WSVN-TV(MIAMI) — The afternoon rumbling sent Tiona Page running to her apartment window in Miami.“It felt as if there was an earthquake,” Page told ABC News on Wednesday. “Me and my roommate jumped up and looked out.”What Page saw from her 15th-floor window was a plume of rising dust. When it cleared, Page said, she saw the steel-and-concrete pedestrian bridge lying in pieces across busy 8th Street at Florida International University.She could see slabs of concrete from the collapsed University City Bridge lying on top of smashed cars. Then, Page said, she heard piercing screams coming from one car with its back end smashed under concrete.“The screams that were coming from the car were just terrifying,” Page said.She said she immediately saw people who had been working on the bridge scrambling to get to people trapped in cars underneath the rubble.“I watched two people had to have CPR done on them,” she said.The bridge connecting Florida International University in Miami to the neighboring town of Sweetwater suddenly collapsed about 2 p.m.Officials said there were multiple fatalities. The 950-ton, 174-foot span is a prefabricated structure that was erected in just a matter of hours on Saturday. The $14 million bridge wasn’t expected to be open until December, officials said.ABC News producer Scott Whither was at the scene and said he could see at least four cars, including a minivan and a large panel truck, smashed under slabs of concrete.Paramedics and rescue workers were seen digging through the rubble to find people possibly trapped in the debris.One woman was seen on a stretcher sitting up and talking to paramedics, while another man was lying on a stretcher in a neck brace.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
KHOU(HOUSTON) — A 6-year-old girl whose voice shone a spotlight on the heartbreaking plight of separated families when she was captured on audio asking to call her relatives has finally been reunited with her mother.Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid and her mother, Cindy Madrid, were reunited in the wee hours of Friday morning at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.The two appeared during a news conference later Friday with supporters surrounding the two. Madrid and her lawyer drove five hours overnight to meet Alison at the airport around 3 a.m.“It has been a pleasure to be with my daughter,” Madrid said Friday through a translator. “I am happy. … We are together. It was so beautiful, the moment that I saw her.”In June, the two were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border as they fled El Salvador. According to Madrid’s immigration lawyer Thelma Garcia, Alison was sent to a detention center in Phoenix while Madrid was kept in Texas. Madrid said she did not speak to her daughter for nine days after the separation.The mass separations have been a result of President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy. A judge recently ordered that all children are to be reunited with their parents by July 26.Madrid said she was detained for a month and a day.“When I first met her (Cindy) she was so emotional. That’s all she could talk about obviously was the separation. She just described to me [what happened at the border]. … Her child’s name was called out. She walked up to the officer and she literally handed over the child, thinking she was going to go too. And another officer came and took her (Cindy) away,” Garcia said during a news conference Thursday.Alison’s voice could be heard on audio released by ProPublica in June, telling agents that she had her relative’s phone number memorized.“Are you going to call my aunt so that when I’m done eating she can pick me up?” Alison could be heard saying.She was eventually able to contact her aunt via phone and speak to her. Madrid reportedly heard the audio of Alison’s voice and recognized her. Garcia said Madrid then went through a vetting process and had DNA testing done to be reunited with her daughter.Madrid said Friday that she was incredibly proud of Alison and “very thankful” to the person who had sneaked the audio out of the detention center.“Her (Alison’s) voice is what, I think, exploded the Trump administration policy of separating the families and keeping it quiet,” Garcia said. “Had that audio not been sneaked out and not been brought forward the way it was, nobody would have actually known.”Garcia said Friday that Madrid had posted a bond and would be appearing in front of a judge at a date that had not yet been set. Garcia said Madrid would be seeking asylum along with Alison. For now, she said, the two will live with Madrid’s sister in Houston.“We don’t know how fast the case will proceed. … We’ve got a long fight ahead of us,” Garcia said. “The fight is still on.”Madrid said, through a translator, during the news conference Friday that she and Alison had come to the US to get a better life. She said that she’d been seeking safety for her child and encouraged parents in situation similar to hers to “keep fighting.”“Do not give up,” she said. “It’s a hard journey. … But, there is hope. … The law can change.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SHASTA COUNTY, Calif.) — A 70-year-old woman and her two great-grandchildren were killed when a rapidly-spreading wildfire swept into a Northern California town of 92,000 people, trapping them inside their home as one of the young victims, a 5-year-old boy, desperately called 911 pleading for help, relatives and officials said.The Carr Fire jumped the Sacramento River over the weekend and moved into the town of Redding, leveling homes, prompting mass evacuations and spawning devastating “firenados” — or flaming vortexes that shift directions erratically and are powerful enough to toss vehicles, fire officials said.As of Sunday morning, the blaze had burned 89,194 acres or 139 square miles, which is the size of Detroit, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire. The blaze has destroyed at least 536 structures, damaged another 117 and was threatening nearly 5,000 others, officials said.The inferno is just 5 percent contained.The death toll from the fire climbed to five after the bodies of Melody Bledsoe, 70, and her great-grandchildren, James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were recovered from Bledsoe’s home in Redding, relatives said.“Grandma did everything she could to save them,” Bledsoe’s granddaughter, Amanda Woodley, wrote in a Facebook post after Shasta County Sheriff’s officials confirmed the deaths to relatives. “She was hovered over them both with a wet blanket.”James Robert died after he called 911, pleading for help as the flames bore down on his great-grandmother’s home, relatives told the San Francisco Chronicle.The family said authorities told them the boy had called 911 from the house, relatives told the San Francisco Chronicle.“My nephew called, scared, for help, but they said they couldn’t make it in time,” Carla Bledsoe, the children’s aunt, told the newspaper after speaking with sheriff’s officials.Melody Bledsoe’s husband, Ed Bledsoe, said he had gone to get supplies when his house caught fire. He said his nephew called him and asked him to come back quickly, but he got stuck in traffic.“That woman was the best woman I ever seen and them two kids was absolutely angels,” Ed Bledsoe told the Sacramento Bee of his wife and great-grandchildren. “They done everything for grandma and grandpa, everything.”With the deaths of Bledsoe and the two young children, the number of people killed in the Carr Fire climbed to five.The fire, which started on Monday, also killed Don Ray Smith, an 81-year-old bulldozer operator who was working with fire crews to try to bring the fire under control, officials said. Redding Fire Department Inspector Jeremy Stoke was also killed battling the blaze, officials said.Nearly 40,000 people have been displaced by the blaze, which was spreading on three fronts, Cal Fire officials said on Sunday.“It’s a very large event with very high speed and very high temperatures that are going to last a couple of days,” Sacramento Firefighter Chris Harvey said during a community meeting in Redding Saturday. “The fire still has very explosive behavior.”The fire started Monday, its origin traced to the “mechanical failure” of a vehicle in Whiskeytown, which is about 10 miles northwest of Redding, officials said.Fanned by gusts of up to 60 miles per hour and fueled by dried-out vegetation, the fire more than doubled in size between Friday and Saturday, according to Cal Fire.Nearly 3,400 firefighters are battling the blaze from the ground and in the air, as officials have deployed 17 helicopters, 334 fire engines, 68 bulldozers, and 65 water tenders.Four evacuation centers have been opened in the area.“Extreme fire conditions continue to challenge firefighters last night,” Cal Fire said in a statement released on Sunday. “Erratic winds and hot dry conditions resulted in greater growth and increased fire behavior during night operations.”Firefighters are getting no relief from the weather. Temperatures in the Redding area are forecast to reach 103 degrees on Sunday, Robert Baruffaldi, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service told ABC News.“There’s so much smoke up there, it’s actually keeping the temperature down by about 10 degrees,” Barufaldi said.He said the last significant rain in the Redding area was back on May 25. He added that while a cooling trend is expected toward the end of this week, no rain s in the forecast.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. WCVB(NEW YORK) — A black college student is speaking out after a campus employee called the police on her to report seeing someone who appeared to be “out of place.”Oumou Kanoute, a student at Smith College working as a teaching assistant and residential adviser, was eating lunch in a dorm common area on July 31 when an officer with the Northampton Police Department approached her.“I did nothing wrong, I wasn’t making any noise or bothering anyone. All I did was be black,” Kanoute wrote on Facebook. “It’s outrageous that some people question my being at Smith College, and my existence overall as a women of color.”Videos of the incident recorded by Kanoute captured audio of her interaction with the responding officer. In one video, Kanoute can be heard explaining to the officer that she was on a break and relaxing in the common area.“No students of color should have to explain why they belong at prestigious white institutions,” Kanoute wrote.In an interview with ABC affiliate WCVB, Kanoute said she felt she needed to speak up.“If you see the video, I was really calm, but on the inside I wasn’t calm. I was terrified,” Kanoute said. “Hopefully you don’t have to go through that, but if you do, just be strong, be smart and just use your phone in case anything happens to you.”Kathleen McCartney, president of Smith College, addressed the incident and publicly apologized to Kanoute.“I begin by offering the student involved my deepest apology that this incident occurred and to assure her that she belongs in all Smith spaces,” McCartney wrote in a letter to the college. “This painful incident reminds us of the ongoing legacy of racism and bias in which people of color are targeted while simply going about the business of their daily lives.”In response to the incident all staff members at the college will be required to participate in anti-bias training beginning this fall, McCartney wrote.The college has also hired an independent party to investigate the incident, according to school officials. Once the investigation concludes, the university said it will determine if the employee involved will be sanctioned.No police report was filed in the incident, as the officer found the complaint to be unfounded. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Kanoute did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — The 18-year-old woman who pushed her teenage friend off a 60-foot Washington state bridge, leaving her with multiple injuries, said she didn’t consider the consequences beforehand.“She wanted to jump and she was scared and she had asked me to give her a push, and I didn’t think about the consequences,” Taylor Smith said in an exclusive interview Friday on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” with co-anchor Michael Strahan.“I thought she would be fine.”This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Hurricane Michael, a historic Category 4 storm, struck the Florida Panhandle early Wednesday afternoon, unleashing heavy rain, high winds and a devastating storm surge.Here is a look at the dangerous storm by the numbers:155 mph: Wind speed — nearly the highest possible for a Category 4 hurricane — with which Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach and Panama City. A hurricane with 157 mph or higher is a Category 5, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.129 mph: Peak wind gust reported Wednesday at Tyndall Air Force Base, which is about 12 miles southeast of Panama City, Florida.5: Number of storm-related deaths attributed to Michael thus far, including an 11-year-old girl who local officials say was killed when part of a metal carport crashed into her family’s mobile home in Lake Seminole, Georgia. 14 feet: The maximum height forecast for the storm surge when Michael’s strong winds pushed the ocean water onto land.12 inches: The isolated maximum amount of rain that Michael was forecast to dump across the Florida Panhandle and the state’s Big Bend region, as well as in southeast Alabama and parts of southwest and central Georgia.9 inches: Maximum amount of rain that Michael could bring to isolated areas from Virginia to North Carolina.922,167: Number of homes and businesses without power in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina as of Thursday at 12:25 p.m. ET. The vast majority are in Florida and Georgia.30,000: Number of workers mobilized from across the country to help restore power.325,000: Estimated number of people in the storm’s path who were told to evacuate by local authorities.6,000: Approximate number of people who stayed in the roughly 80 shelters across Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina on Wednesday night.3,000: Number of personnel the Federal Emergency Management Agency deployed ahead of landfall.35: Number of counties in Florida, of the state’s 67, where Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency prior to landfall.3,500: Number of Florida National Guard troops activated for pre-landfall coordination and planning, with an emphasis on high water and search-and-rescue operations.600: Number of Florida state troopers assigned to the Panhandle and Big Bend region to assist with response and recovery efforts.500: Number of disaster relief workers that the American Red Cross was sending to affected areas in the Sunshine State.200: Approximate number of patients who will be evacuated from Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart in Panama City, Florida, on Thursday morning and transferred to regional facilities, after the storm shattered windows and stripped down walls at the hospital. Thirty-nine of those patients are in critical care and will be transferred by emergency air services, the hospital said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(PARADISE, Calif.) — Brian Andrews awoke on Nov. 8 to his panicked daughter at his bedside.A fast-moving wildfire that would become the deadliest, most destructive in California’s history was heading straight for Paradise.Andrews, a 52-year-old retired firefighter, had moved into his one-story home in the bucolic Northern California town a decade ago and was slowly renovating it, replacing the vinyl siding with sturdy wood. Now, his 24-year-old daughter was urging him to leave it behind.“She didn’t really like it when I said, ‘Go and get grandma out of town, and I’m going to stay here and defend the house,’” Andrews told ABC News in a recent telephone interview. “She said, ‘Dad, don’t forget my wedding dress.’”Andrews got dressed and went outside, grabbing a leaf blower from the shed and three garden hoses. He used a ladder to climb on top of the roof, where he spent the morning clearing out dead, dry foliage from the gutters and spraying water at embers landing on his property that the Camp Fire had spit into the breeze several miles away.Andrews was keeping up with the onslaught of embers, but soon darkness encroached on his neighborhood as thick smoke from the blaze choked the air, blackened the sky and blocked out sunlight. A firefighter who had come by Andrews’ house earlier returned in the afternoon to advise him that he was “completely surrounded” and “the fire’s coming.”“I had to really sit and evaluate what is this worth,” Andrews said. “I hadn’t been able to talk to my daughter for about two to three hours, I know she was worried. And I just decided to heed the warning and go ahead, grab my things and get in the truck and leave.”Andrews ran inside and grabbed a removable hard drive containing all his photographs along with eight family photo albums, two safes full of negatives, a suitcase of clothes, his fire helmet and his daughter’s wedding dress. He put everything in the back of his truck, took one last look at his home and hit the road around 1:40 p.m.As he pulled out of the driveway, Andrews saw his neighbor’s house across the street catch fire from flames that had engulfed their fence.“I can’t even really tell you what I was feeling, if I was feeling really anything. It was sort of, you know, like a dream,” he said.Driving slowly down Bille Road with his house in his rear-view mirror, Andrews saw bright orange flames and glowing embers on either side of him — cars, homes and trees were burning. He took out his cellphone and began filming as he carefully made his way out of Paradise.“Jesus Christ,” he muttered to himself in between heavy breaths.“I thought, ‘This is halfway through the consumption of the town, I better document this,’” he told ABC News. “I want people to know this can happen and this should never happen again in another town.”As he turned his truck onto Clark Road, Andrews was in disbelief at the fiery sight before him. Most of the buildings — the slew of family-owned businesses, the local supermarket, even the McDonald’s — had burned to the ground.“Everything’s burned. Oh my god, I mean everything,” Andrews says while still filming. “I’ve been in the fire service almost 25 years, and now I get what it’s like for your own town to burn.”Downed power lines and smoldering tree branches littered the road. The sky was murky and dark as night but it was in the middle of the afternoon. Andrews continued driving slowly as fire trucks whizzed by and sparks from the flames ignited new blazes.“It’s behavior was just very, very aggressive,” he told ABC News of the wind-driven fire. “Spots were just raining down all over the place.”‘We drove through hell’The Camp Fire, which ignited before sunrise Nov. 8 in a parched, wooded area of Butte County in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, spread across 240 square miles over the course of 18 days, annihilating Paradise and other communities in its path. Nearly 14,000 homes were destroyed and at least 85 people died from the blaze, mostly in Paradise.Friday marks three months since the devastating fire broke out. Dozens of Paradise residents remain displaced from their burned properties after being allowed to return due to the ongoing cleanup efforts. The federal government plans to reimburse the state for cleanup so long as the properties were not deemed safe already for people to live.The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.“I had no idea that there would be that many people that died in the fire, and my heart truly breaks for them,” Andrews told ABC News. “Nobody deserves to go out like that. It’s horrifying to just think about.”Some of those who survived, like Andrews, documented their harrowing escapes as they fled with their families and few belongings.Michelle and Daniel Simmons grabbed their wedding rings, a stuffed animal and a blanket, then piled their four young children into the car before fleeing for their lives. The family had to drive through flames on the Skyway, the main road in and out of Paradise. The car became extremely hot and the smoke-filled air was difficult to breathe.Michelle used her cellphone to film just a few minutes of the horrifying ride out of her hometown as Daniel drove.“Oh my god,” she says repeatedly as her voice shakes with terror. “Take little breaths,” she tells their frightened children, ages 8, 7, 2 and 1.“There was a couple moments where I didn’t think we were going to get out,” Daniel told ABC News in a recent sit-down interview. “We drove through hell.”It took them about two hours to get out of Paradise. Once they reached safety, Michelle took the kids out of the car, hugged them and cried. The family is together and safe, but their home is gone.“It’s that fine line between just being so incredibly grateful to be alive and just so, so sad because, you know, that was our life,” Michelle told ABC News.‘My little slice of Paradise’Authorities lifted all remaining evacuation orders for residents of Paradise and the unincorporated area of Butte County on Dec. 15. That day, Andrews returned to his property for the first time since leaving town.Much of his house was incinerated, with only some timber and a brick chimney left standing. One of the first things Andrews did was put up Christmas lights and decorations on the chimney and in the scorched front yard.Although the former firefighter was fairly well prepared by having a to-go bag and most of his photos saved on a removable hard drive, there are a few other valuables he forgot to grab, like his daughter’s baby-book and a folder of all her childhood drawings.“She drew me a giraffe one morning when she was about 3 years old and she came downstairs and said, ‘Daddy, I drew this for you!’ And I put notes on it, you know, the date and everything and what she said, and I had a bunch of those, just little keepsakes,” Andrews told ABC News, tearfully.Andrews, who said he now goes to the property about three times a week, hasn’t found his daughter’s drawings nor her baby-book. But he did find her first Christmas ornament that her grandmother gave her. The ornament, a pair of shoes, was covered in ash and soot but the words “baby’s 1st” were still clearly visible on the bottom.The find gives him hope there will be pockets of other salvageable things within the destruction as he gradually sifts through it, he said.For now, Andrews lives in a rental apartment in the nearby city of Chico with his daughter, her husband and another relative. They are generally “doing well and getting on with life,” he said. But soon he must make a difficult decision — to rebuild his home in Paradise or move on.“This morning, I woke up feeling sad just from thinking about moving to another town,” Andrews told ABC News. “I don’t think I would be happy somewhere else but my little slice of Paradise. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to rebuild my home.” Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — A police investigation into the abuse of a child is underway at the home of Kansas City Chiefs star Tyreek Hill, according to police reports.Two police reports in the past two weeks detail an investigation into allegations of battery, child abuse and neglect at the Overland Park, Kansas, home. The police reports were obtained by Kansas City ABC affiliate KMBC-TV.Hill is not mentioned in the police report from Thursday, but his partner, Crystal Espinal, is listed under “others involved.”The victim, listed only as a “juvenile,” suffered a minor injury in the incident, according to the report.Hill has not been charged with any crime.The Kansas City Chiefs acknowledged they were aware of the incident in a statement.“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” it reads. “We are in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We will have no further comment at this time.”Hill has been elected to the Pro Bowl in all three of his seasons in the NFL, all with the Chiefs. He was an All Pro as a returner in his rookie season and as a wide receiver last season. He has twice finished in the top 10 in the league in receiving yards.News of the abuse incidents broke on the same day Kareem Hunt, Hill’s former teammate, was suspended for eight games by the league after video emerged last year of him shoving and kicking a woman in February 2018. Hunt was immediately cut by the Chiefs, and later signed with the Cleveland Browns.Hill’s agent did not respond to a request for comment from KMBC-TV. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
University of Hartford student arrested for allegedly stabbing fellow classmates while ‘acting out’ movie scene
kali9/iStock(HARTFORD, Conn.) — A 21-year-old college student in Hartford, Conn., is facing attempted murder charges after police say he stabbed two fellow classmates while rehearsing a scene from a movie as a class assignment.University of Hartford student Jake Wascher was “acting out” a scene from a film when he allegedly began stabbing both victims at an on-campus apartment on Sunday afternoon, according to the Hartford Police Department.Wascher then fled the apartment on foot and surrendered to a patrol officer without incident about two hours later near a wooded area, several hundred yards southeast of the university’s main campus, police said.The two victims sustained serious stab wounds in their chests and backs, officials said. They were taken to a local hospital, where one was listed in serious but stable condition on Sunday. The other remained in critical condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit after undergoing surgery, police said.Wascher, of San Diego, California, was being held on $1 million bail on Sunday night. He was expected to be arraigned Monday in Hartford Superior Court on two counts each of first-degree assault and criminal attempt to commit murder. It’s unclear whether he has retained an attorney.University of Hartford spokesperson Mildred McNeill confirmed to ABC News that Wascher and the two victims are all students there.“Our thoughts are with these students and their families during this difficult time,” McNeill said in a statement. “While there is no ongoing threat to campus, we recognize that this isolated incident is frightening and unsettling. The university will provide counseling services to members of our campus community in need of support or assistance. The university will continue to work closely with the Hartford Police Department in their ongoing investigation.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.,kali9/iStock(HARTFORD, Conn.) — A 21-year-old college student in Hartford, Conn., is facing attempted murder charges after police say he stabbed two fellow classmates while rehearsing a scene from a movie as a class assignment.University of Hartford student Jake Wascher was “acting out” a scene from a film when he allegedly began stabbing both victims at an on-campus apartment on Sunday afternoon, according to the Hartford Police Department.Wascher then fled the apartment on foot and surrendered to a patrol officer without incident about two hours later near a wooded area, several hundred yards southeast of the university’s main campus, police said.The two victims sustained serious stab wounds in their chests and backs, officials said. They were taken to a local hospital, where one was listed in serious but stable condition on Sunday. The other remained in critical condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit after undergoing surgery, police said.Wascher, of San Diego, California, was being held on $1 million bail on Sunday night. He was expected to be arraigned Monday in Hartford Superior Court on two counts each of first-degree assault and criminal attempt to commit murder. It’s unclear whether he has retained an attorney.University of Hartford spokesperson Mildred McNeill confirmed to ABC News that Wascher and the two victims are all students there.“Our thoughts are with these students and their families during this difficult time,” McNeill said in a statement. “While there is no ongoing threat to campus, we recognize that this isolated incident is frightening and unsettling. The university will provide counseling services to members of our campus community in need of support or assistance. The university will continue to work closely with the Hartford Police Department in their ongoing investigation.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
krblokhin/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Federal authorities have charged a man they believe was plotting to ram a stolen truck into pedestrians at the National Harbor development in Maryland, just outside the nation’s capital, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.The Justice Department is expected to announce details from the case later Monday.This is a developing story. Please check back updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.