Review Category : National News

FBI Executes Warrants Tied to San Bernardino Shooting, Unclear Why

Obtained by ABC News(NEW YORK) — The FBI says it has executed several warrants in Corona, California — two months after agents searched a home there belonging to the brother of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

The FBI would not describe the warrants or offer any further information about the FBI actions. However, ABC News was told authorities have been looking into allegations related to marriage fraud, which surfaced in the wake of the Dec. 2, 2015, massacre, when Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 of Farook’s coworkers and injured 22 others at a work holiday party in San Bernardino, California.

Farook and Malik later died in a gun battle with authorities.

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Chrome Extension Removes Names, Photos of Mass Shooters

Chrome/zerominutesoffame(NEW YORK) — The “Zero Minutes of Fame” campaign seeks to take the spotlight off mass shooters with a Chrome extension that scrubs the names and faces of the perpetrators from the Internet.

The extension was released by The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

“By simply downloading this plug-in, you can wipe away the killer’s name and image from your screen, and replace it with something that truly deserves our attention — the victims,” the browser’s download description reads.

The Brady Campaign says 30 percent of mass killings and 22 percent of school shootings are inspired by previous gun-related events.

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Dad Grabs Son After Seat Belt Malfunctions on Texas Roller Coaster

iStock/Thinkstock(AMARILLO, Texas) — A video meant to capture a 6-year-old kid’s roller coaster experience went viral after the ride’s seat belt malfunctioned, forcing his father to hold him onto him for the remainder of the ride.

Delbert Latham and his son, Kaysen, were visiting the Wonderland Amusement Park in Amarillo, Texas, when they decided to ride the Mousetrap roller coaster for a second time, ABC affiliate KVII in Amarillo reported.

The duo were placed in the same seat as the first time, but when Latham latched on his son’s seat belt, it came undone as he tightened the band, he told KVII.

“I just thought I didn’t get it clicked in well enough,” Latham told KVII. “I re-clicked it and tightened it up. It was fine. There were no problems with it.”

On the first drop of the ride, Latham said he felt the seat belt release, and the motion threw Kaysen to the bottom of the cart. Latham then grabbed him and held him for the rest of the ride.

Latham had begun to record Kaysen on the ride for his wife to see, according to KVII. In the video, Kaysen’s facial expressions change from carefree to terrified after he falls to the floor.

“I’ve got you,” Latham says to his son in the video. “You’re fine. I promise.”

Latham didn’t realize he was still filming after Kaysen’s seat belt came undone.

“I was just trying to make sure that he held on and that he didn’t start panicking or start trying to move or anything, because I knew that there was another drop coming up,” he told KVII.

After they got off the ride, Latham informed an operator of the mishap, who apologized and said it had been “happening sometimes,” KVII reported. People were allowed back onto the ride, but not in the car Latham and his son were sitting in.

“That’s when it made me more angry,” Latham said, adding that the amusement park should have shut the ride down and not let anyone else on.

In 2014, four people sustained injuries on the same ride, KVII reported, citing a Texas Department of Insurance injury report.

Wonderland Amusement Park said in a statement that the ride was originally built without a seat belt, but they were added in as an extra safety precaution.

“Wonderland Amusement Park has taken great strides over the past 65 years to ensure the safety of our visitors at all times,” the park said.

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Police Capture Felon Who Escaped Jail with Help from Mom, Girlfriend

Van Zandt County Jail(DALLAS) — Authorities in Texas have caught an inmate who escaped a county detention center with help from his mother and girlfriend.

Jay Scott McEvers, 47, escaped from Van Zandt County Detention Center — located about 60 miles east of Dallas — on Wednesday. The Van Zandt County Constable’s Office confirmed that McEvers had been captured Thursday morning. No other details were released.

Authorities said McEvers was considered armed and dangerous and may have been driving a red Chevrolet Cobalt.

McEvers was booked at the detention center on April 14 for possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

His criminal history includes an armed bank robbery and various drug charges.

Overnight, deputies arrested McEvers’ mother, Carolyn McEvers, and girlfriend, Cynthia Heese, in connection to the case.

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Cheerleading ‘Tryout Look’ Photo Sparks Student Backlash

Clay Thompson/Facebook(SEATTLE) — Want to be a cheerleader at the University of Washington? Make sure not to wear too much makeup or distracting fingernail polish. And don’t wear a top that covers the midriff.

These were some of the tips given in a graphic made by a member of the University of Washington spirit leadership team. According to the university’s athletics department the graphic was aimed at providing information for interested students preparing for tryouts.

The graphic, which was posted on the University of Washington Cheerleading Facebook page on Monday lists the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for makeup, hair, clothes and even body type.

The cheerleading team is coed, but there was no tryout tips graphic made for male cheerleaders.

The student government, Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW), released a statement on the graphic saying that it, “completely objectifies women and creates barriers that only perpetuates the inaccessibility of opportunities that should be open for every student on this campus.”

The criticism caused the athletics department to take the photo down by Tuesday morning.

“The graphic was removed immediately, after a UW athletic department official saw it and determined that some of the details and descriptions provided were inconsistent with the values of the UW spirit program and department of athletics,” University of Washington athletics spokesperson Carter Henderson said in a statement.

Washington State University Cheer and Louisiana State University Cheerleading Facebook pages have also posted similar tryout tip photos.

The university’s cheerleading team has tryouts this Friday and Saturday.

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Felon Escapes Texas Jail with Help from Mother, Girlfriend

Van Zandt County Jail(DALLAS) — Authorities in Texas are still searching for an inmate who escaped a county detention center with help from his mother and girlfriend.

Jay Scott McEvers, 47, escaped from Van Zandt County Detention Center — located about 60 miles east of Dallas — on Wednesday. He was last seen wearing orange jail pants and a white tank top, according to police.

Authorities said McEvers is considered armed and dangerous and may be driving a red Chevrolet Cobalt.

McEvers was booked at the detention center on April 14 for possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

His criminal history includes an armed bank robbery and various drug charges.

Overnight, deputies arrested McEvers’ mother, Carolyn McEvers, and girlfriend, Cynthia Heese, in connection to the case.

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James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s Ex-Companion May Face More Prison Time

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — A South Boston woman who spent 16 years on the run with one of Boston’s most notorious gangsters, James “Whitey” Bulger, could be sentenced to another three years in federal prison Thursday for what prosecutors call her “conscious, considered and unapologetic” refusal to testify about their time on the lam.

Catherine Greig, 65, is serving an eight-year sentence for her role in helping Bulger escape and evade capture after he was tipped to a pending federal indictment by his rogue FBI handler in 1995. The couple was captured in June 2011 after the FBI found them hiding in plain sight living as Carol and Charles Gasko in an apartment near the picturesque Santa Monica Pier in California.

Thursday’s sentencing deals with new federal criminal contempt charges stemming from Greig’s refusal to cooperate with a grand jury that continues to investigate who, if anyone, helped Bulger while he hid from authorities.

“The defendant chose to defy the Court’s Order,” Assistant United States Attorney Mary Murrane wrote in a sentencing brief filed by the government where prosecutors asked for an additional 37 months to be added to Greig’s sentence unless she retracts her refusal to testify and tells investigators “what she knows about her 16 years with Bulger.”

Greig’s lawyer Kevin Reddington filed his own sentencing memo that insisted that prosecutors are punishing his client for only one thing: falling for the wrong man and living a “quiet unpretentious life” with him.

“It is obvious that she is a kind, gentle woman who has literally done nothing bad in her life except fall in love with James Bulger and live with him for 16 years until his arrest,” Reddington wrote in the memo, alleging that his client has been repeatedly subjected to what is commonly referred to by defendants as the “diesel tour” – a constant reshuffling of prison cells via diesel bus – as part of what he called the government’s abuse of power.

“She has served more time than any of the organized crime killers involved in this sordid page of law enforcement history.”

In addition, according to the “Defendant’s Sentencing Memorandum” filed with the court, Greig “suggests that the ‘cross reference’ to Bulger’s crimes including murder and RICO violations is a gross due process violation. Greig has pled guilty to a crime of contempt; a non-violent offense.”

The memo also argues that “although the court may consider a virtually unlimited array of facts in determining a fair sentencing, it may not impose a sentence that exceeds the ‘substantively reasonable’ threshold.”

Bulger, 86, is serving a life sentence at a maximum-security prison after a 2013 conviction for 11 murders, racketeering and other federal charges. He claimed that his role as a FBI top echelon informant gave him immunity for those crimes, a defense with which jurors did not agree.

Still, some of his criminal compatriots like John Martorano, who confessed to murdering some 20 people, served 12 years behind bars after he cut a deal with the government.

Meanwhile, federal officials will hold a public auction in June at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to sell Bulger’s belongings seized from the Santa Monica hideout where the couple lived for more than a decade, part of a way to recoup some of the $25.2 million forfeiture judgment that came with Bulger’s conviction.

Profits from the weekend auction, which will include a coffee mug shaped like a rat, along with $822,000 in cash found secreted in the walls of the hideout next to 30 guns, will be divided among the families of 20 people killed by the gangster or his associates and among several people he extorted, according to court filings. The guns will not be sold at the event, slated to be held from June 24 to June 26, according to court records.

Those victims will also divide Bulger’s Social Security payments and any cash seized from safe deposit boxes and bank accounts uncovered in England and Ireland connected to Bulger.

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Alabama Pilot Walks Away from Fiery Plane Crash with Only Minor Injuries

Monkey Business/Thinkstock(FOLEY, Ala.) — A pilot in Alabama made a very lucky escape after his plane crash-landed yesterday — and the whole incident was caught on camera.

The twin-engine Cessna aircraft went down in front of a towing company in Foley, Alabama, hitting several trees before it went up in flames. That’s when the pilot, Russell Smith, “busted out of the airplane,” according to Foley Municipal Airport Lineman Corey Kirkwood.

“All hell was breaking loose,” Smith said. “It happened so quick I didn’t have time to think.”

Miraculously, Smith walked away with only minor injuries to his hands. He didn’t even go to the hospital.

Kirkwood told ABC News that the plane “took an insane amount of time to take off,” he said, adding that the aircraft barely cleared the fence and clipped the tree line past the end of the runway where it went down.

Smith was the sole passenger. A salvage company will retrieve the remnants of the plane when the FAA is finished examining it.

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Texas Residents Take Extreme Measures to Protect Cars from Golf Ball-Sized Hail

Courtesy Haley Galbreath(DALLAS) — Texas and Oklahoma were pounded by blinding rain, tornadoes and hail this week.

Severe weather is known to take a toll on one’s car. From shattering windows to damaging roofs, hail damage can be costly. And with golf ball-sized hail moving through Texas, people will try just about anything to avoid car trouble.

Jeff Phillips, the owner of Dent Masters in Dallas, said, “The average hail repair claim is between $2500 and $7,000, but it depends on the severity of the damage. Factors in price range include the size of the dents, what type of metal the car has, the location of dents, and accessibility.”

Residents of northern Texas have taken precaution to a whole new level. They’ve created unique household shields in hopes of preventing damage to their cars, from plastic wrap to a trampoline to cardboard boxes to yoga mats. The goal here is to cover the car in layers. Options may include mattress pads, blankets and towels — the more cushion, the better.

Haley Galbreath used her car mats to protect her windshield, pillows and blankets for the windows, and then topped it off by covering her entire car in plastic wrap. When Galbreath went to remove the plastic wrap, she noted that the car wasn’t even gotten wet.

Images posted to Twitter showed the lengths some went to to protect their vehicles:

UNT parking garages at full capacity once again. Students using anything and everything to cover their windshields. pic.twitter.com/Sm3Zjeqlcs

— Blake Holland (@tblakeholland) April 26, 2016

People are prepared for these storms. 😂😂 #wfaaweather pic.twitter.com/BoIusZ3RnU

— Drew Rhodes (@Drew_Rhodes70) April 27, 2016

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American Airlines Aircraft Returns to Seattle Airport After Bird Strike

amana images/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — A Dallas-bound American Airlines aircraft was struck by a bird Wednesday afternoon after taking off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and at the pilot’s discretion, the Airbus 321 returned to the airport about 30 minutes after taking off.

In a statement, American Airlines said, “American Airlines 2310, from Seattle-Tacoma (SeaTac) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), returned to SeaTac due to a bird strike, which struck the nose of the aircraft. The Airbus A321, with 150 passengers and six crew, landed safely and taxied to the gate.”

According to LiveATC.net, the pilot told air traffic controllers, “looks like we hit some birds after takeoff, we’re gonna need to go back and have the airplane looked at.”

The flight was scheduled to leave at 3:15 p.m., but departed at 3:36, according to FlightAware.com.

American Airlines added, “Our maintenance team is currently evaluating the aircraft. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience, and are working to get them to Texas as soon as possible.”

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport also confirmed that the dent in the nose of the plane seen in the above photo was indeed caused by the bird strike.

Bird Strike: AA 2310 from Seattle to DFW had to return to Seattle after bird strike. Plane just landed. pic.twitter.com/NiKUxDsIKp

— WFAA-TV (@wfaachannel8) April 27, 2016

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