Review Category : National News

Gas Station Attendant Nabs Alleged Kidnapper Grandma

Photodisc/Thinkstock(TONOPAH, Ariz.) — An Arizona gas station attendant is being hailed a hero after helping police nab a woman accused of kidnapping her granddaughter.

Karin Akins was working at a gas station earlier this week when 57-year-old Carolyn Ferguson came into the station with a baby after her car broke down nearby. Akins said she became suspicious after noticing that Ferguson tried to feed the infant with her cappuccino milk.

Akins called 911 and her supervisor after Ferguson was unable to answer simple questions about her granddaughter’s name.

Eventually the employee and her supervisor figured out that an Amber alert had been issued for 6-month-old Laylani Mosley, who was last seen with her grandmother Carolyn Ferguson. According to court documents. Ferguson was listed as bipolar and off her medication.

“It’s a mom thing,” Akins said of her suspicions. “If it wasn’t her baby … it would kill me if I let her walk out that door and know later on that it wasn’t hers and could have done something at that moment.”

To keep the grandmother from leaving, Akins distracted the woman by taking pictures with the baby and changing her diaper. Eventually police arrived and were able to take Ferguson into custody.

Akins is being credited with saving Laylani.

“Had it not been for her and how observant she was, and attention to detail, we probably wouldn’t be standing here with a successful story right now,” said Deputy Joaquin Enriquez of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

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At Least 2 Injured as Inflatable Slide Flies Away in Nevada

iStock/Thinkstock(SPARKS, Nev.) — At least two people were hospitalized when a dust devil took an inflatable slide airborne, taking it above trees and slamming it into lamp posts as onlookers celebrated Independence Day.

The incident happened Friday afternoon in Sparks, Nevada.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, I hope there are no children in there,” Derek Smith told ABC affiliate KOLO-TV.

The wind lifted the slide 300 feet into the air. No one was inside it at the time.

“It went higher than a lot of buildings and then it landed way over there,” Nicc Thompson told KOLO-TV.

The two people who were hospitalized suffered injuries from flying debris, said fire officials.

It’s the third time a bounce house or inflatable slide has reportedly gone airborne in past months.

The owner of Classic Amusements, the company that operates the slide, said it went through a safety check and was approved by a city inspector, KOLO-TV reports.

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VCR With $6,000 Inside Recovered from Recycling Plant

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — What does a family do when a Seattle mom’s secret hiding place for $6,000 in cash ends up at the scrap yard? Head to the dump.

But not just any dump: a sustainable “zero waste zero landfill recycling operation” in Renton, Washington, outside Seattle.

Todd Hwang’s mother was shocked to find that her family had dropped off an old VCR at a free recycling event at a local high school last weekend, in cooperation with 1 Green Planet recycling center.

“She was just looking for the VCR. She was really sad, so that’s when we knew it was something more than just a VCR,” Hwang told ABC affiliate KOMO in Seattle.

Around 5 a.m. Monday morning, his mother and sister went to the recycling center to try to retrieve the old appliance.

“She wanted to go through (on) her own, in all of the trucks, find the VCR,” Michael Szanyi, the owner, told KOMO. “I promised her, ‘don’t worry, I will find it for you.’”

Hwang’s mother didn’t tell Szanyi at first what was in the VCR.

“The only thing she said was, ‘It’s a black and old VCR.’ She was telling me she got it from her mom and it was very important for her,” Szanyi said. “I have my mom in Hungary, and I thought it’s going to be a good Karma.”

Workers spent hours digging through the 12 tons of stuff from the high school event, which was about six “giant trucks’ worth of old computers, video games and appliances.”

Finally, an employee, Alberto Cordova, found the VCR at the bottom of one of the bins, KOMO reported.

On Thursday, Szanyi reunited Hwang and his mother with their VCR with the loot.

“Please keep it in a bank, not in a VCR,” Szanyi told the family.

Hwang said, “I think we’ll get a safe.”

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12-Foot Python Trapped in Barbecue Grill By Florida Residents

iStock/Thinkstock(FLORIDA CITY, Fla.) — Residents in Florida City, Florida trapped a 12-foot long Burmese python in a barbecue grill on Thursday night.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s venom unit responded to the call from residents and captured the python at around 10 p.m. last night, according to Arnold Piedrahita Jr., public information officer at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

The snake is about 12 feet long, and will be turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, according to Piedrahita.

.@MiamiDadeFire #Venom1 team captured 12ft python @FloridaCity last night. Residents trapped it in a bbq grill. pic.twitter.com/8c69U3RIgL

— Arnold Piedrahita Jr (@mdfrpio) July 4, 2014

Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia. The Burmese pythons of South Florida are classified as an invasive species in the area. Due to their large body size, adult Burmese pythons have few predators within Florida except for alligators and humans.

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Dad Charged with Son’s Hot Car Death Told Family How to Collect Life Insurance

Cobb County Sheriff’s Office(MARIETTA, Ga.) — The Georgia dad charged with killing his toddler son by leaving the boy in a hot car all day had given family members instructions on what they needed to do in order to collect $27,000 from the boy’s insurance policy, new documents made public today reveal.

Justin Ross Harris, 33, who has been denied bond and faces child cruelty and felony murder charges after he said he forgot his 22-month old son in his SUV while he was at work at Home Depot, “has made comments to family members regarding a life insurance policy that he has on Cooper and what they need to do in order to file for it,” according to search warrant affidavits.

The documents show that the family also had student and cars loans were about $4,000 in credit card debt. Harris had also just started a business with friends.

Harris told police he was “happily married,” however the investigation found Harris was sexting with other women, prosecutors said.

In the interview with police, both Justin Ross Harris and his wife Leanna Harris said leaving their child in a hot car was their worst fear. However, Leanna Harris stated she had the fear of her child being left in a hot car — but not the fear of losing a child, according to documents.

Harris had spent part of the day while his son was dying in the overheated car sending explicit messages and photos to “multiple women,” investigators said Thursday.

One of the females Harris sexted was 17, officials said.

The prosecutor said that he brought up the sexting during the probable cause hearing because it “goes to the state of mind” of the defendant.

“He wanted to live a child free life,” the prosecutor said during the court hearing on Thursday.

At the end of the three hour hearing, Judge Frank R. Cox denied bond for Harris because “this is a possible death penalty case.”

The affidavit made public Friday also outlines the events heard in court Thursday afternoon.

Police searched five computers, an iPad, and an iPhone for information on Harris’ finances, credit card, business information, life insurance, emails about the child, family issues, photos/ videos of Cooper, searches for car seat and car deaths, and his communications with others. They also searched the family condo for the need of light bulbs and his personal records, including life insurance and pay stubs from Home Depot.

There were nine search warrants and nine affidavits released dating back to June 24.

Cobb County Police Department Detective Phil Stoddard had told the court that before little Cooper Harris died, his father took him to a Chik-fil-A restaurant for breakfast and while buckling the boy back into his car seat, “Cooper gives him a kiss and he [Harris] gave him a kiss back.”

Harris sat impassively in an orange jail jumpsuit until the end of the hearing when he began to cry. He has insisted he forgot his son was in the car and that the boy’s death was an accident.

Stoddard testified that before the boy died, Harris had visited the website Reddit to search for articles on life without children, and viewed videos on Reddit that showed people dying — by suicide or execution, in some cases. Harris had also twice viewed a video that shows the painful death of animals left in hot cars, and had searched for how to survive in prison, according to searches of his laptop, Stoddard said.

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Hurricane Arthur Downgraded to Category 1, Heads into Atlantic

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Hurricane Arthur is headed back out into the Atlantic Ocean after being downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds reaching 90 miles per hour.

The storm made landfall over the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Thursday evening as a Category 2 storm, leaving thousands without power. The eye of Hurricane Arthur passed over Cape Lookout in the Outer Banks at 11:15 p.m. and later moved over the mainland Dare County with heavy winds and pounding rain.

The storm—nearly 400 miles wide—dumped four inches of rain in parts of North Carolina and a four-foot storm surge was reported in the Neusse River in Bachelor, North Carolina.

Although there were no immediate reports of injuries, the storm knocked out power to more than 21,000 people in North Carolina.

After the storm moved back into the Atlantic, a tropical storm warning remained for parts of North Carolina, Virginia and both Cape Cod and Nantucket.

In addition to the hurricane’s wind and rain, a tornado was reported in Rose Hill, a 1,600-population town north of Wilmington. Resident Jose Trejo’s ceiling collapsed just as he got his family out of the way.

“The first thing that went through my mind was to get my kids,” he said.

Meteorologists expect Arthur to weaken as it moves northeast and hits colder water.

Arthur may not have spent a lot of time in North Carolina, but the Independence Day landfall is the earliest date a hurricane has struck North Carolina since records began in 1851.

As the storm continues to pummel the East Coast, millions of Americans have been forced to shift their holiday plans. Before the storm hit, tourism officials had expected 250,000 people to travel to the Outer Banks for the holiday weekend.

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Hurricane Arthur Downgraded to Category 1, Heads into Atlantic

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Hurricane Arthur is headed back out into the Atlantic Ocean after being downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds reaching 90 miles per hour.

The storm made landfall over the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Thursday evening as a Category 2 storm, leaving thousands without power. The eye of Hurricane Arthur passed over Cape Lookout in the Outer Banks at 11:15 p.m. and later moved over the mainland Dare County with heavy winds and pounding rain.

The storm—nearly 400 miles wide—dumped four inches of rain in parts of North Carolina and a four-foot storm surge was reported in the Neusse River in Bachelor, North Carolina.

Although there were no immediate reports of injuries, the storm knocked out power to more than 21,000 people in North Carolina.

After the storm moved back into the Atlantic, a tropical storm warning remained for parts of North Carolina, Virginia and both Cape Cod and Nantucket.

In addition to the hurricane’s wind and rain, a tornado was reported in Rose Hill, a 1,600-population town north of Wilmington. Resident Jose Trejo’s ceiling collapsed just as he got his family out of the way.

“The first thing that went through my mind was to get my kids,” he said.

Meteorologists expect Arthur to weaken as it moves northeast and hits colder water.

Arthur may not have spent a lot of time in North Carolina, but the Independence Day landfall is the earliest date a hurricane has struck North Carolina since records began in 1851.

As the storm continues to pummel the East Coast, millions of Americans have been forced to shift their holiday plans. Before the storm hit, tourism officials had expected 250,000 people to travel to the Outer Banks for the holiday weekend.

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Hundreds of Flight Cancellations Delay July 4th Travel

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For many air travelers, July 4 will be spent finding a way to get to their holiday weekend destinations.

Flight cancellations on Thursday — predicted to be the busiest travel day of the summer — reached almost 800 in the U.S., with the majority of those in busy airline hubs in the Northeast and Chicago. Flight delays neared 3,000.

The high number of cancellations means travelers will be looking for empty seats on Friday’s flights. According to flight tracking web site Flight Aware, the outlook is far better than Thursday’s:

As of 9 a.m., there were 220 cancellations nationwide and about 600 flight delays.

Many domestic airlines have issued a flexible travel policy allowing travelers to change their plans. Travelers should also know they are eligible for a refund — which may come in the form of a flight credit for future travel — if they opt not to take their trips.

The following is an airline-by-airline list of policies:

American Airlines
Delta Air Lines

United Airlines

US Airways

Southwest

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Hundreds of Flight Cancellations Delay July 4th Travel

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For many air travelers, July 4 will be spent finding a way to get to their holiday weekend destinations.

Flight cancellations on Thursday — predicted to be the busiest travel day of the summer — reached almost 800 in the U.S., with the majority of those in busy airline hubs in the Northeast and Chicago. Flight delays neared 3,000.

The high number of cancellations means travelers will be looking for empty seats on Friday’s flights. According to flight tracking web site Flight Aware, the outlook is far better than Thursday’s:

As of 9 a.m., there were 220 cancellations nationwide and about 600 flight delays.

Many domestic airlines have issued a flexible travel policy allowing travelers to change their plans. Travelers should also know they are eligible for a refund — which may come in the form of a flight credit for future travel — if they opt not to take their trips.

The following is an airline-by-airline list of policies:

American Airlines
Delta Air Lines

United Airlines

US Airways

Southwest

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Search Intensifies for Marine’s Missing Pregnant Wife

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — An intense search is under way in Joshua Tree National Park in California for the wife of a Marine who is three months pregnant.

Erin Corwin was last seen Saturday morning, June 28 in what police have described as suspicious circumstances. Homicide investigators are now leading the search.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies say Corwin’s husband, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, reported his wife missing on Sunday, one day after she was last seen leaving their home.

On Monday, authorities found the missing woman’s Toyota Corolla in Twentynine Palms, which is near the military base where her husband is stationed.

Helicopter and ground search teams have so far failed to locate any sign of Corwin, 19, in the desert, where daytime temperatures can soar into the triple digits.

Police say there’s no evidence that a crime has been committed, but they haven’t ruled out foul play in her disappearance.

Erin Corwin’s family has set up a Facebook page to solicit information on her whereabouts.

“I’d give anything to give her a hug right now,” Lore Heavilin, Corwin’s mother, said in an interview with ABC’s Palm Springs affiliate, KESQ TV.

Heavilin and other family members came to California this week from their hometown in Tennessee to help with the investigation.

“[There's] a lot of sitting and waiting and praying,” said Heavilin. “Every time the phone rings, or whatever, you’re hoping there’s some news.”

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