Hospital: American Video Journalist Free of Ebola

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Omaha hospital says American video journalist free of Ebola; will be released soon

US Says Head of Gulf Cartel in Custody

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

US authorities say head of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel in custody; makes court appearance in Texas

$8M for 88 Victims of Abuse by Franciscan Friar

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

$8 million for 88 victims of abuse by Franciscan friar who was trainer at Pennsylvania school

Teacher Hurt by Rock Thrown on Car: Eager for Home

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Teacher badly injured by rock thrown onto her car says she’s eager to return to her Ohio home

Jodi Arias Death Penalty Trial Begins With Shocking Photo

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

The death penalty phase of Jodi Arias’ murder trial started today with both sides promising it would be just as graphic as the original murder trial, and the prosecution fulfilled on that immediately.

Nixon Creating Group to Address Ferguson Issues

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Missouri Gov. Nixon creating commission to address issues raised in Ferguson

Times Square Bus Driver Goes From Suspect to Hero

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — No charges will be filed against a New York bus driver who was arrested after he smashed into a lamp post in Times Square this summer, after an investigation into the crash determined that the driver was actually a hero.

William Dalambert was at the wheel of a Gray Line bus in August when the bus slammed into a lamp post, knocking it down. Several people were injured. Dalambert was arrested and police initially said he had failed a sobriety test.

A full drug and alcohol screen test was performed later, which cleared Dalambert of being impaired.

“As part of the two-month-long investigation, prosecutors interviewed numerous eyewitnesses, including the only witness on the bus, a tour guide riding with Dalambert at the time of the crash,” a statement from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said.

“After obtaining phone records, video, and running tests on an identical bus, we have concluded that a mechanical failure caused the bus to lurch forward, at which time the driver steered the bus away from a crowded sidewalk, thereby averting serious injury to those on the sidewalk,” the statement said.

The DA’s office said Dalambert “voluntarily submitted to sobriety and toxicology tests, which came back negative.”

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Three American Girls En Route to Syria Tracked Down by FBI

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The FBI has tracked down three American teenage girls in Germany as they were en route to Syria to join militant groups, a law enforcement official told ABC News Tuesday.

The girls, who are from the Denver area, were trying “to fulfill what they believe is some vision that has been put out on a slick media campaign” by radical groups in Syria, including ISIS, the official said.

This is part of a worrisome trend of “disaffected youth” who are being radicalized, the official said, pointing to the wider phenomenon of foreign fighters converging on the conflict in the region. While these girls were 15 or 16 years old, there are other cases of high school age kids trying to get to Syria that haven’t been made public, the official said.

The girls were persuaded to travel overseas and were in contact with someone in Germany, the official said, noting that someone close to them notified authorities.

They were turned around and sent back to the United States, the official said, noting that because they are minors, it’s not clear whether they will be charged with anything or be “arrested.”

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Where Manhunt Subject Eric Frein Has Been Spotted

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Accused cop killer Eric Frein, the subject of a massive manhunt stretching for more than five weeks, has recently been spotted twice near his old high school, police said.

How the AP-GfK Poll Was Conducted

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

How the Associated Press-GfK poll on the midterm elections was conducted

AP-GfK Poll: Most Expect GOP Victory in November

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

AP-GfK Poll: Voters see GOP win in the offing, but they aren’t too fond of their choices

Lawsuit: Detained Transgender Teen Treated as Boy

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Lawyers: Detained transgender teen forced to wear male clothes, staff using male birth name

Family Denies Teen Was ‘Scared to Death’ at Haunted House

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Christian Faith Benge, 16, had a dangerous heart defect, mom says.

California Fire Victim Reunited With Rescuer

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Central California fire victim reunited with rescuer who carried him from burning home

Jodi Arias Sentencing Retrial Opens in Arizona

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Jodi Arias sentencing retrial opens in Arizona as jury seated, opening statements begin

North Dakota Reaches Deal to Keep Dinosaur Mummy

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

North Dakota reaches $3 million deal to keep Dakota the duckbilled dinosaur on display

Creepy Clown Sightings Spread Across Nation

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

KOAT(NEW YORK) — Days after several reports of spooky clowns alarming residents in California, pranksters in similar costumes are popping up in other states.

Sgt. Tom Weger of the Fishers Police Department in Indiana thinks his town is dealing with a copycat.

“We have had over the past week three calls of a suspicious person dressed in a creepy clown outfit,” Weger told ABC News Tuesday. “We believe it’s just one individual dressing up as a clown and kind of creeping people out a bit.”

Police looked for the clown but never found him, he added.

“As of right now, he hasn’t broken any law,” Weger said.

The reports come after similar sightings this month in Bakersfield, California, and the launch of social media accounts using the name “Wasco Clown,” showing a scary clown posing at different locations in Bakersfield and nearby cities.

Fishers, Indiana, isn’t alone in the new sightings, days before Halloween. Residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico, were recently spooked when a scary clown posed for a photo in front of a local restaurant and posted it on social media. But the clown, Tickles, told ABC News affiliate KOAT-TV in Albuquerque that he didn’t mean any harm by the scary photo.

“I haven’t gotten any phone calls, but we’ve had several news outlets here in Albuquerque report on it,” Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier said of the spooky clown. “It has not become a police matter yet.”

And clowns have also reportedly appeared in Jacksonville, Florida, popping up on security footage.

The World Clown Association says such spooky sightings are giving clowns a bad rap.

“People dressed as horror clowns are not ‘real clowns,’” World Clown Association President-elect Randy Christensen said. “They are taking something innocent and wholesome and perverting it to create fear in their audience.”

Clowns, he added, should promote “positive, family-friendly” enjoyment.

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DHS Places Restrictions on Passengers Entering US from West Africa

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — All U.S.-bound travelers coming from West African countries where there have been Ebola outbreaks will have to fly into one of five American airports, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday.

Specifically, beginning on Wednesday, any passengers arriving in the United States who started their travel in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into JFK International Airport in New York, Newark International Airport in New Jersey, Dulles International Airport outside Washington, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta or O’Hare Internal Airport in Chicago.

All five hubs had already established “enhanced screening and additional resources” for extra screening of passengers believed to have come from Ebola-stricken areas, according to DHS.

“We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

The five airports where certain passengers will now be required to arrive in the United States account for about 94 percent of travelers flying into the country from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to Johnson.

Johnson said his department is “working closely” with airlines to implement the new travel restrictions and minimize “travel disruption,” but he said any passengers who need to rebook their travel should contact the airlines directly.

A top lawmaker from New York, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, called the move “a good and effective step towards tightening the net and further protecting our citizens,” saying in a statement that it “provides an added layer of protection against Ebola entering our country.”

The new restrictions come one day after Johnson spoke with Customs and Border Protection officers serving at the five airports.

“I reminded our CBP officers to be vigilant in their efforts, and encouraged them to set a calm example for an American public nervous about Ebola,” Johnson said.

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Rock Attack Victim Poised to Return to Ohio Home

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Ohio teacher hurt by rock dropped onto her car poised to return home after months of treatment

NYC Police Looking Into Arrest of Subway Performer

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

NYC police looking into arrest of subway performer who was hauled away for not having a permit

After $175M Verdict, Feds to Examine Widely-Used Guardrails

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The federal agency that a court found was misled and defrauded by a leading guardrail company is taking a hard look at whether the company’s guardrails — some of the most widely-used on America’s roads — should continue to protect American drivers.

“The Federal Highway Administration [FHWA] will evaluate the findings of the Trinity case and consider whether it affects the continued eligibility of the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal,” Department of Transportation spokesperson Brian Farber told ABC News in an email late Monday evening. “Separately, the FHWA continues to review the Trinity guardrail end terminal service record.”

The announcement came hours after a Texas jury ordered Texas-based Trinity Industries, the guardrail maker, to pay $175 million in damages after it was shown to have modified a component of the guardrails — the end terminal — back in 2005 without telling the U.S. government or any state transportation departments until years later.

Josh Harman, a competitor of Trinity’s, filed suit against the company for fraud, but also alleged that the modified end terminal made the guardrails more dangerous for motorists.

The modified guardrail end terminal, called the ET-Plus system, was the subject of an ABC News’ 20/20 investigation last month.

Harman and accident victims told ABC News that when the modified guardrail is struck from the front, rather than absorb the impact as designed, the altered guardrail end terminal can malfunction and the guardrail itself “locks up,” spearing through the car and its occupants. They linked the new guardrail to severed limbs and deaths in accidents.

In an internal company email obtained by ABC News, a Trinity official estimated that making one of the modifications — reducing a piece of metal from five inches to four — would save the company $2 per guardrail end terminal, or $50,000 per year.

Trinity maintained that the changes were made to improve the end terminal and only “inadvertently omitted” documentation about the change in papers to the government back in 2005. For ABC News’ original report, Trinity said it has a “high degree of confidence in the performance and integrity” of the ET-Plus system and noted that after the FHWA learned of the change in 2012, it still repeatedly approved the end terminal for use.

After the verdict Monday, Harman’s attorneys said they were “pleased” that the jury “after hearing evidence for just four days and deliberating for just three hours… saw the plain truth that the FHWA has clearly been defrauded and that fraud has exacted the ultimate toll in claiming lives of those unnecessarily endangered by Trinity’s secretly-modified guardrail end terminals.”

In its announcement late Monday, the DOT also urged “all states to immediately share any crash information involving the Trinity ET-Plus guardrail end terminal.”

“To be clear, our number-one priority is safety and we will take a data-driven approach to ensure safety on our highways,” the DOT said.

In recent months four states — Virginia, Massachusetts, Missouri and Nevada — have said they are suspending the installation of the ET-Plus system as they investigate further.

Trinity said it is working with the states and will appeal Monday’s decision, saying it “will not withstand legal scrutiny.”

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Purple Heart Found on Playground to Be Returned

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Purple Heart found on playground being returned to family of NY soldier killed in Vietnam

Governor Signing Law in Response to Abu-Jamal Talk

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Governor signing ‘anguish’ law after speech by Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing officer

A Look at Where Manhunt Subject Eric Frein Has Been Spotted

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation(CANADENSIS, Pa.) — Accused cop killer Eric Frein, the subject of a massive manhunt lasting for more than five weeks, has recently been spotted twice near his old high school, police said.

Schools in the Pocono Mountain School District in eastern Pennsylvania are closed Tuesday because of increased police presence in the area. A police officer spotted a man believed to be Frein on Monday outside the Swiftwater Post Office, but lost contact with the man in the woods. He was wearing green, the officer said.

Police searched the area but didn’t find the suspect, who’s accused of ambushing two state troopers at the Blooming Grove police barracks Sept. 12, before fleeing into the woods.

The post office is less than a mile from Pocono Mountain East High School, where there was another sighting Friday.  A woman out for a walk near the school said she spotted a man armed with a rifle and with mud caked on his face.

“He had actually turned towards me and that’s where you could tell the mud on his face. You could tell the height he was based on the truck he was standing next to,” she told ABC affiliate WPVI in Philadelphia.

“You could clearly tell it was a gun, a rifle with a scope attached to it. It looked as though he was looking for something or looking which way to go. He avoided making eye contact. I had the light shining on his upper half and his face was kind of confusing. This guy was not startled by me.”

Police had been focused for weeks on a few square miles near Frein’s family home in Canadensis, near the borders of Pike and Monroe counties. Since the new sightings, they have shifted their general search area about five or six miles southwest.

Blood droplets found on the porch of a home near Cresco were tested but did not come from Frein, police also said Monday.

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Moment Mystery Light Streaked Across Night Sky Captured on Video

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Illustration. iStock/Thinkstock(HUNTSVILLE, Ala.) — The moment a bright light streaked across the night sky in Trussville, Alabama, was captured on video Monday night.

The sighting came as the Earth passed through the debris cloud from Halley’s Comet, which produces the annual Orionid meteor shower.

Bill Cooke of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, told ABC News there were “several bright Orionids Monday night, as well as a spectacular fireball over middle Tennessee” that he said broke apart at 24 miles altitude just south of Nashville.

While it’s not entirely clear what the streak of light captured on the security camera is, it’s possible it could be the fireball that Cooke mentions.

Sky-gazers were treated to a show as bits of comet dust hit the atmosphere, producing as many as a couple dozen shooting stars per hour, according to Cooke.

“Meteoroids from Halley’s Comet strike Earth’s atmosphere traveling 148,000 mph,” Cooke said in a news release. “Only the November Leonids are faster.”

The shower is named for Orion, the constellation they appear to streak out of, according to astronomers.

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Juror in Polo Mogul’s Retrial Violated Computer Rule

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(PALM BEACH, Fla.) — A juror in the retrial of polo mogul John Goodman was sequestered Monday, caught violating a strict rule against unsupervised computer use.

Juror No. 3 was accused of sneaking a laptop into his hotel room. He visited Bleacherreport.com and Fantasy Football at Yahoo.com, according to the juror.

Judge Jeffrey Colbath isn’t buying the story.

“It may be that he’s being disingenuous when he says, ‘The computer just magically appeared in my room,’” Colbath said.

Despite the juror’s violation, the prosecution and defense are allowing him to continue on the DUI manslaughter case.

This is the second trial for the multimillionaire, who was convicted in 2012 for the death of Scott Wilson, 23, and sentenced to 16 years behind bars. But that verdict was thrown out because of juror misconduct.

Prosecutors say Goodman’s blood-alcohol level was 0.177 at the time of the crash, more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Goodman has pleaded not guilty, with his lawyers insisting he was not impaired at the time of the accident, and that his brakes failed.

Facundo Paredes, the valet at the bar where Goodman had been drinking, testified Monday that Goodman didn’t seem impaired when he handed him the keys.

But forensic toxicologist Dustin Tate Yeatman told the court it’s possible Goodman was intoxicated.

“Someone who drinks alcohol on a daily basis could potentially have a significant tolerance,” Yeatman said.

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How Juror in Polo Mogul’s Retrial Violated Computer Rule

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

A juror in the retrial of polo mogul John Goodman was sequestered Monday, caught violating a strict rule against unsupervised computer use.

ABC News Exclusive: Mother of Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Speaks

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Debra Berry(DALLAS) — The mother of a nurse who contracted Ebola while treating a patient at a Texas hospital says her daughter is focused on recovery, but remains weak since being diagnosed with the deadly virus last week.

“She is doing OK, just trying to get stronger,” Debra Berry said of her daughter, Amber Vinson, to ABC News. “We talk to her when she’s not trying to sleep or avoid phone calls.”

Vinson, 29, is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. She was diagnosed with Ebola Oct. 15, self-reporting to the hospital after registering a fever. Berry says it has been difficult for her to comprehend her daughter’s situation.

“I can’t put it into words really, how it feels to have the knowledge that she’s sick and I can’t get to her,” she said.

Nina Pham and Vinson were diagnosed with Ebola after providing care to Thomas Eric Duncan — a Liberian national who later died — at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Authorities still aren’t sure how the breach occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for Ebola treatment Monday, promoting head-to-toe protection.

Berry wishes the stricter guidelines were established sooner.

“It is concerning. I guess more than anything, I’m so relieved that it’s in place now,” Berry said. “It should help ensure that no one has to endure what Amber and what Ms. Pham have had to go through these weeks, and their families.”

Berry remains quarantined after her daughter’s diagnosis, but she says she isn’t worried about contracting Ebola because her daughter was especially careful. Vinson contacted health officials after Pham was diagnosed with Ebola, asking whether precautionary arrangements could be made for her return to Dallas, her family said. She had been in Ohio planning for her wedding.

After landing in Dallas, Vinson reported a temperature of 100.3 degrees and admitted herself to the hospital.

“She wasn’t sick [at the time], and knowing she would never expose me or anyone else to something that would be harmful; I’m just doing what I’m being told to do,” Berry said.

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Maine Man Charged With Throwing Baby Down Stairs

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Maine man charged with throwing 3-month-old son down stairs, causing skull fracture

5 Things to Know This Morning: Sentenced

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Your look at the five biggest and most buzz-worthy stories of the morning.