Listen to Talk of the Town with Bruce Newbury weekday mornings from 9:00 till noon           Have a swingin' good time, Sundays from 10-11 on Sunday Swing Time with Bobb Angel           Frank Prosnitz. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on, The Open Forum           Listen to the Open Forum weekdays 12 to 1           Tap your foot with The Irish Hours. Sunday mornings at 8          
National News
Subscribe To This Feed

Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images, FILE(LOS ANGELES) -- Hundreds of faculty members at the University of Southern California have backed a motion for the school's president to resign over how he handled sexual-abuse allegations levied against a former campus doctor.

The letter, obtained by ABC Los Angeles station KABC on Tuesday, said USC President C.L. Max Nikias should step down because he mishandled complaints against a former campus gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.

Two-hundred faculty members across 14 USC schools had signed the letter as of Tuesday evening, claiming Nikias lacked the "moral authority" to lead the university's investigation into the matter, according to KABC.

"President Nikias' actions and omissions amount to a breach of trust," the letter said. "He has lost all moral authority to lead the university, and in addition, to lead the investigation of institutional failures that allowed this misconduct to persist over several decades."

The letter came in the wake of lawsuits filed against the school and Tyndall by current and former students who've accused the doctor of molesting patients for several decades. At least six women have sued the university alleging misconduct.

One civil lawsuit claimed USC ignored complaints that Tyndall allegedly made crude remarks, took inappropriate photographs and groped patients to "satisfy his own prurient desires."

Tyndall, who worked at a USC student health clinic for 30 years, denied wrongdoing in interviews with the Los Angeles Times.

USC Board of trustees Chairman John Mork said the university's executive committee planned to support Nikias.

"We strongly support President Nikias’ implementation of a thorough and comprehensive action plan that addresses these issues and enables USC to continue exemplifying our Trojan Family values as we move forward," Mork said in a statement Tuesday. "We have zero tolerance for this conduct and will ensure that people are held accountable for actions that threaten the university student body and that do not reflect our culture of respect, care, and ethic."

Nikias also issued a lengthy statement on the school's website laying out its action plan at the board’s request.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman in outer space, fell in love with science at an early age. Decades later, she's encouraging girls of all ages and backgrounds to engage in STEM education and is shedding insight on how to overcome obstacles.

Her path to making history wasn't an easy one, but her love of science helped fuel her success.

As a young girl in Chicago, she knew two things for sure: that she wanted to be an astronaut and that there were no black female astronauts.

"I grew up in the 1960s, and the United States didn’t have women astronauts," Jemison told ABC News. "There were no women of color in the astronaut program."

She remembers looking up at the stars in wonder, which pushed her unwavering interest in science.

She also said she remembers feeling privileged to have teachers and family members who believed in her dreams.

As the youngest child, her days were filled by spending time in libraries studying science and astronomy.

"I was lucky enough to have teachers who taught me about Daniel Hale Williams and that Elijah McCoy built the cotton gin -- a black person -- I remember reading in books about the woman who did the original work on DNA, crystallography," she said.

She would carry her childhood dream of being an astronaut with her as she pursued higher education, earning a bachelor's from Stanford University in 1977 and a doctorate in medicine from Cornell University in 1981.

After serving as a Peace Corps medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia, she made the decision to apply for the opportunity she'd always dreamed of: a spot in the astronaut program.

Not much had changed in regards to the program's diversity. There were still no black woman.

In 1987, Jemison was one of 15 selected for the prestigious NASA program. And the first black woman chosen, five years later, became the first to reach outer space.

Jemison encountered resistance and obstacles along the way but said she always remained true to her dreams and remained confident

"Even though folks might doubt me, I didn't doubt myself," she explained.

Her advice to younger girls today? Don't be fazed by those who try to limit your dreams.

"People can put obstacles in front of you, and you have a choice," she said. "You can sit there and try to make them change or you can go around it."

After leaving the astronaut corps in 1993, she used her dynamic background and experience as an engineer, physician and astronaut to help educate, inspire and reach back into the community. Jemison is now collaborating with Bayer Crop Science on "Science Matters," a campaign aimed at encouraging kids of different ages and backgrounds to learn about agricultural science.

There have been significant challenges in bringing STEM education to underserved communities and communities of color, Jemison said.

"The obstacles to achievements are usually not the kids -- it's the parents, it's the adults, it's the society around them,” she added.

Jemison said she believes it's important for others to know minorities have always been woven into the fabric of the science community, even if their accomplishments aren’t widely noted, adding that exposure, expectation and experience are key to changing the narrative.

"We have been in science all along, even when people didn't want us involved," she said. "I want folks to understand that they have the right to be involved. They don't have to ask."



Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Mario Tama/Getty Images(PUNA, Hawaii) -- The Puna Geothermal Venture in Hawaii is secure, and if lava did encroach on it the danger of a toxic gas release is "very low," authorities said.

Hawaii Electric Light officials also confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday that even if lava destroyed the power plant, there's no danger of a blackout because it was taken offline after Kilauea began erupting on May 3.

Older, diesel-powered plants have been brought online to provide electricity, Jim Kelly, a spokesman for HEL, told ABC News.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis said "the well field is as safe as we can get the well field."

"The probability of anything happening if the lava enters the well field is very, very low," he added. The public "should feel pretty comfortable that there should be no untoward events from Puna Geothermal Venture. Assuming that the lava doesn't change its pattern or its flow. Each time it changes we have to re-evaluate and look at other issues."

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

WSYR(CAMILLUS, N.Y.) -- A 30-year-old man court-ordered to vacate his parents' home on Tuesday said he should be given more time to leave because of how much his parents "harassed" him about moving out.

Michael Rotondo, of Camillus, New York, had been living rent-free in his parents' Syracuse-area home for eight years when a State Supreme Court judge ruled on Tuesday in his parents’ favor, ordering him to move out.

Rotondo, who plans to appeal the decision, said he stopped speaking to his parents when they "alluded" to wanting him to leave the house in October, just one month after he lost custody and visitation rights of his son.

"I'm not bothering them by living here," Michael Rotondo said in an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America." "It's little to no cost to them, and considering how that they've harassed me, I think it's the least that they should be required to do, which is just let me hang here a bit longer and use their hot water and electricity."

By the end of October, Michael Rotondo said his parents were demanding he get a full-time job, health insurance and sessions with a therapist, but he said he "didn't need any of those things."

"My parents alluded to the fact that they no longer wanted me living in the house, and I was devastated from the loss, and not seeing my son anymore," Rotondo said. "After that, I was like, 'I’m done with you guys.'"

Mark and Christina Rotondo said they gave their son multiple notices to vacate and even offered him money to help him find a place of his own.

Michael Rotondo admitted that he accepted the money, but used it for "other things."

"I took it but with consideration for my plans, and how my finances interacted with those plans, I did use the money for other things, but I don’t regret that," he said. "I would have preferred to have kept the money and given it back to them ... but I had to use it, and that's just how it is."

He also accused his parents of trying to "stir something up" to support their court case against him.

"Me and my father recently tried to occupy the same space at the same time ... so I said 'excuse me,' and he said, 'I will not excuse you, Michael,’” he said "He's just trying to stir something up so that he could get me to say something. It's my overwhelming belief that he’s trying to make it so that he could try and call the police or something to support his case."

Michael Rotondo had asked for six months to vacate, but the judge disagreed.

He said he was shocked by the ruling and that he couldn't believe the judge would "make it so that these people can just throw me out instead of letting me stay here."

Michael Rotondo also addressed critics, including some in his own neighborhood, who claim he wants to live rent-free forever.

"I don't like living here at all," he said. "My parents and myself are like two parties that don’t speak the same language."

"It's a very serious thing to me to get out, but I have rights, and that's really what it boils down to. I just want a little more time to get out of here."



Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Jose Jimenez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sunday marked eight months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and about 14,500 people there still don't have electricity.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said that number represents less than 1 percent of energy customers with access to power.

PREPA set a goal of providing power to 100 percent of customers before May 31.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which had been restoring access to the grid, handed those duties back to PREPA on Friday.

Hurricane season starts in 10 days.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(PARAMUS) -- The driver of the school bus involved in a deadly highway crash in New Jersey last week had a lengthy history of license suspensions and moving violations, according to a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission spokesperson.

The driver, identified as 77-year-old Hudy Muldrow Sr., has a valid driver's license that's not currently suspended. He has no active points and has the appropriate commercial license to drive a school bus.

However, the spokesperson for the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission told ABC-owned station WABC-TV Tuesday that since getting his driver's license in 1975, Muldrow had a total of 14 suspensions, eight speeding tickets, a careless driving ticket and a ticket for an improper turn in 2010. He began driving school buses in 2013

The license was most recently suspended in December 2017 for parking violations in Jersey City. His license was restored in January.

The suspensions also included two in January 2012 -- one for unpaid parking tickets and one for being an uninsured driver, either having no insurance or a canceled registration.

Seven of the eight speeding tickets were for two points, which means he was driving 14 mph over the speed limit or less, the spokesperson said. The eighth speeding ticket occurred in 1989 and was for four points -- driving 15-29 mph over the limit.

His most recent speeding violation occurred in 2001.

Muldrow's other violations included a December 2010 improper lane change, for improper operation on a highway with marked lanes in North Bergen, a March 2009 careless-driving offense in Fair Lawn, and a January 1977 violation for an improper turn.

At least one incident involved a crash, but Muldrow's role in the crash was unclear, according to the spokesperson.

Muldrow's son, Hudy Muldrow Jr., told NJ.com that his father was OK and was a good driver.

"That's the truth," he said.

When Hudy Muldrow Jr. was asked about his father's driving violations, he said: "I don't know anything about that. I have nothing else to say."

On Thursday, a student and a teacher from East Brook Middle School in Paramus, New Jersey, were killed when the bus driven by Hudy Muldrow Sr. collided with a dump truck and slammed off a New Jersey highway, authorities said. The bus was filled with fifth-graders.

Authorities were investigating whether the school bus driver had made an illegal U-turn before the deadly crash, officials told ABC News.

East Brook Middle School identified the victims as Miranda Vargas and Jennifer Williamson, a teacher, in a post on its Facebook page.

Miranda, 10, was a fifth-grader and Williamson had taught at the school for 20 years, according to WABC-TV.

Photos from the scene showed the bus on its side in the median of Route 80 near Mount Olive Township, about 50 miles west of New York City.

David Fried, an attorney representing the Miranda Vargas's family, said on Tuesday that he had filed a notice of claim against Paramus and the Paramus School Board.

Hudy Muldrow Sr.'s "driving record raises a lot of questions and potential areas we have to explore. ... As well as the negligence in allowing him to drive children," Fried said.

No charges have been filed, and the case is still under active investigation, authorities told ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Carnival Cruise Lines(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- A Chinese man with stage 4 cancer and his wife were detained on Monday after the Carnival cruise they were on docked at a port in Florida, according to the couple's family.

Yuanjun Cui and Huan Wang came to the U.S. in December on a multiple entry travel visa valid for 10 years, their son-in-law, Joseph McDevitt, told ABC News.

After Cui had his stomach removed and endured up to eight rounds of chemotherapy, McDevitt and his wife had invited her parents to come stay with them in the U.S. so the dying grandfather could get to know his grandchildren during his final months, McDevitt said.

The family, who are from the Ozarks region of Missouri, had an "awesome" time on their cruise aboard the Carnival Elation, which departed Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday and returned on Monday after traveling to the Bahamas, McDevitt said.

But, in hindsight, McDevitt realized there were some red flags, he said.

When they first got on the boat, there was an "issue" with the family's paperwork, but they were finally allowed to board after about an hour, with the attendant ensuring them that "if there were any problems, they would fix them en route," McDevitt said.

Then, during the trip, McDevitt was called up to the front desks a total of four times to show cruise personnel their paperwork, he said, adding that Carnival employees "knew something" was wrong.

"They should have never let us on the boat," McDevitt said. "I would have rather lost my money on a cruise than my family."

Once the cruise docked in Jacksonville on Monday, the family was the first off the boat after they were deemed "persons of interest," McDevitt said.

They brought the family to the front, fingerprinted his wife's parents, separated the family, and threatened to arrest them, he said.

McDevitt's children, ages 3 and 4, remained with his wife, while he and his wife's parents were placed in separate rooms. McDevitt then requested to be released because he "was being detained for no reason," and called an attorney once he got out.

"Eventually, my wife was released, and my kids, and we never saw her parents again," he said.

Since then, the family has been holed up in a Florida hotel room for two days as they try to figure out what happened to his wife's parents, McDevitt said. They have had no indication of what happened to them since they last saw them on Monday, he said.

McDevitt, a U.S. citizen, is a business owner and active duty member of the Army National Guard, ABC affiliate station WJXX in Jacksonville reported. His wife gained citizenship through marriage.

His wife's parents did not have any money or keys to their home in China when they were detained, McDevitt told WJXX.

The family's immigration attorney, Susan Pai, described the couple's detention as "illegal" in a letter sent to federal officials, according to WJXX. Pai said that the couple "did not voluntarily or knowingly withdraw their application for admission under their ten-year B1/B2 visas" and said they were forced to sign a paper with contents unknown to them because they only understand Chinese, WJXX reported.

Pai hypothesized that the recent green card applications filed by Wang and Cui were invalidated when they left the country on the cruise, according to WJXX. But the valid travel visa should have guaranteed the couple's return, she told the station.

Officials told McDevitt that Carnival would pay for his in-laws' plane ticket back to China, according to WJXX. Both Cui and Wang are in their 60s, WJXX reported.

A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.

In a statement, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Control said the agency "welcomes more than a million passengers arriving in the United States every day," and that border patrol officers are "charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws" but also enforcing more than 400 laws from 40 other agencies.

"Under U.S. immigration law [Section 291 of the INA [8 USC 1361] applicants for admission bear the burden of proof to establish that they are clearly eligible to enter the United States," the statement read. "In order to demonstrate that they are admissible, the applicant must overcome ALL grounds of inadmissibility."

The statement did not comment specifically on the couple's case.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

moodboard/Thinkstock(LAUREL, Mississippi) -- Two Mississippi police officers could be facing additional charges after they were terminated by the Laurel Police Department (LPD) for allegedly beating 36-year-old James Barnett last week.

Barnett was pursued by officers after reaching a vehicle checkpoint and turning around in Jasper County. Following a short chase, Barnett was pulled over and the officers approached his car with their guns drawn, according to Barnett.

Police told Barnett to get down on the ground and when he did, they began kicking him, Barnett said to ABC News.

Barnett also claimed that he never fought back.

The police then transported him to the South Central Regional Medical Center, where he was beaten more, Barnett claimed.

The police charged him with five misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license.

Barnett posted pictures of his alleged abuse on his Facebook page last week.

“I’ve never been so afraid in my life,” Barnett wrote in the Facebook post. “I will not let this go, I don’t [want] this to happen to anyone else. There is no justice in what they did to me!! But I will get JUSTICE!!"

The supervisor on duty realized that there was a problem with the arrest that occurred, according to the Laurel Police Department. The department's Internal Affairs (IA) began investigating hours after the incident occurred and the next day the officers, who were not named, were fired.

The police department has been in contact with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations (MBI) on the possibility of pressing additional charges against the involved officers.

“The Officers and Administration of LPD take these types of allegations very seriously,” the Laurel Police Department said in a statement to ABC News. “It should be noted that the IA was initiated only hours after the incident occurred before any media attention, social media posts or even a formal complaint from the individual involved.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(GREENSBORO, North Carolina) -- The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a 50-year-old man who was reported missing from a Carnival cruise ship on Tuesday.

Greensboro, North Carolina, resident Brian Lamonds was reported missing around 10 a.m. after he reportedly went overboard from the Carnival Paradise, the Coast Guard said in a press release.

Helicopter crews from Clearwater, Miami and Key West were circling an area about 85 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida, according to the release.

Further details were not immediately available.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Tisdale Family(SANTA FE, Texas) -- Cynthia Tisdale, an art room teacher's aide and loving wife and mother, was among the 10 students and staff gunned down inside Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday. As her loved ones mourn the shocking loss, her high-profile death has provided one blessing for the family.

Tisdale's husband, William Tisdale, has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a fatal lung disease, according to their son, William Recie Tisdale, who goes by Recie.

On March 29, the family started a GoFundMe page to raise money for stem cell treatment. They set an initial goal of $13,000, but the money was only trickling in. Prior to the Santa Fe shooting, the campaign had raised $1,215, GoFundMe spokesperson Kate Cichy told ABC News.

Now, in the days since Cynthia Tisdale's highly publicized death, the GoFundMe page has raised over $112,000, with donations from all 50 states and 33 countries, Cichy said.

"We have been blessed," Recie Tisdale told ABC News via text Tuesday. "And I would prefer any more outpouring be given to Santa Fe High School for all the victims."

Recie Tisdale said his father's "GoFundMe page was done prior to this tragedy and we are now blessed we can get stem cell, maybe lung transplant," and still have extra funds to help him with home health care.

"Our mother's main priority was to make sure our father was taken care of and now he gets to have his stem cell treatment and the true blessing is now he has a chance at long-term health care," the Tisdale family wrote on the GoFundMe page Monday night. "We feel all the support and thank you all so much."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Scott Legato/Getty Images(NEW YORK CITY) -- R. Kelly is being sued in New York City by a woman alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease, according to documents obtained by ABC News.

Faith A. Rodgers claims in the lawsuit that she was 19 when she met the singer after a performance in San Antonio in March 2017 and that they spoke regularly by phone for a few months before he arranged for her to meet him in New York. It was there he allegedly "initiated unwanted sexual contact" in a hotel room, the suit claims.

Rodgers also alleges in the suit that Kelly did not tell Rodgers, now 20, that he was infected with herpes, which she contracted.

A representative for Kelly declined to comment when reached by ABC News. He has previously denied her allegations.

Rodgers claims she carried on a year-long relationship with Kelly, 51, during which he "routinely engaged in intimidation, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, during and after sexual contact" in an effort to "humiliate, embarrass, intimate and shame her."

Rodgers also alleges that Kelly recorded their sexual encounters without asking her and often kept her locked in secluded areas, including rooms, studios and motor vehicles, to punish her for violating his "prescribed code of conduct."

Rodgers' lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Earlier this year, an online campaign, #MuteRKelly, was launched by a subsection of the #TimesUp movement called "Women of Color," and listed a number of sexual misconduct allegations made against the singer. He faces no criminal charges.

"R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time's Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals -- and in this case, it is unjust and off-target," his representative told ABC News at the time. "We fully support the rights of women to be empowered to make their own choices. Time's Up has neglected to speak with any of the women who welcome R. Kelly's support, and it has rushed to judgment without the facts. Soon it will become clear Mr. Kelly is the target of a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time."

After a campaign from #MuteRKelly and others to sanction R. Kelly, Spotify announced earlier this month that his music would no longer appear on its playlists, which, The Associated Press reported Monday, has had no impact on his streaming numbers.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Google Maps(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- A New York judge on Tuesday ordered a 30-year-old man to vacate his parents’ home after they took him to court when he refused to leave.

"I want you out of that household," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood told Michael Rotondo, pointing at him with his right index finger, according to ABC Syracuse affiliate WSYR-TV.

Rotondo was displeased, the station reported.

"That's outrageous," he said. He later confirmed that he plans to appeal the decision.

The judge explained that Rotondo was given numerous notices, but Rotondo tried to argue as his own attorney that he needed more time, according to WSYR-TV.

"I don't see why we can't just wait a little bit for me to leave the house," he said to the judge.

After the judge ruled in Rotondo's parents' favor, he approached the judge's bench to ask for one last consideration.

But Greenwood told him, "Sir, I've already ruled."

Rotondo told WSYR-TV after Greenwood's ruling that he plans to get some things from the Camillus, New York, home, adding that he wasn’t sure where he would stay now.

The judge also asked the state's protective services to check on the well-being of Michael Rotondo's parents, Christina and Mark Rotondo, according to WSYR-TV.

Their son moved back into the home eight years ago after losing a job, he told WSYR-TV, adding that he and his parents aren't on speaking terms. He said he now runs a “website business.”

The parents declined to comment after the judge’s ruling. Attempts to reach the parents and their attorney were unsuccessful.

They took their son to court after several failed attempts to get him out, including a cash offer of $1,100 to move his belongings and get his Volkswagen Passat off their driveway, court documents obtained by ABC News show.

Outside court, Michael Rotondo said he took the money, but didn't go on a search for a place to live, WSYR-TV reported.

"I spent it on expenses," he said.

The parents penned several letters to him going back to February, all asking him to leave the home they say they’ve owned since 1975, according to a civil petition they filed in Odondaga County Court. But Michael Rotondo wouldn't budge.

In court, Michael Rotondo asked the judge for six months, then, after the judge disagreed with his interpretation of the case, he said he could leave sooner.

"I don't presently expect to be there three months from now," he told the judge.

Michael Rotondo said that he's "not a burden to them in the home" and the parents "don't provide laundry or food."

But the judge didn't appear convinced, at one point bringing Michael Rotondo and the parents' attorney to his bench to consider mediation.

The parent's attorney told the judge that neither Mark nor Christina Rotondo have any "obligation to provide support" to their 30-year-old son and that they are considering becoming "empty nesters" and want the option "to sell their large house and move to smaller quarters that suits their needs."

The letters included in the petition illustrate their rising frustration.

Michael Rotondo attempted to answer the claims and stated in a motion to dismiss that "he is a family member, who cannot be evicted" and cited 2006 legal case cited the 2006 case of Kosa v. Legg, placing the blame on his parents for violating law by forcing him out of their home without enough notice.

Michael Rotondo claims he hasn't "made life difficult" for his parents and that there was never any expectation on him to "contribute to household expenses" or do chores or maintain the home, the motion states.

The parents' letters to him paint a different picture.

On Feb. 2, his parents wrote him four sentences demanding "that you must leave this house immediately" and giving him two weeks "to vacate."

"You will not be allowed to return," the letter reads. "We will take whatever actions are necessary to enforce this action."

On Feb, 13, three days shy of the 14 days they promised, the parents wrote Michael Rotondo informing him that they retained an attorney.

They gave their son 30 days "to vacate the premises" and threatened a "legal procedure," if he didn't abide by the letter, the petition reads. They also warn him to refrain from "threatening or harassing action" that he might consider taking.

Then they offer Michael Rotondo the cash.

"Here is $1,100 from us to you so you can find a place to stay," they wrote in a Feb. 18 letter, included in the petition.

It came with "advice" that he start organizing his belongings and hawk the rest.

"Sell other things you have that have any significant value, (eg. stereo, some tools etc.)," the letter in the petition reads.

This applied to weapons too.

"This is especially true for any weapons you may have," the letter adds. "You need the money and will have no place for the stuff."

The letter also advises Michael Rotondo not only move out but get a job.

"There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you," they write in the letter. "Get one -- you have to work!"

More letters in the petition were sent in March. Each demands Michael leave and get his car fixed and off the parents' property.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Scott Olson/Getty Images(SANTA FE, Texas) -- Speaking to ABC News, 15-year-old Courtney Marshall clutched her cellphone, watching videos of her art classmates just a few weeks ago laughing and joking and primping for the camera.

Now, half of them are dead or recovering from gunshot wounds, Courtney included, after Friday's mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas.

"We couldn’t get the back door open and we tried to break through the glass windows in the back of the class but couldn’t," she told ABC News.

Courtney's best friend, Christian Garcia, "grabbed me and my teacher and got us into the closet," she said. "[The gunman] just shot into the closet. I saw my teacher just die in front of me and I just saw my best friend die in front of me.”

She said the suspected gunman, 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, looked her right in the eye and kept firing.

In the frenzy, Courtney managed to call her mother, who told her to run. As her teacher and friends died around her, Courtney said she bolted for the door while the gunman reloaded.

“When I saw the door open and he was reloading, I just ran. I fell down outside and another boy came and helped me up and we just ran and ran," she said. "He was just firing at us. I didn’t even know that I had been hit until I reached my uncle’s truck.”

Ten people were killed and 13 others wounded in the two art rooms.

Those remaining art students are in a group chat trying to figure out how to handle the carnage they saw, Courtney said.

She said they want to return to the art rooms for closure on Wednesday.

Courtney said she is speaking out so her friend Christian's parents know he saved her life and that he tried to save their teacher’s life too by pulling them into the closet.

"Christian saved my life -- he’s a hero," she said.

Courtney's mother, Candy Marshall, said she doesn’t know what the answer is to the school violence, but she knows she'll never forget her daughter's phone call and the line going dead.

When Courtney had reached the hallway, her call to her mother dropped, leaving Marshall in an agonizing wait to know if Courtney made it out of school alive.

“It’s a call I will never forget," Marshall said. "All I can do is think about those parents whose kids didn’t make it out.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli finally pays for his fraud, the federal government argues its coffers should be filled first.

Shkreli, who was convicted of securities fraud and is serving a seven-year prison sentence, owes the IRS more than $1.6 million, according to a new court filing.

“Martin Shkreli has failed, neglected, or refused to pay in full the liability for the income tax year 2015,” government tax attorney Stephanie Chernoff said in the court filing.

The feds asked a judge to determine whether Shkreli should pay that debt before others. Last month the commissioner of Taxation and Finance in New York said Shkreli should first repay his state tax lien of $480,000, “an interest superior to that of the United States of America,” the state attorney general argued.

The state said its tax lien dates to January 2017, well before Shkreli was ordered in March to forfeit more than $7 million in assets to satisfy his securities fraud conviction.

The federal government said its tax lien is even older.

“The long-established priority rule with respect to federal tax liens is that ‘the first in time is the first in right,’” Chernoff said. “The federal tax lien has priority over the commissioner's liens.”

If Shkreli cannot pay, the IRS wants a piece of his other forfeited assets, including an E-Trade brokerage account, a Picasso work and the rare Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Galveston County Sheriff's Office(NEW YORK) -- Some school shooters act out and get in trouble with either school officials or police before making the deadly decision to open fire.

For others, the shooting may be their first significant instance of violence.

By all public accounts so far, Dimitrios Pagourtzis fell into the latter category up until the moment he shot and killed 10 people at his high school and injured 13 others last Friday.

Pagourtzis's clean record contrasts with that of Nikolas Cruz, the alleged shooter who killed 17 people in Parkland in February.

According to school records obtained by ABC affiliate WPLG, Cruz was involved with an assault in January 2017, less than a month before the shooting. On the same day as the assault, he was suspended for one day and a threat assessment was ordered for him. He had been suspended for two days one month earlier. It is unclear what the result of the threat assessment was or whether one was even conducted.

In spite of an apparent lack of disciplinary issues with Pagourtzis, that doesn't mean there were no warning signs, experts say.

Scanning social media

Steve Gomez, a former FBI special agent in charge and current ABC News consultant, pointed to a T-shirt bearing the words "Born to Kill" that the teen posted on a social media account less than a month before the shooting.

"Threatening people at school, talking about violence, sharing social media posts showing guns, knives, T-shirts that say, in his case, 'Born to Kill,' are all signs," Gomez said.

Robert Boyce, a recently retired New York Police Department chief of detectives who is now an ABC News consultant, noted that social media can hold a number of clues.

"If someone sees something eerily or out of character on social media, someone needs to step forward. Go tell a teacher," he said.

Boyce was still working for the NYPD immediately after the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, and he said suspected school shooter complaints at schools "went way up" in the aftermath.

Other clues

Pagourtzis had reportedly been wearing a trench coat and heavy boots in the weeks before the shooting -- something that should have raised questions given that temperatures in Texas regularly hit the 80s and 90s in late spring, Boyce said.

Other changes in behavior, such as self-imposed social isolation, could also suggest a turn for the worse, Boyce said.

Sandy Hook Promise, a gun violence prevention group founded by the parents of two victims of the 2012 elementary school shooting, started a "Know the Signs" program that teaches students, parents and educators how to recognize red flags on social media and elsewhere before violence unfolds.

The group also notes on its website that "most mass shootings are planned for six months to a year. In almost every documented case, warning signs were given off that were not understood, were not acted upon quickly or was not shared with someone who could help."

Gomez said changes in romantic relationships, especially the ending of a relationship, or an individual "not taking no for an answer" and becoming aggressive are potential warning signs. School administrators need to be notified as well as law enforcement about these red flags, he added.

"What law enforcement has to do is they have to engage with the schools, the school districts, school administrators as well as parents, so they can explain to them the kind of red flags and behavioral indicators of concern that they need to look for with students who may potentially commit such violent attacks," Gomez said.

An extreme step

Another step, which Gomez acknowledges is controversial, is to stop children and teens from having access to guns and gun training.

When asked what he would say to parents today, Gomez responded, "You may think your kid is mature enough [to handle guns] but you don't know when your kid is going to have a bad day and take a gun into school and shoot away their problems just like 10 to 20 other students have done in the last year."

He said that the Santa Fe shooting "is a game changer" because it occurred three months after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

"You would have thought things were done to stop this, prevent this after Parkland but then this happened," he said.



Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Hurricane Warnings

Click here for severe weather information.


SnoCountry

Weather

 


On Facebook