Review Category : Top Stories

Findlay Man Charged With Aggravated Murder

5/24/2016 – 5:48 pm

A Hancock County grand jury has indicted a Findlay man for the murder. The Courier reports that 34-year-old Joel Drain of Findlay was charged Tuesday with aggravated murder, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and retaliation in relation to the death of 56-year-old Randy Grose.

Grose was found dead in his residence at 1824 Sherry Street at 2:35 am on May 14th. Grose lived alone at the residence but the victim and Drain were reported to be long-time acquaintances. Retaliation charges stem from this incident because Grose was reportedly a witness with information regarding Drain’s prior felony case involving felonious assault on April 8, officials said. On that date, Joel Drain allegedly used a knife to stab his father, according to the indictment.

On May 14, Drain allegedly fled from Grose’s home in the victim’s car. Drain eventually turned himself into the Sidney Police Department, who notified Findlay police to check on Grose’s welfare.

Findlay Police found Grose dead inside the residence.

More: The Courier

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Surveillance Footage Released in Killing of Houston Boy, 11

KTRK-TV(HOUSTON) — Authorities released surveillance footage Tuesday that captured a Houston, Texas boy’s journey home from school moments before he was stabbed to death in a brazen daytime attack.

In footage given to police from a neighbor’s home-security system, Josue Flores, 11, could be seen on May 17 at one point crossing the street and then making his way home on the sidewalk. He is carrying a green backpack.

Police said just two blocks from where the footage was taken, the sixth-grader at Marshall Middle School was fatally stabbed around 4:45 p.m. He’d reportedly stayed late at school that day to attend a science club party.

According to police, witnesses said they “heard loud screaming” and saw Josue struggling with someone who eventually then ran off. Police said they found Josue collapsed in the grass near the sidewalk.

“Josue was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital to be treated for multiple stab wounds, but was pronounced dead a short time later,” police said.

Josue’s funeral was held Tuesday at Holy Name Catholic Church. Funds were being raised to help with the cost of funeral expenses.

“I wake up believing it’s just a horrible dream, that I’ll wake up and be able to see my brother again, talk to him about this,” Juan Flores, Josue’s brother, told ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV. “When the burial is over it’s something I have to accept, that it’s reality.”

In a plea for the public’s help, authorities released the surveillance video hoping that it would lead them to the boy’s killer. Investigators are still awaiting results on DNA evidence.

“This is a monstrous crime — and I say that not just as district attorney but as a mother,” Harris County district attorney Devon Anderson said recently during a news conference. “There is a monster who is out among us. You may know who he is. … Your conscience needs to be your guide.”

On May 18, Houston authorities named and arrested a suspect, charging the man with murder in Josue’s slaying. On May 20, however, they announced that charges had been dropped because the man had a confirmed alibi.

“The murderer is still loose at this point,” Lt. Robert Blain said that day during a news conference.

Josue’s attacker is described as a black male, 25 to 30 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighing 180 to 200 pounds. Police said he had short hair and was wearing a black shirt, black pants and had a green jacket over his shoulders at the time of the attack.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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‘Large and Destructive’ Tornado Strikes Kansas, National Weather Service Confirms

ABCNews.com(DODGE CITY, Kan.) — A “large and destructive” tornado hit Kansas four miles southwest of Dodge City, Kansas Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed.

The tornado struck at 6:40 p.m., moving at 20 mph. The NWS called the weather event potentially “deadly” and cautioned residents to “take cover,” adding that mobile homes could be destroyed and homes, businesses and vehicles could sustain considerable damage.

It is unclear how much damage the tornado caused.

A Tornado Warning was issued for Northwestern Ford County until 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. “Catastrophic” hail was also forecast as a possibility.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Bodies of Missing Washington Couple Found in Remote Area

Snohomish County Sheriff(SEATTLE) — The bodies of a Washington State couple who went missing last month after failing to attend a concert with friends have been found, authorities said.

Patrick Shunn, 45, and Monique Patenaude, 46, were found in a remote area a few miles north of their home in Arlington, according to Shari Ireton, Director of Communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives used information they received from suspect Tony Reed, who helped them pinpoint the exact location of the bodies, Ireton said.

Shunn and Patenaude were last seen April 11 after they planned to go to an Iron Maiden concert in Tacoma but never showed up. Neighbors reported them missing the next day.

Days later, police announced they had probable cause for the arrest of Tony Reed and his brother, John. Tony Reed, 49, was taken into custody on May 16 at the U.S.-Mexico border, Ireton said. He was booked into the Snohomish County jail on Saturday and is charged with helping his 53-year-old brother murder the couple.

The brothers fled to Mexico after the murder, according to police. John Reed is still at large. Investigators said they found a car belonging to him on April 16 in Ellensburg, Washington.

He was described by police as 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds with hazel eyes and gray hair.

A cause of death has yet to be determined by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner, Ireton said.

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Two Killed When Amtrak Train Collides with Car in California

Photodisc/Thinkstock(SAN LEANDRO, Calif.) — Two people were killed when an Amtrak train collided with a car in Northern California on Tuesday, the Alameda County Fire Department said.

The crash occurred in San Leandro, a city on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay.

Additional details surrounding the crash were not immediately available.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Four Options Suggested For Court Security Upgrades

5/24/16 – 2:33 P.M.

Four options have been proposed to upgrade security at the courts on Dorney Plaza in Findlay.

Of the four plans recommended by the National Center for State Courts, “Option 1” would create one secure entrance for all three buildings. It would then have corridors connecting the security entrance to the courts. The second plan would be nearly the same as the first, but would also feature a graded pedestrian path to get over or under the corridors. Another plan would connect the municipal building and juvenile/probate court. It would also create a new security entrance for the county court. The fourth plan would see a screening location built for the juvenile probate court, with the county court and the municipal building getting upgrades to security at their respective entrances.

As far as cost goes, depending on the options selected the project could anywhere between $683,000 and $2.9 million. The report from the National Center for State Courts notes that the options that don’t connect all three buildings are not as cost-effective in the long-run as having one security entrance.

All the plans also feature secure parking lots.

Officials from the city, county, and courts met today to discuss the next step in the security upgrade process. The group decided that committees representing the Findlay Municipal Building, Hancock County Courthouse, and the Juvenile/Probate court will all review the proposals. They’ll then come back to the larger group to express any concerns about the plans they might have.

Option 1*:

*Not to Scale

“Option 1” would create a security entrance between the county courthouse and the juvenile/probate building. A 4,600 square foot corridor would then connect the buildings. The drawback is that it would prevent people from walking through Dorney Plaza. Instead, pedestrians would have to go to Main Street to walk north or south through the area. “Option 1” would cost between $1.8 and $2.4 million to build.

Option 2*:

*Not to Scale

“Option 2” would be nearly identical to “Option 1” but would include a graded pedestrian bridge over or under the corridor connecting the buildings. It would cost between $2.1 million and $2.9 million.

Option 3:

*Not to Scale

“Option 3” leaves Dorney Plaza open to pedestrians. It would connect the municipal building and the juvenile/probate court. A new security entrance would also be build for the county courthouse. This proposal is estimated to cost between $922,500 and $1.2 million.

Option 4:

*Not to Scale

“Option 4” doesn’t connect any of the buildings, instead upgrading security at the entrance to all three courts. Its projected costs would be between $683,000 and $915,000.

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Feds Seeking Death Penalty Against Alleged Charleston Church Shooter Dylann Roof

ABC News(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — The Justice Department is seeking the death penalty against Dylann Roof, the South Carolina man who allegedly opened fire inside a Charleston church last year, killing nine.

“Following the department’s rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced today. “The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Federal Funding For Mitigation Isn’t Likely, Commissioners Say Project Still Benefits The Area

5/25/16 – 11:12 A.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners talked more about their recent meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday. The consensus the commissioners came to is that even if the Corps uses a different computer model to determine a cost/benefit ratio, the project isn’t likely to qualify for federal funding…

Audio: Steve Wilson

Project manager Steve Wilson says the federal ratio only considers a narrow scope.

Commissioner Mark Gazarek says while the project likely won’t fit a federal cost/benefit ratio, it would still have local benefits…

Audio: Mark Gazarek

Gazarek adds the federal cost/benefit ratio only considers national economic impacts, not local or regional.

While the Corps has estimated the diversion channel plan would cost $80 million, Commissioner Brian Robertson says the Ottawa mitigation plan has come in well under initial Corps estimates…

Audio: Brian Robertson

The lowering of Road I9 is finished for the most part. Final plans for a diversion channel in Ottawa are due soon.

The commissioners also disagree with any notion they owe the Corps $160,000 for work done on the mitigation study…

Audio: Phil Riegle

The commissioners have talked to engineering firms about handling the project locally. They are now reviewing the applicants.

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Two Planes out of Houston Airport Change Course After Threat

KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) — A threat affecting planes originating in Houston prompted additional screening and course changes for at least two flights, ABC News has confirmed. The threat was found to be non-specific and non-credible.

First, a Delta flight from Houston to Atlanta was forced to turn around shortly after takeoff this morning due to security concerns. Customers and baggage were re-screened, and the flight was allowed to take off after a short delay.

Then, an American Eagle flight from Houston to Los Angeles with 71 on board landed and parked at a remote location at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after officials became aware of a threat. Video appeared to show law enforcement officers approaching the aircraft with guns drawn.

An investigation to determine the person or persons responsible for the threat is in progress, according to a spokesperson for the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

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American ISIS Wannabe Nabbed in Elaborate Sting, FBI Says

FBI(NEW YORK) — Federal officials arrested a young New York City man Tuesday for allegedly supporting ISIS, the culmination of an elaborate joint FBI-New York Police Department sting operation in which the 22-year-old was duped by at least four undercover law enforcement agents, according to court documents.

Bronx resident Sajmir Alimehmeti was arrested before dawn Tuesday morning without incident. A criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice alleges that Alimehmeti helped a person he believed to be an ISIS recruit — who was in fact working for federal authorities — travel to Syria to fight with ISIS by giving advice and helping the individual grab last-minute supplies.

Alimehmeti was also charged with passport fraud for allegedly lying about losing his passport in an attempt to get a new one.

Alimehmeti had previously attempted to join ISIS himself in 2014, the complaint says, but he was stopped in the United Kingdom twice — once because “authorities found camouflage pants and shirts, as well as nunchucks, in Alimehmeti’s luggage.” The second time, U.K. authorities reported that “a number of images of ISIL [ISIS] flags and improvised explosive device (‘IED’) attacks.” He was sent back to the U.S.

The complaint says U.K. authorities shared this information with the U.S. in late 2014 and by the fall of 2015, a complicated plan had come together to use a team of undercover agents in an investigation into Alimehmeti’s purported connection to ISIS, including the staging of one agent’s fake travel to Raqqa, Syria, complete with photographs of the agent with what looked like desert in the background.

Alimehmeti spent some time with a rotating cast of undercover agents and allegedly repeatedly showed his support for ISIS. Upon learning of the one undercover agent’s apparent travel to Syria, Alimehmeti “expressed excitement and indicated, in sum and substance, that he was jealous of [the undercover employee] and that [the employee] should ‘hook him up,’” according to the complaint.

“I’m ready to f—ing go with you, man… You know I would… I’m done with this place. There are kuffar [unbelievers] everywhere,” he said later, upon learning of another “ISIS recruit’s” plans to travel to Syria, according to the complaint.

A search of Alimehmeti’s computer turned up more purported evidence of his support for ISIS, including a photograph of him with the black flag commonly associated with ISIS in the background. The computer also contained photos of ISIS fighters in the Middle East, the FBI said.

Making yet another appearance in a domestic terrorism case is Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born member of al Qaeda who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Al-Awlaki’s sermons preaching jihad and violence against the West have been found on computers of several Americans accused of terror-related crimes, and he is believed to have inspired several attacks against the American homeland. In this case, the FBI says several of his lectures were found on Alimehmeti’s computer.

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