National Headlines
Subscribe To This Feed -- An unruly passenger was shot with a stun gun, arrested and forcibly removed from a flight Sunday evening in an incident fellow passengers caught on video.

The Chicago-bound American Airlines plane sat at the gate at Miami International Airport Sunday for over an hour due to the disturbance, according to an airline statement.

Video posted on Twitter taken by a fellow flyer shows a male passenger getting held down and Tasered several times by three Miami-Dade police officers. The male passenger asks why he is getting removed from the plane, and an officer responds with, “You just assaulted a lady.”

According to an American Airlines statement obtained by ABC News, the incident started with a disagreement between two passengers. The instigating passenger was asked by the crew to deplane but refused. Police officers were called onto the plane.

“Once law enforcement was on the aircraft, the passenger then became combative with the officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department. The same passenger was subsequently arrested by law enforcement,” reads a statement from the airline.

All other passengers remained on the plane.

The flight departed an hour later than scheduled, and successfully reached its destination at Chicago’s O’Hare airport early Monday morning.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed, N.Y.) -- Syracuse University removed more than a dozen Theta Tau fraternity members from classes on Sunday after video emerged showing members participating in racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic skits, according to to school officials.

The university said 18 students had been "removed from academic participation" in connection with the video, which it said showed Theta Tau members acting in an "extremely racist" and "homophobic" manner.

One of the videos -- made public by the school's independent newspaper, The Daily Orange, last week -- showed members of the engineering fraternity using racist, ethnic and sexist slurs while pretending to perform sexual acts on each other. The paper published a second video over the weekend which it said showed people in Theta Tau’s house miming the sexual assault of a person with disabilities.

The students removed were all "present at the sponsored event" where the video was filmed, the central New York school's chief of the Department of Public Safety, Bobby Maldonado, said in a statement Sunday.

"Out of an abundance of caution and ongoing concern for our campus community, Provost Michele Wheatly and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky notified the 18 students of their removal from academic participation, effective immediately," Maldonado said. "Alternative class and study arrangements will be made for these students as the judicial process moves forward."

He said other students could be implicated as the investigation continues, according to the statement.

The university permanently expelled the fraternity chapter on Saturday, warning that it could take disciplinary actions against the individual students involved at a later time.

"Our investigation is ongoing and others may be implicated in the coming days," Maldonado said Sunday. "We have not and will not release the videos that are a part of our investigation, he added, noting that his office refused to be “party to the distribution of this hateful and hurtful content."

Portions of the video, originally posted to a secret Facebook group called "Tau of Theta Tau," were still available on The Daily Orange's website as of early Monday.

The fraternity chapter apologized on Friday, saying the activity depicted in video was meant to be "satirical."

"Each semester our new members are given the opportunity to write and act out a skit, in order to roast the active brothers. This event was never intended to be centered around racism or hate. This year, one of these brothers is a conservative Republican, and the new members roasted him by playing the part of a racist conservative character," the university's Theta Tau chapter said in a statement. "It was a satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person.

"The young man playing the part of this character nor the young man being roasted do not hold any of the horrible views espoused as a part of that sketch," it added.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Nashville Police Department(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Four people were killed and two others critically injured when a man naked from the waist down and wielding an AR-15 assault-style rifle opened fire at a Waffle House in Tennessee early Sunday, police said.

The suspected gunman was identified as Travis Reinking, 29, from Morton, Illinois. He was arrested in July for allegedly breaching a barrier at the White House and demanding a meeting with President Donald Trump, officials said.

Reinking had also threatened to commit suicide in May 2016 in a parking lot in Illinois and at the time his family told authorities he was having "delusions" involving Taylor Swift. He believed the singer was stalking him and harassing him, according to police records obtained by ABC News.

Early Sunday, Reinking ran from the scene after a patron at the restaurant wrestled the rifle away from him, police said. Police on Sunday evening were using dogs and a helicopter to search a wooded area near the restaurant where the gunman was last seen.

"He's murdered four times with no apparent reason, no apparent motive. So we're very concerned," said Chief Steve Anderson of the Metropolitan Nashville Police.

Anderson said a pistol belonging to Reinking had not be recovered and he should be considered armed and dangerous.

A witness to the shooting, Chuck Cordero, 50, told ABC News that he had just pulled up to the Waffle House in Antioch, a suburban area about 12 miles from downtown Nashville, when gunfire broke out.

"He was only wearing a jacket and nothing else on," Cordero, a roadside-assistance worker, said of the gunman.

Police said two of the dead were shot outside the restaurant and one inside. A fourth person who was shot inside the restaurant later died at the hospital.

Two other people shot in the incident were in critical but stable condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Other victims were struck by shattered glass.

The person who wrestled the rifle away from the shooter is a "hero," police said.

Cordero used the same word.

"There's a hero," Cordero said. "I don't know what his name is, but there's a gentleman who was in there, who when this guy stopped to reload or stopped to do something with his gun, he took that opportunity and wrestled the guy till the gun went flying and then the dude took off running."

"I talked to him afterward and told him, 'You are a hero, man,' because had that guy reloaded, there were plenty more people in that restaurant," he said.

But the courageous patron, identified as James Shaw Jr., 29, refused to call himself a hero.

"I just knew it was me or him. It was that type of scenario," Shaw said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. "So I chose to go with what I wanted to go with and it worked."

Shaw said that when the gunfire broke, a bullet grazed his elbow as he ducked for cover near the restaurant's restroom. He said that when he saw the gunman look down at his weapon apparently to reload, he made his move.

"It was at that time I kind of made up my mind ... that if it was gonna come down to it, he was going to have to work to kill me," Shaw said.

Cordero said there were about 30 people in the restaurant at the time of the shooting.

He said the first victim, identified by authorities as Joe E. Perez, 20, of Nashville, was killed at the front door of the restaurant. Cordero said the second victim was a friend, a cook at the Waffle House identified by police as Taurean C. Sanderline, 29, of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, who was outside on a cigarette break when he, too, was fatally shot while trying to run from the gunman.

The gunman fired into the window of the restaurant, shattering it, before entering and unleashing more gunfire. Killed inside the restaurant was 21-year-old DeEbony Groves, from Gallatin, Tennessee. Groves was a student at Belmont University.

"The entire campus community is shocked and devastated by how such senseless violence has taken the life of this young woman, an individual full of immense potential," the school said in a statement. "We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends as they come to terms with unimaginable grief."

Akilah DaSilva, 23, of Antioch was also shot and later pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, police said.

"Once he started shooting inside I dropped to the ground and I started to crawl around my car because I didn't know if he was going to come after me," Cordero told ABC News. "So I was able to see his feet from underneath the car. Once he went inside I tried to run across the parking lot and I fell because my legs just ... I was scared."

Cordero said the shooter seemed to remain silent, saying nothing during the rampage.

But Shaw said the gunman was cursing at him for intervening "like I was in the wrong trying to save my life."

Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said the suspect arrived at the restaurant in a gold-colored Chevrolet Silverado pickup at 3:19 a.m.

"Reinking sat in the pickup truck for three-and-a-half to four minutes just looking at people inside the restaurant," Aaron said. "After about four minutes, Reinking got out of his truck armed with an AR-15 rifle and started shooting."

He said Reinking was only wearing a green jacket with nothing on underneath, Aaron said.

Aaron said the gunman shed his jacket after Shaw wrestled away his weapon. He said the suspect fled on foot, leaving his truck parked outside. The truck was registered to Reinking, he said.

Police found several ammunition cartridges in Reinking's jacket, which he left at the scene, Aaron said.

Aaron said police believe Reinking ran to a nearby apartment complex where he lives, put on a pair of pants and ran into the nearby woods shirtless.

He said Reinking's has an Illinois driver's license and is known to law enforcement in Illinois. Reinking is believed to be from Morton, Illinois, but had been living in the Nashville area since the fall of 2017, Aaron said.

A motive for the shooting remains under investigation, Anderson said.

"We suspect some mental issues, but at this time there's no note, no verbal explanations," Anderson said. "So we don't have a motive at this time."

Todd Hudson of the U.S. Secret Service Nashville Office said Reinking was arrested on July 7, 2017, after he allegedly crossed an exterior barrier at the White House, breached a restricted area and refused to leave. Hudson said Reinking asked to meet with the president.

He was arrested on suspicion of unlawful entry and later interviewed by FBI agents in Illinois.

Reinking entered a deferred prosecution agreement over the misdemeanor charge on July 26, which called for him to stay away from the White House for four months and perform 32 hours of community service, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said. He met those conditions and the case was dismissed Nov. 17.

As a result of the White House arrest, Reinking's firearms license was revoked and his four guns were seized by the Tazewell County, Illinois, Sheriff's Office.

Matthew Espenshade, special agent in charge of the FBI's national office, said the bureau's agents conducted a thorough investigation of Reinking, including database reviews and interviews with people familiar with Reinking.

"After conducting all appropriate investigation, the FBI closed its assessment of Mr. Reinking in October of 2017," Espenshade said. "I feel confident that the FBI took the appropriate steps and did everything within our federal jurisdiction that we could at the time."

Anderson said the guns seized from Reinking were eventually turned over to his father, including the AR-15 rifle used in Sunday's shooting.

"It's my understanding the guns were surrendered to him [Reinking's father] and that's part of Illinois law because he could properly possess them," Anderson said. "At some point, he returned them to the son."

Anderson said only two of the Reinking's four guns have been accounted for: the AR-15 and another gun found in a search of his residence.

Two other guns, a hunting rifle and a handgun, have not been located and Anderson said he feared Reinking is now armed with them.

There were 35 officers from three precincts responding to the shooting, police said. The FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents were also assisting in the investigation.

Pat Warner, director of public relations and external affairs for Waffle House, called it a "very troubling" situation.

"We are sending our corporate team from Atlanta and heading to Nashville now," Warner said. "Our thoughts are with those affected."

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident," Waffle House said later in a statement. "Right now, our first thoughts are with the victims and their families, and we will be there for them in this most difficult time. We are still gathering the details, and so we do not have much information to share ... This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family."

Nashville Mayor David Briley noted that the shooting came just seven months after another mass shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville that left one person dead and seven injured. Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old native of Sudan, was arrested and charged in the shooting.

"We need comprehensive gun reform to address mass shootings, domestic shootings, accidental shootings and homicides," Briley said. "If we can all just come together for the greater good, we can take these weapons of war off the streets of our country."

The mayor added: "Clearly the victims of this shooting deserve our prayers and our thoughts, but they also deserve leaders who will step up and take action and do something to get these weapons off our streets."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Jessica Drake, an adult-film star who claims she refused a $10,000 offer to have sex with Donald Trump after meeting him at a Lake Tahoe golf event in 2006, says Stormy Daniels told her Daniels was threatened by someone to stay silent about Daniels' alleged sexual tryst with Trump.

Daniels and her attorney recently released a sketch based on Daniels' recollection of the man they say threatened her in a parking lot in 2011 after she told her story of a 2006 tryst with Trump at a celebrity golf tournament to a tabloid magazine.

In an interview airing on Good Morning America on Monday, Drake told ABC News that Daniels, her friend and fellow porn star, is telling the truth.

"She actually told me about the threat twice,” Drake said. “So the first time she told me about the threat was shortly after it happened. She relayed the experience to me. I said something like, 'I'm so sorry, I can't even imagine. What are you going to do?'"

Daniels did not report the alleged threat to authorities.

Drake says that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, reminded her of the story when Drake came forward with her own allegations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump at a 2016 news conference.

The Trump campaign issued a statement at the time calling the allegation "totally false and ridiculous." The campaign added: "Mr. Trump does not know this person, does not remember this person and would have no interest in ever knowing her."

“She goes, ‘Remember what I told you about all those years ago,’” Drake said of her conversation with Daniels. “She goes, ‘Be careful, be really careful. You know, don't be alone.’”

Trump has denied Daniels' claim of the affair, but Drake says she was with Daniels during one of her encounters with Trump at the 2006 golf event.

According to Drake, she and Daniels met the future president earlier that day and was later invited to his hotel room a third woman, where Trump allegedly proceeded to kiss them and ask questions.

"Well, we were ushered into the room,” Drake said. “And I remember he was wearing pajamas. And he kissed all of us on the lips and kind of, you know, one of those real close, full-body contact hugs. I do believe 100 percent that he was vetting us to see which one or how many of us he liked.”

The women left, Drake says, but she later received a call inviting her back to the hotel room. When she refused, someone who worked for Trump called her back to offer her $10,000 to return, she claims.

Drake, whose real name is Angel Ryan, says she refused again but Daniels, her friend told her later, went back to Trump’s room on her own.

"I relayed my experience to her,” Drake said of Daniels. “Like, what happened with me after we left the room. At the time that I relayed that experience to her, I didn't yet know of her experience -- until she said, ‘He didn't offer to pay me.’”

Drake said she is speaking up now to back up her friend Daniels, who filed a lawsuit against Trump in March, seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed shortly before the 2016 election.

Drake is named in the agreement as someone with whom Daniels discussed the alleged sexual tryst with Trump.

A payment, worth $130,000, was made by Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen, who is now under criminal investigation. Cohen has said he made the payment personally from his own funds. Trump has said he did not know about the payment by Cohen.

Trump denies having an affair with Daniels.

Meanwhile, Daniels has not mentioned Drake in interviews about the alleged affair -- nor did she mention being in Trump's room with other women. Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avennati, did not comment to ABC News about Drake's account.

Drake said she is not trying to sell her story and does not intend to sue the president, but her attorney, Gloria Allred, has warned the commander-in-chief to mind what he says -– and tweets -– about her client.

“If he gets enraged and upset and says something about Jessica that is, in fact, defamatory, then we're gonna need to review our legal options,” Allred sai

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Police in New York City are searching for a subway commuter who did anything but "Make America Great Again."

New York ABC station WABC reports the New York City Police Department is looking for a man who attacked a fellow subway rider on Friday. The suspect was wearing a red "Make America Great Again" cap, sold by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, and a red "Make America Great Again" T-shirt at the time of the attack, police said. 

According to police, the Trump supporter got into a verbal argument with the fellow rider before punching him in the head on a 4 train as it approached the Union Square station in Manhattan. He then followed the victim, described by police as a 24-year-old Hispanic man, off the train and shoved him onto the tracks.

The attacker allegedly made a number of racially derogatory statements during the assault.

The victim suffered cuts on his head, and was treated at an area hospital, police said.

The alleged assault comes just eight days after a Danish tourist wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat was attacked and robbed of the hat at the same Union Square subway station. In that case, the attacker actually flashed a knife at the victim, according to police. The attacker in last week's case does not meet the same description as Friday's suspect.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A 2-year-old girl is dead after being shot in an apparent tragic accident late Friday at a Cleveland-area hotel.

Police in Wickliffe, Ohio, said Saturday that it appears as though the mother of the child was handling the gun when she dropped it and it went off, hitting the girl. Police said the girl was struck in the chest and rushed to the hospital where she died.

Wickliffe is a suburb of Cleveland, about 16 miles northeast of downtown.

Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS-TV reported that the mother admitted to dropping the gun in a 911 call and said the girl was not breathing. She also told operators she thought the safety was off, but then later told authorities the safety was on, WEWS reported.

Police said the gun was legally registered and she owned a concealed carry permit.

Any criminal charges would have to be filed by the prosecutor's office after an investigation by the Lake County Crime Lab, according to WEWS.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Scott Olson/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Barbara Bush was remembered at her funeral as a loving wife, mother and friend with a devilish sense of humor and who represented the best of the World War II generation.

"Barbara Bush was the first lady of 'the greatest generation,'" presidential historian Jon Meacham, a friend of the Bush family, said in a eulogy at Saturday's funeral service in Texas that drew signatories from across the nation and around the world.

Meacham recalled the snowy-haired former first lady's "long and consequential life," not least her promotion of literacy, her quick-witted humor and her trademark faux pearls.

"She was candid and comforting," Meacham said, describing her as a “point of light" who "kept everything and everyone together."

Some 1,500 guests filled St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston for the service. Barbara Bush, who died on Tuesday at the age of 92, had requested in her last wishes a modest funeral at the Gothic-style cathedral, where she and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, were devoted members for decades.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in his homily described his "precious mother" as someone who "filled our lives with laughter and joy."

"She was our teacher and role model on how to live a life of purpose and meaning," he said.

Susan Baker, the wife of James Baker who served as secretary of state under former President George H.W. Bush., also paid tribute to her longtime friend, Barbara Bush, whom she called "Bar."

In her homily, Susan Baker recalled how the former first lady "took me under her wing." She described her as "smart, fun and feisty" and an "amazing, caring and beautiful friend."

"The world saw a compassionate but strict mother who inspired her children with tender but firm lessons," she said. "Barbara, the tough but loving enforcer, was the secret sauce of this extraordinary family."

"Bar’s beauty was evident in every day of her life," she added. "Saying goodbye to our special friend is painful."

Barbara Bush's casket on Friday arrived at St. Martin's, the nation's largest Episcopal church, where she lay in repose as the public was invited to pay respects from noon to midnight, according to the Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home in Houston.

The Rev. Russell Levenson Jr. and the Rev. Dr. Peter Cheney will be co-officiants of Saturday's service, which is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET. Barbara Bush's son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will deliver a eulogy along with her longtime friend, Susan Baker, and historian Jon Meacham, according to a statement from the Bush family.

Four of the five living ex-presidents are attending Saturday's funeral service, including former President Barack Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, as well as former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton. The Clintons' daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is also in attendance.

Following the service, a funeral procession will bring Barbara Bush's casket to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum near Texas A&M University in College Station for a private service, where she will be buried in a family plot beside her daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia at the age of 3 in 1953. The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets are expected to line Barbara Bush Avenue outside the library to pay tribute to the former first lady.

First lady Melania Trump is attending Saturday's service “on behalf of the first family,” White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement. “To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend.”

Similarly, in 2016, then-President Obama did not attend the funeral of former first lady Nancy Reagan, while his wife did. Sitting presidents have rarely in recent decades gone to the funerals of former first ladies, according to, a project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center in Philadelphia.

Trump, who's at his Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida for the weekend, extended his "thoughts and prayers" to the Bush family via Twitter and said he planned to watch Barbara Bush's funeral service from the "Southern White House."

Barbara Bush served as first lady from 1989 to 1993. She died shortly after deciding to forgo further medical treatments for her failing health.

Former President George H.W. Bush is "broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years," according to Jean Becker, chief of staff at the 93-year-old former president's office.

"He held her hand all day today and was at her side when she left this good earth," Becker said in a statement.

Their eldest child, former President George W. Bush, described his mother as a "fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions."

"To us, she was so much more," he said in a statement after her death. "Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Elyce Gray(BARSTOW, Calif.) -- The family of an unarmed black man who died in a hail of police bullets at a Walmart parking lot is still looking for answers -- days after video surfaced that captured the cacophony of gunfire from police officers shooting into the car he was driving.

Diante Yarber, a 26-year-old father of three, was behind the wheel of a black Ford Mustang when Barstow police officers fired more than 30 rounds into the vehicle earlier this month.

"There's no justification for what they did to him," Nakia Little, Yarber's sister, told ABC News station KABC-TV. "It's like I'm in a twist between anger and hurt."

Little's anguish comes as video emerged showing officers repeatedly firing into the vehicle on April 5. They responded to a call "regarding a suspicious vehicle" after a car was reported stolen earlier, according to the Barstow Police Department.

When the officers arrived to perform a traffic arrest at the store's parking lot, officers exited their cars and "commanded the driver to exit his vehicle," according to a Barstow Police Department release.

Police say Yarber -- who was in the vehicle with three passengers, all of whom survived -- "accelerated forward toward the officers, and then accelerated in reverse towards officers and striking another patrol vehicle," according to the release.

The Barstow Police Department did not immediately respond Saturday to ABC News' request for comment.

Meanwhile, the video, posted online by attorney S. Lee Merritt, shows the Mustang apparently pinned between two marked Barstow Police Department cruisers and then slowly reversing into one of them as a fusillade of bullets can be heard firing.

Merritt has been retained by the family and has already declared that they are going to pursue a lawsuit for Yarber's shooting death, according to KABC-TV.

"Video evidence shows the black Ford Mustang Yarber was operating backing slowly away from police when they opened fire," he told the station.

He also told KABC-TV that the officers' "firing over 30 rounds into a car occupied by four unarmed pedestrians in a crowded Super Walmart parking lot in the middle of the day was massively irresponsible and reckless."

Police argued the footage of the Mustang slowly reversing into the police cruise only shows the moments after Yarber allegedly rammed the squad car.

Anthony Riley, a public information officer for the Barstow Police Department, said in the statement that one officer involved suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A woman in the Mustang struck by the gunfire was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center, according to the statement. The other two men in the car exited the vehicle and were detained by Barstow Police.

Yarber's family released footage of the gunshot-riddled Mustang showing bullet holes on the cracked front windshield. The camera also pans over the side window where the interior of the car is completely destroyed in the aftermath of the shooting.

Yarber's death comes several weeks after a separate police-involved fatal shooting of an unarmed black man. On March 18, two Sacramento cops fired 20 shots at Stephon Clark, who was only carrying a cell phone.

That killing was followed by a spate of protests and civil unrest.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- She may be young, but Havana Chapman-Edwards is already a force to be reckoned with. On Friday, as students all over the country participated in the National School Walkout in support of gun control reform, Havana walked out too -- of her elementary school.

The Alexandria, Virginia, first-grader was the only one to walk out of Fort Hunt Elementary School, but she knew why she had to do it.

"I wanted to stand up for the kids who died in Columbine and Sandy Hook and other schools too and can't stand up for themselves anymore," Havana told ABC News.

Her classmates did not participate in the walkout with her, instead choosing to continue with their math work, Havana said. According to Havana's mom, Bethany Edwards, the school said in March that they did not have enough supervision on hand to facilitate a walkout during the March for Our Lives protest.

This time, Edwards decided to take matters into her own hands and sign Havana out.

Edwards said initially she was crushed when they walked out and she saw Havana was alone. After sitting in silence to honor the Columbine victims, however, the two tuned in to watch a live feed of walkouts at other schools.

That's when Havana told her mom, “I am going to tell my friends I did this, and then next time there will be more of us. That means we are winning.”

"I know I am just a kid, but I know you are never too little to make a difference," Havana told ABC News. She added that she was inspired by her heroes, Audrey Faye Hendricks and Ruby Bridges, both young African-American civil rights activists of the 1960s.

Already graced with more wisdom than many her age, the first-grader takes her lessons from history, but has her mind on the future.

Havana's tweet about her solo walkout had received more than 2,000 retweets and 9,000 likes by Friday night. And that space suit Havana was wearing in the photo -- Mom said that was an intentional choice.

"She [wanted] to show the people who make laws that they are not just little kids, but kids with big dreams."

Havana speaks eight languages, and has already started a book club and fundraiser for the African-American children in her choir so they can have books at home. She wanted to participate in Friday's walkout after she participated in the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. last month. She says another reason she decided to walk out on Friday was the 2009 death of her cousin, Tony, who was shot and killed on the way to school.

Her mom said after Havana's walkout Friday, she knows her daughter understands "what it means to be a leader, even in the most simple of terms."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- At least seven bus drivers in DeKalb County, Georgia, were fired from their jobs for organizing a three-day "sick out" after they felt their voices were not heard on a variety of topics from fixing potholes to salary and retirement concerns.

The "sick out" is taking place Thursday, Friday and Monday, Eileen Houston-Stewart, chief communications and community relations officer for the DeKalb County School District, told ABC News.

Houston-Stewart said 383 drivers called out sick on Thursday and 224 drivers did so on Friday. She said they will have to provide doctor's notes because there may be people who were actually sick.

“We will have to make sure we check each and every individual,” Houston-Steward said, adding that the drivers could face reprimands ranging from a warning to termination if their reasoning for being out is deemed inappropriate.

At least seven bus drivers were fired as a result of the "sick out," specifically for having a hand in organizing or leading it, Houston-Steward said.

Thursday was chaos for the DeKalb County School District after delays reached as high as 90 minutes for students going to and from school, Houston-Stewart said. The district had to have supervisors and directors with bus licenses drive the buses, use their substitute drivers and reach out to other districts to see if they could help.

Dekalb County Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green said this type of behavior puts the students at risk.

“To those who opted not to come to work today, you have willingly put our students in harm’s way,” he said in a statement Friday. “This is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Green said he met with over 350 drivers who wanted to share their concerns with the district. Drivers are seeking higher pay and better retirement benefits, among other requests.

“We listened. We will continue to listen. And more importantly, we will remain committed to addressing those concerns until we arrive at a solution that is beneficial to all,” Green said in the statement.

A termination letter obtained by ABC affiliate WSB-TV accused a fired driver of "serious dereliction of duty."

“Moreover, this behavior is ... a failure to meet the expectations the district has for its behavior,” the letter signed by Green read. “Due to this behavior, I have elected to terminate your employment with the district, effective immediately.”

The county assured parents that they will work with the students to find time to take their Georgia Milestones assessment exams, which are currently underway.

"There will be no consequences to students scheduled to take the Georgia Milestones and arrive late as a result of bus transportation issues," a statement on the district website read.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  An 83-year-old man with dementia was reunited with his family on Friday -- and he has "Pokemon Go" to thank for it.

Homer Howard was discovered a state away from his hometown of Maineville, Ohio, by Allison Hines, according to Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO. Hines just so happened to be in Kenney Shields Park in Covington, Kentucky, at the right time on Friday morning. The park is a daily destination for her due to its designation as a Pokestop -- a real-life location with in-game supplies for the video game which swept the nation with an unrivaled hysteria in the summer of 2016.

But on Friday, Hines came across a stranger who seemed in need of help. Hines passed the elderly man, waving due to his Navy baseball cap. Hines herself is a Navy veteran.

"As I turned the corner, everything in my being said, ‘Stop, turn this car around and go check on him,'" she told WCPO.

Hines went back and spoke to the man, who told her his name -- Homer Howard. But he was very surprised to find out he wasn't even in his home state anymore.

"I said, ‘Do you know you're in Kentucky?'" Hines said. 

Maineville is 30 miles northeast of Covington, and it's still unclear how Howard made his way so far south after being reported missing by his daughters, Tammy Richardson and Tonya Geringer, 24 hours earlier.

"Lots of thoughts went through my mind," Richardson said. "I just had to stop them. I just had to keep hoping, praying and waiting until we heard from him."

Howard returned home to his daughters on Friday evening and Hines said she hopes she can take him to dinner soon.

"I'm very grateful for 'Pokemon Go,'" she said. "My goodness. What I loved about it is, when I played its it got me out in the community. It was a social game. Today, it saved a man's life."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Courtesy Kim Merryman(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- A grieving mother on screen in the movie "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri" inspired a grieving mother off-screen.

Kim Merryman took cues from Frances McDormand's character in the Oscar-nominated film and raised money for a billboard to highlight the ongoing search for her daughter's killer.

Merryman's daughter Emily Morgan was found shot dead alongside her best friend Totinikia "Ty" Elix in August 2016.

In an effort to keep her daughter's case in the spotlight and in hopes of "getting under the skin of the murderer," Merryman paid for a billboard to be erected just miles from where they were found shot dead in her car.

The billboard includes the victims' names and pictures, and warns that "there is a ruthless killer in your community!"

But there's another reason Merryman chose that location.

"I believe that the person responsible for the murders ... lives in McAlester," Merryman told ABC News.

Steve Tanner, the assistant special agent in charge at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations, told ABC News that there have not been any arrests in the case. The OSBI has an agent assigned to the case and is offering a $5,000 reward for information.

The murders

Morgan, 23, and Elix, 24, were found with apparent gunshot wounds in a car on the afternoon of Aug. 26, 2016.

OSBI called Merryman that evening with news that her daughter had been found dead.

Merryman said that Morgan always called after dropping off her son Payden at school, and when Merryman didn't get a call that morning, she knew something was wrong.

"As the day went on and [calls to Morgan's cellphone] kept going to voicemail, I knew. I knew in the pit of my stomach that something was very wrong," said Merryman, who now lives with her grandson.

Her inspiration

More than a year later, she saw the movie about a grieving mother whose daughter is murdered, and it resonated with her.

"I didn't go to the movies and watch it because I didn't know how emotional it would make me and so I waited and watched it at home and it had a huge impact on me," she said of "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri."

While there is only one billboard so far, Merryman is continuing to raise funds and has plans to arrange for another nearby billboard on the side of a building. She also wants to wrap a van in similar posters, for a total of three "billboards."

Merryman said that she saw the billboard for the first time yesterday, and it was "very hard."

"It was pretty emotional, very bittersweet," she said.

"I felt empowered by doing it. It's also really sad to see them up there," she said of Morgan and Elix.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Temple University is the latest college to face issues with Greek life on campus.

The Philadelphia school suspended fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi on Friday after "multiple credible reports" of sexual assaults, underage drinking and drug use, according to ABC affiliate WPVI.

At least two reports of sexual assaults have been lodged against the fraternity, according to WPVI. One case, involving a 19-year-old student at the school, has been referred to the district attorney, police said.

"A Temple University student reported that she attended a party there and was indecently assaulted there by one of the residents of the fraternity house," Capt. Mark Burgmann, commanding officer of the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit, said.

Another case was reported in March and involved another 19-year-old student who said she was given drinks by members of the fraternity and passed out, police said Friday.

"She said she became dizzy and disoriented and that's the last thing she remembered until she woke up in bed with one of the members of the fraternity. She believed she was sexually assaulted," said Burgmann.

A spokesperson for the national headquarters told The Temple News on Friday it was "very concerned about these allegations as they have no place in Alpha Epsilon Pi."

Burgmann detailed a number of other allegations at a Friday news conference, including underage drinking and drug use.

The Temple case is one of a number of recent problems with fraternities in the country.

A 19-year-old pledge at nearby Penn State University died in February 2017 after apparently becoming so drunk he fell down a flight a stairs. Beta Theta Pi was suspended at the school. A judge dismissed charges of manslaughter against five of the student's former frat brothers last month.

 Florida State has been embroiled in fraternity issues for the past year as well. Five Pi Kappa Phi frat members pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor hazing earlier this week in connection with a case in which a pledge died of alcohol poisoning last November. A student at the school died after frat brothers allegedly encouraged him to drink excessively and he passed out on a couch. According to grand jury testimony, a fellow pledge found the pledge unresponsive in the morning, but called other frat members instead of 911.

Syracuse University came under fire this week after video from the Theta Tau fraternity surfaced showing members of the engineering fraternity using racist, ethnic, sexist slurs and other offensive language, while pretending to perform sexual acts on each other.

The school's newspaper, The Daily Orange, reported Theta Tau was the fourth fraternity to be suspended just this academic year.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Forest High School(OCALA, Fla.) -- A suspect was taken into custody Friday following a shooting at a high school in central Florida, authorities said.

Gunshots broke out Friday morning at Forest High School in Ocala, some 38 miles south of Gainesville.

Within minutes, a school resource officer on campus found a 17-year-old student who had sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The officer also located the suspected shooter, identified as a 19-year-old male who is not a student at the school, according to Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident, and the wounded student was transported to a local hospital for treatment, the sheriff told reporters at a news conference Friday afternoon.

Woods said the shooting appeared to be intentional, but it's unclear whether the suspect was targeting anyone in particular.

Sky Bouche, the suspected shooter, is being cooperative and talking with investigations, the Marion County Woods said in a later press conference Friday afternoon.

Bouche faces eight charges, including terrorism, aggravated assault with a firearm, culpable negligence, carrying a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm on school property, possession of short-barreled shotgun, interference in a school function and armed trespassing on school property.

The arrest affidavit shows Bouche was allegedly using a 17.5-inch barreled shotgun and the report indicates police suspect he was under the influence of drugs, but not alcohol. Bouche is listed as a resident of Crystal River, Florida, which is about 40 miles southwest of Ocala.

Bouche arrived on campus with the shotgun hidden in a guitar case and put on a tactical vest and gloves in a bathroom before the shooting, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office. He also allegedly told police after his arrest that he had originally planned on carrying out some type of shooting on April 13 -- Friday the 13th -- but "chose to target a school because he thought it would gather more media attention."

As Bouche was escorted out of the Marion County Sheriff's Office Operations Center, he was hounded by questions from reporters.

When one reporter asked if Bouche was "trying to shoot someone," he shook his head.

"I shot through the door," he said. "I didn't see anyone."

Then, when asked by a reporter what he would say to the victim's family, Bouche replied, "Sorry."

"It doesn't make it better, anyway," he said before he was led into a police van.

Woods called the injured victim and the deputy who took Bouche into custody "heroes." When Woods visited the injured student in the hospital, he said he told him, "I am so glad it was me and not one of my friends."

The shooting took place in the school's main building, according to Marion County Public Schools. Approximately 2,200 students attend Forest High School. The students were evacuated and the high school placed on lockdown, along with 17 other schools in the area.

Jonathan Grantham, deputy superintendent of Marion County Public Schools, said there was no indication before the shooting that anything was amiss.

The shooting happened just minutes before thousands of students across the country were set to rally against school gun violence in an event called the National School Walkout. The event is taking place on the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students opened fire in 1999, killing 12 classmates and one teacher.

However, one of the student organizers of Friday's walkout said the event is a direct response to the mass shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 students and educators dead.

"The fact that this keeps on happening ... I knew I needed to do something," Lane Murdock, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut who helped organize the walkout, told ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- NXIVM’s founder and an actress who was a member of his self-help group were indicted Friday on sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy charges related to what prosecutors say is a secret society within the group.

Keith Raniere, also known as “Vanguard” to members within NXIVM, and Allison Mack, who is best known for her role on the TV series “Smallville,” were both indicted by a grand jury on charges arising from Raniere and Mack’s alleged roles in a secret society within NXIVM. According to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue, Mack recruited women into what they believed was a “female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere”. Prosecutors say many of the female victims were branded and forced to participate in sex acts with Raniere.

Mack was arrested Friday and will be arraigned Friday before United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak. Raniere was arrested in March on a federal complaint and is currently being held without bond at a detention center in Brooklyn. He is also expected to appear in court on Friday afternoon

According to the U.S. State Attorney's Office, Raniere was deported by Mexican authorities after he was found outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in a luxury villa last month. Two days later, he appeared before a judge at a federal courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas.

“As alleged in the complaint, Keith Raniere created a secret society of women whom he had sex with and branded with his initials, coercing them with the threat of releasing their highly personal information and taking their assets,” Donoghue said in a statement released in March.

NXIVM is a secretive self-help organization based in Albany, New York, that was founded by Raniere and Nancy Salzman. It touts itself as a “professional coaching company” and its website says it offers “Executive Success Programs,” or “ESP,” in New York, California, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.

In a statement posted on the homepage of the group’s website, “In response to the allegations against our founder, Keith Raniere, we are currently working with the authorities to demonstrate his innocence and true character. We strongly believe the justice system will prevail in bringing the truth to light. We are saddened by the reports perpetuated by the media and their apparent disregard for ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ yet we will continue to honor the same principles on which our company was founded. It is during the times of greatest adversity that integrity, humanity and compassion are hardest, and needed most”

ABC News' "20/20" did an extensive report on NXIVM last year, including interviews with several former members, including Sarah Edmondson, who said she was a member of the group for over a decade.

Edmondson told ABC News and said in a complaint to the New York State Department of Health that after attending NXIVM seminars for more than a decade, she was approached about an opportunity to join a secret sorority. Then, one night she said she and five other women were summoned to a house in the Albany area, where they thought they were going to get a tattoo but once there, found out she and the other women were going to be branded.

“It was a horror movie,” she told "20/20." “It was the most inhumane, horrific way to treat anybody. But the most horrific thing is that it’s women doing it to women.”

Edmondson said each of the women would lie down naked and then was branded with a cauterizing device, without any anesthesia. When it was her turn, Edmondson said the pain felt “worse than childbirth.”

As outlined in the Department of Justice press release, the complaint, which was unsealed last month, alleges that “in 2015, Raniere created a secret society within Nxivm called ‘DOS,’ which loosely translated to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,’ or ‘The Vow.’ DOS operated with levels of women ‘slaves’ headed by ‘masters.’ Slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid. Raniere stood alone at the top of the pyramid. Other than the (sic) Raniere, all members of DOS were women.”

In a letter Donoghue submitted to the judge in Texas requesting that bail be denied, he asserts that Raniere has had more than 50 DOS slaves under him, many of whom were recruited from within NXIVM’s ranks.

“As alleged, Keith Raniere displayed a disgusting abuse of power in his efforts to denigrate and manipulate women he considered his sex slaves,” FBI’s New York Field Office Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement in March. “He allegedly participated in horrifying acts of branding and burning them, with the cooperation of other women operating within this unorthodox pyramid scheme. These serious crimes against humanity are not only shocking, but disconcerting, to say the least, and we are putting an end to this torture today.”

After reports started surfacing about DOS last year, a letter was posted on the NXIVM website, in which Raniere said, "The picture being painted in the media is not how I know our community and friends to be, nor how I experience it myself. However, as an organization and as individuals, we felt it was imperative that we hire experts to ensure there is no merit to the allegations.

"Additionally, I feel it is important to clarify the sorority is not part of NXIVM and that I am not associated with the group," the statement continued. "I firmly support one’s right to freedom of expression, so what the sorority or any other social group chooses to do is not our business so long as there is no abuse. Our experts, a forensic psychiatrist of international repute, psychologists and ex-law enforcement, say members of the sorority are thriving, healthy, happy, better off, and haven’t been coerced. Furthermore, the sorority is proud of what they created and want to share their story. I am confident they will be addressing you very soon."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


WJTN News Headlines for Apr.. 23, 2018

New York state Police are investigating the discovery of two dead bodies found Saturday afternoon and evening...    Troopers in Jamestown say the first was located off State Route...

Read More