Striking Arizona teachers cover Capitol in red

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — “Now it comes down to the hard work of being a citizen, an active, engaged citizen,” Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, told the striking teachers from a stage in front of the Capitol. “And so you’ve got to tell your story. The story of your students. The story of this movement.”About 50,000 public-school teachers in Arizona began their strike on Thursday. They’re seeking a 20 percent increase in pay and $1 billion in educational funding, including increases to salaries of school support staff.Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has proposed granting teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020 and budgeting an additional $100 million for new textbooks, building improvements and support staff. The governor proposed increasing educational funding by $371 million over five years.The teachers have insisted Ducey hasn’t showed them his proposal’s fine print, even as lawmakers began debating it Monday.“We’ve not seen a lot of trust with the legislative process, and the governor so far,” Thomas told ABC station KNXV-TV on Monday.He said it was unclear how long the strike will last and that a lack of transparency throughout the process wasn’t helping matters.“If we see the legislative bills early and can have an understanding of them, then maybe that moves us back toward the classroom,” Thomas said.Public educators in Arizona rank 46th in the U.S. in teacher pay, earning about $12,000 less than the national average of $59,660, according to a 2018 report by the National Education Association.Arizona spends about $4,500 less than the national per-pupil average of about $12,000, ranking 48th, according to the NEA report.The Arizona teacher’s strike is the latest by educators across the country who’ve said they’re fed up with cuts to educational funding. Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky and Colorado have all seen recent teacher strikes.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Police officer saves choking baby

first_imgABC News(MARIETTA, Ga.) —  A Georgia police officer is being called a hero after he saved a baby from choking.Marietta officer Nick St. Onge responded to a 911 call May 15 from a woman who said her 2-month-old infant was conscious but not breathing, according to a statement by the Marietta Police Department.The act was caught on dashcam and bodycam footage.Officer St. Onge, a five-year veteran of the department, arrived at the scene to find a woman standing in the parking lot, holding the baby, police said.The woman holding the baby was Kianna Dorsey, her grandmother.“She only had a bottle,” Dorsey is heard saying in the video. “That’s all she had.”The baby appeared lifeless and was turning blue, police said. Officer St. Onge began CPR, using chest thrusts and back blows to try and clear the baby’s airways.“There we go. Come on, baby. Come on,” St. Onge says in the video.After a couple minutes, police said, the infant started to respond to the CPR, crying and breathing irregularlySt. Onge had recently taken a CPR class in February that helped him during this incident, he told ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.Fire department paramedics arrived shortly afterward and took over.Dorsey called St. Onge the family’s hero.But the officer said, “I’m just the guy who showed up to do what he had to do.”The baby was released from the hospital and is home with her family.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Driver jailed on suspicion of being intoxicated in crash that killed 3 Wisconsin Girl Scouts and an adult picking up highway trash

first_imgWAOW(CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis.) — As a community mourned three Girl Scouts and an adult supervisor who were killed when a pickup truck struck them as they were picking up trash alongside a Wisconsin highway, the suspected driver was in custody Sunday on suspicion of being intoxicated when he allegedly ran them over, officials said.The suspect, Colten Treu, 21, is expected to appear in court on Monday, officials said.He was being held in jail on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and homicide by negligent use of a vehicle, an official at the Chippewa County Jail in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, told ABC News on Sunday.The names of those killed Saturday morning have not been released. Local residents were planning to hold a candlelight vigil for them Sunday night at Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, where the three girls were all in the fourth grade.A fourth Girl Scout struck by the truck remained in the hospital Sunday in critical condition, officials said.“Our hearts are broken for the girls and families of the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes,” Sylvia Acevedo, the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA, said in a statement Sunday to ABC News. “The Girl Scout movement everywhere stands with our sister Girl Scouts in Wisconsin to grieve and comfort one another in the wake of this terrible tragedy.”The girls were picking up garbage at 11:41 a.m. on Saturday near the village of Lake Hallie, about 95 miles east of Minneapolis, Minnesota, when a Ford F150 pickup truck allegedly driven by Treu veered off a roadway and into the ditch striking the four girls and an adult who was overseeing their volunteer work, said Sgt. Daniel Sokup of the Lake Hallie Police Department.Treu allegedly left the scene after hitting the group, Sokup said. Treu surrendered to police Saturday night and was placed under arrest, Skoup said.It was not immediately clear whether Treu had retained an attorney.The incident came at the end of a particularly deadly week for children hit by cars throughout the U.S.In another deadly crash, three siblings died when they were hit by a pickup truck while boarding a bus in Rochester, Indiana, on Tuesday.A 9-year-old boy was struck and killed while crossing the street to board a bus in northern Mississippi on Wednesday, and a second-grader in Pennsylvania was killed when struck by a vehicle at a bus stop on Thursday.Five children and two adults were struck by a car at a bus stop in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday as well, though none of the injuries were considering life-threatening.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Women’s March organizers respond to controversy leading up to rally

first_imgChip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A national board member with the Women’s March defended the organization’s co-president amid a growing controversy over the latter’s relationship with Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has drawn criticism for his alleged anti-Semitic remarks. Linda Sarsour, a Women’s March national board member, said that she believes in co-president Tamika Mallory’s leadership, calling her a “woman who stands up for all people.”Sarsour made the comments during an interview with on ABC News’ “The Debrief.” Mallory defended her relationship with Farrakhan on “The View” earlier this week.Sarsour said that tension leading up to the third annual march in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other cities across the country isn’t totally surprising because bringing together women of different backgrounds can be “messy.”“We understand that there will be schisms, there’s going to be hard conversations that need to be had,” she said. “So we will work through this as a women’s movement because we are focused on what the real threat to this country is, and it is this administration and white supremacy.”Watch the video below for the full segment.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Murder victim found in Greenwich identified as 24-year-old New Rochelle woman

first_imgWABC-TV(GREENWICH, Conn.) — The young woman whose body was found bound in a suitcase in Greenwich, Connecticut, has been identified as Valerie Reyes, 24, of New Rochelle, New York, officials said.The gruesome discovery was made on Tuesday morning. Reyes’ body was in a suitcase along the side of a Greenwich road and her hands and feet were bound, authorities said.Reyes was last seen on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and was reported missing to the New Rochelle Police Department, Greenwich Police Capt. Robert Berry said in a statement.Reyes’ mother, Norma Sanchez, told ABC New York station WABC-TV that her daughter, who occasionally suffered from anxiety and depression, had been fearing for her life.“She didn’t mention no one specific, she just mentioned, ‘I’m really really scared. I’m paranoid, Mommy, I’m getting anxiety attacks,’” Sanchez told WABC-TV.Reyes recently had a boyfriend and Sanchez said they broke up days before she went missing.Sanchez asked her daughter if someone threatened her, and asked about her ex, but Reyes said no, Sanchez told WABC-TV.Sanchez said she started to “panic” when the 24-year-old vanished.“It was odd. That’s not Val at all,” Sanchez told WABC-TV. “I feel like there’s so many questions I have, and I’m sure they are doing their investigation, but I think I need to know.”Sanchez described her daughter as humble, strong minded and unique. Reyes was creative, Sanchez said, and enjoyed nature, reading and art.Reyes had spent the last two-and-a-half years working at a Barnes & Noble store in Eastchester, New York, according to the company.“The entire Barnes & Noble community is grieving the loss of our beloved employee,” read a statement from the company. “Our hearts go out to her family, friends, and coworkers during this difficult time.”As the hunt for Reyes’ killer continues, Berry said “many pieces of possible physical evidence were collected and results from forensic analysis are pending.”Reyes’ cause of death has not been confirmed, Berry said.Greenwich Police are working with New Rochelle Police on the case, Berry said.Greenwich sits along the New York-Connecticut state border. New Rochelle is about 12 miles south of Greenwich.Greenwich investigators “have received a multitude of tips,” Berry said, adding they “are asking the public for any information they may possess concerning Valerie and/or her disappearance.”Anyone with information is asked to call the Greenwich Police tip line at (203) 622-3333.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Former homeless student turned future Georgetown University grad: ‘Your blessing is there waiting for you’

first_imgWJLA(WASHINGTON) — As she sat in the well-appointed “commuter lounge” of Georgetown University, Rashema Melson drank in her surroundings as she drank an ice cold bottle of mineralized, specialty water.“It’s hot, I’m tired, and my feet hurt,” Melson, 23, said as she waved her hand to cool herself off. She lounged with her feet just shy of the edge of the furniture. “But my feet have survived worst stuff than this, I still walk around barefoot until this day and people look at me like I’m crazy but if they only knew what I’ve been through.”Melson, a born and raised Southeast Washington D.C. native who has lived a majority of her life in either a homeless shelter, public housing, and even an abandoned house at one point, will be the first in her family to graduate from college when she crosses the stage at Georgetown University next Saturday. After attending three different high schools, Melson was the valedictorian of her class at Anacostia High School and earned a full scholarship to college.Next week she will receive her bachelor’s degree in justice and peace studies from Georgetown University something she says she didn’t believe was possible because of the many struggles she has encountered in her life.“My life has always been rough,” Melson said. “Homeless or not, in southeast, it’s rough regardless, the circumstances are just rough due to the fact that we don’t have the tools or resources as everyone else,” she said as she twirled her finger around in a circle pointing at her surroundings on campus – a lush enclave filled with stone buildings and modern amenities.Along with having to constantly change schools, she said she was never able to keep a steady friendship with her classmates or let alone a steady relationship with anyone except her mother and siblings. Her mother was a single mother, Melson and her siblings have different fathers which Melson says are each “either dead or in jail.”“People really emphasizes a lot on the homelessness because that’s what grabbed their attention but there’s a lot that I don’t share,” she says. She explains her time being homeless is like anyone else who has been in a similar situation.At times she slept on a cot shared between her and her siblings waking up to the sting of bed bug bites. She has taken what she describes as “three-minute showers” due to not having hot water. And she ate food straight out of a can with a spoon because there were no plates to eat on.But besides the homelessness, Melson said she has suffered from Bulimia, has caused herself self-harm, and was also a victim of sexual assault something that she is still very hard for her to discuss.“It’s just so much and I think that’s what people don’t understand when you are going through circumstances it’s just not one thing there is A LOT going on,” she says.When she was younger, Melson said that education, along with her love for reading and watching movies, helped her focus.While reading books like the Bailey School Kids books and eventually books by Nora Roberts, Melson said reading other people’s stories while going through her own struggles helped her imagine what her life could be outside of a dark place.“Reading books gave me an insight into a world that I have never ever seen in my life,” she said as her eyes widened. “People really get rich and buy a house? People really get their dream jobs? It was like a fantasy land to me.”Now at 23, a week before graduation, Melson credits her new friends who she describes as life friends for the reason she was able to finish her studies. After freshman year at Georgetown, Melson left for a year to marry her longtime military boyfriend who is now her ex-husband.She ultimately decided to return to Washington D.C and to Georgetown. During this comeback stage of her life, her friends gave her the motivation she needed.“I’ve been complacent before and trying to get your drive back is not easy,” she says. “But Wesley, Dajha, and Terelle have been my core piece, they make me feel normal and I know that after graduation, we will all still be friends and that’s something that I have never said before.”Her friend, Wesley Bowers, 19, said that her experiences have motivated him to work harder and appreciate his opportunities.“She doesn’t ask anyone for anything, she doesn’t ask for much but she is always the first person to give,” said Bowers, who is also majoring in justice and peace studies at Georgetown University and is a linebacker for the school’s football team. “She is just a very caring person and a good friend so finding out her story made her even better in my eyes in a sense.”“I am extremely lucky to have a friend like her, I tell her that all the time,” he said. “I know that if anything happens to me or my family, she will drop whatever she is doing, she always puts other people first.”As for Melson, she really wants people to know there is much more to a person than just being homeless.“People tell me all the time ‘I would’ve never guessed,’ and I say ‘Guess what?’ “Melson explains that people often ask her about being homeless. For Melson, she doesn’t take any offense personally but just wants people to have more of an understanding of what being homeless means.” Oh I didn’t know that you can spot homeless people a mile away!” she says grinning. “How do you know that I am homeless? because am I supposed to look dirty? Am I supposed to stink? What does that mean? It’s not offensive when people do it but you really can’t tell anything from looking at a person.”Melson said her biggest piece of advice for anyone facing adversity is to never give up because everything does eventually get better in time.“Just know that your blessing is there waiting for you, you just have to go get it.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Crane collapses on Dallas apartment building leaving 1 dead, 6 injured: Police

first_imgABC News(DALLAS) —  A crane collapsed on a Dallas apartment building and parking garage on Sunday, killing at least one person and injuring six others, according to rescue officers.The crane tore through multiple floors of the five-story Elan City Lights residential building near downtown Dallas at around 2 p.m., Dallas Fire and Rescue officials said, as severe weather touched down in the area.Officials did not offer details on those who were injured, but officers said they were being treated at two area hospitals.Two victims were listed in critical condition and three others were listed in “serious,” condition, rescue officials said. Jason Evans, public information officer for Dallas Fire and Rescue, said the ongoing investigation was extremely fluid.“The situation is still ongoing and circumstances are still developing, so a lot of what I give you may, in fact, change by the time we depart the scene,” Evans said during a press conference near the accident.He said the building suffered multiple collapses in different parts of the structure to include residential spaces as well as the parking garage.“Right now our number one priority is the living area on the eastern-most side of the building where it appears that all five stories at some point inside the structure have collapsed,” Evans said. “This is the same area in which the deceased person was discovered.”He signaled that the number of victims could increase as the investigation progresses, noting that some areas were far too dangerous for officers to inspect.“Right now, every single level of the parking garage, in part, has collapsed. We have multiple vehicles reported inside that collapse zone,” he said. “Of course, we have no idea at this point whether any people were in those cars or in that parking lot general.”“We have areas where we were not able to conduct primary or secondary searches on out of concerns for safety for our first responders,” he added.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Fifteen people shot, 1 fatally, in Chicago on July 4th

first_imgbjdlzx/iStock(CHICAGO) — At least one person was killed and 14 others were wounded on Independence Day due to gun violence in Chicago, Ill.In Humboldt Park, a 32-year-old man was killed when he was shot while standing near the intersection of Homan and Iowa around 11:30 a.m., according to the Chicago Police Department. A 31-year-old man, a 23-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy also were wounded in the shooting.Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that officers “attempted to chase a white sedan but lost sight of the car.”Three people were also stabbed and 16 people were trampled following Fourth of July fireworks on Chicago’s Navy Pier.Guglielmi told ABC News that a “mini-stampede” took place there after a private security officer incorrectly yelled “active shooter” into the crowd.He said the three stabbings were a result of an argument over rival gangs, when one of the men involved pulled out a knife and stabbed three individuals.Last year, there were eight people shot and one killed on July Fourth, according to Guglielmi.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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US sets rain record for 3rd time this year as Gulf prepares for tropical system

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — The Gulf Coast is bracing for heavy rainfall from a potential tropical storm system as officials revealed that the country has broken the record for the wettest 12-month period for the third time this year.The news comes as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that there have been six $1 billion weather and climate disasters so far this year. Since 1980, there have been 250 such events — an average of six a year.A tropical depression is expected to form in the Gulf by Thursday and will likely hit somewhere between the western Florida panhandle and the northern Texas coast, the National Weather Service announced Tuesday.The system has the potential to produce heavy rainfall in the affected areas, but it is too soon to determine the magnitude and location of any potential wind or storm surge impacts at this time.Rainfall in the U.S. has broken records a stunning three times this year, with above- to much-above average participation in the Deep South through the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys as well as the East Coast, according to the NOAA.The precipitation total for June was 3.3 inches in the contiguous U.S., about .37 inches above the average, according to NOAA. The contiguous U.S. saw 19.05 inches in total precipitation in the past year, 3.74 inches above the average and the wettest such period in the 125-year record.Flooding persisted along many of the major river systems and their tributaries across the central U.S., including the central and lower Mississippi River, the Missouri River and the Illinois River.The nation’s capital saw more than 3.4 inches of rain on Monday — a daily record — with most of it falling in a single hour as nearby regions saw half a foot and flash floods.More than 100 water rescues were required in and around Washington, D.C., on Monday, including 15 people saved from vehicles trapped by high water.Flash flooding also was reported Tuesday morning in south-central Nebraska, some parts of which just saw 9 inches of rain. Areas of North Dakota received up to 5 inches of rain overnight, also producing flash flooding.More flooding is possible later on Tuesday as a new system moves through the Plains and western Great Lakes. The most severe storms are likely to be in Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska, all of which could see damaging winds, hail or an isolated tornado.This system on Wednesday is expected to head east and produce severe storms in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Damaging winds, hail and an isolated tornado are again the most likely threats.NOAA also announced Tuesday that above average temperatures in June were observed across 11 states in the U.S.Alaska experienced its second-warmest June in state history. The average temperature in June was 54 degrees, 4.8 degrees above the long-term mean.Florida saw its third-warmest June on record.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Man pleads guilty to terrorism charge after blocking Hoover Dam bridge with armored truck

first_imgMohave County Jail(NEW YORK) — A man in Arizona has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges stemming from a June 2018 incident in which he created a barricade with an armored vehicle at the Hoover Dam, apparently in support of the far-right QAnon movement.Matthew Wright, 32, pleaded guilty on Feb. 4 to making a terroristic threat, aggravated assault and unlawful flight from pursuing law enforcement vehicle.Wright, armed with a rifle in a black armored truck, blocked the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge over the Colorado River at the Hoover Dam, where the Arizona and Nevada state lines meet. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, when authorities arrived, Wright was standing next to the vehicle with a sign that read, “Release the OIG report,” known as a prominent demand of QAnon followers.After a nearly hour-long stand-off, Wright fled in his vehicle, driving over tire deflation devices and past law enforcement. Despite three deflated tires, he continued to flee state troopers for more than half an hour until he was apprehended along a dirt road heading toward the river, the ADPS said.Two assault-style rifles, two handguns and 900 rounds of ammunition were found in the armored truck.He was initially charged with obstruction of a highway, endangerment, unlawful flight from law enforcement, misconduct involving a weapon and terrorist acts, on June 15, 2018.Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe there is an anonymous figure inside the federal government, known as Q, who has inside knowledge into President Donald Trump and the deep state, and allegedly provides cryptic clues for people on the internet to decode. Many also believe that the government is hiding a secret report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.Wright’s sentencing is scheduled for March 4. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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