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Sunday
Jun172018

Doctor suspended for berating basketball player suffering from anxiety attack

ABC News(LOS GATOS, Calif.) -- A Northern California emergency room doctor was suspended for her alleged gruff bedside manner after she was caught on a viral cell phone video allegedly mocking, ridiculing and cursing a patient rushed to her Silicon Valley hospital suffering from an apparent severe anxiety attack.

Samuel Bardwell, 20, a newly enrolled student at West Valley College in Saratoga was rushed to El Camino Hospital in nearby Los Gatos when he suffered what doctors say was a severe anxiety attack and passed out following the school's first summer basketball workout on June 11.

His father caught what the Bardwells say was abusive treatment by Dr. Beth Keegstra, 57, all on cell phone video and posted it on Facebook.

As of Sunday, the viral video has gotten more than 4 million views.

Bardwell said he had to wait for three hours in the emergency room before Keegstra examined him.

"Sit up, sit up, sit up! I'm having you sit up!" Keegstra tells Bardwell in the video, pulling on his arms.

When the 6-foot-9 Bardwell told Keegstra he couldn't get up, the doctor responded.

"I'm sorry, sir, you were the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying," the physician is heard in the video telling Bardwell, who apparently lifted his head to acknowledge the doctor. "There, so you picked your head up. Now don’t try to tell me you can't move. C'mon, sit up."

When Bardwell told Keegstra that he couldn't inhale and felt pain and numbness, the doctor said.

"He can't inhale!" Keegstra said. "Wow! He must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don't understand, you are breathing just fine."

As the tension in the ER escalated, Keegstra accused Bardwell of changing his story about why he was seeking treatment.

"You're full of s---!" she told Bardwell.

Dan Wood, the chief executive officer of El Camino Hospital, issued a statement saying Dr. Keegstra, who has been a practicing physician for 31 years, has been suspended from all facilities associated with the hospital.

Wood said the doctor's "demeanor was unprofessional and not the standard we require of all who provide care through El Camino Hospital."

"We have expressed our sincere apologies and are working directly with the patient on this matter," Wood said. "Please know that we take this matter very seriously and the contracted physician involved has been removed from the work schedule, pending further investigation."

Efforts by ABC News to reach Keegsta for comment were not immediately successful.

"In my mind, I don't think she should be practicing medicine at all," Bardwell's father, Donald Bardwell, told ABC News' Good Morning America.

Donald Bardwell said his son has a history of anxiety attacks and takes Klonopin, a sedative that treats panic disorder. He said his son had stopped taking his medication several days before he was hospitalized because his prescription had run out and he hadn't had time to refill it.

Samuel Bardwell said he asked his father to videotape the confrontation after he saw Keegstra speaking to a security guard in the emergency room and eyeing him suspiciously.

"I knew from when she said something to the security guard ... I already knew from that point ... I said, 'Please, dad, can you please take out your phone? ... I need you to take out your phone now cause I have a feeling something is gonna happen,'" Samuel Bardwell told GMA.

Bardwell said he has contacted a lawyer and is considering taking legal action against the hospital.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun172018

Five undocumented immigrants killed in Texas car crash while being chased by border patrol agents: Officials

iStock/Thinkstock(BIG WELLS, Texas) -- Five undocumented immigrants in a speeding sport utility vehicle were killed Sunday when it crashed while being chased by border patrol agents and a sheriff's deputy in a Texas town about 50 miles from the border with Mexico, officials said.

The fatal crash occurred around noon local time near Big Wells, which is about 100 miles southwest of San Antonio, Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd told reporters at the scene.

Boyd said a total of 14 people were inside the SUV and several were ejected out of the vehicle when it rolled onto Highway 85.

"Border patrol was pursuing a vehicle, a Chevrolet Suburban, and one of my deputies assisted and took over the pursuit just west of Big Wells," Boyd said. "The vehicle was traveling around 100 miles per hour and from what we could tell the vehicle ran off the road, caught gravel, then tried to recorrect and that caused the vehicle to turn over several times."

He said four people died at the scene, and several were flown by emergency helicopter to a hospital in San Antonio. One person died upon arriving at the hospital, he said.

The sheriff said it was just the latest in a series of police chases involving human and drug smugglers in the Big Wells area.

"This is not unusual, absolutely not," Boyd said. "We've seen this many many times, not only in this county but in other counties along the border. It's a problem. This is, I think, a perfect example of why our borders need to be secure. It endangers American lives as well as those people from Mexico and other countries coming here for whatever reasons they are coming."

In Sunday's crash, Boyd said the driver of the SUV survived and was taken into custody.

"The driver was not ejected. The deputy found him sitting upright in the seat. He was able to get him out of the vehicle and the driver was actually walking," Boyd said. "The deputy actually took him into custody."

Boyd said the driver and one of the passengers were the only U.S. citizens in the vehicle.

He said the driver, whose name was not immediately released, is known to police as a human smuggler.

"The driver of this vehicle, we have handled before. We dealt with him last week," Boyd said.

The U.S. Border patrol said in a statement that the SUV was one of three vehicles spotted about 11 a.m. near Carrizo Springs, about 20 miles southwest of Big Wells.

A Border Patrol agent "observed three vehicles traveling in tandem pass his location on a rural highway and believed a smuggling event was taking place," according to the statement.

The agent stopped one of the vehicles and radioed in a description of the other two and another border patrol agent stopped another vehicle that was part of the suspicious convoy, according to the statement. Multiple arrests were made in the two traffic stops, officials said.

An agent tried to pull over the third vehicle, but the driver refused to stop, according to the statement.

"The driver did not stop and the attempt to stop the vehicle was taken over by a Dimmit County Sheriff's Office deputy. The vehicle rolled over a short distance later on Highway 85 near Big Wells, resulting in multiple injuries and fatalities," the statement reads.

Boyd said law enforcement encounters with human and drug smugglers traversing the area have become a "major problem."

"Every day my deputies are getting into pursuits, every single day. It's very rare that a day goes by where we don't get into a chase," he said. "Most of it is smuggling traffic. It's extremely busy."

He added: "We need assets down here. We have a problem. I think we need more boots on the ground. We need more patrol. I think we need a wall, in my opinion. If it can be built, it needs to be built."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun172018

At least one dead, 22 injured in shooting at all-night Trenton art show

Google Maps(TRENTON, N.J.) -- One man was killed and 22 people were injured when gunfire erupted early Sunday between rival neighborhood gangs at what was supposed to be a family-oriented all-night art festival in New Jersey that was created in part to stop violence in the city, officials said.

Police responding to a gunfight involving multiple suspects about 2:45 a.m. at the Art All Night event in Trenton shot and killed one of the alleged gunmen, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri told ABC News. Another suspected gunman was in critical condition, he said.

Of the 22 people injured, 17 were struck by gunfire, including a 13-year-old boy, Onofri said.

He said the gunfire erupted inside the old Roebling Wireworks building, where the art festival was being held.

"Prior to the shooting there were numerous physical altercations that took place inside and outside of the venue," Onofri said.

Due to the fighting, the Trenton Police Department had ordered organizers to shut down the event.

"Police began dispersing individuals. Those individuals, however, continued to loiter and additional fights broke out, and then the shooting occurred," Onofri said at a news conference Sunday afternoon that was attended by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

Onofri identified Tahij Wells, 33, as the alleged gunman who was killed by police. He said Wells had been released from prison in February after serving a sentence on homicide-related charges.

He also identified Amir Armstrong, 23, as another suspect involved in the shootout. Armstrong was wounded and in critical condition Sunday evening, Wells said.

He said police believe at least three men, possibly more, opened fire inside the venue where hundreds of people were attending the art festival. He said that when the shooting broke out, people ran in all directions seeking cover.

"We believe it was multiple suspects shooting at each other," Onofri said.

As of Sunday evening, only one suspect, Armstrong, was in custody on weapons charges in the hospital, he said.

The prosecutor said multiple weapons were recovered inside the venue, including a handgun that had an extended capacity magazine, "meaning that it contained more ammunition than is permitted under New Jersey law."

Art All Night is an annual event to "promote artistic diversity by fostering creativity, learning, and appreciation of the arts," according to the event's website. The event, held at Roebling Market in the southern part of the city, which lies just across the Delaware River from Pennsylvania, was attended by an estimated thousand or more people, authorities said.

"It absolutely could have been worse given the confined space and the number of shots that appeared to have been fired," Onofri said.

Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson said event organizers had provided private security to supplement a contingent of Trenton police officers assigned to patrol the festival. He said there were no metal detectors at the doors.

Eyewitness Angelo Nicolo told ABC station WPVI-TV: "All of a sudden, my brother goes to me, 'You hear that gunfire?' I go, 'It sounds like fireworks.' He said, 'No, that's gunfire.' Next thing you know, we turn around and everybody's running down the street."

Capital Health Systems, which operates Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, said "numerous" victims were being treated.

Initially, four victims were in critical condition, including Armstrong, Onofri said. By Sunday afternoon, three of the gunshot victims, including the 13-year-old boy, had been upgraded to stable condition, he said.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office homicide task force is taking the lead in the investigation. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also assisting in the investigation.

Art All Night's organizers shared on Facebook that the rest of the event was canceled due to "a tragic incident."

"It's with great regret that we announce that the remainder of Art All Night has been canceled due to a tragic incident that occurred overnight," organizers said in a statement. "We're still processing much of this and we don’t have many answers at this time but please know that our staff, our volunteers, our artists and musicians all seem to be healthy and accounted for. Our sincere, heartfelt sympathies are with those who were injured."

The statement also said they were "shocked" and "deeply saddened."

"Our hearts ache and our eyes are blurry but our dedication and resolve to building a better Trenton through community, creativity and inspiration will never fade. Not tonight. Not ever," organizers added.

Onofri said there have been 24 shootings in Trenton this year involving 32 victims. He said last year there were 131 shootings incidents in Trenton involving 163 victims.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun172018

Three inmates, including alleged murderer, escape jail in Illinois

iStock/Thinkstock(CARMI, Ill.) -- Three inmates, including one charged with murder, busted through the wall of an Illinois jail on Saturday morning and led authorities on a manhunt.

Justin Bray, Zachery Shock and Johnny Tipton allegedly used a pipe to break a hole in the concrete wall of White County Jail in Carmi, Illinois. White County sheriffs were notified of the three missing inmates at 5:30 a.m.

A photo taken by Evansville, Indiana, ABC affiliate WEHT-TV showed a metal panel placed over the hole in the wall at the jail.

The White County Sheriff's Office reported that Bray was captured Saturday night. Bray is charged with unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated fleeing and resisting or obstructing a peace officer.

Bray was spotted walking along a road near Crossville, Illinois, at about 7:30 p.m. local time. Bray allegedly fled police, but was taken into custody after a brief search while hiding in an oil field tank. Crossville is just 9 miles north of the jail.

He is now being held on an additional $1 million bail for a new escape charge.

Bray had almost been taken into custody Saturday morning. The White County Sheriff's Office told WEHT-TV that, following a chase, a car with Bray as the passenger crashed near Little Wabash River. Bray jumped into the river and managed to escape from officers. The driver was taken into custody.

Shock -- who faces the most serious charges of any of the escapees -- and Tipton remained on the loose early Sunday.

Shock, 24, was in jail charged with murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Tipton, 61, was being held on charges of theft and possession of stolen property.

Carmi is located in rural southeastern Illinois, about 45 miles west of Evansville, Indiana.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun172018

Hot weather in store for eastern half of country on Father's Day

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Much of the central U.S. will be dealing with widespread heat on Sunday as heat index values are close to or exceeding 100 degrees in parts of the Midwest, including Chicago.

Heat index values close to, or in excess of, 100 degrees are possible from Texas to Michigan, including Dallas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis; Chicago; and Detroit.

On Monday, the heat expands to the east with heat index values nearing or exceeding 100 degrees again for much of the Midwest, including Kansas City, Indianapolis and Detroit.

Parts of the Northeast will also get quite warm, with heat index values in the upper 90s in New York and Philadelphia. In the mid-Atlantic, heat index values near or above 100 are possible from South Carolina to Maryland.

Heat advisories are in effect from northern Arkansas to southern Michigan, and excessive heat warnings are in effect in St. Louis, Chicago and Minneapolis. These heat index values can become dangerous.

This stretch of heat shows little relief at night, especially in many of the urban areas, such as Chicago and New York.

Severe threat in Northern Plains

Slow-moving, strong thunderstorms dumped very heavy rainfall overnight in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. There have been reports of over 3 inches per hour just south of Duluth, Minnesota. Radar estimates from the region show possible rainfall totals exceeding 6 inches since late Saturday night.

The National Weather Service in Duluth relayed reports of numerous roads washed out in the region due to flash flooding. Flash flood watches have been posted for parts of the region through Sunday due to the threat of strong thunderstorms.

Numerous strong to severe thunderstorms will develop again Sunday from Colorado to northern Michigan. These storms will once again have the potential to dump very heavy rain and bring strong gusty winds, large hail and brief tornadoes.

There is a slight risk for severe weather Sunday from eastern Nebraska to northern Michigan, an area that includes Minneapolis.

Locally, 2 to 3 inches of rainfall is expected in this region by Monday evening, with pockets of flash flooding possible.

Tropical wave approaches Gulf Coast

A cluster of thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico has a 20 percent chance of gaining tropical cyclone characteristics over the next few days. Even though development is not likely, this tropical wave will gradually move toward Texas and northern Mexico over the next few days.

The system will bring numerous rounds of heavy downpours and thunderstorms to the region during the upcoming work week. Over the course of the next three to four days, there is increasing potential for rainfall totals to exceed 4 to 6 inches in parts of southern Texas, including Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Port Lavaca.

There is some computer guidance suggesting that rainfall totals could be higher than what is currently forecast. Even though much of this region can deal with a good amount of rain before major flooding concerns, some flash flooding could develop in this region in the coming days.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun162018

High school freshman's KKK outfit for school project 'rattled' students

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Incendiary images of a Los Angeles high school student dressed hood-to-toe as a Ku Klux Klan member as part of a final history project splashed online Friday, sparking an investigation and an apology from the school district.

The photos of an unidentified freshman student enrolled at the Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, located in the Wilmington section of Los Angeles, caused disquiet for many students.

"It made me feel like unsafe and threatened," Eliza Dumag, a senior at the high school, told ABC station KABC.

Another senior, Kevin Gambino, said the decision to come dressed in the KKK suit was perplexing.

"I was uncomfortable, actually," he told the station.

It appears the student was granted permission, like other classmates, to don a costume as part of completing a history assignment.

The student specifically chose to research and write an essay about former KKK imperial wizard Hiram Wesley Evans, according to KABC.

Trinity Young told KABC that she found it "troubling" that the history teacher equated the KKK costume with other revolutionary groups.

"It was hard to believe that she would allow a Klansman to walk around from her approval," she said. "So, we asked her, and she said that, she compared the Klan to the Black Panther Party, which in my opinion are two different things."

And the student didn't shed the attire after history class was over.

"He wore it like throughout the school, like in nutrition, lunch, things like that," Lance Dantignac, a senior, told KABC. "I don't think that's appropriate."

The LAUSD on Saturday issued an apology.

"We sincerely apologize to the L.A. Unified community for this incident," the statement read.

It also pointed to the fact that while the student was exploring the topic of racism, like other students in the history class, his costume "was insensitive and highly inappropriate."

An investigation "is underway" the school district confirmed in the statement.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun162018

Yorkie stays with missing toddler all night, alerts search party with 'weak bark'

@MSHPTrooperE/Twitter(QULIN, Mo.) --A loyal Yorkshire terrier stayed with a missing 3-year-old girl in a dense cornfield in Missouri all night -- and heroically led a search party to them with a "weak bark," authorities said.

Remy Merritt and her dog, Fat Heath, had gone missing Thursday night in Qulin, triggering a desperate search that brought in some 150 volunteers, authorities said.

But it wasn't until Fat Heath responded to barks from one of the search dogs that rescuers ended the 12-hour ordeal and found Remy and her trusty companion.

"One of the dogs barked and a weaker bark was returned," Clark Parrott, a sergeant with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, told ABC News. "We came to find out it was [Remy] and her Yorkshire terrier Fat Heath ... down beneath the corn stalks.

"That dog stayed with her all night long," he said.

Remy had gone missing about 8:30 that night, authorities said.

That's when everyone in the small farm town chipped in to try to find her.

"Everybody knows everybody here and so when they hear of one of their neighbors in trouble, whether you know them or not -- you just stop what you're doing and show up," Parrot said.

The MSHP dispatched a chopper to circle over the farm acreage near Remy's home and used infrared radar, Parrott said.

After the search into the night initially proved "unsuccessful," the team -- consisting of devoted locals and law enforcement -- resumed at dawn and used a grid search through the cornfield filled with 5-foot high stalks, Parrott said.

After about three hours and a quarter mile from Remy's home, one of the canines barked -- and a sound of hope could be heard in response.

Fat Heath cried for help, and drew the search party to the missing duo.

@MSHPTrooperE/TwitterUpon learning of the discovery, Parrott remembered feeling a mixed sense of relief and concern.

"The dogs yapping at each other is a neat little moment," he said.

Fat Heath and Remy, who had only been bitten by mosquitoes and suffered some dehydration, were in good shape, Parrott said.

"A lot of bites and a little thirsty, but she got a clean bill of health and was returned back to her home afterward," he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun162018

Candlelight vigil to memorialize two deputies shot dead when inmate overpowered them

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) -- A candlelight vigil will be held Sunday night in Kansas to memorialize the two sheriff's deputies who were shot and killed when an inmate overpowered them outside a courthouse.

Kansas City Mayor David Alvey said the vigil, which will take place in front of City Hall at 8 p.m. local time, will be the start of a long and trying healing process for the community of Wyandotte County, which just two years ago mourned two police officers who also was fatally shot.

Alvey said the community is feeling "deep sadness," "fear," "anger" and "shock that this happened again."

"Yesterday was a terribly tragic day for two of our young, bright, committed sheriff's deputies -- Theresa 'T.K.' King and Patrick Roher," the mayor told reporters at a press conference Saturday, before holding a moment of silence to honor the slain deputies.

"As they say, heroes are never forgotten," he added.

King, 44, and Rohrer, 35, were shot Friday morning about 11:30 a.m. local time as they were about to transport two inmates from the Wyandotte County Courthouse in Kansas City. Both inmates were handcuffed and shackled at the time, according to Maj. Kelli Bailiff of the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office.

Bailiff said the deputies were following protocol when the deadly altercation occurred.

Few details have been provided so far, but authorities said one of the inmates -- who hasn't been identified -- overcame the deputies in a gated area outside the courthouse.

Bailiff said it's very possible the deputies were shot with their own guns. There is surveillance video of the scene.

The deputies called for backup, but it was too late. Both were rushed to University of Kansas Medical Center, where Rohrer died and King was in critical condition before succumbing to her injuries some 12 hours later.

The suspect was also shot and taken to a hospital. The individual was in stable condition Saturday, according to Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler.

The other inmate was unharmed.

King, who served the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office for 13 years, leaves behind three children. Rohrer, who had been with the department for seven years, had two children of his own.

"These were two bright and intelligent, wonderful personalities," Bailiff said of her fallen colleagues. "They came to work every day with a smile, willing to help out, willing to do anything. It's a tremendous, great loss to our agency."

Charges have not yet been formally filed with the Wyandotte County District Attorney's Office.

Two years ago, two police officers were fatally shot within three months of each other in Kansas City, the county seat of Wyandotte County.

The year before, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wood was shot at a convenience store but survived.

"It seems like Wyandotte County has really been hit hard recently," Bailiff told reporters. "It's also a time for us to bond together as a community, and I think we begin that by being at the candlelight vigil."

"Let's just love one another," she added. "Go home and hug your family members because you never know what tomorrow will bring."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun162018

Heat, humidity rising in central and eastern US

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A strong ridge of high pressure is bringing increasing heat and humidity to a majority of the eastern half of the country through the weekend. Heat advisories, as well as excessive heat warnings and watches, have been posted for parts of the Midwest, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and Minneapolis.

On Saturday afternoon, the heat index will exceed 100 degrees in cities such as Little Rock, Arkansas; St. Louis; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; and North Platte, Nebraska. A couple of isolated daily records are possible on Saturday.

The heat index on Sunday from parts of Texas all the way to Wisconsin will be near or above 100 degrees. Even parts of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio will feel close to 100 degrees by Sunday afternoon. A handful of records will be possible from Iowa to Virginia on Sunday.

On Monday, the expanding heat will reach the East Coast, with temperatures feeling like the triple-digits from Texas to New York, including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Numerous daily records are possible across the East Coast from North Carolina to New Hampshire.

This stretch of heat shows little relief at night, especially in urban areas such as Chicago and New York -- a classic sign of summer across the Midwest and Northeast.

Severe weather in Midwest, Northern Plains

A round of strong thunderstorms moved through parts of the upper Midwest overnight. The storms dumped over 4 inches of rain through parts of Wisconsin. Flash flooding was reported in Madison overnight with water covering roadways in the region.

This latest round of heavy rain and strong thunderstorms comes after a round of storms dumped several inches of rain from northern Wisconsin to northern Illinois on Friday. Several more rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms are expected in the upper Midwest and Northern Plains this weekend due to a stalled frontal boundary. This will bring the threat for flash flooding, damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes to parts of the region.

Numerous strong and severe storms will fire up this weekend, especially during the late afternoon across much of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest. The storms will have potential to dump quite a bit of rain across parts of northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan. Locally, over 4 inches of rain is expected this weekend near Duluth, Minnesota, with widespread 2 to 3 inches possible from Aberdeen, Michigan, to Houghton, Michigan.

A flash flood watch has been posted for parts of the upper Midwest.

Storms could turn severe from Nebraska to Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon and early evening. There is an enhanced risk for severe weather for a large part of northern Minnesota, including Duluth. Strong damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible in the enhanced region Saturday afternoon and evening.

Much-needed rain

Meanwhile, in the Southwest, beneficial rain is moving into the Four Corners this weekend. This rainfall is coming exactly where it is badly needed. Locally, 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.

Isolated flash flooding, especially on recent burn scars, remains a concern. Lightning is also a concern since it could start new fires in parts of the region.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun162018

Trustees call for university president to resign for criticizing Nassar victim

Michael Bonfigli /The Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images(EAST LANSING, Mich.) -- Michigan State University Interim President John Engler was brought on to clean up the mess left in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal. Instead, with less than five months on the job, calls are growing for him to resign after private emails showed him criticizing one of Nassar's victims.

Engler wrote in an email in April to the president's special counsel, Carol Viventi, that survivors were being "manipulated by trial lawyers" and Rachel Denhollander, the first gymnast to go public with her claims of abuse by Nassar, was likely to get a "kickback" from the lawyers for her role in the case, according to an article in The Chronicle for Higher Education.

On Friday, two Michigan State trustees told Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV that Engler should step down immediately.

"He needs to resign immediately. He lacks empathy. He lacks the tone needed to be university president," trustee Brian Mosallam told WXYZ-TV.

"His comments regarding Rachel Denhollander are unconscionable," he added. "He is not fit to lead Michigan State."

"He's the wrong leader for Michigan State University," fellow trustee Dianne Byrum told WXYZ-TV. "He needs to step down and resign."

Engler, the former Republican governor of Michigan, responded to Mosallam's calls to resign by digging in. He released a statement Friday saying, "I continue to look ahead."

"Whatever the tensions were before, we have successfully negotiated a settlement agreement -- something that is fair and equitable to both sides, and that both sides agreed to," Engler said in the statement. "We are now committed to continuing our efforts to strengthen sexual misconduct prevention on and off campus and to respond promptly to and appropriately if prevention fails."

"I am looking forward to the Board of Trustees meeting next week where we will continue our progress and efforts to move forward," he added. "I believe actions matter, and that is how the success of our work will be determined."

Denhollander, meanwhile, spent Friday on Twitter amplifying the number of people calling for Engler to resign. She criticized another trustee who continues to support Engler, saying, "Because stability doing the WRONG THING is better than changing for the right thing?"

Among the public figures Denhollander applauded for calling on Engler to resign were Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan Rep. Justin Amash.

"I think Engler has made it very clear that he’s not capable of leading MSU out of this crisis," Denhollander said in a statement to WXYZ-TV. "To characterize not just myself as manipulating for money, but to characterize all these other women as pawns, as being too stupid to know that they’re manipulated, is a gross mischaracterization of sexual assault survivors that is going to set the tone on campus."

Morgan McCaul, another survivor of Nassar and one of many to speak publicly at his sentencing hearing, called on the public to "occupy" the Board of Trustees meeting on June 22 in order to demand Engler's resignation.

Engler could be forced out of the president position if five of eight trustees vote for his ouster.

Michigan State University came to a settlement for $500 million with victims of Nassar in May. There has been $425 million set aside for current victims, while $75 million will be set aside for any future claimants.

Nassar, who was a faculty member at MSU and served as the longtime doctor to the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, was sentenced in January to up to 175 years in prison in connection with the treatment of several victims. Nassar faced charges on seven counts of criminal sexual misconduct in the first degree, to which he pleaded guilty to in November.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

 

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler was brought on to clean up the mess left in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal. Instead, with less than five months on the job, calls are growing for him to resign after private emails showed him criticizing one of Nassar's victims.

 

Engler wrote in an email in April to the president's special counsel, Carol Viventi, that survivors were being "manipulated by trial lawyers" and Rachel Denhollander, the first gymnast to go public with her claims of abuse by Nassar, was likely to get a "kickback" from the lawyers for her role in the case, according to an article in The Chronicle for Higher Education.

 

On Friday, two Michigan State trustees told Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV that Engler should step down immediately.

 

"He needs to resign immediately. He lacks empathy. He lacks the tone needed to be university president," trustee Brian Mosallam told WXYZ-TV.

 

"His comments regarding Rachel Denhollander are unconscionable," he added. "He is not fit to lead Michigan State."

 

"He's the wrong leader for Michigan State University," fellow trustee Dianne Byrum told WXYZ-TV. "He needs to step down and resign."

 

 

Engler, the former Republican governor of Michigan, responded to Mosallam's calls to resign by digging in. He released a statement Friday saying, "I continue to look ahead."

 

"Whatever the tensions were before, we have successfully negotiated a settlement agreement -- something that is fair and equitable to both sides, and that both sides agreed to," Engler said in the statement. "We are now committed to continuing our efforts to strengthen sexual misconduct prevention on and off campus and to respond promptly to and appropriately if prevention fails."

 

"I am looking forward to the Board of Trustees meeting next week where we will continue our progress and efforts to move forward," he added. "I believe actions matter, and that is how the success of our work will be determined."

 

Denhollander, meanwhile, spent Friday on Twitter amplifying the number of people calling for Engler to resign. She criticized another trustee who continues to support Engler, saying, "Because stability doing the WRONG THING is better than changing for the right thing?"

 

Among the public figures Denhollander applauded for calling on Engler to resign were Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan Rep. Justin Amash.

 

"I think Engler has made it very clear that he’s not capable of leading MSU out of this crisis," Denhollander said in a statement to WXYZ-TV. "To characterize not just myself as manipulating for money, but to characterize all these other women as pawns, as being too stupid to know that they’re manipulated, is a gross mischaracterization of sexual assault survivors that is going to set the tone on campus."

 

Morgan McCaul, another survivor of Nassar and one of many to speak publicly at his sentencing hearing, called on the public to "occupy" the Board of Trustees meeting on June 22 in order to demand Engler's resignation.

 

Engler could be forced out of the president position if five of eight trustees vote for his ouster.

 

Michigan State University came to a settlement for $500 million with victims of Nassar in May. There has been $425 million set aside for current victims, while $75 million will be set aside for any future claimants.

 

Nassar, who was a faculty member at MSU and served as the longtime doctor to the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, was sentenced in January to up to 175 years in prison in connection with the treatment of several victims. Nassar faced charges on seven counts of criminal sexual misconduct in the first degree, to which he pleaded guilty to in November.

 







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