Hole in Fuselage, Cabin Decompression Lead to AA Emergency Landing

Photo Courtesy - WFAA-TV Dallas(DALLAS, Texas) --  A hole in the fuselage of an American Airlines jet en route from Miami to Boston led to an emergency landing back in Miami after rapid decompression in the passenger cabin.  No one was hurt and the National Transportation Safety Board, The Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing and American Airlines are all investigating.

It happened Tuesday as the Boeing 757 was climbing to 31,000 feet.  A passenger described a loud roaring sound and the oxygen masks automatically dropped from the overhead panels.  When the plane landed safely back in Miami, a roughly one foot by two foot hole was discovered above and behind a door on the left side of  the aircraft, just behind the cockpit. 

An aviation professional tells ABC News Radio that based on photographs in the Aviation Herald, it appears a panel on the outside of the aircraft somehow came loose. 

Six crewmembers and 154 passengers were on board the aircraft.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Tests Finds All Three Military Shootings in DC Area Are Linked

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(QUANTICO, Va.) -- Ballistics testing has linked the shooting at an empty Marine recruiting station to two other shooting incidents at military-related facilities in the Washington, D.C. area.

Laboratory tests conducted by the FBI found that the overnight shooting at a vacant Marine Corps recruiting station in Chantilly, Virginia on Oct. 26 involved the same weapon used at last week's shootings at the Pentagon and the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

The shooting at the Marine museum took place overnight on Oct. 17, and two days later, on Oct. 19, the Pentagon was fired upon around 5:00 a.m.

The FBI and law enforcement officials say it is unclear whether these incidents are more than vandalism by gun.  In each case, the shooter fired in the early morning hours, which is generally when fewer people are around.  The shots in all three shootings were fired into vacant parts of the buildings, resulting in no injuries.

Law enforcement agencies are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for anyone with information leading to an arrest.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


School Board Official to Resign After Making Anti-Gay Comments

Facebook users taking part in a "Spirit Day" campaign last Wednesday wore purple to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PLEASANT PLAINS, Ark.) -- Clint McCance, vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, said Thursday night he will resign after posting an anti-gay diatribe on his personal Facebook page.  McCance, of Pleasant Plains, Arkansas, says he now realizes his posts on Facebook were "hurtful" and "ignorant."

"My posts I made that were very hurtful, very ignorant in nature," he says.  "Looking back on it right now and getting to, you know, scrutinize my own self and what I did.  It's horrible.  And what I wrote was horrible."

Last Wednesday, as millions of Facebook users took part in a "Spirit Day" campaign to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens, McCance apparently wrote a series of posts expressing the opposite position.

As first reported by The Advocate, a leading gay and lesbian newspaper, McCance used the words "queer" and "fag" several times on his page and said he enjoys "the fact that they often give each other AIDS [sic] and die."  He added, "I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. "

McCance says he now realizes a real effort is needed to stop the bullying of gay teens that too often leads to suicide.

"We need to address the problem of the depression in these kids," he says.  "And we need to fix this.  And it don't need to be on a small level.  It needs to be -- needs to start at the top."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Wrongfully Accused Inmate Freed After Years on Death Row

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BRENHAM, Texas) -- Anthony Graves was a young man when he was first imprisoned in 1992.  Now, he's 45, but at least he’s a free man.  All charges were dropped against Graves, who walked out of the county jail in Brenham, Texas earlier this week after spending 16 years on death row for a crime prosecutors now say Graves did not commit.

Graves was arrested and convicted of being an accomplice in the 1992 murders of a woman, her grown daughter and four grandchildren.  Just 27 years old at the time of the murders, Grave insisted he was innocent. His brother testified on the stand that Graves was sleeping at their home when the crimes were committed, but the alibi was to no avail.

After Graves was sent to prison, it was later learned that the district attorney in the case encouraged murderer Robert Carter to lie about Grave’s role in the slayings and that he grossly mishandled the case.  That information, along with the dogged work of investigators, led to Grave’s freedom.

When asked by reporters Thursday what it was like to be out of prison, Graves answered, “For the first few moments, first few hours, I thought that I would wake up back in the cell, it's not real to me. It's still not real to me.”

Graves may be eligible for over $1 million from Texas for his wrongful imprisonment.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Saudi Prince Urges Ground Zero Mosque Be Moved

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A billionaire Saudi prince who has been a prime backer of the Ground Zero mosque imam is urging that the controversial Islamic center be built elsewhere.

"Those people behind the mosque have to respect, have to appreciate and have to defer to the people of New York," Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said in an interview with the Dubai-based Arabian Business magazine. "The wound is still there. Just because the wound is healing you can't say, 'Let's just go back to where we were pre-9/11.'"

Alwaleed also said in the interview that Muslims in New York should consider a more "dignified" location, alluding to the presence of at least one strip club and several bars in the area.

"It can't be next to a bar or a strip club, or in a neighborhood that is not really refined and good. The impression I have is that this mosque is just being inserted and squeezed over there," he said.

Alwaleed said that it may take up to 30 years for the wounds of 9/11 to heal, and said that moving forward with the mosque would agitate people needlessly.

"Most governments are pragmatic, most people are logical. There are pockets of extremism in Israel, in the U.S. and in the Muslim world. But we have to fight them with reason, with logic and with compassion," Alwaleed said. "We can't just say 'go to hell.' We cannot do that."

However, Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam of the proposed Islamic center, said he has no intention of moving the project out of the shadow of Ground Zero.

"While we respect the points of view of other interested observers, we plan to build the community center in this location," Rauf said in a statement Thursday.

He said that hundreds of Muslims have been praying in that space every day for more than a year. He said the project is part of an effort to "tackle tough issues in a practical way in order to build better relationships among Muslims, Jews, Christians and people of goodwill from all cultures and faiths."

The proposed 13-story Islamic center two blocks from Ground Zero at 51 Park Place has been in the works for several years. In recent months, however, the project become snarled in national debate about whether it is appropriate to build it so close to the World Trade Center, which was destroyed by Islamic militants on Sept. 11, 2001, killing more than 2,700 people.

The subject has rankled New Yorkers. A poll conducted in August by Sierra Research Institute found that 60 percent of New Yorkers do not support building the mosque so close to Ground Zero. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said people should be free to open mosques, synagogues, and other religious centers, and called the firestorm a midterm election political maneuver.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Would You Want Government to Control Internet in Event of Cyberattack?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BLUE BELL, Penn.) -- A majority of Americans believe the president should have control over the Internet in the event of a major cyberattack on the U.S., according to a new study.

Sixty-one percent of Americans polled by Unisys said the president should able to control or “kill” portions of the Internet if key U.S. systems were attacked by a foreign government, reports CNET.

These findings may suggest that the public would support a pending cybersecurity bill that would give the president greater authority over the Internet in the event of such an emergency.

Civil liberty groups have expressed concerns over the bill, which would give the federal government control over the private sector.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


For Young People, Heroin Addiction Is Deadly Cycle

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For young people who fall prey to the drug, the journey to heroin addiction and back again can be a deadly cycle.

"They will do anything they can to get their drug. They become vicious as they progress into their addiction,” said Tom Dietzler, a counselor at Caron Treatment Centers.

According to Dietzler, heroin addiction in young adults is a powerful disease that can cause good kids from loving families to make horrible decisions.

Perhaps the most challenging part of the road to recovery is the process of restructuring an addict’s life so it is no longer centered on the drug. Heroin is characterized by the euphoric high it gives users, followed by an intense physical withdrawal. To avoid the pain of withdrawal, the heroin addict is constantly looking for their next dose.

Dietzler said that parents should not expect their children to be cured quickly once entering drug treatment programs.

"Many parents, when they bring their children here, it is almost like [they expect] a 31-day cure pill," Dietzler said. "Wave a magic wand, Mr. Dietzler, make my son or daughter better."

Dietzler’s advice to families who are dealing with addiction in a loved one is to get help as soon as possible.

"The family often is in just as much denial as the patient is...and if the family doesn't get well, the drug addict doesn't have any motivation to get well."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Calls Grow for Resignation of Anti-Gay School Board Member 

Courtesy - Getty Images

UPDATE:  (MIDLAND, Ark.) --  Clint McCance, vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, said Thursday night he will resign after posting an anti-gay diatribe on his personal Facebook page.

"I'm sorry I've hurt people with my comments," McCance told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday night. "I'm sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


(MIDLAND, Ark.) -- Calls have been made for the resignation of an Arkansas school board official who made a series of anti-gay posts on his personal Facebook page.

Last Wednesday, as Facebook users took part in a campaign to support gay, bisexual and transgender teens, Midland School Board member Clint McCance wrote a series of posts expressing the opposite position, as first reported by The Advocate

McCance used the words "queer" and "fag" several times on his page and said he enjoys "the fact that they often give each other aids [sic] and die.”

In response to the call for the “Spirit Day” supporters to wear purple, McCance wrote, "Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way i'm wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide."

In addition to calls for his resignation from The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Facebook groups like one titled “Fire Clint McCance” have attracted more than 50,000 members. A separate petition, supported by GLAAD and, has been signed by more than 12,000 supporters.

The Midland School District, the Arkansas School Boards Association and the Arkansas Department of Education all have denounced McCance's comments, but have stopped short of asking for his resignation.

When asked about whether McCance should be removed from office, a Department of Education spokeswoman said that under state law, elected school officials can only be recalled by the local community in cases of felony convictions or absenteeism.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama Meets with Americans Involved in Chilean Mine Rescue

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama met privately with several Americans involved in the Chilean mine rescue efforts despite cancelling scheduled remarks at the Rose Garden Thursday.

The president met with representatives from NASA, Schramm, Inc., Center Rock Inc., Layne Christensen Company, Geotec Boyles Bros., S.A. and Aramark inside the Oval Office.   

“We had a very good chat with him about everything that happened down there,” said James Stefanic of Layne Christensen Company.  “He congratulated everybody on the great rescue mission down there and was very proud that we were down there dong this job and rescued all 33 miners life.”

Initial remarks at the Rose Garden were cancelled by the White House “due to a schedule change.”  

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Injuries and Deaths Soar Among Kids Riding ATVs

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Riders of all ages enjoy buzzing through woods and fields across America on all-terrain vehicles, better known as ATVs.

But the thrill of the ride can come at a heavy price. A new report by leading public health experts finds what is called an epidemic of serious injuries and deaths involving children who ride ATVs. And so far, efforts to protect children from ATV dangers have fallen far short.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Surgeons recommend keeping all children under the age of 16 off ATV's.

But every weekend, across the country, thousands of children well under 16 take part in the increasingly popular and dangerous sport.

At a track in upstate Wallkill, New York, 11-year-old T.J. Albright told ABC News about the appeal of ATVs. "Most kids like it," he said, "because they see the pros coming up, like, 'Whoa, that guy went super high, that guy went super far,' and then, 'Oh, Mom, Dad, I want to do that.'"

"They can go 60, 70 miles per hour, doing 30, 40-feet jumps," said another rider at the same track, Mark Monfeletto. "You gotta be somewhat of a daredevil to do this."

Some of the ATV daredevils are barely old enough to ride a bicycle. Six-year-old McKenzie, who rides a child-sized version, told ABC News that her favorite part of riding was "hitting the jumps."

From the most recent figures, public health experts estimate at least 150 children are killed and 4,000 hospitalized each year in ATV accidents. Since federal officials began tracking deaths from ATV crashes in the 1980s, about a quarter of the more than 10,000 recorded fatalities have been children under 16. A new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that the number of kids hospitalized for ATV injuries has more than doubled since 1996.

At a race at the Wallkill track attended by ABC News, a 16-year old boy broke two bones in his back after his ATV crashed on a turn.

"It's all part of the sport," said Jeff Weiss, parent of a 14-year-old racer at the track. "You accept that, I guess, as a part of it."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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