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Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, Teen Wounded in Washington School Shooting, Dies

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images(MARYSVILLE, Wash.) — Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, a victim in the shooting at a Washington state high school, died on Friday, officials at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett said. She was the fourth person to die in the shooting.

Two other students — Andrew Fryberg, 15, and Nate Hatch, 14, remain at Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. Hatch suffered a gunshot wound to his jaw.

“Our hearts are broken at the passing of our beautiful daughter. Shay means everything to us. In Shay’s short life she has been a radiant light bringing us incredible joy and happiness. She has been a loving daughter, a caring sister, a devoted friend and a wonderful part of our community. We can’t imagine life without her,” the Chuckulnaskit family said in a statement released through the hospital.

Zoe Galasso, 14, died from the shooting a week ago. Gia Soriano, also 14, died Sunday at Providence Hospital.

Chuckulnaskit was critically injured in the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington.

Authorities have identified the shooter as Jaylen Fryberg. Fryberg, 14 — who shot five people before killing himself inside the school — was a member of a prominent family in the Tulalip Tribes and, according to a tribe member, state Sen. John McCoy, he was highly regarded there.

“A lot of folks were considering him that he would move up the culture ranks and become a leader,” McCoy said. “He had that kind of charisma and raw talent.”

All the victims in the shooting were either relatives or friends of Fryberg’s, McCoy said. Two of the victims, Nate Hatch, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15, are relatives of the shooter, according to Hatch’s grandfather and a source within the Tulalip Tribes.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nugget of Knowldege

See Waves Slam Cars on a Busy Chicago Road

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Mr_Twister/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Ah, the sea, the crashing surf…the highway?

Drivers in the middle of Chicago Friday saw waves crashing where they’re definitely not supposed to be, as high winds blew Lake Michigan’s waters across the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive.

The crashing waves and flooding stretched from North Avenue to Division Street, according to ABC News station WLS, and prompted city officials to reduce available lanes on the road and advise drivers to go another way, according to local reports.

The whole thing was captured on video. Take a look below as the waves crash.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Mexican Judge Orders US Marine Reservist Released

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

AndreyPopov/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MEXICO CITY) — U.S. Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, jailed in Mexico on gun charges since March, was ordered released by a judge in Mexico on Friday, according to documents released by the court.

The California native, 26, was arrested on March 31, after he says he got lost and crossed the Mexican border with three firearms in his pickup truck. Tahmooressi served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

The possession of any weapon restricted for the use of the Army is a federal crime in Mexico regardless of whether visitors declare it or not upon entering the country.

Tahmooressi’s mother Jill in July said she was able to spent 20 minutes with her son after a court hearing, when he was ordered to be held in jail.

“He’s very strong. He’s very strong and positive. And he’s confident,” she said then.

The State Department has been actively engaged in the case. Consular officers have visited Tahmooressi numerous times, and at least 71 members of Congress have signed a bi-partisan letter asking the judge for leniency.

Unlike American law, in Mexico one is guilty until proven innocent and the decision rests solely in the judge’s hands.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pet of the Week

Florida Man, Serving Life in Prison for Armed Robbery, Escapes

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

fotokon/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — A Florida inmate who was serving life in prison for armed robbery escaped from prison on Friday.

Ronald McCoy, 39, was sentenced in 2004 to life in prison after he was convicted of multiple counts of armed robbery, as well as charges of aggravated assault and carrying a concealed weapon.

McCoy had previously served time for a separate armed robbery in 1992.

It was not immediately clear how McCoy escaped from the prison. The Florida Department of Corrections is working with local law enforcement and Florida Department of Law Enforcement to apprehend him.

The Florida DOC describes McCoy as a 6-foot-3 inch tall, 200 pound black man with black hair, brown eyes and tattoos on his left bicep and the right side of his chest.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Under the Wire: Guardrail Company Avoids Nationwide Ban With Crash Test Plan

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

zebra3/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The federal government has received, but is refusing to disclose, an urgent plan to re-test the safety of guardrails found on American highways across the country amid accusations they are dangerous to motorists.

Just under the deadline, Trinity Industries, maker of the controversial ET-Plus system, submitted plans to the government for the new tests, as 30 states have announced they’ve already banned new installations of the guardrail until it is proven safe.

“The Federal Highway Administration received Trinity’s ET-Plus test plan. The FHWA will expeditiously, but carefully, review the plan,” a statement provided Friday from the FHWA to ABC News reads.

The government agency says it will review what Trinity Industries sent “with a sense of urgency” but does not have a timetable in which it will respond to the company. Starting 10 days ago, Trinity had been given until Friday to submit plans or the government would rule the commonly-used guardrail ineligible for American roads.

The FHWA would not disclose further information about the crash test plans and directed requests for details of the “draft plan” to Trinity. A spokesperson for Trinity told ABC News it is not sharing details publicly at this time.

“The public should be able to review these materials,” said Sean Kane, founder of The Safety Institute. “We can’t tell the difference between the regulators and the regulated here. This coziness has been part of the problem since the beginning.”

Thirty states have now announced they are suspending further installation of the ET-Plus and one state, Virginia, said it is making plans to remove the guardrails from its highways entirely. Late last week, Trinity Industries said it would halt sales of the ET-Plus.

The demand from the FHWA for crash tests came a day after a Texas jury ruled that Trinity had defrauded the government by altering an approved guardrail end terminal design nearly a decade ago and then failing to tell federal or state transportation departments about the changes until questions were raised in 2012. Trinity was ordered to pay $175 million in damages — a figure expected to triple by statutory mandate.

The ET-Plus System was the subject of an ABC News 20/20 investigation in September that looked into allegations from crash victims that the modified guardrail can malfunction when struck from the front by their vehicles’. Rather than ribboning out and absorbing the impact as designed, the guardrails “locked up” and speared straight through the cars, severing the motorists’ limbs in some cases.

Lawyers for the plaintiff in the Texas case, Josh Harman, expressed concern about any planned crash tests to the FHWA and have asked to be involved in discussions prior to the testing of the ET-Plus.

“While we believe crash testing is important, we have several concerns about the protocol outlined by your office for testing and… we believe that testing alone would be insufficient to determine whether the ET-Plus should be eligible for federal reimbursement,” wrote attorney George Carpinello.

Dean Sicking, a renowned guardrail engineer who authored manuals for crash testing –- and who also testified against Trinity Industries in the federal trial — wrote to the agency, questioning the type of tests it may conduct, concerned that there has been an “ongoing deception of the FHWA” by Trinity Industries.

Trinity has maintained the guardrails are safe, noting that the FHWA approved the modified guardrail for use after questions about the modifications were raised in 2012. The company plans to appeal the Texas verdict and has previously told ABC News it has a “high degree of confidence in the performance and integrity” of the ET-Plus system.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Crusin In Cruces

Building Stability Affecting Search for Victims of Kansas Plane Crash

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Jaison Podkanowicz(WICHITA, Kan.) — Rescuers had difficulty searching on Friday for the victims of a crash at a Wichita, Kansas, airport, with investigators fearing the badly damaged building might collapse at any moment.

“We don’t like leaving folks who have died in a structure overnight, but we don’t want to get anybody else hurt,” said Brad Crisp, Wichita’s fire marshal.

Four people were killed, including pilot Mark Goldstein, when a Beechcraft King Air 200, full of fuel, lost power in the left engine shortly after takeoff Thursday at the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

The plane slammed into the FlightSafety Building, igniting an inferno. On Friday, small fires were still being put out as pieces of the building continued to break off.

Authorities said Friday that the three people who were killed on the ground were in flight simulators at the moment of impact. Flight simulator pods typically house a pilot, copilot and flight instructor.

Authorities did not release the names of the three victims. Heavy equipment was expected to be brought in on Friday to help stabilize the building and enable rescuers to recover the bodies.

Five people were hospitalized after the crash Thursday, including one person in serious condition. Goldstein was flying solo.

Goldstein’s colleagues on Friday said he knew he was in trouble right away.

“Mark was an air traffic controller and the other other controllers knew his voice,” said friend Ron Ryan. “They knew when he declared an emergency and lost the left engine. They knew who it was.”

A National Transportation Safety Board team was at the scene of the crash waiting to begin its investigation.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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One Dead, One Injured in Virgin Galactic Spacecraft Crash

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Virgin Galactic(MOJAVE, Calif.) — One person died and another suffered a major injury after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo spacecraft crashed in California’s Mojave Desert on Friday.

California Highway Patrol confirmed the fatality and the injury, but did not specify the individuals involved.

Virgin Galactic confirmed the “in-flight anomaly” and said that its first concern was the safety of its pilots.

“Virgin Galactic’s partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of #SpaceShipTwo earlier today,” the company tweeted.

SpaceShipTwo was destroyed after it separated from its mother ship, White Knight Two, the company said.

“During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo. WK2 landed safely,” according to the company. “Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time.”

“We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates ASAP,” the company added.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that the crash occured just after 10:00 a.m. when “ground controllers at the Mojave Spaceport lost contact with SpaceShipTwo.”

“Space is hard and today was a tough day,” said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic. He added, “The future rests in many ways on hard days like this.”

Stuart Witt, the CEO of Mojave Air and Space Port, said the death of the pilot was keenly felt.

“When we have a mishap from the test community, we find the test community is very small and we are human and it hurts,” Witt said.

The officials confirmed that both people involved in the incident were test pilots from the Virgina Galactic partner, Scaled Composites. The pilots were not identified.

Sheriff Donnie Younblood said, “I flew around the crash site. It’s a large area. The aircraft is in several different pieces.”

Virgin founder Richard Branson is expected to arrive in Mojave by Saturday morning. Also due at the site on Saturday is a team from the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB announced that they will send a full team of investigators, led by acting chairman Christopher Hart.

Witt said the exact cause of the “anomaly” that caused the crash remains unknown.

“From my eyes and my ears, I detected nothing,” Witt said.

“I knew [something was wrong] when other things weren’t happening. It wasn’t cause something happened, it was something’s not happening,” he said.

Whitesides said that a new fuel formulation was being used in this test flight, but said that it had been “proven and tested numerous times on the ground.”

The craft dubbed SpaceShipTwo was destroyed after it separated from its mother ship, White Knight Two, the company said.

Kevin Mickey, president of Scale Composites, explained that the mother ship flies the spacecraft to 45,000 feet, “then it’s released. It’s a glider in free fall. Then the rocket is lit and you are on your way.”

Virgin Galactic, part of British billionaire Richard Branson’s group of companies, has announced plans to operate a fleet of SpaceShipTwo vehicles for private sub-orbital flights.

“While not a NASA mission, the pain of this tragedy will be felt by all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploration,” said a statement from NASA. “Space flight is incredibly difficult, and we commend the passion of all in the space community who take on risk to push the boundaries of human achievement.”

This is the second space mission to end catastrophically this week.

On Tuesday, an Antares rocket produced by Orbital Sciences exploded seconds after liftoff in Virginia while on a NASA-contracted supply mission to the International Space Station.

“This hasn’t been an easy week. It certainly has been a challenge,” Witt said. “But where I’m from this is where you find out your true character.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

What Eric Frein Searched for on His Computer Before Manhunt

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Courtesy Roman Kamensky(MILFORD, Pa.) — Accused cop killer Eric Frein had planned out his efforts to avoid capture and did research online about how police would be able to track him, an affidavit released on Friday reveals.

Investigators had Frein’s computer searched after he shot two state troopers on Sept. 12 and they were able to find specific Internet searches that showed he was plotting for months.

“SWAT raid tactics” and “police raid training” were both searched in April, according to the affidavit. “Can police track cell phones,” “police manhunt guide” and “how to escape a manhunt” were all searched in early May.

He clearly thought about the long haul as well. He looked up information about “caching food” and “tips on placing caches.” A cache is a small duffle-type bag that hunters and survivalists use to store food in hidden places, which is a tactic Frein is believed to have used.

Though the affidavit states that there were other Internet searches, the earliest one listed in the document was a search that he made on Nov. 7, 2012 — nearly two years before the shooting — for “ballistics trajectory calculator.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Home Instead Senior Care

It’s About Time: The Clock that Keeps the Entire US Ticking

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — You may be looking forward to catching an extra hour of shut-eye this Sunday as most of the country prepares to roll their clocks back an hour for Daylight Saving Time, but have you ever wondered where time actually comes from?

ABC News/Yahoo! News ventured to the U.S. Naval Observatory in search of answers.

Situated atop a hill overlooking much of Washington, D.C., the observatory is perhaps best known as the home of the vice president’s mansion, but it is also home to the nation’s master clock.

Every time you turn on your cellphone or plug an address into your car’s GPS, you are actually communicating with the Naval Observatory.

“Everything is tied in to the master clock here,” Naval Observatory’s Public Affairs Officer Geoff Chester explained during a recent tour. “So, if you use anything that remotely touches GPS as a timing source, then you are essentially getting your time from us.”

Chester explained how the job of keeping the nation on time is a whole lot more complicated than counting up from “one-Mississippi.”

“We now use a particular frequency of an atom,” Chester said. “It’s essentially a microwave resent frequency, and a second is now defined as the interval of 9,192,631,770 hyperfine transitions of the ground state of a neutral caesium 133 atom.”

The 9,192,631,770 atomic intervals that measure a second is the basic building block of time as it is measured today.

In addition to watching the clock, the Naval Observatory has long played a role in keeping an eye on the sky. Chester showed ABC News/Yahoo! News a telescope that was built in 1893 to observe a particular type of star called “double stars,” which appear close to each other when seen from Earth.

“Double stars make up about two-thirds of the population of all the stars that you can see in the sky,” Chester said. “So, it’s very important for us to understand how these components of these double stars move relative to each other, so we can properly get our guidance sensors pointing at the right things.”

One of the most interesting aspects of the telescope, which is not computer-controlled as many modern ones are, has nothing to do with the operation of the telescope itself.

If you stand in the middle of the domed room that houses the telescope and look up, there is no apparent way to reach the telescope, which is elevated above at the ceiling’s height — until Chester hits a button and the entire floor begins to elevate to reach the telescope above.

“We believe this is the largest elevator in the city,” Chester said, as the floor made its ascent.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

Accused Cop Killer Eric Frein Appears in Court

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Kena Betancur/Getty Images(MILFORD, Pa.) — Accused cop killer Eric Frein made his first court appearance Friday, looking gaunt and his face bruised, as he was arraigned on murder charges in Milford, Pennsylvania.

Frein, who police say shot two state troopers on Sept. 12 before fleeing into the woods, had a gash on his nose and was booed outside the courthouse by locals, including one woman who yelled, “You’re lucky we didn’t get you during hunting season.”

Other angry spectators shouted “coward” and “scumbag” as Frein, 31, remained stone-faced.

He did not enter a plea.

“We have now started to find the answers that the community desires in this case,” District Attorney Raymond Tonkin said outside the courthouse. “The families in this matter…have suffered an unimaginable loss of unspeakable proportions. They will never be the same but today we find some comfort.”

Tonkin has said he will seek the death penalty for Frein.

Frein was captured by U.S. Marshals on Thursday evening outside an abandoned hangar in the Pocono Mountains, in the area where police have been hunting for the suspect for nearly seven weeks.

“A team was sweeping through the area, surprised him as he was outside of the hangar,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Friday.

He said the cut on Frein’s face is not the result of a battle with police.

“That was an injury that occurred to him sometime in his flight,” Bivens said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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