Winter weather continues for Midwest, Northeast as West Coast braces for mudslides

first_imgABCNews.com(NEW YORK) — Winter weather is expected to continue this weekend for much of the Midwest and Northeast, as severe storms threaten the Southeast. A storm is bringing snow Friday morning to the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast, including major cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Accumulation may occur in western New York and parts of Pennsylvania and New England.Further west and south, a second storm is moving through the Southern Plains and producing thunderstorms. Friday afternoon and evening, severe storms are expected in the Deep South, from Dallas to Jackson, Mississippi, bringing with them damaging winds, hail and possibly tornadoes.Rain and snow will continue inland in the Northeast Friday afternoon and evening, although major cities along Interstate 95 aren’t expecting any accumulation. Snow may develop from Kentucky into West Virginia Friday evening. The southern low will miss the Northeast, meaning not a lot of snow is forecast for most major cities from Washington to Boston. Parts of Virginia will see 1-3 inches of snow.Severe storms will continue to threaten the Southeast, from Florida to the Carolinas. Damaging winds, hail and tornadoes are possible. Kentucky into the southern mid-Atlantic may see 1-3 inches of snow. Behind this system, some of the coldest air ever recorded this late in the season will descend into the Midwest on Saturday morning, spilling south and east into Sunday. Wind chills as far south as Atlanta will be freezing. Meanwhile, a major atmospheric river is bearing down on the West Coast.Central and Northern California are under flood watches, with wind warnings stretching from Nevada to Washington state. Rain already is falling Friday morning along the West Coast as this plume of tropical moisture extends east from Hawaii.The heaviest rains are expected Friday night and into Saturday morning for much of California, which could see more mudslides and flooding. The state’s coastal mountains are looking at as much as half a foot of rain.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Motive sought after dog-walking resident discovers dismembered body in NYC park

first_imgABCNews.com(NEW YORK) — New York City authorities are working to determine how a 26-year-old woman’s dismembered body turned up in a Brooklyn park this week, according to a police source.Brandy Odom’s torso was found in Canarsie Park on Monday night, the source said, while her arms and legs were found Tuesday. Patricia Smith made the discovery Monday night while walking her dog in the park, where spiky black hair caught her attention, ABC New York City station WABC-TV reported.“I came back and looked closer,” Smith said, “and it was the body of a female with her limbs removed.”Police have identified the woman as Odom, of Brooklyn, police said. A motive has not been determined, the police source said.The medical examiner will determine the cause of her death, police said. “We do our normal walk here every Tuesday,” resident Michele Brown told WABC-TV. “We’re just heartbroken, all of us. My heart aches.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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New Jersey man wins $315.3 million Powerball jackpot during trip to return orange juice that wasn’t on sale

first_imgABC News(HACKENSACK, N.J.) — A New Jersey man who heeded his wife’s instructions to return a bottle of orange juice is now a multi-millionaire after he bought the winning ticket for the $315.3 million Powerball jackpot during the transaction.On May 1, the day of the drawing, 56-year-old Little Ferry resident Tayeb Souami had purchased orange juice for $5 at a ShopRite in Hackensack, but his wife told him to return it because it was on sale for $2.50 elsewhere, he said at a press conference Friday.Souami then went to the customer service counter, and the Powerball sign that read $306 million caught his eye, he said.“I like the number,” he said he thought to himself before buying two tickets with the cash he was refunded from the orange juice.The next day, Souami found out he’d won in a dramatic fashion.He had planned to do some work in his backyard, but realizing his car was dirty, he decided to get it washed first, he said.While Souami was stopped at a red light, he noticed a 7-Eleven store to his right and went inside to check his lottery tickets.The first ticket scanned wasn’t a winner, he said. The second ticket was “good,” but on the scanner read instructions to see the cashier.“Can you check?” Souami said he asked the cashier. “I think your machine isn’t working.”The cashier immediately said “Oh my God,” after scanning the ticket, Souami said.“What do you mean by, ‘Oh my God?’” he asked her. But she kept repeating, causing Souami’s heart rate to soar.When the cashier finally responded, she said simply said “big,” Souami said.Although Souami is an accountant, he didn’t want to see the number just yet, he said.It took him two hours to get home because his hands were shaking. When he walked in the door, his wife asked him what took him so long and then started crying when he showed her the lottery form.Souami told reporters that he was “very emotional” after walking into the press conference with a wide smile on his face.When asked why it took him so long to come forward, he replied, “Actually, my work.” Souami, who is originally from Africa, is an accountant for a food importing company and wanted to make sure the more than 200 people he works with would be OK, he said.“I have to take care of them,” he said. “It’s not so easy to quit just like that.”Souami has since quit his job and plans to stay in his New Jersey hometown, for now, he said.The first things he plans to do with winnings are pay to pay off his college loans, pay for his daughter to go to college next year and pay off his home, which he had just refinanced and received the check for last week.He is the second New Jersey resident to win a major jackpot this year. In March, a Vernon resident won the $533 million Mega Millions prize.Souami, a father of two, said he decided to take the more than $183 million cash payout.“I love orange juice now,” he said, laughing.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Mother, daughter killed when 800-pound boulder fell off truck, smashed their car; driver in custody: Police

first_imgKSTP(ROSEMOUNT, Minn.) — A mother and daughter died when a roughly 800-pound boulder fell off a truck and smashed into their car, and now that truck driver is in custody, according to police.Karen Christiansen, 67, was driving with her daughter, Jena Christiansen, 32, in Rosemount, Minnesota, Monday afternoon when the massive boulder dislodged from the back of the truck and crashed into their 2002 Toyota Avalon, the Rosemount Police Department said.The mother and daughter, both of Shoreview, Minnesota, died from blunt force head trauma, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office said.“My heart is broken,” Jena Christiansen’s boyfriend, Ryan Kilian, told ABC affiliate KSTP in Minneapolis. “She is the most amazing person I have ever met.”After the crash, authorities turned to surveillance video to track down the commercial truck involved, according to KSTP.On Wednesday, detectives identified the commercial vehicle driver and owner as Joe Czeck, 33, of Hastings, Minnesota, police said.Czeck was arrested and declined to give a statement, police said Thursday. Charges are pending, police said, and he is being held in the Dakota County Jail.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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20 people killed in ‘horrific’ limousine crash in upstate New York, authorities say

first_imgWTEN(SCHOHARIE, N.Y.) — The crash occurred just before 2 p.m. Saturday, at the intersection of State Route 30 and State Route 30A, police said.Chris Fiore, first deputy superintendent of the New York State Police, said the limousine, which was headed southwest on State Route 30, failed to stop at the intersection. The speed limit on that road is 50 mph, but it was not immediately clear how fast the Excursion was going, Fiori said.The limo went through the intersection and crashed into the parked Highlander in the lot of an Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe.That’s where the vehicle struck two pedestrians, officials said.“There was a horrific accident in front of our business today,” the company posted on its Facebook page Saturday.“Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone that was affected by the events of today,” the company added.The NTSB and the State Police will conduct separate investigations but will work together, Sumwalt and Fiore said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.“We look at everything,” said Sumwalt of the upcoming investigation. “We cast a very broad net to see what’s out there. We conduct very thorough investigations.”Earlier in the day, the NTSB tweeted that it was sending a “go-team” to investigate.Its lead investigator on the scene will be Pete Kotowski, and the team will be there about five days, Sumwalt said.In response to a reporter’s question about a toxicology test on the driver, Fiore said part of the investigation will be an autopsy on the driver.Also part of the probe will be whether the driver and the passengers were wearing seatbelts. Fiore said, according to New York State law, the driver and passengers in the front seat are required to wear seatbelts, while occupants in the back are not.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his “heart breaks” for the victims, adding that he’s directed state agencies to help with the investigation.“I join all New Yorkers in mourning these deaths and share in the unspeakable sorrow experienced by their families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time,” he said in a statement.New York Sen. Chuck Schumer tweeted: “May God bless the families who lost loved ones.”State Police set up a phone line for relatives of the victims. Those for looking for assistance can call 1-877-672-4911.There have been other deadly limousine accidents in recent years. In 2013, a limo in San Francisco caught fire and passengers were trapped without an accessible exit.The next year in New Jersey, a limo bus carrying actor Tracy Morgan collided with a tractor-trailer; one passenger died and Morgan and another passenger were injured.And back in 2005, a 7-year-old girl in a wedding limousine died in Long Island, New York, after a drunken driver plowed into them head-on. The limo driver was also killed in the crash.In 2015, the NTSB, at the urging of Schumer, made a commitment to investigate more stretch limousine accidents on a case-by-case basis.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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No more snow days for five South Carolina school districts

first_imggeorgejurasek/iStock(NEW YORK) — One school district in South Carolina has gotten rid of snow days. In fact, they’ve done away with all inclement weather days altogether.The change is part of a pilot program for the 21 schools in Anderson School District Five as well as four other South Carolina school districts: Spartanburg 1, Spartanburg 7, Pickens and Kershaw.Anna O. Baldwin, director of eLearning and integration for Anderson School District Five, told ABC News’ Good Morning America the kids use Chromebooks to receive their lessons on days when schools have to close for inclement weather.“The goal is to keep students learning, even when the weather prevents schools from operating,” she said. “An eLearning day is very similar to a normal school day.”Baldwin said the idea was championed by the district Super Intendant Tom Wilson.“He was visiting family in Georgia last winter and saw that a district was going to have an eLearning day and all other districts would be closed due to inclement weather. It was his vision and the financial investment of a Chromebook for all of our students K to 12 that sparked pursuing an eLearning Day for our district,” she said.The district has already experienced a school closure.“Overall, our parents and students were positive about the eLearning Day pilot,” Baldwin said.Cathy Tims, a parent in the district, told GMA she was in favor of the idea.“I personally really like the idea. The kids can do their school work from home and parents don’t have to worry about whether their kids are safe or not. We also don’t have to worry about how we are going to take them to school and pick them up if weather changes,” she said.Snow and inclement weather days may seem like a right of childhood passage, but Tims said her kids weren’t too bothered by the change in policy.“At first they didn’t like the fact of having to do school work at home, but after they finally had to do it, they realized it was much better to do the work in the convenience of home, than at school. So they like it much better now,” Tims said.The upside for the kids is that they don’t have to make up any days at the end of the school year.“When we have make up days at the end of the school year, students are just making up time,” Baldwin said. “Typically, student attendance on inclement weather make up days is very low.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Meet the 29-year-old computer scientist who wrote the algorithm for the first black hole picture

first_imgTake your rightful seat in history, Dr. Bouman! Congratulations and thank you for your enormous contribution to the advancements of science and mankind.Here’s to #WomenInSTEM! https://t.co/3cs9QYrz9C— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 10, 2019Black holes are areas so massive they warp space and time so much that even light cannot escape. As such they aren’t visible directly, but are surrounded by dust and gas swirling around it at velocities near the speed of light, which causes the detectable emission of radiation. The boundary of a black hole is called an event horizon.“Bouman prepared a large database of synthetic astronomical images and the measurements they would yield at different telescopes, given random fluctuations in atmospheric noise, thermal noise from the telescopes themselves, and other types of noise. Her algorithm was frequently better than its predecessors at reconstructing the original image from the measurements and tended to handle noise better,” according to a press release from 2016 from MIT, where she developed the algorithm.“Radio wavelengths come with a lot of advantages,” Bouman said in the press release. “Just like how radio frequencies will go through walls, they pierce through galactic dust. We would never be able to see into the center of our galaxy in visible wavelengths because there’s too much stuff in between.”The attention on Bouman may give a skewed impression of the number of women involved in the EHT project.Feryal Ozel, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona who was the modeling and analysis lead on the project, told ABC News the gender breakdown was “pretty dismal,” noting that there were about three senior women, including herself, out of about 200 total scientists on the project.“I’ve been a lot of projects where it’s better. We are trying to change that,” she said. “We are trying to bring in graduate students and postdocs and a younger generation that is excited to work on this. Hopefully that’s changing the face of the collaboration a little bit. But we still have work to do.”Bouman did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for an interview. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. National Science Foundation(NEW YORK) — After an international group of scientists revealed the first ever photos of a black hole on Wednesday, the Internet quickly turned its attention to the 29-year-old computer scientist who played a key role.Katherine “Katie” Bouman, a postdoctoral fellow with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), created the algorithm that stitched together the data from the a global network of satellites that produce the historic image.The EHT project used radio dishes scattered around the world to create a large Earth-sized telescope. Bouman’s specialty is using “emerging computational methods to push the boundaries of interdisciplinary imaging,” according to the bio on her website.That’s pretty much what she did in creating the algorithm behind the black hole close-up.Bouman’s contribution eventually got the attention of freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted, “Take your rightful seat in history, Dr. Bouman! Congratulations and thank you for your enormous contribution to the advancements of science and mankind.”last_img read more

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Six dead, including four children, in New York City blaze

first_imgpictore/iStock(NEW YORK) — Six members of the same family, including four children, were killed in an overnight fire in New York City’s historic Harlem neighborhood. It is the deadliest fire in the city since 13 people were killed in a Bronx fire in late 2017.The fire broke out on the fifth floor of the building in East Harlem at the intersection of Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and 142nd Street at about 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday.Officials said that all six people — two adults, two boys and two girls — were from the same family. All were pronounced dead on the scene.The children range in age from 3 to 11, the fire department said. One of the adults is the children’s mother, while the second adult is her stepbrother.The fire did not appear to be suspicious, but an investigation is underway, fire officials said. Early indications are that the burner on the stove may have been left on overnight, a source told ABC News.“Units were met at the door of that apartment with fire. The entire apartment was involved,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “They aggressively moved in, extinguishing the fire as they did. When they reached the two rear bedrooms we found six occupants of that apartment deceased.”It took about an hour to get the fire under control, Nigro said.“As aggressive as those members could be, they were not able to reach those occupants,” Nigro said of his firefighters.The building is part of the Frederick E. Samuel Houses, a city-owned housing complex.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Sticky situation: Truck carrying 41,000 pounds of honey overturns on highway

first_imgIndiana State Police(INDIANAPOLIS) — An overturned semi-truck caused what the Indiana State Police are calling a “sticky situation” Wednesday when it spilled 20 tons of honey on Interstate 80/94.The spill closed down three lanes of traffic for several hours while crews worked to remove the truck and its payload of 41,000 pounds of amber honey.According to a press release from the Indiana State Police, the semi was traveling eastbound when its axle broke, causing the vehicle to roll over when its driver lost control.The truck’s 41,000 pounds of honey was being hauled in 13 containers. Five of the containers sheared through the trailer’s roof and fell out during the crash, with several of the containers leaking honey onto the roadway.In addition to the honey, the truck was leaking diesel fuel as it had just refueled.Indiana State Police urged commuters to avoid the area because of what they called “gawkers” slowing down to view the wreck from the opposite lanes.It’s not known how long the accident will take to clean up, but police expect it to be an extended cleanup and closure.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Texas longhorn breaks Guinness World Record for nearly 11-foot horns

first_imgHOLY COW: Alabama longhorn breaks @GWR Poncho’s horns are 10 ft. 7.4 in from tip to tip which is wider than the Statue of Liberty’s face and twice the width of a concert grand piano https://t.co/SnsZTUmKTx pic.twitter.com/stBaZdt4bY— ABC 13 News – WSET (@ABC13News) June 17, 2019Guinness announced last week that Poncho had beat out a fellow longhorn steer named Sato — who is from Texas — by just over an inch in length. He holds the title for both largest horn spread on a living steer and largest horn spread on a steer ever.The Pope family began to wonder whether Poncho would beat the Guinness record when he was about 4 and they noticed his horns were growing straight out instead of curving up like most longhorns.No two longhorns have the same variation in their horn development, said Jeral “Dennis” Pope Jr. Poncho’s horns go straight out before curling at the end, making for an “impressive” tip-to-tip length, he said.Even before his formal award, Poncho has been a local celebrity in Coosa County, according to the Pope family. Their neighbors often come stop by to see him and feed him apples, carrots and marshmallows.Pope Sr. described Poncho as a “big, gentle character,” despite the intimidating length of his horns.“He’s just a big pet,” Pope Jr. said.George Jones, a member of the family who works on the ranch and helps care for Poncho, recalled a time when the longhorn approached him while he was fishing on the pond, seeking attention.As Jones was petting Poncho, a horsefly landed on the longhorn, causing him to turn his head and send his human friend into the water.“I went airborne into the pond,” Jones said. “He just knocked me completely off my feet into the water.”Pope Sr. is as “proud of a peacock” of Poncho, his son said.“He likes to bring that positive influence to his family and to his community.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. FILE photo – wanderluster/iStock(GOODWATER, Ala.) — A beloved Texas longhorn named Poncho Via has broken the Guinness World Record for its nearly 11-foot horns.From tip to tip, Poncho’s horns measure in at 10 feet and 7.4 inches, which is more than twice the width of a concert grand piano, according to Guinness.The steer belongs to the Pope family in Alabama, who have raised him since was a 6-month-old weanling on their ranch called Green Acres in Goodwater, southeast of Birmingham.Jeral Pope Sr. said he and his wife first came across Poncho when they were riding a hay wagon “somewhere out west” and spotted a group of longhorns.“They stood out like anything on the crest of that mountain — it was the prettiest thing,” Pope Sr. said. “I told my wife, we got to have one of them.”last_img read more

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