Review Category : National News

Capitol Hill Gyrocopter Pilot Douglas Hughes Pleads Not Guilty

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Douglas Hughes, the pilot and activist who shocked the country when he landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., last month entered a not guilty plea in court on Thursday to all six charges pending against him, including two felonies.

The charges range from piloting without proper license to violating national defense airspace.

The judge lifted home detention, allowing him to travel within his home county of Hillsborough County, Florida. He will retain his ankle bracelet with GPS to track him. In addition, he may not be in Washington, except for court appearances and meeting with his lawyer. He also may not operate an aircraft and must stay away from the White House and Capitol.

Hughes was supported in the courtroom by several activists sympathetic to his call to get money out of politics.

Hughes told reporters outside, “I accept the consequences of what I did, because I believe it is critical that we return our democracy to the people.”

Both Hughes and his lawyer referred to the landing as “civil disobedience.”

He said he is not eager for jail time and would consider a plea.

“I will never do anything like this again,” he said. “But I would not do anything different.”

Hughes was presented with a stamp featuring his photo by activists from the group Code Pink whose representatives call Hughes “an American hero.”

He is next due in court at on May 27 for a status hearing.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Colorado Town on Edge as Authorities Consider Serial Shooter Angle

ABC News(WINDSOR, Colo.) — The FBI has joined a probe into whether a possible serial shooter is on the loose in rural Colorado after a man was fatally shot while biking on a stretch of road recently.

John Jacoby, 48, was found dead near his bike Monday in Windsor, Colorado. Local authorities, who have since called in agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said it is the first homicide in Windsor in eight years.

Residents said Jacoby, reportedly a part-time parks worker and grocery store bagger who walked or rode his bike everywhere, was known by many people and loved by all.

A memorial was erected where his body was found. Investigators say they are now looking into whether Jacoby’s slaying is linked to a mysterious shooting on a nearby highway in April.

On April 22, Cori Romero, 20, was shot in the neck while driving along Interstate 25 near Fort Collins, Colorado. Romero said initially she didn’t think she’d been shot. She thought that her window had been shattered by an unknown object and that glass had punctured her skin.

“You don’t really think that something like that would happen to you, just driving home from work,” Romero said.

Investigators are now concerned that the two cases could be linked. In recent weeks, several other cars, including a sheriff’s jail van, also have had windows blown out. It wasn’t clear whether gunfire was the cause. The news has residents on edge, though.

“I think obviously people are going to be concerned when they hear of something like this, especially with two incidents within a relatively close proximity to each other,” said David Moore, a spokesman for the Larimer County sheriff.

The Pelican Fest Triathlon that was originally scheduled for the weekend in Windsor has been canceled. The organizer posted on Facebook that it was not comfortable with the potential risk. Meanwhile, there are heightened patrols on the interstate and investigators are hoping for a break.

“It would be extremely helpful if we could get a citizen to come forward,” Moore said.

Police say they have no suspects.

ABC News Videos | ABC Entertainment News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Flooding, Storms to Threaten Central US over Memorial Day Weekend

ABC News(NEW YORK) — It’s that time of year again. Time to dust off the barbecue and replace coats with bathing suits. Memorial Day weekend is finally here, the unofficial start of summer.

Warm sunshine is expected on both coasts, which is great news for the beaches, but that isn’t the case for the plain states, the Midwest and central parts of the country.

The East Coast will see temperatures climb throughout the weekend from Florida to New Jersey.

By Monday, some spots could reach the mid- to upper-80s in the Mid-Atlantic states. New England will be a bit milder, with highs topping out in the 60s and 70s. Dry weather is on tap for much of the coast, with a bright mix of sun and clouds — great beach weather.

Out West, more sunshine and warm temperatures, especially for Southern California and the Southwest. The Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies could see some wet weather throughout the weekend. Scattered showers with mostly cloudy skies are expected with cooler temperatures in the 60s.

The main trouble area for the weekend is across the plain states and the Midwest, where scattered thunderstorms, some severe, will threaten the area each day of the holiday weekend, and could put a damper on any outdoor activities. Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are possible from the Southern Plains to the Midwest, mainly in the afternoon and evening hours from Saturday through Monday.

A bigger concern with these storms will be the potential for significant flooding over the weekend, especially in parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Texas was in an exceptional drought the past 3 to 5 years, and with these recent rains this month they are finally seeing some relief. But all of this rain so fast is causing dangerous flash flooding.

In Oklahoma City, they’ve already received nearly 14 inches this month, and with more rain on the way, May 2015 will likely go down as the wettest month on record there.

From Texas to Oklahoma, flash flood watches are posted through the holiday weekend for an additional three to six inches of rain. On top of already saturated ground, this could become a life-threatening flood situation, and anyone with outdoor plans should pay attention to severe and flash flood warnings in their area.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Rogue Wave Slams Whale Watching Boat, Injuring Eight Students

Obtained by ABC News(CAPE COD, Mass.) — A rogue wave slammed into a boat carrying students on a whale watching trip off of Massachusetts Wednesday, sending eight to the hospital.

The boat — the Captain John & Son II — was carrying 112 people, all part of a high school group from New York, when it was struck by a wave, according to ABC-affiliated station WCVB-TV. The students on the 76-foot boat were whale watching off of Cape Cod.

“Everyone went sliding down because no one was holding on,” student Marisa Kehley said. “I was terrified. I didn’t think that waves that big could hit a boat.”

The wave, as high as eight feet, combined with 20-knot winds to create conditions so rough that some of the passengers on board the boat passed out.

Emergency crews were waiting when the boat reached the dock, and eight people were taken to an area hospital, many of them suffering cuts and bruises. All of the students were later released from the hospital.

The situation had some students fearful of going back on the water.

“I never want to go on another whale watch again,” Kehley said. “I didn’t think that the ocean was going to be that bad.”

ABC News Videos | ABC Entertainment News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

California Oil Spill Has Deadly Effect on Wildlife

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — Two days after a ruptured pipeline leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil off the California shore, wildlife — including pelicans — have been found coated in oil on the beach.

At least one bird was found dead even as teams from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife combed the area looking for injured animals. According to the department at least 272 people are taking part in the clean-up effort.

On Facebook the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response said they have sent at least five pelicans to rehabilitation centers.

The oil leak was first reported around noon on Tuesday in southern California. The pipeline was built in 1991 by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, which said it shut down the flow of oil.

“Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact,” the company said in an earlier statement.

A day after the spill, oil could be seen on nearly every rock in Refugio as crews worked to clean up the area. Further south along the coast, one beach was nearly covered with crude oil Wednesday before it apparently was washed to sea before Thursday morning. The pungent crude oil smell lingered in the area as crew members in white suits worked on Rufugio beach to clean the area.

The Refugio state beach is often packed with campers during Memorial Day weekend, but will now be closed indefinitely as crews operate to clean that beach and other coastlines.

Officials said there’s a potential that far more oil leaked into the Pacific ocean through the faulty pipeline with a worst case scenario at 105,000 gallons.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

California Oil Spill Has Deadly Effect on Wildlife

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — Two days after a ruptured pipeline leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil off the California shore, wildlife — including pelicans — have been found coated in oil on the beach.

At least one bird was found dead even as teams from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife combed the area looking for injured animals. According to the department at least 272 people are taking part in the clean-up effort.

On Facebook the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response said they have sent at least five pelicans to rehabilitation centers.

The oil leak was first reported around noon on Tuesday in southern California. The pipeline was built in 1991 by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, which said it shut down the flow of oil.

“Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact,” the company said in an earlier statement.

A day after the spill, oil could be seen on nearly every rock in Refugio as crews worked to clean up the area. Further south along the coast, one beach was nearly covered with crude oil Wednesday before it apparently was washed to sea before Thursday morning. The pungent crude oil smell lingered in the area as crew members in white suits worked on Rufugio beach to clean the area.

The Refugio state beach is often packed with campers during Memorial Day weekend, but will now be closed indefinitely as crews operate to clean that beach and other coastlines.

Officials said there’s a potential that far more oil leaked into the Pacific ocean through the faulty pipeline with a worst case scenario at 105,000 gallons.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Sources: DNA on Pizza Crust Aiding Search for DC Murder Suspect

Daron Dylon Wint, 34, seen in this undated police handout, is wanted in connection with a quadruple homicide which occurred May 14, 2015, in northwest Washington. (Metropolitan Police Department)(LANHAM, Md.) — Authorities searched a Maryland home overnight in the investigation of a deadly mansion murder, going through the trash and removing bags of evidence — but in the end it was a piece of pizza crust that could lead to the suspect’s arrest.

Daron Dylon Wint, 34, was identified on Wednesday as the key suspect in the quadruple slaying and arson attack in Northwest, a section of Washington, D.C. A court issued an arrest warrant for Wint with “murder one while armed,” authorities said.

Two sources familiar with the case told ABC News that DNA found on the crust of a Domino’s pizza that had been delivered to the house led authorities to identify Wint as the suspect.

Police visited a home in Lanham, Maryland, and removed three bags of items in relation to the investigation.

Wint’s stepmother, speaking to ABC News, called Wint “hostile.”

“He doesn’t listen,” said the woman, who has not been identified. “You try to tell him and guide him the right way, but he thinks he knows the law … more than anybody else. He was very argumentative. Everywhere he goes there’s an argument … very arrogant.”

Savvas Savopoulos and his wife Amy, their 10-year-old son Phillip and longtime housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa were found dead May 14. According to a source familiar with the case, only the boy was burned to death — the other victims were doused with gasoline and stabbed.

Police reports show that the victims made a flurry of calls the day of the fire. Additionally, Savopoulos’ personal assistant dropped off a package containing $40,000 in cash to the home, the source said.

Bernardo Alfaro, Figuera’s husband, told ABC News in an exclusive interview that he became alarmed when his wife didn’t come home.

“I didn’t hear from her, and every time I call the phone, it just going straight to voicemail,” he said.

After Alfaro couldn’t reach his wife, he drove to the house, knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. But after Savapolous called him saying he’d call back, Alfaro went home, waiting for a call that never came.

The house was engulfed in flames hours later, authorities said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Second Marine Dies After Osprey Crash in Hawaii

iStock/Thinkstock(WAIMANALO, Hawaii) — A second Marine has died as a result of injuries he sustained when an Osprey aircraft experienced a hard landing during a training flight in Hawaii, officials said.

Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan, 21, of Maricopa, Arizona, died Tuesday, according to a release from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

One other Marine was also killed Sunday, when the aircraft disappeared behind a cloud of red dust as it began to land around 11:40 a.m. at Oahu’s Bellows Air Force Station.

“Lance Cpl. Determan represents the best America has to offer,” said Col Vance L. Cryer, commanding officer, 15th MEU. “Our country and our Corps are poorer for his loss, but his example will continue to inspire us.”

The Osprey was carrying 22 U.S. service members when it crashed. According to the Marines, 21 Marines and one Navy corpsman were on board. Three others remain hospitalized, but in stable condition.

Investigators said on Monday that they were not sure why the aircraft went down in Hawaii but that an investigation was ongoing and that there would be no change in Osprey flights.

“It’s too soon to determine exactly what caused the crash,” the Pentagon’s Warren said. “As of now there have been no safety messages, no adjustments to operations.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Washington DC Police Name Suspect in Fatal Mansion Fire

Metropolitan Police Department(WASHINGTON) — Police in Washington, D.C., Wednesday named a suspect in a fatal mansion fire that killed four people last week.

The Metropolitan Police Department said officers were searching for Daron Wint, 34, after a court issued an arrest warrant charging him with “Murder One while Armed.”

Police did not say what led them to Wint.

The fire killed the homeowners — Savvas Savopoulos and his wife, Amy — along with their 10-year-old son Phillip and their longtime housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa.

The Metropolitan Police Department has offered a reward of $25,000 per victim to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →