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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Spring is finally here next week — but Mother Nature may not be done battering the Northeast with rain, snow and wind.Another nor’easter — the fourth storm this month — could slam into the region just as the season is about to change.The storm is moving slowly from the Rockies and could bring severe weather to the central and southern U.S. on Monday.That could mean more snow for the Northern Plains.By Wednesday or Thursday, the I-95 corridor could see the worst of the storm.Two weather models have the storm system barreling north on different tracks.A European forecast said heavy snow is possible more inland from West Virginia to upstate New York, while the American model said the storm will be more coastal — slamming into New Jersey, Long Island and perhaps New York City.If the latter model proves true, Washington, D.C., will be mostly spared.Meanwhile, a mudslide in Malibu, California, Thursday morning closed down a road, potentially for several more days.Storms also brought as much as 16 inches of snow to the Sierra Nevada Mountains over the last 24 hours.Snow and high-wind alerts have been issued in 18 states from California all the way to West Virginia.With two storm systems looming, the first of those on Friday morning is stretching all the way from the Gulf Coast to the Upper Plains, bringing showers and thunderstorms to the south and more heavy snow in the north.By Friday afternoon and evening, showers and severe storms are expected from Missouri to Louisiana. Some of the rainstorms may contain damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes are possible.Up north, snowfall will spread from the Dakotas into Iowa.By Saturday, that storm system will weaken but still bring mixed precipitation from Illinois to West Virginia. The Southeast may see some stronger storms as well.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(WEST MEMPHIS, Ark.) — An Arkansas police officer is dead after a fluke incident in which he was struck by a stray bullet while in his home.Capt. Joe Baker, of the West Memphis, Arkansas, police said the officer from nearby Forrest City was struck by the bullet at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The officer, identified as Oliver Johnson, was off-duty at the time and not involved in law enforcement activities when he was killed.An altercation between two groups broke out and shots were fired outside of the officer’s residence, Baker said. Johnson was not the intended target.Johnson was the father of two young girls, according to Memphis ABC affiliate WATN.Baker also said a vehicle was involved, but was not able to confirm whether it was a drive-by shooting.A full investigation is underway.“Obviously it’s a tragic situation when anybody is killed,” Baker said at a press conference outside the victim’s home. “This hits everybody a little close to home in law enforcement, he was a police officer. Some of our officers did in fact know him. Our cities are pretty close, a lot of our officers had interactions [with him].”Johnson lived in West Memphis, Arkansas, just over the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee, but was a police officer with the Forrest City Police Department. Forrest City is located about 40 miles west of West Memphis.Neighbors told WATN they heard as many as 40 shots outside Johnson’s home.“When I stepped outside one of his nephews yelled, ‘My uncle has been shot.’ So, when I went in the house, I found him shot and me and my husband tried to do CPR,” neighbor Portia Weatherspoon told WATN.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Michael Marsland/Yale University(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) — A Yale dean said the Ivy League university needs to work at becoming “truly inclusive” after a white student called police on a black classmate who had fallen asleep in a dormitory common area.“Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place,” Lynn Cooley, the dean of Yale’s graduate school of arts and sciences, said in an email to students on Tuesday.The graduate student, Lolade Siyonbola, sparked outrage about racial profiling on Monday after she posted a video showing her long interaction with campus police officers and the white student who called them.“I deserve to be here. I pay tuition like everybody else,” Siyonbola, a 34-year-old graduate student in African studies, said after police asked her to present identification. “I’m not going to justify my existence here.”“I really don’t know if there’s a justification for you actually being in the building,” she said to the officers, after proving her enrollment.Siyonbola even unlocked her dorm-room door in front of the officers to prove she lived there after they insisted on seeing her ID.“We’re in a Yale building, and we need to make sure that you belong here,” one officer said in the video. The officers said the encounter lasted longer than expected because her name appears differently in the school’s system.Siyonbola, who ended up being questioned for nearly 20 minutes, said she had fallen asleep while working on a paper in a common room of her dorm. She told police that the female student who reported her suffered from mental illness and had called police on another student in the past.Another black graduate student told ABC affiliate WTNH-TV that the same woman called police on him about a month ago.Reneson Jean-Louis told police the woman said to him at the time, “‘You’re making me uncomfortable. I don’t feel safe around you. You’re an intruder. You need to leave. You need to get out.’”“This is, again, a blatant case of racial profiling that needs to be addressed at Yale, university-wide,” he added.Cooley said in her email that she’s “committed to redoubling our efforts to build a supportive community in which all graduate students are empowered in their intellectual pursuits and professional goals within a welcoming environment.”The incident is the latest in a string of recent high-profile encounters involving black people who have been wrongfully reported.Earlier this week, a group of black Airbnb renters in Southern California said they planned to sue Rialto Police Department over how it responded to a 911 caller reporting a burglary at their rental location. A similar situation unfolded in downtown Philadelphia last month involving two black men at a Starbucks where a manager reported them because they hadn’t purchased anything.Siyonbola didn’t immediately respond to social media requests for additional comment, but she wrote about the incident on her Facebook page Tuesday afternoon: “Grateful for all the love, kind words and prayers, your support has been overwhelming. Black Yale community is beyond incredible and is taking good care of me.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The first half of the weekend was a washout for much of the Northeast, thanks to heavy showers and thunderstorms that continued throughout the day.Many areas received 2 to 3 inches of rain, while Caldwell, New Jersey, received 4.92 inches and New York’s Central Park received 2.9 inches, a new record for the day. Flights at Newark Liberty International Airport were delayed, and one entrance of New York City’s Penn Station was closed due to floodwaters.The atmospheric setup remains similar on Sunday with a tenacious stationary front remaining in place in the Northeast. That means more showers and thunderstorms will develop on Sunday.However, the worst is over for the Northeast. Showers on Sunday should be less intense and less frequent than Saturday. Rainfall amounts through Monday evening will range between 1 and 2 inches for most spots, with upwards of 3 inches possible in New England.Fire weather in Northern PlainsAt least three new wildfires were sparked Saturday in Montana, thanks to gusty winds, low humidity and extensive heat, according to Great Falls ABC affiliate KRTV.Temperatures were so high in the region Saturday that numerous records were broken, including Glasgow, Montana (107 degrees); Helena, Montana (102 degrees); Pocatello, Idaho (100 degrees); and West Glacier, Montana (100 degrees), which reached triple digits for the first time in recorded history.A high centered over Minnesota will steer warm air from the south into the Upper Plains again on Sunday. High temperatures will reach into the 100s in some places, with the potential of new records being set.Very dry air over the West, coupled with a cold front in western Montana, will produce gusty winds and the formation of dry thunderstorms on Sunday. Lightning strikes from these dry storms can easily spark new wildfires, while the gusty winds can facilitate their rapid spread. Red flag warnings remain in effect for much of the region through Sunday night.Monsoons calm downMonsoon thunderstorms rolled through the Las Vegas area again Saturday night. Dust storms and flash flood warnings were both issued by the National Weather Service for the region. Winds — some that gusted to over 71 miles per hour — and rain were so severe that, at one point, 62,000 customers of NV Energy were without power.Drier air is expected to move in from the west on Sunday, which will decrease the probability of monsoon thunderstorms for the next few days. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Federal officials this week warned police around the country that drones are posing an ever-growing threat to safety and security.Citing the Aug. 4 attack during an appearance of Venezuela’s president, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center issued an intelligence bulletin with the starkest of warnings: “An attack could be conducted by one person or several people using a commercially available, off-the-shelf (drone) to target venues which attract large crowds, such as sporting facilities, concerts, and transportation terminals, or public figures.”The bulletin, dated Aug. 13 and obtained by ABC News, went on to say “details on building or modifying (drones) by terrorists as a means to deliver a weapon, are available on the internet and online forums, making it feasible for a person with sufficient technical experience or motivation to conduct an attack.”Unmanned, high-tech flying machines have been proliferating throughout the United States in recent years. The feds noted that in 2017 there were 3,000 reports of drones flying over or near critical sites in the U.S. That number is expected to grow as technology improves while costs continue to come down.The bulletin says that ISIS has already started using drones in Iraq and Syria – both for surveillance and to commit attacks.“Commercially available (drones) may be used by threat actors to deliver hazardous payloads, including explosives, chemicals, or biological or radiological agents, to conduct an attack, and recent (drone) employment tactics could expand options for potential attackers to conduct precise,” according to the bulletin.The threat from drones was driven home on international TV early this month when low-flying devices exploded over a military ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, just as President Nicolas Maduro was speaking.Following the attack, U.S. officials went public with their own concerns about drones.“The danger from weaponized drones is real,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted the day after the Maduro attack. “It is time for Congress to give (DHS) the authority to counter this rapidly evolving threat.”Security expert Steve Gomez, the retired chief of counterterrorism at the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said American officials have been slow to recognize this new threat.“Even though we haven’t seen terrorists in the U.S. utilizing this method for attack, this has been seen outside the country,” said Gomez, an ABC News contributor. “Law enforcement has to be proactive. This is just one more example of terrorists identifying a new technology and this technology is going to be getting better.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW BERN, N.C.) — Hurricane Florence is pummeling the North Carolina coastline, making landfall with life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds.“I see a biblical proportion flood event that’s going to occur,” Wilmington, North Carolina, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous told ABC News. “I see the beach communities being inundated with water, and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic in nature.”More than 372,000 customers in North Carolina are without power early Friday, as residents brace for the impact of the Category 1 storm. Here’s the latest:Catastrophic flooding is feared in much of the coastal Carolinas. Rainfall has already reached as much as 2 inches per hour in parts of eastern North Carolina.More than a foot of rain has already drenched Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.In Bayboro, North Carolina — one of the areas under evacuation — resident Kim Dunn stayed behind, and now she’s trapped in her truck surrounded by rising water, as her boyfriend and his cousin are stranded on a paddle boat less than a mile away.The water is as high as street signs, and “we have no way to get to them,” Dunn told ABC News Friday morning.“They’ve been out there for about six hours now, just screaming for help,” she said. “Only communication we have with them is just me flashing my lights to them, and I think they have a flashlight they’re flickering back to us.”Dunn — mother to a 10-month-old, a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old — said she made a decision to stay behind as others evacuated.“We were trying to figure out if we had enough finances to get out, and if we were to get out, were we going to be able to get back home? So we made a decision to stay,” she said. “I don’t know how long it’s gonna be before the water actually starts to come into the apartment.”In nearby New Bern, where water levels reached 10 feet overnight, 150 people have requested rescue. Volunteers are using private boats to pitch in and help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said.The downtown area, at the confluence of two rivers, is mostly underwater.“You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU,” the city said on Twitter.The rainfall is forecast to reach 20 to 40 inches over the next several days.Storm surge could be as high as 11 feet in parts of North Carolina, prompting officials to closely watch the rise of rivers in the eastern part of the state. River flooding may be worse than Hurricane Floyd in 1999. “Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday. “The heavy rains and high winds are likely to spread across North Carolina and linger for days.”“We will survive this, and we will endure,” he said. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Authorities in Missouri are pointing to advanced DNA technology good police work for helping investigators to finally identify the suspect in the murders of a woman and her 12-year-old daughter in 1998.The Missouri State Highway Patrol and New Madrid County Sheriff’s Office held a joint news conference Friday to shed light on and detail how they’d linked the heinous double murder of Sherri and Megan Scherer, as well as several other unsolved crimes in other states, to Robert Eugene Brashers.Brashers, 40, of Paragould, Arkansas, died in January 1999 after he shot himself in the head during a standoff with police at a Missouri motel, authorities said Friday.In March 1998, the bodies of Sherri Scherer, 38, and Megan Scherer, 12, were found about 7 p.m. in their home in rural Portageville, Missouri, authorities said. They had been shot to death, police added, and Megan had been sexually assaulted.A few hours later, authorities said, police got a report of a man attempting to break into the home of a woman and her children in Tennessee’s Dyer County. During a struggle with the woman, the unidentified man shot the woman in the arm.The woman was able to get back inside the home, however. Ballistics connected the shooting to the Scherer murders, according to authorities.The woman gave police a composite sketch and a partial DNA profile was created in 1998. In 2006, evidence from the Scherer murders was then re-sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Crime Lab and a full suspect DNA profile was created and entered into the Combined DNA Index System.Police said that submission uncovered a match to the April 1990 unsolved murder of Genevieve Zitricki, 28, who was found dead in her home in Greenville, South Carolina. All the while, police said, investigators continued looking into leads and conducting interviews.A search for a suspect that had started in Missouri now had grown to include two additional states.In May 2017, another match was uncovered via the DNA index system that linked the suspected perpetrator to a March 1997 rape of a 14-year-old girl in Memphis during a home invasion. The victim and witnesses helped put together a composite drawing of the suspect, investigators said.In 2018, investigators said they reached out to a company called Parabon NanoLabs, whose technology “combines DNA testing and genetic genealogy analysis” to link a person with their ancestors.“Parabon’s process provided leads to law enforcement investigators that, when combined with traditional investigative techniques, led to the identification” of Brashers, authorities said in a statement.Investigators got DNA samples from his relatives and “test results indicated Mr. Brashers was, with very little doubt, responsible for the crimes,” the statement said.In September, his remains were exhumed and additional samples were taken and tested to confirm that his DNA indeed matched the DNA found in the crimes.“This is an amazing example of a cooperative, investigative effort by Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee authorities. All parties worked together, including the decision [to] seek the services of Parabon NanoLabs,” said Sgt. Shawn Griggs of Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control. “During the history of these cases, investigators from Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee have worked close to 1,500 leads and the homicides here in Missouri were featured on ‘America’s Most Wanted’ two different times.”Police said Brashers’ criminal history included a conviction for attempted murder in November 1986 due to an incident in Florida.In 1998, according to authorities, he’d been arrested in Paragould for allegedly attempting to break into a woman’s home.In January 1999, police in Missouri were investigating a case involving a stolen license plate when they encountered a friend of Brashers. Police said Brashers was allegedly armed with a pistol at a Kennett, Missouri, motel.“Officers learned during the standoff that Brashers had active warrants for his arrest stemming from the 1998 incident in Paragould, Arizona,” authorities said in its statement.Before police could arrest him, Brashers allegedly shot himself to death.Griggs told ABC News Friday that authorities had met with the Scherer family Thursday to inform relatives. He said technology and investigators’ working together had enabled authorities to “honor” their commitment not only to the family but also to the people of Missouri.“I have no doubt in my mind that this is the most heavily investigated case this county has ever seen,” Stevens said Friday. “When I took office in January of 2001, I made the decision this would never become a cold case, as far as we were concerned. This case would always be at the forefront of our workload. It was too important to the Scherer family and the community of Portageville.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Myhealthguy/Instagram(LOS ANGELES) — Fueled by blustery winds and parched vegetation, two massive fires burning in California both grew overnight, leaving thousands of exhausted firefighter battling to stretch containment lines around the raging blazes that have killed at least 44 people and destroyed thousands of homes.Adding to the turmoil were two new fires that broke out within five minutes of each other Monday morning near the massive Woolsey Fire burning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.Chief Mark Lorenzen of the Ventura County Fire Department said the first blaze started at 10 a.m. near the city of Thousand Oaks, quickly spread and was threatening homes. The second fire ignited about five minutes later in the Rocky Peak area near a densely populated area of Semi Valley on the Los Angeles-Ventura County line. It grew to 105 acres and prompted the closure of Highway 118 in both directions for more than an hour, but the forward progress of the fire had been stopped by 2 p.m. PT.Fire crews rapidly raced to both fires, battling them from the ground and air with helicopters. Firefighters were able to control the blazes and stop them from spreading to nearby populated areas, officials said.“It just hits home that we are still in significant fire weather and the existing fire is not our only concern,” Lorenzen said.Meanwhile, the Camp Fire ravaging Nothern California’s Butte County, now the most destructive and deadliest fire in the state’s history, grew by 4,000 acres between Sunday and Monday morning as firefighters struggled to get a handle on the flames spreading into rugged, hard-to-reach terrain in the Sierra foothills.Two prison inmate firefighters were among three injured fighting the Camp Fire, a Cal Fire officials told ABC News.The fire, which is just 30 percent contained, has now burned 117,000 acres and destroyed 7,177 homes and businesses, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire. The fire protection agency has created an interactive website for residents to check on the damage of their home or business.The blaze has killed 42 people, topping the 1933 Griffith Park Fire in Los Angeles, previously the state’s deadliest inferno, by more than 13.The California wildfires, as shown in the map below, have burned more than 200,000 acres across the state.The Woolsey Fire, one of two blazes wreaking havoc in Southern California, grew to 93,662 acres on Monday after it hopscotched through Los Angeles and Ventura counties over the weekend, leveling homes in the celebrity enclaves of Malibu, West Lake Village, and Calabasas.The number of structures destroyed, which includes homes, grew to 435 on Monday, up from 177 on Sunday, according to Cal Fire.The Woolsey Fire, which killed two people in Malibu, was 30 percent contained on Monday, officials said.No rain is forecast before ThanksgivingThe next rain event isn’t expected any time soon, National Weather Service meteorologist Aviva Braun told reporters Monday evening. There is no indication of precipitation in the next week and through Thanksgiving, she added.Dry and near-critical conditions are expected to continue overnight Monday into Tuesday as breezy, northwest winds kick up again. However, the winds won’t be nearly as strong as in the past few nights, so no red flag warnings were issued for Monday night.The winds on Tuesday will be “much lighter,” Braun said.Neil Young loses homeSinger Neil Young, 73, confirmed Sunday that his Malibu home was among those destroyed in the fire.“We are up against something bigger than we have ever seen. It’s too big for some to see at all,” Young wrote on the Neil Young Archives page on Facebook. “Firefighters have never seen anything like this in their lives. I have heard that said countless times in the past two days, and I have lost my home before to a California fire, now another.”The monstrous fires were threatening to destroy up to 57,000 more homes in Southern California and another 15,500 in Northern California as blustery winds are expected to deal firefighters a menacing challenge throughout the state over the next two days, Cal Fire officials said.Officials remained concerned the death toll could rise as search and rescue crews reach areas previously unreachable because of fire danger. There were more than 100 people missing in the Butte County fire zones, though officials were working to track them down.The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has received 1,513 calls for welfare checks, and authorities had located 231 people safely by Monday night, officials said.The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has activated a call center for the public to provide and receive information about those thought to be missing.The bodies of most of those who perished were found in Paradise, the Sierra foothills community that was almost completely destroyed by the Camp Fire.149,000 evacuatedMore than 149,000 people throughout the Golden State have evacuated as a result of the fires, outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters Sunday afternoon.The threats from the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire aren’t expected to diminish anytime soon, as gusty weather ramped back up Sunday throughout the state. Red flag warnings signaling extreme fire danger have been issued from California’s border with Oregon to its border with Mexico.Batallion Chief Lucas Spellman said Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that fires were being fueled by an abundance of vegetation that grew during a spike in precipitation last year only to wither during a new dry spell that has hit the state.“So, it’s just a recipe for destruction,” Spellman said.Wind gusts could reach 50 mph across the eastern foothills and western slopes of the northern Sierra Nevada mountain range through today, as well as parts of the Sacramento Valley.Officials are warning evacuees eager to return home to stay away, emphasizing that many of the damaged areas are still not safe.Harrowing escapeNichole Jolly, a nurse at Feather River Hospital in Paradise, said she was nearly killed twice Thursday by the Camp Fire after helping to evacuate critically sick patients.“I called my husband and I just said, ‘I don’t think I’m gonna make it out of this. It’s coming in too fast, I don’t even know where to go,’” Jolly told ABC News.She said she tried to drive out of the harm’s way only to have her car fill up with smoke and get rear-ended by another panicked driver.“I knew I was gonna die if I stayed in my car,” she said, so she jumped out and ran.She said her pants were on fire by the time she was rescued by two firefighters.“Everybody I know lost everything.Paradise resident Brad Weldon told ABC News that his home was one of four still standing on a mile-and-a-half stretch in his neighborhood.Weldon woke up Thursday morning to fire reports in Pulga — about a 30-mile drive east of Paradise — but stayed at his home with his 90-year-old mother, Norma Weldon, who is blind and refused to leave.Once Weldon noticed that the fire was coming toward his home with 60 mph winds, he witnessed a firenado change the course of the blaze.“And a fire tornado, like a big firestorm, started right up there, and it kind of turned the fire away from us,” he said. “I believe that was the angels.”When asked what was left of the town of Paradise, Weldon replied, “Nothing.”“It’s gone,” he said, holding back tears. “Everybody I know lost everything. It’s real sad.”“Our entire five-member council is homeless.”The home of Melissa Schuster, councilwoman for the town of Paradise, was among the 6,453 single-family residences destroyed in Butte County in the Camp Fire, she told ABC News.Schuster was at her home Thursday morning when Paradise Town Manager Lauren Gill called her, telling her that “the fire situation had changed,” and she and her family barely made it out alive.The fire progressed “so rapidly,” Schuster said, adding that she’d never heard of “a fire that has impacted an entire community.”More than 50,000 Butte County residents are currently displaced, Schuster said. The homes of all five of Paradise’s councilmembers were also incinerated in the fire, she said.“Our entire five-member council is homeless,” she said.While firefighters struggled to get a handle on the Woolsey Fire, another blaze burning in the Southern California, the Hill Fire, was 85 percent contained Monday after it consumed 4,531 acres in Ventura County near Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people Wednesday night at a country bar before taking his own life.The infamous Santa Ana wind in Southern California began kicking up again on Sunday with gusts of up to 40 mph hitting the fire zones, officials said. The winds are not expected to calm down until Tuesday.Two people were found dead in Malibu from the Woolsey Fire, officials from Cal Fire said.Detectives believe that the victims, found in a vehicle off the Mulholland Highway, were killed after the driver became disoriented while evacuating and the car was overcome by fire, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Scott Gage said in a press conference Sunday afternoon.More than 3,200 firefighters are battling the Woolsey Fire, while another 4,500 are fighting the Camp Fire. Firefighters are also tending to at least another 12 smaller fires burning throughout the state.“We need to make sure that all citizens are diligent to making sure that they do nothing to start a new fire,” Chief Scott Jalbert of Cal Fire said at a news conference Sunday.Burning ice plantLorenzen implored people to leave evacuation zones. He said the fire was burning everything in its path, including ice plant.“Ice plant is not supposed to burn,” Lorenzen said Sunday. “So my message to the community today is maybe 10 to 20 years ago you stayed in your homes when there was a fire and you were able to protect them. Things are not the way they were 10 years ago. The rate of spread is exponentially more than what it used to be.”The governor-elect of California, Gavin Newsom, has issued an emergency proclamation for Butte County due to the Camp Fire.On Sunday, Gov. Brown requested that President Donald Trump issue a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the ongoing emergency response and aid residents in their recovery from devastating fires throughout the state.“We have the best firefighters and first responders in the country working in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable,” Brown said in a statement Sunday. “We’re putting everything we’ve got into the fight against these fires and this request ensures communities on the front lines get additional federal aid. To those who have lost friends and family members, homes and businesses, know that the entire state is with you. As Californians, we are strong and resilient, and together we will recover.”Late on Friday, Trump declared a state of emergency for California, freeing up federal resources to supplement local response efforts. The declaration allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts to help alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, provide support for emergency measures and free up federal resources.But on Saturday morning, Trump threatened to pull federal funding for California wildfires if the state didn’t “remedy” its poor “forest management.”“Our focus is on the Californians impacted by these fires and the first responders and firefighters working around the clock to save lives and property — not on the president’s inane and uninformed tweets,” Brown’s press secretary, Evan Westrup, told ABC News on Sunday.Brian Rice, president of California Professional Firefighters, called Trump’s threat to slash funds for battling California wildfires “ill-informed, ill-timed, demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.”Rice said Trump’s assertion that California’s forest management policies are to blame for the catastrophic wildfires is “dangerously wrong.”“Wildfires are sparked and spread not only in forested areas but in populated areas and open fields fueled by parched vegetation, high winds, low humidity and geography,” Rice said.On Tuesday, Trump approved an emergency request for a major disaster declaration in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — Three people have died in North Carolina after a massive, “unforgettable” snowstorm pummeled the state, the governor said Tuesday.A driver was trying to free his stuck car on Monday when he began to have medical problems, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. The driver died at a hospital, he said.Another driver died in the town of Matthews on Sunday after a tree struck his car. The driver then plowed through the front lawn of a church, hitting the building, local police said.In Haywood County, a woman on hospice care died when her oxygen concentrator stopped working from a power outage, the governor’s office said.Beyond the three confirmed storm-related deaths, one additional death is under investigation, Cooper said Tuesday.The storm — described by the governor as a “nightmare” — dropped staggering amounts of snow, ice and rain across North Carolina, with a year’s worth of snow falling in some places in just one day. The most snowfall was 34 inches in the mountains of North Carolina.While the storm has moved on, fallen trees, downed power lines and slippery roads still remain, Cooper said Tuesday.There were 38,000 households still without power as of Tuesday morning, he said.Cooper also warned that the frigid temperatures overnight are transforming slushy roads into dangerous ice.The state’s highway patrol has responded to 2,300 accidents, he said.“If conditions in your area are still dangerous, don’t take the risk. Sit tight,” Cooper said.Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee also saw over 1 foot of snow in some areas.The forecastThat storm may have moved eastward, but freezing temperatures remain. Brutal wind chills hit much of the eastern U.S. Tuesday, including the South.The National Weather Service has warned drivers to be mindful of black ice.Meanwhile, in the West, six states are under snow, wind or flood alerts ahead of a new storm system approaching the Pacific Northwest.Heavier rainfall is expected in the Northwest on Tuesday, and may lead to flash flooding as winds exceed 50 mph.On Wednesday morning, the storm that brought rain to the Northwest will likely will move east and drop heavy snow, with 1 to 3 feet expected from the Cascades into the Rockies. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
380 Southern Baptist church officials and volunteers faced abuse allegations, explosive report states
Darwin Brandis/iStock(HOUSTON) — An extensive newspaper investigation has revealed the seeming breadth and ubiquity of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist church community, and details allegations of how church officials failed to take action for years.The investigation spanned 20 states, and involves numerous churches, which in the Southern Baptist faith generally operate with autonomy.The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News published a six month investigation into allegations of widespread sex abuse, reporting that 380 church leaders and volunteers faced allegations of sexual misconduct.The investigation was a joint effort between the two newspapers — both of which published the same, explosive report in their respective publications on Sunday.Of the 380 individuals who have faced or are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, about 220 have either been convicted or accepted plea deals in connection to their misconduct, and dozens of pending cases remain unresolved, according to the investigation.An unspecified number of those individuals still work in Southern Baptist churches, the newspapers reported, while nearly 100 are in prison, and others faced no time in jail.The offenses include rape, sexual assault and pornography, the paper reports. Some of the abuse took place in pastors’ studies or in choral or Sunday school classrooms, the investigation found.The current president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), J.D. Greear, turned to Twitter to respond to the “pure evil” described in the investigation’s conclusions.The SBC is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., as well as the nation’s second largest Christian denomination, behind the Catholic Church. The SBC counts more than 50,000 churches and more than 15 million members among its congregation.“The voices in this article should be heard as a warning sent from God, calling the church to repent,” Greear wrote in a Twitter thread on Sunday after the investigative reports were published.“As Christians, we are called to expose everything sinful to the light. The survivors in this article have done that — at a personal cost few of us can fathom.”“We — leaders in the SBC — should have listened to the warnings of those who tried to call attention to this,” he continued in the Twitter thread. “I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure we never make these mistakes again.”Greear went on to note that “it’s time for pervasive change.”“As a denomination, now is a time to mourn and repent,” Greear continued in the social media plea to his fellow Southern Baptists. “Changes are coming. They must. We cannot just promise to ‘do better’ and expect that to be enough. But today, change begins with feeling the full weight of the problem.”Reports of SBC leaders either downplaying or ignoring earlier reports of abuse in numerous cases were included in the newspaper report.The cases uncovered in the investigation span the past two decades, and one case from 2007 involved communication with SBC leaders and a set of proposed reforms that were rejected. The Houston Chronicle notes that the current interim president of the SBC’s executive committee August “Augie” Boto was involved in the creation of the rejection of the reforms in 2008, and they included quotes from an email he sent to a victim around that time.“There is no question that some Southern Baptist ministers have done criminal things, including sexual abuse of children,” Boto wrote in a 2007 email, the newspaper reports.“It is a sad and tragic truth. Hopefully, the harm emanating from such occurrences will cause the local churches to be more aggressively vigilant,” the 2007 email read, according to the investigation.The investigation comes amid numerous ongoing investigations into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in at least 16 states. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.,Darwin Brandis/iStock(HOUSTON) — An extensive newspaper investigation has revealed the seeming breadth and ubiquity of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist church community, and details allegations of how church officials failed to take action for years.The investigation spanned 20 states, and involves numerous churches, which in the Southern Baptist faith generally operate with autonomy.The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News published a six month investigation into allegations of widespread sex abuse, reporting that 380 church leaders and volunteers faced allegations of sexual misconduct.The investigation was a joint effort between the two newspapers — both of which published the same, explosive report in their respective publications on Sunday.Of the 380 individuals who have faced or are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, about 220 have either been convicted or accepted plea deals in connection to their misconduct, and dozens of pending cases remain unresolved, according to the investigation.An unspecified number of those individuals still work in Southern Baptist churches, the newspapers reported, while nearly 100 are in prison, and others faced no time in jail.The offenses include rape, sexual assault and pornography, the paper reports. Some of the abuse took place in pastors’ studies or in choral or Sunday school classrooms, the investigation found.The current president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), J.D. Greear, turned to Twitter to respond to the “pure evil” described in the investigation’s conclusions.The SBC is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., as well as the nation’s second largest Christian denomination, behind the Catholic Church. The SBC counts more than 50,000 churches and more than 15 million members among its congregation.“The voices in this article should be heard as a warning sent from God, calling the church to repent,” Greear wrote in a Twitter thread on Sunday after the investigative reports were published.“As Christians, we are called to expose everything sinful to the light. The survivors in this article have done that — at a personal cost few of us can fathom.”“We — leaders in the SBC — should have listened to the warnings of those who tried to call attention to this,” he continued in the Twitter thread. “I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure we never make these mistakes again.”Greear went on to note that “it’s time for pervasive change.”“As a denomination, now is a time to mourn and repent,” Greear continued in the social media plea to his fellow Southern Baptists. “Changes are coming. They must. We cannot just promise to ‘do better’ and expect that to be enough. But today, change begins with feeling the full weight of the problem.”Reports of SBC leaders either downplaying or ignoring earlier reports of abuse in numerous cases were included in the newspaper report.The cases uncovered in the investigation span the past two decades, and one case from 2007 involved communication with SBC leaders and a set of proposed reforms that were rejected. The Houston Chronicle notes that the current interim president of the SBC’s executive committee August “Augie” Boto was involved in the creation of the rejection of the reforms in 2008, and they included quotes from an email he sent to a victim around that time.“There is no question that some Southern Baptist ministers have done criminal things, including sexual abuse of children,” Boto wrote in a 2007 email, the newspaper reports.“It is a sad and tragic truth. Hopefully, the harm emanating from such occurrences will cause the local churches to be more aggressively vigilant,” the 2007 email read, according to the investigation.The investigation comes amid numerous ongoing investigations into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in at least 16 states. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.