Review Category : National News

Men Tumble Down Utah Cliff, Camera Records Fall

iStock/Thinkstock(LOGAN, Utah) — Two men went tumbling down a Utah cliff and survived, and video of the incredible scene was captured on a camera worn by one of the men.

Devin Pfister, Randall Rees and Aaron Speedy, all 21, went sliding down a steep, snowy cliff near Logan, Utah, last Sunday for what they thought would be a fast and fun ride. For Rees and Speedy, however, the ride on a mountain near Logan Peak quickly went out of control.

Video from the men’s GoPro camera recorded their heart-stopping slides.

“Stop yourself bro,” someone can be heard yelling.

Rees, badly hurt while sliding down on his back, tumbles. There’s the sound of the impact.

Speedy slides out of control, too, going over the 15-foot cliff and landing some distance away from Rees.

The two were badly hurt.

When Pfister reaches Rees, he gives his friend, who appears dazed and with a bleeding face, his shirt to keep him warm.

“I think if he wouldn’t have been there, things would’ve been a lot worse,” Speedy said of Pfister.

Three other friends who were there with Pfister, Rees and Speedy called 911 for help.

“Yeah, there’s like a thing of snow and he slid down the snow and he couldn’t stop,” an unidentified woman tells the 911 operator.

Rees broke his cheekbone and needed 23 stitches to his face and ankle. Speedy had a sprained ankle.

The men were eventually rescued by a climbing team and helicopter early Monday morning after spending most of the night on the mountain.

“I was definitely scared,” said Rees. “I didn’t think I was going to stop so it was pretty frightening.”

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MI Jogger Death Changes from Hit-and-Run to Homicide Investigation

iStock/Thinkstock(DALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.) — A fatal hit-and-run investigation in Michigan has now turned into a homicide investigation, after authorities say a jogger was mysteriously shot to death while exercising.

Rebekah Bletsch, 36, was found Sunday along a quiet country road less than a mile away from her home in Dalton Township, an 8,000-population township in the western part of the state.

Despite efforts to resuscitate her, the wife and mother was pronounced dead at the scene.

The physical therapist’s last contact with a family member was around 5 p.m., officials said. She was found a little over an hour later, fatally wounded, with her headphones and cellphone arm band, leaving authorities to believe she was out for a run or jog.

Investigators initially suspected a hit-and-run death. “The first witnesses that found her thought she had been hit by a car until some evidence pointed us in the other direction,” Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler said.

Investigators say the evidence included shell casings near Bletsch’s body, as well as a small bullet wound.

The wife and mother had been shot in the head.

Now, Michigan State Police are forming a task force with the Sheriff’s Office to investigate the death, Dalton Township’s first homicide of the year.

Relatives are devastated by Bletsch’s death. “There’s no scenario that makes sense, can bring any kind of understanding to what transpired,” Tim Donkin, her husband’s uncle, said.

Bletsch was found with several valuables, making robbery an unlikely motive.

Her husband and 11-year-old daughter were out of town during the time of the shooting, and investigators say her husband is not a suspect.

Donkin described Bletsch as vibrant, the kind of person who would always bring a smile to people’s faces.

“She was always willing to pitch in and help, always seemed to be concerned about others,” he said. “Becky was not just a person running down the road — she had a life.”

Police are now checking Bletsch’s cellphone records to uncover whether she was in contact with anyone before the shooting.

Bletsch’s autopsy results, which are expected back Tuesday, could also provide clues.

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MI Jogger Death Changes from Hit-and-Run to Homicide Investigation

iStock/Thinkstock(DALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.) — A fatal hit-and-run investigation in Michigan has now turned into a homicide investigation, after authorities say a jogger was mysteriously shot to death while exercising.

Rebekah Bletsch, 36, was found Sunday along a quiet country road less than a mile away from her home in Dalton Township, an 8,000-population township in the western part of the state.

Despite efforts to resuscitate her, the wife and mother was pronounced dead at the scene.

The physical therapist’s last contact with a family member was around 5 p.m., officials said. She was found a little over an hour later, fatally wounded, with her headphones and cellphone arm band, leaving authorities to believe she was out for a run or jog.

Investigators initially suspected a hit-and-run death. “The first witnesses that found her thought she had been hit by a car until some evidence pointed us in the other direction,” Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler said.

Investigators say the evidence included shell casings near Bletsch’s body, as well as a small bullet wound.

The wife and mother had been shot in the head.

Now, Michigan State Police are forming a task force with the Sheriff’s Office to investigate the death, Dalton Township’s first homicide of the year.

Relatives are devastated by Bletsch’s death. “There’s no scenario that makes sense, can bring any kind of understanding to what transpired,” Tim Donkin, her husband’s uncle, said.

Bletsch was found with several valuables, making robbery an unlikely motive.

Her husband and 11-year-old daughter were out of town during the time of the shooting, and investigators say her husband is not a suspect.

Donkin described Bletsch as vibrant, the kind of person who would always bring a smile to people’s faces.

“She was always willing to pitch in and help, always seemed to be concerned about others,” he said. “Becky was not just a person running down the road — she had a life.”

Police are now checking Bletsch’s cellphone records to uncover whether she was in contact with anyone before the shooting.

Bletsch’s autopsy results, which are expected back Tuesday, could also provide clues.

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Truck Driver Lays Down the Law to Police Trooper

Brian Miner(SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) — When truck driver Brian Miner was pulled over by an Illinois state trooper for honking his horn unnecessarily, it was the trooper who got an earful.

Miner, with his camera recording, brazenly turned the tables on what he believed was a police trooper driving recklessly, with video of the encounter viewed more than 2.5 million times since it was uploaded on YouTube last week.

Miner says the trooper was speeding and holding his phone while driving on a wet highway. So when the trooper approached, threatening to give him a ticket, Miner started asking questions.

The trooper never said he was speeding, and said he doesn’t remember having his phone in his hand. But he did tell Miner that the law is on his side, as seen in the video.

“Police officers can actually use technology when they’re driving,” the trooper said.

“Oh, so you guys are above the law?” Miner asked.

“We’re exempt,” the trooper said.

Illinois law does allow officers to use technology while driving and also drive above the speed limit while on official business.

But Miner remained persistent. More than two minutes into the conversation, the trooper walked away from the truck, and when he returned, he thanked Miner for his concern.

“I understand you using the horn,” the trooper said. “You saw me speeding. I honestly wasn’t paying attention to my speed.”

The trooper declined to give Miner a ticket.

Miner says he’s not surprised that the trooper changing his tune.

“And that’s what happens when they know you’re recording,” Miner said.

The Illinois State Police department has confirmed that the man in the video is a state trooper and says the matter is under review.

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Truck Driver Lays Down the Law to Police Trooper

Brian Miner(SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) — When truck driver Brian Miner was pulled over by an Illinois state trooper for honking his horn unnecessarily, it was the trooper who got an earful.

Miner, with his camera recording, brazenly turned the tables on what he believed was a police trooper driving recklessly, with video of the encounter viewed more than 2.5 million times since it was uploaded on YouTube last week.

Miner says the trooper was speeding and holding his phone while driving on a wet highway. So when the trooper approached, threatening to give him a ticket, Miner started asking questions.

The trooper never said he was speeding, and said he doesn’t remember having his phone in his hand. But he did tell Miner that the law is on his side, as seen in the video.

“Police officers can actually use technology when they’re driving,” the trooper said.

“Oh, so you guys are above the law?” Miner asked.

“We’re exempt,” the trooper said.

Illinois law does allow officers to use technology while driving and also drive above the speed limit while on official business.

But Miner remained persistent. More than two minutes into the conversation, the trooper walked away from the truck, and when he returned, he thanked Miner for his concern.

“I understand you using the horn,” the trooper said. “You saw me speeding. I honestly wasn’t paying attention to my speed.”

The trooper declined to give Miner a ticket.

Miner says he’s not surprised that the trooper changing his tune.

“And that’s what happens when they know you’re recording,” Miner said.

The Illinois State Police department has confirmed that the man in the video is a state trooper and says the matter is under review.

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Iowa Teen Swept Away by Rushing Currents

iStock/Thinkstock(CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) — Rescue crews will resume the search Tuesday morning for one of two teenagers who were swept into a storm drain in Iowa Monday, the victims of a powerful storm system pummeling the Midwest.

Logan Blake, 17, of Cedar Rapids, was sucked away by the rushing currents. He was playing Frisbee with friends.

One of Blake’s friends tried to rescue him but got swept away, too, getting carried deep into sewage drains underneath the city. That friend came out injured but alive at a lake a mile and a half away.

Blake remains missing, but his relatives and friends are holding onto hope.

“He’s a strong kid, a very athletic kid,” father Mark Blake said. “He’s got a strong will. We have every faith in the world that he’s hooked on and waiting for the current to slow down.”

The storm system brought heavy rain and winds across the region.

At a Cedar Rapids Kernels minor league baseball game, the tarp was whipped across the stadium, leaving three with concussions.

In Bevington, Iowa, the storm ripped down power lines and flipped a semi-truck.

And Chicago was lit up with lightning striking several skyscrapers.

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Boy Scout Commits Suicide at San Diego Youth Camp

Photodisc/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — San Diego police say that a 12-year-old boy scout took his own life Monday at the Fiesta Island Youth Camp in the city’s Mission Bay.

According to authorities, the boy shot himself in the head. No other scouts were wounded in the incident.

Immediately afterwards, the camp was put on lockdown with investigators questioning both scouts and their parents.

The identity of the dead boy was withheld although police said he was part of a scout troop from Las Vegas.

What investigators are trying to learn is how the youngster managed to sneak a gun into the camp.

In a statement, the Boy Scouts of America said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and all those who experienced this tragedy. Our top priority is providing support to our community and for those in the grieving process.”

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Arizona Town Remembers Hotshots Killed in Yarnell Hill Fire One Year Ago

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images(PRESCOTT, Ariz.) — A memorial service was held on Monday to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The 19 hotshots were trapped in a canyon and overtaken by flames while attempting to battle the fire. On Monday, the town of Prescott remembered those lost, ringing 19 bells in their memory and reading out their names.

The fire began on June 28, 2013. When the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed on June 30, 2013, it marked the largest loss of firefighter lives in the U.S. since the attacks of 9/11.

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Supreme Court Says ‘Partial Public Employees’ Can’t Be Required to Pay Union Fees

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that certain government workers should not be required to pay any fees to the unions that represent them, while declining to overturn the precedent that requires many public sector workers to do the same thing.

The case in question posed whether personal care providers in Illinois can be compelled to pay union fees. The 5-4 decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito for the majority, determined that specific workers — deemed “partial public workers,” or those Medicaid-funded home care workers and others who aren’t “full-fledged public employees” — cannot be forced to pay fees to a union.

In a statement, the White House expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court ruled against the collective bargaining model that the administration says “resulted in fairer pay and benefits for hardworking caregivers as well as improved training, safety and health protections, and tools to help those who need care to find it.”

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$12 Million Lottery Ticket in Texas Goes Unclaimed

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) — A Texas lottery ticket worth $12 million went unclaimed on Monday, the last day on which its owner could have claimed the prize, meaning the winnings go towards Texas public schools.

According to the Texas Lottery Commission, the ticket was purchased for the Jan. 1 drawing, and matched all six numbers. The winner purchased the winning ticket from the South Shore Shell in League City, Texas.

The winner had until 5 p.m. on Monday to claim the ticket, and when no one did so, the state lottery commission posted to its Twitter account that the funds would be directed to the Foundation School Fund, which supports public schools in Texas.

It’s official! The $12 million Lotto TX jackpot was NOT claimed. $$$ will go to Foundation School Fund which supports public schools in TX.

— Texas Lottery (@TexasLottery) June 30, 2014

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