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Wednesday
Sep292010

President Carter Remains Hospitalized at Doctors' Recommendation

Photo Courtesy - Louise Gubb/The Carter CenterUPDATE: Former President Jimmy Carter will spend a second night in the hospital as doctors continue to monitor his recovery. MetroHealth Medical Center said in a statement released Wednesday that the President is in good spirits and "looks forward to getting back to his busy schedule."

(CLEVELAND) -- Former President Jimmy Carter remained hospitalized Wednesday, a day after being admitted to a Cleveland hospital with an upset stomach.

"Carter is feeling normal this morning," said a statement released by MetroHealth Medical Center. "His doctors...recommended additional observation during the day."

The former president was transported to the hospital on Tuesday after falling ill during a flight. An ambulance met Carter's plane when it landed at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

A volunteer at the Carter Center in Atlanta told ABC News the former president became "air sick" on the flight to Cleveland, where he was scheduled to appear at a book signing.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep282010

UPDATE: Gunman at University of Texas Austin Identified as Sophomore Math Major Colton Tooley

Photo Courtesy -- Tamir Kalifa - The Daily Texan(AUSTIN, Texas) -- As previously reported, a gunman wearing a ski mask and brandishing a rifle entered a library at the University of Texas Austin Tuesday morning and fired several shots before taking his own life.  At a press conference Tuesday, police identified the gunman as 19-year-old math major Colton Tooley.  Tooley was seen running through the campus morning as classes started. He was wearing a dark business suit, carrying a rifle and shooting rounds into the air.  Police told ABC News that the investigation had moved off campus to a "house associated with the shooting."  Just before noon, a campus lockdown that had been in effect since around 8 a.m., was lifted, and police ended a search for a possible second suspect. "The armed suspect is dead. No other injuries have been reported," UT President Bill Powers wrote in a campus email.  Tooley was found dead on the sixth floor of the library from apparently self inflicted wounds, police said.  Police confirmed Tooley was carrying an AK-47, a military-grade combat rifle.  Police said they had not yet determined a motive.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Monday
Sep272010

Killer Cop Wants Workers' Compensation

Photo Courtesy - Illinois State Police(ILLINOIS) -- An Illinois state trooper who killed two teenage sisters and injured two other female passengers in a high-speed collision has filed a workers' compensation claim for injuries he says he sustained in the fatal crash.  Matt Mitchell, who pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and reckless driving, could have thousands of taxpayer dollars coming to him, angering the family of Kelli and Jessica Uhl, who were 18 and 13, respectively, when their vehicle was struck head-on by Mitchell's patrol car the day after Thanksgiving 2007.  On the day of the accident, Mitchell's speedometer clocked in as fast as 126 mph, while responding to the scene of an incident at which troopers were already present. He was simultaneously e-mailing colleagues and on the phone with his girlfriend, when his car jumped the median and struck the car in which the girls were riding.

For two years after the accident, Mitchell was placed on paid leave, continuing to earn his $68,000 annual salary. He pleaded guilty last year as part of a deal with prosecutors and served 90 days probation, never seeing any jail time.  Days after he pleaded guilty in a criminal trial, Mitchell resigned from the force and denied any responsibility for the girls' death in a civil suit brought by the family against the state.

Thomas Q. Keefe, the attorney representing the girls' parents, said that because Mitchell was a state employee on the job at the time of the crash, the family's civil case is tied up in a special court of claims, and a jury will never hear the case.  The same conditions, being a state employee and on the clock, also qualify Mitchell for disability insurance.  Mitchell injured his legs in the crash but his lawyer would not specify what treatment he needs or has already undergone.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

Record Heat Scorches Downtown Los Angeles

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Record heat hit the Los Angeles area Monday, with temperatures topping 113 degrees.

"It's 101 [degrees] in my home right now," resident Herbert Pineda told ABC News. "It's horrible."

Monday's temperature is an all-time high for downtown L.A. The previous record was 112 degrees, set on June 26, 1990.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

FBI Agents Caught Cheating on Domestic Investigations Exam

Photo Courtesy - FBI(WASHINGTON) -- "Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity," is the FBI's motto. But when it comes to taking tests, some agents have had a problem living up to the integrity portion of that pledge.  An investigation released Monday by the Justice Department's Inspector General found that "a significant number of FBI employees engaged in some form of cheating or improper conduct," on an exam designed to test an agent's knowledge of the new Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG).

The investigation covered four FBI field offices, and found that the Bureau had "implemented training and a rigorous exam on the important requirements of the new DIOG. Unfortunately, however, the conduct of some FBI employees undermined those actions."  The investigation describes the kind of cheating that might be expected from a group of middle school students, not from professional law enforcement officers.  For example, the investigation notes, "some consulted with others while taking the exam when that was specifically forbidden by the test-taking protocols. Others used or distributed answers sheets or study guides that essentially provided the answers to the test. A few exploited a programming flaw to reveal the answers to the exam on their computers."

The report noted that the cheating was not limited to rank and file agents. Some supervisors participated as well.  The Inspector General's office recommended that the cheaters be disciplined, and that the FBI launch a more wide-ranging investigation of cheating on the test. It also said the Bureau should make everyone take a new exam.

In a written statement, the FBI said it was "disappointed with the misconduct described in the report," but that an "uncompromising commitment to integrity remains the backbone of the FBI workforce." The Bureau said it is taking personnel actions in cases where the misconduct has been determined, and following up on each of the 22 cases the Inspector General found.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

More Women Say 'I Do' to Prenups

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- For at least half of the population, matrimony doesn't come with a happily ever after. And, when it's time to determine who gets the castle and the dowry, it's up to the judge to dictate how to spread the wealth. Unless your finances are protected with a prenup.

In the last five years, more divorce attorneys reported a spike in requests for prenuptial agreements. In a poll, 73 percent of the 1,600 attorneys that are members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported an increase in the contractual documents that specify how marital assets should be divided should a divorce happen. And, 36 percent of attorneys saw a rise in the inclusion of pensions and retirement funds in prenups.

"People recognize it's not just for the rich and famous but it's important for people for a multitude of reasons. It could be important to protect a spouse in the marriage if the spouse entering in the marriage has lack of debt,"says Marlene Eskind Moses, president of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

Pastors Defy IRS on 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday'

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- Nearly 100 pastors across the country took part in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, which took place on Sept. 26.  The event was an in-your-face challenge to what the government says can and cannot be said in church.  The pastors, along with the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based nonprofit Alliance Defense Fund, planned Sunday's event as a reaction to a law stating that churches are not allowed to support politicians from the pulpit, according to the ADF.  The growing trend is a challenge to the IRS from the churches, and may jeopardize their all-important tax-exempt status. But some pastors and church leaders said they are willing to defy the law to defend their right to freedom of speech.  Pastor Dan Fisher from Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon, Okla., who took part in Sunday's challenge pointed out in his sermon that separation of church and state is not in the constitution, but the government uses tax exemption as a means to enforce that notion."  Federal tax law, established in 1954, prohibits churches and tax exempt entities from endorsing or opposing political candidates.  Robert Marvin, an IRS spokesman, told ABC News, "We are aware of the recent press reports, and will monitor the situation and take action as appropriate."  ADF spokesman Erik Stanley said, "The whole goal is to foster a lawsuit where we could challenge the constitutionality of the law."  Despite the growing number of participating churches, there are some clergy that believe the participating churches have plenty to lose.  Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State commented, "Tax exemption is not a right; it's a privilege that comes with certain restrictions."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

Lawyer Argues Inmate's Suicide Attempt Left Him Too Brain Damaged To Be Executed

Photo Courtesy -- Georgia Department of Corrections(ATLANTA) -- In a last-ditch effort to stop his client's execution, Brian Kammer, lawyer for Brandon Joseph Rhode, argued that Rhode's recent suicide attempt left him too brain-damaged to justify the death penalty.  The Georgia Supreme Court swifty rejected the appeal laid out by Kammer in more than 60 pages of court documents filed early Monday.  According to documents obtained by ABC News, Kammer refers to Rhode's execution, still scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, as "nothing more than the purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering."  Kammer's appeal comes after last week's suicide attempt by Rhode just hours before Rhode was originally scheduled to be executed.  According to a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections, Rhode had not requested a final meal last week and will receive the standard meal tray being served at the prison.  If executed, he will be the 25th person put to death by the state, with the last one taking place in June.  Rhode was convicted in 2000 for a triple-murder of a father and his two young kids during a robbery of their Georgia home. He was 20 at the time he committed the crime.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

San Jose Police Officer Investigated After Fake Arrest Of Teenage Boy

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- According to KGO-TV, a police officer in San Jose, Calif., has been placed on administrative leave following the fake arrest of the 15-year-old son of Paul and Nicole Villarruel.  The officer, who is not being named to protect the minors involved, entered the Villarruel home and proceeded to use "scare tactics" with the teenage boy involved in a relationship with the officer's 14-year-old daughter.  The Villarruels caught part of the fake arrest on a cell phone video.  In the video, the officer said, "You understand it's illegal to have underage sex?" the officer asks the boy in the video. "If I see you anywhere near my home, anywhere near my daughter, I'll arrest you... [It's] not a good thing that the person you had sex with is a cop's daughter."  Though the boy is handcuffed in the video, he was not arrested at the time.  Both of the teens are facing misdemeanor charges relating to underage sex.  Despite statements made by the officer's lawyer, Terry Bowman, that the officer was in control and that the boy's parents invited the officer to frighten their son, a lawyer for the Villarruels says that a lawsuit is likely to follow.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep242010

Only Living African-American WWII Medal Of Honor Recipient Buried In Arlington National Cemetery

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images.(ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va.) -- ABC News reports that the only living African-American veteran to receive the Medal of Honor for valor in World War II was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery Friday.  Vernon Baker, 90, died of complications of brain cancer in July.  Baker was buried among the nation's fallen heroes, in the same section as the only other African American Medal of Honor recipient and World War II veteran buried at Arlington.  President Clinton presented Vernon Joseph Baker with the Medal of Honor in 1997, after an investigation revealed that the high climate of racism during World War II had prevented recognition of heroic deeds of black soldiers.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.








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