Review Category : National News

Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Ohio Due to Bomb Threat

Angel Di Bilio/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Travelers got a midair scare Thursday on one of the busiest travel days of the year, after an unruly passenger’s bomb threat forced a plane to make an emergency landing, a government official told ABC News.

The United Express flight, carrying 53 on board, was headed to Washington D.C. from St. Louis, Missouri, around 11 a.m. when the passenger reportedly claimed to have a bomb.

The flight was diverted to the Port Columbus International Airport in Ohio, where the aircraft was placed in an isolated area, according to airport spokesman David Whitaker.

By noon, passengers were put on buses after their bags were pulled off the plane and thoroughly checked. The Columbus Division of Fire and Bomb Squad as well as the FBI took part in the investigation.

With the holiday weekend drawing near – and authorities concerned about a potential terror attack — fliers said they definitely saw an uptick in security.

“There seem to be a lot more canine units out,” said Rachel Stephenson, who was not on the United Express flight, “and a lot more people on the ground.”

The passenger who made the threat was questioned by law enforcement and then released. No further details about the passenger were released. Authorities did not say what about the passenger’s remarks had made the flight crew decide to request an emergency landing.

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GoFundMe Page Asked for Money to Cover Dylann Roof’s Sister’s Wedding After Charleston Shooting

A screen grab made on July 2, 2015 shows the GoFundMe page created by a person claiming to be Amber Roof that was taken down from the site later on the same day. (GoFundMe)(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — A GoFundMe page administered by someone claiming to be Amber Roof asked for donations to fund a “dream honeymoon” and pay off her wedding that was canceled after Dylann Roof allegedly killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month.

Dylann Roof has a sister named Amber, 27. Amber Roof did not immediately respond to ABC News’ calls and a message sent via the GoFundMe page for additional comment.

According to the page, which was taken down this afternoon, the administrator said Amber Roof was supposed to marry fiance Michael Tyo June 24, but they canceled four days before the wedding after Dylann Roof allegedly shot the parishioners attending a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church.

Roof, 21, is being held without bail in the Charleston County jail and faces nine counts of murder.

“Our wedding day was suppose to be the most important and special day of our lives,” the page administrator wrote on GoFundMe. “Our day was the exact opposite. Our wedding day was full of sorrow, pain, and shame, tainted by the actions of one man.”

The campaign organizer added that they canceled their wedding “to protect our family and mourn the lives of those lost” but that she started the GoFundMe account for a “create new memories and a new start with our family.”

“Money raised will be used to cover lost wedding costs, to pay bills, and to send us on our dream honeymoon,” the administrator wrote on GoFundMe. “10% of all funds raised will be donated to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.”

The administrator raised $1,604 of their total goal of $5,000 as of 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, according to the GoFundMe page, which was first set up last Saturday.

The administrator posted an update Wednesday, saying, “We are so grateful for all of your contributions. We love you all so much. Thank you for helping us reach our goal of our dream honeymoon!”

Campaign organizers can still access funds that have already been committed even after they remove their page from the site, according to GoFundMe.

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Georgia Teens Ransack a Walmart Caught on Video

Police are still looking for teens involved in vandalizing a Walmart in Macon, Georgia, around 2 a.m. on June 28, 2015.(Bibb County Sheriff’s Office) (MACON, Ga.) — Police are looking for about 50 teens that allegedly trashed a Walmart in Georgia.

The Bibb County Sheriff’s office released surveillance footage of the group ransacking the store in Macon, Georgia, just before 2 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The group of 40 to 50 teens went down the store’s main aisle, pulling merchandise off the shelves, before turning around and running out, Bibb County Sheriff’s office Lt. Sean DeFoe told ABC News on Thursday.

“Out of all my years of law enforcement, I’ve never seen anything happen like this,” he added.

As the video above shows, the teens ransacked the store, then scattered and fled from the parking lot in multiple cars.

Police identified and arrested 17-year-old Kharron Nathan Green after he went back into the store to get his cellphone that he had apparently dropped during the incident.

DeFoe said Green was arrested on charges of second-degree criminal damage to property and inciting a riot since he allegedly appeared to be the group’s leader.

“According to the report, [Green] threw up a gang sign at the camera and then ran into the store,” DeFoe said.

Green told his parents the group was at a party before they decided to go to the Walmart and “cause as much damage as they could,” according to DeFoe.

Police said the store manager told them that the estimated damage was more than $2,000.

A Walmart spokesperson declined to comment on the estimated amount of damage, but said they’re working with police on their ongoing investigation.

“Some of the teens looked older than 17 and some looked younger, but each of them that we identify will be charged appropriately,” DeFoe said.

ABC US News | World News

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How to Stay Safe from Shark Attacks over Fourth of July Weekend

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Less than two weeks into summer, a string of shark attacks have already been reported in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

So, if you’re heading to the beach this Fourth of July weekend, especially vacations spots in North Carolina, where seven shark attacks have been reported since June, experts say it’s important to know how to stay safe in the water.

Here are some tips from former Green Beret and survival expert Terri Schappert:

1. Stay calm.

If you see a shark, don’t thrash or scream, Schappert told ABC News Thursday. Just turn around, get out of the water, and tell everyone else to get out, he said.

Sharks pick up vibrations and smells, but most of the time, they can’t see you, Schappert said.

“The more you flail around … [the sharks] are very attracted to that,” Schappert said.

2. Have a plan.

Every beach-goer should have an evacuation plan, which includes knowing where the closest hospital is, Schappert said.

“Just think in your head, what would happen … if someone you love just got bit? What now?” he said. “Don’t be paranoid, but have a procedure. Think about how you’d get out of the water, then think about … the chain of what would happen next.”

“Try not to freak out,” Schappert added. “But know it’s a possibility.”

3. Know first-aid.

Most shark bites are on the limbs, according to Schappert and other experts, and when a shark’s mouth hits a swimmer’s arm or leg, “it’s bound to sever an artery.”

“Shark bites are not smooth — they’re jagged — which makes the wound worse,” he said. And the more jagged the wound, the more it will bleed, so it’s important to know first-aid.

“The best thing you can do for that person is to stop the bleeding,” Schappert said, which, if the victim is bit on a limb, means applying a tourniquet.

In 2014, Schappert took ABC News’ Matt Gutman swimming in shark-infested waters off the Bahamas.

To properly learn how to fend off sharks, Gutman pulled on 15 pounds of chain mail, and then put clothes on top to simulate real people finding themselves stuck in shark-infested waters following a plane or a boat crash. Gutman and Schappert then did what experts say not to do: flapping around in waters where sharks were feeding, wearing regular clothing.

While they were in the water, Schappert’s advice to Gutman was to:

1. Slow down your movements.

Fast movements give off the signal of prey, he said. Also conserving energy is key to survival in the above scenario.

2. Team up.

If there are two people in the water, Schappert recommended treading water back to back to limit the spheres of control by half, to 180 degrees each.

3. Fight back.

If the sharks begin attacking, fight them off, Schappert said.

He said to strike the sharks using quick, downward punching motions.

“All you can do is fight and let them know ‘I am not going down easy,'” Schappert told Gutman.

With the Fourth of July approaching, some law enforcement officials along the North Carolina coast are calling for some of the waterfront communities to consider closing their beaches.

Kaye Dotson, a tourist in the area of Ocracoke Island Beach, North Carolina, said on Thursday that she won’t let her grandchildren go in the water after the recent spate of shark attacks.

“Just the fact that [the sharks are] out where we go. We always swim out there. I swim out there with my grandchildren,” Dotson told ABC News Thursday. “I am not [letting them in the water] and I hope their parents are not.”

Sarah Johnson, public information officer for Hyde County, North Carolina, told ABC News Thursday that, while Hyde County has no control over beach patrol or staffing, the EMS presence at Ocracoke Island will be increased slightly this weekend.

North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Park Service will add extra beach patrol rangers this weekend who will warn beach-goers of the dangers, Cyndy Holda, public affairs specialist at the National Park Service, told ABC News Thursday.

While there won’t be extra surveillance in the water, Holda said, there will be “strong encouragement to not stray from the shore” for those who do go in the water.

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Pig-Shaped Hot Air Balloon Falls in Emergency Landing, Burns Pilot

Austin Duke(PROVO, Utah) — A hot air balloon in the shape of a pink piggy bank crashed Thursday morning in Provo, Utah.

The balloon, sponsored by Bank of American Fork at America’s Freedom Festival, got hit by another balloon’s basket and the top of the pig had a 6- to 8-foot hole torn in the nylon, festival safety officer Curt Bramble told ABC News.

“The pilot immediately took the appropriate steps and had the burner going to safely make an emergency landing,” he added, noting that part of the balloon landed in a tree, missing the power lines a short distance away.

The pilot walked away from the crash landing with only minor burns, Bramble said.

“When the nylon fabric melts, it’ll drip little spots of the sticky residue. [The pilot] has a bandage on his cheek, but he’s going to be fine and back flying tomorrow and Saturday,” Bramble said.

Bank of American Fork has had a sponsored hot air balloon run by Balloon West since 1984 and spokesperson Christopher Liechty said this is the first, and hopefully last, incident.

“We’re going to take a look at the balloon and see if it’s reparable,” he told ABC News Thursday. “Our pilot did a great job of bringing [the balloon] down without hurting anyone.”

The flying pig wasn’t the only spectacle in the sky — Darth Vader, Yoda and Smokey the Bear also flew in the festival.

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Officials Investigate Boardwalk Games Before Summertime Rush

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s summertime and that means family fun in the sun. And for many, boardwalk games are a big part of that. However, a lot of players find themselves frustrated — sometimes going home empty-handed, which makes them wonder if the games might be rigged.

In New Jersey, every game is inspected at least once a year.

New Jersey’s acting attorney general, John Hoffman, says these inspections are important because the games are meant to be fair.

“People have a chance to win, and an opportunity to win and it’s a game like anything else,” Hoffman said. “Of course everybody can’t win every time. But we also don’t want to be in a situation when people unfairly lose.”

Good Morning America Investigates tagged along Tuesday as New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs conducted surprise inspections.

“People assume that games like this are rigged,” said Steve Lee, acting director of New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “They think that they have no chance. But actually New Jersey does a good job of making sure that these games are fair. It’s important for us to keep coming out here.”

The division’s Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission oversees the operations of approximately 1,000 Amusement Games operated at recognized amusement parks, seashore or other resorts or agricultural exhibitions such as county fairs.

One inspection was conducted on a game where the objective is to throw darts at balloons, to pop them and win a prize.

Inspectors advise that all players check the balloons to see if they are properly inflated so there is enough pressure in the balloon to be punctured by a dart. They also suggest players inspect the darts themselves.

“Make sure that the tip is pointed and sharp,” inspector Paul Johnson said. “[make sure] the fins are in good condition so when you throw the dart, it has a nice balanced flight and can hit the target.”

Though the inspector found a couple of balloons weren’t inflated to regulation, overall the game checked out.

“I’ve proven that the game works. It’s a fair game. It is operated fairly. The consumer can feel safe about playing this game without being cheated,” inspector Johnson said.

Next, inspectors moved on to a basketball game.

“I want to see if a basketball would fit through that rim,” inspector Bill Waters said while checking the hoop’s circumference.

Inspectors checked for several other things including proper state licensing, whether the basketball hoops were leveled evenly and had the proper air pressure. If the basketballs are overinflated, they become too hard and may bounce off the hoop.

Ultimately, the inspector gave the basketball game the seal of the approval.

Finally, inspectors checked claw games. On YouTube, video after video shows people winning and losing at these games. Many consider this game to be the frustrating of all since it can drop that coveted prize, even after the player has grabbed it.

Along the Seaside Heights boardwalk, one arcade’s claw game passed inspection.

“This one we consider satisfactory,” inspector Johnson said. “Even though it hasn’t dropped in here yet, it picks it up and then it’s headed over there. If it can pick it up and survive when it stops, and starts going in the right direction, we usually say that’s fine.”

At another arcade, inspector Christine Donahue checked the tension on one claw game, finding that it was fine. But the claw right next to it, not so much. Donahue told ABC News the claw’s grip was too weak to hold the prize.

Donahue ordered the game to be shut down until the claw could be adjusted.

“So what we’re going to do, is we are going to have this machine shut down for now, until they either put lighter plush in here, or they increase the tension, because the attendant doesn’t know exactly how to do that at this moment,” Donahue explained. “We are going to come back, but right now he is going to tape it up.”

The arcade employee told ABC News when prizes are changed, employees may sometimes forget to adjust the tension of the claw.

The arcade company, Casino Pier, told ABC News: “Casino Pier stands by the fact that we operate all our legalized games of chance within the regulations and do not alter any of our games. Our commitment is to customer service and would never look to deceive our valued guests. We were surprised of this violation and are immediately correcting the issue caused by the crane in question.”

Casino Pier told GMA on Wednesday that it has since fixed the game and officials are expected to re-inspect the game Thursday to determine whether it can operate again.

Hoffman says his office takes violations of gaming regulations very seriously. Punishments vary but violators can be given a warning, ordered to recalibrate their machines, or sometimes even fined $250-$500, depending on the severity of the offense and whether they are a previous offender.

Hoffman also noted that their goal is to ensure consumers are treated fairly.

“We want to make sure that everybody feels comfortable and confident when they come to enjoy the boardwalk,” Hoffman said. “This is part of our soul.”

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Officials Investigate Boardwalk Games Before Summertime Rush

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s summertime and that means family fun in the sun. And for many, boardwalk games are a big part of that. However, a lot of players find themselves frustrated — sometimes going home empty-handed, which makes them wonder if the games might be rigged.

In New Jersey, every game is inspected at least once a year.

New Jersey’s acting attorney general, John Hoffman, says these inspections are important because the games are meant to be fair.

“People have a chance to win, and an opportunity to win and it’s a game like anything else,” Hoffman said. “Of course everybody can’t win every time. But we also don’t want to be in a situation when people unfairly lose.”

Good Morning America Investigates tagged along Tuesday as New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs conducted surprise inspections.

“People assume that games like this are rigged,” said Steve Lee, acting director of New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “They think that they have no chance. But actually New Jersey does a good job of making sure that these games are fair. It’s important for us to keep coming out here.”

The division’s Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission oversees the operations of approximately 1,000 Amusement Games operated at recognized amusement parks, seashore or other resorts or agricultural exhibitions such as county fairs.

One inspection was conducted on a game where the objective is to throw darts at balloons, to pop them and win a prize.

Inspectors advise that all players check the balloons to see if they are properly inflated so there is enough pressure in the balloon to be punctured by a dart. They also suggest players inspect the darts themselves.

“Make sure that the tip is pointed and sharp,” inspector Paul Johnson said. “[make sure] the fins are in good condition so when you throw the dart, it has a nice balanced flight and can hit the target.”

Though the inspector found a couple of balloons weren’t inflated to regulation, overall the game checked out.

“I’ve proven that the game works. It’s a fair game. It is operated fairly. The consumer can feel safe about playing this game without being cheated,” inspector Johnson said.

Next, inspectors moved on to a basketball game.

“I want to see if a basketball would fit through that rim,” inspector Bill Waters said while checking the hoop’s circumference.

Inspectors checked for several other things including proper state licensing, whether the basketball hoops were leveled evenly and had the proper air pressure. If the basketballs are overinflated, they become too hard and may bounce off the hoop.

Ultimately, the inspector gave the basketball game the seal of the approval.

Finally, inspectors checked claw games. On YouTube, video after video shows people winning and losing at these games. Many consider this game to be the frustrating of all since it can drop that coveted prize, even after the player has grabbed it.

Along the Seaside Heights boardwalk, one arcade’s claw game passed inspection.

“This one we consider satisfactory,” inspector Johnson said. “Even though it hasn’t dropped in here yet, it picks it up and then it’s headed over there. If it can pick it up and survive when it stops, and starts going in the right direction, we usually say that’s fine.”

At another arcade, inspector Christine Donahue checked the tension on one claw game, finding that it was fine. But the claw right next to it, not so much. Donahue told ABC News the claw’s grip was too weak to hold the prize.

Donahue ordered the game to be shut down until the claw could be adjusted.

“So what we’re going to do, is we are going to have this machine shut down for now, until they either put lighter plush in here, or they increase the tension, because the attendant doesn’t know exactly how to do that at this moment,” Donahue explained. “We are going to come back, but right now he is going to tape it up.”

The arcade employee told ABC News when prizes are changed, employees may sometimes forget to adjust the tension of the claw.

The arcade company, Casino Pier, told ABC News: “Casino Pier stands by the fact that we operate all our legalized games of chance within the regulations and do not alter any of our games. Our commitment is to customer service and would never look to deceive our valued guests. We were surprised of this violation and are immediately correcting the issue caused by the crane in question.”

Casino Pier told GMA on Wednesday that it has since fixed the game and officials are expected to re-inspect the game Thursday to determine whether it can operate again.

Hoffman says his office takes violations of gaming regulations very seriously. Punishments vary but violators can be given a warning, ordered to recalibrate their machines, or sometimes even fined $250-$500, depending on the severity of the offense and whether they are a previous offender.

Hoffman also noted that their goal is to ensure consumers are treated fairly.

“We want to make sure that everybody feels comfortable and confident when they come to enjoy the boardwalk,” Hoffman said. “This is part of our soul.”

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California Woman Rescued Two Days After SUV Plunged off Cliff

iStock/Thinkstock(MALIBU, Calif.) — A California woman is recovering from two days trapped in her SUV after it plunged off a cliff.

Jennifer Duron, 40, vanished Monday when she was on her way home from a run in Malibu. Her family reported her missing, unaware her vehicle was sitting 70 feet down an embankment.

Duron was stuck for two days and two nights in the damaged SUV, with no food or water.

“I think for the time she was down there, she was wondering if anyone was going to see her,” her father, Michael Daruty, said.

“Her first words were, I didn’t think anyone was going to find me,” Daruty said.

Duron was rescued Wednesday after a woman walking her dog heard screams coming from below. She was alert and talking as authorities raised her to the surface.

Duron’s family is grateful that she has been found, and with non-life-threatening injuries.

“She is in remarkably good condition for being down an overpass and ravine for two days,” Daruty said.

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California Woman Rescued Two Days After SUV Plunged off Cliff

iStock/Thinkstock(MALIBU, Calif.) — A California woman is recovering from two days trapped in her SUV after it plunged off a cliff.

Jennifer Duron, 40, vanished Monday when she was on her way home from a run in Malibu. Her family reported her missing, unaware her vehicle was sitting 70 feet down an embankment.

Duron was stuck for two days and two nights in the damaged SUV, with no food or water.

“I think for the time she was down there, she was wondering if anyone was going to see her,” her father, Michael Daruty, said.

“Her first words were, I didn’t think anyone was going to find me,” Daruty said.

Duron was rescued Wednesday after a woman walking her dog heard screams coming from below. She was alert and talking as authorities raised her to the surface.

Duron’s family is grateful that she has been found, and with non-life-threatening injuries.

“She is in remarkably good condition for being down an overpass and ravine for two days,” Daruty said.

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‘All Clear’ at Washington Navy Yard After Lockdown for Report of Possible Shooter

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Washington Navy Yard is “all clear,” after being placed on lockdown Thursday morning, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

No threats were found, the source said.

In a tweet, the U.S. Navy said the facility, which is about 1.5 miles from the Capitol, was “on lockdown/shelter in place” — although “no incident can be confirmed as of yet. More to follow.”

A second tweet said the “investigation continues.”

U.S. Park Police confirmed Thursday morning that they were responding to the Navy Yard for a report of a possible active shooter.

A Defense official told ABC News the response was prompted by a 911 call received by the Naval District of Washington. It’s unclear whether the call originated on base or off base.

Chris Johnson, public affairs officer for the Naval Sea Systems command, said everyone has been ordered to shelter in place.

“But there’s been no confirmed details on what the incident is or may me. We’re currently investigating,” Johnson said.

There is no known threat to the Capitol Complex, the U.S. Capitol Police said, however there are enhanced security officers in the area.

A defense official told ABC News the incident was based on a report of a “suspicious person.” Nothing was confirmed but the report was taken seriously given the 2013 shooting at the Navy Yard.

In September 2013, a lone gunman went on a shooting spree at the Navy Yard, killing 12 people. The suspect was then killed in a firefight with police.

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