iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- New York City’s beaches officially open Saturday just months after being damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Another shoreline fixture, the New York Aquarium on Coney Island, is partially reopening, having been badly damaged by the storm.
The aquarium, which is a major money-maker for Coney Island, opened in 1957. The entire aquarium has been closed to the public since the October hurricane.
Part of the shore-front attraction remains closed for repairs, but a majority of the displays will be open to the public, according to Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium.
“All of our marine mammals will be on exhibit, our walruses, our sea lions, our harbor seals, our sea otters and our penguins will be out as well,” Dohlin said.
Dohlin told ABC News the storm killed so many fish the aquarium won't be able to fully re-open until 2016, as Sandy flooded tanks with water that was filled with debris, and backup power was knocked out to all exhibits
“We had some freshwater fish outside in outdoor ponds that were inundated with the salt water,” he said. “We lost those animals. That was quite a tragedy and there was a couple of large tanks that we could not get to quickly enough to stabilize.”
Still, the Aquarium is looking forward to re-opining, even if it’s only partial.
“We have a very important role in the economy of Coney Island and of Brooklyn writ large,” Dohlin explained. “We do about 58 million dollars of economic activity, we're a science education outreach juggernaut and we are a very important voice for marine conservation. So we decided it was important to get open in any way we could.”
Dolhlin says the animals are looking forward to the reopening as well.
“The animals, I think, have missed the day-to-day rhythm of having the public here,” he said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
MERS/Missouri Goodwill(ST. LOUIS) -- Just in time for Memorial Day, a mystery that started with a surprise discovery by Goodwill in Missouri had a happy ending.
A box of World War II medals, awards and other mementos was discovered by MERS/Missouri Goodwill earlier this week.
Lewis Chartock, chief executive officer of MERS/Missouri Goodwill, said he believed the box was donated to Goodwill but was likely flagged by a processing person.
Ron Scanlon, Goodwill's director of loss prevention, noticed the box when it made its way to the MERS/Missouri Goodwill headquarters in downtown St. Louis. He notified Chartock.
"He spotted it and understood it was important," Chartock said.
"There's all kinds of stuff. If you ever watch 'Antiques Roadshow,' you know they love to see all of this stuff together: a picture of the whole platoon, combat medals, and a Silver Star."
A citation indicated the Silver Star was awarded to Sgt. James J. McKenzie, a Marine vet who was also a prisoner of war during World War II. McKenzie was born in St. Louis in 1918 and joined the Marines in October 1940. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said McKenzie spent three and a half years imprisoned in Osaka, Japan, and was released as Japan surrendered in September 1945. He died in 1979 of lung cancer at age 60.
Following a "heavy Japanese artillery barrage" on Corregidor Island in the Philippines on April 13, 1942, McKenzie rescued his comrades as they were trapped in tunnels, the citation described.
"Disregarding the imminent danger of collapsing walls and roofs, Sgt. McKenzie heroically entered the tunnels, assisted in extricating trapped soldiers, and gave first aid to the wounded," the citation said.
Workers from Goodwill found McKenzie's last address and learned the home's last owner was his daughter, Rebecca McKenzie. However, a demolition crew was gutting the home on Thursday and indicated that it was recently sold.
Chartolk's staff contacted the home's realtor, who gave them the name of a person who had helped clean out the house and eventually tracked down Mackenzie's daughter-in-law, Deborah Anne Ellis, in Avon, Ind.
Ellis directed the Goodwill to McKenzie's daughter in Pollock Pines, Calif., Michele McKenzie.
When Chartolk called Michele McKenzie on Friday, she said she cried tears of joy.
Michele McKenzie, a retired attorney, said she is not sure how the Silver Star made its way to Goodwill. She said the last time she talked to her stepsister, Rebecca McKenzie, was about three weeks ago, but she did not know her current whereabouts.
Though Rebecca McKenzie was not related by blood to Sgt. McKenzie, Michele said he adopted Rebecca after his second marriage.
Rebecca McKenzie could not be reached for comment. Her mother, Sgt. McKenzie's second wife, Toby McKenzie, died in 2006.
Michele's younger brother, Sgt. McKenzie's son, died two years ago.
Michele McKenzie's parents, Sgt. McKenzie and Grace Francis "Mimi" Woodlock, had divorced when she was five-years old. Her mother died in 1994.
Though Michele McKenzie only saw her father on weekends and Wednesday nights, she said they had a close relationship.
She remembers when her father would pick her up from school in the third grade, when he was a salesman.
"Suddenly, I would see my father down on one knee in front of the school, screaming, 'Mike', which was a boy's name, but I know he didn't mean it that way," she said. "I would drop my books and would run as fast as I could run to him."
But he never wanted to talk about the war, even when she asked. Eventually, she and her mother moved to California in 1969 when Michele was 19 years old.
She knew her father was awarded the Silver Star, but after he died, her stepmother told her it was lost or stolen.
She and her husband weren't sure what they are going to do with the mementos.
She said it's a "sad thing" that her husband, named Jim, never met her father. When Michele McKenzie got married in 1976, she couldn't fly because of a head injury and her father was sick and also couldn't travel.
"They would have liked each other," she said.
Michele McKenzie said she offered to have a notary send proof to Chartock that she is Sgt. McKenzie's daughter.
When asked how she might feel when she first sees her father's mementos, she said, "Hold onto them and kiss them -- something like that."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz.) -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is famous for chasing after undocumented immigrants in his Arizona jurisdiction.
But the man known as "America's Toughest Sheriff" hasn't been following the law, according to a decision issued by a federal judge on Friday.
The judge found that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) has systematically employed racial profiling against Hispanics. The office was ordered to stop using Hispanic ancestry as a factor in making law-enforcement decisions.
"The MCSO is disappointed by the outcome in this decision," said Tim Casey, a lawyer for the sheriff's office. "The MCSO's position is that it has never used race and will never use race in making its law-enforcement decisions."
Arpaio can appeal the decision, but Casey said that they would begin working internally to remedy any problems raised in the ruling.
"The sheriff respects the court and its authority and it will comply," Casey said.
The four-and-a-half-year case involved several plaintiffs, including two Latino siblings from Chicago who believed they had been subject to racial profiling, according to The Arizona Republic.
The parties were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and pro-bono attorneys from a Bay-Area law firm.
Dan Pochoda, the legal director for the ACLU of Arizona, said this was a victory for community members in Maricopa who have spoken out against Arpaio over this exact issue.
"The sheriff's pronouncement that he's never been found to do anything wrong is going to have to go by the wayside," Pochoda said.
The practical implications are unclear -- it's possible the office may need to undergo monitoring for the use of racial profiling, or supply data to the court to authenticate its practices, but not certain. The parties are scheduled to reconvene on June 14 to discuss implementation of the decision.
The ruling is a long-awaited victory for immigrant-rights activists who have criticized Arpaio's tactics for years. The judge's ruling explicitly points out that Arpaio overstepped the line when trying to enforce immigration laws.
"The evidence introduced at trial establishes that, in the past, the MCSO has aggressively protected its right to engage in immigration and immigration-related enforcement operations even when it had no accurate legal basis for doing so," U.S. District Judge Murray Snow wrote.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Photos.com/Thinkstock(EDISON, N.J.) -- An Edison, N.J., police officer is behind bars, accused of setting the home of his captain ablaze while the family of five was asleep inside.
Flames, believed to be from a Molotov cocktail thrown at the two-story home, came within inches of where Captain Mark Anderko's two children were sleeping, but the kids along with his wife and 92-year-old mother all made it out uninjured.Officer Michael A. Dotro, who's been with the Edison Police Department for 10 years, was questioned about the Monday morning incident Wednesday evening. The next day, investigators returned with a warrant to search the cop's home in Manalapan, N.J., according to Dotro's lawyer Lawrence Bitterman. Following the search, Dotro was arrested and charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated arson. Bail was set at $5 million."My client tells me it makes him sick to his stomach that he's been accused of this," Bitterman told ABC News. He says his client will plead not guilty and ask for bail.
"I've known him for 12 years and find it absolutely incomprehensible that he could have done this," said Bitterman.Dotro has been suspended with pay and was arraigned in New Brunswick, N.J. Friday afternoon.One law enforcement official told ABC News that Dotro has a "long history of disciplinary issues," including complaints against him of police brutality.According to a series of reports by the Star Ledger, officer Dotro was accused of being one of the chief suspects in a 2008 theft of a police car, but after an investigation, was not criminally charged. Dotro was also accused of police brutality in 2005 after arresting a member of the township's sizeable Asian-Indian community. But, according to the Star Ledger, Dotro was cleared amid community protests and headlines.The Edison PD, one of New Jersey's largest police departments, has spent years embroiled in an ugly civil war that has, at times, spilled into public view. Dotro and his captain are known to be on opposing sides of the internecine battling.Sources tell ABC News that Anderko had recently written a harsh review of Dotro that could hinder the officer's chances of a promotion.Bitterman insisted his client has no harsh feelings towards the captain."Officer Dotro expresses his deepest condolences to Captain Anderko and his family," said Bitterman.After numerous incidents, the state Attorney General's Office has taken a more aggressive role in overseeing the conduct of the Edison Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit, receiving monthly reports and reviewing cases. This new incident could lead the AG to invoke the state law that allows the state to take over the Edison force, a state official said."They used to just use IA to go after each other," the official told ABC News. "But this takes it to a whole new level."Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama and actress Kerry Washington stopped by Savoy Elementary School in southeast Washington, D.C., Friday to watch a song-and dance performance that included “Who Put the Bop” and a few other numbers.Washington has adopted the school in the capital’s Anacostia neighborhood as part of the Turnaround Arts Initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, which will give grants to low-income schools, seeking to improve students’ overall performance through arts education. Besides the Scandal star, actor Forest Whitaker and actress Sarah Jessica Parker also adopted schools last month.The first lady visited teacher Jacqueline Lyons’ pre-K class and freeze-danced with the students to James Brown’s “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time.” (Lyons reportedly asked the children who James Brown was; they responded, “The Godfather of Soul.”)Obama delivered remarks from an auditorium stage before the song-and-dance performance, praising Washington for her involvement in the program and offering her up as an inspiration for the students.“Kerry is a big-time star right now. Big time. I mean, there is no bigger star right now than Kerry,” the first lady said. “She’s not just a beautiful, fashionable, talented woman, but she’s real inside, and there is beauty deep inside. The fact that she is flying all over the country, but she comes to spend time with you guys and she does it for real … it shows more her love for all of you. So, Kerry, love you, girl. Keep it going. Very proud of you."“Kerry got a lot of rejections,” Obama added. “She spent a lot of time developing her craft. She spent a lot of time practicing and working and trying out for things and having people tell her. ‘No,’ ‘No thank you,’ ‘You’re not good enough,’ ‘You’re not pretty enough.’ Could you imagine somebody telling Kerry that she wasn’t pretty enough, she wasn’t tall enough, she was too short? That’s all performing is, is rejection. … But when you work hard and you invest thousands of hours in anything, you get better. And that’s what you guys are learning here at Savoy.”After the performance, Washington and the first lady greeted and congratulated the students and teachers.In a pull-aside interview, Washington praised the Turnaround Arts program.“It opens them up,” Washington said. “It helps them be front and center, not just on the stage but in their lives and in the classroom.”Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- Three dogs rescued from alleged Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro are in foster care until the three women police say he held captive decide whether any one of them wants to keep the dogs.The Chihuahua and two terrier-poodle mixes were found at the Ohio house where Castro allegedly kept Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, in captivity for more than a decade.Knight's attorney, Kathryn Joseph, said she appreciates officials' giving the women time and the opportunity to decide whether they want the dogs."I think it's really nice that they're hanging on to them because I know they were meaningful, at least to my client," Joseph said Friday. "I don't know if she's interested, so it's something I have to talk to her about."Knight is "doing very well" and has not had or needed facial reconstruction surgery, contrary to some reports, Joseph said."They're all doing pretty well, amazingly well. You'd be shocked," she said. "They're happy. They're optimistic. They're excited about their futures."Another member of the legal team whose firm is working primarily with Berry and DeJesus declined to comment.John Baird, chief animal control officer for Cleveland, said the dogs are at a foster home, pending a decision by the women."We're going to try to give them as much time as they need," Baird said.He said all three dogs have since been sterilized and micro-chipped. Two of them had matted hair and have been groomed. He said they "seem to be great" and did not appear to have been abused or mistreated."We think that maybe one of these women, or all of the women, may have bonded with one or more of these dogs and we'd like to make sure they get a chance to get one of them, or whatever dog they bonded with, to maybe make things a little bit easier on them," Baird said.All three women have kept a low profile since Berry escaped and the other two women were rescued May 6.Their attorneys released a letter earlier this week on behalf of their clients, thanking the public for their encouragement, as well as for respecting their requests for privacy."The outpouring of public support has been nothing short of remarkable," the letter said. "To have complete strangers offer loving support in the form of money, goods and services, reaching out to help like a family member, is appreciated in ways that are impossible to put into words. Amanda, Gina and Michelle, who have asked for nothing, are frankly overwhelmed by it all."Castro, 52, has been charged with kidnapping and rape. He is being held on an $8 million bond and has yet to enter a plea.Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Glenn DePriest/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Just over a month after Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a standoff with police, investigators said they have begun to piece together a picture of what he did during a six-month visit last year to Dagestan, a volatile region in southern Russia that is home to Tsarneav's parents as well as a violent struggle with Islamist insurgency. American investigators believe Tsarnaev traveled to Dagestan seeking to make contact with militant groups, but for reasons that remain unclear, he was either unable or unwilling to join their ranks. As they peel back the layers of the man accused of working with his younger brother to set off a pair of bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, investigators said they are finding a frustrated young man who felt out of place in the United States. They said Tsarnaev appears to have been largely self-radicalized before arriving in Dagestan in search of a lifestyle that may not have met his expectations either, according to U.S. officials close to or briefed on the investigation. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity. The officials described Tsarnaev as a typical lone wolf. While Tsarnaev's radicalization appears to have deepened during his time in Dagestan, investigators have not found a particular contact there or a "manifesto" on his computer or elsewhere that would explain why he and his younger brother Dzhokhar allegedly placed bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the officials said. Hours after Tamerlan was killed in the police shootout, Dzhokhar was apprehended and remains in custody. While officials stressed the investigation is still ongoing, they have also found no signs that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was affiliated with an international terror organization like al Qaeda. Similarly, they have found no evidence to suggest he was directed to strike the U.S. by anyone he met in Dagestan. They have not found any signs of suspicious contacts during Tsarnaev's trips to visit his father's family in Chechnya, which has also battled an Islamist insurgency, and probes into Tsarnaev's father's rumored ties to Chechen security officials have also not revealed anything of concern, the officials said. Tsarnev's closest known militant contact in Dagestan appears to have been a young man named Mahmud Mansur Nidal, officials said. The two were often seen together leaving a Salafist mosque, popular with fighters, in Makhachkala. But while Nidal eventually went off to join a militant group -- what locals call going "into the forest" -- investigators say they have uncovered no evidence that Tsarnaev joined him. Nidal would eventually be killed in a police raid after returning to visit family. Tsarnaev had also been in touch over the internet with a Russian-Canadian convert to Islam and suspected militant named William Plotnikov, but officials say they have no evidence to suggest the two ever met in person. Contrary to previous reporting, investigators say they do not believe Tsarnaev dropped off the map after Plotnikov was killed by police in July, shortly before Tsarnaev left Russia to return to the United States. Investigators have also taken a hard look at Magomed Kartashov, Tsarnaev's distant cousin and the founder and leader of a Islamist group called the Union of the Just. The group is anti-American and campaigns for the application of Sharia, or Islamic law. The cousins met several times during Tsarnaev's stay in Dagestan. Kartashov's lawyer, Patimat Abdullaeva, told ABC News by phone that the two did discuss religion, but she insisted Tsarnaev was the one with extremist views. Kartashov is in prison for an unrelated matter -- waving an Islamist flag during a wedding procession -- but his lawyer says Russian investigators have interviewed him there about his interactions with Tsarnaev. Magomed Magomedov, another member of Union for the Just, told ABC News he also saw Tsarnaev several times last year, at the mosque and around Makhachkala, but could not remember their discussions about religion. He described Tsarnaev as being aloof and out of place in Dagestan. "He was sticking out, it was obvious he is not local. He liked to draw attention with his expensive and fancy clothes. His haircut was something no one has seen before," he said. That description matches the picture that investigators are painting of Tsarnaev. They said when Tsarnaev arrived in Dagestan, his flashy appearance and demeanor immediately set him apart. He also apparently drew attention to himself by claiming to know more about Islam than he really did. According to investigators, Tsarnaev would often recite things he had read or seen on the Internet, often confusing those he was trying to impress. "He was driving people crazy," one official said. The officials said he was not as strict a practitioner of Islam as he claimed to be. While his younger brother and alleged co-conspirator Dzhokhar has been described as the family pothead, one official said Tamerlan was also fond of marijuana, spending hours high on the couch in Massachusetts where he did not have a steady job. The FBI has met with Tsarnaev's parents at least once. Officials said they are still planning to meet with nine or 10 other individuals, including with Tsarnaev's extended family, childhood friends, and contacts at the mosque. Those meetings were described as "tying up loose ends" rather than suspicious leads. The American officials praised the unusual level of cooperation they've received from their Russian counterparts. Often that relationship is plagued by lingering Cold War-era mistrust, but officials described how both sides have poured over linkage maps together, with the Russians sharing their knowledge and analysis, even suggesting individuals that the American side may want to interview. That, they say, is different from the past when the Russians offered little more than terse responses to American requests for information. Indeed, that mistrust may have hindered early attempts to investigate Tsarnaev in 2011, when Russia asked the United States to look into what it suspected were Tsarnaev's plans to join extremist groups abroad. The FBI found nothing to support those claims, but said Russia did not follow up when the bureau asked for more information. That communication gap has become a target for a group of American lawmakers who plan to visit Russia next week to investigate the bombing. "If there was a distrust, or lack of cooperation because of that distrust, between the Russian intelligence and the FBI, then that needs to be fixed and we will be talking about that," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats who is leading the Congressional delegation, told ABC News by telephone. While the officials described their cooperation with the Russians as "unprecedented," they grumbled privately that they have been unable to do a methodical step-by-step investigation like they are used to doing in the U.S., or even in other countries where they have long-standing cooperation. American investigators from the FBI have been unable to travel to Dagestan without permission from the Russian authorities. Still, they insist they have been able to confirm much of what they have been told by Russian government officials from what one official vaguely described as "other channels."Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
iStockphoto/Thinkstock(FORT BRAGG, N.C.) -- Nineteen new names were chiseled into the black granite face of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Fallen Soldiers Memorial at Fort Bragg, N.C. Thursday.A squall washed over dozens of “Gold Star” relatives -- so named for the small banners that adorn windows of homes where a loved one perished fighting overseas -- who lined up to lay a red rose at the base of the wall in memory of those lost over the past year.The most recent fallen, who mostly died in counter-terrorism operations, join a union of 1,151 other Army special operations forces soldiers killed in missions over the past 60 years.It is an annual ritual at the Army’s home of the elite soldiers who increasingly are bearing the brunt of combat casualties as surge troops withdraw from Afghanistan ahead of 2014.“We will remember through children named after fallen friends, stones laid in their honor, building and street names, books written, tattoos inked, and ribbons and pins worn,” Army Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland, the command’s top officer, told hundreds gathered in the rain.Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Pennsylvania State Police(PHILADELPHIA) -- Missing University of Rhode Island student Matthew Royer has been located unharmed in North Carolina, according to authorities and his family, but how he got there remains a mystery. Royer, 21, had been last seen on May 16 on the University of Rhode Island campus. The college junior had moved out of his apartment and returned the keys, according to ABC News' Philadelphia station WPVI. Royer was on his way home to Skippack Township, Pa., for the summer where his family was waiting for him. He was supposed to report for work at a golf course the day after he returned home, but when he did not show up, his family reported him missing. Royer was located on Thursday but details about what took him to North Carolina have not been released. "The family requests that the media not contact them nor reveal his location as they wish to consider this a private and closed matter," Pennsylvania State Police said in a statement. Royer was reunited with family members at an undisclosed location, according to ABC station WPVI. "I had figured someone took him prisoner or something," Royer's grandfather Thomas Scully told ABC News Friday. "We were searching for him. We were afraid." Scully, 91, said he did not know why Royer went to North Carolina or how he got there, but called his grandson a "bright kid." "His mother knows where he is and he's alright," a relieved Scully said. "We don't know what he's doing now. He's making his own world." After Royer was reported missing, authorities determined that he made it within about 30 miles of his Pennsylvania home before falling off the grid. Royer sent a text message to his mother, Janet Royer, at around 6 p.m. on Thursday to say that he had overslept and was "about to leave." From there, surveillance footage, debit card use and cell phone tower pings showed Royer stopping at a gas station in Rhode Island at 6:30 p.m., and near Allentown, Pa., at 2 a.m. on Friday and stopping at a gas station about 35 miles from his home a short time later, according to his family and authorities. Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images(MOUNT VERNON, Wash.) -- Three people were sent to the hospital after a portion of an Interstate 5 highway bridge in Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed Thursday, dumping two vehicles and a travel trailer into the icy water, authorities said. The three people were rescued from the Skagit River by first responders and taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Officials located a semi-truck believed to have hit several girders on the four-lane bridge just before the collapse. The driver remained on the scene and was cooperating with investigators, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said at a press conference early Friday morning. "We're looking at the cause being an oversized, over-height vehicle, striking critical portions of this bridge, causing it to collapse," said Travis Phelps of the Washington State Department of Transportation and Washington State Patrol. The National Transportation Safety Board will arrive Friday to investigate the collapse. The collapse occurred on the portion of Interstate 5 over the Skagit River, about 60 miles north of Seattle. The vehicles plunged about 40 feet from the bridge into the river, which set off a massive rescue operation. Helicopter footage from ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV showed several rescue boats in the Skagit River with several ambulances waiting on the shore. The bridge, built in 1955, was not considered structurally deficient, but was listed as "functionally obsolete" -- a category indicating an outdated design, such as having narrow shoulders and low clearance underneath, according to a database compiled by the Federal Highway Administration. Federal records show it had a sufficiency rating of 57 out of 100, meaning it's in need of repairs. The bridge was inspected twice last year, most recently in November, and repairs were made, according to Washington Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson Clean-up efforts will take several days to weeks, according to Phelps. The bridge sees 77,000 cars per day, and Phelps said they were expecting significant congestion until the bridge is fixed. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters that one in five bridges in Washington have a rating of "functional obsolescence," which he described as "troubling." Inslee acknowledged the bridge collapse is going to cause a headache for tens of thousands of drivers. "This is the aorta, the arterial of commerce for western Washington and we will ask all Washingtonians to help us avoid traffic problems," he said. I-5 is the longest interstate highway on the West Coast, running from the Mexican border all the way north to Canada. Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
ABC News(PHOENIX) -- The man in charge of the jury that convicted Jodi Arias of murder, but could not reach agreement on whether her life should be spared, described the process as "gut-wrenching" and said he and his fellow jurors struggled to contain their emotions.
"We couldn't allow ourselves to be emotional on the stand," jury foreman William Zervakos said Friday on ABC’s Good Morning America. "We couldn't allow ourselves to show emotion [but] it was a different story when we got back into the jury room."
Some of the most emotional moments during the five-month trial came over the 18 days when Arias, 32, took the stand and described her relationship with Travis Alexander, the ex-boyfriend whom she was convicted last week of stabbing and shooting to death in 2008.
Arias pled for her life also during the sentencing phase of the trial, but Zervakos says her long stint on the stand didn't help her case, especially when she was cross-examined by the prosecutor.
"I think 18 days hurt her. I think she was not a good witness...I think the way the prosecutor was with her, he's known for an aggressive style. I think it'd be difficult for anybody," Zervakos said. "I don't think I want to sit on the stand for 18 days."
"We're charged with going in presuming innocence, right, but she was on the stand for so long. I don't think it did her any good," Zervakos added. "There were so many contradicting stories."
Arias had been branded a liar by the prosecution because she initially denied killing Alexander, then claimed two years later that she killed him in self-defense, citing Alexander's physical and emotional abuse.
Zervakos, for one, believed Arias' story that she was abused in the relationship, but not that she killed Alexander in self-defense.
"I'm very sure in my own mind that she was mentally and verbally abused," he said. "Now is that an excuse? Of course not. Does it factor into the decisions that we make? It has to."
Arias' appearance -- from her blonde bombshell look while she was dating Alexander, to the more subdued look she presented in the courtroom with glasses, bangs and dark hair -- that captivated the media and the public throughout the trial, seemed to captivate the jurors inside the courtroom as well.
"When I looked in the courtroom for the first time and looked who the defendant was, it's hard to put that in perspective when you look at a young woman and think of the crime and then think of the brutality of the crime," Zervakos said. "It just doesn't wash so it's very difficult to divest yourself from the personal, from the emotional part of it."
After the jury's hung verdict was read Thursday, leaving the case still open, one juror mouthed, "I'm so sorry," toward Alexander's family and prosecutors.
Zervakos says he and other jurors struggled greatly with seeing Alexander's family every day in the courtroom.
"Until you're face-to-face with people that have gone through something like that, it's something you really can't put into words," he said on GMA. "I'm six feet away from somebody talking about a horrendous loss. If you can't feel that, then you have no emotion, no soul."
Arias' fate is now left up to the prosecutor, who will decide whether to retry the penalty phase. If he decides to try again for the death penalty, a new jury will be selected and both the prosecution and defense will present evidence and arguments over what sentence Arias should receive.
The retrial, in which Arias can either be sentenced to death or to life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole, would begin July 18.
The prosecutor's office has not yet decided what it plans to do.
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Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
U.S. Government Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences via Getty Images(FORT HOOD, Texas) -- More than three years since a deadly domestic assault on American troops -- the 2009 Fort Hood massacre that claimed 13 lives, including that of a pregnant soldier -- a top Army attorney maintains that incident was likely a "criminal act of a single individual."
"...[T]he available evidence in this case does not, at this time, support a finding that the shooting at Fort Hood was an act of international terrorism," Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman said this week in a letter to Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.) on behalf of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
The letter, obtained by ABC News, was apparently written in response to an inquiry from Rooney, Rep. Chaka Fatta (D-Penn.), and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virg.) sent to Hagel on May 6, which questioned whether concerns of "political correctness" informed the Army's decision to refer to the Fort Hood attack as an act of "workplace violence." Victims of the shooting have long maintained that calling the attack "workplace violence" instead of "combat related" or an act of terrorism has had a massive impact on the benefits and treatment they've received.
In the Fort Hood attack, Maj. Nidal Hasan stands accused of gunning down 13 soldiers and injuring 32 others in November 2009. After the assault, investigators uncovered evidence that Hasan was in communication with al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack. Al-Awlaki was apparently such a threat that he has been the only American citizen ever targeted for a drone strike -- though three others have been collateral damage, according to President Obama.
Witnesses reportedly said Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar," "God is Great" in Arabic, amid the chaos.
As reflected in Chipman's letter, the Department of Defense has consistently said that in addition to a supposed lack of evidence, it would be irresponsible to call the Fort Hood attack "terrorism" because it "may have a negative impact on the ongoing judicial process" for Hasan.
The letter also denied that the Defense Department had made a decision to classify the attack as "workplace violence" and said, "[N]o benefit has been denied to any of the victims based on any such classification" -- two claims to which the survivors object stringently.
Kimberly Munley, a police officer who was hailed as a hero for her role in stopping the alleged Fort Hood shooter, told ABC News Chipman's letter is "disgraceful" and "another direct slap in the face." Attorneys for Munley and most of the other Fort Hood victims called the letter's claims "counterfactual" and an "insult."
An attorney for several of the victims, Reed Rubinstein, said the Army's new letter is "worse than word games."
"The 'workplace violence' classification has been out there for years, and [the Army] has never walked it back," he said.
In 2010, part of then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' response to the shooting was to "strengthen [the department's] policies, programs and procedures in... workplace violence." In October 2011, the Defense Department said it was reviewing the attack "in the context of a broader threat of workplace violence."
Rubinstein and his partner, Neil Sher, also said calling the attack "an alleged criminal act by a single individual" "rewrites history, consigning the government's admissions of Hasan's al-Qaeda ties… down a bureaucratic memory hole."
Munley said, "It is clear that the Army and the government will continue to not take responsibility for allowing a known terrorist to slip through the ranks while having multiple associations with the now-deceased Anwar al-Awlaki and has complete disregard for those injured on that horrifying day."
In Chipman's letter, she said the Army is willing to reconsider their classification of the event should "new, relevant evidence" arise.
"The Army's decision, in no way, diminishes the common goal of ensuring the victims are treated and cared for promptly and compassionately," the letter says. "Although we cannot undo the outcome of that day, taking care of those affected by the Fort Hood shooting... remains one of the Army's top priorities."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
ISAF via Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The woman at the center of the sex scandal that led to David Petraeus' resignation from the CIA has spoken publicly for the first time about the affair and apologized for the "harm" she caused to the families involved.
"I have remorse for the harm that this has caused, the sadness this has caused in my family and other families," Paula Broadwell said in her first interview with ABC News' affiliate WSOC in Charlotte, N.C., since news of the extramarital affair broke last November.
Broadwell met Petraeus, 60, while she was a graduate student at Harvard University and working on a dissertation about Petraeus. Broadwell wrote the biography on Petraeus titled All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. As Petraeus' personal biographer, she enjoyed tremendous access to the decorated war hero and former four-star general.
"I 'm the first to admit I've made mistakes, and I'm regretful for the pain I've caused, but at some point again you pick yourself up face forward and keep moving," Broadwell said.
Broadwell said it was support from loved ones that got her through the public scrutiny she faced in the aftermath of the affair. Broadwell, who lives in Charlotte with her husband and two kids, spends her time supporting veterans and wounded warriors.
"I'm blessed with family, community. That's been a great part of my rehabilitation ... and wonderful organizations that realize that even if you've made mistakes in life you can still contribute and pick up, dust off and move on," she said.
The extramarital affair was uncovered when Florida socialite Jill Kelley told an FBI agent that she received harassing emails from an unknown source. The emails eventually traced back to Broadwell and ultimately uncovered evidence of her affair with Petraeus.
Broadwell was stripped of her military security clearance after a federal probe alleged she was storing classified military material at her home.
"I'm not focused on the past," Broadwell said. "It was a devastating period for our family. We still have some healing to do. We're very focused on how can we continue to contribute and use this for the greater good to do something good in the next chapter."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DUARTE, Clif.) -- April showers may bring May flowers, but in the foothills of Southern California, you can also expect bears.
From May 1 to June 21, as grills fire up and tasty smells waft through the neighborhood, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife considers it "second bear season."
The department spokesman, Andrew Hughan, told ABC News that he expects to spot at least one bear a week for the next month.
So far, the bears have already been living up to his predictions. All around Southern California, news reports have shown bears climbing fences, spooking horses and roaming streets all in search of their next meal.
One woman in Duarte, Calif., came downstairs thinking there was a burglar in her home. Instead, she found a cub halfway through her kitchen window.
"You must have had something that smelled good in that kitchen," the 911 operator told the woman, who had barricaded herself in her bedroom bathroom, according to the 911 recording obtained by ABC News.
And that's the problem.
As bears eat more human food or garbage, or even the fish out of the koi pond, they become habituated to a human food source and less frightened of people, according to the California Department of Fish and Wild Life website. This could lead to a more tenacious and even aggressive bear.
"Once a bear's habituated, they cannot unlearn," Hughan told ABC News. "It's a death sentence."
That's because bears that stubbornly return time and again to scour the same neighborhood can be put down, according to the "black bear depredation policy" in California.
"We've moved bears 100 miles away and they'll come back... following the scent trails." Hughan said.He added that one bear even came back to the very same trash can.
A bear's sense of smell is 100 times better than a bloodhound's and 1,000 times better than a human's. So residents need to be smart.
Bottom line: If we don't set the plate, bears will not come. Don't leave food outside, secure your trash bins, and even clean barbecue grills.
There are ways to live with the bear population that is both safe for us and safe for them. Perhaps it could even evolve into a mutually beneficial relationship.
The Living With Wildlife Foundation (LWWF) in Montana works with bears at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center wildlife park that can no longer live in the wild because they were orphaned young or habituated.
Patti Sowka, director of the LWWF, told ABC News that the bears can assist companies by testing "bear-proof" products filled with anything from huckleberry jam to muskrat castor oil to see if the items can live up to the product guarantee -- a real-world take on quality control.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
intl. Inst. for Species Exploration at Arizona State Univ.(PHOENIX) -- What's new in animal species? Plenty, according to the sixth annual Top 10 list by the Institute at Arizona State University that includes everything from a glow-in-the-dark cockroach to an "Old World" monkey with a bright blue buttocks.
"Through the top 10, we are really just trying to raise awareness about how many species there are on the planet," Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), told ABC News. "On average, 18,000 species a year are discovered. That sounds like a lot, but it really isn't."
Wheeler said there are an estimated 10 to 12 million living species, but only about 2 million have been discovered. This year's top 10 list was whittled down from more than 140 nominees.
While the institute simply compiles a list, "These discoveries are actually made by professionals and amateurs around the world," he said.
The 2013 release by the IISE showcases, among many impressive things, the discovery of the world's smallest vertebrate -- a tiny, 7 millimeter frog found in Papua, New Guinea. An image released by the institute shows the frog taking up about a third of the space on the face of a U.S. dime. The largest known vertebrate in the world is the blue whale, measuring 85 feet long.
A new type of luminescent (or glow-in-the-dark) cockroach specimen was discovered in Ecuador. Though the species may have already been extinct for some time, Wheeler said it's believed that the cockroach would mimic the toxic luminescent clicking beetle to ward off predators. This cockroach is one of more than a dozen species of luminescent cockroaches discovered since 1999.
Another fascinating finding was a new species of monkey, the lesula, only the second new species of monkey to be discovered in Africa in the last 28 years. The IISE said the lesula has been known to the people of Congo, where it was discovered by scientists, but the species was never recorded. This species of monkey has eyes that observers say look human, with brown coloring, and males have large, bare patches of skin on the buttocks and testicles that is a brilliant blue.
But the most interesting discovery may be that of the Semachrysa jade -- a green lacewing. What is believed to be the first ever photo of the insect was taken by Malaysian photographer Hock Ping Guek, though unbeknownst to him at the time. A California scientist happened upon the image of the lacewing on Guek's Flickr and asked him to mail the specimen to London's Natural History Museum where it was eventually identified registered as a new species.
Wheeler explained to ABC News that some scientists are predicting half of the world's species could be gone by the end of the century (a type of extinction that last happened at the time of the dinosaurs), so furthering these discoveries and spreading interest through the yearly top 10 list is important.
In a statement attached to this year's list of species, Wheeler pressed the urgency of exploring now: "We are calling for a NASA-like mission to discover 10 million species in the next 50 years. This would lead to discovering countless options for a more sustainable future while securing evidence of the origins of the biosphere."
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Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Sabrina Brady/Google(NEW YORK) -- The instructions were plain and simple: Draw your “best day ever.” Sabrina Brady did just that and it’s landed her quite literally front and center in all of Google’s glory.
Brady, 17, was crowned the national champion of the site’s fourth ever Doodle 4 Google contest on Wednesday. Students in grades K-12 from all over the country submit their artwork to the competition, hoping to see their masterpiece intertwined with Google’s iconic homepage logo.
Brady, a senior at Wisconsin’s Sparta High School, scored the top prize for her work titled “Coming Home.” The illustration shows her racing into her dad’s arms upon his return from an 18-month deployment in Iraq.
After reviewing thousands of entries submitted over a two-month period, Google selected finalists from every state in the country and asked users to vote for their favorite.
“Her creative use of the Google letters to illustrate this heartfelt moment clearly resonated with voters across the country and all of us at Google,” Doodle team leader Ryan Germick wrote in a blog post after announcing Brady the winner.
Brady doesn’t just get to showcase her masterpiece on Google’s homepage display; she also won a $30,000 college scholarship, a Chromebook computer and a $50,000 technology grant for her school, according to the tech giant. Google says Brady will attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in the fall.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
A portion of the Interstate 5 freeway over the Skagit River in Skagit County, Wash., collapsed May 23, 2013, sending cars and people into the water, authorities said. (Tiffany Matson)(SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash.) -- A portion of an interstate highway bridge in Washington state collapsed Thursday night, sending cars and people into the water, authorities said.The collapse occurred on the Interstate 5 freeway over the Skagit River in Skagit County, Wash., about two hours north of Seattle.It was unclear whether there were any injuries."N/B and S/B lanes of I-5 Skagit River Bridge collapsed," Washington State Trooper Mark Francis posted on Twitter. "People and cars in water."Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BOWIE, Texas) -- The Texas deputy shot three times in March while chasing a paroled Colorado inmate suspected in the slaying of Colorado's prisons chief will be heading back to work this weekend, and he says he is "ready to go back to it."On Wednesday, authorities released the dash camera video of the moment 27-year-old Montague County Sheriff's Deputy James Boyd was shot during a routine road block on March 21 in Bowie, Texas. After months of recovery, Boyd plans to return to work on Sunday."I'm ready to go back," Boyd told ABC News Thursday. "I'm kind of nervous about it but I know I can do the job, so I'm ready to go back to it."Boyd was wearing a bulletproof vest when he approached the 1991 black Cadillac allegedly being driven by Evan Spencer Ebel just over two months ago. Boyd said that 10 seconds passed between when he had pulled over the car and when he was shot."He was driving in the left-hand lane," Boyd said. "Something caught my eye about. There was something there."Almost as soon as Boyd approached the car, Ebel, a white supremacist gang member who signed his name "Evil Evan," began firing at him with a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun, police have said. Boyd was shot twice in the chest, and a bullet grazed his forehead above the left eye."I was shocked. That's not what I was out there looking for," he said. "I was out there looking for proactive stops. This is the most severe incident I've encountered."The shooting started a 100-mph car chase across two Texas counties during which the car's occupant continued to shoot at police. The chase ended when the driver was hit by an 18-wheel truck.Ebel emerged from the wreck and kept shooting at cops until he was cut down by return fire. Ebel was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, where he died.Boyd said that he doesn't remember much of what transpired between his approach of the vehicle and being in the hospital. He went through months of cognitive rehab before his return to the force this weekend, mainly to work on his stability."We worked on my reaction times, my problem-solving skills, and my speech therapy, which is for my listening," he said.Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham told ABC News that once he returns to the force, Boyd will be presented with a new vest and an award. He will also be speaking about his experience at a few area schools. Cunningham said that when he heard about what transpired with Boyd, whose family he has known for decades, he was livid."It pissed me off, to be real honest," he said. "Any time you see one of your people hurt [it causes alarm]....We're such a small department, and close knit."Boyd, at first, will be on dispatch when he returns to the police force, as was requested by his rehabilitation team, which felt he should be taking it easy at first."We're going to watch and him and work him back in at his pace," Cunningham said. Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Jodi Arias will not be put to death -- at least not yet.A judge declared a mistrial in the sentencing phase of her murder trial Thursday, after the jury could not agree on whether to sentence Arias to death or to life in prison for murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008.Under state law, in a capital case, if the jury can't reach a unanimous decision, the Maricopa County, Ariz., District Attorney's Office must weigh whether to spend time and resources to find a new jury, schedule new court dates, and re-present its evidence to try to reach a death sentence, which could take months, according to Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the prosecutor's office.Arias, 32, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Alexander in a gruesome attack in 2008.Prosecutor Juan Martinez has argued that because the murder was especially cruel, involving 27 stab wounds, a slit throat, and a gunshot wound to Alexander's head, Arias deserves the death penalty.But the jury was unable to return a verdict on which they agree.On Wednesday, the jury stopped deliberations and sent Judge Sherry Stephens a note about their indecision. She responded by sending them back to the jury room to continue deliberating, with instructions on how to ask questions of her or attorneys if they felt they could not come to an agreement."Each juror has a duty to consult with one another, (and) to try to reach agreement without violence to individual judgment. You may want to identify areas of agreement and disagreement. If you still disagree, you may wish to tell the attorneys and me what issues, questions or law or facts on which we can possibly help," Stephens told the jurors."At this time please go back to the jury room and continue deliberating," she said.Now a second jury in a new penalty trial will deliberate whether to give Arias the death penalty or life in prison. If they also reach an impasse, and cannot agree, then Arias's life could be saved.Stephens would then sentence her to either life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, or natural life, without the possibility of parole. Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Win McNamee/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- The Boy Scouts of America Thursday voted to lift its longtime ban on admitting gay Scouts but will continue to exclude openly gay adults from leadership roles.The vote by its 1,400 national membership came as no surprise to gay rights advocates, who hailed it as a first step to ending discriminatory practices in the 103-year-old organization.The ruling by secret ballot at a national convention in Dallas means that mothers like Jennifer Tyrrell, who is a lesbian, will still be excluded from the Boy Scouts.Tyrrell was let go as an Ohio den leader of her 8-year-old son Cruz's Cub Scout pack last year because she was gay, but she applauds what she sees as a "temporary" policy."It's a great first step, and the fact that they've gone to the Supreme Court to defend the right to discriminate shows the progress we've made," the 33-year-old mother of four told ABC News."I am encouraged because we definitely are in it for the long haul," said Tyrrell. "Once the ban is lifted on youth, they will see their fears are unfounded. There are going to be [gay] boys who want to continue as leaders. It's just a matter of time."She said she would continue to fight for other gay families who wanted to be part of the Scouts.But others, such as former Eagle Scout James Dale, who brought the lawsuit against the Boy Scouts that made it all the way to the Supreme Court in 2000, said the partial lifting of the ban was "unacceptable."In 1991, he was fired as an assistant Scoutmaster of a New Jersey troop when he came out of the closet in college. He lost the Supreme Court case by one vote.Growing up, Dale said he found the Boy Scouts to be "one of the organizations that were the most welcoming and accepting."But today, he sees it as an "anti-gay organization" that is out of step with a culture that is rapidly accepting same-sex families."You can have gay Scouts, [but] you can't have gay Scout leaders or anyone over the age of 18," said Dale, who's now 42 and works in advertising in New York City."It's still a damning and destructive message that they're going to send to young people. They will go from celebrated Eagle Scout when they're 17 years old to basically not being welcome anymore once the clock strikes 12 and they're 18 years old.""It's kind of fascinating that the Boy Scouts of America are still so stuck," he said. "They're willing to destroy the organization. Over some...small-minded values."About 70 percent of all local troops are supported by religious groups, according to the Boy Scouts, and in recent months, some have backed away from their opposition, according to the gay advocacy group GLAAD.The Mormon church, which sponsors most of the troops, has now endorsed allowing gay Scouts. The Roman Catholic Church has taken no official position. The National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Metropolitan Community Church all urged full repeal of the ban.But many other Christian groups stood firm in protest, citing religious freedom and the previous Supreme Court decision.Nearly 19,000 past or current members of the Scouts signed a petition from Alliance Defending Freedom, which was delivered to the Boy Scouts this week, urging it to keep the ban.Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- This is the case of the F-bomb that's landed New York City's mayor in federal court.One of the leaders of the Big Apple's taxi industry filed suit against Michael Bloomberg this week, claiming a violation of his constitutional right against retaliation in the wake of news reports that a fuming, swearing Bloomberg threatened to destroy the yellow-cab industry once he's out of office next year.Taxi Club Management CEO Gene Freidman claimed Bloomberg has been trying to "blackmail" and bully city hacks because of their unified opposition to his administration's plans to require all taxi owners to convert their fleets to the new "Taxi of Tomorrow" design.The mayor and his aides have been "relentless in their retaliation ... in their stubborn determination to override any opposition, from any quarter, to the Taxi of Tomorrow," according to the lawsuit filed late Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court.Those efforts, Freidman's suit said, were compounded by Bloomberg's recent comments when the mayor "personally threatened ... Freidman during halftime at the Knicks/Pacers playoff game at Madison Square Garden, stating, 'When I am out of office, I will destroy your f---ing industry," and then stating, "after January, I am going to destroy all you f---ing guys."The tirade made the front page of the New York Post and the mayor has not denied it.City Hall had no immediate response to the lawsuit.After three terms in office, Bloomberg will return to private life on Jan. 1, 2014.Freidman, also a board member of the Greater New York Taxi Association, has been a key voice in the battle against the Taxi of Tomorrow plan, arguing that it eliminates competition and would put unfair burdens on cabbies and those who own taxis.His lawyer, Steve Mintz, said Bloomberg "is threatening hard-working taxi entrepreneurs, and it's un-American, offensive and we won't give in. We have won every case in court and will continue to."Even before the mayor's purported colorful halftime commentary, the Bloomberg administration has been pushing Freidman to abandon his opposition to the mayor's taxi plans, his lawyer said. The key tool, Mintz alleged, is a barrage of summonses against Freidman's fleet that would cost the taxi owner more than $3.5 million.Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A New York City businessman was rescued this week after being held for more than a month in an abandoned warehouse, where his alleged abductors tortured him for weeks in a plot to extort his family for millions in ransom, prosecutors said. Pedro Portugal, an accountant and father, was abducted off a Queens street in broad daylight last month, when he was forced into an SUV by a two men pretending to be police officers, according to the Queens, N.Y., District Attorney's Office. From there, authorities said, he was taken to a nearby warehouse where he was tortured with beatings and acid, all in an effort to secure $3 million in ransom from his family in Ecuador. "This is a terrifying story of a businessman allegedly being forcibly abducted off the streets of Queens County in broad daylight and being beaten and held against his will for more than a month while his alleged kidnappers demanded $3 million from relatives in Ecuador for his safe return," Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said in the prepared statement. The kidnappers, "a group of masked males, burned his hand with acid, threatened to cut off his fingers and kill him, and punched him in the face and body causing him to lose teeth and suffer multiple bruises," prosecutors said in a prepared statement. "In many respects, this thing was like a James Bond movie. He was tied to a chair, duct-taped, ropes put around his wrists, a hood put over his head," Brown told ABC News affiliate WABC-TV. After 32 days in captivity, Portugal, 52, was rescued on Monday when police officers, disguised as building inspectors, raided the building. They found Portugal bound with cloth and duct tape. "The outstanding work by detectives in the case may well have saved the victim's life," New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement. Three men were arrested and have been identified as Christian Acuna, 35, Dennis Alves, 32, and Eduardo Moncayo, 38. All three men are charged with two counts of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 25 years to life in prison. The men have been arraigned, but had not yet obtained lawyers or entered pleas, sources said. It was not immediately clear why Portugal was a target for the kidnappers. Authorities said his family in Ecuador owned property, but were not exceptionally wealthy. Police were investigating several possible motives, including a "suspected narcotics link," according to sources. Investigators told ABC News the victim was known to carry large amounts of cash on him and drove an expensive car, potentially making him a target for abduction. Portugal's family would not respond to requests for comment. Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
NASA GOES Project(WASHINGTON) -- (LONDON) -- Get ready for an “extremely active” active Atlantic hurricane season, government forecasters said Thursday.Between now and the end of the Atlantic hurricane season (Nov. 30) the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration predicts 13 to 20 named storms, of which seven to 11 could become hurricanes. Three to six of those hurricanes could be major, with winds 111 mph or greater.Three climate factors are coming together to produce an “active” or “extremely active” hurricane season, NOAA forecasters said Thursday. Ongoing climate patterns off the coast of Africa have spawned a period of high hurricane activity since 1995. Water temperatures are warmer than average in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean are absent this season; those tend to keep hurricanes from forming.The 2013 prediction follows an especially active 2012 Atlantic season, which produced 19 named storms. (The average is 12, according to NOAA.) Of those storms, 10 became hurricanes and two became “major” hurricanes packing wind speeds 111 miles an hour or greater. Two tropical storms fired up in May, even before the official start of the 2012 season: Alberto and Beryl. The deadliest 2012 storm by far was Sandy, which killed at least 147 people as it raked its way across the Caribbean to the Eastern Seaboard.In the U.S., Sandy caused approximately $50 billion in damage.On Monday, NOAA predicted a below-normal hurricane season for the Central Pacific Basin.National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 26 through June 1.Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
NASA GOES Project(WASHINGTON) -- Get ready for an active Atlantic hurricane season, government forecasters said Thursday.Between now and the end of the season, November 30, the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration predicts 13 to 20 named storms, of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes. Three to six of those hurricanes could be major, with winds up to 111 mph or greater.The 2013 prediction follows an especially active 2012 Atlantic season, which produced 19 named storms. Of those storms, 10 became hurricanes and two became “major” hurricanes packing wind speeds 111 miles an hour or greater. The average for any season is 12, according to NOAA. Two tropical storms fired up in May, even before the official start of the 2012 season: Alberto and Beryl. The deadliest 2012 storm by far was Sandy, which killed at least 147 people as it raked its way across the Caribbean to the Eastern Seaboard. In the U.S., Sandy caused approximately $50 billion in damage.National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 26 through June 1.Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
ABC News(PHOENIX) -- The jury in the Jodi Arias murder trial began its third day of deliberations Thursday on whether to sentence Arias to death, raising the possibility that prosecutors may retry the penalty phase of the case if the jury is deadlocked. Under state law in a capital case if the jury can't reach a unanimous decision, the Maricopa County, Ariz., District Attorney's office will have to weigh whether to spend time and resources to find a new jury, schedule new court dates, and re-present its evidence to try and reach a death sentence, which could take months, according to Jerry Cobb, spokesperson for the prosecutor's office. Arias, 32, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in a gruesome attack in 2008. Prosecutor Juan Martinez has argued that because the murder was especially cruel, involving 27 stab wounds, a slit throat, and a gunshot wound to Alexander's head, Arias deserves the death penalty. But the jury has not yet returned a verdict on whether they agree. On Wednesday, the jury stopped deliberations and sent Judge Sherry Stephens a note about their indecision. She responded by sending them back to the jury room to continue deliberating, with instructions on how to ask questions of her or attorneys if they felt they could not come to an agreement. If the jury cannot agree, a hung jury will be declared. Martinez and the Maricopa County Prosecutor Office will then decide whether to find a new jury and present the death penalty phase of the trial to them, Cobb said. If they decide not to redo the death penalty phase, Arias will be sentenced to life in prison, either with or without the possibility of parole, depending on Stephens' ruling. The current jury has sat through nearly five months of testimony in the case. Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- A Georgia woman said she is thankful to be alive after a 20-foot section of a 747 cargo plane’s wing fell off before part of it came crashing into her home.Pamela Ware was in her Clayton County, Ga., home Sunday afternoon when she heard a boom from above.
The boom Ware heard was a part of the wing of a Boeing 747 cargo plane, operated by China Airlines flight 5254, flying to Atlanta from Anchorage, Alaska. As the plane approached Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Runway 27L at about 2 p.m. Sunday, a piece of its right wing tore off, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.
Part of the ripped debris landed on top of Ware’s house, while another chunk of the plane’s wing landed a few miles away, in the parking lot of a Walmart. The plane’s debris punctured two holes in Ware’s roof before landing in her yard.
Local authorities found several parts of the plane in a community under the approach path. Other aircraft waiting to depart on Runway 27R also reported seeing parts fall off of the aircraft.
The flight landed safely.Federal officials are investigating what caused the plane’s wing to break.Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Photodisc(SALT LAKE CITY) -- The Utah woman who made headlines for forcing her stepdaughter to wear secondhand clothes as a punishment for bullying says she did it to teach the girl empathy.
“She needed to know how inappropriate she was behaving,” Ally Olsen told ABC’s Good Morning America special correspondent Cameron Mathison.
Olsen devised the unique punishment after being told by the school where her stepdaughter, 11-year-old Kaylee Lindstrom, is a fourth-grader that Kaylee had been teasing a fellow student about her clothes.
“She said, ‘You’re ugly, you dress sleazy, you’re mean,’” Olsen said of Kaylee’s bullying.
Instead of giving Kaylee a lecture, Olsen took her clothes shopping. Their shopping destination, however, was not a mall but a thrift store, where Olsen had Kaylee select the ugliest clothes she could find.
“She would pick out stuff and say, ‘Mom, this is the ugliest thing I have ever seen,’ and I would say, ‘Oh yeah, put that in the cart,’” Olsen said.
For the next two days, to Kaylee’s surprise, Olsen and Kaylee’s dad made the girl wear the clothes she had picked out to school.
“Terrible” is how Kaylee described the bullying she herself received as a result.
“I [was] like, why would they do that to me,” she said of her classmates’ taunts. “I’m still a normal person. It doesn’t matter what you wear.”
Kaylee told Mathison she appreciates the lesson learned. She also now describes her relationship with the girl she bullied as “sisters.”
Olsen and Kaylee’s dad, Mark Lindstrom, say they wanted to put Kaylee in her friend’s shoes, literally.
“We really think if you felt how this little girl feels, you might have a little empathy for her,” Olsen said. “She learned exactly what we wanted her to learn. We couldn’t be happier.”
“For us, we really feel like this was the best idea and the best solution for Kaylee to be the best person she could be,” said Lindstrom.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio