American Apparel Snubs Plus-Size Model Contest Top Vote-Getter

Shannon Skloss Photography(LOS ANGELES) -- When Nancy Upton entered American Apparel’s “Next BIG Thing” search for a plus-size model, her goal was to mockingly protest the company.  Much to her surprise, she ended up winning the popular vote online with her racy food photos. But the company snubbed her and sent her a long letter explaining why.

Upton called on photographer friend Shannon Skloss and did a photo-shoot with a high-fashion feel, but a clearly ironic message. The images showed a scantily-clad size-12 Upton posing seductively with a variety of messy foods.

In one image, she is soaking in a bathtub filled with ranch dressing. In another, she is eating chicken off the bones in a swimming pool.

While voters loved her statement photos, American Apparel was less than amused.

“It’s a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge based on your personal distaste for our use of light-hearted language, and that ‘bootylicous’ was too much for you to handle,” American Apparel’s creative director Iris Alonzo wrote to Upton in a letter she posted on her blog, Extra Wiggle Room.

When she first read about the competition, Upton, 24, was offended by the campaign’s tone and choice of words. “If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next XLent model, send us photos of you and your junk to back it up,” said the competition’s description. The winner would receive a trip to L.A. and a modeling gig for the company.

At the end of the letter, Alonzo wrote: “Oh—and regarding winning the contest, while you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company.”

Though Upton has no problem with the fact that she will not be representing American Apparel anytime soon, she is happy to have ignited a national conversation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News RadiO


Mom Drops Kids at Barnes & Noble During Errands, Now Faces Prison

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DOTHAN, Ala.) -- An Alabama mother who dropped her two young children off at a Barnes & Noble while she ran errands in town now faces as much as six years in prison for child endangerment.

Charlene Sutherland, of Headland, Ala., was charged with six counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child after leaving her son and daughter, 11 and 6 years old, at a Barnes & Noble in Dothan, Ala., in July. The police allege that Sutherland left the children there unattended for seven hours on three separate occasions, while Sutherland said she would occasionally let the children go there to read while she ran errands.

"My children were home for the summer, not going to school, and one of the things they love to do, they love to read," Sutherland said. "They tell me all about the how the store has a children's section and they can read the books and leave them there so I don't have to buy them, which, frankly, I couldn't afford to do."

Sutherland said her son, Eli, 11, is an avid reader, and she dropped him off a couple of times with his older brother, Nigel, 16, to read while she ran errands in town. On one occasion, the boys' little sister, Faith, 6, wanted to go.

"They go to day care every day, Faith and [youngest son] Noah, and on this particular day Nigel and Ely wanted to go to the bookstore and Faith accompanied them there, and this got blown totally out of proportion," Sutherland said. "Faith is like, she doesn't meet any strangers, so because of the personality Faith has, she might say hi to another girl, and make someone wonder, 'Where's her mom?'"

Sutherland said she dropped off the children at Barnes & Noble after lunch at around 1 p.m., and estimated that she was back to pick them up in about an hour. When she arrived, she found out the children had been taken by Department of Human Resources officials back to the family's home in Headland, she said.

The police, however, said that Sutherland dropped the kids off around 10 a.m. and picked them up between 5 and 6 p.m. at least three times over a two-week period, according to Dothan police Sgt. Rachel David.

Employees in the store said the children were well-behaved, but after the children were dropped off a third time they decided to call police.

"They're a family friendly business, but they are certainly not set up for the liabilities that a day care [center] would incur," David said.

A police investigator and an investigator from the juvenile investigative unit went to the store and spoke with employees, and then issued a warrant for Sutherland's arrest, David said. The 41-year-old mother was arrested at a roadblock when police ran her license and saw warrants for her arrest, according to David.

Because the crime is a misdemeanor it will go before municipal court, and the maximum penalty is a year for each count. The case will be heard on Oct. 12, Sutherland said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Casey Anthony Overdosed Caylee, George Anthony Charges

Hand Out/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- George Anthony believes his daughter, Casey Anthony, drugged his granddaughter, Caylee, to sedate the toddler so her mother could go out.

"Yeah I blame my daughter for Caylee not being here today," George Anthony said on the Dr. Phil show. "I believe she was there and I also believe she probably had some help."

In the strongest accusation he has made against his daughter, an emotional George Anthony told Dr. Phil McGraw that he believes Casey Anthony used drugs to act as a chemical babysitter for 2-year-old Caylee so she could party with friends.

Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder charges this summer after she claimed at her trial that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool.

"Inside of my heart, I don't believe that Caylee drowned…I believe there's something else that happened to her…I believe that Casey or someone else that she was with possibly gave too much [drugs] to Caylee...she fell asleep and didn't wake up," George Anthony said, smoldering with anger.

The reason for the alleged drugging was "to go out and have a good time, go out with friends... to have this life that she didn't have with Caylee…some freedom that she wanted, that's what I feel," he said.

Referring to the "smell of death" that was in his daughter's car, George Anthony added, "Do I believe that she was possibly in the back of the car? I do…and she was placed down there at the end of our street."

George Anthony's claims about his daughter's role in Caylee's murder shocked wife Cindy Anthony.

"This is the first time you ever said that to me...I'm really kind of shocked to hear that today," Cindy Anthony told her husband.

George Anthony said that he doesn't accept the drowning story because of the way Caylee's remains were found on Dec. 11, 2008. Caylee's skeletal remains were found with duct tape over the mouth and nose and had been stuffed into trash and laundry bags.

Cindy Anthony, however, said she believes her daughter's claims that Caylee accidentally drowned.

"I buy the part that Caylee drowned," she said.

Cindy Anthony also said that the acquittal of her daughter is the right verdict.

"I prayed to God for three years to find out what happened to Caylee…I got my answer that it was an accident," she said.

"I believe justice for Caylee was when her mother walked because I know the love that those two had and I know Caylee's soul would never have rested knowing her mother had been vilified for her death," Cindy Anthony said.

Cindy Anthony, while believing Caylee drowned, also believes her daughter had something to do with the disposal of the toddler's remains. She told McGraw that Casey may have hid the truth about Caylee's whereabouts to protect a possible accomplice.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Connecticut Babysitter’s Journals Detail Sexual Relationship with Teen

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SOUTHINGTON, Conn.) -- Journal entries written by Loni Bouchard, the 20-year-old Connecticut babysitter facing sexual assault charges, reveal more details of  the sexual relationship she told police she had with a 14-year-old boy she was hired to babysit.

In the entries, quoted in an arrest warrant released earlier this week and obtained by ABC News, Bouchard chronicled how her friendship with the unnamed victim, who lives in Southington, Conn., evolved into a romance in the early months of 2011.

She writes explicitly about alleged sexual encounters with the teen, calling one instance “the best I’ve ever had,” and professes her love for him, despite the potential consequences.

“I know there is a 5-year age difference, but why does it have to matter?” she writes. “I don’t care about the law.  I just want to be with him and not have to hide it.”

Bouchard appeared in court on Monday following her arrest on July 12 after a three-month investigation by the Clinton, Conn., Police Department. She was charged with second-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and illegal purchase of liquor.

According to the warrant, the victim’s mother hired Bouchard in December 2010 to babysit for her children, and would frequently let her stay at their home overnight.

But in April 2011, the victim’s mother discovered Facebook messages between Bouchard and her son, who admitted to the sexual relationship and told her he had been given alcohol and marijuana by Bouchard and her mother, Kimmy, while he was at their home in nearby Clinton.  The mother then told Bouchard she was no longer allowed to contact her son, and filed a restraining order against her.

Bouchard provided a statement to police admitting to the relationship with the victim and acknowledging its illegality.  She also admitted to having sexual relations with another teenage boy, according to the warrant.  That boy’s parents would not allow him to speak with investigators.

Kimmy Bouchard was also arrested and charged with providing marijuana and alcohol to the teen.

Both women are scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 3.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Indianapolis Student Calls School to Say He Shot Himself

AbleStock/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The call that came into the Cathedral High School switchboard at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday was alarming. On the line was a student saying he had a gun and had just shot himself.

The Indianapolis school was placed on lockdown until paramedics could get to the scene and rush the student -- a popular junior -- to a local hospital.

The student is currently in stable condition and with his parents, but the school's students are in shock and trying to figure why the well-liked student tried to kill himself.

"I can tell you what the police told us that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound," said Lisa Renze-Rhodes, communications director for Cathedral High School.

The apparent suicide attempt took place behind the school's gymnasium and wrestling facility.

The school is known for its strong Catholic education and Fighting Irish football team.

"Not in 93 years has anything like this happened," said Renze-Rhodes. "We have security cameras, we have a security plan and a protocol in place."

That plan was activated Tuesday as students and faculty were told to remain in place for a time while the student was being located. By 3 p.m. an email had gone out to the wider Cathedral High School community, including parents, advising them about the situation.

The school does not have metal detectors or other security screening that might have detected a gun. And it is still unclear if the student brought the firearm with him that day or had it hidden on campus to use at a certain time.

Counselors are currently at Cathedral High School and available to students and parents throughout the day, although not many students have chosen to meet with the counselors, according to school administrators.

This has been a difficult year for the Cathedral High School community. Two months ago, the class valedictorian, Jay Ruckelshaus, was paralyzed in a summer diving accident. The senior who turned down Harvard and Yale was due to attend Duke University this month.

Although counseling as a way to process these events has not been that popular with the student body, prayer and Twitter have been. So many students have been tweeting the #prayforCathedral hashtag that it has become a trending topic on Twitter. A girl named SarahBear732 seemed to sum up the sentiments of many with this line: "Sometimes all you can do is pray and hope everything will turn out all right."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Possible Human Remains Found in Susan Powell Search

Comstock/Thinkstock(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah) -- Police searching for Susan Cox Powell in a Utah desert have found remains that are “almost certainly human," according to ABC News affiliate ABC4. It is not yet known whether they belong to Powell, the mother of two from West Valley City, Utah, who disappeared in 2009.

Cadaver dogs that had been combing the fields around Topaz Mountain, near Delta, Utah, found the remains Wednesday, according to the report.

Police said the remains are almost certainly human, not animal, though the gender or how long they have been there could not yet be determined, the report said. A medical examiner has been brought to the scene, police told ABC4.

A reporter from the Salt Lake City Tribune tweeted that the West Valley Police, who are leading the investigation into Powell’s disappearance and death, are treating the area as a crime scene and are awaiting Juab County, Utah, sheriff’s officers to arrive to process the remains.

Powell disappeared in December, 2009, while her husband, Josh Powell, allegedly took their children camping at midnight in a snowstorm and rainstorm. The campsite he told police he went to is 30 miles away from the desert where the remains were found.

Josh Powell has long been a person of suspect in the investigation, and police recently raided the home he and his father share in Washington. Prior to that, police had searched abandoned mines in Ely, Nevada, in connection to the case.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NASA Announces Deep Space System

PRNewsWire/NASA(WASHINGTON) -- Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and NASA Administrator Charles Holden announced on Wednesday that NASA has selected its new deep space system.

Holden describes the decision as one that will “take American astronauts further into space than any nation has gone before and create jobs right here at home.”

The new plan was authorized under the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and plans to keep the International Space Station running until 2020, using rockets to transport crews and supplies to space.

These rockets are estimated to cost around 10 billion dollars, plus an additional six billion for the capsule and two billion to upgrade the launch pad facilities.

Nelson emphasized that these rockets are much safer due to the location of the crew at the top of the rocket and an additional escape mechanism that could be used in case of an explosion.

NASA expressed hope that these rockets will also be able to send satellites, realize plans for human missions to an asteroid and Mars, as well as extend activities at the International Space Station.

Nelson also described the desire for space exploration as an innate American characteristic.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was On Evacuated United Flight

United States Supreme Court(WASHINGTON) -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was evacuated from a flight at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., Wednesday, according to a Supreme Court spokesman.

The 78-year-old justice and cancer survivor slid down the emergency slide with other passengers when United flight 586, a Boeing 757, experienced an engine problem and the pilot evacuated the plane.

A spokesperson for the airport told ABC News that emergency personnel did not find any fire upon arrival at the plane and no foam was deployed to douse flames.

There have not been any reports of injuries in the evacuation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gumby Bandit Bends to the Law

File Photo. Donald Bowers/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- Consider the case of the convenience-store-robbing “Gumby” bandit closed.

Two 19-year-old men turned themselves in to San Diego police Tuesday as suspects in the “Gumby robbery” earlier this month of a local 7-Eleven store.

Jason Kiss confessed to wearing the Gumby costume and his friend, Jason Giramma, admitted that he was the driver of the getaway car, police said.

The real evidence that sealed the case closed, however, was the full-body, green Gumby suit Kiss brought with him to the station on Tuesday.  Police confiscated the suit as evidence.

When Kiss, dressed as Gumby, asked for a pack of cigarettes and told the clerk “this is a robbery,” the clerk told him, “Come on man, don’t waste my time. I have things to do.”

Kiss then told the clerk he had a gun and fumbled around in his Gumby costume, appearing to search for it.  When a gun never materialized, Kiss rushed out of the store into the getaway car driven by Giramma.

The whole episode was caught on tape by the store’s surveillance video, which also shows Kiss struggling to keep the green suit on as he walked out the door.

A $1,000 reward from San Diego Crime Stoppers prompted tipsters to identify Giramma as the driver, police said.

Neither Kiss nor Giramma were arrested, and both were released by police on Tuesday.

The case will be sent to the local District Attorney’s office to decide whether it merits criminal charges or should be classified as the joke the 7-Eleven clerk believed it to be in the first place.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Final Investigative Report Issued on BP Oil Spill

M WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -– The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) along with the U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team (JIT) have finally released their investigative report on the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill.

The report not only blames BP, but also points fingers at its contractors, the drillers and rig operators, including Transocean and Halliburton.

It comes as the result of no fewer than seven public hearings and the testimonies of 80 witnesses and experts. In the report, the bureau has made dozens of recommendations that could significantly change how the offshore oil drilling industry operates in the gulf.


The JIT was formed in late April of 2010 by order of the Departments of the Interior and  Homeland security to investigate the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and to make recommendations to ensure safe operations for future oil and gas activities.

The reforms launched by BOEMRE include strengthening requirements for well design, workplace safety and corporate accountability. An additional rule would incorporate additional safety requirements related specifically to the findings of the investigation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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