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first_imgWNEP(MONTOUR COUNTY, Pa.) — A Pennsylvania boy is in critical condition on Wednesday after he fell into a full grain trailer over the weekend.Wellington Shaffer, 7, was playing on his family’s farm in central Pennsylvania on Saturday when he fell into a trailer filled with harvested corn kernels, authorities said.Rescuers had to open the trailer’s bottom to remove the boy, Hickory Corner Fire Company Chief Doug Wetzel told reporters. He did not say how long the boy may have been trapped.Wellington was airlifted to the Geisinger Medical Center in neighboring Montour County and was in listed critical condition as of early Wednesday, according to his family. Wellington celebrated his 7th birthday last Thursday.Friends and neighbors gathered for a vigil near the family’s farm in Dalmatia, about 34 miles north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Monday, where they burned candles and prayed for a full recovery.“It just hit me in the pit of my stomach,” Nolan Masser, a close friend of the family, told Scranton ABC affiliate WNEP. “We’re praying for a complete recovery for him, and we think that God will provide that.”The tragedy has made the small community even closer, Masser said, adding that local farmers are planning to harvest the family’s crops.“A group of farmers got together,” he said, “so that’s one less load that they’ll have to bear.“No one would want to go through what the Shaffer family is going through right now,” Masser added.Wellington is a first grader at Northumberland Christian School, where some students showed support this week by wearing orange, his favorite color.“Lots of tears, lots of hugs. They’re precious, and they’re going through a really hard time,” Pastor John Rees, the school’s principal, told WNEP. “He is just the sweetest little guy. You know the kind of guy that will just come up and give you a hug.”The Shaffers did not share details about the nature of the boy’s injuries, but it expects a “long road of recovery ahead,” according to a GoFundMe campaign set up on the family’s behalf.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


first_imgMattGush/iStock(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) — Six people are dead and others critically hurt after a fiery car crash on I-75 near Gainesville, Florida, officials said.Fifty gallons of diesel fuel spilled in the crash. The blaze has since been put out, Alachua County Fire Rescue said.Besides the six deaths, eight patients were “transported from the scene, multiple patients with critical injuries,” fire rescue said.A helicopter is responding to help with locating possible patients that may be in the woods, fire rescue said.This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img


first_imgFor 20 years, I have represented Davids vs. Goliaths and relied on due process and our system of justice. Along the way, I have made many powerful enemies. I am entitled to a FULL presumption of innocence and am confident that justice will be done once ALL of the facts are known.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 11, 2019Avenatti gained prominence last year when he began representing Daniels in a defamation lawsuit against Trump. A federal judge in California later threw out the suit and ordered Daniels to reimburse Trump for legal fees.A court appearance is scheduled for April 25 in New York.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. ABC News(LOS  ANGELES) — Federal prosecutors in California plan to level fresh charges against Michael Avenatti on Thursday, marking yet another legal blow for the controversial celebrity attorney known for representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels.The U.S. attorney’s office in the Central District of California scheduled a press briefing in conjunction with the IRS to “announce the filing of a 36-count indictment naming Michael Avenatti.”A vocal critic of President Donald Trump whose presence on cable television last year made him a national figure, Avenatti now finds himself buried in legal travails on both coasts.Prosecutors in the Central District targeted Avenatti with wire- and bank-fraud charges last month in a scheme that included allegations he stole funds from a client to pay off his own expenses. In New York, Avenatti faces two counts of extortion for his alleged role in what prosecutors called “an old-fashioned shakedown” of Nike.Charges in the separate cases were announced almost simultaneously and authorities took Avenatti into custody in New York City later that day. He was ordered released on $300,000 bond later that day.After prosecutors announced plans for Thursday’s press conference, Avenatti tweeted that he remains “confident that justice will be done once ALL of the facts are known.”last_img read more


first_imgABC News(DELPHI, Indiana) — The mysterious murder of two Delphi girls deepened this week when Indiana State Police revealed new clues about the killer, including that he may live in the tight-knit Indiana community.But this new information — including a new sketch and more video evidence — seems to leave the public with more questions than answers.The crimeEighth-graders Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14, were enjoying a day off from school on Feb. 13, 2017, when they vanished on a hiking path.Abby and Libby snapped this photo on the bridge on the day they disappeared.Their bodies were found the next day near the trail.The male suspect — seen in this new sketch released on Monday — is believed to be between 18 and 40 years old, but may appear younger than his age, police said.Indiana State Police released a new sketch of the suspect in the unsolved murders of two teen girls.Police had previously released a different composite sketch of the suspect.Former FBI agent and ABC News contributor Brad Garrett said the new sketch likely came from a new witness — “someone that’s come forward, maybe alleging to have actually seen the guy they’re looking for.”“The difficulty in any sort of sketch is that it’s difficult obviously for people to remember exactly what somebody else looks like … it’s not uncommon for sketches to not necessarily look like the person you’re looking for,” Garrett said, which can translate into false leads.Callahan Walsh, a child advocate with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, agreed.“I think they have some new information. I think they have a new eyewitness who has come forward,” he told “Good Morning America” Tuesday. “The [new] sketch isn’t created from the video. A sketch like that is mostly done when someone is describing what a person looks like — it’s not a computer generated image from that video.”‘Hiding in plain sight’The killer is believed to currently or previously live in Delphi, work in town or visit on a regular basis, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter announced Monday.“We believe you are hiding in plain sight” and even “may be in this room,” Carter said at a news conference.“We likely have interviewed you or someone close to you,” Carter said.From the beginning, Garrett said he believed the killer was local and “attached to this community” of nearly 3,000 people.“Carroll County, Indiana, is very rural … when the superintendent of the police says ‘local,’ that’s not just the town of Delphi. That’s Carroll County,” Garrett said. “This person could well live 15 miles from Delphi, but they’re from here, they know that trail, they walk that trail … it’s reasonable to think that the killer isn’t down the street from the trail, but he’s in the proximity.”Garrett said that particular trail likely wouldn’t have visitors from outside the area.“The idea that a random person would happen to be walking down the railroad track and happen upon these two victims, and that they had never been there before, I think is low,” Garrett said.Serial offenders often do not leave the area where they committed their crimes, Garrett said, because “they feel comfortable that they’re not gonna get caught.”“This particular killer, he’s on a remote trail — if he believes that nobody else saw him actually harm these two girls, then in his mind, he feels like he’s home free,” Garrett said.“He’s going to be somebody that is pretty good at keeping his mouth shut. That doesn’t mean somebody doesn’t know something, but he’s been very good at maintaining his lifestyle,” Garrett continued. “Some killers have an innate ability to do that … it goes with criminals’ ability to place their life in boxes — commit these crimes, do awful things, continue on their normal life.”Walsh said it’s likely the killer is “very close to the investigation” and is likely “trying to take the temperature of the investigators to determine what they know and how hot on his trail they are.”“It’s not unlikely he could have been a volunteer in the search” for the girls that first day they went missing, Walsh added.An abandoned carOfficials also said Monday they’re looking for the driver of a car mysteriously abandoned on the day the girls’ bodies were found.Carter did not elaborate on the car’s involvement in the case. But Garrett said he believes investigators either just learned about the car recently or were unable to find the driver.“Maybe this car has taken on a different significance in this investigation,” he said.In 2017, police released a grainy image of someone seen on the trail the day the girls went missing along with a chilling recording found on Libby’s phone with just three words heard: “Down the hill.”On Monday, state police released new audio and video footage from Libby’s phone.The brief video clip shows the suspect walking on the bridge near where the girls were last seen.“When you see the video, watch the person’s mannerisms as they walk,” Carter said Monday. “Do you recognize the mannerisms as being someone you might know?”It’s hard to decipher what the suspect says in the new audio clips.“The person talking … is the person on the bridge with the girls,” Carter told reporters. “Please listen to it very, very carefully.”Garrett said he doesn’t understand why state police waited two years to release the additional footage.“The critical window many times in catching people quickly is to release as much evidence as you can that won’t compromise the case — maximum amount of video, maximum amount of audio that you can get out there to trigger somebody to come forward,” Garrett said. “That’s how you get really good tips.”But to Walsh, the delayed release of the video and audio helps keep “the community invested in this crime.”“And if anybody out there who did know anything and maybe it’s weighing on their conscience, they’re seeing it out there again and they’re getting a reminder that they need to do the right thing,” Walsh said.Walsh thinks Monday’s press conference was an appeal to the community in hopes that more eyewitnesses will come forward.“People sometimes think their tip may be insignificant so they don’t say anything — but it can often be the key that unlocks the door to justice,” he said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. 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first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — Severe weather was set to move into the Gulf Coast region on Thursday after three reported tornadoes, damaging straight-line winds over 60 mph and golf ball-sized hail from Texas to Louisiana the day before.Parts of eastern Texas saw more than 8 inches of rain on Wednesday. Severe weather watches and warnings, including tornado watches and warnings and severe thunderstorm watches, are in effect on Thursday morning.The entire storm system will finally begin to move out of Texas and into the Gulf Coast states — from Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle — on Thursday afternoon.This storm system will bring severe storms on Thursday to New Orleans; Jackson and Biloxi, Mississippi; Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama; and Tallahassee, Florida.The biggest threat with these storms will be damaging winds of over 60 mph, with a few tornadoes possible. Heavy rain could produce flash flooding in urban areas, including New Orleans.The whole storm system will move east Thursday night into Friday and bring heavy rain and strong storms for the East Coast.The heaviest rain and strongest storms will hit the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic, while the Northeast should see heavy rain and gusty winds.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


first_imgbaranozdemir/iStock(NEW YORK) — Residents near New York City are bracing for the impact of a possible tornado that could bring strong winds and possible flash floods to the area.The National Weather service issued tornado warnings for several counties surrounding Manhattan on Tuesday evening, urging residents in the path of the “dangerous storm” to stay inside.The service said the storms could produce hail the size of quarters.“Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely,” NWS said in a statement. “This Tornado Warning replaces the Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for the same area.”The warning covers areas surrounding Staten Island and parts of northeastern New Jersey, including Hudson County, Union County and southern Essex County.Monday marked the 11th consecutive day where multiple tornadoes were reported throughout the country, according to the NWS.NWS issued a “tornado emergency” alert for parts of eastern Kansas on Tuesday night as dangerous weather touched down in the area.Police in Lawrence, Kansas, said a massive tornado left large trees, power lines and debris along the streets, making some major roads impassable.“Most structural damage appears to have occurred near Lawrence as the tornado passed just outside the city limit,” the Lawrence Police Department said in a tweet. “Please do not go sight seeing tornado damage. This only hampers the efforts of emergency workers.”Tornadoes devastated parts of Ohio on Monday night, leveling homes and leaving thousands without water and power.“I don’t know that any community is fully prepared for this type of devastation,” Dayton assistant fire chief Nicholas Hosford said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “We have homes flattened, entire apartment complexes destroyed, businesses throughout our community where walls have collapsed,” Hosford said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


first_imgFILE photo – Richard Heath/iStock(ROANOKE, Va.) — A Virginia resident captured a rare cloud formation hovering over the skyline near her home.Amy Christie Hunter posted a photo of the wave-shaped clouds to Facebook on Tuesday evening. In the image, they can be seen rolling over Smith Mountain near Roanoke.The formation is known as the Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud, and is named after the scientist who studied the physics behind them.The clouds are rare and usually form during windy days when there is a strong vertical shear — meaning the wind is blowing faster at upper levels in the atmosphere compared to the wind at lower levels, causing the clouds to look like rolling waves.Weather conditions in the area Tuesday evening included light rain and fog.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


first_imgABC News(SAN ANTONIO) — A 3-year-old died in San Antonio on Saturday after being left in a hot car — the sixth such death in Texas and the 43rd in the U.S. this year, according to an advocacy group. Last year, with 54 reported deaths, was the worst on record, KidsAndCars.org said in a statement. Since 1991, Texas ranks first nationally with 131 such fatalities.Police believe the child’s parents, after arriving home from a 6-year-old sibling’s T-ball game, may have been distracted, with one thinking the other had removed the toddler from the vehicle.“One parent thought the other parent had grabbed both of the children, and, in fact, only the 6-year-old had been taken out of the car,” said Lt. Jesse Salame of the San Antonio Police Department. “By the time they realized it several hours had passed, and when they got the child out of the vehicle he was not responsive.”The 3-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, ABC San Antonio station KSAT reported.Investigators are looking into the matter further, “but but there’s no way that this was anything more than just an accident,” Salame added. “They were in a hurry or they got distracted, and that very literally could happen to anybody, and that’s probably the most tragic thing of it all.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


first_imggrandriver/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Despite record increases of migrants stopped by federal authorities along the southern United States border, tens of thousands more evaded capture as the Trump administration struggled to handle a massive influx of unauthorized crossings over the past year. As many as 150,000 people were missed by Border Patrol, even as agents were pulled from ports of entry to assist with the record number of crossings, acting Customs and Border Protection head Mark Morgan said at a press conference Tuesday.Morgan described the number of border crossings as a “conservative” estimate.“This absolutely made our country less safe,” he said, referring to the reassignment of CBP personnel from security checkpoints to the border line.More than 40 percent of agents were redirected at the height of the border crossing surge earlier this year, Morgan said. Driving the challenge for CBP were high levels of families and unaccompanied children who require extra care when taken into U.S. custody.Border agents stopped 608,697 unauthorized family members and unaccompanied children attempting to cross during budget year 2019, according to newly released CBP data. That’s up from about 218,000 in the previous year. The numbers reflect the highest surge of parents and minors ever recorded, Morgan said.In total, nearly one million unauthorized migrants were stopped at the border in the last budget year, according to CBP data.“These are numbers that no immigration system in the world can handle, not even in this country,” Morgan said.The commissioner first announced the latest border crossing totals at a White House briefing in early October, also noting a 65 percent decline in unauthorized migrants encountered by border agents over the past 4 months.“This administration’s strategies have brought about dramatic results,” he said Tuesday.The Trump administration has implemented new policies to limit asylum claims, including a program called “Migrant Protection Protocols” that sends migrants back to Mexico while they attempt to navigate the U.S. legal process. The practice has faced legal challenges but was allowed to continue until a higher court rules. The 9th Circuit Court of appeals is currently reviewing the legality of MPP.Pointing out the dangers posed by making illegal crossings in remote areas, immigration authorities publicly encourage those seeking entry to cross at official U.S. crossings. However, port officials have resorted to limiting access for asylum seekers and other non-authorized crossers.The process, known as “metering,” dates back to 2016 and has likely resulted in additional illegal crossings, according to the Congressional Research Service. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


first_imgiStock/Jonathan Ross(NEW YORK) — BY: LUKE BARRBilly McFarland, the convicted Fyre Festival music festival fraudster, petitioned a court earlier this month for compassionate release amid the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging federal prisons.McFarland gained notoriety after documentaries about the botched music festival hit streaming services last year. He is currently serving a six-year sentence at FCI Elkton in Ohio, a facility has been decimated by COVID-19 with 23 inmates in the hospital, 49 staff infections and seven inmate deaths.On Tuesday, the government responded with a 64-page filing outlining why he should not be released.The government said there were minimal details about McFarland’s home confident conditions – both at his parent’s house in New Jersey and his friend’s $31 million condo in New York.Home confinement guidelines would be “unenforceable” because of the uncertainty at those locations, prosecutors claimed.McFarland also does not meet the health criteria for compassionate release, prosecutors said.McFarland’s lawyers in a filing earlier this month said McFarland suffered from pre-existing health conditions and that he was the “ideal” candidate for compassionate release due to the CARES Act.They cited a lawsuit against BOP on behalf of inmates at FCI Elkton, in which a federal judge ruled that hundreds of elderly and vulnerable inmates either be released or transferred as a result of worsening conditions in the prison, the first such order from a federal judge since the start of the crisis.McFarland’s lawyer also said he made an appeal to the warden on April 8 which has gone unanswered.The government responded by saying there has been no documented history of McFarland’s medical condition.“The defendant, unlike many others who have moved for release in recent days and weeks, is young and has no documented medical conditions that render him particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. The defendant provides no documentation of any medical conditions, nor is there reference to any serious medical conditions in his prison medical records,” prosecutors said, adding that he did not report any medical conditions to the probation office before turning himself in.A lawyer for McFarland has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.Prosecutors argued that McFarland has a disciplinary violation, which, according to the attorney general’s memo on releasing inmates due the pandemic, counts against his release.According to court documents, McFarland had a pen with a USB recording device inside that he initially denied knowing about.“To add insult to injury, the defendant now makes the preposterous claim that his BOP disciplinary violation of bringing a recording device to jail in July 2019 was motivated by his desire to write ‘a self-reflection book … faster to make restitution to the people he hurt,’” prosecutors said.Government prosecutors also cited an interview McFarland gave to the New York Post where he said he wasn’t worried about catching COVID-19.“There is not a scintilla of evidence in the defendant’s medical records of any medical conditions, much less a serious one,” prosecutors said. “The defendant committed egregious fraud offenses for years, and rightly received a six-year term of imprisonment. The defendant’s good health, disciplinary incident in prison…factors strongly counsel against his release.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more