Woman Trapped Five Days in Wrecked Car

Hemera/Thinkstock(FAIRPLAY, Colo.) -- A Colorado woman whose car veered off a highway and into an embankment used a red-and-white umbrella stored in her car to write pleas for help.

The Chevrolet Malibu belonging to Kristin Hopkins, a 43-year-old single mother of four, was found Sunday flipped upside down after it had careened at least 200 feet off a winding Colorado mountain road near Fairplay, Colorado, sometime after she was last seen April 27.

The person who saw Hopkins’ wrecked car reported what they believed to be a dead body inside -- but firefighters found Hopkins alive, having survived there for at least five days.

“He was getting ready to break the window to gain access to her when she put her hand against the window,” Lt. Jim Cravener of the North West Fire Protection District said of a fellow first responder.  “That’s when he said, ‘She’s alive.’”

“She was in and out of consciousness at the time,” Cravener said.

Rescuers noticed that Hopkins, who was placed into a statewide police database April 29 as a missing person, had left notes on an umbrella to try to catch the attention of passing drivers.

“The one that was pretty disturbing said, “six days, no food, no water,” said Cravener, who noted the writings also included, “need a doctor,” and, “please help me.”

Rescuers pulled Hopkins from her car and transported her via helicopter to a Denver hospital.

Hopkins is now in critical condition with “multiple internal and external injuries,” according to family friend Brian Willie.  She also had both of her feet amputated.

First responders said the most amazing thing of Hopkins’ ordeal was that she was still alive.

“What hope she had, what her drive was, we don’t know,” said firefighter Josh Thompson.  “But there was something there that kept her handing on and fighting.”

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Faulty Metal Clip Eyed in Circus Accident

Brian Ach/Getty Images for Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- A faulty metal clip known as a carabiner is being blamed for an apparatus collapse that sent eight aerial performers plunging to the ground in a circus accident Sunday in Rhode Island.

“That carabiner failed,” said Paul Doughty, investigator for the Providence Fire Department. “It was a single piece of equipment that failed.”

The 5-inch steel clip is designed to support up to 10,000 pounds.

The weight of the apparatus and performers Sunday was just 1,500 pounds.

The clip was found in three pieces on the ground with its spine snapped, Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said.

“We don't know if it was metal fatigue, if it wasn't properly positioned or something else," he said. "We just don't know."

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating and will make the final determination of whether the carabiner was to blame for the collapse, he said.

There was no backup carabiner above or a net below, sending the performers falling 35 feet onto a thin rubber mat.

Melinda Hartline, a spokeswoman with Ringling Bros. Circus, said everything was followed to protocol.

“Safety is paramount. A couple of the performers have said they cannot wait to get back and perform,” Hartline said.

Windy Neves was upside down in the middle of the human chandelier at the time of the collapse. Her father, Roiter Neves, said she’s recovering.

“She’s OK, she’s doing OK,” he told ABC News. “Only a broken arm. And some fractures of the neck and the back, too.”

The high-flying, hair-raising stunt involves the performers hanging by special rings woven through the hair, a decades-long attraction at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey shows.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey says its hair-hangers take daily vitamins and use special shampoo. Flat irons and hair-dryers are off limits, as is brushing locks when wet, according to the circus' website.

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Can You Crack the NSA’s Coded Tweet?

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Even in the world of cryptic tweets, this one was out there: tpfccdlfdtte pcaccplircdt dklpcfrp?

What initially seemed like an accidental tweet from an NSA office on Monday had deeper -- and characteristically for the agency, secretive -- meaning.

Asked about the content and context of the tweet from @NSACareers, the NSA told ABC News that it was what many people online had already guessed: a code.

“As part of our recruitment efforts to attract the best and the brightest, we will post mission-related coded Tweets on Mondays in the month of May,” an NSA spokesperson said.

Despite jokes about a potential “butt-dial” or a drunk tweet, the NSA assured that it was intentional, and added that it wasn’t even a new effort.

“[@NSACareers] have posted coded Tweets before. This is not a new initiative,” a spokesperson said.

The code has already been broken, but can you figure it out?

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Florida Men Rescued After 17 Hours at Sea

iStock/Thinkstock(FORT PIERCE, Fla.) -- Two fishermen who had only their capsized boat and a small cooler full of food and water to survive were rescued after 17 hours at sea.

Justyn Bradley and Cory Bowman were dolphin fishing off Jupiter Inlet near Fort Pierce, Fla., Sunday when a 12-foot wave toppled their 21-foot boat “in a matter of seconds.”

“It threw me about 30 feet off the boat,” Bradley told local ABC affiliate WPBF.  “My buddy went down and we came up and surfaced.”

The pair clung for dear life to the cooler they managed to save and the vessel as they waited for help to arrive.

Fortunately, the two men had given their wives detailed plans of their fishing route.  When Bradley and Bowman did not return Sunday evening as planned, their wives alerted the Coast Guard.

“We had to go through a whole night where a plane came close and left, and didn’t [see us] and left,” Bradley told WBPF.

Around 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, a Coast Guard air crew spotted the men about 50 miles off the coast from where they set out.

Amazingly, around the same time, a civilian boat also spotted Bradley and Bowman and came over to help.

Coast Guard cameras captured the Good Samaritans in the boat coming over to help the pair and pull them to safety.

Neither Bradley nor Bowman suffered any injuries beyond exhaustion and dehydration.

“Thanks to everyone involved,” said Bradley.  “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today.”

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I-15 in California Closed After Fire on Ranchero Road Bridge

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HESPERIA, Calif.) -- The Ranchero Road Bridge overpass in Hesperia caught fire on Monday afternoon, causing the closure of Interstate 15 and major traffic blockages.

The southbound lanes of I-15 were closed at Joshua and northbound lanes were closed just south of the Ranchero Road bridge, ABC's Los Angeles affiliate, KABC, reported. As of 2 p.m. on Monday, the bridge had caught fire.

Just before 4 p.m., a part of the bridge collapsed. A second collapse was reported at about 5:30 p.m., KABC said.

There is some concern that the roadway may have been damaged by falling steel and debris. More than 60 firefighters were assigned to battle the blaze on Monday evening.

Authorities said the bridge could stay closed for up to two days.

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Tea Party Protest Revives School American Flag Scandal

VStock/Thinkstock(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- A Cinco de Mayo incident from four years ago that evolved into a civil rights lawsuit showed its face again Monday in a town just south of San Jose, California.

A silent protest was held outside a California high school Monday in response to a Cinco De Mayo event four years ago in which school officials reportedly asked five students to remove their U.S. flag T-shirts, according to the Morgan Hill Police Department.

Nearly 50 protesters, some of whom are members of the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots, a tea party group, rode motorcycles, donned American flags, and pledged allegiance in front of Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, according to police.

“We didn’t bring signs, we didn’t bring anything with words on it, we were just silent,” the group’s president, Georgine Scott-Codiga, told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco. “And we’re leaving right now, as soon as we’re done with this because we did it before school, so we’re not disrupting the school.”

This comes after five students were sent home from school in 2010 for refusing to comply with school officials on Cinco de Mayo when they were asked to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out, police said.

A lawsuit that was filed by the parents of these students was dismissed by judges from the Ninth Circuit Court in February of this year, ruling that student safety trumps the students’ First Amendment rights, according to documents published on the website for the court.

“The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in a civil rights suit brought by high school students who were asked to remove clothing bearing images of the American flag after school officials learned of threats of race-related violence during a school-sanctioned celebration of Cinco de Mayo,” the court documents read.

“The panel held given the history of prior events at the school, including an altercation on campus, it was reasonable for school officials to proceed though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real,” the documents said.

A parent of one of those students four years ago was at the rally Monday and told KGO-TV that that her son is now an Army reservist.

“He was accused of being a troublemaker wanting to start trouble and not being part of the unity by wearing an American flag and now he’s out there defending the flag,” Joy Jones told KGO-TV. “And that’s what it’s about for these kids, pride in their country.”

A former student who drove through the protests Monday told ABC News that people should have showed their support for what she calls the “Live Oak Five” a long time ago.

“This is totally being blown out of proportion,” said Vivienne Castillo, who graduated from Live Oak in 2010. “We’re all kind of tired of all of it. Most people in Morgan Hill thought it was over and are now forced to be reminded unnecessarily.”

She said tension between Mexican and American students is something the community has seen before.

“Years past there have always been issues with Mexican kids and American kids. Kids would get the Mexican flags and tie them around their necks like a cape and instigate fights,” she said.

A group called “We the People Morgan Hill” was planning to do an anti-protest Monday, police said, but backed out at the last minute.

That group is reportedly comprised of concerned Latino parents. Police say they assembled thinking the protest would be an unsafe environment based on blogs posted by people who ended up not being part of the tea party group hosting the event.

The school had a privacy fence that lined the avenue in front of the main entrance of the school and police say there were no attempts from protestors to enter school property.

An administrator from Live Oak High School told ABC News the school would not be commenting on the protests.

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USGS Issues Rare Earthquake Advisory for Central Oklahoma

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- For the first time ever, on Monday the United States Geological Survey issued an earthquake advisory for a state east of the Rocky Mountains, Oklahoma.

The USGS said on Monday that the risk of an earthquake of magnitude greater than 5.0 has noticeably increased in central Oklahoma. Robert Williams, a geophysicist with the USGS, said that the agency can't predict when or where the state's next earthquake might take place.

"This is an advisory based on the increase in earthquake rate over the last five years, and especially the last six months," Williams told ABC News.

On a per-mile basis, there have been almost as many tremors in Oklahoma as there have been in California this year, Williams said. He added that the increased risk may be related to fracking activity, saying that "the contributing factor may be related to injection and cycling of fluid at the subsurface, associated with oil and gas activity in central and north-central Oklahoma.

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Suspect in Custody, One Injured in Shooting at Dayton VA Center

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DAYTON, Ohio) -- Police have a suspect in custody after a shooting on Monday at a Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the victim struggled with the shooter and suffered a gunshot wound to the ankle. The suspect in custody is 59-year-old Neil Moore, a former employee of the medical center.

The shooting was reported at about 12:15 p.m. and prompted a lockdown and a room-by-room search for the shooter. Officials closed down the VA center and told anyone who needed emergency care who was not already at the center that they should go elsewhere.

Moore managed to escape the hospital without detection, before being caught and arrested at another hospital, the Daily News said. The victim was treated on site before being transferred to Miami Valley Hospital.

Police did not immediately provide a possible motive for the shooting. Interviews with witnesses and further investigation were ongoing on Monday night.

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Two Cleveland Kidnap Victims to Be Honored on Anniversary of Escape

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Tuesday's one-year anniversary of their escape from more than 10 years in captivity, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus will be honored at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's HOPE Awards in Washington, D.C.

On the eve of the event, the two women released statements thanking those who supported them and their families over the last year. The third woman who was held captive in the Cleveland house, Michelle Knight, will not be honored because she was 21 at the time of her abduction. The HOPE Awards focus on exploited children.

Berry decided that "the right place for us to be was with other families who have gone through what our family has gone through," on the anniversary of their escape. "I want these families to know they will always have a special place in our hearts."

Both women focused on the past year, during which Berry said that she has "grown." DeJesus said in a statement that the past 12 months have been "full of healing and hope."

Neither woman is expected to comment further.

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FAA Says High-Flying Plane Caused Last Week's Computer Glitch

U-2 Plane: File Photo by U.S. Air Force via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Aviation Administration released a statement on Monday that explained the cause behind last week's air traffic control glitch that grounded planes across the western United States.

On April 30, a computer problem took out flights at a number of western airports, including in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Phoenix. In Monday's statement, the FAA acknowledged that the computer system "experienced problems while processing a flight plan filed for a U-2 aircraft that operates at very high altitudes under visual flight rules."

The computer system, they say, incorrectly interpreted the flight as a low-flying operation and in order to eliminate conflicts within the system, numerous flights needed to be re-routed -- creating a conflict within the computer system's available memory. The conflict then "interrupted the computer's other flight-processing functions."

Still, the problem was resolved within an hour, the FAA says. In response, the agency has authorized facilities to expand the amount of available flight-processing memory they have, which they hope will prevent this problem from occurring again.

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