Review Category : Top Stories

Kentucky Boy Baptizes Himself After Pastor Takes Too Long

Terrence D Warrick(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — It was a sign…things were taking too long.

A 6-year-old Kentucky boy took matters into his own hands during his baptism last weekend, dunking himself in the water because he thought the pastor was dragging out his introductory statement.

An impatient Jordan Warrick left the congregation of West End Baptist Church in Louisville rolling in laughter after he took the bull by the horns and dipped himself in the water, which he thought was “too cold,” his dad said.

“Do it,” Jordan shouted with excitement. After pinching his nose and dipping his head into the water with a splash, he emerged to declare, “I’m baptized!”

His father, Terrence Warrick, 40, said “the whole congregation busted out laughing.”

And the move caught his mother, Inda Swift, 28, by surprise.

“I was excited. I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting it,” she said.

There was a time, however, when laughter was a stranger to the family. Jordan was born three months premature and has had to undergo several surgeries. His twin brother didn’t make it.

“He always said he wanted to go to heaven to see his brother,” Jordan’s father said.

Swift said Jordan had been talking since the beginning of the year about wanting to get baptized.

“He’s very outgoing and outspoken,” the boy’s mom said.

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Last Orlando Shooting Survivor Discharged from Hospital

(ORLANDO, Fla.) — The last surviving victim of the Pulse nightclub massacre — in which 49 people were killed — has been discharged from the hospital, Orlando Health announced on Twitter Tuesday.

The patient had remained at the hospital since the June 12 shooting. A total of 76 surgeries were performed on 35 shooting victims at the Orlando Regional Medical Center, according to Orlando Health.

The hospital did not provide further details on the discharged patient but said its “hearts and prayers” are with the shooting victims and their families.

As of today, Orlando Regional Medical Center reports that all 35 Pulse victims who were patients at ORMC have been discharged. (1/3)

— Orlando Health (@orlandohealth) September 6, 2016

Additional information is unavailable. Since the incident, surgeons performed 76 operations on the victims. (2/3)

— Orlando Health (@orlandohealth) September 6, 2016

Our hearts and prayers are with the PULSE nightclub victims and their families as we continue to stand in support of our community. (3/3)

— Orlando Health (@orlandohealth) September 6, 2016

Forty-nine people were killed in the shooting at Pulse nightclub, one of Orlando’s most popular LGBT venues.

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Minnesota Man Admits to 1989 Abduction and Murder of Jacob Wetterling

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — A 53-year-old Minnesota man has admitted to abducting and murdering 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989.

Danny Heinrich, who was a suspect in the abduction, led investigators to Wetterling’s remains last week nearly 27 years after his disappearance in St. Joseph Township, Minnesota.

Heinrich admitted that he kidnapped, sexually assaulted and killed Wetterling as part of a plea deal for 25 child pornography charges. The other charges were dismissed in exchange for pleading guilty to one charge and his confession.

“Danny Heinrich is no longer a person of interest,” said U.S. Andrew Luger for the District of Minnesota in a release. “He is the confessed murderer of Jacob Wetterling and nearly 27 years after he committed this heinous crime, he has been brought to justice. And Jacob is finally home.”

Heinrich faces a federal prison sentence of 20 years.

He also admitted to abducting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old in January 1989.

Wetterling was abducted on the evening of October 22, 1989 on his way home from a convenience store with his 10-year-old brother Trevor and 11-year-old best friend Aaron. Heinrich confronted the trio and told Trevor and Aaron to run into the woods and not look back or he would shoot them. By the time the two boys came back, Heinrich and Wetterling were gone.

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At Least 3 Killed in Helicopter Crash in Florida

iStock/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Fla.) — At least three people were killed in a helicopter crash in Palm Bay, Florida, authorities told ABC News.

“My understanding is that no one walked away,” Brevard County Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Don Walker said.

The Sikorsky S-61N crashed approximately 10 miles southwest of the Melbourne International Airport Tuesday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

According to the Palm Bay Police Department, the chopper — a “military style aircraft” that was not operating in any military capacity — was reportedly “flying low.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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At Least 1 Killed in Helicopter Crash in Florida

iStock/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Fla.) — At least one person has been killed in a helicopter crash in Palm Bay, Florida, authorities told ABC News.

“My understanding is that no one walked away,” Brevard County Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Don Walker said.

The Sikorsky S-61N crashed approximately 10 miles southwest of the Melbourne International Airport Tuesday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

According to the Palm Bay Police Department, the chopper — a “military style aircraft” that was not operating in any military capacity — was reportedly “flying low.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Trans Teen Returns to Virginia School as Supreme Court Mulls Bathroom Access

iStock/Thinkstock(GLOUCESTER, Va.) — Students returned to school in Gloucester, Virginia on Tuesday under a cloud of uncertainty, as the state awaits a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding transgender bathroom access.

Gloucester, in particular, faces scrutiny as Virginians await word from the Supreme Court, because of a protest from Gloucester High School senior Gavin Grimm.

Grimm, a female-to-male student, sued the school board over their policy that requires students to use the restroom associated with its biological gender at birth or a private, single-stall restroom. A series of appeals that followed eventually brought the issue to the highest court in the land.

Grimm will not be permitted to use the same restroom as his male classmates — although he started living his life as a boy several years ago, he said.

The Supreme Court agreed in August to allow the Gloucester County School board the right to stop Grimm from using the boy’s bathroom — at least until the justices decide whether or not to examine an appeals court ruling of the case. Of the eight justices currently serving on the Supreme Court, four of them must agree to review Grimm’s case against the School Board for it to go forward.

Should it go forward, it would help bring one of the most fiercely debated cultural issues of 2016 that much closer to settlement and affect the lives of many transgender students beyond Grimm.

Grimm first received permission to use the boys’ restroom at the high school in 2014 for several weeks, after informing the school about his transition.

Then the school board adopted its current policy in December of 2014 as a response to the complaints of parents. The board voted 6-1 in favor of the new policy, according to public meeting minutes posted online.

The Gloucester County School Board did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News regarding the case.

Claire Gastañaga, the Executive Director of the ACLU Virginia, the organization that represents Grimm, told ABC News that she is “disappointed” with the fight the school board has waged against her client, and suggested that they “caved to pressure from parents” without giving appropriate consideration to the feelings of their student.

“Gavin has a right to be free from discrimination,” Gastañaga told ABC News.

She said that the ACLU expects the Supreme Court to review the case this fall.

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Authorities Searching for Group Apparently Caught on Video Toppling Iconic Rock Formation in Oregon

iStock/Thinkstock(PACIFIC CITY, Ore.) — Authorities are searching for a group of people recently caught on video appearing to topple over an iconic natural sandstone formation along Oregon’s northwest coast.

The rock feature, known as “The Duckbill,” was first found in shambles last week in Pacific City, Oregon, according to Oregon Parks and Recreation’s associate director Chris Havel. The formation had been a part of Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

State officials initially believed the rock had fallen naturally, but they later became aware of a video online apparently showing a group of people pushing down the formation, Havel told ABC News Tuesday.

The video was filmed by a man named David Kalas, ABC Portland affiliate KATU-TV reported.

Kalas had been helping a friend film the coast with a drone when he said he noticed a group of people trying to push the rock pedestal down, he told KATU.

At first, Kalas laughed to himself because he “thought there was no way that they could knock it down,” but then he saw the formation start “wobbling,” he said.

Kalas managed to get his phone out just in time to catch the moment the group apparently toppled over the sandstone feature.

“I asked them, you know, why they knocked the rock down, and the reply I got was their buddy broke their leg earlier because of that rock,” Kalas told KATU. “They basically told me themselves that it was a safety hazard and that they did the world or Oregon a favor.”

The group also stood on top of the crumbled sandstone and snapped a few pictures before leaving, Kalas said. He added that he did not know who the alleged vandals were or catch their names, but he hopes his video will help catch them.

“I just want them to learn a lesson,” he said, “because if they do this here, they will probably do it elsewhere.”

ABC News was unable to reach Kalas.

Director Havel said Oregon State Parks, along with State Police, has now launched an investigation into the video.

He explained that the sandstone in the area has been around for over 18 million years and that the formation was possibly “thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands years old.”

“I also think the bigger message here is that everyone who has ever crossed the safety fence and walked on the rock played a role in advancing the demise of this natural feature,” Havel said.

“We hope that this story will remind everyone to be more mindful when visiting any park, not just this one.”

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Six-Year-Old Girl Shot in Head Begins 1st Day of School Less Than 1 Month After Injury

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — A determined 6-year-old girl from Chicago is starting her first day of school Tuesday morning, less than one month after she was shot in the head while playing outside with water balloons.

Zariah Muhammad and her uncle were shot Aug. 11 when a gunman walked up to them in the street and opened fire, according to ABC station WLS in Chicago.

A bullet fractured Zariah’s skull, leaving her in the hospital for several days. Her uncle, 22, died from the shooting, WLS reported.

Less than a month after the shooting, Zariah headed off to her first day of first grade Tuesday.

“She’s excited, but she’s nervous at the same time,” her mother, Gloria Muhammad, told ABC News after dropping Zariah off.

Muhammad said Zariah’s planning to focus on improving her reading and getting ahead in math in anticipation of second grade.

“I’m excited,” Muhammad added. “Because a couple of weeks ago it could’ve been totally different.”

Muhammad, who braided her daughter’s hair to cover the bandage on her head, told WLS the shooting has enhanced the fears of the children in their family.

“The only way they feel confident is when everybody in the family is around,” she said. “If we walk around on the street, they want to hurry up and get home. It was never like that before.”

Zariah, meanwhile, now has a career in mind as a result of her injury.

“She wants to be a doctor,” Muhammad told ABC News. “Before [the shooting] she had never been hospitalized.” But while recovering in the hospital “she was able to sit up and see everything the doctors were doing helping her,” she said.

Zariah told WLS she wants to be a doctor “because they help people get better.”

The Chicago Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. As of last month, the shooter remained at large, according to WLS.

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Labor Day Marks End of Bloody Summer in Chicago

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — From Memorial Day weekend, when 25-year-old Mark Lindsey was repeatedly shot while he was sitting in a car near his home, to Labor Day weekend, when two men walked up to a 17-year-old gang member and shot him several times in the back, it has been a long and bloody summer in Chicago.

Thirteen people were fatally shot over Labor Day weekend, the Chicago Tribune reported. It has propelled the total number of homicides so far this year to more than 500.

The three summer months made up almost half of all 2016 homicides to date. Between June 1 and Aug. 31, a total of 227 people were killed in the city, according to the Chicago Police Department.

The summer of violence peaked in August, which became Chicago’s bloodiest month in 20 years. There were 472 shooting victims in August’s 31 days.

Ninety people were killed in August, higher than every other month of the year.

The Summer Spike

When this summer began, “police chiefs around the country were bracing for an increase in violent crime,” said John Cohen, an ABC News contributor who is a former U.S. counter-terrorism official. According to Cohen, urban areas usually have an increase in violent crime in the summer because more people are outside. And this summer specifically, he said major U.S. cities were predicting an uptick in violent crime based on increases seen at the end of last year and early this year.

Cohen said police departments use data to help determine where to expect crime surges, from identifying neighborhoods where past shootings occurred to tracking “relationships between street gangs and drug trafficking organizations.”

Cohen said data can break potential crimes down to the time of day or day of the week, which enables police to take action: they can “increase stops, work probation and parole to look at repeat offenders … [or] identify where illegal guns may be.”

Targeting Repeat Offenders

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson attributes the city’s violence to repeat gun offenders.

According to the Chicago Police Department, a majority of the people involved in violence in the city are either members of gangs, affiliated with gangs or previously had contact with the police department. The Chicago PD said in August that data analysis from the University of Chicago showed them that “nearly 40 percent of those arrested for homicide in 2015 had prior arrests for gun crimes.”

Summer Strategies

Police forces across the country implement summer-specific strategies, like larger patrols, to combat summer violence, according to Cohen.

This June, Chicago police announced initiatives in its “summer strategy,” which included adding more than 150 officers to the streets, expanding bike and foot patrols to enhance community interactions, conducting raids targeting gang members, partnering with the state police on expressways, and even “refining the Department’s overtime system so officers who work overtime do so in their normally assigned beats — allowing them to build on their relationships with residents.”

June: Chicago Cracks the 300’s

But by the end of June, in which 72 murders occurred, the total number of murders for the year climbed to over 300 in the Midwest’s largest city.

No other city came even close to Chicago. The Los Angeles area recorded 244 homicides from January through June. New York — which has a population about three times Chicago’s — had 161 homicides in those six months.

As June ended the Chicago Police Department called the level of crime in the first six months of the year “unacceptable” and cited the violence as “consistently fueled by repeat offenders with ties to gangs and committed with illegal guns.”

The department said at the time it was working “to stem the flow of illegal guns, identify and hold accountable the offenders who are driving the crime, and rebuild public trust in the process.”

After June, the homicide rate dropped slightly in July to 65.

August: The Boiling Point

But in August, the murder rate skyrocketed to 90, making August the bloodiest month in Chicago in two decades.

One of the 90 August victims was Nykea Aldridge, a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, who was caught in crossfire as she walked her newborn child on Chicago’s South Side. Two brothers, both convicted felons who served time in prison, were arrested.

Johnson called Aldridge’s death “an example of why we need to change the way we treat habitual offenders in the city of Chicago.”

She “was just another mother who wanted her children to get an education just like any good parent would,” said Johnson. “Instead her life was cut short by gunfire from two convicted felons who were both out on parole.”

“These two offenders are the prime example of the challenge we face here in Chicago with repeat gun offenders,” he said. They “don’t care who they shoot, don’t care whose life they take and clearly, clearly, don’t fear the consequences of their actions,” he said.

“I’m frustrated, you should be frustrated, all Chicagoans should be frustrated,” Johnson said. “When will enough be enough?”

As August ended, Johnson stressed that laws need to be changed to ensure that repeat offenders, like the brothers arrested for Aldridge’s death, aren’t “on our streets … in the first place.”

“The historical cycle of violence … must come to an end,” Johnson said.

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Ex-Stanford Swimmer Brock Turner Registers as Sex Offender in Ohio

Stanford Univ Dept of Public Safety(DAYTON, Ohio) — Former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, who was sentenced to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus, registered as a sex offender Tuesday morning in his home state of Ohio.

Turner, 21, was released from jail in California Friday morning after serving half of his six-month sentence.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

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