View previously played songs here!           Contact Us Today to Learn About Advertising Opportunities!!!           US102.3 - The Crossroads of Country and Rock          
National News
Subscribe To This Feed

youngvet/iStock(CHICAGO) -- A woman is suing an Illinois sheriff and several of his officers, claiming she was forcibly stripped naked and unlawfully detained in jail for nearly 12 hours.

The alleged incident happened at the LaSalle County Jail on Jan. 20, 2017, after 28-year-old Zandrea Askew was detained early that morning on charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest. The LaSalle County State's Attorney dismissed the charges 18 months later, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday states that Askew, an African American Marine Corps veteran who was honorably discharged in 2015, was "falsely arrested" after passing all field sobriety tests and demonstrating no signs of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Askew, who claims she cooperated with the officers and complied with all their commands, was taken to the jail where she wasn't given an opportunity to post bail and was "forcibly dragged" into a cell, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit claims several officers then slammed Askew to the ground and physically restrained her, causing bodily harm. They "forcibly and maliciously stripped" all of her clothes and undergarments from her body and "violently pulled" her hair, causing further pain and injury, according to the complaint.

"There was no legitimate or necessary law enforcement, safety or penological objective to forcibly stripping [Askew] of her clothing. The only objective of the officers was to punish, harass, humiliate, degrade, and inflict physical and psychological pain," the lawsuit states. "The officers’ conduct in stripping [Askew] of her clothing was intentionally demeaning, dehumanizing, undignified, humiliating, terrifying, embarrassing and degrading."

The LaSalle County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the lawsuit "as per request of our attorneys" and directed any request for information to the LaSalle County State's Attorney Karen Donnelly, who did not immediately respond to ABC News' email Wednesday morning.

The jail where Askew was detained was equipped with video surveillance that recorded the incident, according to the complaint.

"This attack and stripping occurred in the presence and/or with the knowledge of other LaSalle County officers," the complaint states. "None of the officers attempted to stop the vicious attack on [Askew] despite the fact that it occurred over several minutes and [she] was crying out in extreme distress, pain and fear during the attack."

The officers released Askew from custody almost 12 hours after her arrest, according to the lawsuit.

"You cannot strip people and treat them like animals because they defy your authority," Askew's attorney, Terry Ekl, told ABC's Chicago station WLS

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Barron County Sheriff(BARRON, Wis.) -- It's not clear where the $50,000 reward offered in the Jayme Closs kidnapping case will go now that the 13-year-old is home safe, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.

Suspect Jake Patterson, 21, is accused of gunning down Closs' parents in Barron, Wisconsin, on Oct. 15 and fleeing with the 13-year-old to his rural Wisconsin home. Closs managed to escape Thursday after allegedly being held captive there for nearly three months.

Closs' mysterious abduction sparked a massive, months-long investigation involving the FBI, who offered a reward up to $25,000 for information leading to her whereabouts.

The Jennie-O Turkey company, where Closs' parents worked, also offered a $25,000 reward, said Leonard Peace, spokesperson for the FBI in Milwaukee.

No decision has been made on what to do with that combined $50,000 reward, said Fitzgerald, who told ABC News Wednesday the "discussion is ongoing.”

Peace echoed the sheriff, telling ABC News "the reward is still under review."

Closs, lauded by officials for making what they called a brave break for freedom, told police she crawled out from where Patterson allegedly trapped her under his bed when he left the house Thursday.

Closs fled the home and approached a woman walking her dog to plead for help, officials said. The dog walker rushed Closs to a neighbor who called 911.

"Jayme is a hero in this case, no question about it," the sheriff told reporters Friday. "She's the one that helped us break the case."

Patterson, who is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary, has not entered a plea.

He is due to return to court on Feb. 6.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

stocknshares/iStock(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- A Texas police department terminated five officers and suspended two others, without pay, on Tuesday after a suspect died while in custody.

Internal investigators with the Fort Worth Police Department said the officers violated multiple policies last year when they arrested 55-year-old Christopher Lowe, who died in the officers' care after complaining of medical issues, officials said Tuesday.

Lowe, arrested on suspicion of burglary, complained about feeling ill while in handcuffs on July 26, 2018, "but no medical aid was summoned," according to the Fort Worth Police Department. Lowe was found unresponsive in the back of a patrol car and taken to local hospital, where he died.

Department officials identified the terminated officers as T. Stephens, D. Pritzker, C. Golden, H. Fellhauer and M. Miller. The suspended officers, S. Smith and A. Scharf, were suspended 90 days and five days, respectively.

"Any time there is a loss of life during any police contact we ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted," the department said in a statement. "The sanctity of life is the most important principle to the Fort Worth Police Department at all times."

Investigators with the Fort Worth Police Department's Major Case and Internal Affairs units said they found "multiple violations of departmental policy, including failure to protect the rights of persons in police custody," but they did not specify the officers' suspected roles in the man's death.

"The actions taken by the officers involved in this incident discovered during our investigation are not in accordance with the values of the Fort Worth Police Department or the standards that the citizens of Fort Worth have for their police department," the department said.

It said a preliminary update was given to the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office.

Pastors Kyev Tatum and Kenneth Jones Jr., who serve on the Fort Worth Police Chief's Policy Advisory Committee, said the decision showed the department's willingness to hold itself accountable.

"We're not in any way, shape or form being jubilant over officers getting fired," Tatum told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV on Tuesday. "We know there's a criminal justice process that has to be dealt with, and it's our belief that the district attorney has a legal and moral obligation to send these cases before the grand jury."

"And we believe there's enough evidence that these gentlemen should be indicted and should have to face a jury of their peers, and that's not something to revel in," he added.

Both pastors said the department's review and ongoing transparency showed that the situation was taken seriously.

"I think we've always been quick to be negative concerning our police department's lack of transparency when they have not done it right," Jones told WFAA. "All police departments make mistakes. What we want you to do is own up to those mistakes, be transparent about the mistakes and do the right thing."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Lombard Police Department(CHICAGO) -- Authorities are crediting two bystanders with helping to rescue a 96-year-old woman just before a train smashed into her car.

The woman, identified as Antoinette Lazarra of Burr Ridge Illinois, drove her 2006 Lincoln Zephyr onto the tracks after she attempted to make a right turn onto Grace Street in Lombard, a suburb of Chicago, and lost control of the vehicle after 8 p.m. Monday night, the Lombard Police Department said in a statement.

One of the good Samaritans, 19-year-old Stephen Spapperi, was driving northbound on Grace Street when he saw Lazarra lose control and drive east onto the tracks, police said. The other bystander, 24-year-old Justin Mueller, was driving behind Spapperi when the car veered toward danger, according to authorities.

When Lombard police officer Dan Herrera responded to the scene, he saw that the two citizens had left their own vehicles to assist the driver, police said. All three men helped Lazarra out of the sedan and off the tracks.

Shortly after, Metra Train No. 134 collided with the vehicle as it headed westbound, police said, adding that the train had begun to slow after a call was made to halt all train traffic.

The train crashed into the car less than 10 seconds after the woman was pulled out, Chicago ABC station WLS-TV reported.

"We started pulling her out of the car, and that's when you see the train lights turning the corner and we were like, 'Yeah, we gotta get out of here,'" Spapperi told WLS.

Video released by the police department shows the train slamming into the car, pushing it forward for several feet. The vehicle's front end was completely smashed in.

Lazarra had been reported missing by her family Monday morning and appeared disoriented, police said. She was treated by first responders at the scene and was transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove for tests and observation.

Lombard Police Chief Roy Newton praised the bystanders, both Lombard residents, for caring for their neighbors.

"It’s nice to know that we still have people that act when others are in need," Newton said. "I truly believe that they helped save a life this day."

Investigators are looking into how the vehicle became stuck on the tracks, according to WLS. The train was being operated by railroad employees with Union Pacific, which owns the tracks, the local station reported.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- With 3 inches of rain already fallen in the San Francisco Bay Area, a new more powerful storm is approaching the West Coast.

Numerous flood, wind and snow alerts have been issued from California to Colorado.

The powerful storm is in the Pacific on Wednesday morning and getting closer to the West Coast -- landfall should be Wednesday afternoon and into Wednesday night.

Very heavy rain is forecast for parts of California, and the threat for mudslides, rockslides and flooding will increase. Powerful winds will accompany the storm, gusting to as high as 100 mph in the mountains.

Snow accumulation will be measured in feet not inches, with some areas in the Sierra Nevada getting almost 6 feet.

Meanwhile, the first in a series of storms that hit the West Coast earlier this week will reach the Midwest Wednesday night and bring some light snow. It will reach the Northeast by Thursday night and deliver a few inches of snow from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston. At this point, about 1 to 2 inches of snow is possible along Interstate 95 Thursday night, so the Friday morning commute could be slick.

The stronger western storm will move into the Midwest on Friday night into Saturday, bringing snow from Oklahoma to Ohio. Several more inches of snow are possible with this storm.

The storm will move into the Northeast by Saturday night with a mix bag of precipitation in the I-95 corridor. Heavy snow is expected from Ohio into western Pennsylvania and from upstate New York into New England. Several feet of snow is expected there on Sunday.

Behind the storm, the coldest air of the season will move into the Midwest and Deep South. There will be wind chills below zero in the Midwest -- and teens into Dallas.

These arctic wind chills move into the Northeast on Monday and Tuesday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Barron County Sheriff(BARRON, Wisc.) -- The young man accused of abducting a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl, gunning down her parents and holding the child captive had been "a perfectly nice kid," according to his grandfather.

"Nobody had any clues up until this thing happened," Jim Moyer told ABC News Tuesday, days after his 21-year-old grandson, Jake Patterson, was arrested in the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs.

Closs, who was kidnapped from her rural Barron, Wisconsin, home on Oct. 15, was allegedly held captive for nearly three months at Patterson's house until she escaped on Thursday.

Patterson's maternal grandfather described the 21-year-old as a "nice boy, polite."

Patterson was "shy and quiet," Moyer said, and often "backed off from crowds."

“Computer games were more of a priority than social interaction," Moyer noted.

Patterson has not entered a plea and a motive is not clear.

"Nobody will ever know what went on in his mind,” said Moyer,. “I can’t fathom anything in his life that could change him so drastically. It has to be some kind of a twist in the mindset.”

When Patterson's mother called Moyer with the news, he said they were shocked, and hoped it was a case of mistaken identity.

"We are absolutely heartbroken," Moyer said. "It’s wrenching to deal with.”

Patterson, who had no prior criminal record, confessed to police, according to a criminal complaint.

Patterson said he didn't know Closs but targeted her after seeing her board her school bus, and then "put quite a bit of thought into details of how he was going to abduct" her, according to the complaint.

Patterson allegedly gunned down Closs' parents at the home on Oct. 15 and fled with the girl in the trunk of his car before police arrived.

Once Patterson reached his house in Gordon, Wisconsin, he told investigators he created a space under his bed for Closs, and when he'd leave the house, he'd put plastic totes, barbells and free weights around the bed so she couldn't escape, according to the complaint.

Closs told investigators that Patterson "would make her stay under the bed for up to 12 hours at a time with no food, water, or bathroom breaks," according to the complaint.

When Patterson left the house on Thursday, Closs told investigators she pushed the bins and weights away from the bed and crawled out, making her break for freedom, according to the complaint.

Patterson is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary. He is being held on $5 million cash-only bail and is due to return to court on Feb. 6.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

gguy44/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Candice Nesbitt, a furloughed worker and Navy veteran, took a $20,000 pay cut for the security of a federal job and now doesn’t know when she’ll receive her next paycheck.

"This has really dug in deep," she said.

Nesbitt has a special needs grandson she cares for and has gotten help from family friends.

She took issue with Trump’s thoughts on furloughed workers supporting him, saying, "The bank account is looking real slim and I just don't think he's [Trump] facing reality."

Watch the video below for the full segment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) -- As scores of Los Angeles teachers formed picket lines for the second day of a massive strike, school district officials said student attendance plummeted and that the district lost $15 million on Day 1 of the classroom walkout.

The United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) union reported that 30,000 public school teachers signed in at picket lines formed around the city on Monday and that more than 50,000 people -- including 10,000 parents, students and community supporters -- participated in a rain-soaked march from the UTLA headquarters to Los Angeles City Hall.

Union officials said that just as many teachers hit picket lines on Tuesday, for Day 2 of the strike, in the second largest school district in the nation. It's the first teacher strike in Los Angeles in 30 years.

"We are going to win this fight for basic respect for educators and basic respect for our schools," UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl told striking educators Tuesday morning. "Take pride in your teaching. Take pride in being a teacher, take pride in being an educator and take pride in the organizing that you are doing for your rights right now."

The Los Angeles Unified School District reported that student attendance at schools fell on Monday to 141,631 in a district of nearly 600,000 students. District officials said the number of student absences was based on daily attendance records of 1,186 of the district's 1,240 schools.

At a news conference Tuesday morning, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said there were no immediate plans to jump-start negotiations with the teachers' union. Negotiations broke down on Friday when the union rejected the district's latest offer.

Beutner said the district lost about $15 million on Monday, explaining that state funding is based on the number of students attending classes.

"Ninty percent of our funding comes from Sacramento," said Beutner, referring to the state legislature.

 The district hired hundreds of substitutes teachers to keep schools open and cover for those on the picket lines.

"The painful truth is we just don't have enough money to do everything that UTLA is asking Los Angeles Unified to do," Beutner said. "The state and county regulators have told us this repeatedly. An independent expert appointed by the state of California has said exactly the same thing."

The striking educators are asking for a 6.5 percent pay raise, small class sizes and for the district to add about 1,200 support staff positions, including counselors, nurses and librarians.

Beutner said if the district were to give the UTLA everything it wants, it would cost the district an extra $800 million a year.

He said the state-appointed independent fact finder has told the school district that it has resources to invest $30 to $90 million more.

"We haven't found a way to find those dollars. The county and the state and the independent fact finder have said we do not have the dollars," Buetner said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It spanned the Hudson River for 64 years, but on Tuesday, one of the last remnants of the Tappan Zee Bridge came down in just five seconds.

At 10:52 a.m., dynamite charges went off, destroying steel support pillars at each end of the 672-foot section of the bridge. It plummeted down 142 feet in one piece into a giant net set up in the frigid waters below. Traffic on the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge nearby was stopped in both directions during the explosive demolition.

Spectators who had gathered on both sides of the Hudson cheered, but some who had fond memories of driving across the bridge were left with mixed feelings.

"It was kind of sad," one woman who grew up with the bridge told ABC station WABC-TV in New York.

"Excellent," another not-so-sentimental spectator said.

The old Tappan Zee opened on Dec. 14, 1955, and was featured in several movies, including "Unfaithful" in 2012 and "Butterfield 8" in 1960, which starred Elizabeth Taylor. Tuesday's demolition leaves just one piece of the Tappan Zee near the Rockland County side of the river left to be demolished.

The Tappan Zee has been replaced by a new cable-stayed bridge that opened in 2017 and cost $4 billion to build. The new 16,368-foot Cuomo Bridge was named after the longtime politician and father of New York's current governor. Mario Cuomo died in January 2015. The old bridge was named after the Native American Tappan tribe and "zee," the Dutch word for "sea."

Demolition workers had initially planned to dismantle the old section of the Tappan Zee piece by piece to protect Hudson River fish and other wildlife. But workers heard popping noises coming from the section in September and determined it had become unstable.

Officials said explosive charges were set off to bring the section straight down to prevent it from damaging the new span.

"Through extensive engineering analysis, it has been determined that this is the safest method to proceed with lowering the span given its current state," Tappan Zee Constructors, the company demolition the bridge said in a statement.

For some spectators, the bridge's collapse was worth toasting. A local catering hall offered a champagne breakfast so people could watch the demolition, WABC reported.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a slew of new safety reforms for limos and large passenger vehicles, outright banning stretch limos and adding a number of regulatory reforms.

These reforms come three months after a limo crash in upstate New York led to the death of the driver and 19 passengers.

That crash, which took place near the town of Schoharie, was the deadliest transportation crash in the U.S. since 2009.

Cuomo released a statement about the October 2018 crash alongside the new reforms, calling it "a horrific tragedy that shocked this state to its very core."

"We are advancing reforms that will give aggressive new powers that will allow authorities to take dangerous vehicles off the roads without delay, hold unscrupulous businesses accountable and increase public safety in every corner of New York," Cuomo said.

The changes ban "remanufactured limousines," which include stretch limos and stretch SUV-type vehicles, from operating in New York state.

Drivers will have to have a special form of a commercial license that notes they are able to operate vehicles holding eight or more passengers.

The reforms specify penalties for removing out-of-service stickers issued by Department of Transportation inspectors, creates an inspection fee, and allows the DOT and DMV to seize suspended license plates, among other regulatory changes.

Some of the new reforms apply to vehicles beyond just stretch limos, as it prohibits U-turns for larger vehicles on all roads in the state -- without specifying what qualifies as "larger vehicles" -- and gets rid of the seatbelt exemption that had been in place for limos, buses, taxis and school buses.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Courtesy: Noah Domingo Family(IRVINE, Calif.) -- A fraternity at the University of California - Irvine is on interim suspension after one of its youngest members died, officials said.

Noah Domingo, an initiated member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, died at an off-campus home on Saturday, the fraternity's national headquarters said.

The 18-year-old died at about 3:30 a.m. at a private residence in Irvine, the Orange County Coroner's Office told ABC News.

His "cause of death will be determined pending toxicology results after autopsy, which typically takes a few weeks," the coroner's office said.

Domingo, a freshman, wanted to study kinesiology and become an NBA trainer, his father, Dale Domingo, told ABC Los Angeles station KABC.

He had played football and basketball at Crescenta Valley High School, north of Los Angeles, the school said.

The grieving father told KABC it was "devastating" to clear out his son's dorm room.

"First thing I did was grab his pillow and pretty much just cry and weep a little bit," he said.

SAE was placed on interim suspension as the Irvine Police Department investigates and the university's Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct reviews the death, said Edgar Dormitorio, UC Irvine interim vice chancellor of student affairs.

Mike Sophir, the CEO of SAE, said headquarters suspended chapter operations during the review and has told its UC Irvine fraternity members "to fully cooperate with all investigative efforts."

"We are heartbroken by the death of our UCI brother, Noah Domingo,” Sophir said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and we appreciate the support the university and its staff have provided to students in this difficult time.”

Dormitorio said UC Irvine will also "examine the larger context in which this tragedy occurred" and work "with the Greek community to help ensure that they are engaging in behavior and practice that are in alignment with university policies and their own values."

Noah Domingo's funeral will be held Friday in Los Angeles, his high school basketball team said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

liveslow/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Trump administration cannot ask a question about citizenship status in the 2020 census, a federal judge in New York ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman concluded that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had violated the public trust in his decision to include a citizenship question on the next census, calling Ross's decision "arbitrary and capricious."

More than a dozen states, six cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and several immigrant rights advocacy groups claimed in a lawsuit filed in April that asking citizenship status as part of the census is unlawful and could undercount populations, thereby threatening billions in federal funds which relies on accurate population counts.

A separate suit on the same issue was filed by the state of California and is currently being heard in San Francisco. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the issue on Feb. 19.

In his 277-page decision, Furman wrote that such a question would be constitutional, but that Ross had not followed proper procedures when he decided to add it.

"He failed to consider several important aspects of the problem; alternately ignored, cherry-picked, or badly misconstrued the evidence in the record before him; acted irrationally both in light of that evidence and his own stated decisional criteria; and failed to justify significant departures from past policies and practices," Furman wrote.

On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James praised Furrman's decision in a statement.

“Today’s ruling is a win for New Yorkers and Americans across the country who believe in a fair and accurate count of the residents of our nation. The attempts by the Trump Administration to mandate a question about citizenship were not rooted in a desire to strengthen the census process and would only undermine our immigrant communities. Inciting fear in our residents is not only immoral but also ill-conceived," James wrote.

The last time the census asked respondents about their citizenship status was in 1950. Since then, the U.S. Census Bureau and former Bureau officials have opposed periodic efforts to reinstate a citizenship question on a universal basis.

In March, Ross directed the Census Bureau to reinstate the citizenship question on the 2020 census. He said he included it to fulfill a request letter from the U.S. Justice Department, which argued it needed better citizenship data to enforce the Voting Rights Act.

President Donald Trump took credit for this direction shortly after the announcement in an email his campaign sent to supporters: “President Trump has officially mandated that the 2020 United States Census ask people living in America whether or not they are citizens."

But in July, Furman questioned that rationale and ruled that the lawsuit could proceed.

"There is no indication in the record that the Department of Justice and civil rights groups have ever, in the 53 years since the Voting Rights Act was enacted, suggested that citizenship data collected as part of the decennial census would be helpful, let alone necessary, to litigate such claims," Furman wrote in his decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed at the time.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- When a US Airways jet suddenly plunged from the sky and toward the icy Hudson River 10 years ago, Eric Stevenson thought about his mother, his sister, his friends and he wrote them a goodbye note.

Stevenson was one of 153 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 1549 on Jan. 15, 2009, when the North Carolina-bound Airbus A320 struck a flock of geese, its engines erupted into flames and the jet began falling.

Panic ensued and the passengers braced for impact.

"As we were going down, people around me were pulling out their cell phones and trying to call their loved ones ... they were leaving their last messages," Stevenson told ABC News' Good Morning America on Tuesday. "My cellphone was up in the bin overhead. And so, as we were going down, I'm thinking, 'Well, these are the last seconds.'"

In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Amy Robach, Stevenson recalled what he thought would be the last moments of his life.

"I pulled out a business card, and I wrote on the back of the business card," he said, holding up the card. "I wrote to my family -- to my mom and to my sister: 'I love you.' And I knew this [would be] the last thing I would be doing."

"I shoved it into my pocket because I thought if the aircraft exploded ... at least it would be near my body and they knew I was thinking of them as we were going down," he added.

But as the passengers prepared for their last breaths, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles thought of a way to save themselves and everyone aboard by pulling off one of the most mind-blowing emergency landings in U.S. history.

Sullenberger steered the plane into the cold, choppy waters of the Hudson River, near Manhattan. Everyone on board survived and the landing was dubbed the "Miracle on the Hudson."

"Because of when and where this happened -- a time in the world's history, the financial meltdown of '08-'09, when it seemed like everything was going wrong and no one could do anything right -- I think some people had begun to doubt human nature," Sullenberger said. "And then along came this group of strangers who rose to the occasion and made sure that everyone survived and I think at a time when we all needed it, it gave us hope."

Sullenberger, now retired, said the story makes him feel as if he's a part of "living history," and it gives him a greater sense of purpose.

"I think about not only what we did but what everybody else did," Sullenberger, who said he doesn't believe in miracles, told GMA. "All the pieces had to come together. This group of strangers had to rise to the occasion and make sure that they saved every life."

The captain, 67, reunited with the other survivors on Tuesday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the "Miracle on the Hudson," but it's not the first time they've reconnected.

"We have a party in New York -- a reunion party every year," said Barry Leonard, who was flying back home to Charlotte, North Carolina when the plane made the emergency landing. "We've been doing that every single year and we get different number of people that come to it."

"It really helps give us a forum to get together and to cry on each other's shoulder if we need to about things, to help support each other," he added. "It's always been an important event, I think, for all of us."

Leonard said the reunions were special because it gives the passengers and crew members a chance to talk about their shared experiences and the difficulties of dealing with such a traumatic event.

"It gets to be very emotional because people have different experiences," he continued. "And there are dark moments, you know, with most of us that have been through this. There was a lot of PTSD."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

DNY59/iStock(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- The chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is slated to step down later this year, but she plans to settle a controversial debate before she leaves.

Carol Folt said she'll resign at the end of the school year, according to a statement released Monday that also laid out plans to remove the remaining parts of a Confederate monument on campus that many deemed racist.

Protesters toppled "Silent Sam" in August as a part of a demonstration against the century-old statue, but the pedestal remained.

"The presence of the remaining parts of the monument on campus poses a continuing threat both to the personal safety and well-being of our community and to our ability to provide a stable, productive educational environment," Folt said in a statement. "No one learns at their best when they feel unsafe."

Folt, named chancellor in 2013, said a review by an independent panel of safety experts in November laid out a "compelling case for risks to public safety." She said the remaining parts of the monument would be preserved until their future is decided.

"While I recognize that some may not agree with my decision to remove the base and tablets now, I am confident this is the right one for our community -- one that will promote public safety, enable us to begin the healing process and renew our focus on our great mission," Folt said.

Folt's surprise decision to place the pedestal in storage drew angry responses from some university leaders, including the head of the school's board of governors, but others cheered the move.

"This is a good day for the anti-racist activists of this town," Kristen Laverly, a UNC senior, told ABC affiliate WTVD-TV on Monday. "All of these people out here have put their mental, emotional and physical health on the line to be able to achieve what's happened here."

UNC Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith said the board would ultimately have the last word on the monument's fate.

"We are incredibly disappointed at this intentional action. It lacks transparency and it undermines and insults the Board's goal to operate with class and dignity," Smith said in a statement. "We strive to ensure that the appropriate stakeholders are always involved and that we are always working in a healthy and professional manner."

Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statement early Tuesday in support of the Folt's decision.

"I appreciate the Chancellor's actions to keep students and the public safe," Cooper said. "North Carolina is welcoming to all, and our public university should reflect that."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

KTRK-TV(HOUSTON) -- A grand jury on Monday indicted a Houston man accused of chasing a teen and causing a fatal car crash on New Year's Day.

Christopher Lopez, 48, was charged with three felonies after allegedly chasing a 14-year-old driver who egged his car, leading to a deadly collision in northern Houston, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Lopez flashed a gun while chasing a 14-year-old driver, according to the teen, who ran a red light and slammed into 45-year-old Silvia Zavala's Ford F-150 truck, according to police.

Zavala, a mother of two, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lopez was charged with manslaughter, failure to stop and render aid, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He could face up to 20 years in prison.

The teen was charged with murder, authorities said.

Police did not disclose the minor's identity, but witnesses said he'd been throwing eggs at cars with two other teens when Lopez allegedly brandished a semi-automatic handgun and began chasing them, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.

Surveillance video from a nearby business captured the deadly crash, showing the teen as he slammed his tan GMC Acadia into the woman's truck. The force of the crash bent the pickup's frame and sent both cars airborne.

The victim's daughter, Jessica Gaspar, said her mother had been visiting family in Houston and was out running errands at the time.

"She was about to go back. She was about to come home and get her stuff and say bye and she was about to leave. She couldn't say bye," Gaspar told ABC Houston station KTRK-TV earlier this month.

"He did what he did," she added, referring to the teen driver. "He took my mother's life, so he has to pay for what happened."

It was unclear if Lopez had obtained attorney as of early Tuesday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Keyword Search

On Facebook

Music News

US 102.3 Opinion Poll
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.