Review Category : Top Stories

Fiancee of Ebola Doctor Expected to Be Released Saturday

VILevi/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — City officials are expected to release the fiancée of Dr. Craig Spencer, who is quarantined in New York with the Ebola virus, from Bellevue hospital Saturday.

Morgan Dixon is expected to be quarantined at the Manhattan apartment she shared with Spencer, until the end of the 21-day incubation period for Ebola. Two friends of Spencer who spent time with him after his return from West Africa are also quarantined at their homes.

Spencer became the fourth person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States after he was hospitalized Thursday. He developed a fever that morning and alerted authorities, who transported the doctor from his Harlem apartment in a specially designated ambulance.

“We have confidence in the medical care Craig is receiving and we are hoping for a complete recovery,” the Dixon family said in a statement Saturday.

Health officials said he felt tired on Tuesday and then spent a day out in the city on Wednesday. Spencer returned to the U.S. on October 17 after treating Ebola patients for Doctors Without Borders.

“We are very proud of and support the work Craig has been involved with throughout this career,” the Dixon family said.

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Health Worker Quarantined in New Jersey Describes Harrowing Ordeal

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEWARK, N.J.) — Airport officials are poorly handling health care workers returning from Africa, says a nurse who was placed in quarantine at a New Jersey airport and tested negative for Ebola on Saturday.

Kaci Hickox, the nurse who landed at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport on Friday, described the scene at the airport as “a frenzy of disorganization, fear,” in an essay she wrote for Dallas Morning News.

“I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa,” Hickox wrote.

After she told an immigration official that she was returning from Sierra Leone, she was escorted to a quarantine office where she was interrogated by a number of officials, including one from the CDC, she wrote.

Hickox said her interrogators treated her like a criminal.

“One man who must have been an immigration officer because he was wearing a weapon belt that I could see protruding from his white coveralls barked questions at me as if I was a criminal,” she wrote.

Although Hickox showed no signs of Ebola symptoms, she was detained for several hours.

“Four hours after I landed at the airport, an official approached me with a forehead scanner,” she wrote. “My cheeks were flushed, I was upset at being held with no explanation. The scanner recorded my temperature as 101.”

Hickox, who has degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington and Johns Hopkins University, tried to explain that an oral thermometer would have been more accurate and that the scanner was recording a fever because she was upset and her face was flushed.

When it was decided that Hickox had to go to a hospital, she was transported by eight police cars.

“Sirens blared, lights flashed,” Hickox wrote. “Again, I wondered what I had done wrong.”

It wasn’t until she had her temperature and other vitals properly taken with an oral thermometer that officials realized she didn’t have Ebola.

“My blood was taken and tested for Ebola. It came back negative,” Hickox wrote.

Health officials confirmed that a nurse had been quarantined at Newark Liberty International Airport despite not having any symptoms, developing a fever only hours into the quarantine. A preliminary test for Ebola came back negative for the nurse, the state’s Health Department said in a statement Saturday.

Hickox will remain in mandatory quarantine for 21 days.

On Friday, governors in New York and New Jersey announced that they would enforce mandatory quarantines for all travelers who had contact with Ebola-infected people and were arriving from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced a mandatory 21-day home quarantine for high-risk individuals who cared for Ebola patients in the same countries.

The announcements came a day after Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, who treated Ebola patients in Guinea, tested positive for the virus. He is isolated at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control also tightened guidelines on Thursday to require 21-day self-monitoring — but not quarantines — for travelers to Ebola-affected regions.

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Guardrail Manufacturer to Halt Device Sales Amid Safety Concerns

zebra3/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Trinity Industries is halting sales of its controversial ET-Plus guardrail system, a device meant to protect motorists across the country that instead has been blamed by accident victims for dozens of injuries and deaths.

The move came late Friday in response to a request by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct crash tests on the device or face suspension of its eligibility for sale. Earlier this week Trinity lost a civil trial in Texas in which the jury found the company had defrauded the government by misrepresenting changes made to the guardrail nearly a decade ago.

“In light of FHWA’s request, the right thing to do is to stop shipping the product until the additional testing has been completed,” Gregg Mitchell, President of Trinity Highway Products, wrote in a press release. “We have confidence in the ET-Plus System as designed and crash tested by Texas A&M Transportation Institute. It has met all tests previously requested by FHWA. We take the safety of the products we manufacture very seriously.”

The company says it will work with the FHWA on further crash testing and will not ship any more ET-Plus units until testing is completed.

The announcement came at the end of a week that saw more states suspend the installation of the popular end terminal pending further investigation, a demand by the FHWA to further crash test the ET-Plus, and a mammoth jury verdict in the federal whistleblower case in Marshall, Texas. In that case, Trinity was found to have defrauded the federal government and has been ordered to pay $175 million.

At the center of the case were modifications made by Trinity Industries in 2005 to the design of guardrail end terminals used alongside many roads from coast to coast, and the company’s failure at the time to disclose all the changes to the federal government or any state transportation departments.

The modified guardrail, called the ET-Plus, was the subject of an ABC News 20/20 investigation in September that looked into allegations from crash victims that the modified guardrail can malfunction when struck from the front by their vehicles’. Rather than ribboning out and absorbing the impact as designed, the guardrails “locked up” and speared straight through the cars, severing the motorists’ limbs in some cases.

The whistleblower in the case against Trinity, a competitor of the company’s who uncovered damning documents indicating the company made the changes to its guardrail end terminal to save money, told ABC News Saturday that he believes the company’s decision to stop selling the ET-Plus is just one more step to a total recall of the product from all U.S. highways.

“We are getting closer to that product recall,” said Josh Harman. “A product recall is something that just has to happen, because too many lives have already been lost.”

In addition to their promise to work with the government, Trinity has indicated it will appeal the Texas court’s decision in the whistleblower case, saying the ruling “will not withstand legal scrutiny.”

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Department of Transportation to Review NHTSA Following Handling of Automobile Recall

csakisti/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Transportation will conduct a review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on the heels of a number of automobile recalls this year, a senior administration official confirmed to ABC News.

The New York Times reports that the administration is concerned about the NHTSA’s handling of recent recalls. Earlier this week, the agency urged drivers to “act immediately” to have repairs done regarding faulty airbags, however, several automakers were unprepared to make those repairs.

Additionally, a tool on the NHTSA website that helps drivers identify whether their car is affected by outstanding recalls was non-responsive for more than a day.

The most recent recall, of Takata Company airbags, involved nearly eight million vehicles.

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Federal Judge Issues Restraining Order Blocking Sports Betting in NJ

AndreyPopov/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing New Jersey racetracks and casinos from allowing sports gambling.

Gov. Chris Christie had signed a law earlier this month repealing the state’s bad on sports wagering, and one racetrack was expecting to start taking bets on National Football League games on Sunday. The judge issued the restraining order on Friday, however, after a request from the four major professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Administration.

The judge said that the leagues showed they would be irreparably harmed if sports gambling was allowed. New Jersey would have been just the second state in the nation — after Nevada — to allow sports betting.

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Pa. Company Recalling Nearly 32,000 Pounds of Chicken Products

neirfy/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A Pennsylvania company is recalling nearly 32,000 pounds of gluten-free breaded chicken products that may be contaminated with bacteria.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture said in a press release Saturday that Murry’s Inc. is recalled 31,689 pounds of chicken products that may contain Staphylococcal entertoxin. All of the products have a “best by” date of Aug. 9, 2015.

The recall affects 12-ounce boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets” and 10.5-ounce boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast.” All products subject to recall have the establishment number “P-516″ inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products were shipped nationwide.

The USDA says that the toxins that may have contaminated the products are “fast acting, sometimes causing illness in as little as 30 minutes.” Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea.” Most patients do recover after one to three days.

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Federal Judge Issues Restraining Order Blocking Sports Betting in NJ

AndreyPopov/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing New Jersey racetracks and casinos from allowing sports gambling.

Gov. Chris Christie had signed a law earlier this month repealing the state’s bad on sports wagering, and one racetrack was expecting to start taking bets on National Football League games on Sunday. The judge issued the restraining order on Friday, however, after a request from the four major professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Administration.

The judge said that the leagues showed they would be irreparably harmed if sports gambling was allowed. New Jersey would have been just the second state in the nation — after Nevada — to allow sports betting.

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SpaceX Cargo Ship Expected to Splashdown Saturday Afternoon

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was released from the International Space Station on Saturday morning and is expected to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at about 3:39 p.m.

The spacecraft was designed to deliver cargo and people to “orbiting destinations,” according to the SpaceX website. “Dragon made history in 2012 when it became the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and safely return cargo to earth, a feat previously achieved only by governments.”

NASA says that the capsule is expected to land about 265 miles west of the Baja peninsula.

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Suspects in Sacramento Area Shooting Identified

aijohn784/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that both suspects in the shooting that left two officers dead and an officer and a bystander injured.

The SCSD identified the two suspects as Marcelo Marquez, 34, and Janelle Marquez Monroy, 38. Both suspects have addresses of record in Utah.

The pair were each booked for felony carjacking and attempted murder, while Marcelo Marquez was also booked for felony murder.

Neither suspect had a criminal history prior to this arrest, the SCSD said.

Authorities said Deputy Danny Oliver of the SCSD was shot in the head on Friday when he approached a suspicious vehicle in a motel parking lot. The suspects allegedly carjacked a vehicle and drove north to the location where two Placer County deputies were shot. One of those two later died.

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Judge Denies Request from Defense Team for James Holmes

Photo by Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) — A district court judge on Friday denied a request by the defense lawyers for James Holmes, the movie theater shooter, requesting an extension to the Oct. 29 deadline to file motions related to his second Court-ordered sanity examination.

The defense argued that it had not received the report from Dr. William Reid until Oct. 15, just two weeks before the deadline. “There are simply not enough hours in the day…to not only watch, but mentally process and digest 22 hours of forensic interviews of their client…flesh out all of the legal issues involved, and draft all of the motions that will need to be drafted concerning Dr. Reid’s report by October 29,” the defense argued in a complaint.

Judge Carlos A. Samour, Jr. disagreed, saying in his denial of the request that “there are 336 hours in a two-week period. Considering the manpower and the extensive resources available to defense counsel, and considering further how much notice the defense and its experts have enjoyed regarding the deadline at issue, two weeks are sufficient to file any appropriate motions.”

The judge did give one exception for motions “strictly related to the discoverable documentation from Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo underlying the second sanity examination.” For such motions, the new deadline will be Nov. 20.

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