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Wednesday
Apr062011

Bristol Palin Paid Handsomely for Promoting Abstinence

ABC/Adam Larkey(WASHINGTON) -- Advocating abstinence has paid off big time for Bristol Palin, the daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The 20-year-old single mom, who had a child out of wedlock when she was 17, was paid $262,500 in 2009 as an appointed teen ambassador for The Candie's Foundation, according to tax records.

In her role, Palin, who gave birth to a son in December 2008, tells young women to postpone sex until after marriage.

Palin, who still works for the foundation, said when she was first hired, "If I can prevent even one girl from getting pregnant, I will feel a sense of accomplishment."

She admitted last year that she wasn't ready for the changes that come with being a single mother.

Besides her income from The Candie's Foundation, Palin has earned huge paychecks from her appearance on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, speaking engagements and an upcoming memoir.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr062011

Michigan Couple to Embark on 2,500-Mile Wedding March

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock (file photo)(CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.) -- Joseph Crist and Laura Brunett are apparently in no rush to get hitched.

The Canton Township, Michigan couple says they'll begin hiking in mid-April to arrive at their destination in September, where they'll tie the knot.

All told, Crist and Brunett will cover 2,500 miles in 15-mile daily increments that will take them to Las Vegas and then Lake Mead, Nevada, where they'll actually get married.

After that, it's on to Los Angeles and a honeymoon in Hawaii, although the newlyweds will presumably fly to America's 50th state.

The couple, who've known each other since middle school, called their hike "creative marriage counseling."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Sexually Abused Senator's Story Inspires Former Camper to Come Forward

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Image(BOSTON) -- Prosecutors have launched an investigation into a a second case of alleged sexual abuse at the summer camp where Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown was sexually molested as a child.

The investigation began after a second former camper, encouraged by Brown's admission, has revealed to his lawyer that he was also sexually abused at Camp Good News, the summer camp Brown attended as a child.

"He was inspired to come forward because Scott Brown came forward. He felt empowered," said Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer representing the man, who was not identified.

Garabedian said the former camper, who is now an adult, came to him two weeks ago and disclosed that when he was a 10-year-old summer camper in 1985 a counselor or assistant director had allegedly abused him. The lawyer took the allegations to the Barnstable County District Attorney's office, which has promised to investigate.

A Massachusetts state trooper called Garabedian's office Tuesday looking to get in touch with the victim. Garabedian confirmed that his client will "fully cooperate" with any investigation because "he wants to make the world a safer place for children."

Garabedian described the complainant as a single man living in the Boston area. Garabedian said, "He is in a lot of emotional pain, but now that he has come forward my client feels as though a great weight has been lifted."

According to the D.A.'s office, after the Massachusetts State Police have finished their investigation, the report will go to the D.A.'s office for review. It may be difficult for the district attorney's office to proceed with the case. The statute of limitations on sexual abuse charges in Massachusetts varies with the kind of abuse that occurred. However, any incident that occurred more than 27 years ago needs to have some corroborating evidence in addition to the victim's statement in order to prosecute the case.

Brown, a Republican, disclosed an account of his abuse at the same summer camp in his recently published book Against All Odds. Brown said the abuse happened more than once when he was a summer camper at Camp Good News and that his abuser threatened to kill him if he told anyone. Brown has also said he is not interested in pursuing any charges against his alleged abuser or the camp.

Calls to Camp Good News were not returned Tuesday, although in a previously released statement the camp has said it is shocked by the news that one of its counselors may have harmed a camper in this way. The camp has also said it conducts full background checks on all of its employees.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Apr052011

Fountainebleau Family Murders: Woman Charged in Mother-in-Law's Killing

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(RYE BROOK, N.Y.) -- The woman accused of ordering the murder of her travel executive husband two years ago was charged Tuesday with arranging the killing of her mother-in-law, whose death was considered an accident until her son was murdered.

Narcy Novack was arrested in Florida on July 8, 2010 on federal charges of conspiring to intimidate, beat and kill her husband, 53-year-old Ben Novack Jr., at a Hilton in Rye Brook, N.Y.

A new indictment filed Tuesday charges Narcy Novack and her brother with arranging an attack on her husband's 87-year-old mother, Bernice Novack, at a hotel in Florida in April 2009. Investigators at first ruled Bernice Novack's death an accident caused by a series of falls, but took another look at the case after Ben Novack was killed two months later.

According to prosecutors, Narcy Novack was trying to gain control of her husband's fortune. Ben Novack was the grandson of the founder of the famous Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. The hotel has been a Miami landmark for more than 50 years. In its heyday, the 22-acre hotel was the place to be seen. It played host to entertainment legends Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Judy Garland, Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Marlene Dietrich, Debbie Reynolds and many others.

It was also featured in numerous movies including Goldfinger, Midnight Cowboy, Scarface and Police Academy 5. Tony Soprano even stayed there in one episode of the HBO series The Sopranos.

To bring the hotel -- listed on the National Register of Historic Places -- back to its glory days, the owners spent $1 billion in renovations, reopening the 1,504-room property in November 2008. It once again became one of Miami's hottest hotels.

"The killing of Ben Novack was not a spur-of-the-moment crime of passion. It was the end game of considerable planning," said George Venizelos of the FBI's New York field office.

Narcy Novack claimed her husband once broke her nose, then took her to a plastic surgeon to repair it. When she woke, she said, she had breast implants she hadn't asked for, the police report said. No charges were filed.

Under her husband's will, Narcy Novack stands to inherit his entire fortune, which is at least $6 million. If she were to lose the estate, most of it would go instead to daughter May Abad and into trusts for her two teenage sons.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Murder Trial Begins for Mother Who Withheld Cancer Treatment for Autistic Son

Comstock/Thinkstock(LAWRENCE, Mass.) -- A Lawrence, Mass., Superior Court jury heard opening statements Tuesday in the case against a mother charged with attempted murder in withholding chemotherapy medications from her son, who died of leukemia in 2009.

Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall alleged that Kristen LaBrie, 37, of Salem, Mass., knew how important it was for her son, Jeremy Fraser, to take the prescribed medications.

"Not to have done so would have been like pushing him in front of a car," MacDougall told jurors during her opening statement. Still, MacDougall said, LaBrie allegedly told others that she did not give her son the necessary medications while falsely telling others she did.

LaBrie's attorney, Kevin James, said that LaBrie was a single mother with "severe financial problems" who bore the burden of taking care of her son. As a young child, Jeremy Fraser had been diagnosed with autism. James said LaBrie's mental state led her to initially lie about giving Jeremy his medications.

"She made a decision in her mind to stop the medication. The decision was not made consciously," James told the court in his opening statement.

In October 2006, nine-year-old Jeremy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but doctors gave him an 85 percent to 90 percent chance of recovery, MacDougall said during the arraignment in 2009. Large doses of chemotherapy were given to the boy in the hospital, and his cancer went into remission.

His mother was given prescriptions for medications he was to be given at home. During the arraignment, MacDougall said LaBrie repeatedly failed to pick up prescriptions but led doctors to believe she was getting them filled, even asking at one point for a liquid version of the medication because her son was having difficulty swallowing pills.

In February 2008, after one of Jeremy's doctors called LaBrie's pharmacy and learned she had not been filling prescriptions, LaBrie said the pharmacy must have made a mistake, MacDougall said. It was at that point that doctors learned the boy's cancer had returned as leukemia and was no longer treatable with chemotherapy, she said.

LaBrie, 37, had earlier been charged with child endangerment. A grand jury returned the more serious indictment Friday.

LaBrie faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Paraplegic Francis Hebert Charged with Assaulting Alleged Child Molester

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A paraplegic from Massachusetts may be facing 10 years in prison for hitting a man with a bat after the man laughingly admitted molesting his three-year-old granddaughter, according to a police report.

Francis Hebert, 57, of Martha's Vineyard was charged with a felony assault charge by Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe for the incident that happened Feb. 22. The accused molester was also charged by police for allegedly molesting two young Massachusetts girls.

"I'd do it again tomorrow, knowing the consequence," Hebert told the Boston Herald. "I didn't have a choice. A 10-year-old kid could take me. This is not about me. This is about a tiny child."

Hebert and his common-law wife learned about the alleged abuse from their three-year-old granddaughter, who said her stepfather, Joshua A. Hardy, had abused her and had taken naked photos of her with his cellphone camera.

Hebert called police Feb. 22 to tell them about the allegations and to tell them they would be able to find Hardy at Hebert's Vineyard Haven, Mass., computer store that afternoon. Hardy was planning to stop by to pick up the girl.

Police warned Hebert not to confront Hardy. According to a police report by Trooper Robert Branca, "Hebert assured me that he would not touch him. However, he did state he wanted to confront him."

Hebert brought a baseball bat with him and when Hardy arrived, Hebert confronted him about the girl's accusation. When Hardy allegedly admitted to the abuse, an enraged Hebert swung the Louisville Slugger and slammed Hardy on the arm, according to Branca's report.

Hebert faces a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which could result in a 10-year sentence if he's convicted. Branca said he confiscated the Louisville Slugger as evidence.

Ten years ago, a car accident left Hebert unable to use his legs. He relies on an electric wheelchair to get around. Hebert is not the biological grandfather of the girl. She is the granddaughter of his wife and he has helped raise her.

Hardy, 27, is being held at the Plymouth County House of Correction on $125,000 cash bail. He was arraigned Feb. 23 on three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, one count of enticing a child and one count of disseminating obscene material.

In March, Hardy was charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14  relating to a separate case involving another girl.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Apr052011

Shannan Gilbert Not Among Eight Bodies Linked to Long Island Beach Serial Killer

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A missing prostitute whose disappearance led New York police to stumble on a serial killer's dumping ground on a secluded beach is not among the eight bodies who investigators have found and identified, police said Tuesday.

Shannan Gilbert, 24, disappeared in May 2010 after arranging online to meet a client for sex. Her disappearance triggered a search in the scrub brush along a remote beach halfway between New York City and the Hamptons, a popular summer getaway spot.

In December police found four skeletal bodies, all of them women and all of them prostitutes, but none were Gilbert. This week, cops found another four bodies. Those bodies have not been identified, but Suffolk County Police said Tuesday none of the remains belonged to Gilbert.

Cops obtained DNA samples of Gilbert's family last year and were able to quickly check the remains against those samples.

The police conclusion suggests that Gilbert is possibly a ninth victim of the serial killer.

"The search of the area will continue tomorrow," Suffolk County police said in a statement Tuesday. Cops in rain slickers searched the brush along Gilgo Beach again Tuesday looking for the bodies of more women potentially killed and dumped in the thick vegetation, while other detectives are working to create a profile of the man who is stalking prostitutes online and killing them.

Suffolk County police are keeping a tight lid on many of the investigation's details, commenting publicly only on the search efforts -- the canine units with cadaver sniffing dogs, and a dozen police recruits from the academy brought in to help search for bodies.

Experts outside the investigation consulted by ABC News said cops are compiling a vast database of clues and working up a profile of a single serial killer suspected of killing at least eight women, most of them prostitutes, and dumping their bodies on Gilgo Beach over four years.

The deaths are likely the result of a single killer who knows the area well, said Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant and former FBI agent who has investigated dozens of high-profile cases, including the death of Washington intern Chandra Levy and the 2001 anthrax mailings.

Police would not confirm the genders, ages or identities of the newly discovered bodies. They would not comment on the level of decomposition or whether these bodies, like the others, were wrapped in burlap.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

All-Female Air Force Combat Team Makes History over Afghanistan

Jupiterimages/Comstock(KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan) -- An all-female Air Force team, the "Strike Eagles of 'Dudette 07,'" have soared into history over Afghanistan. Their combat mission, performed March 30 in honor of Women's History Month, was the first in history to involve only female Airmen. From the pilots of the two F-15E jets to the mission planners and maintainers, the operation was carried out entirely by women.

"I have flown with female pilots before, but this was the first time I have flown in an all-female flight," Maj. Christine Mau told the Air Force's news service. "This wasn't a possibility when I started flying 11 years ago."

Although the mission was full of symbolism, the air support they were providing to coalition and Afghan forces in the Kunar Valley was anything but symbolic. ABC News' Mike Boettcher was embedded with the 101st Airborne in the valley and said it was the fiercest fighting he'd seen in his 30 years of covering war zones, and that the support was desperately needed.

"We knew that they were taking some fire, that there were some bombs being dropped that day and we knew we were going to support the guys on the ground by...at the very least making some noise, and most likely that we were going to drop some bombs," said Capt. Jennifer Morton.

Women -- yes, they are still called Airmen -- have been able to participate in Air Force pilot training since 1976, but they were not allowed to fly combat missions until 1993.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Seven Dead, Thousands Without Power After Storms Hit Southeast

WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham, NC(HOPKINSVILLE, Ky.) -- Powerful and fast-moving storms powered through the South Monday night, bringing high winds, hail and lightning with them. At least seven people were killed, while several hundred thousand woke up Tuesday without power. Within just one 10-minute period, there were 1,500 lightning strikes, causing three fires in Georgia.

The storms were part of a system that cut a wide swath from the Mississippi River across the southeast to Georgia and the Carolinas on Monday and early Tuesday, marching eastward.

At a factory in Hopkinsville, Ky., a tornado sent seven workers to the hospital after it tore through a wall.

At least 20 tornadoes touched down overnight following warnings that were put out in 10 states.

The storms continued to move across the Carolinas early Tuesday morning, still packing enough punch to knock down trees and damage power lines. Parts of states further north, including Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia also reported power outages.

Accuweather meteorologist Tom Kines told ABC News he thinks this storm has largely passed. It currently presents a threat to southern Florida, but it is no longer the angry beast that swept through so much of the country.

Trouble is brewing in the Northwest however, as a cold front moves into that sector in the next 24 hours, bringing unusually cold temperatures. Kines said the system could mix with warmer Gulf air in the plains states, threatening the South with more severe weather this weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Georgia Man Sentenced for Tattooing Toddler Son

WSB-TV Atlanta(FLOYD COUNTY, Ga.) -- A Georgia man has been fined $300 and sentenced to 12 months of probation for tattooing his toddler son. Eugene Ashley, 26, pleaded guilty Monday to giving his three-year-old son a tattoo on his shoulder in 2009 that said "DB" -- short for "Daddy's Boy." Ashley pleaded guilty before the case could be heard by a jury.

Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson called the tattooing of the boy "egregious," the Rome News-Tribune reported.

Patterson told the paper that it would have been difficult to take the case to a jury. "I don't know if we would be able to elicit a testimony from a child," Patterson told the Rome News-Tribune.

The boy's mother, Amy Ashley, was not cooperative and refused to testify. She was the only witness other than the victim, Patterson said. George Hawkins, the boy's uncle, has custody of the now five-year-old child.

Eugene Ashley--– who is not the child's biological father, but adopted him when he and Amy Ashley were married -- is not allowed to see the child. The boy's mother, Amy Ashley, struggles with drug addiction and also lost custody, Hawkins said.

The boy received the tattoo sometime between January and May 5, 2009, according to court documents. Officials from Georgia's Department of Family and Child Services noticed the tattoo while visiting the family's home, where the couple lived with their four children. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio