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Potential Trial Date Set for UVA Student Martese Johnson

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — A potential trial date was set Thursday for the University of Virginia student who was left bloodied after being arrested outside of a Charlottesville bar, but the charges against him could still be dropped.

Honors student Martese Johnson was arrested by state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents outside a bar near campus on March 18 and the incident sparked protests over police brutality.

In late March, Johnson was expected to enter a not-guilty plea but did not because the prosecution asked for a continuance in the case.

Johnson was charged with public intoxication and obstructing justice.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney Office has until June 12 to determine if they will drop the charges or not. If the charges are not dropped, the trial date has been set for Sept. 30.

“We are optimistic that once the investigation has been included, the prosecution will agree that the ABC officers did not have reasonable suspicion to apprehend and arrest Martese and that the charges will be dismissed,” Johnson’s attorney’s office said in a statement.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Song of The Day

Mistaken Anthrax Shipments Still Being Located

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

This file photo dated 17 December 2001 shows a truck approaching the main gate at the US Army’s Dugway Proving Ground, from which samples containing live anthax spores were sent to 18 laboratory facilities. Credit: RGE FREY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Eighteen laboratories in nine states have begun turning over samples of anthrax to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if they contained live anthrax mistakenly provided to them by the U.S. military, the Pentagon said Thursday.

In a precautionary move, 22 employees at a military laboratory in South Korea that also received a shipment of the spores have been ordered to take the antibiotic Cipro because they may have been exposed to live spores during lab training conducted late last week, officials said.

The Pentagon has said that there is no threat to the general public from the inadvertent shipping of live anthrax and that none of the personnel in South Korea have demonstrated any signs or symptoms of exposure to anthrax.

The anthrax distributed to the 18 laboratories originated in one milliliter of live anthrax known as AG1 that was irradiated on March 18, 2014, a Defense Department official told ABC News.

The irradiation was supposed to have left the sample fully inactivated, but subsequent testing has shown it still left some live spores in the sample, the official said.

Over the course of the next 12 months, the Dugway facility provided samples of the AG1 batch to 18 private and academic laboratories in nine states as well as a U.S. military laboratory in South Korea. Each of the institutions was provided samples of the AG1 anthrax for various forms of anthrax research or product development.

On April 29, 2015, the military’s Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center in Maryland shipped some of the AG1 anthrax to eight companies in six states, according to the Pentagon. It was a private company in Maryland that notified the CDC on May 22 that it had received live anthrax as part of that shipment.

Since then, the CDC and the Pentagon have been working to secure all of the samples of AG1 anthrax that had been sent by FedEx to 18 laboratories.

“We are confident that the packaging and transport of these items was in accordance with the procedures outlined to ensure that the public is not at any risk,” said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

Since the CDC and the Pentagon were notified last week that the AG1 stock might contain live spores, the remaining AG1 stock at the Dugway Proving Ground has been tested and found to contain a mix of both live and inactivated anthrax.

Stanford University confirmed Thursday that its medical school had received a vial of anthrax last July, but that it had not been used by school personnel since it was initially received 10 months ago.

After the school was notified by the CDC that it may have received minute amounts of live anthrax, the university launched “a safety review of the laboratory where the material was handled by two individuals under appropriate biosafety guidelines,” the university said in a statement.

“Stanford secured the vial in question for shipping to the CDC for evaluation to determine whether, in fact, the material was not completely inactivated. Stanford has not received any reports of incidents or reactions over the 10 months since the material was last used in the laboratory,” the university said.

U.S. military commanders at Osan Air Base in South Korea ordered the destruction of the AG1 sample they had received early last year.

“Emergency response personnel from the 51st Fighter Wing responded and destroyed the sample located in a self-contained contingency facility at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, after it was discovered the bacteria might not be an inert training sample as expected,” the 51st Fighter Wing said in a statement.

The 22 personnel may have been exposed during training on laboratory equipment conducted between May 21 and 23.

“The lab workers were wearing standard lab apparel, including lab coat, eye protection, gloves and using a bio-safety cabinet with filter,” according to Col. Amy Hannah, a spokesperson for U.S. Forces Korea.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hundreds of Missing SAT Tests Force Students to Retake Them

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — High school students are getting ready to put their school work behind them and start summer vacation — but hundreds of students at Loudoun County Schools in Virginia won’t be able to do that.

Some 300 SAT tests got lost in the mail and didn’t get back to College Board, according to a statement from the non-profit.

A Loudoun County School official told ABC News Thursday that their test proctors did everything by the book, including shipping the tests using the UPS label and box that College Board provides.

Junior Chris Unger took the test on May 2 at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Virigina.

“I think the worst part of this is College Board never officially told us our tests were lost,” the 17-year-old told ABC News. “Even an email would’ve been better than not hearing. I kept checking my online portal for scores and they never came.”

Unger said he feels “gipped” because he walked out of the test feeling confident. He spent dozens of hours studying and he said his parents paid for specialized tutoring sessions on top of the $52.50 registration fee.

Now, the students have a mandatory make-up test date on June 20, the weekend after their final exams. Unger said he wasn’t sure if they had to pay another registration fee.

Loudoun County Schools regularly proctor standardized tests in their 15 high schools and a district official told ABC News this situation is “clearly an anomaly.”

Unger said he got his scores “just fine” when he took the SAT in the beginning of the year.

“I wanted to use this round of scores to see if I need to take it a third time,” said Unger.

“This might mess with people who are applying to colleges for early admission,” he added.

The May 2 test scores should have been released on May 21, according to the SAT website.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nugget of Knowldege

Jury to Watch Videos of James Holmes’ Psychiatric Interviews

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — Videos of Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes’ psychiatric interviews will be shown in court Thursday as part of the fourth week of the ongoing movie theater trial.

The videos are a critical piece of evidence in the case as Holmes and his attorneys have pleaded that he was not guilty by reason of insanity, while the prosecution is working to prove that he was sane when he opened fire and killed 12 people in the July 2012 shooting.

There are 22 hours of interviews in total and they were conducted at the state mental health facility in Pueblo, Colorado after his arrest.

The way in which they will be presented to the jury was a debated issue, with the prosecution successfully arguing that they be shown in parts rather than all in one, as the defense had originally hoped.

Thursday marks the 20th day of the trial and the videos have been one of the most highly anticipated pieces of evidence.

Earlier this week, the court heard from Holmes’ journal where he wrote about selecting a movie theater as the target for his shooting as opposed to an airport, which he decided had too much security.

Survivors and first responders have been among the dozens of witnesses called to testify about the scene inside the movie theater on the night of the shooting.

Holmes faces the death penalty.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Oily Substance on California Beach Prompts Officials to Close Coastline

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — The entire Manhattan Beach coastline outside Los Angeles is still closed Thursday after globs of an oily substance washed up onto its shores.

The tar-like material began appearing Wednesday afternoon and spread out across 6.5 miles of coastline, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The source of the material is not yet known.

“We do have crews on scene,” Alexia Retallack , a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told ABC News Thursday. Officials have begun testing the substance to determine its source but do not expect the results to become available for at least a day.

“They are checking it out and beginning cleanup,” Retallack said.

Officials have ruled out natural seepage as the source for the substance, saying the effected area doesn’t match with known natural sources, according to Kenichi Haskett, an ocean lifeguard captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health posted closure signs along Manhattan Beach and residents have been urged to avoid the ocean.

The news comes a week after a Plains All American oil pipeline ruptured in Santa Barbara, dumping 101,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Refugio State Beach and leaving a 9-mile-long slick in the ocean that decimated sea life. Officials are still trying to clean up the Santa Barbara spill and have removed 10,000 gallons of oily water mixture.

It was not immediately clear whether the two events are linked.

In 2014, a permanent ban on drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara failed to pass the State Assembly. The bill’s defeat marked a major success for Sunset Exploration and its partner Exxon Mobile, which are seeking to drill for oil on nearby Air Force property known as the Tranquillon Ridge.

Environmentalists have called on the State Assembly to reconsider the ban.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pet of the Week

Parts of Great Plains Brace for More Rain Amid Cleanup Efforts

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Millions of Americans in the Great Plains are bracing for more rain and severe weather after being battered for days by powerful storms that are being blamed for several deaths.

Flash flood watches and warnings are in effect Thursday for parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, the latter of which has already been devastated by flooding. In fact, it’s the worst flooding the Lone Star State has seen since 2007, according to Jesse Moore, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We’ve been in a drought here for the last five or six years and now we’re getting a lot of rain, which you know everybody was praying for rain. But, at this point, I think almost all of us are saying ok we’ve had enough. We can use a dry period,” Moore says.

But it will be a while before that dry period can begin

“We’re looking at 2 to 4 inches across the area,” Moore notes. “We have several rounds of thunderstorms, with the biggest round expected to occur over the weekend.”

He says a number of rivers in Texas are near or over flood levels and will stay that way through the weekend.

“The Trinity and the Brazos rivers are the ones that are major concerns. There’s of course flooding also on the Sabine River up in northeast Texas, and of course some flooding along the Red River as well,” Moore says.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NC Teacher Allegedly Caught Threatening Students in Secret Recording

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Creatas/Thinkstock(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) — A North Carolina elementary school teacher was apparently captured threatening students in a secret recording, parents say.

Leona Cain says her son Sammy had been trying to tell her for months that his teacher at Alderman Road Elementary School in Fayetteville was verbally abusive, but she says she didn’t believe him until she sent her 10-year-old boy to school with a recording device and heard it herself.

“I don’t even like somebody to be behind me when I’m on the board, because I might get mad and pop the mess out of you and then it would be my fault because you were standing behind me,” the teacher — who has not been identified — could be heard yelling on the recording, sections of which were obtained by ABC News station WTVD in Durham.

The audio, recorded earlier this month, runs for four hours.

“I was infuriated, I was disgusted. I was heartbroken,” Cain said later.

Other parents are also speaking out.

“My son was afraid of her,” parent Kimberly Ballez told WTVD. “He would repeat, ‘I’m scared, she scares me, she scares me.’”

Some parents have pulled their children from the classroom and the school, according to the station. Sammy is home for now.

Leona Cain shared the recording with the school’s principal, and the incident was later reported to district administrators, according to WTVD. School officials have declined to comment, saying this is a personnel matter.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Crusin In Cruces

Florida Pilot Arrested After Plane Strikes a Shed

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office(MELBOURNE, Fla.) — A Florida man was arrested Wednesday after the plane he was piloting struck a shed, authorities said.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Christopher John Hall, 57, was arrested and booked in jail Wednesday, charged with reckless operation of a vessel — operation of an aircraft while under the influence — as well as child abuse.

The plane struck a shed containing communications equipment at Melbourne International Airport, according to ABC News affiliate WFTV. The shed and the plane, a Cessna Skymaster 337, were not seriously damaged.

No one was injured in the incident.

According to air traffic control audio from the incident, tower crews were communicating with the pilot in preparation for takeoff.

“Hold your position,” the air traffic controller warned.

Hall is scheduled to appear before a judge Thursday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Video Captures Shooting of Second-Grader in Massachusetts

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(DORCHESTER, Mass.) — Authorities in Massachusetts pleaded for help from the public Wednesday as a 7-year-old remained hospitalized after being hit by a stray bullet while riding his bike.

“If you have information, holding onto it only helps the suspect,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said in a statement. “The person who shot Divan needs to be held accountable.”

Divan Silva, a second-grader from Brockton, Massachusetts, was visiting family in Dorchester when he decided to ride to the store for water early Sunday evening. Private surveillance video captured the moment he was shot and the aftermath.

In the video, Divan comes around a street corner on his bicycle and soon after starts holding his leg as he passes in front of a barbershop.

He then is shown rolling off the bike and looking under his left thigh as blood stains the sidewalk. Police said Divan was shot in the buttocks. A 20-year-old man was also grazed in the head by a bullet. The window front of the barbershop was shattered.

Divan’s mother, Dijanira DeAndrade, said she heard the gunshots and then ran outside to check on Divan with her mom.

“It was very emotional to see my son like that,” she told the Boston Globe Tuesday. “He couldn’t move. I was holding him. He was just looking at me and I was talking to him.”

Divan reportedly had surgery Sunday and was attempting to walk Monday and Tuesday. He was said to be in good condition at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“He’s laughing. He’s playing around,” Divan’s father, Vandir Silva, told ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston. “I really didn’t know what to do. … I was at work and then somebody called me, saying my son got shot. … I had no idea what was going on.”

Authorities said a group of men was standing in front of the barbershop at the time of the shooting but police said they did not know who the target was. Authorities said the shooter was wearing a red hoodie and tan pants, and was between the ages of 14 and 18.

“This is inexcusable,” said Boston Police Superintendent William Gross. “This is our community.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Double Your Dollars

Florida Doctor Arrested By Feds in Massive Drug Racketeering, Manslaughter Scheme

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Roel Smart/iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — A South Florida doctor and seven of her employees were arrested Wednesday by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration in a massive racketeering and manslaughter scheme.

The DEA charged Dr. Lynn Averill with handing out hundreds of thousands of prescriptions for painkillers at her clinic—some of which resulted in patient overdose deaths.

DEA officials, who conducted a five-year undercover investigation, allege Dr. Averill knew patients were dying from overdoses, but continued to write prescriptions to anyone who could pay. Officials who posed as undercover patients reportedly did not “present any medical necessity for medication,” according to a DEA press release.

Kevin Stanfill, Acting Deputy Special Agent in charge of the Miami DEA office, said “not a single undercover agent posing as a patient even received a medical examination.”

The DEA said Averill’s prescriptions of oxycodone, alprazolam and methadone led to the overdose deaths of at least eight people.

Dr. Averil and seven other owners and operators at the clinic, “Real Care Medical Group,” were charged — seven of those eight were arrested on Wednesday.

In one six-month period of 2010, Dr. Averill reportedly bought 437,880 pills of painkiller oxycodone, while the national average for practitioners buying the drug is 23,659. The number placed her in the top 25 prescribers of the drug in the country.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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