West Virginia School Shut Down after Meth Residue Found

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(BOONE COUNTY, W.Va.) -- A West Virginia school where the principal and a teacher were arrested for allegedly smoking meth has been shut down because meth residue was found in the building's duct system.

Boone County officials shut down Boone County Career and Technical Center on July 22.

"There were positive tests that came back for the residue of methamphetamines," West Virginia Department of Education Spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro told ABC News. "What we had were micrograms, a very small amount, but nonetheless we're being very proactive...until we absolutely know that this is cleaned up and the health and safety of the students is number one."

The vocational school will reopen once the residue is cleaned up.

Cordeiro said that this is the first school in West Virginia to be shut down because of methamphetamine contamination.

Exposure to low levels of meth residue can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said.

Individuals might get sick from inhaling toxic substances at a site where meth ingredients were used or from inhaling second hand smoke from individuals using the drug, according to the state's Department of Health and Human Resources. It also warned that if someone's skin is exposed to a surface contaminated with meth, that can pose a health risk too.

Meth residue was found in the school's duct system and the main office, WCHS reported.

"As the smoke would raise it gets in the duct work and it's spread throughout the school system," West Virginia State Police Sgt. A.S. Perdue told ABC News affiliate WCHS.

It was recommended, not required, that the school shut down. School officials do not believe the school was used as a meth lab where the meth was both cooked and smoked.

The testing of the school was prompted after West Virginia State Police alerted the Department of Health and Human Resources in June that methamphetamines may have been smoked by a teacher and a principal at the school.

In May, Principal Keith Phipps and teacher Jack Turley were arrested as part of a months long investigation that alleges they smoked meth on the school's campus, WCHS reported. They were both suspended by district officials.

Turley confessed to state police that he bought Sudafed pills from a man, converted them to methamphetamine, and smoked it at the school, WCHS reported.

The vocational school teaches 450 students during the school year. This summer, about 20 students were attending classes, Cordeiro said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


JetBlue Sued: Alleged Underwear Altercation Humiliates Malinda Knowles

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A financial consultant says she was kicked off her JetBlue flight after a supervisor demanded to know if she was wearing underwear, then allegedly stuck his walkie-talkie between her legs. Malinda Knowles, 27, is now suing JetBlue, the supervisor and the flight captain, seeking an unspecified amount for assault and battery, and emotional distress.

Knowles, 27, had boarded a JetBlue flight departing New York's LaGuardia Airport for West Palm Beach, Fla., where her family lives. She flies to Florida several times a year, she said.

That morning in July 2010, she left her home in Harlem at 4 a.m. to catch the 6 a.m. flight. She was wearing a pair of shorts, a large T-shirt (and yes, underwear), an outfit she says she selected, in part, because it was more than 90 degrees outside.

Everyone had boarded the plane, and Knowles was in her seat sipping orange juice when she said JetBlue supervisor Victor Rodriguez approached her, demanding to know "with a smirk" if she was wearing underwear.

"He just came up to me and asked me … basically to show him what I had on, which would have required me moving the tray table and pretty much opening my legs," she said. "I didn't feel comfortable doing that."

Knowles said she eventually lifted her tray table and then, Rodriguez -- who was holding a walkie-talkie -- allegedly "stuck the antennae in her crotch," between her legs, to see what she had on underneath her T-shirt, Knowles' attorney, Brian Dratch, told ABC News.

Knowles told ABC News she had never seen Rodriguez before, and had passed through all the security checkpoints at LaGuardia without any problem.

Rodriguez allegedly called Port Authority police and "had me escorted off of the flight in front of everyone," she said. They took her to the loading bridge, the passageway between the airport terminal and the plane, according to Knowles. The police soon observed, "Oh, she has shorts on," Knowles said.

Rodriguez, who is still working for JetBlue, declined to comment and referred ABC News to his lawyer, JetBlue attorney Michael Carbone, who also declined comment because of the pending litigation.

It's unclear, Dratch said, what Rodriguez's motive was, or even why he was on the plane. Dratch told ABC News that Rodriguez works at the ticket counter.

After she was questioned by Rodriguez in the loading bridge and showed the police her driver's license, she settled back into her seat. But Rodriguez allegedly returned another time, with the police.

"He said there was an issue with my shorts," Knowles said, explaining that at this point the plane had already been delayed at least half an hour. "Everyone [on the plane] was very upset, and very annoyed."

She said Rodriguez then told her "the captain doesn't want to fly you today and we need to remove you from the flight."

Next, police allegedly escorted her to the JetBlue ticket counter.

"Victor Rodriguez basically booked me on the next flight out," Knowles said. "He told me I wasn't complying with the rules. I asked him 'What rules?' and he refused to answer."

"While I was leaving the flight one of the passengers said I should definitely get a lawyer," Knowles said.

When her attorney first met with Knowles a few days after the incident occurred last July, he said he was "outraged."

"I couldn't believe that a supervisor -- and that's how he's classified in the report filed with the Port Authority Police department -- would confront Ms. Knowles regarding whether she was wearing underwear."

In the lawsuit Knowles is described as enduring "sustained shock, mental anguish and physical pain."

Dratch told ABC News he had not yet heard from JetBlue after serving the company with a copy of the complaint more than a week ago. JetBlue spokeswoman Alison Croyle declined to comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Woman Denied Sole Valedictorian Status Because of Race, Lawsuit Says

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MCGEHEE, Ark.) -- A black Arkansas teen who graduated at the top of her class is suing her high school for racial discrimination after the principal decided to name a white student with a lower GPA as co-valedictorian.

Kymberly Wimberly, 18, told ABC News she always dreamed about being at the top of her class at McGehee High School.

"When I found out I was valedictorian, I was ecstatic," she said.

That soon changed when Wimberly's mother, Molly Bratton, who works at the school as a media specialist, overheard school officials saying they wanted to avoid the "big mess" that would happen with Wimberly as valedictorian, the teen said.

The lawsuit alleges there was a "pattern and practice of school administrators and personnel treating the African-American students less favorably than the Caucasian ones."

"I told [the co-valedictorian] this isn't fair. This is an administrative decision," Wimberly said, saying she told the student: "We both know if the tables were turned, there wouldn't be a co-valedictorian."

She said the other student agreed.

Wimberly, who took Advanced Placement and honors courses, managed to maintain the top GPA, even though she gave birth to a daughter during her junior year.

"I'm not going to say it wasn't difficult," she said. "My teachers thought I'd fall flat on my face, but I kept trying to succeed."

Her lawyer, John Walker, said discrimination is unfortunately still present in the school system.

"There's a history of oppression where people don't speak up for themselves," Walker said. "White students are elevated ahead of black students in order to allow that position to be maintained by white students."

The McGehee School District did not respond to ABC News' request for an interview.

Wimberly said she will be attending the University of Arkansas beginning this fall and plans to major in biology.

She is asking for punitive damages and for the school record to be changed, reflecting her as the sole valedictorian for the class of 2011.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Human Head Found in California Home

Two daughters cleaning out their parents' house for an estate sale came across a human head and other remains in Bakersfield, Calif. (KERO/ABC News)(BAKERSFIELD, Calif.) -- Two sisters in an upscale Bakersfield, Calif., country club neighborhood were cleaning out their parents' garage for an estate sale when they came across a surprising find -- a human head.

"There was still some hair, there was still flesh on it, bones sticking out of the neck," said a neighbor named Joseph who was helping the daughters at the house, according to ABC's Bakersfield affiliate KERO. "You could see the jawbone and there was some hair around the ears and...the nasal areas."

The daughters threw the remains in the dumpster, but after some discussion decided they should call the police and let them know. Detectives were called to the house around 5:45 p.m. on Sunday.

"They initially believed it was possibly related to their father's prior medical practice and didn't think much of it at first," said Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Department.

Police said skeletal remains that were "quite old" were also found in the garage.

"We're still attempting to determine who the person is, how they died, where the remains came from [and] why their remains were being stored at the residence," Pruitt said.

The girls' elderly parents no longer live in the house, after at least 25 years in the neighborhood, and have moved to an assisted living home in Los Angeles.

Donald G. Nelson is the homeowner and girls' father. He is a former ophthalmologist whose medical license was revoked in June 2006 by the state of California for "writing the wrong diagnosis on a prescription, enabling the patient to obtain Vicodin and for failure to maintain adequate and accurate medical records." Nelson was ordered to pay a fine of $1,500, but the documents show that he failed to pay the fine.

Police are treating the case as a suspicious death, but not as a homicide investigation.

Coroners are expected to inspect the remains on Wednesday or Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mom of Boy Killed By Driver Gets Probation

Aaron Newman, four, was killed on a Georgia road in April of last year by a hit and run driver. (ABC News)(ATLANTA) -- A single mom who was charged with vehicular homicide after her 4-year-old son was killed by a hit-and-run driver was sentenced Tuesday to a year's probation and community service.

Raquel Nelson, 30, was charged with vehicular homicide because she was not crossing the street at the crosswalk in Marietta, Ga., at the time of the accident last year.

Nelson faced up to three years in jail on the charges, but Judge Kathryn Tanksley instead gave her 12 months probation on each of two charges, vehicular homicide and failure to use the crosswalk, but combined the two counts into a year's probation.

In addition, she was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.

In an unusual move, Tanksley also offered Nelson a new trial, telling her that if she is found innocent of the charges her record would be cleared.

The judge said she had received letters of support for Nelson from across the country, and the online group claims to have delivered 125,000 signatures on a petition in support of Nelson and to demand a crosswalk at the site of the accident.

Prosecutors told the court that they never intended to seek jail time for Nelson, and several characters witnesses spoke glowingly of the woman who volunteered at school events.

The driver of the car was given six months in jail for hitting Nelson, one of her daughters and her son Aaron Newman last year, and then fleeing the scene.

Nelson was originally charged with reckless conduct, improperly crossing a roadway and second-degree homicide by vehicle.

Jerry Guy, the man who hit the family and never stopped, reportedly admitted drinking "a little" alcohol earlier in the day. He also admitted to being on painkillers and being partially blind in one eye.

Guy had been convicted of two previous hit and run accidents. He pleaded guilty to the hit and run that took A.J.'s life and served six months in jail.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Debt Talks: Obama Urges Americans to Get Involved, Calls Pour Into Capitol

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama directed Americans to get involved in the debt ceiling debate in his address to the nation Monday night.

Americans, it seems, have obliged.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid received over 600 calls between 8-10 a.m. Tuesday.  His office has six people now working the phones, and they continue to be “inundated.”

“If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know.  If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message,” Obama said.

Phones have been “off the hook” since the office opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to a Reid staffer.  Another Democratic Senator’s office says they received at least 110 calls Tuesday morning alone -- which is 3-4 times the normal call volume.

It's no different over in the House of Representatives, where an email went out to offices warning lawmakers to give alternate phone numbers to constituents.

“Due to the high volume of external calls, House telephone circuits serving 202-225-XXXX phone numbers are near capacity resulting in outside callers occasionally getting busy signals. Outbound calls are unaffected,” read the email from the House call center.

“During this time offices may wish to provide district office staff and key contacts with an alternate 202-226-XXXX extension, if available, until call volumes subside.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accuser Clarifies Timeline 'Misunderstanding'

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her in a New York City hotel room, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, has clarified what she said happened just after the alleged attack.

At the time of the alleged incident Diallo was a maid at the Sofitel Hotel in New York. Speaking with ABC News' Robin Roberts, Diallo re-enacted never-before-heard details of the alleged assault, at one point kneeling on the floor to describe how she said Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral sex in the midtown Manhattan hotel on May 14.

Questions have arisen surrounding what happened immediately after the alleged attack and have led the Manhattan District Attorney's office to consider whether to drop the charges amid concerns about Diallo's credibility.

On the day of the alleged attack, Diallo says she was in the hall when Strauss-Kahn left the suite. But hotel records show she briefly went into another room, and then re-entered Strauss-Kahn's suite. Diallo says the discrepancy was a misunderstanding.

Moments after the alleged incident, according to Diallo, she went into the exterior hallway outside the room, where she says she kept spitting, and thought she was going to be sick. It was there that, she said, she saw Strauss-Kahn going to the elevator with his luggage.

"I opened there for a -- not for a second. Just to pick up my stuff. That room was already cleaned. I tell them that," she said.

Diallo has also admitted to lying on her tax returns and lying about the details of a rape in her home country of Guinea that helped her to achieve asylum in the United States -- but she says that it is irrelevant to what she says happened in Strauss-Kahn's hotel suite.

"That doesn't mean...this man tried to rape me. He tried to rape me. It's not the same thing," she said, telling Roberts that she never agreed to have sex with Strauss-Kahn. "Never. Ever. I never see him before. I see him as a naked man. I see him attacking me like that." .

After leaving the hotel suite for the second time, Daillo told her supervisor about the incident, who then had her speak with two security guards and, later, police.

The next day, Diallo said, she found out from watching a news report that Strauss-Kahn was expected to be a potential French presidential candidate, and she began to fear for her life.

"I believe that he was going to kill me," she said. "I don't know the law, what they're going to do to me. I don't know if they was going to kill me or not. I don't know, because when I see he was powerful man, I was so scared."

The New York Times also reported that a day after the alleged attack, Diallo had a phone conversation with a convicted drug dealer, who had been arrested on charges of marijuana possession. Diallo says she was unaware of the charges against her friend.

"He was my friend, and I never, ever know he was a drug dealer," Diallo told Roberts. "I used to trust him."

The unnamed source in the New York Times article also alleged that the man, among others, deposited cash into Diallo's bank account after she told him, "Don't worry. I know what I'm doing. This guy has a lot of money."

Diallo denied having ever said that. She admitted, however, that she gave the man her bank account number but claimed she didn't know about money he put in there.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s office is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he had about Diallo's credibility, claiming "discrepancies" in her accounts of what happened after the alleged attack and inconsistencies with her application for asylum.

Strauss-Kahn and defense attorneys continue to deny any wrongdoing and denied that a forced sexual encounter took place.

Strauss-Kahn was released on his own recognizance from house arrest July 1 after prosecutors told a judge in a Manhattan Supreme Court that they needed to "reassess the strength of the case."

Even now, the maid says she is still afraid of Strauss-Kahn and fears for her and her 15-year-old daughter's safety.

"I never want to be in public, but I have no choice," Diallo told ABC News, adding, "Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth...I just cannot stay hiding."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Shark Attack Survivor Lucy Mangum and Family Describe Attack YORK) -- Lucy Mangum, 6, looked up at her parents and asked them to say a prayer for her after a shark bit her leg on a North Carolina beach.

Lucy told ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday that she asked her mom and dad to pray for "my leg to heal."

Lucy was with her parents and sister at Ocrakoke Beach on the Outer Banks on July 19 when what they think was a tiger shark sneaked up from behind them and sank its teeth into Lucy's leg.

"I only saw its tail," she said. "I felt almost stayed there."

Lucy's mother, Jordan Mangum, immediately grabbed her daughter.

"I heard her scream so I immediately turned towards her and at that point saw the shark right next to her," Jordan Mangum said. "I ran over to her and at this point it hadn't really crossed my mind that she had been bitten, I just wanted to get her out of the water...I saw that she was injured pretty was a pretty big gash."

She crouched down and cradled Lucy, applying pressure to her wound.

"It was pretty surreal," she said.

The shark had bitten Lucy twice, once between the ankle and lower foot and once between the ankle and lower leg.

Her husband was farther out in the water but swam to his family when he heard their screams.

"I ran over and...we got her up on the beach and we had Jordan move her hand and the entire lower leg...filleted itself open...It was a pretty significant wound and I noticed there was an arterial bleed there and I just realized right away we were going to have to get her to a medical center," Craig Mangum told GMA.

Lucy was taken by helicopter to a hospital. The little girl is expected to fully recover and will begin undergoing physical therapy.

"She'll be in a wheelchair for a little bit but all of her pieces are there...she's going to walk and function pretty well, dance and run and play like she should," Craig Mangum said.

Experts say there are sharks of all kinds living off the coast, and in the evenings they move closer to the beaches, searching for food.

The Mangums plan to head back into the water once Lucy is able to, and they call what happened to Lucy a "fluke."

While they'll head to the beach, they said that they will go earlier in the day.

"We were told not to be at the beach...later in the afternoon and that's when we were on the beach...I think we'll stay out of the water during suppertime," Jordan Mangum told GMA.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Missing Texas Man Found Alive in Manhole

Kevin Gonterman, 25, went missing in League City, Texas, on Saturday, July 23. He was found, alive but bitten by snakes and dehydrated, in a manhole near his home on July 25. (Courtesy of Texas Equusearch)(LEAGUE CITY, Texas) -- A mentally ill Texas man who was reported missing when he left home following a dispute with his girlfriend was found down a manhole, alive but dehydrated and suffering from multiple snake bites.

An incident report from the League City Police Department described 25-year-old Kevin Gonterman as "an intoxicated adult male with paranoid schizophrenia" who "ran away from home after getting into an argument."

Gonterman left his League City home around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. He was found around 10:30 a.m. Monday, but it took rescuers several hours to remove him from the manhole, which was located in a wooded area about half a mile from his home.

Frank Black, who led a team of volunteer rescuers from Texas Equusearch, a nonprofit group that searches for missing people all across the nation, told ABC News that Gonterman's mother contacted his organization on Sunday night. They started searching around 9:30 a.m. Monday.

"We got a call from the family of the man...and they told us that he had some problems with his girlfriend and he ran out the house and [was] possibly suicidal," Black said.

While League City police were reaching out to Gonterman's associates and checking his place of business, about 18 searchers from Texas Equusearch gathered with maps and ATVs to begin searching the wooded area near Gonterman's home.

About 45 minutes into the operation, searcher Robert Powell called Black with news.

"He said 'I found him.' I said 'dead or alive?'" Black recalled. "He said, 'he's alive but in bad shape.'"

The missing man was lying in the bottom of a manhole that was about 30 feet deep and about 30 inches wide. Gonterman was curled up on the ground and didn't appear to be moving.

The Houston Fire Department was called, and it took them several hours to remove Gonterman from the manhole. During that time, the man was speaking "incoherently," Black said.

He was transported to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston. A hospital spokesman last night said Gonterman was in good condition.

Rescuers believe Gonterman may have fallen down the hole as he walked across the wooded field in the dark. The manhole had no cover, Black said.

One person said Gonterman had been bitten by snakes "at least 5 times," apparently by venomous cottonmouth water moccasins, Black added.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


U.S. Postal Service to Close More Than 3,000 Post Offices

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Postal Service could close more than 3,000 post offices across the country, according to the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

A news conference will be held Tuesday to discuss possible closures and introduce a new concept for a post office replacement system

The Wall Street Journal reports that some 3,653 post offices -- mostly in small communities -- may close their doors in 2011 as they receive the "least amount of foot traffic and retail sales." The closures would benefit local businesses that could provide the postal services to the community instead.

Over the next decade, the Postal Regulatory Commission will review 16,000 of its existing 32,000 post offices for possible closure, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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