Review Category : National News

Major Heat Wave to Spread From Plains to East Coast This Week

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Triple digit heat index values will connect the Gulf Coast and Canada on Thursday in the middle part of the country. Sweltering heat will engulf more than half of the country in this summer’s latest heat wave.

This is all due to a massive heat dome sitting in the center of the country stretching from Arizona due north to Minnesota and as far east as New York. As this heat dome, or upper level high pressure system, sits and churns over the heartland of the U.S., the air inside continues to warm and circulate oppressive heat to more than two-thirds of the country.

In response to this developing heat wave, the National Weather Service is preparing the affected population with advisories, watches, and warnings. Currently, there are 16 states that are under one or more of these different types of National Weather Service alerts. Heat Advisories, Excessive Heat Watches, and Excessive Heat Warnings are in effect for many cities through Friday evening from as far south as Texas and Louisiana to as far north as Minnesota and North Dakota. As this sizzling heat marches east towards the weekend, more advisories, watches, and warnings are expected to go up.

ABC News

Latest computer modeling data indicates that Thursday will be the hottest day for the middle part of the country. However, as Meteorologist Paul Douglas in the Minneapolis area says quoting Yogi Berra, “’It’s not the heat, it’s the humility.’ Or humidity for that matter.” Humidity coupled with high temperatures can lead to blistering heat which is exactly the scenario which will be unfolding in the area on Thursday. Heat index values in the Central Plains expanding north are expected to surpass 100 degrees and in some cities potentially over 110 degrees. Unfortunately, this heat does not leave as quickly as it comes. Friday, Minneapolis looks to get some relief with heat index values dropping from upwards of 110 to the middle 90s; the rest of the Plains remain in the 100+ heat index value range. In this part of the country, the heat sticks around through the weekend.

Looking at this event from a climatological aspect, we are currently in the hottest part of the year, therefore the weather is doing exactly what it should be! However, despite the heat being rather usual for this time of year, it is the intensity and the duration of the heat that is alarming. The Northern Plains and Midwest are expecting temperatures to be 10-20 degrees above normal with this incoming heat wave. That being said, triple digit temperatures and those within a degree or two of 100 will be the big picture here in the central part of the country on Thursday and Friday. The problem only worsens when overnight lows only dip into the middle 70s, not allowing the atmosphere to cool off. Much like the atmosphere’s way of cooling off, our body’s way of cooling off through evaporation is slowed during extreme heat. It is important to stay hydrated and avoid spending excess time outdoors.

Once the peak of the heat is over in the Midwest, this impressive heat dome spreads into the Northeast and East Coast. Saturday will likely be the hottest day for the east where temperatures will be in the 90s and the heat index could approach or go above 100 degrees. Cities like Atlanta, Nashville, and Raleigh could see triple digit temperatures. To put this heat wave into perspective, many cities in the east have not seen 100 degree readings in a few years. New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Nashville, and Atlanta haven’t reached 100 degrees or above since July 2012.

The last time the Eastern part of the country had a very hot summer was in 2012. It was so unusually mild during the winter of 2011-2012 that the U.S. National Climatic Data Center called December, January and February the fourth-warmest winter for the lower 48 states since record-keeping began. Ultimately, because of the mild winter, spring and summer had an earlier start therefore allowing a faster warm up once the official start of summer began.

This summer already started off with record warmth for the contiguous United States. June, the first month of meteorological summer, was the warmest June on record (since 1895); it was also the warmest June for both Utah and Arizona. This is the second year in a row that June has broken this record. The average June temperature this year was 71.8 degrees, over 3 degrees higher than the 20th century average.

According to NOAA, June 2016 is also the warmest June on record for all land and ocean surfaces on the earth. This is the 14th consecutive month that the monthly global temperature record has been broken making it the longest streak since records began in 1880. The global temperatures for the first 6 months of the year was also the hottest on record.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

200 Firefighters Battle Brush Fire in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills

Jon Miller(LOS ANGELES) — More than 200 firefighters are battling a brush fire that broke out Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills.

Firefighters are working from the ground and air, making water drops from several helicopters to extinguish the blaze, which is between 12 and 14 acres, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

No homes were threatened, the LAFD said. But there is a non-mandatory evacuation for one street, Holly Drive. The blaze is in close proximity to residential areas, particularly Hollywood.

The fire caused the 101 Freeway to back-up as motorists slowed down to catch a glimpse of the dramatic flames.

The LAFD said the fire broke out at about 3:05 p.m. near the 101 Freeway and Cahuenga Boulevard.

Downed power lines were creating a hazard, officials said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Kansas City Police Captain Dies in Shooting After Going to Scene to Help Other Officers, Police Say

Kansas City Police Department(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A police captain with 17 years of service has died after he was shot while responding to help officers at a call in Kansas City, Kansas, Tuesday afternoon, police said.

One suspect is in custody, but others were at large, a Kansas City police representative said.

Police said it did not appear to be an ambush.

The incident began when officers responded to reports of an armed disturbance around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

Officers eventually located the suspects, police said, and one suspect was taken into custody.

When Capt. Robert Melton came to assist the officers, one of the suspects opened fire, hitting him, police said.

Melton, 46, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Police did not immediately provide information about the suspects.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Protesters Tangle in Cleveland Outside Republican Convention

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — Protesters from different political and ideological backgrounds clashed early on the second day of the Republican National Convention, as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ, and Christian activists butted heads with each other as well as Donald Trump supporters on the streets of Cleveland.

Tensions have started to run high in Cleveland, after what appeared to be a quiet start to the convention. Many analysts speculated that RNC would prove to be a lightning rod for protesters, given the passionate reactions generated by the party’s presumptive nominee, but that had not proved to be the case until now.

Tensions begin to run high in Public Square as protesters clash about #BlackLivesMatter #Trump and #LGBTQ #RNCinCLE pic.twitter.com/YWc5XT9pQu

— Linsey Davis (@LinseyDavis) July 19, 2016

A mostly white crowd yelled for Black Lives Matter protesters to “get a job” when they arrived in the area outside of the convention Tuesday, and some mocked them, asking how many people had been killed on the streets of Chicago last week.

First time we are starting to see police in riot gear #RNCinCLE #ClevelandPolice pic.twitter.com/iYXoWh6WjD

— Linsey Davis (@LinseyDavis) July 19, 2016

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who frequently spark of controversy at events such as these, descended in the same space to protest homosexuality. They sang songs together.

Police in riot gear were first spotted in Cleveland this afternoon. Other officers with bicycles, created walls with their bodies in order to keep protesters apart.

#ClevelandPolice create walls with their bikes to keep protesters apart #RNCinCLE pic.twitter.com/LGW7QsoSts

— Linsey Davis (@LinseyDavis) July 19, 2016

The protests by all accounts remained peaceful, but the crowd outside of the Quicken Loans convention center has begun to grow in recent hours, multiplying from dozens to hundreds. No arrests have been made, according to police.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Kansas City Police Captain Dies After Shooting, Some Suspects At Large

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A police captain has died after he was shot while responding to a call in Kansas City, Kansas, Tuesday afternoon, police said.

One suspect is in custody, but others were at large, a Kansas City police representative said.

The incident began when an armed disturbance was reported; the caller said he was being shot at by people in a car, police said.

When police arrived, three or four suspects fled from the car, police said.

An officer took one of the suspects into custody, police said. When the other officer “attempted to make contact with another suspect, multiple shots were fired, and we were advised ‘officer down,'” police said.

Capt. Robert Melton was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, a trauma surgeon said.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Kansas City Police Captain Shot and Killed After Responding to Call, Police Say

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A Kansas City, Kansas police captain was shot and killed after responding to a call Tuesday afternoon, police said. One suspect is in custody, but several others were at-large, a Kansas City police spokesperson said.

One suspect is in custody, but several others were at-large, a Kansas City police spokesperson said.

The incident began when an armed disturbance was reported; the caller said he was being shot at by people in a car, police said.

When officer arrived, three or four suspects fled from the car, police said.

An officer took one of the suspects into custody, police said. When the other officer “attempted to make contact with another suspect, multiple shots were fired and we were advised ‘officer down,'” police said.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Kansas City Officer in Critical Condition After Shooting; Several Suspects At-Large

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A police officer is in critical condition after he was shot while responding to a call in Kansas City, Kansas, Tuesday afternoon, police said.

One suspect is in custody, but several others were at-large, a Kansas City police spokesperson said.

The incident began when an armed disturbance was reported; the caller said he was being shot at by people in a car, police said.

When officer arrived, three or four suspects fled from the car, police said.

An officer took one of the suspects into custody, police said. When the other officer “attempted to make contact with another suspect, multiple shots were fired and we were advised ‘officer down,'” police said.

Police were expected to provide an update at 5 p.m. ET.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

New York Safari Owner ‘Trampled’ to Death by Antelope in Park, Officials Say

iStock/Thinkstock(VARYSBURY, N.Y.) — The 81-year-old owner of an animal safari park in western New York was killed this week by an antelope from the park in a “tragic accident” that has left his family in shock.

Hans Boxler Sr. had been out feeding animals in a fenced section of his Varysbury, New York, park — Hidden Valley Animal Adventure — on Monday evening, when he was unexpectedly “trampled by a Nilgai Antelope that somehow had gotten out of its pen,” the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News in a statement.

“Family members located the Antelope near its pen with an open door and secured it when they came looking for Mr. Boxler when he did not return home at his usual time,” the sheriff’s office said. “Mr. Boxler had been around animals all of his life and actively took care of and fed animals daily.”

Boxler’s death was determined to be accidental, according to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office. The office said that Boxler suffered multiple blunt force injuries that ultimately caused his death.

Boxler’s family told ABC News in a statement Tuesday that the 81-year-old park owner “respected the innate nature of his animals, and therefore followed a routine daily, which is why this tragic accident is such a shock.”

“We will never know exactly what happened,” they said. “Clearly it was something out of the ordinary that caused the animal’s reaction.”

Despite the tragedy, the family said they and the rest of Hidden Valley’s employees would “continue to take every step we can to uphold the ideals of care that Hans Sr. lived by during his long life.”

A private “Celebration of Life” for Boxler has been scheduled for next Wednesday, the family said. Boxler’s beloved Belgian horses “will carry him for “one final ride” to his funeral mass at a local church before he is buried, they said.

In the meantime, Hidden Valley Animal Adventure will be closed to the public from Monday through Wednesday to honor Boxler’s passing.

“We apologize for the untimely inconvenience this may cause many visitors,” the family said, “We appreciate your support at this very difficult time.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Alton Sterling’s Aunt Prays with Dad of Slain Baton Rouge Cop

Lana Zak/ABC (BATON ROUGE, La.) — The aunt of Alton Sterling and the father of a slain Baton Rouge police officer met, embraced and prayed together at a growing makeshift memorial in the city on Monday evening — a powerful scene that was caught on video by ABC News.

The two are both no strangers to grief.

Hosea Jackson lost his son, Baton Rouge Police Officer Montrell Jackson, in a shooting on Sunday that left two other city police officers dead and three other officers injured. Sandra Sterling lost her nephew, Alton Sterling, just 13 days before that shooting. He was shot and killed by a city police officer.

Despite the differences in the ways both lost their loved ones, the two came together Monday evening and expressed love and support for one another.

Sandra Sterling told ABC News that she was “hurting” for the families of the slain police officers.

“I know what they’re going through,” she said. “I want to hug them and let them know that I know and understand.”

Sandra Sterling added that though she and her family were going to continue peacefully protesting for justice for her nephew, she wanted people to continue praying for the families of the slain and injured police officers in the city.

Hosea Jackson told ABC News he “had a great loss losing Montrell,” who “died doing what he loved — police work.”

“He was a gentle giant,” he said. “I love him so much, and I miss him so much.”

But the death of Alton Sterling also hit home for the father of the slain cop. Hosea Jackson said he lived only one block away from where Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police.

“I feel so sorry and so hurt, and I see how this unfolded,” he said. “And now it’s my son a couple weeks after that. … It’s just awful. It hurts.”

Both Hosea Jackson and Sandra Sterling told ABC News they wanted to see an end to the violence in their city.

Denise Marcelle, a Louisiana state representative who joined the two at the memorial on Monday, told ABC News she wanted to ask people “to please stop the violence, please stop.”

“Violence shouldn’t beget violence,” Marcelle said. “It doesn’t serve any purpose. Just as [Alton Sterling’s] family is hurting, now we have many [the families of the slain officers] hurting.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Crane Collapses Across New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — A crane collapsed across Tappan Zee Bridge in New York Tuesday, and remarkably, no vehicles were hit.

Video from helicopter footage taken by local ABC-owned television station WABC shows the crane sprawled across multiple lanes of the bridge.

New York State Troopers Troop T told ABC News that one minor accident was caused as a result of a driver rear-ending another motorist who spotted the falling crane and stopped.

Several contractors suffered minor injuries, according to the State Troopers.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →