SEARCH

Thursday
Jul192018

Steam pipe blast creates huge crater in the middle of New York City

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A New York City neighborhood was rocked Thursday morning when a steam pipe exploded and created a huge crater in a street.

The blast occurred about 6:40 a.m. in Manhattan's Flatiron District, just blocks from the iconic Flatiron Building, according to the New York City Fire Department.

"It was a loud boom and the building just shook," Byron Chavers, who works in the area, told ABC station WABC-TV.

Chavers said firefighters evacuated his building and others nearby.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The explosion left a crater in the middle of the busy intersection of Fifth Avenue and 19th Street during the morning commute and prompted police to close off streets in the neighborhood.

The blast sent steam swirling into the air and rattled windows and nerves.

The cause of the subterranean explosion is under investigation.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul192018

Police rescue baby from bank robbery suspect who allegedly used child as a shield

SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty Images(MURPHY, Texas) -- Police in northern Texas rescued a baby from a suspected bank robber who allegedly tried to use the child as a shield when officers attempted to arrest her, authorities said.

Evelyn Misumi, 36, walked in a Bank of America branch in Murphy, Texas, Wednesday afternoon with gasoline and lighter fluid, dumped it on the floor and demanded cash, according to a police statement.

She tried to flee the scene after realizing employees had alerted authorities, who were already outside waiting, the Murphy Police Department said in the statement.

Murphy is about 25 miles north of Dallas.

“Police elected not to draw weapons as no immediate danger to themselves or surrounding individuals was apparent,” according to the statement. “They did, however, attempt to impede her escape by tasing her. When that proved unsuccessful, officers used pepper spray on the woman.”

Misumi eventually made it to a car and “pulled a small child out of the vehicle and attempted to use the child as a shield,” police said, adding that they are working to verify her relationship to the child.

That's when at least three officers rushed over to rescue the child, as shown in witness video.

One video posted on social media captured police as they wrestled to pry the baby from the suspect’s arms. Police eventually recovered the baby and took the suspect into custody, according to the statement.

No injuries were reported.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the child was taken to Children’s Medical Center to ensure that the child did not suffer any consequences from the pepper spray that had been used on the woman,” the police department said. “Identification of the suspect and her relation to the child are currently being verified.”

Misumi was still in custody at the Collin County jail in McKinney, Texas as of early Thursday, according to court records. She faces charges of robbery and child endangerment. It was unclear whether she had obtained an attorney.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul192018

Activists fear mass roundup of wild horses with government rule change

Ascent/PKS Media Inc./Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Wild horses, often considered elegant symbols of the American West, may be in danger with a new rule change by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

The change to the Obama-era rule removes restrictions on the horses' sale, according to activists, who fear the rule change will accelerate “mass round-ups” of wild horses, pave a path towards authorizing their euthanasia, and ultimately lead to their extinction.

The new rule, first released in late May, allows for the sale of up to 25 wild horses, which are federally protected, to one buyer within a six-month period without written approval from the agency’s assistant director – which activists say is a sharp increase from the 2013 rule’s maximum of four horses per buyer.

The American Wild Horse Campaign, an advocacy group, says the new rule means the agency “no longer has a requirement to describe the conditions in which the horses will be held.”

“Since riding a horse to his first day of work, Interior Secretary [Ryan] Zinke has galloped down a deadly path for America’s wild horse and burro herds – from asking Congress for permission to slaughter tens of thousands of these cherished animals to promoting the mass surgical sterilization of mustangs and burros on the range," Suzanne Roy, the American Wild Horse Campaign’s executive director, said in a statement. "Zinke is pushing the livestock industry agenda to rid our public lands of wild horses and trampling on the wishes of American citizens in the process.”

"The May 24, 2018 Instruction Memorandum that was released provides internal guidance for what is considered a sale eligible animal. It in no way changes the obligations and authorities given by Congress prohibiting the sale for slaughter or euthanasia of healthy animals. Secretary Zinke has made abundantly clear that he does not support slaughter or euthanasia of healthy horses and burros," the Bureau of Land Management told ABC News in a statement.

While wild horses have freely roamed the nation’s public lands for centuries, the Bureau of Land Management is concerned they’ll eventually overpopulate the land and become diseased.

Meanwhile, ranchers, who lease over 60 percent of Bureau of Land Management-owned public lands, have been pushing the agency to round up these untamed horses, claiming they compete with the ranchers’ livestock for grazing resources.

“Population control must be implemented to protect scarce and fragile resources in the arid West and ensure healthy animals. To carry out this mission, the BLM controls herd growth...through the periodic removals of excess animals and the placement of those animals into private care,” the agency’s Wild Horse and Burro Program webpage reads.

In January, the Bureau of Land Management considered allowing the euthanasia of wild horses for the first time in nearly 50 years. In late April, the agency submitted a report to Congress recommending euthanasia as an option for population control.

Currently, the ban on selling wild horses for the purpose of euthanasia is still in place.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul192018

Mega Millions jackpot surges to $422M before Friday's drawing

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Mega Millions jackpot has surged to $422 million for Friday night’s drawing after there were no winners Tuesday night for the top prize.

This is the seventh time the jackpot has exceeded $400 million and now the sixth largest prize in the game’s history, lottery officials said in a news release.

Although the jackpot is still up for grabs, there were some winners from Tuesday night’s drawing. Three $1 million tickets were sold Tuesday night in Florida, New Jersey and Oklahoma, according to lottery officials.

Two other historic Mega Millions jackpots have been awarded this year. A 20-year-old Floridian won $451 million in January and a food production manager from New Jersey won a whopping $533 million in April.

Friday night’s drawing will take place at 11 pm ET.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul192018

Grannies across the U.S. unite to caravan to the southern border to protest

ABC News(McALLEN, Texas) -- Nearly 30 grandparents will pack into two 15-seat vans to caravan from New York to the U.S.-Mexico Border at the end of this month to protest President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

The week-long caravan comes after more than 2,000 immigrant children were separated from their families at the southern border, a result of the Trump administration’s "zero-tolerance" immigration policy. Trump has since signed an executive order to end the policy but numerous families remain in detention or separated.

"When the children started being separated from their parents at the border, I just couldn’t believe it. I was horrified," said Michelle Clifton, a 74-year-old grandmother. "I thought, 'what am I going to be able to do as an individual to have an impact on this and to bring attention to it?'"

The result: Grannies Respond, also referred to as Abuelas Responden, a group of grandparents and supporters which formed three weeks ago and says its ready to take to the road to protest.

The journey will begin in Beacon, NY on July 30, wend some 2,000 miles southward to the U.S.- Mexico Border, and arrive in McAllen, Texas on Aug. 6. Along the way, the group will stop in seven cities to host rallies, offer a message of compassion and demand the reunification and release of separated families.

"It’s deeper than that," said Dan Aymar-Blair, creator of Grannies Respond. "Those are just specific demands but this is about respecting human dignity. This is about respecting human life and caring for every member of our society."

Aymar-Blair says he came up with the idea when he was studying effective methods of protest. He claims that protests similar to a "journey" are "powerful" because they collect build momentum, empathy and people for a cause.

"To me, grannies mean something very, very, strong towards children just in terms of what we grannies and grandpas are," Claire Nelson, a 66-year-old grandmother said. "[We are ] strong, we’re elderly, we’re wise, we have unconditional love for our children and children of the world. I felt like that we could respond and make a difference in many ways."

Barry Nelson, 70, wants to set an example for his five grandchildren.

"People are being treated poorly and are being denied entrance into this country," Barry said. "Even people who are seeking political asylum and that’s just wrong and something we have to change and really work on to call attention to this and to everybody in this country."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul182018

FBI Director: 'Russia attempted to interfere in the last election'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(ASPEN, Colo.) -- As President Donald Trump continues to "clarify" his views on whether Russia launched an assault on the 2016 presidential election, the FBI director made his own views clear on Wednesday: "Russia attempted to interfere in the last election," FBI Director Chris Wray stated unequivocally.

Speaking at the annual Aspen Security Forum, Wray also reiterated his belief that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into those Russian efforts, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, is not a "witch hunt," as Trump has called it so many times.

Asked to respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin's denial of interference, as he stood next to Trump at the summit in Helsinki on Monday, Wray simply said Putin has "got his view."

"I can tell you what my view is," Wray added. "The intelligence community's assessment has not changed, my view has not changed, which is that Russia attempted to interfere in the last election, and that it continues to engage in malign [activity]."

Wray noted that Russia will identify divisive issues inside America and then use fake news and propaganda to "spin people up on both sides of the issue and then watch us go at each other."

He said the U.S. intelligence community has not yet seen attempts by Russia to target specific election-related infrastructure in the months before the midterm elections in November, but "it’s a threat that we need to take extremely seriously and need to respond to with fierce determination."

Nevertheless, Wray pushed back on Trump's attacks on Mueller's probe as a "witch hunt."

“I do not believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt,” Wray said, describing Mueller as a "straight shooter" who's running a "professional" investigation.

Asked whether he ever came close to resigning amid the attacks on the FBI, Wray simply said he knows he's a low-key guy but "that should not be mistaken for what my spine is made out of."

That comment drew applause from the crowd at the forum in Aspen, Colorado.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul182018

13-year-old boy bitten by possible shark off Fire Island, authorities investigating a second suspected attack 

iStock/Thinkstock(ISLIP, N.Y.) -- Authorities are investigating whether a 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl who both suffered large fish bites in the waters off of Fire Island were victims of shark attacks.

Shortly before noon Wednesday, officials said, the girl was bitten while wading in the water at a beach known as Sailors Haven on Fire Island, a barrier beach off the south shore of Long Island.

The girl's mother told ABC News that her daughter is "hanging in there - a little overwhelmed right now."

Soon after that attack, the boy was bitten while boogie boarding in the waters off another Fire Island beach, known as Atlantique, officials said. The two beaches are several miles apart.

Emergency medical workers removed a piece of shark tooth from the unidentified boy's leg, which suffered a puncture wound, according to officials with the Long Island town of Islip. The tooth is now being analyzed to determine the type of shark that attacked.

Dueling responses from different officials left some confusion as to what had attacked the two young people.

Islip town officials initially confirmed that the boy's bite was indeed a shark attack, but later issued a statement saying that the 13-year-old was bit by "what may possibly have been a shark."

Neither Suffolk County nor the National Parks Service -- which oversees some of Fire Island's beaches -- have yet confirmed that either of the bites came from sharks. County officials said that while the bite appeared to be from a shark, there had so far been no shark sighting.

A National Parks Service official told ABC News that the designation of a shark attack must come from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Beaches within the Town of Islip and all Fire Island National Seashore beaches are closed for the day in the wake of the attack.

Further west and a few hours after the two attacks, bathers were evacuated from the waters off Robert Moses State Park and Jones Beach after a lifeguard spotted a shark.

State police are sending a drone and a helicopter into the air to search the waters for sharks, according to state park officials.

The attacks come just days before the July 22 start of Discovery Channel's annual "Shark Week" programming, now in its 30th year.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul182018

12 suspects in mistaken killing of Bronx teen indicted on murder charges

Chief Terence Monahan/NYPDChiefofDept(NEW YORK) -- Twelve alleged Trinitarios gang members have been indicted on murder charges in the mistaken identity stabbing death of a 15-year-old Bronx teen that prosecutors blamed on intra-gang conflict.

Five of the defendants--Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Jose Muniz, Manuel Rivera, and Elvin Garcia--have been indicted on first-degree murder and intentional murder which included torture, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s office. They face up to life in prison.

The June killing of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15 and known affectionately as Junior, shocked the community. He had wanted to be a detective and was part of an NYPD youth program.

“This was an intra-gang conflict where the defendants allegedly plotted to attack an upstart sect of the Trinitarios and allegedly committed a crime that has shocked people everywhere for its brutality,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.

Police believe they've now arrested everyone involved in the murder of the 15-year-old, who was dragged out of a Bronx bodega and stabbed with machetes and knives nearly a month ago by gang members.

“An innocent young man with a great future was unjustly targeted and brutally murdered,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said. “It doesn’t matter he was wrongly targeted, or it was a case of mistaken identity. Any group of people thinks committing such an act in New York City is abhorrent at its core.”

Investigators initially thought the Junior was mistaken for someone thought to be sleeping with the girlfriend of one of the gang members, but prosecutors said on Wednesday that has been found not to be true.

The defendants appeared in a courtroom packed with Junior’s relatives. At one point his mother was heard yelling “asesino” -- murderer -- at one of the suspects.

The suspects are allegedly part of the “Los Sures” set of the Trinitarios gang. On June 20, prosecutors said, they gathered at the Boston Road home of Diego Suero, the alleged leader of Los Sures, to plan to commit violence against another set of the Trinitarios called “Sunset.” The defendants then traveled in four cars, and came upon the victim, who fled from them, running approximately four blocks to a bodega in Belmont, where he tried to hide, officials said.

The defendants can be seen in surveillance footage from the store cameras entering the bodega and dragging the victim out of the store as he fought for his life. When the victim was forcefully taken from the store, five defendants repeatedly stabbed and slashed him in the neck and body with knives and a machete. The victim ran from the bodega to St. Barnabas Hospital and collapsed near the entrance.

According to prosecutors, after the stabbing, the defendants fled and went back to Diego Suero’s home to hide weapons and provide aid to Elvin Garcia, whose hand was cut in the midst of the multiple stabbings the victim received. Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Jose Muniz, Manuel Rivera, Danel Fernandez and Jose Tavarez then fled and were ultimately arrested in Paterson, New Jersey four days later. Five other defendants were arrested in the Bronx, and one was detained in Connecticut.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul182018

Gunmen still at-large after caught-on-video attack

WJLA(WASHINGTON) -- Two days after masked gunmen opened fire in Washington, D.C, killing a 10-year-old girl in a terrifying caught-on-video attack, police say the suspects' car has been recovered -- but the little girl's killers remain on the run.

The suspects' car was found in Prince George's County, the D.C. Police Department announced Wednesday morning on Twitter, adding, "still need your help in identifying/locating suspects responsible for the shooting death of 10 yr old Makiyah."

Ten-year-old Makiyah Wilson was killed when the four masked gunmen pulled the now-recovered black SUV into a courtyard Monday night and opened fire on 15 to 20 people who were out enjoying the weather by a nearby playground, Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Chanel Dickerson said at a news conference Monday.

Four adults were injured, police said.

It remains unclear if any of the victims were intended targets, Dickerson said.

"They came out in this community without regard to human life and opened fire," Dickerson said. "And we have to stand up as a community to say, 'no more.'"

"All the hopes and dreams that her family had for her [are] gone," Dickerson said of the slain 10-year-old. "And we have to be outraged. We have to work with the police. You have to work with us to remove illegal firearms from our city."

"Enough is enough," Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted Monday. "We need every community member to help us get illegal guns off our streets."

Though the suspect's car is now recovered, police are urging the public to help them catch Makiyah's killer.

Anyone with information is asked to call (202)727-9099.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul182018

Sign language interpreter slays at heavy metal concert

ABC (NEW YORK) -- How do you shred a guitar and let out a primal scream without making a sound?

One sign language interpreter stole the show at a heavy metal concert by passionately signing the music and lyrics for deaf fans.

Lindsay Rothschild-Cross' interpretation of a June 20 metal concert in Austin, Texas, was caught on video and has racked up tons of views online -- but the high school teacher told "Good Morning America" she is new to the genre.

"I grew up with Guns N' Roses, and Alice in Chains and Iron Maiden and things like that," Rothschild-Cross told "GMA." "I've never actually interpreted for death metal though. This is the first time."

Rothschild-Cross was accompanied by another American Sign Language interpreter during her on-camera interview with "GMA" so that she could share her thoughts with the deaf community.

The gig was part of Slayer's final world tour and included the bands Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament. The sign language teacher said that before each concert, she researches the artist so she can know their background. The key to signing music is to know the emotion behind the lyrics, not just the lyrics themselves, she said.

The viral video shows Rothschild-Cross interpreting Lamb of God's song, "Ruin." The lyrics include such hardcore lines as "I will show you all that I have mastered / Fear. / Pain. / Hatred. / Power. / This is the art of ruin."

"At first, I was honestly very nervous because I had never interpreted metal," Rothschild-Cross said. "The key is you have to impersonate the singer. The meaning of the song is a lot of anger. I just took on that feeling of someone that has hurt me before."

Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, state and local governments, as well as businesses and nonprofits that serve the public, must provide ways to "communicate effectively with people who have communication disabilities." That can include a qualified sign language interpreter.

But not all interpreters are created equal, particularly when it comes to interpreting music. Amber Galloway Gallego is an American Sign Language interpreter and the owner of Amber G Productions, a company offering interpretation services for all different kinds of music.

Gallego said she has been interpreting for more than 14 years and has also worked with Rothschild-Cross.

"If you think about this analogy of how people sing, not everyone is good at it," Gallego told ABC News via email. "The same thing goes for interpreting music -- some are better at it and some of them look like a person who is scraping their nails against a chalkboard."

If venues choose to go with the cheapest interpreter available, she said, "the deaf person often will miss out on the experience which they paid good money to see."

Signing music is about much more than just conveying the meaning of the lyrics, she said.

"Every instrument has a voice. If we choose to ignore those voices, we are taking away from the experience and deaf people are constantly having things not be accessible," Gallego said. "If you only look at the lyrics, then it just becomes poetry. All the layers of music are what drives us to listen. You have to show all of them. And no, we are not playing air instruments, we are showing language."

Rothschild-Cross said multiple interpreters usually cover a concert, and at the June 20 gig, each covered four to six songs. While they try to prepare ahead of time, "sometimes they play a song and you just have to roll with it," she explained.

Her passion for conveying the music was evident to the band's fans -- both those who can hear and those who are deaf. The video was filmed by Freddie Ibarra, a fan who could hear but was so amazed by Rothschild-Cross and the response from deaf fans nearby that he started recording. But the experience also gave Rothschild-Cross a new take on heavy metal.

"I don’t normally listen to that music. But after listening, I gained a whole new appreciation," she said.

Rothschild-Cross has always been passionate about communicating with her friends in the deaf community in Austin and eventually pursued sign language in college as well. She said she has been interpreting at concerts for about four years and hopes the video will also help challenge stereotypes about deaf people.

"I just want people to understand that they can think, they can have religion, they can do anything we can do. Except hear," she said.

Gallego agreed, saying that the response from deaf fans is what makes her job special.

"My favorite experience is when deaf people have told me that this was their first time ever truly experiencing music and now have a better understanding of what each instrument sounds like," Gallego said. "When I see the deaf and hard of hearing patrons signing the instruments with me, it gives me chills every time."



Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio