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Acadia National Park Is America’s Favorite Place

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When ABC’s Good Morning America put out a call this month for your favorite places in America, the response was overwhelming.

GMA viewers sent in so many entries, from all over America, but in the end, Maine’s Acadia National Park took the top spot on GMA’s Favorite Place in America, finishing ahead of top five finalists including Lake Tahoe and the Chicago Lakefront.

Acadia is situated along the state’s central coast. Attracting more than 2 million visitors each year, the park is home to nearly 50,000 acres of jaw-dropping beauty, providing something for everyone with its cobblestone beaches, lush forests and rugged mountains.

The park’s centerpiece is the majestic Cadillac Mountain. Situated on Acadia’s Mount Desert Island and rising more than 1,500 feet, Cadillac is the highest point on the Eastern coast, and it’s famous for being the first place to see the sunrise in the U.S.

The park is designed to give visitors a front-row seat to nature, with 45 miles of scenic carriage roads and 125 miles of hiking trails.

Aracely and Sergio Rios visited Acadia during their travels to the lower 48 states. By far, Acadia is the Texas couple’s favorite place.

Once visitors are done exploring Acadia, they can head to nearby Bar Harbor to enjoy its shops, stroll the quaint streets and dig into some of the freshest lobster in the state.

Next, stop by Acadia’s cliffside Bass Harbor Head lighthouse to soak in the sunset.


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FAA Lifts Flight Restrictions for Tel Aviv Airport

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Aviation Administration announced the lifting of restrictions on U.S. airline flights into and out of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday.

“Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the agency said in a statement.

The notice comes after an earlier decision in which the agency renewed a ban on travel to or from Tel Aviv and prohibited air travel to the region for another 24 hours.

Initially, the FAA banned flights Tuesday following a rocket strike that landed nearly a mile from the airport.

“The agency will continue to closely monitor the very fluid situation around Ben Gurion Airport and will take additional actions, as necessary,” the FAA added.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution in Arizona

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(FLORENCE, Ariz.) — A double murderer executed in Arizona on Wednesday was pronounced dead almost two hours after the process began, state Attorney General Tom Horne said.

“The execution of Joseph Wood commenced at 1:57 p.m. at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC)-Florence and he was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.,” the Attorney General said in a statement.

Wood’s attorneys filed a motion for emergency stay of the execution after the inmate was reported, “gasping and snorting for more than an hour,” according to court documents they filed.

“The experiment using midazolam combined with hydromorphone to carry out an execution failed today in Arizona. It took Joseph Wood two hours to die, and he gasped and struggled to breath for about an hour and forty minutes,” said Dale Baich, one of Joseph Wood’s attorneys. “We will renew our efforts to get information about the manufacturer of drugs as well as how Arizona came up with the experimental formula of drugs it used today. Arizona appears to have joined several other states who have been responsible for an entirely preventable horror — a bungled execution.”

Still, Jeanine Brown, a niece of one of Wood’s victims, says that’s not what she heard as she witnessed the execution.

“I don’t believe he was gasping for air,” Brown said. “I don’t believe he was suffering. Sound to me as though he was snoring.”

Wood was convicted February 25, 1991, and sentenced to death July 2, 1991.

The 55-year-old was involved in an unstable five-year relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Debbie Dietz, during the time of the crime. On August 7, 1989, Wood walked into the local body shop owned by her family and shot Debbie’s 55-year-old father, Gene Dietz, in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver, according to a statement from the AG.

He later located Debbie, and shot her once in the abdomen and once in the chest, killing her as well, the document stated.

The ACLU said in a statement that executions should be stopped until it can be proved the drugs used work as intended. “Today the state of Arizona broke the Eighth Amendment, the First Amendment, and the bounds of basic decency. Joseph Wood suffered cruel and unusual punishment when he was apparently left conscious long after the drugs were administered. According to his emergency papers filed by his attorneys, he was choking and snorting over an hour into the process.

“In its rush to put Mr. Wood to death in secret, Arizona ignored the dire and clear warnings from the botched executions of Oklahoma and Ohio. It’s time for Arizona and the other states still using lethal injection to admit that this experiment with unreliable drugs is a failure. Instead of hiding lethal injection under layers of foolish secrecy, these states need to show us where the drugs are come from.”

Wood filed several appeals denied by the Supreme Court, including one that claimed his rights were violated by the state’s refusal to give details on the drugs that were to be used in the execution.


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Song of The Day

Family Booted Off Southwest Airlines After Dad Tweeted About ‘Rude’ Gate Agent

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Rick Gershon/Getty Images(DENVER) — A Minneapolis man said he and his two children were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight after the father tweeted about a “rude” gate agent who refused to give his kids priority boarding.

The incident happened on Sunday afternoon when Duff Watson was traveling with his daughters, ages 9 and 6, from Denver to Minneapolis.

“I have been traveling with Southwest for a few years now, and I’m an A-list member,” Watson told ABC News Wednesday. “You can board the plane early.”

Watson said his two children have always been able to board the plane with him, but the gate agent he confronted Sunday afternoon wouldn’t budge, he said.

“I am not trying to game the system,” Watson said. “I’m not going to leave my kids alone to board. That doesn’t make sense.”

When the gate agent told Watson she couldn’t let his children board with him, Watson said he asked the agent: “Is this a new policy?”

Watson said the agent didn’t answer his question directly, but told him: “I am not going to change my mind.”

The gate agent allegedly asked the passenger and his children to step aside and wait until the rest of the A-list members boarded.

“We waited, which was fine,” Watson said. “I thought she was very rude and wanted to complain to customer service, so I asked her: ‘Can I get your last name?’”

“She told me: ‘You don’t need my last name for anything,’” Watson said. “I told her: ‘Real nice way to treat an A-list member.’”

“I tweeted something like, ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA,’” he said.

He then boarded the plane along with his kids. However, they just couldn’t get home in time.

“I heard my name in the broadcast, asking me to get off the plane,” Watson said. “I didn’t know what was going on. I thought we left something or we were on the wrong flight.”

He was then approached by a flight attended, who refused to tell him the reason for the broadcast, but said: “You need to exit the aircraft immediately.”

“So I walked by the people who we just walked by to get to our seats,” he said.

Watson then ran into the same gate agent he had tweeted about.

“She [the agent] said I was a safety threat,” Watson said. “I was shocked. There was no use of profanity, there were no threats made. How was I a safety threat?”

Watson said the agent threatened to call the cops if he didn’t delete the tweet that included her first name and initial of last name.

“I was taken aback by the situation. My two kids were crying,” he said. “She watched me as I deleted the tweet.”

The gate agent then allegedly summoned Watson and his children to get back on the same flight.

“So we walked through the same passengers the third time,” Watson said.

“The point is not the order of boarding,” Watson said. “The point is how she responded.”

Southwest Airlines could not be immediately reached for comment by ABC News. But the airline issued a statement to a local CBS affiliate confirming that a customer was removed for a short time and continued on to Minneapolis. The incident is under review, Southwest noted.

“I have been loyal to Southwest,” Watson said. “I was really upset that Southwest has such rude front-line staff members.”

A Southwest representative called him after the incident, and informed him that A-list members’ priority treatment doesn’t apply to family members.

“I looked on their website and I didn’t find any explicit rule,” Watson said.

Southwest has offered a $50 voucher as a good-will gesture, he said, but he plans to donate it to charity.

“I’m not going to fly them again,” he said.

“I wish I didn’t back down, I wish I didn’t delete the tweet. But under that quid pro quo situation, I did it,” Watson said.


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Home Instead Senior Care

FAA Extends Travel Ban to Israel for Another 24 Hours

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Aviation Administration announced  Wednesday that it has not lifted its ban against travel to or from Tel Aviv’s airport and will prohibit air travel to Israel for an additional 24 hours.

“The agency is working closely with the Government of Israel to review the significant new information they have provided and determine whether potential risks to U.S. civil aviation are mitigated so the agency can resolve concerns as quickly as possible,” the FAA said in a statement.

This comes a day after the agency barred all American air carriers from flying to or from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv following a rocket attack within a mile of the airport.

The order was issued at 12:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, with the FAA saying it would hold for up to 24 hours until an update on Wednesday.

Dozens of flights and hundreds of passengers were affected.

The list of airlines that chose to follow the FAA’s guidelines extended outside of the U.S., with Air Canada, Lufthansa, German Wings and Air France canceling their scheduled flights in addition to US Airways, Delta and United.

British Airways and Russian carrier Rossiya continued their flights to Ben Gurion, as did Israel’s commercial airline El Al, whose planes have their own missile detection systems.

El Al confirmed Wednesday afternoon that it has added routes to and from the U.S. in order to keep up with demand.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew into Tel Aviv on an El Al flight Wednesday morning as a show of support for Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the ban will be seen as a victory by Hamas.


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Nugget of Knowldege

Indiana Teen Flying Around the World Dies in Crash

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A teenage boy from Indiana, who was flying around the world with his father on a single engine plane, was killed when their plane crashed earlier Wednesday.

Babar Suleman and his 17-year-old son Haris took off from American Samoa Wednesday morning before their plane crashed, according to a family spokesperson, Azher Khan.

The Coast Guard notified the family Wednesday morning that they found Haris Suleman’s body but had still not located Babar Suleman’s, Khan said.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that a single-engine Hawker Beechcraft BE36 crashed into the ocean under unknown circumstances after departing from Pago Pago International Airport. The agency said that preliminary reports indicated two individuals were on board and the Coast Guard had located the wreckage.


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Metal Depot

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s ‘Best Friend’ Did Drugs to Cope with Link to Bombs

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

FBI(BOSTON) — The accused heroin dealer whom officials say provided a handgun to the alleged Boston Marathon bombers told police last year that he did drugs himself to cope with his close link to the deadly twin explosions, a police report and law enforcement sources said.

“I smoke a lot of weed every day because my best friend was the bomber,” Stephen Silva said, based on a police report written after he was busted in November 2013 for allegedly dealing marijuana.

Law enforcement officials told ABC News that by “best friend,” Silva was referring to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a former classmate of Silva’s and the man charged with setting off the Boston Marathon bombs in April 2013 with his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Silva, 21, had been out on bail awaiting a court date scheduled for next week in connection to the state’s marijuana charges when he was taken into federal custody Monday and accused of dealing heroin in June 2014.

In addition to the new heroin charges, court documents also accuse Silva of at one point possessing a handgun, a “Ruger model P95 9mm pistol,” in early 2013 that law enforcement sources told ABC News is the same one later used by Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a shootout with police three days after the Boston Marathon bombing. Authorities believe the gun was also used to murder MIT police officer Sean Collier hours before the shootout with police.

Though the Tsarnaevs are not mentioned in court documents regarding Silva’s gun possession charges, law enforcement officials told ABC News they believe Silva gave Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the weapon and that Dzhokhar and Silva were close.

On Tuesday, Silva told the federal magistrate judge that he graduated from Cambridge Rindge & Latin, the same high school from which the younger Tsarnaev graduated, with honors. Silva said he graduated in 2011, the same year as Tsarnaev.

In a run-in with authorities on the Fourth of July in 2012, cops reported a Steven Silva — rather than Stephen — and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were discovered together drinking alcohol in a Honda registered to Dzhokhar. Stephen Silva has an identical twin brother named Steven, sources said, but police believe that it was really Stephen in the car with the younger Tsarnaev. The November 2013 police report also had the offender listed as Steven, but fingerprints taken after his arrest identified him as Stephen Silva, the same man arraigned in federal court Tuesday, law enforcement sources said.

Stephen Silva said in court Tuesday he lives with his mother and stepfather, and added that his brother “moved away” and works as a car salesman. State and federal sources said Steven and Dzhokhar knew each other but were not friends.

Stephen Silva did not enter a plea during his initial appearance Tuesday, and is being held until his bail hearing in August. His trial on the Nov. 2013 marijuana arrest will be postponed, Suffolk County prosecutors said.

Late Tuesday, Silva’s attorney, Jonathan Shapiro, issued a statement that notes there is no mention of Tsarnaev in his client’s most recent indictment.

“I am in the process of meeting with my client and reviewing the available evidence, which will eventually be presented in a court of law in accordance with our system of justice,” Shapiro said.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in the shootout with police on April 18, 2013. Dzhokhar was injured but survived and was later captured. He has pleaded not guilty to some 30 charges related to the bombing.  If convicted, he could face the death penalty.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Pet of the Week

Witness: Unarmed Teen Appeared ‘Hurt’ Before ‘Porch Shooting’

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) — One of the last people to see Renisha McBride before she was shot to death on a Detroit porch testified on Wednesday that the teen appeared scared and disoriented after crashing into a parked car.

Carmen Beasley said she heard a loud bang outside her suburban Detroit home around 1 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2013. When she got a closer look, Beasley said she saw her husband’s parked car had been hit.

She called 911 and went outside to help McBride, she said.

“I told her she was injured and we needed to get an ambulance,” Beasley said. “I didn’t want to be intrusive, but I knew she was hurt.”

Beasley said McBride appeared drunk, confused and was staggering and didn’t know her home phone number when she asked for it. McBride walked away from the scene several times, according to Beasley, and disappeared before an ambulance arrived.

Where McBride was before she was fatally shot on a porch — and the screen door through which the fatal bullet was apparently fired — will be crucial evidence in the trial of the Detroit-area man who fired the gun that killed her.

Theodore Wafer, 54, who is white, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of McBride, 19, who is black, after she showed up on his porch in Dearborn Heights during the early morning of Nov. 2, 2013.

A jury of seven men and seven women, including two alternates, will decide the case. Four of the jurors are black.

Earlier in the day, Wafer’s defense attorney said during opening arguments that his client had “never been this scared in his life, ever” after hearing a series of booms and saw a shadowy figure outside his home.

“He hears metal breaking on his front door. Ted hears it. He’s thinking, ‘They’re coming in. They’re breaking into my house,’” defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter said.

But prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark argued that McBride had played a drinking game with her friend earlier that night, crashed her car and may have been seeking medical help for a cut on her head.

“[Wafer's] actions that night were unnecessary, unjustified and unreasonable,” she told the jury.

An autopsy released by the Office of the Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled that McBride died of a large gunshot wound to the face. The shot that killed McBride showed “no evidence of close range discharge,” according to the report.

In a 911 call released by police, Wafer could be heard saying: “Uh yes … I just shot somebody on my front porch. With a shot gun. Banging on my door.”

When the police asked him what city he was in, Wafer said thank you, and hung up.

Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must prove his or her life was in danger.


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Kids Kare PC

People Keep Trying to Sneak Guns into US Capitol

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A man was arrested Wednesday morning attempting to enter the Cannon House Office Building with a firearm, U.S. Capitol Police said.

“A firearm was recovered as a result of an administrative search at the rotunda door of the Cannon House Office Building,” police spokesman Shennell Antrobus confirmed, adding that the incident occurred at about 9:20 a.m.

Wednesday’s incident follows a similar one on Friday when a congressional staffer attempted to enter the same building and was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. Last week’s event occurred at the South East Door of the Cannon House Office Building at about the same time in the morning.

The defendant arrested Wednesday is not a congressional staffer and is being processing at Capitol Police headquarters, Antrobus said.

He was unable to say whether the officers involved in Wednesday’s arrest were the same ones who last week snagged a Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol and magazine from Ryan Shucard, press secretary to Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.


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Crusin In Cruces

Missing Marine Wife May Have Been Having Affair with Neighbor

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Courtesy Corwin Family(TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.) — Authorities are investigating the possibility that a missing California woman — the wife of a Marine — was having an affair with her married neighbor and was pregnant with his child, according to a search warrant.

Erin Corwin, 20, has not been seen since June 28, vanishing from the city of Twentynine Palms without a trace. Investigators say her husband, Lance Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, reported her missing one day after she was last seen leaving for Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California.

Her Toyota Corolla was found not far from the military base where her husband is stationed.

Authorities say the circumstances surrounding Corwin’s disappearance are suspicious.

“At this point we’re trying to investigate each and every person who has been an acquaintance with Erin,” San Bernardino County Sheriff Randy Naquin said.

That includes Christopher Lee, a Marine rifleman who was recently honorably discharged. According to the search warrant, Lee initially denied knowing Corwin well, but investigators say Corwin’s friend told them she might have been pregnant with Lee’s child.

Additionally, Lee was worried that his wife would divorce him and keep him from his child with her if she found out about the affair and pregnancy, the friend said, according to the search warrant. It’s unclear who and what the warrant targets.

Lee, 24, says he went hunting in the national park the same day Corwin told her husband she was going there, according to the search warrant. But Lee has said he denied seeing her that day.

Investigators are searching the park for clues.

“We’re looking for a crime scene,” Naquin said. “We’re looking for something that is going to give us an indication that something has or has not happened to her.”

Lee has not been named a person of interest or suspect. ABC News has been unable to reach him.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that Corwin may be voluntarily missing, but, at this point, her whereabouts remain a mystery.

“It is highly likely that Erin could have been harmed by an unknown firearm,” police said in the search warrant.

Lee was arrested July 4 on an unrelated weapons charge for possessing a destructive device and is reportedly out on bail.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said authorities will continue to focus on Lee, but need to definitively prove that a crime occurred.

“In a situation like this, where a woman who disappeared was possibly having an affair, you look first at two people: the husband and the boyfriend,” Abrams said. “As of now, it doesn’t seem the authorities are considering the husband as a person of interest.”

“It’s clear they now suspect very strongly there was foul play. And as time passes, it will become clearer and clearer that a crime was committed,” he added.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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