National News

Michael Sam Released by St. Louis Rams


Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) --  Defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, according to ESPN.Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, but came up short as all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.He was beat out by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, who is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.Sam came out as gay in February, before the NFL scouting combine. He can still be picked up by another team.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Police ID Likely Homicide Victim Without Finding a Body


iStock/Thinkstock(AUBURN, Wash.) -- Police have identified the victim of a likely homicide that has puzzled them for two weeks since a federal agent stumbled on a pile of ripped up flooring covered in blood by the side of a road in Auburn, Wash.Commander Mike Hirman of the Auburn Police Department said authorities have confirmed that blood on the material is from 30-year-old Brandon Zomalt.Hirman said police believe it is likely that Zomalt was killed in a homicide, although without a body or further evidence they cannot confirm anything."Obviously it's difficult to know, we have to go based on some assumptions," Hirman said. "[Due to] the amount of blood and some bone fragments, we're investigating it as a homicide. The case started on Aug. 13, when an off-duty federal agent driving home saw a small fire about 20 feet from the road. After the agent pulled over to stop the fire, another man nearby got into a dark SUV and fled the area.The agent was unable to catch up or identify the subject. When the agent returned to the scene he found ripped up flooring, carpet and clothing in the pile. All of the debris was covered in blood.Since then, police have been searching for clues about who the victim or perpetrator could be. Hirman said police were able to identify Zomalt from the State Combined DNA Index System. Zomalt appeared to be from Puyallup, Wash., which is south of Auburn, Hirman said.According to police, Zomalt had a lengthy criminal history including arrests on suspicion of first-degree assault, harassment and domestic abuse. Police said Zomalt did not have a steady address and had been living with family and friends.He has not been seen since before Aug. 13. Police are asking anyone with information to call a tip line at 253-288-7403. The suspect is described as being a possible mixed-race male with a slender build and short dark hair and approximately 5' 8" to 5' 10" tall. He was driving a dark SUV, when last seen.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Teacher Accused of 'Wanna Stab Some Kids' Tweet Back to School


iStock/Thinkstock(NEWARK, Calif.) -- A high school teacher in Newark, Calif. is back for the new school year despite allegedly posting a series of social media messages in which she vented this summer about wanting to stab her students, once complaining they "make my trigger finger itchy.""I already wanna stab some kids. Is that bad? 19 more days," reads another August tweet from the account reportedly belonging to Krista Arata Hodges, a history teacher at Newark Memorial High School.The school issued Hodges, 39, a written reprimand, ABC station KGO-TV reported, but some parents believe that's insufficient. "As a teacher, I think that she should be held to a higher accountability than other people," Lisa Roubineau told KGO."I'm a nurse, and I can't vent about my patients on Facebook, so she shouldn't be able to vent about her students either."Grandparent Wanda Williams said that while she doesn’t think Hodges would act on her words, she also shouldn't be allowed to teach there anymore.It's unclear whether further action will be taken, and the Newark Unified School District, where classes started Monday, declined to provide details when contacted by ABC News. In a statement, the district said it is aware of "comments posted online" by a teacher and has taken action, but declined to identify the teacher or specify what action has been taken.Hodges has not responded to ABC News' requests for comment.The tweets were posted on a Twitter account with the name "Mrs. Hodges" and the handle @kree49. It has since been deleted, but screenshots of the messages have gone viral.Students told KGO-TV that Hodges is a popular teacher and has apologized for the alarming messages."She told me that she's very apologetic about it and she's told me she regrets it and she definitely wasn't serious about it," senior Tristian Mosier said.Another student said Hodges was probably just venting, and didn't mean to threaten her students.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Human Skull Donated to Texas Goodwill Store


(iStock Editorial) Credit: dbdurden(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Police in Austin, Texas, are investigating an unusual donation to a local Goodwill store: a human skull.While odd, police do not believe the skull was the result of a crime. Instead, they told ABC News affiliate KVUE-TV that they believe the skull may have been part of someone's private collection."We think it was probably something that belonged to the person who donated it, to a relative of the person who donated it and it was part of a collection or an anatomical model," said Austin police detective Derek Israel. "It could have been something that was kept by someone who was a student of anthropology, a student of medicine, dentistry, any of those things."Police are looking to talk to whoever donated the item last month. Similar skulls are often used in medical settings or medical schools. The Travis County Medical Examiner's office has determined the skull is from an adult who likely died two years ago, according to KVUE-TV. Other information about the skull, including sex or race, wasn't released.Although unusual, the donation has not fazed everyone at the Goodwill store."We have gotten prosthetic limbs. We have gotten Rolex watches. We have gotten Krugerrands," Traci Berry, who works at the store, told KVUE. "Our donations run the gamut."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lego Fingerprints Helped Solve Cold Case Murder


iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Fingerprints found on Lego building blocks helped police crack a 23-year-old cold case murder mystery in Utah, authorities said.The gruesome murder of 78-year-old Lucille Johnson in Salt Lake City left police puzzled in 1991.The grandmother was strangled and beaten in her home and police found Legos in the entryway of her living room and driveway the floor, but were unable to discern who killed her, the Salt Lake Sheriff's Office said.When the case was reopened last year, investigators tested the residue found under Johnson's fingernails for DNA and found that it matched that of 47-year-old John Sansing, a convicted murderer serving a prison sentence in Arizona for an unrelated case, Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Sheriff's Office said on Friday.They also tested the fingerprints on the Legos found at the scene and found that the prints matched that of Sansing's son.Police said Johnson and Sansing did not know each other and were investigating whether Sansing used the child to gain entry to the house."We know there's no relationship between the two of them," Hoyal said. "It's speculative as to whether the child was a ruse that was used, but it's certainly a possibility."Police don't know have a motive for the crime but said that Johnson's ring and necklace were missing, Hoyal said. They also said that Sansing is believed to have brought his son to the Arizona murder scene as well.Sheriff Jim Winder announced at a press conference Thursday that Sansing had been charged with capital murder in Utah for the crime, according to ABC News affiliate KTVX."Occasionally we encounter people who are evil," Winder said. "The individual who perpetrated this is nothing short of that.""It was very important that it be solved," Jerry Johnson, Lucille Johnnson's son, told KTVX. "I wasn't sure it would ever be solved.""I am so grateful, so very grateful to the police department for the work that they've done," Johnson's daughter, Shirley England, told KXTV. "I don't think closure is the right word because you never close something like this. It's been a terrible thing in our life."The Sheriff's Office had no information on if or when Sansing would be extradited, when Sansing would appear in court, or who his lawyer would be. The District Attorney has not yet responded to calls for comment.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Girl Dies When Large Hole Collapsed on Oregon Beach


Monkey Business Images/Thinkstock(LINCOLN CITY, Ore.) -- A girl playing on an Oregon beach died Friday when a large hole she was playing in collapsed and buried her, officials told ABC News.Frantic efforts by others on the beach were unable to rescue the 9-year-old girl.“When we arrived on the scene with some of our officers, people were trying to dig the girl out of a fairly large hole, but the thing kept collapsing back in on them,” Lt. Jerry Palmer of the Lincoln City police department said.“When they finally got her out she was unconscious and not breathing,” Palmer said.Fire Rescue Capt. Jim Kusz said the girl was under the sand for about five minutes.Palmer said his officers performed CPR on the girl until medics arrived, but when she was taken to the hospital "she was not breathing." She was later pronounced dead.The lieutenant said he did not know whether the girl, who was not immediately identified, had dug the hole or was playing in a hole that she had found on the beach.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

USC Football Player Advised by Lawyer to Stop Talking to Police


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The lawyer for Josh Shaw, the USC football captain suspended for lying about how he injured himself, has advised Shaw to stop talking to police investigators, he told ABC News Friday.The football player spoke twice with Los Angeles Police, lawyer Donald Etra told ABC News, but he has advised Shaw to not do any more interviews with the cops."It is now time to move on," Etra said.Shaw originally claimed that he sprained both his ankles last Saturday leaping from a second floor balcony to save his young nephew who was floundering in a swimming pool. He later admitted the story was bogus as police reports surfaced that they were called to a Los Angeles address that same night after receiving calls about a woman screaming.Police initially investigated whether the apartment of Shaw's girlfriend had been burglarized, but police spokeswoman Nuria Vanegas told ABC News that they are now trying to determine whether Shaw and his girlfriend were involved in a domestic dispute.Detectives from the LAPD said they would like to speak to Shaw regarding the possible domestic dispute.Vanegas pointed out that a domestic dispute is different from domestic violence, which is a crime. A domestic dispute is not a crime.Shaw is not a suspect or considered a person of interest in the burglary investigation, she said.USC has suspended Shaw indefinitely.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tony Stewart Says Return to Racetrack Will Help Him Heal


Jamie Squire/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- NASCAR driver Tony Stewart made an emotional return into the spotlight Friday as he explained that he sees his return to the race track nearly three weeks after fatally hitting another driver as a necessary part of the healing process. "This has been one of the toughest tragedies that I’ve ever had to deal with... both professional and personally, and this is something that will definitely affect my life forever," Stewart said at a news conference. Stewart hit fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. when Ward got out of his car during a race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York earlier this month. Footage of the incident appears to show that Ward may have been trying to confront Stewart and he was seen gesturing at Stewart’s car just moments before it ran into him. "This is a sadness and a pain I hope no one has to experience in their life," Stewart said. "That being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward’s family and his friends are experiencing, is something I can’t possibly imagine." "I’ve taken the last couple of weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family and to cope with the accident my own way. It’s given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted." The news conference came ahead of Stewart's return to the racetrack this Sunday as he is scheduled to compete in the ORAL-B USA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I miss my team, my teammates, and I miss being back in the race car. And I think being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time," he said. Stewart refused to take questions, saying that he was not emotionally ready at this time, but gave his condolences to each member of Ward's family, listing the 20-year-old's relatives by name in his statement. In spite of that personal connection, it was confirmed later that Stewart has not spoken to any of Ward's relatives directly. Brett Frood, the executive vice president of Stewart-Haas racing, said after Stewart left the press conference that the driver had sent flowers and a note to Ward's relatives around the time of the memorial services but had not spoken with them. The investigation into the fatal August 9 incident remains open, though no charges have been filed. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said earlier this month that they did not find any evidence of criminal behavior in their initial investigation.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Polytechnic University Is Ditching Books


The Science and Technology building at Florida Polytechnic University. Courtesy Florida Polytechnic University(LAKELAND, Fla.) -- Florida's newest university spent $60 million on a state of the art library but doesn't plan on stocking it with any physical books. That doesn't mean students at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland won't have to study. The state of the art library, which was constructed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is staffed by a team of librarians who will help the school's inaugural class of 500 students access 135,000 e-books, according to Library Journal. It's part of the school's plan to create an environment that fosters innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The school said it aims to help its students "become innovative problem-solvers and high-tech professionals through interdisciplinary teaching, leading-edge research and collaborative local, regional and global partnerships." If students miss the feel of an actual book, they'll be able to get their fix at nearby Polk State College, which will allow Florida Polytechnic students to check out up to five items at a time. Despite the prevalence of e-readers, Library Journal said bookless libraries are rarities. Bexar County, Texas, is believed to be home to the first bookless public library in the United States.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

911 Tapes Reveal Drama of Parking Lot Birth


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A Utah father helped his wife deliver their baby boy in a parking lot, with the guidance of a 911 dispatcher, after the couple realized they weren’t going to make it to the hospital in time. Mike Anderson and his wife, Kelly, tried to make it to the hospital Monday, but didn’t make it very far and called 911. “I don’t know what to do,” Mike Anderson said, in audio released Wednesday. “Should I just keep going to the hospital?”“That’s up to you,” the dispatcher responded. “If you see any part of the baby, I can help you deliver the baby.” So Mike Anderson pulled their van over in a gas station parking lot and the dispatcher, identified as Julie Merrell, gave step-by-step instructions. The Andersons’ two young children were still in the back seat. The couple worried about so many things that could have gone wrong, but the guidance helped to keep them calm. Working with a ShamWow towel and a shoelace to tie the baby’s umbilical cord, Anderson delivered 7 pound, 8 ounce Benjamin Norman Anderson as the paramedics pulled up. Dispatcher Merrell later met the Andersons. “You did great, by the way,” she told Mike Anderson. “That was terrible…I’m so glad you talked me through that, because it was the worst thing ever,” he said. It’s not the first time Merrell gave delivery instructions as a 911 operator, but it’s the first time she has met someone she helped. “That was amazing,” she said. “Everything went as planned, everyone is happy and healthy.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Weather to Expect This Labor Day Weekend


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It's a weekend we all knew would come too quickly. Labor Day marks the final "unofficial" weekend of summer. Dangerous weather is expected in the center of the country this weekend. From the Dakotas to the Great Lakes and into the Plains -- damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible. Cities that will see these conditions are Bismarck, N.D.; Minneapolis; Des Moines; Iowa; Omaha, Neb.; Kansas City and Wichita, Kan.In addition, these storms could bring rainfall, producing flash flooding on the interstates from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast. In addition, two tropical systems, Marie in the Pacific and Cristobal in the Atlantic, have been stirring up high waves and strong rip currents on both coasts this week. Luckily, the beach conditions improve just in time for the holiday weekend, on both the east and west, as the storms weaken and move away. The heat and humidity is on the rise for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. After what's been a rather mild summer, a burst of above normal temperatures takes over much of the area over the weekend and into next week. Temperatures will generally be in the upper 80s, with some spots in the 90s further south. It looks to be an unsettled weekend for the east coast, but not a washout. Some days will be better than others, with the best chance for storms falling on Labor Day for areas like Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston. The place to be for abundant sunshine will be the Southwest, and most of the west coast, where a stretch of dry weather dominates the region. The Southwest stays hot with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, but much cooler air will filter into the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures could struggle to even reach the 70s. Seattle is looking at highs in the 60s with the chance of showers each day.According to the American Automobile Association, some 35 million people will be on the roads and at airports starting Saturday.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

California Attorney Faces New Trial in Drug-Planting Case


iStock/Thinkstock(IRVINE, Calif.) -- A retrial is underway for a California attorney accused of trying to frame a PTA volunteer by planting drugs in her car, allegedly in retaliation for the way she treated his son.Kelli Peters broke down in tears in court Thursday after coming face to face with Kent Easter, the man accused of framing her.Easter remains free on bail, facing charges of false imprisonment by fraud or deceit. A previous trial ended in November in a deadlock, 11-1, in favor of convicting Easter.Prosecutors say Easter called 9-1-1 Feb. 16, 2011, accusing Peters of being under the influence of drugs. Easter has never denied making that phone call.After authorities found the drugs in Peters’ car, they detained her for two hours and searched her home, but didn’t find any other drugs, leading investigators to shift their attention to Easter.Prosecutors say the Easters accused Peters of not properly supervising their son, a student at the elementary school where Peters volunteered.In opening statements, Easter’s lawyer said it was the man’s wife, Jill, who planted the drugs. “Jill was the operator behind the incident,” the lawyer said.Jill Easter pleaded guilty last year to false imprisonment and was sentenced to 120 days in jail, a term she completed.If convicted, Kent Easter faces three years in prison.The trial continues next week with Peters back on the stand.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nearly a Dozen from Twin Cities Gone to Fight in Syria


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In addition to the American rapper from Minneapolis recently killed in the bloody fighting in Syria, nearly a dozen former residents of Minnesota’s Twin Cities have left their homes to take up arms with extremist rebel groups in the Middle Eastern nation, U.S. officials told ABC News.Earlier this week the White House confirmed the death in Syria of Minnesotan Douglas McAuthur McCain, who records show was born in Chicago but was schooled in Minneapolis. An opposition group in Syria, the Free Syrian Army, claimed McCain was fighting with ISIS, a brutal terrorist organization that recently executed American journalist James Foley on camera. The FSA also claimed another American ISIS member had been killed in recent fighting.Representatives for several U.S. agencies said they could not confirm that a second American had been killed, but there are scores of U.S. nationals in the line of fire. Other top U.S. officials have previously said more than 100 Americans have joined the fighting in Syria -- nearly a dozen of them from the Twin Cities alone, as two U.S. law enforcement officials told ABC News Thursday. And a community leader said at least one who left for Syria recently is a teenage girl.Kyle Loven, the FBI’s Chief Division Counsel in Minneapolis, said residents traveling to Syria is a “relatively recent dynamic,” but still only an “evolution” of young disaffected Minnesotans leaving their homes to fight and die with extremist groups abroad.“The phenomenon began in 2007 with the young Somali men traveling from Minnesota to Somalia,” Loven said. “In Somalia, it started as a nationalistic call…[but] we’ve now seen where some individuals perhaps are not interested or not inclined to travel to Somalia, [they] start to branch out to other hot spots around the globe, obviously Syria being among them.”The problem of Americans from Minneapolis traveling to Somalia to join the al Qaeda group al-Shabab became such a concern to U.S. officials that the Justice Department launched the multi-year law enforcement mission Operation Rhino, dedicated to investigating “a pipeline that supplies men” from Minneapolis to Somalia. The effort, which tracked some 20 suspected American jihadists, resulting in the conviction of several American ex-al-Shabab members.One of the young men caught up in the initial wave of terror recruits was Troy Kastigar, who turned out to be an old high school classmate and close friend of Douglas McCain’s.“If you guys only knew how much fun we have over here -- This is the real Disneyland. Come here and join us,” a bearded Kastigar says from Somalia in a video posted online by al-Shabab after his death in 2009.Mohamud Noor, a community leader in Minneapolis, told ABC News Friday that the young men going to fight in recent months for ISIS, which is a rival of al Qaeda’s, and those who joined al-Shabab before “have the same characteristics.”“They are young men who are vulnerable, who have been taken advantage of because of their situation,” Noor said. “This is a youth who has lost direction, who has no hope in life, and the only way they can find [it] is to find other means of living.”Another community leader, Abdirazak Bihi, said, “As recently as a week ago, a young girl was recruited along some others, and was sent to Syria and called her family from Syria a couple days ago.”“Yes, people are recruiting, there are recruiters here,” Bihi said.But Noor acknowledges that that doesn’t explain why so many are specifically being recruited from his city, and says that one reason so much focus is on the Twin Cities is because there is a large “newly-arrived” immigrant community, with many Somalis and Middle Easterners, and because the community isn’t shy about reaching out for help when someone does disappear, possibly into battles a world away.Loven said that al-Shabab’s previous success in recruiting Minnesotans may have shown the area’s disaffected youths to be particularly susceptible to the jihadist propaganda. Earlier this week, for instance, al-Shabab released a recruitment video online that specifically called for those living in Minnesota to come join their fight.“We’re taking this very seriously,” Loven said. “We don’t want to see our young people from Minnesota be attracted to this type of propaganda, end up in foreign battlefields, only to be injured, killed or what have you. That’s a concern not just for law enforcement, but for all people here in Minnesota.” Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Shuttle Bus Crashes Near Chicago O'Hare Airport; More Than a Dozen Injured


@amyndickerson/Twitter(CHICAGO) -- Access to Chicago O'Hare Airport is limited after a shuttle bus crashed into a concrete barrier in the westbound lanes of I-190 Friday morning.Police have blocked the lanes that lead to the airport creating a major traffic jam.Fifteen people were injured in the crash. Their conditions are unknown.O'Hare Airport officials have confirmed that the bus accident occurred on a road leading to the terminals, but declined to provide anymore information.This story is developing...Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Tops List of 'Most American' Cities


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nashville is about American as apple pie. Maybe even more so now that the personal finance website WalletHub has named it 2014’s most American U.S. metro area.To reach that conclusion, WalletHub graded 366 metro areas on a series of 26 metrics that included age, gender and income.Nashville scored at near the top of key rankings such as socio-demographic makeup, housing, economy and education to capture the crown.   Interestingly, WalletHub determined that Tulsa, Oklahoma, most closely resembled the U.S. in terms of age while Denver looked most like America in regards to race.At the bottom of the list was McAllen, Texas.Here are the top 25 most American cities:Nashville, TN    Cincinnati, OH    Indianapolis, IN    Charleston, SC    Jacksonville, FL    Greenville, SC    Oklahoma, OK    Phoenix, AZ    Albuquerque, NM    Winston, NC    Birmingham, AL    Greensboro, NC    Orlando, FL    Charlotte, NC    Columbus, OH    Louisville/Jefferson County, KY    Lexington, KY    Tulsa, OK    Baton Rouge, LA    Columbia, SC    St. Louis, MO    New Orleans, LA    Kansas City, MO    Tucson, AZ    Little Rock, ARFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miley Cyrus' Homeless VMAs Date Turns Himself In, Posts Bail


Polk County Community Corrections(POLK COUNTY, Ore.) -- Jesse Helt, the homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards, turned himself into authorities in Oregon and posted bail after being sought on an arrest warrant for a probation violation.Helt was originally arrested in 2010 for “criminal mischief,” among other charges. He pleaded guilty/no contest to the charges and received probation, which he violated the following year, authorities said.A booking photo released by Polk County Community Corrections officials shows Helt wearing a black shirt, his expression blank.The arrest comes four days after Helt entered the public spotlight. He took the stage at Sunday’s awards show after Cyrus won the video of the year award for “Wrecking Ball.”“I’ve survived in shelters all over this city, I’ve cleaned your hotel rooms, I’ve been an extra in your movies, I’ve been an extra in your life,” Helt told the award show audience. “Though I may have been invisible to you on the streets, I have many of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight.”Helt and Cyrus had met through My Friend’s Place -- an organization that helps homeless youth find shelter, healthcare and education.Linda Helt, Jesse’s mother, said she was thankful that he faced his legal obligation.“I’m proud of him for doing what’s right,” she told ABC news. “I don’t condone running away from a problem.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Missing University of Montana Student Died in Accident, Authorities Say


iStock/Thinkstock(CUSTER COUNTY, Idaho) -- A missing University of Montana student was found dead Thursday, more than a week after he went missing while driving back to school to start his junior year of college.Lucius Robbi’s body and car were found in Custer County, Idaho, authorities said.According to the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Robbi died in a one-vehicle accident Aug. 19 after his car traveled down a 60-foot embankment, colliding with several large pine trees.Search crews on the air and ground initially had trouble finding the accident site due to heavy brush. Additionally, storms in the area obscured the vehicle’s tracks, authorities said.According to the sheriff’s office, a helicopter crew spotted the tip of one of Robbi’s orange kayaks, leading to the discovery of his car.The California resident, 21, was a skilled outdoorsman, planning to explore on his return trip to college.Robbi’s mother, Tina Glaessner, wrote a message Thursday to friends, family and volunteers in a Facebook group established following Robbi’s disappearance.“The family of Lucius Robbi wants to thank all of the many friends who came together to search for him,” Glaessner wrote. “You were amazing, and the overwhelming outpouring of love and the heroic effort you made to find Lucius created a bond between you and all of us that will connect us forever.”The Idaho State Police is continuing to investigate the fatal accident.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

F-15 Pilot Killed in Virginia Crash


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(STAUNTON, Va.) -- The pilot whose fighter jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia on Wednesday was killed in the crash, it was confirmed Thursday by military officials.The pilot and jet were under the Massachusetts Air National Guard and were en route to Louisiana when the plane crashed. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick called it "a very sad day for the Guard and for Massachusetts." He also offered condolences to the family of the pilot, who was not identified, as well as the rest of the Massachusetts National Guard.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Church Puts God and Sex Together on Billboard


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WILKES-BARRE, Pa.) -- A Pennsylvania church is marking its first anniversary with a controversial billboard that proclaims God loves sex.The billboard was placed along a major highway running through Wilkes-Barre, Pa., by Restored Church, a non-denominational worship center opened in September of last year by two friends who met as college roommates.The billboard, according to one of the church’s founders, is meant to draw attention to the church’s new sermon series launching next month that will focus on sex and the Song of Solomon from the Bible.“If the culture can be so bold, I think the church can be so bold and speak directly on the subject and be up front about it,” Restoration Pastor Dan Nichols told ABC affiliate WNEP.The billboard was first highlighted by a tweet from the church’s account on Aug. 27. It is scheduled to remain up for the next four weeks, according to WNEP. The billboard is up! pic.twitter.com/ZYkTjsXvLL— Restored Church (@restored_church) August 27, 2014Restored Church currently has a congregation of around 100 people, Nichols told WNEP. The church’s mission, according to its website, is to “…Communicate the good news of Jesus with our lives in order to reach the lost and aggressively develop committed followers of Jesus.”The church’s bold display of its message led one pastor from another church to write a letter to the editor in a local newspaper criticizing the billboard for being misleading, according to WNEP.Tim Walker, Nichols’ college roommate and fellow pastor at the church, told WNEP the criticism is not dissuading them from talking about sex and marriage.“We really put a lot of thought into this,” Walker said.Calls placed to the church for comment were not returned as of this writing. Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Navy SEAL Who Planned Bin Laden Raid Retires, Will Take Over University of Texas


FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Adm. William McRaven, the Navy SEAL who planned the raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, gave up his control of Special Operations Commands on Thursday.The transfer was completed at a change of command ceremony. McRaven will take over the University of Texas system. In July, it was announced that he would take the position of chancellor of the university system after the last chancellor, Francisco Cigarroa, announced his resignation.McRaven gave a commencement address at the University of Texas at Austin, the school where his military career began as a member of the university's Naval ROTC unit.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jazz Musician Arrested in Wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death Takes Plea Deal


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One man arrested as part of a drug investigation in the wake of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman accepted a plea deal on Thursday.Robert Vineberg, a jazz musician, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class C felony. Vineberg was promised that he would be sentenced to five years of probation and 25 days of community service. He must continue his drug treatment program.Vineberg will also give up over $1,200 that police found in his home.The musician will be sentenced on Oct. 14.He was not linked directly to Hoffman's death.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

NFL Announces Changes to Personal Conduct Policy Following Outcry Over Ray Rice


Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The National Football League announced a change to its personal conduct policy following outcry regarding a controversial suspension for one of its players.Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for two games in connection with a video that surfaced earlier this year in which he allegedly struck his now-wife, Janay, and knocked her unconscious during an altercation at an Atlantic City, N.J. casino. The outcry that the suspension, issued by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, was too light was fierce and immediate.Goodell initially defended the decision, pointing out that the length of the suspension matched the NFL's existing policy.Still, on Thursday, the commissioner sent a letter and an accompanying memo to each NFL team owner outlining changes to that very policy. Most notably, any player in violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy involving assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault will be subject to a suspension of six games for a first offense, with possible consideration for "mitigating factors," and a lifetime ban for a second offense.Goodell's letter discusses "respect" and "the integrity of the game." He notes that the steps taken Thursday "are based on a clear, simple principle: domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They have no place in the NFL and are unacceptable in any way, under any circumstances."In addition to the altered suspension policy, team personnel will be expected to undergo comprehensive training to help "understand and identify risk factors associated with domestic violence." Goodell also called upon expansion of the NFL's existing college, high school and youth football programs.Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said that the announcement alone was not enough. The  league, he said, "must match words with actions." While he applauded Goodell's action, Blumenthal said that "the real work begins" now in hopes of solving the problem of domestic violence.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio




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