Review Category : National News

Ray Rice’s Wife Comes to Defense of ‘the Man I Love’

Rob Carr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice defended “the man I love” in an online post Tuesday and said Rice’s football ban left her “feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend.”

Janay Rice, who was shown in a video released Monday getting knocked out in an Atlantic City elevator by Rice, posted the statement on Instagram the day after the Ravens terminated his contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” she wrote.

She called the attention to their Feb. 15 fight in the Revel Casino Hotel “unwanted.”

“To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a** off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE!” she wrote.

The new video surfaced as the NFL defended itself Tuesday against allegations that it did not try to obtain the video of the punch from the Revel Casino Hotel.

Janay Rice said the stories about their fight and the ban on Rice playing NFL football left them hurt, embarrassed, alone and took “all happiness away.”

“Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!” she wrote.

“Security for Atlantic City casinos is handled by the New Jersey State Police,” the NFL said in a statement. “Any videos related to an ongoing criminal investigation are held in the custody of the state police. As we said yesterday: We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us.”

The league was criticized for initially banning Rice for two games, a punishment many considered to be too light. After the video emerged on Monday, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

The New Jersey State Police said Tuesday the investigation was handled by the Atlantic City police. “We never had the video,” the state police said.

The Atlantic City police have not responded to requests for comment. The prosecutor in the case declined to discuss the case on Monday.

Outraged response to Rice’s initial two-game suspension prompted the league to establish a mandatory six-game suspension for players who violate the league’s domestic violence policy.

Rice and Palmer married following the incident.

Rice entered a pre-trial intervention program after being charged with aggravated assault and he publicly apologized for striking Palmer.

Revel Hotel Casino, where the incident occurred, closed Sept. 2.

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Thousands of Penn State Students Rally After Football Playoff Ban Removed

Rick Stewart/Getty Images(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) — Thousands of Pennsylvania State University students rallied overnight, celebrating the end of the school’s football bowl ban instituted in the wake of a sex abuse scandal involving former coach Jerry Sandusky.

The students sang and chanted, shouting the school’s iconic cheer: “We Are Penn State.”

Police in riot gear held watch, making sure the demonstration didn’t get out of hand. Minor vandalism was reported, including a stop sign that was ripped down. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller urged students to stay calm.

“Vandalism in the canyon will get you arrested, maybe kicked out of school and is no way to celebrate this victory,” Miller wrote on Twitter.

The rallying followed the decision by the NCAA’s Executive Committee to eliminate the school’s football postseason ban and scholarship reductions, recommendations proposed by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.

The sanctions were implemented in 2012, after an NCAA report alleged the university was negligent in not dealing with Sandusky, who was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys for more than a decade. Other victims have since emerged.

The scandal ensnared now-deceased football coach Joe Paterno, president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley, exposing flaws in the school’s culture and insufficient sexual offense reporting practices.

As a result, Mitchell was instituted as the university’s athletics integrity monitor and sanctions were levied against the school and football program.

In a report released Monday, Mitchell lauded the university’s reform efforts, while also noting that the sanctions affected student-athletes “who bear no personal responsibility for the underlying reasons for the sanctions.”

“In light of Penn State’s responsiveness to its obligations and the many improvements it has instituted, I believe these student-athletes should have the opportunity to play in the post-season should they earn it on the field this year,” Mitchell wrote. “The maximum number of student-athletes ought to be given the chance both to receive a quality education and be active in sports.”

If Penn State continues its current course, Mitchell will recommend that his oversight role, scheduled to continue to 2017, should end earlier, he wrote in the report.

Penn State’s football team is 2-0 so far this season.

The school must still pay a $60 million fine, and 112 wins under Paterno – at one time recognized as college football’s winningest coach -– remain vacated.

Sandusky, 70, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years behind bars, effectively a life sentence.

The school has so far paid nearly $60 million in settlements to Sandusky’s victims.

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One Killed in Plane Crash at National Championship of Air Races in Nevada

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(RENO, Nev.) — The National Championship of Air Races in Reno was halted early on Monday after a fatal plane crash.

A statement from National Championship Air Races identified the pilot of the plane as Lee Behel, 64. Behel was flying a GP-5 at the time of the crash, which Mike Draper, a spokesperson for National Championship Air Races called a result of “a mechanical error.”

The crash was a single-plane accident and no other pilots or spectators were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the crash. National Championship Air Races said all planes would continue to be inspected prior to a return to the race course — a standard procedure.

Mike Major, chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association called Behel “a very talented pilot” and “an enthusiastic and compassionate friend.”

“This is a difficult day for all of us and our thoughts and prayers are with Lee’s family and friends,” Major said. “The entire Air Race family will miss him deeply.”

Qualification for the event will resume at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and the event officially kicks off on Wednesday.

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Confirms Remains Are Those of Holly Bobo

The Bobo Family(DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn.) — Authorities confirmed on Monday night that human remains found in Decatur County on Sunday are those of Holly Bobo, the nursing student kidnapped in April 2011.

The remains were found a short distance from the house of one of the suspects in Bobo’s disappearance. On Monday night, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed that the remains were those of Bobo.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn assured the public that the investigation into Bobo’s death is not over and that the aim remained to “get to the truth.” District Attorney Matt Stowe said that his office is “ready, willing and able to seek the death penalty for Bobo’s killers, but that a decision would be made in conjunction with the Bobo family in the coming weeks.

“We’re going to make sure that everyone who played a part in the heinous crime that has attacked the peace and dignity of the state of Tennessee faces a consequence for that,” Stowe said.

Charges were filed against Zachary Rye Adams in March for murder and aggravated kidnapping. A second suspect, Jason Wayne Autry, was indicted in April.

Two other men were charged with accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence in June.

Bobo disappeared from her home in April 2011, at the age of 20. Witness statements from her brother said that a man in camouflage dragged her into the woods near her home.

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Fire Causes Roller-Coaster Collapse at California’s Magic Mountain

Photo by Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic(VALENCIA, Calif.) — A fire at Six Flags’ Magic Mountain theme park caused the Colossus roller coaster to collapse.

Colossus, a wooden roller coaster built in the 1970s, had been temporarily closed since Aug. 17. Six Flags has said that it planned to turn the ride into a wood-and-steel hybrid roller coaster.

The park was closed on Monday, as it opens only on Saturdays and Sundays after Labor Day. No one was injured by the fire or the ride collapse.

Six Flags released a statement on Monday afternoon that announced that the fire had been extinguished.

The renovated ride, to be called Twisted Colossus, is still on track to open in spring of 2015.

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Yosemite Fire Expands, Nears Popular Campgrounds

Yosemite National Park(YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif.) — The wildfire raging inside Yosemite National Park quadrupled in size Monday, scorching more than 2,500 acres and moving closer to popular campgrounds, authorities said.

On Monday evening, a plume of black smoke blanketed the Half Dome peak, a popular rock formation.

“The entire park is very dry,” said Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb. “The fire danger is very dry.”

More than 100 firefighters were battling the blaze, known as the Meadow Fire. The fire was sparked by lightning and has been burning for several weeks in the backcountry.

The terrain is so rugged, though, they had to fight it almost entirely by air. Firefighters did get some relief, however, from scattered showers.

Hikers trying to reach the summit of Half Dome peak were terrified — and then stranded — when the fire broke out.

“It was raging, right on the opposite side of the mountain,” one hiker said. “As soon as the wind was catching it, the flames were something like 200 feet high. It was pretty scary.”

All 85 hikers had to be airlifted to safety Sunday, including Brendan Fromm, as their families waited anxiously.

“It was nerve-wracking because we didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “It was definitely a large fire. It was not safe to be walking down through the trail.”

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Severe Rain, Flooding Hits Southwest

ABC News(PHOENIX) — Arizona has declared a state of emergency after severe rain and flooding plagued parts of the state Monday.

Phoenix saw its wettest day on record, with at least 3.29 inches of rain.

In Tucson, firefighters say a woman died when the car she was driving was swept away by water. When rescuers arrived, her car was submerged; her body was pulled out.

Heavy rains are pounding much of the Southwest. Five states, including California, were under flash flood watches Monday night – most through Tuesday evening.

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Baltimore Ravens Cut Ray Rice After Video of Elevator Punch

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesUPDATE: The Baltimore Ravens terminated Ray Rice’s contract Monday after a video emerged of the running back punching his then fiancee in an Atlantic City, New Jersey hotel elevator.

(NEW YORK) — A video emerged Monday on a news website that allegedly shows the moment Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punched his fiancee in the face, knocking her to the floor of an elevator. The NFL said it had never seen the video before Monday.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” the NFL said in a statement. “The video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where the fight happened, said it released the video to police.

Atlantic City police did not respond to requests for comment by ABC News. A prosecutor told ABC News he refuses to discuss what might have been submitted, viewed or cited by the grand jury.

The video, originally posted on, shows Janay Palmer, now Rice’s wife, being hit in the face in the elevator. Palmer then lunges at the NFL star before he delivers a blow that knocks her out. When the elevator doors open, Rice drags Palmer’s body outside, leaving her face down on the floor, her legs still inside the elevator.

An earlier clip showed the scene from outside the elevator, but not the violent blow that earned Rice a two-game suspension. The NFL has been criticized for what some considered to be a light punishment.

Some time after hotel security arrive, Palmer gets up and she and Rice walk away.

Both Rice and Palmer were arrested after the incident. Charges against Palmer were quickly dropped. Rice, who was indicted by a grand jury, entered a pretrial diversionary program, avoiding jail time. He has apologized for the Feb. 15 incident.

The Ravens have declined to comment to ABC News.

Kyle Flood, the football coach at Rice’s alma mater, Rutgers University, called Monday a “sad day” for the school.

“The video I saw this morning was difficult to watch as a husband and as a father,” Flood said. “There is nothing that can justify what I saw on that video. This is a sad day for Ray and a sad day for Rutgers.”

After outrage from Rice’s suspension, the NFL announced last month that players accused of domestic violence would face tougher punishments. Players get six weeks of suspension for a first offense, and at least a year for a second offense, according to the new policy.

The hotel has since shut down for unrelated reasons. TMZ said it cleaned up the video to remove reverse frames and make the time frame clearer.

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University of Florida Boosts Campus Security After String of Assaults

Hemera/Thinkstock(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) — The University of Florida has stepped up campus security and released surveillance video of a possible suspect after a fourth woman was assaulted in recent weeks.

The latest incident was reported Sunday, when a woman was tackled from behind near the campus library’s parking lot. She managed to fight off the assailant and run away.

Police say the string of assaults started at about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 30, when a 21-year-old woman told police she was beaten and almost raped by an unknown man on the Gainesville campus.

A second incident was reported hours later, at 2 a.m. Aug. 31, with a victim dragged into a wooded area before witnesses were able to chase the man away.

A third woman was approached Friday by an unidentified man outside of the school library. University of Florida Police Department Maj. Brad Barber said the woman in the third incident fought back.

“The individual came up from behind her, grabbed her, they had a brief conversation, at which point she then literally punched him in the face and the suspect left on foot,” Barber said.

Police said the four victims all describe the man as white, in his late 20s or early 30s, about 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 and weighing about 250 pounds. Police aren’t sure whether Sunday’s incident is related to the others.

Students on campus now wonder if they can defend themselves.

“I think that I could defend myself,” one student said, “but I think if I was put in this situation I would be really scared.”

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Plane That Crashed Off Jamaica with New York Couple Remains Missing

iStock/Thinkstock(KINGSTON, Jamaica) — The U.S. Coast Guard announced Sunday that the search has been suspended for a small plane with two people on board that veered wildly off course for four hours last Friday before crashing off the coast of Jamaica.

It turns out that a debris field that was initially spotted is no longer visible.

The Socata turboprop was flown by Larry Glazer accompanied by his wife, Jane Glazer, of Rochester, New York.

They were en route from their home to Naples, Florida, when Larry Glazer twice sought permission to fly at a lower altitude.

When the plane did not respond to radio calls a short time later, the Air Force scrambled two F-15 jets to shadow the aircraft. At one point, one of the military pilots could be heard saying that the pilot of the turboprop was unconscious, but he appeared to be breathing.

The plane apparently flew on its own and eventually ran out of fuel and crashed.

Aviation expert and ABC News consultant John Nance said the pilot’s requests to get to a lower altitude and his debilitation “clearly shows a progressive hypoxic situation,” a condition in which the body does not get an adequate supply of oxygen.

Nance said it wasn’t clear whether the pilot was incapacitated by the rapid depressurization of the cabin or fumes in the cockpit.

Larry Glazer was CEO and managing partner of Buckingham Properties and pioneered Rochester’s downtown development.

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