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iStock/xijian(NEW YORK) --  A social media influencer from Iowa is facing 20 years in prison for planning a violent home invasion to hijack an internet domain name for his company.

Rossi Lorathio Adams II, 26, was convicted of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats and violence on Thursday, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of Iowa.

According to the statement, Adams founded the social media company “State Snaps” and at one point had more than a million followers on his social media sites. These sites mostly contained images and videos of young adults engaged in crude behavior, drunkenness and nudity. Adams’ followers often used the slogan: “Do It For State!”

When Adams tried to purchase an internet domain named after the slogan — "doitforstate.com" — he discovered that it belonged to a Cedar Rapids resident who had registered it on GoDaddy.com, the statement said. When the owner rejected Adams repeated offers to buy the domain between 2015 and 2017, Adams became aggressive, in one instance threatening one of the domain owner’s friends with “gun emojis” after the friend used the domain to promote concerts, according to the statement.

When that didn’t convince the domain owner to sell the website, Adams enlisted his cousin, Sherman Hopkins, Jr., to help. On June 21, 2017, Adams and Hopkins drove to the domain owner's home. Adams then gave his cousin a note containing instructions for the domain owner to transfer the domain name to Adams' GoDaddy account, the statement said. Hopkins, a convicted felon who lived in a homeless shelter at the time, then broke into the home and forced the domain owner at gunpoint to transfer ownership of the domain to Adams.

Hopkins then pistol whipped the victim in the head multiple times, according to the statement. The victim managed to gain control of the gun, but during the struggle, he was shot in the leg. The victim shot Hopkins multiple times in the chest before calling the police, the statement said.

Hopkins was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in June 2018.

Adams was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the verdict was returned and will remain in custody pending sentencing. In addition to a possible 20 years in prison, Adams faces a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

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iStock/Fedorovekb(CAMDEN, N.J.) --  Police in Camden, New Jersey, have released new body camera video from a dramatic rescue of passengers inside two burning cars on the interstate.

Just moments after the 2:30 a.m. April 7 accident on I-676, four police officers are seen struggling to rescue two drivers and two passengers trapped inside.

"Come here. Give me your hand!" an officer is heard shouting in the video.

The car and SUV were quickly engulfed in flames. Officer Vincent Russomano even caught fire himself.

Those officers were honored by Camden police for their heroism by being named “Officers of the Week.”

Officer Joseph Mair was first on the scene, after hearing the call while on patrol nearby. He was joined by Russomano and Officers Vaughn Edwards and Brian McCline.

Four good Samaritans helped in the blaze. All four passengers were saved, though two victims were badly burned.

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iStock/aijohn784(WOODVILLE, Fla.) -- An 8-year-old girl in Florida was killed after a morning storm caused a tree to crash through her house, fatally injuring her and another child in the home, police said.

Officers responded to a 911 call from the home just after 8 a.m. Friday, the Leon County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

A storm, which had struck the area Friday morning, caused the tree to go through the Woodville home where the 8-year-old and a 12-year-old boy were inside.

Both children were transported to the hospital with injuries, police said.

The 8-year-old was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to officials.

The 12-year-old, who is now with family members, suffered non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The deceased child's identity has not been released.

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BanksPhotos/iStock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The family of a 5-year-old boy who was thrown from the third-floor balcony at the Mall of America released a hopeful update on Friday, saying that despite "a long road ahead," the boy is "showing real signs of recovery."

"We have good news to share with you on this Good Friday," the family said in a statement. "Our miracle child is showing real signs of recovery. New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead. Our faith in God and our savior Jesus is strong, and we are gaining more reason for optimism day by day. We continue to appeal for privacy as we focus on our son, and thank you for respecting our wishes. Just know that we absolutely feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support, for they seem to be working. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts."

The incident occurred on Friday, April 12, when Emmanuel Aranda, 24, grabbed the child and tossed him down nearly 40 feet, leaving the boy with life-threatening injuries, including multiple broken bones and severe head trauma, according to charging documents.

Aranda ran away from the scene, but police apprehended him at a nearby light rail station in Bloomington, about 10 miles south of Minneapolis. Officers said he appeared "calm" as he was arrested and never questioned why he was taken into custody.

Aranda told investigators he was "looking for someone to kill, but it did not 'work out,'" according to a probable cause document released Monday. He said he came up with a plan to "kill someone at the mall" on Thursday and indicated that he was angry because women at the mall had rejected him.

"He said he planned to kill an adult, because they usually stand near the balcony, but he chose the victim instead," the document said. "[He] indicated he had been coming to the mall for several years and had made efforts to talk to women in the mall, but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and be aggressive."

 Investigators said he repeatedly acknowledged he'd come to the mall with intentions to kill and signaled that he was "aware that what he was doing was wrong," according to the charging documents.

Aranda was previously banned from the mall for throwing water in a woman's face and destroying property. Police said he also had a warrant for his arrest in Illinois on assault charges.

Police said surveillance video from the scene showed Aranda entering the third floor of the mall and looking over the balcony several times before he approached the 5-year-old victim and his mother.

The victim's mother said she noticed the suspect getting "very close to them" and asked if she and her son should move, the documents said. Aranda remained silent as he lifted the boy up over the balcony, "without warning," and threw him down to the first floor, according to the charging documents.

Aranda didn't appear to know the victim, said police.

Aranda was being held on felony charges of premeditated murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Aranda made a brief court appearance on Tuesday where bail was set at $2 million. His next court appearance was set for May 14.

The 5-year-old was described on a crowdfunding page as a "full of energy" child who enjoys playing hockey with his brother and sister.

A statement from the Mall of America last week said, "This was a senseless act and words cannot truly express our profound shock and sadness. Our immediate and only concern is for the well being of the family and the child, as well as for any individuals who may have witnessed the incident."

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Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- As the Jewish holiday of Passover begins Friday night, families and friends will gather at Seder -- an orderly, annual dinner where they eat, drink, sing and re-tell the story of the enslaved Jews' escape from Egypt.

For 12 years, Marnie Fienberg hosted her family's Seder with her mother-in-law, Joyce Fienberg.

But that tradition has ended.

Joyce Fienberg, a 75-year-old grandmother of six and former researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, was among the 11 worshipers shot dead at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018.

"My mother-in-law was one of the kindest humans I've ever met," Marnie Fienberg told ABC News in October. "If you knew her for five minutes, if you knew her for 20 years, you felt exactly the same way."

 The Anti-Defamation League has called the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

In the wake of her grief, Marnie Fienberg was desperate to put her energy into a positive, grassroots way to fight anti-Semitism in her mother-in-law's honor.

And Friday night, her plans will come to fruition.

Marnie Fienberg founded "2 for Seder," an initiative that encourages Jews to invite two non-Jewish friends to a Seder dinner.

Now 910 Seders across North America are set to participate this weekend, she told ABC News on Friday.

"Whenever I go to someone's house or I go into a new situation, it's always nicest when I bring a friend or I bring my spouse," she said of the "plus-one"-style invite. "You're going to be coming into a family situation and I want the guests to be as comfortable as possible."

Marnie Fienberg on her website calls "2 for Seder" a "small step toward fighting anti-Semitism by addressing the 'mystery' of being Jewish, the 'Other' in a society filled with many wonderful and diverse cultures from across the world."

"I want to make sure in this country we have a positive dialogue going on about the different religions, the different races, the different lifestyles that we have," she said.

Anti-Semitic threats and acts had been on a decline in the U.S. until three or four years ago, according to John Cohen, a former acting undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and current ABC News contributor.

Of the 1,749 victims of anti-religious hate crimes in 2017, 58.1 percent were victims of crimes motivated by the perpetrators' anti-Jewish bias, according to statistics from the FBI.

 An open and welcoming Seder initiative couldn't be more fitting as a way to honor the woman who was just as meticulous a host as she was a researcher, said Marnie Fienberg.

"If you were coming to her home [Joyce] would do anything to make you feel completely and utterly comfortable," Marnie Fienberg said. "That didn't matter if it was an allergy you had, or if you had a religious restriction, or if you were coming from another culture... she would research it, make sure she was making you comfortable...and she made it all look effortless, even though she would spend hours and hours and hours prepping."

After Passover ends, Marnie Fienberg said she plans to invest her time in other grassroots initiatives.

"We just have such a positive response. And I think there's a lot of energy out here and people want to put that positive dialogue out into the discussion, and I want to help facilitate that," she said. "So this is, I hope, just the beginning."

As for Fienberg's Seder this weekend, she said, "Joyce's presence will absolutely be with us."

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iStock/Tunatura(NEW YORK) -- The origins of the so-called pot holiday "420" are — fittingly — fuzzy.

Some people will say that the holiday's name traces back to a police code. Others, meanwhile, believe that something happened on April 20 many years ago. The near-universal consensus, however, is that "420" is a reference to the time of day.

Weed lore dictates that in the early 1970s, a group of teens attending San Rafael High School, about 19 miles north of San Francisco, would as a code word of sorts to indicate a smoke session after school.

The group of teens, who reportedly dubbed themselves "the Waldos," would whisper "420 Louis" to one another in the halls as a way to spread word that they'd be meeting at 4:20 p.m. near the school's statue of Louis Pasteur.

"Back then, we spent every day of our lives worrying about getting busted. Going to buy was a really secret thing," Waldo member Steve Capper told The San Francisco Chronicle.

While it started as something of an inside joke, "420" has stuck. It is still used to this day as a code among people who are marijuana friendly.

Dan Skye, a longtime editor at High Times magazine, told ABC News in 2011 that while the number's relationship to marijuana began in San Rafael, it's gone well past that.

"It's basically just a celebration of cannabis. It's mushroomed into our unofficial national holiday," Skye said at the time.

Now that marijuana has been legalized in a number of states and decriminalized in many others, the secretive — and sometimes paranoid — allure of a huddled smoke may be fading. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 66% of Americans now support marijuana legalization, an increase from 60% in 2016 and 31% in 2000.

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WPLG-TV(DORAL, Fla.) --  One Florida contractor might be in need of a little more E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N.

A motorist in Doral spotted a spelling error at a crosswalk Thursday and took a photo.

The word "SCHOOL" was spelled "SCOHOL."

When the city officials were notified of the error, they took quick action.

"This SCHOOL zone striping was handled by the developer's contractor. They have been notified and are working expeditiously to correct. Thank you to all who brought this very important matter to our attention," the city posted on its Twitter page.

The error was fixed on Thursday night, according to ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.

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Gofundme(WALTERBORO, S.C.) -- A pathologist's review of fifth grader Raniya Wright’s death revealed that she had a rare birth defect that caused her death, rather than the fight that she was involved in minutes before she became unresponsive, officials announced on Friday. Her mother and attorney still question the role of teachers and the girl involved in the fight.

South Carolina solicitor Duffy Stone said that charges will not be filed because a forensic pathologist has determined that Wright had arteriovenous malformation (AVM), where arteries and veins are intertwined rather than separated and occasionally rupture. Raniya had this condition since birth, the report showed.

Stone said that AVM sometimes results in pressure, “the manifestation of these being headaches was something that was in Raniya Wright’s history…Thirteen days prior to this event, she was taken to the doctor … complaining of headaches.” Stone noted that Raniya had a history of going to the doctor complaining of headaches seven times in the past two years.

He stressed that the pathologist’s report showed that even though Raniya had a fight in school minutes before she became unresponsive, there was “no evidence of trauma either inside the body or outside the body … to indicate a fight of any magnitude contributed to this.” Stone said that is why he won’t file charges.

 “According to the pathologist, these hemorrhages can take place at just about any time. …[The fight] did not have anything to do with the rupture,” Stone said. “It was a matter of time, unfortunately, that this would rupture,” Stone added that this condition can be in any part of a diagnosed person's body, but “in this case it was in her brain.”

Sheriff Andy Strickland said that all of the students in the class were interviewed, including Raniya, who spoke to officials before complaining about a headache and then being transported to the nurse’s office, where she later became unresponsive. “Neither student [involved in the fight] showed any physical signs of injury” and after the fight, it was “approximately 10 minutes later that Raniya advised ... that she had a headache," Strickland said, noting that she was then moved to the nurse's station.

Another official said that when she was taken to the nurse’s office, Raniya vomited, the nurse took her vitals, she vomited again and “that’s when she became unresponsive.”

Raniya died on March 27.

That official said that the investigation suggests that "bullying did not play a part in that incident," but Raniya's mother, Ashley Wright, said at a news conference on Friday that her daughter had a history of the other girl teasing and verbally attacking her for years.

"It was the same girl," Ashley Wright said. The mom said she had spoken to school officials multiple times since her daughter was in third grade about the ongoing issues with the other student.

"My child was never [in] trouble. My child wouldn't lift a finger to no one," she said.

"What's going to be done about it? Whose child is going to be next with this same girl?" Ashley Wright said, adding that "something has to be done" about the alleged bully and "she has to get help."

Margie Pizarro, the attorney representing Ashley Wright, said that these are just “initial” findings and argued that Raniya and the other girl (who she referred to as “Student 2”) had an escalating conflict over the course of that fateful day. Pizarro charged that teachers didn’t intervene, instead, leaving Raniya’s concerned friend to take steps to protect her.

“This is not right. Students should not be left to defending other students. Where is the accountability for Colleton County?” Pizarro said, citing their own investigation.

"Student 2" reportedly confronted Raniya on the playground on the morning of March 25, and later in the day in the cafeteria line before getting into, what Pizarro described as, a brawl in the classroom, where the substitute teacher did not intervene until it was well underway. Pizarro said that "Student 2" put Raniya “in a headlock, used her free hand to punch Raniya over and over.”

The Wright's lawyer said that while they are accepting the pathologist’s report at face value for now, they will be looking to see if there is science that suggests that such a physical altercation could trigger a reaction in someone with her medical condition, which Pizarro said Ashley Wright did not know about until after her daughter’s death.

Pizarro warned that "Student 2" allegedly has a violent history and was boasting about her fighting abilities even in the wake of Raniya’s funeral on April 3.

“It is our hope that something is done before the next student dies,” Pizarro said.

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KABC-TV(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) --  A son and daughter of David and Louise Turpin spoke out in court for the first time Friday as their parents were sentenced for torturing and imprisoning them for years.

"Now I'm taking my life back," a daughter -- one of the Turpins' 13 children -- said in court. "I'm a fighter. I'm strong and I'm shooting through life like a rocket."

"I'm in college now and living independently," she said. "I love hanging out with my friends and life is great. I believe everything happens for a reason. Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I fought to become the person I am."

"I saw my dad change my mom," she said, visibly shaking and clutching tissues. "They almost changed me."

 The Turpins abused 12 of their 13 children, including in some cases shackling them and beating them routinely, prosecutors said. They pleaded guilty in February to charges including torture and false imprisonment.

David and Louise Turpin were sentenced Friday to 25 years to life.

A Turpin son said in court Friday, "I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up. Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that had happened, such as my siblings being chained up or getting beaten. But that is the past and this is now."

"I love my parents and have forgiven them for a lot of the things that they did to us," he said. "I have learned so much and become very independent."

He said he learned how to ride a bike, and since then he rides everywhere.

"I live in an apartment and go to a nearby college. I am getting a bachelor's degree in software engineering, and after I get my bachelor's degree I'm going to get a job as a software engineer and go to school part-time to get my master's degree."

That son also read a statement in court on behalf of one of his sisters: "I love both of my parents so much. Although it may not have been the best way of raising us, I'm glad that they did, because it made me the person I am today. I just want to thank them for teaching me about God and faith. I hope they never lose their faith."

Louise Turpin's lip quivered and both parents wiped tears from their eyes as the statement was read.

"I pray often for them," that daughter's statement continued. "I am doing well. I'm going to college full time. I have an apartment ... we are not supposed to necessarily understand God's will. But we are only to follow and to trust in him."

A lawyer read a statement on behalf of another daughter who asked the court to remove the restraining order so she could visit her parents.

"I want the court to know our parents loved each other and loved each of their children," the statement said. "I remember our mother sitting in her recliner saying she 'don't know what to do.' She didn’t want to use rope or chain, but was afraid her children were taking in too much sugar and caffeine. "

David Turpin said in a statement to the judge on Friday: "I never intended for any harm to come to my children. I'm sorry if I've done anything to cause them harm... I love my children and believe my children love me. ...I hope the very best for my children in the future."

Louise Turpin said in court, "I'm sorry for everything I've done to hurt my children. I love my children so much... I look forward to the day I can see them, hug them, and tell them I'm sorry."

The couple was arrested in January 2018, after their 17-year-old daughter escaped their Perris, California, home and called 911.

The never-before-heard 911 call exclusively obtained this week by ABC News reveals that moment she turned her parents in.

"My parents are abusive," the 17-year-old told the dispatcher. "My two little sisters right now are chained up right now... they're chained up to their bed."

The 17-year-old alleged that she and her siblings would be chained up for one or two months and only freed to brush their teeth or use the bathroom, an officer who interviewed the teen testified.

The teen said she and her siblings never ate breakfast and would only eat peanut butter, bologna, a frozen burrito or chips for lunch and dinner, the officer testified.

When rescued, all the children except for the youngest, a toddler, were severely malnourished, prosecutors said. The eldest victim — a 29-year-old woman — weighed only 82 pounds.

The 17-year-old Turpin daughter told the dispatcher that she and her siblings lived in filth and that she hadn't bathed in nearly one year.

"Sometimes I wake up and I can't breathe because because how dirty the house is," she said.

The teen said she hadn't been to a doctor in five years and had never been to a dentist in her life.

The adult Turpin children are now healthy, their lawyer, Jack Osborn, told reporters Friday.

"All of them are doing really well physically," Osborn said. "That's a miracle."

"They want to be normal adults -- going to Target, going to baseball games," he said. "We are confident -- given what they've been through and how resilient that they are -- that they're going to be really successful."

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Edd Sorenson/Cave Adventurers(NEW YORK) -- Exclusive video obtained by ABC News goes inside a murky, underwater cave in Tennessee during the daring rescue of a highly trained British diver who went missing while exploring.

Josh Bratchley, a member of the elite international team that helped save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last summer, was rescued from the cave near Nashville on Wednesday night after disappearing on Tuesday.

The rescue video was filmed from the helmet of Ed Sorenson, a technical cave diver from Florida who located Bratchley and helped save him.

About 45 minutes into Sorenson's search, the video shows Bratchley, covered in mud, sitting on a ledge in the cave's air pocket awaiting rescue.

The video later shows the moment Sorenson surfaced with Bratchley.

"Thank you for still being here and calm," Sorenson told him.

Bratchley was evaluated by medical crews on the scene and determined to be in stable condition.

Sorenson said it was "very difficult" to find the British diver because conditions inside the cave were dangerous, and Bratchley's guideline to the surface had been broken.

"Rescues are very, very rare," Sorenson said on ABC's Good Morning America, "so any time I can bring somebody home back to their family and not in a bag, it's a great day."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A major storm is moving east, leaving in its wake at least 18 tornadoes and more than 300 damaging storm reports over two days in five states, as the East Coast braces for severe weather.

Nine of those tornadoes, reported Thursday, were in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, as parts of Arkansas saw half a foot of rain and flash flooding. A tornado watch in the region is in effect until 8 a.m. Central time Friday.

Severe storms are likely Friday from Pennsylvania to Florida, with the harshest weather visiting Virginia and the Carolinas. Wind gusts in excess of 70 mph are possible, as are tornadoes and flash flooding.

Farther north, the same system will deliver heavy rain from Virginia to Maine, which could see more than 3 inches in some areas. Flood watches have been issued in 11 states so far.

Washington, Philadelphia and New York City could see significant rain and potential flooding. Parts of Atlanta were without power around 6:30 a.m. Eastern time.

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Hamilton County Sheriff(CLEVELAND) -- Authorities indicted an Ohio man on fresh charges Thursday for allegedly impersonating Timmothy Pitzen, a boy who vanished in 2011 at the age of 6.

A federal grand jury indicted Brian Michael Rini, 23, on two counts of making false statements and one count of aggravated identity theft after DNA determined that he was not 14-year-old Pitzen.

Rini told investigators in Kentucky that he ran across an Ohio bridge to escape kidnappers who sexualy abused him. DNA testing established he was actually a convicted felon just released from prison.

He eventually confessed, telling investigators that he came up with the ruse to get away from his family.

FBI officials said Rini had portrayed himself as a child sex-trafficking victim on two prior occasions. In those instances, he was only identified once he was fingerprinted, according to the Department of Justice.

"Once law enforcement officers confronted Rini about his true identity, Rini immediately stated he was not Timmothy Pitzen," the Department of Justice said in a statement Thursday. "He allegedly said he watched a story about Timmothy on '20/20' and stated he wanted to get away from his only family. When questioned further, it is alleged that Rini stated 'he wished he had a father like Timmothy’s.'"

Pitzen vanished from Aurora, Illinois, after his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, took him out of school early in May 2011. She was found dead of an apparent suicide in an Illinois hotel a few days later.

Police said his mother left several notes behind, saying Pitzen was with people who loved him -- but he was never found.

Pitzen's maternal grandmother, Alana Anderson, said her family was devastated after learning about Rini's real identity.

"It's been awful. We've been on tenterhooks," Anderson said to reporters, adding that the family has been "alternatively hopeful and frightened." "My prayer has always been that when he is old enough, he would find us if we couldn't find him."

Rini was previously charged with one count of making false statements, but Wednesday's indictment included an additional count of making false statements and a new charge of aggravated identity theft. A federal magistrate ordered for him to be detained pending trial.

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Essex County Sheriff's Office(NEW YORK) -- A part-time philosophy professor was charged with attempted arson on Thursday after he entered a historic cathedral with gasoline and lighter fluid, investigators said.

Marc Lamparello, a former director of music at a New Jersey Roman Catholic Church, was arrested at the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on Wednesday night after security stopped him with two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, police said.

Sources with the New York City Police Department told ABC News that he also purchased a one-way ticket to Rome, which was scheduled to depart from Newark, New Jersey, on Thursday evening.

Lamparello, 37, was charged with attempted arson, reckless endangerment and some violations of city codes. He told police that he was taking a shortcut through church to reach his minivan, which he claimed had run out of gas.

"His basic story was that he was cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue, that his car had run out of gas," NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller told reporters at a press conference Wednesday night. "We took a look at the vehicle. It was not out of gas and at that point he was taken into custody."

He was also arrested and charged with resisting arrest, trespassing and disorderly conduct on Monday after he allegedly refused to leave Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark.

Investigators said he was sitting in the cathedral for about an hour and refused to leave when the church was closing. When police officers ordered him to leave, he told them he still wanted to pray.

Officers said his intentions weren't immediately clear, though one police source noted “the timing is odd,” given that it occurred two days after the destructive fire at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Authorities said Thursday the fire at Notre Dame was likely caused by an electrical short circuit.

Miller said additional security had been added in the recent days after the Paris fire.

"This is an indicator of something that would be very suspicious," he said.

Investigators are still working to determine a possible motive, but Miller said he doesn't appear to be connected to any terrorist groups.

Lamparello is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the City University of New York. He also teaches at several colleges and universities, including Brooklyn College, Seton Hall University and Lehman College, which said it was working to terminate him in light of the charges.

"The individual was hired at Lehman College during this academic year and was a part-time online instructor this semester," Lehman College spokesperson Sarah Ramsey told New York ABC station WABC-TV. "We are taking the appropriate steps to terminate the individual's employment with the college."

The famous cathedral, which opened its doors nearly 200 years ago, serves as seat of the New York Archdiocese.

"I've come to trust what we've got at St. Patrick's Cathedral, not that we can ever take it for granted," Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, said Thursday. "Last night proves that it works. We've got a very well trained interior security staff, we've got the constant help of the NYPD, which usually has an officer on the block for ready assistance, we've got the ready attention of the FDNY."

"Does that mean it's fail safe? No, but that's why we come to church to pray for God's protection," he added.

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Courtesy Map Pesqueira(AUSTIN, Texas) -- A transgender ROTC cadet says he lost his military scholarship at the University of Texas due to the Trump administration's new policy toward transgender service members.

In the wake of President's Donald Trump's implementation of the policy first ordered with a tweet in July 2017, reversing an Obama administration rule and barring transgender individuals from joining the military, some have said this new policy has affected their ability to become service members.

Map Pesqueira said he received his ROTC scholarship in March 2018 before entering school this past fall as a double major in Radio, Television and Film, and American Studies.

A string of lawsuits were filed after Trump called for the ban in July 2017. A federal judge lifted the final injunction of the ban last month, allowing the Pentagon to proceed with its implementation of the new policy. In the meantime, four outstanding lawsuits will proceed in courts across the country with the plaintiffs arguing the ban is unconstitutional.

After the Pentagon announced in March that the new transgender policy would take effect on April 12, Pesqueira reached out to his adviser, who he claims told him that he would now be disqualified from military service. He was aware of the pending policy when he applied for the scholarship.

"The scholarship offer was contingent upon meeting the standards required of all prospective recruits and the student did not meet these standards," said Defense Department spokesperson Jessica Maxwell, adding that individuals with an interest in ROTC are often given tentative scholarship offers prior to screening against medical, academic and security standards.

"The student’s gender identity did not impact his status in the ROTC program," Maxwell added.

The new Pentagon policy bars transgender individuals who have received hormones or medical surgery related to their transition from service, as Pesqueira has done.

ROTC cadets sign a contract to access into the military at the end of their junior year, so they are required to meet the same standards as any other individual in the military.

Although Pesqueira acknowledged that no one at the Defense Department or University of Texas voided the scholarship, he said he knew he would lose it because he would not meet the new standards.

So the 19-year old from San Antonio decided to take matters into his own hands, creating a crowdfunding page last week with the intent to raise $20,000 to fund at least his sophomore year.

"I was relying on the scholarship to fund the rest of my three years at UT," Pesqueira told ABC News in a phone interview on Wednesday. "Now that I don't have it anymore, without some kind of financial support from a different scholarship or a fundraiser like this, there's no way I can come back to UT and be able to afford it."

As of Thursday evening, the campaign had already raised over $21,000, and Pesqueira upped his crowdfunding goal to $27,000 to cover the full cost of his sophomore year.

UT Austin always tries to "offer different avenues of help for students who face sudden changes that affect their access to a UT education," university spokesperson J.B. Bird told ABC News.

He declined to comment on Pesqueira's case, citing privacy laws, but said, "In situations like this, the university works hard to understand the implications of policy changes, which are not always clear, so we can work with students on next steps as needed. We want all of our students to be successful and are committed to helping them make this a reality."

"Our staff pro-actively engage with affected students to help them find the resources they need to get their degree," Bird added.

 With Trump's transgender troop policy a divisive political issue, Pesqueira's case caught the attention of some presidential candidates who rallied behind him.

Congressman Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, called on UT to make up for the lost scholarship money, tweeting, "It's not the students' fault they're losing these scholarships."

Castro met with Pesqueira on Thursday. The cadet tweeted that he was "looking forward to working with him on finding a solution to this discrimination."

Another presidential hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., tweeted a link to Pesqueira's story on Thursday, calling the Trump administration's new policy toward transgender service members "bigoted."

Pesqueira had planned to enlist into the Army as a signal or military intelligence officer with the ultimate goal of ending up in public affairs, he told ABC News. But given the new policy toward transgender individuals, he said he likely won't continue ROTC, saying he has to pay out of pocket for other classes.

 If the policy were to change to allow transgender service members, Pesqueira said he would consider joining the Army through Officer Candidate School or a ROTC program at a graduate school.

While some of his fellow cadets have expressed support, Pesqueira said "There are a fair share of cadets who are not supportive," including "unfollowing" him on social media.

But the cadet had high praise for his military faculty who he said have ensured he is not discriminated against in the program. He is also thankful to everyone has helped him along the way.

"There are no words to express my gratitude," Pesqueira said.

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f11photo/iStock(NEW YORK) -- They say everything is bigger in Texas, and when it comes to the populations in some of their biggest cities, the Census Bureau seems to agree.

New population estimate data shows that two of the three metropolitan areas in the country that gained the greatest number of people were in Texas, and three Texas metropolitan areas were in the top 10 nationwide for most people added.

The growth in the Lone Star State is reflective of larger estimated net population increases in southern and western cities and states, coupled with population decreases in the northeast.

In keeping with that trend, the New York-Newark-Jersey City area had its first estimated population decrease in years, according to the Census Bureau information, losing slightly less than 20,000 residents between 2017 and 2018.

Other cities that had the most significant decreases in population were Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Pittsburgh.

The area that had the largest overall decrease was Puerto Rico, including numeric population decreases in every city on the island.

The island as a whole had a population decrease of 129,848 between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018. That time frame includes when Hurricane Maria barreled into the island, causing thousands of deaths and the relocation of many residents.

One aspect of the new data that stood out to Sandra Johnson, a Census Bureau demographer, was that the country's most populous cities were not the ones that experienced the most significant growth.

"Though no new metro areas moved into the top 10 largest areas, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin, and Orlando all experienced numeric increases in population since 2010, rivaling growth in areas with much larger populations. This trend is consistent with the overall growth we are seeing in the south and the west," Johnson said in a statement.

Overall, the Census Bureau found there was a positive total net migration in 2018, which means that more people moved into the country than left. The Census Bureau called that gain "roughly equivalent" with the net migration that occurred in 2017.

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