Jan 23

Heavy snow, powerful winds tearing through Midwest, Plains

Minnesota State Patrol (MINNEAPOLIS) — Blizzard warnings are in effect Monday from Nebraska to Minnesota, as heavy snow and strong winds bring whiteout conditions to the Plains and Midwest.

The heaviest of the snow is expected in eastern Kansas and Nebraska, southern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, as well as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the forecast calls for 1 foot of snow. Travel is expected to be dangerous in those areas through the evening rush and into late tonight before clearing out overnight.

Snow and wind hit the Midwest and Plains

In Minnesota, Mankato and Owatonna both saw 6 inches of snow this morning, according to the National Weather Service. In Mankato, Mike Davis with Mankato Snow Removal told ABC News he has a crew of 20 men “working hard” to clear all the heavy snow from sidewalks in the downtown area on Monday.

He predicts each worker will cover about 5 miles Monday — a job he said requires “mental toughness and lots of water.”

The weather is causing major problems for travelers.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport closed its runways today and in Chicago, at least 50 flights at O’Hare International Airport were canceled Monday morning because of the weather.

In Iowa, the snow and winds forced officials to shutter a portion of Interstate 29.

The Minnesota State Patrol posted these photos after a car crashed through a fence on a roadway in Rochester.

Rain and snow in the East

Showers and thunderstorms are moving through the Southeast from Tallahassee to Jacksonville in Florida, and up to Atlanta.

By this evening, snow and ice are expected to make its way into Northern New England.

On Tuesday, heavy rain is headed to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

The heavy rain is expected to mix with warm temperatures, potentially leading to some isolated flooding and ice jams in the Northeast.

The rain will move out before the evening rush hour.

By Tuesday evening, some lake-effect snow is possible in parts of western New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

January warmth

The January warmth will continue for the East Coast Tuesday, with temperatures in the 50’s in the Northeast and upper 60s in the Southeast.

Temperatures will slip mid-week, before yet another warm-up for the East Coast by the weekend.

Colorado snow

Before the snow struck the Midwest and the Plains, a winter storm on Sunday blanketed areas near Denver with several inches of snow, causing treacherous travel and road conditions.

Heavy snow led to about 200 flights at Denver International Airport to be canceled, representing about 15 percent of its daily operations.

The Denver airport received about 6 inches of snow, while some of the hillsides saw totals closer to about 10 inches.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

Georgia professor helps student mom, cares for her baby

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SAVANNAH, Ga.) — When Jarquita Arrington’s 7-month-old baby started cooing recently in her graduate school class, she got help from an unlikely babysitter — her business administration professor at Savannah State University.

Arrington, a mother of two juggling an M.B.A. program, had to bring her son, Panda, on her first day of school after her husband’s meeting ran late, according to local ABC affiliate WJCL-TV.

“I said, ‘Oh my gosh! I can’t miss class!'” Arrington said.

That’s when she reached out to her professor, Dr. Rebecca Setliff, to ask if she could bring Panda to class.

Setliff, who is an adjunct professor, agreed. But when Panda started fussing in class, Setliff decided to lend a helping hand.

“She walked over to the baby and said: ‘Well, let me see the baby. Let me see if I can quiet him back down again,'” Arrington recalled.

Setliff carried Panda for the rest of the lecture and discussion.

“I wanted to help her,” Setliff said. “And I wanted her to be able to focus on staying in the class, on focus on the class discussion. Because my classes are heavy discussion.”

Setliff said she understands life can get overwhelming for her students.

“We as faculty need to work with them, and remember that,” Setliff said. “Just so they get to classes just like a job.”

Arrington said she had several options for graduate school, but professors like Setliff are the reason why she goes to Savannah State.

“You’re able to get that individualized attention as a student as opposed to maybe being a number because you’re in a classroom with maybe 150 kids,” she said.

As for Panda, he remained calm in Setliff’s arms for the rest of the lecture and discussion.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

Puerto Rico Governor announces privatization of state owned power company

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN JUAN) — Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has announced that the bankrupt island’s utility company will be privatized.

In a televised statement, Rosello said the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, was a heavy burden on the island’s residents.

PREPA “will stop existing as ineffectively as it does today,” Rosello said.

Portions of the energy authority will be sold off in the coming days, the governor said.

Rossello said the current electrical grid is 28 years older than the industry average in the United States. He said that the move will get the island to a goal of more than 30 percent of renewable energy generation.

Puerto Rico was plunged into darkness after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 hurricane.

Rosello called the move a “leap into the modernization of Puerto Rico.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz criticized the privatization, tweeting: “The privatization of PREPA will put the economic development of the country in private hands. The authority will serve other interests.”

About a third of customers on the island remains without power, according to Puerto Rico’s government.

In December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told ABC News in a statement: “We estimate 100 percent of customers will have power restored by the end of May.”

PREPA did not have an immediate reaction to the announcement.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

Nonprofit steps in to pay death benefits to families of soldiers killed in helicopter crash

U.S. Army(WASHINGTON) — A nonprofit organization has stepped in to provide death benefits to families of two soldiers killed in an Apache helicopter crash over the weekend.

Due to the government shutdown, the families did not receive the $100,000 death benefit provided for the death of a service member under any circumstance either stateside or overseas. Families typically use the benefit to cover the travel and funeral costs associated with the loss of their loved one. It’s not clear whether they will receive the payments from the government if it reopens.

The nonprofit organization Fisher House Foundation, which works with military families, announced it would provide the death benefits to the families of 1st Lt. Clayton R. Cullen, of Indiana, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin F. Burke, of California, who were both assigned to the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

The soldiers were killed on Saturday morning when their AH64 Apache helicopter crashed during training operations at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

In a statement, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he had worked with the CEO of the Fisher House Foundation to assist military families during the shutdown.

“The Fisher House generously agreed to offer the families an advance grant until the government can make reimbursements at an appropriate time,” the statement read. “The Fisher House will also cover flights, hotels and other incidentals for family members.”

Nine days into the 2013 government shutdown, the Pentagon announced a partnership with the Fisher House Foundation in which the charity would pay the $100,000 to families. It was days later that Congress passed a law that would allow the Pentagon to pay families the amount during that specific shutdown. Once that law took effect, Fisher House announced it would give families an additional $25,000.

The Army said the cause of Saturday’s helicopter crash is under investigation.

“We are all deeply saddened by the deaths of 1st Lt. Clayton R. Cullen and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin F. Burke,” said Col. Scott Gallaway, commander, 4th CAB, 4th Inf. Div. “These gentlemen exemplified all the attributes we expect from our very best leaders. They were selfless, mission-focused, and committed to their teammates. Our heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to Clayton’s and Kevin’s Families. These two young leaders left an indelible mark on the entire Iron Eagle team. We will forever be better Soldiers, and a more combat-ready aviation brigade, due to their leadership.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

Flares, not pipe bombs, ignited at Lake Wales mall, officials say

ABC News(LAKE WALES, Fla.) — A day after police said two pipe bombs detonated in an unpopulated part of a mall in Lake Wales, Florida, the FBI now believes the incident was caused by a pair of marine flares.

“There is no indication of any explosion at the mall and no pipe bombs were found,” according to a statement released Monday by the FBI’s Tampa field office. “It appears two items, believed to be marine flares, were ignited in a mall hallway, creating a large amount of smoke, and a backpack was located at the scene.”

Bomb technicians “examined the contents of the backpack and determined it did not contain any incendiary or explosive devices,” the statement said.

Any fears of terrorism have so far been ruled out.

“There is no current indication of any terrorist connection to this incident,” the statement added.

A statement published on the Eagle Ridge Mall’s website echoed the FBI, saying that “two signal flares triggered a fire alarm” and that it was open for business.

It was a different story Sunday night, however.

The reports coming from local authorities suggested the mall had sustained some kind of nefarious attack.

Authorities said Sunday evening that two improvised explosive devices had detonated in the corridor of the mall.

After Lake Wales police arrived, the mall was quickly evacuated and a perimeter established. No injuries were reported.

Emergency personnel from surrounding counties responded to the mall around 5:30 p.m. Lake Wales Police Department Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said initially there was a “smoke alarm” inside a remote, unpopulated service corridor.

When authorities arrived, “they determined that an IED, or a pipe bomb explosive, had detonated in the corridor,” Schulze said.

Cops soon made the determination that it was not just one pipe bomb that went off, but two.

Then, Schulze said, authorities found a “backpack or book bag that contained five or six other IEDs that were not detonated,” adding that those devices were “safely removed.”

“We had guys go in and do a cursory search to make sure there wasn’t anything else suspicious or out of place,” he said.

Schulze said multiple witnesses told police about a middle-aged man — with a “heavy/stocky build, wearing a gray shirt and gray hat” — seen running from the area.

“If anybody knows or hears anything we hope they would contact us,” he said on Sunday.

It’s unclear if police or the FBI are still in pursuit of this person-of-interest given the new information.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

15-year-old girl shot in Texas high school cafeteria

ABC News(ITALY, Texas) —  A 15-year-old girl was hospitalized after a shooting in a cafeteria at a Texas school Monday morning, local officials said.

The suspect, a 16-year-old male student, is in custody after the incident at Italy High School in Italy, Texas, located about 45 miles south of Dallas, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office said.

The victim was transported by air ambulance, the sheriff’s office said. Her condition is unknown.

No one else was injured, officials said.

The sheriff’s office said “the kids are being moved, under guard to the dome as the investigation continues” and parents can be reunited with their children at a nearby elementary school.

This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

‘My heart’s filled’: Firefighter reunites with child he rescued from a burning building

ABC News(DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.) — The firefighter who caught a child who was thrown to safety from the balcony of a burning apartment building said his “heart’s filled” after reuniting with the girl and her family following the blaze.

The harrowing incident, which was caught on high-definition helmet-camera video, captures the moment a 5-year-old girl, Destiny Nelson, was thrown to safety from the third-floor balcony of a Georgia apartment building by her parents earlier this month.

“America heard what we were dealing with right there,” Captain Scott Stroup of the Dekalb County Fire Rescue Department, who can be seen in the video catching the child as she falls, told ABC News of the incident. “When you hear children screaming, that right there amps up the adrenaline.”

Stroup, who has been a firefighter for 26 years, added that while this incident was caught on camera and widely shared, “all too often in this job, firefighters do remarkable things every day.”

Stroup, however, said that it was meeting with the girl’s family again that made this incident so special to him.

“Very seldom do we get to make that personal connection, and this right here, if I retire today I would have had a fulfilled career,” Stroup said. “To see the family, and how appreciative they are, and see the children playing with their siblings, my heart’s filled.”

Djuana Nelson told ABC News that having her daughter meet with Stroup has brought some “healing” for Destiny, who is still struggling to understand and recover from the events.

“It started some healing for my family,” Nelson told ABC News. “Most of all, it brought some clarity to my daughter, because all she keeps talking about is, ‘Daddy threw me, and fire, and Daddy being hurt,’ so she doesn’t quite understand.”

Nelson added that she hopes meeting with Stroup helped her daughter understand, “That her daddy wasn’t trying to hurt her; he was trying to save her life.”

Stroup’s reunion with Destiny aired on Good Morning America Monday, and shows Stroup giving the child a hug, telling her, “It is so good to see you and see that you’re okay.”

“I want to tell you something, okay? Do you know how brave your daddy is?” Scott added. “He’s very very brave. He loves you very much. Your daddy saved your life.”

Nelson’s family members are raising funds through a Go Fund Me campaign to help support the family — and specifically help them find a new place to live — as they rebuild their lives after the fire.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

Colorado skier killed in avalanche, marking state’s 1st such fatality of the season

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN MIGUEL COUNTY, Colo.) — A backcountry skier died in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado Sunday, marking the state’s first known avalanche fatality of the season, authorities said.

The skier was “caught, killed” while in an area known locally as Sam’s Trees in San Miguel County, Colorado, about 300 miles southwest of Aspen, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

It did not release the victim’s identity or provide details on what caused the incident.

The site, which sits at an elevation of about 11,200 feet, received as much as 20 inches of snow in a 24-hour period, according to San Miguel County Search and Rescue.

The department sent its condolences to the victim’s family in a Facebook post late Sunday, also warning people to be careful.

“Colorado experienced their first avalanche fatality of the 2018 season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center,” the Facebook post said. “Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the victim.”

It said the danger rating in the area was at level three, on a scale of one to five, and told skiers to “remain vigilant while traveling in the backcountry.”

The state had issued a warning for the San Juan Mountains area on its website Sunday, saying human-triggered avalanches were likely to occur on steep slopes with 6 or more inches of new or drifted snow.

“An avalanche in the surface snow could step down to lower weak layers, triggering a larger and more dangerous avalanche,” the warning said. “You can trigger an avalanche today that is large enough to injure or kill you. “

Colorado Avalanche Information Center said it sent staff to review the scene and planned to release a detailed report later this week.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

Dua Lipa featured in new Adidas Originals campaign; will perform on “SNL”

Markus PritziDua Lipa is one of several rising stars featured in a short film that the Adidas Originals brand has commissioned for its 2018 spring campaign.

As Women’s Wear Daily reports, the “New Rules” singer is one of 10 “creators” featured in the campaign, which is called “Original Is Never Finished.”  It’s based on the concept that “complacency is the death of creativity,” according to the company.  Dua and the other stars were chosen to target the “slash” generation — people who are famous for doing more than one thing. 

In addition to Dua, the film also features rappers Playboi Carti and A$AP Ferg, NBA player Nick Young, pro skateboarder Miles Silva and soccer player Marcelo Vieira.  It features an overview of the whole Adidas Originals season, including a variety of sneakers and apparel.  The film will debut on January 25.

In other news, Dua has been announced as the musical guest on the February 3 episode of Saturday Night Live.  Natalie Portman will host the episode.

Finally, Dua’s hit “New Rules” has finally reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, after 25 weeks on the chart.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jan 23

Styles, Harry Styles: Spectre film editor says 23-year-old singer could be Bond

Harley WeirHarry Styles‘ small role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk was well-received, but could the One Direction star portray one of filmdom’s most iconic characters?

As the U.K. paper The Daily Star reports, Lee Smith, who edited the James Bond movie Spectre as well as Dunkirk, thinks Harry would make a great James Bond, even though he’s only 23. 

According to the paper, at the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards, Smith said, “Harry could do it. If they wanted a younger Bond then why not? He has got it.” 

Harry seemingly has an inside track on the role because, the Daily Star reports, Nolan has been rumored to direct the next Bond film.  Daniel Craig is expected to star in that film, due in 2019, which means his replacement wouldn’t appear until 2022.  At that point, Harry would be 28.  Smith thinks the singer could do it, even though he’d still be the youngest Bond ever.

“Harry is really good and he can go all the way. He is an exceptional talent and a complete natural on camera,” Smith is quoted as saying.  “You would have thought you were dealing with a guy with many years of experience. You would never know that was his first film….he was really good and a genuinely charismatic fellow.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Older posts «

» Newer posts