Review Category : Top Stories

Which State Has the Fastest Internet Speed?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Virginia is for lovers … of high speed Internet.

The southern state boasts the fastest connection in the United States, according to Broadview Networks.

Rounding out the top five are Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington D.C.

Alaska comes in last — with seven megabits per second, or about half the speed of Virginia’s connection. Along with Alaska, rounding out the bottom five are West Virginia, Montana, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Broadview Networks

In the map, dark green represents high speed connections, while lighter green denotes slower speeds. It shows speedy Internet connections on the West and East coasts and around the Great Lakes states.

Broadview Networks, a communications and cloud services provider, created the visualization based on Akamai Technologies’ “State of the Internet” report.

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Which State Has the Fastest Internet Speed?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Virginia is for lovers … of high speed Internet.

The southern state boasts the fastest connection in the United States, according to Broadview Networks.

Rounding out the top five are Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington D.C.

Alaska comes in last — with seven megabits per second, or about half the speed of Virginia’s connection. Along with Alaska, rounding out the bottom five are West Virginia, Montana, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Broadview Networks

In the map, dark green represents high speed connections, while lighter green denotes slower speeds. It shows speedy Internet connections on the West and East coasts and around the Great Lakes states.

Broadview Networks, a communications and cloud services provider, created the visualization based on Akamai Technologies’ “State of the Internet” report.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Volunteers Needed To Prep Hot Air Balloons This Weekend

8/8/14 – 10:19 A.M.

If you’ve ever wanted to get up close with the balloons invovled in Flag City BalloonFest, this weekend is your chance. Volunteers are needed to help out Sunday morning…

Audio: Deb Decker

Deb Decker is with BalloonFest, and says volunteers will work with the specialty balloons. If you’re interested in helping out, you can get more information at Emory Adams Park or by calling (419)306-3939.

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Two Arrested Following High Speed Chase That Started In Findlay

8/8/14 – 4:53 A.M.

A high speed chase in Hancock and Wyandot Counties led to the arrest of two Columbus women Thursday night. The Findlay Police Department reports the chase started around 7:10 p.m. in the 1200 block of Tiffin Avenue. Police officers recognized a car that matched the description of a car used in a theft at the Tiffin Avenue Radio Shack.

The driver fled, speeding down Main Street and West Main Cross before turning onto the interstate. The chase continued on State Route 15 and U.S. 23 before Wyandot County Sheriff’s Deputies used spike strips at the county line. Another set of spike strips had to be used near the U.S. 23 / U.S. 30 interchange before the driver finally pulled over.

22-year-olds Jolisha McDonald and Danielle White were both taken into custody. The chase lasted nearly 30 minutes.


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Obama Authorizes Air Strikes, Humanitarian Aid Mission in Iraq

Jared Rizzi(WASHINGTON) — President Obama said Thursday night he has authorized air strikes if necessary to protect American interests in Iraq.

The United States is also sending cargo planes to drop pallets of humanitarian aid and supplies to stranded Iraqi citizens threatened by the militant Islamic group ISIS, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The airdrop mission has been completed, the president said.

The emergency effort is being deployed to help a group of 40,000 Yazidis, a group of ethnic Kurds, who fled villages in northern Iraq under threat from ISIS.

The Yazidis fled to the Sinjar Mountains, in a remote part of northern Iraq near the border of Syria, where they are stuck without food or water while ISIS forces are gathered at the base of the mountains.

ISIS has overtaken much of the northern part of Iraq, including the city of Mosul, over the past two months. They are simultaneously waging campaigns for territory in Syria and Lebanon in their quest to create a unified Islamic state encompassing territory from all three countries.

The Iraqi government has had little success battling ISIS.

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Oklahoma Teacher Accused of Showing Up Drunk, Pantless on First Day at Work

iStock/Thinkstock(WAGONER, Okla.) — An Oklahoma teacher was arrested for allegedly showing up drunk, pantless and shoeless to school on her first day on the job, police said.

Lorie Ann Hill, 49, was arrested on Monday after she showed up for her first day of work at Wagoner High School intoxicated, pantless, and shoeless, according to the Wagoner Police Department.

“She was found in an empty classroom by an assistant principal,” Bob Haley, police chief at the Wagoner Police Department, told ABC News on Thursday. “He found her with no pants on. He has never seen her before.”

The police officer on scene could “smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath,” according to a police report obtained by ABC News.

“She admitted drinking before entering the building,” Haley said.

Hill, a newly-hired teacher at the school, told the police officer she was drinking orange juice and vodka on her way to work, the police report stated.

The officer then performed field sobriety tests on Hill, and she failed all the tests, the report said.

When the police officer asked her if she had any more vodka left, she said there was more in her car, which was parked in the school parking lot.

Police booked Hill on a charge of public intoxication.

Haley said there isn’t a credible witness to prove that Hill drove to school under the influence of alcohol.

Hill was arraigned on Tuesday and a judge set bail at $149. After pleading not guilty, she was released from jail Tuesday night.

Wagoner High School officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

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US Begins Humanitarian Airdrops in Iraq

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The United States is sending cargo planes to drop pallets of humanitarian aid and supplies to stranded Iraqi citizens threatened by the militant Islamic group ISIS, the White House announced on Thursday.

The air drops have begun, officials told ABC News.

The emergency effort is being deployed to help a group of 40,000 Yazidis, a group of ethnic Kurds, who fled villages in northern Iraq under threat from ISIS.

The Yazidis fled to the Sinjar Mountains, in a remote part of northern Iraq near the border of Syria, where they are stuck without food or water while ISIS forces are gathered at the base of the mountains.

ISIS has overtaken much of the northern part of Iraq, including the city of Mosul, over the past two months. They are simultaneously waging campaigns for territory in Syria and Lebanon in their quest to create a unified Islamic state encompassing territory from all three countries.

The Iraqi government has had little success battling ISIS.

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This Cookie Company’s CEO Is 10 Years Old

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Cory Nieves, a 10-year-old who goes by Mr. Cory, sure knows how to market a product.

“My favorite is the chocolate chip,” he told ABC News of the cookies he makes under his company, Mr. Cory’s Cookies. “I come up with all the recipes, and oatmeal raisin has no sugar added.”

He speaks of his expansion plans for the company, including trying to land corporate accounts. Not surprising of a CEO, except this CEO hasn’t even entered the fifth grade yet.

Mr. Cory’s Cookies started in 2009 as a stand selling hot cocoa, cookies, and lemonade, until someone reported his business to the health department.

“He was really discouraged and sad, but they also helped him to incorporate the business legally,” Mr. Cory’s mother, Lisa Howard, told ABC News. “Now, he does a lot of events with local car dealerships, hospitals, hair salons, banks and a lot of corporate offices where we live in Englewood, New Jersey.”

Now that it’s summertime, Mr. Cory’s days are booked solid with events, markets and more. Once school returns, Howard spends her days doing his deliveries.

“He loves checking his emails. He’s really ongoing with it. He learns math really well with his business more than in school,” Howard said. “Sometimes, the school he goes to incorporates what he does into the curriculum. The kids love it.”

It’s not strictly business for Mr. Cory though.

“He enjoys his kid life with playdates,” said Howard, 28. “As he got older, he would say, ‘I love doing the cookie business, mommy. It makes me happy.’ I figure, at the end of the day, running a business is going to teach him structure, how to be a man, how to take his life seriously, how to have morals.”

Looking ahead, Mr. Cory has a simple mission.

“It’s really fun and you get to eat a lot of cookies,” he said. “I just want to make it expand and let everyone have cookies.”

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Why Control of a Dam in Iraq Is Life or Death for Half Million People

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) — There are conflicting reports out Thursday about whether the extremist group ISIS has taken control over Iraq’s largest and most dangerous dam, which Iraqi officials had previously said was safe under the protection of Kurdish forces.

ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, wrote on their website Thursday that they are in control of the two-mile-wide Mosul Dam, echoing claims the group made over the weekend. Iraqi media reports and a Kurdish official have supported the claim.

But late Wednesday and early Thursday, two Iraqi government officials, one from the Ministry of Water Resources and the other familiar with the dam’s operations, told ABC News ISIS had not taken the dam and said that it is functioning as usual.

The question of control over the dam is a critical one for the millions of Iraqis who live downstream of the Mosul Dam all the way down the Tigris to Baghdad, because if the dam was taken over, ISIS would be in control of what could effectively be a major weapon of mass destruction — one that the U.S. military said in 2006 was, without the help of brutal jihadists, already “the most dangerous dam in the world.”

It wouldn’t even have to be sabotaged to fail — if an extremist group took control and wanted the dam to break, they may be able to simply do nothing.

The gargantuan dam, built in the mid-1980s, was constructed on “a foundation of soluble soils that are continuously dissolving, resulting in the formation of cavities and voids underground that place the dam at risk for failure,” said an urgent letter sent from David Petraeus, then commanding general of the U.S. Army, and Ryan Crocker, then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2007.

The dam requires “extraordinary engineering measures” — namely constant grouting operations — to fill in the holes and “maintain the structural integrity and operating capability of the dam,” according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) report from the same year.

For 30 years — and through several period of violent conflict — the Iraqi government has managed to keep the dam upright by continuously pumping in literally tons of grout, like, as a geotechincal expert who worked on the dam said, the little Dutch boy.

But the U.S. says any failure of the dam could be “catastrophic.”

“[T]he most severe impact of a dam failure would be [for] the City of Mosul, located 50 kilometers [31 miles] downstream of the dam,” Petraeus’ and Crocker’s 2007 letter says. “Assuming a worse [sic] case scenario, an instantaneous failure of Mosul Dam filled to its maximum operating level could result in a flood wave over 20 meters [65 feet] deep at the City of Mosul, which would result in a significant loss of life and property.”

Flood waters, albeit at a lower level, could reach all the way to Baghdad, more than 200 miles further down the Tigris, depending on the performance of another smaller dam further downriver.

A 2011 report written by an USACE official and published in Water Power magazine estimated failure “could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths.”

The Water Power article states that Iraq is “fully aware of the challenges facing the ageing structure,” but as USACE civil engineer David Paul told the magazine at the time, “there is no precedence for what they are trying to achieve” in finding a more permanent solution to the dam’s problems than never-ending grouting — including the proposed use of an incredibly large “cutoff wall” to help mitigate the seepage.

There are other measures that can be taken, such as keeping the reservoir levels lower than the maximum to reduce pressure on the dam; that was one of several recommendations the U.S. government made in 2007.

But none totally fix the problem and the geotechnical expert who spoke to ABC News said that he didn’t have reason to believe the dam is any better off today than it was when the USACE report was published in 2007.

That was also before a powerful jihadist group borne of the Syrian civil war began its deadly march across Iraq and reportedly up to Mosul Dam’s doorstep. Like Thursday, earlier this week, there were conflicting reports about whether ISIS had taken control of the dam during a previous 24-hour offensive in the area.

On Tuesday, the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources circulated a statement saying the dam was not under ISIS control but has been protected by Kurdish peshmerga troops. The government department reiterated the claim earlier Thursday.

A second Iraqi official involved with the dam’s operations said Wednesday that grouting supplies were safe and there was plenty in store.

“Grouting is still ongoing and never stopped,” said the official, who asked his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

But what if ISIS does eventually overtake the dam? Or what if it already has?

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the Mosul Dam “has been in the sights of [ISIS] since its offensive began in June to further threaten and terrorize the Iraqi people.”

In addition to flooding concerns, the dam is also a “key source” of power and water for the surrounding area — making it a vital piece of infrastructure either way, another State Department spokesperson told ABC News Wednesday. An American intelligence source agreed and said that ISIS’ potential control over and exploitation of power and water is a focus of U.S. intelligence community.

The Iraqi official involved in the dam’s operations refused to respond to the dire hypothetical of ISIS control Wednesday, but a U.S. government official long-familiar with the dam said it’s an unsettling idea made more so by a litany of unanswered questions.

ISIS may not want the dam to fail, considering it controls territory that would be flooded and could leverage their control over the water and power source, but the U.S. official said it would still be up to the jihadist group to keep the grouting going.

“If ISIS does indeed have or gain control of the dam, will they listen to the dam engineers who have been working there for decades and who understand the need for constant grouting? …And then this is the biggie: If they can’t or don’t want to grout, how long will the dam last?…And if it fails, will it be a catastrophic all-at-once failure or more of a slowly building uncontrolled release?” the official told ABC News. “The short answer is no one knows. This is all guesswork anyway.”

The official said that he is not aware of official U.S. calculations about how long the dam would last without grouting but says he understands it to be “on the order of weeks, not months.” The geotechnical expert agreed that “weeks” was a skeptical, but entirely possible estimation.

“The potential for a disaster can’t be ruled by and should be of great concern to all parties involved,” the U.S. official said.

The U.S. State Department told ABC News late Wednesday the department is “monitoring the situation closely.”

Officials at the Pentagon did not immediately respond to questions about whether any contingency plans are in place in case ISIS does take over the dam.

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Survey: Average Interest Rate for Retail Credit Cards Is 23%

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Retail credit cards can burn a hole in your pocket.

A new survey out Thursday shows many big retailers offer cards that come with above average interest.

“[The average interest rate is] 23 percent which is about 8 points higher than the average rate for a credit card,” says industry analyst Matt Schultz at CreditCards.com.

Schultz says some retail cards have lower rates. “The lowest one that we saw was the OfficeMax Visa Signature card,” he adds.

He advises consumers, “Your smartest move is to pay it off at the end of the month” — in other words, pay your balance in full.

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