Review Category : National News

Embattled NAACP Chapter President Rachel Dolezal Steps Down

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(SPOKANE, Wash.) — Embattled NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal has stepped down amid accusations that she changed her appearance to appear as a different race.

Dolezal posted a letter on the Spokane, Washington NAACP Facebook page announcing she is leaving her position as president of the chapter.

“In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP,” she said in the post.

Dolezal did not directly challenge any accusation made regarding her race in the post but mentioned in passing that the national “dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.”

Dolezal’s story went public after her parents accused her of lying about her race and changing her appearance even though she was born to two Caucasian parents.

Dolezal, 37, said that the vice president of the chapter would take over her duties and that she will “never stop fighting for human rights.”

“Whether it means stepping up or stepping down,” Dolezal said in her statement. “This is not about me. It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum.”

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Shark ‘Came Out of the Water’ When It Bit Off Teen’s Arm: Witness

iStock/Thinkstock(OAK ISLAND, N.C.) — An eyewitness described the moment when the second shark attack took place off a North Carolina beach on Sunday, describing how the shark breached the water.

“He looked like he was waving at his friends,” Randy Milligan said of the unidentified 16-year-old boy who was attacked. “Then the shark just came out of the water and like you snap your fingers — bit his whole arm off.”

Milligan told ABC News that the shark was large and was able to fit the majority of the boy’s left arm in one bite.

Dr. Borden Hooks, who spoke about the boy’s condition at a news conference Monday afternoon, confirmed that he had to have his left arm amputated above his elbow.

“I would imagine to inflict that kind of damage it must be a relatively large shark,” Hooks said.

The family of the other victim, a 12-year-old girl, would not publicly disclose any details about her attack but county officials said earlier on Monday that both victims are in stable condition.

The two teens, whose names have not been publicly released, were in waist-deep water off Oak Island, North Carolina, about two miles apart when their respective attacks took place.

County authorities still have no idea where the shark, or sharks, are now but have been using helicopters and boats to patrol the areas near the attacks.

“We spotted one shark that was estimated over 7 feet long between the locations of the two bites earlier, and then we spotted another one off, down a little further south, about the same size,” Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said at a news conference Monday morning.

Oak Island Fire Chief Chris Anselmo said on Monday that they have no way of knowing whether one or multiple sharks was responsible for the twin attacks on Sunday afternoon.

The first attack happened at around 4:12 p.m. when the 12-year-old girl was attacked by a shark while she was swimming on a beach in Oak Island, authorities said.

About an hour and a half later, the 16-year-old boy was attacked in the waters of a beach about two miles away.

Brunswick County Emergency Management director Brian Watts said that the girl had been bitten twice, once on her left arm and once on her left leg, while the boy had been bitten once on his left leg.

Neither of the teens have been publicly identified. Watts said that both wounds were life threatening but they were out of surgery Sunday night.

“Honestly they both have a long road ahead,” Watts said.

Watts said that other beachgoers were vital lifesaving factors as they helped administer aid before emergency responders got to the scene.

“The bystanders, to go ahead and start the process of stopping the bleeding, that was the biggest concern with these patients,” Watts said. “Without that, we would have had a different outcome.”

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Workers Scale Top of St. Louis Gateway Arch

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — What does it take to scale the nation’s tallest monument, at 630 feet in the air?

The National Park Service has given the world a glimpse in a newly-released video filmed with helmet cams worn by workers atop St. Louis’ famed Gateway Arch.

The workers were hired by the Park Service to inspect the arch for possible corrosion. They can be seen in the video rope-climbing to reach the arch’s peak, while wearing harnesses and helmets for safety.

Once atop, the workers’ helmet cams give a jaw-dropping view of the landscape 630 feet below.

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Workers Scale Top of St. Louis Gateway Arch

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — What does it take to scale the nation’s tallest monument, at 630 feet in the air?

The National Park Service has given the world a glimpse in a newly-released video filmed with helmet cams worn by workers atop St. Louis’ famed Gateway Arch.

The workers were hired by the Park Service to inspect the arch for possible corrosion. They can be seen in the video rope-climbing to reach the arch’s peak, while wearing harnesses and helmets for safety.

Once atop, the workers’ helmet cams give a jaw-dropping view of the landscape 630 feet below.

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Two Sharks Spotted in Same Area as Twin NC Attacks

iStock/Thinkstock(OAK ISLAND, N.C.) — The beaches in North Carolina are still open Monday even though two teens were bitten by sharks in separate attacks and a local sheriff said that there were two more shark sightings after the attacks.

“We spotted one shark that was estimated over 7 feet long between the locations of the two bites earlier, and then we spotted another one off, down a little further south, about the same size,” Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said at a news conference Monday morning.

Both of the teenagers who were attacked while swimming in waist-deep water on Sunday are in stable condition but authorities still have no idea where the shark, or sharks, are now.

Oak Island Fire Chief Chris Anselmo said Monday that they have no way of knowing whether one or multiple sharks was responsible for the twin attacks on Sunday afternoon.

The first attack happened at around 4:40 p.m. when a 12-year-old girl was attacked by a shark while she was swimming on a beach in Oak Island, North Carolina, authorities said.

Just over an hour later, a 15-year-old boy was attacked in the waters of a beach about two miles away.

Brunswick County Emergency Management director Brian Watts said that the girl had been bitten twice, once on her left arm and once on her left leg, while the boy had been bitten once on his left leg.

Neither of the teens have been publicly identified. Watts said that both wounds were life threatening but they were out of surgery Sunday night and are said to now be in stable condition. It is not yet known if they had to have any amputations.

“Honestly they both have a long road ahead,” Watts said.

Watts said that other beachgoers were vital lifesaving factors as they helped administer aid before emergency responders got to the scene.

“The bystanders, to go ahead and start the process of stopping the bleeding, that was the biggest concern with these patients,” Watts said. “Without that, we would have had a different outcome.”

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Two Sharks Spotted in Same Area as Twin NC Attacks

iStock/Thinkstock(OAK ISLAND, N.C.) — The beaches in North Carolina are still open Monday even though two teens were bitten by sharks in separate attacks and a local sheriff said that there were two more shark sightings after the attacks.

“We spotted one shark that was estimated over 7 feet long between the locations of the two bites earlier, and then we spotted another one off, down a little further south, about the same size,” Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said at a news conference Monday morning.

Both of the teenagers who were attacked while swimming in waist-deep water on Sunday are in stable condition but authorities still have no idea where the shark, or sharks, are now.

Oak Island Fire Chief Chris Anselmo said Monday that they have no way of knowing whether one or multiple sharks was responsible for the twin attacks on Sunday afternoon.

The first attack happened at around 4:40 p.m. when a 12-year-old girl was attacked by a shark while she was swimming on a beach in Oak Island, North Carolina, authorities said.

Just over an hour later, a 15-year-old boy was attacked in the waters of a beach about two miles away.

Brunswick County Emergency Management director Brian Watts said that the girl had been bitten twice, once on her left arm and once on her left leg, while the boy had been bitten once on his left leg.

Neither of the teens have been publicly identified. Watts said that both wounds were life threatening but they were out of surgery Sunday night and are said to now be in stable condition. It is not yet known if they had to have any amputations.

“Honestly they both have a long road ahead,” Watts said.

Watts said that other beachgoers were vital lifesaving factors as they helped administer aid before emergency responders got to the scene.

“The bystanders, to go ahead and start the process of stopping the bleeding, that was the biggest concern with these patients,” Watts said. “Without that, we would have had a different outcome.”

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NY Prison Escape: Joyce Mitchell Appears in Court as Search for Convicts Continues

New York State Police

(PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.) — Joyce Mitchell, the prison tailoring shop instructor charged with helping two killers flee from a New York prison, appeared in court Monday as the search for the convicts entered its 10th day.

Wearing handcuffs and a black and white striped prison uniform, Mitchell, 51, is charged with promoting prison contraband and criminal facilitation for allegedly helping inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, on June 6.

Her new attorney, Stephen Johnston, told Judge Mark Rodgers Monday in Plattsburgh City Court that he and his client are waiving a preliminary felony hearing. The judge then said the next date will come from county court. Mitchell mostly kept her head down while her attorney and the judge spoke briefly.

Mitchell had planned to meet Richard Matt and David Sweat at a power plant near the prison the night of their escape, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said. Mitchell wasn’t told where she was going to be driving them, but knew it was going to be a wooded area about seven hours away, where a four-wheel drive would be needed, Wylie said.

But she never showed up to meet the escaped inmates, instead checking into a hospital 40 minutes away complaining of a panic attack, said sources familiar with the case.

Mitchell has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say the escape was being planned for five weeks. According to prosecutors, Mitchell smuggled a speed-bag, boxing gloves and lighted glasses, along with blades, chisels and cutting tools into the facility.

Matt was serving 25 years to life in prison after he kidnapped and beat a man to death in 1997. Sweat was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of killing a Broome County sheriff’s deputy in 2002.

Authorities remain unsure where the inmates might be.

“We don’t know if they are still in the area, of if they’re in Mexico by now,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Cuomo Monday morning announced a formal investigation “to determine all factors potentially involved in the escape,” according to a press release. New York Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott is tasked with conducting the investigation.

“Capturing these killers and returning them to state custody remains our top priority — however, it’s critically important to examine the circumstances that enabled these inmates to escape in the first place,” Cuomo said in the press release.

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NY Prison Escape: Gov. Cuomo Orders Probe, Says ‘Capturing’ Them ‘Remains Top Priority’

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(ALBANY, N.Y.) — As the search for two men from a New York prison enters its 10th day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the state’s Inspector General to conduct a probe to determine the factors that may have lead to their escape.

“Capturing these killers and returning them to state custody remains our top priority — however, it’s critically important to examine the circumstances that enabled these inmates to escape in the first place,” Cuomo said Monday in a statement.

More than 800 law enforcement officers have assisted in the search as of Monday, Cuomo’s office said.

Cuomo is instructing Catherine Leahy Scott, who investigates criminal activity like fraud and corruption, to retain the services of an outside expert in corrections and law enforcement to identify the factors that could have led to the breach at the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.

Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from the prison on June 6 and authorities now admit they are unaware of their whereabouts.

The convicts used power tools to cut through the back of their adjacent cells, broke through a brick wall, then cut into a steam pipe until they emerged outside the prison walls through a manhole, authorities said.

Leahy will recommend potential reforms to prevent a similar incident.

Matt was serving 25 years to life in prison after he kidnapped and beat a man to death in 1997. Sweat was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of killing a Broome County sheriff’s deputy in 2002.

Later Monday, Joyce Mitchell, the prison tailoring shop instructor charged with helping two convicts flee, is expected to appear in court. Mitchell, 51, is charged with promoting prison contraband and criminal facilitation for allegedly helping the inmates.

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‘Blizzard’ of Bugs Causes Wrecks, Shuts Down Bridge

iStock/Thinkstock(WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa.) — A “blizzard” of thousands of mayflies caused three motorcycle crashes near the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Pennsylvania Saturday night, leading authorities to shut down the span.

Lancaster Online
reports the swarming cloud of countless insects — and an inch-thick coating of their dead bodies on the road — made crossing the bridge safely nearly impossible, according to fire officials.

“It was like a blizzard in June, but instead of snow, it was mayflies,” Wrightsville Fire Chief Chad Livelsberger said. “It was very slick, almost like ice. It was hard to stop, in the engine and the vehicles…[A]ll your tires would do was spin.”

The bikers only suffered scrapes in the sticky situation, which required street sweepers to scour from the roadway.

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Derailed Miniature Train Sends 20 Riders to the Hospital

iStock/Thinkstock(CLINTON, Md.) — A trip on a ride-on miniature train turned turbulent Sunday, when the attraction at Cosca Regional Park in Maryland derailed, spilling most of its 30 passengers.

ABC affiliate WMAR-TV reports 20 people, both children and adults, were sent to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

The mishap could have been worse: the passenger cars luckily didn’t follow the locomotive, which barrel rolled down an embankment after coming away from the track for as-yet-undetermined reasons.

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