SOMATUSCANI/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — The skies over the United States have seen two incidents of commercial pilots becoming incapacitated in-flight in just two days.

A United Airlines co-pilot lost consciousness mid-flight this morning, airline officials said, one day after the captain of an American Airlines flight died mid-flight.

“This is the very reason we have two qualified pilots in the cockpit, both trained to exactly the same standards,” said ABC News aviation consultant and airline pilot John Nance.

“The only difference in landing the airplane by yourself is that there are a few things that you’re going to have to reach across the cockpit for — but they’re well within reach,” Nance added “You’re very well trained to be able to do this solo.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the situation is very rare — only nine pilots have died in-flight in the past 20 years.

In one remarkable case in 2009, a 60-year-old Continental Airlines pilot died at the controls three hours into an eight-hour flight from Belgium to Newark, airline officials said at the time.

After a doctor aboard the plane determined the pilot was clinically dead, his body was moved to a crew rest area, according to the airline.

Passengers were not informed of the pilot’s death until the co-pilots landed the plane safely in New Jersey — where several passengers received cell phone calls from friends who told them what had happened. By federal law, flights longer than eight hours are required to have three pilots on board.

“It’s really up to the co-pilot, who is now the acting captain, as to whether or not to tell the passengers everything that’s going on,” Nance said. “It’s really an individual decision.”

According to a 2005 study from Flight Safety Digest based on FAA data, 50 health incidents involving pilots occurred between 1993 and 1998. Thirty-nine of those incidents were classified as incapacitations and 11 were impairments.

These incidents occurred on 47 flights.

Commercial airline pilots are required by the FAA to retire at age 65, and pilots over 40 must get two yearly physicals.

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Eric Crama/iStock/ThinkStock(MCLEAN, Va.) — Parents in a Virginia suburb are protesting the opening of a gun store due to its proximity to a local elementary school.

Some students at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, can spot Nova Firearms right outside classroom windows and their parents argue the gun store’s location is sending the wrong message, especially at a time when there have been a number of high-profile incidents around the country involving gun violence.

“That gun store is going to make my community less safe,” said Deb Lavoy, whose daughter is a sixth grader at Franklin Sherman Elementary School. “I do not wish to deny the landlord his rent, but neither do I want more guns in my neighborhood, or a gun store as part of my daughter’s daily experience.”

The store owners countered that they are complying with federal and state laws and are defending their right to remain open.

“I have every right to be here just as any other small business,” store co-owner Rachel Dresser told ABC News. “We are transparent in what we do. We just needed more retail space so we expanded here.”
Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, whose district includes McLean, is urging the owners of Nova Firearms to move the store.

“It is simply antagonistic to our community and frightening to concerned parents to locate a store selling firearms and live ammunition literally within 60 seconds walking distance to a school entrance,” Foust said.

While he conceded that Nova Firearms is allowed to sell guns at the current location near the school, he added, “this is an issue of judgment, not legality.”

The store’s owners relocated the shop near the elementary school after a failed attempt to expand at its previous location in Virginia. Dresser, and her co-owner James Gates, said they needed a larger location in part to offer gun-safety classes for both adults and children.

Members of the community balked when the store opened and staged a protest a week ago. The fight is also getting heated online as more than 2,000 people have signed a petition to kick-out Nova Firearms from its current location.

Even locals who do not have children at the school expressed their concern.

“I’m outraged by this. It shows poor judgment,” Dr. Bita Motesharrei, a local doctor, told ABC News. “It attracts the wrong crowd.”

Meanwhile, gun-rights supporters are rallying behind Nova Firearms, saying it’s not a threat to the McLean community and the owners are within their legal rights to sell guns on a street that also houses an auto body shop and a bank.

Vance Gore, the PTA president at Franklin Sherman Elementary School, has two children at the school and said “the community at large is still grappling with the issue.”

“I would say many parents are deeply troubled by the opening of the gun store right next to the school,” Gore said.

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JaysonPhotography/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Authorities are investigating how Kiersten Cerveny, a successful doctor, wife and mother of three, died after a night out partying in Manhattan this weekend.

Cerveny lived in suburban Manhasset, Long Island, with husband Andrew Cerveny and their children. The Cervenys, both dermatologists, met in 2004 as medical residents at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans, according to their 2009 wedding announcement in the New York Times.

She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and received her medical degree from Tulane University, according to the wedding announcement, which also noted that she had a previous marriage before Andrew that ended in divorce.

Here is the timeline surrounding the dermatologist’s mysterious death.


Cerveny met friends at a hotel at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night, according to police sources.


The 38-year-old was out until 2:30 a.m. with her friends, using alcohol and cocaine, according to police sources.

The group went to a bar on New York City’s Lower East Side, where Cerveny met a man with whom she was Facebook friends, police sources said.

Cerveny and the man left the bar between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., taking a cab to an apartment building in Chelsea, police sources said.


Surveillance video shows Cerveny and the man entering the building in Chelsea at 4:25 a.m., according to police sources, who noted that the taxi driver took them to the driver’s apartment.

Cerveny was found in the apartment building lobby around 8:30 a.m. Sunday and was declared dead at Lenox Hill Hospital, police said.

One of the men she was out with had called 911, disappeared and called 911 again to check on Cerveny’s status, police said.


There was no evidence of robbery or sexual assault, according to police sources, and bruises discovered on her neck were determined to be from a prior medical procedure.

Investigators brought in Cerveny’s husband, as well as one of the men she was out with, to be questioned, but no one was arrested, police said.

Police were told Cerveny consumed a significant amount of alcohol and cocaine that night. The autopsy is pending the results of toxicology tests, according to the medical examiner’s office.

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Randolph Phillips(LOS ANGELES) — A California resident is giving football fans a creative way to cheer on their favorite team: through painted lawn logos.

Fontana resident Randolph Phillips started this side business in 2009 when the Saints went to the Super Bowl, he told ABC News Tuesday. Phillips was living in Louisiana at the time and painted his first logo on his own front lawn.

“The next thing I knew people started asking who did it and how much it cost,” Phillips said.

The logos range in price depending on the difficulty of the logo and can take from 40 to 90 minutes, lasting about eight weeks.

“Something simple like the 49ers or Saints is $200. Something difficult like the Raiders, Patriots or Buccaneers, I’ll go up to $250 or $300,” Phillips said.

Because the logos are “free hand” with “no stencil or template,” Phillips said he has not had to worry about trademark violation.

Although he sees the most activity in his business during football season, he has painted logos for other occasions, like graduations and birthday parties, and has painted lawns all over Louisiana, Northern California, and, most recently, Southern California, he said.

Lake Elsinore resident Verneen Chenault is one of the Southern California clients, and just got the Green Bay Packers logo on her lawn Monday.

“I would have to say, for our neighborhood, it brings out a little more character,” Chenault said, adding that through her logo she has met neighbors she never knew before.

Phillips, who said he has gained clientele simply through word of mouth, and Chenault both credit the logos with bringing people together and creating fun rivalries.

“The main thing I think they do is they make every game a home game,” Phillips added. “You don’t want to leave your house if you have a logo. You want to invite people over and have a party.”

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Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Former superstar softball slugger Jessica Mendoza will have a seat at Tuesday night’s Astros-Yankees playoff game that no woman has had before: She will be the first female ESPN MLB analyst in a post-season game.

Mendoza said she’s been shocked by the outpouring of support from both men and women inside and outside the game. Tennis great Billie Jean King and her ESPN colleague Eduardo Perez told Mendoza they’re rooting for her.

“It’s just another game. I’m not allowing myself to think anything else,” Mendoza said. “But just looking at my phone, it’s more than just doing a game for a lot of people for a lot of reasons.”

Mendoza, an Olympic gold and silver medalist, was a four-time first-team All-American softball player at Stanford from 1999 to 2002. Though she retired from playing last year, she first joined ESPN in 2007.

On Aug. 24, she became the first female baseball analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball and later that week became the first female analyst on Sunday Night Baseball. The Walt Disney Company is the parent of ESPN and ABC News.

Mendoza took time before the historic broadcast Tuesday night in New York to talk about her favorite sportscast lines and how she prepares for a broadcast.

Favorite sportscasters or lines?

“Dallas Braden has a bunch of fun lines,” Mendoza said of the former pitcher and her fellow ESPN analyst. These include:

“Oppo taco” = opposite field home run.

“Cheese biscuit” = a good pitch to hit.

“When you’re listening as a viewer, it’s nice to hear different terms,” she said. “Did he just say cheese biscuit?”

Mendoza has called outfielders “outties,” which Curt Schilling said he would have to add to his vocabulary. She also likes to say “cookie” when describing a “nice, sweet pitch to hit.”

“I didn’t come up with that,” she admits.

How did you feel when you learned you would be the first female analyst for a post-season baseball game?

“I found out when [ESPN] added me to the Sunday night package in September,” Mendoza said. “To be honest, I didn’t think of this game as any different.”

She added, “This has been very much a learning experience to be in the booth and share any knowledge I have and build relationships with the players and the teams. I want to approach this game like the last six or seven I’ve done.”

How do you typically prepare for a broadcast?

“I don’t have a specific thing I do, but one thing I like to do is watch games,” she said.

Monday night in her hotel room in New York City, the southern California native spent two-and-a-half hours watching the Astros and Yankees play.

“Instead of reading so much and getting caught up in the numbers, just watch them play yourself over and over and come to your own perspective of why guys are hitting, why guys are in the lineup and doing well or not doing well,” she said.

Favorite players?

Mendoza said she grew up watching softball and seeing Olympians compete on television like Dorothy “Dot” Richardson.

“Seeing softball on television was a big deal for me because it didn’t happen until the 1996 Olympics when I was 14,” she said. “As far as baseball, I grew up with the Dodgers and went to a ton of Dodger games.”

One of her favorite players is Brett Butler.

“He exemplified the way I wanted to play the game,” she said.

What do her sons think of her accomplishments?

Her sons, ages 2 and 6, have different reactions to seeing their mom on television.

When her husband had the television on during one of her broadcasts, “My 2-year-old came running around the corner and came up talking to me and babbling. He thought I was in the room. My 6-year-old thinks anyone can just go on TV,” she said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CARLSBAD, Calif.) — A mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, California, after she says police allegedly assaulted her in front of her children on the way home from a birthday party in 2013.

The 2013 incident was caught on cellphone video and shows officers pinning Cindy Hahn during the arrest.

Her lawyer, Mark Geragos, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Hahn against the city of Carlsbad and five officers. The lawsuit claims that Hahn “suffers permanent memory loss and brain trauma” as a result of the beating, and that the police reports filed about the incident were false.

“The only thing correct in this, in the documents that they filed with the court is the spelling of her name,” Geragos added.

The Carlsbad Police Department said in a statement, “We are prepared to provide a complete and detailed account of the facts of this incident in a courtroom, including what is not shown on the video released by the plaintiff’s attorney.”

Hahn said the situation started when she asked a police officer about a car alarm that was going off. Hahn says she called the non-emergency police hotline to complain about the officer’s response.

Immediately after, Hahn said that same officer pulled her over for an alleged seatbelt violation. The next thing she knew, Hahn says, she was pinned to the ground.

“I was reaching for him for help. And what he did next. I have a lot of … issues with memory from the blow,” Hahn said.

Hahn originally faced up to two years in jail, charged with resisting arrest and battery. But according to Geragos, once the district attorney saw the video, those charges were dropped.

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Rocky Widner/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The trial begins Tuesday for an Atlanta Hawks player who is accused of interfering with a police investigation in New York City. Defense for Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha suggests racial bias was at play the night of Sefolosha’s arrest.

Sefolosha, who is black, was arrested outside a Manhattan nightclub earlier this year after former New York Knicks forward Chris Copeland was stabbed. While Sefolosha was not involved in the stabbing incident, police accused him and a teammate of interfering with the investigation.

Sefolosha, 31, accused the arresting officers — most of them white — of using excessive force.

A bystander’s video captured Sefolosha’s arrest outside the nightclub when he said officers broke his leg — an injury that would keep him off the basketball court.

“It’s a huge loss for the league to not have him on the floor,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the time.

Charges against the teammate were later dropped, and prosecutors offered a plea deal to Sefolosha. Sefolosha, however, declined the offer, his lawyer said, to make a point about police treatment of black men.

“Do you think it’s possible that if a white cop sees an African-American man who is large, that something happens in his mind that is a little bit different than if he seems me in a suit?” defense attorney Alex Spiro asked potential jurors Monday.

Sefolosha’s complaint about the treatment of blacks echoes the criticism from retired tennis star James Blake, who was recently detained by NYPD officers in a case of mistaken identity.

This trial comes just as the NYPD has announced a new use of force policy.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(LANSING, Mich.) — The sole winner of a $310.5 million Powerball jackpot has finally come forward to claim Michigan’s second-largest win for lotteries in state history — and her reaction was priceless.

The winner, Julie Leach, 50, said she was still in “disbelief” — adding that she told her boss that she doesn’t need a raise before quitting her job at a fiberglass company.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m just overwhelmed,” she said during a news conference this morning.

Leach explained the night she discovered she was the winner.

“I was having a really bad night at work and I thought I better check my numbers,” she said, adding that she was “shaking” when she checked her numbers. She said she went back to her work, where she is a supervisor, to ask her co-workers to check the numbers.

When asked if she will continue working, Leach said, “I quit automatically. I was done.” She said it was a “nasty, dirty job” that she had for more than 20 years.

Leach said she and her partner of 36 years want to take care of their children and 11 grandchildren, and she hopes to buy property in Michigan so they can live near each other.

“I said he would have to sign a pre-nup now,” she said with a laugh.

The ticket was sold at a Shell gas station in Three Rivers, Michigan, just a drive away from the border with Indiana. The drawing took place on Sept. 30

She said she’s accepting the lump sum cash option of $197.4 million.

The winning numbers were 21, 39, 40, 55, 59 and Powerball 17.

The state’s largest Powerball jackpot ever was $337 million, which was won by Donald Lawson on Aug. 15, 2002.

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iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M) — A United Airlines co-pilot lost consciousness mid-flight Tuesday morning, officials said.

The plane, which was en route from Houston to San Francisco, was diverted to the Albuquerque International Sunport, where it landed safely at 8:20 a.m, airport spokesman Daniel Jiron said.

The co-pilot was unconscious but stable, Jiron said.

The incident comes just one day after an American Airlines pilot died mid-flight after experiencing a medical emergency, according to American Airlines.

United Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The National Transportation Safety Board launched its go-team to Florida on Tuesday and will be joining the investigation into the sunken cargo ship, El Faro.

The NTSB investigators will be hoping to gather any perishable evidence first, but they will also be looking at the logs, maintenance records and the fitness of crew and captain, just as they do in plane or train crashes, officials said on Tuesday.

They also hope to recover the data recorder that was on board.

The president of the company that owned the boat, which sent a distress signal Thursday morning and has not been heard from since, said that the captain indicated that he was aware of the conditions near Hurricane Joaquin.

Phil Greene, the president and CEO of Tote Services, which owned El Faro, said that the captain explained that he understood the storm’s track and had a sound plan going forward, enabling him to pass around the storm with comfort.

It is unclear to them how long the vessel may have been disabled before communications received a call Thursday morning, but Greene said typically a crew will work to restore the propeller and that process can either be done quickly or take several hours.

“I think what is regrettable in this is the fact that the vessel [El Faro] did become disabled in the path of the storm and that is what led to ultimately the tragedy,” Greene said at a news conference Monday night.

The Coast Guard search, which will be run separately from the NTSB investigation, continued overnight into Tuesday morning. All told, the Coast Guard has searched an area larger than 160,574 square nautical miles, an area larger than California.

There were 33 crew members on board when the ship sank, and so far there has only been one known fatality, though that individual has not been identified nor has his body been recovered.

Capt. Mark Fedor, the Coast Guard chief of response, said on Monday that they had found one emergency rescue suit that had “unidentifiable” human remains.

Fedor said that the rescuers were being called to other reports of signs of life, so after checking that the individual was deceased, they moved on in hopes of saving someone else, Fedor said during a news conference.

“We needed to quickly move to other reports of life,” Fedor said.

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