Entries in Springfield (4)


Missouri Police Find Kidnapped Toddler Harmony Blue Safe, Mo.) -- Police in Springfield, Mo., said Saturday night they have found a 13-month-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert after she was abducted from a grocery store parking lot earlier in the day.

Harmony Blue and her 4-year-old brother were left inside a 2002 gray Nissan Maxima while their father ran into the grocery store, Springfield police said in a news release.

A white woman with blonde hair was then seen taking off in the vehicle with the children.  The suspect is not believed to have any relation to the family, authorities said.

The 4-year-old boy was dropped off later in the afternoon and was reunited with his father.

Several hours later police announced they had also found Harmony Blue, but aside from saying that she was safe and back with her family, they gave no other details.

They said they were still investigating to determine who was responsible for the girl’s kidnapping.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Judge Rules Prison Officials Can Force Jared Loughner to Take Meds

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled in an emergency hearing Wednesday that prison officials could force Jared Lee Loughner, charged in the Tucson, Ariz. shooting that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, to take anti-psychotic medication.

In his decision, Burns said he was deferring to trained psychiatrists and medical personnel in Missouri, where Loughner has been confined in a prison medical facility, who have found Loughner to be dangerous.

The emergency hearing came after the release of a new court filing that offered insight into Loughner's disturbing behavior and raised more questions about whether he could ever be considered psychologically fit enough to stand trial.

Tuesday's filing said that on April 4 Loughner spat at his lawyer and lunged at her before prison staff restrained him.

The filing also said that an angry Loughner used profanities and threw a plastic chair at a psychiatrist multiple times during a taped interview on March 28. He also hurled a wet toilet paper roll at a camera that was in the room.

Prosecutors have used these incidents to argue in the court filings that Loughner should be given anti-psychotic medication. They claim he is a danger to others.

But Loughner's lawyers argued that he should not be forced to take medications without court approval. That approval came Wednesday.

Last month, Burns ruled that Loughner was not competent to stand trial because he was a paranoid schizophrenic and delusional. The judge has also denied two requests from Loughner's attorneys that they be notified before he is medicated.

Loughner has been held at a prison medical facility in Springfield, Mo., where psychiatrists are trying to restore his mental health so that he can participate in court proceedings. He arrived at the facility on May 28 and could spend up to four months there.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to the 49 charges against him stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tornadoes Tear Through Mass. Leaving Four Dead, Dozens Injured

Springfield Falcons(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) -- Multiple tornadoes slammed western and central Massachusetts Wednesday, leaving a path of destruction that destroyed buildings, flipped vehicles and left at least four people dead and an unknown number injured.

At least three tornadoes struck the city of Springfield, Mass., alone, with a fourth unconfirmed twister possibly touching down in the city, Mayor Dominic J. Sarno said. Many of those storms also blasted the areas surrounding the city of more than 150,000 residents which is situated 90 miles west of Boston.

According to the National Weather Service, there were seven reports of tornadoes touching down in Massachusetts Wednesday.

The twisters hit as unstable weather threatened the entire Northeast, bringing tornado watches to Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Golf Ball size hail was reported from New York to Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire, while thunderstorms produced wind gusts from 60 to 70 miles per hour across New England.

The situation in Massachusetts was so bad that Gov. Deval Patrick declared a statewide state of emergency, calling up 1,000 members of the National Guard.

Two of the four fatalities in Massachusetts occurred in West Springfield, and there was one each in Springfield and Brimfield, a state official said, correcting earlier official statements.

Peter Judge, from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) told ABC News that as of early Thursday morning there were about 50,000 without power.

"There is some very serious damage -- we're aware of city blocks that aren't there anymore, homes that have lost roofs," Judge said.

"It was obviously an incredible surprise...we'd been monitoring the weather all day and by early afternoon nobody was overly concerned...but by late afternoon some storm clouds started to appear," he added.

Wednesday's tornadoes were the worst outbreak in the state since 1953, when 94 people were killed by a tornado in central Massachusetts. The state's last lethal tornado was in 1995.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Apparent Tornados Jolt Westfield, Springfield in Western Massachusetts

Springfield Falcons(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) -- Multiple tornadoes slammed western Massachusetts, destroying buildings, flipping vehicles and leaving at least four dead.

The Massachusetts twisters hit as unstable weather threatened the entire Northeast, bringing tornado watches to Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

The situation in Massachusetts was so bad that Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency statewide, which involved calling up 1,000 members of the National Guard.

At least four people have died as a result of the weather, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's Peter Judge told ABC News Boston affiliate WCVB. There was one death in Brimfield, Mass., one in West Springfield, Mass., and two in Westfield, Mass.

Tornadoes were confirmed in the Massachusetts communities of Springfield, Wilbraham, Westfield, Monson and Oxford, WCVB reported.

Patrick said at least 19 Massachusetts communities were affected by the twisters.

"Motorists should be off the roads," Patrick said. "There are downed limbs, downed wires. We have reports of as many as 26,000 people without electrical service. There may be and likely [will] be more before this is all over."

One tornado ripped through downtown Springfield, Mass., and into its suburbs around 4:35 p.m. Wednesday, knocking down trees and destroying buildings. There were reports of injures and people trapped by debris in the city of about 150,000 residents 90 miles west of Boston.

Roads were impassable in the hardest-hit areas and people were stuck in their cars because of downed power lines, state police said. Rescue operations were underway citywide.

Cameras on buildings trained on the western part of Springfield showed broken trees, roof damage and overturned trucks. All police units were responding to the downtown area.

Video and pictures of apparent tornadoes in Springfield and elsewhere in western Massachusetts showed funnel clouds, swirling winds and debris flying through the air.

Betsy Hogan was on Springfield's Memorial Bridge when the tornado hit.

"I was at the halfway mark on the bridge and the tractor trailer in front of me flipped right over," she told WGGB. "I'm still shaking. ... Once that tractor trailer went I thought I was going to go too.

There have been an average of two tornadoes per year in Massachusetts since 1950, though none since 2008, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The last fatalities from a tornado in the state were in 1995, when three died and 24 were injured by an EF4 tornado.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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