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iStock/Thinkstock(PARKLAND, FLa.) -- Florida is launching an investigation into the law enforcement response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 that killed 17 students and staff, according to the state's governor's office.

The probe comes at the request of Gov. Rick Scott after the Broward County sheriff said video shows at least one deputy taking up a defensive position outside the building at the Parkland, Florida, school where the massacre occurred, but never going in to engage the gunman.

Scott's announcement was made shortly after the governor met with Rick Swearingen, commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Swearingen's agency said it will "immediately" begin the investigation at the governor's request.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told ABC News that his office has launched an internal investigation into reports that, besides the deputy seen on video, at least three other Broward County sheriff's deputies remained outside the school building during the rampage rather than entering the school.

"If there is no wrongdoing in the part of our deputies, we'll move on," Israel said Friday. "If there is wrongdoing on the part of our deputies, we'll handle it accordingly, as I have for five years as sheriff."

He announced at a news conference on Thursday his decision to suspend Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed resource officer at the school, after reviewing video from the shooting and taking statements from witnesses and Peterson himself, Israel said.

He said the footage showed Peterson was armed and in uniform on campus during the shooting. He said Peterson should have gone in to “address the killer, kill the killer.”

Peterson, who met requirements for retirement, opted to resign after he was told he was being suspended, Israel said.

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David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images(PARKLAND, Fla.) -- Holding hands with their parents and wearing T-shirts reading "MSD Strong," thousands of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stepped foot on campus Sunday for the first time since a teen gunman attacked the school and killed 17 of their classmates and staff members.

As a gate was opened to allow them in, parents hugged their children, some with tears in their eyes and many expressing apprehension about returning to the Parkland, Florida, school they ran for their lives from during the Feb. 14 massacre.

Officials invited all students and parents to return to the school this afternoon for an orientation in which they met with teachers and administrators to discuss plans for resuming classes on Wednesday. Counselors were on hand to help students and parents cope with being back at the scene of the horror.

Media were not allowed inside the school. But cell phone video, shot by a student and obtained by ABC News, shows dozens of students and adults milling about in the school cafeteria.

The building where the shooting occurred, Building 12, will not be reopened. School officials have proposed tearing down the three-story building and turning the space into a memorial park in honor of the victims.

One parent, Howard Krooks, said he is worried about and his 15-year-old son, Noah, going back to school. He said Noah was in the building where the shooting broke out, in a classroom directly across the hall from where 14-year-old Alex Schachter was gunned down.

"I'm sending him back on Wednesday with no progression on gun control, no progression on school safety," the emotional father told ABC News. "So he's going into the same situation that he was on the 14th. Nothing is different. And what choice do we have? What am I going to do, send him to another school? The same thing can happen there."

Noah said being back on campus brought back memories of the horror he and his classmates endured during the Valentine's Day mass shooting -- allegedly carried out by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school.

"It was hard seeing the scene where it happened," Noah told ABC News.

His father, in tears, hugged Noah, saying, "My son is stronger than I am. I am learning so much about how to handle this kind of stuff from my 15-year-old son."

Student Michelle Dittmeier said the orientation and being reunited with her friends helped her find some normalcy in what has been a chaotic two weeks.

"That's definitely what's keeping me, like, OK, and not from breaking down," Michelle told ABC News outside the school. "I have all my friends here with me and it just makes me feel like I'm not alone in this situation."

She added that since the attack, the first thing she does when she's in a public place is to look for where the emergency exits are.

"I've just been looking for emergency exits so I know where to go," she said.

Anticipating going back to school, Michelle said, "I've been apprehensive about the whole thing. I was just here and, like, people I know have died here and it's just hard."

She added, "I just want to feel safe again."

Her father, Michael Dittmeier, said he believed the orientation was the first step in making the children feel safe again.

"I think it's a good show that we're family, we're one," he said.

Student Seth Kline told ABC News he was concerned about the first fire drill the school will eventually conduct after classes resume, recalling how the fire alarms sounded and drew students into the halls just as the gunman opened fire.

"To come back to where everything occurred is just scary," Seth said. "I don't know in the future what I'm going to do during the fire drill... Something is going to have to be done with procedures and stuff like that."

Seth's father, Bill Klein, expressed pride in how his son and his classmates have responded to the tragedy, with many publicly expressing demands for better gun control and school safety.

"The kids have been amazing," Klein said. "But it's good to just get back on campus and try to move on. We support them 100 percent."

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iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- At least one person has died and two others remain buried after an avalanche struck a hiking party in Washington State on Sunday, authorities said.

Clay Myers, an undersheriff for Kittitas County, said its search and rescue team responded to the avalanche, which is about 16 miles west of Cle Elum, and five miles south of I-90.

He said first responders were trying to save survivors of the five-person hiking party. On the county sheriff's Facebook page, Myers posted that one hiker was able to be resuscitated and that two others suffered "minor injuries."

But there are still apparently two more hikers who the undersheriff said "were completely buried."

The conditions on the mountain where the hikers were struck were considered "extremely hazardous," Myers said. The county's avalanche center recommended "no one go into that area due to the conditions."

"So we are pulling in only those who are trained and equipped for these conditions," he said.

Myers said the sheriff's office will provide updates as they become available.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher who sheltered students in her classroom during the Feb. 14 massacre that killed 17 said arming teachers with guns is "not a good idea."

Ashley Kurth, a culinary arts teacher at the high school in Parkland, Florida, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday that she has witnessed and broken up too many fights to support having guns around teenagers.

“These are kids who have raging passions,” the teacher said. “Having something like this in their vicinity is not a good idea.”

Kurth, a lifelong Republican, said she previously opposed legislation restricting gun rights.

But since the Valentine's Day shooting at her school, Kurth said she now believes semi-automatic weapons have no place in civilian hands.

“I don’t understand the need to have that type of weapon,” Kurth said. “For me, it’s the capacity; the rounds he went through in that time is just unreal.”

Kurth drew attention last week when she questioned Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida about proposals to arm teachers during a televised town hall on CNN. Kurth said then that a situation could become confusing if teachers have guns when authorities respond to a school shooting.

David Hogg, a 17-year-old senior at the school who has become a leader of the “Never Again” movement for gun control, was interviewed along with Kurth.

He told Stephanopoulos that he thinks people his age will succeed in changing gun laws.

“We have an entire generation of kids who’ve grown up around mass shootings, and can now vote,” Hogg said.

Hogg also reacted to a prior interview on This Week Sunday with NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch.

“She’s serving the gun manufacturers,” Hogg said. “She’s not serving the members.”

The NRA is “just disgusting,” the teen said. “They act like they don't still own these politicians, but they do.”

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Florida high school shooting that killed 17 students and staff on Feb. 14 is the result of a "dereliction of duty" by the FBI and local police who failed to adequately follow up on tips about the alleged shooter prior to the massacre, a National Rifle Association spokesperson said.

"This all stems from their dereliction of duty, and I know they say now it’s 23 times that they had calls in, in addition to two FBI tips and numerous reports from classmates" about the alleged shooter, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.

"I wish that as much attention were given to the Broward County sheriff and their abdication of duty as trying to blame 5 million innocent, law-abiding gun owners all across the country for this," she said.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced last week that two deputies were placed on restricted duty while the sheriff's office investigates whether they "could have" or "should have" done more to respond to prior reports about the alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, 19.

The sheriff's office received 23 calls related to Cruz or his brother since 2008, Israel said.

Of the 23 calls, investigators believe two of the cases "deserve extra scrutiny" to see if there were a policy violation by the deputies involved, authorities said.

"This is not the fault, nor are 5 million innocent, law-abiding Americans culpable for this. Many of us are parents too," Loesch said. "I want to see as much attention on the Broward County Sheriff, the FBI, the two FBI tips and the numerous calls."

"I’m not a member of the FBI. I’m not a member of law enforcement, but I’m going to tell you, if someone is online using their name saying they’re going to shoot up a school, if they’re banned from school because they’ve taken bullets and knives in their backpack to school, if they’ve been sending messages saying that they’re going to shoot and kill their classmates, that to me sounds like a potential school shooter," she said. "Family and neighbors called the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to report this individual, and they did not follow up. That is the headline."

Loesch said blame for the mass shooting should also not be placed on the type of weapon Cruz allegedly used, a variant of the AR-15.

"That firearm did not walk itself into the school," Loesch said. "An individual who was allowed to go unchecked by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office allowed that firearm to go in the school."


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WPLG-TV(PARKLAND, Fla.) -- Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has slammed Florida state legislator Bill Hager for "disingenuous political grandstanding," after he demanded that Israel resign over his "neglect of duty and incompetence" over the handling of the shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Hager wrote a letter Saturday to Gov. Rick Scott, in which he outlined why Israel should be removed from his post, citing examples of the alleged incompetence.

Supporters of Hager took to the streets of Coral Springs, which is near the high school, carrying signs that read, "Resign Sheriff Israel" and "Democrat Says Resign."

But Israel responded quickly, writing his own letter to Scott, in which he slammed Hager's "reckless" letter, writing that it "was riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip and falsehoods."

According to Hager, Scott has the power to remove Israel through a Florida statute.

Seventeen students and staff members were fatally shot by suspect Nickolas Cruz at the Parkland school on Feb. 14.

"Each day, new details emerge about potential interagency breakdowns and miscommunications," Hager wrote to Scott. "We must utilize all of our resources to ensure that a horrific act such as this never happens again."

Israel in his letter attempted to debunk Hager's allegations. He took issue, for example, with Hager's "false statement" that the school resource officer and three Broward sheriff deputies were "on campus at the time of the attack and chose to take cover themselves rather than stepping up to protect students."

Israel's response? "This statement is patently false," Israel wrote to Scott. "Only one law enforcement officer was ever on the campus -- at any time -- during the attack." Israel did say on Friday, though, that his department is investigating such reported claims.

Israel also took issue with Hager's claim that "this will not be the first time a review of the Broward Sheriff’s Office will be done," citing the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport last year.

"It is patently obvious that Mr. Hager has zero comprehension of law enforcement," Israel wrote to Scott. "After any major critical incident, all law enforcement agencies prepare self-assessments."

Speaking in general terms, Israel wrote to Scott, "And I am equally appalled that Rep. Hager felt a need to engage in disingenuous political grandstanding, perhaps in the hope he will garner some headlines, at the expense of the truth."

Israel added, "I would urge Rep. Hager to publicly apologize for helping to spreading this false gossip and misinformation."

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Missouri State Highway Patrol(KNOBEL, Ky.) -- At least four people were killed in two southern states Saturday as the result of reported tornadoes and heavy rain, officials said.

In Arkansas, the Clay County Sheriff's Department posted to Facebook Saturday night, "Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller regrettably reports one fatality from tonight's storms, Albert Foster of Knobel."

The post continued, "Tonight's storms have resulted in severe damage to several areas of Clay County. Reports of power outages, power poles down, and flooded roads have been reported at this time. Sheriff Miller advises residents if they have any damage to their property to call the Clay County Sheriff's Department so information can be given to the Office of Emergency Management."

In Kentucky, an elderly woman was killed in her home in Logan County, the coroner there confirmed. The Logan County Sheriff’s Department said the woman lived in a one-story home, which was among many that were destroyed.

In Simpson County in Kentucky, a man was also killed when flooding washed away his car.

And early Sunday morning, the Henderson Fire Department in Kentucky posted to Facebook that its dive team recovered a body in a submerged vehicle in a ditch.

And while there were no reported tornadoes in Missouri, an extreme storm system caused widespread damage.

The National Weather Service in Nashville reported that several tornadoes had occurred in eastern Arkansas and western Tennessee.

Twenty-two minutes later, the agency upped the ante, and said it detected "tornadic debris with several storms in west Tennessee."

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iStock/Thinkstock(PARKLAND, Fla.) -- The Broward County Sheriff's Office is investigating reports that three of its deputies remained outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the midst of the Feb. 14 shooting rampage instead of entering the school, Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed to ABC News.

"If there is no wrongdoing in the part of our deputies, we’ll move on," Israel said Friday. "If there is wrongdoing on the part of our deputies, we’ll handle it accordingly, as I have for five years as sheriff."

Israel was responding to reports by CNN and South Florida's Sun-Sentinel newspaper, which cited unnamed police sources within the Coral Springs Police Department, claiming that Coral Springs officers were shocked to arrive at the scene and see the Broward deputies still outside, with their pistols drawn and behind their vehicles. Coral Springs neighbors Parkland, where the shooting rampage that claimed 17 lives occurred.

ABC News has not confirmed those reports, and it is not clear if gunman Nikolas Cruz was inside the school when the Coral Springs officers said they arrived.

But Israel doesn't need to rely on those reports; his office is hearing it directly from his colleagues in Coral Springs, he said.

"This information came to us from Chief [Anthony] Pustizzi of Coral Springs," Israel said. "He relayed it to one of my colonels, my colonel filled me in, we immediately decided that the course of action we’re going to take is meet with the chief and ask for permission to interview his officers. Contingent upon what they say, we will head our investigation in whatever way we need to."

Israel continued, "We will dot every 'I,' cross every 'T.' We'll do it in a meticulous manner."

These reports follow the suspension without pay of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas school resource officer after Israel said video shows him taking up a defensive position during the shooting but never entering the school.

Israel announced Thursday that the decision to suspend Deputy Scot Peterson was made after reviewing video from the shooting and taking statements from witnesses and Peterson himself, Israel said.

On Friday, Israel said, "In the video I saw of Peterson, which caused me to go in the direction I went, I don’t believe you even see a deputy in that part of the picture at all."

Peterson was armed and on campus during the shooting, Israel said. Since he met the requirements for retirement, Peterson opted to resign after he was told he was being suspended, Israel said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) -- One mother made a statement to her local school district by filming herself walking inside of her daughter's high school undetected.

In the wake of last week's deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, Stacey Alderete, whose daughter goes to South San High School in San Antonio, Texas, said she wondered what more could have been done to protect the children.

“You see those kids broken," Alderete told ABC News. "I don’t want to see that happen in our district or anywhere else.”

While dropping her daughter off at school on Tuesday and going to bring paperwork to the school’s office, Alderete decided to dress up like a student, even wearing a backpack, and test the school's security, capturing her journey on video.

There are no officers or security visible in the video. A few students are seen in the hallway midway through her filming.

“We have AMAZING officers but unfortunately not enough and are VERY SHORT HANDED,” Alderete wrote on Facebook, along with the video. “There are no longer officers on the weekend and evening patrol.”

The South San Antonio Independent School District did not respond to multiple requests for comment from ABC News, but told ABC affiliate KSAT-TV that the “safety protocol at our schools requires that all visitors, including parents, first check in at the front desk.”

“Principals are given the discretion to determine which exterior doors must remain locked at all times. Most elementary principals keep all exterior doors locked. Because of the requirement to change classes every hour at the middle and high school, most secondary schools do not lock most exterior doors, but security cameras and police officers constantly monitor exterior doors,” the district said.

According to Alderete, the district is dealing with significant budget concerns and removed officers from various schools.

Up until November 2016, Alderete was a board member for the district and at one time every elementary school and junior high school had at least one officer stationed at each school, but that is no longer the case, according to Alderete.

Alderete claimed to KSAT-TV that the school district wants to scale back on security as part of upcoming budget cuts. The district disputed that characterization.

“Seven million dollars in potential budget reductions were discussed at the last meeting and these reductions impact many departments and areas in the school district. The police department was only one of many areas discussed. These proposed reductions are simply at the discussion level at this time. Final decisions will be made when the budget is adopted in August,” a district spokesperson told KSAT-TV.

According to the district, there are four officers assigned to the high school, two at each middle school, and two for the nine elementary schools, KSAT-TV reported.

Alderete told ABC News that the response to her video has been mixed. Some people have praised it, while others have criticized her for showing people how easy it is to get in the school.

But Alderete said she does not regret posting the video.

“I want our children and kids to be safe and I want our staff to be safe,” Alderete said. “We can’t control what happens in Washington but as parents we have authority and can control what happens here.”

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ABC News(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Kasey Hansen did not grow up with guns around the house, never mind owning one.

By 2012, she was a new teacher and had maybe only fired a gun twice in her entire life. That all changed after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“It broke my heart to think that all the teachers could do was huddle their kids in a corner, stand in front of them and pray that nothing was going to come through that classroom door,” Hansen told ABC News’ “Nightline.”

Today, Hansen, who teaches special education, brings her gun to school where she works in Utah, a state where carrying a concealed firearm is legal with a permit.

“I have different holsters that go on different parts. And so depending on my outfit is where the gun goes,” Hansen said.

Questions about whether teachers should be armed in schools have surfaced on the national debate stage, following the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14.

A beloved football coach and college-bound high school seniors were among the 17 people killed, and more than a dozen others were injured. The suspect, a former student, was arrested and charged with premeditated murder.

Now many of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students have channeled their grief to anger and anger into activism. Protests have sprung up in cities from Florida to Washington, D.C., with many calling on lawmakers to make significant changes to gun laws.

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 42 percent of people surveyed say the Parkland shooting could have been prevented if teachers carried guns.

But 58 percent of those polled said stricter gun laws could have stopped the killings.

In 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) made a statement saying that “gun violence represents a public health crisis which requires a comprehensive public health response and solution.” The AMA also supports bans on the possession and use of firearms and ammunition by unsupervised youths under the age of 18 and the mandatory inclusion of safety devices on all firearms, whether manufactured or imported into the United States.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a policy statement on firearm-related injuries affecting children, which states that the “absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents.” According to the AAP, the U.S. has the highest rates of firearm-related deaths among high-income countries, and 84.5 percent of all homicides of people ages 15 to 19 were firearm-related in 2009. The AAP also noted that for kids ages 10 to 17, guns are the method used for 40 percent of suicides.

The AAP supports stronger gun laws, including stronger background checks, banning assaults weapons and addressing firearm trafficking. In their priorities for gun violence prevention, the AAP advocates for violence prevention programs, more funding for gun violence prevention research, physician counseling on the health hazards of firearms and mental health access for children and their families, particularly to address the effects of exposure to violence.

At a listening session with high school shooting survivors and students at the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said concealed carrying “only works when you have people adept at using firearms.” And in a recent tweet, Trump wrote, “Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive.”

Melissa Falkowski, who teaches newspaper, English and creative writing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, told ABC News that the shooting has left her feeling “failed by society, failed by the state, failed by Congress.”

“Because they’ve just, on this particular issue, have been taken no action in recent years, and so I just feel like what happened to us was totally preventable,” she said.

Falkowski said she and 19 of her students hid in a closet in her classroom during the Feb. 14 shooting. She called the notion of training teachers on how to use weapons and arming them in schools as a way to combat school shooters was “absurd.”

“The logistics of it make no sense,” she said. “Like in this scenario [at Marjory Stoneman Douglas], [the shooter] was wearing full body armor, with this AR-15 … shooting down the hallways as a barrage of bullets, and he’s wearing protective headgear, and so you’re going to take a teacher who’s concealed carrying some kind of handgun and you’re going to pit them against somebody who has an AR-15 and full body armor, and so that is not a fair fight.”

“And in that moment,” Falkowski continued, “the teachers are shielding the students, throwing themselves on top of the kids, and trying to comfort for them and put them in a place where they can be safe and out of his view and out of his way, and so they don’t have time to react to ‘Oh my gosh, let me go into this locked cabinet and get a gun,’ and so I don’t think in this scenario that it would have helped.”

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said there was a telephone town hall with 60,000 teachers Wednesday night and "the response was universal, even from educators who are gun owners: teachers don't want to be armed, we want to teach."

"We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharpshooters; no amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15," Weingarten said in a statement released by the AFT.

"How would arming teachers even work? Would kindergarten teachers be carrying guns in holsters? Is every classroom now going to have a gun closet? Will it be locked? When you have seconds to act when you hear the code for an active shooter, is a teacher supposed to use those seconds getting her gun instead of getting her students to safety?" she said in the statement. "Anyone who pushes arming teachers doesn’t understand teachers and doesn’t understand our schools. Adding more guns to schools may create an illusion of safety, but in reality it would make our classrooms less safe."

Kasey Hansen said she believes teachers should have the ability to defend their students.

“I'm just a teacher who wants to protect her students. I'm not going to roam the halls if I hear lockdown is occurring and someone's in the building. I'm not going to go looking for him,” Hansen said. “That's not my job. My job is to lock the classroom. Turn off all the lights. Get the kids in the corner and be ready.”

While some might argue that people in schools during a shooting should wait for police, Hansen said that might take too long.

“How long is it going to take for the police to get there? And how long is it going to take for them to roam the halls? My school is a big school,” Hansen said. “The gunman could be anywhere. He could be in my room clear across campus and it's going to take a while for the police to figure out.”

Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Hansen said it was her mom who encouraged her to take a concealed carry class.

“I wasn't planning on buying a gun. It was just information. And I learned about gun safety. I learned about the gun laws. I learned about protection. It was educational,” Hansen said. “It got me thinking, ‘What would I do if a shooting at my school happened?’”

Hansen said she doesn’t tell her students when she is carrying her gun and might not always have it on her. She also believes people shouldn’t need to know whether or not she is carrying her gun.

“It's my personal choice, and it's my right to decide that. And so why tell anyone?” she said. “I almost feel like I would be a target if I announce to my boss, if I announce to my students, if I announce to my parents, ‘Hey guess what? Today I'm wearing a gun. Just FYI.’”

Hansen said she also likes the idea of retired military being employed by schools for security.

“I wish more schools would implement it,” she said. “I don't think the protection and the security should be on teachers.”

For those hesitant about using guns, Hansen said practice and education are key.

“And if you know how to handle it, if you know what you're doing, and if you start to practice your mindset and start to visualize, ‘OK, where would I go in my school? Where would I be? How would I protect my students?’” Hansen said. “If you start that visualization and that thought process, it's really not as scary as you might think.”

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Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The body of the Rev. Billy Graham, one of the world's most famous Christian evangelists, will be brought back to his North Carolina hometown on Saturday in a 130-mile procession that is expected to draw thousands of mourners and well-wishers.

The procession started Saturday morning at 11 a.m. ET with a ceremonial departure from a training center run by Graham's evangelistic association, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. A private family prayer service was held at the chapel earlier.

From there, the motorcade carrying the casket passed through the town of Black Mountain before turning onto the interstate for an approximately four-hour journey to the Billy Graham Library in the city of Charlotte, near the town of Montreat where the evangelist was born and grew up on a dairy farm.

There are designated viewing areas along the procession route for the public to pay their last respects.

A ceremonial arrival for the procession will take place at the Billy Graham Library, where Graham's body will be buried alongside his wife, Ruth, after a funeral next week.

Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in North Carolina's mountains, spokesman Mark DeMoss said. He was 99.

He is survived by three daughters and two sons as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His wife died in 2007.

Known as "America's pastor," Graham was a key figure in the revival of the U.S. evangelical Christian movement. He began holding revival meetings in the 1940s and went on to become an adviser to several U.S. presidents.

Graham had been in poor health in recent years and had turned his international ministry over to his son Franklin Graham. The elder Graham did not have cancer, despite reports claiming otherwise, his spokesman said.

Despite numerous hospitalizations in recent years, Graham's work remained in the public eye late into his life. In 2011, around his 93rd birthday, he released what official reports said was his 30th book, Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well, on the subject of aging. Also in 2011, audio files documenting six decades of his ministry were put online in a searchable database.

Graham brought evangelical Christianity into the mainstream. As a spiritual adviser to U.S. presidents, he had great access to the White House.

"Each one I've known long before they ever became president, been in their homes many times,  always called them by their first names, until they became president," Graham said of several former presidents.

He was especially close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and both Bushes.

Bill Clinton turned to him after his much publicized sex scandal, and George W. Bush credited Graham with helping him to quit drinking alcohol.

When asked how his life would be different if it were not for Billy Graham, George W. Bush said simply, "I wouldn't be president."

The evangelist brought his "Billy Graham Crusades" around the world, preaching to more than 210 million people in 185 countries and territories. His largest such gathering drew 1 million people in Seoul, South Korea, in the 1970s.

However, Graham was met with criticism in February 2002, when audiotapes released by the National Archives revealed a 1972 conversation with Nixon at the White House in which Graham said Jewish people had a "stranglehold" on the media.

He later apologized and said his work with Jewish people over the years belied that remark.

Donald and Melania Trump met Graham at the preacher's 95th birthday party in 2013, but they never met after Trump took office as president.

Invitations to Graham's funeral on Friday have been extended to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as living ex-presidents, DeMoss said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Educators around the U.S. are protesting proposals to arm teachers by posting with a hashtag, #ArmMeWith, to ask for more school counselors, books, snacks for hungry students and other things they say schools need rather than guns.

As of Saturday morning, the hashtag has been used about 96,700 times.

President Donald Trump called this week for arming teachers in the wake of the latest mass shooting at a school, the Feb. 14 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff.

The president said teachers with guns would offer better protection than a security guard who "doesn't love the children." He also said teachers would be able to respond more quickly than police.

The nation's teachers' unions swiftly rejected the idea.

"We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharpshooters. No amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15," Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement. "How would arming teachers even work? Would kindergarten teachers be carrying guns in holsters? Is every classroom now going to have a gun closet? Will it be locked? When you have seconds to act when you hear the code for an active shooter, is a teacher supposed to use those seconds getting her gun instead of getting her students to safety?"

Many teachers on social media appeared to agree, using the #ArmMeWith hashtag to oppose the notion of arming educators while highlighting basic resources that they suggest their schools lack.

A Twitter user whose profile said she is a Pittsburgh teacher posted a sign promising "to fight for my students and colleagues. Please "#armmewith the things I need."

Another educator said "I would risk my life to save my students but I would never keep a concealed gun in my classroom." Instead, this teacher asks for tissue and paper towels.

Another woman who identifies herself as a teacher tweeted, "#ArmMeWith my own voice. Educators should make decisions about education, not politicians."

One Twitter user identified as a school counselor in San Francisco tweeted she needs lower ratios of counselors to students and better connections to therapists for "my anxious, suicidal & lost kids."

One educator acknowledges a need for school security but said it should not come for her carrying a gun "around a preschooler."

The movement is drawing the attention of some celebrities, such as singer Ricky Davila.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Residents of the central U.S., brace yourselves.

A major storm system is developing in the central U.S., and it will bring several high-impact weather events across much of the region, including the potential for a major flash flood event Saturday.

Flood watches Saturday morning have been posted from northern Texas to western Pennsylvania, and includes many metropolitan areas such as Dallas, Little Rock, Nashville, Louisville and Pittsburgh.

On the colder side of this system, winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings have been posted for snow and ice accumulation. Minneapolis is in the path for the brunt of this developing snow event.

The storm will really start to develop Saturday morning before bringing widespread impacts by mid-day and into the evening. Accumulation, heavy rain and dangerous thunderstorms will develop in the Mississippi River Valley from Little Rock to Memphis, as well as along parts of the Midwest from Paducah, Kentucky, to Cincinnati.

On the northern side of this storm, snow will develop and intensify as it heads toward Minnesota. Low visibility and blowing snow will likely be an issue Saturday evening.

By Saturday night or Sunday morning, the storm will slide eastward with very heavy rain and thunderstorms from Louisiana all the way to Pennsylvania. A wintry mix and some snow will be likely for parts of New England, including Hartford, Connecticut, and Albany, New York. The storm will clear the U.S. by Sunday night.

The storm will tap into high-moisture content across parts of the South and Midwest. A high risk of flash flooding has been issued by the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, and covers Little Rock, Paducah, Louisville and Cincinnati.

Locally, over 4 inches of rainfall is expected through Sunday in the region. However, this will be on top of the rain that has already fallen in some areas. Nearly 10.5 inches of rain has been reported in parts of Arkansas this week. This means that any excessive rain that falls will cause flash flooding.

The heavy rain, however, will miss northern Indiana, Michigan and northern Illinois -- the latter of which has been dealing with ongoing major river flooding from rain over the last week.

Strong severe storms will develop across the South and Midwest on Sunday. Intense storms will develop by mid-day and into Saturday night. An enhanced risk for severe weather has been issued for parts of Louisiana up through parts of Kentucky.

Tornadoes -- perhaps a couple of strong ones -- could develop later Saturday across the enhanced risk region. Damaging winds and large hail will also be possible.

The severe weather threat is not expected to remain intense through the day on Sunday.

On the colder side of this storm, there is some freezing rain and light snow moving across northern Missouri and Kansas on Saturday morning.

The snow will expand and intensify as it heads toward the upper Midwest. Heavy snow, low visibility and blowing snow will be likely in Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin by Saturday afternoon and evening.

Nearly 6 inches to 10 inches of fresh snow is likely across parts of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.

Some snow and ice makes its way toward New England on Sunday. Accumulations will be light, but could catch some people off guard considering how warm the Northeast was all week.

Many rivers in northern Indiana and Southern Michigan are still running high on Saturday morning. Some rivers still have a few days before they will begin to recede, and some have time before they crest.

With more heavy rain on the way, widespread river flooding is expected on the Ohio River next week. The Ohio River at Parkersburg, West Virginia, will rise into moderate flood stage, even near major flood stage by Monday or Tuesday. The Ohio River at Racine Lock is forecast to reach major flood stage by Monday night and Tuesday. A 48-inch crest could flood the town of Racine, West Virginia.

In parts of Louisville and Cincinnati, the rising Ohio River is expected to be the highest it has been in 20 years, but only moderate impacts are expected. This could change based on how much rain the region receives this weekend.

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Susan Stocker - Pool/Getty Images(PARKLAND, Fla.) -- The female tipster close to accused Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz told the FBI Cruz was "going to explode," according to a transcript of the Jan. 5 call more than a month before the shooting obtained by ABC News.

"It’s so much and I know he’s – he’s going to explode," the woman said.

The five-page transcript of the call obtained by ABC News detailed what had been reported the FBI knew about Cruz before he killed 17 students and teachers at his former school in February. The FBI has admitted to failing to follow up on the tip called in to the FBI's call center in January and sharing it with the bureau's FBI field office.

The tipster also provided details about Cruz’s concerning social media activity, identifying four Instagram accounts and troubling posts, and sharing details about his upbringing, foster family and concerning behavior.

“I just want someone to know about this so they can look into it,” the tipster said. “If they think it’s something worth going into, fine. If not, um, I just know I have a clear conscience if he takes off and, and just starts shooting places up.”

On the call, an intake specialist located in West Virginia, asked the caller for information about Cruz, and whether he had made any threats of violence or “talk about ISIS.”

The tipster, whose name is redacted from the transcript but identified as an "unknown female," said Cruz “expresses different things” on social media “and then he takes it off.”

“Just recently, now he has switched it to he wants to kill people. And then he put that on his Instagram and about two days later, he took it off,” the tipster said.

The tipster described Cruz as a violent child who killed animals, posted frequently about firearms and ISIS, and was “thrown out of all these schools because he would pick up a chair and just throw it at somebody, a teacher or a student because he didn’t like the way they were talking to him.”

“It’s alarming to see these pictures and to know what he’s capable of doing and-and what could happen,” the tipster told the FBI on the call, according to a transcript reviewed by ABC News. ”I just think about, you know, getting into a school and just shooting the place up.”

The caller, who dialed the FBI on January 5th, left her name with the FBI for follow up questions and also identified the officer she had spoken with at the Parkland Police Department, who she had given “all the information I had.”

“I didn’t know whether to call you or Homeland Security or who, but like I said … when you look into this you can make the decision as to whether you want to go further or not,” the tipster told the FBI in the call.

“I just want to, you know, get it off my chest in case something does happen and I do believe something’s going to happen,” the tipster said.

The intake specialist did not say if the agency would be following up with the caller.

The FBI has admitted to not following proper protocol after the shooting at the high school last week that left 17 people dead, and properly following up on the Jan. 5 call to the tip line.

The FBI has admitted to not following proper protocol after the shooting at the high school last week that left 17 people dead, and properly following up on the Jan. 5 call to the tip line.

“We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami field office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time,” the FBI said in a statement last week.

FBI Director Christopher Wray has come under fire for the episode, including from Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has called for Wray to resign over the FBI’s “failure to take action.”

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Anthony Watson(NEW YORK) -- Flooding remains a big threat from Texas to Michigan to Pennsylvania where relentless rounds of heavy rain keeps falling over the same areas, causing streams and rivers to continue to rise right into the weekend. Flood watches are still in effect Friday from Texas to Pennsylvania and will likely stay up into the weekend for the next round of rain on Saturday into Sunday.

Twenty-two rivers across the country are currently in "major flood stage," with the majority of those being in northern Indiana and southern Michigan: The Yellow River, St. Joseph River, and Kankakee Rivers in Northern Illinois are all in major- and record-flood stage and will remain that way for the next few days.

From the Rockies to the Upper Midwest, winter weather advisories and winter storm watches are in effect for a new storm to bring a blast of snow on Saturday.

A new storm will bring more flooding rain, heavy snow, and severe weather across the country over the weekend. By Saturday afternoon, more heavy rain stretches from Texas to Pennsylvania with severe weather in the South. On the wintry side of the storm, snow will move across the central and Northern Plains, from Omaha to Minneapolis by Saturday afternoon into the evening.

Severe weather is possible Saturday afternoon and evening from Dallas to Louisville, with an enhanced threat from Little Rock to Memphis to Evansville. Damaging winds and a few strong tornadoes are all possible, along with isolated instances of large hail and flash flooding during the heaviest downpours. Storm timing for the enhanced area will be between 4:00 p.m. and midnight.

Looking ahead to Sunday the cold front will swing eastward with a line of heavy rain from New Orleans to New York as most of the wintry precipitation will be confined to northern New England.

Snow across the Midwest could exceed 6 inches for parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa where the winter storm watches are in effect. Another 3 to 5 inches of rain is possible from Oklahoma to Kentucky as the flooding risk continues through Saturday.

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