SEARCH

Friday
Apr152011

Pictures in Accused Rapist's Camera Provide Chilling Evidence Against Him

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- A Washington state woman who police charged with filing a false rape report has been vindicated by chilling photos of her ordeal found on an accused serial rapist's camera, law enforcement officials say.

Marc O'Leary, 32, is currently being held in Jefferson County Jail in Colorado on a $5 million cash bond and has been charged with 25 felony counts including rape, burglary and stalking in connection with two rapes in Golden and Westminster, Colo., and an attempted rape in Lakewood, Colo.

None of the victims saw the face of their attacker, who wore a black mask, but one victim did see a birthmark on his leg.

In the Golden attack, which lasted for four hours, O'Leary threatened the victim with a silver and black gun and said he would shoot her if she screamed, according to the arrest affidavit. He tied her up and took photographs after forcing her to wear thigh-high stockings and high heels, the affidavit said.

Detectives testified this week that when they raided O'Leary's home in Lakewood, a Denver suburb, they took a memory card from his camera that showed more than a hundred photos of his sex-assault victims. They identified one of the photos as being of a woman in Lynnwood, Wash., who was 18 when she reported a rape in 2008.

Cops didn't believe her story, and she had to pay a $500 fine for making a false charge. O'Leary lived in nearby Mountlake Terrace, Wash., from 2006 to 2009, police say.

The case has now been reopened.

The identities of the women was not released because they were allegedly victims of sexual assaults.

Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County district attorney, said she couldn't yet reveal the details of how authorities realized the woman in some of the pictures was linked to the Washington case. "There's some great police work that went on," she said.

The case has been "terrifying" for the suburban Denver area, which has relatively little violent crime, she said.

O'Leary, who is six-foot-one and weighs 220 pounds, was arrested in February and will be arraigned on May 16.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

Weather: Tornado, Winds, Kill Nine in Oklahoma, Arkansas

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -– A rash of violent storms has led to at least nine deaths in Oklahoma and Arkansas. It moved Friday across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

In Arkansas, the death toll increased to seven Friday.

Two elderly sisters were killed when a tornado struck Tushka, Okla., late Thursday night. The twister leveled at least five Tushka school buildings, according to Tushka Public School Principal Matt Simpson.

In North Texas, strong thunderstorms interrupted power to about 90,000 homes and businesses.

Rough weather hit Kansas with high winds reported in far western areas of the state.

This system caps a week of nasty weather across the center of the country. South Dakota was hit with spring snow while parts of Wisconsin experienced tornadoes.

And in North Dakota and Minnesota, the swollen Red River has swallowed roads and farms and cut off some residents from their neighbors.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

Mom Sentenced in Autistic Son's Leukemia Death

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Kristen LaBrie, the Salem, Mass., mom found guilty of attempted murder for withholding chemotherapy medications from her autistic son, was sentenced Friday to eight-to-10 years in prison.

Prosecutors in the case argued that LaBrie committed murder by withholding potentially lifesaving medications for her nine-year-old son, Jeremy Fraser. The defense admitted that LaBrie knowingly withheld her son's medications, but said she did so only because of their painful side effects.

Prosecutors asked for a harsher jail term of 16 years. LaBrie's lawyer hoped for a one-year sentence.

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, Assistant District Attorney Kate 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. The boy died in 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

Stink Bugs Invade Homes, Called a Menace to Agriculture 

Hermera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's spring and that means the stink bugs are back, invading homes with their peculiar odor.

Stink bugs are invasive insects from Asia that first were spotted in Pennsylvania in the mid 1990s. Entomologists say the brown marmorated stink bug is now in 33 states. And this year they expect them to turn up in other places.

Mike Raupp, an entomologist from the University of Maryland, told ABC's Good Morning America that, while stink bugs don't hurt people, they do suck -- suck the juice out of plants, that is. Researchers say stink bugs are the most menacing agricultural pests in 40 years.

The brown marmorated stink bug is a fearsome agricultural menace and a disgusting home nuisance. The shield-shaped insects suck the juice out of fruits, vegetables and house plants and congregate on window sills in alarming numbers.

If you have stink bugs in your home, unfortunately, insect experts do not have a "magic bullet" that will solve your problem. Entomologists are working to come up with creative solutions. A couple of possibilities: They may be able to engineer a form of stink bug "birth control." There also has been talk of introducing predators, like hornets that will consume stink bugs.

However, none of those efforts is well-developed yet, so here are some intermediate steps you can take to try to control the stink bugs in your home:

* Vacuum up stink bugs. They will release their scent when you do this, so you should empty your vacuum bag often. They also can live for a few days in your vacuum canister, so you may want to tape the hose end shut so they don't crawl back out.

* Caulk cracks. Stink bugs can flatten themselves down to a very narrow profile in order to wiggle through the smallest household cracks and get inside your home. Caulking all cracks helps and is good for energy savings, as well.

* Use window screening. You can cover ridge vents and other necessary openings in your home with window screening so there is still air circulation, but so that stink bugs cannot get in. Consult a knowledgeable contractor to make sure the screening won't cause any harm.

* Treat your attic. Stink bugs like attics. Some pest control contractors are experimenting with setting off pesticide "bombs" in these uninhabited spaces, but you should know that studies have shown stink bugs have the bizarre ability to appear dead from pesticides and then come back to life a few days later.

* Use insecticidal soap. Making your vegetable garden and house plants unpalatable to stink bugs may help. Insecticidal soap sprays are available at nurseries and less toxic than full-fledged pesticides.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Apr152011

Post Office Used Vegas Replica For Lady Liberty Stamp

Medioimages/Photodisc (file)(WASHINGTON) -- The newest forever stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service was supposed to be an iconic American image of the Statue of Liberty, but instead of showing the statue that stands in New York harbor, the picture depicts her doppelganger at the New York New York casino in Las Vegas.

Despite the fact the stamp depicts a gambling destination, the post office says it still prefers the picture to the original Lady Liberty and has no plans to recall the stamp.

Postal officials were not aware of the mistake until they received a tip from a stamp aficionado who was able to point out the difference between the real Lady Liberty and her plaster counterpart. The Postal Service has declined to identify the tipster.

The postal service originally obtained the images from a photo agency that had the figure listed as Lady Liberty. The description made no reference to it being a replica.

The stamp was first introduced in December 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

President Obama to Sleepy Air Controllers: 'Better Do Your Job'

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama lectured air traffic controllers in an exclusive interview with ABC News, impressing on them the enormous responsibility of safeguarding flying passengers and telling them, "You better do your job."

The president spoke after several controllers were caught asleep on the job and the man in charge of air traffic control, Hank Krakowski, resigned on Thursday.

"The individuals who are falling asleep on the job, that's unacceptable," the president told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Thursday.  "The fact is, when you're responsible for the lives and safety of people up in the air, you better do your job.  So, there's an element of individual responsibility that has to be dealt with."

Five controllers have been suspended for apparently napping on the job while planes were trying to land at their airports.

The president said a full review of air traffic control work shifts is underway.

"What we also have to look at is air traffic control systems.  Do we have enough back up?  Do we have enough people?  Are they getting enough rest time?" Obama said.

He added, however, "But it starts with individual responsibility."

In March, two commercial airliners were forced to land unassisted at Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport after a controller apparently fell asleep.

Just days later, two controllers at the Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas, did not hand off control of a departing aircraft to another control center and it took repeated attempts for them to be reached.

On Feb. 19, an air traffic controller in Knoxville, Tennessee, slept during an overnight shift.  Sources told ABC News that the worker even took pillows and cushions from a break room to build a make-shift bed on the control room floor.

And this month, there were two more incidents.  A controller fell asleep on the job in Seattle, and days later a controller in Reno, Nevada, was snoozing when a plane carrying a critically ill passenger was seeking permission to land.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

Weather Hampers Search for Missing Tennessee Woman

Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(PARSONS, Tenn.) -- Bad weather is hampering search efforts to find Holly Bobo, the Tennessee woman dragged into the woods by a man dressed in camouflage.

Thunderstorms and tornado warnings are slowing down investigators and community members searching the dense west Tennessee woodlands Friday.

"We're waiting right now to see when this weather pattern will pass through. When it passes through, then we will be back out in the field searching again," Decatur County Sheriff Roy Wyatt said.

The 20-year-old woman's brother saw the abduction on Wednesday from inside the family's home in Parsons, Tenn. Her brother called 911 and said a man wearing camouflage dragged the woman from the carport of her family home toward the woods.

"It's very possible that he could have known her, could have known her daily routine. We're following up on everything we possibly can," Wyatt said.

Bobo is a cousin of Whitney Duncan, a country music singer and a finalist on the television talent show Nashville Star.

Almost 400 volunteers searched for the nursing student on foot, on horseback and using ATVs on Thursday. Pink ribbons and pictures of Holly Bobo are posted all over the close knit community of 2,500 people. The community is offering a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to her safe return.

Bobo is five-foot-three and weighs 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt and blue jeans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

World's Oldest Living Man Dies in Montana at 114

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Thinkstock(GREAT FALLS, Mont.) -- Walter Breuning, known as the world's oldest living man, passed away in Montana Thursday.  He was 114.

According to Stacia Kirby, the spokeswoman for the retirement home where Breuning lived since 1980, the supercentenarian died of natural causes at a Great Falls hospital.

Breuning was born in Melrose, Minnesota on Sept. 21, 1896.  In 1913, he began a 50-year career working on railroads.  Two years later, he moved to Montana, where he continued his career before retiring in 1963 at the age of 67.

In 1922, he married Agnes Twokey, who passed away in 1957.  The couple never had children and Bruening never remarried.

The title of the world's oldest living man now goes to Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, according to the Gerontology Research Group's website.  Kimura is 113 years old and will turn 114 on Tuesday, April 19.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

Oregon Mailman Busted for Making Not So Special Delivery

Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- A Portland, Oregon postal worker has been placed on leave after he was caught defecating in a yard on his mail route.

Resident Don Derfler explained to local ABC News affiliate KATU that he noticed the mail carrier "acting odd" in his neighbor's yard across the street, and when the postman pulled down his pants, Derfler pulled out his camera, just in time to catch the man squatting behind some bushes.

Derfler not only caught the mailman in the act on camera, he also snapped a pic of the "delivery," which the resident shared with the news station.

A Postal Service spokesperson told KATU-TV that the mailman in question was placed on unpaid leave while an investigation is completed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr152011

Resigning FAA Official Defended Lavish 2009 Conference

ABC News(ATLANTA) -- The Federal Aviation Authority official who resigned Thursday after a series of air traffic controllers were found sleeping on the job was also featured in an ABC News investigation into a controversial $5 million FAA conference in 2009.

Hank Krakowski, formerly the chief operating officer of the FAA's Air Traffic Operations, attended the Atlanta conference which critics said was little more than a chance to throw a lavish party.  Krakowski defended the conference to ABC News' Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, saying the three weeks of meetings and social events were necessary to train managers on the new contract that went into effect months earlier.

Three groups of managers attended the conference in one-week spans.

The costs the event incurred were worth it, Krakowski said, "because we have to get the frontline managers onboard with what we're trying to do."

At the time, FAA whistleblowers questioned why, if the meetings were so important, they were held more than two months after the contract had been enacted.

"It seems a little extravagant," said one whistleblower in a message to ABC News then.  "One would think a PowerPoint or even a videoconference would suffice."

Undercover video taken at the conference showed FAA managers drinking heavily and making the rounds of Atlanta bars after a day of meetings.

One FAA manager told an ABC News undercover reporter, "Anytime you get a bunch of FAA guys together, it is nothing but a party."  Another said, "It beats being at work."

Krakowski submitted his resignation to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt Thursday as the FAA continues to investigate five incidents of possible napping air traffic controllers in recent weeks.

In his announcement of the resignation, Babbitt said, "Over the last few weeks we have seen examples of unprofessional conduct on the part of a few individuals that have rightly caused the traveling public to question our ability to ensure their safety.  This conduct must stop immediately."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio