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Entries in Boston Marathon (3)

Sunday
Apr212013

Online Fundraising Raises Money Quickly for Boston Bombing Victims

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- The recovery process for many victims of the Boston Marathon bombing will be slow, arduous and expensive. Numerous victims suffered severe injuries to their lower limbs, with multiple patients having one or more amputations.

But the victims will not be without financial help as they recover.

The public outpouring of support to Boston after the bombings has also translated monetarily, with millions of dollars in donations for victims already made. More than $10 million has been raised for the victims and their families through the One Fund Boston. More than $1 million more has been raised through individual online fundraising sites for victims.

The creation of the One Fund Boston was announced Tuesday by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. The fund is designed to streamline donations into one account, which will then be divvied up to victims and their families.

"I am humbled by the outpouring of support by the business community and individuals who are united in their desire to help," Patrick said in a statement. "At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people."

Kenneth Feinberg, who also oversaw the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and the victim funds for the Aurora, Colo., shooting, has been tapped to administer the project.

Multiple corporations have pledged to donate, including the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and Bank of America. Adidas has pledged to donate all profits from Boston Marathon merchandise to the fund.

While donations to the One Fund Boston are still coming in, it is unclear when the money will be distributed to victims and their families.

For immediate access to funds, family and friends of victims have started using online fundraising sites to help with mounting medical bills and other expenses. Websites such as GoFundMe.com and GiveForward.com allow users to raise money very quickly and are paid out at the end of the scheduled fundraising drive.

Brooke Gibbs used GoFundMe.com to raise more than $300,000 from 7,906 users in just three days for Jeff Bauman Jr. A graphic photograph of Bauman, who lost both of his lower legs in the bombing, made headlines after the attack.

"We want to help in every which way we possibly can to get Bauman back on track as soon as possible," Gibbs wrote in a post. "Medical bills are going to start rolling in, let's get a head start on helping out Bauman and his family!"

According to a study conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management in 2011, prosthetics are covered by 70 percent to 75 percent of employer-sponsored insurance plans. For those who are not covered by insurance, prosthetics can cost approximately $40,000 per limb.

Gibb's fundraising goal for Bauman is $1 million.

Alyssa Carter also used the site to create a page for Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, a mother and daughter injured the blast. Sydney and Celeste Corcoran were both standing near the finish line when the bombs went off. Celeste Corcoran lost both of her lower legs and Sydney Corcoran had shrapnel embedded in her legs.

"There is a long road ahead -- both physically and emotionally -- and we're hoping to relieve some of the financial burden by raising funds in their name," Carter said in a post.

The fundraising page for the mother and daughter had raised more than $450,000 from a goal of $750,000 as of Saturday.

On GiveForward.com, a dedicated Boston Support Page let users choose between supporting 13 families affected by the bombing. Collectively they have currently raised $719,957.

The sites also have staff members that watch the fundraisers and contact users to ensure the websites are not used to support scams. According to Nate St. Pierre, the director of communications at GiveForward.com, the website has cancelled about 20 attempted fundraisers.

Both websites deduct money from transactions, the website GoFundMe.com deducts 5 percent from every donation and GiveForward.com deducts 7 percent from every transaction.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr212013

Retail Surveillance Assists Authorities with Crimes Outside Stores

FBI(NEW YORK) -- Retail surveillance cameras are doing more than just capturing shoplifters, as authorities turn to businesses who keep a digital eye on their storefronts.

Surveillance footage played a critical role in helping authorities identify the two Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

Video surveillance outside the Lord and Taylor department store near the Boston Marathon finish line captured images used by the FBI of the Tsarnaev brothers.

Richard Mellor, vice president of loss prevention with the National Retail Federation, said he has seen retailers help capture everything from bag burglars to car thieves in store parking lots.

And the technology is improving in at least two ways.

First, the ability of video to be transported over long distances has expanded with digital capabilities; that is, “transporting the actual images of what is seen on one side of the camera and who is looking at it,” Mellor said.

“Now those images are being transported pretty quickly over thousands of miles to headquarters in retailing where they’re able to see images of cities around the U.S. where they have stores. That’s a new development over the last five years that has grown leaps and bounds.”

Second, the ability to view an enhanced, clarified image is another technological advance.

“Now the ability to enhance the video, and as we have all seen by first images of the Boston bombing, those images were better and more clearer as the hours passed. So the first images of individual faces, that gets enhanced over a computer system,” he said. “Those fuzzy black and white images of people for which we cannot make an identification now have been enhanced to the point they keep refining the image so it’s so clear that they can make an identification.”

In 2011, authorities used camera footage outside a Safeway grocery store to analyze the shooting of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz.

Mellor said many customers prefer to shop in retail stores with surveillance, despite privacy concerns, if the cameras are in plain view.

“Obviously, there’s a prevalence of cameras all over the place and the world,” Mellor said. ”Unfortunately that has become a necessary thing to do with types of crimes out there.”

When asked if retailers would ever take the desire for extra footage “too far,” and invade privacy in dressing rooms or bathrooms, Mellor said, “I’ve lived in the retail world a long time. That is an absolute ‘no no’. No leader of loss prevention would permit their people to do that.”

Security cameras inside a 7-Eleven also helped clarify information during the tense standoff that led to the death of an MIT campus police officer.

Police initially reported that the brothers had robbed a 7-Eleven in Cambridge, which turned out not to be true.

“There was an incident at a 7-Eleven store yesterday evening in Cambridge, but our local loss prevention asset protection manager was able to review the video tape and ascertain the description of who the robber was,” said Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven.

The convenience chain company has spent millions of dollars installing a state-of-the-art DVR surveillance camera system in the past year, said Chabris.

Like many retailers, 7-Eleven is glad to help authorities by providing surveillance footage for criminal investigations.

“They have helped solved incidents at our stores and police look to us as a resource to investigate crimes that have nothing to do with 7-Eleven,” Chabris said.

Lord and Taylor did not respond to an ABC News request for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr202013

Movement to Replace Boat Ruined in Standoff with Suspected Bomber

Bing(WATERTOWN, Mass.) -- America wants to help David Henneberry get a new boat.

The Watertown, Mass., resident became a hero when he discovered suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his backyard boat.

Henneberry quickly called the cops and in a final standoff, his boat was riddled with bullet holes.

"That boat's his baby. He takes care of it like you wouldn't believe. And they told him it's all shot up," Henneberry's friend and neighbor George Pizzuto told ABC News.

"He's going to be heartbroken."

Deborah Newberry, 62, of Orlando, Fla., has already put a $25 check in the mail to Henneberry's home.

She believes Henneberry had to be "awfully, awfully cool" to emerge from a daylong lockdown, notice something wrong with his boat, find a bloody man in it and slip away to call police.

"Just listening to his coolness and how he handled the situation, it was like okay, that is a man who needs to have his boat restored," Newberry said.

When asked if she sent Henneberry any note with the check Newberry said no, she simply wrote, "towards a new boat" on the check.

"[The boat] is fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but that's what's significant to him," Florida lawyer John Phillip told ABCNews.com. "If that's what the guy's passion is, I have no problem whatsoever chipping in and helping out."

Phillips, 38, is a personal injury attorney in Jacksonville, Fla. He wants to send Henneberry $1,000 for a new boat since he predicts the boat will be held as evidence for some time.

"He just had his boat shot up and had a terrorist live in it for a day," Phillips said. "If the dude wants an upgraded boat, let's get the guy a boat without terrorist blood in it."

People on Twitter are echoing the calls to help Henneberry, hailing him a hero.

"Bravo, David Henneberry! You are a true American hero. I say we all pitch in and buy you a new boat. #welldeserved," one person tweeted.

Henneberry's boat is reportedly a 22-foot Seahawk cruiser with a fiberglass hull, which retails for around $50,000.

He did not return ABC News' request for a comment.

"It took more than the police department to get it done and that's the American spirit to me," Phillips said. "It's one random guy and one random boat ironically in a town named Watertown that's supposedly landlocked. Truth is stranger than fiction. You couldn't write this stuff and be believable."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







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