Columbine principal reflects on ‘worst nightmare’ 19 years after shooting

Posted on: April 19th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(LITTLETON, Colo.) — “No one ever believed it would happen at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. But hopefully people across the nation, across the state will realize that it can happen in their school.”

Those were the chilling words that then-Columbine High School principal Frank DeAngelis told ABC News just days after the April 20, 1999, massacre, when two students opened fire at the school, killing 12 of their fellow students and a teacher before killing themselves.

Since then, however, countless school shootings have unfolded, including the deadly massacre in Parkland, Florida, in February and a shooting at a Maryland high school in March of this year.

Now, approaching the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting, DeAngelis is reflecting on the tragic day that changed him and what his message is for the high schoolers leading the new push for gun reform.

‘My worst nightmare became a reality’

April 20, 1999, was a “beautiful spring day,” 70 degrees with blue skies, DeAngelis said.

He said he was in his office when “my secretary comes running in and says there’s a report of gunfire.”

DeAngelis said his first reaction was a senior prank; an actual shooting “can’t be happening at Columbine.”

“As I ran out of my office, my worst nightmare became a reality,” DeAngelis said. “I saw a gunman coming toward me. I visibly remember what he was wearing, with the baseball cap turned backward and white T-shirt, black vest. I remember the gun — a long gun.”

At that moment, a group of at least 20 girls were coming out of a locker room to head to gym class.

“They were right in the middle of the crossfire, so I ran down to them. We went down a side hallway to get away from the gunman,” he said. “As I approached the gymnasium — the door was locked. So the girls were in a state of panic.”

DeAngelis said he reached into his pocket and pulled out his key ring with 35 keys — miraculously, for the first time, he happened to pick the right key that opened the door on the first try.

He went outside and saw officers arriving, so he came back in to help usher that group of girls to safety. DeAngelis said he wanted to go back into the building to help others, but “at that time they really secured the building — they wouldn’t allow anyone to go in until SWAT got there. Which was really frustrating, I think, for the first responding officers, because the protocol was to secure the perimeter.”

That night, it fell to DeAngelis and a grief counselor to tell waiting parents that “there’s a good chance their kids lost their lives in school that day, which was one of the most devastating things I’ve ever had to do.”

‘I needed Columbine probably more than it needed me’

That night, as DeAngelis tried to think of what he was going to say to the community the next day, “I was really questioning my faith a little bit, saying, ‘How could this possibly happen?”

Days later, a local church leader told him he survived for a reason and that he should focus on rebuilding the community, which he said “was so important putting things into perspective for me spiritually.”

As he forged along on his quest to rebuild, he said he initially promised to stay on as principal until the students who were freshmen during the shooting graduated in 2002.

“But I kept thinking, I didn’t build that community back up where it needed to be,” DeAngelis said, so then he decided to “stay until every kid who was in elementary school in the Columbine area” at the time of the shooting graduated from high school. “And that took me through 2012,” he said.

He said he was getting ready to retire when a parent asked him to stay, telling him her child was in preschool at the time of the shooting.

“I stayed until 2014, which would have been 15 years after the tragedy,” he said. “So all the kids that were in elementary school had graduated, and we had kids that were now coming to Columbine that weren’t even born yet when the tragedy happened.”

After 18 years as principal, he retired in 2014, after he felt he had done his duty to heal the community.

But, DeAngelis added, in those years, “I needed Columbine probably more than it needed me.”

Banding together

But Columbine was not an anomaly. In the 19 years that have followed, from Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook, school shootings have continued to kill students and staff inside American elementary schools, high schools and universities.

For DeAngelis, these shootings create an unfortunate bond with school leaders across the country.

Just this year, DeAngelis has been in touch with the leaders of high schools in Kentucky, Maryland and Florida, all where students were gunned down.

With the principal of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff were killed in February, he said he’s discussed what issues the school may face in the short term and long term. How do you handle returning to school for the first time? And prom? And graduation? How do you help the seniors getting ready to leave? What can you do for the new group of freshmen coming in next year?

In the midst of their grief, the student survivors of the Stoneman Douglas massacre have banded together and inspired a new student-led push for gun reform, with nationwide events such as school walkouts and the March for Our Lives rallies.

Current Columbine students, who weren’t born at the time of the massacre, were among those participating in the nationwide walkout on March 14.

The next nationwide walkout is this Friday, on the Columbine anniversary. Organized by high school students in Connecticut, more than 2,000 events are registered across the country.

DeAngelis said he encourages the massive student-led movements, but he said more needs to be done.

He said he wants tougher gun laws, but he stressed that other “pieces of the puzzle” must also be addressed, such as mental health, the impact of social media and parent involvement.

“The way that you change some of the laws, you need to change the officials,” he said, encouraging young people to study policies and platforms — and to vote.

For now, though, DeAngelis is still hopeful people will heed his words to ABC News immediately in the wake of the Columbine massacre.

“It could happen in any school in this state or any school in this nation,” he said then. “No one is immune from a disaster like this happening. And I hope people will learn from it.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Syracuse Theta Tau fraternity suspended for ‘extremely racist’ video

Posted on: April 19th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Google Maps(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) — Syracuse University suspended one of its professional fraternity chapters after video surfaced showing members of Theta Tau acting in an “extremely racist” and “homophobic” manner, the university’s chancellor said.

The video — made public by the school’s independent newspaper, The Daily Orange, on Wednesday — shows the engineering fraternity using racist, ethnic and sexist slurs, and other offensive language, while pretending to perform sexual acts on each other.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud called the students’ conduct in the footage “extremely troubling and disturbing” in a statement released Wednesday.

“Videos showing this offensive behavior have surfaced online. They include words and behaviors that are extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist and hostile to people with disabilities,” Syverud said.

“The conduct is deeply harmful and contrary to the values and community standards we expect of our students. There is absolutely no place at Syracuse University for behavior or language that degrades any individual or group’s race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, disability or religious beliefs.”

Syracuse University’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities suspended the fraternity, effectively halting all activities, after confirming Theta Tau’s involvement, according to the statement.

The university’s Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident and looking to “identify individuals involved and to take additional legal and disciplinary action,” Syverud said.

The university has not released the footage, citing the ongoing investigation, but part of the video was available on The Daily Orange’s website as of late Wednesday evening.

It was originally posted to a secret Facebook group called “Tau of Theta Tau,” according to The Daily Orange, which said the video was filmed at the Theta Tau frat house.

Some students held on-campus protests Wednesday afternoon, marching near the chancellor’s home with signs and chanting for the video to be released.

The demonstrators, including some who marched for more than three hours, pointed to the footage as an example of systemic racism and sexism at Syracuse University, according to local news reports.

Theta Tau is the fourth fraternity to be suspended by the university this academic year, according to The Daily Orange. The university suspended the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity last week following a monthslong investigation into hazing.

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Bill Cosby defense witness stumbles in explaining discrepancies in testimony

Posted on: April 19th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images(NORRISTOWN, Pa.) — The star witness for Bill Cosby’s legal team was undermined during cross-examination on Wednesday when she conceded that her testimony differed from previous statements she gave defense attorneys, and said she and one of the comedian’s lawyers “kind of created it together.”

Shortly after the prosecution rested its case in the retrial of the 80-year-old Cosby on sexual assault charges, Marguerite “Margo” Jackson took the witness stand for the defense.

In his opening argument, lead defense attorney Tom Mesereau told the Montgomery County jury in Norristown, Pennsylvania, that Jackson would bolster his contention that Cosby’s main accuser, Andrea Constand, is a “con artist” who set up a “lonely man” with false accusations of being drugged and assaulted.

Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his suburban Philadelphia estate in early 2004. His first trial ended in a mistrial in June when a jury couldn’t reach a verdict.

The married Cosby has adamantly denied ever drugging or molesting anyone, and has said his relationship with Constand was consensual.

Constand settled a civil case against Cosby in 2005 for $3.38 million, but the man known once as “America’s dad” did not admit wrongdoing in the case.

During direct questioning from Cosby’s attorney on Wednesday, Jackson recalled a conversation she had in 2004, in which she said Constand allegedly mused about framing an unnamed celebrity for money.

Jackson is a veteran Temple University employee and was an academic adviser to the school’s women’s basketball team when Constand was the team’s director of operations.

She said she and Constand roomed together when the basketball team was playing on the road.

Jackson recalled that she and Constand were sharing a room at a Rhode Island hotel on Feb. 1, 2004, when a TV news report came on about a “high-profile celebrity essentially assaulting women.” She said Constand told her “something similar had happened to her.”

Jackson said she replied, “Really? Who and when?” She said she asked Constand whether she had reported the alleged assault.

“She said ‘No,'” Jackson testified. “I said, ‘Why?’ She was, like, ‘Because I couldn’t prove it.'”

Jackson said she pressed Constand about the assault, saying, “I wouldn’t care who it was. I would report it. Why didn’t you report it?”

She said Constand, 44, allegedly replied, “Because it’s a high-profile figure, and you can’t fight that.”

“This is a civil case,” Jackson said she told Constand. “It’s about money. Money is a great motivator.”

Jackson said she asked Constand again whether the assault actually happened, to which Constand allegedly responded, “I could say it did. I could say it happened, get that money. I could quit my job and go back to school. I could open up a business.”

But under cross-examination, Jackson was grilled by Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Stewart Ryan about why her testimony differed in key areas from a statement she provided Cosby’s previous defense team in 2016 and one she gave Cosby’s new lawyers in January.

In one discrepancy, Jackson testified Wednesday that her conversation with Constand occurred during one of “probably two or three times” the pair roomed together during Temple basketball away games. In her earlier statements, she said the pair roomed together six times.

Constand testified on Monday that she barely knew Jackson and never roomed with her, but rather had her own hotel room during away games.

There was no mention in Jackson’s 2016 statement about Constand allegedly claiming to be unable to prove the assault allegations in court, and Jackson said at the time that she could not recall the year of the alleged conversation. In the second statement she gave Cosby’s defense team earlier this year, there was no reference to a date or year of the alleged conversation.

Ryan pointed out yet another difference between her testimony and her earlier statements to the defense.

“You add that it’s your memory now that Ms. Constand didn’t report it because it was a high-profile person and because she couldn’t prove it?” Ryan asked her. “That’s new — that she said she couldn’t prove it?”

“Correct,” a sullen Jackson replied.

When asked by Ryan who decided to add that, Jackson said one of Cosby’s attorneys, Kathleen Bliss, worked closely with her.

“We sat down and reviewed the statement, and she just broke it down and made it specific,” Jackson testified. “We kind of created it together. She wanted to break it down more.”

Asked whose decision it was to use quotation marks around crucial parts of what Constand told her in the hotel room where there were none in the first statement, Jackson said “Kathleen put the quotation marks in.”

Jackson was not allowed to testify in Cosby’s first trial because a judge ruled her initial statement submitted to the court by Cosby’s first legal team as hearsay. But the judge changed course this time around and allowed her to testify for the defense.

If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison on each count. Cosby has denied all the allegations against him.

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The Latest: Southwest pilots: ‘Our hearts are heavy’

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The two pilots of a Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia say their ‘hearts are heavy’

The Latest: FAA to order fan blade inspections

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The Philadelphia medical examiner has released the cause of death of a woman killed when she was partially blown out of a window on a Southwest Airlines plane after an engine failure

Dashcam video shows police narrowly avoiding injury in house blast

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Hurst Police Department via Facebook(HURST, Texas) — Police in Texas have released shocking dashcam video today of a dramatic explosion of an SUV crashing into a house and then apparently striking a natural-gas line.

The video posted on Facebook by the Hurst Police Department shows patrol cars pulling up on April 7 to the house after the crash.

Police said in an April 9 news release they’d received a call from the homeowner that one of the residents of the house was trapped in a bedroom.

“Several officers from the Hurst Police Department arrived on scene at the same time, and as they were walking up to the residence to assist, the house suddenly exploded in a massive fireball, which lifted the roof from the structure and blew out most of the back wall,” Hurst police said.

In the dashcam video, an officer can be seen exiting a patrol vehicle. Moments later, the house explodes into flames. The sound of glass can also be heard. The officer can be seen ducking for safety as debris fills the air.

“It (the blast) shook the house. It shook all of the neighbors’ houses,” one neighbor told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV recently.

Police said a husband and wife were inside the house at the time of the blast with their adult son. According to police, officers found the wife “severely injured and buried in rubble.” All three individuals were taken to the hospital.

“The mother and father were reported to have serious burn injuries. … The son was treated and released for less serious injuries,” police said.

Police said the family’s names were not being released for “privacy concerns.”

The department said two police officers also received minor injuries from the incident.

“The victims are stable and expected to recover. Our hearts go out to them and their family,” police said today in a statement.

Police said a preliminary investigation had revealed the blast was likely caused by “the accumulation and ignition of natural gas inside the house, which was caused when the vehicle crashed into the house and severed the primary gas line and meter that supplied the residence.”

Authorities identified the driver of the SUV as 35-year-old Alejandro Enriquez-Castro.

Hurst police said he was not injured in the crash and claimed his car’s brakes had failed. They said Castro was arrested at the scene on a misdemeanor charge of no driver’s license and jailed. Bond was set at $180.

“Castro was found to have several unconfirmed alias names and was placed on an immigration detainer and transferred to ICE this morning,” the department said. “Hurst police investigators are still in the process of determining the causative factors that contributed to the initial vehicle crash into the house.”

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The Latest: Plane victim’s death attributed to impact trauma

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The Philadelphia medical examiner has released the cause of death of a woman killed when she was partially blown out of a window on a Southwest Airlines plane after an engine failure

New details released in alleged multistate crime spree of woman accused of killing 2

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Dodge County Sheriff’s Office(BLOOMING PRAIRIE, Minn.) — A 56-year-old Minnesota woman wanted for allegedly shooting her husband to death, then killing and stealing the identity of Florida woman, is on the run after the alleged multistate crime spree that spans 1,500 miles. Now, authorities in Florida are releasing new details on suspect Lois Riess’ movements after her first alleged crime.

The case began last month in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. David Reiss, 54, hadn’t been seen in more than two weeks as of March 23, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota said, and his business partner requested that authorities go to his home.

There, officers found David Riess’ body. He had been shot multiple times, the sheriff’s office said.

It was unclear how long he had been dead, and his wife, Lois Riess, was missing, the sheriff’s office said.

Lois Riess, identified as a suspect in his killing, allegedly transferred almost $10,000 from her husband’s business account to his personal account and then forged his signature on checks to herself, the sheriff’s office said.

Here is the alleged timeline of what came next according to the Lee County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office:

— Lois Riess drove her Cadillac Escalade from Minnesota to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, where she abandoned the car at a park.

— Lois Riess met 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson and then allegedly killed her and stole her ID, credit cards and car. Lois Riess was spotted on surveillance video leaving from Marina Village in Fort Myers Beach in the victim’s Acura.

— Before leaving Fort Myers Beach, Lois Riess stopped at a Wells Fargo Bank, where authorities said she used her victim’s ID to withdraw $5,000.

— On April 6, Lois Riess arrived at a Hilton hotel in the Ocala, Florida, area, where authorities claim she used a stolen credit card to pay for her room.

— On April 7, Lois Riess left Ocala, Florida, and next surfaced in Louisiana.

— After Louisiana, she was spotted in the Corpus Christi, Texas, area.

But Lois Riess remains on the run. She is expected to continue targeting other women who look like her to steal their identities, authorities said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Mexican authorities and border patrol are on “full alert” that Lois Riess may try to get into Mexico.

Lois Riess is described as having brown eyes and light blonde hair. She is 5-foot-5 and weighs 165 pounds.

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Barbara Bush’s funeral: ‘We’ll be celebrating her life,’ pastor says

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Scott Olson/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — As more than 1,500 people, including first lady Melania Trump, fill St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday morning for the funeral of Barbara Bush, the Rev. Russell Levenson Jr. said that while others will extol the former first lady’s role on the world stage, he will speak of what he personally witnessed — her faith.

“My role is to lift up her faith, which was strong, which was abiding, which was real,” Levenson, the pastor of St. Martin’s, told ABC News today.

“While I was her confidant, it’s hard to be a confidant to a woman who had no secrets. There were none,” he said. “What you saw is what you got. We had very open conversations about her faith and about her love of God and her love of others, which I think was evident in all that she did.”

Levenson said he was at Mrs. Bush’s beside in her Houston home with her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, and other family members on Tuesday when she died around 6 p.m. at the age of 92.

“It was a lovely, gracious, tender, precious death,” he told ABC News. “And we were all … praying together, we were all with her. The president was holding her hand and we were all saying ‘I love you.’ And she slipped very gently from this life to the next.”

President Donald Trump — who called Mrs. Bush “an advocate for the American family” — ordered flags at the White House and at all federal government buildings lowered to half-staff Wednesday as the nation mourned the death of Mrs. Bush, who served as the first lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993.

As funeral arrangements were being finalized today, Jean Baker, chief of staff at the Office of George H.W. Bush, relayed how the 41st U.S. president was holding up.

“He, of course, is broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years,” Baker said in a statement released late Tuesday night. “He held her hand all day today and was at her side when she left this good earth.

“Obviously, this is a very challenging time,” Baker added. “But it will not surprise all of you who know and love him, that he also is being stoic and strong, and is being lifted by his large and supportive family. He is determined to be there for them as well. He appreciates all the well wishes and support.”

Mrs. Bush’s casket will be brought from the Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home in Houston to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church on Friday. There, she will lie in repose as the public is invited to pay respects from noon to midnight, according to the funeral home.

In her last wishes, Mrs. Bush requested a modest funeral at St. Martin’s, where she and her husband were devoted members for more than 50 years.

On Saturday, mourners, including dignitaries from around nation and world, are expected to fill the church, a Gothic-style cathedral with 36 stained glass windows modeled after the 13th century St. Elizabeth’s Church in Marburg, Germany. The 27,630-square-foot sanctuary, the largest Episcopal church in North America, seats about 1,500 people.

The Rev. Levenson and the Rev. Dr. Peter Cheney, Mrs. Bush’s pastor at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, Maine, where the Bush family has a summer home, will be co-officiants of the service.

“It will be a celebratory service on Saturday,” Levenson told ABC News. “We’ll be celebrating her life and leading singing, ‘Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.’ That was her choice as a closing hymn.”

First lady Melania Trump plans to attend the funeral, her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said today.

“Mrs. Trump intends to pay her respects to Barbara Bush and the entire family at the funeral on Saturday,” Grisham said.

Mrs. Trump’s appearance at the funeral will be in keeping with a tradition sitting first ladies have established. Michelle Obama attended former first lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral in 2016 and Hillary Clinton attended the burial of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994.

Following the service, a funeral procession will take Mrs. Bush to the George H.W. Bush Library Center near Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where she will be buried in a family plot next to her daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia at the age of 3 in 1953. The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets plan to line Barbara Bush Avenue outside the library to pay tribute to Mrs. Bush.

In recent days, Mrs. Bush had repeatedly told friends and family she was looking forward to seeing her daughter Robin again, family members said.

“On Sunday, she was actually kind of rallying in some ways,” Levenson said. “She was calling friends and saying, ‘Don’t believe what you are hearing about me in the papers.’ At the same time, I think she had in mind she wanted to be sure she spoke to people.”

Shortly after the former first lady’s death was announced Tuesday night, hundreds of students held an impromptu candlelight vigil on the campus of Texas A&M.

Lela Akishvili, a student at the Bush School for Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, said Mrs. Bush was like a “house mom” who made it a point to connect to each student at the Bush School.

“We are the 20th class graduating from the Bush School and so all these years Mrs. Bush managed to somehow have very private and direct contact with each student,” Akishvili told ABC News at the candlelight vigil. “For me personally, she sent me a letter last week and I was deeply honored and touched. And for me, she’s this wise, smart, beautiful and amazingly inspiring woman for us at the Bush School.”

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Bay Area earthquake could lead to massive loss of life and property: USGS report

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News (SAN FRANCISCO) — A new report details the potential effects that could be produced by a hypothetical major earthquake on a California fault running underneath the Bay Area.

The simulation predicts what could happen if a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit directly under the city of Oakland on the Hayward fault, which runs under the highly populated East Bay corridor and is called one of the most active and dangerous faults by the U.S. Geological Survey.

“It’s potentially catastrophic,” said CalTech seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones. “When you build a city right on the fault you get much worse shaking than we usually think about.”

If this earthquake were to occur today, the report says it could result in the deaths of 800 people and cause 18,000 injuries — numbers the report says could be reduced by earthquake early warning systems currently in development. Jones added that one of the purposes of the report is to show how slightly increasing construction costs can significantly reduce the number of buildings damaged in a major earthquake.

In the report’s scenario, damage from shaking could displace 77,000 households, and many high-rise office and residential buildings in San Francisco could be unusable for up to 10 months after a major earthquake.

Fires following an earthquake could be nearly as destructive as the shaking. Scientists estimate that building space equivalent to 52,000 single family homes could burn following a hypothetical major earthquake. Destruction from fires increases if there is major damage to water supply lines, roads or communication infrastructure.

“Earthquakes burn cities as much as they shake them,” said Dr. Keith Porter, author of the report and geophysicist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “About a third of property loses in the scenario would be from fire.”

Earthquakes cause fires to ignite at multiple points simultaneously due to broken gas lines or downed power lines, while also taking out firefighters’ water supply lines. Restoring water service could be a challenge after such an earthquake; the report shows some residents could lose water service for up to six months.

Scientists say the Hayward Fault produces a major earthquake on average every 150 years. The 150th anniversary of the last major earthquake on the fault occurs later this year. The USGS predicts a 33 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake will occur on the fault by the year 2043. There is a 72 percent chance of a similar earthquake on any fault in the Bay Area in the same time period.

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The Latest: Investigators say crack in engine led to failure

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A federal investigator says that a crack on the interior of a jet engine is what led to the failure that shot debris at the plane, leading to the death of a passenger

Barbara Bush: An appreciation

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — The first time I had a formal interview with Barbara Bush she was the “second lady” and her husband was running for president. I had accepted an assignment from Seventeen Magazine to query the wives of the two major candidates and it had all been arranged through Mrs. Bush’s staff.

But when I arrived at the (somewhat intimidating) vice president’s mansion Barbara Bush exclaimed, “Seventeen! Why are we doing this interview? They can’t vote!” After that somewhat rocky start, we had a lively conversation where I was treated to her ready humor.

That humor is part of the reason America came to love Barbara Bush. Soon after he left the White House I was interviewing President Bush about something and he marveled with a hint of surprise in his voice, “The whole country loves Bar!”

That’s because everyone thought they knew her. There was none of that fake politician foolishness about her. On several occasions she told me bluntly that I needed to do something about my hair. She either said what she believed or kept her mouth shut.

One thing she believed passionately was that she could make a difference in the lives of people who couldn’t read. And she was right. The Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation now conducts 160 programs in 12 states and it has been highly successful in improving the reading skills of adults and bringing disadvantaged preschoolers up to par with their more privileged peers.

Barbara Bush herself attended hundreds and hundreds of events aimed at boosting literacy because, as she said, you can’t achieve the American dream if you can’t read and write.

That was another passionate belief — in the dream and the promise that this country offers to its citizens. Her devotion to our American values of tolerance and inclusion and her willingness to act on them came second only to devotion to family.

When her son George was running for president, I conducted the first joint interview with Barbara and Laura Bush. Laura was understandably slightly nervous about this conversation with her formidable mother-in-law (the family calls her The Enforcer) but she needn’t have been.

Anytime I asked about anything controversial the elder Mrs. Bush jumped in: “Don’t answer that Laura, it will only get you in trouble. If anyone gets in trouble today it should be me.” The whole extended Bush brood could count on her protection.

And America saw that — saw her love of children and country, and especially of her husband, saw her no-nonsense looks, heard her funny, feisty and frank comments and understood that she was teaching us how to live.

In the end, she also taught us how to die. By telling us on Sunday that she would opt for “comfort care” rather than more medical intervention she set yet another example. Instead of leaving this earth hooked up to machines while doctors poked and prodded to extract one more breath, she went in her own home surrounded by the family she devoted her life to, holding the hand of the man she had loved for 75 years.

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The Latest: Feds investigating missing window on plane

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A federal investigator says that they are still trying to figure out how a window came out of a plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, killing the woman seated in that row

Nanny found guilty of stabbing 2 children to death in New York apartment

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

WABC(NEW YORK) — A New York City nanny has been found guilty of the murders of two young children who were stabbed to death in their idyllic Upper West Side apartment.

Yoselyn Ortega had worked for Marina and Kevin Krim for two years when she killed 6-year-old Lulu Krim and 2-year-old Leo Krim on Oct. 25, 2012.

She was found guilty on two counts each of first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

She had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

“It was not a decision we reached lightly or easily,” one juror, David Curtis, told reporters, as he was overcome with emotion. “There was some raised voices and a lot of tears. But I think we all feel good that we addressed all of these issues and fairly weighed everything that was presented to us.”

Kevin Krim declined to speak at a news conference, but Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. turned to Kevin Krim and said, “Our hearts go out to you today as it has every day of the last five years. As a father of two myself, I cannot imagine the pain you have felt and continue to feel.”

Vance said he hopes the verdict will give the family an opportunity to heal.

The day of the crime, Marina Krim came home after taking her then-3-year-old daughter, Nessie, to a swim class and opened her bathroom door to find “the bloodied, lifeless bodies of her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son … their eyes open, covered in blood,” Assistant District Attorney Courtney Groves said in opening statements last month.

Ortega, who was standing in the bathroom, then stabbed herself in the neck, according to Groves.

Marina Krim grabbed Nessie and ran out of the apartment and the doorman called 911, prosecutors said. Marina Krim, who testified for the prosecution, said that moment she was screaming uncontrollably and saying, “I just saw my kids dead.”

“I was destroyed,” Marina Krim said on the stand. “She killed my best friends.”

Ortega’s defense attorney Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg had argued that her client was mentally ill and was “suffering from severe psychosis” and “dissociation” at the time of the killings.

Ortega is set to be sentenced May 14.

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What we know about the bank VP who died after Southwest Airlines engine failure

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Jennifer Riordan, a bank executive, community leader and mother of two, died Tuesday when the Southwest Airlines flight she was aboard blew an engine in midair.

New York City to ban doors-off helicopter flights

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New York City will no longer allow doors-off tourist helicopter flights to take off from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, a consequence of a deadly crash last month.

No doors-off flights currently depart the heliport in lower Manhattan, which is the only pad in the city where tourist flights originate, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation is instituting new rules to make sure it stays that way.

“It is our hope that by officially banning doors-off helicopter flights out of New York City, we will help improve air safety within the five boroughs,” said NYCEDC President James Patchett.

An open door flight for a photography shoot that took off from New Jersey crashed in the East River March 11 after a strap snagged a fuel line. Five passengers died after they were stuck in their harnesses.

“By calling for today’s hearing of the Committee on Economic Development, we were hopeful that immediate positive safety changes would occur for helicopter aviation in the city,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, chair of the NYC Economic Development Committee. “This agreement is very welcomed news and takes a huge step in the right direction.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New York City to ban doors-off helicopter flights

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New York City will no longer allow doors-off tourist helicopter flights to take off from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, a consequence of a deadly crash last month.

No doors-off flights currently depart the heliport in lower Manhattan, which is the only pad in the city where tourist flights originate, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation is instituting new rules to make sure it stays that way.

“It is our hope that by officially banning doors-off helicopter flights out of New York City, we will help improve air safety within the five boroughs,” said NYCEDC President James Patchett.

An open door flight for a photography shoot that took off from New Jersey crashed in the East River March 11 after a strap snagged a fuel line. Five passengers died after they were stuck in their harnesses.

“By calling for today’s hearing of the Committee on Economic Development, we were hopeful that immediate positive safety changes would occur for helicopter aviation in the city,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, chair of the NYC Economic Development Committee. “This agreement is very welcomed news and takes a huge step in the right direction.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alleged ‘face’ of robocalls testifies it’s as easy as the ‘click of a button’

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — The alleged “face” of unwanted robocalls testified Wednesday that the technology to start a large autodial campaign is easy to use and can be set up by “anyone” from a home office.

“There is available open source software that can be misused by someone to make thousands of automated calls with the click of a button,” Adrian Abramovich said during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing.

Abramovich, who was appearing before the committee under subpoena, is facing a record $122 million Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fine for allegedly making almost 100 million spoofed robocalls over three months.

He is accused of making the calls in order to trick unsuspecting consumers into answering and listening to his advertising messages, according to the FCC.

Consumers reported receiving calls from what appeared to be local numbers about “exclusive” vacation deals from companies such as Marriott, Expedia, Hilton, and TripAdvisor.

Abramovich, the former president of Marketing Strategy Leaders, told the committee that there are several options to easily carry out these large-scale calls, which can start with a simple Google search. He said it would take only one employee to make 10,000 robocalls a day.

Abramovich said he would answer general questions about robocalls, but declined to answer questions about his specific case, evoking his Fifth Amendment right.

However, he did offer a brief defense of his case during opening remarks – denying any “intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain anything of value.”

“I’m not the kingpin of robocalling that has been alleged,” he said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told Abramovich that he had “become the face of this problem.”

“You may think it unjust, but the fact of the matter is that you have a duty to answer questions,” said Blumenthal.

Blumenthal called mass robocalls a “pernicious” and “obnoxious” problem that is “rightly abhorred by consumers.”

“There is bipartisan loathing for robocalls,” he said.

Robocalls increased from 831 million in September 2015 to 3.2 billion in March 2018 – a 285% increase in less than three years, according to testimony from Margot Freeman Saunders, senior counsel at the National Consumer Law Center.

Abramovich told the committee that he himself receives “four of five robocalls a day” and since the FCC headlines, he has gotten “even more spoofed calls.”

“And you don’t like it?” asked Sen. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

“I decline the call,” he said.

Abramovich also said the effect on consumers from his calls has been overstated and that only two percent of consumers had any meaningful interaction with these calls.

Two percent of the alleged calls would be eight million people, said Thune.

“Does that sound like a small effect?” he asked.

“I am not prepared to discuss my specific case,” responded Abramovich.

Thune said that the committee would consider holding him in contempt of Congress for claiming a Fifth Amendment privilege throughout the hearing after speaking about his specific case during opening remarks.

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What we know about the bank VP who died after Southwest Airlines engine failure

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Obtained by ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) — Jennifer Riordan, a bank executive, community leader and mother of two, died Tuesday when her Southwest Airlines flight blew an engine in midair and its debris smashed a cabin window.

Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was among 144 passengers and five crew members on board when the Boeing 737 suffered an engine failure some 20 minutes after takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia International Airport, while en route to Dallas Love Field Airport, according to authorities.

Two passengers managed to pull Riordan back inside when she was partially sucked out of the shattered window, according to witnesses. She was given CPR while the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport.

Riordan was transported to a nearby hospital where she later died, though officials did not immediately confirm a cause of death. She leaves behind a husband, Michael Riordan, as well as two children.

“Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight No. 1380,” her family said in a statement. “Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children.”

In addition to being a wife and mother, Riordan was vice president of community relations at Wells Fargo in Albuquerque, where she was “loved and respected,” according to a company statement.

“The Wells Fargo family is saddened to learn of the death of our friend and colleague Jennifer Riordan – a community relations leader in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was a well-known leader who was loved and respected,” according to the statement.

After graduating from the University of New Mexico, Riordan worked in media relations and marketing at the school’s Health Sciences Center, according to colleagues.

“Jennifer was an amazing community leader, team member, wife and mother,” Paul Roth, chancellor for University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center, said in a statement posted to Facebook. “Her passion for our community, our students and our future was unwavering. We are committed to carrying on her work to ensure quality education and career opportunities to New Mexico’s youth.”
Riordan became a key member of the Albuquerque community through her “leadership and philanthropic efforts,” Mayor Tim Keller.

“Albuquerque lost a thoughtful leader who has long been part of the fabric of our community,” Keller said in a statement posted on social media. “This is a tremendous and tragic loss for Jennifer’s family and many others throughout our city. Her leadership and philanthropic efforts made this a better place every day and she will be terribly missed.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating Tuesday’s incident. Boeing said it is providing technical help to the investigation, with which Southwest Airlines is cooperating.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hero Southwest pilot was one of Navy’s first female fighter pilots

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

WPVI-TV(PHILADELPHIA) — Tammie Jo Shults, the hero pilot who safely landed a Southwest Airlines plane Tuesday after one of its engines failed, was among the Navy’s first women pilots trained to fly fighter aircraft.

“She was commissioned in the Navy on June 21, 1985, and completed flight training in Pensacola,” said Lt. Christina Sears, a Navy spokesperson.

“She served at the Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ-34) in Point Mugu, Calif. as an instructor pilot flying the EA-6B Prowler and F/A-18 Hornet,” Sears said.

“We can confirm that Lieutenant Commander Shults was among the first cohort of women pilots to transition to tactical aircraft,” Sears said.

The New Mexico native remained on active duty with the Navy until 1993 when she transitioned to the Naval Reserve and retired in 2001 with the rank of Lt. Commander.

Shults was trained as a Navy fighter pilot at a time when female pilots were not allowed to fly with combat units.

After graduating from flight school in 1989, Shults served with Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 34 (VAQ-34) from 1989 until she left active duty in 1993.

Like the other first female Navy pilots trained to fly on the F/A-18 Hornet, Shults had been assigned to fly the fighter aircraft in an electronic warfare training squadron instead – with units assigned to aircraft carriers.

In March 1993, she was among the VAQ-34 squadron pilots interviewed by the Navy’s All Hands magazine.

“In AOCS [Aviation Officer Candidate School], if you’re a woman [or different in any way], you’re a high-profile; you’re under more scrutiny,” Shults was quoted in the article.

“It would be nice if they would take away the ceilings [women] have over our heads,” Shults said.

“In VAQ-34, gender doesn’t matter there’s no advantage or disadvantage,” she said. “Which proves my point – if there’s a good mix of gender, it ceases to be an issue.”

A few months later, Defense Secretary Les Aspin lifted the restrictions on female pilots flying combat missions.

Among the awards that Shults received during her Navy career were the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Defense Service Medal and the Marksmanship Medal (Expert.)

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Three-year-old girl accidentally shoots pregnant mother from backseat of car, police say

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

WLS-TV(MERRILLVILLE, Ind.) — A 3-year-old girl accidentally shot her pregnant mother from the backseat of a car Tuesday after the woman’s boyfriend allegedly left the loaded gun there, according to police in northwest Indiana.

The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon in Merrillville when the boyfriend walked into a store and left the loaded gun in the car between the console and the seat, Merrillville Police Chief Joseph Petruch told ABC News.

The gun owner’s pregnant girlfriend, whom police did not name, sat in the driver’s seat in the parking lot with her children, ages 3 and 1, in the backseat, Petruch said.

The 3-year-old girl got hold of the 9mm Glock 19 pistol while she was in the back, and the weapon discharged, hitting her mother in the chest, Petruch said. The bullet then went through the windshield, Petruch said, and the woman got out of the car and collapsed.

Meanwhile, her 21-year-old boyfriend was in the store, Petruch said. He said the “next thing he knows, somebody comes running in and said, ‘Your wife or girlfriend has just been shot.'”

“The first thought was to get the kids out of there,” said Rebecca Todd, an employee at the store, according to ABC station WLS-TV in Chicago. “We grabbed them. We brought them inside, and we just tried comforting them as best we could.”

The children — who were OK — were turned over to child protective services, Petruch said. The victim was hospitalized, and her condition was not immediately clear.

The boyfriend, Menzo Brazier, was taken to Lake County jail, where he was held on child endangerment charges, Petruch said. Police said they expect to meet with the prosecutor’s office Thursday to determine additional charges. The prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Petruch called the shooting a “careless, dangerous act,” adding that Brazier is “directly responsible for this.”

“When you take on a responsibility of gun ownership, you have to be a responsible adult,” he said. “Especially, you don’t leave a loaded gun around when children are present.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Everything to know about the upcoming National School Walkout

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Thousands of students across the country will come together again this week to rally against school gun violence — an event the teenage organizers hope will empower students to continue their momentum in a push for common-sense gun reform.

The event — called the National School Walkout — focuses on high schools and will take place on April 20, the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students opened fire in 1999, killing 12 of their fellow students and a teacher.

Who is participating?

The event was organized by 16-year-old Lane Murdock, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, along with three of her classmates.

More than 2,000 events are registered across the country, with at least one in every state and several globally, according to the organizers.

When will it start?

The walkout begins at 10 a.m. in each local time zone.

When students head outside, they will first take part in 13 seconds of silence to honor the 13 people killed at Columbine High School.

Then the format of the walkout is up to each school. Lane told ABC News she proposes that schools incorporate open mics, guest speakers and voter registration. She said some students plan to write letters to those in communities impacted by school shootings.

But this event differs in one major way from last month’s nationwide school walkout, which was held on March 14, one month after the shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 students and staff.

The March 14 walkout officially lasted for 17 minutes to mark the 17 lives lost. After the 17 minutes, many students returned to their classrooms.

The April 20 walkout, meanwhile, is set to last from 10 a.m. until the end of the school day.

“This is a problem that needs to be addressed longer than 17 minutes,” Lane said.

“As a student who can’t vote, you don’t have a lot of power. But what you have that’s powerful is your voice, your thoughts, but also your attendance. And leaving for longer than 17 minutes, leaving and breaking up that schedule that all American students have every day is how you get people to pay attention,” Lane said.

What inspired the walkout?

Lane said the walkout comes as a direct response to the Stoneman Douglas massacre, because her first reaction to the February shooting was numbness.

“I started to think to myself, ‘What can I do to change the narrative?'” Lane said. “But also, ‘What can I do to give people who maybe don’t have as much time on their hands as I do, to give them that power?'”

Three of Lane’s classmates are leading the National School Walkout with her, including Grant Yaun, a 17-year-old junior.

Grant said he was an 11-year-old sixth grader at the time of the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, which is near Ridgefield.

That shooting, which killed 20 children and six teachers, was the first time he said he was aware of the realities of school violence and “how disturbing these kinds of things were.”

But in the six years since then, Grant said, the “onslaught of shootings” has made him more desensitized, so he also didn’t have a strong first reaction to the Stoneman Douglas shooting. But “after some reflection,” he said, he felt “it was time for something to change.”

Lane and Grant said they hope the walkout will build momentum for common-sense gun reform, such as bump stock bans and universal background checks. They also want the event to empower students across the country and increase the turnout of young voters at the November midterm elections.

“The walkout is an event designed to create friction, put some energy into the discussion, and it’s almost a show of force,” Grant told ABC News. “We’re not going to be silenced or ignored.”

Grant said the “overall reception” from school administrators across the country to their nearly all-day walkout is “relatively neutral or positive.”

“Resistance does exist,” he said, but “thankfully it seems at least the majority — however slim the majority may be — of schools are at least friendly to the event or have accepted it’s going to happen whether they sanction it or not, and have made moves to accommodate.”

In Maryland, Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Boyd Michael said at a listening session this month that students would be considered truant if they walk out, according to the Herald-Mail Media, the website for the local Herald-Mail newspaper and HMTV6 cable news channel.

But Michael added that “discipline would vary depending on students’ specific actions,” the Herald-Mail Media reported.

“We’ll continue to work with student government and students,” Michael said at the listening session, according to Herald-Mail Media. “We want them to share their ideas and their concerns with us, but we can’t have a situation where we’re disrupting the natural school flow or the natural school environment.”

He didn’t immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

But to the student organizers, disrupting the school day is an important part of the walkout.

“When you get rid of the routine, you show them this is a cause that we care about. We’re changing how were doing things and voicing our opinions,” Lane said.

“This will not be a day off,” Lane continued, stressing that students worked hard to organize these walkouts for their communities.  

He added, “This walkout isn’t the end — it’s kind of a start, actually. We’ve rolled out a chapter-based organization to capture the momentum of the walkout, to capture that raw energy as it kind of reaches this peak.”

Lane and Grant said these chapters — of which there are already 150 — hand over the control to students across the U.S. who know their communities.

“Students enrolled in their local chapters will plan the walkouts and follow through with the walkouts and then transition into a school club-type organization — not necessarily sanctioned by the school,” Grant said. “Then the chapter-based organizations will meet regulatory to a)  get young people who are eligible to vote registered, and b) get young people interested in politics and remove any sense of fear or apprehension from it, or just general confusion, and to raise political awareness.”

Grant, who will be too young to vote this November, admitted that this does create some frustration, but he added, “I feel I’ll have done more than a single vote for myself ever could just by helping organize this.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Southwest passenger ‘did what any registered nurse would do’ in attempt to save woman

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A retired nurse was among those on a Southwest Airlines flight who tried in vain to help save an injured passenger when the plane’s engine exploded in midair Tuesday.

Gusty winds spread wildfires in Plains as big storm moves east

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Extreme drought and winds topping out around 90 mph have created perilous wildfire conditions from Colorado to Oklahoma.

At least 28 wildfires were burning as of Wednesday morning in the Southwest and southern Plains. Winds are expected to subside Wednesday as the storm system that produced them moves east.

Fire alerts in Arizona and New Mexico have been posted in advance of more strong winds forecast for Thursday.

As the storm system heads east, winter storm warnings and advisories have been issued for six states, from Nebraska to Illinois.

That system, now in the Plains, is bringing snow from the Dakotas into Iowa.
Rush-hour snow is expected Wednesday night in Milwaukee and Chicago, although downtown Chicago likely will see more rain than powder.

The storm system is forecast to arrive in the Northeast on Thursday morning, with rain falling from New York to Boston, and snow in upstate New York and western Pennsylvania.

Heavy snowfalls are expected in southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa, which may see as much as 8 inches through Thursday.

Snow also is possible in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, as well as western Pennsylvania, upstate New York and parts of New England.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Retired nurse did everything she could to save woman who died on Southwest flight

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Joe Marcus/Twitter(NEW YORK) — A retired nurse was among those on Southwest Flight 1380 who tried in vain to help save a New Mexico woman on Tuesday.

Peggy Phillips was one of several passengers who said they saw Jennifer Riordan partially sucked through a window after an engine exploded and the plane had to make an emergency landing.

Phillips said two other passengers managed to pull the woman back into the aircraft.

“We did CPR on this lady,” Phillips told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV on Tuesday, adding, “A window had broken, and the suction — the negative pressure — had pulled her outside the plane partially,” Phillips told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV on Tuesday.

“We laid her down and we started CPR,” Phillips said. “We continued that for about 20 minutes. We landed while we were still doing CPR.”

Southwest confirmed that a woman died on board in a “tragic event,” but the airline hadn’t yet said how Riordan died. The NTSB and the FAA are investigating the incident.

Phillips said shortly after takeoff “we heard a loud noise and the plane started shaking like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It sounded like the plane was coming apart, and I think we pretty quickly figured out that something happened with the engine.”

“We started losing altitude, the mask came down, people were putting on their masks, and basically I think all of us thought this might be it,” she added. She managed to stay calm until she heard the window break about four rows behind her.

“It was a lot of chaos back there — a lot of really upset people and a lot of noise, and a big rush of air, a big whoosh of air,” Phillips continued. After a flight attendant asked if anyone knew CPR, Phillips said, “I was, like, out of my seatbelt.”

Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board and CEO Gary Kelly commended the plane’s crew for its quick action during a press conference on Tuesday.

“They did their jobs superbly,” Kelly said. “This is a sad day, and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased customer.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

A retired nurse was among those on Southwest Flight 1380 who tried in vain to help save a New Mexico woman on Tuesday.

Peggy Phillips was one of several passengers who said they saw Jennifer Riordan partially sucked through a window after an engine exploded and the plane had to make an emergency landing.

Phillips said two other passengers managed to pull the woman back into the aircraft.

 

PHOTO: The woman who died following an engine failure aboard a Southwest flight was identified as New Mexico resident Jennifer Riordan.Obtained by ABC

The woman who died following an engine failure aboard a Southwest flight was identified as New Mexico resident Jennifer Riordan.more +

 

“We did CPR on this lady … a window had broken and the suction, the negative pressure, had pulled her outside the plane partially,” Phillips told ABC affiliate WFAA on Tuesday.

“We laid her down and we started CPR,” Phillips said. “We continued that for about 20 minutes. We landed while we were still doing CPR, and, you know, it’s … I have to just take my hats off to everyone” who tried to help save her.

Southwest confirmed that a woman died on board in a “tragic event” but the airline hadn’t yet said how Riordan died. The NTSB and the FAA are investigating the incident.

Phillips said shortly after takeoff “we heard a loud noise and the plane started shaking like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It sounded like the plane was coming apart, and I think we pretty quickly figured out that something happened with the engine.”

 

PHOTO: A blown out window taken from inside the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.Marty Martinez

A blown out window taken from inside the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.more +

 

 

PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines plane on the tarmac at the airport in Philadelphia after making an emergency landing, April 17, 2018. WPVI

A Southwest Airlines plane on the tarmac at the airport in Philadelphia after making an emergency landing, April 17, 2018.

 

“We started losing altitude, the mask came down, people were putting on their masks, and basically I think all of us thought this might be it,” she added. She managed to stay calm until she heard the window break about four rows behind her.

“It was a lot of chaos back there — a lot of really upset people and a lot of noise, and a big rush of air, a big whoosh of air,” Phillips continued. After a flight attendant asked if anyone knew CPR, Phillips said, “I was, like, out of my seatbelt.”

 

PHOTO: The engine of a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018. Joe Marcus/Twitter

The engine of a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.

 

Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly commended the plane’s crew for its quick action during a press conference on Tuesday.

“They did their jobs superbly,” Kelly said. “This is a sad day, and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased customer.”

Retired nurse did everything she could to save woman who died on Southwest flight

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Joe Marcus/Twitter(NEW YORK) — A retired nurse was among those on Southwest Flight 1380 who tried in vain to help save a New Mexico woman on Tuesday.

Peggy Phillips was one of several passengers who said they saw Jennifer Riordan partially sucked through a window after an engine exploded and the plane had to make an emergency landing.

Phillips said two other passengers managed to pull the woman back into the aircraft.

“We did CPR on this lady,” Phillips told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV on Tuesday, adding, “A window had broken, and the suction — the negative pressure — had pulled her outside the plane partially,” Phillips told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV on Tuesday.

“We laid her down and we started CPR,” Phillips said. “We continued that for about 20 minutes. We landed while we were still doing CPR.”

Southwest confirmed that a woman died on board in a “tragic event,” but the airline hadn’t yet said how Riordan died. The NTSB and the FAA are investigating the incident.

Phillips said shortly after takeoff “we heard a loud noise and the plane started shaking like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It sounded like the plane was coming apart, and I think we pretty quickly figured out that something happened with the engine.”

“We started losing altitude, the mask came down, people were putting on their masks, and basically I think all of us thought this might be it,” she added. She managed to stay calm until she heard the window break about four rows behind her.

“It was a lot of chaos back there — a lot of really upset people and a lot of noise, and a big rush of air, a big whoosh of air,” Phillips continued. After a flight attendant asked if anyone knew CPR, Phillips said, “I was, like, out of my seatbelt.”

Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board and CEO Gary Kelly commended the plane’s crew for its quick action during a press conference on Tuesday.

“They did their jobs superbly,” Kelly said. “This is a sad day, and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased customer.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

A retired nurse was among those on Southwest Flight 1380 who tried in vain to help save a New Mexico woman on Tuesday.

Peggy Phillips was one of several passengers who said they saw Jennifer Riordan partially sucked through a window after an engine exploded and the plane had to make an emergency landing.

Phillips said two other passengers managed to pull the woman back into the aircraft.

 

PHOTO: The woman who died following an engine failure aboard a Southwest flight was identified as New Mexico resident Jennifer Riordan.Obtained by ABC

The woman who died following an engine failure aboard a Southwest flight was identified as New Mexico resident Jennifer Riordan.more +

 

“We did CPR on this lady … a window had broken and the suction, the negative pressure, had pulled her outside the plane partially,” Phillips told ABC affiliate WFAA on Tuesday.

“We laid her down and we started CPR,” Phillips said. “We continued that for about 20 minutes. We landed while we were still doing CPR, and, you know, it’s … I have to just take my hats off to everyone” who tried to help save her.

Southwest confirmed that a woman died on board in a “tragic event” but the airline hadn’t yet said how Riordan died. The NTSB and the FAA are investigating the incident.

Phillips said shortly after takeoff “we heard a loud noise and the plane started shaking like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It sounded like the plane was coming apart, and I think we pretty quickly figured out that something happened with the engine.”

 

PHOTO: A blown out window taken from inside the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.Marty Martinez

A blown out window taken from inside the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.more +

 

 

PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines plane on the tarmac at the airport in Philadelphia after making an emergency landing, April 17, 2018. WPVI

A Southwest Airlines plane on the tarmac at the airport in Philadelphia after making an emergency landing, April 17, 2018.

 

“We started losing altitude, the mask came down, people were putting on their masks, and basically I think all of us thought this might be it,” she added. She managed to stay calm until she heard the window break about four rows behind her.

“It was a lot of chaos back there — a lot of really upset people and a lot of noise, and a big rush of air, a big whoosh of air,” Phillips continued. After a flight attendant asked if anyone knew CPR, Phillips said, “I was, like, out of my seatbelt.”

 

PHOTO: The engine of a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018. Joe Marcus/Twitter

The engine of a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing at the Philadelphia airport, April 17, 2018.

 

Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly commended the plane’s crew for its quick action during a press conference on Tuesday.

“They did their jobs superbly,” Kelly said. “This is a sad day, and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased customer.”

Woman ‘partially sucked out a window’ dies after engine failure on Southwest flight

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

WPVI-TV(NEW YORK) — A woman died after a Southwest Airlines jet suffered engine failure and made an emergency landing on Tuesday, marking the first accidental fatality on a domestic flight in nine years, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Flight 1380 was en route from New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport to Dallas Love Field when the plane was forced to land at Philadelphia International Airport Tuesday morning.

Jennifer Riordan of New Mexico died after she was partially sucked out a window near the engine, according to witnesses. Officials did not immediately confirm that account.

“Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight No. 1380,” her family said in a statement. “Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured.”

“But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children. We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from family, friends and our community.”

Riordan previously worked in marketing at the University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center.

“Jennifer was an amazing community leader, team member, wife and mother,” Dr. Paul Roth, chancellor for Health Sciences Center, said in a statement. “Her passion for our community, our students and our future was unwavering. We are committed to carrying on her work to ensure quality education and career opportunities to New Mexico’s youth. Our thoughts and prayers remain with her family during this difficult time. She will be forever missed by her Lobo family.”

Passenger Matt Tranchin said the flight took a turn when he saw a “huge explosion and glass shattering three rows ahead of me.”

“Flight attendants rushed up,” he said. “There was momentary chaos. Everyone kind of descended on where this hole was. As passengers, we weren’t sure if they were trying to cover up the hole, but the plane smelled like smoke. There was ash coming through the ventilation system.”

“We started dropping,” Tranchin told ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. “Some of the crew couldn’t hold back their horror. And some were crying as they looked out through the open window onto the engine.”

Passengers posted photos from inside showing descended oxygen masks, a blown-out window and the remains of an engine.

Jim Demetros, a passenger who said he was about three rows ahead of where the engine failed, told ABC News that everybody was looking at “the woman who was sitting next to the window that had blown out.”

“It was a pretty harrowing experience,” he said, adding that the crew did a “fantastic” job “keeping everyone calm.”  

Another passenger, Cassie Adams, said she was sitting “right over the engine” and could see the damage immediately after it failed.

A few minutes after the oxygen masks came down, the window two rows behind where Adams was sitting blew out, and the woman was “sucked out,” she told ABC News.

“Two brave men immediately responded and helped grab her and tried to pull her back in,” Adams said.

The men were able to pull her back in and performed CPR on her, Adams said. One of them then stood in front of the broken window so no one else would get hurt, she said, adding that she thought “the plane was going down.”

“It was terrifying,” Adams said. “Those men are heroes.”

Another passenger, a woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, also confirmed that a female passenger was “partially sucked out of the window.”

“I talked to the guy who pulled her back in, and he said that her head, when she flew out the window, hit the window and she died on impact,” the woman told ABC affiliate KOAT-TV. “And then there was a nurse who helped to pull her back in, but before we knew what was really going on, you could feel the plane instantly dropping.”

Seven people suffered minor injuries and weren’t taken to hospitals, officials said. The NTSB said 144 passengers and five crew members were on board.

Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly expressed gratitude that no one else was seriously injured, but described the passenger’s death as a “tragic loss.”

“This is a sad day, and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased customer,” Kelly said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Kelly said he was not aware of any issues with the Boeing 737, which was last inspected on Sunday. No issues with the plane or engine were reported at that time, he said, calling the Boeing 737 the “workhorse of the airline industry.”

The engine that failed had gone through 40,000 cycles, Kelly said, adding that it had been 10,000 cycles since it was last overhauled. Engines are typically overhauled after 30,000 cycles, Kelly said.

The accident appears to be the first of its kind for the company, Kelly said. “To my knowledge, it’s the first time we have lost a window.”

Kelly commended the crew and described the flight’s captain as “very experienced,” adding that he started at the company in 1994 and has been a captain for “well over a decade.”

“They did their jobs superbly today,” Kelly added.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt described the emergency as engine failure. The crew reported damage to the main body of the plane, an engine and a window, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Kelly said in a statement that the victim’s family are the company’s “immediate and primary concern, and we will do all that we can to support them during this difficult time and the difficult days ahead.”

“I’m immensely grateful there are no other reports of injuries, but truly this is a tragic loss,” Kelly said. “Please join us in offering thoughts and prayers and support to all of those affected by today’s tragedy.”

In a statement, Boeing expressed its “deepest condolences” to the victim’s family.

The runway was closed for more than two hours before reopening.

The NTSB and the FAA still are investigating, and Boeing said it is providing technical help to the investigation, with which Southwest is cooperating.

The NTSB has asked witnesses with videos or images to contact the agency directly via email.

The last accidental domestic airline fatality was in 2009, when Colgan 3407 crashed near Buffalo, New York, killing all 49 on board and a person on the ground

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Woman ‘partially sucked out a window’ dies after engine failure on Southwest flight

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

WPVI-TV(NEW YORK) — A woman died after a Southwest Airlines jet suffered engine failure and made an emergency landing on Tuesday, marking the first accidental fatality on a domestic flight in nine years, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Flight 1380 was en route from New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport to Dallas Love Field when the plane was forced to land at Philadelphia International Airport Tuesday morning.

Jennifer Riordan of New Mexico died after she was partially sucked out a window near the engine, according to witnesses. Officials did not immediately confirm that account.

“Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight No. 1380,” her family said in a statement. “Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured.”

“But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children. We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from family, friends and our community.”

Riordan previously worked in marketing at the University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center.

“Jennifer was an amazing community leader, team member, wife and mother,” Dr. Paul Roth, chancellor for Health Sciences Center, said in a statement. “Her passion for our community, our students and our future was unwavering. We are committed to carrying on her work to ensure quality education and career opportunities to New Mexico’s youth. Our thoughts and prayers remain with her family during this difficult time. She will be forever missed by her Lobo family.”

Passenger Matt Tranchin said the flight took a turn when he saw a “huge explosion and glass shattering three rows ahead of me.”

“Flight attendants rushed up,” he said. “There was momentary chaos. Everyone kind of descended on where this hole was. As passengers, we weren’t sure if they were trying to cover up the hole, but the plane smelled like smoke. There was ash coming through the ventilation system.”

“We started dropping,” Tranchin told ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. “Some of the crew couldn’t hold back their horror. And some were crying as they looked out through the open window onto the engine.”

Passengers posted photos from inside showing descended oxygen masks, a blown-out window and the remains of an engine.

Jim Demetros, a passenger who said he was about three rows ahead of where the engine failed, told ABC News that everybody was looking at “the woman who was sitting next to the window that had blown out.”

“It was a pretty harrowing experience,” he said, adding that the crew did a “fantastic” job “keeping everyone calm.”  

Another passenger, Cassie Adams, said she was sitting “right over the engine” and could see the damage immediately after it failed.

A few minutes after the oxygen masks came down, the window two rows behind where Adams was sitting blew out, and the woman was “sucked out,” she told ABC News.

“Two brave men immediately responded and helped grab her and tried to pull her back in,” Adams said.

The men were able to pull her back in and performed CPR on her, Adams said. One of them then stood in front of the broken window so no one else would get hurt, she said, adding that she thought “the plane was going down.”

“It was terrifying,” Adams said. “Those men are heroes.”

Another passenger, a woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, also confirmed that a female passenger was “partially sucked out of the window.”

“I talked to the guy who pulled her back in, and he said that her head, when she flew out the window, hit the window and she died on impact,” the woman told ABC affiliate KOAT-TV. “And then there was a nurse who helped to pull her back in, but before we knew what was really going on, you could feel the plane instantly dropping.”

Seven people suffered minor injuries and weren’t taken to hospitals, officials said. The NTSB said 144 passengers and five crew members were on board.

Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly expressed gratitude that no one else was seriously injured, but described the passenger’s death as a “tragic loss.”

“This is a sad day, and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased customer,” Kelly said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Kelly said he was not aware of any issues with the Boeing 737, which was last inspected on Sunday. No issues with the plane or engine were reported at that time, he said, calling the Boeing 737 the “workhorse of the airline industry.”

The engine that failed had gone through 40,000 cycles, Kelly said, adding that it had been 10,000 cycles since it was last overhauled. Engines are typically overhauled after 30,000 cycles, Kelly said.

The accident appears to be the first of its kind for the company, Kelly said. “To my knowledge, it’s the first time we have lost a window.”

Kelly commended the crew and described the flight’s captain as “very experienced,” adding that he started at the company in 1994 and has been a captain for “well over a decade.”

“They did their jobs superbly today,” Kelly added.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt described the emergency as engine failure. The crew reported damage to the main body of the plane, an engine and a window, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Kelly said in a statement that the victim’s family are the company’s “immediate and primary concern, and we will do all that we can to support them during this difficult time and the difficult days ahead.”

“I’m immensely grateful there are no other reports of injuries, but truly this is a tragic loss,” Kelly said. “Please join us in offering thoughts and prayers and support to all of those affected by today’s tragedy.”

In a statement, Boeing expressed its “deepest condolences” to the victim’s family.

The runway was closed for more than two hours before reopening.

The NTSB and the FAA still are investigating, and Boeing said it is providing technical help to the investigation, with which Southwest is cooperating.

The NTSB has asked witnesses with videos or images to contact the agency directly via email.

The last accidental domestic airline fatality was in 2009, when Colgan 3407 crashed near Buffalo, New York, killing all 49 on board and a person on the ground

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bill Cosby’s graphic deposition of ‘consensual sex’ with main accuser read in court

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images(NORRISTOWN, Penn.) — Jurors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial heard the comedian’s side of the story for the first time Tuesday afternoon, when law enforcement officials read portions of a 2005 civil lawsuit deposition the legendary entertainer gave to his main accuser’s attorneys.

In the deposition excerpts, which were read aloud by a detective and a prosecutor, Cosby graphically described what he characterized as a consensual sexual encounter with Andrea Constand, who alleges she was sexually assaulted by the man once known as “America’s Dad.” The account Cosby described occurred prior to the night of the alleged assault, according to the entertainer’s deposition. In the deposition, Cosby was describing this incident to make the case that the later incident was consensual.

The married Cosby, 80, is being retried on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. His first trial ended in a mistrial in June when a jury failed to reach a verdict.

Cosby has adamantly denied the accusations he drugged and sexually assaulted numerous women, including six who have now testified in his retrial. Five of the women were called by the prosecution to testify and show an alleged pattern of criminal behavior by Cosby, even though the statute of limitations has run out on filing criminal charges in their cases.

The charges the comedian faces stem from a 2004 incident at his suburban Philadelphia home, where Constand, 44, the former director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, claims she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby, who was a Temple trustee.

In the encounter at his home, Cosby said he began rubbing Constand’s bare midriff — which he described as “the question zone,” according to the deposition read for the jury in Montgomery County Court in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

He said he moved his hand down to her pants near her private parts — a region he referred to as “the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection,” according to his deposition. He said Constand did not tell him to stop.

Cosby graphically described Constand returning his physical affection.

He said he didn’t directly ask for permission to touch her private parts, but that his actions were a form of a wordless question.

“I’m asking, without saying [for permission]. I’m giving Andrea time to say yes or no — to the area right there in the question zone,” Cosby said, according to the deposition.

“I didn’t say it verbally. The action is my hand on her midriff, which is skin. I’m not lifting … I’ve got her skin and it’s just above where you can go in her pants. I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything,” he said in the deposition. “And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.”

He said Constand ultimately rejected his advances when they moved to another room and he began to kiss her breasts, according to the deposition.

“Andrea said to me either one of two words: ‘Stop’ or ‘No,'” he said in the deposition.

He said he stopped and walked her out of his home.

“She does not look angry. She doesn’t say to me, ‘Don’t ever do that again.’ She doesn’t walk off in a huff, because I think I’m a pretty good reader of people in these romantic situations,” he said in the deposition.

The prosecution is scheduled to wrap up its case this week.

If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each count.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The woman was partially sucked out of the plane after engine failure, witnesses say

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The flight was en route from New York to Dallas when diverted to Philadelphia.