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Ferguson Protesters Gather at Police Station Amid New National Guard Reinforceme


ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- A crowd of several hundred people gathered outside the Ferguson, Mo., police station Tuesday night, and after a calm start, a police car was set on fire, after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon deployed more than 2,000 National Guardsmen to the streets.The city was the site of looting and burning after a grand jury cleared a white officer of shooting an unarmed teen Monday, was mostly calm tonightSeveral arrests were made, including two people from Oklahoma charged for unlawful assembly and resisting arrest, according to the St. Louis County Police. There were no reports of arson or stores being robbed."The violence we saw last night cannot be repeated," Nixon said earlier. He called the aftermath a "heartbreaking sight," and said "seniors are afraid to leave the house and children are afraid to go out and play... We must do better and we will."The governor's move came shortly after Ferguson Mayor James Knowles criticized the governor's decision to wait to send the National Guard into the protests after the grand jury decision was announced to clear Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown.The mayor also asked that there be stepped up protections Tuesday night."We must be prepared ahead of time. We must be prepared for the absolute worst," he said.Knowles said the National Guard was not deployed ahead of time Monday night, a move he said cost the city."Unfortunately as unrest grew and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses," said Knowles, adding it's "deeply concerning."He said that by waiting to send in the National Guard to provide assistance for the law enforcement officers already on the ground, protesters were able to do more damage to private property and local businesses."Some of these businesses have been hit twice," Knowles said.At least a dozen businesses were burned along with a couple of police cars during Monday night's protests, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said earlier Tuesday."We reached out both through unified control and through political channels to make it known we needed more assets," Knowles said of his office's efforts to get the National Guard sent in as soon as property began being attacked.St. Louis is postponing its Thanksgiving Day Parade because of the unrest.Protests are also continuing in other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta. In New York, the protesters stopped near the Lincoln Tunnel, stalling rush hour traffic. Several arrests were also reported in New York.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Area to Get More than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tuesday Night


ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deploy more than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tuesday night to prevent a recurrence of the rioting that rocked the city of Ferguson after a grand jury cleared Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown."The violence we saw last night cannot be repeated," Nixon said sternly."The National Guard presence is to be ramped up significantly," he said. He will deploy 2,200 Monday night, Nixon said.He called the aftermath a "heartbreaking sight," and said "seniors are afraid to leave the house and children are afraid to go out and play....We must do better and we will."The governor's plan came shortly after Ferguson Mayor James Knowles criticized the governor's decision to wait to send the National Guard into the protests after the grand jury decision was announced.The mayor also asked that there be stepped-up protections Tuesday night."We must be prepared ahead of time. We must be prepared for the absolute worst," he said.Knowles said the National Guard was not deployed ahead of time Monday night, a move he said cost the city.“Unfortunately as unrest grew and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses,” said Knowles, adding it’s “deeply concerning.”He said that by waiting to send in the National Guard to provide assistance for the law enforcement officers already on the ground, protesters were able to do more damage to private property and local businesses."Some of these businesses have been hit twice," Knowles said.At least a dozen businesses were burned along with a couple of police cars during Monday night's protests, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said earlier Tuesday."We reached out both through unified control and through political channels to make it known we needed more assets," Knowles said of his office's efforts to get the National Guard sent in as soon as property began being attacked.Tuesday night, protesters and law enforcement in Ferguson are still clashing. One person has been arrested and officers in riot gear are pushing crowds back.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

UVA Promises New 'Zero Tolerance' Policy on Sexual Assaults


iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- The University of Virginia said Tuesday that it has adopted a zero-tolerance policy in dealing with sexual assaults on campus, after an explosive report about rapes that took place on campus prompted a meeting of the school's governing board.But school officials did not reveal details of the zero-tolerance policy, noting in a statement that the new rules will be "refined in the near term."Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Visitors came after Rolling Stone published a story about a student identified as Jackie who was allegedly gang-raped during a frat party when she was a freshman. School officials have since come under fire for the way they handle sexual assault cases.According to Rolling Stone, 183 people have been expelled from UVA for honor code violations like lying or cheating on an exam, but not one person has been expelled for sexual assault."To Jackie and her parents, I say I am sorry...to the survivors of sexual assault and their families, I am also sorry," Rector George Keith Martin said at Tuesday's board meeting, according to the press release."This type of conduct will not be tolerated at the University of Virginia. The status quo is no longer acceptable," Martin said.In the wake of the article's publication, fraternities and sororities at the school were suspended until January, and there have been protests on campus calling for action by the administration."I write you in great sorrow, great rage, but most importantly, great determination," university President Teresa Sullivan wrote earlier in a statement sent to the University of Virginia community. "Meaningful change is necessary, and we can lead that change for all universities."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Exclusive: Police Officer Darren Wilson Explains How He Feared for His Life


ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has spoken out to ABC News for the first time publicly since fatally shooting a black teenager, Michael Brown, and he said that he would not do anything differently.Speaking exclusively to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Wilson said that Brown reached into his police car and grabbed for his gun, causing Wilson to fear for his life."All I wanted to do was live," said Wilson, whom the grand jury declined to indict in connection with the fatal shooting in August.He told ABC News about the struggle he faced with Brown as the teen allegedly punched Wilson in the face."I didn't know if I'd be able to withstand another hit like that," Wilson said."I had reached out my window with my right hand to grab onto his forearm 'cause I was gonna try and move him back and get out of the car to where I'm no longer trapped," Wilson said."I just felt the immense power that he had. And then the way I've described it is it was like a 5-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan. That's just how big this man was," Wilson said.More ABC US news | ABC World NewsFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Homeless Man's Posting Nets Thanksgiving Dinner with Family


iStock/Thinkstock(NORFOLK, Va.) -- Neal Shytles spends the holidays alone.The 54-year-old is homeless and has been living in a shelter in Norfolk, Virginia, for two years. With no family nearby and Thanksgiving approaching, Shytles has longed for something that money can’t buy.“One night, I was talking with two of my friends at the shelter about how lonely it is during the holidays,” he said. “It hurts every day of the year but on Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s 10 times worse being by yourself.”Shytles went back to his room and created a personal ad titled “Wanted: A family to share Thanksgiving with,” asking someone to invite him into their home to spend the holiday with their family.“I didn’t have a whole lot of Facebook friends and I was trying to think of places where people would see it,” Shytles said. “So I posted the ad on a few Facebook pages of news sites in the area.”Shytles was soon approached by a local television station to be interviewed about his heartwarming request.Just 40 minutes away Ashley McLemore of Newport News, Virginia, was watching the teaser."In the teaser was the quote that said, ‘I’m lonely 365 days a year,’ which absolutely broke my heart,” said McLemore, a 7th-grade English teacher. “I called my husband and asked if he would mind having him with us for Thanksgiving.”Without a second thought, McLemore called Shytles and offered him an invitation."She said, we really want you to come over," Shytles said. "I started crying because I was so excited and then she started crying too."Since posting his ad, Shytles has received more media attention than anticipated.“I thought it would just be a local thing,” he said. “I didn’t realize it would go viral, but since my story aired, the donations at my shelter have gone up. I think it’s made people open up their hearts.”In addition to Thanksgiving at the McLemores, Shytles has since received more holiday invites than he can count.“People have been calling from all over the country,” he said. “When I tell them I’ve already accepted an offer, some are inviting me to their homes for Christmas. They’re even willing to fly me out of state to come see them.”Ashley McLemore isn't surprised at the overwhelming response to Shytles' request."I think he is absolutely wonderful," she said. "The things I’ve seen him post on Facebook are always about the people in the shelter. He seems to really have a heart for helping other people."For now, Shytles is looking forward to having Thanksgiving with the McLemores, where he’ll enjoy both lunch and dinner, and quality time with the couple and some of their friends.“I just can’t wait to be in that family atmosphere,” he said. “That’s all I ever wanted in life. I didn’t ask for money. For me, it was never about the riches. I want something to take away the loneliness, where I can love people and they love me back.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Area to Get More than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tonight


ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deploy more than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tuesday night to prevent a recurrence of the rioting that rocked the city of Ferguson after a grand jury cleared Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown."The violence we saw last night cannot be repeated," Nixon said sternly."The National Guard presence is to be ramped up significantly," he said. He will deploy 2,200 Monday night, Nixon said.He called the aftermath a "heartbreaking sight," and said "seniors are afraid to leave the house and children are afraid to go out and play....We must do better and we will."The governor's plan came shortly after Ferguson Mayor James Knowles criticized the governor's decision to wait to send the National Guard into the protests after the grand jury decision was announced.The mayor also asked that there be stepped-up protections Tuesday night."We must be prepared ahead of time. We must be prepared for the absolute worst," he said.Knowles said the National Guard was not deployed ahead of time Monday night, a move he said cost the city.“Unfortunately as unrest grew and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses,” said Knowles, adding it’s “deeply concerning.”He said that by waiting to send in the National Guard to provide assistance for the law enforcement officers already on the ground, protesters were able to do more damage to private property and local businesses."Some of these businesses have been hit twice," Knowles said.At least a dozen businesses were burned along with a couple of police cars during Monday night's protests, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said earlier Tuesday."We reached out both through unified control and through political channels to make it known we needed more assets," Knowles said of his office's efforts to get the National Guard sent in as soon as property began being attacked.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nor'Easter to Hit Ahead of Thanksgiving


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, many will see unsettled weather on Wednesday that could interrupt their travel plans.Snow is expected to fall on I-35 from Minneapolis to Des Moines, Iowa and on I-94 through Wisconsin. Also, I-5 from Seattle to Portland, Oregon will be wet with occasional pounding due to heavy rain forecast there. I-90 will be snow covered through the northern Rockies as well.On the East Coast, a significant Nor’easter is set to hit.From Orlando, Florida to Raleigh, North Carolina on I-95 it will be heavy rain with local flooding possible. I-95 from Washington, D.C. to New York will begin to see rain as early as Wednesday morning, with showers arriving in Boston in the late morning.As the cold air moves into the Northeast, rain will change to snow in the early afternoon for most major cities. There are possible accumulations in parts of the Northeast: Washington, D.C. could see 1 to 2 inches, Philadelphia 1 to 3, New York City 3-6 and Boston 3-6 inches as well. Thanksgiving Day will be mostly dry for the I-95 corridor, but snow will be flying on I-94 on Thursday from the Dakotas to Minnesota and Wisconsin with a few inches possible there.For the West coast, it will be a wet ride on I-5 from Seattle to San Francisco with heavy rain, especially in Washington and Oregon. Minor flooding is possible.If you are traveling over the northern Rockies on I-90 from Seattle to Billings, Montana, watch out for some snow covered roads as you go over Stevens and Snoqualmie Passes. Most of the South will be dry on Thanksgiving from Orlando to Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.For your return trip on Sunday, most of the country will be in a good shape. I-95 corridor will be dry from Florida to Maine. The only trouble spot will be the West Coast, where heavy rain is possible on I-5 from Seattle to San Francisco and even some rain possible in Southern California late Sunday night.For the Great Lakes and Northern Plains, snow showers are possible with 1-2 inches of snow accumulation. With milder air further east, rain showers are possible in Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Exclusive: ABC News Interviews Police Officer Darren Wilson


ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- In an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, police officer Darren Wilson breaks his silence about the shooting of Michael Brown.Wilson told ABC News that he did not execute Brown but was in fear for his life and was just “doing his job.”This is the first time Wilson has made public remarks about the Aug. 9 shooting.The interview comes a day after the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson in an incident that sparked national outcry.Tune into ABC News' World News Tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST to see the interview.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision: Michael Brown's Mom Outraged


Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The heartbroken mother of Michael Brown broke down during protests that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury cleared the police officer who fatally shot her teenage son.Lesley McSpadden was captured on video screaming and crying in the hours after she learned Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown in August, would not be indicted in the teen's death."They wrong," she repeated."Everyone want me to be calm -- do you know how them bullets hit my son, what they did to his body as they entered his body?" she asked. "Nobody had to live through what I lived through.""They never gonna care," she said. "I've been here my whole life. I ain't never had to go through nothing like this."Supporters surrounded McSpadden as she broke town in tears, covering her face with her hands. Many screamed profanities and urged the crowd to "burn this b---h down."McSpadden's partner, wearing a green and white shirt, is also seen shouting during the clip and hugging her.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two Minneapolis Men Charged with Trying to Help ISIS


Digital Vision/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The FBI has arrested a Minneapolis college student and charged another man -- who is still overseas -- for allegedly being part of a conspiracy to help ISIS, authorities said.Abdullah Yusuf, 18, of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, was arrested Tuesday as part of a broader FBI investigation in Minnesota targeting “numerous individuals” there who have tried to join ISIS or had successfully made their way to war-torn Syria and Iraq, where the terrorist group is wreaking havoc and radicalizing others around the world through online propaganda.According to federal authorities, Yusuf knew another Minnesota man who went to Syria in March -- and two months later Yusuf tried to go there himself.This past spring, Yusuf obtained a passport and bought an airline ticket to Turkey, where he would find his way into Syria, according to federal prosecutors.On May 28, after his father dropped him off at school, Yusuf made his way to the airport, but the FBI caught up to him there and told him he couldn’t leave for Turkey, authorities said.Charges against 20-year-old Abdi Nur were also announced on Tuesday. According to charging documents, he left for Turkey in May. He was supposed to return to the United States in June, but he never came back.“More than 16,000 recruits from over 90 countries traveled to Syria to become foreign terrorist fighters with alarming consequences,” said the head of the Justice Department National Security Division, John Carlin. "This is a global crisis and we will continue our efforts to prevent Americans from joining the fight and to hold accountable those who provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lawyers for Michael Brown's Family 'Strenuously' Object to Prosecutor


ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Lawyers for Michael Brown's parents said on Tuesday that they "strenuously object" to the prosecutor and the grand jury process that cleared a police officer in the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.Benjamin Crump, the family's lawyer, said that he had objected to allowing St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch handle the case from the beginning and asked for a special prosecutor who did not have ties to the local police."Now after we watched him last night in his comments, we strenuously object to this prosecutor and this process," Crump said."We have the local prosecutor who has a symbiotic relationship with the local police and the local police officers...We could foresee what the outcome was going to be and that's exactly what occurred last night," Crump said.Michael Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., was standing beside Crump and Rev. Al Sharpton. Brown Sr. wore a red St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap like the one his son was wearing when he shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. The dad also wore a T-shirt with the slogan "No Justice No Peace.""You have broken our hearts but you have not broken our backs," Sharpton said. "We are going to continue to pursue justice."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Gunshots During Ferguson Protests Prompt Temporary Flight Restriction at St. Lou


dave_valler/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- Lambert - St. Louis International Airport was subject to a temporary flight restriction Monday night into Tuesday morning due to gunshots fired into the sky in Ferguson.According to the Federal Aviation Administration, reports of gunshots created a sufficient hazard that only law enforcement aircraft were permitted to fly through the area beginning at 10:15 p.m. local time.The restriction prevented approach at multiple runways at the St. Louis airport. The FAA said 10 inbound flights were diverted to other airports. Five additional arriving flights were cancelled, the airport said.The flight restriction was lifted at about 5 a.m. local time, with a limited number of early morning flights cancelled.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Student Leaders at University of Virginia Aim to End Sexual Violence


Alessandro Drago/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Student leaders at the University of Virginia on Monday vowed to find a solution to sexual violence, in the wake of an article in Rolling Stone magazine that detailed a horrifying sexual assault case at the school in 2012 and the way in which that case was handled.According to a news release from the school, Student Council President Jalen Ross called the article a "wakeup call." "Sexual assault is a problem that needs our undivided attention," Ross added. "Thousands of us this week have committed to responding to this hard problem with hard work and I hope that each and every one of you will join us in doing that."Ross, along with Brian Head, President of One in Four, Ashley Brown, president of One Less, and Tommy Reid, president of the school's Inter-Fraternity Council spoke out about the article on Monday. One in Four and One Less are student organizations dedicated to educating students about and preventing rape and sexual assault on the university's campus.Over the weekend, school President Teresa Sullivan announced that all of the school's fraternities would be suspended until at least Jan. 9, and that all associated social activities would be cancelled.The university's Board of Visitors will hold a special meeting on Tuesday "to discuss the University's policies and procedures regarding sexual assault."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Michael Brown Family Attorney: 'The System Needs to Be Indicted'


Brown Family / Facebook(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The family of Michael Brown, the black teen who was shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, was "heartbroken" after a grand jury declined to bring charges, the family’s attorney told ABC News.Attorney Benjamin Crump said he broke the news to Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden.“She was overwhelmed with emotion and heartbroken that the system did not work equally for her child,” Crump said.Brown, 18, was unarmed at the time of the shooting by officer Darren Wilson.“We keep seeing our children killed by the people who are supposed to protect and serve them, and there are no consequences when they’re killed,” Crump said.Crump criticized the legal system, saying that changes need to be made.“The system needs to be indicted,” Crump said. “The souls of thousands of young African-Americans cry from the grave that we have to change this system. It’s imperative we have to make positive change or this will play out over and over again.”The Aug. 9 shooting has drawn national attention to the St. Louis suburb, sparking months of protests in the city.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Police Officer Wounded in Shooting Near Ferguson


Monkey Business Images/Thinkstock(UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo.) -- A police officer in University City, Missouri was wounded in a shooting late Monday, but at this point it’s not clear whether the shooting is related to protests in nearby Ferguson, authorities said.The officer’s condition is unknown.The St. Louis County Police Department confirmed the shooting, saying a search for the suspect is underway.Local and national protests followed Monday’s announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Fires, Looting Reported in Missouri Following Grand Jury Decision


ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) --  Gov. Jay Nixon ordered additional Missouri National Guardsmen to Ferguson Tuesday morning amid protests across the city, the governor’s office announced in a statement.The additional guardsmen will provide security at the Ferguson Police Department, according to the statement.Numerous fires were visible in Ferguson throughout Monday night and early Tuesday morning, with buildings and vehicles engulfed.Businesses were left trashed amid the protests.The protests followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.More ABC US news | ABC World NewsProtests have also spread to other cities.In New York, approximately 200 people gathered in Union Square, then marched to Times Square. In Philadelphia, several hundred people marched along Market Street in downtown. In Chicago, about 200 demonstrators marched peacefully through the streets.In Washington, about 150 to 200 people are marching towards the White House. And in Los Angeles, about 100 people are marching downtown on Martin Luther King Boulevard.Marches were also reported in Oakland, Calif., and Seattle.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Officer Darren Wilson's Story of Shooting Michael Brown


Brown family / Facebook(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Officer Darren Wilson said Michael Brown "had the most intense aggressive face I've ever seen on a person," when the unarmed 18-year-old turned to face him after the two struggled in Wilson's patrol car, and the teen kept coming at him even after he'd shot him multiple times."After I fired multiple shots I paused for a second, yelled at him to get on the ground again, he was in the same state. Still charging in, hands still in his waistband," Wilson told police investigators the morning after the fatal shooting."I fired another set of shots. Same thing, still running at me, hadn't slowed down, hands still in his waistband," Wilson said. "He gets about eight to 10 feet away, he's still coming at me in the same way. I fired more shots. One of those, however many of them, hit on him in the head and he went down right there."Wilson's account was part of the evidence presented to the grand jury that investigated the Aug. 9 shooting.The evidence was released by the St. Louis County prosecutor Monday evening after the grand jury declined to indict Wilson.Wilson said he had heard that someone had stolen cigarillos from the nearby Ferguson Market just before he saw two young men walking in the middle of the street, disrupting traffic.He said that after he asked the two to move onto the sidewalk, one said, "F*** what you have to say," as they passed him."When he said that, it drew my attention totally to Brown," he said. "It was a very unusual and not expected response from a simple request."Then he noticed that Brown was carrying packages of cigarillos, which had been reported stolen, he said.He called for backup and then backed up his car to cut them off, he said. When he started to open the door and called to Brown, the young man responded: "What the f*** are you gonna do?" he said.The officer told investigators that when he tried to open the door, Brown slammed it shut."He was just staring at me, almost like to intimidate me or to overpower me," Wilson said. "The intense face he has was just not what I expected."Wilson said he tried to open his door again, telling Brown to "get the f*** back," but Brown grabbed the door and slammed it, then ducked his head inside the open window."I don't remember seeing him come at me, but I was hit right here in the side of the face with a fist," Wilson said. "I think it was a full-on swing, but not a full shot."When Brown turned to give the cigarillos he was carrying in his left hand to the other young man, Wilson tried to grab his right "to get out, to have some type of control and not be trapped in my car anymore," he said."And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan," he said.As the two struggled, with Wilson seated inside the car and Brown leaning in through the open window, he tried to get his mace canister but couldn't reach it, according to the officer's account."I thought I was already compromised enough. I drew my firearm, I pointed at him," Wilson said.He said that when he warned Brown he was going to shoot him and told him to get on the ground, the teen grabbed the gun and said, "You are too much of a p***y to shoot me.""When he grabbed my gun, he twisted it, pointed at me and into my hip pelvic area," he said."I know his hand was around my trigger finger which was inside the trigger guard, and when he grabbed it he pushed it down and angled it to where it was like this in my hip," Wilson said. "I was guaranteed he was going to shoot me."Brown had "completely overpowered" him, Wilson said, but he was able to twist the gun around and get a shot off, and then another, but he didn't know what he had hit."It was a, just one of these to get him off me," Wilson said.He said he radioed for more patrol cars, then yelled for Brown, who was running then, to stop and get on the ground.Brown stopped, but he didn't get down, Wilson said."When he stopped, he turned, looked at me, made like a grunting noise and had the most intense aggressive face I've ever seen on a person," Wilson said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Evidence Photos Show Officer Darren Wilson Following Fatal Michael Brown Shootin


St. Louis County Prosecutors Office(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Evidence photos released by the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday show Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the days after the fatal August altercation with unarmed black teen Michael Brown.In one set of images, Wilson sits inside a doctor’s office, staring ahead.A bruise can be seen on his right cheek -- about two inches long, his check shaded red -- but with no major injuries visible.The corner of his lip is slightly swelled, according to the photos.A second set of images -- seemingly taken days later -- shows Wilson wearing a St. Louis Blues hockey T-shirt, his cheek and lip clear of any bruising.The photos were filed as evidence on Aug. 21 -- 12 days after the shooting -- but it’s not specifically clear when the photographs were taken.The gun used in the fatal shooting was also featured in the set of photographs released Monday, just hours after a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson.The deadly confrontation sparked riots and national attention. The images were released with other evidence stemming from the shooting.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Violence Reported in Missouri Following Grand Jury Decision


ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Protesters in Missouri are having strong reactions Monday night following the announcement that police officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted on any criminal charges relating to the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown.ABC's Jim Ryan is at the scene in Ferguson, and he reported five or six gunshots coming from near the police station.There are also reports of fires and tear gas in the streets. Police are working to disperse the crowds.Several hundred protesters blocked Interstate 44 in downtown St. Louis. Riot police are now on the scene and some of the protesters are reportedly climbing on the cars.More ABC US news | ABC World NewsProtests have also spread to other cities.In New York, approximately 200 people gathered in Union Square, then marched to Times Square. In Philadelphia, several hundred people marched along Market Street in downtown. In Chicago, about 200 demonstrators marched peacefully through the streets.In Washington, about 150 to 200 people are marching towards the White House. And in Los Angeles, about 100 people are marching downtown on Martin Luther King Boulevard.Marches were also reported in Oakland, Calif., and Seattle.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Grand Jury Does Not Indict Officer Darren Wilson in Death of Michael Br


ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- A Missouri grand jury has decided not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed Ferguson teenager Michael Brown, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said Monday night.McCulloch said that the grand jurors ruled that "no probable cause exists" to indict Wilson on any of the five possible charges that they were asked to consider. He said that the jury was "presented with five indictments" ranging from "murder in the first degree to involuntary manslaughter."The prosecutor repeatedly stressed the physical evidence that the 12 jurors considered, saying that it "tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Grand Jury Decides Not to Indict Officer Darren Wilson


ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, will not face criminal charges.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Governor Pleads for Calm Hours Before Ferguson Grand Jury Ruling


The Brown Family / Facebook(ST. LOUIS) --  Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon pleaded for calm Monday evening, just hours ahead of a grand jury's decision whether to indict a Ferguson police officer in the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.Nixon made a brief statement as the region waited tensely for the grand jury's ruling on Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown on Aug. 9. Earlier in the evening officials said the panel had concluded its deliberations.The decision is expected to be announced at 9 p.m. ET."Our shared hope and expectation is that regardless of the decision, people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint," the governor said.Nixon said he was in Ferguson earlier Monday. "It is understandable that, like the rest of us, they are on edge waiting for a decision."He said authorities were making sure the "best and most experienced officers" would be on the street Monday night. "The Grand Jury hearing the Michael Brown/Darren Wilson investigation has reached a decision and it will be announced later today," the office of the prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County said on Monday.The panel must decide whether to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Brown on Aug. 9.The grand jury has been working on the case since Aug. 20 -- less than two weeks after the shooting -- meeting at least once every week.The question that the jurors had to answer was whether or not there was probable cause to believe that Wilson committed a crime when he shot Brown. They could consider charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter up to first-degree murder, the state prosecutor's office previously reported. The jury was also informed of the state statutes towards self-defense and the use of force by law enforcement officers.Authorities have been preparing for the decision for days amid fear that the protests could turn violent, as some did in August following Brown's death. The Ferguson-Florissant School District canceled afterschool activities on Monday because of news reports that the grand jury has reached a decision, and canceled classes for Tuesday. Schools are closed for the rest of the week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. The FBI sent about 100 agents to the St. Louis area to help deal with any problems that could arise from the grand jury decision. They also released a memo earlier last week warning that extremists "will likely" try to infiltrate the demonstrations not only in Ferguson, but elsewhere around the country, and may use the verdict as an excuse to hack public utilities and other sites.Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had declared a state of emergency last week and called out the National Guard.Brown's parents have made repeated calls for peace, and President Obama reiterated that message this weekend."Using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to the rule of law and contrary to who we are," Obama said in an interview that aired Sunday.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Texas Professor Moved into Dumpster to 'Explore the Idea of Less'


iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Dr. Jeff Wilson wanted to simplify his life.The professor at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, sold his belongings and in February moved into a used trash Dumpster 36 square feet in size. Wilson is documenting his progress on the website dumpsterproject.org, using videos and social media to showcase his sustainable living project.“It’s really just to explore the idea of less,” he told ABC station KTRK in Houston.Students, who helped clean the Dumpster before Wilson moved in, were stunned when he announced his plan.“I didn’t believe it at all,” student Charles Deshaw said. “I’m like, ‘You’re really going to live in a Dumpster?’”The front door slides shut. It’s cold at night. The walls contain decorative hangings. The home features few appliances such as a washer and dryer, which were added during the current phase of his project. The third and final phase will feature solar panels with a focus on renewable energy.For Wilson -- who goes by the nickname “Professor Dumpster” -- the second night in the Dumpster was scariest.“The trash man came by and picked up two of my neighbors,” Wilson told KTRK.Luckily, Wilson’s new home remained untouched by trash crews. After living in the Dumpster for six months, Wilson is proud of the discourse his experiment has encouraged and that it has promoted the idea of living with less.It’s important to “foster a conversation and keep that conversation going. We don’t know where that conversation is going to lead,” Wilson told KTRK.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Grand Jury Has Completed Deliberations


The Brown Family / Facebook(ST. LOUIS) -- The St. Louis grand jury considering the shooting of unarmed Ferguson teenager Michael Brown has completed its deliberations, sources told ABC News.The lawyer for Brown's family has been informed that a decision has been reached and law enforcement personnel are also being notified, sources told ABC News.The panel must decide whether to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Brown on Aug. 9.The grand jury has been working on the case since Aug. 20 -- less than two weeks after the shooting -- meeting at least once every week.The question that the jurors had to answer was whether or not there was probable cause to believe that Wilson committed a crime when he shot Brown.If they decided that he was guilty of a crime, they could consider charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter up to first degree murder, the state prosecutor's office previously reported. The jury was also informed of the state statutes towards self-defense and the use of force by law enforcement officers.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Officer Who Shot Michael Brown Got Married Last Month


Dorling Kindersley/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The police officer who has been in hiding since fatally shooting a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, in August has married his girlfriend.Officer Darren Wilson, who has not been seen in public since the Aug. 9 shooting, obtained a marriage license in October.Little is known about Wilson other than the fact that he was 28 years old at the time of the shooting and had been working as a police officer for six years.He had worked for the Ferguson police department for four years and had never received a disciplinary complaint.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Video of Cleveland Boy's Shooting over Toy Gun Shown to Family Reps


File photo. (blackred/Getty Images)(CLEVELAND) -- A surveillance video of a boy with a toy gun being shot by a police officer has been shown to representatives of the slain boy's family, Cleveland police said on Monday.The family of Tamir Rice, 12, declined the police offer to watch the video themselves, police told a news conference on Monday.Police said that the officer who shot Rice Saturday at a recreation center was 10 feet from the boy, but said the toy was "indistinguishable" from a real weapon. The toy gun, which a 911 caller said the boy was waving around, was an "airsoft" gun and the orange tip at the end of the gun to indicate it was a toy had been removed, police said."Guns are not toys, and we need to teach our kids that," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said. "Our community needs to understand that."Police said they offered to show Rice's family surveillance video of what happened when the boy was shot. The family declined, but representatives for the family viewed the footage. That video will eventually be released to the public, police said."Our concern is the family," Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said. "We've got a police officer that's also involved that is obviously very distraught over the situation.""It's very complicated," he added.Police said they are reviewing the video, interviewing witnesses and consulting with the medical examiner's office to process evidence as the investigation continues."A tragedy like this effects the entire community," Williams said. "Our officers at times are required to make critical decisions in a split-second. Unfortunately, this was one of those times."He urged parents to teach their children that "guns are not toys," and to understand that police are "part of this community."Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson also spoke at the press conference, apologizing to the boy's family."I know there's nothing that I can say that will be adequate in terms of the pain and suffering that they're going through now," he said.The officer who shot Rice has not yet submitted a formal statement, but was interviewed after the shooting.Williams said he spoke to the officer Sunday night."[He is] holding up pretty well but is broken up about this," Williams said, adding that the officer "didn't want to do this, but had to protect himself."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Slain Cleveland Boy's Toy Gun 'Indistinguishable' from Real Gun: Cops


File photo. (blackred/Getty Images)(CLEVELAND) -- The toy gun a 12-year-old was brandishing when he was fatally shot by police was "indistinguishable" from a real weapon, Cleveland police said on Monday.Tamir Rice was shot and killed on Saturday at a recreation center after reports that he had a pistol and was waving it around. It turned out to be an "airsoft" gun and the orange tip at the end of the gun to indicate it was a toy had been removed, police said."Guns are not toys, and we need to teach our kids that," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said at a press conference Monday. "Our community needs to understand that."Police said they have offered to show Rice's family surveillance video of what happened when he was shot. They declined, but representatives for the family viewed the footage. That video will eventually be released to the public, police said.The officer was within 10 feet of the boy when he was shot, police said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

University of Virginia's Campus Reeling over Sexual Assault Allegations


Lance King/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Students at the University of Virginia on Monday praised the school's decision to suspend all fraternities and sororities in the wake of a report about a shocking sexual assault at a frat party.The Greek life at the school was suspended by university President Teresa Sullivan after rape accusations were detailed in a Rolling Stone article. The report sparked weekend protests on the Charlottesville campus.Tommy Reid, the president of the school’s inter-fraternity council, said that ending sexual assault on campus can’t be done by frat brothers alone.“It’s much larger and much more complicated than the Greek system itself. I think it’s important to understand the temporary ban in itself gives our community time to take a breath to sit back and talk and be active and develop what we consider to be actionable and long term solutions,” he said.“The culture here is not just a UVA issue. This is a pervasive national epidemic,” Ashley Brown, the leader of One Less, a group that helps sexual assault survivors, said Monday morning.The Rolling Stone expose involves a first-year student’s allegation in which she says she was “gang-raped” at a Phi Kappa Psi frat party. The victim claims the attack happened in 2012. That year, the university was crowned by Playboy as the nation’s top party school.The student, identified as “Jackie” in the article, said she felt obligated to stay silent and was even told by a roommate to “remember where your loyalty lies.”Alexandria Pinkelton, a friend of the student, said she was proud of her friend’s determination. “One of her goals with doing this article is to try to spread awareness,” she said.The national leadership of Phi Kappa Psi decried the situation in a statement, saying, “We do not condone violence under any circumstances.”Sullivan suspended all campus fraternities and sororities in the wake of the scandal. In addition, Sullivan stated that the school’s board of visitors will be meeting on Tuesday “to discuss the University’s policies and procedures regarding sexual assault as well as the specific, recent allegations.”"I write you in great sorrow, great rage, but most importantly, great determination," Sullivan wrote in a statement sent to the University of Virginia community. "Meaningful change is necessary, and we can lead that change for all universities."The current situation feels too familiar for Liz Seccuro, who has claimed she was raped in the same frat house as a freshman in 1984. The school has done little to improve its culture in the ensuing decades because it’s too worried about its reputation, Seccuro said.“For 30 years, to have no progress made is inexplicable and heartbreaking,” Seccuro said.According to the Rolling Stone article, 38 students reported sexual assault to university officials in the last academic year, but of those 38 only four resulted in sexual misconduct board meetings.The university is one of 86 schools under federal investigation or compliance review for their handling of sexual misconduct.Attorney Wendy Murphy has filed lawsuits against nine schools, including the University of Virginia.“I’ve seen UVA behave badly for a long, long time, and this is the first time they’ve faced such a significant public scandal. It’s long overdue,” Murphy said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Grand Jury Still at Work


Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- A grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, is expected to reconvene on Monday, trying to decide whether to indict a white police officer in the August shooting death of an unarmed black teen.The weekend was marked by protests in the city of Ferguson, with security tight and tensions running high ahead of the grand jury’s decision. Many people were expecting the grand jury to come to a decision over the weekend.While the jurors debate possible criminal charges against officer Darren Wilson, additional law enforcement -- including the National Guard and more than 100 FBI agents -- is stationed in Ferguson ahead of the grand jury’s decision.The Saint Louis County Police Department switched its officers to 12-hour shifts in recent days. Metal and concrete barricades have been erected in areas around the St Louis County government buildings in Clayton, Missouri, where the grand jury has been meeting. The justice center there also houses the prosecutor's office, the St. Louis County Police Department headquarters and the circuit courts.A handful of arrests were made during the weekend. Some stores in the St. Louis suburb remain closed, with business owners boarding up windows in fear.“We look abandoned here, pretty much imprisoned,” business owner Triondus Sleet said. “It’s sad.”Wilson could be charged with murder or manslaughter -- or nothing -- for the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown. If cleared, a police union rep said he should be able to return to work.“It would be my hope though that if, one day, he decides to stay in law enforcement, that he's able to do that,” said Detective Gabe Crocker, president of the St. Louis County Police Association. "Especially if he’s cleared, that means he didn’t do anything wrong, according to the grand jury."President Obama, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, urged for calm no matter what decision the grand jury reaches, a sentiment also expressed by Brown’s mother and father.“Using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are,” Obama said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Obama and Holder Plea for Calm Ahead of Ferguson Decision


JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting death not expected until Monday at the earliest, both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have issued pleas for a calm and measured response to the verdict.The grand jury, which convenes again Monday, will determine what charges, if any, to bring against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Last August 9, Wilson shot Brown, who was unarmed, six times following an altercation.The racially-charged incident touched off confrontations between the African-American community and law enforcement officers and many fear the civil unrest will be even more violent if Wilson is exonerated.In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Obama urged residents to "keep protests peaceful," saying, "You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust, but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are."Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video released by the Justice Department, "History has...shown us that the most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to non-aggression and nonviolence," a sentiment similarly expressed by Michael Brown Sr., who released his own video appealing for calm.Holder also stated that "long-simmering tensions will not be cooled overnight,” and he touted the “importance” of police forces engaging with communities long before times of crisis.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rising Temperatures Bring Fear of Floods in Western New York


John Normile/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- The worst is over for the Buffalo, New York, area as far as the snow is concerned.Now comes the danger of epic floods with temperatures rising and the threat of rain with some suburbs still covered in seven or eight feet of snow.At a news briefing Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters, "Flooding in my opinion is worse than dealing with snow. It’s not water, it’s a toxic brew…It has all sorts of sewage in it."The chief worry in Buffalo-area towns like Hamburg or the city of Lackawanna is that rapid melting will turn basements and living rooms into swimming pools even as some homes had their roofs collapse under the weight of unprecedented autumn snowfall.To that end, a frantic snow clean-up continues with the governor calling on trucks and equipment from other parts of the state, including Albany and New York City.Meanwhile, emergency shelters have been set up by the Red Cross for possible evacuations should residents have to get out of their homes quickly.  Cuomo ordered over 50 boats and "swift-water" rescue teams to be at the ready for calls as waters rise. Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Buffalo, NY Braces for Floods from Melting Snow


John Normile/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- The worst is over for the Buffalo, New York, area as far as the snow is concerned.Now comes the danger of epic floods with temperatures rising and the threat of rain with some suburbs still covered in seven or eight feet of snow.At a news briefing Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters, "Flooding in my opinion is worse than dealing with snow. It’s not water, it’s a toxic brew…It has all sorts of sewage in it."The chief worry in Buffalo-area towns like Hamburg or the city of Lackawanna is that rapid melting will turn basements and living rooms into swimming pools even as some homes had their roofs collapse under the weight of unprecedented autumn snowfall.To that end, a frantic snow clean-up continues with the governor calling on trucks and equipment from other parts of the state, including Albany and New York City.Meanwhile, emergency shelters have been set up by the Red Cross for possible evacuations should residents have to get out of their homes quickly.  Cuomo ordered over 50 boats and "swift-water" rescue teams to be at the ready for calls as waters rise.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pennsylvania Residents Complain About "Ugly" Christmas Tree


File photo. (The Image Bank/Getty Images)(READING, Pa.) -- The Christmas tree in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, wasn’t exactly bringing holiday cheer.According to WFMZ.com, many residents complained that the 50-foot Norway Spruce was “ugly” and “pathetic,” and now it’s being replaced. "I think it does look a little pitiful," resident Teresa Rodriguez said of the scraggly spruce. "I think they picked the wrong tree."Another resident who works near the tree, Martin McNeil, added, "It was a waste of time for them to even come out here and put this tree up. Honestly, they might as well put nothing out here."In response to the bah-humbugs, the city has decided to replace the tree with one that's fuller and greener. The new tree is expected to be in place Monday or Tuesday. It will be decorated Friday and lit on Saturday. As for the poor old tree, it was adopted by a local business.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Man Accused of Stealing 600 Combat Helmets


Getty Images(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Life’s tough, get a helmet…or 600…A former Pennsylvania state employee is facing charges for allegedly stealing more than 600 military combat helmets, Philly.com reported. According to criminal charges filed Friday, 43-year-old Michael Gantz swiped the protective head gear from his job at the Pennsylvania Department of General Services’ surplus property warehouse.The helmets, which were allegedly stolen between July 2009 and January 2010, have an estimated value of more than $5,000. Prosecutors said Gantz has filed an agreement indicating he will plead guilty to a felony count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. He faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.No word on what he actually did with the helmets after he stole them.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two in Ferguson Charged With Lying on Forms to Buy Guns Ahead of Grand Jury Deci


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Federal authorities in Missouri charged two men with lying on forms to purchase guns ahead of the grand jury decision in the police shooting of Michael Brown.Olajuwon Davis and Brandon Baldwin only faced those charges as of late Friday, but sources told ABC News that authorities were looking into whether they tried to acquire ready-made explosives and other weapons ahead of the decision, which is expected soon.The two men are suspected of being associated with the New Black Panther party, said sources briefed on the arrests. The charges that were filed were intended to "take them out of the rotation," according to one source.Neither man had a lawyer listed on court documents. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives played a part in the arrest.This week, the FBI warned law enforcement agencies across the country that the decision “will likely” lead some extremist protesters to threaten and even attack police officers or federal agents.“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” the FBI says in an intelligence bulletin issued in recent days. “This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities.”The FBI has sent about 100 agents to the St. Louis area to help deal with any problems that could arise from the grand jury decision.St. Louis authorities said Friday that the grand jury was still meeting. The panel will decide whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Brown, who was unarmed, on Aug. 9.The FBI declined to comment on its operation in Ferguson.Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency earlier this week and activated the Missouri National Guard to help keep order if necessary.Michael Brown Sr., the father of the slain teen, issued a videotaped appeal this week for protesters to remain peaceful whatever the verdict.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two Men Walk Free After 40 Years in Prison for Crime They Didn't Commit


iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- On May 25, 1975, Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman went to jail for a murder they didn’t commit. Sentenced to death on the testimony of a single juvenile witness, the men continued to protest their innocence through years of incarceration.On Friday, nearly 40 years later, they walked out of prison as free men after the state’s witness in the case admitted that he concocted his testimony under police intimidation.A case suffused with emotion culminated in exoneration Friday morning, when Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Richard McMonagle formally dismissed all charges against Jackson after a brief hearing. Bridgeman, whose case was heard separately, was exonerated two hours later by Judge David Matia.The two joined Bridgeman’s younger brother Ronnie, now known as Kwame Ajamu, who was found guilty of the same crime and eventually paroled in 2003.The three were originally jailed for the 1975 murder of Harry Franks, a Cleveland businessman, after a 12-year-old witness named Edward Vernon told police that he had seen them attack the victim. No physical evidence linked them to the crime scene. Jackson was just 19 years old when he was sentenced to die, Wiley Bridgeman was 20, and Ronnie Bridgeman was 17.“The English language doesn’t have words to express how I’m feeling right now,” Jackson, now 58, told reporters.Wiley Bridgeman, now 60, quietly thanked the judge and attorneys in the courthouse as his case was dismissed. He had once been less than three weeks away from execution, rescued when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Ohio’s previous capital punishment law in 1978.The case was a major victory for the Ohio Innocence Project, which coordinated much of the investigation into the exonerating evidence and whose staff attorney, Brian Howe, represented Jackson. Terry Gilbert and David Mills, who together represent the brothers Bridgeman and Ajamu, worked with the Innocence Project during the case.“It’s been years in the making,” Howe told ABC News. “Literally years of work, witness interviews, tracking people down -- all that culminated on Tuesday when the state withdrew its case.”The first domino on the path to exoneration fell in 2011, when an investigation by reporter Kyle Swenson in The Cleveland Scene, an alternative weekly magazine, cast doubt on the 1975 convictions. Later, the Ohio Innocence Project took Jackson’s case and began investigating.“Kyle Swenson did some great investigative journalism into the case before anyone had really heard about it, way before Ed Vernon had recanted his testimony,” Howe said. “Kyle’s article was the first thing I read when I took on this case, and that really compelled me to spend those extra nights and weekends digging into it.”Vernon was sick and in the hospital, wracked with anxiety, when his minister convinced him to come clean. Later, the Innocence Project obtained a signed affidavit in which Vernon forswore the statements he made as a boy.Last week, Vernon, now a 52-year-old man, took to the stand to give stunning, emotional testimony recanting his childhood statements.“He was a wreck,” McMonagle, the judge who presided over Jackson’s trial, told ABC News.“Eddie Vernon broke down on the stand frequently during testimony,” said Gilbert. “He talked about how his life was affected by the stress, the anguish, because for all these years he was afraid that if he came forward with the truth, then he would go to prison.”Vernon testified that he had been on a school bus when he heard the gunshot that killed Franks. As a 12-year-old, he passed on rumors he had heard to the police incriminating Jackson and the Bridgeman brothers. When he tried to back out of his account at a police lineup, he testified that officers intimidated him into giving false testimony, yelling at him and banging on a table.“He was a kid,” Gilbert told ABC News. “He hadn’t seen them do it. The police told him that he’d go to jail, that they’d send his mother to jail if he backed out, and he was a scared kid.”Vernon’s testimony made a powerful impression on the hearing.Judge McMonagle said, “One of the prosecutors said later that hearing all the evidence and the recanted testimony made her physically sick, that she felt terrible.”After the hearing, the prosecutors totally conceded, Gilbert told ABC News.“Everybody’s human," Gilbert said, "and when you hear this story and hear this man testify, it’s like something you can’t believe.”On Tuesday, the prosecution withdrew its case after Jackson testified before the hearing.“We’ve had a lot of emotion in this case this week,” Howe told ABC News. “Ricky spoke on Tuesday, talking about being sentenced to death as a teenager, and we could barely get through the testimony.”By Friday, the case’s dismissal was a formality. By noon, both Jackson and Bridgeman walked away as free men.In 1975, Judge McMonagle’s father, George, was the judge who presided over the case when it was first tried. At 9 a.m., he dismissed the case first heard by his father almost 40 years ago.“It means something when I think about it, since he’s been gone for a while,” the younger McMonagle told ABC News of his father, who passed away in 2002. “I’m retiring at the end of the year myself, and this is certainly something I’ll remember.”Ajamu, previously Ronnie Bridgeman, was released on parole in 2003, but his case will soon be heard for dismissal, as well. Gilbert told ABC News that, although Ajamu's team could apply for the case to be dismissed remotely, Ajamu wanted his day in court.“Kwame wants to hear it from a judge,” he said. “He wants to hear it from a judge that he’s a free man.”Ajamu, who has a wife now, will temporarily host his brother Bridgeman and Jackson while they sort out their new lives as free men.“After all this time, they don’t have a penny to their name except for the money they had in their pockets when they were jailed,” Howe said. “We’re going to help Ricky get a wardrobe, and we’re going to tackle some paperwork to get him a birth certificate, some documentation to get him ready to get a driver’s license.”Howe added that the Ohio Innocence Project had put together a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to help Jackson get started on his new life out of prison.“He’s not bitter or angry,” Howe said. “He’s just really looking forward to getting on with his life. He’s excited about getting a job, driving a car. He’s just processing the facts of being a free man.”After the hearing, Jackson told reporters that he did not bear any resentment toward Vernon after those years of imprisonment.“He’s a grown man today,” Jackson said. “He was just a boy back then."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Report Details Missed Opportunities to Treat Adam Lanza's Mental Illness


Kateleen Foy/Getty Images(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- Two years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Connecticut's Office of the Child Advocate has released a report detailing the mental health profile of gunman Adam Lanza, noting potential missed opportunities.The Office of the Child Advocate, which investigates all child deaths in Connecticut for prevention lessons, released the 114-page report on Friday.Lanza was 20 on Dec. 14, 2012 when he shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where he massacred 20 first-graders and six educators before taking his own life.The report's authors say they "looked for any warning signs, red flags, or other lessons that could be learned from a review of AL's life," referring to Lanza. "This report cannot and does not answer the question of 'why' AL committed murder," the authors wrote.Here are some of the things we learned about Lanza:1. Lanza had a falling out with his one and only friend months before.Among the factors that may have caused Lanza stress were the possibility of moving with his mother and a "falling out" with a friend."AL was acquainted with another adolescent that he played [video game Dance Dance Revolution] with on a regular basis," the report said. "They would meet a few times per month to either play the video game or go to the movies. AL and his friend talked about multiple topics, including computers, chimp society, human nature, morality, prejudice, and sometimes about his family. AL told his friend that he had a strained relationship with his mother.""AL would sometimes talk with this friend about the topic of mental health or depression, though he never indicated that he was diagnosed with anything. He did tell his friend that mental health issues were not a reflection of the character of a person, but were symptoms of something else going on inside a person," the report said."AL and the friend also talked about their interest in mass murderers or serial killers, but this was just considered to be a mutual morbid interest," the report said. "Both he and his acquaintance liked horror movies."But in June 2012, Lanza "and his primary acquaintance had a falling out and stopped spending time together," the report said, "after a dispute over a movie."2. His "social-emotional" challenges increased after fourth grade.Lanza was referred for special education preschool services at age 2."Adam Lanza was presented with significant developmental challenges from earliest childhood, including communication and sensory difficulties, socialization delays, and repetitive behaviors," the report states. "He was seen by the New Hampshire 'Birth to Three' intervention program when he was almost three years old and referred for special education preschool services."Early in the fourth grade, Lanza left the special education program because he had "met all speech goals," the report states.During Lanza's early elementary school years, his parents still lived together in the family home in Sandy Hook, but they separated in 2002 when Lanza was in the fifth grade."[Lanza] was described by some as seeming happy, smiling, and participating in community and school activities," the report states. "At the same time, however, more red flags for developmental and mental health concerns remained or emerged. AL began perseverative hand washing, avoiding contact with other people, and becoming increasingly fearful. By fifth grade, AL had written and submitted “The Big Book of Granny” — a significant and violent text — and following that school year, his struggles began to escalate."3. His preoccupation with violence may have been "largely unaddressed."The report raises questions about how there may have been missed opportunities with Lanza, including whether his family's wealth and race were factors."Would [Lanza's] caregivers’ reluctance to maintain him in school or a treatment program have gone under the radar if he were a child of color?" the report asks.Lanza's mother transferred him to a Catholic school for the fourth quarter of seventh grade."A teacher at the school later reported that he presented very differently from the other children," the report states.According to the teacher's account in the report, he had "very distinct anti-social issues.""AL would write ten pages obsessing about battles, destruction and war. I have known 7th grade boys to talk about things like this, but AL’s level of violence was disturbing. I remember showing the writings to the principal at the time, AL’s creative writing was so graphic that it could not be shared," the teacher's account in the report states."It was not the primary purpose of this investigation to explicitly examine the role of guns in the Sandy Hook shootings," the report said. "However, the conclusion cannot be avoided that access to guns is relevant to an examination of ways to improve the public health. Access to assault weapons with high capacity magazines did play a major role in this and other mass shootings in recent history."The report states, "[Lanza] and his parents did not appear to seek or participate in any mental health treatment after 2008."4. While he may have been described as "gifted," his cognitive abilities may have been just "average."On Oct. 24, 2006, almost a year after a community psychiatrist first evaluated Lanza, he was seen at the Yale Child Study Center by a clinical psychiatrist, the report states. "The evaluation was purportedly to determine if AL had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the context of a putative diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome," it says.The report details how his parents said that their son was "angry" about having to go to Yale and he refused treatment."The Yale APRN [Advanced Practice Registered Nurse], in a present day interview, offered her view that AL may not, in fact, have had an Autism Spectrum Disorder, but rather that he suffered from disabling anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder," the report states.Meanwhile, the report indicates his parents may have had difficulty accepting his disabilities."While it is not uncommon for parents to struggle to identify and accept their child as suffering a disabling impairment, the Yale Child Study Center clinicians who evaluated and treated AL felt that his parents, and certainly his mother, may have had greater than average difficulty with accepting the extent of AL’s disabilities," the report states. "Yale did not think that AL was gifted and unique, pointing to the average cognitive abilities captured by the school’s psychological testing.""Adam Lanza's parents (and the school) appeared to conceptualize him as intellectually gifted, and much of [his] high school experience catered to his curricular needs," the report says. "In actuality, psychological testing performed by the school district in high school indicated AL’s cognitive abilities were average."5. Why Lanza and his father had a "falling out."Lanza stopped responding to his father's emails around 2010, the report states."After AL began declining to spend time with Mr. Lanza, Mr. Lanza would regularly send emails to him asking him how he was doing," the report states. "He asked AL to join him at events or other activities they had previously enjoyed, including arcades, shooting ranges, or coin shows."The "falling out" may have had to do with Lanza's desire to take college courses at Norwalk Community College, the report states."AL wanted to carry a full course load but Mr. Lanza said he couldn’t handle that and wasn’t being realistic," the report states. "This may have been the last time that AL and Mr. Lanza actually spoke or emailed reciprocally. Mr. Lanza continued to let AL know that he wanted to see him."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson 'On Edge' and Worried, Brown Family Lawyer Says


Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The city of Ferguson is "nervous, on edge, scared" as they await the grand jury's decision on the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown, a lawyer for the Brown family and protest leaders said on Friday."The city is really in a panic at this moment," attorney Anthony Gray said in a press conference Friday afternoon.Federal, state and county officials have been ramping up their readiness in case there is a fresh wave of angry and at times violent protests over the jury's decision. Protesters have been demanding that Police Officer Darren Wilson be charged with murder for the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown.Gray said that he has received "numerous calls, emails and text messages expressing concern from members of our community about their safety," including from residents who specifically say they are worried about how they are going to get necessary medication.Many stores have boarded up their windows for fear of destructive protesters. The manager of Beauty Town Plus, a salon on West Florissant Avenue, where much of the protests centered during the summer, told ABC News that they decided to board up because their windows were broken three times following Brown’s death.Law enforcement have taken the threat of violence seriously as well as two federal officials confirmed to ABC News that more than 100 FBI personnel are being sent to the St. Louis area to join those already in the area and opened an intelligence center to head up operations.There were protests in the area both Wednesday and Thursday, though with less than half a dozen arrests at each, they were far smaller than those held this summer.“It’s a dicey situation right now,” Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told ABC News.“We’re preparing for the worst, but we’re really hoping that the leadership… understands the property rights of others and the value of human life,” he said.County Executive Charlie Dooley was more optimistic."I do not expect the worst and I said it then and I say it now. I expect the best in people. I am encouraged by conversations between law enforcement and protest groups," Dooley said.Both Attorney General Eric Holder and Michael Brown Sr., the slain teenager’s father, have released videos urging protesters to remain peaceful when the grand jury’s decision is handed down."It’s hard to sleep when you've got this looming," Jackson said.One business owner, Charles Davis, has remained optimistic about the possible protests and refused to take any extra precautions to fend off looters.Davis, who bought Ferguson Burger Bar & More the day before Brown was killed, said that he has received support from both locals and people across the country who have heard about his decision to stay open through any protests that come with the verdict.“I had a gentleman yesterday who drove from Memphis just to get a burger,” Davis told ABC News.“I’ve heard some things but that one brought me to tears,” he said.Davis said his restaurant will be open on Saturday but closed Sunday, as always.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

WWII Love Letters Reveal 3 Soldiers Vying for Same Woman's Heart


iStock/Thinkstock(RUTHERFORDTON, N.C.) -- They say true love knows no boundaries, and a collection of recently discovered World War II love letters between a soldier and the apple of his eye, a beauty whom he’d never even met, certainly proves that to be true.“Mama always said that she let him chase her, until she turned around caught him,” Jane Simmons, the wartime lovebirds’ daughter, told ABC News.Simmons and her brother, Larry Davis, who just recently suffered a fatal stroke, always knew their parents had something extraordinarily special.They were “very much still in love to the end,” Davis’ wife, Beverly, said of her in-laws’ 55-year marriage.But what it took to form that bond, however, was something even more extraordinary than their love itself—a story which the soldier’s children are only just now learning.“That was what was surprising. Mama never said anything about them,” Simmons, 63, of Rutherfordton, North Carolina, explained of the antiqued stack of 18 handwritten love letters she’s just inherited.The letters were, for the most part, penned from her father, Teal Davis, while he was stationed in Burma in 1945, to her mother, Evangeline Poteat, a 22-year-old factory worker in North Carolina. At the time of their writing, the two had never even met. Despite being separated by oceans, miles and war however, Davis knew Poteat would someday be his bride."It rains pennies from heaven,” he wrote of how it feels to receive a letter from Poteat.“I'll be looking forward to the day when I can meet you in person, but for now a letter will do,” he said in another. “Be good, have fun this summer and write soon.”The lovestruck couple was initially “introduced” by Poteat’s roommate at Appalachian State Teachers College at the time, Sarah Kate Davis, who suggested she write to her brother, Teal, while he was deployed in Burma.Poteat did, and the two fell hard and fast.But apparently Teal, an Army Air Force crew chief, wasn’t the only one who found Poteat irresistible.“She was a beautiful woman with this auburn hair,” said Beverly. “She was the real deal.”There were two other soldiers, both young men stationed in California, who were also writing to her—one of whom was even asking for her hand in marriage."I know that you think that I am crazy for asking you so many times," he writes from Camp Cooke. "Did you think the ring idea is OK with you, or is it? I love you."The other soldier, a former beau from high school, separately wrote, “We used to really have a swell time until Uncle Sam nabbed me.”Unfortunately for them though, Teal was the one who ultimately nabbed her.All of the men’s love stories are chronicled in a complete stack of 18 love letters that the couple’s children, Simmons and Davis, came to unexpectedly inherit, all thanks to a reporter with the local paper, The Charlotte Observer.“It’s odd to see that, but it’s wonderful too,” Simmons said of reading the 70-year-old letters from her mother’s other admirers.Over time, Poteat’s World War II love letters somehow ended up in Oregon and were being sold by a historical collector on Ebay when Gary Schwab, a reporter with the Charlotte Observer found them, outbid everyone to purchase them, and tracked down the relatives to ensure they were safely returned home.“We were just shocked,” Simmons said of the unexpected discovery. “Mama was good at keeping stuff. I just really don’t know how in the world they got to Oregon.”“We can’t figure that out,” Beverly, Davis’ wife, added. “We’d really like to know how that happened.”The family is thrilled to have the letters in their possession now— a treasure they never even knew was missing.“It’s a keepsake to me that I never knew I had,” said Simmons. “It just means the world to me. I miss my mom and daddy every day. It’s been quite a few years since they passed and this just brought them back.”Beverly knows her husband felt the same way, and knows his receiving these special letters just weeks before his sudden death was one of the best gifts he could have ever gotten.And as for their mother’s additional admirers, “She wound up with the one she was supposed to have,” said Simmons.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Phone Scams: Why People Keep Falling for the Oldest Scam in the Book


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It was 11 o’clock in the morning when Luann and Betty Ann’s world was shattered with a single phone call.“He says, ‘Do you have a daughter or a son?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I have a daughter,’” Luann said. “And he said, ‘Oh boy, there’s been a terrible accident. Four cars at an intersection. Everyone is unconscious.’”“He said, ‘What kind of car does she have?’ And I said, ‘It’s a Kia,’” she continued. “And he said, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a Kia here. She’s unconscious.’”The two women, who asked that their full names not be used, didn’t know who the man on the phone was but, terrified for their daughter’s life, they jumped into their own car and headed out to look for her, staying on the phone with the stranger.“I am thinking my daughter is laying on a highway somewhere unconscious,” Betty Ann said. “And the scariest part was we didn’t even know where she was. They wouldn’t say exactly where she was.”But then, the story took an unexpected, and even more frightening, turn.“I was like, ‘You have to tell me exactly where you are and what the hell is going on now,’” Luann said. “And then his whole demeanor changed and he was like, ‘Now you wait a minute. ... We have her, at gunpoint, and we are going to shoot her if you don’t give me $1,700.’”But what Luann and Betty Ann didn't know at the time was that they were on the receiving end of a phone scam, where the latest tactic in an otherwise low-tech crime is for con artists to claim to have kidnapped a loved one and are holding them for ransom.“I never felt terror before in my life,” Luann said. “This was absolute terror, having your child’s life in your hands.”The Federal Trade Commission estimates that over 25 million Americans lose in excess of $2.5 billion to fraud each year, and phone scams, which account for a big chunk of that, have been surprisingly successful for decades. Past scams have included asking people to invest in an oil company, gas deal or gold coins. Con artists have also been known to pose as lottery officials or IRS agents calling about taxes owed. Whatever the pitch, phone scammers are like top-notch salespeople, and they are extremely effective.“These are dangerous people you are on the phone with,” said Jimmy, a convicted con artist. “Make no bones about it. I am a dangerous person. On the telephone if I chose to be fraudulent in my practices there is nothing that is going to stop me taking lots of money from people, period.”Choosing their next victim, what Jimmy called “the crush” or “the kill,” is emotionally driven. “It’s not logic,” he said. “If you apply logic to this concept it's 'No, I am not going to send you my hard earned money. I don’t even know who you are.'”Doug Shadel, a former fraud investigator and current Senior State Director for AARP in Washington state, has interviewed Jimmy and more than a dozen con artists like him, trying to understand how they are able to pull off a scam most people think they would never fall for. The AARP runs their own Fraud Watch Network where they track the latest scams.“We always ask them the same question: ‘What is your central strategy for defrauding people?’” Shadel said. “They all say the same thing, ‘get them under the ether.’ ... a heightened emotional state where you are no longer thinking rationally but you are reacting emotionally.”A heightened emotional state, such as the con artist claiming he has kidnapped someone’s child.“This explains why so many people who are doctors, lawyers, professors of chemistry have actually fallen for this stuff,” Shadel said. “How could somebody that smart fall for this? It’s not their intellect that’s engaged when they make that decision. It’s the emotion.”Shadel said he has received piles of recordings from states attorney general investigations into phone scams, many filled with abusive and demeaning language, even threats.“Whenever I get tired and need some motivation I listen to tapes like this to remind me that there are thousands of people out there who are suffering in silence. They are afraid ... and people comply out of that fear,” Shadel said. “Part of our goal is to give people an opportunity to come forward, shine a light on these things so that law enforcement can do something about it and we can help each other.”But for law enforcement, tracking down scammers can be challenging. The New York Attorney General’s office is currently taking on the grandparent phone scam, where a grandparent gets a call from a scammer pretending to be a teenage grandchild in trouble.The Attorney General’s office is reaching out to the supposed victims -- the grandkids -- to try to get them to warn their families about phony phone calls that could come their way. Investigators say they are up against crooks who have no problem tugging at a person’s heartstrings to rip them off.Looking back on that day, Luann said she didn’t think there was anything she would have done differently.“When they do that to you they pull right at your emotions and you are raw. You are terrorized, and you will do anything,” she said.She and Betty Ann say they were lucky to be together when the supposed kidnapping call came in. While Luann was on the phone with the scammer, Betty Ann frantically tried to call their daughter.“At first I called and there was no answer. I called again and said, ‘Where are you?’” Betty Ann recalled. “And then finally I get back a text, ‘I’m in class. What’s wrong?’”“And then once I knew it was a scam I hung up,” Luann said.And they weren’t the only one terrorized that day. Their daughter, Maxine, was also panicked.“It killed me just to hear -- that’s my mom, I love and care for her, she’s my life. ... To hear her voice like that, I got upset and then I got angry,” she said. “I was like who was doing this to my mother? Who are you to do this to my mother. This is my mother, my family. You don’t do that.”They filed a police report, but doubt the callers will ever be caught, which is why, in addition to not using their full names, they asked that their location not be revealed either.“I have heard of scams. I’ve never heard of this,” Betty Ann said. “The way they just got the details and got the info and used it against me, that’s exactly what they did, they got the info they needed and used it against me.”Investigators warn even if you keep your doors locked and passwords secured, crooks want into your life, and sometimes, they’re just a phone call away.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Military Mom's 'Pride Packages' Spread Love and Support Overseas


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One mother’s care packages to her soldier son have now turned into gifts of love for untold numbers in war zones.Evan Garlick joined the Marines when he was 17. He was eventually deployed to Iraq, a combat zone filled with chaos and pain.He was injured by a roadside bomb in December 2006, but refused medical attention so a more seriously injured fellow Marine would be taken care of.“I could feel the shrapnel and I remember taking a piece out,” Garlick, now living in Pelham, Georgia, told ABC News. “They said the lieutenant was down and we ran to him.”Garlick earned a Purple Heart and both Marines recovered from their injuries. This wasn’t the first time Garlick had displayed such selflessness.In his first deployment in 2005, his mother, Pat Garlick, would send him letters every single day, along with a weekly care package. His nickname around the base quickly turned into “post office.”One day, however, Garlick noticed a buddy in his barracks wasn’t getting any mail at all.“He was disappointed because everyone had received mail,” Garlick said. “You can see the look on his face of disappointment when the mail came. And when it was all gone, he hadn’t received anything yet.”So he put in a special request with his mom: To send his empty-handed friend a package and “keep it a secret.”“He goes, ‘Mom, can you send him a package?’” Garlick’s mom recalled. “’But don’t tell him where it came from. I don’t want him to know.’”The package was received and something magnificent began. Garlick and his mother’s act of kindness has now turned into an assembly line of love. More than 3,000 care packages filled with snacks, goodies and magazines, all packed into personalized boxes they’ve dubbed “Pride Packages.”Pat Garlick works with AnySoldier.com, a website that helps facilitate sending items to soldiers overseas, to get the names and addresses for where to send her “Pride Packages.”“My mission is to make sure those in need receive something from back home,” she said.Garlick and her team of volunteers in Shelbyville, Illinois, have sent more than 3,000 packages since her son’s deployment.ABC News found one of the recipients of Garlick's care packages, Navy Lt. Cheryl Collins.Collins, who was stationed in Afghanistan, had a message for Garlick."I am so thankful for you and what you mean to so many people," Collins said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

FBI Sends 100 Agents to Ferguson Ahead of Grand Jury Decision


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- The FBI has sent about 100 agents to the St. Louis area to help deal with any problems that could arise from the grand jury decision in the police shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.In addition to the FBI, other federal agencies have also mobilized staffers to get to St. Louis on Friday, sources told ABC News.A decision by the grand jury is expected soon, but St. Louis authorities said on Friday that the grand jury is still meeting. The panel will decide whether or not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Brown, who was unarmed, on Aug. 9.Authorities are braced for a recurrence of angry protests that turned violent at times during the summer.The FBI has ordered its Ferguson contingent to mobilize and arrive in the St. Louis area on Friday. In addition to FBI personnel already in the St. Louis area, about 100 more are being dispatched, law enforcement sources said. Additional FBI personnel have been put on alert so that they could be called in as part of a second emergency wave if necessary, ABC News has learned.The FBI is opening up its special St. Louis intelligence center on Friday. This facility will be in constant contact with the Missouri and St. Louis County Emergency Operations Center.The FBI declined to comment.Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency earlier this week and activated the Missouri National Guard to help keep order if necessary.Michael Brown Sr., the father of the slain teen, issued a videotaped appeal this week for protesters to remain peaceful whatever the verdict.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio