood Aziz’s death to be confirmed and asked that “Allah accept him in paradise.”

Aziz was prolific in ISIS’s social media outreach, allegedly luring recruits and inspiring attacks on the West online from a number of Twitter accounts.

“America likes hitting people,” said a Twitter account attributed to Aziz recently, “but doesn’t like getting hit back… Oh well, every action has a reaction.”

Lorenzo Vidino, Director of the Program on Extremism at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, said that if Aziz’s death is confirmed, it would be a “victory” for the anti-ISIS coalition.

“Obviously he is a person, definitely of interest to authorities because of the influence that he has online and the fact that he has been in contact with people in the West ready to carry out attacks,” Vidino said. “He was one of the key people inciting attacks in the West, calling people in the West through social media to carry out attacks.”

Late Monday, President Obama announced the U.S. is taking off the gloves when it comes to hitting ISIS targets in Syria.

“We’re going after ISIL [ISIS] leadership and infrastructure in Syria, the heart of [ISIS] that pumps funds and propaganda to people around the world,” he said.

The President cited the attack on a Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas in May as the sort of threat the U.S. now faces. The men behind that attack were inspired by Aziz, among others.

The Telegraph
reported Aziz traveled to Syria after he was convicted of stabbing a soccer fan in the eye in London. Vidino said that before he left, Aziz was a known member of the “radical scene” in the U.K.

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Convicted Boston Marathon Bomber Begins Appeals Process

FBI(BOSTON) — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has taken the first step in what could be a lengthy appeals process.

On Monday, the legal team representing Tsarnaev filed a preliminary motion for a new trial after the 21-year-old was convicted on multiple charges and sentenced last month to death on six of them.

The basis of the request was not immediately clear.

Defense attorneys called the filing a “placeholder” until post-trial motions are decided but it does mark the start of appeals that could significantly delay capital punishment.

Tsarnaev is currently at a high-security prison in Colorado awaiting eventual transfer to federal death row in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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Maryland Mom Accused of Leaving Infant on Road Held on $500K Bail

Sandra McClary is seen in this undated mugshot posted to Facebook by Anne Arundel County Police Department. (Anne Arundel County Police Department/Facebook)(PASADENA, Md.) — The Maryland mother charged with abandoning her infant on the side of a road Sunday morning is being held on $500,000 bail and faces a separate indictment for armed robbery, court records indicate.

Sandra Clara McClary was charged on Sunday with child neglect and reckless endangerment after allegedly taking her infant daughter out of her car and leaving her on the side of the road, Anne Arundel County police said.

The child neglect case is not her first brush with the law.

The 26-year-old faces a 26-count indictment for two connected robberies allegedly committed in the summer of 2014, including two counts of armed robbery, two counts of first degree assault, two counts of second degree assault and two counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony or violent crime.

The details of those cases were not immediately available.

The trial has been postponed at least three times and now is scheduled for Sept. 29, records show. She has changed lawyers repeatedly in the case and it is not clear if she has entered a plea.

The most recent lawyer listed for this case, Kelly Poma, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Charges in three other cases, including an assault in 2010 and an order of protection charge in 2007 have been dropped..

Anne Arundel County Police reported that McClary called their office at around 10 a.m. on Sunday, identifying herself as the mother of the abandoned child. She initially said that the child’s father was supposed to have the child but police later say they found that her vehicle was used to drop the baby off.

Social services is now looking after the infant.

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SC Confederate Flag Removal Plan Takes Step Forward

Denis Jr. Tangney/iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — The South Carolina Senate moved forward on Monday with a plan to take the Confederate battle flag down off the statehouse lawn.

State Senators spent much of the day offering history lessons about the Civil War, and perspectives about a proposal to fold up the Confederate flag flying outside and put it into a museum.

By the end of the day, the idea passed by a 37-to-3 margin.

Senator Vincent Sheheen, a co-sponsor of the legislation to remove the flag, said it should be removed because it’s “the right thing to do.”

Senator Harvey Peeler however disagreed. He supports the flag and said he will vote against the bill. As for suggestions the flag be moved to a museum, he said, “The greatest museum in the state of South Carolina is right here, the state house capitol complex is the greatest museum in the entire state.”

Senator John Courson also defended the flag, saying that he has never perceived the flag as a racial symbol.

“I regret, deeply deeply regret that right wing extremist groups have hijacked that banner and turned it into a political symbol of hate,” he said.

Monday’s vote was the second of three readings in the Senate; another vote is scheduled for Tuesday before the matter is sent to the State House of Representatives.

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No Evidence of Shooting After Lockdown at Walter Reed Medical Center

ABC News(BETHESDA, Md.) — No injuries were reported at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center campus near Bethesda, Maryland, following a report of a suspected active shooter.

Someone made a phone call Monday morning reporting noises that could have been shots, the Montgomery County Police said.

The center announced a shelter in place order soon after the call was made. However, officers responded and found no confirmed shots and no reported injuries, police said.

Officers were still working to clear each floor and room as of this afternoon, police said.

Patient care at the facility is suspended for the rest of the day, the Montgomery County Police tweeted.

The Navy originally confirmed the lockdown in a statement, saying: “All base personnel are sheltering in place as a result of unconfirmed reports of an active shooter.”

The Navy’s statement added: “DOD Security Force, NIH Police Force and County EMS and Medics have responded and searching the area.”

The National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center joined in 2011, forming the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, one of the largest military medical centers in the U.S.

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San Francisco Shooting Suspect Says He Kept Coming Back to the City to Avoid Deportation

Courtesy of Steinle family(SAN FRANCISCO) — An undocumented immigrant suspected of killing a woman at a San Francisco pier said he chose the city for its sanctuary policies — that is, he knew San Francisco was a good place to avoid deportation, he told ABC station KGO-TV.

In an exclusive jailhouse interview, a KGO-TV reporter asked Francisco Sanchez, the alleged gunman, “Did you keep coming back to San Francisco because you knew that they wouldn’t actively look for you to deport you?” and Sanchez responded, “Yes.”

Sanchez, who has been deported five times, told KGO-TV he started wandering on Pier 14 on Wednesday after taking sleeping pills he found in a dumpster. He said he then picked up a gun that he found and it went off.

Kate Steinle, 32, who was walking the pier with her father, was shot dead, authorities said, noting that Sanchez, 45, was arrested an hour later.

Sanchez, who was on probation in Texas at the time of the shooting, served time in federal prison for repeatedly sneaking back into the country, authorities said.

Sanchez told KGO-TV that he kept coming back to the country because he was “looking for jobs in the restaurant or roofing, landscaping, or construction.” He said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had said in a statement that Sanchez was turned over to the San Francisco Police Department this past March on an outstanding drug warrant, and that the department requested that police notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement prior to his release so ICE officers could make arrangements to take custody.

On Sunday, Steinle’s brother told ABC News he will miss his sister’s smile, kindness and warmth, and that he is heartbroken his sister won’t get to meet his daughter, who is due in a few months.

Steinle’s father and brother declined to comment to ABC News on Sunday regarding the suspect.

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