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Sunday
Jan232011

Brain Fluid Buildup Keeps Gabrielle Giffords in ICU

Photo Courtesy - Greg Bryan/Arizona Daily Star/Pool Photo(HOUSTON) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has a buildup of fluid in her brain that will keep her in intensive care at a Houston hospital for at least several days, but doctors said that is not delaying her intense physical and speech therapy.

Doctors need to decide when a catheter inserted Friday to drain the fluid can be removed, which would allow Giffords to be transferred from the ICU at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center to The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, or if they will need to insert a permanent shunt.

Giffords landed at Houston's Hobby Airport on Friday and was transported to the Texas Medical Center's intensive care unit. Before departing for Houston Friday morning, Giffords left the Tucson, Ariz., hospital where she had been treated since suffering a gunshot to her head in an attack two weeks ago.

In a sign of progress, Giffords was taken outside Thursday for the first time since the attack to give her some sunlight. She stood up Wednesday for the first time with assistance and looked out of a hospital window.

Giffords was shot in the head at point blank range as she stood outside a Tucson supermarket hosting a community meeting. The gunman killed six people, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge, and wounded 14. The bullet entered the back of Giffords' head and exited out her forehand.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan232011

Lowest Temperatures in Years Strike Midwest, Northeast

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Extreme snowfall has hit many parts of the country throughout this winter season, and now low temperatures that haven’t been felt in years are coming to cities around the nation.

The National Weather Service says the coldest temperatures in seven years will hit cities in the Northeast by Monday morning accompanied by wind chills that will dip the needle even lower. In the Midwest this weekend, temperatures are expected to be 10 to 20 degrees below normal.

Boston is expected to have its lowest temperatures in seven years, New York a low not seen in five years, and Philadelphia will have its coldest weather in two years. All three cities are expected to have temperatures around five degrees or colder.

Even on the coast of North Carolina, snowfall of up to seven inches has been reported.

Not everywhere is quite as cold, though. Strong winds in California will raise temperatures into the 80s in the southern part of the state.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan232011

Autopsy Finds N.C. Police Chief's Daughter Died of Overdose

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The autopsy report on Valerie Hamilton, the daughter of Concord, N.C., Police Chief Merl Hamilton, revealed this week that the 23-year-old died of a drug overdose brought on by a combination of cocaine and heroin.

Michael Neal, the last person to be seen with Hamilton, was arrested on a charge of murder the day after the young woman's body was found in September.

Though there were no signs of trauma to Hamilton's body, which was found on Sept. 19 stuffed in an East Charlotte locker, a lethal amount of cocaine and heroin were found in her system, while a fresh needle mark was found on her arm, according to the autopsy report.

"The question is whether [Harvey] was just present when the drugs were being consumed or whether he injected the drugs. Did he cause her to consume the toxic amount of drugs? And that's what's going to be what the DA makes the decision on," John Snyder, the former district attorney in Union County, N.C., told ABC News affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C.

Snyder said it will be difficult to find proof that Harvey, 34, forced the drugs on Hamilton, and that he expects to see a plea deal in the case. In the meantime, Snyder told WSOC, it makes sense not to drop the murder charge, so the prosecution can re-interview witnesses.

Investigators have said they believe that Hamilton, a swim teacher and triathlete, willingly left a downtown Charlotte bar with Harvey on Sept 15. The autopsy report says drug use was thought to have occurred after Hamilton left the bar.

A registered sex offender, Harvey has been arrested multiple times on charges that included breaking and entering, heroin possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, authorities have said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan232011

Olbermann’s Exit From MSNBC May Mean Media Limitations

Photo Courtesy - MSNBC - TV(NEW YORK) – Keith Olbermann surprised television viewers across the country on Friday with a brief, surprise resignation from his duties as host of Countdown With Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. In a short statement, he offered no explanation for his departure other than a quick thank you to those around him.

Now comes a report that his exit from the program was not abrupt, as many thought, but rather a planned event due to behind the scenes turmoil. The New York Times reports that in a presentation to potential advertisers on Thursday, MSNBC executives did not include Olbermann’s show along with the rest of the network’s primetime offerings.

The newspaper report cites executives from the network who said Olbermann, whose show was the highest rated on the network, would not be able to talk about his departure for several months, or work as the host of a television show for an undetermined amount of time. He would, however, be able to work on a radio program or on the Internet.

There has been widespread speculation that Olbermann’s departure was tied to the takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast, and that he may have been ushered out for political reasons. However Comcast issued a statement Friday, saying “We pledged from the day the deal was announced that we would not interfere with NBC Universal’s news operations. We have not and we will not.”   

As for where the former SportsCenter and ESPN Radio host will land, he may have offered one clue on his Twitter account. Though he has not Tweeted since Friday, his biography has been updated to read “W A T C H T H I S S P A C E MLB.Com Baseball Nerd blog returns 2/14." Olbermann writes a baseball blog which is hosted by MLB.com.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan232011

Sargent Shriver Remembered at Funeral

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(POTOMAC, Md.) -- Family, friends and other mourners gathered Saturday for the funeral of former Democratic vice presidential candidate and Peace Corps founder Robert Sargent Shriver Jr., who died Tuesday.

Former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama, U2 front man Bono and singer Wyclef Jean, along with members of the Kennedy and Shriver families were among those in attendance at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, the Shriver family's church, in Potomac, Md.

Shriver, who died at 95, had long suffered from Alzheimer's disease, a cause that his daughter, former California first lady Maria Shriver, championed in recent years.

Serving in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations in the 1960s, Shriver ran the War on Poverty and either founded or was an early advocate of groups like Head Start, VISTA, Job Corps, Community Action, Legal Services, Upward Bound, Foster Grandparents and the Special Olympics.

Speaking of Shriver's death on Tuesday, President Obama described him as "one of the brightest lights of the greatest generation."

Shriver was buried in the same Hyannis, Mass., cemetery as his late wife Eunice, who died in 2009 at age 88.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Nation Marks 38th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Pro-life and pro-choice advocates are in Washington this weekend to mark the 38th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade.

The famous ruling, which legalized abortion in the U.S., has its roots in 1969, when a woman named Norma L. McCorvey tried to end her pregnancy. She eventually sued the state of Texas under the alias Jane Roe. The case ultimately rose to the Supreme Court, where Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the famous court opinion drawing a vague legal line prohibiting abortion when a fetus becomes viable, or able to live outside the womb. The ruling continues to be a fiercely polarizing issue.

President Obama released a statement marking the anniversary on Saturday, asserting his belief that abortion is a matter of privacy and a "constitutional right."

"I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams," the president said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Second Graders Allegedly Involved In Sex Acts

Photo Courtesy - KGO-TV San Francisco(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Police are investigating a report of second graders engaging in sexual acts at an Oakland, Calif., school that allegedly took place in a classroom with a teacher present.

One of the two incidents at Markham Elementary reported by a 7-year-old student to a teacher’s aide on Wednesday includes oral sex between two students.

District officials said the teacher – who they believe was in the room when the sex acts occurred – claimed no knowledge of the incidents.

The grandmother of the student who reported the sex acts said her granddaughter saw other students “taking off their clothes” and “doing personal things to each other.”

School officials and the Oakland Police Department are investigating.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Death Threats Target California Governor Jerry Brown

Photo Courtesy - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Authorities are investigating graffiti threats against California Gov. Jerry Brown, Catholics, and minorities.

Complaints of disturbing graffiti started last week, when a death threat appeared near two Catholic churches in the cities of Anaheim and Irvine, Calif. Orange County officials have since been inundated with reports of similar graffiti targeting African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. The most recent crossed a political line, promising to kill the governor on Valentine's Day.

Investigators found a swastika on one defaced wall, beside the ominous warning: "26 MORE DAYS 4 BROWN." A second threat read, "We gonna kill GOV. BROWN 2/14/11." The walls have since been cleaned.

The scribblings are linked by certain idiosyncrasies in penmanship and spelling, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Obama Administration May Delay Fannie-Freddie Proposal

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The government may not release a proposal on the restructuring of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the Congressional deadline of Jan. 31.

The overhaul of Fannie and Freddie has been a delicate and urgent issue, with much debate concerning the extent of government regulation. The Dodd-Frank Law was the most sweeping legislation prompted by the recession, but it failed to offer a solution to the mortgage monopolies.

The Obama administration has been preoccupied with the State of the Union address, and reportedly plans to releasing the so-called "white paper" the week of Feb. 7, according to The Financial Times.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Settlement Reached in FEMA Trailer Suit

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- The companies that made FEMA mobile homes will pay $2.6 million to people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 who sued them over alleged exposure to dangerous levels of toxic formaldehyde.

The settlement affects several thousand people, but it does not involve the claims for residents who lived in smaller FEMA "travel trailers,” which housed the majority of storm victims.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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