Review Category : National News

Elephants Help Rescue Stuck 18-Wheeler in Louisiana

Courtesy Natchitoches Parish Sheriff”s Office(NATCHITOCHES PARISH, La.) — A pair of elephants helped rescue the truck they were riding in when it got stuck in the mud on a trip from New Orleans to Dallas.

It all began on Tuesday at 7:03 a.m. when the 18-wheeler transporting three elephants pulled off the road on Interstate 49 near the Powhatan exit in Louisiana and got stuck in the mud, the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s office said in a statement.

“When deputies arrived on scene, they were astounded to find two elephants keeping the eighteen wheeler from overturning,” the sheriff’s office said.

Courtesy Natchitoches Parish Sheriff”s OfficeThe elephants on the truck were being transported to Frisco, Texas, for a circus.

A wrecker service arrived and was able to free the truck, relieving the elephants of their burden.

No citations were issued, police said.

Courtesy Natchitoches Parish Sheriff”s OfficeFollow @ABCNewsRadio
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Coed Allegedly Went to Robert Durst’s Store the Day She Disappeared

HBO(NEW YORK) — A Middlebury College student went to Robert Durst’s Vermont health food store the day she disappeared in 1971, police said on Tuesday.

Middlebury police are now looking for tips as they investigate any potential connection between Durst and the 1971 cold case disappearance of 18-year-old Lynne Schulze.

The real estate heir moved to Vermont in 1971, Middlebury police said at a press conference Tuesday, and his wife Kathleen Durst joined him later. Durst spent no more than two years in the state, police added.

On Tuesday the police confirmed that Schulze purchased dried prunes from Durst’s health food store called All Good Things the day she went missing. But authorities cannot confirm if Durst was working that day. It’s unknown if Durst and Schulze ever had any personal contact, according to police.

Last year police searched Durst’s former property in the area, but didn’t find anything of interest in Schulze’s case, they said Tuesday.

Schulze’s body was never found, police said.

On Monday the department said in a statement, “We are aware of the connection between Robert Durst and the disappearance of Lynne Schulze.” But Tuesday the police said they haven’t received any tips since Monday’s release and they are looking to talk to anyone with information.

The police are working with other agencies and the investigation is still open, the police said Tuesday.

On March 14, Durst was arrested in connection with the death of his friend Susan Berman in Los Angeles in 2000.

Durst’s attorneys have said Durst is innocent.

“Bob Durst didn’t kill Susan Berman and he doesn’t know who did,” Dick DeGuerin, his attorney, said last week.

While Durst has denied killing Berman, some believed he had a motive, allegedly wanting to silence her about the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen Durst.

Kathleen Durst was officially declared dead in 2001, and Durst has said he has no idea what happened to her.

Durst was also charged in the 2001 killing of a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, but he claimed self-defense and was later found not guilty.

Durst is also being examined in connection with the 1997 disappearance of 16-year-old Karen Mitchell in Eureka, California. Mitchell’s body was never found.

Durst is currently being held in New Orleans on weapons charges.

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First Egg Belonging to Viral Bald Eagles Captured on Webcam Hatches

Pennsylvania Game Commission(HANOVER, Pa.) — After a cold and snowy winter, a pair of bald eagles at a Pennsylvania State Park have welcomed a new addition to their nest.

The first egg belonging to the viral couple at Corodus State Park hatched on Tuesday, and was captured on a webcam set up by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The birds have attracted the attention of viewers from around the globe, especially when they were spotted sheltering their eggs in the snow in early March. As snow had piled up on the birds’ nest, one of the eagles placed its body over the eggs.

Breaking #HanoverEagletNews: An eaglet has hatched at the Hanover, Pa. nest! Watch live: http://t.co/3fVWKLYEMa pic.twitter.com/YolWoEkGxz

— PA Game Commission (@PAGameComm) March 24, 2015

The first egg had appeared on Valentine’s Day, and the second egg was laid three days later on Feb. 17, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. As of late Tuesday, the second egg has yet to hatch.

Besides becoming stars online, the birds have attracted an audience much closer to their nest.

Residents at the Country Meadows retirement facility in York, Pennsylvania, have been watching the eagles in their nest for months, according to a report by ABC News affiliate WHTM-TV.

“It was great to see it because I’ve never seen one before like that,” resident Martha Orner told WHTM-TV.

Bonnie Gesinger, director of community life at the facility, told the television station that residents have been watching the eagles since December.

“Residents come knock on my door. They say, ‘When are you putting the eagles up?’” Geisinger told WHTM-TV.

Now that at least one of the eggs has hatched, all eyes will be focused on watching the fledgling grow until it is expected to leave the nest in late June or early July, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

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Meet the Most Interesting HOV Lane Violator in the World

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(FIFE, Wash.) — A Washington State man violated the High Occupancy Vehicle lane laws in a most creative way.

“He couldn’t have used a more recognizable face,” State Patrol Officer and Public Information Officer Guy Gill told ABC News.

A Washington State Patrol trooper pulled over the driver Monday afternoon on Interstate 5 near the City of Fife after spotting a prop which had the face of actor Jonathan Goldsmith in the passenger seat.

I don’t always violate the HOV lane law…but when I do, I get a $124 ticket! We’ll give him an A for creativity!

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Alaska Police Raid Cannabis Club Run By Reporter Who Quit on Live TV

Getty Images(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — The cannabis club run by a former news reporter who used profanity on live television while announcing she was quitting her job is currently under police investigation.

Search warrants were served by the Anchorage Police Department at the Alaska Cannabis Club in Anchorage, Alaska, last Friday. The Alaska Cannabis Club is owned by former KTVA-TV reporter Charlene Egby.

“Police received reports of the illegal sale of marijuana and other derivatives at a location that’s been identified as the Alaska Cannabis Club,” the Anchorage Police Department said in a statement on its website.

Egby, known professionally as Charlo Greene, did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Greene was reporting live for KTVA-TV on the Alaska Cannabis Club in September, when she admitted to viewers that she actually owned the club and was quitting her job to fight for the legalization of marijuana.

The Alaska Cannabis Club is a network of medical marijuana patients throughout Alaska, Greene said. Since leaving KTVA-TV, Greene said she’s received multiple job offers.

“On the local, on the national and on the international level, I’ve been receiving job offers,” Greene told ABC News’ 20/20 in an interview in October 2014. “I’m not going anywhere. You’re going to see a lot more of me.”

Greene declined to name where any of the job offers were from.

“That decision was made before we started even filming that day story. I knew this was going to be my exit. All of it was planned out, top to bottom,” Greene said.

Greene added that her life has been turned upside-down since she said, “F*** it, I quit” on the air.

“I wasn’t expecting that to be, like, the F-bomb heard ‘round the world or anything like that,” Greene said last October.

In a statement the day after Greene quit, KTVA-TV News Director Bert Rudman said, “[Greene] had a personal and business stake in the issue she was reporting, but did not disclose that interest to us. This betrayed the basic bedrock of responsible journalism.”

Regardless of the criticism over her viral resignation, Greene said she doesn’t regret reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club without disclosing that she owned it.

“The Alaska Cannabis Club is my business,” Greene said in October. “I have a degree in journalism. I know all about ethics. I made a choice, and I’m unapologetic in it.”

Tune in for the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday, March 27 at 10 p.m. ET.

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Arizona Woman on Death Row for Two Decades Speaks Out After Exoneration

Arizona Dept of Corrections(PHOENIX) — An Arizona woman who spent two decades on death row after being charged in the death of her 4-year-old son spoke out Tuesday— the first public comments since a judge dismissed her case on Monday.

Debra Milke, 51, was convicted of murder in 1990 in the killing of her son Christopher in December 1989. However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal overturned Milke’s conviction in 2013, ruling that prosecutors withheld a detective’s history of misconduct while her conviction was based entirely on an alleged confession she gave to him.

Multiple court rulings in other cases said that the detective, Armando Saldate, either lied under oath or violated suspects’ rights during interrogations.

Milke and her lawyers shared their observations at a news conference on Tuesday as they recounted their experiences over the years.

“I had absolutely nothing to do with the brutal murder of my son and I did not give a confession,” Milke said. “The only thing equally worse [than losing a child] is to be falsely accused of the death of your child.”

Mike Kimerer, Milke’s attorney who took over her case 15 years ago, said that he took over her case because he believed she was innocent, since the only evidence available was a confession coming from what he described as a discredited cop.

“It started in December 1989 when she was arrested and ultimately falsely convicted to have conspired to kill her son,” Kimerer said. “She spent 22 years on death row….She can now have the life which she was deprived of for 24 years.”

Kimerer gave credit to his co-counsel on the case, Lori Voepel, whom he said was instrumental in finding more evidence against the detective.

In a brief hearing on Monday, Judge Rosa Mroz not only dismissed the case and exonerated her, but also allowed Milke, who has been free on bond since 2013, to have her electronic-monitoring ankle bracelet removed.

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Video Shows Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Outside Shooting Range

FBI(BOSTON) — Jurors in the trial of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev saw video on Tuesday of the defendant and his brother Tamerlan outside of a New Hampshire firing range where they rented two pistols to practice shooting 9mm ammunition – the same kind of bullets used in the weapon that killed a police officer and was part of a wild gunfight with law enforcement days after the marathon blasts.

The brothers went to the Manchester Firing Range on March 20, 2013, just weeks before allegedly detonating two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

An FBI agent recovered the video and rental paperwork the brothers filled out to rent the pistols and purchase the ammunition, a day of shooting that cost roughly $170.00, according to evidence presented Tuesday.

FBI special agent Matthew Riportelli noted on the stand on Tuesday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev listed his shooting qualification as “intermediate,” and denied smoking marijuana or having mental illness on his “check-in” card. Tamerlan Tsarnaev answered the same way.

The brothers rented a Glock 34 and Glock 17 – both guns that fire 9 mm ammunition, Riportelli told the court.

The Tsarnaevs allegedly used a Ruger 9mm to kill MIT police officer Sean Collier three days after the marathon blasts and, hours after that, to fire at police during a violent firefight. Tamerlan was killed in that gun battle, while Dzhokhar managed to escape and hide for a few hours before being apprehended.

In surveillance video from outside the gun shop, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears to be wearing the same colorful Adidas sweatshirt he wore on April 18 in the hours after he and his brother purportedly shot Collier. Photos that show Tsarnaev’s capture from his hideout on a dry-docked boat show him wearing a similar article of clothing, which is now marked as evidence in the case.

There was also testimony Tuesday from Massachusetts State Police crime scene technicians about the Ruger P95 and fingerprints lifted from a pellet gun recovered in Watertown behind Tsarnaev’s green Honda. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s prints were on the pellet gun, and one of Tamerlan’s prints was found on the Ruger, a trooper testified.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces a possible death penalty if convicted on some 30 counts related to the Boston Marathon bombing.

Though his defense admitted in opening statements he was involved in the blasts, he has pleaded not guilty and his attorneys have attempted to portray Tamerlan as the mastermind and leader of the deadly attack who exerted his influence over his younger brother.

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Google Trekker Brings Virtual Michigan Travel Experience to the Masses

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Google’s Trekker is bringing a virtual Michigan travel experience to the masses.

Borrowing Google’s backpack mounted camera, Michigan’s tourism board got to work.

Volunteers sported the backpack mounted cameras for four weeks as they walked and kayaked around the state collecting more than 44,000 panoramic photos.

The images were then stitched together to create 360-degree imagery at some of Michigan’s most iconic spots, including a birdseye view from the top of the Mackinac Bridge, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and a kayak tour of the Island Loop Route National Water Trail.

The high-tech backpacks were first taken out for a spin at the Grand Canyon, where volunteers sported the cameras as they hiked the natural wonders’ trails for three days gathering breathtaking images.

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Houston Road Rage Shooting Victim’s Message for Gunman

Courtesy of the Hadford Family(HOUSTON) — A Houston woman who was shot in the head in a road rage incident says she’s thankful to be alive — and she has a message for the unknown gunman.

Kay Hafford, 28, speaking exclusively to ABC station KTRK-TV, said she’s still confused by the Friday incident.

“I’m trying to figure out: Was he mad before?” Hafford said. “What did I do that honking at him — for you cutting me off — I mean, his target was to kill me, I believe.”

The shooting happened during Friday morning’s rush hour, when she was merging onto Interstate 45 north of Houston. Hafford says she honked at the driver of a white Chevy Tahoe. The man started taunting her, she said — pulling up right next to her and firing a single shot through the passenger side window.

“I sped up, he sped up and then maybe about 30 seconds later, there was a big boom noise,” Hafford said.

Bullet fragments hit Hafford’s head and neck, but she somehow managed to call 911. She was treated at Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute before being discharged Sunday.

Hafford has spent the past few days recovering at home with the help of her husband, Kendrick. As her recovery continues, Hafford has found inspiration amid her struggles.

“I’m living here to tell people that I survived, and I’m sure it’s probably killing him that I’m still alive,” Hafford said. “That’s enough for me, for him to have that anxiety that it didn’t work.”

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Little League Star Says College Critic Should Get Second Chance

Kyle Terada-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Mo’ne Davis, the teenage girl who gained national fame by pitching a shutout in last year’s Little League World Series, said the college baseball player kicked off his team for posting an offensive tweet about her should get a second chance.

Bloomsburg (Pennsylvania) University’s Joey Casselberry, a junior first baseman, was released after tweeting: “Disney is making a movie about Mo’ne Davis? WHAT A JOKE. That sl– got rocked by Nevada.”

Davis, the subject of an upcoming Disney Channel movie, Throw Like Mo, told ESPN’s SportsCenter Monday that she wrote an email to the school asking officials to reinstate Casselberry.

“Everyone makes mistakes,” Davis, 13, said. “Everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it in that type of way. I know people get tired of seeing me on TV. But sometimes you got to think about what you’re doing before you do it.”

The university released a statement to the media Monday confirming that Davis had reached out.

“Her request demonstrates the type of person she is, her level of maturity and the empathy that her family and coach teach her,” its statement read. “Bloomsburg University stands firm on our decision; however, his consequences will be reviewed as is common in disciplinary actions like this.”

Before his Twitter account was deactivated last Saturday, Casselberry apologized, writing, “An example that one stupid tweet can ruin someone’s life and I couldn’t be more sorry about my actions last night. I please ask you to forgive me and truly understand that I am in no way shape or form a sexist and I am a huge fan of Mo’ne. She was quite an inspiration.”

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