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More than 250,000 Still Without Power on Thanksgiving Afternoon

Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Andrejs Jegorovs/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — More than 250,000 are without power this Thanksgiving after Wednesday’s storms knocked out power lines along the East Coast.

The storm system grounded hundreds of flights and clogged up highways on Wednesday. Over 350,000 electric customers lost power.

Thursday afternoon, when most families would prefer to be cooking turkeys or watching football, at least 251,175 power customers are in the dark. That total includes homes in 10 states, from Maine to Virginia.





Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Song of The Day

Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Confident Federal Probe Will Clear Him Too

Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The Ferguson police officer cleared of charges by a Missouri grand jury in the killing an unarmed black teenager says he’s confident a federal criminal probe into his actions will find “nothing” and clear him too.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Officer Darren Wilson insisted he carried no racial bias when he fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, and Wilson said he’s never been accused of acting in a racist manner during his entire law enforcement career.

“I did my job and followed my training,” Wilson said. “The training took over.”

The U.S. Justice Department is now conducting two probes sparked by Wilson’s fatal confrontation with Brown on Aug. 9.

A criminal investigation will try to determine whether Wilson used unreasonable force and intentionally violated Brown’s civil rights when he shot the teenager. The second probe – though not criminal in nature – will look more broadly into whether the Ferguson police department has routinely engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unlawful and discriminatory policing.

Training will be one of several “priority areas” scrutinized by the federal probes, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.

In his interview this week with Stephanopoulos, Wilson said he’s worried about being caught in the crosshairs of a federal criminal investigation, but is confident investigators will find “nothing” to suggest he broke the law.

“I stand by what I did,” he said. “I stand by my training, and just have to wait and see what they determine.”

Stephanopoulos asked Wilson: “You’re confident that no charges will be brought?”

Wilson responded simply, “Yeah.”

During its criminal investigation into Wilson, the Justice Department will be analyzing his past record, but “racial animus” is not something federal prosecutors have to prove to bring charges, according to William Yeomans, a former top civil rights prosecutor who spent 26 years at the Justice Department.

Investigators would have to show Wilson shot Brown with the specific intent to violate Brown’s civil rights and “use more force than was reasonably necessary under the circumstances,” Yeomans said. Reaching that threshold “can be very difficult” when there are conflicting eyewitness accounts and few pieces of physical evidence, according to Yeomans.

“It’s difficult to prove what was going on in his head,” Yeomans said.

In his interview this week, Wilson acknowledged that – while the Ferguson community is predominantly black – the police force there is overwhelmingly white. But he said that didn’t create any inherent mistrust or tension between him and those he encountered while on patrol.

Testifying before a St. Louis County grand jury two months ago, however, he described his beat in Ferguson as “an antipolice area for sure.”

“That community doesn’t like the police,” he testified.

Holder echoed that sentiment Tuesday, saying, “Michael Brown’s tragic death has revealed a deep distrust between some in the Ferguson community and its police force.”

Holder said the Justice Department will conduct an “intensive review” of the “priority areas” identified by the broader probe into the entire Ferguson police department, including a look at how officers handled searches and traffic stops of black drivers.

According to data released by the Missouri state government, about 67 percent of the Ferguson population is black, but last year 86 percent of those stopped by police were black, and 92 percent of those searched were black.

In addition, according to the same data, Ferguson police were twice as likely to search a black individual than a white individual, but they were significantly less likely to actually find contraband on black individuals compared with when they searched white individuals.

“There are obvious ways the police department needs to be reformed,” Yeomans said. “And I am confident that once this process is concluded, it will be a significantly different police department.”

Holder vowed that the two federal probes will be “conducted rigorously and in a timely manner” so that federal authorities can begin “to restore trust, to rebuild understanding and to foster cooperation between law enforcement and community members.”


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Several Arrests Made Near Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Reptile8488/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Seven protesters were arrested near the route of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Thursday. The arrests came amid rumblings on social media about disrupting the parade and Black Friday to protest a Missouri grand jury’s decisions not to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown to death.

An estimated 50 protesters gathered a block away from the parade route at the New York Public Library. Several people were arrested when they started trying to interrupt the parade, including vandalizing, breaking windows and knocking over barricades, police said.

The parade was not interrupted, and the rest of the protesters returned to the library where they are now “peacefully” protesting, according to police.

“We will not tolerate, under any circumstances, any effort to disrupt this parade,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said before the arrests. “This is a national event, a historic event. Anybody who would seek to interrupt it would be callous, indeed, on this very special day.”

Hashtags such as #stoptheparade were trending Thursday morning. The NYPD was aware of the Internet conversations calling for demonstrations on Thanksgiving, Bratton said.

On a larger scale, a movement to boycott Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday has been gaining steam on social media, asking people to sit out Thanksgiving and Black Friday events to protest the grand jury’s decision to not charge Officer Darren Wilson for killing the unarmed teen.





Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nugget of Knowldege

Cash Pours In to Fix Bakery Damaged in Ferguson Riots

Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) — A Missouri woman whose business was vandalized in Ferguson riots is busy pushing out pies and cakes at her bakery on Thanksgiving, despite broken windows and damage to the store.

Supporters raised more than $200,000 in two days to help Natalie DuBose, the owner of Natalie’s Cakes & More. DuBose said her bakery, which she opened this summer, was damaged when protesters rioted following news that police officer Darren Wilson had not been indicted in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

“My main windows were smashed and bakery damaged,” she wrote on a GoFundMe page launched on Tuesday. “I’m beside myself, but with the holidays, can’t stop working.

“I’m truly mixing batter right now.”

Rioters smashed windows, burned down businesses and set police cars on fire late Monday in Ferguson after the grand jury’s decision to not indict Wilson was announced.

DuBose was in tears Tuesday after learning the violence had reached her shop.

An employee who answered the phone at the bakery Thursday told ABC News the staff is busy delivering orders, despite the damage.

Kristine Froeba, a supporter who’s helping run the bakery’s social media pages, said DuBose is hard at work.

“She’s backed up with her Thanksgiving orders, she’s baking around the clock, the phone is ringing off the hook,” Froeba said. “She’s so busy.”

DuBose says she’s grateful for the financial support.

“I am truly and humbly blessed,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page early Thursday.





Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Home Instead Senior Care

Snowmobiler Killed in Montana Avalanche

Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

boggy22/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(COOKE CITY, Mont.) — A Montana man was killed in an avalanche on Wednesday while snowmobiling on Henderson Peak.

According to a press release from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, the man was partially buried in an avalanche at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. His snowmobiling partner had rescue gear, but despite effort to dig the victim out of the snow, CPR was unsuccessful.

The GNFAC is asking skiers and snowmobilers to be cautious due to recent heavy snowfall. A Backcountry Avalanche Warning remains in place  for the area through at least Friday morning due to strong winds and heavy snow.





Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Pet of the Week

FAA Releases Report Detailing Nearly 200 Drone Sightings Since February

Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

estt/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Aviation Administration released a report on Wednesday detailing 194 drone sightings between February and November.

The FAA said in a statement that it receives approximately 25 reports per month of drone sightings by pilots. Most sightings had little to no impact on pilots, though in some cases, the FAA notes, pilots were forced to alter course to avoid an unmanned craft. At least six of the entries reflect “near misses,” including at least one with a commercial aircraft and at least one other with a medevac helicopter.

Approximately 109 of the reports included drones operating more than 500 feet in the air. About 30 instances involved drones within five miles of airports.

“The FAA is in the process of executing a plan for safe and staged integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System,” the agency’s statement said. It pointed to increased awareness by pilots and improved reporting and record keeping for the increased number of reports.





Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Metal Depot

Winter Storm Causes Power Outages Throughout Northeast

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wednesday’s winter storm has left almost 400,000 customers without power in the northeast.

Public Service Company of New Hampshire spokesman Martin Murray says, “The reason that this has occurred is we really had wet, heavy snow, that’s fallen on evergreen trees and there hasn’t been a lot of wind to push that snow off so instead they’ve been weighed down and they’ve interfered with power lines and equipment.”

In New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, 293,000 customers are without power.

In New York, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, nearly 100,000 customers are without power.

It’s expected to take days to restore power in some areas.

The storm is also impacting Thanksgiving travel. As of Wednesday night, 4,624 flights were delayed and 735 were cancelled, according to the flight-tracking company FlightAware.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Crusin In Cruces

Why This NFL Player’s Post on Ferguson Has Gone Viral

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — NFL player Benjamin Watson is one of countless Americans still struggling to understand Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

Watson, a tight end for the New Orleans Saints, poured his heart out in a viral Facebook post late Tuesday. He described himself as confused, embarrassed, offended, angry and sad for a variety of reasons.

“I’m angry because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes,” he wrote.

The post has been shared more than 150,000 times on Facebook, and it appears Watson’s honesty is what made the update go viral. Fans commented that they are “proud” of the athlete and “in awe.” “Tears running down my face,” one woman wrote.

 

 

Watson also addressed the racial tension that’s sparked demonstrations across the country, saying the problem is “sin,” not “skin.”

“Sin is the reason we rebel against authority,” he wrote. “Sin is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. Sin is the reason we riot, loot and burn.”

Watson said he will never really know what happened between Brown and Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot the unarmed teenager this summer.

“I’m sympathetic, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance … Or maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led him to eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Kids Kare PC

Michael Brown’s Parents ‘Taken Aback’ by Darren Wilson’s ‘Clean Conscience’

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, standing outside the Ferguson Police Department Monday night. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The family of slain Ferguson teenager Michael Brown is hurt and “taken aback” by Officer Darren Wilson’s statement that he has a “clean conscience” and couldn’t have done it any differently.

Brown’s parents appeared in New York with the Rev. Al Sharpton and the families of other African Americans who were killed by police. Sharpton said it would be the first Thanksgiving for these families “with an empty seat at the table.”

They spoke a day after Wilson emerged publicly for the first time in months and told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos his version of what happened on Aug. 9 when he shot and killed Brown following a confrontation.

Earlier this week Wilson was cleared by a St. Louis County grand jury of any criminal activity in Brown’s death.

At one point during the interview with Stephanopoulos, Wilson said he doesn’t believe he could have done anything differently that day and that he had a clean conscience. “The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right,” he said.

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, said on Wednesday the parents have been doing media interviews in New York and he said it is hard “listening to them break down over and over again” as they discuss Wilson’s comments about their son.

“It was very hurtful to the parents when he said he had a clear conscience… They were taken back… They thought he had no regard for their child,” Crump said.

The lawyer said that Wilson “tried to villify” Brown, who was 18, by saying the teenager had a fierce look and that Brown had stared at the officer “like he was trying to intimidate me.”

“I expected him to say my heart is heavy, my conscience is troubled. He didn’t say that,” Crump said.

Sharpton said that in Wilson’s grand jury testimony, which has been released, the officer said the area where the shooting occurred was a high crime area. “That shows prejudgment… It goes to his state of mind,” Sharpton said.

In the interview with ABC News, Wilson said, “I’m sorry that their son lost his life. It wasn’t the intention of that day. It’s what occurred that day. And there’s no … nothing you could say that’s going to make a parent feel better.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Double Your Dollars

Video of Police Shooting Cleveland Boy with Toy Gun Is Released

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(CLEVELAND) — The video of a Cleveland police officer shooting a 12-year-old boy who had a toy gun was released on Wednesday after the department consulted with the boy’s family.

Police initially withheld the video from the public while discussing handling of the disturbing footage with the family of Tamir Rice, the boy who was shot in a playground on Saturday.

“The family did not initially want the video to be released, but after reviewing it… expressed their wish to us” to make it public, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said on Wednesday.

Williams urged the public and the media to be cautious in the handling of the video.

“I want people to bear in mind this is a 12-year-old boy… The family will have to view it over and over,” he said.

Rice was killed after a 911 caller reported a boy waving a gun around. The orange dot that is put in the barrel of toy guns had been removed and police said it was indistinguishable from a real weapon.

“We are honoring the wishes of the family in releasing this and also in the spirit of being open and fair with our community,” Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said.

The grainy video shows Rice walking around the playground and the sidewalk, occasionally pointing the toy at passersby or at objects. Police played a recording of a 911 call a man made after spotting the boy brandishing the toy gun and narrated the video because at times it is hard to see details of the video.

“He’s sitting on the swing right now, but he keeps pulling it in and out of his pants and pointing it at people,” the caller said.

“I don’t know if it’s real or not,” the caller added.

The video shows the caller sitting in a gazebo near the boy and walking away before police arrive.

A police car pulled up and two officers, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, exited the car, drawing their weapons.

An officer gave the boy an order three times to “show your hands” before shooting him. ABC News affiliate WEWS TV identified the officer who fired as Loehmann, 26, a rookie who joined the force in March. Garmback, 46, had been an officer since 2008.

Police also played the 911 dispatcher’s message to police, relaying the 911 caller’s report.

“He keeps pulling the gun out of his pants and pointing it at people,” the dispatcher says.

It’s not clear if police knew the caller had mentioned the gun could be fake.

“Shots fired. Male down. Black male. Maybe 20,” an officer said in the 911 recording reporting Rice had been shot.

Rice’s family issued a statement after the video was released, saying that the “situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us.”

“The video shows one thing distinctly: the police officers reacted quickly,” read the family’s statement in part. “We understand that some of you are hurt, angry and sad about our loss. But let’s use those emotions in a way that will contribute to positive efforts and solutions that bring change to Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and cities across the nation as it relates to how law enforcement officials interact with citizens of color.”

Both officers are on administrative leave during the investigation, Tomba said.

Police tried to revive the boy after the shooting, Tomba said.

“Tamir was given first aid in under four minutes and approximately three minutes after that, our emergency service showed up and they provided medical service to the young man,” he said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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