‘Troubling’ video shows NYPD officers ripping baby from mother’s arms

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A video surfaced showing New York police officers yanking a baby from his mother

Outrage grows over ‘troubling’ video showing NYC police ripping baby from mother’s arms

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

tzahiV/iStock(NEW YORK) — New York City police officers are coming under fire after a “troubling” video surfaced showing them ripping a baby from the arms of a mother who went to a social services office to apply for day-care vouchers so she could work, police and the woman’s relatives said.

Jazmine Headley, 23, was arrested on charges of resisting arrest, committing an act in a manner injurious to a child, criminal trespass and obstruction of governmental administration, according to the NYPD.

She was booked into the Rikers Island jail and faces a first court hearing on Thursday.

But Headley’s mother, who witnessed the arrest, claims city Human Resources Administration security guards and police officers were in the wrong and responsible for letting the incident escalate into pandemonium.

“I was devastated to see something like that happen to my daughter and grandson,” Headley’s mother, Jacqueline Jenkins, told ABC New York station WABC-TV.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police officer, said Monday morning that he plans to go to the social services office to investigate the incident and demand that all charges be immediately dropped against Headley.

“Something’s terribly wrong when the most well-trained police department can’t resolve a dispute with a mother and child without looking like the President’s southern border strategy. We must do better,” Adams said in a statement posted on Facebook, referring to the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from parents caught illegally crossing the border.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a tweet that the video was “hard to watch.”

“This is unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking [sic],” he wrote. “I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this.”

This is unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking.

I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this.

It’s hard to watch this video. https://t.co/5TPN03fHU6

— Corey Johnson (@CoreyinNYC) December 9, 2018

NYPD officials said in a statement that they were called to the city Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn just before 1 p.m. on Friday.

“The NYPD was called after office staff and HRA peace officers made unsuccessful attempts to remove this individual from the facility due to her disorderly conduct towards others, and for obstructing a hallway,” police said in a statement.

Jenkins said her daughter went to the office to apply for day-care vouchers for her 1-year-old son Damone so that she could start work as a security guard. But when they arrived at the Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, facility, the waiting room was so crowded that there were no seats left for her daughter to use.

She said her daughter and grandson sat on the floor and waited for about two hours.

Jenkins said the HRA guards told her daughter she could not sit on the floor because she was blocking a hallway. When she refused to stand, a supervisor called the police, Jenkins said.

A cell-phone video taken by Nyasia Ferguson, one of several taken by people who were also waiting at the office, shows at least three NYPD officers on top of Headley, who refused to let her child go.

“They’re hurting my son! They’re hurting my son!” Headley is heard screaming in the video.

One officer appeared to grab Damone and yank hard several times in an attempt to remove him from Headley’s arms. A crowd of people gathered around the officers yelling for them to stop and attempting to explain that Headley had not been bothering anyone.

At one point, an officer is seen in the video pulling out a stun gun and appearing to point it at the crowd, ordering people to step back. The officer also appeared to point the stun gun at Headley, but it was never deployed, the video shows.

“I was just disgusted and scared,” Ferguson told WABC. “I thought the cops [are] supposed to help you — they just straight up came and attacked the lady.”

Police were eventually able to wrest the baby away and place Headley under arrest. The child was turned over to Jenkins.

The NYPD called the incident “troubling” and said the encounter was “under review.” The statement said the review will include all available video that captured the incident.

Police officials said the HRA guards were the ones who initially took Headly to the floor when she refused to leave.

“NYPD officers then attempted to place her under arrest. She refused to comply with officers’ orders, and was then taken into custody,” according to the NYPD statement.

Police said no one was hurt in the confrontation.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Search for missing Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth intensifies

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Woodland Park Police Department(WOODLAND PARK, Colo.) — The search for a young Colorado mother who vanished on Thanksgiving Day is intensifying with local police enlisting help from law enforcement nationwide and worried loved ones asking for prayers that she be found safely.

Kelsey Berreth, 29, a pilot and the mother of a 1-year-old girl, was last seen at a Safeway supermarket on Thanksgiving near her home in Woodland Park, police said.

After she disappeared, Berreth’s cell phone pinged in Gooding, Idaho, more than 700 miles from where she vanished, Cmdr. Chris Adams of the Woodland Park Police Department told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” on Sunday.

“It makes us wonder what she’s doing up there, or what the phone is, potentially, because she may not be there,” Adams said. Berreth’s worried loved ones described her as a “responsible” and “grounded” woman, who wouldn’t just leave her child without some sort of explanation.

“I just want her to come home,” her brother-in-law, Brendan Kindle, told ABC News. “I find myself calling her quite often and her phone just goes to voicemail.”

Police searched Berreth’s house for clues and found her suitcases, makeup, and vehicles all untouched.

“After arriving at Kelsey’s house … and combing through things, we know 1 thing [is] certain, Kelsey did not pack to go anywhere,” her brother, Clint Berreth, wrote on Facebook.

The FBI is now assisting in the investigation.

Berreth is described as 5-foot-3-inches tall, 110 pounds with green eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white shirt, gray sweater, and blue pants.

“We are determined to bring Kelsey Berreth home! We will NOT STOP LOOKING!” Berreth’s family said in a post on a Facebook page created to keep people updated on the search.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Search for missing Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth intensifies

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The search for a Colorado mother who went missing on Thanksgiving expands.

VA, NC and more digging out after snowstorm slams Southeast

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — The major winter storm that just pummeled the Southeast brought 2 feet of snow to Whitetop, Virginia, and up to 20 inches of powder in North Carolina.

Richmond, Virginia, had its second-snowiest December day on record and double-digit totals were reported in South Carolina, Tennessee and as far west as Texas.

Parts of West Virginia saw 20 inches of snow. Even Georgia got 8 inches.

Now, the South is digging out.

More than 276,000 people still were without power across seven states as of Monday morning — with over half of those in North Carolina.

In Virginia, state police said they responded to over 1,000 car crashes on Sunday.

The forecast

That storm now has moved to the coast, just off the Carolinas. Wet snow was falling Monday morning in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

Snow and rain are expected to continue falling in the Southeast as the low pressure slowly begins to pull away from the coast. Not much snow accumulation is expected.

Behind the massive storm, the Southeast will remain chilly into Tuesday, with early-morning wind chills in the 20s and 30s for many areas.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sandy Hook mom reflects on ‘incredibly raw’ grief ahead of sixth anniversary

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Courtesy BBDO New York and Sandy Hook Promise(NEW YORK) — Every year without her son Dylan and his classmates who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School is unimaginably difficult for Nicole Hockley, but this year brought fresh pain.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas this February marked the deadliest school shooting since the one in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012.

“Parkland hit me and all of Sandy Hook Promise incredibly hard, as it hit the whole country,” Hockley said, referring to the gun violence prevention group she co-founded in the wake of her son’s death.

The two tragedies drew instant comparisons, and they came together directly at the White House earlier this year when President Donald Trump held a listening session on gun violence the week after the Florida shooting.

Hockley was seated next to Sam Zeif, a Parkland survivor who issued an emotional call to action.

“Being in the room with a lot of those parents and kids — where the grief was incredibly raw — it was very much like looking at myself five years ago,” Hockley told ABC News last week.

“You really do feel like the earth isn’t balanced underneath your feet,” she said. “That whole first year I felt like I was walking on a tilt.”

The parallels between Sandy Hook and Parkland — both of which are among the 10 deadliest shootings in modern U.S. history — make for easy juxtapositions.

But Hockley says that the wounds re-emerge much more often, with every shooting.

“Each shooting we take very personally because we feel it was another preventable shooting and we haven’t trained people fast enough,” Hockley said.

She and Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was also killed in Newtown, founded Sandy Hook Promise to help combat school shootings as well as gun suicides and other forms of gun violence.

“We know logically that we can’t reach them all, but we know in our hearts we want to,” she said.

As part of that effort, the group organizes training sessions in schools and guidelines for how students, parents and teachers can know the signs of gun violence.

Their latest annual ad stressing the importance of being aware of such warning signs was released Monday morning on ABC News’ Good Morning America.

The ad, directed by Rupert Sanders — best known for directing Snow White and the Huntsman — uses a twist to shock the viewer at the end of a seemingly normal high school day.

“Folks are going to find it a gut punch,” Barden said of the ad. “It’s powerful. It’s hard-hitting. It’s real, but it absolutely emphasizes that there are warning signs.”

Barden said that the work that he and the team at Sandy Hook Promise have done helps him in the wake of Daniel’s death.

“I have to keep reminding myself of all the good work we are doing, and all the mass shootings that didn’t happen because of our work and all the suicides we have prevented,” he said, noting that more than 5.5 million children and adults have received the group’s training.

“We are getting anecdotal evidence from the field literally every day” about prevented shootings or instances of gun violence, Barden said, adding “it’s a good counterweight to these statistics of the growing number of mass shootings.”

He doesn’t have to go far to see the reality and regularity of shootings in America impacting children, though. He sees it with his daughter. Daniel Barden was 7 years old when he was killed at Sandy Hook, and he had two older siblings, Natalie who was 10 years old at the time and James who was 12 years old.

“I’ve heard my Natalie express things just recently,” Barden said of his daughter, now 16.

“She was having an anxiety attack at the movie theater,” he said. “She was afraid she was going to get shot. That shouldn’t be normal.”

“You can’t say ‘You’ll be okay, don’t worry,’ … she has every right to have that concern and I don’t know what to say,” Barden told ABC News.

He said he places his greatest hope in the notion that future generations won’t be subject to the kind of horror and fear his own children have endured.

“I do feel like, ‘Hang in there, Natalie, we’re on it.’… Natalie’s kids won’t have to worry about being shot in the movie theater or being shot at the beach,” he said.

Hockley said that the group believes that gun violence prevention is a two-generation campaign, and she hopes that the invigorated students who have become vocal advocates in the wake of the Parkland shooting will help lead to massive, sweeping change.

“Now that the Parkland student leaders have given voice to youth… that’s powerful, so that’s why we’re seeing more movement and more noise,” she said.

“I would love for Sandy Hook Promise not to exist,” she said. “My goal in life is to put this organization out of business.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Five children dead in Ohio house fire; arson not suspected

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

MattGush/iStock(YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio) — Five children have died following a house fire in Youngstown, Ohio, local fire officials said.

Arson is not suspected in the Sunday night blaze, officials said.

Youngstown is just miles from the Pennsylvania border.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Story developing…

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

More than 276,000 still without power after massive winter storm slams Southeast

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Hundreds of thousands still were without power Monday morning due to the storm.

More than 276,000 still without power after winter storm slams Southeast

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — The major winter storm that just pummeled the Southeast brought Whitetop, Virginia, two feet of snow, parts of West Virginia 20 inches and parts of North Carolina almost 19 inches as double-digit totals were reported in South Carolina, Tennessee and as far west as Texas.

Even Georgia saw eight inches and parts of Kentucky received six inches as Richmond, Virginia, had its second-snowiest December day on record.

More than 276,000 people still were without power across seven states as of early Monday — with most of those, more than 141,000, in North Carolina.

That storm now has moved to the coast, just off the Carolinas, as wet snow is falling Monday morning in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

Five states Monday morning remain under advisories or warnings for a winter storm.

Snow and rain are expected to continue falling in the Southeast as the low pressure slowly begins to pull away from the coast. Not much snow accumulation is expected.

Behind the massive storm, the Southeast will remain chilly into Tuesday, with early-morning wind chills in the 20s and 30s for many areas.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

More than 276,000 still without power after winter storm slams Southeast

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — The major winter storm that just pummeled the Southeast brought Whitetop, Virginia, two feet of snow, parts of West Virginia 20 inches and parts of North Carolina almost 19 inches as double-digit totals were reported in South Carolina, Tennessee and as far west as Texas.

Even Georgia saw eight inches and parts of Kentucky received six inches as Richmond, Virginia, had its second-snowiest December day on record.

More than 276,000 people still were without power across seven states as of early Monday — with most of those, more than 141,000, in North Carolina.

That storm now has moved to the coast, just off the Carolinas, as wet snow is falling Monday morning in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

Five states Monday morning remain under advisories or warnings for a winter storm.

Snow and rain are expected to continue falling in the Southeast as the low pressure slowly begins to pull away from the coast. Not much snow accumulation is expected.

Behind the massive storm, the Southeast will remain chilly into Tuesday, with early-morning wind chills in the 20s and 30s for many areas.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

School district pulls assignment asking students whether suspected Parkland shooter should die

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.) — Broward County Schools has pulled an assignment asking 9th graders whether they think suspected Parkland gunman Nicholas Cruz should die.

The worksheet, titled “Does Nikolas Cruz deserve to die,” was given to ninth-grade students at Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs Friday and was provided by an academic subscription service by the Scholastic Corporation — an Oct. 8 article on capital punishment from The New York Times’ Upfront Magazine included with it, ABC Miami affiliate WPLG-TV reported.

The assignment, formatted as a quiz with multiple choice answers, included questions such as “What does the Eighth amendment prohibit” and “Why did states start using lethal injection in the 1980s?”

Cameron Kasky, a junior at the time of the shooting and one of the founders of the March For Our Lives movement, wrote on Twitter that Broward County Schools should be “ashamed.”

“I cannot express how pathetic I find this,” he wrote.

This worksheet was given to students in @BrowardSchools. I cannot begin to express how pathetic I find this. Our school
board should add this to the list of 1000+ reasons to be ashamed. pic.twitter.com/tEl3BzTLg0

— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) December 7, 2018

Kasky was quoted in one of the questions on the assignment, which read, “In the article, Cameron Kasky says, ‘Let him rot forever.’ His tone can best be described as ___.” The multiple choice answers provided were, “angry,” “fearful,” “gloomy” and “truthful.”

Coral Glades High School is less than 5 miles, a mere 10-minute drive, from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 students and staff were killed on Valentine’s Day when Cruz allegedly opened fire into multiple classrooms.

Broward County Schools apologized for the “assignment with insensitive content” in a statement on its website, saying it was pulled and that school administration was unaware of the content.

“The material was from a subscription-based publication, used as a curriculum resource,” the statement read. “The school’s leadership has pulled the assignment, is instituting an approved review process of all such materials and regrets that this incident occurred. Broward County Public Schools is working with the publishers to make them aware of our concerns.”

ABC News could not immediately reach a spokesperson for the Scholastic Corporation for comment.

Cruz is currently awaiting trial and faces the death penalty, if convicted.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

School district pulls assignment asking students whether suspected Parkland shooter should die

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.) — Broward County Schools has pulled an assignment asking 9th graders whether they think suspected Parkland gunman Nicholas Cruz should die.

The worksheet, titled “Does Nikolas Cruz deserve to die,” was given to ninth-grade students at Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs Friday and was provided by an academic subscription service by the Scholastic Corporation — an Oct. 8 article on capital punishment from The New York Times’ Upfront Magazine included with it, ABC Miami affiliate WPLG-TV reported.

The assignment, formatted as a quiz with multiple choice answers, included questions such as “What does the Eighth amendment prohibit” and “Why did states start using lethal injection in the 1980s?”

Cameron Kasky, a junior at the time of the shooting and one of the founders of the March For Our Lives movement, wrote on Twitter that Broward County Schools should be “ashamed.”

“I cannot express how pathetic I find this,” he wrote.

This worksheet was given to students in @BrowardSchools. I cannot begin to express how pathetic I find this. Our school
board should add this to the list of 1000+ reasons to be ashamed. pic.twitter.com/tEl3BzTLg0

— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) December 7, 2018

Kasky was quoted in one of the questions on the assignment, which read, “In the article, Cameron Kasky says, ‘Let him rot forever.’ His tone can best be described as ___.” The multiple choice answers provided were, “angry,” “fearful,” “gloomy” and “truthful.”

Coral Glades High School is less than 5 miles, a mere 10-minute drive, from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 students and staff were killed on Valentine’s Day when Cruz allegedly opened fire into multiple classrooms.

Broward County Schools apologized for the “assignment with insensitive content” in a statement on its website, saying it was pulled and that school administration was unaware of the content.

“The material was from a subscription-based publication, used as a curriculum resource,” the statement read. “The school’s leadership has pulled the assignment, is instituting an approved review process of all such materials and regrets that this incident occurred. Broward County Public Schools is working with the publishers to make them aware of our concerns.”

ABC News could not immediately reach a spokesperson for the Scholastic Corporation for comment.

Cruz is currently awaiting trial and faces the death penalty, if convicted.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rosanell Eaton, civil rights activist once celebrated by Obama, dies at 97

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Rosanell Eaton, a voting rights advocate and one of the first African Americans to vote in her home state of North Carolina, died in hospice care at home over the weekend, her family said. She was 97.

Eaton, once celebrated by former President Barack Obama as an “unsung American hero,” lived through Jim Crow laws and spent most of her life battling racial inequality.

Eaton was born April 14, 1921, and cast her first ballot in 1942 at the age of 21. She was forced to recite the preamble to the Constitution from memory and pass a literacy test before she could register — a common tactic used to disenfranchise minorities.

“Yet more than 70 years ago, as she defiantly delivered the Preamble to our Constitution, Rosanell also reaffirmed its fundamental truth,” Obama wrote in a letter to The New York Times in 2015. “I am where I am today only because men and women like Rosanell Eaton refused to accept anything less than a full measure of equality. Their efforts made our country a better place. It is now up to us to continue those efforts.” 

We’re saddened by the death of Mother RosaNell Eaton. Mrs. Eaton was the Matriarch of the Forward Together Moral Movement. Mother Eaton was the lead plaintiff in the Historic NC NAACP v McCrory Voting Rights Case. She fought tirelessly to protecting our precious right to vote. pic.twitter.com/WuvbSdxghi

— North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign (@NC_PPC) December 9, 2018

Eaton, who grew up on a small farm and attended segregated schools in Franklin County, North Carolina, remained devoted to voting rights up until the last decade of her life.

She was in her 90s when she agreed to be a lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging H.B. 589, a discriminatory North Carolina voting law backed by the state Republicans in 2013.

A three-judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down key parts of the law in 2016, calling it unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court let the judgement stand in a 4-4 vote a month later and it refused to hear an appeal to revive the case.

In a 2016 interview with Duke University, Armenta Eaton, the activist’s only surviving child, said the legal battle broke her mother’s heart.

“I could see why my mother was so sad about it, all of this is coming back,” Armenta Eaton said. “Because when you live through Jim Crow, segregation, integration and then it’s segregating under the cover again. And I’ve lived through segregation, integration and then this is another type, and then it seems like a lot of people don’t realize that a history forgotten is bound to be repeated.”

That said, her mother was never deterred.

“I never heard my mother say she was afraid,” she added.

North Carolina’s NAACP chapter recognized Rosanell Eaton’s death in a tweet early Sunday morning, calling her the matriarch of its movement.

“We celebrate her commitment and her conviction. We celebrate her righteousness and her resolve,” the organization said in a statement. “What an inspiration it was to watch her lead the way for us to fight and win the monstrous voter suppression bill of all. Mother Eaton kept her eye on the prize.”

The entire NC State Conference of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is called to a most solemn moment. With news of the transition of Mother Rosa Nell Eaton the 94 year old Matriarch of our movement (1 of 3) pic.twitter.com/87IWJnCeMs

— North Carolina NAACP (@ncnaacp) December 9, 2018

The North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign also celebrated the elder Eaton on Twitter.

“We’re saddened by the death of Mother Rosanell Eaton. Mrs. Eaton was the Matriarch of the Forward Together Moral Movement,” the organization said. “She fought tirelessly to protecting our precious right to vote.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rosanell Eaton, civil rights activist once celebrated by Obama, dies at 97

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Rosanell Eaton, a voting rights advocate and one of the first African Americans to vote in her home state of North Carolina, died in hospice care at home over the weekend, her family said. She was 97.

Eaton, once celebrated by former President Barack Obama as an “unsung American hero,” lived through Jim Crow laws and spent most of her life battling racial inequality.

Eaton was born April 14, 1921, and cast her first ballot in 1942 at the age of 21. She was forced to recite the preamble to the Constitution from memory and pass a literacy test before she could register — a common tactic used to disenfranchise minorities.

“Yet more than 70 years ago, as she defiantly delivered the Preamble to our Constitution, Rosanell also reaffirmed its fundamental truth,” Obama wrote in a letter to The New York Times in 2015. “I am where I am today only because men and women like Rosanell Eaton refused to accept anything less than a full measure of equality. Their efforts made our country a better place. It is now up to us to continue those efforts.” 

We’re saddened by the death of Mother RosaNell Eaton. Mrs. Eaton was the Matriarch of the Forward Together Moral Movement. Mother Eaton was the lead plaintiff in the Historic NC NAACP v McCrory Voting Rights Case. She fought tirelessly to protecting our precious right to vote. pic.twitter.com/WuvbSdxghi

— North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign (@NC_PPC) December 9, 2018

Eaton, who grew up on a small farm and attended segregated schools in Franklin County, North Carolina, remained devoted to voting rights up until the last decade of her life.

She was in her 90s when she agreed to be a lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging H.B. 589, a discriminatory North Carolina voting law backed by the state Republicans in 2013.

A three-judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down key parts of the law in 2016, calling it unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court let the judgement stand in a 4-4 vote a month later and it refused to hear an appeal to revive the case.

In a 2016 interview with Duke University, Armenta Eaton, the activist’s only surviving child, said the legal battle broke her mother’s heart.

“I could see why my mother was so sad about it, all of this is coming back,” Armenta Eaton said. “Because when you live through Jim Crow, segregation, integration and then it’s segregating under the cover again. And I’ve lived through segregation, integration and then this is another type, and then it seems like a lot of people don’t realize that a history forgotten is bound to be repeated.”

That said, her mother was never deterred.

“I never heard my mother say she was afraid,” she added.

North Carolina’s NAACP chapter recognized Rosanell Eaton’s death in a tweet early Sunday morning, calling her the matriarch of its movement.

“We celebrate her commitment and her conviction. We celebrate her righteousness and her resolve,” the organization said in a statement. “What an inspiration it was to watch her lead the way for us to fight and win the monstrous voter suppression bill of all. Mother Eaton kept her eye on the prize.”

The entire NC State Conference of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is called to a most solemn moment. With news of the transition of Mother Rosa Nell Eaton the 94 year old Matriarch of our movement (1 of 3) pic.twitter.com/87IWJnCeMs

— North Carolina NAACP (@ncnaacp) December 9, 2018

The North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign also celebrated the elder Eaton on Twitter.

“We’re saddened by the death of Mother Rosanell Eaton. Mrs. Eaton was the Matriarch of the Forward Together Moral Movement,” the organization said. “She fought tirelessly to protecting our precious right to vote.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Start Here’: Cohen, Manafort, Kelly, Ebola. What you need to know to start your day.

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

It’s Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. Here’s what you need to start your day.

Democrats ‘have to win’ in 2020: James Comey responds to recent Trump attacks

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Trump posted several insulting tweets attacking Comey over the weekend.

Democrats ‘have to win’ in 2020: James Comey responds to recent Trump attacks

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Trump posted several insulting tweets attacking Comey over the weekend.

‘When is this going to stop?’: Florida activist highlights devastating impact of algae blooms on wildlife

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Colleen Gill(NAPLES, Fla.) —  Colleen Gill walks the beaches in Naples, Florida regularly, a scarf or mask covering her mouth and armed with a camera and cell phone.

For months Gill has been documenting the effects of the red tide, specifically dozens and dozens of dead fish, eel and dolphins that have washed up on the beach.

“The entire food chain is impacted now. We’ve had six months of consecutive fish dying,” Gill said.

Gill said she decided to start showing people what was happening on the beach after she attended a demonstration of activists holding hands on the beach to bring attention to issues impacting the ocean.

“We had a big giant eel wash up behind us that day,” she told ABC News.

Gill has lived in Naples for years and vacationed there regularly for 20 years before that. She’s watched for years as algae blooms plagued the coast, but between human contributions and climate change the issue seems to have gotten worse, she said.

“The canary in the coal mine has literally died,” she said.

Harmful algae blooms known as red tide occur naturally but scientists say it could be aggravated by warm water temperatures and more acidic oceans attributed to climate change. Residents say this one, which has lasted almost 14 months, is unusual and has killed more animals than it normally would.

While Gill attributes the severity of this year’s red tide to the changing climate, local Republicans aren’t convinced of the connection.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, now a senator-elect, declared a state of emergency earlier this year and allocated millions of dollars for cleanup and response. But critics say his support for loosening environmental regulations are part of why the algae blooms have been so bad over the last year and cost the state millions of dollars in tourism revenue.

Members of Florida’s congressional delegation on both sides of the aisle have also pushed for more federal money to study red tide and health threats from harmful algae blooms.

Scott has also blamed Democrats in Washington, saying they haven’t pushed for better federal management of the areas around Lake Okeechobee.

Activists disagree and say the state should focus on solutions to protect Florida’s environment.

“It’s horrendous, there’s dead fish everywhere, the seagrass is dead. You’re witnessing full ecological collapse from the very bottom of the food chain all the way to the top,” Daniel Andrews, executive director of the advocacy group Captains for Clean Water, told ABC News in an August interview. “Although red tide is natural, it’s not natural for it to be this severe.”

The red tide chokes the ocean’s oxygen levels and releases a toxin that can poison fish. It’s been going on so long that the effects are now suspected of killing animals like dolphins and birds that ate contaminated fish.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 123 dolphins have stranded as a result of the red tide since November 2017 and the red tide is suspected of contributing to the deaths of more than 200 manatees that swam in the bloom area or ate seagrass that contained the toxin.

Gill has posted videos of dolphins that she encounters during her patrols on the beach, even sometimes showing her emotional response. In one video posted earlier this month, Gill said she found seven beached dolphins in 24 hours.

“When is this going to stop?” Gill tearfully asks in the video. “We are killing our paradise and our beaches, people.”

As Gill and other advocates bring attention to the algae bloom’s impact on wildlife, they’re concerned this year’s event is a sign of what’s to come and that as climate change causes warmer temperatures and more severe rain there could be more dangerous algae blooms that continue to persist in the future.

Gill said Florida is the epicenter of climate change in America but that the state government doesn’t acknowledge the issue. Gov. Rick Scott has been accused of banning the use of the phrase “climate change” in his administration.

“Literally the day I was crying over a dolphin last week was the day Trump was coming out saying, ‘I don’t believe it,'” Gill said of the recently released national climate report.

But the red tide is only one of two ecological disasters impacting Florida waters, both of which activists say are made worse by a lack of regulation from the state and warming waters attributed to climate change.

While the red tide threatens animals that rely on the ocean off Florida’s coast, a mucky blue/green algae resembling pea soup has invaded Florida’s freshwater from Lake Okeechobee to canals in part of the state.

The red tide is made worse by excess nutrients in the water and warmer water temperatures but it does occur naturally almost every year, typically starting in the Gulf of Mexico and moving toward shore under certain weather conditions.

The blue/green algae bloom, however, is more directly connected to nutrients in fertilizer like nitrogen and phosphorous. When it rains or water flows over the soil where the nutrients weren’t absorbed it can facilitate the growth of blue/green algae, also called cyanobacteria.

Both algae blooms are harmful to the environment and release toxins that can pose a threat to human health.

The cyanobacteria that make up the bloom release a toxin that can be harmful and even fatal for people or animals that ingest it. Exposure to the toxin has also been linked to degenerative diseases like ALS.

Red tide toxins aren’t deadly and the state says swimming in affected water is generally safe, but the toxin can cause skin irritation or breathing problems, especially for people with asthma or COPD. The toxins can also accumulate in fish or shellfish that can be poisonous to people who eat contaminated seafood.

Activists and residents say the state hasn’t done enough to combat the harm from the algae blooms, and that policy rollbacks from Republican politicians have made the situation worse. They say that nutrients in the water from untreated sewage and fertilizer runoff has fed the algae and made them worse than it would be if the state had stricter rules about releasing pollution that could flow into rivers and lakes.

Rae Ann Wessel, natural resource policy director for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Association, said those nutrients are why the state needs rules on how stormwater is treated and how fertilizer can be used to limit how much of those nutrients are released into the state’s water and limit the fuel for these algae blooms.

“The fix ultimately is that we have to control nutrients at their source, and there’s a whole variety of sources. The good news is we know what those sources are, we have solutions and fixes for these sources, what we need is the political will, funding, commitment, and leadership. And that’s a pretty big ball of wax,” she told ABC News.

But even though some cities have tried to update regulations that patchwork of rules and lacking enforcement make it difficult to find one solution to the problem. And as climate change leads to longer rain events and more severe storms cities will have to adapt to how to handle all that water.

“These aren’t federal issues, these are state issues that they rolled back or stopped enforcing with the idea that its good for business to have less regulation,” said Rae Ann Wessel, natural resource policy director for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Association.

“You can ask any of the chambers [of commerce] that I’m working with and this is not good for business, and there’s no end in sight, and its scary.”

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Man confined to wheelchair after diving accident injures his spine walks at college graduation

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

FIU(MIAMI) — A South Florida college student who became confined to a wheelchair after suffering a debilitating spinal injury was able to walk during his graduation ceremony.

Venezuela native Aldo Amenta broke his neck when he dove into the shallow end of a swimming pool in 2015, he said in a video released by Florida International University. Doctors declared him a quadriplegic after the accident, he added.

Amenta’s life “changed completely” after he was paralyzed, he said.

“Now, I depend on a lot of people to help me do my daily activities,” he said. “So, that’s become a huge challenge in just my everyday life.”

The challenges were so difficult that Amenta considered dropping out of school, he said. But, with the help of his loved ones and a scholarship from the Miami-based university, Amenta was able to focus on his studies and eventually graduate, he said.

 On Sunday, Amenta, who has since regained some movement in his limbs, needed only a hoist out of his chair before he was able to take the steps on his own — with the help of an exoskeleton on his legs and torso– to retrieve his diploma.

Amenta had to practice with the exoskeleton for several hours before he was able to perform the walk, ABC Miami affiliate WPLG-TV reported. He graduate with a degree in electrical engineering, according to WPLG.

Applause from the audience rang out as Amenta took each determined step across the stage, shaking hands with school administrators along the path, video shows.

Amenta described the moment as “amazing,” saying that the walk symbolized his ability to continue fulfilling his dreams despite the accident that changed the course of his life.

The college graduate emphasized how perseverance allowed him to stay on track in achieving his goals.

“It doesn’t matter how hard you think things are going to be,” he said. “Maybe you feel that it is impossible for you to make it, but you’ll find people that are willing to help you…that motivated me. That gave me the strength to be able to continue to push myself through and stay positive.”

Next on Amenta’s to-do list is to pursue a master’s degree and to “keep on working on my rehabilitation, working for my dream to get back on my feet,” he said.

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Nuns misappropriated $500K in school funds, spending some on gambling and trips, Catholic church says

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABCNews.com(LOS ANGELES) — Two nuns at a Catholic church in Southern California are suspected of embezzling up to $500,000 in school funds, allegedly using some of the money to go on trips and gamble at casinos, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles told ABC News.

The nuns, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang, had been “involved in the personal use of a substantial amount” of school funds “over a period of years,” Monsignor Michael Meyers, pastor for the St. James Catholic School in Redondo Beach — about 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles — wrote in a letter to parents on Nov. 28.

The money came from tuition, school fees and donations and was taken while the nuns allegedly made parents believe that the school was operating on a shoestring budget, The Press-Telegram, a Long Beach, California-based newspaper, reported.

School administration noticed the alleged scam after performing financial reviews “in connection with a change in leadership” at the school, Meyers wrote. The half million-dollar figure represents only what auditors have been able to trace in six years’ worth of bank records and may not include cash transaction, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles told parents at an alumni meeting last week, according to The Press-Telegram.

Both Kreuper, the school principal, and Chang, a teacher, retired earlier this year, according to The Press-Telegram. A standard audit procedure was initiated about six months ago, ahead of Kreuper’s retirement after 28 years of working at the school, the local newspaper reported.

Around that time, school staff noticed that a check made out to the school had been deposited into a different bank account after a family happened to request a copy of the check, according to The Press-Telegram. Kreuper then became “very nervous and very anxious” about the financial review and requested that staff alert records, and Meyers alerted an archdiocese internal auditor performing the review that “something was off,” Meyers said at the alumni meeting.

 The auditor later confirmed Meyers’ suspicions, he said at the alumni meeting. In addition, a tip was made to an archdiocese ethics hotline, The Press-Telegram reported.

“They used the account as their personal account,” an attorney for the archdiocese said during the alumni meeting, adding that they had a “pattern” of going on trips and to casinos, according to the local newspaper.

Kreuper allegedly handled all checks made out to the school for tuition and fees and before handling them over to the bookkeeping for processing, auditors said at the alumni meeting, The Press-Telegram reported. Kreuper would allegedly hold some of the checks and deposit them into a “long forgotten” bank account opened in 1997 that only she and Chang knew about, auditors said. Those checks would then be endorsed with a stamp that read “St. James Convent” instead of “St. James School,” according to the local newspaper.

Although Meyers initially wrote in his letter that the Archdiocese did not wish to pursue criminal proceedings, the spokesperson for the archdiocese told ABC News Sunday that it plans on pursuing the matter as a criminal case now that the investigation has deepened. Other staff members at the church were not implicated, Meyers wrote in his letter to parents.

ABC News could not immediately reach a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for comment.

 The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the order to which Kreuper and Chang belong — has agreed to arrange for full restitution of the funds, Meyers said. The order will also impose “appropriate penalties and sanctions” on the sisters, in accordance with the policies of the order, Meyers wrote. ABC News could not immediately reach the order for comment.

The accused nuns feel a “deep remorse” for their actions and are asking for “forgiveness and prayers,” Meyers wrote in his letter to parents.

“They and their Order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school,” Meyers wrote in his letter to parents. “Let us pray for our school families and for Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Lana.”

St. James Catholic School has initiated additional procedures and oversight policies for financial management and reporting responsibilities, Meyers said.

No student or program has “suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities, or innovations” as a result of the misappropriation of funds, Meyers wrote, emphasizing to parents that their children’s education “has not and will not be affected by these events.”

ABC News could not reach Kreuper or Chang for comment. It is unclear if they have retained attorneys.

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Elderly woman almost run over by man who stole her purse at Florida McDonald’s, video shows

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Okeechobee Police Department (NEW YORK) —  Surveillance video shows the dramatic moment an elderly woman in Florida was almost run over by a driver who allegedly had just stolen her purse.

The woman had walked outside of a McDonald’s in Okeechobee to confront the suspected thief on Thursday night when she was injured, according to the Okeechobee Police Department.

A surveillance camera outside the restaurant captured the man, clad in khaki shorts and a light-colored baseball cap, pulling up to the restaurant in a silver hatchback, a passenger in the front seat.

The man then entered the McDonald’s and less than a minute later is seen running out toward his car with an object in his right hand.

The suspect then opened the driver’s side door and got into the car as the woman chased him out of the restaurant, the video showed. When she got to the car, she opened the door, but the man continued to back out of the parking space, dragging the woman before she fell on the ground, the front tires missing her by just inches as the car was put in reverse. The suspect then drove away.

The extent of the woman’s injuries was unclear.

Another surveillance video taken inside the restaurant shows the woman sitting in a booth with another person as the man approaches her from behind. The man then reaches over from the table behind and snatches the purse, located on the inside of the booth, and runs away, the woman following him as he exits the restaurant.

The suspect was arrested on Saturday, police said.

Additional details were not immediately available.

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Nuns misappropriated $500K in school funds, spending some on gambling: Church

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The nuns allegedly used some of the money to go on trips and gamble.

Funeral for ‘Baby Jane Doe’ found near California highway

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Newborn girl was found dead last summer along a Southern California highway.

Newtown shooter described ‘scorn for humanity’

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Documents from the investigation into the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Search for missing Colorado mother intensifies

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The search for a Colorado mother who went missing on Thanksgiving expands.

Search for missing Colorado mother intensifies

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Woodland Park Police Department(WOODLAND PARK, Colo.) — The search for a young Colorado mother who vanished on Thanksgiving Day is intensifying with local police enlisting help from law enforcement nationwide and worried loved ones asking for prayers that she be found safely.

Kelsey Berreth, 29, a pilot and the mother of a 1-year-old girl, was last seen at a Safeway supermarket on Thanksgiving near her home in Woodland Park, police said.

After she disappeared, Berreth’s cellphone pinged in Gooding, Idaho, more than 700 miles from where she vanished, Cmdr. Chris Adams of the Woodland Park Police Department told ABC News’ Good Morning America on Sunday.

“It makes us wonder what she’s doing up there or what the phone is, potentially, because she may not be there,” Adams said.

Berreth’s worried loved ones described her as a “responsible” and “grounded” woman, who wouldn’t just leave her child without some sort of explanation.

“I just want her to come home,” her brother-in-law, Brendan Kindle, told ABC News. “I find myself calling her quite often, and her phone just goes to voicemail.”

Police searched Berreth’s house for clues and found her suitcases, makeup and vehicles all untouched.

“Kelsey did not pack to go anywhere,” her brother, Clint Berreth, wrote on Facebook.

Berreth is described as 5 feet 3 inches tall, 110 pounds with green eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white shirt, gray sweater and blue pants.

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North Carolina, Virginia hit by ‘mammoth’ storm, hours of snow and ice still to come

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said 1 foot of snow has already fallen.

North Carolina, Virginia could see 1 foot of snow from major winter storm

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A major storm that dumped over 10 inches of snow on Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday is moving into the Southeast on Sunday with heavy rain on the southern side and as much as a foot of snow in western North Carolina and Virginia.

The very heavy snow is already impacting North Carolina and Virginia on Sunday morning. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are being reported in parts of western North Carolina and southern Virginia. Freezing rain is also falling in parts of central North Carolina at a rate of one-tenth of an inch per hour. In the mountains of western North Carolina, near Rosman, 13 inches of snow had already been reported Sunday morning.

Waynesville, North Carolina, had seen 9 inches of snow as of 5 a.m., while Gatlinburg, Tennessee, received 7 inches. The same storm brought 7.96 inches of rain to parts of Texas, and over 6 inches of rain to parts of Louisiana.

Winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings have been issued from central Arkansas to Maryland. Flood watches have been issued for parts of Georgia, Florida and Alabama due to the heavy rain.

The radar on Sunday morning was showing a large swath of precipitation, in a classic comma-shaped pattern, from Arkansas to Virginia. Hourly rainfall rates of 2 inches per hour are possible in the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia on Sunday morning.

The brunt of this storm will be felt during the first half of Sunday with very heavy snow in North Carolina and Virginia. The storm will try to nudge north into the mid-Atlantic later on Sunday; however, a high-pressure system bringing cold air to the Northeast should stop the storm’s northward progression. However, snow is now forecast to reach well into parts of Virginia and possibly even parts of Maryland before the end of the day.

Strong thunderstorms and heavy rain will continue in parts of Florida and Georgia Sunday evening as a cold front interacts with a relatively warmer, moist air mass. Some coastal flooding is possible Sunday along the southeast coastline due to onshore winds. This will be especially problematic in parts of the Charleston, South Carolina, area.

The storm will slide into the Atlantic Ocean by Monday morning, with only a few snow showers remaining. Widespread snowfall totals over 1 foot are likely across much of western North Carolina and into Virginia. The snowfall totals have been nudged slightly up Sunday morning, with a little bit more of the heavy snow reaching Richmond and Harrisonburg, Virginia. The storm should stay south of Washington, D.C.

Major cities in North Carolina and Virginia will see significant weather impacts on Sunday, including Raleigh, Greensboro, Roanoke and Richmond. Travel will be nearly impossible at times.

Meanwhile, it is quite cold across parts of the northern U.S. — most notably in the Northeast, where wind chills are dropping into the lower 20s and teens.

While the cold air is uncomfortable, it is the same air mass that is preventing the major snowstorm from traveling up the coast and bringing major impact to I-95 cities.

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ATF investigating series of fires at Jehovah’s Witness centers

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(LACEY, Wash.) — Federal authorities in Washington state are investigating the latest in a troubling series of arson cases at worship halls for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The latest fire broke out Friday at a Kingdom Hall for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lacey, Washington, completely destroying the building. The Seattle branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ruled the fire an arson on Saturday. The fire broke out at about 3:30 a.m. and no one was in the building at the time, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said.

The fire was the fifth at a Kingdom Hall in Thurston County this year, according to the ATF. All of the cases remain unsolved.

“Why is this specific religion being targeted? Why are these churches being targeted? What are they doing that is so wrong and oppressive?” Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza told Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee responded to the latest arson on Friday, calling it an “abhorrent act.”

The most recent fire before Friday’s was on Aug. 8, when someone attempted to burn down a Kingdom Hall in Yelm, Washington, about 15 miles southeast of Lacey. There was minimal damage, but police also found a dummy device designed to look like an explosive. Someone opened fire on that same hall in May, spraying it with 35 rounds and causing $10,000 in damage, according to KOMO-TV.

On March 19, fires were started at Kingdom Halls in Olympia and Tumwater. Tumwater and Olympia are only 3 miles apart. Police released surveillance video at the time showing a man at the Tumwater center dressed in jeans and a navy blue hoodie pouring gasoline from a gallon jug and then lighting it on fire.

After suffering minor damage in March, the Olympia Kingdom Hall was destroyed by a second fire in July.

No one has been injured in any of the incidents, all of which have occurred in the early morning hours when no one was inside the buildings.

The ATF announced in July that it has connected the arson cases in Yelm, Olympia and Tumwater — as well as the shooting in Yelm. It’s not yet clear if Friday’s fire is also connected.

“ATF is doing everything in its utmost power to contribute to solving this crime with our partners in Thurston County,” ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Jonathan Blais told KOMO-TV.

The ATF is offering a combined $36,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect.  

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North Carolina, Virginia could see 1 foot of snow from major winter storm

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Parts of western North Carolina and Virginia are preparing for major snow.