Headlines » Nation http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines The latest Headlines, news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:05:55 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 United Jet Makes Emergency Landing After Odor Detected http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/united-jet-makes-emergency-landing-after-odor/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/united-jet-makes-emergency-landing-after-odor/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:29:32 +0000 Clayton Sandell http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524014 A Boeing 777 operated by United Airlines made an emergency landing today because of a strange odor onboard, the second such incident this month.

United Airlines flight 328 took off from Denver bound for Honolulu, but was forced to land in Salt Lake City Friday afternoon due to an “electrical odor,” according to airline spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm.

There were 269 passengers and 10 crew members on board the flight.

“Our passengers deplaned normally, and our maintenance team will inspect the aircraft,” Dohm said in an email to ABC News.

Earlier this month, another Boeing 777 operated by United made an emergency landing on the tiny Pacific island of Midway after passengers reported a burning smell.

Dohm said that the two incidents involved different Boeing 777 aircraft.

United did not say when the passengers on Friday’s flight would be able continue on to Hawaii.

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Watch: SWAT Team Rushes Plane to Arrest ‘Unruly’ Flier http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/watch-swat-team-rushes-plane-to-arrest-unruly-flier/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/watch-swat-team-rushes-plane-to-arrest-unruly-flier/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:00:49 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524002

New, gripping cell phone video released today by Canada’s CTV News shows an armed Canadian SWAT team rushing onboard a plane to arrest a passenger who had allegedly threatened the aircraft.

“Heads down, hands up,” the military team screams as they enter the plane.

Sunwing Flight 772 bound for Panama City was forced to turn around in the skies over West Virginia and return to Toronto Pearson International Airport after a traveler became “agitated,” according to a Sunwing spokeswoman.

Toronto police identified the suspect as Ali Shahi, 25, of Canada, and said he faces charges of uttering threats and endangering the safety of an aircraft.

“He basically just tore a strip off her [the flight attendant], explaining how expensive the cigarettes are here in Canada, he hates Canada,” flier Bettina Bathe told CTV News. “Then he said, with great expression using his hands, ‘I just want to bomb Canada.’”

According to Capt. Jennifer Stadnyk of the Northern American Aerospace Defense Command, two F-16 fighter jets from Toledo, Ohio escorted the plane as a “precaution.”

The plane, with 183 passengers and six crew on board, landed safely. No one was injured and the suspect was taken off the plane.

The Associated Press and CTV News contributed to this story.

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EF-1 Tornado Kills Couple, Injures Son at Virginia Campground http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/ef-1-tornado-kills-couple-injures-son-at-virginia-campground/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/ef-1-tornado-kills-couple-injures-son-at-virginia-campground/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:32:52 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523954

Police have identified a couple who were killed in their tent as a tornado ripped through a packed campground on the eastern shore of Virginia early today, injuring two dozen people.

Ferocious winds twisted trailers and mangled trees as golf ball-sized hail rained on more than 1,300 panicked vacationers huddling for safety at the Cherrystone Family Camping Ground and RV Resort in Northampton, Virginia.

AP campground storm mar 140724 16x9 608 EF 1 Tornado Kills Couple, Injures Son at Virginia Campground

L. Todd Spencer, The Virginian-Pilot/AP Photo

During a news conference today, Virginia State Police said a tree had fallen, killing a husband and wife, Lord Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega, both 38, of Jersey City, New Jersey, in one tent and critically injuring their 13-year-old son in a nearby tent.

“We’re in a 37-foot motorhome and it started rolling back and forth and we’re hearing stuff slamming,” said Jerry Kennett.

Northampton County had been under a tornado warning until 9 a.m.

Winds up to 100 mph. snapped trees and flipped a tractor-trailer. After surveying the damage, the National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF-1 tornado.

“All the sudden, the wind started picking up, hail [the] size of golf balls … and you could see the wind spinning and it would change direction,” said Peyton Asal. “I mean, we were in the eye of this tornado. … It was scary.”

A total of 38 people were taken to hospitals with broken bones, lacerations and cuts.

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Baiting Bike Thieves – and Winning – in San Francisco http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/baiting-bike-thieves-and-winning-in-san-francisco/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/baiting-bike-thieves-and-winning-in-san-francisco/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:22:46 +0000 Neal Karlinsky http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523641 ABC bike thieves mar 140724 16x9 608 Baiting Bike Thieves   and Winning   in San Francisco

ABC News

Police are hunting down thieves on the streets of San Francisco in a skyrocketing black market: stolen bicycles.

“It’s a huge business,” Officer Matt Friedman, the head of the bike thief unit, said. “It’s this revolving door of bikes that get ripped off, end up in flea markets, end up on Craigslist, and back out on the street again. And they seem to hold their value quite well when they get to that third stage of being resold on Craigslist for almost top dollar again.”

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The city has seen a 70 percent spike in bike thefts since 2006.

The boom in bicycle commuting nationwide – up 60 percent in 10 years – has turned expensive bicycles into easy targets.

“I have arrested almost everyone here, and there is a lot more, too,” Friedman said as he showed ABC News the mug shots of bike thieves.

Friedman has turned catching them into a kind of sport, posting mug shots on social media like trophies and even baiting suspects.

“[The] Cannondale [bicycle] gets stolen over and over again,” he said. “It’s worth about $1,500.”

He said another bike – a Motobecane Le Champion mountain bike worth about $1,600 — is also stolen quite a bit.

Both the Cannondale and Motobecane bikes are part of a fleet of “bait bikes” that are wired with GPS trackers and then left around town by police, for thieves to steal and then get caught.

To protect your own bike, Friedman suggested staying away from cable locks and opting for U-locks. Small U-locks are better than the larger ones, he said, because the bigger they are, the easier they are to break.

“If people don’t take the right precaution, it’s only going to get easier,” Friedman said. “You really need to know the types of locks you’re supposed to use and how to use them.

“Bike theft, again, is about time,” he added. “So the more time it takes for someone to get, a thief to get a lock off, the less they are going to be interested in your bike and go on to something else.”

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6 Ways Parents Can Save Their Children From Deadly Hot Cars http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/6-ways-parents-can-save-their-children-from-deadly-hot-cars/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/6-ways-parents-can-save-their-children-from-deadly-hot-cars/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:22:46 +0000 Matthew Larotonda http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523917

WASHINGTON – Alert passersby in a Philadelphia parking lot may have saved a life this week when they noticed an infant trapped in the heat of a locked car. The Good Samaritans, seen on cellphone video, called first responders who rescued the child, and took its parent into custody.

But with the United States entering the deep summer months, too many families have been less fortunate: a sobering 17 children have died of heatstroke in vehicles so far this year and likely more will come. An average of 39 U.S. children have died per year since 2003, according to a San Francisco State University study. Over half were simply forgotten by their caretakers.

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Today the Department of Transportation is urging new parents to remember these ways they can avoid a tragedy:

  • Never leave a child alone in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down or air conditioning turned on. Air conditioning can fail, and cracked windows may not be adequate to protect a child whose body temperature rises three to five times faster than adults
  • Always look in both the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door and walking away.
  • Outdoor temperatures as low as 57 degrees can still be fatal over time. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach fatal levels in just 10 minutes.
  • Think of some ways to remind yourself about your child in the back seat. Put something you always keep on you, like your cellphone or purse, next to them, to remind you to turn around before getting out. Have a cellphone with an alarm clock? Set an alert.
  • Make sure their day care or school knows to call you if they do not show up. Or call your partner or spouse after you drop your child off with them to make sure you didn’t forget.
  • Never let children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them it is not a play area.

At a Washington day care center this morning, a DOT demonstration emphasized the point. Under dark, overcast skies threatening rain, and a comfortable 75 degrees, a parked sedan reached 94 degrees within an hour. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told families, day care workers and media that he wanted to erase the perception that such deaths are an accident that “happens to other people in other places.”

“A lot of times [as a parent] you’re tired. You’re overwhelmed. You’re stressed out. You’ve got lots of things to think about,” he said, “and in some cases your mind just isn’t functioning as sharply as you’d otherwise want it to.”

“Parents just forget to look into the backseat, especially when their routines change, and bad things happen,” he added.

Foxx was joined by a Reggie McKinnon, a father whose infant daughter died in such a tragedy when he forgot her for four hours after picking her up from a doctor’s appointment and returning to work. He now says he honors her by educating others on heatstroke.

“Before [my] accident, every time I would read of a child dying in a parked car of heatstroke, I would ask, ‘How could they forget their child? I would never do that. That only happens to people who are uneducated, drunk, drug addicts, not me,’” he said, holding back tears. “And I couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

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Reserve Cop Who Posted Offensive Cyclist Rant Resigns http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/reserve-cop-who-posted-offensive-cyclist-rant-resigns/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/reserve-cop-who-posted-offensive-cyclist-rant-resigns/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:17:35 +0000 Erin Mizraki http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523846 ht santa paula police department jc 140721 16x9 608 Reserve Cop Who Posted Offensive Cyclist Rant Resigns

(Courtesy of Santa Paula Police Department)

A volunteer reserve police officer in California has resigned after a video that she posted in which she jokes about running over cyclists went viral.

Laura Weintraub of the Santa Paula Police Department posted to her Facebook on Saturday apologizing for the “mistake” and asking for forgiveness. The same day the police department updated its Facebook saying that the volunteer who made the video had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Then on Sunday, Police Chief Steven Mclean reported on the Facebook page that he had accepted Weintraub’s resignation, effective that day.

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“It’s a black eye and it’s embarrassing,” Mclean told ABC News today. “The whole police department is completely horrified. I’m just beside itself.”

After receiving multiple death threats, Weintraub said she knew it was best for both herself and the department to resign, Mclean said.

Another volunteer who tried to make light of the situation by posting sarcastic comments on Weintraub’s video has also issued an apology taking responsibility for his comments. That volunteer has been suspended pending an investigation, Mclean said.

The video has since ignited a firestorm of debate on the department’s Facebook page. Thousands of users have flocked to the page, many of whom are unsatisfied with Weintraub’s “dignified” departure. One comment that has garnered nearly 300 likes demands that Weintraub be charged with violating California Penal Code Section 422, aimed at any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime that results in a death.

“That video was posted in L.A. County, on her own time, and doesn’t reflect any of our views here. If someone thinks she did something criminal, they can do something about it.,” Mclean said.


Others, however, appear more sympathetic. Many who say they know Weintraub personally have changed their profile pictures to a screenshot of the video that reads, “I support Laura Weintraub. Share this if you know her for the person she is. Not who the media has made her into.”

In the video, Weintraub filmed herself from her car commenting on bikers’ spandex and claiming, “I hate bicyclists — every single one of them.”

At one point she asks her husband who was driving the car, “How much would I have to pay you to run one of these over?” The video was part of her Web series Cup Holder Commentary.

Weintraub, who is a personal trainer, was not on duty while filming the video nor did she state that she worked at the police department.


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18-Pound Lobster Returns to Sea http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/18-pound-lobster-returns-to-sea/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/18-pound-lobster-returns-to-sea/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 23:17:17 +0000 Geetika Rudra http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523825 HT huge lobster jt 140719 7x10 608 18 Pound Lobster Returns to Sea

Gary Higgins/The Patriot Ledger

An 18-pound lobster caught off the coast of Massachusetts has been returned to sea.

The lobster was caught by Joby Norton, the owner of Mullaney’s Fish Market in Scituate, Mass., in an offshore trawler.

“We’ve had people come in who wanted to buy him for the Fourth, but we decided we don’t want to sell him,” Norton told The Patriot Ledger. “We’re better off letting him go so he can live out his life.”

Lobsters typically weigh 1.5 pounds according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

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Military Firefighting Planes Called Up to Battle Western Threat http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/military-firefighting-planes-called-up-to-battle-western-threat/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/military-firefighting-planes-called-up-to-battle-western-threat/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 17:08:14 +0000 Clayton Sandell http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523818

Two military C-130 airplanes were activated this morning to help fight raging western wildfires, a spokesman told ABC News today.

The two planes belong to the Wyoming Air National Guard 153rd Air Wing and carry a portable tank called a MAFFS — short for Modular Airborne Firefighting System. MAFFS-equipped planes can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in only five seconds.

The aircraft will head from Wyoming to a base in Boise, Idaho, today, and will be assigned to specific fires Sunday, said Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a MAFFS spokesman with the North Carolina Air National Guard.

“We are mobilizing MAFFS to ensure that we continue to have adequate air tanker capability as we experience very challenging wildfire conditions in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, and elsewhere in the West,” said Aitor Bidaburu with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho in a press release.

HT C130J airlift wing MAFFS4 jt 140719 16x9 608 Military Firefighting Planes Called Up to Battle Western Threat

MAFFS 6, a C130J from the 146th Airlift Wing in Port Hueneme, Calif., drops a line of retardant over the trees in the mountains above Palm Springs July 19, 2013.

There are eight MAFFS planes in total at bases around the country that are called up when fire activity is high and the U.S. Forest Service runs short on federally-contracted civilian firefighting planes.

In recent years the Forest Service has been criticized for a critical shortage of firefighting air tankers. The fleet has shrunk from around 50 a decade ago to 15 this year. Many of the planes are aging relics dating back to the Korean War.

The Forest Service has increasingly been awarding firefighting contracts to more modern jet aircraft.

Of the 15 non-MAFFS firefighting planes available this fire season, nine are the newer “next generation” air tankers, said Jennifer Jones, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Forest Service. The remaining six are older, so-called “legacy” planes, Jones said.

HT C 130H hercules airlift wing MAFFS3 jt 140719 16x9 608 Military Firefighting Planes Called Up to Battle Western Threat

A C-130H Hercules from the 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., drops water May 2, 2007, at the Albuquerque (N.M.) Air Tanker Base.

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‘Cauldron of Hell’ as Fires Rage Across Washington State http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/cauldron-of-hell-as-fires-rage-across-washington-state/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/cauldron-of-hell-as-fires-rage-across-washington-state/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:50:07 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523810

In central Washington today, some residents returned to their neighborhoods to see what had been left behind after wildfires raced through the town of Pateros.

“It was a funnel of fire,” David Brownless, whose home caught fire Thursday as he drove off, told The Associated Press.

Related: California residents face fines as state reduces water use.
Watch: Dry conditions fuel wildfires in at least five states.

About 100 homes disappeared in minutes near Pateros. There were no reports of injuries.

The cluster of fires, sparked by lightning, forced more than 1,500 to evacuate, including hospital patients.

Rod Griffin, a fly-fishing guide, said the whole valley was in “disarray.”

The fires that destroyed parts of Pateros were among 20 large wildfires that have scorched 500,000 acres, more than twice the size of New York City.

The Pacific Northwest, normally known for its damp and cool weather, has suffered blazing heat and drought conditions, perfect fodder for the fires burning through the region.

AP Washington Wildfire MT 140718 16x9 608 Cauldron of Hell as Fires Rage Across Washington State

Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

“Last night, it really looked like a cauldron of hell,” said Tim Germaine, who was forced to leave Leavenworth, Washington, about 100 miles to the south of Pateros, because of the Chiwaukum Creek Fire.

“You could see flames everywhere you looked,” he said. “It was a mass exodus down here.”

Drivers blinded by the smoke on an interstate caused a pileup that left nearly a dozen people injured.

Conditions are so extreme that firefighters in the Northwest are now asking for help from seven other states, including California.

California, however, has already been stretched thin this fire season, announcing this week that residents would be fined as much as $500 for illegal water use.

“It’s terrible. It hurts the eyes. It hurts the throat,” said Charlene Montour, a resident of Leavenworth. “It’s terrible.”

ABC News’ Brandi Hitt and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Mother, Daughter and Grandmother Share Same Birthday http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/mother-daughter-and-grandmother-share-same-birthday/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/07/mother-daughter-and-grandmother-share-same-birthday/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:57:48 +0000 Erin Mizraki http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=523801 ht joanne luna lorraine lindbloom gianna birthday baby jc 140718 16x9 608 Mother, Daughter and Grandmother Share Same Birthday

Joanne, Lorraine, and Gianna were all born on July 2nd. credit: Albuquerque Journal

July 2nd has always been a special day for New Mexico residents Joanne Luna and her daughter Lorraine Lindbloom, who share the same birthday. But it became even more miraculous when Lorraine’s daughter Gianna was born on the same day this year.

It was the morning of Lorraine’s 29th birthday when she awoke to contractions around 3 a.m.

After dropping off her other children with her mother who was also celebrating her birthday, she and her husband began the hour-long drive to the Albuquerque hospital where she would deliver her 7 pound 3 ounce daughter Gianna at 10:37 a.m.

“It hit me on the drive,” Lindbloom said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh she’s going to have our birthdays.’ I was crying and it was really emotional.”

Born in New York in 1962, Luna gave birth to her daughter Lorraine exactly nine months after getting married and 10 days earlier than her due date.

Originally Joanne didn’t read too much into the shared birthdays, but after the birth of her granddaughter, her feelings have changed.

“I think it’s something cosmic,” Luna told ABC News. “I believe there is a reason for everything, I just don’t know what it is. We started thinking that maybe it was my mother communicating to us. I was very distraught when she died.”

Keith Devlin, a professor at Stanford University and popular mathematician and author,  estimated the chances of a mother, daughter and granddaughter sharing a birthday at 1 in 130,000.

“That’s a lot more likely than winning a large lottery jackpot which is typically of the order of 1 in 100,000,000, so you can expect to find it in any moderately sized city,” Keith told ABC News. According to Luna, these aren’t the only coincidences in their family. Jaydn, Lorraine’s oldest daughter, was born on July 12, Joanne’s original due date back in 1983.

Additionally, Lorraine’s due date for Gianna was scheduled for July 19, Lorraine’s late father’s birthday.

ht joanne luna birthday baby jc 140718 16x9 608 Mother, Daughter and Grandmother Share Same Birthday

Lorraine feeds Gianna who was born at 10:37 a.m. weighing 7 pounds and 3 ounces. credit: Joanne Luna

While Lorraine was growing up, the family would celebrate her birthday in the daytime while her mother would usually get a big dinner at night, but Lorraine says now they will celebrate Gianna’s birthday exclusively on July  2.

Lorraine lives in Albuquerque with her husband Elijah. They have three other children Jaydn, 11, Lauren 7, and Sophia, 2.


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