National
Subscribe To This Feed

@theriderscope/Instagram(NEW YORK) -- Frigid cold and heavy snow are hitting parts of the upper Midwest and the interior Northeast this weekend, forecasters said.

Some areas of upstate New York have gotten more than 20 inches of lake effect snow since Thursday and are expecting more, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

Forecasters said heavy bands of lake-effect snow will continue to sweep across western Michigan, northern Ohio, northwest Pennsylvania and western New York through Saturday, with snowfall rates expected of up to 2 inches per hour expected.

Snow is currently piling up in areas from from Cleveland, Ohio, to Jamestown, New York, with the heaviest accumulations expected in the far northwest regions of Pennsylvania and western New York, according to ABC News senior meteorologist Daniel Manzo.

Numerous winter-related advisories are warning of blizzard-like conditions and brutal temperatures in the northern half of the U.S. as various weather systems move through the continental United States this weekend. The wind chill values, or feels like temperatures, could drop as low as minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit in the northern Plains, according to Manzo.

“This will cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes,” he said.

As a storm moves eastward, heavy snow is expected to pound parts of New England from late Sunday into early Monday before warmer air filters through and turns the snow into rain. Forecasters are warning that commuters may face travel delays Monday morning due to slick and slushy roads.

“We expect the most significant delays north and west of the major cities,” Manzo said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Comet Ping Pong, a popular Washington D.C. pizza place, is seeing an influx of visitors and supporters after it became the center of a fake news story.

The restaurant made headlines last weekend when Edgar Welch, 28, traveled to the nation's capital from North Carolina and allegedly fired a rifle inside the restaurant. Police said he was there to "self-investigate" "Pizzagate,"  a categorically false conspiracy theory circulated online that alleged Comet Ping Pong was hiding a child sex ring linked to Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta.

According to court documents, Welch surrendered to police when he found no evidence of the allegations in "Pizzagate." He is now facing charges including assault with a deadly weapon.

Clinton weighed in on the story this week in a rare, post-election appearance.

"It's now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences," she said Thursday.

The community has rallied to support Comet Ping Pong since the incident with fearless and dedicated customers stopping by to purchase pizza and drinks and play ping pong.

"I'm angry that [the restaurant] has been targeted by lies," one Comet Ping Pong visitor told ABC News.

The restaurant also started a GoFundMe page to raise money for security and legal expenses. As of Saturday night, over $19,000 was raised.


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

karinavetrano/Instagram(NEW YORK) --  The Queens District Attorney in New York City is urging the state to authorize familial searching of the state's DNA data banks in the wake of the unsolved murder of a young woman who was found strangled after she went for a jog.

Karina Vetrano, 30, was strangled to death on Aug. 2 on a path where she and her father often ran together in Howard Beach, New York. The case remains unsolved.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called "familial searching can be a powerful investigative tool" in Vetrano's case.

"All evidence recovered from [Vetrano's] body and the crime scene was submitted for DNA analysis. The tests found the same single male DNA profile under the victim’s fingernails, on her neck, and on her cell phone. The profile did not match any known offenders in the CODIS [Combined DNA Index System] data banks," Brown said in a letter to Michael Green, the executive deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice and chairman of the New York State Commission on Forensic Science.

"This tragic murder has been exhaustively investigated using every tool currently available, but it remains unsolved," Brown said. "The killer remains at large, the public remains in danger, and the suffering of the victim’s family is amplified by law enforcement’s inability to yet solve this most awful crime. The victim, her family, and the public deserve justice and we have an obligation to use every means at our disposal to identify the murderer."

With familial searching, a crime scene DNA profile is run through a state data bank to see if links can be found to similar profiles belonging to a relative. The process uses special DNA testing on the Y chromosome, Brown said in his letter, referring to the chromosome found in males only.

Nine states use familial DNA searching, Brown noted, including California.

In California, familial DNA led police in Los Angeles to find Lonnie David Franklin Jr., the infamous "Grim Sleeper," in 2010, after he eluded police for more than two decades. Franklin was arrested and charged with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, and this summer, he was sentenced to death.

But the New York Civil Liberties Union does not support the use of familial DNA searching.

"A policy that implicates New Yorkers in a criminal investigation solely because they are related to someone with DNA in the state's databank is a miscarriage of justice," a spokesperson for NYCLU said in a statement to ABC News. "The forensics commission cannot suspend a person’s constitutional rights against government invasion of their privacy simply because a relative had come under suspicion."

The NYPD is supporting Brown's plea and the request is being considered by the state.

The Vetrano family could not be immediately reached by ABC News for comment.

In August, Karina Vetrano's mother, Cathy Vetrano, told ABC News, "Right now, I am a broken, broken woman. ... But I want to say this: I am 100 percent confident that this person will be caught."

She pleaded with anyone who may be helping the killer evade police to come forward.

"That person, if you're harboring him -- if you're trying to protect him -- he could do it to you. He could do it to your loved one. Because he killed my daughter, not in self-defense, not because he had a fight with her, because he just killed an innocent, young, petite woman," she said.

"I beg of you to do what you know is right," she said. "Be courageous and make the phone call."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Washington County Sheriff's Office(NEW YORK) --  A Nebraska correction officer had two back-to-back jaw-dropping experiences on Wednesday: The "arrest" of her boyfriend, followed by a marriage proposal.

Cameron Dean decided to surprise his girlfriend Amber Kult, a correction officer at the Washington County jail, by enlisting the Washington County Sheriff's Office to "arrest" him and transport him to the jail, where he would pop the question.

Deputies with the Sheriff's Office agreed to pick up Dean at his workplace, Long's OK Tire Pros in Blair, and bring him to the jail where Kult worked. The deputy who picked up Dean called in the "arrest" to dispatch.

Adding to the quirkiness of the proposal? The entire set-up was recorded by the "arresting" deputy's bodycam, which the Washington County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page, writing, "Every once in awhile something awesome happens in the Washington County Jail, yesterday was one of those days. The video speaks for itself. No inmates or Correction's officer were injured during this incident."

So the deputy arrives with a handcuffed, Dean, who is greeted by a surprised Kult, who says, "No. Hey, what the f****, man?"

The handcuffs are removed, and Dean then drops to one knee, takes out a ring and proposes.

Kult begins to tear up, covers her face, saying, "No, really?" Then jokingly says to her colleagues -- who were in kahootz with Dean -- "I'm going to kill you!"

Asks one of the deputies, "So the big answer is?"

Not surprisingly, Kult said "yes."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Raveesh Kumra, a millionaire and well-known property owner in Monte Sereno, California, was found murdered in his home in 2012.

Police said it appeared Kumra had died of asphyxiation during a home invasion, in which his assailants gagged him with packaging tape and then made off with valuables.

Forensic experts found DNA on his fingernails that they linked back to 26-year-old Lukis Anderson. He was arrested and spent five months in jail.

There was only one problem: Anderson had an airtight alibi. At the time of the murder, he was in the hospital being treated for severe intoxication.

“Because of his high intoxication level, he was on 15-minute watch by nurses and doctors, so there was no time gap of when Lukis would have been able to commit the homicide,” said his attorney, Santa Clara Deputy Public Defender Kelley Kulick.

Kulick said it was later determined that the same paramedics who had been called to take away Kumra’s body had also transported Anderson to the hospital, which Kulick said led to a transfer of “touch DNA.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old accused of killing nine black churchgoers at a Charleston, South Carolina, Bible study, laughed as he admitted to the shooting in a video interview of Roof played in court Friday and seen by ABC News.

He also said he used a Glock 45 to do it, according to the video. "I didn't say anything to them before I pulled it out, not even one word," Roof said of the gun in the video. "I mean they reacted after I shot them."

FBI Special Agent Michael Stansbury, who interviewed Roof the day after the shooting, testified Friday at Roof's federal trial, and Roof's apparent video confession was played in court.

Roof, who is white, is accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners during a Bible study at the predominantly black Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. Roof allegedly entered the Emanuel AME Church armed and "with the intent of killing African-Americans engaged in the exercise of their religious beliefs," according to the federal indictment against him.

The parishioners welcomed Roof, who was 21 at the time of the shooting, into their Bible study group, according to the indictment, after which Roof allegedly drew his pistol and opened fire.

Asked in the video when he decided to do the shooting, Roof said, "I can't tell you."

Roof's voice was mostly monotone during the interview, though it was often punctuated by laughter.

"I am guilty," he says, laughing.

Roof says he did not expect to survive the shooting because he expected police to respond to the church and shoot him. Once he escaped, he says he spontaneously decided to go to Charlotte, North Carolina, because he didn't want to go home to Columbia.

After an agent told him he killed nine people and asked how he felt, Roof responded in a monotone voice, "It makes me feel bad."

During a break from testimony, Roof, who wore a grey sweater and khakis, left the courtroom with a smile and his eyes half-closed after sitting through some of the video. None of his family was in court this morning as the beginning of the video was played.

More of Friday's testimony below is according to ABC affiliate WCIV-TV, which also reported on the video-taped interview played in court.

During the interview, Roof "was sitting there eating a hamburger. He was not upset, crying, or showing any emotions," Stansbury said, adding that Roof was calm and showed no remorse.

In the video interview, Stansbury asked Roof why he had to do it, and Roof told him he believed that someone had to do something about what he said were crimes committed by blacks against white people.

"I don't like what black people do," Roof said in the video.

Roof said no black person was ever violent to him or his family to prompt the attack.

Roof said no one else was brave enough to do anything, referencing the KKK and skinheads.

He said he chose Charleston because "it's a nice historic city" and "at one time it had the highest ratio of black people to white people in the whole country."

"I just like Charleston," he said, adding, "I just knew there was a historic African Methodist church."

Roof said he knew the church "would be a place where there would be, you know, at least a swarm of black people in one area. I thought about a black festival or something like that but they have security."

"I wasn't going to go to another church because there could be white people there," he said.

Roof said in the video he tries not to think about the people he killed being innocent.

"I'm not in the position by myself to go to, like, a black neighborhood or something like that, and shoot up a drug dealer," Roof said.

Roof said he drank "a little alcohol" while sitting in his car before going in the church.

He said he thinks there were "two people" in the church "I didn't shoot at all." He said during the shooting "there were pauses in between and I was thinking about what I should do." Roof said no one in the church charged him to try and stop him.

When Roof left the church, he said he was shocked that no one was outside. "I peeked out the door because I thought there would be someone there waiting to shoot me," he said.

Roof said in the video he considers himself a white nationalist and that he thinks the white race should be the dominant race.

"I didn't think I would start a race war or anything like that. A race war would be pretty terrible," Roof said, adding that he would want to reinstate segregation or "something like that," saying segregation wasn't bad.

Asked how long he had thought this, Roof said, "The first thing that woke me up would be the Trayvon Martin case," referring to the 2012 shooting death of the unarmed black teen in Florida.

He said after reading a Wikipedia page about Trayvon Martin, "for some reason I typed in 'black on white crime.' And ever since then."

Roof said he never "talked about race around other people," including family members.

During the interview, agents showed Roof several photos they obtained from his father's home, including one of the number "1488" scratched in the sand.

Roof tells the agents "88 stands for Heil Hitler. ... I support Hitler."

He says he drew in the sand on Sullivan's Island, a beach town just outside of Charleston.

When agents ask if he has any remorse, Roof replies, "I think it's too soon."

Asked if he has regrets, Roof says, "A little bit. ... I don't know how many people are killed or anything."

When an agent asks what the purpose of the nine deaths were, Roof replies, "I don't know."

During Thursday's court proceedings, Roof's mother was crying and trembling for hours listening to descriptions of the gruesome scene. She was then laid down on a bench and started looking up, saying, "Where am I?" and then, "I'm so sorry" over and over.

Testimony from investigators Thursday revealed 360 pictures from the gruesome scene at the basement hall where the shooting happened. The images showed bodies with numbers labeling what investigators believe was the order in which they were shot. The images also showed streams of blood. Many of the victims were under the rickety tables. Some bibles were still on the tables.

The 33 federal counts against Roof include hate crimes resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death.

Roof has pleaded not guilty.

He also faces a state trial, set for early next year, in which he may also face the death penalty.


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

NTSB(LOCKHART, Texas) -- The pilot of the deadliest hot air balloon crash in U.S. history had seven different drugs in his system at the time of the accident, according to documents released Friday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

In the early hours of July 30, Alfred “Skip” Nichols was piloting a hot air balloon near Lockhart, Texas, with 15 passengers on board, when the balloon ultimately crashed into a field after striking high-voltage power lines. All those on board, including Nichols, were killed in the accident and the balloon was substantially damaged after hitting the power lines and catching fire.

Nichols had a history of medical and psychiatric conditions, according to NTSB records, including diabetes and depression, and was being treated with several different medicines for with chronic back pain, attention deficit disorder and fibromyalgia, among his other medical ailments.

Three of those medicines that were found in his system -- diazepam (i.e. Valium), oxycodone (i.e. Oxycontin) and methylphenidate (i.e. Ritalin) -- are drugs that legally prevent a pilot from obtaining a medical certificate. Other medicines that were found -- cyclobenzaprine (a muscle relaxant) and diphenhydramine (i.e. Benadryl) -- are medicines that pilots are told not to fly while taking, as those drugs could impair the pilot and prevent the pilot from flying safely, according to NTSB documents.

Nichols also suffered from "major depressive disorder," according to Nichols' medical records obtained by the NTSB. And while Nichols was taking medication to treat this condition, one expert suggested that may not have been enough.

"Someone taking anti-depressants does not necessarily guarantee the anti-depressants are effective," Federal Aviation Administration Chief Psychiatrist Charles Chesanow testified Friday in Washington, D.C.

Currently, the FAA does not require hot air balloon pilots to hold a medical certificate, even though both fixed-wing and helicopter pilots do need this certificate.

And though Nichols may not have legally needed a medical certificate to fly, depression is a disqualifying condition for pilot medical certification.

The FAA may issue a “special issuance of a medical certificate,” which would allow those pilots suffering from depression to fly, but only if the pilot proved that after six months of treatment, the pilot was clinically stable on one of four FAA-approved medications.

In Nichols' case, bupropion (an anti-depressant) was found in his body at the time of the accident, and is not one of the four FAA-approved medications.

But would Nichols’ passengers have noticed anything wrong with their pilot? One expert suggested not.

“The drug levels are an important piece of the puzzle, but they aren’t the entire puzzle,” Chesanow said.

Nichols also had multiple arrests, convictions and incarcerations, which included five alcohol-related incidents, possession of drugs, and driving with a suspended driving license, according to FBI National Crime Information Center records and Missouri driving records, obtained by the NTSB.

Nichols never reported any of his drug convictions or motor vehicle violations, according to testimony presented to the NTSB Friday, despite the fact that it was mandatory to report any of these incidents to the FAA within 60 days of them occurring.

Even after discovering that Nichols failed to report alcohol-related motor incidents, the FAA ultimately dismissed legal enforcement action against the pilot, according to a July 29, 2013, letter sent by the federal agency to Nichols.

In an NTSB testimony Friday, the FAA said it decided not to pursue legal action against Nichols because of its “Stale Complaint Rule” and its inability to show “appropriate diligence.”

The "Stale Complaint Rule” is an FAA rule that says any complaint may generally be dismissed if the alleged offenses occurred more than six months before the time of the complaint, unless the FAA can show it took "appropriate diligence" in the case, according to testimony presented Friday at the NTSB hearing.

Additionally, the FAA's 2013 letter encouraged Nichols to document his alcohol incidents when applying for a future Airman Medical Certificate, despite the fact that the FAA does not require hot air balloon pilots to hold medical certificates.

FAA Federal Air Surgeon Dr. James Fraser explained at the NTSB hearing, though, that even if a pilot does not legally need a medical certificate, the pilot is still responsible from abstaining from flight if he is not fit to fly.

“Certainly if he could read the English language, he would know these medications would not be allowed,” Fraser testified before the NTSB.

When asked whether the FAA should require a medical certificate for balloon operators, Fraser suggested it may be time for a change in policy.

“I feel a medical evaluation is a part of the holistic plan to keep the national air space safe,” Fraser said.

Following the hearing, NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt admitted that while the balloon industry and the FAA may have resisted change in the past, there may also be a renewed interest in cooperation with safety regulations.

"Unfortunately, sometimes it takes blood to get change," Sumwalt said. "And we want to make sure there are changes made before there's more bloodshed."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- A faulty refrigerator has been ruled out as the cause of the Oakland, California, warehouse fire on Dec. 2, officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms announced Friday.

Thirty-six people perished in the blaze that ignited during a party at the warehouse last Friday.

The cause remains under investigation.

Some of those trapped upstairs at the party had just enough time to send final text messages to loved ones, according to Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly. Some of these messages read "I'm going to die" and "I love you," Kelly said.

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

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Cedar Rapids PD(CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) -- Community members and the family and friends of a man shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in November say they still have questions after authorities recently released dash-cam footage from that night.

Officer Lucas Jones stopped Jerime Mitchell, 38, around 1:19 a.m. on Nov. 1 because both bulbs that illuminate his license plate were burned out, Greg M. Buelow, Cedar Rapids Police public communications coordinator, told ABC News in an email.

On dash-cam video released by police Thursday, Jones could be seen walking over to the truck. Police told ABC News Friday that Jones told Mitchell why he was being stopped and Mitchell replied: "Bulls---. ... It's f------ not."

When Mitchell exited the vehicle, upon Jones' order, the officer smelled marijuana, police said. Jones "intended to detain Mitchell to check into it," Buelow said.

Jones' body microphone was not working, police said. Some sound, however, could be heard on the dash-cam footage from inside the vehicle. On the video, Jones attempts to handcuff Mitchell and then a struggle ensues.

"Officer Jones then reached for his handcuffs but felt Mitchell tense up as he tried to apply them," Buelow told ABC News. "He tried to calm Mitchell but warned he would release his K-9 partner if Mitchell became combative. Mitchell replied, 'Let that f------ dog out.'"

Jones activated a button on his belt that allowed his K-9 partner to exit the patrol car, according to police. In the dash-cam video, the dog appears to bite Mitchell and barks as the two continue fighting. The video also shows Mitchell attempting to get back into the car.

The vehicle starts to move, with the officer halfway inside. Jones shoots at least three times at Mitchell. According to police, a shot hit Mitchell in the neck, paralyzing him.

On Tuesday, before the video was released, Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden announced that a grand jury had cleared Jones in Mitchell's shooting. He also said his office would not press charges against Mitchell, whose vehicle was later allegedly found to contain a total of $1,500 in cash, more than a pound of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to Buelow.

"A search of the cellphone revealed a series of text messages exchanged between Mitchell and another subject suggesting Mitchell was in the process of delivering marijuana when he was stopped by Officer Jones. A search warrant was also obtained to gather a blood specimen from Jerime Mitchell. The results showed the presence of THC and THC metabolite indicating recent use of marijuana," Buelow told ABC News.

On Thursday, Vander Sanden attended a community meeting organized by the NAACP and spoke with attendees after they viewed the video.

"By no means, do you ever fight the officer if you are taken into custody. You don't resist arrest and you certainly don't try to run from the scene," he said.

Relatives and community members said they took issue with the fact that Mitchell did not testify for the grand jury before it made a decision.

"It's unbalanced. You've only got the officer's side of it and you've got a video without words that doesn't tell you what else was said," Dedric Doolin, president of the Cedar Rapids NAACP chapter, told ABC's Cedar Rapids affiliate KCRG-TV.

A lot of people in the community have questioned why Jones' body microphone was not working, Doolin said. "A lot of people are going to wonder. That seems pretty convenient."

"I just think that if it was someone else's family member, they would understand it's really hard," Shalyse Johnson told KCRG-TV on Thursday. "I think that hearing, it is one thing, seeing it on tape is actually heartbreaking, especially when you know he wasn't trying to resist and you know he's non-confrontational."

Paula Roby, Mitchell's lawyer, said on Tuesday during a community meeting that for a while after he was shot, he could not speak.

"Therefore, it was very difficult for us to provide any statement," she said. "As soon as he was able, we made an appointment. We did not know that appointment would be for naught, that the grand jury would meet without hearing from Jerime."

In a statement given to KCRG-TV before the video was released, Mitchell said that if Jones' body microphone had been working, the sound would tell a different story.

"After I stepped out of my vehicle Officer Jones changed his story as to why I was being pulled over and became combative toward me. I was frightened, and decided it was in my best interest to get back in my truck. At that point, Officer Jones got even more aggressive towards me and slammed me against the truck then, without provocation from me, he tackled me to the ground and released his dog who started attacking me."

"I was scared and knew I had to get back in my vehicle to get away from the dog. Officer Jones then jumped on me and shot me while I was in my truck. I realized I was shot and needed to get to the hospital immediately and that is when I accelerated. Immediately after, I lost control because his bullet paralyzed me," Mitchell said.

"I was unarmed. I never struck the officer, or the dog. This has changed my life forever," Mitchell added. "He shot to kill me. ... No one should ever be treated the way I was that night."

Mitchell is scheduled to be interviewed by the Iowa Department of Public Safety's Division of Criminal Investigation next week.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) -- Conservative radio talk show king Glenn Beck has been called by critics a clown, a bigot, a carnival barker and now -- a unifier?

The commentator that most of America either loves or loathes, known for being combative and controversial, is now trying to become a moderate voice of reason, in the nation’s post-election climate.

Today, Beck says, a lot of the time, he’s “trying to figure out how to be a more responsible person.”

ABC News' Nightline was invited to spend a day with Beck at The Blaze headquarters outside of Dallas. The Blaze is Beck’s media network, housed inside an old movie studio, staffed by a diverse group of millennials, and a storehouse of collectibles that would make museums blush, including props from “Jurassic Park” “Forrest Gump” and “Star Wars.” It’s home to 250 employees who run the website, TV network and staff his daily radio show.

On the day we visited, Beck arrived at just past 6 a.m. He was one of the first in the office, pausing to paint before touring construction progress of his new show set. A legendary workaholic, Beck got into make-up, had a quick meeting with his staff and then went on-air. Close to 4 million listeners per week tune into his three-hour daily show with additional audiences watching online and on TV.

For years, Beck has been the jock of shock. But more recently, much of his rage has been directed towards Donald Trump, who he called a “dictator in the making.”

“I don’t think I compared him to Adolf Hitler. Nobody can be compared to Adolf Hitler. I said Adolf Hilter of the 1930s and 40s is not Adolf Hitler of the 1920s,” Beck said. “Somebody can reach in and stir a crowd like that, has a moral compass that is wishy-washy at best -- they don’t all turn into Adolf Hitlers, but one of them did.”

Beck strongly opposed Trump during the campaign, campaigning alongside Sen. Ted Cruz during the primaries. Despite the barbs he once threw at the president-elect, today Beck is cautiously trying to turn the page.

“It’s the same thing I said at the beginning of Barack Obama before he made any decisions,” Beck said. “I want him to be successful.”

Beck said he has extended an olive branch to the incoming administration by reaching out to Trump, but he said the president-elect hasn’t returned his calls.

“I have 10 million people just on the radio audience that want you to be successful,” Beck told Byron Pitts on what he would say to Trump. “Please, are they important to you? Are they a part of the America you want to plan?”

But one person Beck has continued to shun is Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon.

“The left and right have their own demons, if you will, that should be exorcised,” Beck said. “The alt-right is a movement that I think most conservatives didn’t even know. You think of the Ku Klux Klan. They’re no longer racists, they are ‘identists’ -- doesn’t sound as bad as a racist [but] it is just as bad and just as poisonous.”

Poisonous is one of the few G-rated words liberals use to describe Beck. Staunchly conservative, he says he wants to be a bridge builder not a flame thrower, but he remains critical of President Obama.

“I still don’t feel I’ve met the genuine man,” he said.

Beck said he doesn’t consider himself a healer but when it comes to bringing people together, he said, “I am going to do it in my own life, and I’m going to do it in my own business. I am inviting you to make the commitment to do the same thing.”

But despite this new tone, Beck is aware that he still has enemies. He has security with him 24/7 and said he is told he receives anywhere between 15 and 18 death threats every day against him and his family.

“I certainly don’t think I’m dangerous,” Beck said. “I know how to gather a crowd, if that is my goal, to be able to know when you are talking, the televisions are all on at the White House -- that’s intoxicating. OK? Fame is the most corrosive thing to a soul that you could possibly introduce. It’s awful.”

He admits that some portion of the bitterness in America was fueled by commentators like himself, but it’s a divide he now hopes to bridge.

“I am trying to spend my time trying to talk to ... people in the media and say, please don’t make the mistakes I made,” Beck said.

Beck said he had a tough childhood, growing up in an alcoholic family that had “lots of problems,” and in many ways shaped him. When he was just 14 years old, his mother drowned, which Beck contends to be a suicide. Later in his adulthood, he says he hit rock bottom struggling with drug abuse, alcoholism and depression.

He said he thought about suicide in the past, but now says his demons are behind him. He is a devout Mormon, husband and grandfather. In fact, his daughter and son-in-law work for him at The Blaze. He’s also very protective of his family. He told us the story of how Donald Trump once pushed him in a way that made him angry, when he mocked a New York Times reporter with a disability on the campaign trail. One of Beck’s daughters has cerebral palsy.

“I thought it was absolutely horrendous,” he said. “In my family, when you’re making fun of handicapped, you’re crossing all lines of decency.”

Still, the 52-year-old loyal, combative, evolving man remains hopeful for America, based on all that he has had to overcome in his own life.

“I don’t think I would have guessed 15 years ago that I would have been surrounded by my family," Beck said. "That is a dream come true. We have made a point in my family in that last 15 years to break a few cycles of generational cycles, and this is a dream come true.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

jwoodard99/Instagram(NEW YORK) -- Snowstorms are expected in many parts of the country this weekend, posing hazardous driving conditions for millions of motorists.

On Thursday, slippery roads and low visibility caused multi-vehicle pileups on interstate highways in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Nevada.

Lake effect snow continues to slam the Great Lakes region. In Oswego, New York, residents witnessed a unique weather phenomenon late Thursday: a snowstorm that produces lightning.

IT HAPPENED. Thundersnow in Oswego. @JimCantore style freakout courtesy of @racingprincess7 and Rose pic.twitter.com/rQ8GLXsj0E

— Matt Seymour (@SassyWeatherman) December 9, 2016

Seattle and Washington experienced the first measurable snow in two years and Portland, Oregon, has already received more snow than the average amount for the entire month of December.

It will be a snowy weekend for Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland. Next week, temperatures for these cities are expected to drop to subzero levels.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Hemera/Thinkstock(RENO, Nev.) -- The family of a Nevada high school student who was shot by police this week as he allegedly wielded a knife and threatened other students is questioning whether the officer could have subdued the teen without firing a weapon.

The teen, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, is hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said, as police investigate the incident.

What Police Say

Reno Police Department Chief Jason Soto said at a press conference Wednesday night that a 14-year-old male student at Hug High School was “armed with at least one knife and threatening other students” in an outdoor school courtyard that day.

An officer employed by the Washoe County School District responded to the scene and ordered the teen to drop the knife, Soto said. When the student failed to comply with the verbal commands, the officer fired one shot, “striking the student and … stopping the threat,” Soto said.

The officer “immediately began to provide medical aid” to the wounded student until emergency responders arrived, Soto added.

Following the shooting, the officer involved was placed on paid administrative leave, in accordance with the Washoe County School District Police Department’s policy, a Reno Police Department statement said.

Reno police told ABC News on Thursday that the officer had "some nonlethal options" on his utility belt when he pulled his gun and shot the teenager. Police could not confirm specifically what type of nonlethal means were available to the officer at the time of the shooting. But some possibilities could include a Taser or pepper spray.

The police department said there is no standard response for the use of lethal force; the department only hopes the force used would be proportional to the threat.

The chief of the school district's police force, Jason Trevino, urged that the public not jump to any conclusions about what led to the shooting based on video footage of the incident that was posted on social media. The clips show the student slashing a knife, possibly more than one knife, in the air as other students stood in a circle around him. Seconds later an officer arrives and a single shot is fired.

“Please remember that these accounts don’t tell the complete story. This is an ongoing investigation and, as such, we won’t be able to release any details,” Trevino said at a school district press conference Thursday.

What School Officials Say

Washoe County School Superintendent Traci Davis praised the quick response by law enforcement which she said kept students safe.

"The event that occurred at Procter Hug High School yesterday was heartbreaking for our Hug High family and community," Davis said at the press conference Thursday.

She said she would like "to thank our dedicated officers with the Washoe County School District Police Department who acted so quickly to protect the safety of our students. Had it not been for their quick action and professionalism, I truly believe that the outcome could have been much worse for our students."

What the Family Says


The attorney for the student's family is questioning why the officer used his gun.

Lawyer David Houston said the boy is a special needs student who was bullied at school and that he may lose a lung or suffer brain damage from the shooting.

The father posted on Facebook on Wednesday night following the shooting, saying his 14-year-old son brought knives to school to defend himself.

“You have a very mentally unhinged student attempting to keep people away from him by swinging knives in the air,” the lawyer, Houston, said. “If that’s worthy of execution, then I guess I’m standing on a different platform than those people that think it appropriate to shoot a child.”

What Experts Say

ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams said investigators will be looking at the chain of events leading up to the shooting, including what prompted the teen to wield a knife and threaten other students and what impelled the officer to pull the trigger.

“Any time there’s an officer-related shooting, there’s going to be an investigation. There’s going to be a very serious one here,” Abrams said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday. “The question’s going to be exactly what else did this officer have, for example a Taser? If he did, why couldn’t he have used the Taser instead of firing his weapon?”

Abrams said the boy’s family won’t be the only ones asking questions about what led the officer to fire that shot.

“It’s going to be some of the families of other kids who were there. That could certainly end up leading to some sort of civil lawsuit down the road,” he said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A woman accused of murdering her twin sister by driving their vehicle off a cliff in Hawaii waived her right to an extradition hearing in a New York court Friday morning.

Alexandria Duval, 38, entered the Albany County courtroom in shackles, a yellow jumpsuit and with her long blonde hair pulled back. Duval's attorney, Kevin O'Brien, said his client was anxious to return to Hawaii to defend herself against a second-degree murder charge stemming from the fatal crash.

“She’s trying to figure out a way to ... defend herself and still be able to suffer from the loss of her sister,” O’Brien told ABC affiliate WTEN in Albany. “So it’s a real dichotomy for her. She’s got a lot of resolve and believes in what the justice system will do for her. It’s tough for her, she’s in a cage.”

The move clears the way for Duval’s extradition from upstate New York, where she and her identical twin sister were born. Terence Kindlon of the Albany County Public Defender’s Office, who was previously representing Duval, had said the defendant returned to her home state to mourn her sister’s death.

Authorities in Hawaii now have 30 days to collect Duval and bring her back to jail in Maui. Until then, she'll remain in Albany County Jail, according to WTEN.

Alexandria Duval has waived her right to an extradition hearing. She tells her attorney she wants to get back to fight the murder charge pic.twitter.com/RTJoWyTSvf

— Samantha DiMascio (@SDiMascioWTEN) December 9, 2016

Prosecutors say Duval intentionally caused the death of her sister on May 29 when she allegedly drove their SUV off the ocean-side Hana Highway in Maui. Duval survived with critical injuries, while her sister Anastasia was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses said they saw the twins violently arguing moments before the driver seemed to suddenly accelerate and make a sharp left turn. The vehicle then slammed into a rock wall and plunged 200 feet to the rocks below, according to ABC affiliate KITV in Honolulu.

After being discharged from the hospital, Duval was arrested and jailed in Maui on a second-degree murder charge, and accused of deliberately causing her sister's death. She had planned to plead not guilty, but a judge later ordered her release after determining there was no probable cause for a murder charge.

A grand jury in Hawaii indicted Duval on that charge in October and Maui police issued a warrant for her arrest.

According to New York State Police, Duval was arrested on Nov. 11 after she was located at a residence in Albany. Police said Duval attempted to flee before she was taken into custody. She's been held in Albany County Jail since, awaiting extradition, with bail set at $3 million, according to WTEN.

The Duval sisters were born Alison and Ann Dadow in the Utica, New York, area. They operated popular yoga studios in Palm Beach County, Florida, from 2008 to 2014 before they changed their names.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) --  Chris Mumma, the executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, believes her client Mark Carver is sitting in prison, sentenced to life, for a murder he didn’t commit.

Mumma’s organization receives about 600 requests every year from inmates who say they have been wrongfully convicted. But she knows a winning case comes along far less often. In fact NCAI accepts only 2 percent of all the inmate appeals it receives.

“Mark’s case met all the criteria for us,” Mumma, Carver’s attorney, told ABC News 20/20.

 Carver was convicted of first-degree murder in 2011 for the murder of 20-year-old UNC Charlotte Ira Yarmolenko.

“We think Mark is innocent, and if Mark is innocent, the family has not received justice, and the true perpetrator is still out on the streets,” Mumma said.

 Yarmolenko was found dead on the banks of the Catawba River in Mount Holly, N.C., on May 5, 2008. She was lying beside her car with three ligatures around her neck, which police say asphyxiated her. One was a drawstring that had been taken out of her hooded sweatshirt, and the others were a bungee cord and a blue ribbon that had been ripped from a bag police found in the back seat of her car.

At the time, Carver was fishing on the river about 100 yards away with his cousin, Neal Cassada. Carver said he cooperated with police, voluntarily speaking with them on four different occasions. Both he and Cassada agreed to allow their cheeks to be swabbed for DNA testing.

In December of 2008, seven months after Yarmolenko’s murder, police received the break they had been waiting for. Trace amount of touch DNA were found on Yarmolenko’s car that match both Carver and Cassada.

The men were arrested and charged with first-degree murder but Cassada died of a heart attack the day before the his trial was set to begin.

At trial, prosecutors argued that Carver’s “touch DNA” was found on the outside of Yarmolenko’s car above the rear driver’s side door.

Unlike more traditional forms of DNA found in blood or saliva, touch DNA comes from skin cells. In 2008, when the murder occurred, the ability to lift DNA from an object that had merely been touched was cutting edge forensic science.

Mumma said it was two months before Yarmolenko’s car was swabbed for DNA and only traces of Carver and Cassada’s DNA were found. Carver’s DNA was not found on Yarmolenko’s body, her clothing, the ligatures used to strangle her, nor inside the car.

“Under her fingernails there were two profiles,” Mumma said. “There was hers, which you would expect to find there, but there also was another profile that was unidentified.”

To this day, police have not been able to determine who the “unidentified” DNA belongs to.

Mumma thinks there could be another explanation for how Carver’s touch DNA ended up on Yarmolenko’s car. On the day of the murder a police officer found Carver on the river and spoke to him, who took Carver’s driver’s license and shook his hand. Mumma said that the officer could have transferred Carver’s DNA indirectly to Yarmolenko’s car when he returned to the crime scene. Photos and video from the scene show that some of the officers that day were not wearing gloves, even while they touched the car.

“They're touching the inside of the car, they're touching the outside of the car, they're touching the doors, the handles, it's contaminated,” Mumma said.

Mumma said she also found a witness, who asked not to be identified for this report, who said he was on the Catawba River the day of the murder and spoke to Carver in the crucial period between when Yarmolenko was killed and when that police office arrive to speak to him.

“We talked about fishing,” the witness told 20/20. “And we talked about his family, and we had a good conversation for about 30 to 35 minutes.”

The man said he didn’t notice anything about Carver that suggested he had just been through a homicidal struggle.

“Mr. Carver wasn’t muddy, he wasn’t wet. He had no scratches on him,” the witness said. “He was just as normal as anybody could be normal, just sitting on the back of his SUV fishing.”

Mumma thinks this witness’s testimony could have been important at Carver’s trial but he was never called to testify.

Mumma says the only way to resolve the questions surrounding Carver’s guilt is for Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell to release the DNA evidence to be retested. But she says Bell has so far refused her requests. Prosecutors in this case refused to speak with 20/20 but they have always steadfastly defended the touch DNA evidence.

"He has refused to allow the state lab to give us the electronic data. There’s ways to get to the answers in these cases collaboratively,” Mumma said.

On Thursday, Mumma filed a post-conviction motion demanding Carver receive a new trial. One big factor she argues in her motion is that Carver had ineffective counsel at his first trial. She would like another jury to hear the evidence that the first one never did.

“We will certainly be saying … that he should have had a forensic expert of his own testifying,” Mumma said.

Mumma hopes to deliver a second chance for Carver, even though she knows it won’t be easy.

“We’ve been around this block enough to know it's not good to bet on it. So we’re going to fight for him and, you know, we’re going to hope that the district attorney will work with us,” Mumma said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  White nationalist Richard Spencer wasn’t fazed by the protesters who turned up at his Texas A&M University appearance on Tuesday.

“We triggered the world,” Spencer told Nightline. “I think it’s good to trigger people a little bit. When you get triggered it means that you’re shocked, you thought something that you haven’t thought before. It means that you have an open mind and you can start to see the world differently.”

But what Spencer actually triggered on campus was the unified presence of thousands of people demonstrating their opposition to his views by attending a competing event at a the university’s football stadium.

Spencer is credited with coining the term “alt-right,” which he described as “the identity politics for white people in the 21st century.”

“I think the alt-right has gained a great deal of ground, precisely because we are provocative,” he added. “And precisely because, to use bad language, we don’t give a ---- on some level.”

Spencer, 38, came to national attention when video surfaced of him at a Washington, D.C. conference in November shouting “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory,” as some members of the crowd raised their hands in a Nazi salute.

Spencer said he yelled out “Hail Trump,” “in the spirit of irony and exuberance.” He added that he saw the president-elect as someone who “sling-shotted our movement into fame.” The moment he found out Trump won the presidency, Spencer said if felt like a kind of “miracle.”

“If someone had told me two years ago that Donald Trump would be the alt-right hero and he would be president, I would be like, ‘What ridiculous movie are you talking about like this is not real life,’ but it is real life,” Spencer said.

Trump has said he disavows and condemns the alt-right movement.

In an interview with Nightline, Spencer claimed he is not a white supremacist or a racist, but it is difficult to understand his incendiary rhetoric any other way.

He told Mother Jones magazine that “Hispanics and African Americans have lower average IQs than whites and are more genetically predisposed to commit crimes” -- a pseudo-science argument of white supremacists which has been widely discredited. But Spencer called it “an empirical fact.”

“When you study, say average intelligence say around the world, and you keep getting the same answer, at some point you are going to have to look towards genetics as a cause,” Spencer said.

His deeply inflammatory world view involves an all-white “ethno state” where races are segregated through peaceful “ethnic cleansing,” though he has been quoted before as saying that it could be bloody.

“I think the current paradigm we’re living under is going to lead to blood and tears,” Spencer said. “I don't know exactly what is going to happen but yes I do think that if there is going to be a major crack up… predominantly on racial lines.”

Spencer’s organization, the National Policy Institute, is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for promoting far-right, white-nationalist views.

“The term alt-right is really nothing more than a re-branding of white supremacy for the digital age,” said Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen. “I don’t think anybody should be fooled by what it is at its core and that is white supremacy.”

Spencer, who was raised in Dallas but now lives in Montana, has been banned by local businesses in his neighborhood. His own parents, he says, "think I'm a little crazy.” Alums from his Class of 1997 at the elite prep school St. Marks he attended in Dallas started a fund for immigrants to repudiate his views. He said he has been banned from 25 European countries for his views.

“I’ve been banned from most of Europe,” he said, with a smile. “A lot of things have been strained because of my activism, yes, it’s been very difficult.”

But Texas A&M decided not to ban him, citing freedom of speech. The university did not invite Spencer to speak on Tuesday, but a room was booked on campus by a former student.

“Our leadership finds his views as expressed to date in direct conflict with our core values,” Texas A&M spokeperson Amy Smith said. “Private citizens are permitted to reserve space available to the public as we are a public university.”

Texas A&M President Michael Young said, “I believe we live in a world where differences actually makes us stronger.”

Rather than keep quiet about Spencer’s visit, the university managed to turn it into a teachable moment -- allowing Spencer’s freedom of speech, while supporting protesters' freedoms of expression as well.

Hundreds gathered outside the university’s student union hours before Spencer was scheduled to speak, holding signs and essentially drowning out Spencer's speech with chants and jeers. One yelled out, “Go home Spencer, we don’t want you.” Students wrote messages on a makeshift "unity wall" on the campus that included "Aggies Against Hate," "Love & Respect," and "United We Stand."

Former Texas A&M student Adam Davies was one of the protestors shouting at Spencer.

“I want people to … see through their lies and their misguidance. They are not alt-right, they are not racial realists, they are Neo-nazis,” he said. “It’s unacceptable even remotely feasible, try to make it so they can have a conversation about ethnic cleansing.”

A&M Ph.D. candidate Adam Kay, who helped organize Tuesday’s protests, said, “We're here to celebrate diversity and protest at the same time. It’s been crucial since the beginning not devolve into hate ourselves.”

In the end, the vast majority of Spencer’s audience inside his Texas A&M appearance were there in protest.

Tensions erupted during Spencer’s speech several times and the night ended with police in riot gear pushing people out of the building where he spoke.

“I see myself as mainstream,” Spencer said. “I'm trying to normalize racism… I'm trying to normalize my ideas, our ideas of the alt-right, yes. I do not want the alt-right to be a fringe movement, I want the alt-right to be a dominant movement.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center said there has been a spike in hate crimes since after the election with 867 hate crimes reported in 47 states. The organization said the first line of defense is spotlighting what they consider dangerous hate speech.

“[Spencer] is the head of the alt right … and quite frankly Mr. Trump ran a racially divisive campaign, so I think the media has an obligation to cover Richard Spencer,” said SPLC’s Richard Cohen.

In the end, the protestors who showed up at the Texas A&M Kyle Stadium -- including students, anti-hate groups and the university’s president -- sent a powerful message of tolerance and diversity to drown out what they considered was a repugnant and unwelcome din nearby on campus, with loud, boisterous chants of “Aggies United” filling the air.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



God Bless America & Our Home Louisiana

970 KSYL On Air Now
George Knapp
George Knapp
12:00am - 6:00am
Coast To Coast AM
He's Back!

Week Nights 8 to 11

KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3

Kim Komando

Click For Kim Komando's Daily Tip!!

Kdixie.com

The Best Of The 60's & 70's

Now On Air At 100.3 HD2

Or Click The Logo Above

To Listen.

 

State Wire
North Rapides Business & Industry Alliance

Weekends

 

All Weekend Long

It's a

Political Free Zone!

Good Food Project

Resources
LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services