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Monday
Apr112011

Illinois Dog Park May Require People Licenses

Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Thinkstock(AURORA, Ill.) -- What's good for Fido should apparently be good for his owner.

There's talk that the Kane County Forest Preserve District near Aurora, Illinois may actually make it mandatory for people to wear a license around their necks if they use the local dog park.

It's a suggestion that's been made to help raise funds for the struggling municipality.  Officials are discussing charging an annual fee for park visitation that would basically require people to wear a badge attached to a lanyard.

This raised the fur of some folks with pooches, according to preserve spokeswoman Laurie Methanchuk, who "thought we were kind of making the owners wear a leash, which is not the case at all."

Still, if the plan goes through, residents would have to pay $40 for use of the four dog parks, double that for non-residents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr102011

Cops Search Landfills for Missing Colorado Teen

KMGH Denver(WELD COUNTY, Colo.) -- Police have been searching in and around a Weld County, Colo., landfill for any sign of a 19-year-old Aurora woman who disappeared after mysteriously leaving friends at a Denver nightclub.

Kenia Monge, a recent high school graduate, went to the 24K Lounge, a downtown Denver hot spot the night of Saturday, April 2, where a group of underage friends had been drinking. Her friends told police that she excused herself from the table to go to the restroom and never returned, leaving behind her purse and cellphone, but few clues.

Monge was last seen several hours later at a Conoco gas station a few miles from the club at 3 a.m. Sunday, according to the Denver Police Department.

ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver reported that it had learned exclusively that Denver Police Department investigators were at a landfill in Keenesberg early in the week, searching for evidence along the highway just outside the landfill.

Police say the case is not a typical missing person investigation. Officials from the Denver Police Department have called in the FBI and Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help in the investigation, an indication that they do not believe Monge simply ran away.

"No one thinks this girl ran away,” Denver Police spokesman Lt. Matthew Murray said. “We have reason to believe that what took place is not good. We are very concerned."

For the family, he added, "this is a nightmare scenario."

As the first week following Monge's disappearance comes to a close, Murray said they're treating it as a missing person case but said "there is something different" about it. He would not say what made it so strange.

Monge is 4 feet, 11 inches tall, and weighs 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black skirt, black blouse and high-heel boots.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr102011

White House Advisor: Obama Supports Holder on KSM Decision

FBI/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- David Plouffe, a senior advisor in the White House, said the president supports Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal.

Holder originally announced that Mohammed would be tried in a civilian federal court under Article Three of the Constitution, but changed course after Congress blocked funding that would have allowed him to do so.

Plouffe said Obama also agreed with Holder’s original decision to try Mohammed in civilian court.

“Look, here’s the decision he had to make,” Plouffe said, the president “supported the Attorney General’s original decision to try and do this in Article Three, but it’s clear that that just wasn’t going to happen. So you have to make a decision then. With Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was it that he would essentially be in limbo, perhaps forever? Where there would be no justice for those families, as we’re now ten years after 9/11? Or we were going to try and achieve justice through the military commission? So the Attorney General made that decision and the president agreed with it,” Plouffe said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr102011

Hawaii Fireworks Explosion Kills Five

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(HONOLULU) -- Five people are dead following an explosion at an underground bunker used to house confiscated fireworks in Waikele, Hawaii.

Officials say the explosion took place shortly before 9 a.m. Friday at the HIDC Small Business Storage facility, a place used to house and destroy fireworks confiscated by authorities. A total of six workers were reportedly in the bunker at the time of the explosion, with just one person making it out alive. Officials say the initial report firefighters responded to was about a car fire, however when crews arrived on the scene they found that in addition to a car being on fire outside the bunker, there were also raging flames inside, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The five people killed by the explosion have been identified as Justin Kelii, 29, Robert Leahey, 50, Kevin Freeman, 24, Neil Sprankle, 24, and Bryan Cabalce Wahiawa, 25, according to ABC’s Honolulu affiliate KITV-TV. The lone surviving worker reportedly suffered minor injuries and refused medical treatment. The men were employees of Donaldson Enterprises Inc., the company contracted to destroy the fireworks.

It is unclear what exactly sparked the deadly explosion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr102011

Wild Weekend Weather Across the Nation

Comstock/Thinkstock(MAPLETON, Iowa) -- Reports of wildfires, tornadoes and even heavy snowfall highlight some of the severe weather conditions being experienced across the country.

In Iowa, there have been several reports of tornadoes in different parts of the state, including a devastating twister that hit the Western Iowa city of Mapleton and prompted the state’s governor, Terry Branstad, to declare a disaster area. The tornado tore through Mapleton on Saturday night, damaging between 50 to 60 percent of the city, according to the Sioux City Journal. Officials say there have been some reports of injuries, but no reports of fatalities. Although there have been multiple tornado reports, the National Weather Service (NWS) is yet to confirm the exact number of tornadoes that have passed through Iowa.

Meanwhile, residents in some parts of Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado are bracing for some wintry weather, even though the calendar says it’s currently spring. According the NWS forecast, a storm system is set to pass through parts of those states Sunday, and is expected to dump 4-7 inches of snow in the Colorado mountains.

While some are bracing for the cold, authorities in Texas are feeling the heat from a wildfire raging in West Texas. The Texas Forest Service said on Saturday that crews were battling the largest wildfire in the nation and the largest in the state for 2011. The fire has consumed over 71,000 acres in Stonewall, King and Knox counties, and on Saturday showed no signs of slowing down. Officials say the weather does not appear to be cooperating with firefighters, as Sunday’s conditions were expected to be among the worst wildfire weather conditions in state history.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr092011

Death Toll Climbs In Philadelphia-Area Shooting

Thinkstock/Getty Images(CHESTER, Pa.) -- Two teens are dead and at least seven others were injured after a late-night shooting at a girl's 18th birthday party outside of Philadelphia.

Police said Saturday that they have a suspect in custody, but they have not said what they believe led to the Friday night shooting at 11:30 p.m. Friday at Minaret Temple No. 174 in Chester, Pa.

Police brought in for questioning dozens of people who were at the hall at the time of the shooting. The building was reportedly locked down.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr092011

Long Island Serial Killer Possibly An Ex-Cop?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Police are considering the possibility that the serial killer who has dumped at least eight bodies along a Long Island barrier beach may be an ex-cop or other law officer, law enforcement officials familiar with the case said.

The possibility that the killer could be a former law enforcement official or other person with knowledge of law enforcement techniques is being considered based on evidence that the suspect may understand investigators' procedures, they said.

Numerous people with possible links to the four slain women who have been identified have come to the attention of police since the investigation began, the officials said.

Police are also looking at people who have had regular or routine access to the beach where the bodies were found, they said.

Investigators are also exploring possible links to the serial killer who murdered prostitutes in New Jersey, they said.

According to one investigator familiar with the case and the behavior of serial killers, this appears to be an organized serial killer who plans methodically is probably above average intelligence. It appears that the killer usually lures people, then kills them in one place and disposes of the body in another, the investigator said. This sort of killer is often social -- not a loner -- with family, friends and what would appear to be a normal life, the investigator said.

It was the disappearance of a prostitute that led New York police to stumble on the serial killer's ocean-front dumping ground in western Suffolk County.

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 Gilgo Beach, a popular summer getaway spot, but much less frequently visited in the winter.

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

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr092011

Police Name Suspect in California Synagogue Blast

Santa Monica Police Department(SANTA MONICA, Calif.) -- Police have identified a suspect in a blast outside a synagogue and community center Thursday that was originally believed to have been an industrial accident. Police now say the explosion was caused by an intentionally-placed homemade explosive.

Ron Hirsch, 60, also known as Israel Fisher, is thought to be behind the Thursday morning explosion that sent a metal pipe encased in concrete through the roof of a home next door to Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica. No one was injured in the attack.

Police refer to Hirsch as a transient. He is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 207 pounds with brown hair and green eyes.

Hirsh faces numerous charges including possession of a destructive device.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr092011

Petraeus Addresses His Future; Headed to the CIA?

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- In a small press conference in Kabul, Gen. David Petraeus addressed widespread speculation that he will soon leave his post as commander of 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan.

He said he was “committed to staying here through the fighting season,” a statement that he and his aides have made for months, and roughly translates until about October or November.

But as one military official has put it, just because he has committed to staying that long doesn’t mean the White House will keep him there that long.

With Secretary of Defense Robert Gates leaving in the next few months and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen leaving this fall, it’s clear the jobs Petraeus could take will be open long before the fighting season finishes.

He was asked directly whether he would want to become the nation’s top spy if, as has been widely suggested, current CIA chief Leon Panetta succeeds Gates.

Petraeus declined to comment.

He did, however, call speculation in the media about which jobs he could take “trial balloons” -- suggesting he believes somebody is purposely leaking the possible jobs in order to gauge the reaction. Perhaps realizing he shouldn’t have suggested that, he quickly backed away from that statement and repeated his commitment to “serve with the pleasure of elected leaders.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr092011

Michelle Obama, Jill Biden to Spotlight Military Families on Tour

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are heading out next week on a tour to support military families.

The pair will first make a visit to Camp Lejeune on Wednesday, where the duo will address 3,000 marines, soldiers, sailors and military family members.

Following that event, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden will join Martha Stewart and pregnant women whose husbands are in the military when they visit Operation Shower, a non-profit that hosts baby showers for expecting military families. The two then plan to visit service members and families at a support center in San Antonio, Texas, before an evening trip to Coors Field in Denver where they will join military families from across Colorado for a Rockies baseball game.

On Thursday, their tour will take them to Colorado Springs and Columbus, Ohio.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio