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Cleveland Cop Verdict: Multiple Arrests as Protests Continue Into Evening

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Protesters outside of Tower City in Public Square demonstrate in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots. Photo by Ricky Rhodes/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — Largely peaceful demonstrations following the acquittal of a Cleveland police officer in the killing of an unarmed couple continued Saturday evening, as some groups of people turned more rowdy and police said there were multiple arrests.

Cleveland police made 71 arrests among the protests, police chief Calvin Williams said during a news conference Sunday.

Williams added that the protests on Saturday were largely peaceful, and that city police were not armed with riot gear.

“We only moved in to make arrests when things got violent and protesters refused to disperse,” he said.

Michael Brelo, 31, was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter and a lesser charge of felonious assault in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. Prosecutors said Brelo was one of 13 officers who fired 137 times into the couple’s car in the November 2012 shooting.

Among those arrested Saturday night was a man was charged with assault after he allegedly injured a patron at Harry Buffalo’s on East Fourth Street when he threw an object through the window, police said.

After a day in which peaceful demonstrators carried signs and chanted after the handed down a not guilty verdict, police reported that some protesters were turning “disruptive.”

The protests continued into the evening, when a crowd temporarily blocked downtown street intersections and chanted anti-police slogans. Demonstrators also marched past fans getting out of a Cleveland Indians-Cincinnati Reds game, adding to the congestion throughout the area.


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Pet of the Week

“A Beautiful Mind” Mathematician John Nash and His Wife Killed in New Jersey Taxi Crash

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

John Nash and wife Alicia Nash attend the Nobel Laureate Exhibition Reception during the 20th Hamptons International Film Festival at The Maidstone Hotel on October 5, 2012 in East Hampton, New York. Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images(MONROE, N.J.) — Princeton University mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John Nash, whose life was the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind, was killed in a taxi crash along with his wife in New Jersey on Saturday.

Nash and Alicia Nash were in a taxi on the New Jersey Turnpike when the driver lost control and crashed into a guard rail, said New Jersey State Police Sgt. Gregory Williams. Nash was 86; his wife was 82.

Authorities don’t believe Nash or his wife were wearing seat belts since they were both ejected from the taxi, said Williams. The couple lived in Princeton, New Jersey.

Nash won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994 and worked as a senior research mathematician at Princeton University.

His life story, including his struggles with paranoid schizophrenia, were portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, which won four Oscars including Best Picture.

“Stunned…my heart goes out to John & Alicia & family. An amazing partnership. Beautiful minds, beautiful hearts,” Crowe posted on Twitter Sunday.

The Nashes also became recognized for their work in mental health care advocacy.

Earlier this week, Nash was in Norway to receive the Abel Prize for mathematics, according to NJ.com. The Abel Prize, awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, recognized his work on partial differential equations.

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Firefighter Killed as Flooding Wreaks Havoc in Texas, Oklahoma

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

@shellyygreen/Twitter(TULSA, Oklahoma) — An Oklahoma firefighter was killed attempting a water rescue and about 350 homes were under water in a small Texas town as a large part of the central and southern Plains states remained under a flash flood watch Sunday following a day of powerful storms.

In Claremore, Oklahoma, about 30 miles northeast of Tulsa, firefighter Jason Farley died when he was swept away while attempting a water rescue, said Deputy Chief Matt Wilson of the Claremore Fire Department.

Three to six inches of rain fell in the Oklahoma City metro area, which has had the rainiest 40 days and 40 nights in that city’s history as 20.46 inches have fallen.

The National Weather Service said major flooding continued along the Blanco River near Wimberley, Texas, about 40 miles southwest of Austin and 63 miles northeast of San Antonio. Rescues were ongoing in the area, where more than 9 inches of rain was reported as the Blanco River rose 35 feet within a few hours Saturday.

More rain was expected today for areas east of Interstate 35 in the Southern Plains with the rainfall lasting into Memorial Day. A tornado watch was issued for parts of Arkansas and Louisiana until 8 p.m. on Sunday.


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Crusin In Cruces

Body Found Near Where Kayaker in Alleged Murder Disappeared

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 by

Posted in National News

New York State Police(NEW YORK) — A body was found in the Hudson River near where a New York man disappeared while kayaking with his fiancée, who has been accused of murdering him.

New York State police said the body was pulled from the river near West Point Saturday, and was taken to the Orange County medical examiner for autopsy and identification.

Police released no identifying information about the body.

Vincent Viafore, 46, disappeared last month after his kayak capsized. Prosecutors charged Angelika Graswald, 35, with his with second-degree murder last month in connection with his death. The pair were kayaking together on the Hudson River in April when it is alleged that Viafore’s kayak filled with water, causing it to capsize.

Police initially said it appeared that Graswald tried to help Viafore, but then charged her two weeks after the incident.

Prosecutors said last month that Graswald, a Latvian national, admitted to investigators that she tampered with Viafore’s kayak so that it would take on water.

Prosecutors said Graswald also told police that she watched Viafore struggle in the Hudson’s icy waters for several minutes before he went under.

Prosecutors said Graswald admitted to New York State Police it “felt good knowing that he was going to die,” and implied that “this was her only way out.”

Graswald’s motive, as alleged by prosecutors, was two life insurance policies that could benefit her for a total of about $250,000. Graswald even “talked about what she could possibly do with the money,” prosecutors said.

Graswald’s lawyer said he plans to challenge the alleged confessions.

“We’re going to find out whether they indeed happened, whether they were voluntary or forced,” Graswald’s attorney, Richard Portale, said of the alleged confessions reported by prosecutors. “And it’s all going to come out.”

Graswald has not yet entered a plea. Her bail has been set at $3 million.


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Why Cleveland Police Officer Verdict Was Announced Over Holiday Weekend

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 by

Posted in National News

People march in protest to the Cuddell Recreation Center where Tamir Rice was killed, in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Ricky Rhodes/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — Cuyahoga County Judge John O’Donnell Saturday acquitted Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo in the 2012 shooting deaths of two unarmed people. But why was the decision announced at the start of Memorial Day Weekend?

“The decision to announce the verdict in this high-profile case on a holiday weekend was not made lightly,” Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo said in a statement.

“The prime consideration was to not delay the reading of the verdict any longer than necessary,” the statement added. “While the wait was difficult for many, it was especially hard on the parties involved in the case and their families. Once Judge O’Donnell reached his verdict and finished writing his opinion, he and the Court wanted to let the parties know the decision as quickly as possible.

“It was agreed that by announcing it on a Saturday morning, the potential for downtown traffic issues and the resulting impact on the community could also be lessened,” the statement said.

Russo also wrote: “On this Memorial Day Weekend, we honor and thank those who served our nation and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms and rights that we enjoy.”

Brelo was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter and a lesser charge of felonious assault in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, as O’Donnell said he couldn’t determine whether the officer alone fired the fatal shots at the end of a 137-bullet barrage.

O’Donnell ruled that Brelo’s use of deadly force was constitutionally reasonable based on how the events unfolded.

“It was reasonable, despite knowing now that there was no gun in the car and he was mistaken about the origin of the gunshots,” he said.

Prosecutors said Brelo, 31, was one of 13 officers who fired 137 times into the couple’s car in the November 2012 shooting. The 22-mile, high-speed chase through Cleveland began when an officer tried pulling over Russell for a turn signal violation. His car backfired while speeding away, causing officers to think someone in the car had fired a gun.

No gun was ever found in the car. Russell and Williams were each shot more than 20 times.

Brelo was the only officer charged criminally because prosecutors said he intended to kill Russell, 43, and Williams, 30, alleging that he reloaded during the shooting barrage and that it was his final salvo that killed the couple.



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Double Your Dollars

Missouri Police Shoot, Kill Man Accused of Murder, Kidnapping

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 by

Posted in National News

aijohn784/iStock/Thinkstock(CLINTON, Mo.) — Police in Missouri say that they shot and killed a convicted sex offender and accused murderer on Saturday after he allegedly threatened officers with a weapon and refused to surrender.

James Horn was accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and her teenage son. He had also been charged with kidnapping for allegedly keeping the woman confined in a wooden box. Police had been searching for Horn when they encountered him in an abandoned house on Saturday. It was there that Horn threatened officers was shot.

Lynch said Horn was armed and hiding in a closet when police found him.

Clinton, Missouri Police Lieutenant Sonny Lynch said that many in the area are glad the manhunt for Horn is over. “People were fearful of this man and him being at large,” Lynch said, “so I’d say that the sigh of relief is pretty big at this point.”

Still, Lynch said that the whole situation is tragic. Everything, he added, is “overshadowed by the fact that we’ve lost two residents, two people in Clinton, Missouri, tragivally killed by this man, we believe, and so we think about that and our thoughts are with the family.”



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Cleveland Police Officer Found Not Guilty in 2012 Shooting Deaths

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Andreyuu/iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) — A judge Saturday deemed a Cleveland police officer not guilty in the shooting deaths of an unarmed couple in 2012, an incident that involved a high-speed chase and a hail of bullets.

Michael Brelo was found not guilty of voluntary manslaughter and a lesser charge of felonious assault for the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. He was visibly emotional as Cuyahoga County Judge John P. O’Donnell read a portion of the verdict in open court.

Prosecutors alleged that Brelo was one of 13 officers who fired a total of 137 bullets into their car in the November 2012 shooting, but O’Donnell ruled that his entire use of deadly force was constitutionally reasonable..

The 22-mile, high-speed chase through Cleveland began when an officer tried pulling over Russell for a turn signal violation. His car backfired while speeding away, causing officers to think someone in the car had fired a gun.

Thirteen officers fired upon the car at the end of the chase, among them Brelo, who prosecutors said shot 15 times into the windshield while standing on the car’s hood when it was stopped.

No gun was ever found in the victims’ car. They were each shot more than 20 times.

Brelo was the only officer charged criminally because prosecutors said he intended to kill Russell, 43, and Williams, 30, alleging that he reloaded during the shooting barrage and that it was his final salvo that killed the couple.

Attorneys for Brelo argued that other officers also fired during the final seconds of shooting and that prosecutors couldn’t prove which shots were fatal and when they were fired.

Brelo had pleaded not guilty.


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Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

Iowa Girl a Hero for Saving Little Brother From Abduction Attempt, Police Say

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Alex_Schmidt/iStock/Thinkstock(AMES, Iowa) — A 13-year-old girl has been called a hero by police after she saved her little brother from an alleged abduction attempt at their Ames, Iowa, home.

The teenage girl woke early Friday “to some commotion in the basement,” Ames Police Department PIO Jason Tuttle told ABC News Saturday.

She heard her little brother yelling for help and found a suspect pulling the boy — who police said is under 10 years old — through a basement window, Tuttle said.

“She approached the suspect in the front yard, then [the suspect] let go of him and took off running,” Tuttle said.

The suspect had “struck the little boy in the face several times,” Tuttle said. The boy was hospitalized for minor injuries, including a bloody nose and swelling to his face, and later released.

Tuttle said the boy “is pretty traumatized by what happened.”

The suspect, identified as 17-year-old Akuk Akok of Ames, was located by police and taken to two medical facilities for mental health evaluations, police said. Akok was in a medical facility Saturday and will be taken into custody when he’s released, Tuttle said.

Tuttle says the teen girl is “a hero in this situation.”

“We don’t know exactly what [Akok’s] intentions were … he wouldn’t say much to us,” Tuttle said.

“You can only imagine why someone would go into someone’s house at one in the morning and try to steal a child from a house,” he added. “So we really do think the sister prevented her brother from either being harmed further or potentially saved his life.”

Police filed an arrest warrant for Akok for first-degree burglary. This is a forcible felony, so he’ll be charged as an adult, police said.

Further charges are pending through juvenile court, police added.


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Students Petition Texas High School to Allow Netherlands Exchange Student to Walk at Graduation

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 by

Posted in National News

Hidde Tuinte is shown in this undated photo. Photo Courtesy: Hidde Tuinte(TAYLOR, Texas) — “Let Hidde walk!”

That’s what Taylor High School students in Texas are demanding on t-shirts, signs and social media after foreign exchange student Hidde Tuinte, 17, said he was recently told by the school that he may not be able to walk at the school’s graduation next Friday because he’s missing required classes.

“It’s been so crazy these past few days,” Tuinte, originally from the Netherlands, told ABC News Saturday. “I feel I have a whole army working for me. I had no idea people liked me this much.”

Tuinte’s host “mother,” Jennifer Lovejoy, told ABC News Saturday that Tuinte is a “boy with a good heart” and that she thinks “it’s wonderful” his friends are supporting him in such an amazing way.

“All he wants is to walk with his friends,” she said. “It’s never been about the diploma. I just want to say, ‘Look, give him a certificate of completion that he’s completed a year here, and let him walk.'”

Lovejoy added that although Tuinte is a senior at the high school in Texas, he still has another year of high school left in the Netherlands before he will go onto college there.

Taylor Independent School District Superintendent Jerry Vaughn said he was “in the process of reviewing this concern” in a statement to ABC News.

“Be assured that Taylor ISD is investigating the situation, the educational records and the concerns of the student,” Vaughn said. “ISD will follow Taylor ISD board policies that address graduation and commencement. All students who have fulfilled the required course work for credits as well as the required state assessments will be allowed to participate in graduation.”

Tuinte said he was working with the school to get his complete transcript from the Netherlands and possibly complete work over the long Memorial Day weekend to make up for the classes he’s missing to assess if he can be allowed to walk at graduation.

Regardless of whether he gets to walk, Tuinte said he’s had a “great experience” in the U.S. and is considering moving here permanently in the future.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want to do, and I’ve met a lot of good friends I’ll be coming back to definitely visit,” he said.


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Loyal Listeners Club

Navy Training Jet Skids Into San Diego Bay, Pilot Rescued

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 by

Posted in National News

KGTV-TV(SAN DIEGO) — A Navy jet has skidded off a runway during takeoff for a training flight in San Diego, and its pilot was rescued by a civilian boat, a Navy official said.

The T-45 Goshawk crashed into the San Diego Bay Friday at around 2:30 p.m. PT, the official said, as it was taking off from Naval Air Station North Island.

“The pilot was able to safely eject from the aircraft and is currently being evaluated at a local hospital,” read a statement from Naval Air Forces. “Local mariners safely recovered the pilot from San Diego Bay.

“The Navy has not officially confirmed the status of the aircraft crewmember,” the statement added. “A safety investigation will be carried out to determine the cause.”

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